Mike King on increasing CTR with personas and the power of internal linking

Joost de Valk

Joost de Valk

Mike King

Mike King

Founder of iPullrank
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In this episode

Are technical SEOs flourishing, or in other words, is there a technical SEO renaissance? Listen to Mike King, founder of iPullrank, talk about the growing knowledge of SEOs, the power of internal linking, and how personas can improve your CTR. But that’s not all, Mike is not only talking about doing SEO. Listen to this podcast and hear about his rapping career, book, and his plans for the future.

Do you want to learn more about Mike and his company? Follow Mike on Twitter or visit the iPullrank website


Mike and Joost will cover the following topics during this episode, with timestamps indicating when the topic comes up:

  • 1:08 – Who is Mike King?
  • 4:15 – Importance of talking at conference for business
  • 5:49 – Technical SEO renaissance
  • 10:54 – The future of natural language generation
  • 15:15 – Should SEO starters use tools or not?
  • 17:47 – The power of internal linking
  • 21:46 – Increase CTR by using personas in SEO
  • 27:35 – An example of the iPullrank personas
  • 31:15 – Mike’s rapper career, and more of his future plans

Resources of this podcast episode:


Joost de Valk: Hey everyone. And welcome to another Yoast SEO podcast. I’m joined today by a good friend from one of the best cities in the world. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed into the country right now. Otherwise, I’d fly over and recorded with him right there, because that would be loads more fun. I’m joined by Mike King.

Mike King: What’s going on Joost! Oh, you talking about the city I live in. Hold on. I didn’t show you my view. 

Joost de Valk: Yeah. So you’re listening to a podcast by which he just showed me the most gorgeous view of New York and I’m super jealous. Marieke and I actually have flights booked to New York and Orlando for the end of the year. But as it looks right now, we won’t be allowed into the country. 

Mike King: Well, next time you make it over, we definitely gotta kick it. 

Who is Mike King?

Joost de Valk: Yeah, well what do you do. Tell our listeners what your business is and what you do for a living because there’s too much.

Mike King: Sure. So you know, my main thing is I run iPullrank, which is a marketing agency here in New York City.

We primarily do SEO and content strategy on the back of that we do a lot of other cool projects like machine learning stuff, analytic stuff. But the core of what we do is SEO and content strategy. And outside of that, you know, I’m also a rapper. I just put out a new record. I’m also a father, which is my primary job and I’ve got two awesome little children the youngest of which just had a birthday yesterday.

So yeah, that’s me.

Joost de Valk:  Yeah. Seeing you and your gorgeous kids on Facebook all the time is very fun. So as I do with these podcasts, I asked my team: “Hey I’m talking to this person in this case, I’m talking to Mike, what should I ask him?” And the first thing that came up was: “Hey, yeah, he made that incredibly cool video.” And then they mentioned the wrong conference first. But it was for you made it for Mozcon. Tell us a bit about what the video was about and why people should stuff go watch it.

Mike King: So it’s called runtime. I didn’t make it for Mozcon. And really the emphasis for it was that they were going virtual. And for me, MozConis like my favorite conference. Like that was the first one I went to. It’s very well-produced and I always try to bring something special to it. And I was like, all right, well, if we’re going virtual, let’s maximize this medium. And so we made this movie. 

And the way I describe it as is like Mr.Robot meets Batman, the animated series. And so the whole story arc is like, you know, you’ve got this protagonist who has to figure out these SEO things to basically save the city of New York or whatever. And then the protagonist meets me and I walk through and give her, you know, just some new skills on things that she can do in order to beat this SEO game. 

So it served two purposes. It’s like edutainment, right? Cause the parts where I’m explaining things to this character, those are all tactics you can actually do. And so it’s wildly technical. It’s really fun. You know, it was actually pretty ridiculous cause all the code in a, or this code that I wrote, but I don’t know about you, you code better than me.

So you’re probably just like, everything is perfect when you’re typing me, I’m messing up all the time and everything. 

Joost de Valk: There’s nobody who codes like that. Ilook up every function. I …

Mike King:  and so like when I did it, you know, I typed it all out and then I erased it. And then what I did is I just played it backward.

So it looks like I code perfectly. But yeah, it was a fun project, you know, we did it way faster than we thought we were because we thought we had more time. And Mozcon was like, no, no, no, no, we need this like three weeks in advance. So me and my team, we had a lot of like very late nights getting it done, but it was a lot of fun.

