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Good morning. This is Wendy Gaylor with the Bedford area chamber of commerce chamber vibes podcast. Excited for our next guest speaker to talk to us today. And his name is Phil Tucker and he is with be famous media and he comes to us, with lots of expertise in the marketing department. And I love his story and he has such a great following.
And he talks about his mission statement. As he desires to live each day with integrity and compassion, maintaining a consistency of positive attitude while exercising the gifts that he’s been given to enrich and in-service to those all around him. And that is inspiring in itself. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce Mr. Phil Tucker. Thanks, Wendy. Glad to be here. Good morning. Glad to have you. And so. Did you move here? How many years ago? About 20, 20 years. 21 years. Okay. So you’re pretty in, in bedded into the community and you have a great following for your marketing business and you have. Like I said, expertise in your field and people come to you saying, please help me because we want to develop our marketing and really have more of a digital strategy.
I love that you do these marketing plans with digital strategies and help people with their website and all their different what we’re going to talk about today with the SEO. And so exciting. You’re just the guru of SEO. And so we’ve, we’re excited to kind of impart that wisdom to the people that are listening to this podcast today.
So if you don’t know. Phil, then you need to and stay tuned because we’re about to really give you some positive informative vibes with Phil today. And but first we want to get to know Phil a little bit better if you don’t know him. And we were talking earlier about what brought you here to the Lynchburg Bedford region, for sure.
So it’s. Either exciting or unexciting depending on how you’re looking at it. But basically came down to chasing a young lady when we had dated for a few minutes. And I think I visited a couple of times and decided to see where the relationship was going to go and the best way to do that was to move on down.
So we moved or I moved from upstate New York. And actually, it was, I think that first maybe. February that I was down here and I kind of asked people, I said, well, when, when does winter come? You know, when’s it going to snow? It’d be in from Syracuse, the snowiest city in the country. They kind of said, well, it’s, you know, spring’s right around the corner.
We already had it. And so I was, I was sold at that point. So that’s what kept me down here is definitely well, besides the young lady the moderate temperatures. Yeah. I mean, it’s just me, I’m definitely a mid Atlantic guy. Well, we are so glad that you moved here and really got so into the culture and community and made a difference right.
Where you are, which is exactly what your mission statement is. And so you’ve been in business. How long. For yourself. Yeah. So 100% for myself just over a year and actually like so many other marketers are just people out in the community. You find that. Have a passion, they have a side hustle.
And you know, I had a side hustle that probably was you know, probably a decade or more and turn that passion into a full-time and then some business. And that’s the best, you know, is to really when you do something that you’re passionate about, it’s not like a job ever, you know, and you’re using your gifts and talents that you, that you have.
And for something that you love it, didn’t say you were a self-taught web developer and search engine optimized. Which is SEO for those that don’t know, and internet marketing and continuously educating yourself and your desire is to help individuals and businesses succeed. And so you have such a diverse background as well, and also help people with financial planning and things like that too, on the side with your church.
I know. And so you can really help businesses in a lot of different ways. And so today, though, we’re going to talk mostly about The SEOs and, and how you can help businesses in that area. But I don’t want to be remiss and forget about it. What is on your bucket list and what have you done so far on your bucket list?
Yeah, so, you know, I always wanted to, I think travel is probably the number one thing on the bucket list and there’s different areas which some, probably a fit for a lot of different people, but I’m always wanting to go someplace tropical and had the opportunity to a few years ago to travel with a close friend family.
And my wife and I, we went to Thailand. And spent about three weeks traveling up and down the coast in Thailand with a motorcoach that our friend’s parents had had Had rented out and had a driver and it was awesome. We kind of just hopped from resort to resort, a lot of sightseeing.
And it was amazing. But as far as bucket list items I don’t know if I want to do, I guess I could do both, but I want to do the train that goes from Chicago to San Francisco. I think it’s a Amtrak zipper and there’s one that does the Canadian Rockies, or actually, I guess it’s just the U S Rockies for the U S side, but then there’s also one that does the Canadian Rockies.
That one, I think goes from Toronto to Vancouver. So I probably should try the U S first. There you go. And that, one’s cool because you can I don’t know if I would start in Chicago, but it stops along the way and a lot of different cities. Plus the actual train has like these awesome. Viewing carts where basically you just sit in lounge chairs and watch them the scenery go by.
So that sounds beautiful. Sounds like a lot of fun. It does sound like a bucket list item. And then I’d also like to check out you know, just all the beauty that USTR has. So the grand canyons Redwood forest, California and definitely like the check-out Alaska that looks like. And a lot of cool, cool things to see.
Oh, beautiful. I would love that too. And so you will get there one day and that’ll be exciting, but Thailand sounds gorgeous and the trip of a lifetime. Yeah. For sure. And I love trains, so that, that will be fun as well. So your business, you know, you say in your motto, you have client-focused and results-driven which is what a lot of businesses need.
