Devon Bate is the Founder of SEO Brothers, a leading provider of white-label search engine optimization services and direct SEO services for agencies. SEO Brothers helps businesses enhance their online visibility and achieve top rankings in search engine results. Devon is an experienced SEO professional who helps companies of all sizes achieve their revenue growth goals using SEO and data analytics. Before his role at SEO Brothers, he served as the Lead SEO Specialist at Hoyes Michalos, where he successfully increased the company’s organic performance by 33% year over year and improved its visibility in multiple cities across Ontario.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [04:13] Devon Bate shares his journey of starting the SEO Brothers agency
- [07:17] SEO and website ranking strategies
- [09:52] Common mistakes companies make with SEO
- [12:00] Devon explains how they help agencies sell SEO
- [14:37] SEO objections and how to handle them as a company
- [25:08] Transparency with clients and risk reversal strategies
- [30:09] Who are the ideal clients for SEO Brothers?
- [33:03] Devon talks about agency niching and client onboarding
- [40:59] SEO Brothers’ pricing model
In this episode…
As an expanding agency, adding value to your clients is vital to helping them grow. Search engine optimization can be an effective solution for achieving their business objectives while also providing a new revenue stream for your agency.
According to Devon Bate, SEO is a great way to help businesses enhance their online visibility and achieve top rankings in search engine results. However, not many agencies offer this service, because it can be particularly challenging to perfect SEO services. He shares how he helps agencies looking to add a new SEO offering or transition from another white-label SEO provider.
In this episode of Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz sits down with Devon Bate, Founder of SEO Brothers, to discuss how agencies can incorporate a new SEO offering. Devon talks about SEO and website ranking strategies, common mistakes companies make with SEO, how they help agencies sell SEO, and SEO Brothers’ ideal clients.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Second Bite Podcast
- Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrillow
- Built to Sell Podcast
- Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual by Jocko Willink
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
- “Building a Great Team and More Helpful Insights with Jason Swenk Host of The Smart Agency Master Class Podcast” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “[Top Agency Series] Growth Through Acquisitions – What is Your KPI and Northstar? With Jason Swenk” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “[Top Agency Series] Most Valuable Advice When Selling Your Agency With Todd Taskey of Potomac Business Capital” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “[Sweet Process Series] How to Build a Business That Can Thrive Without You with John Warrillow of Built to Sell” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “It’s a lot harder to kind of break apart your website and your content.”
- “If you want a lower budget, and you still expect results in a year, then the results aren’t going to be as good.”
- “We also shouldn’t be in business if we aren’t confident in our work.”
- “You can’t predict what other parties are going to do, and that’s SEO.”
Sponsor for this episode
At Rise25, we’re committed to helping you connect with your Dream 100 referral partners, clients, and strategic partners through our done-for-you podcast solution.
We’re a professional podcast production agency that makes creating a podcast effortless. Since 2009, our proven system has helped thousands of B2B businesses build strong relationships with referral partners, clients, and audiences without doing the hard work.
What do you need to start a podcast? When you use our proven system, all you need is an idea and a voice. We handle the strategy, production, and distribution – you just need to show up and talk.
The Rise25 podcasting solution is designed to help you build a profitable podcast. This requires a specific strategy, and we’ve got that down pat. We focus on making sure you have a direct path to ROI, which is the most important component. Plus, our podcast production company takes any heavy lifting of production and distribution off your plate.
We make distribution easy. We’ll distribute each episode across more than 11 unique channels, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. We’ll also create copy for each episode and promote your show across social media.
Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90x, Atari, Einstein Bagels, Mattel, Rx Bars, YPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk, and many more.
The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.
Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.
Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.
Insider Stories from Top Leaders & Entrepreneurs…
You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.