Importance of talking at conferences for your business

Joost de Valk: Cool. Yeah. How is the conference thing going for you now? Is it, do you have in-person conferences already? 

Mike King: I did one recently. Popcon Miami, but you know, people aren’t really ready to be out like that right now. And so it wasn’t as many people as you would normally expect, but there are certainly some people that were like, Hey, I’m here to, you know, learn and, and congregate and so on.

And that was awesome. But you know, it’s kind of like a risk-reward thing right now. Like, I don’t think I want to do a lot of conferences right now, although I say that and I’m about to go on tour. So, you know but yeah, I probably won’t do any more in-person conferences until, you know, mid next year or something like that.

Joost de Valk: How has that been for your business? Were conferences important for your business? 

Mike King: Definitely, definitely. Cause you know, primarily our business is inbound. Until recently we really had no like outbound salespeople. And so a lot of the people that come to us saw me on stage. Or they read a blog post or whatever, and I haven’t been blogging as much.

And also now I’m not speaking as much, but we do have people doing marketing for us. We do have people doing outbound sales. It’s been offset by their work. But nevertheless, it was always like a big pop in inquiries. Whenever I did a speaking. 

Joost de Valk: Yeah. Yeah. I can imagine that it would drive a lot of business.

Technical SEO renaissance

Yeah. So you were one of the first that started talking about a technical SEO Renaissance, which is next to just being three awesome words. It is also like, we have had this period where everyone was like, a technical SEO is dead and I’m like, no technical SEO has never been dead.

It’s just, we sold it all for you and y’all just installed our plugin and nobody was thinking about it, but it’s far from dead. But how is that going in your eyes? 

Mike King:  I think what we’re seeing now is there’s just more technical SEOs. You know, there are more people embracing things like Python and, you know, like building their own custom solutions and really understanding more like how the web works.

And I think that a lot of that was just missing, you know. I’m sure you had this experience where you would present something and you would show code and people’s eyes would glaze over and you’d be like, yeah, you should learn to code. And they’d be like, no, I’m never doing that. But now you have far more people who are like:  “yes, I’m going to learn to code and look at this thing that I’ve come up with and look what I’m sharing.”

And then, you know, you kind of have something similar to the general open source community in SEO now. And I’m not saying it’s huge, but it’s like a good sector of people that are like, You know, people like Jono, people like Hamlet rest in peace and all these other folks who’ve come up in the wake of that.

And I think that’s really awesome. And at the same time, you’ve got more SEOs, like, I guess I would just call them like SEO managers who are more technical than they were before. I remember like a few years ago, you know, one of the interview questions that we would give to an SEO would be like.

“How do you solve for JavaScript frameworks?” And they wouldn’t have an answer and now everyone has an answer. So I think that’s great. I think it’s great that we are all moving in that direction. And also just being more adherent to the things that Google is doing and thinking about them from a technical perspective, rather than just thinking of them as like a superuser, which is kind of how I would classify general SEO’s.

So yeah, I think things have just gotten better. You know, I think that you’re just seeing more people with technical prowess come into the space. Yeah. 

Joost de Valk: Well, I think I’d agree with that. And at the same time, I wish I could just repeat some of the presentations I gave a couple of years ago.

Mike King: You can. 

Joost de Valk: Yeah. It’s everybody in this space has always done that, but I gave a presentation. I didn’t know what you were doing. SMX Munich at some point on, “Hey, we should all be doing testing a lot more and not testing Google”, but before you deploy a site, we should have automated tests that check our SEO stuff. And there are still so many sites that don’t do that. And it drives me nuts, 

Mike King: It’s not that hard, you know, something that developers and engineers know to do anyway. And you know, when we were working with a really big e-commerce site, Someone said to me, they’re like: “Hey, are there any tests that we can put in place here?”

And I remember you saying to me that there was a client that you worked with that, you know, they, everything they deploy, they write the test first. And then I started digging into that more, cause I hadn’t seen your talk, but just the idea of that, I was like, oh, why aren’t we doing that? Now we do that with every client that allows it basically.

Joost de Valk:  It’s funny. Right? When you say people are doing Python and data, I’m like, yeah. So basically SEOs are getting better at datalytics and everything around that, but are they really getting more technical? I’m not entirely sure. They’re still not doing everything that they should be doing.

