In the last 10 years, Paul Jones has become a go to person in the world of SEO optimization and Local Lead Generation.
He first became known for being very active on the Warrior Forum, an entrepreneurship online forum which was huge some years ago, but that still has thousands of active users.
The more Paul learned about SEO optimization and recognized the possibility to earn money online, the more he was convinced that he had to drop out of his nurse training and become a full time digital entrepreneur.
His big break happened when he started his own YouTube channel under the name of iampauljames, where he started sharing his knowledge, not only on SEO or Lead Gen, but also on other topics related to online marketing in general.
He has a following of over 200k people on YT, who watch most of his videos religiously, and has been feature by prestigious magazines such as Forbes in 2017 and was nominated as the top 40 under 40 most influential people in his home state of Wisconsin.
He is also the author of best-selling book 'Reverse Engineer Your Future: Stop Waiting for Success — Go Out and Make It Happen Now', which has had glowing reviews describing it as 'stimulating and inspiring, a powerfully motivational book written by someone who has trodden the path to become very successful in business from a low place'.
Paul built his first 6-figure business by helping small business owners show up on the first page of Google utilizing Google Maps.
In 2010 Paul released the first version of this training which went by the name Busy Business Bonanza.
Throughout Google's changes in layout, algorithm and other aspects from 2010 to today, Paul has adapted and updated his flagship program.
His most recent version of his flagship program is Maps Mentor 2.0, an updated version of his 2015 smash hit course that turned him into a millionaire.
For the guys who are regulars at this blog, you know how much I'm into Lead Gen.
Of course, I don't have an affiliate link to Paul's course.
If you end up buying it, I will not be making a dime, but since I'm very interested in all things dealing with SEO & Lead Generation, I thought I'd give this updated version a spin.
So in the following review, I'm going to go into details and be answering the questions that you really want to know the answer to.
No messing around.
But for those who don't know who I am, before I start this in-depth review that will cover every module, a bit about me..
Until 2014 I was working in a corporate job from 9 to 5.
Not only was it soul-crushing, but it didn't give me any time to pursue my bigger goals.
I knew there has to be a better way of getting closer to the life of my dreams.
That was until I discovered a method to rank sites organically, generating free leads for my clients.
That website you see above, for the tree care company, I created that site in 2015, and since then I haven't had to touch or update it:
It has gained me a passive income of $2000 a month.
That's more than $100,000 for one site, in 5 years.
That's the magic of the Lead Generation business, it's by far the best model to generate passive income. If you want to know more of how I did it, just hop over here!
But enough about me: time for an in-depth review of the Maps Mentor 2.0 course!
Maps Mentor 2.0 Review
Paul designed this course to be the most thorough course covering EVERY aspect he's ever used to rank a client in Google My Business.
The course has 6 modules with an extra bonus one containing interviews with his most successful students.
Even before starting the course, he provides you with a pdf 'to do list' that you can follow step by step to ensure you're doing things right.
He basically laid out an order of operations, which you should follow when starting a new Google My Business / Google Maps listing.
Does this sound intriguing? Carry on reading!
Maps Mentor 2.0 Perks
00- Start Here
Before the course proper even starts, Paul has put a preliminary module for people who are really getting started from scratch and have no idea of what to do.
The module deals with setting up a website, buying a domain, investing in a call tracking software for you lead gen activities.
I'm not going to be talking about these things, since both you and I know about this stuff more than enough, but there was one aspect that changes from the 1.0 version of the program, and I thought it's be useful to include it here.
In the first version of Mentor Maps you were basically taught SEO techniques only, while in the 2.0 version, you are also introduced to more subtle Lead Gen tactics that you can use on for your client whose site is already doing well.
Paul makes it very clear what the differences are between SEO and Lead Gen.
With Lead Generation, you basically own a piece of virtual real estate:
- Map Listing
If you stop working with a particular client, you own all of these assets and you can partner with another client in the same niche, who will immediately be in the top ranks of Google listings.
With client SEO, you are only working on somebody else's listing. You're working on:
- Their business name
- Their address
- Their listing
Paul the lists the pros and cons for either choice, and for lead generation, those are:
- Very easy to sell
- You own everything
- You could charge per lead
- It's borderline grey-hat for Google
- You need to rent addresses
- You can only work in service industries
For client SEO, the PROS are:
- You can still own the website
- Fixed revenue each month
- No work upfront
- Google prefers this to Lead Gen
The CONS however are:
- Harder to sell
- Client has to agree using your website/phone
- You risk ranking them and them not paying you if they don't agree
Ultimately the choice is yours, and Paul makes a compelling case for both.
01 - Research
The first real module is all about researching your niche market, organizing your site map out and how to write the content of the sites you will be creating and then ranking.
If you even vaguely know how lead generation works, you'll know exactly what is said in these videos.
