SEO Case Study With Brian Dean

SEO Case Study With Brian Dean

In this episode you’ll learn how Brian from Backlinko made $100,000 from a 2,000 person email list, the specific metrics for optimizing YouTube videos AND 1 tactic that permanently changed OkDork after this episode.

Brian gives a ton of actionable tips to help improve your SEO and some surprises like having more pages doesn’t necessarily make your site easier to find in search engines. Get ready to take some notes because you’re going to want to use this stuff right away.

Lessons learned in this episode:

  • How to not get bored creating niche content.
  • With mastery comes greater enjoyment.
  • How Brian made $100,000 on a 2,000 person email list.
  • Most course purchases are made near closing.
  • Simplify your marketing and don't overwhelm your customers.
  • Who's on your list matters.
  • Embrace beginners mind to learn new skills.
  • Using "pattern interrupts" to make your videos better.
  • How and why to buy online courses to shortcut learning.
  • Mastering audience retention and why it's important.
  • Quantity of information is not as important as quality.
  • Promotion tips and tricks for new content.
  • Avoiding premature automation.
  • How to evaluate existing properties for growth.
  • Why more content can negatively impact SEO.
  • Enhanced and compressed goal setting.
  • Delete old content that's not adding value.

The Challenge: Use the step-by-step instructions to delete under-performing content.

Leave a comment and tell me how you did on this week's challenge!

Links discussed in this episode:


Backlinko on YouTube

Video Creators with Tim Schmoyer

Video Overtake University



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118 responses to “SEO Case Study With Brian Dean”

October 31, 2019 at 8:28 pm

Great podcast! Do you have any idea what's the 90 day goal setting program name that Brian is using?

March 3, 2018 at 8:21 am

Great show.
One request, can you write the summery of whole show in 300 or less words?
That would be so helpful.
Thank you so much.

Janco Vorster
November 29, 2017 at 2:49 pm

I have to start deleting pages, but too scared to"kill my darlings"
Very......Very informative show. Thx
Fan of both of you

July 21, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Great Podcast Noah and Brian. Does Reese peanut butter cups count as a candy bar? Had a question about the deleting of pages. Is it better to just out right delete them or should you setup a no-index instead? Is there any case studies that show this tactic to actually work?

July 11, 2017 at 10:39 am

.. I'd have to say a toss up between Mars and Flake (only in Australia I think). What about you, Noah?

June 21, 2017 at 10:50 pm

Good stuff. One thought: he was able to simplify his last launch and still do such beast numbers because he's since created such a massive amount of authority and trust in this niche.

March 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm

This is a fantastic podcast.

Andrew Overby
March 17, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Great episode! I enjoyed it, and I learned from it.

Matthew Staton
March 11, 2017 at 11:05 am

Great podcast. The only thing I would've added is to 301 redirect the page or pages you are deleting.

Eileen Padilla
March 10, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Great ideas (I think) but I'm the newest newby there is so I don't really know what I don't know? Haven't started my blog but am researching to figure out how to do this. Thanks for (hopefully) pointing me in the right direction.

March 10, 2017 at 10:05 am

Wow, great episode!
There were so many awesome and actionable ideas, but my big take-aways as a total online business newbie were:
#1 - Focus on developing truly high quality content (that's super useful to your niche audience... even if that audience isn't massive)
#2 - Play the long game, and don't be afraid to invest a lot of time/effort into a piece of content (make it evergreen) or learning something deeply
#3 - Simplify your marketing, don't overwhelm your audience
#4 -Think of what you're procrastinating on professionally, get specific, and commit to (re)learning or mastering that with a beginners mind

Candy L Hill
March 9, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Entertaining and insightful, I learned a lot!

Reese's Peanut Butter cups are my favorite candy bar.

Heidi Oehler
March 9, 2017 at 1:17 pm

Love the show! Love how you ask for specifics/ examples and really probe into topics. Thanks for all your hard work.

March 8, 2017 at 6:54 pm

I really enjoyed your interview with Brian. The questions were excellent. Just what I needed to learn today. Still looking for a way to share my vegan dessert recipes. May use YouTube.
Thanks, Gayle

March 8, 2017 at 4:50 pm


March 8, 2017 at 2:15 pm

One of the most actionable tip-laden podcasts yet! Thx!

March 8, 2017 at 12:13 pm

Great content on this post. I'm heading on over to Google Analytics to check my stats and prepping myself to delete!

Wanted to give you a thumbs up on Google Play - but they don't give the option to give you a like, that's a bummer.

