The Future of SEO in a World of ChatGPT and General AI?

In this interview, Jon Clark, Managing Partner at Moving Traffic Media, and we explore how these advanced AI technologies are reshaping the future of search engine optimization, offering new strategies and insights for marketers and businesses alike.

Gain valuable knowledge on harnessing the power of AI to improve website rankings and drive more organic traffic. Don’t miss out –

#1 – Jon can you give the audience an outline of what is a typical day at “Moving Traffic Media” look like for you?

#2 – What are some things you think our audience needs to understand about organic SEO that will lead them to actual results?

#3 – In a new world of AI and ChatGPT, how do you see this changing connected SEO over the next couple of years?

#4 – What are your thought on Threads, and how do you see it affecting Twitter?

#5 – If you return to a time machine at the beginning of your career, what essential advice would you give yourself?

#6 – Are there any online recourses or books you like to recommend to the audience?

This Week Show’s Sponsors


Sensei LMS: Sensei LMS

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00.220] – Speaker 1

Welcome to the WP-Tonic This Week in WordPress and SaaS podcast, where Jonathan Denwood interviews the leading experts in WordPress, eLearning, and online marketing to help WordPress professionals launch their own SaaS. Welcome back, folks, to this week in WordPress and SaaS. This is episode 771. I haven’t got my co-host. He has gone off doing something, but he should be back next week. We’ve got a great guest. We’ve got Jon Clark, Managing Partner with Moving Traffic Media. We’re going to be discussing all things SEO and how AI chat, GPT is going to affect SEO threads. It’s going to be an embracing feast about online content and SEO. A really important subject. Suppose you want to grow your WordPress business or your SaaS business. So, Jon, do you want to give us a quick introduction of yourself and what you do at Moving Traffic Media?

[00:01:09.250] – Speaker 2

Sure. So, Jon Clark, one of your last guests, Spencer Forman, had a great quote. He said to leave the E off for savings. So a lot of people spell Clark with an E at the end. You can leave that E off. I’m the Managing Partner of Moving through Effic Media, as you said. We specialize in performance digital marketing. So everything from page search and display to SEO content strategy, some social mixed in there as well. And we specialize in medium to large-scale businesses, primarily in the regulated industry space. So think about that as health care, finance, those sorts of areas, real estate. That’s great. And we’re based in White Plains, New York, but we’re a fully remote team. So we have folks across the US, California, Kentucky, Connecticut, New York, etc.

[00:02:10.870] – Speaker 1

That’s great. Should be a great discussion. Before we go into the main meat and potatoes for this great interview, I’ve got a couple of messages for my major sponsors. Be back in a few moments, folks. Are you looking for ways to make your content more engaging? Sensei LMS by automatic is the original WordPress solution for creating and selling online courses.

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[00:02:50.530] – Speaker 1

Out and give sensei a try today. Hi there, folks. It’s Jonathan Denwood here, and I want to tell you about one of our great sponsors, and that’s Zolo. Com. If you’ve got a WordPress website, membership website, and you’re looking to link it with a great financial management package, Zolo. Com can provide this solution. So all your bookkeeping needs are done through Zolo. If you need new inbox email functionality and you don’t want to pay the high charges that Google charge you, Zolo offers a great email inbox platform. They’ve got over 50 apps and services that all integrate fantastic with WordPress at great value levels, and they almost always offer a fully functioning free product as well. So it’s just amazing value. Also, if you’re a WordPress developer or agency owner, Zolo are looking for great partnerships in the WordPress space. To get all this information, all you have to do, folks, is just go over to Zolo. Com, and they have the product that you’re looking for. Thank you so much, Zolo, for supporting WP Tonic and the Machine Membership Shows. It’s much appreciated. We’re coming back, folks. I just want to point out that we’ve got some great special offers from some of our sponsors.


[00:04:32.670] – Speaker 1

Plus, we got a created list of the best WordPress plugins. If you’re building a website for yourself or for a client and you don’t want to traw the internet trying to find the best solution for your particular problem, we have a time saver. We have a created list of the best WordPress plugins. To get all these goodies, all you have to do is go over to WP. Tonic. Com deals, WP. Tonic. Com deals. And you find all the good is there, folks. What more could you ask for? I don’t know, but you probably can. So, Jon, so what’s the typical day at Moving Traffic Media for you, apart from going on strange podcast with English type people? Apart from that, what is the typical day that you face?


[00:05:29.880] – Speaker 2

Yeah. My typical day usually starts off with what I like to call a block of deep work. So usually from around 9 AM to 11 AM, I drop off my daughter. That time is usually pretty quiet. So that’s where I try to focus in on big projects, either deliverables that are coming or maybe pitches that we’re working on. So that’s really the time that I try to dedicated to those sorts of things. We’re distributed team, like I said. So we have learned to incorporate some things that are probably more familiar with development teams. One of those things for us is what we call stand up. And in those 30 to 15 minute meetings, we typically review things that were completed, things that are upcoming, any blockers that we have, whether it’s the team member or client. And those usually take place around 11, 30 to 12, just given the time differences for our team. And then the rest of the afternoon is really a mix of internal training, client meetings. I do a lot of writing for industry publications. So t hat falls in that area as well. And I have a very energetic five year old, so a lot of that really depends on what her mood is when she gets home from school or camp.


