My SEO Journey: Jessica Stellwagen from thebodify.com – Outsourcing Local SEO Effort and getting results!
My SEO Journey is a new series where entrepreneurs and Indie makers will share their honest SEO Journey filled with failure and success, and most importantly proven results. Episode #23 features Jessica Stellwagen from Bodify.
My sister, Melissa, and I knew from a very early age that we wanted to run and own a business together.
Both of our parents were successful entrepreneurs so dinner discussions in our house were always a bit different. I don’t think there was any way my two sisters and I weren’t going to pursue businesses and entrepreneurship!
Our paths took us in different directions after college and it wasn’t until 2015 that our passions collided, and we said let’s build something. One of my mentors told me years ago, “niches lead to riches, focus on one thing and do it better than anyone else.”
We loved this concept and it made sense.
We opted to build a CoolSculpting only dedicated boutique and over the last 6.5 years, we have had an incredible journey. We have two locations, 6 staff members, and Bodify is the #4 provider in the nation (there are roughly 4,500 providers), and we’ve generated over 15 million dollars.
Because of our success, we have a second business that helps other CoolSculpting providers find success. It fuels our passion, keeps us on top of best practices and we love both businesses dearly!
Table of Contents
- 1 How did you come up with the idea?
- 2 Since launch, what has worked to attract more organic traffic?
- 3 Have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous in your journey?
- 4 Tell us more about your experience outsourcing your SEO Effort to an agency
- 5 Can you share more on your Content Strategy?
- 6 What about your Link Building Strategy?
- 7 What platform/tools do you use for your business?
- 8 What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
- 9 Any challenges you’re still facing today (from an SEO Perspective)
- 10 Where can we go to learn more about you?
How did you come up with the idea?
My sister was running a medspa and fell in love with CoolSculpting.
She was disenfranchised by all the devices out there that promised the world yet continued to underdeliver when it came to results. CoolSculpting was different. It was easy to set proper expectations and easy to help clients change their bodies in ways diet and exercise had failed to do.
Meanwhile I was traveling the country with Stephen Fairley, the CEO of The Rainmaker Institute and learning a tremendous amount about business, sales, culture, team, hiring, websites, marketing, SEO, and growing a business.
Little did I know, this information would become invaluable for me when I went out on my own!
One day, after my sister asked me for the 100th time to quit my job and join forces with her, I sat down and asked myself, “do I want to build my dream or someone else’s dream?”
The answer was loud and clear, so I put in my two weeks noticed and joined forces with my sister.
Shortly after that, it became obvious that she and I were supposed to be in the medspa business together.
We asked the doctor if we could buy his practice. He politely declined and said something that truly shaped our hearts and minds and reminded us to have an abundant mindset.
He said, “girls, there is enough fat to freeze for us all to win, don’t touch my database, but go out there and do your own thing!”
His kindness and abundant attitude gave us the courage we needed to leave, raise $400,0000, find a location, hire a medical director, build a website, market Bodify and open our doors!
Since launch, what has worked to attract more organic traffic?
My time at The Rainmaker Institute really gave me a leg up when it came to opening Bodify and setting us up for success. We knew from day one we needed to have a robust website, one that not only pleased major search engines (by continually have fresh, relevant, and unique content), but also our site needed to walk our prospective clients through a journey, connect with their pain points, paint brightness of future and build tremendous credibility as there are many other providers who offer CoolSculpting.
Our site needed to be full of education, FAQs, videos, great and powerful copy, relevant key words and phrases, testimonials, photos, Call To Actions, and have ample opportunity for visitors to raise their hand and request more information.
The site also needed to have social media signals being sent to it!
So we knew we needed well-built and thought-out social platforms as well.
We firmly believed that most companies don’t struggle because they have too few leads, they struggle because they don’t do the right things with the leads they get!
Our process is entirely different.
We deeply believe in education-based marketing. We want to capture the leads that come to our website, nurture them, educate them, and inspire them to action.
We believe CoolSculpting is the BEST when it comes to non-invasive fat-reduction, and we believe Bodify is the BEST suited company in Arizona to close the gap between the body our prospective clients have and the one they want, so we do everything in our power to be visible to them, be a helpful resource, to set proper expectations, to educate and nurture them, and to be with them on their body transformation journey!
This can’t happen if our website is poorly written, lacks engagement, is poorly designed or if it doesn’t rank and people can’t find our site.
Knowing all this we made sure our website had:
1. Lead capture opportunities (So we could grow our database and have a list of people to reach out to and educate)
2. A blog that we contributed to multiple times a month (this helps educate visitors but also allows search engine crawlers to know that you are a fresh, relevant, and unique website)
3. Testimonials/Reviews/Bodify In The Media (this helps us build credibility. People know you can say anything you want about your company; they tend to trust what others say about YOU)!
4. Strong copy that uses appropriate keyword/phrase density and variety (this ensures when people go onto a search engine and search phrases and terms that are related to the service or product you provide, your website will be displayed on the first page organically. No one looks at page two).
5. Focus on our core differentiators (what makes us better, more qualified, and unique compared to other practices). If people don’t have ways to understand why you are better and unique, you become a commodity. And commodities are traded on price, this is NOT what you want as there is always someone willing to do it cheaper than you. Build the value, set the bar, and trust people will pay more for the expert!
