Phil Singleton Moved to Asia and Came Back a Different Man | PoP 275

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Phil Singleton provides tips on SEO

Have you ever wondered how to rank higher in Google? Or how to create content that you can use in various forms? Or whether you should do a blog series or just write a short blog of 500 words?

In this episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Phil Singleton about how he moved to Asia and came back a different man.

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Meet Phil Singleton

Phil Singleton is a web designer, an SEO expert and an award winning author. Since 2005, Phil has owned and operated a digital agency based in Kansas City. In 2016, Phil and John Jantsch, of Duct Tape Marketing, co-wrote, SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs. SEO for Growth is an Amazon bestseller and has been listed as a top marketing book by Forbes, Mashable, Oracle, and The Huffington Post. It’s also been featured on MSNBC, Entrepreneur, and Search Engine Journal, and on many other industry websites. Phil and Jon are currently entering the next phase of their partnership by offering a training and SEO certification program to marketers and web designers, and creating a national network of certified SEO consultants.

Phil Singleton’s Story

Phil initially worked in an insurance company and was involved in analysis. He was, however, very unhappy in his position. One day, he decided to quit his job and move to Asia. He spent five years there, met his wife, and had a software company ‘fall into his lap’. Through working within this company, he learnt a lot about Google, web design, and marketing, and then decided to start his own business.

In This Podcast


In this episode, Phil Singleton provides comprehensive tips and advice on how to improve your ranking in Google, how to write a blog post, and how Google has changed their algorithms. We’ve also included some helpful resources in the form of video guides and links to Practice of the Practice’s Blog Sprint and Authoritative Guide to Blogging blog post.

Basics of Google Search

Google’s put the care where it should of been all along.

  • Google searches are constantly increasing.
  • Google’s algorithms have been adjusted to be more consumer-centric.
  • Regarding back links, Google will penalise you if sites linking to you are low-quality / non-relevant.
  • Make your website the referral source of all of your content.

Tips to Improve Your Google Ranking

  1. Have your website set up the right way
    • Understand the importance of blogging
    • Focus on specific keywords
  2. Create a content calendar
    • Blog series
    • Convert blog series into e-book
    • Make use of e-book to grow your email list
  3. Convert your e-book to a kindle
  4. Publish your kindle on Amazon and sell it
  5. Use podcasts as a guesting strategy

Tips For Writing a Blog

The longer-form blog posts are the ones that tend to rank better online.

  • Be sure to structure your blog post around targeted keywords
  • Mention current trends that are going viral on social media, etc.
  • Make use of sub-titles (h2 tags), numbered lists, and bulleted lists
  • Use media and include alt tags
  • Install a plugin like Yoast

Useful Videos Related to SEO

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultantJoe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.






Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

File: POP 275 Phil Singleton Moved to Asia and Came Back a Different Man
Duration: 0:49:36:20

Joe Sanok: What’s the point of having a beautiful website that doesn’t attract the clients that you want to see. A nice looking website doesn’t equate a successful website. The truth is your current website may even be turning off potential clients. That’s where Brighter Vision comes in. Brighter Vision’s team of website designers will create you a website that’s centered around attracting and retaining your ideal client, so that you can have a nice looking website as well as a successful one. The best news, they are offering their biggest sale of the year right now in the month of January, you can lock in your first year with Brighter Vision for only $49 a month. That’s a $120 savings from their base plan. And if that wasn’t enough, they are also raffling a free spot in my Next Level Mastermind group which is a $600 a month value, which includes Slow Down School this year. So if you want to capitalize on this offer, just go to to get started with your journey towards a successful website.


This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session #275.


Joe Sanok: I am Joe Sanok, your host and welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. We’re live here in the Radio Center Two Building in downtown Traverse City at Practice of the Practice World Headquarters. Today, have you ever thought about man how do I rank higher in Google or how do I create content that I can reuse in various forms or should I do a blog series. Should it be a short 500 word article, should it be giant 2000 word articles. What the heck should I do to rank higher so that I can attract my ideal client. Well today, we are talking with Phil Singleton all about those issues, all about those ideas, and we are diving deep. So without any further ado, I am going to jump right into this interview with Phil Singleton.


Joe Sanok: Well, today on the Practice of the Practice Podcast, we have Phil Singleton. He is a web designer and SEO expert and an award winning author. Since 2005, Phil has owned and operated a digital agency based in Kansas City. In 2016, Phil and John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing co-wrote “SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs.” Phil, welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast.

Phil Singleton: Aye, thanks so much for having me Joe. I’m so exciting to be here.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. This is awesome. SEO is always one of the things that people love hearing about, but aren’t sure how to implement. Why don’t we start with how did you get into SEO and websites?

Phil Singleton: Gosh, you know, I took an unconventional path to getting into digital marketing. I didn’t do my first website until after I was 30 years old so… Like I went to school for business and finance and kind of rolled that out into a job that I ended up hating. And I did something really crazy three or four years into it. I just basically said that I don’t want to do this anymore. This is not destiny. I was in an insurance company doing like financial analysis type of work and the days were really long. And I got really miserable. I just felt like I didn’t want to be one of these guys that have been there for 20 or 30 years, more so probably because they didn’t have a chance doing anything else type of thing. And I literally ended up with a course like a 2 week period. I think my third or fourth year there I just decided to pack my bags up and move to Asia. So people, like, thought I had lost my mind. It’s going back like 20 years ago. But I moved to Asia, studied Chinese, ended up meeting my wife who is Taiwanese [00:03:46.26] most of that stint in Asia was in Taiwan. But due to kind of the dot com era and stuff, I ended up having this software company fall into my lap…

Joe Sanok: Hold on… so I just want to make sure… so you just picked up and moved to Asia. Was there a back story to that… like you were just drawn to Asia? Or was it like I just need to change things up a little bit here?

