On this episode of the Digital Marketing with Bill Hartzer podcast, I spoke with Peter Leshaw, a Digital Marketing Strategist. We talked about in-house digital marketing and the importance of establishing KPIs at the beginning of any digital marketing campaign. They we chatted about creating dashboards for certain stakeholders, and the need for customizing dashboards for reporting and tracking purposes.
Here is the full transcript of the episode, with special guest Peter Leshaw.
Bill Hartzer (00:04):
Hi, this is Bill Hartzer. And this is the digital marketing podcast with Bill Hartzer. And this afternoon I have the pleasure of having Peter Leshaw, an SEO and digital marketing strategist. Welcome more computer. Welcome to the podcast this afternoon. Tell me a little about bit, a little bit about yourself and your background and how long you’ve been working in digital, digital marketing and so forth.
Peter Leshaw (00:32):
Yes, thanks for having me. And it is great to be here. So yeah this Sunday I’m probably moving into my 21st or 22nd actually season of, of our year season. I call it a year of, of doing digital marketing. I got started way back just prior to 2000 in SEO. And then from SEO started to leverage various other channels to springboard off of, to help either compliment SEO or SEO, possibly supplement and other visual marketing strategy. So I would say over the last 22 years, I’ve focused on core competency on SEO, but I’ve worked through email marketing campaigns, affiliate marketing, social media, reputation management, and a lot of paid paid paid work as well, page servers.
Bill Hartzer (01:29):
Yeah, so I started back in the, you know, actually I would say in the late, late nineties, early two thousands as well on the, on the webmaster side. And I was you know, in house that I know you’ve mentioned you’ve been in house as well. And I think that, you know, the big challenge there was for me was I was announced was primarily as kind of a wood master and also doing, you know, search engine optimization and, and, you know, basically trying to help the organization get more visibility online and, and so forth was bringing more Lee, you know, essentially bringing in more leads for sales. But at the same time it was, you know, the customer of mine was essentially the global head of marketing. And so there was, you know, there was initially, you know, some wanting to well, additionally, the, the kind of the process I went through is, is to kind of document, you know, how we were doing as far as rankings go and, and, you know, and establish the keyword list and so forth and watch those and, and, and on a regular basis, you know, kind of actually I remember producing a report you know, kind of in a which ended up being a printed document of some, you know, screen captures and, and analytics data and so forth about how, you know, how the website was doing, how much traffic, how many leads, and essentially conversions was very very, very basic at that point.
Bill Hartzer (03:03):
But now, now we’re in a point where we can have dashboards and a lot of, a lot of data’s more in real time and we can get a lot more data now you know, versus back then where we basically had to, you know, produce a report. So what is your been your experience over the years you think have, you know, has, has it changed from the type of reporting that we’re doing?
Peter Leshaw (03:31):
Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the biggest things along the lines of what you were just talking about is the ability to do real time reporting and to not have to invest in a Watson level IBM Watson level of service in order to crunch your numbers in real time to present to the stakeholders. One of the challenges for, for being an in house SEO person is to get corporate buy in that stakeholder buy in. And what gets the buy-in is the ability to lay down expectations that you are, that you you’re available. You think you’re going to be able to meet. And and along the lines of laying down those expectations to create dashboards that single out the specific KPIs that various entities are in tune to when they’re grading the success or failure of SEO.
Peter Leshaw (04:35):
So being able to create a dashboard in real time through the use of like a data studio Google data studios, which is just basically tying in various data data sources, as well as Google analytics, Google ads segments of Google analytics, if it’s organic and then present that in a way to, you know, that that’s only pulling out the cherry picking the data that’s that, that, that you need to show. And then you can cross reference that over a period whether it’s last week, last month, year over year, whatever, but being able to do that has I believe changed the industry and made has made the people that invest in create and laying down the proper expectations, the STOs that lay down the proper expectations that provide the physical evidence through dashboards to show that you know what they’re doing. I think in long Gates, their tenure at the organization, because gone are the days when the CEO is saying, I don’t know what SEO is doing. I know it’s something that takes a long time. We’re doing it today. We’re spending all this money, but you know, that those days are gone because we can provide an SEO meter, right. That shows what, when we’re moving the dial. And I think that that’s a big change with, with available tools that allow you to do that.
