Welcome to the latest episode of Remote Start Podcast! If you're a business owner struggling to balance work and family time, you won't want to miss this episode. Our guest today is Damon Burton, founder and president of SEO National and author of the bestselling SEO book, Outran. We'll be discussing the latest... https://www.remotestartpodcast.com/e61-boost-your-organic-search-ranking-and-balance-work-family-life-an-expert-discussion-with-damon-burton/#show-notes
Welcome to the latest episode of Remote Start Podcast! If you're a business owner struggling to balance work and family time, you won't want to miss this episode. Our guest today is Damon Burton, founder and president of SEO National and author of the bestselling SEO book, Outran. We'll be discussing the latest strategies for improving your organic search ranking and how to make sure your efforts pay off in the long run. As Damon will explain, SEO can be a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website, but it requires patience and persistence to see results. Most importantly, we'll be exploring how to build a successful business without sacrificing your family life. Damon is a shining example of how to achieve this balance and we're excited to learn from his expertise. So tune in to this episode of Remote Start Nation for an engaging discussion on family, SEO, and business success with Damon Burton.
Learn more about Damon Burton at:
Personal Website: https://www.damonburton.com/
Learn more about thee Remote Start Podcast at: https://www.remotestartpodcast.com/
Jim: Remote Start Nation, if you're currently running a business and you're battling with a work-life balance, and maybe your family time is suffering, then I think you're gonna get a lot out of this episode. In addition to that, today we're gonna be hitting on SEO for your business, what you need to be doing today to make sure that your organic search strategy pays off for you in the future. And let me give you a hint if it's done properly. SEO can be one of the best forms of converting traffic to your site, but you aren't gonna see results for a long time. Today I'm gonna be sitting down with Damon Burton. He's the founder and president of SEO National, the author of the bestselling SEO book, Outran, and someone who I've looked up to as always giving value over making money. I can say that because I've become good friends with Damon over the past eight months and outta everything I just mentioned above what I respect about Damon the most. Is that without a question, he sets the bar for running a successful business without sacrificing family. So with that said Remote Start Nation, let's get into family, SEO, and all kinds of fun conversation with Damon Burton. Damon, welcome to the show, my man
Damon: What's up, Jim? That was such a formal introduction and now I have to put on my serious hat, and I think we have to go back and forth between the serious hat and the friend hat.
Jim: Listen, if I didn't write that out, I wouldn't have been able to say it, say it.
Damon: I was waiting for you to mess up, and you delivered. Good job.
Jim: Oh. When you go to sleep the night before the interview and you just say that in your head a hundred times, you just start to get used to it.
Damon: Thanks for spending the time to make me sound so good.
Jim: Oh, awesome. Remote Start Nation, I mentioned that Damon and I have become good friends, and this next question, how I wanna start off the podcast. I wanna preface it with saying that Damon and I just spent the better half of a week together in Mexico for a mastermind. So with that said, Damon, before we dive into the good stuff here, I just wanna know after spending 24/7 with me for four long days are we still friends?
Damon: Yeah. You know what, the, I think the only answer to there's only two answers possible to that. It's either I hate you or it's still the same. So I think we came out on the good side on that one. Yeah, no you are the person that I knew you as before Mexico and after. So yeah, we're, where's the homies?
Jim: Perfect. That's great, âcause let me tell you, when, when my family asks like, where'd you go to Mexico? Did you take your wife? Did you go to your family? And I said, no, I slept on my friend's couch. That feels really good at age 42 to say that
Damon: Yeah, dude. Freaking hit me up. Hey man, can I crash on your couch?
Jim: No. With that said, though, that kind of leads into your character of, what was it like over lunch? We're sitting there talking and I said, Hey, I'm not gonna go to the Mastermind because I'd signed up too late. And, without even questioning, you just said, dude, I got a room. Why don't you come sleep on the couch? And there we were.
Damon: Yeah, yeah. No, that's true. Yeah, if I can I, it is a default probably to a flaw or if I can help, I probably talk faster than I can think.
Jim: I did warn me, I did say, you know what you just asked me to do, right? I'm gonna take you up on it. Are you sure you want me on your couch? You said it ended up working out, come on.
Damon: It ended up working out great. I would actually ask you the same thing I'm glad that we're still talking because. We don't need to go into details, but like I just bitched a lot on the trip and then after I got back I was like, shit, I probably set unrealistic expectations on my perspective on life on Jim over the last couple days.
Jim: It's funny âcause I, reflecting on that I would say like my favorite part of that trip was, some of the conversations that you had, you and I had, late night where we were just talking, we were complaining about things, we were talking about things, we were helping each other through things. So no man, I enjoyed every minute of it, so yeah. Yeah, it was awesome.
