Cubicle to CEO

8X Your Website Traffic Without Ads - Six Figure SEO Secrets

June 20, 2022 Ellen Yin featuring Elise Armitage Episode 147
Cubicle to CEO
8X Your Website Traffic Without Ads - Six Figure SEO Secrets
Show Notes Transcript

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How do you send a steady stream of new people to your website who are actively searching for the content you write about or the products and services you sell? Today’s case study answers that question. Elise Armitage is a good friend of mine and the creator of What The Fab, a travel and lifestyle blog founded in 2012 helping women find fabulous in the everyday. Elise shares with us how she used SEO - short for search engine optimization - to 8x her website traffic from 20,000 monthly pageviews to 160,000 pageviews, without paying a cent in ads. In fact, not only did Elise not pay for this massive increase of traffic to her website, but she’s been able to leverage all those extra eyeballs to GET PAID instead, making over six figures in passive revenue annually, directly from her website views. Keep listening to apply her SEO secrets to drive more traffic (and coin) to your own website. 

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00:00.00

ellenyin

1 of my all-time favorite people. Elise Armitage is joining us today on the show hey elise I am so excited to have you.


00:05.18

Elise Armitage

Hi Ellen, thank you for having me.


00:38.20

ellenyin

I think the topic we're here to discuss is something that is overlooked by so many business owners and entrepreneurs and yet it is a complete game changer. So if you listen to the intro you already know that today the case study that we're focusing on with Elise is how she was able to 8x her website traffic meaning the number of people who are finding her from Google and coming to her website. Through search engine optimization. But before we get into that case Study Elise you have a really interesting cubicle to Ceo Story so why don't you go ahead and tell us how you ended up leaving Google.


01:30.76

Elise Armitage

Yes, well I was working at Google and I actually had a really fun job there I was doing branding in events I got to travel the world and you know host events at different Google offices at locations all around the world. But after a few years I just kind of had this internal calling gnawing. I don't know it was like something in my soul that was like I really want to try to run my blog full time if I don't do it now when will I do it. You know we don't have my husband and I don't have kids. It was feeling like the right time. And so I kind of got to a point where I was realizing that if I wasn't feeling satisfied and like completely fulfilled working at quote the best company in the world to work for like it's not them. It's me like it's something internal within me and I have to give it this shot. And give it a try and I could always come back to Google or work for a different tech company if it didn't work out and so I took ah about a half a year a little bit more um during my last few months at Google to really set myself up to feel ready to take the leap. And to make that move and so in January Twenty Nineteen I put my two weeks in and started running what the fab full time and haven't looked back since.


04:15.78

ellenyin

That's amazing and I know for a lot of people. You know we talk about how sometimes it's hard enough to leave what society has drilled in us as stability right? with your regular paycheck but especially. When you work at a really prestigious company where so many people admire that opportunity and say oh my gosh like you said they're rated the best place to work. It's like how do you leave such a golden opportunity. Was there a final moment that you really felt like that decision happened or do you really think it was more of a gradual coming to terms with I kind of just have to do this.


05:26.94

Elise Armitage

I think it was starting to build and build over the years and exactly like you say there is this notoriety and prestige of working for a company like Google and I definitely after I left google had these experiences where before when people would ask me. What do you do? and I said I worked at Google they would be like ohh that's so cool like so sexy and then after I left I definitely had some experiences where I said I'm a blogger and people were like what so really had to feel like you know I had to be very certain and secure with myself of like this is what I want to do and not everyone's going to get it and that's okay. To answer your question about if there was a moment when I knew yes and I remember it very distinctly I had been working on our international women's day event series and I had this really big. You know career opportunity to be the global program manager for this worldwide event series and I worked on. These events and basically had a team of 50 under me who were executing them at different Google offices around the world and it was super successful. The series like crushed all the metrics and everything that we set for at all the goals and then afterwards I was kind of like okay well, where do I go from here. What do I do now and I asked my manager for some guidance and he was like well you could go back to your old job like that's still available or you could go do this other job where you're managing recruiting coordinators who are basically the people that schedule engineers for interviews all day long and they're like fresh out of college and they hate their jobs because I mean it's as boring as it sounds. And I was like those are my options like that's what you think I want to do I just so I kind of realized I either had to go all in it Google and like find a completely new career path and kind of like figure out that next step there or maybe this was the right time to go branch out on my own and so that's what I ended up. Deciding to deal.


09:21.56

ellenyin

You know that that makes a lot of sense because I think that no job is perfect right? Even the jobs we create for ourselves as entrepreneurs within our own companies. There are imperfect days and days that we really struggle and question our sanity and why the heck we're doing this to ourselves. But I also really feel like there is an underlying. Ah what is it like sense of purpose and excitement overall about the direction you're headed. But if you feel like you constantly lack that. Maybe this is a sign to reevaluate your work situation If you're listening into the podcast today and I'm so glad at least that you can be an example of of all the possibilities that are available to you when you choose to follow your heart and you choose to give yourself the opportunity to at least explore what else is out there.


