Welcome to this episode of the dreamers succeed pocast we are with Ashley Tewes today she is the CEO and founder of page machines and she is a by all accounts SEO Guru. We hope you’ll enjoy.
Berta: So welcome, Ashley!
Ashley: Thank you, it’s so nice to be here.
Berta: I’m so happy you’re here!
Ashley: Thank you.
Berta: So let’s talk a little bit. We’ll get into who Ashley is so you’ll get the benefit of knowing her -- I’ve known her for a long time -- but I know SEO is such a big word and a lot of our listeners are business owners.
I myself am not the most techie person in the world but I know the importance of SEO. Just to be found in this world that there is so much noise going on in most of our spaces... can you just talk to me a little bit about what SEO even is?
Ashley: SEO stands for search engine optimization so it’s really optimizing your business so people can find you on Google or Yahoo or Bing... whatever it may be. When someone searches for what you offer -- let’s say you have a dentist practice in Miami -- someone searching dentist Miami or dentist in Miami you want to come up on the top. Those people that are already looking for what you have can find you and become a client of yours, so it’s really just about optimizing your website so your target market can find you.
Berta: And when you say "optimizing your website," I don’t expect to know the technicalities of that, but what does that mean?
Ashley: So optimizing your website is just doing SEO to your website. When you do SEO to your website that will move you up in the rankings of Google and get you found by your target market.
Berta: I always thought SEO had something to do with social media...
Ashley: That’s different, yeah. There’s social media marketing and there’s SEO; those are two different forms of marketing.
Berta: So SEO is more geared towards bringing traffic into your website which I guess is what we all need, right?
Ashley: Yeah, so SEO is bringing traffic to your website and social media marketing is getting views to your social media platforms. SEO is mostly Google. When people are looking for a product or service usually they go to Google, especially if it’s something like a dentist or another local business. That’s where SEO comes in.
Berta: Okay so tell me a little bit about the importance of being at least on page one of Google. I’m one of those weird old people on Google who goes onto pages two or three if I don’t feel like I find something. You know sometimes you go in there and the first ten listings are ads, so I always go to where the ads drop off, but I know most people don’t do that.
Ashley: Right. Now what most people do is when you search something like, for example "dentist in Miami," there will be a map that comes up in map listings. Now people are going more toward the map listings and searching there because they have the reviews. You can see the reviews and see the number if they have five stars or whatnot.
But the importance of being on the first page is really just capturing those people that are already searching for your product. Let's say a thousand people are searching "dentist in Miami." A thousand people a month... if you get ten percent of those people to your website, that’ll be one hundred new potential clients a month. That’s only one keyword. When you do SEO to your website you usually will rank for a bunch of keywords that could completely turn your business around or make it grow exponentially.
Berta: And when you say rank for a keyword, what does that mean?
Ashley: So that means if you search a keyword then you’ll come up on the top of the first page. Let’s say you’re number one on the top of the first page, then that’ll be ranking number 1.
Berta: And that’s something you determine as the expert when you have a client. Let’s say a new client comes in and they’re a coach like me and they say, "Ashley, I just need more traffic." Do you do the websites as well?
Ashley: Yeah, I also do web design. When I get a new client I’ll research their niche like, for example, a life coach and depending on what area they want to service then I’ll find keywords. So let’s say you want to serve people in Miami, then I’ll rank you for Miami. I’ll get you on the first page of Google when people are searching "life coach Miami" or "Miami life coaches," then I’ll do SEO so you’ll be on the top of the first page so people can find you.
Berta: So you have to like... there’s a lot of work behind the scenes.
Ashley: Yeah, there’s a whole process of doing SEO that most people aren’t aware of. The most important thing is just the result that you get. Google's algorithm is always changing so it’s a lot about keeping up with the changes in the algorithm and understanding what’s going on. There are a lot of aspects to SEO but the most important aspect is getting those results.
Patience is Key
Berta: I know you've worked with a lot of people in different industries. What would you say people can expect? You know: someone who’s not investing in SEO or not investing in doing those things to find that placement. It's almost like everything else with marketing... the results are sort of linked with what you’re willing to put in. Is this the case for SEO as well?
Ashley: Definitely. With SEO getting those results and getting onto the first page usually takes a good amount of time. It could take anywhere from four to six months to actually get to the top of the first page so it’s really about being patient and understanding that it is a process.
