Arsen hired his first employee in 2009 for his LA based SEO agency (Search Engine Optimization).
Since then the agency has grown to service mainstream clients like The Walking Dead, Hint Water, PayPal Swift Financial and many more with a 97% retention rate and doubling in revenue every year since its founding.
In this exclusive episode, Arsen walks us step by step through a Manos Accelerator alumni startup; Progeny Coffee (http://progenycoffee.com/) and offers the Manos Nation a free promo code for his favorite SEO tool so we can follow along:
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Manos accelerator podcast.
This is the stacking growth special and today I am with Arson Rabinovich. And Arson, what are you working on?
Arsen: 00:59 I am a founder and director of SEO for a Top Hat Rank. Uh, we are a search and social marketing agency out of Los Angeles and we’ve been in business for about nine years now.
Juan: 01:13 Arson tells us a little bit to give us some context, also tell us a little bit about your company in terms of revenue, your customer base or some highlight clients you’ve work with.
Arsen: 01:21 Sure. So we started out as a, as an SEO agency for local small business and we work with, um, you know, eh appliance repair guys and then locksmiths and a plumbers and then slowly as we grew and we brought out more people, we started expanding into, uh, providing, uh, services to a plastic surgeon, so medical practitioners and lawyers. And at that point it became a need rows to start expanding out of SEO into social media marketing, content creation, a influencer outreach. And that kind of paved the way for us to start becoming an enterprise level company where now we’re working with a brand like hint water, ah, the walking dead and a few financial [inaudible] financial institutions.
Juan: 02:12 So, Arsen is a rock star Seo Guy. He’s been a speaker for the last two events and he has shared some golden golden truth bombs. Um, golden nuggets on SEO has been super helpful. What we’re going to do in this episode is very special episode of Arson is going to be pulling up an actual website of a Manos Accelerator portfolio company and we’re going to break it down that way at home. You can pull up the same website, the same resources and follow step by step what Arson thinks when he sees this website and what he sees would be the best way to expand this e-commerce company. So a little bit of background about this company. This is called Progeny Coffee and they are based here in the bay area. They’re actually one of the sponsors for stalking growth. Um, it was started by a two people John and Maria and they have grown the company to five different retail stores here in the bay area.
Juan: 03:06 And also they are the official coffee of the facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. So if you’ve been to the facebook headquarters and I’ve drank the coffee there, you are drinking Progeny coffee. They want to take their business to the next level by doubling down on e-commerce. And so what they’ve done is switch over to a subscription service for their coffee. So that for a flat fee, you get that coffee, that facebook delicious Colombian coffee delivered straight to your doorstep every month. They are very, very new to this e-commerce area and to this e-commerce campaign. And so our sin is going to be looking through their website and finding potential for growth and things that they can be doing. And you went home can be following and doing the same things to your own website. So take it away. Arson, what do you see when you look at Progeny Coffee.com ?
Arsen: 03:50 Well, the first thing I’m going to say is the coffee’s amazing. I had a chance to try it today. I’m not, I’m not a big coffee drinker. So this was for me, was, was, was, was really awesome. Um, so the coffee’s good. The product is good. That’s the most important part, right? So, uh, consumers are going to be happy with it. Now we just got to get in front of people and the website is, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re kind of a basic layout website that we’re looking at. Um, and I’m sure you guys at home, we’ll see it. What I’m using to, to get a feel for how they’re performing as I’m using two tools, I’m using a crawler called Screaming Frog. You guys can search google for it and it’s basically it gives me a crawls the through the website and tells me all the technical issues of the site has. The second tool I’m using is called SEM Rush. Uh, and we’ll have a, a special treat for you guys because I was able to get a seven day trial, uh, for, for you guys, uh, to try SEM Rush and see all the data about your website that I’m looking at for this particular website. And that will be, I guess, attached to the podcast.
Juan: 04:53 So if you’re listening to this episode guys, what he just said is he has a promo code for the listeners of this podcast and you will get access to this. It’s a very expensive tool and you have to pay for every month. You’ll get access to it for free for seven days. So you can follow along. All the instructions are going to be in the show notes so you can follow along and do the exact same thing that he’s doing with your own sites to take your business to the next level.