Damon: They were good complaints. It was all about integrity and stuff like that, and you know how important that is. They were justified. I'll make myself feel better.
Jim: Oh, I love it. Dude, let's get into the nuts and bolts of this this podcast. I wanna know first and tell the Remote Start Nation get a better background of you. Let's talk about your entrepreneurial journey. Love to hear your story, how you started at SEO National, and go from there, man.
Damon: Yeah, so I've had the agency for 16 years stayed in my lane of just SEO. The abbreviated explanation of how I got into it was, it started out, out of kind of passion, well at least what led to the agency. But I was a big car enthusiast in my twenties, and so I started a little car enthusiast community and that started to gain a decent audience of, thousands of members. It was a forum and so I started thinking how do I make this better? And that's when I started to look into design and understanding that world of user interface and things like that. And then as it continued to the next evolution where it contin, it started growing and growing. And I said how do I monetize this? And so that's how I got in into marketing. And then after that, I was, we all know somebody that, their friend's, brothers, dog's cousin that does web design. And I was that guy for a couple years and just kinda got the expertise under my belt and started offering it on the side. And then where it turned into an agency was actually a really interesting story. I was working at the last two employers that I had before I started my agency. Both super successful gentlemen. The first guy though, he was really toxic, so I was the only full-time employee. He had a part-time secretary and he was doing one to 2 million a month, and if I remember right, I got paid 1215 an hour and that was fine. I don't have any complaints about the pay gap because at the time, I didn't know any different and thought I was making decent money. And but the toxicity of it where there was a lack of appreciation for the team and the weight that we carried. One example was it came as the team grew a little bit larger, there was four or five of us and somebody asked about a bonus that was offered. I can't remember if it was a Christmas bonus or an incentivized bonus or whatever, but I was due about 400 bucks and I didn't complain. But somebody down the hall sudden I heard the employer and this other person getting into it, and then the employer left, came back and I had my own little office and he opens the door. And just throws the money on the table and goes, there's your bonus and locks out. No, appreciate what, or appreciation whatsoever. Very off-putting and condescending and how he presented it. So it's just things like that. He cheated on his wife, would do all these drugs and ditched us at a company party to go to cocaine with his friends. Just, it wasn't a good place, so I left. And then when I left that I had been fortunate enough to build up a reputation for doing a really specific type of landing page design. I did a lot of affiliate marketing, landing page design, so biz ops, government grants, work from home, weight loss, things like that. So there was another guy that came into that space. And so I had the opportunity to work for these big whales in the industry, and this guy heard that I left the other guy and I get a phone call from, In retrospect, somebody that, so was a mutual contact between the two and he says, Hey, I just heard you left are you looking for another job? And I had just taken a random ass job just to be closer to my now wife. And I said, yeah, I'd be up for it. And he goes, great. This guy's on the other line right now. Can you take a call? And so I was like, okay. So the dude gets on and basically wasn't even an interview. It was like, I know who you are, I know what you do, you want the job. And so I said yeah because I appreciated that digital space better than my random customer service job. And so this guy was in Vegas though, and I'm in Utah, and he says, I want you to come work in Vegas. And I said, that's not gonna happen because my wife and I just got married. We knew kids would be on the horizon in upcoming years, and I just didn't wanna live in Vegas. And so I said I'm not interested. And he says, all right how about you can work from home and we'll revisit it in a year? And I said, okay, that's fine. So that was my first remote job and I took the opportunity to. Get in my side hustle and my wife at the time worked at a hospital and she would wake up at three in the morning to be, to work at four. So I'm like, why don't I get up at three in the morning and start working at four? Yeah. So I would get all of Vegas's companies work done before eight in the morning. Then I had the rest of the day to start understanding design better working on these side projects. So what had happened now that you know that background, Fast forward to where it became an agency, is that Vegas company? One day I tried to get ahold of him. This was before slack, and so it was on a l instant messenger and I'm messaging these guys and I couldn't get ahold of anybody, called the office, couldn't get ahold of anybody. And then one of the other remote employees messaged me and said, did you hear? And I said, did I hear what? I can't get ahold of anybody. The Vegas company got raided and shut down by the FTC, the local government, and the sheriff's department, whatever. What had happened was the guy that ran the company had a civil suit from the company before that, and the criminal suit caught up to him. And so when the criminal suit caught up, they started looking into the current business and just came down guns blaze and shut it down. So at that point, I had three choices. I finally got ahold of somebody and they said, you're fine. You'll still get paid. We'll get through this and so choice number one was wait to see if I got paid that Friday. Choice number two was assume I won't get paid or even if I do get paid, do I still have a job? Go find a new job or three, yeah, go all in on myself and take the leap of faith. So I chose three, and at the time I had I'd say I was probably making 55,000 a year combined. It was probably like 30 grand from the day job, 20 something grand on the side hustle, and I did the math and I said, If I cut out that 60% of income, but I free up 80% of my time, can I still pay my bills? And of course that sucks. Still use that much income, but we didn't have kids. All we had was a mortgage and a car payment. My wife had a job so we could still put food on the table. So I said, I don't think I'm ever gonna get a more calculated risk than that, and so that's when I filed the business. And to this day, I've never heard from a single person from that company ever again. Never gotten a check.