Jeremy Weisz 0:22
Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of inspiredinsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. Devon Bate of SEOBrothers.co. And Devon, before I formally introduce you, I always like to point out other episodes people should check out of the podcasts, this is gonna be a great story because what’s fascinating about Devon I think it’s relatable is both him and his brother had full-time jobs. And they started this on the side and grew it so that they could be their full-time thing. I think I can relate to that. Many people I know my universe can relate to that, too. So we’ll we’ll talk about the journey. And the journey of white label is pretty interesting, too, as well. But check out the other episodes we did. I did a few episodes of Jason Swenk, Jason Swenk, grew his agency to over eight figures, and then sold it and then I did another episode about what he’s doing more currently, where he’s been buying up agencies, and he has an agency group that he supports to help grow agency owners. So check those out. Todd Taskey is also another good one, especially in the agency series. He basically pairs agencies with private equity, and help sell agencies and he has a Second Bite Podcast. Sometimes these agencies make more on the second bite than they do on the first because the private equity sells again, and they make more with the rolled-in percentage. So it’s interesting how he thinks about valuations and selling companies and things like that. And I also do one with John Warrillow. Speaking of selling companies, he wrote Built to Sell, he’s got the Built to Sell podcast, check that one out as well, really good. And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And how do we do that we actually help a company run their podcasts. We are an easy button for a company launch or on a podcast, we do the full strategy, the accountability and the full execution to make it easy. Devon, we call ourselves a magic elves that work in the background and make it look easy for the host and for the company. So they can just run their business develop relationships. And that’s what they can focus in on. Much like Devon behind the scenes is basically helping fuel people’s SEO for their companies and with their clients. So the number one thing in my life is relationships, I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you thought about podcasting, you should if you have questions, go to rise25.com. We have a lot of free resources. And you can email us at [email protected]. And I’m excited to introduce Devon Bate. He’s the co-founder of SEO Brothers, with his brother Adam. They’re fully remote. It’s funny, even back when it wasn’t normal, they were fully remote. And actually, when I was looking back at, I think it was a video. I don’t know what it was five years ago or something like that, you had all the team members on talking about where they were fully remote now after COVID especially. That’s a little bit more normal. But you’ve been doing this for many years now. SEO Brothers specializes in white label SEO, they’ve helped over 100 agencies, all sizes, start grow and scale their SEO offering. And prior to SEO Brothers, Devon worked in finance and real estate consulting and we’ll dig into that a little bit. But Devon, thanks for joining me.
Devon Bate 3:54
Yeah, it’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.
Jeremy Weisz 3:56
So I want you to take me back. We’ll talk about SEO Brothers and people can check it on seobrothers.co and what you do there, but take me back, you and your brother, you’re working full-time jobs. And you decide to have a contest between the two of you.
Devon Bate 4:13
Yeah, yeah. So this would have been back in 2016. I believe. I can take it back slightly one year further. We started in 2015. Adams actually, he’s seven years older than I am. So he had already sold a web development company was branching out on his own convinced me to start this agency together. SEO was what he was really enjoying. He was going to teach me let’s dive in. He took a full-time job two weeks later after I quit my job. I tried to run it a little bit solo. We can dive more into that as well if you’d like but after about a year came to realize you know maybe this should have started on the side instead of diving right in didn’t quite have the savings in order to carry cost of living there. So I took a job in SEO got really familiar multi-location. And then because it was on the side, we decided, what start a new brand at the time, it was a an agency in Latin no one could ever pronounce it wasn’t great. So we started SEO Brothers, we’re going to do this together. It started as sort of a case study. We’re just writing about SEO, he was at an agency, so he couldn’t really compete anymore. But we decided to have a competition. And at the time, I believe his was vegan life. He was recently vegan, and mine was wine life. I had recently started taking a few of the W set courses, learning a fair bit more about wine, certainly different lifestyle. But it was how can we each rank our sites? How can we monetize it? Is it subscription box style? Unfortunately, or fortunately, the exposure from our own SEO and SEO Brothers started picking up, I was able to pick up some clients on the side didn’t really have time to bring that to fruition. We have the domains, I think we just finally stopped paying for them this past year, six years later, got way too many domains we were paying for it. So it was time to let that one go. But I think it would have been really neat. But it was we don’t really have clients, how can we prove ourselves? How can we show if we’re going to be SEO consultants, white label SEO? How can we show that we’re capable show off our skills before we get clients, but things started picking up before we got there? So probably for the best, I guess.
Jeremy Weisz 6:43
Yeah, so you were I mean, showcasing what you’re doing. And you kind of publicly announced it, what did you learn at that time? Because ranking and monetizing. And it’s a lot different, what you are doing, like a vegan life and wine life. It’s a lot harder to monetize something like that, then like an actual business that can bring in clients and monetize. Right. So that’s very difficult to do. But what did you learn about ranking, and monetizing at that time?
