Podcast

Our podcast is raw, honest and damn right insightful, as we chat to some of the best minds in eCommerce

Hosted by Richard Hill

Ep 06:
Craig Campbell:
Integrated Marketing Mix as the Future of SEO

Ep 06: Craig Campbell  – Integrated Marketing Mix as the Future of SEO 

Craig Campbell, what a guy! This podcast is truly unfiltered as he shares some incredibly valuable SEO tips and tactics. He discusses easily implementable strategies that can transform your rankings and drive traffic to your website.

Craig has a direct, straight talking approach and we love that! He simplifies SEO so everyone can understand and implement it.That is why we had to get him on our podcast, and what an episode it is!  

 

eCom@One Presents 

Craig Campbell 

Craig Campbell is a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for over 18 years, working with clients and businesses, to optimise both local and national SEO.

He shares quick wins for eCommerce businesses, the importance of user engagement signals and technical SEO for higher rankings on Google, the true value of site speed as a ranking factor, the power of link building for eCommerce, the importance of an integrated marketing mix for the future of SEO and his best campaign that delivered results. 

 

Topics Covered

8:45 – Quick eCommerce wins during this current dynamic 

11:47 – Technology for push notifications

12:04 – Opt-ins for email subscribers, Facebook pixels, push notifications

16:16 – User engagement signals and technical SEO as the main ranking factors for Google

21:34 – Tips for getting your website crawled properly

28:46 – Site speed – Ranking factor vs User Engagement

34:42 – Link Building for eCommerce

38: 24 – Main metrics for choosing a website for outreach that delivers results

43:13 – PR Strategy for long term sustainability

47:56 – Integrated Marketing Mix as the Future of SEO 

50:03 – Best campaign that delivered results

56:31 – Best resources and conferences 

1:02:10 – Best tools for eCommerce stores 

 

Transcript 

Richard Hill:

Welcome to another episode of eComOne, and today's guest is Craig Campbell. Now, Craig I've known from afar for a few years, although we've never actually spoken until today. Craig I would say is a prolific SEOer within the game, in the business for I think 18 years, maybe more. We'll find out shortly. Welcome to the podcast, Craig.

Craig Campbell:

Thank you very much Richard. It's a pleasure to be here. I hate it when people say 18 years. It makes me feel really old actually. I need to cut that down a bit I think. When I started in SEO, I was telling everyone I had been in it for 10 years. Now, I need to start chopping off the time just obviously to get that... No one's going to use you if you've been in it for two months, but I now need to reverse my strategy and chop some of that time off.

Richard Hill:

I would say in 18 years, you've heard and seen it all pretty much from back in the day when it was probably a half an hour job to get on page one of Google. You put your business name and what you do and your title tag and hey presto, you're probably there.

Craig Campbell:

Yep.

Richard Hill:

Google Shopping was free pretty much back then or about 15 years ago, I was the Google whatever... Froogle wasn't it back in the day?

Craig Campbell:

Yeah. All of that, the good old days were amazing. Mate, I actually forgot about the Froogle thing where you used to just upload the CSV file supplier list and boom, in come a whole ton of sales. I actually totally forgot about that. I remember I worked for a stationery company. Obviously, it was just... I don't even know if you could call it SEO. It was just making a website and throwing shit out there if you like. That's a good memory to have.

Richard Hill:

Yeah, yeah, I do. I remember it too. It was literally that.

Craig Campbell:

The bosses are like, "Wow, man, what is it you're doing?" I'm like, "Just I've seen it on a forum. Some guy just said do this and I'm following this guy," but I'd no clue. I had absolutely no clue.

Richard Hill:

When you could say page one in a day.

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, it made money whatever it was. I still pinch myself to this day going, "Shut up, man. Do I really know what I'm doing?" I'm still just trying out shit and doing weird stuff.

Richard Hill:

Not a lot's changed I guess in terms of... We're just testing. This takes a lot longer to figure stuff out maybe now, doesn't it?

Craig Campbell:

Yeah.

Richard Hill:

Testing, always implementing and tweaking, "Oh, I heard about this. Let's try that. Oh, no that doesn't work. No, this doesn't work." Okay, I think it'll be good for... If it's okay with you, if you want to just introduce yourself in terms of what you've been doing. Maybe not every year for 18 years, but let's have a...

Craig Campbell:

A brief overview. A brief overview of how I started... I didn't actually start in the stationery company. It was way before that. What happened was I was a sales guy. It was a flooring company. They had a website and they had a graphic designer in. The guy used to make flyers and brochures and all that stuff. They'd a wee website. The sales were kind of crap during the week, and I was full time, so they said... I was obsessed by the internet.

Craig Campbell:

I put a lot of my enthusiasm for the internet in general down to my age. I'm 40 just now, but when I grew up, we didn't have mobile phones, we didn't have the internet. We had nothing. When I hit around about 17, 18, the internet came out, dial-up connection. I'm pretty sure everyone's in the same boat. I went, "Oh shit, this is amazing. You can look at your house in Google Earth and all this weird stuff."

Craig Campbell:

I became very, very hungry and enthusiastic about the internet purely because it was new, it was mind blowing. The fact that I could play ping pong with a random guy in France or whatever was just amazing. I was in this job and hungry for the internet. They knew this and they said, "Look, can you go on there and just mess about and do whatever?" I was just pissing about with the website. Then I kind of went down the route of thinking I was going to become the next big web designer, so I went to PC World, bought this thing called Mr Site. It was an off-the-shelf platform. Absolute dog shit.

Craig Campbell:

I was messing about with Mr Site. Had this crappy little website. I could do scrolling text and all that on it and I thought, "Oh man, you are the man," because I learned how to a small bit of HTML. I thought I was going to be a web designer because SEO really wasn't a thing. I was pissing about with websites. Left that job, ended up in a stationery company. They were trying to be revolutionary and have an eCommerce store and stuff like that. All you were doing was uploading that CSV file from the supplier. It was all duplicate content, all absolute garbage. Stick it into Froogle and stuff like that.

Craig Campbell:

Again, I was in charge of the website directory listings and all the kind of crap of the day. Then SEO constantly evolved. It was spammy. It was garbage. A link was a link then. There was just dudes online who on forums taught me a lot. That's where it all came from. A few years later, I ended up just going freelance, working in my bedroom. I done that for about four or five years. Then I run an agency for about eight years after that. I didn't set out to build up an agency. I just had to get a developer, had to get a content writer and stuff like that. Before I knew it, I bloody had an agency and all these staff and all these overheads.