But once my clients do get to the top of the first page they are so happy that they stuck through it because now that investment is finally paying off and it’s helping their business grow exponentially. It's really about:
Finding keywords that people are searching for related to your business
Getting on the top of the first page of Google for those keywords
Having a website that will be able to convert those people into clients
At my company we encompass all of that. We’ll do the website, we’ll make sure it’s good for conversions, and then we’ll find those keywords and rank you for them so it’s all a simple process for you.
Conversions through Contact
Berta: I love that you said "the website for conversions" because that’s really where the conversion is. You can have a great placement on Google but if you’re not taking people somewhere that you can do something with it, what’s the point? So, Ashley... tell me what makes a website a good website?
Ashley: So... that’s a good question (laughter). The way that you can determine if a website is good or not is if it's easy for you to go from page to page and understand what the company is about, what they offer, and how to contact them.
One of the main factors of making your website convert is by making it easy to contact you. So if you have all these buttons on your website that just say learn more or read here or go to this page that’s fine. But you’re going to want to say call now or contact us now so they’re not just going from page to page and then opening a new tab on their browser and going to a different website. It’s really about getting them to contact you. You want to have, "contact us now" on the top of the first page and in the middle of the first page and throughout your entire website. That’s the whole point of the website: to get them to contact you.
Berta: It says read more and learn more but you’re right... what good is that?
Less is More
Ashley: You want to have a simple couple of sentences that will make them connect with you or make them want to work with you and then a contact us now button.
Berta: So would you say that less information is better?
Ashley: Yes. 100% less information is better. Especially because people's attention spans are quickly decreasing. You don’t want them to get lost. Even a paragraph is too much sometimes. You don’t want them to get lost in all this information. You want to make it simple and precise and clear and short -- to the point.
Berta: I’m thinking back of my website that I created on one of those creator things -- you know, in 1820 when I started my title company -- and there was just so much information. I was so proud of it and I probably never converted (laughter).
Ashley: Well if that was a long time ago, people's attention spans on the internet were higher than they are now. It’s possible that it could have worked out, but now it’s really just about keeping it short and simple. Even on the about page or about us, a lot of people keep that really long. Sometimes visitors to your website will click just to get a small summary of what you do and then they’ll get lost in all these paragraphs of how your company started or what your vision is. You want to just keep that short, too, because you want to decrease all the chances that you have of losing someone in all that information.
Berta: And that makes sense because do they really care? They want to either work with you or not.
Ashley: Who cares is the business owner, you know?
Berta: Exactly. So giving them that call to action, do you find that -- and I’m sure there are ways to track that in analytics of all kinds -- they get better results if someone is contacting them and they’re actually able to get them either on the phone or on a zoom call as far as conversion is concerned?
Ashley: Definitely. I don’t really see it in the Google Analytics -- it’s hard to track the call to action that’s there. But just in talking to my clients if they have like a good website as compared to those that don’t have a well optimized website you can really see the difference in their business growing, in their happiness, and what their presence is online.
Berta: I see that a lot of the websites have -- and I’m pretty sure mine has -- the little buttons for all the social media sites. How important is that for conversion or just for more information?
Ashley: A lot of people think that that’s important. Even a lot of web designers would say that you need that. It really just depends on your niche, but I do not think that it’s important unless you have [something like] a contracting company or you remodel homes where people want to just see more pictures before they make a decision. Then it’s important. But if you’re a dentist or a life coach, I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s important because then you’re just taking them to a new page with all this information when really what you want them to do is stop there and call you.
Video ≠ Conversions
Berta: So now I’m really curious about video. People are talking about video now all the time and they’re saying that that’s just the way to go. Talk to me about the importance of video.
Ashley: So a lot of people -- when you go to their website -- the first thing you’ll see is a video on the top of the screen. It has been proven that that will lower your conversion rate because it just distracts people. Just like a lot of information, people will start watching this video and then ten seconds later their attention span is gone. So they go to a new website or they just forget about what this was about. Video isn’t great for conversions unless it’s a niche like home remodeling or something where people really want to see the before and after. But if it's just a video of you talking about whatever it will lower the conversion rate. It’s important on your social media to have video because it’s more interactive but on your website it’s not necessarily important or it won’t necessarily help you convert them.
Berta: So the way you optimize the website so that you can get the Google results or the way that you’re showing up on Google... how does that affect... getting those reviews.