Jim: No, you made the right decision. And I love how while you were building that out, you were also learning and doing your side hustle and doing the things that you knew it took, like getting up at three when your wife left and putting in that, all that extra work. And that obviously ended up being a huge, crucial point and you starting your business.
Damon: Yeah, yeah. The dude got sentenced to 29 and a half years in federal prison. So I learned to not be greedy.
Jim: Sounds like you worked for some, really, some real big winners before you started going off on your own.
Damon: Dude, it was weird, that first guy was toxic. He got a bunch of lawsuits from the state and the government. Somehow he never went to prisoner jail. The second guy, just had one really big screw up. I actually went to the second guy because he was different than the first guy. He was family first, married his high school sweetheart. I think he had six kids, and he'd shut down the meeting when his wife called, yeah. Big time, priority towards family. So he was, I think he just made a really big, bad screw up. But in the second company, if he would always get legal counsel and things like that, I think they just had a bone to pick with him on the second company.
Jim: Yeah. So that kind of leads us into, the main topic I wanna go over in this conversation and we'll get into SEO later, and the importance of it. And what I really want to talk about is family and, become being friends with you, I have such a high level of respect for you, like for me personally, I feel like I do a pretty good job of putting, my personal time and my family time ahead of, business and really being able to separate the two, I think just being on the road for two years in an RV with my family shows that, yeah, but, for you. When it comes to family I think it's a whole another level. Like you're just a backstory, we were introduced through our mutual friend Michael Unbroken from, Think Unbroken podcast. And so thankfully put us in contact, but I remember, we went out for lunch, had a great conversation, exchanged numbers, and then I started to ask you about SEO and your immediate response was, this phone number is for friends. I'll always be available for friends, I'm here, but understand that business has, specific timelines. And when I'm with my family, when it's friend time and family time, it's not business time. And dude, that stuck with me. And I like, that's even something like for me, I never was able, I still don't have those lines drawn. And so I respect that. You've done that tremendously. So tell me a little bit more about, have you always been like that? Is it something that you've just evolved over time to be like, this is how I'm setting aside my family time and business comes after help me to understand that more.
Damon: It pro the seed was probably planted from one specific incident and I'll share that in a minute, and then I think it evolved. Yeah. And so what happened was with that first employer I mentioned I was at dinner with my wife. It was a Friday, it was after hours, and do you remember the T-Mobile sidekicks? Like when phones first started going smart and I had the flip screen and the keyboard? So I had a T-mobile sidekick and I was like, I can put fucking. Email on this, and so I put like email on it and my employer I don't know which order it was between call, text, and email, but the first one came in and I'm like, I'm not answering it's Friday and I'm at dinner with my wife and the second one came in and then the third one came in right there at dinner. I deleted email off my phone and I've never had it on since. And so that was, I've had my agency for 16 years, so that had to have been at least 18 years ago. And that's what planted the seed. And so then over time in the beginning of entrepreneurship, you gotta make a sale, right? And so sometimes you say yes to people that you really don't want to and things like that. And so over time you start to realize who abuses communication and who's just needy. Even if they're nice, some people are just needy and they hit you up unnecessarily and unknowingly. And so I started to be exposed to that as I started to get more and more clients. And there was one client specifically, and I'm like, this dude just calls me just to call me and it's annoying. It's wasting my time, it's not productive. And so I got a separate number. So then I started directing everybody to a business line, and then a bunch of people still had my cell phone and things like that, so I just phased that out over time. And then then I became very definitive about it. I started adding things into the contract. All the things as an entrepreneur that you dislike, be proactive about them. So hopefully everybody that's listening gets to a point of success where they don't have to say yes. And all the reasons that you want to say no, start putting those in the contract. And so what I started putting in the contract was we're not available after hours. We're not available on weekends, don't ask for my cell phone number because you're not gonna get it, I'm not available 24/7, I'm not on Facebook Messenger. I don't reply to emails instantaneously, you got a 48 hour window that I'm gonna reply, like all these things where it's like, how can I be most productive and happy? I don't wanna answer my email 24/7, put that in the contract. So I just started putting everything in there and what's amazing is a lot of people listening probably are going, shit, that sounds terrifying. That sounds scary to tell clients no, because then if I, what if I lose the sale? The complete opposite happens. What happens is they go, Damon is a professional and he doesn't want me stepping on his toes because he is such an expert. Am I worth Damon's time? Okay, I'll play by his roles. And so it sets a level of professionalism and expertise in those expectations. Where I would guess out of every 10 contracts I send let's put 20 contracts. Out of every 20 contracts I send, I get one complaint, three no comments, but they just sign, and 16 compliments. And all the compliments are, I have a full page that says reasons not to hire us, and those 16 compliments are on that page. Very much similar to how you said I appreciated that separation when he told me to separate those phone numbers. It's the same thing when people read the contract, so they go, holy shit, I actually appreciate that you set those boundaries, and so it actually converts more people than it distracts, and the few people it does distract are exactly the people that I, it's intended to distract.
