Intro/Outro (00:01): Live from the Expired Links Headquarters, with your host, Arnjen, where SEO and digital marketing is being discussed. Where we talk SEO, expired links, and other related topics for digital marketers and the like. No hype, no BS, real life digital marketing tactics with a small extra focus on expired links tactics. Mostly tested and proven, this is the Expired Links Podcast. And this is your host, Arnjen.

Arnjen (00:38): Hey Dave.

Dave Monk (00:40): Hey, how are you doing?

Arnjen (00:41): Good, good. Yourself?

Dave Monk (00:43): Oh, good. I was about to text you, mate.

Arnjen (00:47): Yeah. Well, hey, guys. Well, we're going to start here.

Dave Monk (00:51): Yeah.

Arnjen (00:52): All right, that's cool. So yeah, today we have Dave Monk with us, second episode, so not really the professional yet, but we're getting there. So yeah, Dave, give a small introduction, who you are, what you do, and let's take it from there.

Dave Monk (01:12): Yeah. Hi. Well, my name's Dave Monk. I'm from 12 Hats Media Lab in Perth, Western Australia. I run a social media agency and I'm a dedicated and passionate content marketer, and I'm passionate about letting small businesses tell their own story online. Which essentially is what content marketing is, is the art of storytelling.

Arnjen (01:34): All right. And how do you produce it? On which platforms? You basically give the content, let's say?

Dave Monk (01:45): I am passionate about long form content, so podcasts, vlogs, live streaming. That's the sort of area I'm more focused on. I do encourage my clients to go out and take photos of their work place and give me some content. If not, I have to go and source for stock images and things like that, but I generally have a whole system in place for making videos and audio content that will keep them going.

Arnjen (02:18): All right. And you have a blog as well?

Dave Monk (02:22): I have'nt got a blog. I've just got this podcast at the moment. I'm a bit lazy on a blog at the moment. I've been more busy writing this podcast than getting around to a blog. Yeah.

Arnjen (02:36): Okay, because as SEOs, we think in SEO terms, so I can imagine that, for example, if you do a podcast and if you have the transcript, for example, people will have a broader share. So it would be wider. Google would actually be able to crawl the podcast, let's say.

Dave Monk (02:59): Absolutely. If you get a transcript of your podcast, it's actually SEO gold, because that also links back to the podcast quality content, and that will help your page rankings. Just use them for show notes. I have been starting doing that, but I've gotten a bit slack about that lately.

Arnjen (03:20): Okay, because for myself, so the first episode, I put a transcript in on the blog as well and I saw directly that Google was able to crawl the transcript as well. So also, you get the extra long tail keywords etcetera right in Google search console, so it's very good.

Dave Monk (03:42): Yeah. That's a cool background, mate. I like it.

Arnjen (03:45): Thanks. Yeah, just one of the settings. I was playing around in Zoom, and then I saw virtual backgrounds. Well, the thing is, I have this Huawei Matebook, so the problem with this laptop, the laptop is perfect, but the only one downside that I would say, is that you have the camera and the camera is for privacy things. You can put the camera in the keyboard, but then when you want to put the camera out of the keyboard, you only have this certain angle that you can put yourself from. And most of the time, my laptop stands at the same ground as the desktop screen, but that means only this small head showing up. So then I need to adjust the laptop and the laptop is then now basically on the table as well, and then with that comes that you have this massive amount of things behind, so I was like, "**** it." I will just take a virtual background. So that's that story, so yeah. And well, the next thing that I wanted to ask, you are a comedian, right?

Dave Monk (04:55): Yes. I have co-hosted a comedy program on community radio here in Australia in the past, and people do tend to laugh at me, so I guess I am a comedian.

Arnjen (05:05): That's good. And as a comedian perspective, what I always wonder, I want to see different perspectives of people just in general, people what they do in life, and how they view the digital marketing side of business. So for example, your view on SEO, how do you think SEO works? How do you think people take it and the information that goes around about it? How is your intake of SEO information? Let's call it like that.

Dave Monk (05:43): Well, that's a good question. Well, first and foremost, I think, as a comedian, no topic is taboo, and you can make light of it. I personally think that there is some things that we need to make fun of. First of all, as marketers, we all can share a laugh. And this is about my podcast. So my podcast is about how sharing light hearted stories from marketers or a startup owner's point of view. So have a laugh at, silly things that clients do that really piss you off. Like not looking at all your drafts and all the content you put out there. You put it out there. Then they say, "We don't want to put that out. That's not what we're about." That sort of thing.