[00:06:54.440] – Speaker 1

What a tall sma st. The worst time for CEO you could get could have.


[00:07:00.620] – Speaker 2

Exactly. But also the most rewarding. So yeah, my day is probably not too atypical to any other person in the agency space.


[00:07:14.390] – Speaker 1

So how do you obviously get your money in growing the business? It’s a lifeblood. How do you balance short, medium, long term objectives? And how do you measure if you’re getting anywhere on the medium long term objectives?


[00:07:32.900] – Speaker 2

Yeah, it’s a great question. I think everything comes down to prioritization. I think even from client deliverables, helping them prioritize what those things are, I think that can be a plus. Provide to how we think about goals. My business partner and I established a very, I would say, extensive list of s goals for us as a company. T hey’re broken down by quarter. W e have what I’ll call easily attainable goals and stretch goals. And we do our best to try to measure those each quarter and start to plan for the following goals the following quarter. And what we found for some of the more lofty or aggressive goals, breaking them down into segments within quarters for the year has been something that’s been really successful for us, rather than just saying at the end of the year, we want to achieve X. We identify what that big goal is and then try to figure out, are there components of that that we can break down for a quarter? And that gives us a good sense of where we’ll end up at the year. So, for example, if we meet that goal in Q1 but miss that follow up goal in Q2, we have a better sense of of maybe we’re going to be at risk to meeting that goal at the end of the year.


[00:09:03.780] – Speaker 2

So it helps us reprioritize throughout the year as well. And it’s running a business is almost impossible to completely plan for. And so that flexibility to reprioritize and in some cases, even remove goals that we thought were important at the beginning of the year, but aren’t so much in the bid or latter part of the year has been really really impactful for us.


[00:09:32.690] – Speaker 1

I think that’s really insightful. I think that’s probably a great balance, actually. Thanks for that. We’re halfway through 2023, which I can’t believe. I don’t know where the first half has gone. I don’t know if you’re feeling the same. It’s just been just a dream fest, really. It’s just gone. I’m still surprised because I spent a lot of time producing content, pushing it on various social media, various platforms, and also my content strategy for the WP Tonic website. I spend an enormous amount of time and effort on it all. So I don’t make a living as a CEO, but as a owner of a business, I spend an enormous amount of time on that. But I still was surprised the amount of disinfo information and lack of knowledge around SEO, really, from people that are quite experienced in the WordPress or SaaS space. What a couple of misunderstandings or I’m giving you the opportunity to clarify one or two things that regularly come on your radar that are misunderstandings about SEO and content production that you come across on a daily, weekly basis, Jon?


[00:11:06.860] – Speaker 2

Yeah. I think there’s some foundational principles of SEO that I think have stood the test of time. There’s a lot of new technologies that have come out, both from a development perspective but also things like voice search, which are going to kill SEO. But the principles of the way that I like to talk about it, typically is it takes the form of a pyramid where you have the technology layer that is really the foundation. So if Google can’t index and crawl the site properly, everything else doesn’t matter. And then the keywords and contents make up that middle piece, and then authority or basically links make up that top pyramid. I think that’s evolved a little bit in the way that I talk about it, to an acronym that is CRIPS, which is CRI C R I CPS. And it stands for crawl, render, index and cash. I think for maybe your audience, that’s all things that are probably familiar from the development perspective. But crawl really means, can Google crawl the website effectively? Is there proper internal linking structure? Are there links that are broken? All those good p best practice hygiene things that you would want to pay attention to for a site.


[00:12:36.650] – Speaker 2

Rendering. So can Google render the templates from the various pages of your domain? There’s probably a lot of back and forth that, or I guess mis maybe that I’ve heard around JavaScript and whether or not search engines can execute it and render it. I think this is a big area of contention. Google has said that they can, and then they come back out and said, Well, we don’t execute it on the first crawl. We might come back when there are more resources for us to fully execute it. So having some rendering solution if you’re developing in a web app environment. So you really want to make sure that your rendering has the same text as what’s shown in the browser. So that’s a first place to check if you’re working with a heavy JavaScript site. Indexability, so is your content indexable? Very often we see a site get an update and the Dev environment robots. Txt file gets uploaded that blocks the entire site. And of course, it takes everything down.


[00:13:51.410] – Speaker 1

That would be embarrassing.


[00:13:54.210] – Speaker 2



[00:13:55.010] – Speaker 1

Would be a little bit embarrassing.