Jim: And I love that, and it may, it really, from the start it's okay, cool. I respect Damon because he is so professional, I respect you. That you have that into your contract, into, even when you just meet somebody, like all of it is, it's so relevant to keeping it real with not only yourself and what you wanna become, but really even the client, like you're letting them know right from the start that. Here I am, this is me, take me for who I am or don't work with me. I love that.
Damon: Yeah. It's a win-win.
Jim: So for those listening right now and they're letting their business take over their life, they are constantly strapped to their phone. They don't have that work-life balance. It's their family suffering. What are a couple things that you'd say stop doing and or start implementing immediately?
Damon: All the things you don't want to. Like all the things that you're scared to do are exactly the things that you need to do. The way that I would approach it is transparent communication with your clients. It's not weird unless you make it weird. It's not weird that I tell clients, don't call me and you can't have my cell phone because I proactively told them that. But if all of a sudden they emailed me on a Friday and I had never set those expectations, they're like, I need to talk now. And then I said, oh, sorry, you're in an emergency, but I'm not gonna bother talking to you right now then it's weird. So the power is in the proactive transparency now where if you're having to reverse engineer this sin to existing operations, it still boils down a transparency, and I would use what I call a compliment sandwich. So a compliment sandwich is something nice, get to the point end with something nice. And so I would say something, whether it's an email or don't do a text, because you're not gonna be sending a text going, Hey, I wanna stop texting. Here's a text about me not wanting to text anymore. So however you prefer to communicate, choose that channel and send out the update. So let's just assume it's an email. So I'd send an email and the first compliment would be like, Hey everybody, individual person, however you address it. I really like working with you and I'm excited to see where things are gonna go. I'm doing all these cool things and part of that, and then here comes the meat in the middle is me prioritizing time so I can work more efficiently, I'm going to start setting boundaries and here's the rules of engagement, and then end with a compliment sandwich. I really appreciate your support in this, and I'm excited to see how I can help take you to the next level as a result of this. That's not weird at all. But now you have the foundation and you've dropped your breadcrumbs that you can reference back and always go, Hey, now remember that thing back then. So that's the other part is be really clear about what you want in the engagements, because once you set those expectations, those are the rules of engagement that they're gonna follow. So take your time to decide how you want that engagement to be, âcause once you set the expectations, you don't want to backtrack on it, and they go, oh no, I didn't, I didn't mean it that way or what I really meant is this way. So just take time to figure out what's gonna make you happy in what scenario of life, and then put those as the rules of engagement in your contract.
Jim: I love that. So if it's something that you're already, if you are already working with somebody and they're not used to you having your boundaries, that compliment sandwich, I think is a really good way to put that forth and let them know. For new clients, putting it in a contract. I think that's, yeah, it's, you're setting it right from the start.
Damon: Yeah. And if you, if any of the listeners want an example, just go to my Facebook or LinkedIn and just search, contract posts that have the word contract by author Damon Burton and I talk about this all the time, there's a copy of that reason. It's not to hire us, that you can take and use as a reference to go, oh, okay, here's inspiration for how I can take those concepts and apply them into my world.
Jim: You said something earlier that I want to go back to in reference. You said that since that time at dinner, you deleted email off your phone. Did you say that you haven't had email on your phone since? Dude, that's incredible. So how, what does your schedule look like? Do you set up a certain amount of time every day just to look at your email or like, how does that work?