Dave Monk (06:43): Or "I'm not tech savvy." But you know they're on Instagram with a video every day with their girlfriends, that sort of thing. Other things I like to make fun of is, we should really have a laugh as marketers is these, you get them on Facebook all these times. These so-called gurus. There was talking with a pixel and they always think they've got this brilliant masterclass because SEO runs in a very fast pace. What they're selling is probably about two years out of date anyhow. Oh, we got free downloads and join this masterclass and you know it's a lot of rubbish-

Arnjen (07:24): You never took a master class like that?

Dave Monk (07:28): When I first started, I was a sucker for them. Look, that guy's got a Ferrari. But you know, it's probably he's taken a selfie in the showroom, truth be known.

Arnjen (07:41): Well nowadays it's all the Lambos, right?

Dave Monk (07:46): Yeah. So I think that really can go about a rant about that. My mate actually did go rant on LinkedIn about these so-called gurus, that posting all this crap all the time. And all these marketers, all these marketing agencies looking for unicorns. A SEO whiz with the steps. That's next second to Rain Man. And having a Instagram influencer that's all in one package or done personally, you know those people. Not everyone's that sort of level. So yeah.

Arnjen (08:23): Yeah. I think nowadays basically the saying is, if you don't show a Lambo, you are not a guru.

Dave Monk (08:30): That's right. I think that's, well what we going through right now, I think content is king. And I think that, as a comedian, starting to see the lighter side of life. I think right now we need, as businesses, we need people to make them feel good about themselves and have a complete immersion of warm, fuzzy feelings. I think that's gold. I think right now we need to create goodwill. Not necessarily sales, but just show and we're still around. We still care about you and we are here and I think humor is the key. And I think coming out of this post corona world, we'll see a lot more feel good movies. A lot more lighthearted content and I think it will help the world heal. So I think right now it's important to listen to us who are born the gift of humor to give back to the world of marketing.

Arnjen (09:31): Yeah. I think as well that for example, every organization, what their main focus should be is to show that they are not heartless organizations, so that their customer, well the customer's intent as first. So they are not just wanting to go after profit, they want to help. And I think that is the main key that organizations now need to push forward and the message that they need to show to the people.

Dave Monk (10:03): Previous years I think most content from a content market point of view, show's humor comes out on April fool's day, but now I think it's going to... We should be spreading that out further and further across the year. I mean ever since this pandemic thing declared I hadn't laughed so much, I haven't sworn so much as well. I think I probably laugh about 25 times a day. I mean usually I laugh about five or six. It's just funny old time to be alive, I reckon.

Arnjen (10:38): That's true. Well it's something that we need to go through but we still do, for example, me and some friends, we still do Friday beers on a Friday afternoons. We just take a Zoom or a Skype meeting and we just drink a beer and that. Have a laugh with each other.

Dave Monk (10:58): Yeah. A friend of mine actually found a card, virtual online Cards Against Humanity sessions, if you really want to go down a dark sense of humor. But yeah, I think Zoom, I think I had countless... I think I haven't had this much social life for ages. I've always been in Zoom conference with a beer or a wine or a coffee.

Arnjen (11:27): That's why I have this background. So behind the backgrounds you see all the bottles laying, that's why I could not...

Dave Monk (11:33): Yeah. It's kind of ironic. We are in lockdown, but we're faking it. It looks like you're in Aruba or somewhere.

Arnjen (11:44): Let's get back to the SEO because we're rallying off a bit. So imagine that, because you are a content marketer. So while you say you are not really optimizing a blog or anything yet, but so imagine you have a website, what would you do regarding SEO? How much do you know about it and how much benefits you see from it? So let's say for example, you would set up a website. How much value do you think SEO would give you, et cetera?

Dave Monk (12:16): Oh, I think it's a must have for every business because I think that's where you get judged the most, especially people at home. They're going to surf the web and they're going to look up your business. I think first and foremost your biggest investment is your website and make sure your website has good quality content. At the moment on a more business-side scale. I actually am running courses and putting things up for my podcast and webinars-

Arnjen (12:44): So secretly you are a guru?

Dave Monk (12:46): I am secretly a guru, but I'm not going to admit I'm a guru. You know like hipsters don't admit they're hipsters?

Arnjen (12:53): Yes.

Dave Monk (12:54): So I reckon all these self-proclaimed gurus are the ones that are really the fakes. So personally I think the way I run my website and way I tell everyone to run their website is got to think of your... It should be represent what's offline. Should be online, should be a virtual representation of your brand and your shop. You should have that in mind. And your UX and UI needs to reflect that. It needs to project to the wider world that you are trustworthy and it's worth doing business with you.