Craig Campbell:

Quickly... Well, not quickly. I had the agency for eight years, but I decided, "This is too much stress." Decided to go down the route of affiliate marketing, doing speaking events and toning things down from a noose around my neck point of view in terms of having staff. Obviously, we're in this industry where we're using technology, smarter ways of working yet I had 17 staff at one point, which wasn't very smart. Taking clients on and not tying them up to contracts. It was quite stressful, so I decided to destress and go down this route of affiliate marketing, not have all my eggs in one basket. I've got a couple of wee commerce websites. I've got a couple of affiliate websites. I do a lot of private affiliate stuff for the likes of SEMrush and so on and do training. That's pretty much it.

Richard Hill:

So you've seen it all by the sound of it. Self taught at the beginning. Well, always self taught, but then obviously done the website thing, the web design thing and then got a real passion for SEO, worked for a company, seen how maybe not to do it or back in the day, a lot of different things. Then ran your own agency, which is a podcast in itself. We'll skip that bit, but what I'm really interested in... We'll touch on the affiliate marketing side, but really some of the things that now 17 years, 18 years later, working on a lot of different projects for yourself and for certain clients and coaching and SEO training. A lot of different things there. You've seen a lot of things from probably start up all the way up to tens of millions of pounds a year businesses.

Richard Hill:

Right now, I think there'll be a lot of businesses listening in, where now obviously COVID-19 epidemic that we're in right now. I think speed and what things can people do now... This podcast will probably go out in about 10 days. I think we're on the last day of March today, so about 10th, 15th of April, we'll be going live with the podcast, the guys that are listening in.

Richard Hill:

I think pretty obviously we're still going to be locked down here in the UK at home, but what we're seeing is certain eCommerce stores, a lot of them, are flourishing right now. Some are not. It really depends on the vertical, what they're in. What would you say are some things that eCommerce stores can do in a short term quite quick to see some impact in this next couple of months, where we might be working from home?

Craig Campbell:

As you said, eCommerce websites, people are still buying stuff like that, so obviously unless you're selling something that no one's interested in, I think you're going to flourish. I think from now... There's no special tip to making money in the next couple of weeks or the next couple of months, but what I would say at the moment is I've had a couple of people that I do consultancy with saying, "I want to switch off my AdWords," and stuff like that. You're like, "Why are you switching off your AdWords?" It's really still converting very well. There's no reasoning behind this decision other than you're hearing tens of others of people are saying, "Switch off your AdWords."

Craig Campbell:

Now, if you're a travel company and you're doing AdWords, it's probably wise to switch it off because you're not going to convert, but if you're an eCommerce selling a product... Whatever it may be... then people are at home, bored and still buying. You've got people out there who are impulsive buyers, including me. I'm buying stuff in Amazon every other day. I think you just have to utilize this time to really double down on everything you can be doing with your eCommerce website. What I would always say to people, obviously it's a tough time and sales may be slightly dipped or whatever it's going to be.

Craig Campbell:

We are going to come out of this whether it be in two weeks, two months. I don't have the answer to that, but what I would be doing is thinking about any website... It doesn't have to be eCommerce, but eCommerce in particular. Say you get traffic to your website, 5% of that traffic may engage with your website. They may click on stuff. They may download something. They may sign up to a newsletter. They may purchase something, whatever it may be. 95% of those businesses of that traffic doesn't do anything whatsoever. That's lost traffic. They might go to your competition or whatever it may be.

Craig Campbell:

Unless you really have the perfect marketing campaign, not just SEO, but get push notifications on there so you can get abandoned carts. You can utilize your Facebook Pixel because the cost of Facebook retargeting has probably dropped by 10 times just now. I think it's time to use... If you've not got a Facebook Pixel, then bloody get the thing installed because you're retargeting people hot, hot leads. They've been in your website and maybe chosen not to buy at that point. I think looking at push notifications is another way to get people who've been on your website to sign up and maybe get them back or push a message if they abandon the cart or whatever.

Richard Hill:

What sort of technology would you recommend for that? Is there any specific providers for the push notifications? Say if you're on Shopify or Magento or...

Craig Campbell:

It depends on what you're using, but there are tools out there like OneSignal or PushEngage.com. There's loads of providers for that and they're very low cost. My push notifications for my own website... These are all things that I'm implementing on my own project as well because it's quite easy to become quite lazy with things. Does anyone have the perfect campaign? No, but what I've now decided or got my head around is we have traffic going to websites and we're not using technology, not using smart ways of working to get as much as that as we possibly can. Having a better opt ins for email subscribers...

Craig Campbell:

Make sure you do have a Facebook Pixel installed. Whether you're using that data just now or in a month's time, it really doesn't matter. Start collecting that data and push notifications because all you're doing is trying to continue to get people to buy from you and get those conversions up. Screw as much as you can out of it because I can bet your bottom dollar what I've just said... If I was to go to your... If you had an eCommerce website just now. Everyone could pick holes in everyone's website and not everyone's doing all of this stuff. It's these small little things that can get your conversions up by five or even 10%. It makes all the difference.

Craig Campbell:

Also, looking at the calls to actions on your website's another simple solution. Some people have eCommerce websites and they're absolutely horrendous. You mentioned Shopify earlier. I used to hate Shopify. To a certain degree, I still dislike it from an SEO point of view, but I think what they have that's really cool... Obviously they're improving all the time is the upsell kind of things as well. Their upsell automation or whatever you want to call it.

Richard Hill:

Abandon cart type automations and...

Craig Campbell:

Yeah. I think looking at that kind of stuff and using that kind of stuff and implementing it just now is the perfect timing. Don't be ignorant like me. I used to always think, "I'm not going to get people to sign up for push notifications. I'm not going to start following people around the internet, spamming them with my ads or whatever, but that stuff really really work. I was always... I just felt awkward with it. Do you know what I mean? I'm like, "If they don't want to buy, they don't want to buy."

Richard Hill:

I think there are two core things there. We've got to look at if you're running paid ads, you're running AdWords, people at the moment panicking and going, "Turn them off," or just not sure. The reality is the data will tell you what's what. If you're in certain industries, yes, it's going to be challenging, but other industries are flourishing as you say. It could be a really opportunity rather than turn it off. Really look at the data. Then really it's about what you're saying is squeezing what you've already got, taking that two, 3% conversion rate to a four, 5% conversion rate. You can potentially add, like you say, massive amount of conversion value to an eComm store by quite a simple thing.

Richard Hill:

I mean the amount of sites, like you say, that I don't see the Pixel on... Pixel, what's a Pixel? You think, "Oh my God, these guys are doing 10 grand, 50 grand on ads and they don't know what a Pixel is." It happens, doesn't it? We actually do have a client that is spending over 50k a month... He was spending. He was spending 50k a month when he came to us and he didn't have a Pixel on his website for Facebook. It's like...

Craig Campbell:

What the hell are you doing?