10:52.96

Elise Armitage

Yeah, absolutely.


11:02.14

ellenyin

Okay I want to dive into the Seo part before we do though before we get into the data pieces of it I think it's important to address kind of the elephant in the room which is that I think a lot of business owners don't prioritize Seo or. Search engine optimization as the full phrase is because they associate seo and its importance with industries like yours like being a blogger where content is your main product whereas a lot of. Ah, you know business owners especially online business owners that sell through let's say a website they kind of view content almost as like a secondary secondary form of I don't I don't know how to describe it but like it's it's the thing that leads to the thing they're selling. Not the thing that they're selling. In and of itself right? So how do you address that barrier for business owners and entrepreneurs who are like oh I just don't really think about my seo because I'm not trying to be an influencer or whatever like how do you address that objection.


13:00.96

Elise Armitage

Yeah, definitely I think that's one of the main objections and then the other one that I hear a lot is just like people afraid of Seo because it sounds really technical and hard and like oh I could never do that. So for your first point I think I mean look at some of the o g online business owners digital business owners in the space look at like an Amy Porterfield or Marie Forleo they have a blog and they have a podcast and they turn all of their podcasts into blog posts as well and they are targeting different keywords within their blog posts like you can see it if you go through and you look at that. And so they know and they understand the importance of content and sharing free resources and free content that is helpful and valuable for people in order for them to get discovered and drive more people to their website capturing those you know visitors through their email list and keeping in touch with them and building that. No like and trust through something that they own by the way. Not instagram you know where you don't own your content where you cannot control the algorithm. But through their website and their email newsletter which they own and they control and so really seo can be used in so many different ways. It's never a bad thing to have a ton more targeted traffic of your specific demographic funneled into your website. So whether you want to use that traffic to monetize within that post. So for a blogger. It might be ads and affiliate links. Um, or you want to use that traffic to sell a physical product to sell a digital product or you want to use that traffic to generate new warm leads for your service-based business There's so many different avenues that you can go with it but again having that targeted traffic on your site. It's always going to be gold.


16:46.60

ellenyin

That was such a clear explanation elise I really love how you simplified why seo is important and I want to pull out None key thing. You said there targeted traffic and I really want to drill this home for our listeners. Targeted traffic is completely different than any other form of traffic. And there's many ways that you could you know describe this for me. I describe it as traffic that is problem aware meaning the people who are finding your website or clicking on your blog post. Who are coming to you from Seo are people who only landed on your page because they were searching for a very specific thing that your business is directly related to whether you sell a service, a digital product or a physical product like Lee said or even whether you're a content creator and content really is your end product. But these people are so much higher quality in terms of the likelihood that they're going to take action on something they see on that page because they are actively seeking a solution to a problem and your content addresses that exact problem and or solution. Whereas you know sometimes let's say if people are landing on your website because they just happen to click on your link and bio on Instagram they may not necessarily be the right person for whatever it is that you sell or talk about they may have just happened upon your content because it was a matter of convenience. Whereas like Elise said people who are actively searching for something and then stumble upon your website or your content that is so much more powerful and I feel like that cannot be overstated enough.


20:11.96

Elise Armitage

Yes, that's exactly right? I always say it's like fishing out of a barrel rather than fishing out of the ocean and in that barrel. It's super targeted fish that are exactly your right demographic and so it's kind of like this life cycle and it's also way more sustainable. Then posting on Instagram because you write this blog post once it lands on the none page of Google somebody has like you were saying a specific question or problem and so they type that into Google and your post pops up and you are like the answer to their prayers you provide that solution you provide. You know the answers to the questions that they're asking. And then all of a sudden they're like this person is great. They're much more engaged in your content clicking your link signing up for your email newsletter than you know Joe Schmo who just landed on your page because they were clicking around on Facebook or Instagram.


21:58.62

ellenyin

100% and also I think another huge advantage of not only you know, better quality people finding your content but also just the vast volume which leads us right into today's case study which. Is that Elise originally her website was receiving around twenty Thousand monthly page views whereas nowadays or maybe it's even exceeded this nowadays. But ah, you know with the application of Seo strategy to her content. She was able to increase those visitors to None monthly visitors which is an None times increase or an 800% increase that is insane and when you think about this practically let's say if your website none of all if your website's even getting None monthly visitors like you're already doing something right? which is great which means that you have room to amplify what's already working but thinking about ah you know if you are if you are trying to drastically increase your website traffic like a least did with Seo but you're not using Seo. Really your only other options for driving that much of an increase in traffic unless overnight your audience just happens to blow up on its own your only other realistic option is usually to rely on ads right? And if you're thinking about how much because I've run ads for years now and when I think. About how much money I would have to pour into Facebook or Instagram ads to give the equivalent of what is that none to get None people to click on a link and to land on a page. Holy moly like let's just even be really conservative. And say that the average link click from a Facebook ad costs you $2 and I mean that's being generous. It could be more than that. But let's just say it was $2 that is literally none times $2 times one hundred forty thousand extra eyeballs on that content. That's. $280000 that you could be saving in your ad budget because you relied on google to bring you those link clicks and page visits instead of your advertising budget which just blows my mind so elise tell us about let's go back to when you had 20 k. Monthly visits. What was the one thing you started implementing as far as seo strategy? What was the low hanging fruit that you implemented right away?