Mike King: Here’s the thing. I think that there’s just a fundamental lack of understanding of how the internet works for a lot of people in SEO. And I’ve seen a lot more people dig into that, you know, like, especially with the page speed stuff. Like more people are looking to understand like, okay, how do things come across the wire?

How does the browser actually construct the page and things like that. So you’re just seeing more people that are curious about that. And I think, you know, a lot of that just started over the last few years, so I think it’s just good that we’re moving in the right direction. It’s not perfect, but we’re making progress. 

Joost de Valk: Absolutely It is. We don’t have to explain HTTP anymore. 

Mike King: Right, right. Yeah. Now, now that we’ve got H3, like people are now like, oh, multiplexing, I get it. You know, so 

Joost de Valk: Yeah. And at the same time, I couldn’t even explain that to you at the top of my head. I’d have to Google that first.

The future of natural language generation

 As you do this, you probably come across a lot of cool new tech.Is there anything cool that you’ve seen recently that you’re like, that’s…

Mike King: My primary focus as far as like cool tech right now is natural language generation. And I have this ridiculous dream of generating perfectly optimized content. And obviously, I just said, it’s ridiculous. Cause we all know it is ridiculous, but the idea is this, like we have all these tools out there right now that extract features from.

What ranks in the top 20 or whatever for a given keyword. And then as you write, it’s like, oh, use more of these words or whatever. Why can’t we just feed those into a language model and say, okay, generate me the copy that speaks to this. So, I mean, I know why, but like, you know, it can be figured out. It’s not like an impossible problem.

So I’ve been playing with a lot of the language models.  There’s an open-source one. That’s like a version of GBT3, it’s called GPT6J I think that one’s been really interesting, but everything that comes out in that space is just like, okay, let me play with that. Because everything is now available via that space keeps getting money and they keep building more and more libraries to support it.

So I have just been playing with everything that comes out via them. But as far as just general SEO stuff, I feel like that space is. It’s kind of broken. And what I mean by that is a lot of these tools have all this data, but they don’t actually let you access it.

And then their interfaces are not powerful enough to really get insights out of. So it’s like they generate these fake numbers, you know what I mean? Like these entertainment scores basically, and they’re like, “Hey, you’re whatever rating or authority or whatever is this, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect what Google would think” And you can’t really get the data out to them, like do your own analysis on it. So I just wish that. You know, our space was like, all right, let’s make more powertools rather than trying to extract it for the lowest common denominator. So it’s kind of frustrating. 

Joost de Valk: So power BI connectors, or even just direct big query dumps of data.

Yeah. I feel your pain there. We generate a whole lot of data ourselves. And it’s just so nice to just go into a bit query interface and just type your inquiries and like get that’s exactly what I wanted. 

Mike King: Yeah, I mean, I think like Botify, I think they do a decent job of being able to, like, you can cross tab any data point that they have in there.

You can export everything that they have for you. I wish at minimum, every tool had an interface like that. So then I could just get after what I’m looking for, rather than just like being “Oh, there’s a thousand links to this page.” Cool. What does that really tell me, you know, 

Joost de Valk: So, and in many ways, that’s actually probably easier for them to build done a lot of interfaces.

Mike King: Yeah agreed. 

Joost de Valk: So we should just go to Marcus and say, “Hey, give me the export”. Yeah. Marcus was on the show recently telling us all about what they’re doing at Ryte, but I think that this is indeed for everyone who has a power user, you want to, you want to get access to the actual data. My BI team is consistently like, “Yeah, those are nice graphs. Where’s the data?” 

Mike King: Yeah. Yeah. And you know, a lot of the data, and then I’m not specifically picking on the link in the seas and all that, but they’ll give you data on something and it’s like, are those links even still alive right now? So you’re getting all these metrics that they derive from these, from this data. But you don’t know if that’s accurate right now. So you can’t, you can’t trust these things at face value. And I think that’s the biggest difference between someone who’s like really understanding how SEO works and then someone who just knows how to use tools. 

Should SEO starters use tools or not?

Joost de Valk: So If you came on into the industry right now, would you recommend people use these tools or how would you recommend that they started doing SEO?