Phil Singleton: I think in there I was like, this isn’t what I want to do. I was so happy to have a job like right out of school.

Joe Sanok: Yeah?

Phil Singleton: But I was miserable. The days were long. I [00:04:18.29] you look at the alarm clock and it was like, gosh, [00:04:21.23] already and [00:04:23.19] go home type of thing. I just kind of felt like, you know, it was like a soul crushing cubicle job that I had and I also saw… seemed like I kind of see myself going down somebody else’s destiny. And each year that went by I was like I am kind of… almost feels like I am pigeonholing myself into this industry and each year that goes by… of course, I’m young. I’m still young, but at that time that’s what I felt like. And I was like I got to do something different. This is not me. I don’t want to do this. I want to bust out. I want to do something. I want to have an adventure, and I am going to have to do something really that kind of change my destiny. Basically, it’s kind of I felt and I like I am going to do this thing. I might go to Asia. I might go study in their language. I might go on an adventure. And that’s going to change things up. And it did. I mean it basically changed my entire life and helped me in a lot of different areas. But I think that’s what got to it. I was just like… man, I am in this job and I am learning the skill set. Even if I want to jump into another skill set, [00:05:18.09] they probably going to hire me because of this, you know, where I am in. It just kind of felt like I was stuck down somebody else’s life [CROSSTALK]. That’s really what it was about. It was about just trying to do something different [CROSSTALK]…

Joe Sanok: I love that. Right after my undergraduate when I finished that in 2000, I decided to take a year off to just travel and to just see the world, and really like learning again. So I went to Nepal and went to Thailand [00:05:43.03] friend of mine. We just trekked for 3 weeks. I moved down to New Orleans for a month and volunteered to shelter for people with AIDS, and surprised my grandma with a trip to Paris [00:05:53.27] super cheap tickets and went to Haiti. And it was just like… I am with you. That sense of adventure I feel like you can just get into your job, you can get into your world and each step feels like it’s creating this life, whether you want it or not. So just that your origin story starts with, you know what, I realized this wasn’t the trajectory that I wanted and so I…

Phil Singleton: Exactly.

Joe Sanok: … moved to Asia. It’s like, that’s awesome. That disrupt everything. So…

Phil Singleton: Boy, it really did. It was a disruptive move. At that time, my parents were like… nobody thought it was cool. They just thought I lost my mind.

Joe Sanok: Right.

Phil Singleton: Now people think it’s a little kind of a cooler path that I went down, but at that time it was like this kid actually lost his mind.

Joe Sanok: Yeah.

Phil Singleton: Parents didn’t want me to move. My friends were like, they didn’t think it was cool. They just thought it was like, what are you doing? But I will say anybody that does this kind of like… you did change your perspective for one and nobody ever regrets it. [LAUGH] You know what I mean. So that’s kind of how I felt, and it really did… really, for me, the biggest part of moving to Asia is when I was in school… and I run off little bit of a tangent here, but I can’t help…

Joe Sanok: It’s okay [LAUGH].

Phil Singleton: I came out a really scared person that all of a sudden had all sort of anxiety and self-confidence issues and self-esteem issues that I felt like. Not like I was a big man on campus up in high school or in college. But I definitely had a degree of confidence that completely like changed overnight when I got into the business world. So for me, really, as i look back I was a… it got hard for me to like communicate with people I would literally get in these little small meetings and start like sweating profusely just when I had to say anything type of a deal. And one of the things looking back on I was like taking this adventure and doing something different really and starting establishing a new life and a new culture and a new nobody really help me become confident and gave me all sorts of confidence. I think it has helped me in all sorts of different areas. So that’s really what I look back on and say that experience really changed me that way because now I feel like once I have gone through that type of deal that I could pretty much handle anything that’s stood in front of me type of deal and that’s kind of why I look back at that as being a really important part of my life. But it also introduced me to Google. Like I said, when in the Asia and I went there for two years and studied, then came back up my MBA. I got a job in San Diego that took me right back into Taipei, Taiwan, which was another 8 year stint, worked at the dot com era. But at the very end of that thing, that bubble burst. And I happen to have this software company that’s another tangent story I am not going to get into, but I basically had a software company land in my lap, and they said, you know, we got all sorts of issues. We need to start here in Taiwan. Can you take this for us, and I was like… of course, I had a lot of confidence at that time. I looked him in the eye and said, yes I can do this. But I was still little bit like maybe I had little bit of pee running down my legs and I like, can I actually do this?

Joe Sanok: Is that how…I like that you say that because there are so many people I have interviewed that when you go to their back story and you hear how they got to where they are now – and most of them are really successful, they have written great books – there is often those moments when they say yes and they realize they are in over their head and they just pissed themselves. But then they go back and they say, you know, if I had said no to that, all these other things would not have happened. And that idea of people being paralyzed by perfection is one of the things that I just… I’m like, no. You need to just try stuff and do it and when you are in over your head, you put so much so much extra effort in and you learn so much faster. So back to your… you take this out…

Phil Singleton: You nailed it. You nailed it. I mean that’s a great way to [00:09:20.26] exactly what happens. So I was like, I took that. And this is a software company, and there’s a great little back story that happened. I am not going to get into it, but it takes too long because it takes too long. But essentially what happened is we sold stuff online and I saw right away that how influential Google was back 15 years ago because we were selling the software online and lot of our sales were coming through affiliate marketers who got huge commissions for very little work. Meanwhile, we ended up getting about half of the sale and I had 25 employees and investors and our little piece of that sale whittled down to almost nothing. So I was like, holy crap, how is this happening. And that’s okay. It’s Google generating a lot of searches for these guys that were landing on these other people’s third party websites or clicking through ours. So I basically followed the ROI trail that Google even back then, because they were driving so much traffic for this particular kind of software. And that’s what really opened my eyes. So again, I’m an outsider, know nothing about design, know nothing about software development, know nothing about coding. But here I am running a software company that’s you know a fairly decent-sized one for one, you know, falling on somebody’s lap that’s no experience. We ended up, kind of, selling up that company after three years for variety of different reasons. But it was really that point where I was like okay, this I followed the ROI trail, I see Google. And my wife and I wanted to move back and then have a family. We did. It was a nice kind of a pay day, not like it’s going to take care of us the next forty or fifty years type of thing…

Joe Sanok: Now, you said you are an outsider kind of looking in. Do you feel that because you were an outsider that actually helped you because you had a different perspective.