27:06.96

Elise Armitage

Yeah, and I love that point about the ads budget. I had never actually thought about it that way because Seo like not only is it targeted and powerful but it is free and so. A few years ago I really like started to understand and learn seo three years ago. So in the grand scheme of my business. My business is ten years old actually this month um my blog is 10 years old. Thank you? Um, and so in the grand scheme of things like two or three years of


28:00.98

ellenyin

Congratulations.


28:08.72

Elise Armitage

Really seo focused blogging is not that long. I really wish that I learned it ten years ago when I first started blogging but I don't have a time machine so we're just going to focus on the here and now but what I did was I started to understand and to research what actually goes into. Optimizing your content and really like the the content side of it and realizing that it's not that difficult I think there's this myth that Seo is really technical and you have to like farm that out and hire somebody else to do it for you and it's just not the case. There are just lots of like. Little things that you can do as you are writing the post to optimize it for a keyword that you're targeting and so the biggest thing for me was realizing and understanding how to research and find a keyword that is a good keyword. So. I think a lot of people and I include myself in this as well think that Seo is just coming up with a keyword like um, you know best things to do in Toronto and putting that into yoast in the plugin and just putting that keyword. Throughout the post maybe throwing some alt tags into your images like things like that. But the problem with that is you have no idea you haven't looked at the data behind that keyword best things to do in Toronto and that keyword could be. Super difficult to rank for there might be a ton of competition around it. There might be a lot of paid advertisement around it and you just your site has no hope of ever ranking for that you could write the most well optimized post in the history of ever and it's just not going to rank because there's so much competition around it and. On the flip side you could pick something that is so targeted and niche in the way that you're framing it or phrasing that keyword that there aren't a lot of people searching for it. There isn't very much monthly search volume and again. With that. It's not doing you any good because you might rank on the none page of Google for it. But no one’s actually typing it in and searching for it so you want to find the right balance of it has a high search volume and it's fairly easy to rank for and there are different tools that you can use to kind of dig into that data and research. But that was really when I started to understand oh what I target the right keywords that I actually have a shot of ranking for then they start landing on the none page of Google and then it was all just traffic growth from there.


33:20.20

ellenyin

That is a really helpful breakdown of where most people may be going wrong with their attempts to optimize like you said their content I want to take a second before we get any further to actually backtrack and pull back for a moment for those who maybe this might be their introduction to Seo right? and even like I have a basic understanding of Seo and I actually just enrolled in Elise's course 6 figure seo so I'm really excited this time next year to come back to you and report how much of a difference applying Seo has affected our business. But even for someone like me right when people start throwing around phrases like alt tags and Yoast right? Or if no one's ever heard of those phrases before it can feel very intimidating like what is yoast right? What? what is what does it even mean to Rank. Um, why is it important to rank. So Maybe we could pull back just for a moment and kind of walk someone through like the typical journey of a person who is going to their computer or on their phone and googling something and how that relates to the way that your website shows up and and like just some of those basic pieces of seo if you could just break that down for us I Think. Hearing that context would be helpful for the rest of the conversation.


35:48.40

Elise Armitage

Yes, absolutely. So what is Seo search engine optimization is just all of the steps that you take to target a keyword that helps that piece of content so it could be like a blog post or a website homepage. Land on the none page of Google when somebody types that key phrase into Google and so the goal is if I'm let's take me as an example because I'm ah a travel blogger. So I'm currently working on a post about the Florida keys and the keyword that I have researched and that I am targeting. Is Florida keys itinerary so when someone is planning a trip to the keys and they type into Google Florida keys itinerary my goal is that I have done all of these little things to optimize my blog post and my post will pop up on that none page of Google they click on it and then they are in my. My Florida keys travel guide and so then they're engaged they are reading the posts they are clicking on the affiliate links and so the way really like I feel like that is easy enough to understand of like oh okay so I am targeting something a keyword and Seo is just all of the little things that I do in order to get that blog post. To rank on the none page of Google when someone types that in where people get lost and confused is the how how what are the things that I do how do I do it? How do I make that happen and Seo really is just like a long checklist of little things. That you do to optimize and so it's like taking that keyword that you've researched putting it in the title putting it in the ah url naming your files your your images making the file name that keyword there is a list of like 20 something different things that I do when I optimize a post and. If 20 something things sounds really overwhelming to you. Don't worry some of them take like legit 10 seconds to do it's like okay pop this into the title like make sure that it is in my um, my meta description like little things like that they all contribute to Google being able to. See this post as high quality content that is optimized for this particular keyword.


