Brandon Leibowitz has run and operated SEO Optimizers since 2007. We are a digital marketing company that focuses on helping small and medium-sized businesses get more online traffic, which converts into clients, sales, leads, etc.
Running and maintaining your website can be a challenge. I understand the feeling that you are just wasting your time trying to advance your website in Google. You can spend hundreds of hours keeping up with the current algorithms on the various search engines. At some point, you will need help with this.
The time you can save by outsourcing your SEO work could save you hundreds or even thousands of your hard earned money. If you don't do it every day, you are already behind.
[00:00:00] Ed Watters: With, with optimizing your website, I was told you shouldn't focus on your main page, you should have a focus page of another page and let Google do the work finding your main page. Is that correct?
[00:00:19] Brandon Leibowitz: Uh,
[00:00:47] But you do need pages about everything that you offer, all the products that you're offering, all the services, you need a page about 'em. Like you were saying at the beginning, the more pages you have, the better. You don't wanna just have a homepage saying, I do all these different things. You wanna have a homepage saying, I do all these different things then you can click on each one and it goes to a page about that different thing that explains it in detail.
[00:01:10] Ed Watters: To overcome you must educate, educate not only yourself but educate anyone seeking to learn. We are all Dead America, we can all learn something. To learn, we must challenge what we already understand, the way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen with ourself.
[00:01:52] Reach out and challenge yourself. Let's dive in and learn something right now. Today we are speaking with Brandon Leibowitz, he runs and operates SEO Optimizers. Brandon, could you please introduce yourself and let people know just a little bit more about you, please?
[00:02:16] Brandon Leibowitz: Thanks for having me on. My name's Brandon Leibowitz and I've been involved with digital marketing since 2007 helping businesses and websites get more traffic from Google using seo, which is search engine optimization.
[00:02:29] Trying to help people kind of tap into that free traffic from Google, that Google has to offer, and been doing that ever since.
[00:02:37] Ed Watters: Well, you know, SEO is one of those scary things for many people. And without doing it, you're really not gonna get very far without paying a lot of money. So what is the reason behind SEO? Could you start with that?
[00:03:15] The free listings and SEO is all about getting you that free traffic so you don't have to spend money on ads or whatever it may be, which all work. It's just SEO is a way to tap into that free traffic and free traffic is always gonna be best long term. So that's really why I focused on that over the years, is just trying to capture that free traffic that Google's willing to give you.
[00:03:38] Ed Watters: Yeah, and that's organic. And by nature, that's way better than any paid advertising that you're gonna get because people actually want to click on you in that manner. You know, when you pay for it, they're usually advertisement banners and you know, I, I myself personally shy away from those. So I think that might be a trend, I don't know, what's your thought on that?
[00:04:07] Brandon Leibowitz: Yeah. Most people don't click on the ads. But you accidentally click on it, or sometimes people don't see the little thing that says ad cause they put it really tiny, they wanna hide it. So you don't know it's an ad and hopefully click on it. But most people trust organic more than paid ads. But you get the people that don't know the difference.
[00:04:28] Ed Watters: So, you know, the big dog on the block is Google, there's other search engines out there, does SEO work on all of those search engines?
[00:04:42] Brandon Leibowitz: Every search engine has a different algorithm. But for the most part, if you optimize for Google, you should be going across the board. If you're trying to optimize for Yahoo,
[00:04:51] Yahoo is no longer, doesn't provide search results, it's actually Bing that shows the search results. So if you wanna optimize for the three big [00:05:00] ones, you optimize for Google and Bing, and you're good for Yahoo. Those bring in such a tiny amount of traffic that doesn't really have that big of an impact.
[00:05:07] And also it's any website, so it's not just necessarily a search engine. But optimizing can optimize your Amazon page for your products, you can optimize a Yelp listing, pretty much anything that has a website on it, or lets you edit stuff like Facebook, you go and optimize your page a little bit. So it's primarily for Google or the search engines, but it does translate over to almost anything that you're able to go in and make changes to online.
[00:05:35] Ed Watters: Does, does that also include YouTube?
[00:05:40] Brandon Leibowitz: Yep, it includes YouTube, any of those that, Google owns YouTube, so there's an algorithm for all these different platforms. And just putting keywords in the right places or doing the things that they're looking for is gonna help you kind of raise your exposure and visibility.