Apoorv Mote
March 8, 2017 at 6:50 am

Instead of YouTube I am embedding private Vimeo Videos on my blog. With YouTube people get distracted with competitor content. I want people to stay with my content. How will the tactics be different for me?

Susanna Soderstrom
March 8, 2017 at 4:25 am

Great show with great tips!
My favourite candy bar is Daim. 🙂

Shawn Harris
March 7, 2017 at 9:07 pm

Great podcast! SEO is such obtuse voodoo to me it's great to hear some tangible pointers.

Mushroom Steve
March 7, 2017 at 8:14 pm

Good stuff fellas. Been focusing on the 100% of stuff that works the last couple weeks so that was good reinforcement. Also relates to the deleting of shit that doesn't.

March 7, 2017 at 6:44 pm

solid episode, heaps of takeaways. I really like the way you ask questions.

March 7, 2017 at 6:43 pm

9 Tacos out of 10. Dropped 1 taco for audio quality. I still enjoyed those other 9 tacos...deeeeelish!

Florence Adenikinju
March 7, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Great stuff

Karla Cienfuegos
March 7, 2017 at 3:13 pm

There's so many golden nuggets in this episode. I always thought having more content was better, but when Brian explained why less content is better, my mind was blown.

My favorite candy are the gummy bears from Trader Joes. 🙂

March 7, 2017 at 2:48 pm

I plan to listen a second time!

Dave Burns
March 7, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Loved this episode, particularly the counter-intuitive advice on improving SEO for websites by reducing pages.

March 7, 2017 at 2:14 pm

Nice episode. My favorite candy bar is Milky Way. Not sure why, but it seems like my first comment disappeared

March 7, 2017 at 2:17 pm

Hmm, odd, now I can see my first comment. Glitch I guess.

March 7, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Hey Noah, love this episode, and the podcast in general. Keep up the awesome work.

March 7, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Interesting tidbit about the way YouTube interprets viewer retention rates from short videos with hgher rates compared to longer videos with a lower viewer retention rate

March 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Great podcast Noah! Aside from the content packed into your interviews, I also take note of how you keep the conversation flowing with relevant questions and how you sprinkle humor throughout. I have the conversational skills of a 4-year old, so your podcast provides a learning opportunity on so many levels.

Thanks again, and I'm already looking forward to your next one. Oh, and my favorite candy bar is prob Mounds, 3 Musketeers a close second. What's yours?

Kevin Watts
March 7, 2017 at 11:28 am

Liked the show. Step-by-step instructions - if you don't know how to do this you shouldn't be here - awesome. My favorite candy bar is Milky Way.

March 7, 2017 at 11:21 am

They say your hair grows faster if you cut it often. I guess the same goes with content. Delete those low traffic pages and improve your SEO. Fav candy bar - Ocho bar with caramel and peanuts. I eat two of them at a time they are so good.

March 7, 2017 at 11:07 am

Loved this episode! Very insightful

March 7, 2017 at 10:44 am

Very interesting interview, this guy rocks in SEO! He must eat tacos all the time...

March 7, 2017 at 10:22 am

Great show - now lots of work to implement!

Brent Robison
March 7, 2017 at 10:15 am

Listened to this a few days ago on my drive home from LA... this was easily the best podcast I've listened to in 6-12 months. Top 10 of all time. You and Brian killed it!

March 7, 2017 at 9:33 am

This must have been my favorite podcast episode for quite some time! Loved the whole conversation between Noah and Brian and got lots of input. Can't wait for the next episode, Noah ...

March 7, 2017 at 9:32 am

You're so right - "it's 'easy' to find customers when you're very specific". As a marketer who can solve a lot of different problems, that's actually a bad thing for me because people don't always "see" their problems in my solutions. But as I've niched down, I've gotten more traction. Thanks for a great episode!

March 7, 2017 at 9:22 am

<3 🙂

Dustin D Bowman
March 7, 2017 at 9:12 am

It is great to see people committed to quality content. In a society of more is better, we lose sight of the truth: people will respond to quality!

March 7, 2017 at 8:57 am

Great stuff. Brain's work has had a massive influence on my own business already. Gonna dig into the notes and apply some more of his ideas this week 🙂

March 7, 2017 at 8:45 am

I listened and Love Brian's stuff!

Alexis Avellan
March 7, 2017 at 8:40 am

I've been doing SEO for a while now but never thought about his recommendation at the end where he says to delete the pages that are not doing anything for your website. And how you retain more "link juice." Great stuff!