Richard Hill:

Yeah, unbelievable. Push notifications, I think that's one that is probably a newer thing where more people are probably a little bit more unsure how to do it. Obviously, some good recommendations there around tools. The abandoned carts, it's quite often just built into the systems, but quite often, like you say, it's either not enabled properly or it's just got a default setting that says, "Hey, first name," or something that's not right. Some quite simple things just to push the conversion rate as opposed to spending money, which is great. Thank you, Craig. SEO obviously really looking forward to diving some specifics on the SEO. What would you say right now? You've got an eCommerce store. What are the biggest ranking factors for eCommerce right now?

Craig Campbell:

Ranking factors for eCommerce, I think link building content, all of that kind of stuff are always going to be the strong things to do, but they take you so far I think in terms of eCommerce. Not just eCommerce. Any website again in general these methods still apply. It's the click-through rate and user engagement I find works really well. I'll give you an example of where I feel an example of click-through rate and how far it can take you. I put out last week... I was giving away a free SEO course, put that out. Lots of people subscribed to it, which is fine.

Craig Campbell:

I haven't built a single link to the page in my website where, as I said, I was offering a free SEO course. I'm on page two without linking a single link. There's no real optimization or whatever on there now to rank for free SEO course. It is outrageously competitive. There's two ways to look at it. Now, the way I'm looking at it just now, I'm on page two and I'm going to force it up onto page one. How am I going to get there? I'm going to build some links and better the content and stuff like that.

Craig Campbell:

However, normally what happens is I do it the opposite way, where I build links to content and tweet the content and so on and then try to force user engagement too. I feel that anyone can get to the top five in page one. That's all good and well. Being in the top position as such, I think has a lot to do with the user engagement signals that come to into play. By that, I don't mean go away and get some crappy bot and send another 3,000 people to that particular page or product or whatever you've got. I think Google's clever enough to be able to identify bot traffic. I've got a weird sequence of events that I do when I try to promote a product or a page.

Craig Campbell:

What I do is I publish the page. I very quickly send it out to the push notifications, which has got several thousand people on there. I also do a small amount of paid social media traffic on it. I do organic. I put it out to the world organically in social media. Just to top it all off, I do also use a service called MicroWorkers.com.

Richard Hill:

Micro?

Craig Campbell:

Yeah. Basically, what happens there is for like 2 cents or 1 cent, you can get someone to go on there, and click about or stay on that page or whatever, to manipulate the user signals. If you put that into testing, come back and tell me that user engagement doesn't have a ranking factor. I think you'll be blown away.

Richard Hill:

It would show as an organic visit to the store, site, whatever, page?

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, and they're doing something engaging with it. I'll tell you another quick thing that I've seen, which is really cool. Everyone's heard of Neil Patel I'm sure. Whether you love him or hate him, he's a very smart guy. Now, what Neil Patel does... If you go onto his blog, he's got this blog. It's like a free SEO course and a free SEO video. It's got a countdown timer on it, so you cannot watch this video unless you sit there for 10 minutes in his website and wait for that timer to go down, but if you leave his website and you go back, it starts at 10:00 again.

Richard Hill:

So what is user engagement there yeah?

Craig Campbell:

He's forcing your hand. That's where creative thinking... I don't have the special answer of how to get the best user engagement for every eCommerce store, but you have to be creative. You have to do things to make sure that people stay on that website or that product page one way or another.

Richard Hill:

Fantastic. User engagement, big one.

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, user engagement. Likes are a big must. I think technical is very, very important from an eCommerce website. I look at eCommerce websites and audit them. Just due to the structure and everything of an eCommerce website, you've got people having product variations and stuff like that, being open. They've got cannibalisation. They're wasting a whole lot of crawl budget on crappy URLs. I think between the usual content links, technical and user engagement are two of the biggest things that you have to sort out with an eCommerce website.

Richard Hill:

Maybe just for a second could we jump into crawl budget? I think that's probably a... I wouldn't say newer, but it's a newer thing I think that's been discussed this last probably year or so. Do you want to give us a few tips on how to get the crawlers to crawl your website right or how to get your site in a good position, so what the bots are crawling are the right things.

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, so, on that you have a lot of different eCommerce platforms. Just to put this in simple terms, say you've got 10 money pages, 10 main products that you really need to rank... That's what's driving all the traffic. Make sure that Google gets all of them. All of the search filters, all of those URLs for those 10 products have to be crawlable by Google.

Craig Campbell:

You can essentially block out all of the other garbage if you really wanted to, all the search filters, all the other garbage that comes up with an eCommerce website. No following the Windex Do whatever you want just to make sure that Google doesn't crawl that because what happens is say you've got 10 products and you've got 1,000 different search filters and stuff like that. Google could potentially crawl 70% of all your search filters and ignore your 10 money pages. That's an absolute disaster. That's where it's really important to do that.

Craig Campbell:

Also, in terms of helping Google crawl pages, a great internal linking structure is key to making that happen as well. Again, I'll audit websites and I look at their internal infrastructure and go, "This is absolutely horrendous." There's a lot of very small, simple things that people just ignore. Again, back to basics. A good internal linking structure. Block Google from being able to access useless URLs. They're crawling and indexing them. You can go to your search console and see what's in the index, make sure that you get them deindexed.

Craig Campbell:

I think crawl budget's massive. Google does not crawl 100% of anyone's website, very rarely. It might... People will say, "Ah, yeah, it does. Here's a website. Look at it. Blah, blah, blah." That's fine, but the reality is Google has billions or trillions of URLs to crawl and index. It does give a percentage to each website so make sure that you do make sure that your money URLs are being indexed because that is the most important reason why we're here is to make sure that we have our money URLs indexed. Making me laugh there, Richard. Come on.

Richard Hill:

I think typically what's going to happen is eCommerce store, substantial store, you've maybe got let's say 5,000 skews. You've got maybe 50 money pages and 50 money products. That's 1% I think, isn't it, if my math's right, 5,000? Those 50 product pages are obviously within sub cats, cats. They're a mixture. Is there anything specific we would do to those 50 pages? You've said obviously you've got to go into the search console, we've got to have a look what's being indexed. Do we do things with the site map to make sure those 50 pages have got any preference in there or...

Craig Campbell:

I don't really touch a site map as such. You can go in there and make sure that Google crawls it more frequently. Do I believe that actually works? No. It probably does. It's a guide to Google and it probably does work to some degree, but I don't really go down the root of manipulating site maps as such. I think having a good internal linking structure to those pages is more than enough. I know people will go over the top and say, "No, do this in your site map and do that." I think if you're seen to be doing all of that, then it potentially looks spammy if you're trying to force Google to say crawl this page daily. It's just a joke.

Richard Hill:

Sorry, there's a command. I can't remember off the top of my head now. Is it index dot and then you put the URL into Google and it tells you last time it was indexed is that right?

