We almost choked on our tacos when we found out, but Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com has agreed to participate in a NoHatDigital.com experiment!
In case you’ve lived under a rock for the past few years, or by some chance never heard of Pat Flynn, here’s a quick rundown:
- Alexa Rank: Pat’s Blog Ranks 3,687 in the world, Yes, the WORLD.
- SPI Podcast – Top Ranking Weekly Business Podcast.
- Income: Around $100,000 a MONTH.
- Oh, and not to mention he’s a stand up guy and father.
Over the upcoming months, we will perform a special experiment and case study on Pat’s site www.SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com. By implementing lessons learned in our Private Training Course, our Goal is to convert Pat Fynn’s niche site into a real thriving business and “Ultimate Resource”.
This is Day 1 of The Experiment
Be sure to follow our experiment timeline for future updates.
After receiving access to Pat Flynn’s SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, the first step was identifying obvious Red Flags. We browsed the site on the front end and back-end assessing both basic functionality and analytics.
After picking up on a few basic errors, we have come up with a game plan for turning this niche site into a real business.
Here’s how we’ll be attacking it:
Phase 1: Basic changes to SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com
The (Not So) Responsive Theme
38% of SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com traffic comes from mobile and the bounce rate is 70%. Why? After viewing the site on a mobile device, it’s clear the site wasn’t optimized for mobile. Switching over to a more mobile friendly WordPress theme / layout will help improve the bounce rate AND earnings.
Takeaway: Optimize for mobile!
20/9/14 update – SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com is now responsive! This means that the site will be user-friendly across all platforms, and considering the figures above, that’s a big deal!
The Opt-in conversion rate
For opting in SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com you will receive “Free Instant Access” to the “Top 10 Security Interview Tips”. This is potentially very useful information for the audience, however we feel that we can boost the conversion rate with a little A/B testing to find the best opt-in magnet and opt-in box style.
As with any site, building a list can be of the utmost importance. Why?
- Build a following to promote you and your brand.
- Directly communicate your message and engage with your target audience.
- Effective tool for building a lasting relationship with your audience. This leads to repeat business.
- Cost effective marketing tool compared to other channels.
- List = $$. Advertisers will pay to access strength and size of your marketing list.
Takeaway: Increase the opt-in conversion rate to build a bigger list.
Here’s how we are going to do it: We will be split testing the Opt-in magnet, and the style of the opt-in (e.g. a pop-up opt-in vs. a standard opt-in) to find the highest converting combination. Opt-in conversion optimization is an extremely valuable skill to anyone online, and we recently talked about it in this podcast on conversion optimization.
Increasing AdSense Revenue
The site is making great money from AdSense, but there is still a whole lot of room for growth!
We will be performing additional keyword research to generate more targeted content, while at the same time improving some on page factors.
To increase advertising revenue we will be optimizing for AdSense in a few ways.
Check out the video below for a detailed run down:
Monetizing the directory
Although a security guard training directory IS currently in place, we plan to test a few options for monetization and see what fits best. Here are some options we are going to test:
- Offering listings for free to all companies, and charging a monthly premium to companies to be listed at the top of the listing for the zip code.
- Include companies on the directory for free and set up an affiliate program or pay-per-lead system
- Offer a small monthly fee to all companies to be listed in the directory.
We are currently leaning towards the affiliate / pay-per-lead program because companies wouldn’t have to pay unless they got sales or leads. This means it would be relatively easy to set up and convince the companies to join up to the directory.
Additional changes to turn it into the ultimate resource
In order to turn the site into the ultimate resource, we need to ensure the site is a ‘one stop shop’ for anyone who lands on the site.
There are a few strategies that we are going to use in order to make this happen:
- Expanding the sites content into different areas and countries
- Adding a free forum
- Adding a shop
Increasing the sites content
The site currently seems like it’s focused solely on standard security guard training which is great; it IS security guard training headquarters after all, but there is no reason why we can’t expand the content to include other forms of security guard related topics.
Its always worthwhile to be going through the keyword research process again with your current sites, as there could be some potential low hanging fruit which you are missing out on. After a little searching around, we found some topics that we could expand into:
- Executive protection training/Bodyguard training
- Online security guard training
- Advanced security guard training
In addition to adding new content, we are identifying pages on the site that we can improve by adding content and re-jigging some on-page factors. Here’s a podcast about the importance of on-page factors that Greg recorded a little while back.
As an example the term “Guard card training” has plenty of potential and there is definitely room for improvement on the current site.
