Today Jeff Byer (@globaljeff) talks about this week in digital marketing and recaps the findings from his projects after the Google Core Algorithm update.
About Jeff Byer
Jeff Byer has been designing identities and building websites since 1995. He is the CEO and co-founder of Print Fellas LLC, and CEO at Jeff Byer Inc, a web design company in Redondo Beach, California specializing in Web Design and SEO.
Show Links and Mentions
Starting to see some clients have nice jumps in traffic with this core update.— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) September 27, 2019
This one is a medical site. pic.twitter.com/uCGrKc653I
Jeff Byer: 00:07 Welcome to digital rage, the podcast about all things internet and the people that make it great. My name is Jeff buyer and today I am exhausted probably as most people are. The big thing that happened this week is the core algorithm update and a lot of controversy, not controversy, that’s not an appropriate word to use. A lot of speculation about what it is and what it’s about. And mostly it’s been about medical sites and and mostly a
Jeff Byer: 00:38 Already and trust on anything related to medical issues. So the site that I’ve been mentioning in the past few episodes regarding SEO and EA T actually a was fine. There was a very little volatility it stayed even and even gained a couple of, a couple of spots on, on words that were related specifically to medical. So that was good news in the bad news department. I got a local business site that got a little bit hammered. And so I figured out that in one of my breadcrumb links, as I was updating the breadcrumb schema, I got one of the links wrong and got errored on that. So just fixed it today. I will report back next week and see if we get those spots back. But but overall they’re still way ahead of any of their competitors.
Jeff Byer: 01:34 So what, how it affected their business is probably minimal. It was just search and usually that’s a, you know, and, and is specific to a very highly competitive keywords that they really didn’t get a lot of conversions on any way since they’re small, local. So, so that’s it on the core algorithm update, I’m sure there’s more to follow. Marie Haines posted stats from one of her customers that seen good gains. So who knows if that was the algorithm update or just Marie Haynes doing a very thorough job on cleaning things up. I did submit a few disavow files this week just to clean up past mistakes from either me or who I inherited the websites from and disavow some toxic links that were obviously toxic. So we’re going through those and still seeing him pop up. But we’re using SEMrush to identify those backlinks and get them all straightened out.
Jeff Byer: 02:42 So my friend Matt, he texted me last week talking about what do you do when you’re in the middle of a project and you start getting more and more features added on from your customers. And what I like to call this feature creep, it’s kind of an industry term and feature creep is, is you know, the, there’s many drawbacks to it and one is that you keep pushing the launch date further and further out. The second is it costs more money to develop and you keep changing things around. And so I experienced this on a small scale with one of my new projects that we started out, we’ve, we threw out the statement of work and we bid the project and we got all the way through the design and got, you know, got an approval that included a bunch of changes.
Jeff Byer: 03:44 So it wasn’t really an approval. And the, one of the biggest changes was they’ve got a whole new line of products that wasn’t included. So we had to backtrack in our designs, go back through all the navigation and all of the content structure, restructure it, redesign it, relay it out and get it going. And this also had to come without any they, they expected the changes to come without any change of the deadline. So that’s the stress that I’ve been dealing with. I think we’re gonna still end up pulling it off. I did, I had to end up taking a lot of the work on myself because the designer on the project was kind of a, not too happy about having to go back and redo everything and basically just did kind of a half ass job. I’d hate to say it. So I had to spend most of my day, most of my week actually refining and rebuilding.
Jeff Byer: 04:51 And what I ended up doing in the end is that it, you know, this could have stayed in design for another whole week, which we didn’t have. So what I did is kept it clean and simple on the new pages. Cause one with the new products we don’t have any information on yet. So we mock them up with, with you know, placeholder images and placeholder text and to the products that we do have that are their flagship products already have a, a look and a feel and an aesthetic. So the new products are going to look very tame compared to the flagship products. But that’s also kind of kind of okay, since we still want to push people to the main products and the other products will gain in popularity as, as we see fit and we can add on once the website is done.