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Richard Hill:

Something like that to see when that page has last been indexed. Obviously, if it's been indexed two weeks ago, you know you've got a problem potentially. That page needs to be linked to from a higher hierarchy potentially.

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, exactly. It's all about pushing power to those money pages. Obviously, you might have supporting content through blog posts on there or other relevant stuff. Just link it all together and do it with some form of purpose. No matter what eCommerce website there is, there's always going to be a top 20 or a top 50 products.

Richard Hill:

Would you say the same with... We touched on it right at the beginning when we touched on Froogle when back in the day and still now, people take their product fee from a manufacturer, distributor, supplier. They dump it into their store and they go, "Hey, I've got 5,000 skews," but they're exactly the same as the other 500 people that are using the same manufacturer's resource, distributor content. How important is it that people take that percentage, those two, 3% of products and rework those products?

Craig Campbell:

Massive. Google is not going to crawl and index the same crap that's on 500 or more websites. As painful as it may seem, that is what has to happen. I know guys that are still in that position who upload product feeds. The prices change daily or weekly or whatever it's going to be, so all of the work that you've just done gets overwritten by the new product feed, so you're going to have to either figure out a better process or a better system or a better website that avoids that happening.

Craig Campbell:

For me, if I was in that situation where I was uploading that kind of set up, I would certainly use that as the back end of a website and have a front end of a website with landing pages that didn't ever change, a WordPress website that then when you click on buy now or add to cart, or whatever it's going to be, it then takes you to that crappy eCommerce store that's full of duplicate content.

Richard Hill:

Yeah. You've actually got landing pages for your top products, yeah. Rather than...

Craig Campbell:

Yeah. That's just the way that I used to attack it when I worked for that stationery company because we had the exact same thing where stationery prices change in a weekly basis and the supplier basically just gave us that sheet and boom, they would get imported into the website. All my descriptions and everything were just wiped out with the same garbage that everyone else had.

Richard Hill:

Overwrite, You're like, "Great, we've got to write all those again," or went, "Where's the Excel sheet? Oh, we didn't have one." We still have that now, where we just make sure we've got the master sheet just in case. Couple more things that I think are a word or terminology... There's obviously loads in SEO, but an area of SEO that I think every SEO talks about, but I think site speed. For eComm stores particularly, what are your thoughts on that.

Craig Campbell:

I'm not sure I would join the people who say site speed is a majorly important ranking factor as such. However, I think from a user engagement and a user experience point of view, if you're clicking on something and you can't do that, then it's going to negatively impact you whether that's people bouncing off your website very quickly or losing that potential customer. Yes, it's important. However, I don't think it's massively important that you get from 3.2 seconds to 2.1 or from 2.1 to 1.7. People become obsessed with it. Although I do believe that site speed is very, very important overall, it's not going to massively impact your rankings just by getting that extra 0.2% of speed.

Richard Hill:

It's more about what happens with a faster site because they're more likely to stay, more likely to engage, more likely to click through, less likely to bounce, those sort of correlated-

Craig Campbell:

I think…

Richard Hill:

That go with it.

Craig Campbell:

I had a guy. We've all had this guy as a customer, a really tight guy. Very tight with his wallet, didn't want to spend money. He'd this Magento website, and it used to run like a bag of crap. Now, he's an amazing product on the website that lots of people were very, very interested in. He got some SEO. He started to get some good results, but if there was five or six people on the website buying at the same time, which is not uncommon for an eCommerce website, it used to grind to a halt.

Craig Campbell:

I was telling, "You need to get a better server. You need to do this." One of the server guys that worked for a hosting company that I talked to basically said, "Craig, your customer is essentially trying to run a business with 10,000 products on a server that's got less space than your fucking mobile phone. What the fuck is he doing?" That's what he said to me, "What the fuck is he doing?" He just said, "The tight bastard is just going to have to cough up if he wants to continue to get sales."

Richard Hill:

Yeah, I suppose it's like someone trying to take Tesco and put it in the corner shop. It don't bloody work.

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, so that is the way I look at it now. I just say to people now, "You look at your 16GB phone and you're trying to run an eCommerce website from a 4GB server." Magento, as I'm sure you know, is server intensive.

Richard Hill:

Very much so, yeah.

Craig Campbell:

There are servers that are dedicated and optimized for Magento or various other platforms. I think having the right platform from the get go... If you're going to invest in SEO, going to invest in ads and you're going to take your business seriously, make sure you've got the right bloody platform in terms of hosting and everything. As you say perfectly, it's like trying to shove Tesco into a corner shop. It ain't going to work. The products are not going to fit and all sorts of stuff's going to start pouring out the door.

Richard Hill:

I think that's the thing, isn't it? You see a lot of stores. They start as a corner shop or not even a corner shop. It's like a tray with some sweets on somewhere. Then they get the corner shop and very quickly they get the Tesco. You do see obviously a lot of... The industry is ripe for stores with very, very, very quick growth. I've got somebody on the podcast tomorrow who's doing 2 million plus a month after I think less than two years. It's like, "Wow." From a back bedroom. I think from a back bedroom. It's okay. We're scaling, scaling, but if we're not, then really investing. Sometimes it's just because they just don't know. They might have had a website built six months ago and it was fantastic, but now they're doing 10 times the volume or five times the volume and they go, "This website's shit." "Well, it's actually what you asked for and it was what...

Richard Hill:

But what we didn't do is predict and plan for what might be in terms of traffic, in terms of demand. Especially now. I mean some of the stories I'm hearing now... We've got a lot of people having a lot of challenges right now with what's going on with COVID-19, but some of the demand is... I'm saying stuff like three to four times as busy as Black Friday weekend on some websites, the food… We've got a company that sells fish and literally half of his staff are out. They're self isolating. I think there's normally 15 of them, but I think there's only five of them now packing. They're there like 16-hour days just packing, packing, packing, packing, trying to get it.

Richard Hill:

What they've got to watch also is their website able, is it scaled enough to be able to cope with the demand. We've got to keep an eye on their ads. We look after their ads and what not. Okay, so speed important, but don't get carried away too much with taking that 92% to 95%. We want to be looking at that engagement. Say, "Oh yeah, we've touched on engagement a lot." Now, one topic I'm really keen to drill into... He says with a pause... is link building. It's like the dirtiest word ever in SEO, so they say. It is I think... You've obviously alluded to it already... quite an essential part of SEO, where certain strategies will get you so far depending on how competitive that niche is and etc where you are and what you've got already. Obviously a lot of variables. Link building for eCommerce, we'd love to drill into that and some of the strategies that you'd recommend now that we could maybe look at implementing or people listening could implement.

Craig Campbell:

Link building, as you say, a lot of people go, "That's bad." Obviously, it's part of Google's terms of service. Building one link can get you penalized. However, it depends on how much you want to believe what Google tell you. Google have also released that link building is the number one ranking symbol as well. Take your pick. Obviously, Google don't want you to fire up an automated tool and stick 20,000 links to your main category on your website. Absolute garbage, that crap just can't work.

