044 – Stephan Spencer – Using Uncertainty as the Key to Success

044 – Stephan Spencer – Using Uncertainty as the Key to Success

Stephan Spencer, an author, speaker, consultant, podcast host, founder of Netconcepts, and leading expert in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is an optimization pro – in all areas of life. He shares why being experimental, comfortable with uncertainty, and willing to put yourself out there is key to success, and proves it with his own story. Stephan explores the value of SEO and he explains why he sees it as the “operating system of the internet”. Listen in to learn what SEO can do for you and your business, what to watch out for, and why it’s an asset – and hear why SEO is like a chess game where you can move your opponent’s pieces, too.

Time Stamped Show Notes

[01:30] – Introducing Stephan

  • 02:00 – He’s been techy since he was a kid; he quit everything and went into sports in high school
  • 03:05 – He got back into computers in college; he has a master’s in biochemistry and started an online company without classes in business, marketing, or computing
  • 04:20 – He talked his way into the “How to Market on the Internet” conference; he chimed in on the microphone and got business for himself there
  • 06:30 – He was invited to another conference to speak, chair, and host a workshop; he did, but didn’t do it well at the time
  • 07:35 – Speaking has generated 8 figures for Stephan; he structured it with the intention to get conversations, business cards, and opt-ins

[08:10] – On tweaks he made to improve his offer while speaking

  • 08:25 – His offer couldn’t sound too much like a pitch; he brings copies of his book “The Art of SEO” and sees who wants to come and get it from stage
  • 10:40 – He treats everything as a set of experiments; you must be comfortable with uncertainty in SEO and in life

[12:00] – SEO as the operating system of the internet

  • 12:25 – Google is the fastest way to get solutions; if you aren’t there, you’re invisible
  • 12:50 – You should care about website traffic if you’ve taken the time to build one; SEO is necessary to control the narrative when people check you out
  • 14:00 – Knowledge panels have value if you want to look credible; Stephan curates and influences everything that comes up when you search his name
  • 15:15 – Don’t leave the door open for competitors; play the game

[15:40] – SEO as an asset

  • 15:50 – Your business is your self-employment; your assets have tangible value, like an email list, re-targeting list, or authority in the eyes of Google
  • 16:40 – With ads you pay money for more money; assets pay you dividends into the future
  • 17:15 – You can get SEO value without having to do continual work

[18:30] – What to watch out for with SEO

  • 18:35 – SEO is like a chess game where you can move your opponent’s pieces as well as your own; negative SEO happens with bad links and is an attack on your site
  • 20:12 – Bad SEO people may pretend to be you and ask for links to be removed; this happens especially in highly-competitive industries
  • 21:20 – You don’t know what you don’t know; just know that there are SEO tech, links, and content decisions that make a big difference
  • 24:00 – Keywords are important, as are related keywords and topics; SEO experts can audit and provide a strategy
  • 25:10 – SEO allows you to leapfrog in business strategically and effectively

3 Key Points

  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
  • Distinctions make a difference and everything is an experiment.
  • Be comfortable with uncertainty in SEO and life.


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