Ricardo Parro
March 7, 2017 at 8:32 am

I loved this episode. It as a lot of compacted info and it's inspiring at the same time. Great job Noah and thanks for sharing so much value for FREE! I am always looking forward to Tuesdays!

Will H
March 7, 2017 at 8:32 am

Great Podcast! I'm a big fan of Brian Dean. I follow his blog and receive his email blast. I highly recommend this episode to anyone in the SEO field. Cheers!

harel filiba
March 7, 2017 at 8:29 am

Hi There, Taco Man.

I must say you inspired me.

Brian has an awesome blog and I read almost all of it.

It's great to hear the 2 of you together, which give awesome tips!

Will be happy to hear some tips of you on the start of the blogging way!

Cheers, Taco and Bear, Hell yeah

March 7, 2017 at 8:26 am

Thanks for getting him on the show! I've spent over 10 hours since then combing through his stuff. It's been awesome.

March 7, 2017 at 8:24 am

This was a great episode, as soon as it was over I went into my site and deleted over 330 'dead weight' pages!

March 6, 2017 at 6:45 pm

Had the same issue with the super fast audio, was expecting you at the end to say it was intentional, to show how much time you had now saved. Time that should be spent implementing the advice given.

Noah Kagan
March 6, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Ha, that would have been funny. It was an error on our side. Should be fixed if you listen to it now. Learning and improving.

Andy Enright
March 6, 2017 at 9:20 am

Especially loved the ideas of one blog post per month and the 90 day year. Implementing both. Thanks Noah & Brian!

Prachi Gupta
March 6, 2017 at 4:50 am

your content is good. I liked your youtube channel. thank you very much for creating videos on youtube. it is very beneficial.

Adam Knight
March 6, 2017 at 3:58 am

Awesome as always!

March 5, 2017 at 10:09 am

Great episode. I am curious about the removing old content part. Would Brian then recommend going out to Google and using their URL removal tool? Not a big candy bar fan, but I can throw down on some Swedish fish.

March 3, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Great information and a fun listen. It's going to be difficult to fit one year of goals into four months.

I also like Payday; I wouldn't say it's my favorite, but really good!

March 3, 2017 at 10:15 am

Great content, clear and actionable! Thanks Noah, gracias Noah!

David Attard
March 3, 2017 at 9:01 am

Hey Noah,

Brian is one of the people I've learnt so much from - he is the man. I've paid for his course and it's paid for itself several times over.

Thing is, Brian cusses a bit less than you, so your stuff is a bit more amusing 🙂

With you Noah, I pay for Sumo and a lot of your stuff, so yeah, I like much of your stuff too.

Today I looked at my stats and found I'm converting 50 emails a day and was really happy, and then along comes Brian and he poops on my party with 350 emails a day 😐

Incidentally, still looking for case studies for Sumo?

Ted McKeon
March 3, 2017 at 7:54 am

Great Podcast! very informative, definitely going to check out his website.

March 2, 2017 at 10:56 pm

Hey Noah, loving the podcast content!! Brian is a rock star and gives pure gold tips, like always having a beginner's mindset.

Keep bringing awesome practical stuff, I'll keep learning from you and your guests.

Tacos 4 ever!

Andrew Miner
March 2, 2017 at 8:53 pm

This episode was hella good. Think less/do more. Delete underperformers...

Noah, one underrated tactic I've noticed over the years is that you are relentless in incentivizing participation/sharing with little easter eggs. What percentage effect do you think that has had on your activities/businesses? Or is it hard to measure?

Shirley Henderson
March 2, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Just subscribed to Brian's YouTube channel, awesome! Thanks, Noah.

March 2, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Interesting podcast! I'd live to get a list of some of the best courses Brian has done so far. Brian ?

Garett Southerton
March 2, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Excellent episode with a bunch of gold nuggets ??

Stephan Attar
March 2, 2017 at 4:27 pm

This is Awesome!!! Thank You for sharing these SEO tips Noah 🙂

March 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Listened! Audio issues never bother me - if you can hear the content then I'm happy.

March 2, 2017 at 3:24 pm

What a great podcast with some really surprising insight...but you'll have to listen to hear it!

Susan Lassiter-Lyons
March 2, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Great episode! One question about deleting posts. Do you just delete or do you delete and add a 440 redirect to let Google know it's deleted? Fave candy bar - Heath Bar FTW!

Julie Gordon White
March 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Loved EVERY SECOND of this!! Thx Noah!