Craig Campbell:

But link building is link building and getting good quality, relevant links to your website will help move the needle in terms of rankings and growth. Now, the way I look at it is I will always go out and start very, very clean. Get onto some directories and what not, relating to the business in question. Get some geographic specific links as well. Get on some business directories. What that basically does, it's not really going to move the needle, but it builds up some of the main authority. What a lot of people look at is the DR or the DA of a website. I will start out with some citations if you want to call it that.

Craig Campbell:

Now, you can actually pay someone to do this $65, CitationsBuilder.com. Now, the key part of this is in the past, I have got someone in the office to get a hold of a client's website and put those bios and everything else into say 50 directories. Now, copying and pasting that into 50 directories, one or two might get indexed. That's it. The difference with CitationsBuilder is they spin the bios and send them to an indexing tool so that 50 of them, if you buy 50... Or 35 or whatever the deal is. They all get indexed and obviously then pass some form of power to your website.

Craig Campbell:

Now, after that your opportunities or what direction you want to go down is entirely up to yourself. This whole white hat, gray hat, black hat topic goes on, and it's absolute nonsense. It really is. I think you have to do what works, and what a lot of people will do is go down the root of buying guest blog posts. There are vendors out there who do outreach on a daily basis and do campaigns for a wide range of clients. They're then able to give you that link, so you can go to these guys... They've got basically thousands and thousands of websites that they've got access to... and do a guest blog post. Whether you're selling fish or whatever, they'll get you into some food website and they'll get some article written up about, "Here's the best fish or why you want to fish or whatever." Guest blogs are probably the most effective.

Richard Hill:

When you're looking at the guest blogs to go on, what sort of metrics are you looking at for those blogs to have? You talked about the main authority. Then we talked about engagement, so traffic to the site and things like that. What are your go to metrics when you're looking at a blog to be written on for a client or for yourself or another blog?

Craig Campbell:

What we always want is we use DR. Most link builders will use DR, which is Ahrefs' score. The worst case scenario, we would look at a DR30. That's the lowest form of link. Then there's a middle one, which is DR45, and then a 60 plus. Obviously, all of these websites have to be relevant to your niche and they also have to have traffic and rankings. There's no point in me getting a link from some shady PBN that's been flung up that doesn't rank for anything.

Richard Hill:

What's the best way? To get the DR score, we can use Ahrefs, but to get the... For people listening to the podcast, define the traffic numbers, traffic scores or traffic amount to a site, what's the best way to do that?

Craig Campbell:

Again, use Ahrefs or SEMrush or whatever. Again, these will give you a guide as to whether these websites get traffic or not and also keywords. You'll be able to see if they rank for certain search terms or if they don't. What I would want is links from real websites essentially, not some crappy PBN that's been flung out there that's got some nice metrics, but gets no traffic because what value is that actually going to pass to me? It's just not natural. Google can quickly establish that that PBN that gets no traffic's got 1,000 outbound links on it now. I think Google are very quick to be able to slam that kind of thing or not pass value to it or whatever way they look at it.

Craig Campbell:

Guest posts work really well, but also on the guest post side of things, what people tend to do is power up their guest posts with other things like PBNs or automated link building. Now, that's entirely up to you. I'm not suggesting that you do do that, but it's part of our strategy where people were not wanting to endanger their own website, but they're quite happy to engage the person who's just sold them a guest post.

Richard Hill:

They get the guest post they've just paid for potentially and then building links to that post to make that link more powerful.

Craig Campbell:

Yes.

Richard Hill:

If that blog post gets damaged in anyway, it's not there. It's somebody else's site. I guess that's where you're crossing over a little bit to... I don't know what hat you call that, but probably it's a gray hat.

Craig Campbell:

Yeah. You're going to have to do... People do things like that.

Richard Hill:

Best way then to... I've got my fish website. I want to find guest posts or websites that might take guest posts. Is it as simple as a Google search to find the sites that'll take a guest post to do with...

Craig Campbell:

I mean you can do a Google search and do things like write for me and have the word fish or food. It doesn't have to be fish related. Food is also related to fish. You can do a simple Google search and do that, but what a lot of people do is just look at the competition. They export it from Ahrefs what links they've got, put it into Pitchbox and just start an outreach campaign, just buying... Send it out to everyone that your competition has linked from. Someone will come back and say, "Yes, I can give you that guest post, but it's going to cost you 70 bucks." Whatever's going to happen. You can negotiate that down. That's what's called outreach. Now, outreach is apparently what white hat guys do.

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, they still pay. You get a lot of people saying paid links are bad and this, that and the next thing. The problem you've got is paid links are bad, but if you were paying to be listed in someone's footer or their sidebar or whatever. I think that was something that came up years ago. Google were talking about paid links, but people now know the value of a guest post or a link and they are charging you. You can call it what you like, an admin fee or whatever. People are charging you and there's no way around that. There is no way unless you can offer free content or a free bunch of fish or whatever it's going to be. You can do that as well. "I'll send you out some smoked salmon there if you do this." That could work.

Craig Campbell:

But in most cases, people want cold, hard cash, and that's where people start... Again, SEO people say, "Oh well, I heard paid links were terrible, blah, blah, blah." Google don't have access to your transactional history or what went on in order for you to get that link. I think Google have got a lot of other things to be worrying about, more than whether you paid Joe Blogs down the road there 40 bucks for a guest post. I think that is one strategy that works. You've also got the other strategy which a lot of big companies use, which is the PR root. They'll go down and they'll create fake news or real news or whatever's going to happen and get time press related stuff or get onto food magazines or whatever. I'm just using your fish guy as an example all round here, which…

Richard Hill:

Fish Weekly.

Craig Campbell:

You can go down that route and get the PR thing. The problem that I find that you're going to have with your listeners is some of your listeners are going to have budget and they can afford PR. Doing everything the PR way and everything is probably the the right way to do it for long term sustainability, but if you're a guy like me who came from a background where I wasn't fortunate enough to have hoards of cash to rank my businesses. I had to scrimp and scrape and rob Peter to pay Paul and all that stuff, which I think 80% of your audience will also have to have done.

Craig Campbell:

You have to look at alternative tactics and to not doing the PR route, going down the guest blog route or tricking people into thinking a link's... Whatever it could be. You can trick people into giving you a PR link. I could tell you tricks all day long on how to steal PR links from companies and stuff like that as well, but obviously your audience might hate me for that so I don't want to go down that route too much, and I don't want to come down as giving a whole lot of dodgy advice either.