40:31.86

ellenyin

That makes so much sense the way I think about it hearing you explain it is. You're kind of telling Google how to file or categorize your piece of content in the vast library of the internet right? Like of all the possible things that could show up. When someone searches something, how should they identify your piece of content so that they can show or serve the most relevant content to the person who is actually doing the search. Would you say that's accurate. Yeah.


41:25.58

Elise Armitage

Yeah, definitely I mean Google is an algorithm like it's Ai and Google's job is to serve up the most valuable piece of content for that search. So Google's and their algorithm is constantly changing. They make tweaks to it. Every single day and so instead of focusing on. Oh you know Google's algorithm is changing all the time. How do I keep up what you want to focus on is just creating highly valuable. Well-written content and checking off these you know little things that you can do for Seo. To really make sure that your post is as optimized as possible for the keyword that you're targeting.


42:54.80

ellenyin

Thank you so much for sharing that additional context and background. I feel like this gives us a much better launch pad for getting back to your story of when you started optimizing your blog content. So let's rewind. You know you're at Twenty Thousand monthly views and. What are the 3 things that you did to start optimizing. For example, did you go back to all of your existing blog content and rework all of the titles and photo image descriptions and everything or did you kind of just start from that post forward. Ah, making sure that things were optimized and if you can enter weave a few of the checklist items that you typically know make sure you do in that process that you just mentioned just so people have a tangible understanding of what that actually looks like in practice. Especially the low hanging fruit that would be really helpful.


44:48.10

Elise Armitage

Definitely so I did not go back and optimize old posts I decided that I wanted to kind of start fresh and this was a question that someone actually asked me recently they were like if I have never done Seo before is my website screwed and it's never going to. For anything ever and I was like no you are good. You can like literally start today and Google doesn't penalize you for old posts that you've written that haven't ranked like that's not something that it factors in which is great news so you don't have to worry about that. But. What I decided to do was I had just gotten back from a month long trip to italy and I had shot a ton of content from different cities all around you know italy from our trip and I was like I am going to. Learn seo and I am going to optimize these blog posts and I am going to really break them down so that I can start a really strong interlinking strategy so instead of doing None travel guide to Rome one travel guide to milan None travel guide to Florence and calling it a day. I did like None or None different blog posts for each city. So it was like top None things to do in rome best restaurants in Rome Best airbnbs in Rome um, a review of our hotel in Rome so I was building out all of these pieces of content and so that way I was interlinking them all and Google kind of. Sees that and realizes. Oh she has a lot of content on rome she's clearly an expert. We should you know, kind of lift up her posts in Google search results for these related key terms and so that was a big part of my strategy and I was like I'm just going to really focus on this for the next few months and you know kind of take a little bit of a step back from Instagram so I can try this seo strategy and see what it brings me and as far as the nitty-gritty within the blog posts. There are a number of different things I mean like I mentioned the keyword research was really the biggest thing that once that clicked it was like all growth from there and then optimizing within the post I mean it's including the keyword in your title in your headers and making sure that you are optimizing that. Images with the file name and the alt tag. This is really easy to do in like wordpress or Squarespace you can just go into the settings of that image and make sure that you are including that keyword in there and what else I like to do some faqs as well and so I will take a look at Google's


49:57.88

Elise Armitage

Search results and you know how there's usually some kind of like suggested questions that are kind of dropdowns. You can. You can add faques. Um, within wordpress. It's like a little. It's part of yoast actually and it's like little Faqs and widget and so I will include.


50:11.10

ellenyin

Oh yeah.


50:37.14

Elise Armitage

Some faqs in there and sometimes I don't know the rhyme or reason to it but sometimes Google will include my faqs when I'm ranking on that None page of Google and so that's great for a couple of different reasons none then you're kind of taking it more real estate on that results page. So you know. More real estate. That's great because people there's a greater likelihood that people will kind of stop their scroll and see that and then also I feel like it just kind of lends me like a little extra credibility or authority like if Google is highlighting my post in that way and there's this like accordion dropdown. It just kind of makes it look like ooh that looks super legit. And so I think it helps encourage people to click through and read the entire post and so that's a little trick that I like to do. But yeah I mean it's really, it's not actually technical. There is like the technical setup at the beginning but it's all something that you can do with. Plugins like setting up your Google analytics and your Google search console. It's something that you don't need to know how to code you can do it in an afternoon and then really it's you know one and done you set up that tech step once and you don't have to worry about it and then afterwards it's all about the optimization within the content.


53:15.98

ellenyin

I love the faq inclusion in your blog post that is such a brilliant tip that I haven't heard from seo experts before which makes complete sense because like you said not only are you taking up more real estate visually on the results page. But also you're giving yourself, you're like. Throwing your hat or you're throwing your hat throwing your name in the hat multiple times right? So it's like if people whether people are searching the original keyword that you're trying to ring for or None of the related questions. It's likely that your content is going to pop up more often. So I think that's so smart and I also really love that tip. Of interlinking so I want to just pull out that piece for everyone listening because I know Elise just shared a lot of gold. So just in case you missed it I think it's important to think about like Elise said rather than writing a bulk blog post about a specific topic think about how can I break down this. None overarching topic into multiple different angles. So like in elisa's case like she mentioned when she traveled to a specific city like Rome instead of writing an overall blog post about rome she attacked it from different angles from the site of food from where to stay from best things to do from you know reviews of different hotels. Want you to think about your own content in the same way the keywords and the things that you want to rank for on Google how can you make None topic into None or 6 smaller topics and then Elise when you say interlinking can you just expand on that a little bit more like what does that mean.