Damon: I go once a day and the time varies. I've tried mornings, I've tried nights, and then I don't have a schedule on it now, but it's still once a day. So it largely depends on my energy and my mood because it depends on what's in the pipeline and, you can get the sixth sense of opening Pandora's box. And so it's if there's a lot of cool shit going on and we've got a bunch of cool projects, and I'll probably open an email, midday. But if there's like bunch of launches and, technical things and I'm gonna have to go coordinate things and it's more mental fatigue, then I'll just save it for the end of the day. And so I'll check it, 4:00 PM spend 20 minutes, just fly through it, and then I'm done with the day. So I'll just time it based on my energy okay, if I check it now, will that increase my productivity or will it decrease my productivity afterwards, but I only check it once a day. So I've turned off the automatic send and receive. So that way when I go in my inbox, I don't see everything, if I have to send something, I don't wanna go in, and then if you have automatic send and receive on let's say I need to go send Jim an email, then I open up my email and then I see everything and I'm like, oh shit, now I gotta read that. And I gotta reply to that, I turn that off. And so that way when I go in there, there's nothing, and I can send as many emails as I want and then I can go back and work on whatever I was working on. And then when I'm ready, I go in and I manually push that button.
Jim: Wow, okay. I like that, that's good advice. Do you, what does your schedule look like? Again, this is tied back to family, so I'm trying to figure out how do you, how are you managing this big agency, running this big agency and also spending all this time with your family?
Damon: I get up at five, and we were talking, we've talked about this a couple times. I'm not a morning person, but here's why I get up at five is I want the extra productivity and so I need a window to do that extra productivity. And so that's either, it is generally either mornings or nights, but because of family, like the kids may be up late and that could be time that I could spend with them, but they will never be up at 5:00 AM. So I get up at 5:00 AM to get in that extra time. So I usually have between five and seven to myself. What I do in that time is either one of two things, I go on cycles. Ideally I work out first because if I don't and I just get caught up in the day and it doesn't happen but the reason why it's hard for me and I go on cycles is because I actually like going straight to work. Because if I knock something out, then it sets the momentum for the day, if I can hurry and bust something out in 30 minutes, then it's, and be productive. I'm gonna be more productive through the rest of the day. So it's hard for me, so the middle ground I try to do is I sit straight down and I'll probably work for 30, 40 minutes, and then I'm like, okay, go get your freaking workout done, or else you're not gonna do it. So then I'll go work out for a little bit and then whatever time's left between when my kids wake up, then I'll just go back to work and get a couple extra things done. Then I block off on my calendar. So I block off from about 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM. So as I send out my calendar, clients can't get on that time. And I block that off as a family block. So whether the kids wake up, it's seven 30 or eight or whatever, it doesn't matter, it's blocked off and I don't have any phone calls. And so then I can hang out with them before they go to school. I can walk them to school, whatever. And then I do the same thing in the afternoon. I block off about three to 4:00 PM, and that way I can go with my wife to pick them up or walk to school and walk them back, whatever. So I have these blocked out windows that no matter what, you can't get on the schedule. And then what I also, so then everything in between is obviously work, so between nine and three is work. And then when I hang out with them from three to four, sometimes I'll go back to work and work for one more hour from four to five, but five o'clock it's done, I go over quite a bit by half, 30 minutes or so, but yeah, I try to start shutting down at five. But other than that I'm done. Weekends I don't work, I tried to, before we had kids, I really tried to, I remember sitting in my living room before we had kids, and I said, I need to grind this out now. So I'm not obligated to do it later. I still do it a lot because entrepreneurship is my hobby. I like the time spent on being productive. But I also want to be a father that my kids can be proud of. And so I always force myself to not be selfish and in and dabble in the entrepreneurship, hobby world and set those boundaries. Same thing on the phones, our phone system shut off at five, they're completely off on the weekends. So there's literally no way a client can get ahold of me if they don't have my cell phone number. I'm checked out on the weekends, I'm not checking emails, and that's all in the contract. So nobody's surprised.
Jim: And I know from just knowing you personally, like you do a lot of proactive communication with your clients too, which I think helps. And that's something that, if you're setting the, again, setting the expectations, you're doing the job of being ahead of any situation that could happen, your clients really shouldn't need to get ahold of you.
Damon: Yeah, no, that's, I'm glad you asked that because the expectations are super important in the ways we've talked about, but there's other ways too that, that are a good point. Everybody hears, sees internalizes things differently. So the way that I set expectations is I find different ways to say the same thing. So like, when we're in a lead call I set those rules of engagement when I send the contract, we've talked about. In there are the rules of engagement when they sign. One of the first emails we send is, Hey, look forward to working with you. Don't forget, here's the rules of engagement, and so we send it in an email. But then I also print a physical welcome kit that is largely the same stuff. In a compliment sandwich format where it's we're really excited to work with you and here's this fancy gold envelope that looks cool and makes everybody feel special. And then I put in a copy of my book and, sent sign it and something personal, but really the goal is to re-deliver the expectations again. So now they've had it three times virtually, and then one physically printed version and as I've introduced different ways of saying the same thing, it's closed the gap. So every time I have, something that engaged in a way that I didn't want to. I go, how do I plug that gap next time? And so that's what's created the different versions of saying the same thing is I reality, like with the printed welcome kits, I realized some people probably see the emails and just hit the delete. So how do I get it in their hand? And then I started doing that, and then I'm like a letter's boring, so how do I make it attractive? So now I put it in a gold envelope. So I'm always looking for ways, every time I have any sort of resistance or something that didn't go exactly the way I want, I go, how do I tweak it for next time?
