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I had the privilege of attending Neil Patel’s “The Future of SEO” virtual summit on October 22, 2020.
In this article, I’ll break down the summit, from Neil’s opening speech to his 3 guest speakers’ presentations.
I’ll also reveal some of the key questions posed during the Q&A session, along with Neil’s responses.
Before delving into his presentation, Neil Patel started off by introducing himself to us in a friendly and humble manner.
He gave us a rundown of some of his achievements, including being named a Top 100 Entrepreneur under 30 by President Obama.
Using an icebreaker to get the audience going, his down-to-earth, fun-loving nature was one of the first things that piqued my interest.
Now, you might be wondering who exactly is Neil Patel?
Neil Patel is a digital marketing expert, entrepreneur, and author.
He’s co-founded several companies, including Neil Patel Digital, CrazyEgg, and Hello Bar.
Neil started learning the ins and outs of digital marketing at only 16 years old, and now has a staggering net worth of $30 million.
He’s worked with companies like Viacom, Google, Facebook, and NBC and has helped countless others to grow their revenue.
Patel has a passion for teaching and is always eager to educate business owners and marketers on how to go about it.
Neil’s life isn’t all SEO and marketing though. He’s a family man and has a wife and daughter.
During the webinar, he mentioned that he and his wife plan to start an initiative to give back to the community, reminding us that giving your time can be just as valuable as giving financially.
Neil’s passion for his career shone as he spoke, and he dropped some SEO gems. Let’s get into the tips and hacks he provided.
Neil’s first topic focused on marketing across different platforms.
He compared the conversion rate his company gets from each channel and found that Google Ads bring in the most conversions, followed by Facebook Ads.
Next was SEO content or blogs and lastly, social media.
Neil said that their biggest traffic gains have come from translations on their site, and by updating their content (which he shows us how to do later).
A return on investment (ROI) is the revenue or profit from marketing strategies.
Calculating your ROI means that you can see how much of an impact marketing strategies have on your revenue.
Neil says the best way to generate an ROI is by writing blogs, remarketing via ads, and then sending them to your product or service page.
His company has seen a rapid increase in their ROI by doing this, and Neil tells us that it’s imperative to go omnichannel.
A great benefit of going omnichannel is that you can repurpose your content.
After publishing on his blog, a few days later he re-posts on LinkedIn and other platforms, which creates more publicity.
User signal is extremely important.
Neil provided an example of an entrepreneur who did an experiment that showed just how big of an impact user signal has.
Rand Fishkin, a fellow entrepreneur, tweeted to his followers to search for something on Google, telling them exactly what to enter into the search bar.
He said they should then click on the first result, go back and click on the fourth result, which was his site.
Within an hour, Google noticed the amount of traffic to this site and moved it to the first result.
Days later, it was the second result, so even though it dropped from the first spot, it remained higher up.
Rand has a tonne of Twitter followers so it was definitely possible. But what about those of us who don’t have as big a following?
Neil provided some hacks from Clickflow that aim to give a higher click-through rate (CTR).
1. Questions in the title have a 14.1% higher CTR.
2. 8.6% higher CTR for titles with 15-40 characters (Neil recommends between
3. 45% increase in CTR when the exact query is in URL.
4. Power words (like best or amazing) increase CTR by 13.9%.
5. Titles including emotions involved increased CTR by 7.3%.
6. 5.8% higher CTR if you have a meta description.
7. Titles including years have a 4.9% higher CTR.
8. Evoking curiosity increases CTR by 5.9%.
9. Titles resembling education have a 10.4% CTR.
10. You’re more likely to be successful if you promote paid ads.
From these tips alone, Neil says that his company sees roughly an 18% increase per year.
It doesn’t happen overnight though, so patience is key. It takes roughly 30 days to see changes.
Old content isn’t getting that much traffic.
Neil stated that for every new article he writes, his team updates 21 old content pieces.
He’s seen a remarkable increase in traffic from doing this.
But how do you know what’s old?
Using Google Search Console, the date range can compare your traffic from previous dates to today, and you can see which pages gave you the most traffic.