56:13.98

Elise Armitage

Yeah, so when you're looking at my let's say my top things to do in Rome post, I'm also linking to all of my other rome posts so interlinking just means linking within content from within your own site. And when I'm doing that I am also I'm not just saying like okay so you're reading my my best things to do in roam post I'm not just saying check out my best restaurants in roam post here and linking on the word here I am linking on best restaurants in Rome so the anchor text that I am putting that link on. Is the keyword for that other blog post. So it's all just about like helping Google as easily as possible see and understand what this content is about and how they all relate to each other.


58:00.20

ellenyin

That's so smart and a moment ago in your previous answer you mentioned well actually you've mentioned it several times. Yoast can you tell listeners who have never heard of yoast like what is that and why is it a tool that Is important for Seo strategy.


58:25.80

Elise Armitage

For sure. So yoast is a plugin that's available on Wordpress. So if you have a wordpress site. You can easily install yoast there's a free version and a paid version I use the free one I don't I don't think you need the paid one I get like a ton of mileage out of the free None and what you do with it is you pop in your keyword and then it kind of gives you like a little mini checklist so it doesn't the yoast plugin doesn't cover everything. For example, that's in my checklist that I teach in my course but it covers a lot of the basics so like is your keyword. In your title is it at the beginning of your very none paragraph is it in your yeah url. Are you including it in your alt tags in your images and it just kind of gives you like a little green checkmark next to each one and so you can. Quickly and easily see that you are doing these different optimizations. Correctly, you haven't you know, missed anything from that checklist now some people get kind of hung up on. Oh do I have to be on wordpress in order to optimize my content and like have good seo. And it depends on what content management system you are looking at and comparing it to if you're looking at something like super super basic like a wix I would say yes like wordpress is definitely better for seo because there's just more that you can do in the backend. But if you're looking. Let's say you're on Squarespace this is kind of like the most common question I get like I'm on squarespace I don't really want to switch over to wordpress. Do I have to in order to do Seo and there's a lot of conflicting advice online about this very specific question. But when I've had clients that I've worked with before to help them with their Seo strategy and when I look at the backend of Squarespace you can do almost all of the same things that you can do in wordpress I think the only thing that you can't do is because Squarespace doesn't have plugins. You can't necessarily do like that faq. Plugin but everything else like the meta title the um seo description the optimizing your images like all of that can be done within Squarespace too. So I personally am like if you are. Just a huge fan of score space and you don't want to switch over. You can do all of the same things I don't think it's necessary if you were starting from scratch and deciding between the two I would probably recommend wordpress just because that's what I'm on That's what I have seen a lot of success with and I see you know all of the different um back end tools that you have but. Yeah, that's a pretty common question that I get.


01:03:49.70

ellenyin

I'm so glad you brought up that like unspoken objection before you know I even asked the question because I probably would not have thought to ask you about that. But I bet you just read the minds of a lot of listeners thinking wait a second can I optimize on my existing platform and I mean. Feel free to jump in and correct me if this is the wrong perspective to take in terms of Seo but I feel like wordpresses is probably world renowned as the best Seo platform. However I also do feel that any Seo is better than no seo right? So like any sort of. Content management system or website that allows you to have ah ah, not wordpress um seo capabilities is going to be better than if you don't do any Seo at all is that would you agree with that or do you feel like that's kind of like oversimplifying it.


01:05:25.58

Elise Armitage

I mean I would agree with that I would say that like if you have a goal of having like a very high traffic website and you know that you want to monetize in certain ways which we can kind of get into the different ways and that you can monetize that traffic. If you know that that is your goal and you're starting out like I would definitely like recommend wordpress. But if you are on Squarespace already and you're like feeling really comfortable there then like definitely like that's not an excuse to not optimize your content. You know like you can still absolutely rank for things. On the none page of Google and Target things and and optimize your posts in almost the same way that you would with um content on a wordpress website.


01:06:58.00

ellenyin

Awesome! That's really encouraging and I want to take a moment with Keyword research because that kind of is really the focal point right of Seo. It all starts with a keyword that you're trying to rank for so what is your favorite. Keyword search tool how can people find the right keywords to rank for and earlier you even mentioned looking at the factors in terms of how difficult is a keyword to rank for and what is the search volume. Maybe you can. Give a practical example of that using the tool that you would recommend our listeners to do their research with.