Arnjen (13:32): That makes sense. So yeah, that makes sense. Now, for SEO, like as you said, I agree with the parts because you say content is king. It's basically a fact. But I would also say, on the other side you have technical SEO, like the backend, the structure on your websites, which is basically queen and then we have back links, et cetera, which is the, how do you call it in English? I don't even know the word but the guy on the chessboard that can go straight ways.

Dave Monk (14:14): Like a ...

Arnjen (14:14): Yeah.

Dave Monk (14:14): ...

Arnjen (14:14): Huh?

Dave Monk (14:14): You mean like... It wouldn't be a pawn.

Arnjen (14:24): No the pawns are the small ones, right. So they can only jump for one extra mark. You have the other ones that go all the way.

Dave Monk (14:34): The bishop?

Arnjen (14:38): Yeah, bishop is... Yeah. Yeah. Let's call the-

Dave Monk (14:40): Let's call the bishop, yeah. Yeah. And then also it's a good point too, because then you also have to look into things like digital PR and outreach to influential bloggers and website admins to get your name out there. And I think back links is a good thing. And in my world, social media back links is another good way of getting it as well.

Arnjen (15:03): Yeah, well basically, because at the end of the day, how I see it and how my understanding of SEO is I have quite a few years in SEO. I have a bit of understanding. So how I see it is that, okay Google, they have your websites. And so let's say you put your website online. Of course content is what makes a website. So of course it's one of the most valuable things. And then the structure. So the technical side is how Google, so how the bots can basically understand your website. So if you have such a bloat of code, which is not important and your website is so slow and the bot even loses itself into the process of reading your website.

Arnjen (15:49): Of course you're not going to manage to do anything. You can have all the back links in the world, but if the bot cannot read your site and it's also pointless. So basically a clean code is second and then back links is third because how it is, is that your website is just a website, right? So let's see it as an advertisement board. If you have an advertisement board standing in a forest, well, it's not really to do anything because you don't have a lot of people coming by. But if you have the back links are basically the cars that come by your sites.

Dave Monk (16:23): Yeah, and also don't forget, it's also the loading speed as well, which is also very important. Because people have got little... If it takes too long to load, then you obviously can lose face obviously. So I guess that'd be almost like your pawn because that's your first line of defense, I guess.

Arnjen (16:46): Yeah, of course. Yeah. So yeah. Well I think I have a few tips as well for the readers. So the tips that I would give, because I wanted to check with you. Let's say that if you set up a website, how would you go forward? What would be the first steps that you take? And out of the things that you are saying, I can understand that you would be mostly focused on content. Correct? So basically seeing that every page is filled with the correct data, how it's called.

Dave Monk (17:23): Yeah, absolutely. It's, as I said, content marketing is the art of storytelling. And I think even before you get the website up and running, I think you need to sit down with them and make sure that you get the full picture of their story and make sure that represents their website. I think you need to, from content point of view, you need to make the best foot forward for your clients and for your listeners, this is what you need to do. Go sit down and talk it through people and make sure it's a best representation of what they represent.

Arnjen (17:58): Yeah, yeah, that's a good strategy. And then you, for example, did you ever use a Google search console?

Dave Monk (18:07): I did, yeah, years ago.

Arnjen (18:10): Oh, okay. So because I think that's the most logical next step to take. So you put up your website online. Then after a week or two, when you have all the content on the site, then you start to check Google search console. You see what keywords you get the impressions for, and then you can take it from there. So I think that's the most logical next step when you have your site. You go to Google search console, you review the keywords that you get, and then out of that you can understand as well how Google sees your sites or what they value as an important term, let's say. And so let's say for example, you have a site about cookie dough and you write one page on a certain brand of cookie dough.

Arnjen (18:54): All of a sudden Google search console is going to show you that certain search has, let's say, thousand impressions compared to all the other terms which only has, let's say, 10 impressions. You know that that is the most important, right? Because people are looking for that and then your position for that is also then going to be more higher in the pages. So let's say your position for grand mama cookie dough, that will be position hundred and all the other terms will be average position of 20 or so, because the other positions are not being searched so much. Most likely they are much easier to get.

Arnjen (19:42): Whereas this term by itself, so many people look for it. So so many people optimize for it, right? So then you come into that situation where now you are at a certain stage where you need to make a decision like are we going after this one valuable term, or are we going after these hundred non valuable terms? So which one is most beneficial for you? And of course we want to go after everything, but at the end of the day, one is more important than the other, right?

Dave Monk (20:12): Yeah. Well also you've got to look for those things. You got to look for the ones that less expensive when you go to auction, but one's that will bring you more value. So one's like, if you're talking about the BCG matrix, you're looking after essentially a cash cow. So if you look at cookie dough, be looking for all the synonyms for cookie dough and then those sorts of things. I also might add too that way things are going, is don't rule out voice in your SEO. This is where everything's going because there is, I think...

