On the show this time I'm looking at how to start a local lead generation business in multiple locations with SEO expert and Amazon SEO expert, Tom Buckland, founder of HQ SEO, Ghost Marketing and SEO Oasis.
This is a proven and scalable business model, so I was excited to talk with Tom about the new company he's set up to roll out this system, and how we can replicate his success with local lead gen sites.
Listen To Tom's Show On Local Lead Gen
Local Lead Generation Show Notes
- Find out more on Tom's backstory
- The lowdown on Tom's team and companies
- An overview of the local lead generation model, and how we can use it in multiple locations
- How to setup our location specific local lead gen pages
- Setting up a Google My Business page for each location
- Running a local SEO campaign to each of the individual landing pages
- Optimising our landing pages to generate large amounts of leads
- How to sell our leads once we’ve generated them
- The PS Question - Tom shares 2 great lead generation tips for the price of 1!
[Podcast] How To Start a Local Lead Generation Business With Tom Buckland #localseo #leadgen
- Find out more on Tom's backstory
Watch The Local Lead Gen Video Show
Read the transcript
Loz James: Hi Guys. Welcome to the Content Champion Podcast. On the show this time I'm looking at how to start a local lead generation business in multiple locations with SEO expert and Amazon SEO expert, Tom Buckland, founder of HQ SEO, Ghost Marketing and SEO Oasis. Now this is a proven and scalable business model, so I was excited to talk to him. So let's dive in. Thanks for coming on, Tom.
Tom Buckland: Hey. How we doing?
Loz James: Okay. Look, before we dig down into how to start a local lead gen business in multiple locations, could you tell us your backstory please, how you got started in the SEO Industry?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so I think it was probably about 10 years ago now, just with the standard Google search of how can I make money without leaving the house or talking to anyone and then SEO came up. Started learning about that went down all the wrong channels, sort of took a lot of long to learn what actually really works, but eventually just found some good people, started to follow them and just kind of learned and grew the agency from there really.
Loz James: And tell us about your different businesses. You've got an SEO Agency Link Building and a personal SEO blog as well.
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so there's three divisions to the agency. One of them is Amazon, so that's where we do all our Amazon SEO marketing. One of them is link building. So that's when we do outreach at scale for more larger style businesses. We deal with that head of marketing or SEO managers in house. And then the final one is the full SEO service. That's where we deal with usually smaller businesses that don't want to have to build a team in house, usually directly with founders or marketing managers and things like that.
Loz James: And what led you to the Amazon business in particular? That one's really fascinating.
Tom Buckland: Yeah. So I mean maybe about two, two and a half years ago, obviously Amazon FBA was blowing up. Everybody was somewhat naive and as easy as they thought. They think, oh, I'll just go onto Alibaba, pick up a product, ship it over, pay viral launch a bunch of money, and then I'll be good. Things changed, A9 algorithm changed, and people just kind of haven't really evolved too far. So being a sort of SEO nerd, I kind of looked into it and said what is, how does it work? And we just dug into it. We have a couple of FBA businesses of our own, so we use them as kind of guinea pigs and case studies and then we just kind of found out what worked and then scaled our team to deliver.
Loz James: Are you personally an analytical person? Is that your main forte with SEO?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, for sure. I mean most people in SEO, probably even 99% are very sort of engineering based, analytical dev, even like sort of gamer based to a certain extent. It's very investing philosophy approached because it is just an algorithm at the end of the day.
Loz James: Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. Because I sort of come at it from the other end, from the content side and the two sort of met in the middle and obviously content and SEO hand in hand. But yeah, all the really good SEOs that I've met and I've been reading all your stuff like yourself, are sort of analytical and some of your maths stuff, the CRO that we're going to talk about later on, I was kind of following that, so I'm going to ask you to go into that in a bit of detail later on. But let's start looking at the local lead gen business model because it's fascinating. So give us the overview then we can dig down into the various elements. We're looking at industry specific website, multiple location specific landing pages with associated Google My Business pages, then a local SEO campaign run to each of those individual landing pages, aren't we?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, it sounds confusing and massive. It's just a process. It's back to the analytical approach. So if you were to do it for one site or one page, you can scale it up if you build that team relatively easily because it's just repeating the same things. But that's the basic model, yeah.