Mike King: Well, we don’t really have anything else. So we got to use these tools. I mean, so for a lot of these things, They do the same things you can do in the browser themselves. You know what I mean? There’s all these page speed tools, but you have your waterfall right in Chrome itself. So you don’t necessarily need these. Lighthouses built in the Chrome itself.

So a lot of on-page things, you don’t necessarily need a lot of the existing tools for it. But as far as like these data sets. For links and so on. You know, what are you going to do? Crawl the whole web yourself? I mean, you could, but that is not realistic. And so what I do is I’m just like, okay, let’s get all the data from all the places and deduplicated and figure out what’s actually real. 

And the case of, like, let’s say, we’re talking about a backlink audit, we’ll crawl everything in real-time to see what’s still alive. What is the anchor text right now? Things like that, so that we can get a sense of “Okay, you know, what is accurate here?” And ideally, we would also be able to say like, “Okay, Let’s see, what’s actually indexed in Google as well.”

But of course, when you’re talking about sites that have hundreds of millions of links, you can’t necessarily do that. But it’s the best we have. So I guess you got to use it.

Joost de Valk: In general, when you go into a site. Where do you start? Do you have the same approach all the time or is that custom all the time? 

Mike King: I basically like, just look around the site and see what the site tells me. You know. Of course we’ll do a crawl and whatever tool we’re using, and then there’ll be a punch list and whatever, but it’s really…

When you start to dig into the site, look at the different page templates and so on. That’s when you truly know what needs to be done. But at the same time, there’s always five to 10 quick wins that I see across pretty much any website, especially enterprise websites. Like they always have links pointing to pages that no longer exist.

They always have links to redirects or links to 404s. They always havemetadata issues. They always have, I’d say those are like five things that I always see. And so those are all things that we can fix really quickly that show a win right away. And then they’re like, okay. Yeah. Now let’s continue to invest in SEO. 

The power of internal linking

Joost de Valk: Yeah. So internal links in general is like, it’s like one of those things that I, I know myself from myself when I go into a site, the first thing you look at. Okay. So what’s your internal link structure like. 25 internal links on a small site and like, boom, you improve stuff

Mike King: And for big sites, especially e-commerce sites, the internal linking structure is like one of their strongest assets. You know, we did a bunch of AB tests around. With one again, a big e-commerce site. And we found that if we built, I think it was 200 links to any given page, it pops up to the first page.

So, and you know, I know that Dennis when he was at eBay, they built out this whole like mechanism that pulled rankings to see what was on the second page. And then they built more internal links to that URL. And then that popped onto the first page. So it’s something, yeah. You know, it’s not easy to do cause you gotta do it programmatically, or you gotta have people manually adding links all over the place.

But if you can get that done, it becomes like a step function of growth for SEO. So that’s always something that we look at especially for bigger sites. 

Joost de Valk: Yeah. It’s I am going to use part of this as a promo for our Yoast SEO workouts, because we’ve actually built a workout in Yoast SEO premium.

Now that helps you, like, just add internal links to pages quickly, because that is one of the things that I do when I go into a site. I was thinking, okay, what’s the next step? So we have Yoast SEO. It does everything for you technically. Basically, consider it the gym with all the tools that you need.

And now Yoast SEO premium is going to be your personal trainer to just push you through: “Hey, what do you need to do next?” But internal linking is just such an underrated art. It’s we’ve been doing that for a decade and it works wonders. 

Mike King: And the thing is, people don’t believe in it cause they don’t know.

You know, there are not enough people talking about this. I know a Kevin Indig did a great guide to it recently, but it’s one of those things. You go into a company and you’re like, yo, let’s work on the internal linking structure. They’re like, whoa, whoa, whoa, aren’t you guys going to build more external links for us?

I’m like no, watch this, watch this. And then we do it. And they’re like, And I just call it the Mike King effect.

Joost de Valk: It is sometimes that simple. I do remember when I years ago when I was still at the guardian, just for fun, creating a payday loans tag on the guardian.com just to show people like: “All I have to do is just point 10 internal links at this, and this will rank. And then it’s ranked number five in one of the most expensive keywords on the planet.

Mike King: Yeah. That space is crazy. We had a client that was ranking number one there for a long time. And I didn’t enjoy doing that work, but I also was like, yo, this is one of the hardest keywords in the world. 

Joost de Valk: Yeah. There’s a lot of SEO space that is not necessarily for the best keywords in people’s lives

Mike King: Yeah, definitely. I was actually kind of happy when we didn’t renew them. Cause you know, that’s the type of stuff that ruins people’s financial life. 

