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243: How to Improve Your Ecommerce SEO

Posted by Austin Brawner on March 17, 2020

If you’re struggling to make SEO work for your business, this episode is for you.

Our guest today is a dual-threat. He’s building an ecommerce brand while also running a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO. Not only does he get to see what’s working for his clients, but he’s learning from what’s working in his own business.

Eagan Heath is the owner of The Splendid Beast and Founder of Get Found Madison. Today he’s doing a deep dive into ecommerce SEO and talking about how to avoid keyword cannibalization, how to get started with SEO (and if it’s even a good idea for your business), and tips for better tracking attribution.


Episode Highlights

  • 6:11 The dual-threat that is Eagan Heath.
  • 9:20 What it takes to grow your skills as an agency and the currency you should be selling in.
  • 11:21 The different approach to capturing leads as an agency vs as an ecommerce business.
  • 13:16 The complex order process for Splendid Beast and the advantages of a highly custom business.
  • 16:21 The strategy Eagan used to double his business over the last four years.
  • 18:09 How to avoid keyword cannibalization and appear higher in search results.
  • 20:05 When you should start thinking about SEO (and whether you should be thinking about it at all).
  • 23:43 How to get started with a very small budget.
  • 27:34 Why it’s critical to remember that you are not your customer.
  • 32:45 The huge value of having a business coach.
  • 35:14 What gives Splendid Beast longevity as a business and differentiates it from competitors.
  • 38:01 The issue with attribution on Google Analytics and the solution Eagan is using to work around it.

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Austin Brawner: What's up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of the Ecommerce Influence Podcast. My name is Austin Brawner.

Andrew Foxwell: And I'm Andrew Foxwell. We're coming to you live from the lakeside lectures.

Austin Brawner: First of all, not live. I'm ending this right now. Andrew loves saying coming to you live.

Andrew Foxwell: I do like saying that.

Austin Brawner: As opposed to recording what? Recording live? Are you recording that live?

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, right. I understand. I just like saying coming to you live.

Austin Brawner: Cutting it off right now. We are in Madison, we are recording in person in Madison, Wisconsin, and we are real excited for our interview today.

We are bringing you somebody who's a dual-threat. When I say dual-threat, they are building an e-commerce brand and also have an agency at the same time.

So they get kind of the dual exposure of being able to see what's working with their clients and then also what's working in their own business.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, I think the thing I really like about Eagan, today's guest, is he is a tactical digital marketer as well. And has taken a lot of courses and been a member of your community. He's taken our courses and has seen a lot of success, and he's implemented a lot of these tactics, and he is a very reliable and consistent learner as well, which you can tell and...

Austin Brawner: And he thinks deeply about what actually is working and not working.

Andrew Foxwell: Absolutely.

Austin Brawner: Which I think is unique, right? He's taking one step further than most people are thinking, and he's saying, "Okay, why is it working? Why is what we're doing working? And what's important and what's not important?" And then doubling down on that.

That's kind of where we go in this episode. We talk a lot about some tactics, what's actually working on the SEO side. He does kind of a deep dive in e-commerce SEO, which I think if you're a listener and you've got an e-commerce brand, you're going to get a lot out of.

And then we talk more into just interesting things that are working right now. And yeah, I think you'll really enjoy this episode.

Andrew Foxwell: All right, Eagan welcome to the show.

Eagan Heath: Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Andrew Foxwell: Oh well we're excited to have you. Always at the beginning of podcasts, it's always good to say that you're excited. Which we are. It's true.

Eagan Heath: It's true for me as well.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. We're recording live. The first actually live interviews that we've done with a guest.

Austin Brawner: Andrew loves to say recording live. I don't even know what that means.

Andrew Foxwell: I do like saying it. That's true.

Eagan Heath: I really thought it meant, it's broadcasting right now and people on the internet are hearing it.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. We have four people streaming it live.

Austin Brawner: No, but that is one of the things Andrew always says, "We're recording live." Even though I don't even know what that means. We're excited to have you here.

We've wanted to chat with you for quite some time because we've had both Andrew, Andrew knows you better than I do, but I also have known and worked with you for a little while and have kind of have some background on what you do. We gave our listeners a little bit of an intro, but why don't you kind of start and tell us a little about who you are and your journey to the show.

Eagan Heath: Sure, yeah. And thanks again for having me on. So basically I own a digital marketing agency and an e-commerce business. So I started the digital agency back in June 2016 and really started as an SEO business for local businesses. It's called Get Found Madison really focused on Madison businesses in the early days, Madison, Wisconsin. I actually just live down the street from Foxwell, so it's kind of fun.