Loz James: And you're building one out at the moment. You started a new business specifically to do this.
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so we have a few now. They're quite time intensive, and with SEO or it takes time like everything. So it's not our primary focus just because of how long it takes, but once it's built, it's as passive as you can get, in my opinion, even more so than sort of affiliate SEO channels.
Loz James: Well that sounds great. That sounds music to my ears. That's why I wanted to talk about it. Okay, let's strip it down into each element. What are we looking for, the industry specific website in terms of design and usability?
Tom Buckland: Okay. Yeah, so we go super, super simple on this. Basic CRO is going to be things like, okay, you need other large call to action in terms of call this number. Now that number needs to be a redirected one that you own because we need to keep that. So there's a company called Soho 66 in the UK, I know there's loads in America where you can just pick up numbers and you can redirect them to specific people. That's going to be key because you're likely going to be changing who you're sending leads to at the end of the day, and you don't want to have to go back into the website and change out and pull out all these numbers because then all your citations are wrong, which we'll get onto in a second as well. But it's a lot easier to keep those for an extra couple of bucks a month than to have the effort of changing numbers on potentially 500 different landing pages.
Loz James: Okay, so run that by me again because I'm a content guy coming at the SEO side of this. There's a different call to action number on each of the individual pages or one overall?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so I like to have different ones. So the reason for that is because two things, you can have location specific phone numbers. So if you live in Chicago, that has obviously a code, right? If you live in New York, you have different codes, same as here in the UK. If you have a locational specific phone number, you have massive increase in people that will be like, oh, this is a local company. I was just going to pick up and call. Whether if it's a 0-800 number or the US version of that, there's a lot less trust. There's also a slight ranking benefit to having locational specific numbers as well. So that's the two reasons why we do them.
Loz James: Okay, and the site itself is WordPress. It looks good, it's got proper branding, it's quite clean and crisp. What are the sort of pages you put on the site?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so honestly the branding and everything is pretty like nonexistent. We pull out a theme that's related to what we're trying to do. So we have like a Gutters Star website, gutter cleaning and repair, etc. Boring niche, makes a lot of money though. So we can just type into Theme Forest, I believe it is, you can type in gutter or home improvements. You get like a theme that is usually lightweight and they're not too bad for $100 or something like that. You can throw that up there. Make sure you remove all the demo content and all of that. But that's a really good starting point if you don't want to go down the building it yourself route.
Loz James: Okay, we'll come on to the specifics of the conversion rate optimization a bit later, but I take it that your lead gen form is above the fold on all of those pages.
Tom Buckland: Yeah, lead gen form actually isn't, in this case, just the phone number and the call to action to email us. But where you can, yeah, it would be a good idea to. It's very near the just the scroll as well. That's us. Like you can have it above the fold, but what we found is 90% of people just call for that particular niche anyway. They're not too interested because it is kind of a somewhat easy to understand niche.
Loz James: We'll look at what you do with those calls and those leads in a minute as well. But in terms of the site layout navigation, you just got the about pages, the terms, the conditions, all that sort of stuff, privacy, and then you link to those individual landing pages. I want to look at those landing pages. How does that work and what they look like?
Tom Buckland: Sure, okay. Yeah, so the landing page is going to be locational specific. So where possible you want to have an image of usually just a stock image. But if it was London, for example, we might have like some stock images of Big Ben or Houses of Parliament. So it's kind of generic, but it's still related to the city. Does that makes sense.
Loz James: Yeah.
Tom Buckland: So where you can get that, obviously it's easy for the big cities. For the smaller ones, just Google it. You'll find something that everyone knows. That really helps conversions as well. That along with a local phone number is basically telling people we are in this city. So a lot of people don't like calling generic national companies because they don't feel like they're going to get good service. Whether that's right or wrong is it doesn't really matter. We just want that call.
Tom Buckland: Coming down the page, we have a lead gen on the side, so that's what you were talking about before. That is below the fold in this site, the one I'm talking about today, but on others it can be above. What works really well is the request a callback one as well because that can help in different models. So if you, we'll talk about how we do the leads in a second, but if you do it in a different way and you take that information and then you look for a person. So hey Mr., got a cleaning company, we have this person. Do you want? I don't like that model because it doesn't scale very well, but that is another way. And then request a callback one would be best for that.