Jeff Byer: 05:38 So this website deadline is real and the popularity of the products or the hype on the products can come later at it’s, can come later. We do have a retainer to stay on and do a maintenance SCO, SCM. So during all that process we will be doing improvements. Another topic that came up with one of my clients is they hire writers that are specialists in their field. And so they sent me a writer and said, what do you think about this writer and what, how will they work as far as SEO? And now that we have to take in, you know, the reputation of the author, especially in health related industries. I went and looked and they’re well published throughout the internet, but the, the places that they are published are not authorities in the industry. So the sites that they’re plump published on have less authority than, than most other sites.
Jeff Byer: 06:47 The other thing is they don’t have any credentials or any authorship that would lead them to be experts in the fields that they’re talking about. So I had to unfortunately send the feedback to, to the client saying they, I know that they can write and the product and the, the, their writing is great. The problem is it’s going to do nothing for SEO if they make any type of medical claims because they don’t have any verifiable authority to speak on these aspects of the industry. So client understood they respected it and they’re going to keep looking for writers. So that was, that was on that project. Let’s see what else we got going on. Oh, so project changes the way that I address it this on this project, I, I knew that I could do, I could pull it off without having to do anything drastic.
Jeff Byer: 07:49 So I just made the changes and moved on. And e-commerce, it’s funny about e-commerce is it is very forgiving that way when you’re just adding products and not changing brand and not changing real structure. An E commerce site already comes with a pretty set structure. You’ve got categories and you’ve got products. So it’s, it was, I knew it was going to be easy just to add those in and, and move on. But if you’re in a project and features keep getting added on, that’s when it needs to be addressed. So most of my clients, our agency clients so the agency is the one that’s actually bringing the changes and there’s an in between so I can speak more frankly and just mention if it’s something structural that’s going to change either the site map or the navigation or require a unique individual pages, then it will require a change order.
Jeff Byer: 08:46 And that’s the standing rule that I have with my agency clients that that is, is pretty much understood. So when a feature creep situation comes up and a client is asking, so now I’ll switch from agency, from working for agencies to working one on one. When a client comes to me, direct client comes to me with several changes. I say, great, those are great ideas. Sounds good. Let me get you a quote for those. And we can go from there. And sometimes they expect it and sometimes they say, wait a second, why, why couldn’t we just make these changes? And then I get into the technical aspects of what it’s going to take to change. So right now with another client, a direct client, we are, we were down the path of a complete redesign design approved and static homepage built. And now we have a decision makers coming in and asking questions and making, they’re not really making demands, they’re making suggestions.
Jeff Byer: 09:57 And so when you’re this far down the line on a project and those suggestions require going back to design, that’s when a change order is required. So we’re still in talks on that and we’re still negotiating as far as what can be done and what can’t. Budgets are definitely a concern. Timeline is also definitely a concern. And the, the decision makers are wanting me to go back and verify all of my data. So we’re kind of taking where we’re paused, where we are now, which is actual, you know, HTML before we go into as full site build. So basically I’ve got a prototype of what the homepage navigation, everything is going to look like, pausing that, going back to square one into pre production, running all of our preproduction data again so that we make sure that it’s current and we’re not basing it on when we did pre projection previously, we’re going through all of our, our keyword data, all of our current syrup data and re re presenting it saying this is how we came to this conclusion.
Jeff Byer: 11:10 And if at that point anything changes within the company or within the, the thinking or within the data or anything like that. And those changes require us to go back to design, then we’re going back to design with a change order in mind and the, you know, we’re not going to, you know, completely start over in that whole portion of the site gets paid for. Again, there’s definitely things that we’re going to use going forward, but I think that having to redo all of the pre production and everything is probably going to be a 50% upcharge on the original design phase charge. So that on top of having to lie night item line, item out, everything that goes into the new build is also something that they’re expecting as well. So all good, all stuff I’m ready for, there’s nothing to hide. There’s no, you know, I’m very upfront with all of my clients and you know, they come to me with questions and sometimes they come to me with, with challenges and, and I try and do as much as I can for my clients without having to ruffle feathers or you know, or mess with anything, mess with budgets, anything like that.