Joost de Valk: Yeah, this is a whole lot of stuff like that. That I’m very happy. We don’t do 

Mike King: I don’t do pills, porn, or poker at all. And now not payday loans either. 

Joost de Valk: Yeah, I can totally appreciate that. We’ve not done consulting for a very long time, but even before that, I’ve never done any of those either. So I was just playing around with some of my friends in the SEO space who were doing their work. And I was like, I can rank there. Just watch.

Increase CTR by using personas in SEO

Joost de Valk: You’ve been writing a bit about personas and talking about personas and SEO. Can you explain how you use personas in SEO? 

Mike King: Yeah. So my thinking around that is very much that we as SEOs in general. We focus on intent, and intent is great. You can certainly do anything you need to do with just intent, but I’ve always been curious about the user behind the visit so that we can zero in on the context of what they’re trying to do in addition to that intent. So, you know, it’s one thing to say like, “Hey, I want to go on a boat trip”, but who’s the person trying to go on the boat trip because there are different types of boats that different people want. Right. 

We basically map our keywords to the different personas. And then we also map those keywords to the different stages in the user journey that they go with. So if you want to keep that simple, you can just use the consumer decision journey or your standard marketing funnel and just kind of leave it at that.

But in some cases, when there is a broader, like consumer lifecycle, we’ll use something like that instead of in the map to the different stages. So then you have a very clear picture for content strategy. You have their intent, you have, who’s the most likely person searching for it.

And then what are they specifically trying to do? And that way, it just really informed content strategy rather than just like you trying to write just to a Keyword. So you’re writing more to a person and then, you know what they’re trying to accomplish. That way we don’t end up with very generic metadata.

We end up with a message for a specific person. And I think metadata is kind of like, your pay cycle is what it is. But your meta-description is more like an advertising tagline to get a person to click. So in the same way with advertising, you want to understand who are you trying to target.

We use personas in that way and say. Okay, how are we going to speak to this specific person? And get them to click our result rather than another result. And this has been my approach since 2011. And even when we don’t rank better, we ended up driving more clicks because we’re very zeroed into that person. That’s actually looking for the thing. 

So it’s just an approach that I take. You know, people have talked about personas in marketing forever. I think the first person that I saw talk about them for SEO was Vanessa Fox. Like she mentioned them in her book. Just kind of in passing, like, Hey, search your personas. And you know by the time I had read that book, I had developed this approach from working in a big ad agency because everyone around me was talking about personas. And I’m like, Hey, how do we apply that here? And then we basically built out what I just told you about.

And so, you know, when I say personas, I’m not talking about just getting a bunch of people in a room with post-it notes and the highest-paid person in the room is like, “oh, that’s our consumer”. Like, we take a very data-driven approach to it. Effectively, we’re talking about the segmentation of data and then writing a story on top of that for who those people are. and then mapping the keywords.

Joost de Valk: But, but it is bringing the data back to actual people because it is something that people seem to forget a lot. All these numbers are people that are doing something. And in your example of like, someone wanting to rent a boat. It entirely depends on your budget, how big that boat is going to be.

And as I’ve recently learned that there is a very wide scale of budget for renting boats. So does that mean that you also sometimes write and have multiple pages to tackle multiple personas or multiple segments. 

Mike King: Absolutely. The way I look at this is like, you’re really just combining SEO with CRO, right?

Because in conversion rate optimization, you’re very much thinking about your audience. And a lot of people build personas for that. They build it for UX, they build it for all types of design considerations, and so on. But yeah, at the end of the day, you may have to build a series of pages. And so where I believe that Google is ultimately going is more personalization in the future.

And so they’ll get down to the persona level with respect to mapping results to people and so on. And you know, the reason why I believe that is they also have what they call affinity segments within the Google ecosystem, right? I don’t remember which ad product where you can use these, I’m guessing it’s in display, but it also pops up in Google analytics.

If you’ve got the demographics and interest reports enabled, you can see each user represents some segment or some percentage of users represent different affinities. And you can target against that, and as you can measure that and your analytics. And I think at some point, Google is going to be like, Hey, this content matches with these segments best so that we can further refine these results in the future.

So I think it’s going to continue to make sense to have different content assets that speak to different audiences that will then eventually map the keywords. 