Loz James: Okay. And it's a lead Gen page, but obviously we want these to rank locally. So how much content are you putting on there? Thousand words?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, quite a bit. This is where we get into like more technical SEO. So you want to look at what the competitors are doing, but we can't on a, we're not going to look at every location because that'll take too long. So we basically say, okay, we're going to keep the content roughly the same, but there's a few unique elements that we're going to put in. So above the fold we usually get the, sorry, at the top of the page, so just below the fold, we're usually going to have about a hundred words that if somebody reads that, they know that it's written by someone who is in that city and understands the market. So that's going to be very much like if you have this problem, if you have this problem, blah, blah, blah.
Tom Buckland: Next we have suburbs, so we have a like areas we serve kind of thing. And that's where we get a tonne of topical relevancy. So if you live in a large city, so say you live in London or Cardiff for whatever, there's going to be multiple suburbs inside of that and people are actually going to search those suburbs as well, especially for hyper locational searches. So people generally aren't going to search like garden or London, for example, because that could be like two hours away trying to go through London traffic. So they're going to search in their specific area. So that might be Ealing whatever. So we put all of those inside that content piece because massive trust and also you can increase your topical relevance as well.
Loz James: Okay, so just to back that up a bit, you've got your gutter cleaning site that's national, you might have the 50 to 100 biggest cities and then on those individual locations specific city pages, you have all the suburbs as well or do you have an individual page for each suburb if it's big?
Tom Buckland: So we don't have the individual page, but I know people that do. So you can build that out, but then you get into the point of you need a plug in to build those out. You don't want to be building those out yourself manually or building them out, that's just a time suck.
Loz James: So you stick to the 50 core big cities where you know the keyword research says that there's the demand for those leads.
Tom Buckland: Yeah. And then obviously we have those suburbs and those inner city towns, I guess to a certain extent, within that content, so that just helps. If somebody types in a suburb and we come up, even if we're not ranking first, we're still going to generate quite a bit of traffic.
Loz James: Okay, so you have some sort of at the top of the page, location specific content, location specific image, then you go through the regions. What do you have more imagery below the fold and some more maybe video or something?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so below that it gets more generic, if I'm honest. We use semi duplicate content across the location size because there's only so many ways you can talk about gutter cleaning.
Loz James: Yeah.
Tom Buckland: So yeah, duplicate content is misunderstood in the SEO fields as well. Like as long as you have unique titles, URLs, page ones and you have relatively unique, so that top hundred words is going to be unique, you're usually fine.
Loz James: Google knows this, doesn't it? Google knows about that. Like on ecommerce sites that we've worked on that we own, those pages for specific products and categories and everything else. You can get away with a bit of similarish content, can't you?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, I mean where where possible you're always going to want to have unique ones, but because the search terms we're going after aren't level one competition, we don't have to be amazing. Once we do Google My Business and once we get few citations, I would rather do that than spend money on the content side. If we were trying to rank like a massive blog post, then yeah, go and get some really good content like you have to. But on the locational pages, not so much.
Loz James: Okay, right. I'm quite old. I'm in my mid forties, and I've been really badly burned in the past. I've been doing this for 20 years by Google My Business what it used to be, pages and location specific things and try not to, it kind of worries me a bit. How do you get multiple Google My Business pages for those specific location pages and how do you get the card to verify all of those different locations without it being shut down?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, okay. So two or three different options. In terms of the card, now there's like black hat options on how to do this, but realistically you're going to have to have a virtual office of some sort. You're going to have an address. Now if you live in the US and maybe went to college in the US, get on Facebook, start sending $10 to people you know, friends of friends, and just get those addresses up. You can also say things like your address won't be featured on all of this, especially for a service that is coming out, like obviously people aren't going there, you're usually fine as well. That's option one, that's the cheapest. Virtual offices is option two. That's one that I actually like. It does add a little bit of sort of price to it, but if you have a site ranking for 50 locations and you're ranking for all the keywords for that, it's a good investment to make. And there are black hat options as well. There are services that will verify your business.