We really grown into doing Google ads, Facebook ads, analytics as well, and we serve now e-commerce businesses, B2B businesses and local businesses with multiple locations.

So I kind of have that, if you'd say breadth of experience or just kind of working with different kinds of clients and trying to pull things that work from sort of entirely different industries and other industries and that's been really interesting.

Around that same year, I bought an e-commerce business from my old friend and roommate from Minneapolis, Ben, who started Splendid Beast, which is-

Austin Brawner: Great name.

Eagan Heath: Yeah. It's difficult to even describe on a podcast, so I really encourage you to at least go check it out even if you're not a pet person. We do custom oil paintings of people's pets and we can do straight ones, normal ones or just your pet with a nice background, but we're really known for your pet as royalty. Your pet from Game of Thrones. Any character you want, any movie you want, any sort of setting you want Splendid Beast can do it in their handmade oil paintings on canvas that hang on your wall and that's been really fun.

He was actually going to shut that down. I said, "No, you're not. You're going to sell that to me because I know what to do with it."

Austin Brawner: And it really is unique and cool. I was actually sitting in a friend's house last week, looked up at his picture on the wall. It was his dog dressed as Napoleon, and I was like, "Is that Splendid Beast?"

And he was like, "I don't know. What is that?" And I was like, "Was that a painting?" He was like, "No, it's a photo." And I was like, "Oh man, you really missed out." Because this thing is cool. But it could have been a Splendid Beast oil painting. It's just next level.

Andrew Foxwell: Well they're also really funny.

Austin Brawner: They're hilarious.

Andrew Foxwell: That's like the main value prop. Is that they're really cute, but they're also super funny. Like the examples you have on your website are hilarious.

Eagan Heath: Yeah. Yeah. And we show the latest stuff on Instagram and that's a good place to just check out, just kind of see what we're doing. It's thesplendidbeast and I guarantee there'll be the funniest pet paintings you've ever seen.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. I think one of the other reasons we wanted to have you on the show too, and you can talk about this, is because you started as really a local marketing agency. And started as kind of doing things as you said locally, but then growing into doing more e-commerce and direct response. And I think that there's a lot of listeners to our podcast that are in the same camp, right?

And they sometimes feel like, "hey you guys talk about all these advanced tactics with big direct response companies or D2C companies. But really I'm in a smaller space. How can I apply some of the lessons that I've learned or that you've talked about in the podcast to our business?"

And that's really another reason to why I wanted to bring you on because you shared with me that some of the things we've talked about. You could take different pieces of it and apply it to your business.

I guess first question is, how do you go about, just speaking about the agency, learning and integrating some of these pieces? On a regular basis. And how did you go about growing the Facebook ads practice, the Google ads practice? Things like that.

Eagan Heath: I think something I've realized, is kind of my strength, is just like the learning piece and I think whatever you're doing in your business, whatever your business is, is figure out what your unique abilities are and try to focus on those and find people who can do the things that are not your unique abilities. And that's a big thing I'm working on in year number four here.

So, spending entire weekends watching video courses, watching your courses Andrew, watching you YouTube me courses, reading in depth case studies and things like that. That's really what it was in the first years of first on SEO, then Google ads and Facebook ads like that.

And I think in terms of how we've applied them to say service businesses, it's just kind of a different output. I think a lot of people think we can't measure the results if we're not selling on a website. And I'm very adamant that that's not the case of, if you're a service business, you need leads. That's kind of what we deal in. And so here's how many leads we got you this month, here's how much it costs you total.

And so take it from here. You guys need to be using a CRM. We'll tell the client or they will already have one. It will say, all of those leads, how many did you close? How much business did you get out of it? Okay, same kind of discussion if your cost per acquisition was lower than the profit on it, we should be doing that all day long. We should be cranking that up.

And so that's kind of just the currency of we're selling this many leads for this much spend and instead of we spent this much, here's how much we got in sales.

Andrew Foxwell: So a lot of it is kind of blocking them through it initially. So training yourself and then translating that into the client of saying, "Here's how we're going to do the calculations on this." And kind of proving that to them over time.

Eagan Heath: Yeah. And that can be a challenge cause it's not all in my analytics. It's going to be in your CRM and sometimes they don't have a CRM that can do that and we need to switch basically.

Austin Brawner: Sure.

When you look at the differences between kind of what you're doing with some of your e-commerce side versus the local businesses, where do you see the big differences? Or is it that there aren't many different things. Where do you see the challenges or the differences between those two?