Phil Singleton: It does now. It really does now because that idea of going then, we talked to new clients, and say, hey look. I didn’t come in as a digital native, as a web designer or coder because that’s how like a lot of web design agencies are. I mean they are either super heavenly creative or super on a development side, and they don’t have that generalized business sense. So when we go in and pitch in projects right now for web designer, we are saying hey, this is a marketing platform. It’s not a digital brochure and kind of get into that discussion about ROI which every business owner understands and resonates with when he starts getting in the too fluffy designer or too heavy in that it’s a coding type stuff. That kind of background, in a sense like in talk from an outsider coming and do it and almost kind of fixing it the way I think makes it work for small businesses really resonates I think with a lot of small business owners. So that does help a lot. I think it does help a lot when they realize what my background is and that I can’t kind of learn this way you know from the outside and [00:11:45.28] around.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. I think I see with a lot of my consulting clients and mastermind groups, people will look at their practice and they will say, Well, but people of my town aren’t charging that much or people aren’t focusing on this and that. And the big differentiator that I see between practices that really make it and those that close are those that really find their own path and have that kind of outsider point of view and let their true selves come out through their practice. I know like when I launched practice of the practice I didn’t do any search around consultants and probably would have scared me to look to see like how many people are out there doing kind of business consulting for private practices, but having that outsider point of view and coming from a background of, you know, playing music and being into art and having kind of this punk mentality as a young person I think has really helped me just say I am going to blaze my own path with my team with what seems cool and interesting to me, so that I not just cacky. I don’t just [00:12:42.13] everything. And it seems like the outsider perspective often times makes it easier for you to speak to your ideal client or even sell yourself because you can use just regular language rather than all the IT language or all the business language. Does that seem like.. it sounds like that was easier for you to break things down for those decision makers because you had that outsiders perspective.

Phil Singleton: I believe so. I still even think to this day I mean it really helps us kind of… it separates us and we come in… you know, we were always talking more about, kind of, the ROI and the lead generation aspect, then hey [00:13:16.29] have this pretty bells and whistles, you know all the fancy functions and features and that’s just kind of [00:13:22.12] obviously more design driven agencies are kind of getting into this mode. That’s where everything is going. But you know, when you got this kind of background where you just say, hey, I was a small business owner, I run into this same type of thing. I understand some of the challenges. Yeah, I think any of that we can empathize with people there where it really helps. And as such, it sets me apart because I come in, you know, there is pitches, where you are coming with people where they… you know, I had this number of times we are saying, you know gosh, we talk to two or three different people and sometimes it’s like four or five and there is tall talk in the same way and here you are come out of [00:13:52.06] field with a totally different angle and I am, yes, that opens the door to say, here is why is because I think your website is an asset, and not as an expense, and let’s talk about lead generation and not winning art awards and that kind of stuff, and that’s what’s different.

Joe Sanok: So a lot’s changed in the last few years with Google. Maybe give us an update on what are some kind of the basic things that every private practice ownership know about how search is happening right now.

Phil Singleton: Great question. It’s changed a lot. The one thing that I think that some people don’t realize is that Google searches are increasing more and more. I think in 2014, they said there was 3.5 billion searches a day and last year it was 5.5 billion searches a day, so that it boils down to like 60,000 Google searches a second. And perhaps last year is probably even more now. So it’s as important as it ever was because you know that’s the vehicle that we use to search the information because there is more and more great content being published on the web every second. Right? So it’s importance hasn’t changed, it’s important I think in decision making processes, research processes. Decisions to make bi-products and services hasn’t really changed at all. It’s got, I think, more important over time. But what has changed a lot is how people got visibility on Google. Right, for the first 15 years or so of Google’s existence, I mean lot of us in SEO worked on things that helped move the needle and for long time that was to very basic things. Tweaking or planning with or trying to find loopholes on your website to get, you know, to help increase your chances as a webpage [00:15:21.07] and then also trying to get as many back links as you could as possible. Right? So trying to get third party websites to link back to your website no matter what. It was basically kind of a volume based type of a deal where the more you had the more votes that you essentially got and that help people get more visibility for more pages. Of course, like 5 or 6 years ago, Google really, you know people started to abuse this quite a bit. They have been abusing it for years and it has been kind of cat and mouse game between webmasters and SEO type folks in Google. But what did happen about 5 or 6 years ago is it really started to see people gaming the system like up in the mainstream in the Fortune 500. Right? So you had eBay and, and several other ones that kind of got into this trying to figure out how they could game the system. I think once that became apparent that it was getting so widespread, Google changed the way that it actually made their algorithm and it started for the first time becoming a bit more punitive than just over word based type of an algorithm. So five years [00:16:19.22] we started to have names come out in terms of algorithm, Google algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin. Panda goes into your website and looks to see if you are creating keyword stuffing and creating thin pages and doing things just for the search engine instead of your users.

Joe Sanok: What’s a thin page for people that don’t know that term?

Phil Singleton: So thin page will be somebody like… in the old days, some people still do this to this day, but they will go out and say, [00:16:43.28] or something like that or maybe let’s say it’s a practice and you are looking for a specific type of counseling in a city or something like this and people would go out and they would like purposely replicate pages on their site with the same content or very similar content just for the purpose of say ranking for another city, this is an example. So let’s say I’m in Kansas City and I wanted to do some kind of Kansas City drug and alcohol counseling or something like that. Then I would create another like almost copy thin page of this which would be maybe a suburb, a larger suburb, Overland Park, and that you just, you do these, like, separate pages just for the purpose of ranking for Overland Park plus keyword or Leawood plus keyword or Kansas City plus keyword.