Joost de Valk: Yeah, it does make a lot of sense. I remember talking about Aida a hundred thousand years ago, similar thoughts and similar process around this whole thing.

An example of the iPullrank personas

So given all these things do you use personas in how you acquire a business yourself too? 

Mike King: Absolutely. I think we have four personas in this case, and they’re more segments for us because you know… Nah they’re personas. We built up personas. So you’ve got like a CMO-level person. We’ve got like a marketing manager. We’ve got like an industry enthusiast, not someone that we’re ever going to sell to, but we’ll promote ourselves our stuff.

And then also we’ve got like a student. So someone was just kind of learning the game of SEO and other general marketing subjects and so on. And so we think of everyone below that CMO person as someone that influences the person above them or influences across. And so when we make our content, there are assets that we create that are for those lower tiers, but then there’s content that we create that’s just for that CMO. And so that way we’re able to map the right keywords, the right segment, and then have the right content for them as well. And again, this is an approach that people would take in content-marketing pretty heavily, but not necessarily in SEO, but we’re just mapping that down to that keyword level.

Joost de Valk: Yeah. And then do you use that on other platforms then just Google, because I can see that working for this on LinkedIn as well. 

Mike King: Yeah absolutely. LinkedIn, Facebook, and so. My earlier approach to this before we got better data sets was like, “Okay, let’s just pull things from all the digital stuff to verify the things or validate the things that we learned from the offline market segmentation tools”.

So you’ve got like, Experien, Nielsen. I don’t know what the equivalent is in Europe, but all these providers of data and they primarily get their data from these offline surveys. They send thousand question questionnaires out to a representative sample of people in the US and then they segment everybody into some of the like 60 or 70 groups.

And then from there, you can like toggle the questions in their various tools and you’ll get a picture of which group does your persona falls into. But because that’s representative of offline behaviors, we then had to map that to online behaviors using the ad targeting platform. 

So, you know, Facebook had audience insights. Ad-words had the Keyword planner, LinkedIn has its thing where you can set up ads and so on. And so you can then toggle in different features and see, okay, how big is that audience online? So that would be a way for us to verify that audience existed. And then also you had like Hitwise, which would then integrate with these tools and tell you, okay, here’s the persona that you’re going after. Here are the keywords that they are actually searching for based on the data that they’re getting from their panels. So it was a completely data-driven thing like end to end. But it just required a lot of validation of what we knew offline. Now we have more data sets online, so we don’t have to do so much of that. 

Joost de Valk: And is that data that you’ve built yourself or that you just buy somewhere? 

Mike King: We’re buying it from a variety of places. You know, cause otherwise we’d have to build our own panel of people and collect all that data and so on.

Mike’s rapper career, and more of his future plans

Joost de Valk: Okay, clear. So you do all of this or you’re obviously done well at it and then suddenly you decide, you know what? I came into this from a rapping career. Let’s get back into it. What was that? I mean, is that just turning 40 and your midlife crisis kicking in. 

Mike King: I think you could call it a midlife crisis, but yeah.

As I was about to turn 40, you know, like early in 39, I laid out a bunch of goals. One of which was writing a book. Or no one of which was getting a book deal to write a book, which I did. I just wanted to make a record that I was really proud of. And now that I’m good at marketing, I can actually market the record and see where it goes.

And I sat with my business coach. I was like, yeah, I want to do this. And he was like, well, if you don’t actually make time for it, it’s not going to happen. And he’s a hundred percent right. So I booked a week in the studio in Philly. I live in Brooklyn. I’m from Philly though. And just to get out of my context of being in business or contributing to the management of my children, don’t want to take away from Bae how much she does cause she’s awesome. 

And I just sat down with a bunch of beats that I’ve been collecting over the years. Cause I’ve had a bunch of false starts. I’m like, yeah, I’m gonna do a record, I’m gonna do a record. And so I just like started recording and then there’s a couple of tracks that I did that I just really, really liked.

And so I reached out to the producer, I’m like, yo, you’re just going to produce the whole thing. He’s like, cool. And he sent me a bunch of tracks and then I just kept going back. I did like another week and then I did another couple of days and you know, I quickly had a new album. And I was like, cool, well, let me drop this at 1159 the night before my birthday. So I can meet my goal of dropping it before I turn 40. And that’s what I did. And here we are. 

