Kate Toon on the Benefits of Productising Her SEO Business
Today’s podcast is going to introduce you to award-winning SEO copywriter Kate Toon and her journey from the corporate world to inspiring educator and consultant. Because she’s a decades-long SEO expert, she was also kind enough to share a bunch of insights into how to do SEO well in this day and age.
Escaping the Corporate World
In a previous life, Kate Toon worked as an agency producer and worked with top brands around the globe such as Curash, eHarmony and Kmart. Later on, she transitioned into SEO copywriting and found her first sweet spot.
However, it was about five-and-a-half months into her pregnancy when she decided she’d had enough of the corporate world. She quit her contract SEO copywriting job and began the journey of launching her own business.
As you can imagine, juggling a new baby and new business at the same time is not the most peaceful of scenarios, but she made it work. Nearly a decade later, she is now responsible for teaching DIY SEOers how to craft better copy for search and for conversion rate optimisation with The Recipe for SEO Success and the Clever Copywriting School.
What Everyone Needs to Know About Good SEO
Kate gave us so many valuable SEO nuggets, but let’s start with the basics:
What makes for good SEO?
For starters, she says that you can’t just write great copy and expect it to rank well in search and convert instantly. You have to understand the technology surrounding it, too. Namely, how does Google work and how do you play along with its rules?
Considering how sophisticated Google’s algorithm has become, it’s a lot easier these days to write with search intent in mind and have Google actually understand who to put your content in front of. But Kate also suggests that you not forget that this copy must appear in front of humans, too — after all, they’re the ones who need to click and convert.
The 7-Point SEO Checklist
Building on that, Kate was kind enough to introduce us to the seven-point SEO checklist.
Take your focus keyword and apply it to the following places in your content:
- Meta description
- Header tag
- Once in the body of the page
- Image name
- Image alt tag
Sounds simple enough, right?
A Note About Links
As Kate mentioned, there’s more to SEO copywriting than just writing good content and keyword utilisation. Link building is important, too. However:
DO NOT PAY FOR BACKLINKS.
Or, as Kate more eloquently put it:
“Don’t try to build backlinks. You have to earn them.”
And the best way to earn genuine backlinks is through relationship building.
Kate’s SEO Tool Recommendations
One final insight Kate gave us into her mastery of SEO was her tool of choice. Actually, there were three she recommended:
This is Google’s free SEO tool. With it, you can learn more about your website’s:
- Internal link building
- Backlinks and sources
- Broken links
- Keyword utilisation
- Schema markup
For those who want to do SEO in a more serious way, she recommends using one of two premium tools:
How Kate’s Reaping the Benefits of Productising Her Business
Finally, let’s talk about what Kate’s doing these days to reap the benefits of productising her business.
It’s been a long journey for this SEO expert, from client services to educator. It actually wasn’t until about Year 4 in her business that she realised there were benefits to productising.
Through some trial and error, she took her SEO business through a variety of products. Conferences. Online courses. A copywriting school.
She’s now found the perfect sweet spot: one that takes her out of the copywriting equation altogether and puts her in the seat of managing a business and showing small businesses, bloggers and marketers how to do SEO well.
The Clever Copywriting School currently has 200 members who get access to:
- A copywriting conference
- Discounts on templates
- A collaborative community
- Job postings
- And more
And she’s perfectly content with where she is. As Kate explained, she had deliberately automated as much as she could so that she could do more without having to grow her team. For her, the dream is not about ending back up in an office environment (even if she’s the one leading it).
As she said at the end of this podcast: she could do more, but at what cost?
I hope you found Kate Toon’s podcast just as enjoyable and valuable as I did. Although she might not work in the same capacity as most Elevators do, you can see the parallels between what Kate went through when starting her business and how she navigated her way towards productising it.
If you’re ready for more insights into how to make your business better, check out this free online workshop. You’ll learn more about how to set better prices and land better projects and clients as a result.