Richard Hill:

That's cool. Obviously link building, super important. Start with that layer of directories maybe, just to get some foundation in there. Look at the outreach competitor links. You mentioned Pitchbox. Obviously you can do it manually if you can't afford Pitchbox, where you're reaching out to people and they're writing blog posts and they'll vary in price potentially. You've got to get a bit of negotiating there, when they come back to you and say, "Oh yeah, no problem. $300," and you go, "Ah, $100." "Okay, we'll meet 150 or whatever it may be." That's exactly what we do basically in terms of the outreach, connecting with... We use Surfworks to pull out some of the data from Ahrefs and what not. Then we'll do a lot of manual, but a few people have mentioned Pitchbox to me. It's not one I've actually used, but it's one... Personally I'm going to explore that.

Craig Campbell:

Listen, see Pitchbox, it does a lot of the work for you. It does a lot of automation. Also, when you copy and paste the websites into Pitchbox, it also scrapes the email address for you. Obviously, when you're doing it, when you're pulling stuff and you're having to then use Hunter or various other things, Pitchbox basically does the whole lot. A lot of people go, "I'm not paying this price for Pitchbox," because it's slightly expensive, but in terms of speeding up your process... People have got different... As you say, you pull this and you do that and you do this, where there are cheaper alternatives. You've also got Mailshake where you can... A more cost effective way of doing outreach without using Pitchbox, all the bells and whistles, but Pitchbox is the Rolls Royce of outreach and does all the crappy scraping and everything else for you.

Richard Hill:

It's weighing it up, isn't it? The guys that are listening in, the ones that have got the budget, they'll just go all in, and it's not as... But nobody's obviously got unlimited cash and can waste cash. Knowing how long it can take to... You could go with a free trial of whatever and get a list, but then contacting those people one by one, finding their emails firstly, contacting them one by one, it's quite painful. In some instances, you may have to do it, but if it's going to take you a day there to maybe get 15 nos or 20 nos or 50 nos... Whereas you can just automate that for what might be, I don't know, $100 a month or something like that.

Richard Hill:

Great. SEO, we've touched on a lot of different things there, content, technical, crawling, link building. Where do you see these things going? We've got an eCommerce store. If I was preparing for the... A bit of a tricky question, but I'm in it for the long haul, as we should be. I'm not just here selling my, I don't know, one off thing. I'm here to build, build, build, build my brand, build my eCommerce store. It's pretty much... I think most people that'd be listening to the podcast, they're either going to be eCommerce marketers in the industry... So they want longevity or they're going to be business owners that are doing it themselves. In terms of SEO strategies that you think are more long term and things that people should be investing in and where you see things going?

Craig Campbell:

In the coming years, I think obviously SEO is one way of marketing a website, but I think people have to now become overall... Have an overall marketing campaign if you like, rather than just focusing on SEO. I think things that we touched on earlier, building mailing lists, building social media followings, building your brand, building technology and automation into the whole business is the way forward because in years to come, artificial intelligence is going to come out and God knows what else is coming out.

Craig Campbell:

I think in terms of future proofing your business, no one knows if SEO is going to be here in five years time or 10 years time. I think you have to adapt your marketing strategy as well and try to have an overall digital marketing campaign using your Pixels, using a mailing list. I know a lot of people say, "Why a mailing list?" Mailing lists work really, really well even now. Also, you can force that click-through rate and everything else by sending out a post or a product to a massive emailing list. You can make that stuff look viral. I think you have to think more like an overall marketer than just an SEO.

Richard Hill:

Great answer. So having those different areas within your marketing mix and then obviously again you're protecting yourself as well. You're reliant on one. It's all right when one is working really well, but then one takes a penalty or a hit with paid ads or your mailing list, GDPR or... Obviously things can change in any of the platforms, so having an all-round strategy. Obviously you've worked on a lot of campaigns over the 18 years.

Craig Campbell:

Yes.

Richard Hill:

What would you say has been one of the best campaigns you've worked on, one of the best results on an eCommerce store? What were some of the things that you did on that campaign specifically?

Craig Campbell:

It might be a bit challenging to go into too much detail because it might be private and what not, but is there anything specific that comes to mind when we think about a project you've worked on and maybe some of the things that you did that really moved the needle on the SEO side or on the revenue side or obviously both should go hand in hand.

Richard Hill:

I was going to tell you a really good story that sounds really cool, but it wasn't really eCommerce as such because you'll never believe it. I had this travel company and I was doing it. They're probably not doing too well now. I no longer work with them. I had this travel company and they went from something like 20 million to over 100 million in turnover online by... What I'd done there was helped them with links and I helped them with SEO in general, but what I'd done was help build a team, give them training and all that kind of stuff. It was quite a cool project.

Craig Campbell:

To be able to see that value... Now, that is not all down to me, but this was a very old school company that, believe it or not, even to this day, you cannot book a holiday online with these guys. It wouldn't be eCommerce, but it's the one project that I worked on where you got a lot of satisfaction from the growth and everything else. They were very old school, didn't implement eCommerce systems and they're now starting to implement internal systems. They've got like 100 sales staff. The job is all about just getting the phones to ring. So that would be the one that... I think overall I was able to have a very hands on approach and be able to tell them to stop printing brochures and stop doing a lot of the old school stuff and bring them forward into sort of new technology, although they don't have an eCommerce website. That was massive.

Richard Hill:

Yeah, so that was more about coaching, training, showing them what is possible and then layering that in with their management team, their teams and implementing different things. I think that's a really good point because I think when you're looking at scaling something, it's not just about learning that thing. It's about the person that's leading that business or the person that's leading that team has got to have a new set of skills or they've got to open their... They've got to go forget what we knew... If they just say, "Right, that's how we do it. That's how we've always done it," obviously the worst thinking ever is to come into a business and say, "Well, what we could do is this."

Richard Hill:

We thought about this. Such and such did this. And showed them what's possible, but then showing them's one thing. You've then going to obviously... They've got to then move somewhere that's maybe outside their comfort zone and like, "Oh, no. We've always done it this way." So we'll... Hang on a minute. Okay, let's try... It could be very challenging to where with companies when you're... They may be so fixed in a certain mindset and a certain way. They may be already very successful. Imagine when these guys go online then with a full eCommerce site.

Craig Campbell:

Yeah. The problem you've got with that type of business is there's so much politics and it takes so much time to get changes implemented or budget for something. What could these companies really have earned had they just improved that process and opened up a bit, but you see it with lots of large corporate businesses. An SEO's not an SEO in a lot of these companies. They're more of a politician or whatever, game playing and all that kind of stuff and that guy there doesn't like you so these changes are not getting past. It's a different world, but I think the key part in anything is being able to implement new technology, new techniques and get it done fast at scale, more content, more links, more everything.

Craig Campbell:

I think people have done very, very successfully going from X to Y, but you have to try and overcome all the bullshit that goes on with it, going to the board, having to do a PowerPoint presentation and listen to their crap for three hours, going back and forth asking questions, to do one single little change. It can be very frustrating.