Eagan Heath: So then I'm getting really into is lead magnets and email sequences and things like that. And I think there's a place for that in e-commerce. And I think every e-commerce owner should think about what is that sort of introductory offer to get people on the list to get a series of emails.

For a service business it's a little more obvious because if you're providing a service, you're doing some form of consulting, you're doing some form of professional services, you have expertise. The other person, your customers, pay you for. And you can give people a little taste of that with free eBook, free eCourse, whatever, checklists, etc. And that's a good way to kind of to start that piece of the relationship.

So I think on both sides you need that of what's that introductory offer? How do we offer? How do we kind of start the relationship there? And that's really what I see. Does that answer kind of what you're asking?

Austin Brawner: Yeah. Yeah. I think it's a really good answer and it's true. It's one of those things you have to think a little bit differently about because, speed to purchase is different, right?

Eagan Heath: Right.

Austin Brawner:  And using Splendid Beast in example, it's interesting. I find the business really interesting because it's not as simple as buying a t-shirt.

Eagan Heath: Right.

Austin Brawner:  Right? You're actually asking a lot of your customers to do some work.

Eagan Heath: Yes.

Austin Brawner: What have you learned during that process? What have been some of the challenges running Splendid Beast? And maybe you want to start by kind of describing the process of going from zero to oil painting of your pet.

Eagan Heath: Sure. Yeah. So hopefully people see examples of paintings we've done in the past and get interested and say, "I'd love to give this as a gift. I love to often commemorate a pet who's passed."

Austin Brawner: Yeah.

Eagan Heath: And they get inspired and basically they can choose from the website of what we've been calling templates. We're going to start calling designs basically of, you can have Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, you can have Harry Potter, you can just do a straight-up king basically. Here's how I want my pet painted. Get us a good photo and we can start the process basically.

Now the other way is people can do totally custom of, I want this particular character from Game of Thrones. Actually I want all my pets in them. I got two dogs and a cat or whatever and we want these characters from Game of Thrones in this kind of scene.

And then it's more of a custom back and forth thing. They fill out a form on the site and we started a discussion over email.

So it is multi-step and I'm glad you point that out because I would say we're actually a little bit service, a little bit product. At the end people get a product, they get accustomed oil painting of their pet any way they want, but there's a lot of service involved with that.

And I actually think there's advantages to that where it can't really be commoditized in that sense. Particularly on the totally custom work where you tell us, Andrew, how do you want Wingra painted of your favorite character or whatever Renaissance scene you imagined or something like that. And that's really a one of a kind thing. And so you're able to charge higher for that.

But it is a process. I think with, our painting start at $199 and go up from there depending on complexity, how many pets, etc.

Andrew Foxwell: $199.

Eagan Heath: $199. Yes, that's right. So I think for higher cost purchases basically, probably like you're saying that time to purchase is probably longer in general.  And when there's a process involved we need to be aware of that. So a big challenge for us has been conversion rate. Just probably compared to most of your listeners. Our conversion rate on Splendid Beast is not super high, it's quite low. And that's something we're working on as we're revamping the site.

Andrew Foxwell: That's almost like measuring kind of a relative conversion rate, you know what I mean?

Eagan Heath: Mm-hmm.

Andrew Foxwell: Are you measuring it after the fact as well?

Eagan Heath: Yeah. Yeah. But the reason I talk about lead magnets or kind of the first step is what's the micro-conversion? The macro conversion is they buy a painting and then we start, by the way we tell people, it can take up to eight weeks to do the painting. We need a good photo of your pet face on. We'll do a mock up, send it to you. If it looks good then we'll start the painting. It's an oil painting. It takes quite a while to dry. It takes a good while to ship.

So this is a very different purchase. It's very different than Amazon, right? This is not two day shipping. This can take four to eight weeks basically for you to get this. So it's a very different sort of purchase in that sense.

Andrew Foxwell: Let's talk about the growth a little bit of Splendid Beast.

Eagan Heath: Yeah.

Andrew Foxwell: So since you've bought it to now, what percentage of growth have you seen in the business? We're talking about how much money you're making, but I'm curious about. Because you've really put a lot of time and energy and implementing a lot of great practices and best practices into this business. 

Eagan Heath: Yeah, I would say we've probably doubled it in the time since I bought it. So again, I started as an SEO guy and I was able to look at the business from basically my old friend Ben who started it. He was a graphic designer. He was doing the Photoshop, he had the relationship with the painters and things like that. But he was not a digital marketer.

And I was able to look at it and see, boy, dog paintings gets 4,400 searches a month in the United States of America. Because I can do the keyword research, I can see that, Oh you're number 11 that means you're on page two. As soon as I get us to page one, that's going to be a lot of traffic. And within five months or so we were number one for that one. And that's been a huge phrase for us. And so I just go down the list of what's the next highest volume phrase we're going after and I can optimize for search on those. 