[00:13:58.490] – Speaker 2

It’s more embarrassing if we don’t catch it right away. That’s the worst situation for us. And then caching. So is Google actually caching those URLs? Are they indexing them? Are they serving them for the queries that you want? So speaking about WordPress specifically, which is probably about 90 % of the sites that we work with. There’s a lot of basics that can be applied that are often missed. I would say one of the first things is just setting up a Google search console account. It’ll give you a lot of visibility and even allow you to test some of those things within that C Rix acronym, right within that tool. And you’ll get Google’s first hand view of how they’re engaging with your website where they’re finding issues. Xml site maps, surprisingly, are still oftentimes not utilized. Create those, submit them to Google search console. They’re incredibly valuable from a discoverability perspective, meaning you’re giving Google instruction around what are the URLs you want them to crawl and index and actually serve to users. So that’s a very important signal for them about what’s important to you as the website owner. Another one that we go back and forth on is tag pages, so probably most applicable to blog content where you add a bunch of tags.


[00:15:31.500] – Speaker 2

I would say nine times out of 10, we know index them because there isn’t a strong strategy behind them. You’ll have various content writers who just add random tags, and over time, nd you get hundreds, if not thousands of tag pages that have a single post living on them. Essentially that’s really low value, low quality content that Google has to sift through before they discover content that’s actually meaningful. And can be a very bad signal. So we recommend generally all tag pages to be no index. And then category pages. Out of the box, from a WordPress perspective, they’re often very simple. There’s no custom content. It’s usually just a list of blogs or posts that live within that category. So there’s lots of opportunity there to improve the UX from organizing.


[00:16:28.040] – Speaker 1

Can I ask you a quick question how you view WordPress? Because you’re part in that area and part out of your company’s focus. I still feel I might be a bit biased, but I try not to kid myself as much as possible. It’s always difficult, isn’t it? I like to feel unreasonably good looking. That’s delusory, I know. I still think WordPress is, if you’re really going to spend a lot of time on content and organic SEO, I still feel it’s one of the best platforms out there. I think Wix and Squarespace have improved. Wix used to be terrible. I think they’ve got a ton of money and they’re throwing that to it, I think. But I still don’t feel that if you’re going to spend a lot of time on content rather than just purely on paid traffic, you would be best to look at the WordPress platform. Would you agree with that, Sonoxas? Or do you think you got your own take on it?


[00:17:40.140] – Speaker 2

I’m 100 % in agreement. You know t’s out of the box. It’s always been one of the best SEO CMS platforms, in my opinion. And you’re right, Wix, Squarespace, they’re very closed ecosystems like Shopify, although they’ve done a ton of investment, making that platform more SEO friendly, fixing some of the basic things that were problematic there. And you’re right, Wix is investing a lot in SEO education and improvements similar to what Shopify is doing. But I’ve always found their performance to be less. And part of that is just that more defined ecosystem that you have to live in within the CMS itself. WordPress, I’ve always found to be much more nimble and the ability to manipulate the code, whether it’s through a plug in or custom custom changes has always been really impactful from an SEO perspective. And there’s just so many people building on it. Advanced websites. I think the community is also much stronger there. So if you do run into an issue, more than likely there’s someone who’s encountered it and can help.


[00:19:05.230] – Speaker 1

I think the community… I didn’t go this year to World Camp Europe, which was based in Athens, a year before. Because of COVID, I hadn’t seen my family. I’m a joint UK American citizen. Because of COVID, I hadn’t seen my family in the UK. So last year, I took the opportunity to go to Porto, Europe, World Camp Europe, which was held in Porto. Over 3,000 WordPress people, as I like to say, turned up there. It was a fabulous, like, three days, Jolly in Porto was excellent. Loved the Portuguese people. And then I flew. I had a little bit of a journey with the Scandinavians to see some friends because I used to live in Scandinavia. And then I went to the UK. But it was amazing that over 3,000 people turned up at working out of camp. I just don’t think a part might be Salesforce and might be some other events. You just don’t get that turn out, do you?


[00:20:12.890] – Speaker 2

No. And one of the common nocks on WordPress that we hear from clients is security. But I’ve always been of the mindset, if you take the proper precautions for security, then it’s as secure as any other website you use. That may be my lack of understanding around the true issues there, but we work with a lot of WordPress sites who’ve never been hacked in their big brands. I never really found that as a good…


[00:20:46.150] – Speaker 1

I think having a good partner, having a good maintenance partner, having a… I’m not going to delve too in your own commercial set up, but having a maintenance partner and having having the website maintained, updated. A lot of the security problems are really utilizing plug ins. Is there a quarterly or yearly audit? Do we really need this particular plug in in the mix? Did it come from a reputable source? Do we really need it? Also, there’s a tendency for understandable reasons to give every Tom and Dick and Harry in the organization admin access to the website, which isn’t… And there’s nobody checking, do we need to we need to keep these admins as low as possible? Everybody else is an editor. And is there anybody checking every six months or at least a year about who these admin people are. If they left the company, do we need to get rid of them?