6. Have a robust FAQ section. Respond to those questions via copy and video. Search engines need to know what your site is about – so written copy is key. People don’t always want to read; they want to digest information via video too (I think YouTube is one of the biggest search engines out there). Record the videos, 45-90 seconds, put them onto your YouTube channel, and link your FAQs to them so people can get the info they want in a way that is appealing to them.
Pro-tip: don’t embed the videos on your site- this can dramatically slow load speed, which search engines don’t like (nor do people; we want things now, now, now). At Bodify, we took a photo of the video, placed a red play button on top of the image, and when people click it, it redirects to the video.
7. Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone) is consistent. There are a million directories out there. If you are listed on many and your name, address, and phone are not displayed consistently, this hurts you. For example, if on one directory you write your address like this: 2999 N. 44th Street and on another directory you write: 2999 North 44 St. those variations hurt you!
8. Make sure people can get in touch with you with a click of a button – Call, text, email, get directions, etc. Make it EASY for people to do business with you.
Have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous in your journey?
The BEST decision we made was also something I learned from mentors, “do what you do best and delegate the rest.” My sister and I had a very clear concept of what we wanted on our website, we knew enough to know what the critical components were, but we are not expert website designers, copy creators, or SEO experts, so we found and worked with those who were.
This can be a scary decision I know, but we feel that hiring our SEO and website company was a critically powerful decision from the outset!
When you have a website and you capture leads on it, you must remember “speed to lead.”
You are 100x more likely to get in touch with someone if you reach out in 5 minutes vs. 30 minutes. That’s an insane statistic. You are not an order taker, you are a salesperson (no, it’s not a bad word, you have a service/product that solves a problem for someone, be proud of it, and find ways to get it into the hands of those who need/want it).
Lastly, “the fortune is in the follow up” so few companies are willing to put in the time, energy, and effort into educating and nurturing the leads.
Not everyone who goes to your site today is ready to buy, but if you capture their information, educate them, persistently and respectfully follow up, when they are ready to pull the trigger, you will be top of mind and they will remember YOU!
Tell us more about your experience outsourcing your SEO Effort to an agency
We work with Rising Phoenix SEO – they are amazing and have done a wonderful job for us. We currently invest $2925 for the following- we refer him clients so we receive $325 off each month.
For Bodify we knew we needed to know enough about SEO to ensure we did not hire someone who wasn’t honest and good. I went to a local networking chapter and sat down with several companies, I asked educated questions based on my knowledge and experience.
I made it clear that we needed to meet monthly and set metrics to ensure we were getting a return on our investment. I asked to see examples of companies they worked with and the success they had.
These are all great things to do initially as you are interviewing potential companies.
Our strategy has been and will always be about education.
68% of those who do CoolSculpting have never done an aesthetic procedure before, they are often nervous, hesitant, or even skeptical. It is the job of our content to educate them, make them feel comfortable about CoolSculpting, continually show up as a non-bias resource who is there to help guide people through their decision-making process.
It’s also critical to educate people on how and why Bodify is different than other providers out there, to demonstrate how we elevate the experience, guarantee results, and can successfully close the gap between the body the person has and the one they want.
We need to focus on keywords and phrases that our clients and prospective clients use.
We must become a trusted resource. 90+% of those who come to our site is not yet ready to buy, we need to leave a lasting impression and collect their information so we can stay top of mind, so when they are ready, Bodify is the place they call.
What about your Link Building Strategy?
Our SEO company continually works hard to ensure sites that are authoritative are back linking to us.
It is also about making sure anytime we get on a news station, published in a magazine, get any PR, and all our social channels are pointing back to us so we get more Google juice.
The rules change all the time, this is why for Bodify, having an expert on our team, is key.
There is no way my sister and I can keep up with all the changes, we have a business to run.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
- WordPress Widgets,
- Google Analytics.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
NPRs Podcast – How I Built This, I learn something new each time I listen to an entrepreneur’s journey. I think Guy Raz has an incredible ability to draw out great stories, lessons, and points!
I Love Marketing Podcast – Joe Polish and Dean Jackson are remarkable. They break things down in beautiful ways, and you can always find relevance in their topics.
EO – I’m in the local Arizona EO chapter. Being able to hang with other entrepreneurs, ask questions, gain wisdom, and share experiences has been invaluable for me.
Mentors – I think people are reluctant to ask those who are succeeding in big ways to mentor them. Huge mistake, these people often have kind hearts and were mentored at one point in their life and are happy to guide, share wisdom, and help. Just ask!
Now it’s time to discover the other 102 steps that will get more organic traffic flowing to your website. Get the SEO Checklist here.
Want to get a sneak peek of what it looks like?
Enter your email and get a free demo version of the SEO Checklist.
Any challenges you’re still facing today (from an SEO Perspective)
The service we offer is very niche. There are not endless ways to talk about CoolSculpting.
So sometimes we have a hard time thinking of new terms to rank for, new content to produce, and how to keep the content new, exciting, and engaging. Content reigns supreme so we continue to do it, and see great organic results.
To me, it is a bit frustrating that those with bigger ad budgets can be displayed before us, a smaller company, that has 100s and 100s of pages of content.