Andrew Foxwell: Do you have a content play to push that up on the SERP?

Eagan Heath: That's a good question. A lot of that's really been onsite. I know that in e-commerce that's been a lot of back and forth of how much do we need links, how much do we need content and things like that.

Here's how I think about SEO and this is really probably the thing I know the most about. Is just, here's the process, research the keywords first. What's that nice combination of high volume, high intent.

If someone is Googling this, they're looking for what we do. So an even better one is "buy a dog painting online," right? Or commission dog painting or whatever.  A phrase like that has higher intent but lower search volume. So I like to see that kind of crossover as well. I'd say there's a third element which is how competitive is it?

And you can use tools like Ahrefs and other SEO tools to just sort of see how hard is it going to be to rank for this phrase. We've had clients who sold spice racks and things like that and it's like, boy, when we look at page one, you're up against Walmart, Amazon, et cetera. And their domain authority is just so much higher. That's really challenging to get there on a Google results page. So once you know your keywords, then you optimize a page for it.

We say up page because that's something I've really discovered where it's, when we start working with the client, if they've done any SEO at all, they may have scattered that phrase throughout their site. And they may have multiple pages ranking on page four of Google for that phrase or page two or whatever.

And so there's this whole concept called keyword cannibalization and you really need to dig into basically Google search console data shows you your SEO data on Google and you can see, I've got multiple pages showing up for the same phrase and let's say we're number six or number seven we're on page one but we're down in the bottom half.

Should those really be separate results or do I want one master page that's going to show up for that? And so the first thing I do is we do the keyword research and then we map it out. We say, these keywords are going to target this page. Your page can target multiple phrases, but I don't want multiple pages targeting the same phrase.

And so in every account we're jumping in on whether it's B2B, whether it's a service business, whether it's an e-commerce business, we're seeing pretty pervasive keyword cannibalization issues that are easy fixes.

So you really have to start with the onsite stuff and then you go into content and links. But to me it's like I want to check every single box on onsite optimization and there's this step before I go into, like on WordPress you go into Yoast and you say, "Here's my keyword." You try to turn everything green in the plugin to say, "I'm optimized on this page for this phrase." But I realized there's this step before that which is, you map it out.

These keywords to these URLs and Google thinks not in websites, google thinks in URLs and so you really need to think that way too.

Andrew Foxwell: I just want to say, you'll be willing to put together a few resources for people on that that we can link in the show notes. I think that'd be helpful for people at home.

Eagan Heath: Yeah, definitely. On my site I've got a free SEO checklist as well that goes into this.

Austin Brawner: Cool. Cool. That'd be great. So I'm really interested in maybe even one step back of that which is, when should people start thinking about SEO? And how do you determine if SEO is something that, is everybody focus on it? Should everybody listening spend time focusing on it? Or how do you determine if your business is going to be more responsive to SEO changes?

Eagan Heath: Yeah, I'm glad you asked that. I teach online digital marketing courses as well and one of the things I'm working on is like a quiz on start here or here's your top three channels you should even be looking at, right? And I know you guys talk about that of, I like how you say it Andrew of, Facebook is generating demand. Google is capturing demand.  I think that's a good way to think about it.

So I start with Google because in my mind it's bottom of funnel. It's easy stuff to start with. And so, It's kind of interesting because you can use all these tools to get the data of how many times a month is each phrase search. Which we need to back up for a second and look up and say, "That's amazing." Because pre-internet, how did you know what the demand was for weird pet paintings?

Andrew Foxwell: You guessed?

Eagan Heath: That's right. That's right. You may be found in niche magazine or something like that advertising, right? Maybe you'd estimate based on how many readers they had, but now we know how many people a month want a painting of their dog. That's amazing.

And so that treasure trove of data is huge. But like I'm saying, there's this human component of, we have to use critical thinking and say, "Are they looking for examples of dog paintings or they just want to look at some, or are they trying to buy one?"

And so you look at the volume, but you also ask yourself, "If someone is Googling this, are they trying to buy something? Is this a commercial keyword? Is this an informational keyword? Kind of what? What are they thinking?"

One way to do that is you can use Google to help you think of. Just do the search yourself, I recommend always searching incognito, doing it in a private browser to clear out all the cookies so you're not getting as much personalization from Google and just go down the list of what's showing up.