[00:05:56] Ed Watters: You know a lot of people, they get stuck when you say keyword, and how do you put a key word in, and how do you optimize for a key word? Could you explain that to people?
[00:06:10] Brandon Leibowitz: The keyword is whatever you're searching on Google. So when you're searching Google, whatever that word is, or if it's five words, or one word, or 20 words, doesn't matter.
[00:06:21] But whatever you're searching, that is your keyword or that's what you're searching. And if you're trying to optimize your website, to write that keyword, you're gonna wanna incorporate that keyword somewhere on your website. Cause if it's not on your website, Google's not gonna think that you're relevant to that search.
[00:06:36] So you have to have that keyword somewhere on your website, and it helps out to have a page about that keyword. That makes it even more targeted because someone's looking for that keyword. And your website's, just the general website, it kind of mentions that keyword once or twice, that's okay. But if you have a page that is dedicated to that keyword, then you become really relevant to Google and they'll wanna show you higher than someone that doesn't have a page.
[00:06:59] I always tell people, create as many pages as possible. The more pages you have, the more keywords you can target, the more opportunities you have to rank and the better off you're gonna be. Because each page currently targets about three to five words max, after that it loses it's relevancy.
[00:07:14] Ed Watters: Hmm. That's interesting, I didn't know that. So there, there is like a buffer that Google keeps on your keywords then?
[00:07:27] Brandon Leibowitz: Kind of, they just lose relevancy. It just kind of gets mumbled in with all these other words and Google just doesn't know what you're targeting. But if you hyperfocus the page about one specific keyword, then Google's like, Okay, this page is really only about this.
[00:07:40] And if someone is searching for this, this page is only about it, it must be relevant versus just having it mentioned once or twice on your website. Google's like, All right, you kind of mentioned it, but we don't know enough about you to really solidify and say, Okay, we trust you for this keyword. Unless you're a big corporation, and Google will probably rank you for that.
[00:08:00] But if you're a small- medium sized business, you need pages dedicated for each keyword, service, product that you're offering.
[00:08:08] Ed Watters: So, so, now, is there a number that you should be actually putting in your articles or whatever your pages consist of? How many keywords should you actually use and is there too many keywords that you can use?
[00:08:29] Brandon Leibowitz: Well, you can use as many as you like as long as you create new pages. As long as you're creating new pages and writing content to support those pages, you can create an infinite amount of pages on your website and keep building it up, and building it up, and building it up. But if you're just trying to target all those keywords on one page, it's gonna dilute that relevancy and really throw off Google
[00:08:47] cause Google's just a robot. They don't know much, they're just reading text and trying to make sense of it. And the more text you give them, the more they're able to kind of decipher and figure out what that page is about.
[00:08:58] Ed Watters: So if I'm trying to bolster my rankings in Google for podcasting and I am writing a blog post about podcasting, the more times I say podcasting in that article, that's better for me. There's not too many times that I can say podcasting?
[00:09:22] Brandon Leibowitz: Oh, you don't wanna repeat it too many times, but uh, just put it in there enough. So it just comes down to the content. If you have a hundred words and you're putting it in there 20 times, that's a lot. If you have 20,000 words and you put it in there 20 times, not that big of a deal.
[00:09:36] So, but that's an old way of doing SEO nowadays. It's just right for people and naturally your keyword's gonna be there. Don't write book keywords, but the title needs to have keywords. Title of an article, a blog post, a podcast, a youTube video, whatever it is, the title really needs to have those keywords
[00:09:56] that's the most important place to put those keywords. And you're limited to about [00:10:00] 60 characters that's why you can only target about three to five keywords. Because whatever that title is, that's actually the main focus of that page, that blog post, that article that, that podcast interview, whatever it may be.
[00:10:12] But the title is the most important place to put the keywords. You don't wanna repeat the keywords multiple times in the title, like you're targeting podcasts, you don't have to print the word podcast and podcasts Google will pick up on the plurals. So you just gotta figure out which one gets more search volume and use the one that gets more search volume.