[00:22:05.120] – Speaker 2

Do they even need admin access?


[00:22:06.960] – Speaker 1

Yeah. You’d be amazed. This is basic stuff, but you’d be amazed. So e’ve got to discuss AI and chat GPT. I’ve got such mixed feelings about it, Jon. In some ways, I’m already bored with it already. Everything, you got to get on board early because we’re in tech and if you’re left behind, it can have some really drastically bad consequences for your business. On the other hand, obviously, I don’t think it’s like cryptocurrency or Web 3, which was, in my opinion, total nonsense. When it comes to blockchain, I think long term there is something to that technology. In some strange way, it’s probably going to be mixed with AI because I think consistently having a system that tells you where something comes from and who really owned it in the world of AI is going to become more and more important in a strange way. But also the absolute nonsense talks about AI, especially when it comes to general AI. I am no expert on it, John, but it’s just absolutely crazy talk. But when it comes to AI specifically, when it comes to SEO, which is your speciality, I’m sure you’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about this, how do you see it panning out in the next year, 18 months when it comes to AI and SEO?


[00:24:04.630] – Speaker 2

Yeah, I think it’s a tough question because the space, to your point, is just moving so quickly. When chat TV was first released, the immediate thought for probably a lot of industries was it’s going to kill the industry. It’s going to take over everything that we do.


[00:24:27.060] – Speaker 1

Which was ridiculous, wasn’t it? It was just totally bonkers, wasn’t it?


[00:24:33.440] – Speaker 2

I’ll be honest, though, it gave me a little bit of anxiety initially when you interact with it for the first time because when you first use it, it’s revolutionary. There was nothing before this that could just spit out on demand answers like this. But I would say the more that I’ve interacted with it and I’ve tried to apply it to what we do, the answer is exactly what you said. It’s ridiculous. It’s not going to…


[00:25:11.490] – Speaker 1

Well, it is and it isn’t, isn’t it? That’s the contradiction. It is fundamentally because Google was utilized, obviously, the way the two founders Google, when they took over Movever from Yahoo and Vista in a very quick period of time, dominated search and for the past 20 years, still dominate it. The technology, the slider, but the fundamental basis of utilizing external links, monitoring factors about how people actually measure or rate your content. It’s still there. But then they utilize language models themselves because people were just scamming it. People became expert about utilizing link farms, other technologies to get around this. Some people say black hat, but it’s not criminality, is it? This is just a commercial company, isn’t it? So I used I prefer gray hat myself, but it was having a really effect on them, wasn’t it? All these link farms, these networks that you could pay, and they would build up a whole… And they’re still there, aren’t they, to some extent? So then they went to their language models, didn’t they? They had them. So they’ve relied on that more and more and more. But AI is a direct threat because it’s utilizing the same technology that they were utilizing to index.


[00:27:02.170] – Speaker 1

Am I on the right track here? Because I’m not an expert.


[00:27:05.330] – Speaker 2

I think that’s the crux of it. If you expect to be able to just pop in a prompt, output a big piece of content and run it through an AI detection tool, like a originality AI or something, and have it.


[00:27:22.560] – Speaker 1

Come back. I got things that I’m not even sure. I think they’re taking money. I’m totally my opinion. I have my doubts about that service.


[00:27:34.730] – Speaker 2

But manipulating that piece of content where it comes back as human readable, and just assuming that Google won’t be able to tell when they’ve been using these machine learning models long before Chappie GPT was released, I think is just highly unlikely. I think f you think about some of the implementations that Google has rolled out specifically around what they call the EAT framework, so expertise, prioritativeness, trustworthiness. They’re using these manual quality raters to actually visit web pages, evaluate that content based on these criteria. And this document is available online. Google clearly breaks down what falls into that requirement. And then even in December of 2022, they added an additional E to that framework, which was experience, meaning can you within your content or video or images, can you physically show that you’ve interacted with a product that you’re reviewing, for example. And those things are… Chatgbt or these models can’t necessarily do that, at least not yet. And so I think there is still a deep requirement for editorial review, maybe even controls, a better word, of content that’s going up on your site. Can you use GPT to influence or get you to that end result faster?


[00:29:19.610] – Speaker 2

Of course. I think that’s where there’s a big advantage to it is the frequency.


[00:29:24.880] – Speaker 1

Well, just on it based on the word process, I’m going to put two points and get a response from you. And then we go through and we do. Number one point, in the WordPress space, which is dominated by hosting and plugging companies, they’re the main two areas that make money in WordPress. In the plugin space, this one particular company that has built up a reputation for great hack SEO. If you put in any search for any popular plugging solution in the WordPress space, this particular company’s articles, they have about three to four major websites that dominate search, almost any search, and they have a live story of about 15 to 20 plug ins that they’ve bought from various developers. It’s very shallow content. They built this over about eight nine year basis, Jon. They’re a notorious company. The founder really have got no time for. He doesn’t like me either, Jon. He’s personally tried to sue me a couple of times for things I’ve said about him. But it is what it is. It’s really shallow content, but enormous industrial volume where he’s used offshore and low carbon low quality content to dominate the sector, which is nothing illegal about it.