Lastly, in terms after a quick look on Google trends, it’s clear that we could be seeing improvement from targeting content towards other regions to.
Check out the regional interest figures of the term ‘security guard training’ in Google trends:
After seeing figures like that, it makes perfect sense to add content targeted towards Security guard training in Canada and Australia.
Adding a forum
It’s hard to find a forum for the security guard niche, and any forums that we did find don’t provide much value at all (i.e. they are very in-active and thin in content).
Since one of our goals is to turn SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com into the ultimate resource, we will be adding a free forum to the site. It’s already getting some decent traffic, so chances are the forum will be a hit.
But what is the point of having a free forum on the site? I’m glad you asked:
- Free content – A forum will bring you regular fresh content, and you don’t have lift a finger to get it!
- Stickiness -An interactive forum will make your site more ‘sticky’, meaning users are hanging around for longer, bounce rates go down, and income goes up
- Free dedicated staff – Once a forum gains a little momentum, you have an opportunity to hand out a few ‘moderator’ positions, which is essentially your 24/7 help-desk that you won’t have to pay for. Humans love to feel valued and important in a community; this is why mods are busy keeping forums alive all over the web
Adding a shop
What type of ultimate resource would SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com be without a security guard shop?
We believe that adding an online store has the potential to increase revenue significantly as the site is already getting a steady flow of traffic, and at the very least it will only add to the site becoming an awesome resource for security guards. We are currently looking into one of the two following options for monetization of the shop:
- Setting up an actual store and finding a drop shipper for fulfillment, or;
- Setting up an amazon affiliate store
We are currently leaning towards an amazon affiliate store because it would be a breeze to set up, and Amazon does a great job at converting browsers into customers (everyone trusts Amazon)
We WOULD see more income potential with setting up a drop-shipping store, however we have decided to go for a simple Amazon affiliate store in this case.
So we can focus more time and resources to setting up the real business: a lead generation site.
Phase 2: turning the site into a lead generation business
This is where we see the most value for the creation of a business that does not rely on organic traffic and advertising for revenue.
We will effectively be turning SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com into a lead generation business, and will either collect leads for:
- Security training schools/training providers, and/or;
We anticipate that selling leads to head-hunters will be the most lucrative option, however selling leads to both parties (depending on the suitability of the lead) is something that we will definitely be looking into.
Collecting leads using an opt-in is easy: just slap up an opt-in form, offer something valuable to the readers, and away you go. This is what currently going on at SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com
Since we are aiming to turn this niche site into a real business, we are going to have to take it one step further; collecting just a name and email is just not enough for a successful lead gen operation these days.
We need to collect highly relevant and categorized leads, which we can sell for a premium to either head-hunters or security training schools. The hotter the lead, the higher the price.
In order for this to happen, we need to gather as much information about the respondent as possible. Here is what you will need from each opt-in when setting up a successful lead-gen gig:
- A name and email address
- 3-5 quick survey questions
- A zip-code and mailing address
But won’t asking for this much in an opt-in scare the lead away???
Yes, it probably will, but we have a secret weapon…
The multi-step lead form
Here’s how it works: Instead of using one monster opt-in form with lots of questions, a multi-step form will initially only ask for a name and email address. Once they hit submit, another form will take the original forms place, asking them for a little more information (usually 3-5 quick and relevant questions). You can end the process here, or add a third form in order to get more information before they complete the opt-in.
Here’s why we love this method:
- One big opt-in form with lots of questions is a great way to scare people away.
- It’s in our human nature to finish tasks that we start – once a lead starts the opt-in, chances are they will finish it!
- We still have their name and email details if they decide to abandon after the first form!
Once we get this form up and running, we can start segregating and categorizing the leads we collect. This means that some leads will be worth more than others, and will go for a premium.
Selling the leads
Once the collecting leads phase is on autopilot, we will start outreaching to companies who would like to buy the leads from us. The easiest way to do this will be to target AdWords advertisers and larger lead-gen affiliates. Once we have interested parties we can offer them leads based on a tiered priced model, the hotter and more relevant the lead, the higher the price.
SecurityguardtrainingHQ.com is set to be a great case-study of how you can and should diversity the income of a niche site and turn it into a real thriving business. Not only will you make more money, you’ll also create something which is safe from adverse market conditions AKA Google’s mercy.
Make sure you follow our journey to triple monthly revenues and apply these experimental lessons to covert your site.
So, do you think its possible?
Maybe you have plans to take one of your own sites to the next level?
We’d love to hear what you think, drop us a comment!