Dave Monk (20:47): I know for a fact the Americans, one in three homes now have got an Alexa or a Google Home. And I think this is where things are going. I think in five to 10 years time we'll have voice assistants that are probably very smart and very capable. So if you want to look at cookie dough, you can have ones that program with a YouTube click that'll show you how to make cookie dough or make a best cookie dough recipes or find cookie dough that can be home delivered to you. Things like that. I think that's what we need to be looking at going forward into the future. It's why I'm getting quite passionate about audio, you see.

Arnjen (21:25): Well for me, from a technical perspective, then I'm wondering, voice is most likely will take quite a big chunk, I'd say, of written data now future wise. But then what I'm wondering is how will evolution of voice be? So for example, now if you want to optimize momentarily in this certain moment for any type of Amazon or Alexa or Google voice, certain type of keyword. So it will not have the same, how do you say, buckets of keywords. So then I wonder what me, as a person living somewhere and wondering to get information through a voice, that I need in that moment.

Arnjen (22:27): So what would you say regarding cookie dough, which would make the Alexa jump on? So the only things indeed, as you said, that would have benefits in that is maybe recipes. So if you have a recipe site, I think it's much more valuable to optimize for voice. Than if you, for example, have a finance related side. Nobody's going to say, for example, "Alexa, how can I make my credit rating go higher?" Or something. So this is something people will still always look for the written data. That is my thoughts about this at least.

Dave Monk (23:06): It's exactly right. I think voice would be growing, I think you need to have [inaudible 00:23:13] voice. You need to have that purpose that it's better if you have a product and a service. And I think it's better if you have tips and things like that. But I think you just have to watch this space. So looking at it, it's no different than making a chatbox because you just need to have that responses plugged into everything.

Arnjen (23:33): Yeah. And I think future wise for voice, I think schema will also expand into voice related terms. I think, let's say, two years down the road or so, you will have a certain schema, Json LD setups, which you can optimize for voice. I really believe that that is going to be the way forward. And that would also make basically the marketers tasks actually easier.

Dave Monk (24:11): Yeah. And of course that would be according to everyone's queries and this is just going back to basic SEO and just looking at those keywords and building up that data base and that knowledge and it's going to grow exponentially as an artificial brain, basically. So AI is the way forward. And I think as we go further and further into the future with things like quantum computing, things like that, I think SEO today will be unrecognizable when SEO in 2030. Because I mean it would just be making a huge leap forward and [crosstalk 00:24:48]. Because I think right now is what's happening. Everything's getting accelerated. We're all getting pushed into our home's, we're all going into digital. I think even in China they're having remote control delivery vans and anything like that. I think it just be fascinating to see how we even pan out. And I think it's going to be the guys like you and me. We're just on the cusp of something magnificent.

Arnjen (25:18): Yeah. And most likely the person that adapts the earliest will make the most benefits out of it.

Dave Monk (25:27): Absolutely. Yeah.

Arnjen (25:31): Same as with this corona. Once we have whole herd immunity, we are adapted and we can take it off.

Dave Monk (25:40): It's just, yeah. Yeah.

Arnjen (25:43): Because I think that was basically the way forward with most of the countries as far as I understood. Everybody was looking forward to taking herd immunity. But then in the beginning it was like, yeah, just eradicate the disease. But then we saw that the disease would not be able to be eradicated. And then they said let's do group immunity.

Dave Monk (26:09): Yeah. I think also, because a lot of people are stuck at home too. I think they'll be slowed down and they can actually ponder and think, just think about how much technology jumped in the last... From the second world war. From what was in the 1930s to what was in the 1950s. All the jet engines, everything that came out. Same thing's going to happen. We're going to be forced inside and the technology that coming out the next few years would be a significant leap. And as I said, SEO will be on the forefront of that. What we'll class as SEO today will be different what we class as SEO in a couple of years time. But also even in the arts and entertainment, all these artists and musicians will probably be just sitting there practicing and practicing. It's going to be a new golden age coming out in the post corona world of culture and technology. It's just going to be a new spring basically.

Arnjen (27:12): Yeah, true. Because, well I saw also one type of infographic as well that was a study which was done regarding all the good technologies that came out in the last bad timing, let's say. That was the crisis that happened in, when was it, 2009 I think? And then we had Instagram popping up. We had around eight or so new technologies. So I'm really wondering, now because everybody has so much spare time too that they need to fill, compared to just going outside and having a fun time. So of course more people are going to go into their online presence and yeah, you can always put everything [inaudible 00:28:03] there. So I think, for our knowledge, I think this is a good time.

