About Neil Patel

I'm Kind of a Big Deal - Photo of Neil PatelFor those of you new to the search engine marketing community, Neil Patel has launched and optimized numerous online products, including CrazyEgg and KISSMetrics. Behind the helm of these successful businesses sat Neil Patel, leading, guiding and charging full speed ahead with advanced SEO initiatives.

Like many SEO’s, Neil has a lot of confidence in what he does, evening using the tagline “I’m kind of a big deal“. I often refer to myself as “SEO Expert”, even though it’s theoretically impossible to give yourself a title of expert in an ever-changing industry like SEO. But Neil is absolutely the real deal as you’ll see in the video on this post or if you subscribe to his QuickSprout blog:

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Neil lends himself to entrepreneur groups and Meetup’s, answers direct emails from people who look up to him, and is an all-around awesome guy to know.

How We First Met

Neil and I met at an SEO Meetup group back in 2011. Neil mesmerized attendees with how he got started as an entrepreneur and the success he’s achieved with the various brands he’s been a part of. He gave advice to startup owners and left the floor to me to bore the group with Google Analytics best practices.

What We Learned from Neil Patel

In the interview we asked a number of questions on your behalf. You can thank us later. Here are a few snippets:

Steve Wiideman: With all you have going on, where do you find the time to put such elaborate posts together while still maintaining your roles with your businesses?

Neil Patel: Flying. I fly a lot and write while I’m on the plane. I only write on average two posts per week.

Steve Wiideman: What’s your vision for QuickSprout in 2013?

Neil Patel: It’s actually just a fun project more than anything. I don’t care if I make money from it. I just enjoy writing and traffic is growing a lot. I think in the last 30 days I’ve had around 196,000 visitors. I think I can get it to 200 or 250 in the next month or two. My overall goal is to write more content to educate, and I just finished 42,000 words of a new eBook “An Advanced Guide to SEO”. I took the concept from SEOMoz.org’s “Beginner’s Guide to SEO“.

Steve Wiideman: If a novice SEO professional wanted to walk in your footprints, where should they start, considering colleges rarely teach search engine marketing?

Neil Patel: So, take the money you would have spent on college and go to SEO conferences; and not just the conferences, but attend the workshops and you can get your education from there.

Steve Wiideman: Many business owners who to decide to dedicate themselves to SEO as a core part of their marketing believe that the NEW SEO requires spending thousands of dollars on public relations firms to get featured in news and magazines or converting to TV to massively increase brand name searches. Do you believe this is true, or can a newcomer online pass major brands for core keyword terms with traditional on-page and link building tactics?

Neil Patel: They can. I think a newcomer can. I’ve seen it as well. I know quite a few people who aren’t big brands who rank for really competitive keywords. You have to do a mixture. So you’re using some of the old school tactics, but you have to spend money on PR, press, social media, as well as SEO. You have encompass everything to rank well. If you’re just doing on-page SEO and link building, it’s really tough to rank for core competitive keywords with just those. It can’t just be one thing, you have do more than that, which is where the PR, and the blogger outreach, and stuff like that comes in.

Steve Wiideman: Who are your top favorite SEO gurus? For me, as I was growing up in SEO, they were Bruce Clay, Aaron Wall, Eric Ward, and Danny Sullivan. Who might be your top 5 SEO gurus to follow online.

Neil Patel: That’s tough, because there are a lot of really good SEO’s out there. I know Aaron Wall’s one of my favorites for sure. You also have Greg Boser and Rand Fishkin. Another one, even though he’s not an SEO, is Matt Cutts who does give a lot of valuable information and you can learn quite a bit from Matt. Another good guy who knows a lot of stuff is Will Powell. There’s probably another 20 or 30 that I should mention as well.

Steve Wiideman: What are the absolute best online tools for researching and managing an SEO and PPC campaign?

Neil Patel: Well, for PPC I’m not the right person to answer that question, but for SEO you can use a wide variety of tools. SEOMoz has pretty good tool set. I also look at SpyFu a lot of times to try to figure out which competitors are looking at what. I use SEMRush as well quite a bit. SEOBook has quite a few tools and a lot of them are free too.

Steve Wiideman: You obviously have a lot to offer to people in need of SEO expertise. How can our readers get in touch with you and can you ballpark what someone might expect to spend just to pick your mind for an hour? We know Eric Ward charges $800 for an hour or so, Aaron Wall charges upwards of $2,000. We understand if you don’t want to share, but know that will be the first question asked to us.

Neil Patel: It’s more so based on their needs and how long it’s going to take, but I have no set price. I first figure out if I can help. Just because someone’s good at SEO doesn’t mean that they get you really high rankings for any key terms you want. And there’s a lot of reasons. Sometimes your site’s just way too new, and you have no content, no links, no authority, and you have a shitty product and it’s like “this is going to be way too hard”. So like first I actually have see what you’re looking for and decide if it’s realistic. It’s all about figuring out if you can provide a customer will good ROI.

Steve Wiideman: Is there a charge for an initial consultation?

Neil Patel: No. It’s all free.

—– End of Interview —–

If you’re interested in talking to Neil Patel about your SEO, here’s the link we found at SproutSocial.com. I don’t give free consultations, partly because my schedule is nuts, as I’m sure Neil’s is as well. If I were you, I’d definitely take Neil up on the offer, especially considering what the other SEO’s out there are charging. One of my peers who I love dearly as a friend, won’t even speak with a client unless they pay him for a $5,000 SEO assessment. So when Neil Patel says you can talk with him for free, I wouldn’t pass on that offer.

A Special Thank You

On behalf of our community and ThatTrainingGuide.com, I just want to send a special thanks out to our friend Neil Patel, you really are the rockstar you present yourself as when you say you’re kind of a big deal. Oh, here’s a tip: in the spirit of our industry, drop the “kind of”.