01:08:09.54

Elise Armitage

Totally so my tool of choice. They're a lot out there but the one that I love to use is key search and it's very reasonably priced I think it's like $15 a month. Um, there are a lot of different tools out there. There are some really expensive ones like Scm rush that one I think is 2 or $ 300 a month and I would say if you are like whether you're beginner to intermediate to like, slightly advanced key search can like cover you. I'm at the point where I'm considering investing in Sem Rush but like I haven't pulled the trigger yet because I'm like is this really going to make you know a big enough difference for me to justify that spend but key search is amazing because you can hop in there and you know type the keyword that you are thinking of so let's just stick with.


01:09:26.40

ellenyin

Number it.


01:09:53.80

Elise Armitage

Rome since that's what we've been running with this whole time and let's say I am going to start working on this best restaurants in Rome post so before I do anything before I start writing anything before I start optimizing anything the very first thing that I do is I research and I decide on. The keyword for this piece of content. So I would type best restaurants in Rome into key search and I would take a look at the data that it's showing me and I used this as an example for my Seo workshop last week so I know that the data is going to show me that there is a very high search volume behind it I think it was like 100 something which is great for me personally I'm usually looking for keywords that have a search volume a monthly volume of like at least a few hundred and then once I start to see like in the thousands. That's like a really solid search volume for my niche. And so the search volume was really high but when I looked at the difficulty score. It was very difficult to rank for and key search makes it very easy because like it's like red yellow green so like red means stop green means go um so it was bright red and so I can really clearly and easily see that it's just too difficult. There's too much competition around that keyword and I'm just probably not going to rank for it and so for me I would really rather do the work upfront to research a keyword that I have a better shot of ranking for that's like a nice green. Easy competition score because I want to give my content the best possible shot of showing up on that none page of Google and so key search then also what's really cool about it is it'll give you other suggested keywords that are related to the one that you were none looking at so you can kind of like. Go through those and find a different keyword that has a good search volume still but has an easier competition score like a difficulty score that is much lower. Um, so there were a few different ones that I was like oh oh this could work this could work. There was one that was like best restaurants in Trastevere. So that's like. Specific neighborhood in Rome so I could narrow it down that way and there was one that was like best rooftop restaurants in Rome so I could kind of niche it down that way that could work I think what I ended up landing on when I wrote that post a couple years ago at the time was and best pasta in Rome. So if you type into Google best pasta in rome my blog post is the very first one that comes up under that like map widget and that is because I researched keywords I found one that I had a good shot of ranking for and then I did all of the 20 something different things in my checklist to optimize for that specific keyword.


01:15:26.12

ellenyin

I am still so mind blown I mean I don't think people may even realize the gravity of like what that means. But if your blog post or your website. Ranks as the number None search result for any keyword I mean that is a game changer right? Think of all the hundreds of people and millions of searches that happen on Google every single day and imagine the power of having your website be the very first thing. People see I mean even think about our own behaviors. How many times do you Google something and literally click. The None thing you see it's kind of like an automated behavior. You don't even have to convince someone hey you should come check me out. It's just it's a built in natural behavior and we're about to. Kind of just give you a small glimpse into the power of how Seo can actually build revenue for your business beyond just sending more traffic to your own services and products. But before we ah you know, kind of wrap up with that piece I just want to ask you Elise. When you started implementing these Seo strategies. How long did it take you to see that growth from None monthly page views to None and did you feel that growth was gradual and steady or did you notice large spikes happening. At certain intervals I'm just curious about that piece.


01:18:02.70

Elise Armitage

Yeah, great question. So I took those few months to be like okay I'm really going to like lean into my blog and Seo strategy and see what comes of it and I feel like I started to see growth after a few months. It wasn't the 20k to 160 k in just a few months but it was a noticeable amount that gave me the motivation to keep going because I was like okay this is working and Seo is really like a slow roll and a slow burn and I would say. I I showed this on my workshop but like the growth over None ar versus 2 year like it's pretty amazing what you can accomplish and this was not like me blogging None times a week and like chained to my computer and just like churning out content. My goal was really to put out. None pieces of new content a week but I also travel a lot because of the nature of my business and so when I'm traveling I'm not blogging I'm just like focused on like being present shooting content for new you know future posts while I'm there and so it really kind of like ebbed and flowed and and then I would say after that first year was when I probably went from I don't know the exact numbers off the top of my head but probably from twenty k to maybe like sixty seventy eighty k like somewhere around there and then like None ars after that it had like Quinn tuppled. And so I had five xed my traffic after None ars and that of course gave me like a ton of motivation to be like this is like really really working like now I'm starting to make actual like really good money from this and it's a passive revenue stream. That's like this post continues to rank and. bring me money and now I can write a new post and that one will rank and continue to bring me money so it's like this snowball effect and but really like I mentioned earlier I have only been implementing Seo on my business for 3 years like coming up on 3 years now and to be able to take that traffic from. 20 k to None k monthly page views and also that was traffic that I have then been able to monetize and turn into these recurring revenue streams so to build up these new revenue streams within you know the last three years and to continue growing it. And it's a pretty good feeling to be able to diversify that way and to know that I don't have all of my eggs in the sponsored content. You know Instagram basket especially because Instagram's algorithm has just gotten so so frustrating over those last few years and.