And the Google result page is really changing. If you see the Google shopping ads, then it's probably a commercial query for one thing, right? If we're seeing ads, people are interested in bidding to be here. If we're not, then we have to think, is this an informational query and then go down the links and see are these blog posts? Are these product pages? And really see what does Google think is behind the intent on this search.

So I start with Google just because I want to capture existing demand. If it's there. In some cases we're not seeing it. We have clients come to us all the time and say, "Eagan, we need some SEO." And we'll kind of do the keyword research and say, "That's not the right play. You have a unique enough thing that we need to generate some demand with paid social."

Austin Brawner: I think that's also what's interesting between the two platforms. If you see a lot of competition on Google, that's a good thing. If you see a lot of competition on Facebook, it's potentially a good thing, but also could potentially be a bad thing, right? But if you see no competition on Google, most likely it's not a good thing for advertising on Google. At least in my experience. Nobody's searching for it.

Eagan Heath: Yeah, I think that's a good way to think about it. I think there is such on Google. There is such a thing of, it's too competitive. Amazon and Walmart and everybody's there. In the service space, it's Yelp and How's, and Angie's List. Those ones are taken up the top three, how do we get as a local business, get our WordPress site to show up there.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. So let me jump to even a more macro on your agency. I'm talking about the Get Found Madison side of the business. On that side of it with a lot of these companies that are smaller, I get this question a lot, which is why I'm asking you to use small budget.

They kind of know what they want for a goal, not a ton of content, shorter timeline, a lot of restrictions. How do you know where to start?

Because what I see other agencies doing or what I have seen other agencies doing is they'll go and they'll do something like, $2000 a month in Facebook ads, $500 a month in Pinterest.And I wonder to what degree they're satiating the client wanting to do it. And if it actually even works. I have a feeling not much of it actually works. And so that to me is interesting.

How do you approach that? Because you've had clients that have come to that, you've launched channels for them and you've grown them significantly. And you've over time, from what you told me before, narrowed the amount of things that they were doing instead of trying to kind of like spray and pray, which I love that phrase by the way.  All right, so how do you approach that?

Eagan Heath: I always tell my team of, we're a performance agency and people are paying us for performance. They give us money and they expect to make that money back on whatever timeframe and many times over. And so that's our goal. That's where we look at every day, whether it's a service business, whether it's an e-commerce business. And so a good consultant, I think we can all agree, will tell you no when you're wrong.

Andrew Foxwell: Mm-hmm. Totally.

Eagan Heath: And among local businesses, at least in the Madison area, we're kind of in this rarefied world of podcasts and blogs and everything where we know that you need to run ads on Facebook. I'm still having the conversation in Madison of stop doing your organic posts three times a day. Nobody's seeing that.  That they think that's what social media is.

So in a lot of cases there is some intergenerational work going on, particularly for the local service business clients we have. Where we're saying, this is what's working now and we really need to be thinking about this. If you want Facebook to be a channel, we need to run ads and sometimes that's a conversation.

So one of the first things that work to me, it's, are we running pay-per-click Google ads? And I also throw out Bing ads. On desktop, Bing is doing one in five searches in the U.S. and that's just mind-blowing.

Austin Brawner: Sure.

Eagan Heath: Most of us don't know anyone who's using Bing, but it's the default of people who are using a PC and the Microsoft. And if you didn't change your browser, if you're not selecting your own search engine, you're probably using Bing.  And so we see some great results for clients running pay-per-click Bing ads. And that surprises a lot of people. So we know there's demand based on the keywords, based on the volume, based on the intent. Let's make sure we're showing up there.

There's times when people are online on a device that are very important impressions and I would say at the top of that list is when searching for what you do. Let's start there. Are you showing up then? And then I think you guys have done a good job of talking about, are you remarketing?

They've already been to your site. They left, they didn't fill out your contact form, they didn't buy from you, they didn't get on your email list. It's time for them to start seeing you more. Kind of the rule of seven in marketing.

And those two things alone are transforming our client's businesses and then we get into even more advanced stuff. But just those basics if businesses aren't doing that, I have to say, we have to ask why and we have to say, "Let's get that going first."

A lot of people want to talk SEO. They're saying, "I don't trust Google ads. I don't want to do the pay-per-click stuff." And I have to have the conversation of "yes, we're an SEO agency. We can help you with all that. That's going to take you months. That might take you a year, so let's get you some wins now to help pay for that."

Austin Brawner: Right. So I think you made a really good point talking about being right and it's something that doesn't get talked about enough, which is to the bigger picture of you are not your customer. It can be really, especially in this space it can be hard to connect the dots between where you are as a business owner or as a marketer and where your customer is and what they're searching for and what they desire.