Richard Hill:

That can be very much when you look at... I know a big part of your business is auditing. Like any SEO, professional, you do an audit of the site and then you go back to the client and say, "Right, we've audited your site. We've got these 15 things we need to do. Leave it with me." You're like, "No, no. How long am I going to wait? Is it going to be... Then you wait that two days. It's like, "Oh no, it's going to be one of those. It's going to be three months or two months." Yeah, it's getting everybody on board trying to find out who's who in that organization, the stakeholders or the... You've got a tech guy who's usually very passionate, but maybe doesn't know SEO.

Craig Campbell:

And very protective, very protective of his things. If you start asking him to do 15 things, he thinks you're insulting his work.

Richard Hill:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Many of the guys we've find that we've really got to get on board with, they've got to... It's like a two-way street. We can't go in there and bulldoze and say, "Right, this is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong." They're going to go, "Whoa, defensive." They're going to try and get rid of you as soon as possible because you're making them look maybe not quite as... Obviously, I wouldn't do that, but then you get them on board. Then you've still got... Depending on the size of the organization, maybe two other layers. Ultimately, someone's got to sign off the day's work or put it in the work flow, put it on the Trello board or whatever. One of the big questions I was going to ask you was around conferences. I know you speak at a lot of conferences, maybe not quite right now because a few things have changed in terms of physical conferences. I know you do a lot of training online and one of your big things is training.

Richard Hill:

What would you say are some of the best resources out there in terms of training? Obviously your own definitely and conferences when they're on. I know conferences probably will have to pivot now for the next couple to six months. A lot of them may go to the virtual side of things. What would you say in terms of conferences and online training courses? What would be your go to resources in conference?

Craig Campbell:

Online courses wise, there's tons and tons of people trying to now sell online courses. To be honest, I couldn't tell you of an amazing online SEO course that's out there. The problem with that is not everyone wants to give everything away. There's always courses that are very specific to affiliate marketing if you like. Authority Hacker is really good at that. They have a lot of processes and everything that are dedicated towards affiliate.

Craig Campbell:

I think you have to become niche specific when you're looking for a course rather than a general SEO course because if you come to mine, for example, I don't go into eCommerce too much because it's just a pain in the ass to go into every single thing. Affiliate marketing's more my passion than eComm, but I'm not going to do a course where I've got eComm, affiliate marketing, blogger guides. I'd be there all day. I think there problem is courses out there for eCommerce and as I say, Authority Hacker's really good for affiliate. Mine is good just for a generic overview of what SEO is and what's involved. No one's giving everything away and that includes myself in that I'm not covering eCommerce.

Richard Hill:

Sure, and it's changing that quick as well, isn't it? New things, new tools. In terms of conferences then, what would you say? I know you do a lot of traveling with your conferences. I was looking at your conference list yesterday and I think you're not... Literally all over the world.

Craig Campbell:

What I find is again with conferences, it really depends what you're into. If you're going to go to the likes of Brighton SEO, Brighten SEO's a great conference. I do attend it more for the networking side than listening to the speakers, but if you're into eComm, it depends on the speakers whether we talk about eComm there or affiliate or whatever it's going to be. Are we going to get the value from exact conferences? No. Whereas if you go to an affiliate conference, it's all about affiliate, so I think come very...

Craig Campbell:

Where I've found the most value is find an area that you're crap at or you want to excel in or whatever it's going to be and go to conferences specific to that subject, rather than generic conferences. Now, there's conferences all over the UK, all over the world. What are better? I'm due to speak in Spain at SEO on the Beach in June. Then I'm speaking at Affiliate World Europe in July. SEO on the Beach, there's nothing better than going to a conference where you're chilling on a beach and the conference is on a beach under a canopy and people are having cocktails. The reason being people go, "I'm not paying X amount for a ticket and then a flight to Spain and all that," but what you'll find here... The way to look at conferences is when people are relaxed and loosened up, they drop. They talk more. They drop a lot more knowledge.

Richard Hill:

They're more value in the bar than in the conference center sort of thing, yeah.

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, always. That's the same for all conferences to be honest. There's more knowledge spread at the bar than there is on stage. Sometimes you go to a conference and you're being recorded and there's only so much you want to give away. Personally. I don't give a shit, to be fair. I'm that guy. I'm quite happy to have this...

Richard Hill:

Yeah, not bothered. Yeah, yeah.

Craig Campbell:

Whatever, but people have got agencies, brands to protect, squeaky clean, whatever, but I think conferences all over the world... I've been to Chiang Mai SEO, which is again full of affiliate marketers and stuff like that, and it's really high-level stuff. It's not basic crap. I think some of the more generic conferences are tailored towards basics. It's not fair to criticize them for that because there is a need for people to learn that.

Richard Hill:

It really depends on what you want. Obviously, there's a lot of the good conferences out there around SEO, quite broad. Lot of different topics. Look at the roster, is it? Or the agenda, speaker list, see who's doing what. eCom, quite often there'll be so many. If you want to tie in some time on the beach, you've got SEO on the Beach, you've Chiang Mai, which is a little bit further afield from the... I think a lot of our listeners will be UK. That's quite an interesting one, having a bit of time out in Asia. Is that every year as well? I guess it is.

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, every November. For anyone that I know that goes, comes back mind blown, absolutely mind blown.

Richard Hill:

That's a more mid advanced site topics?

Craig Campbell:

Yeah.

Richard Hill:

I might see you there. We might share a beer in Chiang Mai one day.

Craig Campbell:

Well, I'm speaking there this year again, so get yourself out there providing it's still on.

Richard Hill:

Last couple of questions, Craig. SEO tools wise? A lot of different tools. There's literally probably a dozen of really cool tools that we use and we subscribe to. Some we've been paying monthly fees for for probably 12 years. I know you've mentioned quite a few already, but you've got a eComm store. You're about to do an audit. What's your go to tool stack firstly for that?

Craig Campbell:

So for an audit, I would do SEMrush and Screaming Frog.

Richard Hill:

What tools in SEMrush would you use for that?

Craig Campbell:

The SEMrush has got an auditing tool. Essentially, if you're doing an audit, you want to see technically what's wrong. Obviously, you'd go into the website and check out their organic traffic, keywords and stuff generically, but go into the audit tool, run an audit on it. It will throw up errors that the website has got. The reason I use SEMrush, one, I think it's a really good crawler. Two, I think being able to export that data in a nice PDF and send it to someone you're working for is a hell of a lot easier than showing them something from Screaming Frog because people look at Screaming Frog and go, "What is this?"

