Are you wondering how to use search engine optimization to get found online? In today’s episode, Dr. Ty Belknap is going to demystify SEO and how to start team building if you’re a solopreneur.
Are you wondering how to use search engine optimization to get found online?
In today’s episode, Dr. Ty Belknap is going to demystify SEO and how to start team-building if you’re a solopreneur.
Dr. Ty Belknap was homeless as a teenager. Then he became a beach bum surfer. From there he found his inner nerd and started in the tech industry. By 25 he was a network engineer working at companies like Microsoft, Compaq, and HP. At 36, he left the corporate world and started a web design and online marketing company (before it was called SEO).
Now, with a Doctor of Strategic Leadership and Life Coaching, Ty Belknap runs Port Bell SEO with 4 employees, none of which live within 4,000 miles of his office.
So if you’re wanting to stand out online and get found by the right clients, Dr. Ty Belknap shares how to use search engine optimization in a simplified way and how to start building your virtual team now.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING TO TODAY’S EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:
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[KATHRYN]: Welcome Dr. Ty Belnap to the show. I’m excited for you to share with our listeners how to get found online using search engine optimization, and how to start team building as a solopreneur.
[TY]: We run a search engine optimization business helping small businesses get found online.
[KATHRYN]: So for our listeners who don’t know what search engine optimization is, can you share that with them?
[TY]: Let me give you a quick analogy to help your listeners understand search engine optimization. Say you go to a movie and everything about the movie was great, except the score. Now I'm not talking about the songs that were in there, the background music was off the entire movie and ruined the entire movie. That's what search engine optimization is, it’s the background music that you never notice until it's done wrong.
[KATHRYN]: When you say the search engine optimization is done wrong, can you give an example of how SEO can go wrong?
[TY]: Let’s say you’ve been in business for six months, and you go to Google and you’re business name doesn’t show up. That means your search engine optimization isn’t done well. So not typing in keywords to try to find it, but actually typing in your business name, your website name, that is Seo done way wrong. Ah, and that doesn't mean that you had an expert come in, that means that the website itself when it was created, wasn't created correctly. But that's still a part of search engine optimization because it's a part of getting into the search engines
[KATHRYN]: So why is search engine optimization so important?
[TY]: The answer is that Google right before COVID had done a research study that was two years long, figured out that over half of the searches that people do on Google are local searches for local businesses. So for local businesses especially, it is super important to get into the search. Because that's how people are looking for you right now. If your business website isn't even in the search engines you have a problem. That means your website isn’t even ranking on Google.
[KATHRYN]: When we're talking about ranking on Google, are you talking about paid or organic ranking?
[TY]: Almost every single search on Google, is somebody looking for a problem to be solved? That's why you get into a search engine, you have a problem and you want it solved. When Google gets that problem, they say, okay, what's the best way to solve this? What's the best website I can show them to solve this problem? If they didn't do that well enough, we wouldn't keep going to Google. We'd go somewhere else. But that's Google's entire purpose, really, in life is to make sure that they come up with the best answer to the questions that we have. That’s why it’s so important to master your search engine optimization to help Google rank you as a specific solution for people.
[KATHRYN]: So is search engine optimization the only thing that plays a factor in getting ranked on Google?
[TY]: Search engine optimization is SEO. Search Engine Marketing is SEM. Social Media Marketing is SSM. SEO is only done on your website. And it's natural stuff done on your website. If you're doing Google ads, that's not SEO. Search Engine Optimization is organic and takes time for you to get your website higher in the search engines. But once you're there, it's easy to keep you there.
[KATHRYN]: So how do you keep your ranking high after you’re implemented search engine optimization on your website? Does blogging count?
[TY]: That all depends on your competition. We had a client that we worked with that does that to maintain their search engine optimization. But if there isn’t much competition then you might not need to do anything again. While if you’re an attorney, I hate to say this, but one of the biggest searches on the internet as a DUI attorney, especially when the holidays come around. So a DUI attorney to keep them on the top of the search engines is several hours a month. Generally, we tell businesses, especially for the search engine optimization part, to go for a higher level for about six months. Let's get you there, then we'll lower down to a maintenance level to keep you there after that.