[00:31:05.720] – Speaker 1

It is what it is. So I don’t really see the difference between what AI can produce and the low quality content that was offshored that he was producing, really. I also think that probably Google is going to look at what I call influence. I t’s a terrible term, really. Are you an influencer in your particular sector? They’re going to look for, does that person have a podcast? Does that person produce regular video? Does that person on social media talk about the subject that they’re writing about on their website? They’re going to look at a organic look at your, which is a regular term in SEO, isn’t t it? But I mean it in a more broader sense, your domain authority, your subject authority. Do you think I’m on the right track there?


[00:32:10.410] – Speaker 2

Yeah, I think that’s part of that framework. Is that person rightly or wrongly, trustworthy in that vertical? And that trustworthiness may not be for them specifically, but the persona through content or sites that they own or plug ins within that vertical, all of those things point to a level of trustworthiness with the content that they create. So I think in some cases, that low quality content or that weak content created offshore or something like that can slip through the filters. And I think that’s where one of Google’s biggest challenges with PPT coming out in general is how do they manage for it? They’ve had to come out and say that they accept AI generated content, but then they had to say, provided that it’s manually reviewed and is helpful, if you will. And I think sites like that, over time, will get caught up in the improvements in the algorithms that Google is going to be forced to release. So in some cases, we’ve seen sites like that survive a very long time, and then an algorithm update will come out and they literally just drop off a cliff.


[00:33:51.090] – Speaker 1

I see where you’re coming from. I’ve got some comments about what you just outlined, but we got to go for a middle break. We’ll e’re going to go for a middle break, folks. Then we continue. Got some observation of what Jon just said. We’re going to be talking about threads for matter as well. Should be a great discussion in the second half of the show, folks. We’ll be back in a few moments, folks.


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[00:35:29.300] – Speaker 1

When it comes coming back. We’ve had a bit of a diversion. I was looking forward to this. But before we go into the second half of the show, folks, I just want to point out if you’re looking for a great hosting provider that specializes in membership and community focused websites. Why don’t you look at WP Tonic? We’ve got over 15 years’ knowledge in the WordPress space, which a lot of hosting companies don’t have. And we, like I say, specialize in these type of websites. We got some fabulous partner plans. If you’re building websites for clients, you can find a great deal of information by going over to WP. Tonic partners, WP. Tonic. Com partners. And why don’t you become a partner with WP Tonic? We’d love you to become part of the tribe. So a couple of observations. My memory can build me out here. I think I can understand because we had this scary moment where I think people in the SEO industry saw their pants around voice search because it was going to hold. No one body’s going to search. I think what a lot of people think is the, there’s all types of searches at different stages of the buying process.


[00:37:12.630] – Speaker 1

I think I had a pop out of a certain company in the first half of the show. I didn’t identify them because I don’t want to be sued by them, actually, because they already don’t like me. But they appeal to me inners because there’s so many plug in. You do a search and there’s a particular plug in. They list websites, they list the various plug ins and I do similar content. It’s aimed at beginners people doing general chairs. Because to produce really… There’s a lot of sectors that have that beginner, I call it the starting buying process content. I’m interested in, would you agree how I describe that type of content? And then good insights about how you build content and what type of content for the people that slightly further on the buying process that more deeper type of content. I think a lot of site owners struggle with building out that deeper content. Is that making any sense to you, Jon?


[00:38:36.220] – Speaker 2

Yeah, I think it does. I think part of that is if you go through a traditional SEO process, there’s a keyword research exercise. And a big part of that research is identifying keywords that have really high search volume. And historically, that’s that’s what SEOs would recommend. Like, oh, this keyword has a lot of high search volume, so that’s what we should target. But in those cases, that keyword is upper funnel. There’s usually a very strong correlation between search volume, upper funnel, low search volume, like someone’s near the conversion point. I think part of it is getting out of that or maybe being a little bit more willing to look at keywords that are lower search volume, because that’s typically where there’s a higher intent. You’re getting past the person who’s just doing the very broad research and consideration. And you can do that with content in what we would call hub and spoke model where you have the primary topic, which is the upper funnel content, and that can support the big search volume. But you build legs or spokes off of that main hub that cover all the surrounding components of it. So in a sense, you’re nurturing someone through their individual stages until the point at which they’re ready to make the conversion.