Joe Sanok: Got you.

Phil Singleton: So people are literally like spread their pages out and make them thin, not valuable at all and the only sole purpose of that was to catch a search engine result and not really added any much value to the website or benefit to the user type of thing. So those are the things that this Panda tweak. The Google came in and started to really penalize people for that kind of a tactic. But it was more of an on-page type of penalty. Then we got another one came out called Penquin, then that one went out to go, look out see what kind of other websites are linking back to your website. So now if you have got a bunch of websites that are coming from lower quality sites or ones that are not relevant to your business, this is what gets important if you’re thinking about doing our own SEO or hiring somebody, knowing what their back link strategy because back links are still really important. Getting links to your website is still really important, but it’s quality and relevance now. What did happen a few years ago was Google came in and said hey, we are going to start taking a look at your back link profile and if we see a bunch of stuff coming from back links, from websites around the world that are not in your niche. So you got stuff coming from Russian gambling sites and casino sites or even sites that are not relevant to you, we are going to start tallying in those up and actually penalizing your website and lowering it just because of the quality of your back link profile. So little things like that that really kind of shook up the way that people did SEO change quite a bit. And the good thing that happened… now, it was rough for lot of people because you know as SEOs in a digital marketers we just kind of at some point to have to push the envelope a little because that’s what moved the needle. Right. And some people really pushed it and got really back [00:18:51.07] and other ones were just like, gosh, we got to do something as it don’t witness getting results. But five or six years ago, when they made these, they were like seismic, you know, changes. There is certain websites and big ones that were making money through Google that just like basically lost all their rankings overnight and these updates, you know, have been really important and really jarring, I think, for a lot of companies, but it was painful back them when it happened because lot of us saw how it affected the small businesses and the businesses of all sizes. On the other hand, looking backward, what we see is that Google has really kind of put the care what should have been all along.

Joe Sanok: Mm-Hmm. Yeah.

Phil Singleton: So now, what it did is it brought lot of those bad practices that were offshore . It brought consulting back onshore and made it more of a consulting based approach, then an under the hood kind of a back office type of thing. We wrote a check and hoped for the best, and it is also the most important, I think, more exciting for me is if you look at the things that moved the needle for SEO today. It’s things like content marketing, blogging on your website, participating in social media, working on your reputation and getting reviews. All these things that if you time it all together, just look like a good, solid, digital marketing plan is tied together versus what people I think still… lot of people still think about hey, this is some kind of under the hood tactic or some back office thing, and that’s what SEO is… it’s really not these days. It’s really about a holistic approach to digital marketing, but the key to this, the only way to really win is to make your website the referral source for all of your content. Because if you do all these tactics and you do them all kind of like one-dimensional on your posting, but you are posting on Facebook where you should have been posting on your website and showing that link on bringing people back, you lose a lot of benefit in terms of growing your side as an asset of course. But you also lose a lot of SEO signals that Google is out there looking for so that they can rank you. And that’s how Google has changed a lot. It’s changed from that… if you look at like maybe a pie chart, it was like half of the pie was back link building and the other half of the pie was on page, you know, SEO content tweaking. Now those things are still kind of important, but they look more like a piece of pizza and the rest of that pie for SEO looks like you know reputation management blogging and doing these other things together when you do them right with like an SEO mindset that’s what gets you results and that’s what gets you results that are sustainable, and it also gets you results I think that like, more like multiple win-win. So you are not just doing these one-time things for one purpose, but you’re kind of time all together that helped kind of those other pieces of the pie.

Joe Sanok: So, let’s say there is someone who just launched a practice, maybe couple of months ago. They get their website up and then the website’s up, what should they be doing in regards to the copy they write on it, in regards to the ongoing content? Take us through maybe three to five bullet points of here’s the most important use of your time, if you are really in that bootstrapping phase where you are not going to be paying someone to do SEO. You want to do it yourself.

[Have Your Website Set up the Right Way]
Phil Singleton: Okay, I got a great four-step process. I think that as [00:21:55.08] for my business this year and we are up to the point for clients, and I think anybody in a startup move should probably be thinking in this way going forward because there are so many wins that you can get out of it that it’s just an absolutely no brainer. So obviously the big part of it is something that I think you talk a lot about Joe already, is getting the website set up the right way. Right? Understanding that your website is an asset not as an expense and getting to the point where you are just like okay. I want to make sure that I got a website and the first thing you want to do in any I think online strategy you are going to do yourself or even outsource later is you have to understand the importance of blogging. It really is important for lot of different reasons, one is of course you get your website set up and you optimize what you can on it, right because you want to make sure your website has got a greater homepage and outlines your product and services and has an “About Us” and all those things that are kind of evergreen type pages. But the best way for you to increase your ranking potential for your website is to continually invest in contents. And the best way to do that is to have an ongoing blogging strategy so that you can grow your pages out one and make the site bigger with good quality content because that’s going to be an on-page ranking factor. But also each one of those blog posts you can write about things that help you target, may be specific keywords that would be a place, maybe the targeted city or something else where you can get creative. Right? So I have got this client or had this episode or this workshop or whatever in this other city. Now, you are writing something naturally about it versus just trying to create thin page, that’s the only purpose of it was really just to have another location page. So blogging is getting your website set up is kind of step one.