They need the results and they want to see the results. And so when you bring up the SEOs and all of this have you made anybody famous because you know, that is in your name? Well that’s yeah, that’s the goal is to help small businesses become famous because he. Their goal is not to be famous. That’s not what they’re setting out for.
You know, their visibility needs to be first and foremost, especially over their competition. You know, I’m a big fan of free markets and competition, but you know, as far as helping my clients, I want to make sure that they can. Verizon above. And you know, when people are already looking for their services, they could be found.
But you know, one of the things that I really like about marketing digital marketing specifically is you can track the results and just working as a small business owner myself, I’m very sensitive to that return on investment. And that’s one of the things I notice a lot of you know, I don’t want to beat up too bad on the traditional media folks, but that’s one of the things I noticed just working with a lot of traditional media you know, they have a huge microphone, but we’re not really sure what happens.
So, you know, you can have a beautiful billboard. An awesome TV commercial, a radio commercial print ad. Those are all great. Especially for branding. I love, I love traditional for branding to keep the name out there, but when people are actually looking for your services, I don’t know that they’re going to remember that billboard, they drove past.
But that’s right, but the search engine optimization definitely. What does that mean? So search engine optimization is basically just any activity that helps get your visibility in the search engine. So whether it’s working on your Google listing and the maps or your actual website, so their website shows up in organic.
And, you know, it’s, it’s multifaceted as far as the techniques, but Google specifically, you know, they’re probably approaching 90% of the market share in search. Most people are using Google whether it’s Google directly or. Another company they own, which you’ve heard of YouTube. That’s really what people are using to search.
And it’s even getting ways with people using the voice search on their phone. A lot of the studies are showing that that’s why my phone, where Pete, back to me later, what I say, are you sure you’re looking for this listening at all times. That’s a whole different thing we can get into.
Right? Tell me how that works. So what types I know you just mentioned some, but what types, what other types of SEOs are. Well basically there are three major categories. One is onsite and that’s having to work in and do things on your actual website. So there are some technical things there are adding content and making your website shirts, search-friendly.
But then even more important is what happens off of your head. Which a lot of times, you know, business owners may hear things like backlinking. And any time you have another website that points to your website, that’s a backlink. So if you imagine, you know, if you’re looking for a, a pizza shop and you have websites out there that are saying, yeah, if you’re looking for the best pizza in Lynchburg and they, they have a link that goes to your pizza shop website, That’s almost a vote of confidence that Google is seeing in, in kind of giving you credit for that link.
So that’s called off backlinks and that’s inside the off-page optimization. And then the third is really focused on the citations or the. The name, address, phone numbers, that point to your business. So you can think of all those directories, the Yelps, the yellow pages.com, all those directories and that’s crucially important for local search engine optimization.
So definitely backlinks, you know, making sure you can link up to other websites. That’s huge. Yeah. And actually, it’s not as much as you linking, but other websites linking to you. Okay. Yup. So why should businesses hire an SEO specialist? Yeah, that’s a great question. Just like most other things, my go-to answer actually is from my accountant and her phrase is even if you can do it, should yeah.
And so that’s one of the things there is that most business owners just really don’t have the time to invest in learning all that there is to learn. And it’s, I mean, it’s really similar to most, most problems that you have, you know, if you have a leaky toilet hire a plumber, right. You know, can you fix it yourself?
Maybe, but after you, you know, watch all those YouTube videos on how to fix it and really mess something up, you know, you could have just hired a plumber to do it. Right. So that’s the main reason is that when you hire a professional ear, regardless of what problem you’re trying to solve. And in this case with search engine optimization, The problem is that your website doesn’t show up when people do a search for you.
So you can have the very best goods or service, but if nobody knows when they’re actually looking for you, then really what, what good is it is basically about, you know, what I would say is somebody else’s singing your song and, you know, helping you to get the word out. So definitely getting those other websites, pushing people to your website, competence.
So, what is the process or what is your process for SEO? I really like to do an audit to find out where businesses, where they are and then also really go through and talk with businesses to find out what their goals are, what they’re trying to achieve, and then put a stitch, you know, put a plan together, some strategy to actually You know, have a game plan on how to add, I get them to where they want to be.
But the main thing is taking a look at their website, doing an audit to find out, you know, what’s wrong or what can be improved with their website. Taking a look at their online visibility. Again, we were talking about the citations and the, the Google, my business listing. Making sure that all of those are, are working together and optimize correctly so that when you do a Google search, you’re showing up.
The other items that we really like to focus on are making sure that the website is search friendly definitely needs to be secure and mobile responsive, but now you know, Google is really pushing a real emphasis on making sure your website. Delivers answers. So most people, when they use Google there, they have a question or a problem, something that they’re trying to figure out.
And Google is putting a lot of emphasis on your, your website delivering that answer. So you can think of almost anything that you’d ever would Google. And if your website doesn’t answer that question, you know, the likelihood that it ranks is really going to below. So a lot of times I just try to work with business owners and focus that website and turn it into a resource for their, their prospects
So how about, how long does that take, you know, when you’re auditing and analyze it? And how do you measure the results? Sure. So that basic audit usually happens pretty quickly. Right now we’re delivering audits usually inside a week or two, depending on how large of a website or what their The size of their, usually the size of their website, because the more pages they have in products and services obviously there’s more audit, but outside of that, usually putting together a game plan and a strategy also takes a week or two, depending on how large of an organization or what their goals are.