Joost de Valk: Yeah. And honestly, i feel problematic about it. 

Mike King: Why? 

Joost de Valk: Because I don’t want you to succeed in that because then we’d lose you in the SEO space. 

Mike King:  Well, I think eventually you’re going to lose me in the SEO space anyway.

And what I mean by that is like, you know, how much more, how many more audits can I do? How many more blog posts can I write where I’m like, Hey, let’s consider something different. I think I’ve, I’ve done a lot. You’ve obviously done a lot as well for this space. Like you’re optimizing 30% of the web who else can say that?

Or 40%. I don’t know what it is at this point, anymore

Joost de Valk: 42%

Mike King: 42%, my bad! So, I think at a certain point. Because I’ve been in SEO for 16 years now. At a certain point, you gotta do something else. And I want to build software. I want to launch more businesses. I want to write more books, you know. I probably got like three, four more years left in me for SEO.

Joost de Valk: Nah, no, I’m just playing with you as well, because in many ways I can feel the pain of wanting to do more and go different directions. So I do wish you most of the best with that. I can’t really say anything else. I do wonder though, is it hard because you’re running the agency on your own and while you’ve got your people, of course, but you’re stepping away to do other stuff. Is that manageable? Is that doable? 

Mike King: Yeah. So I’ve an awesome operations person now. And you know, her name is Kim. She used to be with Eric English a number of years ago. So she’s already done what we’re trying to do. Like as far as taking us from where we are to where I want to go, not necessarily so that we get acquired or whatever.

But as far as the revenue growth, she’s already done it. So she very much understands our space. She’s awesome with the team. I suspect this time next year I won’t need to be so involved. And what I’m transitioning towards is just being more involved in sales, more involved in our marketing, and more involved  in like our R&D stuff.

So we’ve got. You know, a gentleman named John Murk was building software for us. We’re really looking to build out that team. We’re kind of in the era of SEO super teams right now, right? Like you’re seeing Shopify scoop up everybody. That’s awesome. And so, you know, we’re trying to scoop up a bunch of awesome people as well, and just keep going in this direction of innovation.

Because even if I had stopped doing SEO, I’m still passionate about the improvements to the space and that’s always been my thing. Like I’ve always just wanted to come up with awesome things, share t,hem and then see what people do with them. So yeah, I think it’s manageable just cause I have an awesome team.

Joost de Valk: Oh, that’s good. I’m happy to see that. And it was also a bit in awe of like, how do you manage all of this. I sort of felt the pain looking at it from the side. Like that must be tough managing this right. So, what can we expect next over the coming years from you? I mean, now that you’re doing like free things, I’m, I’m just not sure anymore what to expect.

Mike King: More! So  I definitely am going to finish this book. I’m hoping that we can drop it within the first quarter of 2022. We’ve got a couple of software projects that should be coming pretty soon and really trying to ramp up the content that we’re getting out just in a variety of different ways.

So I’ve always wanted to do this kind of like last week, tonight or daily show for SEO and my, a marketing lead Garrett Sussman he just started doing that. So we’re just trying to do more and more things, you know, just trying to be more of a content brand. And maybe, I’m trying to be like a mole.

Joost de Valk: A medium mole is just doing everything and just owning it all. Well I think I can see you do that. So is there anything that we, that you’d want to share with our listeners where you go like, this is stuff that you need to look at right now?

Mike King: I mean, you just go to iPullrank.com.

We keep putting out cool stuff. We got a few more guides coming out that I think are going to be some of the better ones in our space. You know a gentleman on my team named Coll Sliva he’s been doing a lot of really cool stuff. He just put out this cool tool for layering data for your analysis. But yeah, just keep watching what we’re doing. We’ve got a lot of cool stuff coming. 

Joost de Valk: Cool. Well with that, I’m just gonna say.

Thanks everyone for listening and tuning in and listening to this awesome, Mike. Thank you Mike for being here. I really appreciate it. We’ll get you back in, in about a year and see what you’ve got a new record by dad.

If you go to iPullrank do make sure to also actually look at Mike’s record, we’ll share notes for links for that as well 

Mike King: bestrapperever.com. 

Joost de Valk: Yeah he’s he’s not shy of…. So with that, if you haven’t subscribed yet, do subscribe on your favorite platform of choice and see you next time. Bye-bye.

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