[Create a Content Calendar]
Phil Singleton: Step two is getting a content calendar together where you can… and here, I think, is an important part, one of the things that we do for our clients, one of things we suggest for people to do on their own – is to once you have got a blog, you’re committed to blogging on a weekly basis, the way to do a blog is to do it in terms of a series. This is really important because if you can put a blog series together that looks like a table of contents, what you can do is write, you know, have a whole path of maybe the next 10 or 15 weeks’ ROI scheduled out and then you can write individual blog posts that by themselves are great blog posts to put out on to your website that grow your pages on target specific keywords and then at the end of that 10 or 15 weeks you can actually stitch those together and turn them into an e-book. Now that e-book can then be used on your website as a call to action to build your email list, right? That’s another great thing to have because again you repurpose it. If you just do 10 or 15 blog posts once a week, let’s say over the course of 15 weeks, there is no way to stitch those together usually because you didn’t think about it strategically ahead of time. Right? So this is a way you can kind of do that.

[Convert Your E-book to a Kindle]
Once we get that e-book together and put on you website, then you can also, the next step really is to turn that e-book into a kindle. With the Kindle, we put it up on a Amazon. Again, this is stuff that can all be done on your own. Right? Like first talking about writing blog posts, posting on your website, thinking about it strategically so that you’re working on keywords on each blog post, but also in a way that you can collectively put them together into a book and also a table. And then we were talking about hiring somebody to help you maybe create a nice e-book, pretty easy to do. They are out there on Upwork. There’s actually a great one on Fiver. I think if you pull off about $50, you can put together your blog post [00:25:14.16] they’ll make it fantastic looking e-book that you can use for you. You just have to supply the content for it.

Joe Sanok: And actually, Sam, my chief marketing officer will do that for Practice of the Practice listeners. So if any of you are listening I think that’s surely a good idea. Email of Sam is just She can give you a quote based on your e-book. She has done that with a bunch of our webinar series where she takes the transcripts, then turns them into Kindle books and a lot of my Facebook lives she will actually turn them into blog posts, then turn them into e-books and give always. Also I love that you are walking us through that. I want to zoom back to a blog post. What factors do people need to consider in the blog post because I hear can we want pillar content, that’s 2000 words. I want you know, short easy to digest content, that’s 300 to 500 words. I want bullet points or numbers [00:26:02.29] headers. What are some of the essentials right now for blogging?

Phil Singleton: Great question. So there is couple of different approaches on that. One, I think if you go to the blog series you are talking about the smaller chunks of at least maybe five or six hundred words of post where we can stitch that together into an e-book and into a Kindle. Right. But you are right, you are spot on in saying that the longer form blog posts are the one that tend to rank better online. Now for your audience if we were talking about try to rank for a region or a city, you might not necessarily need to spend the time or the effort writing a 2500 or 5000 words blog post, although clearly if you do that those are going to tend to rank better than shorter blog posts. So just in terms of the pure ranking potential, not, not so much focusing on the user. But I still think folks people should have a few, maybe shoot for once a year, maybe once a quarter having a good long form evergreen, or authoritative blog posts on what you are trying to do. Although that being said [CROSSTALK]…

Joe Sanok: We will Google then if you took say five of those five hundred word posts and then created a pillar post out of that, is that duplicate content kind of burn, yeah…

Phil Singleton: No, if you publish them separately and then try [00:27:17.27], but if you took the five posts and say instead of having one, I am going to do one long form one, that will be fine, but I wouldn’t…

Joe Sanok: You would want to take down the smaller ones after you get them all?

Phil Singleton: Well, what they are already publishing out there in their index, I would take them down. What I would do is say, okay, you know what, I am going to do a long form blog post. You are not going to really get the true benefit of them if you try and say, let’s do five in a row and then let’s combine them together and then… where you can get the benefit of, you’re obviously putting in an e-book because you’re putting them in a separate file type of thing and [00:27:46.10] them separately. So yeah, you wouldn’t want to do… you are right spot on that. That would potentially put some duplicate… not so much. There is not really so much of duplicate content piling like that, but you do risk some of your content stepping on each other and Google not knowing which page to rank. Right? Because they see it on multiple times on your website. So I would recommend not doing it that way, but I would recommend having long form posts, if you can do it that way. And you brought up another good question like when actually have to structure a post, what’s the best way to go about it? Well, you want to make sure that your URL structure… first, why you want to target a keyword and a topic? So keyword researching can go lots of different places, but the best for you if you want to go is keyword planner. We can go into an AdWords account that even have to be active going to the keyword planner and start typing in words that are related to your business and they’ll give you a whole host of lists of ones that the people are searching for and give you some ideas on what actual words… you cannot take the guess work out of what people are actually searching for, then you can harvest the ones you want to maybe focus on a particular blog post. But more importantly, you can go other places like, say a Buzzsumo. And okay, a target of the keywords I think is important. I see the AdWords data because it’s up there, they say it’s competitive, and there are the bid clicks and stuff like that are up high enough for looks like other people are paying for that traffic. Then you can actually plug that into a place like Buzzsumo, which will show you what kind of topics are trending on that keyword. So you’re basically doing two things. Right? You’re going after that keyword and you want to get that. But you also, if you know what topics are trending right now and you post a topic related to a topic that’s trending online right now, you’ve got a better chance that when you distribute that in your social media channels, you’re going to get more engagement off of it because you already saw that it was getting engagement from a tool, from a social media tool like Buzzsumo or Ahrefs is another one that where you can get that kind of engagement activity type of, based on keywords and top is and stuff like that. So that’s…