[00:10:30] Like that's where the keyword research comes into play saying, if I'm right for podcast, podcasts, podcasting. All of them are gonna get different amount of searches, and that's where you gotta figure out which one gets the most searches or the most search volume and is relevant to your audience. You don't wanna just rank to rank that keyword, but ranking for targeted keywords like, listen to my podcast, or business podcasts, because the word podcast can mean so many different things.
[00:10:55] There's no intent behind it, it's just a really broad, general word. Two or more words for keywords are gonna be better. The longer the keyword, unless people are using it, but the more intent behind it, like if some assistant says, Listen to business podcasts about digital marketing, that's a keyword that's really targeted.
[00:11:14] They wanna listen to a podcast about digital marketing. They're not just looking for marketing, or business, or just podcasting. They know they want digital marketing podcasts only.
[00:11:25] Ed Watters: Yeah, I heard that Google wants you to have at least 20 pages to start ranking, is that true or?
[00:11:42] Like you can just have, I know some websites are parallaxed, which is one long scrolling page. Which is okay, looks nice, but the SEO's really bad because Google wants to see pages or key, more pages. They wanna see, really what they wanna see is a homepage, just a normal website homepage, but they wanna see an about page, contact us page,
[00:12:44] Ed Watters: Awesome. So now I have a WordPress website that I use, it's pretty easy to manage and maintain. And I use a plugin for my SEO, uh, that kind of makes this a lot easier for my SEO. Do they work?
[00:13:07] SEO plugins?
[00:13:17] Two things for it, but the plugin is just a tool, it's how you use that tool. If you just install the plugin, it's not gonna do anything for you. If you install the plugin and then put the keywords in the right areas and do all the things that you need to do, then it'll work. But the plugin just makes it so you don't have to know coding. In the past to make changes on SEO, you'd have to go in the coding and make changes.
[00:13:37] Now the plugin will make those changes in the coding for you, you just have to input the things that you want to be changed. But if you just have a plugin thinking it's gonna do it for you, it's not gonna do anything.
[00:13:49] Ed Watters: Yeah. Be, because SEO is an everyday thing, it changes like crazy. And if you're not, you know, moving with it, you're gonna be shuffled to the bottom really quick with that.
[00:14:06] So, What, what does your service do for people, Brandon, with your SEO service?
[00:14:15] Brandon Leibowitz: Get them ranked on Google for their keywords. So trying to figure out what keywords they wanna rank for or what keywords actually have buyer intent. And then going in and making all the changes to the website, all the technical stuff,
[00:14:28] going in making all those tweaks to the coding, or plugins, or whatever it may be, to go in and make those changes. But from there, it's really about building trust because Google doesn't trust anybody. You could put keywords all over your website, make it perfectly optimized, Google doesn't care. They just say, All right, cool.
[00:14:44] You made all these changes, but we're not gonna rank you without what are called back links. They wanna see other websites talking about you. Without back links, without other websites talking about you, it's impossible to rank on Google. Google's whole algorithm started based off back links and [00:15:00] it's still based off back links to this day. It's changed a lot how they look at them, but essentially you need to get other websites talking about you.
[00:15:06] So like a backlink would be if you're reading an article on like Entrepreneur and in that article it mentions my name, Brandon Leibowitz. If you click on that, it takes you to my website then I'd be getting a back link from Entrepreneur. So the more websites that talk about you, the more trust Google's gonna give you.
[00:15:23] And then once Google trusts you, they look at the keywords to figure out what to rank you for. But without that trust, they're not gonna rank a website.
[00:15:32] Ed Watters: Yeah, you know, it gets confusing to do it yourself and you can pull a lot of hair. What, what is your onboarding process and how do you, uh, initially intake people?
[00:15:49] Brandon Leibowitz: What the website analysis is, is the first starting point. SEO, it's not a one size fits all, every website's different. So now I go in, look at your website, see what's been done, look at the competitors, see what's been done, and see where the disconnect is between you and your competitors. Because SEO, we're not trying to be Google,
[00:16:06] we don't really care what Google's doing. I mean, we do, but that's not what matters because Google changes every single day. So if you're trying to figure out what Google's doing, you're gonna be lost every single day. What matters is who's on that first page of Google for your keywords and what have they done?
[00:16:20] How much SEO have they done? What keywords are they using? What back links have they built and how can I do a better job of doing that? That's all it really comes down to.