01:23:30.80

Elise Armitage

So I and within and 6 figure Seo my course I also was really excited to see that our founding students also saw results and growth and traffic within those first few months because I had told them I was like you need to stick with this for six months but like and then. After a half a year if you're not seeing traffic. Come back to me and let me know because like something is not right I did not expect that they would see that kind of growth that they did two months after taking the course three months after taking the course so it really is and the other thing that's nice is. Google is putting less emphasis on websites with like a really high domain authority which means like websites that have other big sites linking back to them and more emphasis on just like the quality of the content. Which is nice because then if you are new to blogging if your website is like a baby Maybe it's just a couple of years old you have a better shot of being able to rank on the none page of Google and it's not like you're constantly going to get outranked by like let's say if you're a food blogger like you're not constantly going to get outranked by like an http://allrecipes.com and because your site now has a better shot of ranking if it's like really quality content.


01:25:59.64

ellenyin

That is so encouraging to hear I feel like this conversation that we're having is very reminiscent allah 20182019 and even into I would say none maybe early Twenty Twenty one when hashtags were a huge equalizer on Instagram for a lot of business owners and content creators who you know were able to actually be visible and be discovered by New Eyeballs New users new potential followers even if they didn't have a large audience because hashtags were allowing them to be seen and in many ways hashtags on a social platform are kind of like a mini search engine emulated after Google where people are searching for specific keywords and then you know finding content related to that. So. I think it's really encouraging as a business owner to hear that from you elise that Google is giving you know a more equal playing field to smaller businesses who like you said don't necessarily have these huge websites or these ah ah high. And domain authority like you said, but if they can commit to creating quality content for their people around the keywords that are related to their business then they can see their traffic realistically increase month after month within even their first ninety days so I love that message and I think this is a perfect. Time for us to kind of in this case study with just a glimpse for the listeners into the power of Seo in terms of passive income. So many of you listening to this podcast probably sell your own products and services and. Increased website traffic is absolutely going to help you increase your sales to your own products and services. However, on the flip side if you're creating quality content. You should also be monetizing and getting paid for the content itself. Even if it's not leading directly to your own product or service. Every single time so elise can you share with us the breakdown of how you make None figures and passive and when I say passive I always want to put a disclaimer here because sometimes I think that word gets thrown around so willy nilly and I should say that. I typically prefer the word residual because elise did have to put in effort and time upfront to create these posts. Yes, but once they were created and optimized is she now receiving funds on a weekly monthly yearly basis without doing any further work on them. Yes, also yes, right? so.


01:31:11.42

ellenyin

Always give us that breakdown of how you're making 6 figures from your blog just through those more passive residual streams in addition or I should say separate from your own products and services.


01:31:23.50

Elise Armitage

Yes, definitely and I love that asterisk because I typically like to say recurring revenue because like you say I put it in the work I wrote the post and published it and then I didn't touch it and but I actually when I was surveying my audience when I was None working on the course I kind of was asking people like. Which term do you identify with more and they understood passive better like they recurring was kind of confusing to them. So It's people kind of like you say throw it around interchangeably. But yes I Absolutely agree with your definition of that.


01:32:21.20

ellenyin

Right.


01:32:33.32

Elise Armitage

For me as a blogger and I want listeners to think about how they could leverage this for their own business and website as well because there are a lot of different ways to do this but the way that I have created this recurring revenue stream that is amounting to None figures in a year is through monetizing through. Ads and affiliate links in my blog posts and so with ads there are really 2 different platforms that I recommend and only these two it's media vine and ad thrive there are a lot of other ones out there and I just don't recommend them because. They slow down your site they can break your site. They don't have good support and they don't pay well that's like the biggest thing so before I didn't really understand that having ads on my site could be like a really healthy revenue stream because I had only had experience with some of these other platforms that pay like pennies and so it just wasn't. Worth it to have the ads on my site like nobody likes ads. They're not aesthetically pleasing. But if you're getting paid enough to have those ads on your site. Well now I love ads like all of a sudden my perspective changes and so media vine and ad thrive are the ones that have really great support for their publishers and they pay. The most they pay the best and so you can actually have really healthy revenue streams through implementing those ads on your site now for media vine. You need None monthly sessions in order to apply. And for ad thrive you need one hundred Thousand monthly sessions to apply and so if you're not there yet. Don't worry Seo can definitely help you get there and maybe some listeners are already on those platforms. But if you're not implementing Seo and you're on there like you definitely want to get your Seo game up because then the more traffic you have the more you're making from those ads. And so that's one way of monetizing that traffic and then the second is through affiliate links and when you're getting a ton of traffic on a post and it's that targeted traffic that is looking for that specific thing. Their likelihood of clicking on your affiliate links and purchasing is. So much higher. You're going to have a much higher conversion rate than if you are blanket posting that content on Instagram and Instagram stories. So an example that I like to give is if you're doing like a product review style post. So let's say I'm talking about. My rothy’s shoes and I'm doing like a review about them. It's a really lovely double dip of monetization because when somebody lands on that post from typing into Google Rothy's shoe review they are.