Jim: I love that. I want to get into SEO here before we run out of time, but one thing I want to hit on before that, something you do in your personal life with your family, that I think is such a good way that other entrepreneurs out there can really focus. And I'm gonna try to do this more this year with my kids, but you do your one day. Where you take everybody in your family you'll go on a one day trip with them, with your kids and you'll take them somewhere special and fly them somewhere. And dude, to me, I think that's so cool, I think that's such a great way to remind like, yeah, we're a family, but in that moment it's hey, remember you're special and you get to spend this one-on-one time with dad. So I'm gonna compliment you on that, first of all. But second of all, where. Is that, is there a process to that? Like, how do you do that? If I'm trying to set it up with my family, what can I, how can I follow Damon Burton to level of success there?
Damon: Yeah. So I have three kids and so I just rotate through them. I don't have a specific timeframe. I travel a lot, largely just because I like the distraction. I like getting outta home, and so I'm fortunate enough to go frequently anyway, or have the desire to. So then I just incorporate the kids into it. And so I'll ask my kids and I try to align it. I try not to pick the location for them, and I let them choose. My eight year old, his was probably one of the funniest ones. So I've been doing this for a couple years and then I generally go, okay, where's somewhere that's within a two hour flight because it just, it's a lot harder if it's like a five hour flight to, yeah to get in an overnight. So sometimes we'll do it two nights, but I try to just get in one night because while I wanna spend the one-on-one time, I also don't wanna miss the weekend with the rest of the family. Last year two years ago, my eight-year-old kept saying, dad, I wanna go to New York. And I'm like, okay, sure, maybe, and I just brushed it off. I'm like, New York's too far for an overnight trip, and then he asked again a couple weeks later and I'm like, okay, I guess I need to think, start thinking about this. And he again, and again and fi and then I'm like, there's gotta be a reason why he's asking. So I asked him and I said, are you asking about New York? Because that's where Kevin and Ho onto went, and he says, yeah, I really wanna go, because he loves home alone. So they're like, shit now I gotta go to New York. Cause now there's a reason, right? And that's the whole point is, like you said, to make him feel special and make it be memorable. And I try to let them pick. We've done San Diego a ton because it's like a 90 minute flight. I love the beach sunshine and the nice weather, we've done a bunch of Vegas rounds, that's where we've been, the last 60 days have been in Vegas two or three times because my oldest, we ended up going there because. He's getting into malls, he's 12 and there's only a mall or two around where I'm at and he wanted to see more. And so I was like Vegas has a lot and you wanna go to Vegas âcause that's close and we can get there quickly and spend some time together. And he said, yeah, so we went to Vegas. But then after he, while we were there to try and add to the memorability. Sometimes depending on the supply and demand of the location we're going, I'll do something else. So in Vegas you can get really cool cars for cheap, so we rented a McLaren. So then we're riding around in a McLaren and then eight year old bro saw what 12 year old bro did, and so now he wants to go to Vegas and get a McLaren. So we literally went and did the exact same trip, the same stores, the same car, and then now my five year old daughter's dad, can we, can I go and get a, in the, she calls convertibles Camaros. And so she's can we go to Vegas and get a Camaro? And I kinda let them. If they don't know where they go, I ask them what they want to do and then I'll kinda connect the dots. So I don't have, a timeframe, I just go in order of the kids. So nobody feels like somebody double dipped or anything like that, tends to average. Maybe every six to eight weeks I'm taking one of them somewhere.
Jim: That's so cool. And do you feel like when you got get back as a family did you just feel that connection that much more, that bond that much closer?
Damon: Yeah, because one thing that I realized I didn't realize in advance, but I realized in retrospect is I did it just because I wanted to spend time with them. But then you realize when you compare one-on-one trips to family trips, they're completely different. Like when you're on a family trip, it's fun and all, but kids are fighting and everybody's getting annoyed with each other by the fifth day and like they are not, often not as enjoyable. Like a one or two day trip is amazing because you get in and I'll do one, I'll do overnight trips, I'll do what I call day trips just by myself, I'll catch a 6:00 AM flight to San Diego and then I wanna get back to my wife and kids and I'll catch a 6:00 PM flight back, and just getting out and just spending that one-on-one time or with my kids, like it's so much more one-on-one that I started to be able to quantify and go, oh my gosh. There was no fighting for 36 hours. And so there's all these other little small components that just add to the uniqueness of just that one-on-one kind of thing.