Then, look for posts that have lost traffic, Google posts similar to yours, and compare them. See what they’re doing or not doing and then edit your article to improve it.
➢ Update anything outdated based on what you find in the Google Search Console. Make sure you’re creating content better than your competitors’.
➢ Update the “published by” date.
➢ When writing, think about the user experience and not just the word count. Include images, gifs, videos, and make it an enjoyable experience.
➢ If you have to update your URL, do a 301 redirect to the new one, and then resubmit it via the Google Search Console. Neil advises that you don’t update URLs unless you have to.
By building his brand, Neil Patel got 160 000 clicks on Google Searches per month!
He ran a social media campaign, “Who is Neil Patel?” to promote his brand.
He worked with celebrities and influencers all over the world who promoted this campaign on their social media.
This was an excellent way to get his name out there and build his brand.
“The key to building a brand is following the rule of 7.” - Neil Patel.
When someone sees your brand 7 times, they’re more likely to remember it.
Suggestions to increase brand awareness:
➢ Host virtual events
➢ Go live on streaming platforms
➢ Have a podcast
➢ Blog content
➢ Work with influencers
➢ Push notifications
➢ Email marketing
Engaging and interacting with your audience is necessary for building your brand.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) aims to improve the speed of a web page.
If you have a delayed load time, revenue and rankings will decrease percentage-wise.
Neil’s company used a CDN to host their entire site, and their rankings improved substantially.
He advises you to use a CDN to see an increase in load time and rankings.
You don’t need to build or buy tonnes of links. In this case, Neil says it’s quality over quantity.
Take your time, build fewer, but relevant links with higher quality content.
Don’t increase the rate you build links at.
Be patient, it takes about 6 months for links to take effect.
Neil uses this strategy and sees huge ranking increases.
Neil’s biggest tip here is to invest in mentorship.
He makes it clear that you don’t have to spend any money to invest in mentorships.
You can listen to podcasts and interviews, read blogs, and watch videos from people you admire, and even your competitors.
He also advises to keep testing SEO methods and keep learning.
Western Union is one of the oldest most well-known money transfer companies around.
They operate in 224 countries and transact in 130 currencies.
However, they’ve been challenged by the digital world as they’ve always used traditional methods.
Muriel Lotto tells us how Western Union is changing to adopt digital methods.
The first guest speaker, Muriel Lotto, is the Global Head of Brand and Marketing Strategy for Western Union.
Five years ago Muriel began the task of adopting new methods that aim to digitize Western Union.
Traditionally, Western Union focused on the cash-to-cash method.
The sender would send cash via a Western Union branch in person, and the receiver would collect that cash on the other side of the world.
Gradually, people have been moving to the account-to-account method, sending money directly from one account to another via an app or website.
Western Union dominated the cash-to-cash market, but sadly, the method is dying out.
Muriel notes that as a brand, they were always famous for cash-to-cash and their challenge now is becoming just as famous for account-to-account.
She also states that their competitors, like PayPal and TransferWise, have the advantage of being known for digital money transfers.
But Western Union has the advantage of being well trusted because of their historical run.
So, what are they doing to adapt?
❖ Neil Patel Digital (NPD) has partnered with Western Union to help them with their marketing strategies and SEO management.
They are working on:
➢ Site indexation
➢ Site speed
➢ Link building
❖ Encouraging people to download their app or go to their website to carry out their transfers via these methods.
❖ Creating an “in-store experience” with a digital mindset:
➢ For those who still want to do a transfer at a store, the app allows you to find an agent and store near you.
➢ With the new cash-to-cash method, you can do most of the transfer process online by filling in all the information on the app, then going to a store and handing over the cash.
❖ Managing the entire membership and loyalty program online.
❖ Using social media and bots to digitize customer care.
❖ Focusing on advertising to ensure that they come across as a relevant and modern brand.
Muriel tells us that to successfully digitize a brand, you need to define how you want to run the business and focus on the mindset and behaviors of consumers, not just strategies.