[KATHRYN]: For new businesses, search engine optimization is a great way to get found because it is organic. So instead of dumping a bunch of money into paid ads, businesses just starting out can start with SEO
[TY]: In fact, I created a free workshop that people can go to DIY, Search Engine Optimization Pro. DIY Seo pro.com. If you know there's a free workshop that gives people the three biggest things that they can do themselves to get right now gingers right now.
[KATHRYN]: We could talk about search engine optimization all day, but I do want to talk about team building especially for our solopreneurs. Because you’ve built a virtual for your search engine optimization business. And you started as a solopreneur. And I know a lot of my listeners, a lot of my clients are solopreneurs. And they're really wanting to grow their business. But team building, especially a virtual team is something that a lot of business owners have fear around, or just don't know where to find good people. I'd love for you to share your story about how you went from solopreneur to now running a team, a virtual team?
[TY]: I go to places like Upwork or Fiverr, or something like that to hire people for a job. They start as freelancers and then if they are good, I’ll create longer-term positions for them. Because finding that one Freelancer that does the work for you, when you want it done at a price that is affordable for you, is tough to do. That's why I do it that way. I'll hire someone for my search engine optimization business as a freelancer for a year, after a year I’ll offer them as a part-time employee. And after another three to six months, I'll offer them as a full-time employee to join my search engine optimization business.
[KATHRYN]: So how did you know as a solopreneur when you were ready to hire someone to join your search engine optimization business?
[TY]: When I was working too much with no break, and the work was still piling up. I also realized that I’m good at other things than just search engine optimization but it’s not my expertise. So when I wanted to offer higher quality work, I decided team building was a priority to do.
[KATHRYN]: When team building for your search engine optimization business, how do you manage expectations? How do you know they're gonna do their job?
[TY]: The big thing for team building is in this world, whether you have a remote team or local team communication. Remote teams are more difficult or more important with communication because you're not seeing them every day. They're not there constantly. And so you have to keep in mind to communicate with them. But you also have to keep in mind, like me, my web designer used to live in a timezone that was literally 11 hours different than mine. Two o'clock in the afternoon for me was one o'clock in the morning for him. So I couldn't send them a message and expected to reply in five minutes. So you have to manage expectations as well.
[KATHRYN]: Do you recommend solopreneurs looking to start team building to start with places like Fiverr, or Upwork?
[TY]: The reason why I like using Fiverr, and Upwork is simply because of how they manage their money. When you hire someone on either of those two forums, your money goes into an escrow account, and then they do the work, you get to view the work, and find out if the quality is high enough. And if it's not high enough, you don't have to pay them.
[KATHRYN]: What would you say are important things for solopreneurs to consider when they start team building? Like what did you learn while building your team for your search engine optimization business?
[TY]: Make that transition from solopreneur to maybe even having one team member. It’s the first step I took in my search engine optimization business. Start with hiring a freelancer first and figure out what you want them to do. And I try to talk with them in person at least once or twice during the jobs, I can get a feel for their personality at the same time. And see how they do with that one job. And in general, of course, the better they do with that one job, the more likely I am to hire them again to do other work in my search engine optimization business.
[KATHRYN]: Are there any other common mistakes that people make when starting team building? Like did you make any in your search engine optimization business?
[TY]: The biggest business mistake solopreneurs make especially when starting out is not working on your business. is planning. I figured out the rules that I needed other people to fill as I made an organizational chart of every position that I expected to be in the company. And then I circled all of the positions that I didn't want to do. So those are the ones I could hire other people for. So if you're working 40 hours a week, you're spending at least four hours every week, working on your business, figuring these things out versus working in your business on the day-to-day stuff. That’s what I’ve implemented in my search engine optimization business because as solopreneurs or entrepreneurs our job is to marketing and sales.
[KATHRYN]: So do you have anything else you want to share about team building or search engine optimization with our listeners today?
[TY]: If you go to Port bell.com, which is my website, you'll see success tips as one of the links and then join the club, join our club, it'll get on our email list because we are running a free training soon on team building. Also, you’ll get search engine optimization tips too.
[KATHRYN]: So what does success mean to you?
[TY]: Business Success in my search engine optimization business means having happy satisfied customers. And employees.
[KATHRYN]: Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with team building and helping demystify search engine optimization for my listeners.