Arsen: 05:16 So I’m going to run through this real fast. We don’t have too much time here, but. So what I did is I put in Progeny Coffee domain, a into SEM Rush just to get an understanding of how the domain has been performing in Google search results. Top 10 pages, which is a top 100 positions. Um, and right away I’m seeing that I’m not much, not much is happening. Uh, there are only ranking about 44 keywords for those domain, uh, in the top 10 pages of Google, their keyword distribution, they have one key word on page one. They have three keywords. So one, one keyword on page one above the fold, a position one through three, uh, three keywords below the fold position, four through 10, one keyword on page two for keywords on page three of six key words on the page four. So not much is happening at their top
Juan: 06:07 So what you’re saying is instead of googling progeny coffee and going to google and try to find a bunch of different things to see if the website pops up. What you did is typed into SEM Rush that their domain and then it tells you how many keywords this website is ranking for it and on what level?
Aresn: 06:21 Correct. And it tells us, and then it gives us information on those key words as far as where their position, what page google is selecting on progeny coffee.com as the most relevant page on their website for that specific keyword or query. Um, so when we drill into it into those 44 keywords and we try to figure out, you know, where they’re ranking, especially if we apply a filter for, uh, you know, we want to see key words that have a key phrases that have the key word coffee in it because the coffee’s obviously what they do, right? They sell coffee. Um, so we want to see how Google is treating their site, how it’s positioning their site.
Arsen: 07:02 And if Google is picking up enough information from their website to really get understanding that this is a website about coffee, Colombian coffee, high end Colombian coffee, that is for sale, right? And right now that’s not happening for them. Uh, the position of eight. So bottom of page one for Google, they’re ranking for a keyword coffee notes. Now, I don’t know if somebody who’s searching for coffee notes is specifically in a position to buy or that intent is purchase intent for that search query, I’m assuming this would be somebody who’s looking to learn more about different coffee notes. Uh, the second keyword that they have that influence coffee is fair trade coffee, a really fair, right? So, uh, because they have a page on their website that talks about our direct trade and fairtrade really fair. So Google is ranking that but not really high on page one.
Arsen: 07:50 They’re not even on page one there on page four, top of page four for that.
Juan: 07:58 Um, so can they hope to ever rank on page one? Cause coffee are very competitive keywords. So can they ever hope to rank on page one or are they going to. That’s going to be like a five year goal. Your one goal is to rank on the front page of Google for more like a key phrase than just a keyword, right?
”I wouldn't advise them chasing the word "Coffee" as the top level keyword to rank for.Arsen RabinovichFounder, TopHatRank
I think it's going to be an uphill battle and not saying that they can't... but they will spend a lot of money.
Aresn: 08:13 Correct. So you know, I wouldn’t advise them chasing the word coffee as the top level keyword to rank for. I think it’s going to be an uphill battle and not saying that they can’t, but they will spend a lot of money and a lot of effort on ranking for that keyword when it’s a pretty broad keyword. We don’t know that if somebody’s searching for coffee, they’re looking specifically to buy coffee or Colombian coffee or high end Colombian coffee at that matter.
Arsen: 08:37 So I would go after keywords like – Where do I buy Colombian coffee, Colombian coffee, fairtrade, Colombian coffee, uh, buy Colombian coffee online on all those keywords are a little bit more easier, I want to say to rank for in Google than just specifically coffee.
Juan: 08:55 Are you jamming on these keywords? Is it from experience or does SEM Rush show you potential for to like target?
Arsen: 09:00 Correct. So SEM Rush shows me, shows me not only data about the website that we’re looking at, I can run keyword gap analysis. So if I find a competitor of theirs I can run analysis was to show me the keywords in common between progeny coffee in one of their competitors and then I can also export this data and run my own analysis on it to show me a key words were their competitors ranking, where they’re positioned an estimation of how much traffic that keyword is driving from Google based on that position.
Arsen: 09:32 And that allows me to reverse engineer and kind of do predictive modeling for my clients saying that if we are to ring for this specific keyword and rank where your competitor is risky for this keyword, we are estimating that this is how much traffic you’re going to beginning. Now traffic does not necessarily always lead to conversions. So it is important to, you know, to test your assumptions and theories. Um, so my advice, uh, for Progeny Coffee would be to really get an understanding of who their competitors are at this point, uh, who selling coffee. So if we search for something like what’s the best Colombian coffee, uh, we get a, a, a, an answer box or a featured snippet, a from what from quora. So that question was asked on Quora and somebody answered it and it’s, and it’s in the, uh, uh, position zero featured recently featured snippet results.