01:37:52.10

Elise Armitage

Really engaged so they're reading it which means their eyeballs are going over all those ads. So I'm getting that money from those impressions and they're really likely to buy through my affiliate links because they already know they're like interested in brothy shoes but they want to know like is it worth it because they're kind of expensive for flats like what's the wear and tear are they comfortable. Do they cause blisters. And then once they are able to gather up that information and make their buying decision then they're clicking on your affiliate link and so it's this awesome double dip I wrote the post once years ago and it's continuing to rank on that none page of Google and make me money and so think about how you can leverage that for your own. Business like I know Ellen a lot of your listeners are service. Providers. They probably get a lot of questions about like the back end of their business so like can you write up a review about like your top None tools that you use to run your business and have affiliate links to like. Flowdesk for your email newsletter platform Quickbooks for your invoices like whatever that is kajabi and drive people and that are super targeted to those posts and kind of have that nice double dip of ads and affiliate links.


01:40:14.90

ellenyin

That breakdown was so helpful I think that I mean I'm sure you all agree just listening to this episode Elise has such an ease with her words and she breaks down really complex subjects into really easy to understand nuggets which if Seo is something that feels daunting is. Absolutely something you want in your mentor. So if you are at all intrigued and you're like I need to start implementing Seo immediately I cannot think of a better teacher for you than Elise and you can join me as I'll be your fellow student inside the program in None figure seo. And Elise actually has an amazing free workshop for you where you can get a better sense of what's included in None figure Seo and if it's the right fit for you. We'll make sure to link that below in the show notes we'll also make sure to link some of those tools that she talked about like keyword search so that you can get started on your Seo Journey and elise my final question for you today is what does being a Ceo mean to you.


01:42:14.18

Elise Armitage

Being a Ceo to me means living life on my terms and having total freedom and I think that was something that was like the main thing that was really lacking for me when I worked at Google like as much as I wanted to do things a certain way or. You know, call the shot on certain things I didn't have that total freedom to be able to do that.


01:43:07.28

ellenyin

I love that I think that's again like all your answers straight to the point and really impactful. You are amazing. My friend I adore you. Thank you for coming on the show and sharing your wisdom with us today.


01:43:26.58

Elise Armitage

Thank you so much Ellen it was so fun.



01:44:19.46

ellenyin

Right? We are back for lightning round with Elise at least I'm going to fire off 3 questions. Whatever pops in your head None Give us your answer you ready all right question number one who was your first celebrity crush.


01:44:35.68

Elise Armitage

Let's do it.


01:44:45.78

Elise Armitage

Oh Paul Walker RIP


01:44:57.42

ellenyin

Good. Yes,seriously I'm with you girl. Okay question number 2 What is 1 thing about you that surprises most people.


01:44:58.82

Elise Armitage

What a dream boat.


01:45:20.78

Elise Armitage

People are usually surprised that I played basketball in high school and I was actually really good.


01:45:41.42

ellenyin

I actually don't know if I knew that about you you might have told me that before but if you know Elise that it actually kind of is a surprise because she's probably None of like the like most girly girls I know and she's like always super polished and like done up and you know is like. The fashion person that I always go to so that is actually really funny. Um, what position did you play on your team I'm very impressed. Well I played basketball in none grade and none grade and parks and recs. So basically the same thing. Yeah.


01:46:26.00

Elise Armitage

Um I was a shooting guard.


01:46:50.36

Elise Armitage

Basically the same.


01:46:59.14

ellenyin

Ah, all right, final question. Um, because you're a travel blogger I felt like I had to ask you this. What is the most underrated vacation spot to travel to that you've personally been to.


01:47:17.20

Elise Armitage

Oh my gosh um a couple come to mind I'm going to say Morocco because we just got back from there. It was like such a cool experience, like such a different kind of trip and the people were just like super warm and friendly and it is beautiful like the architecture is in. Sane. It's so stunning. We just had so much fun. We went to the sahara desert which literally looks fake like you're sitting there feeling like you're in a computer desktop screen. It's just so surreal and beautiful and then marrakech was like so fun I mean it's sensory overload but like definitely really cool and then we also went to Fez which just feels like stepping back in time. It's just like it's really incredible to see such a different lifestyle and culture and just like way of life and being and and yeah, just really, really incredible adventure. So I would say.


01:49:17.30

ellenyin

I love that answer and if you haven't insta stalked Elise on her trip to Morocco you absolutely need to look at her handle @wtfab her Morocco pictures seriously like what she just said is so true. It literally looks like she's on like a movie set or something because it's so surreal and the colors I think that's what draws me the most to Morocco and what you've shown us is that it's just such a vibrant like the colors just pop off the screen and it's so beautiful and just feels so full of life i. Would love to go there someday and I really never thought of it until I mean I saw your content. So thank you.


01:50:31.30

Elise Armitage

I Love that. Yeah, add it to your bucket list.