I heard this about a couple weeks ago and it blew my mind. What do you guys think? Who do you think is the number one highest paid TV host? The world's highest paid TV host this year. What's your guess?

Andrew Foxwell: My guess is Ellen.

Austin Brawner: Close.

Eagan Heath: I'd say something like that. I don't know too. I have no guess.

Austin Brawner: Judge Judy.

Andrew Foxwell: Oh nice. Yeah.

Austin Brawner: I think she made $147 million in 2018.

Andrew Foxwell: I once, by the way, saw Judge Judy at a farmer's market in Kauai by the way. Just side note on that.

Austin Brawner: So now you are famous.

Andrew Foxwell: Well yeah, obviously. She's the most famous person I've ever seen in person.

Austin Brawner: But I heard that and it blew my mind, right? So the reason I make that point is Judge Judy, I would never have guessed that.

Eagan Heath: Right. Who watches Judge Judy? That's kind of the thought. If we don't know anyone who does, it's like out of sight. Out of mind.

Austin Brawner: Exactly. And who uses Bing? I don't know anybody personally who uses Bing. It doesn't mean it's not happening. In fact, one out of five. And when you start looking at your business and start thinking about putting yourself in the perspective, it's so much more powerful to be in the perspective of the customer who is actually searching out your product and their experience. Then your experience.

And it's really tough because I think most of the time people create products because they scratch their own itch. They're like, "Oh this is something I was looking for and so I created this product and now I'm going to go sell it." And they think from the perspective of themselves, not the perspective of the other people that buying the product. And they may be in a totally different frame of mind than the person selling the product.

So just something interesting to think of and that kind of blew my mind that one out of five is coming from Bing. Something they bring up and it just kind of that just shocked me.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. I think it goes a lot to what we talk about and what I hear more of or identify with hearing from different people digital marketing-wise is, 1) people over-invest in one channel initially. So there's confirmation bias. So that's the way that that works. And that's the only thing they're going to do. I see it all the time in Facebook ads world. People get there and then they feel like they've tapped out or they feel like it's really competitive. What else should I do? Right?

And I almost want to turn to them and say, "Let's just actually sit down and think more about not only other channels but the consumer behavior of everyone that's potentially using the product, right?"

An example of this is, there's a big jewelry client that I was intimately working with for a couple of years, two to three years now. And their whole business was built on Facebook and Instagram, right? And then they started worrying about other channels and there are some Snapchat that became a part of it.

But there was a certain percentage of the audience that also were moms buying the jewelry for their daughters or buying it for themselves. But it was like an older female demographic that had really never been tapped because everything was optimized to this younger audience. And Facebook knew that that was optimizing that way as well.

And so one of the things that I wanted to turn to them and say, "Hey, think about Bing, think about Google, think about SEO." SEO is like a super powerful engine that we've had Nat Eliason on talking about, it's crazy what it can do but it requires that longer view. It requires being patient.

But I often think about just because something's not going to add a 50% month over month growth doesn't mean it's not valid. And it can kind of spread things out a little bit more and make it more even and more stable from a business standpoint.

Eagan Heath: Yeah. The month over month thing is right. And also maybe it will do that, but the delay might be nine months.

Andrew Foxwell: Right?

Eagan Heath: So if you want to increase your SEO, it's time to start now on that and then that'll be a leg. That's why I often start, let's have some pay-per-click mixed in right now to get you some leads, get you some sales and let's see if we can basically wane off of those as our organic climbs.

Austin Brawner: Sure.

Andrew Foxwell: One thing that I want to ask you from a business owner perspective is, I know this is a little bit of a departure where we've been talking about, but I know you've invested in the last year or so on a mastermind. It's a sales mastermind or something and you feel like it's been really huge for your business in terms of thinking that way and having a coach kind of to work with and keep you accountable.

I know something Austin and I have I think are proponents of, of having as an entrepreneur not being on your own and having someone that you're accountable to. Even me being such close friends with Austin, that's been huge for me.

Can you talk about this experience and talk about what it's done for the business and who it is and everything like that. I'm just curious.

Eagan Heath: Sure. Yeah. A few different things. So I invest quite a bit in business coaching for both businesses. And then yeah, I'm in a mastermind for Splendid Beast.

So in general, I think it's often said that a coach can accelerate your progress and I think that's right. You can't see yourself in the game plane. You need someone with outside perspective to see what's going on.

And so when I joined Brand Growth Experts and was messaging with Austin, I said in Splendid Beast, we've got two different suppliers, two different processes where we were sending some paintings, were going to Vietnam and we had painters there doing it. We had some going to China and it was like a totally different process. And it was this huge mass. Like if you mapped it out and in a flow it would've just been horrible.