Jeff Byer: 12:30 But sometimes just for self preservation, I need to step in and mentioned that things need to need to get need to get done as far as they require them to get done, then there’s going to have to be additional resources to do it. So that’s been my past two weeks. I had my neighbor tell me yesterday, he’s like, wow, you look tired. I was like, yes. Having dealing with rankings and, and clients making changes and, and all of that stuff that goes into being a solo preneur it’s been tough. So I’m very exhausted. Obviously I didn’t have time to track down a guest, but I did schedule two guests for next week. We’re going to have one who does television sales, which, you know, television and digital. So in sales w w I just find it funny whenever I talk to him, he comes up with all of these acronyms and, you know, being in SEO, which, you know, most people don’t know what SEO is.
Jeff Byer: 13:39 So having S SEO as an acronym for my particular industry and you know, all sorts of other acronyms that we commonly just use. And as second language, I’ll think about, same thing with sales and ad ad buying and, and things like that. So he’s gonna come in and go through a bunch of those acronyms because I think they’re hilarious. We also have a a digital marketer coming on that’s going to talk about web development, SEO, SEO, you know, the full package, full, full digital marketing spectrum. And he and I, I’ve, I read through some of his content and his white papers and he and I agree on a lot and specifically what we agree on is, is what Google likes as far as a high quality website likes as far as technology, as far as speed, content organization technologies mobility, you know, compatibility with several devices, responsiveness, things like that.
Jeff Byer: 14:54 So he has from what I understand, he has a proprietary platform that he builds that is that renders static websites. And so that’s what I always tried to do is render static websites out to the, the customers so that they’re fast and they don’t rely on any server side calculations before loading. And so a lot of my new sites have almost, you know, between 97 a hundred percent performance on lighthouse reports. So, so that’s all good. So next week everything will get back to back to normal as far as the office is concerned. I, I’ve, so I got the floors done, I got the walls knocked down and I’m, you know, kind of struggling with, we’re, we’re going to be setting up video and you’re going to be doing video from, from here on out with, with you know, interviews and intros and things like that.
Jeff Byer: 15:50 And so I’m trying to figure out what my background is going to look like. It’s going to be kind of a personality wall is what they refer to it as. So I first thing I needed to do is address all of the I needed to address all of my windows in the front, my whole front. It’s a retail space. And so the whole front is glass. So I had a interior designer come and she brought in some some window covering experts to come in and, and take a look at the windows and give me quotes on estimates. And so my goal was have, have just sheers up during the day so that, you know, I can get the sunlight, but I don’t see specific people, specific people don’t see me. It’s just kind of, you know a blur which I’m doing no matter what.
Jeff Byer: 16:45 And then I wanted to add blackouts to all the windows so that when I need to shoot indoors, I can predict the lighting predict the temperature and everything. That part is where I think it got really expensive cause I have 14 foot ceilings in here and I love having the high ceilings and it definitely helps as far as photography and rigging and things like that. But what I wasn’t expecting is that this whole system to have the sheers, the sheer manual sheers, and then electric motors on the blackouts that could just roll down. I have a feeling to two things. It’s super expensive and I don’t know that this system that they came up with is even gonna look that great. So what I have in, in my studio now is I have these, these Muslim backdrops and there are about 80 bucks a piece and they’re 10 feet by 20 feet and they, they look nice, come in a bunch of different colors.
Jeff Byer: 17:51 They’re naturally blackout material and they can, they can span from the, from the the ceiling to the floor and for not that much money. So I’m looking at it, I’m looking at the cost effectiveness of if I was just to hang a couple of Muslims out up on my wall and have them draped down and then I could just undo the, the drapery bands and black it out enough that I wouldn’t have to go through all of this. The only thing that I would need to worry about is the sheer situation, which the studio across from me, they just put up this translucent film and they, they etched out the, their name into the, the translucent film, which I thought was really cool and I was like, that will do everything that I need. So I’m probably not going to go through this huge issue of having to do, you know, motorized curtains and build boxes and custom fit sheers within the frames and all that stuff. It’s, it’s overkill. So I’m going to go back to the drawing board. I’m gonna price out Muslims and mounting hardware up onto the walls and go from there. So that’s the story on the office. I am exhausted. So I apologize. Short episode, no gassed, but next week going to have two good, good interviews, going to release them. You know, every Monday this is going to come out on Monday the 30th. So have a great week and
Jeff Byer: 19:28 Good luck with all of your clients and the projects. I look for, show notes and information. Go to digital rage.fm. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at digital rage at bam. And please give us a rating review is the seriously appreciate it.