She also mentions that you shouldn’t lose who you are as a brand.
Don’t lose your purpose and values, but rather find a modern way to express them.
Western Union has seen the digital aspect of their business grow exponentially during the pandemic, and they’re well on their way to digitizing the brand successfully.
Adobe XD logo
Adobe XD is an Adobe extension specifically for designers who create websites and apps.
Their challenge was that they weren’t well known and had low brand awareness.
They also had a lot of competition, and their content was scattered.
So their main goals were to:
Becky Ruden walks us through the development of XD Ideas, a project with Neil Patel Digital (NPD) to refresh content, with a focus on SEO.
The second guest speaker, Becky Ruden, is the Principal Product Manager at Adobe XD.
She has been with the brand for over a year, first in Content Marketing Strategy, and then as a Principal Product Manager, her current position.
After establishing their challenges and goals as a brand, Becky jumped straight into the solutions.
The result of NPD’s strategies brought in 29.6K downloads, $12 million in potential revenue, and over 1 million site visitors in under a year!
NPD helped Adobe XD to achieve this with almost no marketing budget.
What was their formula for success?
This formula resulted in SEO success for the brand and Becky tells us that they were very appreciative of NPD’s assistance.
Mayvenn is the first end-to-end digital salon.
They focus on African-American hair types, providing hair products, and salon services.
Candice Basmajian tells us about how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their stylists, and the initiative they took to give back to their community.
The third and final guest speaker, Candice Basmajian, is the Director of Brand Marketing at Mayvenn.
She’s been with the company for 5 years working in the marketing field and explains how marketing and SEO helped Mayvenn during a hard time.
The pandemic resulted in Mayvenn’s stylists losing out on work, as well as their products not being sold.
Most of their stylists couldn’t qualify for unemployment grants as they’re often classified as independent contractors or freelancers.
Candice tells us that the company focused on what they could do to help their stylists, instead of focusing on the negative impact the situation had on their business.
Their goal was to raise $1.25 million to be able to send their stylists $500 each, which would be the first relief money some would receive.
This is how they did it:
➔ They created a movement.
➔ Once they’d met their goal, they sent $500 to 2,500 stylists via Mayvenn’s digital InstaPay system.
Appointment bookings have since increased due to the lifting of restrictions, but things are not up and running 100% just yet, and they won’t be until the pandemic is over, but thankfully they have a starting point.
Candice gave us some of the key takeaways from this situation:
Mayvenn has been able to tell their stylists’ stories utilizing the press, social media, and PR.
Putting faces and voices to the campaign helped them to evoke emotional responses.
This is what ultimately brought in the donations they needed to help their hairstylist community.
The last session of the summit gave attendees the opportunity to ask Neil questions regarding SEO and marketing.
I’ve picked the questions that had the most votes from other attendees and the most helpful answers for people across the board.
Neil said that he usually creates content by looking at what’s out there and writers better versions than competitors.
He then publishes the content and shares it on all social profiles, messaging individuals directly to ask them to share his content.
He also emails every person he’s linked to and asks them to share the article.
Neil: “Always team. I believe it’s the team that builds the company, not money, not ideas, the team.”
He goes on to say that even with all the ideas in the world, it’s a struggle to execute them without a good team.
Neil responded that if you need the money, do ads first.
If you can, focus on SEO first because it produces a higher ROI in the long run. But you need to be patient to go down this route.
Neil said that you should write articles that will drive traffic to your site and bring in sales.
If you’re selling a product, write an article comparing an older version with a newer version of that product.
Articles like these will encourage sales for your product.
Neil: “No. That’s a big misconception.”
He tells us that you should only use links when it’s relevant for the user.
Don’t do it to try to get a higher ranking on Google, link when it provides a better experience and put users first.
Neil Patel’s summit was enlightening and incredibly beneficial.
He gave us intel on how to optimize conversions through SEO and marketing, by using examples from his own company and experiences.
The guest speakers gave us case studies that proved how important marketing and SEO are to get results.
The main takeaways from this review are:
Use these helpful tips from Neil and go out there and win!
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