[00:40:19.000] – Speaker 2

So just for simplicity’s sake, maybe the upper funnel term is plug in, but I’m only concerned with SEO plug in. So that’s a spoke off of that. And then there’s myriad of SEO plug ins within that hub. So there’s site speed, content, site maintenance, optimization, all these different hubs off of that. But ultimately, you want to get someone to the point where they’re ready to convert. So if you create that content for all those different pathways, and then as they get a little bit further down looking for a specific plug in that will meet their needs, having that call to action right there to allow them to purchase the plug in or download it.


[00:41:07.230] – Speaker 1

I don’t know if you agree with this because I think people, if they find your content on the website and they’re really interested or at some stage they tend to gorge. They tend to stay on the website and look over. And it’s the same on your YouTube channel or your podcast. If people find it interesting, they tend to gorge on it, don’t they? They feast on it. But I think… I don’t know if… Because you’re the one that deals with a load of clients, not me. I’m just making educated guesses. God help me. I would imagine, depending if it’s business, maybe not so much. In a way, it depends what you call it, white papers, downloadable lead magnets, mini webinars. I always have I think doing freebie small courses and offering them as lead magnets, they’re the type of things that take more investment. But I think if done in the way they’re still effective, why am I kidding myself, Jon?


[00:42:15.800] – Speaker 2

No, I think that’s right. And I think those various tactics can be applied throughout that funnel of content. So someone may not be ready to sign up for the webinar until you’ve convinced them further up in the funnel that they should sit through that 30 minutes or 60 minutes webinar. So if you can nurture them into the next phase of their buying journey and then prompt them for the webinar, get them into the webinar funnel, and then maybe the next point is the conversion. So you have the introductory content that maybe is a white paper. Download, which is a little bit more information. I can digest it on my own, what I’m still doing my research. And then when I come back, the next phase is to actually get educated. So the webinar is a great conversion point there. And then ultimately, if I’ve done my research, if I’m educated and I’m ready to make a decision, then the prompt is whatever that primary KPI is. There’s a lot of different ways to solicit information from a user, depending on what your goals are, and aligning those with what a user is ready to give up from an information perspective with that content and with that journey.


[00:43:35.480] – Speaker 2

That’s the holy grail of getting someone to ultimately do what you want them to do.


[00:43:41.100] – Speaker 1

Thanks for that. Let’s move on to Fred’s influence and marketing, maybe. Now, Fred, consistently, I hate and love Twitter in the same breath. I’ve been the victim of outrageous stuff on Twitter and all these things. Yeah, I was attacked totally unfairly about a year ago by a crowd that I totally… I won t go on the rant. But I’ve also benefited on it. But if you’ve ever been exposed to one of these troll farms, it does leave a really bad taste in your mouth that goes on for many years, but it diminishes. So friends, but also in the membership create market, one of the biggest competitors to WordPress is Kajabi. Fabulous company, fantastic founders, and really know how to market their product. They utilize influencer marketing, offer really fabulous special affiliate deals for a small band of highly influential influencers in the creative membership area. And really, if you do any search about building a membership, a community website, Kajabi will turn up because it’s got a thousand people talking about it on YouTube who are all on affiliate packages. So is that something you… What’s your feeling? Because I s Fred’s… Do you know Zuckerberg?


[00:45:50.290] – Speaker 1

Do you think it’s going to become a big player? I suppose it already has, isn’t it? Because they got over B, but that’s linked to its linkage to other products.


[00:46:07.880] – Speaker 2

I think in some sense it’s a little too soon to tell its impact on Twitter. They have hit 100 million users faster than any app or social platform.


[00:46:24.350] – Speaker 1

It’s just fine, B enny, isn’t it?


[00:46:26.230] – Speaker 2

It’s just fine. Absolutely insane. But the flip side of that is I believe it was Similar Web put out a recent study that showed that that engagement has already started to taper off. And if memory serves correctly, I think that was only limited to Android users. But I think you could argue that it’s probably the same for iphone. Part of it could be just it was the shiny new thing. People poured into it to just poke around in a window shop, if you will, decide maybe it wasn’t for them and what. But I think the other thing to consider is if you actually interact with the app, there’s a lot of basic functionality that I think is missing. So for example, you can’t save a thread to go back and revisit. There isn’t really a great search functionality.


[00:47:19.580] – Speaker 1

It’s like most things in life, Jon, it’s a contradiction. The thing that people dislike about Twitter is the thing that they love about Twitter, drama. If you remove it, obviously, it matters. Well, we’re going to remove the drama. Well, if you remove the drama, you’re removing the reason why people use the bleeding black fulb. Is there anything to that?


[00:47:45.420] – Speaker 2

I find Facebook can be a very drama filled space as well. I imagine Instagram. I don’t spend a lot of time in the comments on Instagram like I do with Twitter and Facebook, even Reddit. I imagine that drama is transferable across social platforms. I don’t have any data or even personal interaction to say whether that’s true on threads yet, but I would be shocked if it didn’t transpire in some way. So I think what will be the most interesting is when Zuckerberg decides to turn on monetization of the app. And I think that’s where we’ll really see the impact on Twitter. Our Twitter advertiser is going to take that advertising budget from Twitter and shift it over to threads, especially if they’re seeing success in Instagram and Facebook already.