[00:16:30] Ed Watters: So now with, with optimizing your website, I was told you shouldn't focus on your main page. You should have a focus page of another page and let Google do the work finding your main page, is that correct?
[00:16:52] Brandon Leibowitz: Uh, I mean, you don't wanna let Google do the work for you because Google is just a, a robot, I need your help. If you submit a site map to Google, they'll find all your pages on your website. So every website has a site map or should have one if you just go to your website.com/site map. xml,
[00:17:11] it'll pull up a site map of all the pages, then you submit that to Google Search Console, and then they'll index or hopefully index and find all the pages on your website. But you do need pages about everything that you offer, all the products that you're offering, all the services, you need a page about them, like you was saying at the beginning.
[00:17:28] The more pages you have, the better. You don't wanna just have a homepage saying, I do all these different things, you wanna have a homepage saying, I do all these different things then you can click on each one and it goes to a page about that different thing that explains it in detail.
[00:17:42] Ed Watters: Yeah. Uh, I'll tell you the, the big part of SEO for me was the key words, and it still is, trying to find the relevance of what is at the top of those searches and what people are actually searching for. Are there tools people use to do that research?
[00:18:10] Brandon Leibowitz: There are a bunch of different tools like the Google Keyword Planner, the free tool from Google, which I would use that one first over all these other paid tools. There's a bunch of paid tools, but all the paid tools are just pulling the data from Google Keyword Planner and making it look prettier with like charts and graphs.
[00:18:27] But Google Keyword Planner is from Google, the data's from Google. So I would use that and make a list of as many keywords as possible, throw that into Google keyword planner and see how many people actually search that keyword. Because Google Keyword Planner will show you how many people search for that keyword every single month.
[00:18:42] And you can see maybe 20 people search for this keyword every single month. But if I use a plural or a singular, I might get 2000 people searching for it every single month. So gotta do the keyword research that's the first starting point. There's all these other paid tools, but Google Keyword Planner is one I really go to for the starting point.
[00:19:01] Also, searching on Google, you just search on Google for your keywords. And spying competitors, whoever's on that first page of Google, they're doing something right, And you can look at the blue clickable link that they're using on their website. So when you search on Google, all these blue clickable links appear. Those blue clickable links are called the SEO title tag,
[00:19:22] that's where everyone's putting their keywords. And that's where you can spy on your competitors, see what keywords they're using really quickly without having to do much. You just search on Google and you'll see all those, well, 10 websites on that first page of Google, and it'll get their keywords really quickly.
[00:19:38] Ed Watters: Yeah, that's, that's crazy. You know, I, I was on that for quite a while and it took months to get where, when you typed in Dead America, it would pop up on the first page. and I said, Well, I'm there and I stopped doing [00:20:00] that work and now you can go 10 pages deep and you can't find Dead America, you know? So I'm, I'm getting back into the SEO work, which is frightening at the same time is exciting because, uh, you just never know. The, the key is in that research,
[00:20:22] those key phrases that you wanna really do. Should you like A B test on those keywords? And how long should you wait in between those testing if you're AB testing?
[00:20:40] Brandon Leibowitz: I don't think you definitely AB test every split test at all, it just depends on how much traffic you're getting. If you're only getting five people a day, you're gonna need to wait a couple months to get some statistically accurate data.
[00:20:51] Whereas if you're getting 50,000 people a day, you probably run a test after a couple days and say, All right, this is probably what is gonna work or what's not gonna work. But you wanna test everything on the website cause you never know what's gonna work out with the keywords. The keyword research, you can pretty much see what keywords using the keyword tools I mentioned are gonna work.
[00:21:11] When you're talking about AB testing, I would really be testing your website. Like if you have an e-commerce website, I might say add to cart, AB test, add to cart, versus buy now, which one gets more sales? Or you can move the add to cart, put it up a couple pixels or a couple inches and see if that increases conversions or decreases conversions.
[00:21:31] Or you could split test a form where one form asks for your name and email, another one just asks for your email and see which one gets more conversions. But all that could be tested pretty easily using different tools. But it just comes down to how much traffic you're getting. If you're not getting much
[00:21:45] traffic, it's gonna be drop the test. If you're only getting a few people a day, you're gonna have to really test for months. But still you're able to take, ask, look at that data and then make statistically informed decisions about what's gonna work or what's not gonna work.