Don't get me wrong, if you're just starting out this is going to be amazing material that will really open up a whole new world for your budding business, but for the peeps who know about these topics a bit, I want to focus on one aspect of Paul's first module:
His approach to keyword search.
There are three aspects that Paul quotes in order of importance when choosing a keyword to rank for:
- Three Pack
- Suggested Bid
- Monthly Search Volume
The first factor is, if you google a keyword, do you get a map-stack popping out?
If it doesn't exist for a three pack, then there isn't really much reason to go after that keyword.
Monthly search volume is a clear indicator of how many times a keyword is looked up every month.
Suggested bid is how much a certain keyword is paid for for a specific paid Adwords Google ad.
These are the categories that you should implement when looking for keywords to search for and see if you've found a business that you can rank easily.
In version 2.0, Paul has added a video about an add-on called Keywords Everywhere, which he has been using with profit for quite some time!
The add-on is installable for free both for Chrome and Firefox and makes things easier when looking for which keywords you should be ranking for.
The add-on will display, under every search you make, the hits per month, the cost per click and the related searches also will show the same parameters.
You can then favorite your searches and add them to a list you can export, and make things much much quicker!
02 - Website
The second module is even more easygoing than the first one, and it's all about how to set up your website.
Even the choice of the WordPress theme isn't that important.
The aim in creating a Lead Gen site that you will want to rank is not on how it looks, but how fast it can get to the first page of Google and into the map-pack.
Then it's time to create the home page, and create pages for all the subjects in the website map you created earlier on.
When it comes to the content of the website, Paul obviously suggests you outsource them to an outside writer.
There are some suggestions that Paul gives that make great sense:
- You don't want your keyword density to sound too spammy in an article.
- There is no exact number of times you want to use it, you just want to make it sound natural
- A picture should be on every page, and the keyword should be in every alt-text
Paul then goes and shows in the code view of the website how Google sees things rather than others:
- Italicized letters
- Bold letters
- H1-H2-H3 text
- Keyword in permalink
The last thing Paul suggests is to download the All in One SEO Pack, a fundamental tool if you really want to excel at lead generation.
03 - Listing Setup
Now we're really getting our hands dirty with the real meat and potatoes of the course:
One of the most important online spaces for developing a site online and ranking it in the map-pack is Google MyBusiness.
This is where you will have all your listings and where you'll make sure all the info for them is tip-top and ready to go.
This module is one of the most updated since the 1.0, since much has changed with Google and the way listing a business happens.
The first thing to do when adding a new listing is searching for that listing by choosing 'add new listing' and then looking for it via address, name or phone number.
Once you find the business, you will need to request a card in order for your location on GMB to be verified.
This process could take one or two weeks, and once you have an understanding with your client, you want to send your card to that address.
One of the new features added by Google that were not present in the 1.0 version of the course is the possibility of creating a website for the listings on GMB.
What Google has done is implement a website builder within the listing section.
Paul does go through how to build one for every listing, but as far as SEO and ranking are concerned, he has not seen any improvement on his listings, so he doesn't really recommend it.
What does make a difference, according to Paul, is adding the right pics to the listing:
Depending on the kind of business you are ranking, you will need to use different kinds of pictures, but it is always good to use some of the staff working at the business you are ranking, to create familiarity.
Even using stock photos and using them as staff works perfectly well, the idea is to fill up every category with one photo.
The stock site Paul uses and recommends is Deposit Photos.
Another good new video added was the review section, which, according to Paul, play a very strong part in how many people will call you or not.
What you want to pay attention to is the number of reviews and the number of stars in the review, although every niche and every city will react to review differently when it comes to SEO.
One important way to make the reviews count is to have your client's clients put in keywords in their reviews, in order to help rank the listing.
Reviews are a bit of a hit and miss though, and sometimes they'll be incredibly helpful, while other times it won't seem to have any effect at all.
Completing all of the info on the GMB profile, depending on the difficulty of the niche, will be enough to get your website to rank and reach the map-rack.
There's a whole section devoted to additional info, and there is quite a lot of information to add, but you really want to complete it all, so that Google has all the info it needs:
You really need to pay attention to:
- Opening hours
- Phone number
Your goal is to get your listing 100% optimized so that you can then set your sights on the jucier aspects of SEO link backlinks and citations.
04 - Off Page SEO
This is probably the meatiest module of the whole course:
You'll find videos on backlinking, PBNs, finding dropped domains, recreating PBNs and much more.
However, what I really got from this section of the course was the teachings on backlinking.
Sure, I've done a fair share of backlinking through the years for my businesses, but I wanted to check out what Paul was teaching his students in this beginner's course.
The module starts with a Backlink 101 video, which really gets you going from the basics.
Firstly, what are backlinks?
Backlinks are links from outside domains that point to pages on your domain; essentially linking back from their domain to yours.