[00:48:49.940] – Speaker 1

Obviously, I imagine this being a big discussion in the top echelons of meta. T’s a two inch sold this. You can utilize more money for these virtual worlds building. But it does really put a red flag to the regulators, doesn’t it? Even more, doesn’t it?


[00:49:19.900] – Speaker 2

I would have to think. But in this case, they didn’t buy anything, they just created it.


[00:49:27.130] – Speaker 1

That’s a first, isn’t it?


[00:49:28.770] – Speaker 2

I mean, they’re the masters of copying, right? They basically took every feature Snapchat rolled out and added it to Instagram. Those things are hard to regulate from a regulator perspective. Could you break up Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, which probably others I’m forgetting. Could they push for that? Probably. But I don’t think there’s been… I think the opportunity, if they wanted to do that, was during the whole election data privacy issues, and it wasn’t able to be accomplished then. And now I don’t know what leg they have to stand on. There’s no big crisis or things that we know about.


[00:50:19.920] – Speaker 1

Because I’m the main producer of the content for my business, I have to always find a balance because I can get really sucked in. And I’ve learned the hard way that you got to keep a balance when it comes to social media where you’re there, but you don’t get too sucked in. Because I know people, obviously, if you’re a reporter or you’re a social influencer, that’s your business model. That’s how you are going to be on Twitter. But I know people in the WordPress community, I don’t know how they do any bloody work because they’re always on bloody Twitter all the time. But I just come to the conclusion that they’re on there because it builds relation and they get work. People’s agency owners, other people that like their attitude, throw them a few bones. And that’s why they’re always on there. I just come to that conclusion, Jon, because.


[00:51:24.080] – Speaker 2



[00:51:25.070] – Speaker 1

Always on there. They’re always remarketing and talking about something called some body where I just haven’t got the bandwidth to do that, or the inclination to do that, Jon.


[00:51:37.860] – Speaker 2

Yeah. It could be that they’re scheduling posts. They may have a team who’s actually doing it and then crafting the content. They approve it, they get scheduled. So it looks like they’re heavily active. Maybe they jump in during the day and respond to a couple of things so that it looks more human. I don’t know. I definitely don’t have that much time to spend on Twitter every day. So you’re right. There are some folks I’m just like, Wow.


[00:52:11.640] – Speaker 1



[00:52:13.030] – Speaker 2

Part of their brand. I don’t know. But I have heard a lot of success stories, Twitter specifically, around building those relationships, getting work from it. So it’s definitely a valuable platform. And maybe that justifies the time spent there. I’m not sure.


[00:52:32.010] – Speaker 1

I quite like it. I spent a bit of time posting on LinkedIn. I put more video up on Twitter because I produce a lot of video every week. I just try and spread it around. But I try and guard myself getting too… It’s finding that balance where you got to be on those platforms and you got to provide value, but don’t get too sucked in. It’s difficult. Let’s move on. If you had a time machine, obviously, I’m from England, so I was into Doctor Who and the tardis. So if you had your own time machine, your own tardis, and you could go back at the beginning when you were a young man, you’re still looking pretty good actually, Jon, but if you were a young man and you could just tell yourself one or two bits of advice, what would you do? Ow did you decide to yourself?


[00:53:35.490] – Speaker 2

Probably two things come immediately to mind. I think one that I did follow and maybe one that I didn’t. Growing up, there were a few people in my close family that were constantly saying, What if I did that? Or, What if this? And that influenced me to take a mindset that if I had an important decision to make, I would ask myself that question, if I don’t do this and look back in 10 years, am I going to say what if? And I think that approach really prevented me from saying no to moving across the country to California for a job opportunity. And that single decision allowed me to meet probably the most influential person in my life, who was Jack Abbott. He became a boss initially, a mentor after, and taught me a great deal about just running an agency, how to do client service.


[00:54:44.470] – Speaker 1

I’d like to say you give an air of relaxed confidence, actually. For somebody that’s been running an SEO agency for quite a while, you just seem too relaxed, John. Normally, they twitch quite a lot for you eah.


[00:55:01.250] – Speaker 2

I had a lot of good training. And then I kept that mantra and moved to New York. And that was the single turning point in my career, I think. Definitely a lot of other important relationships in my life, but I think that’s one that having that mindset allowed me to experience. The second one is I have said for many years that I want to learn how to properly code, and I just never did it. I took a class here and there. But what I would tell myself in earlier years is dedicated maybe not a degree, but definitely dedicated time to learn how to properly.