And Austin asked a very simple question. He goes, why do you have two processes for fulfillment? Choose one, simplify, move on. So I think that's an example there.

Austin Brawner: You guys did?

Eagan Heath: Yeah. And that was one of our big wins in 2019 was, we went with the people who were better painters who did better work. We pay them a little more and it's worth it. And our work from 2019 is the best it's ever been. We just did a post on the best pet paintings of 2019 and you can see on Splendid Beast blog and every year we just get better and better paintings. And so those painters are getting better. They paint all day, every day.

Andrew Foxwell: Just to compliment you, I think it goes back to you are inherently a learner, right? And I think that's, to be successful as a business owner, as an agency owner, you have to start everyday by saying, "What do I not know?" Right? And what are the things that I can improve on? And I think a business coach or a mastermind can can really round a lot of that out for you.

Austin Brawner: You're not joking. These are really good. I just brought it up. They're like incredibly good.

Eagan Heath: They really need to be seen to be understood. When people ask me, at a party or whatever, "What do you do? What are your business?" Or whatever else, I'll be like, "Pull up Instagram and I'll show you." I don't even describe it anymore because they just have to be seen.

Austin Brawner: Yeah. On that point though, I do think one of the things that bigger picture, why I like your business, why I think that there's a lot of longterm legs in your business is because it's extremely unique, very easy to communicate and very defensible.

And those from the perspective of purchasing a business, I think it's a great purchase on your side because, you can communicate so quickly. Like, what do we do? We make custom oil paintings of pets. Oh that's really interesting.

Eagan Heath: Yeah. Any way you want them.

Andrew Foxwell: Any way you want them. And then it's like nobody else is going to dive into that weight in there because you've got a lot of capital kind of, you've got a buffer. Every single painting that you do that becomes custom and you can post about your... That you've done previously ads to your moat protecting you because nobody else has those.

It's one of those things that continues to work over and over again and it gets super, super interesting to see. And I don't think people think about that enough when they're deciding to go into specific business.

Eagan Heath: And that's really at Brand Growth piece, right? I hope you're right I hope there is more. We're seeing more and more competitors pop up what do they do? I think we kind of talked about they do a cheap print canvas version and the Photoshop version is kind of lazy and not very good.

And we're seeing a lot of those pop-up and they're following the stuff you guys are preaching to. They're on Shopify, they're on Klaviyo. I just kind of watch and see what they're doing. But they're at this $50 price point and it's like-

Austin Brawner: You're got to raise your prices even more?

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. I think is a protection mechanism in that regard. I think honestly because if I don't want the cheap one, right? I just had this experience ordering magnets for from Instagram photos and I ordered some that were from this other company from the first company and they were like very low quality and they like fell apart on the fridge. I'm like, I don't understand. If you're going to be a magnet, I feel you should be able to stand up for more than three fridge openings and closings.

But they didn't, and then I ordered from this other company that was twice as expensive and their product was more than twice as good. And I was like, this is what I wanted in the first place.

Eagan Heath: Price devalues a nonlinear relationship.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. Thank you.

Eagan Heath: That's perfect.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. So I'm just saying that I think that could be something you could use.

Kind of as we wrap up, I think one thing that you uniquely as well have a view on is looking at your business and looking at the analytics from the business and then looking at all these other businesses, lead gen businesses, other e-com businesses that your agency's working on and you've gone through a lot of analytics and you....Everybody struggles with attribution analytics.

What are the frameworks you're thinking about around that topic. Sounds like it's money in, money out. Where are we? How can we simplify it first or is that true? I mean, where do you take that?

Eagan Heath: Yeah. Thanks for asking this. Can I go on a quick rant about Google analytics?

Andrew Foxwell: Please.

Eagan Heath: I know you guys have mixed feelings sort of on the Facebook attribution. From my perspective, seeing both and working deeply in both, I would like Google Analytics to work more like Facebook analytics.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, that'd be great.

Eagan Heath: Basically Google analytics, you guys remember Donkey Kong Country on Super Nintendo?

Austin Brawner: Yeah. A 100%.

Eagan Heath: Remember when you go see Cranky Kong and had hit you with his cane?

That's Google analytics.

Andrew Foxwell: Right.

Eagan Heath: Google Analytics came out before we had all these mobile devices and there's a little report. You can see what people do on a mobile, but it hasn't really updated with. People are going to look at your website from different browsers, from different devices. They're going to start over here. They're going to finish over here. Google's got that data. That's the thing that enrages me is Google has the data.