Joe Sanok: I think one way that I did that trend jacking was couple of years ago. We have the National Cherry Festival here in Traverse City. We get half a million people or so that come and locally there is all of this kind of buzz around the trash that was in the water. So we are this beach town and everyone was mad about the tourists that came and they put all the trash in the water. And I wrote a blog post on my private practice website. It was all about trash and the psychology of trash. So I looked at how Disney figured out that if you have to walk more than 30 steps, you’ll throw trash on the ground. All this other kind of things of herd mentality. There was this psychology of trash. And so I was able to take that trend that was happening locally and then turn it into a blog post. But then I pitched that blog post as something to talk about on local radio and they had become in immediately that day because it was such big new locally. So if you can even find those local things that you see all your friends are talking about what’s going on downtown this weekend or what’s happening especially for a practice that’s more local based, that’s another way to take the concept that feels talking about and kind of take that trend and use it for your own practice and have your own psychological spin on it.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. Awesome. So getting back to the post, maybe the structure of a post, once you’ve figured out like your topic and your title and you’ve naturally maybe weaved keyword into your title and to the URL of the post, of course then you want to structure the post in a way that’s going to give you the most benefit and the most ranking potential. And there is couple of ways you want to do that. One, breaking into part, use subtitles. If you use a WordPress website, you can go right in there and choose your H2 tags. Your H1 tag should automatically be the title. And if you’re using a theme or something like that, the main text or title of the post should already be taking care of you. But then when you write posts, you want to make sure to structure them, kind of break them apart. One is that they are other easy to read, so people can scan through. But two, the more you use H2 tags as your subtitles, those are also kind of an on-page structure/on-page SEO ranking factor. So, Google likes to see subtitles, stuff broken apart. The fact that you use numbered lists, bullet lists or stuff like that. That all really helps. It’s also if you look at what’s happening on Google over the last year, especially last year, you’re seeing that they’re trying to pull more data up directly in the search results. So you’ll see ratings and reviews and event times, but you also see like knowledge boxes pop up at the top that we call that position zero now, right? We’ve got this great, big giant free banner on some kind of a good informational search, and a lot of that has to do with the structure of your post. It also has to do something to do with schema, which I’ll mention here in a second, but just so if you go out and do a blog post and don’t take advantage of all these things, the content might be just as good to the person actually gets to it. But you use a lot of ranking value if you don’t naturally work the keyword into the main title or the URL or use these things like subtitles and break up the content and ways [00:32:35.27] use number lists, all those things actually increase your chances that you’ll rank higher and maybe get that a chance to that position zero. I mean also want to use media on your site to the extent you can at least have one featured image. There’s a way that you can go into WordPress and you know, I’ll tag the image, that a lot of people miss this. So [00:32:53.05] you can just go in there and there’s a little SEO title. The keyword you can attach to that image instead of putting whatever is their default or whatever the ‘DMC0XY’, you know, for the name of the file and that kind of stuff. A simple little thing like a disciplined approach to go on to this kind of checklist where you just naturally go through all these on-page things can really greatly increase the ranking potential that particular post or page. [CROSSTALK]…

Joe Sanok: Yeah, I always name my images when I put online on a blog post whatever the keyword is and then after I will add even like counseling consultant or private practice consultant, just so that there is more of those terms throughout the website.

Phil Singleton: Great, yeah. And then also take [00:33:31.19] you can, adding a video or even some podcast audio on the site because one of the big hot items in SEO right now in terms of on-pages dwell time. So you get lot of people that worry about bounce rate and the bounce rate [00:33:43.01] really high. Well, high bounce rate really is almost nothing. If somebody goes on a page, they found you on search, they landed on there, and they stayed for long enough to read a long form post and then went off. That’s a huge winner you score. So things that keep people on your webpage that’s I think why lot of times why longer form evergreen post win because people actually stay on that page longer, but you strategically have like a video on there or podcast audio especially… one of things I love about podcast audio is because a 2-minute video is really long, right? But you can start listening to an embedded audio file on a webpage and you tend to stay a lot longer because you can be doing other things while you’re listening to it versus if you’re on an audio, it kind of commands all your senses. But the main thing here is rich media that’s related to that post is an on-page ranking factor. I think directly. It’s at least an indirect one. So the extent to that you can add that kind of stuff on to your page or on to your blog posts, it will increase its ranking potential. Now, working your way down the list, you want to make sure that you install plugin like Yoast, which enables you to manually set the page title and the meta description. And the page title, obviously, when you go into like a Google search, that’s the blue title that you’d see in a Google results page. And then the meta descriptions are little grey snippet title that you can set. So you have the ability to kind of manually set that versus letting Google decide what they want to pull from the page, which they do anyway sometimes.

Joe Sanok: [LAUGH] Yeah. Right.

Phil Singleton: Then finally, you want to go and get a good plugin. I actually have my own plugin. It’s been downloaded, I think 85000 times, as of this morning that enables you to put schema on the web post, on a page and a post. What schema is? This is like an additional type of markup that enables you to tag the data that’s on the page. So if there’s a review snippet on the page, there’s actually a little set of code where you go in and say, oh, there’s a review on here. Or you can say, you can tell Google, oh, this is a blog post, or, oh, there’s a video on here. And to the extent that you tag data on your web page, it gives Google a bit more context onto what’s on it. And it gives them a little bit more trust because [00:35:40.03] if there’s a review on the page, that’s, let’s say for example, Google is likely not going to show like a five star review rating up in Google search result, unless you’ve taken the guess work out of them on that page and tagged it as a review. So a lot of times you’ll see stars actually show up within Google search results. That’s usually the result of somebody using a plugin that adds schema, or they’ve manually gone in and added schema that says that, hey, Google, there is a review on this page, it’s located here, it’s five out of five stars, and if they trust your site enough and you’ve been doing good SEO on the rest of it, they’ll actually serve that review, write up in the results before getting to your page. And that’s the kind of like bling on the search results where you see the knowledge boxes and the event times and the reviews showing right up in the search results that like kick the rates go through the roof, right, because they stand out so much more and there’s more data on it. So that’s a mouthful in, and almost kind of a rant. But there are a lot of things you can do that if you work into your routine, they don’t add a whole lot of time. But the whole piece about SEO, and the reason why I wrote the book “SEO for Growth” is more so to get people into an SEO mindset because you waste a lots of potential if you just focus on the text of the blog post, just post it up and press publish, where you could spend an extra 5 or 10 minutes doing a little bit of SEO processing because you’re thinking about Google in the back of your mind and you’ve vastly increased the chances that it’ll be found when somebody is looking, you know, for an answer to the question or the solution you are help trying to solve on that page.

