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



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

118 responses to “SEO Case Study With Brian Dean”

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!