Moira Lethbridge
March 2, 2017 at 12:56 pm

My favorite candy bar is Snickers but I haven't eaten sugar since 1989 so I bet there are way better candy bars on the market. Love the Google analytics recommendation to delete pages that aren't getting traffic.

March 2, 2017 at 12:49 pm

pretty cool to hear from brian! great insights!

Chris Nadeau
March 2, 2017 at 11:42 am

That was awesome dudes! I learned a ton from you both. Thank you!

March 2, 2017 at 11:14 am

This interview was hilarious and insightful. Just downloaded all the rest of your episodes and looking forward to binge-listening this werkend. Brian is a rockstar and love his ideas on focus and soecifically, focusing on your niche (and leaving other interests as hobbies).

Keep up the great work Noah.

Lenna Mau
March 2, 2017 at 10:20 am

Great info! Thank you. Love your podcast. Was this episode at a higher speed? I kept checking if I had it 1.5x...

Noah Kagan
March 2, 2017 at 11:43 am

It was a bug when first uploaded. If you play it again it should be fine.

Moira Lethbridge
March 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm

I thought I just had too much caffeine....

March 2, 2017 at 10:01 am

Definitely a quality interview. Nice variety of content and actionable tips. Can't wait to apply some of them, though probably not the 90 day year thing. I don't really get it. If you can get it done in 90 days, shouldn't you set a bigger goal? What are you supposed to do for the rest of the year?

Jayden Lawson
April 28, 2017 at 7:09 pm

I think it's an awesome concept. The point is that focusing on a big goal for completion in 90 days means you eliminate most or all of your wasted time. If you analysed your week, you would probably find that you waste at least 50% of your time doing things that aren't important.

March 2, 2017 at 9:58 am

Copying someone else's launch is such a simple but clever idea! Or should I say drawing inspiration from it?!

March 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

Good content!

March 2, 2017 at 9:42 am

First time listening, really enjoyed it- lots of actionable takeaways. Am deleting non-producing pages off my site now. My favorite candy bar is Caramello.

March 2, 2017 at 9:41 am

Noah, I've been following you're content for two years, now I started my own project of Online Marketing for Entrepreneurs (less than a month and already a client), thanks a lot for everything. We will keep using you're material to improve our project.
Very good material, we have to work in our SEO ASAP to start growing our site traffic.
Thanks again!

PS: We are from Argentina, so yes, you are inspiring people worldwide!

March 2, 2017 at 9:28 am

I listened last night. Good stuff. I've done a lot of work on my sites, but I've never deleted a ton of comment at once like Brian recommends. But my sites are almost 10 years old, so I'm sure there is a ton of content I can kill.

Was this the one tactic you used to permanently improve OK Dork? Or was it focusing on on your strengths of having experts write about their area of expertise?

Manne L
March 2, 2017 at 9:26 am

Good job! I think this is the best one so far. I like the tactical step-by-step stuff. Keep it up!

Phil Benham
March 2, 2017 at 9:11 am

Loved the episode, Noah!

As a side note, and as a non-expert, I would suggest making these shows a bit shorter. There was a lot of good stuff in this one, but as I had some other browser windows open and multi-tasking online is super challenging, I lost some of the last half of the show. Just sayin'...

March 2, 2017 at 9:10 am

If not overwhelming your customers is a target then I'm sad to say you've failed. Too much content, delivered far to quickly. I'm old and slow (er 50) and probably missed 50% of what was said. There again, the other 50% was useful (in an American way...). Does repetition of the same number (50) help? Yup, that was 50.

Susan Lassiter-Lyons
March 2, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Do some brain exercises, man. 50 is the new 30. I'm 51 and I keep up.

March 2, 2017 at 9:09 am

Audio was fine for me. Noah Kagan is amazing!

Noah Kagan
March 2, 2017 at 11:43 am

You are amazing!

Jerry Altman
March 2, 2017 at 9:06 am

Great content as usual. Love the technics he uses to keep viewers watching a video!

March 2, 2017 at 9:06 am

So true about quality wins the race always over quantity. It's interesting to know that Brian only published around 34 articles in the span of 4 years but the blog is making over $1m in business.

Listened the whole podcast Noah.

Thanks so much for bringing Brian Dean to the podcast.

Keep up the great work!

Arnaud from Kip Kitchen
March 2, 2017 at 9:05 am

Interesting rationale behind deleting low-traffic pages. Takes a bit of courage to do it!

March 2, 2017 at 9:03 am

I loved this podcast. I am in a very niche market so when he talked about getting bored, it really resonated with me. I find that sometimes I get bored but I think it has more to do with me and my itch to always do something new not so much the content aspect. If that makes sense. Thanks for all that you do.