Devon Bate 7:17
Well, I mean, at that time, we didn’t really get to the monetizing phase. So the learnings from that, unfortunately weren’t there. But from a ranking perspective, if we’re getting into a little bit of the weeds of SEO, really having the opportunity to think through what the end game of the website was going to be, what is the structure, really think through the architecture, they’re mapping it out, okay, I’m going to want someone to eventually search for this, that’ll be sort of this silo of content, taking the actual time to map it out whiteboard, pen and paper, that kind of thing, Mind Map, before even starting, that was critical, it’s a lot harder to kind of break apart your website, move your content, you can do it, but it’s much cleaner, if you can set it up right the first time. And good siloed content. So I think there’s an image I used to use, anytime I would do a presentation, it was kind of you look at a jar of skittles with all the different colors in it, versus five different jars, each with their own color, it’s so much more appealing to the eyes. But it really paints that picture of like, good website, siloing, put the content where it should be, a parent page subpage, internal links, that kind of thing. So just not having endless, say, blogs being published without the actual intent behind what kind of content is this? A big difference back then, I guess the now though, is, once you had decent enough content, link building was a while it’s still a very big play today, back then you could almost out-link bad content, with powerful enough links relevant enough links, whereas now I think the change over time is content is so pivotal, Google has gotten so much better at reading it, digesting it, figuring it out it, thin bad content, unless you don’t have any competition in the space. That’s just not the way it is anymore.
Jeremy Weisz 9:26
What some mistakes you see people make because even on you have, again, help a lot of agencies so you have a little bit broader perspective than just maybe an agency that’s serving one niche you kind of see it across a bunch of different niches. What are some mistakes people are making is probably people listening here have companies and they’re wondering what should I be doing or what should I not be doing?
Devon Bate 9:52
Yeah, I mean, from at least the mistakes that we see agencies make say with clients. It’s really expectation setting out of the gate is probably the biggest mistake, especially if you’re going to work with a white-label provider like us. And if we aren’t aligned on what you sold your client, and then you come in buy the solution from us. And there isn’t that collaboration on, are they actually expecting what we’re providing as it comes through you? So I think that’s a big one just aligning on duty. Well, do they understand what SEO is, long-term strategy? And what is their priority? Is it phone calls and booked appointments? If it’s a dentist, do they just want butts in seats, or sometimes we’ve worked with clients, mostly out west back sort of oil and gas industry, a lot of it was just, I see my competitor ranking for this, I want to be ahead of them, I don’t care if their search volume, I’m willing to pay to beat them. I mean, that’s a very different strategy, but it aligned with what the client wanted. And if that’s, for some reason, if that’s what he wanted to pay for, we can deliver on that. So just being crystal clear before you sell your client, again, especially if you’re working with, even an internal team, to make sure we’re all aligned, that this is what we’re actually going to deliver.
Jeremy Weisz 11:21
That’s a good point with the expectations, especially with SEO, right? How do you recommend because you’re coaching your clients too and educating them on how to best go back and sell this sometimes, right? What do you tell them? Because to say, hey, this is a long-term strategy. This could take whatever, six months a year, depending on the term that people are trying to rank for. But I’m sure they’re getting from our clients will how quickly are we going to see results? How do you tell them to navigate this setting expectation conversation?
Devon Bate 12:00
Yeah, well, that’s where it gets a little messy, I need to have a good relationship with our agency partner to understand what their in-house capabilities are to make sure what I’m coaching aligns. But like, really, in terms of how we help them, say, sell SEO, really, the term investment, I feel like gets thrown around a lot, paid ads, it’s like a faucet, you can turn it on, pay for that click, you get that lead was you’re actually investing in your website, you’re adding content to your website, you’re cleaning up the structure of your website, you’re getting links and building domain authority for your website. So it very much is a longer-term strategy, like an investment. Likewise, ideally, over long term, you see those returns and say an investment portfolio. But you’ll also see some drops along the way. Right, the idea is to be trending upward, but there will be peaks and valleys as we get there. So setting that up ahead of time that this isn’t a linear, I want month over month over month over month growth. That’s a big one. And another one, I guess, with SEO is that we’re also not demand generating in this. So if you’re in a market, and they’re just, especially if you’re locally constrained. And you’re in rural Newfoundland, in Canada, and there’s 2,000 people, and you’re a dentist, then if you’re number one, even if you had five sites, and you’re number one, two, three, four, five, there’s only so many people looking for a dentist, we can’t create demand. So we’ve had for some reason, and that’s a little bit more obvious, but there are certain circumstances where clients just forever expect growth, as if more people are all of a sudden going to be searching for them. So it’s more about capturing that demand is another big part of it as well.
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