[00:22:00] Ed Watters: So how, how many days a week should you put into your SEO?
[00:22:06] Brandon Leibowitz: Just depends too, how competitive your industry is. If you have a lot of competition for your keywords, you have to spend a lot more time. If you're selling something really generic like tennis shoes or stuff like that, T-shirts can be tough, you're gonna to spend a lot of time. Whereas if you're selling something really niche and unique, you don't have much competition, then you don't have to do much to maintain those results.
[00:22:27] But with SEO, it's tough. It's not really a one size fits all, every website is different. But just comes down to the competitiveness that's really what SEO comes down to. Who's on that first page? Google for your keywords and how much SEO are they doing and how can I do more than them? If they're not actively doing SEO, you don't have to worry about it. But if you're like a restaurant in Los Angeles, there's a lot of restaurants fighting for that top spot, you're going to have to keep working on it pretty much daily. You know, to just to keep competitive.
[00:22:57] Ed Watters: Yeah. You know, I, I've really been thinking hard about just turning that over and saying, Here, do this. But, you know, the, the thing that stops me mainly is, well, with the keywords and stuff, only, only I know the keywords that I want to put in there, that's the mentality that I have. But you know, the more I think about it, maybe somebody else would think differently in terms and that would be a good thing. What, what's your thought on that?
[00:23:38] Brandon Leibowitz: Well, even if you have keywords in your head, you wanna put them in the Keyword Planner to see how many will search. That's gonna tell you, Should I use this or should I not use this? Because I get a lot of business owners that say, I wanna rank for this keyword and I'll see 10 people when they search that keyword a month
[00:23:52] like, maybe that's not the best keyword. Unless you know you're gonna get those 10 sales, you have a big return on your investment, maybe it's worth it. But if not, you want to try to go after high search keywords that have a couple hundred people searching for it a month, more than that. So trying to do that research and dive into it is really a starting point,
[00:24:09] it's not just thinking, this is what I wanna rank for. But saying, All right, this is what I wanna rank for but let me check, let me use this cool keyword planner. And the Google Keyword Planner, you put one or two keywords in there, it's gonna give you a thousand variations of it. So it's gonna give you all these ideas of what you should be using instead of this.
[00:24:27] Or maybe you have the right keyword and here's other keywords that aren't as good, but maybe some of them will spark some ideas or get you thinking in other ways. But Google Keyword Planner, I will say, is gonna do the job for you, you don't need to hire someone else. It's good to look at other websites and see what they're doing and that blue clickable link, but for the most part, you're gonna see almost everyone's gonna be doing the same thing
[00:24:49] for the most part. There might be some variations, but once someone finds a good keyword, everyone's gonna use that keyword or try to use that keyword. And then it's just about building better back links to build up that trust [00:25:00] and get you ranked higher than those competitors.
[00:25:04] Ed Watters: Now with those back links, you can get bad back links. And you, you want trusted back links that rank high or how do, how do they say that? They have, uh, credibility? So, so what, how do you get credible back links? What, what's the best technique for that?
[00:25:34] Brandon Leibowitz: So with back links in the, was in the past, numbers eight to 500 back links, if you had 200 back links, you would rank higher than me. Nowadays, Google has changed a lot so they're looking at not the number of backlinks, but they're looking at the quality.
[00:25:47] So they're looking at quality over quantity. And what is a quality back link to Google? Quality just means it comes from a related website, so finding sites that are related to you. So if you're doing podcasting and you're getting a back link from an auto mechanic, that might look a little weird. Unless your podcast is about mechanics, but you want whats related to like audio, or like podcast, or like radio, or just anything somewhat related to what you're doing.
[00:26:13] That's what Google wants to see so the more related it is to your business, the better. Doesn't have to necessarily mean your competitors, like form a SEO company, never again another SEO company will link out to me cause we're all direct competitors, but I could find other websites related to marketing, or
[00:26:28] business, or advertising, or TV, or print, radio, or whatever it may be. But as long as it's somewhat related, that's what Google wants to see. So trying to get those related websites to link out to you, and the way to do that is, I mean, there's a ton of different ways, but that's the way it is, just really just kind of building a relationship with those websites.