Loz James: How much ballpark is the virtual office option?
Tom Buckland: We use just the cheapest ones we can find. You can get ones for sort of $15, $20 a month. If they have a phone number as well, that's really good because honestly that's two birds.
Loz James: Okay so less than sort of $1,000 if you're doing loads of cities. Okay, so the Google My Business page itself, these are now fairly well established, aren't they? Google isn't going to suddenly change these like they are with other things they've done in the past. What do we need on that page to give them relevance for those location specific landing pages?
Tom Buckland: Okay, so the two keys are the title or the business name, that needs to be whatever your brand name is plus the location. So a lot of people have been back and forth on this whether you should include the location. In my opinion, and what we found is you have to do that. So if you have a business in say Liverpool and it's gutter cleaning, if that's the name of your company, then Gutter Cleaning Liverpool is the name of your business on Google Business.
Tom Buckland: The second key one is that URL that is the sort of on the Google Business where that's linking to, that needs to be that inner page URL to that .co.UK/Liverpool, whatever that URL is on your website. Those two things, the 80/20 rule, just do those and you'd be fine, but then obviously you need to get the correct category. That's very easy. Just type in your exact match keyword and what's coming out in the maps results, use that exact keyword, use that exact category, sorry. Don't like over complicate it. It takes one minute. Just do that.
Tom Buckland: Those are the three big ones and then obviously have a good description. I like generating a couple of reviews for it as well just because it stands out a little bit with the stars. But if you're doing over sort of a hundred pages or locations, that's going to be tough to do. But again, leverage a network. If you meet people in specific cities, drop them a line. Those little things go a long, long way, especially if you ever get to the point where you sell a site.
Loz James: Okay. And what about the imagery on there, because you have to have a picture of the team and the office and everything else? What would you do with those? Stock images?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, stock images, but you can go to go to Fiverr and they can get you like the unique stock images sort of things. So they can reverse all the image information. Also, if you're getting quite advanced, we have a how to geotag specific images guide. So if, yeah, this is more advanced, but basically that's a ranking factor and a trust signal in itself. So if you geotag an image which is your virtual office and then you upload that to Google My Business and you upload up to that specific page, then that's going to be huge.
Loz James: And that goes hand in hand with a NAP, name, address, phone number that you've put on that specific landing page and that's how you cross with that Google My Business page. And then you complete everything else in the opening hours and all that gubbins?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, we do, well like we have a team, we have a guy who is basically the Google My Business guy. Again, it's sounds like a massive bullock, but once you have the process solved, it's really not too bad. Like at the end of the day all they're doing is sending the images to a specific person on Fiverr, receiving them back, uploading them and the correct information. We can get one bashed out usually within sort of 20, 30 minutes apart from the initial lag time.
Tom Buckland: The other key that I will say is Schema on the specific locational page. That's big as well. So make sure that's all correct because when we come to the citation part, we just want everything online naturally as well.
Loz James: Okay, well let's come to the citation part.
Tom Buckland: Sure.
Loz James: The local SEO campaign. What do we do to get those pages ranking and everything tallying up so you're ranking locally?
Tom Buckland: Sure. So if you do Google My Business, if you do on page correct and if you do niche selection correctly, that's something we probably should have touched on. Basically, don't go and try and rank for like lawyer New York or things that are way too competitive with these sites because otherwise you're going to need hundreds of links. It's going to cost thousands to rank. Just leave it. If you're trying to do something more volume based, so gutter cleaning for example, then once you've done Google My Business, once you've done all the on page, you're likely going to be pretty close to ranking anyway, especially in those smaller cities. You're probably ranking in Google maps already. You're probably ranking bottom of page one.
Tom Buckland: So the next stage is to just build some authority through, we like to do it through citations. You get the odd link in a citation as well, even though they're no follow or kind of useless, it does add a bit of trust and then you get all the NAP benefit as well.
Loz James: How many of those do you do? How many citations?
Tom Buckland: So it depends on what we're targeting. If we're going after something that we're like, okay, we want to make this each individual city to make 500 to a thousand dollars a month, we're going to probably do about a hundred, and that's going to be 50 generic and as many as humanly possible, we can get on location there as well. So there's a tool called Whitespark you can use for this, that's a really good tool. Basically we're just looking for ones that if an SEO was approaching this, they would just go and pay for a citation service, right? So if we're going to do the exact same, what else can we get so we're ahead of that? That's how we basically approach it.