Arsen: 10:25 Uh, I don’t see a project, a ranking on page one, but the interesting part here is that, uh, who’s ranking on page one? And that’s uh, I don’t see any coffee brands at this point for ranking on page one for what’s the best Colombian coffee. So this would be a really good opportunity because you have aggregators like six ABC.com in their food section and they’re writing an article about consumer reports, the best-tasting coffee. You have a kitchen sanity com who’s writing about the best Colombian coffee. So these are aggregators certain, I don’t see brands. So this would be an awesome place, an awesome keyword versus optimizing for something like coffee. What’s the best Colombian coffee? It narrows it to, uh, the search query. We can safely assume the search query is being performed by somebody who is in the buying process or at least in the decision making process to purchase Colombian coffee and they’re researching what’s the best Colombian coffee.
Arsen: 11:22 So, uh, for my client, if they were my client, I would recommend this being the first priority as far as the ranking. If their website is intact, the website is designed to convert it loads fast. That’s mobile friendly. As a strategy, I would do a content centric strategy to optimize for keywords that are answering questions about the product. If you can position your brand to be an expert in the field of what they do, the conversion rate is going to be much higher because you’re building a trust by educating the consumer. And at the same time, if you’re offering the product, there’s more trust in that product. So what’s the best Colombian coffee? How do you brew Colombian coffee? A where to buy Colombian coffee, affordable Colombian coffee, all those keywords I would take a look at and start optimizing for them.
Juan: 12:14 Ok. So let’s say that we downloaded or like we opened up our account with SEM Rush. We found 10 competitors that are in the exact same space that they’re an ideal example of we could have their company would be so happy and we put it into here and we run a keyword gap analysis. So now we find keywords that we can optimize for. What do we do once we find those keywords?
Arsen: 12:31 So you gotta keep in mind the Google, we’re kind of separating from ranking for key four keywords. Keywords form topics and you want to optimize for topics. And how you optimize for topics is you create content around a specific topic. Um, so as an example, what’s the best? A Colombian coffee as a topic. And if the, if, if a progeny can create content or a long form article can be, you know, a thousand plus a words of content that’s mixed medium. They have videos, they have infographics, they create an experience.
Arsen: 13:09 So things like Wikipedia, but for this entry, for what’s the best Colombian coffee, right?
Juan: 13:22 Cora? So like, you find a keyword. OK, what kind of questions do you have that keyword in it? What’s the best Colombian coffee to buy in the US? Great create content around that. So what does that mean? Youtube videos? Sure. Slideshares sure.
Arsen: 13:31 Everything. Everything. Exactly that. Create an experience for the end user. That will answer a through z. So all the subtopics. So even if you, what’s the best, what’s the best place to buy Colombian coffee? Could be a subtopic of what’s the best, a Colombian coffee, right? So you can take them through the journey of teaching them. Why Colombian coffee is good. Is that the altitude? It’s the weather patterns. Uh, uh, you know, the coffee beans take longer to mature, they produce better taste, less acid, uh, so now you’ve educated the visitor to your site.
Arsen: 14:03 And now the next question that potentially this visitor might have in their head is, is how do I brewed this coffee? What kind of peripherals do I need? And you can provide information on that and it also allows you space for two upsells, secondary products, right? Uh, and then towards the end you can then pitch where to buy, where do I buy this Colombian coffee that’s so awesome that I just learned so much about and you provide them. So, uh, you’re educating, you’re providing valuable information and then you’re selling the product. That’s a content centric approach to ranking for these kinds of queries. And again, SEM Rush does. We’re not affiliates of SEM Rush, we’re not making money, but it’s just a really awesome tool that we as an agency, we pretty much live inside this tool. Uh, and that’s why we’re talking about a.
Arsen: 14:43 So on top of that, SEM Rush has a content templates where it will, uh, uh, you put in your keywords and you put into your competitors are. And it’s going to go out there and it’s going to take a look at what the competitors are doing, how many words they wrote around this topic, what links that they use were links are coming in or the linking out to you. And it gives you recommendations on how you should structure your content. So it takes a lot of guesswork out of, out of, uh, uh, creating a content around these topics and for somebody who’s doing it, a DIY, this is a, this is a secret weapon in their arsenal because without it, you would be sitting there and creating spreadsheets, counting keywords, counting length, accounting topics, subtopics, headings and all of that. So SEM Rush kind of gives you that competitive advantage when you’re looking at it.