Joe Sanok: I love this simple SEO tips but also the more advanced. What’s in your plugin so we can put that in the show notes?

Phil Singleton: Well, I am an SEO person. Right? So, it was going to make sense when you hear that you’re going to understand why the title of the plugin the way this is called “WPSEO structured data schema.”

Joe Sanok: [LAUGH].

Phil Singleton: And it ranks really high on WordPress if you type in schema or schema plugins. So…

Joe Sanok: That’s awesome. So Phil, I would like to let the audience know that we are going to actually in the show notes have a bunch of videos from Practice of the Practice’s YouTube channel. You mentioned a number of really important things. It’s sometimes if you are out for a run or you’re doing dishes or hanging out with the kids or driving that you wouldn’t get all of these. So we do have a walk through and how do you use a Google keyword planner that we will put in those show notes. We also [00:37:57.06] how do you use Google Trends, so if you don’t want to go into keyword planner, but just want some quick kind of looks at Google Trends [00:38:02.23] one of those in there as well. And we will also have a video on how do you embed a video into a blog post in WordPress so that people can learn how to do all those kind of basic things to take your advice to that next level and start implementing it. Phil, the last question I always ask people is if every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?

Phil Singleton: I want them to know the thing that’s really helped grow my business the most this year, which is kind of that four step thing that we talked about – your website, the blogs, the kindle and Amazon, but the fourth step to me that’s really helped out, and I think if people understand the importance of almost having their own self-driven, I call like an authority driven engagement, is to leverage podcast booking. Holy cow. I have been on 40 podcasts this year and there is so much benefit to you establishing yourself an authority, making yourself an author, and pitching yourself outside and leveraging other people’s audience because you get the back links. The host will promote you into their social media channel. There’s about 10 or 15 things that if you look at it the right way, you can get all this benefit by sitting down and talking with somebody 20 minutes or 30 minutes or an hour, and you essentially are building your own personal branding and authority and reaching other audience, and you’re getting these like the purest form of natural back links that you can ever get by going through this process. And again, it almost to me comes back to that website and the blogging strategy. Right? So that’s what I’d want people to know, is look at your website as a publishing platform. Think about how you blog, do it religiously. Figure out a way to use that so you can self publish or publish your way and become an author as the first steps, your own personal authority. And then think about ways you can get out there and use podcasts as a guesting strategy. Eventually probably would want to have your own maybe. But as a guesting strategy doesn’t even matter if you’re local or you’re trying to only do your own local stuff. You can still leverage these… there’s thousands and thousands of great niche podcasts out there. Also you can do this really easily. And the reason I think it’s really important is because if you go out and try and like get back link into your website, like say through guest blogging, which is what lot of people do right now, it’s a pain. Think about having to do like a 1000 word or a 1500 word blog post to get on authority website. Most of them are going to reject you. It’s getting spammy. It takes a long time. You’re going to have to write it yourself or hire somebody to write it. But if you can position yourself as an authority in a specific topic or a niche, all a sudden, you can get on somebody else’s podcasts. They’re essentially doing all the work, right, and you’re only spending 30 minutes of your time. You’re bringing your best, you’re a game to it, and hopefully educating people. But after the phone call ends, all you really have to do is do your job of amplifying your network and you’ve just got a hundreds, if not thousands of dollars’ worth of benefit, and you’re basically taking care of your off-page SEO strategy. That’s the one thing I think that anybody can do to go from… I’ve just started right now and I’m in a position myself as the authority in my market on my local market. I think it’s the fastest way to get there, and it’s probably the cheapest and the highest ROI. [00:41:07.03] seen it myself just because I didn’t think about guesting at all. I did it, I’ve done like 40 and I’ve had clients fall out of the sky. It’s helped me build up my review strategy. I’ve gotten more. I’ve been able to build up my reputation as a part of this. I’ve been able to get great back links. A lot of people don’t use the transcription notes on their websites. Most of them should. I say 80 to 90 percent don’t. When they don’t, I say, hey man, would you mind letting me transcribe them? I’ll put them up as a blog post on my website and give you a link back. I get a great free blog post or semi free. I gotta pay, you know, a dollar a minute to transcribe it and edit it, but it’s still another way where you can get more out of it. So I really think going from the website to blogging to authorship to guesting campaign. It is probably one of the biggest think for the buck, things that we could do as a startup or even this almost more of a advanced content marketing. That’s a mouthful, but [CROSSTALK]…

Joe Sanok: No, Phil, that… I’m so glad you bring it up because I feel like so often people think I need to write a blog post and I need for another one, and they don’t think about repurposing content, taking that content and using it in a variety of forms because the person who is going to read a blog post is different than the person that might listen to a podcast and it’s different than a person that may download a Kindle book. And so taking your message and really amplifying it as far as you can and getting those back links… I think about even the 40 interviews you have done, even if they are smaller podcasts and getting your 500 listings per episode per month, that’s still 20,000 people per month if you are on 40 at 500. I mean that you are able to then, like, reach and if someone said, hey. every month can we just show a video of you talking and 20,000 people show up and listen to it. Ah…

Phil Singleton: [00:42:46.01] that. Look at this way. If you think about, everybody has got beyond reputation. Right? And at some point, there are people that get upset and I think even in the private practice I think and in medical, there are things that, you know, people all of a sudden [00:42:58.28] is going to have this client that’s going to go off [00:43:01.22] post something or something is going to be written about you. If you got a great guesting strategy, the coolest thing about it is they are writing a blog post essentially, a high production blog post, right, because it is about you, it’s about your expertise, and it’s usually got like a… so lot of these people do like custom graphic and stuff. But usually it has like your name in the title and your name in the URL. So what ends up happening is those pages start to rank when people search for your name. So what you end up doing is you start padding yourself against a negative content that comes up later.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. I mean very glad that you bring that up because I had actually had a consulting client that she had been in foster care. And there was one person who had their children taken away from them and she had written all these blog posts about how terrible this lady was. And she was like how do I get this thing done. And I said honestly, those are really like crappy websites and so if you just start blogging and putting your name into a whole bunch of things and get some back links, do a bunch of guest blogs, they are going to end up on page 2, 3, or 4, and that’s going to be the best way to do it. So it’s very similar strategy the one you just said, but like podcasting takes that to a whole different level.

