Jibran #20 — My Website on the Drawing Board, Tool to Visualize Your Marketing Funnel, The Best SEO Interview in 2020

written by JIBRAN EL BAZI |

Hey all, hope you've had a good month!

I have a few things to share with you today.

  1. A tool that makes it super easy to help you visualize your (email) marketing funnel.
  2. My notes (+ the link to the video) on one of THE best interviews I've seen on SEO in the last 3 years.

But first, I’m going to tell you why I redesigned my whole website.

Overhauling jibranelbazi.com

You might ask, "Why would you take 4 days out of your schedule to overhaul your website, Jibran?"

Well, I asked myself this a few times along the way too, haha. But it's pretty simple, really.

I felt the positioning on my blog was not clear enough. Much of my branding and content structure was positioned under the umbrella of starting & growing a business (i.e., entrepreneurship).

But a lot of what I write about, and want to write more about, does not fit neatly under that topic of “entrepreneurship.”

So over time, I noticed that the “entrepreneurship” positioning was actually a subset of a larger question.

The question of how to find clarity on what you want out of life and then pursuing it in a meaningful way, so that you can live a fulfilled life.

Entrepreneurship is an important part of answering that question, no doubt. That’s because working for yourself allows you to take action towards your purpose in a way that you have way more control over than as an employee.

But there are 6 other topics that I defined, for myself, that fit alongside entrepreneurship. Here’s all 7 of them:

  1. Finding Your Purpose — So you can work on what makes you happy and satisfied.
  2. Producing Creative Output — So you can transform the lives of others in a meaningful way.
  3. Changing Your Mindset — So you can live more peacefully and be more resilient.
  4. Becoming More Productive — So you have more time left for the important things in life.
  5. Forming Better Habits — So you improve the baseline of every aspect of your life.
  6. Making Better Decisions — So you create more upside with every choice you make.
  7. Starting a Business — So you are free to pursue your mission in your own way.

In the process, I also rewrote my about page, which is now much more personal. Then I rewrote my manifesto, which is now more focused (h/t to David Miranda for reviewing it for me).

On the actual design side, I emulated much from Leo Babauta (zen habits) and James Clear. This means it’s a relatively minimalist setup with simple colors and shapes. I chose this because I want to help my readers focus on the ideas and content as much as possible.

Anyway, you can check my new website design here if you’d like. And let me know when you see typos or something wonky. No doubt there’ll be something in there.

Ok, enough about my website (although I hope you liked seeing my thought process)!

Here are two more things I think could be useful for you.

Visualize you marketing funnel

I’m laying out my marketing funnel for my Dutch freelance business and, since I’m a visual person, I looked for a tool to help me with that. Thus I came across Funnelytics.

In the tool, you can create elaborate funnels (way more complex than the part of the funnel you see above).

And the diagramming functionality is free! (There is a paid version if you want to actually measure conversions with it, but I do that in other ways.)

Why do I like it?

  • It has all the symbols/logos you need.
  • It’s the only one I could find so far that has website pages as visuals.
  • It’s super easy to use.

If you’re doing any type of marketing and want to draw out a funnel that needs more than just a piece of paper, this is can be your thing.

The Best SEO Interview in 2020

Ok, I’m a member of this really awesome Content Marketing membership/course by Benji Hyam and Devesh Khanal (they run Grow & Convert, a premium content marketing agency in San Fransisco). I’ve already learned a TON from them on SEO and content marketing.

Benji and Devesh also do interviews with experts in the field regularly. And this time they did an interview with Bernard Huang.

Bernard is the co-founder of Clearscope, which is a premium tool for “content optimization for SEO.” The tool helps you to create killer content that enables you to outrank competitors. What’s special with Bernard, is that he has a LOT of insight into the algorithms of how Google ranks pages/websites, due to the aggregated data Clearscope has from their userbase.

So Bernard had a lot of interesting pieces of information with many details on how you can create great content that ranks.

Here are just a few takeaways that I noted down:

  • Write articles that answer very specific questions.
  • Search volume does not matter much, especially if you nail the “real” intent of a search query. E.g., you can rank on the first page for “bone broth” by writing a post that targets “best bone broth recipe for instant pot,” because embedded in the intent of many searchers of “bone broth,” they actually looked for a bone broth recipe (for their instant pot).
  • Check Google autocomplete suggestions and “people also ask” for different search intents for a specific keyword.
  • Prioritize article types for a given keyword that Google shows on the results page.
  • Keep writing on the same topic(s) on your website and Google will start seeing you as an authority much more. This means
  • Make it a goal to have the searcher end their search with you. I.e., you give the answer they were looking for. Google sees they stop searching at you. Google will then put you higher in the rankings.

The interview was first behind the paywall of the membership, but Benji and Devesh decided it was so valuable to others that they also put it on Youtube, so make sure to check it out if you’re an online writer or business owner.

Next time

Starting January I will write this newsletter every week again.

I may even send out one a little earlier than that, so that I can wish you a happy new year (+ share a plan or two you can use for new years resolutions ;) ).

See you soon!

And as always, feel free to reply to this email if you have questions or something cool to share. Love to hear from you!


— Jibran

PS. I ditched "Flywheel" as the name for my newsletter, and now use "Jibran's Newsletter" as the name, which may be fine for now. But if you have an opinion about that specifically, please let me know, I'm very open to suggestions!

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About jibran el bazi

Jibran el Bazi shares his experiences, findings, and insights on how to live a fulfilling life while pursuing your purpose. When he doesn't write in third person, he covers topics like Purpose, Creative Output, Habits, Productivity, Mindset, Decision Making, and Entrepreneurship.

Interested in why he writes about this? Check out his Manifesto ➡

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