Ashley: We help our clients get reviews by doing email outreach. They’ll send a client an email saying, "Are you happy with our services"" and then it will take them to writing the google reviews. It will post right away. It’s just about getting your clients to do that for you because it’s really important. A lot of people forget about that but having a good system in place where they’re automatically sending these emails out to people that just paid [gets you a] much higher chance of you getting more reviews.
Berta: So you even set that up for your clients.
Ashley: Yeah that’s one of the services that we offer.
Berta: You're really looking at the entire Google picture and how a business' presence is showing up.
Ashley: Yeah. Just having all that in place, the client really doesn’t have to do anything. As long as the client understands the importance then they’ll get it done just by working with us.
Berta: So your average contract with a client, just so that you can see traction and see the results -- what would you say is the average lifespan? I know you said four to six months for them to start seeing traction, but if you continue to build that SEO does that continue to sort of grow on itself?
Ashley: Yeah, so we’ll usually do a six month contract to begin with but most of our clients want to continue working with us just because the return on investment a lot of the times is even over twenty times. If you’re continuing to do SEO after those six months you can go after new keywords and capture even more people and grow your business even more by just going after more keywords.
Berta: Wow. So that’s the name of the game: it’s the keywords and having someone with he expertise to know what you want those keywords to be.
Ashley: Yeah. In the beginning (the dentist example) I would first rank them for Miami dentist keywords. After that we can rank for South Florida dentist or best dentist in South Florida or veneers Miami. Whatever it may be; whatever service they want to push out the most and that has the highest profit margin for them. That's usually what we go after so the keywords are really unlimited, especially if you have an ecommerce business that’s not location based you can always go after more keywords.
Berta: That was my next question: do you have a limit of keywords that you can use?
Ashley: No, not really unless it’s a location thing or not many people are searching in your area, then sometimes it can limit you to a certain amount of keywords. But let’s say its just an online business for something that’s not location based you can always grow it.
A Trip to Belize
Berta: How did you get started in this? Because I know you’re like a badass and you’ve traveled and you’ve... where did you just go? Didn't you just go somewhere really cool?
Ashley: I just went to Belize.
Berta: How was that?
Ashley: It was unreal. It was crazy.
Berta: Really? Had you been [before]?
Ashley: No, I had never been. And I’m Belizean so it was like one of my favorite trips I’ve been on for sure.
Berta: They say it’s beautiful. Oh my goodness... and how did that come about?
Ashley: So my friend -- her boyfriend surprised her with a trip for her birthday and he invited her two closest friends and I was one of them so… I got to go. It was awesome.
Berta: Were you able to visit where your dad is from or anything like that?
Ashley: No, we just went to a few private islands. We didn’t see that much of Belize City but we actually did take a helicopter over Belize City so I saw it from above.
Berta: Yeah he would have been all jealous if you’d have gone anyway. Let him take you and show you.
Ashley: Yeah. So how I got started with SEO is actually I used to sell products on Amazon. I would buy products in bulk from China and then bring them here and then sell them on Amazon. When you’re selling stuff on Amazon, a lot of the times there’s like fifty other people selling the same product as you so you want your listing to get to the top.
Let’s say someone’s searching for wine stoppers or wine corks; there’s gonna be thousands of people selling wine corks so you want yours to come up on the top. Then you can get those people that are looking for your product and turn them into paying customers.
There’s amazon SEO so when I started learning about that I came across Google SEO and how much more you could do on Google because it’s not just products. So then once I learned about that I started ranking my own websites and then selling the leads.
Berta: Man... that’s like… impressive.
Ashley: Thank you.
Berta: That’s the businesswoman in you. I know that you’ve always been able to morph into what’s needed. So many people now are doing the Amazon businesses where they’re buying in bulk. Do you still cater to that type of client?
Ashley: Sometimes but not really. It’s not really what I like to do. The reason why I really stopped doing it was because you have to put all this money up front for those products. Whereas with SEO it’s not going to take nearly the investment and you’re going to have more people search on Google (usually). Amazon is going to be taking out that middle man -- taking out that seller of the product and then Amazon is just going to work straight with the manufacturer from China or wherever it is so it’s really a dying business.
Berta: Smart move. So who is your ideal client?
Ashley: My ideal client would be someone that has multiple medical practices within the United States. Maybe like a dentist or a plastic surgeon or a podiatrist; someone that understands the value of doing SEO and will actually see an amazing return. Another good client is lawyers. I say all these people because they have such a high profit margin. One new case for a lawyer could be hundreds of thousands of dollars so that’s what I like working with the most. Once they start seeing those results you can see them go from the two thousand square foot office to having multiple locations across the US.