Dave Monk (28:08): Absolutely. Spot on.

Arnjen (28:13): So yeah, we have a half an hour filled here. Rambling about corona.

Dave Monk (28:22): And it comes up to every time.

Arnjen (28:27): So yeah, I think we did a good second show. I increase my timing by 10 minutes now every episode. So in three episodes I have one hour filled. I'm so talkative at that moment.

Dave Monk (28:41): Yeah. Well keep at it. Just post it consistently and just give value for your audience and you'll grow. I've been doing it since October and I'm seeing some really good numbers with my podcasts then I think. Yeah, podcasting's going to have its moment in the sun because there's so many peoples trapped at home, and they need some sort of escape. And this is the perfect time for the medium and also there's only 850 000 podcasts in the world. There's about half a billion blogs. As opposed to where blogs were about 2005. So this is the medium that will grow. Everything audio. The future is audio. Even Gary V said it.

Arnjen (29:33): Yeah. You said too that you are now doing podcasts since October and you basically deliver on a weekly basis or biweekly or monthly?

Dave Monk (29:45): Weekly. Weekly basis. Probably sometimes I put out two, two a week if I have a good guest. Then I put one out on a Monday, put one out on the Friday. But yeah. My focus with this podcast and this working still with your website, your social media, everything like that, is create a community. So don't think that quantity, think about quality. You think about having a good loyal fan base and offer them great value for money with your content. And that's if you nail that, you can go places beyond your wildest dreams, because that's what people are looking for right now. It's more a collective mindset. More of a valuable co operative sort of set up. So this was the one point in my show, my show pivoted towards light entertainment because I think there's a lot of marketing podcasts out there. But a lot of them are quite serious and I think we can just sit down and take a lighter side of life and it'd be my value proposition, my point of content difference between me and the others.

Arnjen (31:01): And if you don't mind me asking, if you will send out a podcast, on average how much listeners you are seeing too? How big is the community now after... Because basically you're half a year in, let's say, and then you said you grew your audience and you have a certain amount of listeners and fan base built up. So do you already have any type of understanding and-

Dave Monk (31:32): Yeah. Yeah. So it's growing probably about by about 30 listeners a week. I'm heading towards the magical thousand mark right now.

Arnjen (31:46): Nice.

Dave Monk (31:49): Well if you talk in terms of influences, if you hit that 5 000 to 10 000, you're typically a nano influencer. Because I think that a download for a podcast is the same as impression for a blog and I'm basing off the blog numbers here. The key thing is to look for the numbers. If they are consistent and growing at the same week, you know you're on the right track. At the moment it's split between Australia and America. I haven't had much luck in Europe yet, but watch this space.

Arnjen (32:26): Well, we're going to do something about it now. All right, cool. So the statistics that you check your statistics of your podcasts, I can reckon. So then do you have any overview of where they drop or anything? Do you measure that? Do you see that on your podcasts?

Dave Monk (32:51): I noticed probably a little drop at the start of the pandemic, but you also can look at it from a consumer psychology point of view that people's habits changed. Maybe some of my listeners probably were listening to me on the way to work that are no longer working. That's probably why you see a slight drop. And I was looking at other Facebook groups with podcasts and they said they all experienced this slight drop, but now they're starting to pick up again. Because people's habits have changed.

Arnjen (33:22): Yeah. All right, that makes sense. Okay. So yeah, I think we made a good episode here. I am proud of you.

Dave Monk (33:40): Yeah, well you should come onto my show and I'll sometime.

Arnjen (33:44): Yeah, I look forward to that. If you ever want to have like a roast of an SEO or something like that, well I'll be down for them.

Dave Monk (33:54): Yeah, of course.

Arnjen (33:57): Okay. So yeah, I think we're going to leave it here and I wish all the listeners, all the viewers and you as well, of course, the best day forward [inaudible 00:34:11].

Dave Monk (34:11): And listen out for 12 Hats Radio on all good platforms including Apple and Spotify.

Intro/Outro (34:20): You've been listening to the Expired Links podcast. If you liked or learned something from our podcast, please subscribe on your preferred podcasting platform and be sure to visit the website at expiredlinks.io. Talk to you next time on the Expired Links podcast.

In this episode:

  • How a comedian/content marketer sees SEO
  • The importance of using Google Search Console
  • How a content marketer values content
  • Future of SEO (voice)
  • What a content marketer thinks companies need to have as a strategy.

Dave Monk is a content marketer and a comedian running 12 hats radio and gives his view on the SEO industry.

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