Craig Campbell:

Guys in this industry will know what Screaming Frog's saying, but try and show that to a customer, you're in trouble. I like to use both SEMrush obviously for the visual side of things, but I also think it's a good crawler. Screaming Frog, I always do two because I just like to make sure that I'm not missing anything.

Richard Hill:

Yeah, yeah, getting a couple of options just to make sure yeah, there's nothing been missed.

Craig Campbell:

With any tool, sometimes it'll flag up a false positive or if they... SEMrush, for example, is going on a big website and it's hammering it, sometimes it'll throw up some error messages that are just because the bot's on there and using up a lot. The servers can tell the bot to piss off basically. It flags up some false positives as a result. I just like to get a two-step approach to it.

Richard Hill:

You've done quite a few webinars with those guys, haven't you, at SEMrush over the years?

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, over the years, I've done more than 100.

Richard Hill:

Have you? Oh my God. That's madness.

Craig Campbell:

I'm also a host of some of their webinars. They've been massive for me, great bunch of guys.

Richard Hill:

We've got a lady the podcast on... Do you remember actually... She does her own thing now, but Alexandra Tachalova?

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, yeah.

Richard Hill:

I met her probably about seven years ago at Marketing Week Live in London. We were exhibiting, and she was exhibiting for SEMrush. We spent a viewpoint of days having a chat and what not. Got to know her quite well. She's obviously doing her own thing now, but she was there for quite a few years and then obviously got her own agency. She speaks a lot... She probably speaks at a lot of the events I think you're at possibly.

Craig Campbell:

Yeah, I'm good friends with Alex. We do cross paths quite often speaking, but believe it or not, she also gave me my first ever speaking opportunity.

Richard Hill:

On SEMrush?

Craig Campbell:

Not on SEMrush. It was after her SEMrush career. She does this event, Digital Olympus, and she has done for the last four or five years. It was 2016 when I started speaking. She gave me my first opportunity.

Richard Hill:

Good. Brilliant. We've done the audit. We've looked SEMrush. We've looked at Screaming Frog. We're sort of comparing notes. We've got that visual side from SEMrush. We've done the audit. From the audit, we've got a list of actions probably on the technical side more so. On the link building side and the link analysis side, what's your go to side there?

Craig Campbell:

SEMrush and Ahrefs. SEMrush are going to hate me for saying that, but...

Richard Hill:

There goes your webinar career at SEMrush.

Craig Campbell:

But Ahrefs for me... The two tools, SEMrush primarily was always known as the keyword research tool and the link data wasn't always up to scratch. The link data has changed and it is up to scratch now, but so many people still use DR and still look at Ahrefs. It's just more of a habit than anything now. Ahrefs and SEMrush for that.

Richard Hill:

Then we've looked at the links. We've got the analysis. We see the links that the client or the website's got. Then we're looking now to outreach. We talked about Pitchbox. Any other tools on the outreach side of things?

Craig Campbell:

There's a few others that you can use if you want, BuzzStream, Mailshake. I'm trying to think if there's anything else. Ninja Outreach is another one. The interface doesn't look great, but it still does the job. Those are a couple of other ones if you want to try it out on a much lower budget.

Richard Hill:

Okay. Then say reporting, are you a Data Studio fan or do you use a pre... Like SEMrush's reporting or what’s your deal with reporting?

Craig Campbell:

If I was doing client work, then I would use SEMrush's reporting. That's what I've always done when I was doing client work. One of the reasons I don't do client work though is I fucking hate reporting. Data Studio absolutely not. Never even looked at it. It was normally... It was a copy and paste job, screenshots from SEMrush. That was it or PDFs from SEMrush. I'm not a reporting fan, so sorry. I can't really help you.

Richard Hill:

It's one of those things. I think as an agency owner, it's like we spend... Even with all the different tools we've got in our stack, we spend so much time doing it and then I think... Like you say, I hate doing fucking reporting. I think the clients hate flipping reading the reports as well half the time. It's like, "Just give me the headlines. Give me that half pager. That's it." "We spent this. We got this back. The traffic's here. It was here. Now it's here. This is what we've done. This is what we're going to do." Craig, thank you so much. Final question, I always like to end on a book recommendation. Doesn't matter what it is, could be a Ladybird book. It could be an SEO book. Could be... Are you a bit of a reader? Obviously you're a big learner, but what…

Craig Campbell:

A big learner, but believe it or not, I very rarely ever read a book. I'm more of a visual learner. I prefer to watch videos and tutorials that way. Don't get me wrong, I have read books in the past on SEO. One book I really did enjoy though, if you're going to force me for a book answer, is Alan Sugar's book. I have a lot of admiration for Alan Sugar and just the way he started his business. You know he started out with no money and hustled and wheeled and dealed. Again, he's one of those Marmite characters. People either love him or hate him, but very successful guy. Read his book, which I thought was very, very interesting, just to see some of the stuff, the way that he built up his business and what not and some of the stuff he's been through. That is a very eye opening book and obviously from someone that I admire quite a lot, but I'm not a huge book fan. I've tried a million times to get into Audible and everything. Tried different things, but-

Craig Campbell:

I'd rather do a video. Everyone's different.

Richard Hill:

Yeah, yeah. I have to admit I did the whole college, uni thing and I was horrendous at the whole thing. If I'm completely honest... The whole reading and learning thing was not my thing. Somehow I got a degree. I still to this day am not even sure how that happened. I never really read a book until I was about 30 odd. I'm 47 now. I found it a lot more challenging than the visual side, I have to admit, but now I'm a lot better at reading. I read a lot actually, but I didn't used to at all. It was literally like, "Forget it."

Craig Campbell:

No, I'm still like that, and it's not going to change as much as I try.

Richard Hill:

It's not going to change.

Craig Campbell:

I'd love to. I've just not got the patience I think. I get bored. I'd read two or three pages and then say, "Right, what can I do now?" I can't see anything.

Richard Hill:

Concentration on it... Yeah, I know what you mean. I've normally got about five books on the go and it takes me about five months to get through the five. For the guys that are listening in, what's the best way to find out more about yourself? You've got the training courses. We've got speaking events and an amazing podcast. What's the best place just to find all the content?

Craig Campbell:

All of that stuff, you can find on craigcampbellseo.com, podcast, the speaking events. Any kind of tutorials, guides, news that I want to share is all on here. That's the best place. Other than that, you'll find me kicking about on social media. All the icons are on the website anyway if you want to see what stupid stuff I'm doing in TikTok or crazy stuff I'm doing in Facebook. I post a lot of garbage on there to be honest, but it's always fun. It's not all SEO, but yeah...

Richard Hill:

Craigcampbellseo.com is where everything is and then it'll feed of there, podcast, training courses?

Craig Campbell:

Yeah.

Richard Hill:

Right, well, thank you very much for being on the podcast.

Craig Campbell:

No problem, Richard. It's been a pleasure.

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