Tom Buckland: If we're going for something that's less competitive, probably only 20, 30 we'll do.
Loz James: Yeah, okay. So I guess you can, if the larger cities aren't ranking because it's a bit more competitive wand you thought you could just tweak them and add more in and optimise it a bit more until they do.
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so I mean we obviously have a link building agency which helps when we get to that next stage.
Loz James: A little help.
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so if we kind of see in that maybe we underestimated how competitive it was or things are ranking but they're ranking after maybe three, four months in the sort of mid page one, then we might say, okay, where's our volume coming from? So if we're getting five, 10 calls a month from something ranking mid page one, then we'll throw a few links of that specific URL. And this is where we do go pretty like exact match anchors, which I wouldn't recommend. It's not something we do for clients or anything like that. But for these properties we do, because the links are white hat, so it's where you kind of draw the line. We want to have cycling of money very fast, so if we invest a grand into link building, we want to get that grand back within a couple of months. Whereas a lot of people will go too, I call it too white hat where they'll just build branded anchors or they'll just build home page links and it will take 6, 12 months to get our money back.
Loz James: Does the 80/20 rule apply to these pages? Do you normally generate 80% of leads from 20% of the pages?
Tom Buckland: Oh yeah. This entire model is like, you could write a book on the 80/20 and how it's applicable to this because you'll have very much with time as well, you might sort of develop 80 or you might develop 100 pages and they will all earn if they rank like, don't get me wrong, but what you'll usually find is there's some medium competition cities that aren't big enough for the big players to really care about and sort of too low competition that anyone can set up a website and rank. So it's in that nice sort of chunky middle and that's where the majority of your income will come from, because also we have to actually sell those leads. So if we're going in tiny cities, there's no volume to to sell to either.
Loz James: So give us some of the mass behind this. We talked about where the CTAs are on those specific pages and you wrote a great blog post about this which I linked to. What's the mass behind scaling this up and how that all works in terms of selling the leads?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so it's probably best to read that blog post to be honest, because I don't remember the exact figures, but the call to or the conversions from the landing page are going to be higher than you see in a lot of other cases. So if someone types in gutter cleaning in Cardiff, London, whatever, they're not shopping, right? They're not, it's not, I'm not typing in a keyword and I might make a decision, I might not. They're just going to be like, okay, I'm going to call this guy, get a quote. Maybe I'll call someone else and get a quote.
Tom Buckland: So most of the time you'll see maybe one in five, one in six people will just actually call that number if they've come through organic search, because also we're not ranking for anything else, so that's why conversions are so high. And then obviously what we usually do from there is pass all leads across before so we have a relationship in place. So we're not really interested in, although we are interested, because obviously we'd lose suppliers, we're not really interested in how many convert on the end of it.
Loz James: Okay, so how do you get people to sell these leads to? There seems to be some times when I've seen this model outlined by the people, a bit of a cliff edge, a gulf between everything you've just explained and actually getting folks to buy the leads.
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so this is where the industry is kind of the killer. So with gutter cleaning, there is a bit of a generalisation, but people don't really understand online marketing. So what we do is kind of get a little bit creative. So we'll look for people who are running paid ads. That's the easiest way. If they're running Adwords, they at least know that it exists and know that it's profitable. If they've been running Adwords for like two years, you can call them up and be like, Hey, we'll send you a few free leads. It's kind of like ad words, but instead of paying Google, you pay us. That's the easiest sell in the world.
Tom Buckland: If there's nobody running ad words, we do just go through their search results and start sort of calling people essentially and just say, hey, we will send you free leads to start. This is how we work. And it's a very almost polarising approach in as much as here's our site that ranks. We will be selling leads to someone. Do you want them? So it's very much we don't, you sound like a bit of dick to a certain extent, but you're just saying like this is happening whether you like it or not and honestly most SEO guys are like semi introverted anyway. So I don't want to be calling up like a hundred people a day. So usually we just build an email or build a spreadsheet with emails of these people. We'll email them. We'll say, I'm happy to jump on a call if this interests you. Then we'll get a guy to jump on a call, usually overseas as well, and just explain how it all works.