Berta: That’s got to be a big kick for you. Especially that you have that heart for service and that love of seeing things happen.
Ashley: It’s definitely exciting to see.
Berta: So what does a new person do that is maybe on the fence -- should they do it should they not do it? I know there’s a certain bias but just if we can be objective for just a minute... if there’s a marketing budget and the average person is going to say okay we’re gonna take ten percent of revenues and that’s going to go into marketing because we’re going to be able to grow that where should they put their money first?
Ashley: It all depends on what niche they’re in. In my experience, most of the time doing SEO is the best way because you’re going to build an asset for your business where once you’re on the top of the first page of Google you won’t necessarily have to do SEO any more. You’ll be getting free new leads every month so that’s really something that I see as a huge value, especially when a company wants to sell their business eventually. If you have this website making you an extra ten thousand dollars a month, twenty thousand dollars a month... that really increase the value of your business and it’s easy to track, too. So if you want to sell your business then your website generating new leads and that much money a month is definitely going to help you get more money for your business.
Berta: It's not passive income because you still have to do the work, but it’s money that wouldn’t be coming in at all. So what’s your big goal for 2020?
Ashley: My big goal for 2020 would be... hmmm... that’s a tough one. I have a few goals but I would say grow my business and have two hundred clients. I was thinking around two hundred but to have them all being successful and to see them all have at least five times ROI is really important.
Berta: So that’s how you measure it. That’s where I talked about a little bit about the service and that’s what I love about the people that I’m blessed to know. Your success is based on someone else’s success.
Ashley: Having more clients is important but what’s more important than that is having all those clients see the results that they want to see so that’s definitely a big goal.
Berta: That’s amazing. I love it. So how do people find you?
Ashley: So they can go to my website . They can always call me my number is 305-766-0790 and they can also email me at .
Berta: If I looked you up in the dictionary, what would it say?
Ashley: that’s a tough question, too! What would it say? If you looked me up in the dictionary it would say, "A young woman that loves to travel and loves to help other people grow their business in a way that will benefit their lifestyle, make their life easier and more enjoyable."
Berta: I love that. That’s a big deal. Not a lot of young people like you can say that but you really have all the freedom that you want.
Ashley: One of the most important values that I see in SEO is making the processes of your business easier by having people contact you instead the business owner always trying to find new ways to market what they offer. Instead of that, they can use their time growing their business or working on what they’re best at and just having people always calling them needing their service. It just makes the streamline of your business a lot easier and really translates into your personal life as well... when there’s less stress going on in the businesses growing almost on its own.
Berta: Absolutely. I know that you’ve built this business from scratch, so how important was it for you to be bold and take that risk and say, "you know what I’m going to do it my way and I’m going to build it." I know you work your butt off, but how important was that? It’s not typical and there’s a lot of pressure. A lot of your [peers] are doing it the regular way and they might be miserable but they’re doing the regular 9 to 5 gig thing.
Ashley: Had I not stuck through it and seen what’s possible it would never come this [far]. I would say when people see my lifestyle I think it gives them some more motivation to do things in a different way because that’s really what’s going to change your life.
Berta: Yeah that’s it. That’s good advice. Where are you going in 2020?
Ashley: Like traveling-wise?
Ashley: Possibly or hopefully I’m going to Tokyo again. It’s somewhere I want to go and usually when I travel it’s like super last-minute. Like the Belize thing: I just booked my ticket the night before. But Tokyo I think I might be going and to somewhere in Europe so those are two...
Berta: Nice! And listen, that’s the truth of it: you can only do last minute pick up and go when you own your life. That’s the beauty of what you do and what you help other people achieve. I’m so happy you were here.
Ashley: Thank you! I’m so happy you invited me.
Berta: I hope you will be back. I know I learned a lot and it’s such important information for business owners. I know this is a market that changes a lot so hopefully you will join us again when something new comes up that you can share with everyone.
Ashley: I always see people not knowing if SEO is right for them or not but I’m always happy to analyze someone’s business or see what niche they’re in and give them an idea of if it would make sense or not. You can always contact me and I’ll give you that information for free. I’m always happy to let people know what’s the best avenue of marketing that they can do for their business.
Berta: Guys, take her up on it, please! She’s a wealth of information and she’s been doing it for a long time even though she doesn’t look like it. She knows her stuff! So thank you, Ashley.
Ashley: Of course, thank you for having me. I’m always happy to come back.