Bill Hartzer (06:09):
Sure. So we mentioned, you know, you mentioned the dashboards you know, my first step coordination is okay, well, you know, my first thought is, okay,
Bill Hartzer (06:23):
The first kind of process, even, even before that is to understand who the, who are the actual major stakeholders are. If it’s, you know, if it’s, if it’s a C level or business owner type of people versus you know, then you’d have my market marketing and marketing people, and then you would have potentially, you know, the, the technical or webmaster type of people. And so those would theoretically be several different types of dashboards and, you know, the critical part, if I see it is to actually begin to understand or try and under, really understand what you know, what mean, well, define the success for each of those stakeholders. So, you know, the, certainly the CEO, what if you’re talking about CEO or business owner, you know, what do they want to see? They don’t want to necessarily to see how fast one particular webpage loads and so forth. They want to see a certain type of set of data. And so if we can spend time understanding that and understanding what we need to show or what is important to each of these type types of stakeholders then we can create the dashboards and those custom dashboards for each one of those segments of people who need to see that data.
Peter Leshaw (07:50):
Yeah, absolutely. I think that I start, I think in the, in the initial meeting that I have with every one of my clients specifically the person in charge of paying the bill, I asked him a very direct question. What is it that you look at on whatever data point you have, whether it’s your in house bookkeeping, your sales department dash, what are you looking at to determine whether or not SEO is succeed, succeeding, or failing your company? And when they start to say things like, I need to know that my phones are ringing. Okay, great. Well then that means I need to establish a phone tracking system that, that segments out organic traffic. If it’s organic, that I’m in charge of, if it’s paid then paid traffic, obviously we can channel it easier that way, but if it’s organic, then you need to be a smart enough, a strategist to know technologies like call tracking metrics that allow you to have a random number that displays that can pull out that organic keyword that the person typed in when they filled out that form.
Peter Leshaw (09:09):
So it’s asking those very specific, direct questions, and then digging into your analytics and finding out where those data points are and pulling them out. As you, as you mentioned, you know, the sales director will have a different SEO dashboard. His dashboard will be how many calls did he get form organic? How many calls did he get from specific campaigns on organic? How many calls did he get from other refers to the website, your, your, your, your webmaster, although you can never expect your webmaster to become that SEO because he’s a coder. But you can help sort of lay a foundation or a culture of SEO by saying, listen, go a pizza party with the guy, grab some soda and say, listen, when you’re doing your work, these are the KPIs within my Google analytics. And I look at that are directly affect the things that I think that you can help with page load speed time you know, possibly a bow could, you know, maybe, maybe it’s pages per session or bounce rates. Maybe it’s, there’s certain bottlenecks in that sense, or maybe server response times. But there’s certainly
Bill Hartzer (10:22):
404 errors. I know,
Peter Leshaw (10:24):
I’m sorry, 404 errors through your search console stuff. Then you go your, then you go to your content department, who’s creating your, you’re writing your blogs and saying, look, you’re going to, we’re going to give some KPR KPIs that are click through rates that you’re going to be in charge of bounce rates average sessions per a pages per session. Those will be the three. You don’t want to give them too many. And we’re gonna look at, and maybe, and maybe on social media engagement rates and engagement rate and likes and stuff like that. So now when you take all these different departments and you have your, your, your inner department meetings with them, you know, whether or not you’re moving in the right direction, so, you know, dashboards and that race relates to the physical evidence so that everyone can see what you’re doing.
Bill Hartzer (11:09):
Sure, exactly. And obviously then you have your, you know, the, I such with the SEO dashboard, which could be asked separately or the digital marketing dashboard, if you will, that will can give you different, you know, give different information as well. And, you know, obviously you know, it could be, you know, we could have technical issues on there that need to be addressed. It could be, you know, it could be pulling you know, it from, you know, if it’s an eCommerce site, it could be pulling information or errors from our information from Google search console. I know, I know that a couple, I have a couple of clients who are, who do have a eCommerce sites, and I’m constantly watching, you know, a Google search console in particular for certain types of errors. I know we’ve been implementing schema and a lot of different things product schema and so forth. And so it’s kind of a constant, you know, watching of that. So there’s so much, you know, different information and then we haven’t even, we haven’t even mentioned competitors, you know, potentially a dashboard that is watching you know, how competitors are doing. And, you know, if there are some specific competitors that you’re watching and what, you know, and so forth,
Peter Leshaw (12:35):
And, you know, basically the amount, I also find other solutions like SCM rush as a, as a great tool to aggregate various data points that you need to be in tuned to getting back to, or, or, or, or, or, or speaking to the competitive information that you can get out of that. And I’m not certain I haven’t done in a while, but I know that I think you can break off piece, same thing, how you can use Google data studio to cherry pick the right KPIs or whoever, you know, if you’re using something like an SEMrush where you’re pulling in all sorts of data, you can cherry pick the different dashboards, cause that has multiple dashboards and send those reports off to your, you know, your stakeholders for their buy in a long time ago. I think you and I already know each other from probably most likely Pubcon, I’ve been speaking there for about 10 years or so.