We have Gmail, we have Chrome, we have Android, we have Google analytics. Google knows when I'm looking at an ad on my smartphone and when I buy on my desktop. But for some reason we don't get to see that. Supposedly, if you have big companies invested in Google Analytics 360 they get more access to that.

So there's multiple issues of someone's coming to a site multiple times. Those are multiple sessions, and by the way if you dig into what is a session, what does a visit to Google Analytics? It's distinct device, distinct browser.

So even from your laptop, if you use Firefox and you use Chrome, Google analytics might see you as a separate user. You could have different client ID. And then when you throw in devices, if I'm throwing out the offer of I will pay you 100 bucks, anybody who can tell me what this beta report is in Google Analytics with cross-device tracking, it's terrible.

Andrew Foxwell: I've been pointed to it several times. Every time I look at it I'm not sure. This is why I'm wondering because I think to me it's attribution. Is just taking a sample from almost all of them and deciding to choose the platform that you're advertising on as the North star of saying, this is the one. Your lead channel.

I don't know how you feel about this, but it's important because so many people don't get this. Huge companies don't get this. The people I've seen do it the best are people like you. Honestly, I'm pointing at you Eagan by the way.

Eagan Heath: Thank you. I appreciate it. Do you want me to hear what solution what workaround we've come up with on this?

Austin Brawner: Yes.

Eagan Heath: So our clients have hidden fields in their contact forms for source medium and so if we're using UTM parameters and we're tagging our campaigns, if someone becomes a lead for my moving company business, we see on the backend and gravity forms, this one came from Bing, this one case Facebook.

And so when we look at the end of the month and say, "How many sales did we get, where did these come from?" We can actually say, this lead came from Bing, this one came from Facebook.

I'm saying those ones and not Google because Google doesn't use UTM parameters. When you connect Google Analytics to Google ads, they're using Gclid parameters, so you need to do more coding to say this is a Gclid number and it just gives you a huge gobbly goop number. Unfortunately, that doesn't really allow you to drill down into which campaign it was, but you can at least say this one came from Google.

And I really appreciate in Klaviyo you can see how did someone get to first get to your site and then when they sign up, you can see what's the source medium.

And so that's kind of going back to that micro-conversion piece and we can see how are they getting to the first step and then we can see the process of email took them to the next step or the outreach was the next step with sales.

Austin Brawner: Sure. I'm in the same camp with Diovan working kind of on a similar way, not using hidden fields in the front end, but using a post-purchase survey to check the numbers from. I agree with you, Andrew. Do you say like pick your lead channel, whatever you're spending the most on and use that for analytics and then also check it with something else.

So it could be using a post-purchase survey. You could use something like Enquire, which if you're using Shopify you should post-purchase survey app. We're getting about 50 to 60% of people filling that out where they first saw the product and that's been matching up pretty well with Facebook analytics, which has been really interesting.

And that gives confidence because when it comes down to it confidence is the most important thing with attribution. You want to have confidence that what you're spending is actually increasing sales versus Just, you can't scale up your spend if you don't have competence.

Eagan Heath: Yeah, I completely agree.

Austin Brawner: We definitely want to be respectful of your time here Eagan and want to wrap things up. It's been awesome. Thank you so much for coming on. What's the best place, if someone's interested in learning more about what you're doing, where would you direct them to find you?

Eagan Heath: Yeah. For the agency side you can check out, is in Madison, Wisconsin and get found on Google.

Austin Brawner: Great. Great URL.

Eagan Heath: That's right. I'm Eagan, if you have any questions.

Austin Brawner: Cool.

Eagan Heath: And then for the pet paintings, or on Instagram, thesplendidbeast.

Austin Brawner: Cool yeah, go check them out. They're really, really awesome.

Andrew Foxwell: Thank you for coming Eagan.

Eagan Heath: Thanks a lot guys.

Austin Brawner: Hey guys. It's Austin and if you've been loving the podcast, you've got to go check out that's where I work one on one with my clients to help them build faster, growing more profitable online stores. I've got coaching programs and workshops that we host all over the world. Would love to have you come check it out.

If you are a fast-growing e-commerce business or you want to be a fast-growing e-commerce business, you got to check it out. That's the spot for you.

We go more in-depth than we do in the podcast with comprehensive trainings and coaching to help you scale up, check it out See you there.

Austin Brawner: What's up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of the Ecommerce Influence Podcast. My name is Austin Brawner.

Andrew Foxwell: And I'm Andrew Foxwell. We're coming to you live from the lakeside lectures.

Austin Brawner: First of all, not live. I'm ending this...

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