Jim: That's awesome. I know I could sit, honestly, sit here and talk to you for another hour just on family and spending time and, that whole work life balance. But let's get into SEO for a little bit here for the last 10 minutes of the show. Number one, breakdown SEO for us like more importantly, break it down. Why is it so important as a business? Why do we have to have SEO on our website?
Damon: Yeah, so SEO stands for search Engine Optimization. The goal is your website shows higher on search engines for targeted traffic, but without paying for ads. So I'm not a marketer that like throws rocks at other forms of advertising. They'll have their time and place but there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to all forms, including SEO. The main disadvantage that you touched on briefly is it tends to take longer to ramp up than other forms, but that's also cool because it hockey sticks. So if you do paid ads, it's incremental increases and sometimes decreases over time. But it's not like a substantial exponential increase or decrease one way or the other. But SEO is, flat for several months, and then it just, hockey sticks. And so the other nice thing is like when you're doing paid ads are cool because you instantly start doing them. And you can more often than not, get data quicker and tweak and adjust and start monetizing it quicker. But the profit margins are smaller because you have dollars that go out. And then the other nice thing about SEO is that you own a compounding impact, it's like with paid ads. The moment you turn off your ads, there is nothing to show for it. But with SEO, you are building a brand, you're building awareness. You are creating content that stays on your website and you own that asset. So certainly in theory, Google could go away, but then there's still all these other search engines. But obviously Google's not going away anytime soon. So you own the asset and there's compounding value because as you continue to add to the content and build up the expertise, then you have a bigger reach. And then it's the chicken and the egg, where it's like once you've proven your value, then you just get the benefit of the doubt, Google gives you more value. So there's just this massive compounding effect to it, and maybe the last comment I'll add is there was a really cool study. By a company called Conductor a couple years ago, and for as cool as paid ads are they did a survey or looked at data across all these different types of marketing channels. So paid email, whatever, and it may vary by industry, but as a whole, as an average in the study, paid traffic was only 6% of the pie, and organic as source to lead or source to sell was 64%. It was a huge chunk. So if you're doing awesome on paid ads, keep doing that. But there's just so much money being left on the table with organic.
Jim: And it's probably a one-two combo where if you're doing great with paid ads that's awesome. Keep doing it, but at the same time, start putting all the things that are necessary into organic content.
Damon: One cool thing about organic is so paid ads doesn't influence organic, but or SEO does influence paid because card, when you do paid aside from the budget, part of what your cost per click is based on is your ad quality score. And a couple things that applies to is one is your content relevance. So what does the ad say based to the copywriting? Relative to copywriting of the page, the destination page you're sending them. So through SEO, you're increasing your content relevance. So therefore it increases the value of the ad quality score. But then the other thing that's cool is. Through the process of SEO, you're improving user experience and page fee to mobile friendliness. That's also part of the ad quality score. So we've had some clients where they hire us for SEO, but the amount of cost per click savings that we drive coincidentally for their paid ads out of the gates, pays for their SEO costs, and then all the rest of the actual SEO intentionality is just free money.
Jim: Wow. So I know we've talked, you and I have talked about how long SEO takes, like realistically for someone jumping into the SEO, like what should they expect, what kind of timeframe? You talk about a hockey stick where it just all of a sudden starts going up. What's that timeframe?
Damon: There is a lot of truth to people say in one year. The reason why SEOs screwed that up though, is they don't explain why one year. So the one I'll give you like an average rollout for a client that we might launch the first 60 days is just fixing the site structure and digging into data and going, where's the money? Where's the buyers? Where's the audience? And then what keywords are going after. And once we know what those keywords are, what content we create to support those keywords, So the first 60 days are just research. If you wanna do it right, then after that it's the big content machine. So then it takes time to accrue that content and create that compounding effect. So that's why SEO generally takes longer, is because you gotta dig into the data and then start to figure out the strategy and then map out the content play. But the amount of time is gonna take it is gonna take us based on three things. So one is how good or bad is the website to begin with? Are you launching a website that's has a high likelihood of being optimized because it's on WordPress or Shopify, or is it gonna be more complicated because it's outdated or there is some truth that like GoDaddy's Builder and Wick Builder are harder to optimize? And I won't bore you with the reasons. But depending on that, that could make things take longer. So the first thing is the back end. The second thing is h how competitive is the industry as a whole? Like real estate is super competitive. So are you going in a real estate market or are you selling this random niche widget that there's way less competition? So the more competition, the more aggressive you gotta be, the more time it's gonna take, and then the last component is geographical qualifiers. So are you doing SEO for a city or are you going after a state or is this a national target or an international target? Yeah, so depending on those three things, it could take longer time. If you're in a heavy competitive industry and it's international, you could be looking at two, three years before you even break even. But in general, you want to mentally commit to at least a year.