And then we usually start the game plan part of it. Usually, that takes two to three weeks to actually start. And from there if we’re talking specifically with search engine optimization, that’s usually more of a marathon. So we like to see results in usually the first 45 days. And as far as tracking one of the main ways we track is just with keywords.
So we’ll, we’ll agree on a set of keywords that are important to the visit. And then we’ll initially have a baseline so we know where we are and then we’ll just track it. And what I like to do is at least track and have monthly meetings. So once a month, I’d like to sit down and actually go through the reports and review what we’ve done what’s happened.
And what’s great with search engine optimization is a business owner. Number one is going to see the results. Just increase in phone calls or leads from their website. Additionally, they can, they can Google themselves and see, you know, oh, well, you know, before I didn’t show up and now I do so something’s going on.
But yeah, that usually is in the first 45 days. And then it’s just an ongoing process. I like to see my clients have tangible results in the first six weeks. But some of that has to do with the competition, you know, so a more competitive industry, or, you know, if you’re local or national, cause I also have national clients, but it’s, it’s a lot to do with the competition, but a good example is I have a local day spa and.
Awesome. Awesome business. Awesome location. Awesome clients. Everything is great, but their website was not where it needed to be. So we did a website redesign. And instantly the business center saw a huge influx of new clients and new customers. And a lot of it was just the website being friendly, easy to navigate and has an easy for people to find the website and then that’ll just keep, keep growing.
So she’s actually in the process of hiring more sales, Oh, that’s an exciting story. Great testimonial. That’s usually, yeah, I would start if, if, if somebody did contact me, I’d want to find out, you know, are they actually looking to grow? You know? Cause I have talked to people and they have some interest and then we talk and I’m like, well, you know, can you actually handle more business?
Are you looking to grow? And if the answer is not really, then it’s not a good fit because you know, after I get ahold of their, their marketing and their website, That’s my goal is for them to get more leads, more business. And what about if they just want it to look better and have, you know, maybe a better front door?
Cause we that’s what we call our website as our front door. Yeah, for sure. So if it’s Hadley aesthetics, you know, that’s, that’s one thing that we can kind of talk and find out what they’re looking for. And yeah, I definitely have some of those clients that really just want like an online brochure.
You know, and that’s that’s fine. That’s not a problem. But really where I shine is helping businesses generate more money. And then there’s the results, that’s the results. And that’s why I’m results driven. And so what trends are there any trends that you see right now that business owners need to be aware of?
That would be helpful to them. Yeah. It’s been going on for a few years now and I’m sure if anybody has looked at how to increase their business or marketing at all. Video is definitely something that business owners need to really pay attention to because they’ve probably been putting it off for a few years.
But now’s the time. So between video and I think the other one is voice the voice search. A lot of stats are showing that Of adults in the US they use voice every day to look for something. You know, you hear people asking Siri or Hey, Google. And then, you know, the, the number of voice-activated devices in the home, I think it’s about 13 to 15% of us homes.
Have it. Some type of smart device that they can talk to. And those numbers are just, you know, keep growing. So I think you know, business owners that are not aware of voice, you know, they’re going to be left, kind of left in the dust. But, you know, I think one of the things too, that I really try to work on with business owners is making sure that they understand that they need to be a resource for their clients and their customers or their prospects.
A lot of times you go to a website and you kind of go through and you’re initially you may not even be sure what the business does. And once you figure that out, The way to contact the business owner is, is head in our hard, you know, it takes multiple clicks to get to that contact page. So really what I like to walk through is just have people step into their, their prospects or their, their feature clients kind of shoes to see, well, you know, what are they looking for?
How can I help them versus what I, you know, what do I want to tell them, you know, and really focus on being I guess customer-centered. With their website and their market. Yeah. And to really, like you said, tell their story and really showcase who they are, what they do and how they can best help you definitely to be shown on their website for sure.
And people can find out more about you and your business and what you can do for them on our website. I’ll just mention that Bedford area chamber.com because you are a Bedford chamber member and we’re excited to offer a program with you where people can learn more about SEOs and what they can do for you.
Their business and you’re going to train them some things. This, we have a summer series for June, July, and August with Phil be famous media, June 30th, Wednesday at 12. This will be our lunch seminars. Bring your own lunch. Come one. See us virtually. And then so the first one’s June 30th at 12. Then we’ll have July 28th and then August 25th.
So we’ll look forward to those and learning more from you and we’ll learn along with our businesses as well. Sure. Well, thank you so much though, for coming on today and we’ll look forward to hearing more and people to gain insight on how to. Get their SEO’s to come up and why it’s important to them and what they need to do right now to stand out above their competition.
Awesome. Have a great day. .