[00:26:47] So kind of just reaching out to them and seeing if maybe you could write an article or a blog, or do a press release, or do some content marketing, or do a sponsorship, or do a trade tool event, or do a podcast, or whatever it may be, to get other websites to talk about you. But that's really the main thing, is trying to get creative.
[00:27:05] And there's tools that will show you competitor's back links. So I could just throw any website into these different tools and I could see all of your back links. And then one by one I could start reaching out to the sites, because if they're linking out to you, they'd probably link out to me. I just have to initiate that conversation.
[00:27:22] And those are all paid tools like Moz, or SEMrush, or Ahrefs. You have to pay for these tools, but pay for them and then you get access to, like, you could see Google's back links, you could see any website's back links.
[00:27:36] Ed Watters: Interesting. That, that's the, that's the bread and butter of it right there then. So what, if, if people want to have their site SEO optimized, what is this going to run them each month?
[00:27:56] Brandon Leibowitz: It just varies too, if you're a serv, like if you're an e-commerce website and you're selling five products, or you might be an e-commerce business selling 50,000 products, each page needs to be optimized. So the more pages, the more work it has, it becomes, but really comes down to the competitiveness. If you're trying to sell t-shirts and you're a brand new company, it's gonna be really hard to break in because you're competitors like
[00:28:20] Amazon, and Target, and Walmart and all these big, big brands. Whereas if you're something more unique and niche, then it's gonna be a lot easier, so it's tricky. But that's why the starting point for SEO is always a consultation, where I look at your website, do a free analysis, kind of dive into it and see how much SEO has been done.
[00:28:40] Really, I'm looking at your back links and looking at the keywords on your website, seeing where have you put keywords, have you done it properly? Are they missing keywords? But really the back links shows me how many back links do you have, but how many quality backlinks do you have? And then I look at the competitors and see how many backlinks do they have and try to fill in that missing gap.
[00:28:59] Ed Watters: So, So you'll actually go in and you'll rewrite the articles and the headings is, is that what you do?
[00:29:09] Brandon Leibowitz: Well, I make changes to the coding, so behind the scenes where Google's looking. So what we see and what Google sees is different. Google's looking at the coding for you to make changes in the coding. So it's not many changes you make for people except for the content.
[00:29:21] So the content on the website, people will read that, but most of these changes like the title tag, or the meta description, or schema, alt tags, header tags, all this stuff is really more in the coding. People don't see it per se, but Google sees it and then they understand what that page is about, or it helps them understand what that page is about.
[00:29:45] Ed Watters: All right. Well, SEO is definitely a hair puller and from experience that I've had, it's probably better that you reach out to somebody like Brandon. Brandon, [00:30:00] how can people get ahold of you and get your services?
[00:30:03] Brandon Leibowitz: That's, everyone that's checking out, watching, or listening, if you go to my website, I created a special gift for everybody.
[00:30:10] They go to seooptimizers.com, that's S, E, O, O, P, T, I, M, I, Z, E, R, S.com/gift. They can find that gift there along with my contact information and all the ways to get ahold of me.
[00:30:28] Ed Watters: Brandon, I, I sure do thank you for spending time and giving your knowledge to us like you have. Uh, do you have any call to action for people?
[00:30:40] Brandon Leibowitz: Yeah, just jump on it, start doing this sooner than later. It does take time. You know, a lot of people get discouraged, but just start working on it and the easiest thing was just start adding more content to each page. The more text, if you add about 400 words of text to each page, it's almost guaranteed you'll see an increase in traffic just because Google's gonna better understand what that page is about, be able to read it all.
[00:31:02] That's gonna be the easiest thing that everyone can change. But there are so many different things, it's like a puzzle with SEO. There's a lot of pieces, some pieces are a lot bigger than others. The main one really is the content and the back links, back links are the biggest part of it.
[00:31:18] Ed Watters: All right, Brandon. Well, you enjoy your afternoon and thank you for being a part of the Dead America Podcast.
[00:31:24] Brandon Leibowitz: Thanks for having me on.
[00:31:29] Ed Watters: Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational in any way, please share, like, subscribe, and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America Podcast. I'm Ed Watters your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.