I’m interrupting our series on SEO for e-commerce this week to bring you an interview that I recently did with Neil Patel. In case you don’t know, Neil is the founder of KISS Metrics and is in his own words ‘Kind of a big deal’!
Neil was kind enough to give me a short interview for the ThinkTraffic blog, which you can read below. Neil’s a pretty busy guy, so it was cool to be able to get a few quick answers and I’m sure this interview will be of some inspiration to many of you. Before that though, here’s a little background on Neil:
Overview Of Neil Patel
Neil started his first few businesses before he had even left school and was always doing something entrepreneurial, but it wasn’t until he was at college studying to become an Oracle consultant that he got started on his real path to success…
Neil started an SEO agency which he quickly took from zero to seven figures (you can read all about it here), he has since started two software based businesses called Crazy Egg and KISS Metrics, both of which you may have heard of.
Other than that, Neil runs a very popular business/SEO blog (QuickSprout), invests in property, .com startups and all sorts of other things, as well as doing lots of charity work.
Anyway, Onto The Interview!
When did you first realize that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
When I was a kid. I wanted to be rich and I realized that a lot of the people who were successful were entrepreneurs. That’s what made me want to become one.
Eventually I realized that money wasn’t everything, but I started my entrepreneurial journey because I wanted to make a lot of cash.
What do you think has been the most important driving force behind your success?
I work a lot of hours and I never give up. I believe in continually pushing forward no matter what.
How many hours per week did you work when starting your first SEO agency?
I would say 60 to 80 hours a week.
And I still work 70 to 80 hours a week now.
What are the most important lessons you learned from your first business attempts?
You have to continually learn from your mistakes. You are going to make a ton of them and fail a lot of times, but if you continually learn from your mistakes and avoid making the same ones again, you’ll improve your odds of succeeding.
What are the commonest SEO mistakes you see people making right now?
People are building anchor text links that are too rich. It’s just not natural and eventually your rankings will tank because of it.
What do you think are the worst SEO mistakes an entrepreneur can make?
The worst one is thinking that SEO isn’t that important. A lot of entrepreneurs feel that building an awesome product or service means you don’t have to rely on Google.
And although that’s true to some extent, Google is the most popular site in the world, so you should do your best to leverage it.
What were the biggest mistakes (SEO or otherwise) that you made when starting your first business?
I tried to create a product that had a much better feature set than all of my competitors. In the end I created a cluttered product that wasn’t easy to use and the business failed.
What would you say to business owners who think that social media won’t work for them?
It will work for you. You just have to try numerous networks and strategies. For example, if GE can leverage social media for their turbines, you can leverage it for anything you want.
“There’s no excuse to NOT be on the social web!”
What was the biggest challenge when you were launching/growing crazy egg?
We didn’t have any money. My business partner and I were boot strapping the whole business and we didn’t have the cash we needed to make product changes or to spend money on advertising.
We ended up giving equity away to people who could help solve these problems for us, as we couldn’t compensate them with cash.
What did you learn from Crazy Egg that helped you to make KISS metrics successful?
It always pays to be the first in the market place. Get out there, launch your minimal viable product ASAP. You don’t have to build something that is perfect.
What is your favourite part of your ‘job’ these days?
My favorite part is helping other businesses succeed. I love getting emails from companies telling me how they made a lot more money by using our software.
Where next? Do you plan to create any more software based businesses? Or are there any other areas you’ve always wanted to get into?
I plan on focusing all of my time and energy on KISSmetrics. I have nothing new planned.
How would you describe KISS metrics to someone who uses Analytics but doesn’t really know a lot about SEO?
Google Analytics tells you what happened, KISSmetrics tells you who did it.
Note From Mark:
If you want to learn more about KISS Metrics, check out their site here. You might also be interested in Neil’s latest post about how they improved the KISS Metrics website’s conversion rate by 40%
KISSmetrics focuses on tracking people and all of the things that make convert, churn, or even make repeat purchases. It focuses on bottom line metrics such as lifetime value of your customers, churn, and marketing attribution.