Peter Leshaw (13:37):
And early on, I speak toward, towards to SEO and in house growing an in house SEO team and culture and development. But a while back, there was a couple tracks that I did that was S E O in house SEO compensation. And it was talking about, you know, my, my, my, my basically contribution to the panel was how do you re how do you make certain that you keep your job, you know, going back 10 years ago, you’re still in the time and the era where agencies and brands are hiring and burning and churning, they’re trying to hire and trying to find that top gun you know, find out as much as he can and then go out and get the next guy. But what could you do to stay on long term? And for me, it was about building dashboards and showing incremental success.
Peter Leshaw (14:34):
You can start a campaign today. Okay. And yes, you can expect that, that campaign, if it’s a new landing page to be indexed today, this week fairly cert fairly soon, and then you can expect if you’re having a phone tied to it, to get calls to that. And if that’s the case, you pull out that data, put it in so that you can go to your boss, say, yeah, we just launched this campaign last week, an SEO campaign, and this is what it’s doing. And so I tried to, you know take them away that notion that SEO is something I take so long before you can figure out what what’s doing. Because business owners don’t really have an arbitrary, you know, six months, eight months, if they’re going to want to keep dumping money into something, unless they really understand what they’re getting in return.
Bill Hartzer (15:28):
Sure. And, you know, over the years though, I have actually seen, you know, one of my observations, you know, because I’ve been doing this so long, we’ve being able to see that a lot of things on the SEO side have become, especially in the past five years or so a lot quicker that you know, that you know, Google’s crawling more, you know, Google does crawl. They process a lot of the, you know, a lot of the information fairly quickly. You can have, you can create a new page and ideally get it crawled an index, you know, within a day. And you know, and depending on the topic and so forth, they can rank well fairly quickly. And so there are some quick wins that you can have. You can adjust, you know, page load speed, and you can see some results, you know, we’re not talking about, you know, it used to be that 10, 15 years ago, it was, you know, you, your SEO results would be months.
Bill Hartzer (16:36):
But now we’re talking about potentially, you know, days and weeks versus you know, if things are adjusted. For example, if, if you know, I was dealing with an issue with product schema on a, on a site that it was giving an errors and, you know, Google worldly was not Google was seeing the errors. And as soon as we fix the errors fairly quickly, you know, within a few days, we did see, you know, again, that page doing well or those, you know, the pages that had the errors. And so, you know, things have likely sped up, you know, in certain areas. But you know, overall marketing, it does take time to establish a brand. It does take time to you know, for a lot of things that you can’t really rush in certain areas.
Peter Leshaw (17:30):
Yeah. yeah, absolutely.
Bill Hartzer (17:36):
Sure. So we’re just out of, just about out of time for for this episode. So why don’t you give me a little bit of information about how, how we get in touch. I know you do a lot of digital marketing consulting and so forth and building dashboards. And, but tell me a little bit about how, how we can get in touch.
Peter Leshaw (17:57):
Yeah. I invite people to work with me or contact me directly straight to my personal email address, which is Peter at Lee Shaw, co L E S H a w C o.com. I’m on digital marketing strategist available for hire to help sit alongside a C level or a, or, or stay other stakeholders or owners of the company to make certain that, that their expectations are being met by their marketing or, or, or, or agency. And, and to build those dashboards to help show, you know, the work that that’s being done is, is providing a positive return on their investment.
Bill Hartzer (18:37):
Okay. Sounds great. Thanks again for joining me this afternoon, Peter, this has been the Digital Marketing with Bill Hartzer podcast for July 2nd, 2020. Thanks again. We’ll see you online, Peter. Thanks. Great. Thanks for having me.
Peter Leshaw (18:55):