Arsen: 15:29 Um, but other than that, I mean the website, the website for Progeny Coffee is great. Uh, you know, they’re following all the traditional rules of something that I would. I’m looking at uh, from a consumer standpoint, I like to have a story about Progeny Coffee and I’d like to. Maybe there is our mission, uh, in the navigation item, but I really don’t. People tend to not navigate directly to the site from the first time they land. They want to experience the home page and they feel like that that’s a hand-holding the coffee beans and eating up a lot of real estate above the fold. Um, so something that, that you maybe make it a little bit of a shorter, a hero image, go directly into our mission, our mission, get coffee farmers out of their poverty loop, a farm forward, which is great. Uh, give me an excerpt so I don’t click in to learn more and exit the home page, which right underneath, if you guys are with us and you’re looking at the homepage, right underneath is our collection where you’re actually showing products, so you don’t want to interrupt the journey of the person who’s scrolling.
Arsen: 16:32 They can just want to consume a little bit of this field, good information about the mission before they buy the product
Juan: 16:38 That makes perfect sense. So, the way it’s laid out right now that you’re optimizing for that learn more button and that learned more. It’s going to say the story of the company, which is obviously very important, but if it’s that important, why wouldn’t you just have that?
Arsen: 16:51 At least a blurb about it, right? You don’t want, you don’t want to put the entire story on page one, um, but you definitely want to have some information. Uh, and it’s, it’s a really awesome story. I read through this, I’ve talked to the founders. It is a really awesome story. Uh, that should be read before you go, before you go into the actual product, because that’s essentially what sets the product apart from everybody else was selling coffee.
Juan: 17:12 Right? I love it. There you have it. So rapid fire. Walk us through maybe three, four or five tools that you, that you can endorse and stand behind. Like this is what’s going to help.
Arsen: 17:21 So obviously, SEM Rush, uh, essentially will do everything. So if you’re a DIY into SEO, SEM Rush is going to be everything that you need. Um, uh, they also zoo website audits and crawls which presents you the data. I personally would not trust a tool to tell me what to do with, with my website, I look at tools as platforms that provide me with the data that will help me make my own decision, which you know, is an educated decision based on data. So if, if a, auditing tools like SEM Rush, which again is really good at what they do, but they told me this is duplicate content to this page.
Arsen: 18:00 I’m not just going to go and delete that page. I want to understand why it’s duplicating. Is this a technology limitation with the website? Was this done on purpose? Should we cannot utilize? So take the data and make your own decisions and other really cool tool that I use and we just found this, this audit, a quick crawl of, of a Progeny Coffee using screaming frog and uh, you know, crawl through about 491 pages. And what we found were some issues that you have both http and https, uh, elements. You have a non-secure elements within the secure website which needs to be fixed or see a few three or one redirects that need to be adjusted, but overall the holders for three or four, it’s not a big sizes, so three for four hours to fix, not a big deal. Uh, we have, um, you know, a hundred and two duplicating titles, which is a big issue.
Arsen: 18:52 They really want to look into this. Uh, um, and it’s something that, from where I’m sitting right now on the fast look, it looks like they’re, it’s just product variations that are not being colocalize to the main product. Right? And the canonical tag, I can, I can talk for hours about this, but canonical tag essentially tells google that, hey, this is a similar page to another page on my site. I don’t want you to take this page into your index or give any value to this page because it’s very similar or exact copy of this other page and the canonical tag points that other page. Uh, so definitely the site needs a little bit of tender loving care from a technical seo perspective, and that could potentially, and in my practice, most likely uh, be, what’s holding it back from ranking on a higher for the keywords that they want to ring for it.
Juan: 19:44 Okay, Manos Nation! Do not forget your chance to win digital goods and resources on every episode right here on the podcast. It’s very simple. You just subscribed to the show on iTunes. Once you’ve done that, message the word “Manos” to m.me/ManosAccelerator. Subscribe on iTunes and then message Manos to the website, m.me/ManosAccelerator. See you on the next one.
- As a strategy, do a content centric strategy to optimize for keywords that are answering questions about the product.
- If you can position your brand to be an expert in what you do, the conversion rate is going to be much more higher because you’re building a trust by educating the customer.
- Create an experience for the end users.
- Screaming Frog: A website crawler, that allows you to crawl websites’ URLs and fetch key onsite elements to analyse onsite SEO, which tells you the technical issues on your website
- SEMrush: A tool to get insights into your competitors’ strategies in display advertising, organic and paid search, and link building.