Phil Singleton: It’s just an extra bonus. [00:44:08.01] and we get it out there, but if you do it right, that’s just one benefit of guesting.

Joe Sanok: Yeah.

Phil Singleton: You are on there. You get the back link. She gets access to a trusted audience. I mean they are going to show you an amplification like thing. Of course, you’re going to do the same. So it kind of goes back and forth. But it’s just so much [00:44:23.08] I tell people I have been doing this for 12 years. I have never seen anything as powerful in terms of return on investment for the time as having an SEO-driven podcast guesting kind of. There is nothing that comes close to it. So I don’t do anything now other than… and I am going to have… The one thing I am kicking myself for is of course I don’t have my own podcast. I have been over 40 and these were all podcasts considering [00:44:45.06] [CROSSTALK]…

Joe Sanok: Phil, you got to launch it. Do that. Come on, man. [CROSSTALK]…

Phil Singleton: Oh, [00:44:46.20] I have already got it.

Joe Sanok: Good. Good.

Phil Singleton: I have already got it. I just haven’t… I have four or five in there, but think about this as if you’re going on a guesting campaign and you don’t have a podcast. I could have had all those 40 plus that I have been on. They are all podcast consumers. Some of them in there might have liked what I have to say and would have subscribed.

Joe Sanok: Right.

Phil Singleton: How much is that worth, like if I would today, if I would already have like a few hundred or maybe even thousands of subscribers and I didn’t have one for them to subscribe to. So I missed that opportunity. So there is always other benefits that are in it, but yes, it’s super powerful and it’s very… I think it’s almost, if you could essentially do this on your own. I have working with somebody like you that can guide him through it. Of course, it’s probably the best way to do it. But it can’t…

Joe Sanok: Even just having your intake coordinator that does all your scheduling and phones to have them have an extra task. Hey, I want to reach out to 10 people in the [00:45:39.14] sections of iTunes. They’re probably looking for people they interview and just giving them a script to email and having a PDF that has your basic kind of [00:45:49.23] professional picture. You’re right. It takes very little. The biggest cost is buying a quality microphone so you sound good and have a decent internet connection, but those are things that once you buy the microphone you are set for a while.

Phil Singleton: From my standpoint, as my clients, the beauty of it is we set these things up. It’s hired ticket. We can charge more. I bring in an extreme amount of value and they are actually doing some of the work for me. We are scheduling them, but they are actually going out, providing their expertise and just as a result of that, all of these wonderful things happen. And it’s super shiny. You know what I mean?

Joe Sanok: Mm-hmm.

Phil Singleton: [00:46:26.14] Podcasting one, they are up. There are going to be social graphics that are shown out. That’s why I love podcasts. They are much more… it’s a much more higher production. It’s almost like a mini launch-able piece of content each time they go out. You know what I mean. Versus just a blog post. This versus just as a blog post that goes out, not quite as sexy, kind of ends up being one of this base, cacky type pieces of content. There might be lot of great information on, but doesn’t have that same sexiness in terms of being a like a mini launch when it goes out type of deal. So I am so hot on that piece of it right now, because it’s really transformed my business and it’s transformed the way we deliver on our engagements. Everything now really is start with the website, do the publishing, work towards the authority, so that we an get them in a position to be able to guest them on podcast, and podcasting is so hot. I mean I’m late to it, but I still think it’s early… but it’s so hot the last 2 or 3 years…

Joe Sanok: Oh yeah. Oh I miss all the new cars that have that option [00:47:18.21] podcast and we are talking about at thanksgiving dinner. Well, Phil Singleton if people want to connect with you, if they want to read more, what’s the best way for them to connect with you?

Phil Singleton: Well, you can check out, KC Web Designers kind of mine, is my home base, SEO for Growth is where I wrote the book. So a lot of these tactics and things are in there and are structured so in a way that you could it some of these on your own or at least know, be educated if you want to hire somebody else to do something for you. That’s And the LinkedIn. I will send you my LinkedIn profile, but that’s where I like to engage with people the most. Because I am not really a big personal Facebook user, although I use it for business, that kind of stuff. But this is not where I spend a bunch of my time interacting with people.

Joe Sanok: Awesome. Well, Phil, thanks so much for being on the Practice of the Practice Podcast.

Phil Singleton: [00:48:04.13], man.


Joe Sanok: Well, next week on the show, we are going to have Caleb Breaky who is going to be talking all about ghost writing and writing a book. So let’s hear a clip from that.


“Little tribute to, but those are people who need to write a book because they are doing great things in the world and they are so busy providing value that they are not going to have time to put their life on pause to not only learn to write a book – you know, do your 10,000 hours – but then figure out all the other aspects of a book.”


So make sure you tune in next week for that podcast interview and again, if you want access to that Next Level Mastermind group, it’s going to be a $600 a month value and you have to be Brighter Vision client that’s making over $60,000 and you’re going to join that cohort. You are going to get to come to Slow Down School here in Traverse City. Slow Down school usually costs $3500 to come to. It’s a huge gift the Brighter Vision has purchased for one of their lucky users. If you are not a Brighter Vision client, you can jump in. It’s, will re-direct you over to their website. Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an awesome week.


This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It’s given with the understanding that neither the host or the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.


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