Jim: Okay, cool, that's good to know. What's one thing that somebody in a startup business, they're just launching, like what's something they need to be thinking about today for SEO? Is there anything they can do, even if they don't want to go commit to going through an agency or whatever, like something that they can do to make sure that they're set up properly for SEO.
Damon: All of the, so out of those, so there's three, another three. So where you get your results are on your site structure, your content, and your credibility. So most of your games are gonna come from your content play and then your credibility, which is basically like PR or other people talking about linking to your brand. But those will only be effective if your website is built properly. So you need two things. One is to have a website, that's not crap, ok? So take the time to invest in a solidly built website. Once that's done, that's one of, it's like building a house, right? You got your foundation done and then you don't really have to look at it again, and it's just there. Then you build all the big stuff on top of it. So after that, if you're new to SEO or you don't wanna hire an agency and you wanna see how are you can take it on your own, focus on content. Like you are in a business for a reason, you're an expert at something, you're passionate about something. So do selfie videos and then just talk about the thing and why you love it, then take that selfie video, and transcribe it. There's programs like Rev or Descript where you can drop the video or audio file in. It'll convert it to text, it'll extract the text outta there. There you go, you have a 90% written blog. Just take an extra 10 minutes and polish it up so you can really just go content heavy and just ramble on video and share your expertise. So then formalize it into a blog.
Jim: Awesome. I know we're both pressed for time here, so I wanna ask you one more question, and but before that, let people know. Let the remote start. Know where can they find you to learn more about you? Where can they find, the agency? So if they're interested in SEO, they can reach out to you, what's the process there and where can they find you?
Damon: Yeah, easiest way, it would just be damonburton.com on there. It's got the links to my free book, it's got my social media handles and everything.
Jim: Awesome. The last question for you today, if there's one thing that you wanna make sure that entrepreneurs leave after listening to this podcast and it sticks with them or something that they need to implement immediately, what would that be?
Damon: Oh man, probably the thing that comes to mind is don't get caught up in what everybody else does. I think a lot of what we talked about is Happiness with family, happiness with business happiness with yourself, and if you look at what the common denominator among all of those are, is that I chose to not care what the norm is and just go, I don't wanna do business with these people, or here's the rules of engagement. And so I just defined it, and I think as entrepreneurs we too often get caught up in what the standard is or the assumed norm is. And if you just completely remove yourself from that and go, I would really like to do business this way, that's probably the way you should do business.
Jim: That's awesome, that's great advice. Damon, it's been a pleasure my man. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, I dude I'm stoked that got to know you and Mexico is awesome and for, to have you on the podcast as well. It's been an honor, dude.
Damon: Yeah, no, likewise. Thanks for your invite and I enjoyed Mexico. I'm glad we're still homies.
Jim: Awesome. Remote Start Nation, I hope you learned as much as I did from Damon today. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for joining us on this journey as we help you to start a business, build a brand, and live your desired lifestyle. Remember, leave a comment, subscribe and share this episode with your community who you think could learn from you or from what you heard today.
So until next time, go start something, start it today and go build a lifestyle you desire by taking action.
Founder / Author
Burton's expertise is now more important than ever in helping businesses thrive online. Over a decade ago, he beat a billion-dollar company by outranking them on Google. Recognizing the potential, he went on to build an international search engine marketing company that has worked with NBA teams, Inc5000, and Shark Tank featured businesses.
Never before have so many people needed something to focus their attention on, with plenty of time to spare. Your customers are constantly on their phones, tablets, or computers, 24/7. Simply having a website isn't enough, and no one knows this better than search engine marketing expert, Damon Burton.
Since founding his company SEO National in 2007, he has written for Forbes, been featured in publications including Entrepreneur Magazine, BuzzFeed, and USA Weekly, and helped high-profile clients earn more in a month than they used to in a year.
My name is Jim Doyon. I'm a father to three awesome kids, husband to an incredible wife and the oldest sibling to a large split family.I'm currently on a mission and I can't wait to share with you. We sold our house back in 2020, and we've been traveling this beautiful country in a 42-foot Travel trailer ever since. We visited 34 states, and are about to embark on our second loop around the country, stopping at some of our favorite spots again, but also getting to see new areas that the US has to offer.We are trying to experience this life to its fullest spending quality time together. I'm running a business and building brands along the road. We've been fortunate enough on this journey to meet new friends, catch up with old friends and family on many of our stops. We love exploring each City from downtown's to the natural resources it has to offer. I'm passionate about mountain biking and it's not only in my way to get out and explore but to exercise, clear my head, think, and strategize.
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