James Reynolds, the found of Veravo, SEO Sherpa and Click Jam, took some time to chat with us about search engine marketing. Veravo offers some free tools for website owners that can help take your traffic to that next level.
We were thrilled to get a chance to pick James' brain on marketing, because he is also the host of Traffic Jam Podcast and very knowledgeable about search engines and social media marketing.
WHSR: Hi James, thanks for agreeing to share some of your insight on marketing with our readers.
Thank you, it’s an honor.
WHSR: You mention in your bio that you had an entrepreneurial “Aha!” moment. What was that moment and what was the “Aha!” part of it?
My biggest entrepreneurial “Aha” was discovering continuity revenue.
For many years I ran a portrait photography business where customers would make infrequent one off purchases. The investment in a portrait photograph is something the average family does only once every few years, so because of this we continually needed to find new customers to meet our recurring costs and make profit. It was stressful.
At one point we were approached to do annual school photographs. I was against it initially as it was high volume, low creativity location photography work far removed from the high-end studio shots we would do. But after learning that schools were willing to sign up for 5 year contracts, meaning guaranteed revenue every year for 5 years, I said “yes!”
All my services now are subscription based.
WHSR: You run a site called Veravo where the focus is to gain website traffic. What are some of the tools on this site that will help our readers grow their traffic?
At veravo.com, we publish blog posts and infographics that teach the techniques required to generate more traffic to your website and make more sales. The website is also home to the Traffic Jam podcast.
In addition to the educational content we publish there, we also provide free website analysis reports. In these reports we assess your website for it’s technical and SEO functionality and provide tips on how to make it perform better. We provide these reports for free, and they are very popular.
WHSR: Surveys show that today's site visitors are often coming in via mobile devices. How important is it to make your site mobile friendly? Any thoughts on Google's latest algorithm changes in this direction?
Making your website perform well on mobile devices is a must. People access the internet on the go and from multiple different devices. It was inevitable that Google would implement mobile website performance as a primary ranking factor since more searches now happen on mobile devices than from desktops. Mobile has become so important that we should consider mobile experience first, desktop second. We are currently redesigning the SEO Sherpa website and started first with the mobile design.
WHSR: People are busy. No way is someone going to wait a long time for your site to load. Is there anything people should be aware of in this area that might help build site traffic and customer loyalty?
Load time is very important. Our research shows that for every second of delay, you lose approximately 7% of conversions and 5% of search impressions.
Load time impacts both traffic and conversions.
To help improve website load time get the fastest hosting possible for your website and insure that file sizes are minimized. Our own company websites are built on WordPress and we have found WPEngine hosting to perform very well versus non specialized hosting, cutting load times by as much as 50%.
WHSR: What is the number one mistake you see people make with their website content?
They post too often.
There is a belief that posting fresh content to your website is a major influencer of search engine rank; it is a myth. Far more important is creating the very best content you can, then to get eyeballs on that content with effective marketing.
I recommend that content creators spend more time on planning and creating content that is squarely aimed at their target audience and even more time on outreach. Less but better will return bigger results.
WHSR: Tell us a little bit about your free Podcast course. What can one learn if he follows your podcast?
The podcast is called the Traffic Jam podcast. It is a mostly weekly show that I co-host with marketing leaders like Rand Fishkin, Joe Pulizzi, Perry Marshall and others.
We share really actionable strategies for getting more traffic and building a profitable audience online.
WHSR: Many of your podcasts and blog posts touch on the topic of building a community. Can you expand on this a bit and share why it is so important to build an engaged community online?
Building an audience is critical because without an audience you have no business.
Kevin Kelly wrote about the idea of 1000 true fans and for most businesses this will be enough to build a really sustainable company. A small highly engaged group of loyal fans will promote your business and help your message spread.
Through content marketing, developing relationships and building a “fanbase” is more possible than ever before.
WHSR: You've ran several successful businesses over the years. What do you think is the one key ingredient to succeeding as an entrepreneur?
I think Steve Jobs put it best with his famous “stay hungry, stay foolish” speech. Successful entrepreneurs have a real hunger to do and create better, and a certain amount of foolish naivety that allows them to achieve in endeavors that others would never begin to attempt.
WHSR: You're a former semi-pro rugby player. How are sports like business? What concepts can be applied to both endeavors?
Both require practice, a game plan (strategy), competitive advantage and teamwork. There are many similarities between business and sports which is why so many successful athletes become successful business people.
A special thank you to James Reynolds for taking time to talk to us about successful tactics that can be used to build a stronger website. Even if you only implement a few of these ideas, we think you'll see a huge difference in your site traffic.
You may want to combine these ideas with advice from WHSR founder Jerry Low, such as his 5 Effective Ways to Grow Your Blog Traffic.
Be sure to tune into James' Traffic Jam Podcast for even more ideas for traffic building and website SEO.