The following is Part #1 of a 4 part audio transcribing of a Mixergy Interview with Michael Dorausch, founder of Planet Chiropractic. The audio was transcribed from a phone interview which focused on marketing and tips for building traffic to one’s website.
Andrew: Hi everyone, it’s Andrew Warner from mixergy.com. Mixergy is a website that you use to organize events, and I’ll be using interviews like this as a way for all of us to learn from some of the people who I’ve met when I organized events at Mixergy.com.
In this session I’ll be talking with Michael of Planet Chiropractic. What I think is exciting about Michael is how he uses Guerilla marketing techniques to drive traffic to his website. Every idea that Michael will share with us on this call, you can use today to start growing traffic to your website. I think it’s packed with valuable information, so let’s jump into the call.
Andrew: Here’s my outline for the call.
Andrew: I want to find out about what do you do? How did you start out, because I love entrepreneurs, I love business people and I especially love hearing that ramp-up period. And then the third thing is some ideas from you that other entrepreneurs, that other start-ups can learn from and use to grow their businesses.
Andrew: So let’s start with what you do now, and then we’ll get into how you got there.
Mike: So, the company is called Planet Chiropractic, and it’s planetchiropractic.com. So basically what we do is we cover everything that you could think of in the industry. So we handle news in the industry. We cover conferences in the industry. There’s trade shows going on every weekend all over the nation, so we cover information on trade shows and registration for trade shows. We run a classified database for equipment and for people looking to hire.
Andrew: How did you get started with that?
Mike: How did I get started? That’s a great question. Timing was really just good for me. I was a student at the time. This was like, early, early internet, there were about six websites altogether that covered chiropractic at the time, and most of them were government. So, I really saw an opportunity there and I thought well our profession should create a site and get everything organized so that we could all get together and communicate. And that’s pretty much how that started and that was back in 1995-1996.
Andrew: And what was on the site at first or was it just news, a blog?
Mike: Our school was a great school that supported us. You could bring out somebody who was just a leader at business and they could speak in the lunchroom at lunchtime and two or three hundred students could come attend. Well we had had a speaker come out, and I had talked to some students from another school and the speaker was not allowed to visit their campus, because the school didn’t want certain individuals speaking. They thought they were maybe too motivational. They felt, well, this guy is too much like Anthony Robbins, or too excited about what they do, which I love people like that. So what we did is we gathered up the email addresses of every student in this other school and we offered to send them a video tape. And that’s kind of how this whole thing started. It just took off virally and there were about 700 students who wanted to get a copy of the video, and we thought we should figure out how to do this on the internet.
Andrew: Okay, and what are the most popular sections on your site?
Mike: If we divided it up the most popular section is going to be the news. The news comes out pretty much daily. I have a goal to put out two news articles a day, or have somebody contribute two pieces of new content daily and that’s in the news. And that is definitely the highest traffic, which is right on the home page. So the home page will receive the most traffic of all.
Andrew: And your news, where does it come from? Do you guys do original news or are you finding stuff on the internet that’s related?
Mike: I’ll look at hot trends and look at the top search terms that are coming in. For example, right now out of the top 100, there are a bunch of names showing up Herst, Billie Collins Junior these are things that I don’t know what’s going on with them, but I’m sure if we looked into them there would be some stories. There’s a lot of searches going on right now for Martin Luther King and Martin Luther King assassination, because we’re in the forty year anniversary of that. So, what happens from a journalist perspective, if you start looking at that and going, wow, people are looking for this now, will they look for it more tomorrow or less tomorrow? So, it depends on how you time it. And if you get good at it, you’ll start figuring okay, can I get to the party early? And if I get to the party early I can set up a booth. And that’s how I think about it.
Andrew: So you’re looking at the hot trends and your saying okay, so which of these trends actually have legs and is going to develop into a story that people search for tomorrow and then for the next week at least. Let’s say you find a story, how do you tie it in to your site?
Mike: Chiropractic isn’t normally something that would be in the news. And for me that’s the exciting challenge because it wouldn’t get into the news on a regular basis. But it’s more than just healthcare, there’s this whole lifestyle. So we can look at our industry and say well, sure I’m a chiropractor, but I’m also a small business owner. And there’s a lot of people searching for small business information. And I’m an entrepreneur and there’s things like that. So we try to find out what other things do we have in common with the rest of the world. So, for example we can take Martin Luther King, because that’s probably something that will probably be hot all week or all throughout next week. We can look back and say what was the state of the chiropractic industry forty years ago? And we can make some comparisons and say well, what freedoms have we gained? Just like freedoms have been gained in different circles, we could say that freedoms have been gained for the chiropractic industry for inclusion in Medicare and insurance and things like that. And so what we do in the process is we bring in traffic that is now interested in this subject and we tie it to stuff that people would actually benefit from learning. So the end consumer would say, wow I was looking to read an article on Martin Luther King, but this guy made some really interesting parallels and looked at how the world has changed in forty years, and there’s this industry here that now accepts my insurance as a result of all of this change.
Andrew: And they’re going to find you by going to Google the website or Google news?
Mike: No they’ll straight Google or Google news. So one of the things that’s been wonderful for webmasters the past six months has been the advancing of Google universal, or what we call blended search. You’ll see that now, you do a search on Google, and you’ll get images. Or you’ll get news, or you’ll get books, or you’ll get a combination of. Something that Google has done, if you write good content, and it’s good relevant content, it will tend to rank very high very quickly now. So if I wrote an article about Martin Luther King, the chances of me being in the top five search results on a national Google search are very good.
Andrew: Even with all of the competition out there for that?
Mike: Even with all of the competition, right. Because Google wants to give the most relevant and up-to-date. So their search engine says well this guy has an article on Martin Luther King, but it’s only a couple of hours old, we really want to get this in front of people. Whereas before, that article would sit at the end of the results for the next two years. Now they say, let’s put that article all the way to the front an we’ll let it hang out there for maybe eight hours or so. And if it gets traffic we’ll keep it there, if it doesn’t get traffic we’ll bump it back.
Andrew: Ok, so will somebody who’s starting a new site or a new blog, will they be able to get the same kind of attention in Google if they write a relevant news story quickly. Or is it because you’ve been around for so long that you get bumped up right away?
Mike: Yeah, there’s a big advantage to being around. My recommendation, if you are starting it fresh – you’re better off purchasing a site if you can. So if you really want to hit it, it’s worth the investment. Let’s say you were going to cover speaking. If you were going to do meet up events you would look for a speaker related website that’s been around since the 90’s that’s not getting much action. And you could say to somebody hey, you know, would you be interested in selling this domain? And the reason for that is because it’s an aged domain and typically it has more trust. So that’s one way you can do it. The other way you can do it is go fresh, go with a new domain, register it for a good length of time, and just get in there and start getting good content out on a regular basis. If your content is good and it’s not spammy it will get linked to. You can’t expect that in the first 30 days you’re going to be super-successful, but if you can get that content out there and get it linked to it will start moving quickly, and it will get picked up in social circles.