Loz James: Okay and in terms of the leads that come out of this system, are they marketing qualified leads that need a bit of sales work from the people we sell them too? Or are they fully qualified sales leads that they can just run with?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so it does vary. It varies more on the niche. So like if you're selling something that's under say a couple of hundred dollars, they're usually sales qualified. So there'll be like, hey, say gutter cleaning, hey can I get a quote for this? And then you'll go through the details. So you will need someone who can actually talk. They'll need a sales rep, but more of an assistant or admin style person. If you get into more of the higher end niches that within a little bit, so things like if there's like a swimming pool installation, that could potentially be 10, 20, 50K, so you don't want to like have an admin person with that. You want someone who like knows how to close to a certain extent.
Loz James: Okay, you mentioned a few people involved in your set up of this specific system. Could you do this as a side thing? If you've got a day job, could you set this up on your own, just outsource bits and bobs of it?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, a hundred percent. So it's one of the ones that isn't the fastest, but it's kind of one of the most secure ones to sell. So it's not something I recommend for someone who's like I want to make 10K in the next two months. There's like, that's not really the right model. But if you want to make an extra sort of 2, 3K in maybe 4, 6 months, it's probably the perfect one. I would say you would want to get a VA, a full time VA just because otherwise you're going to drive yourself mad, especially if it's your first time. Like the model of the entire model essentially is not fun. Like there's no fun product research, there's no any other elements. You're going to be working in spreadsheets a lot. You're going to be, I don't do any design, but you might be doing quite a bit of design as well. So it's not the most quote unquote fun business model, but it is something that is super effective because you're just working with numbers and algorithms, basically. If this many people are searching this keyword per month and we rank first then we will get this amount of traffic which should convert to this number of leads and so on as in the post basically as you saw there.
Loz James: So ROI from this, it's not fun work but it has a good return. And what are we looking at in terms of each page from, I guess from a big city down to a small city. What can you kind of ballpark expect in terms of figures?
Tom Buckland: Sure, so it depends on the niche, yes, is the biggest one and then obviously the city. But what we try and do is we try and say, okay, on an average basis, can we get 100 to $500 per month per city? So the small ones might be 10, 20. The big ones might be 400, 500. But is that average between 100, 500. If it is, then we'll go ahead. If it's not, then we'll probably leave it and we won't even start the project.
Loz James: Okay. How do you work that out beforehand?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, it's tough. Search volume plus all that calculation, basically. Search volume plus click through rate, plus if they have cost per click data from adwords and things like that, that really does help. But you're also going to have to make assumptions on lead selling value. So if you say, okay, we can sell these leads for 5, $10 whatever, usually just call people up because you don't want to go through this entire, if you're doing it yourself, potentially 500 hours of work for somebody to be like, oh no, we only paying $2 a lead. So check first. We did this, we had a niche we really liked and we were almost full on going to go into this, but we called up 8 to 10 people and they all said they basically don't buy leads or if they do, it's for like one to two pounds this was, which doesn't make sense for us. So that would be probably be a big piece of advice. Check first.
Tom Buckland: If you're kind of okay with taking lower rates, you can find national suppliers. So on CPA networks and things like that, you can go and find them. There's a couple that we use. I can't remember the names off the top of my head, but for gutter cleaning examples, they have $4, $5 per lead. But obviously it's a little bit different when you work with big companies because they qualify everything in batches. So if you send a hundred leads they'll say, oh yeah, 88 were good to 12 were bad, and realistically are you going to go and follow up those 12 they could be fine. So I guess it gets a bit more corporate I guess when you go down that route. But if you're looking to scale massively then that's probably easier.
Loz James: Also looking at limos in the States and in the UK, looks like quite a good market for exactly this type of thing. Okay, do you have any examples, live sites we could look at that use this model successfully?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, we don't generally tend to reveal live sites.
Loz James: Not yours, I mean anyone else that you've seen doing it. Yeah, because you mentioned one in the blog post.
Tom Buckland: Yeah, I can't remember the one I mentioned, but I can probably dig up some and you can put them in the notes.