I don't eat candy bars anymore but when I did? My favorite was Twix.

March 2, 2017 at 9:00 am

I listened. Thanks for the tips. As a person starting out it's super helpful when you ask: 1) what's worked best for speaker and 2) an seo tip everyone can take away to. Super helpful!

March 2, 2017 at 8:39 am

I liked context of the talk. Thanks for sharing it. I am going to try some of them and will wait for see the results.

Ed Mormile
March 2, 2017 at 8:37 am

Brian is a genius! Tons of inspiring stuff in this ep. Learned a lot during his breakout session at SumoCon too. I think this is a excellent type of guest to have in the future. Basically, anyone of the speakers from SumoCon would be great.

John Sousa
March 2, 2017 at 8:34 am

Info from this episode was great. Instead of rewinding a bunch to relisten I set the podcast to 1/2 speed. The 90-day year sounds like something I want to try. At least using it as a time frame for project goals.

Jason Stephens
March 2, 2017 at 8:26 am

Fantastic episode. I'm just learning about SEO now and this one really opened my eyes. Thank you!

Marcello Sgambelluri
March 2, 2017 at 8:22 am

More episodes like this! Awesome and actionable content, similar to the 5am episode. Thanks for doing the podcast Noah, loving it so far!

March 2, 2017 at 8:19 am

Great work Noah! I really like the advice, life-hacks and information you give in your interviews and videos. No BS and straight to the point. Very practical and beneficial. Keep it up 🙂

Greetings from Amman, Jordan!

Cayo Medeiros
March 2, 2017 at 8:18 am

Listening right now thanks to the awesome lessons learned list ?

Alex Denning
March 2, 2017 at 8:17 am

Loved this episode! Super insightful. Brian mentioned he copied someone's launch sequence but I couldn't catch the name – who was it?

Aziz Ali
March 7, 2017 at 9:14 am

Same question,
Please let me know also on whose launch sequence was used, please

March 7, 2017 at 11:23 am

The name was Derek Halpern - he da man.

Josh Haroldson
March 2, 2017 at 8:16 am

This was definitely a jam packed episode of good info (even if it sounded like it was released at 1.5x speed).

I really like the focus on quality content over quantity. I think that applies to a lot of content-related arenas even beyond SEO. ESPECIALLY as they mature (I think this even applies to social).

March 2, 2017 at 8:16 am

This was a really strong podcast, very valuable, insightful, and immediately implementable--most importantly . I started following Brian Dean on Twitter right afterward.

Aidan Coonan
March 2, 2017 at 8:12 am

Fantastic info here, never mind crappy audio when the message is so on point!

Will Chou
March 1, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Congrats again on the $1.5 million purchase of

This was a great interview from someone I have been itching to hear behind-the-scenes secrets from for a while.

I watch all your YouTube videos to the end, Noah. Do you want to know why? I think if you know, it can really help with your retention and get you thousands of more views per video.

If you want to know, I'll tell you for 7 bucks.

Lorna Wainwright
March 1, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Two of my heroes in one podcast, what's not to love!

Matt Kowald
March 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Hi Noah,

Loved the content! Especially about work proscastination, and putting more effort into projects and posting less to get better results!

On a side note... I love your enthusiasm, but in parts of the podcast it becomes hard to follow as your pace picks up.

Love your work - Matt

February 28, 2017 at 8:44 am

Loved the podcast in general - I'm starting my own business and the tips that you share are encouraging.

February 28, 2017 at 8:31 am


This was my favourite episode yet. Nice work. Boom.

I do have one question...what was the course that Brian used for learning how to launch?



Craig McLane
February 28, 2017 at 8:23 am

I really got a lot out of listening to this podcast today. It wasn't a core part of what you talked about, but Brian made the idea of writing and promoting content seem less daunting somehow. Also his course references for Youtube engagement are now on my list of things to check out.

My favorite candy bar is PayDay (mmmm peanuts!)

Ryan Ross
February 28, 2017 at 5:57 am

Not sure if it is just my device but audio sounds really weird on this - maybe it is sped up? Hard to listen to without noticing.

Noah Kagan
February 28, 2017 at 10:37 am

Audio was shitty but content was so good I still wanted publish.

March 2, 2017 at 8:16 am

Wrong! Content was GREAT not good.

James Z
March 7, 2017 at 11:52 am

Hello, Noah. I've been following Brian for a while. Great interview!