[00:55:55.660] – Speaker 1

Code the. I just want to remark, if you’ve brought up something that I’ve been thinking a bit about over the last couple of years. I think obviously, I’m in the membership training area, community area. I think traditional higher education, and you’re seeing this with the traditional model companies, what happened in COVID accelerated the process. Obviously, you said your company is distributed. Obviously, in the WordPress, it’s been going on for years. Most WordPress agencies automatic, since its founding, it’s been a distributed company. Obviously, people say, Well, how do you have a company culture? How do you promote things? So what I’m getting round to is I think building… It’s a very banded term, and I’m sure because of that it will become meaningless, but I think there’s something there. How do you build community? In some ways, that is the purpose of a university or joining a course because it says if you don’t get off your ass and do the coursework, you’re going to get a bit of a beating from the lecturer to some extent. And you cough up a load of money and you’re not going to get a bit of that paper at the end of the freaking degree.


[00:57:37.700] – Speaker 1

You’d be marked as a failure for the rest of your life, whatever. You’d be stamped on your forehead, loser. But being part of that community, being part of a group, because when most people say that their lectures are useless, they really learn through their other students. But it does motivate trying to do something on your own and keep motivated when you… I think… What’s his name? The purple cow guy. What’s his name? You hit that plateau, you always learn something, and then there’s a bit of a dive, and you really then got to grit your teeth and push through. And I think having a community around you helps with that. So I think the big thing is building these community things are going to be the biggest area in the next few years. I haven’t expressed it very well, but I’m still trying to grasp it myself. What do you reckon, Jon?


[00:58:49.430] – Speaker 2

So if I understood the.


[00:58:50.550] – Speaker 1

Question correctly. That was a rabbit, wasn’t it? That really was a rabbit, wasn’t it?


[00:58:56.080] – Speaker 2

Was it more about how we, as a distributed team, create a culture within our agency?

[00:59:08.880] – Speaker 1

Yeah, it’s the same thing with learning something in higher education, isn’t it? Yeah, trying to learn a new skill. You said you wanted to learn programming, and you’ve done a few. But I think if you’re part of a community and mentorship and pushing it a little bit when it got tough, and you could go to somebody, you’d be able to push through more effectively.

[00:59:33.210] – Speaker 2

Definitely, just through my career, I’ve been surrounded by many intelligent people. And my time at RazorFish was probably the most influential from a development perspective because we were building the websites, and an SEO team was attached to that development team. And so I was heavily exposed to the language, to writing user stories and submitting them to Jira. And so I have a lot of elements that surround the development role, I guess, that have allowed me to interact with developers in a much more meaningful way. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be as successful in selling a recommendation to a developer who may not see the value in it. I think that’s a very niche skill in the SEO space. It’s not just about the recommendation, but how do you illustrate it to someone who may not see the value and explain it in a way they understand?

[01:00:54.260] – Speaker 1

That’s a very diplomatic way of dealing with bullshit developers, right? Yeah. Never. Never.

[01:01:03.220] – Speaker 2

But I think if I had gone to a proper course or gotten that certificate or degree or something like that, I probably would have had a better community to ping those things off of. I will say Twitter is a good resource for that.

[01:01:19.010] – Speaker 1

Well, yeah, that’s probably one thing. It’s got its dark side, but it’s got its good side. There we go. I think we’re going to wrap it up now. You dealt with me… I rambled on, especially that last question. We had about six different parts to it. Oh, my Godfathers. I think I kept on the subject of the rest of it, didn’t I, Jon? But that last question. I don’t think I’ll ask you six because if I talked to somebody, asked you five questions in one question already. So, Jon, what’s the best way for people to learn more about you and your agency and what it has to offer?

[01:01:57.760] – Speaker 2

Yeah. So to find out about the agency, We have services and case studies. You can reach out to me directly at Jon, Jon@moveing trafficmedia. com, or happy to catch up with you on Twitter @ John Lee Clark, J O N L E E C L A R K. those are the best places to get a hold of me.

[01:02:24.050] – Speaker 1

That’s fantastic. Folks, if you want to join the WP-Tonic community, we got a fabulous Facebook group. I am now regularly posting every day my thoughts on that. Maybe that’s a reason not to join it but go over it. It’s called the membership machine show group. Go over there; we talk about membership community and WordPress. What more could you ask for? Jon, you have to come back to the show. Hopefully, you’ve dealt with my rambling quite well. I think we’ve had a fabulous discussion, a bit different than the regular discussion around SEO. I think it’s been fantastic. Hopefully, I decide to come back at some stage. We will be back next week. I got to say, folks, I got some fabulous guests in August. Consistently a quiet month. I’ve managed to get some really, like John, some fabulous people. We’re going to be talking about SaaS and WordPress. What more could you ask for, folks? We will be back soon. Bye. Hey, thanks for listening. We do appreciate it. Why not visit the Mastermind Facebook group? And also, to keep up with the latest news, click wp. Tonic. Com newsletter. We’ll see you next time.

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#771 WP-Tonic This Week in WordPress & SaaS We Interview Jon Clark Managing Partner at Moving Traffic Media was last modified: by