Loz James: Yeah, I'll put a link through to the one that you mentioned in the post as well.
Tom Buckland: Yeah, the best one I've seen in awhile, it's basically parking space rentals and it's a really good model because they've built it up into a real business. So it doesn't just look like a, this is where you should go from a next stage point of view.
Loz James: Yeah.
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so I think it's called YourParkingSpace.co.uk. I'm sure there's a US version as well, but if you throw a site like that into Ahrefs, they have a tonne of organic traffic, they have a tonne of location on ranking pages, but that front page now, I'm just looking at it, it's got Trustpilot reviews, 25,000. it's where would you like to park, et cetera, et cetera. So their sort of CRO stuff has developed into a real brand and this is where you kind of draw the line. So we usually make a decision around the sort of 3 to 10K a month mark. When a site gets there, usually takes about 12 maybe even a bit longer, 18 months to get to that point of do we sell that site? So you can use like a broker or a flipper or Empire Flippers, something like that. Or do you actually try and develop that into a real brand and get to the next level because that's a big differential. Or you can just, for our work we get and do whatever you want.
Loz James: Okay. Well it's a fantastic business model. I recommend everyone watching this, listening to give it a go. If you want something that you can scale and I guess can be fairly hands off passive once the system is up and running. We talked a bit about your business at the start of the show. Can you remind us where we can find you online, please, and how it can get in touch with you?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, so Tom Buckland SEO on Twitter, that's probably the only place that I really do anything. And then the sites, you've got HQ SEO, Ghost Marketing and Amazon SEO Consultant and the blog SEO Voices.
Loz James: It's amazing the amount of stuff you're doing. Have you got a big team? Is it medium size or a big team?
Tom Buckland: Yeah, 14, so it's getting there. It's just nice because everything is split into specific divisions. If it was all merged and the project manager was one, I'd probably lose my mind.
Loz James: Okay, look, I'm going to ask you the PS question, everyone that comes on the show. In this case, could you share one advanced lead generation tactic that we can use right after this call?
Tom Buckland: Okay, that's a good question. So is this just online?
Loz James: It could be anything.
Tom Buckland: Yeah, because one of the things that I've seen work a lot better nowadays is everything going backwards again. I don't know if you've seen this as well, but like if you send someone a letter, like the response rates are crazy. We send tens of thousands of emails a month and your outreach response rates will be between like 20 and even 15, 20%. You send a hundred direct mails, if there's something valuable, you're probably going to get a response between 20 and 50%. It's really, really high. So I would say if you own a local business, prospect 20 people or the dream 20 client list or customer list, send them a message. And if you're a bit of an extrovert and you're quite confident, be like I'm passing through next week, can we jump on a call or can we jump into a meeting or something like that. Obviously how you do this is very important but that's the thing that I've seen can really get you into expanding your circle without coming across as someone who is a little bit spammy with the email approach. That works really well offline.
Tom Buckland: In terms of an online one, I'll give you one for online. Cora is a good site, so that can drive a lot of traffic if you do it right. Same for YouTube, but you have them rank them. So if you don't mind being a little bit grey hat and get your friends and contacts to up vote your answers and things like that, that actually works really, really well because you have something called perceived trust going on. If people trust Cora or trust Google and you appear inside both, whether you are the best or not, it doesn't really matter. It's just the psychology of search. If Google is seen as this almighty algorithm that is always correct, then if you are first in that, you must be the best at whatever that is. So yeah.
Loz James: They're great strategies. The first one I did when we moved to Glasgow, used to live in Glasgow about 15 years ago. I made a spreadsheet of the top 100 ideal clients and wrote them all a letter and our response rates were massive. So I'm just thinking, link building outreach purely by writing to people, there's a little agency business model there, isn't there?
Tom Buckland: If somebody did that, that like this offline link building is talked about a lot more now, and even like cold calling link building sort of thing, just because nobody does it, it works, it works well.
Loz James: Yeah. It's going to be expensive though, but there we go. That's a fantastic local lead generation business model. So all that remains to say, Thomas, thanks very much for coming on and I wish you and all your businesses every success in future, so thank you.
Tom Buckland: Cheers. Thanks a lot for having me.
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