Your backlink profile is made up of backlinks from external sites (also known as referring domains) that contribute to the overall strength, relevance and diversity of your domain’s backlink profile.
Google holds backlinks in great esteem when its algorithm has to decide where to place your site.
The more you are linked, the more relevant you are after all.
While until circa 2015 it was more about the quantity of the backlinks, nowadays Google pays more attention to the quality of the site that has linked you, making it less of a numbers game.
That's why now we have what is called Page Rank, or PR.
A page rank is a value assigned to a web page as a measure of its popularity or importance, used to determine the order in which search engine results are presented.
PR runs on a scale from 0-10, although PR hasn't really received an update in a long time.
As of today, people prefer to look at Moz.com's Domain Authority, or DA.
Domain Authority ranks sites from 0-100, so that a PR of 2 would be a PR of 20.
You really want to have backlinks with a higher DA than your competition, if you want to rank high on the list in your niche.
A technique that Paul suggests is reverse engineering the backlinks of the first three websites in your niche.
Entering the urls of your competitor's websites into Majestic, you will be able to easily discover the backlinks of your competitors and analyze them by checking each one of them out.
You should then compile an extensive list in an excel sheet of all the websites that can potentially provide you with a backlink too!
The theory behind this is that if your competitor managed to get a backlink from a website, then if your content is strong, you could be able to get one too, either free or by paying a fee to sponsor or donate an event.
Directory listings can come in handy too, although their DA won't usually be all that good.
But by doing your due diligence on all of your competitor's websites and reverse engineering the backlink, you should be able to rank up pretty quickly.
You then should give it a week or two in order for Google to change things in its algorithm.
05 - Citations
No course on lead generation or SEO would be complete without a section devoted to citations.
Any online mention of the name, address , and phone number for a local business is a local citation.
In local business directories, on websites and applications, and on social media, citations may occur.
Citations allow Internet users to discover local companies and can also influence the rankings of local search engines.
To ensure data integrity, local companies should actively manage several citations.
Citations are usually abbreviate to NAP:
- Name of the business
- Address of the business
- Phone of the business
These citations provide precious backlinking and they should match exactly what you have put on your GMB.
How do you get citations on directories though?
Usually it's free, and there are options to add your business to the particular site's wizard.
An easy way to keep up with your competitors is to reverse check their citations, by googling, for example, their phone number.
Do that with the 4 or 5 top companies on the first page of Google, and your citation game will be strong!
To find out what the best directories you should be updating with your business' info, Paul suggests you use the paid version of Moz.com.
Moz will provide you the best directories by niche, city, relevance, so you won't have to be second-guessing where to put in your work.
You can also play the reverse engineering trick about your competition on the local citation finder of Moz, and you should be golden:
You can check all the directories they are on and export the list on a csv file so that you can mirror their work.
Another option is to hire someone on Source Market and get someone to get you 50 citations for as low as $20.
Not bad if you're cool with delegating!
One final strategy I would like to talk about is one Paul learned on the forums of his very own course, and it's something that all you SEO freaks should know about too!
There is a possibility of gaining a citation directly from Google on their platform My Maps.
Once you search for your listing, you enter the keyword you would like to rank for, then include the NAP, and you have a possibility of including your url too.
Once you have finished, click the share button from private to public and you're good to go!
A Google approved citation that takes no more than 5 minutes to do.
06 - Getting Clients
Once you've learned everything they taught you from module 1 to 5, this is where the rubber actually hits the road.
What good is all your SEO knowledge if you can't get yourself a monthly revenue from clients you are helping out by ranking their business?
This is one of the meatiest modules in the course, and so it should be, since once you master this, you'll be off to a great start making your first paying customers.
How does it actually work, though, and what are Paul's suggestions?
In order to get started, you really want to go two routes:
- Create a lead gen site like explained in the very first 00 module, rank it yourself, and then contact a client once you already have the calls coming in, offering a period of free leads.
- Offer to work for free for SEOing a client's website until the results start coming in, and then put them on a monthly retainer.
There are multiple reasons why you should start working for free at first:
- It will give you the confidence that what you are doing actually works well.
- You will have a case study to add to your portfolio.
- You will be able to get some referrals out of them, this time paid in full.
If you actually follow these steps, there is no way you're going to fail getting clients very soon.
The above picture summarizes a really interesting method that Paul uses to convince those possible clients who are still on the fence about employing his services.
What he does is collect all the monthly search for keywords relevant to the client.
He then finds the cost per click for all those words and multiplies the number of searches times the suggested bid.
The result, especially if local, won't be astronomical, but enough to justify your asking fee.
In the example above, the result for researches for HVACs in a town in Milwakee is 1650, that Paul times for the average suggested bid.
The result is north of $14k, which of course you would only spend if you wanted to appear in all the searches for all those keywords.
But it is enough to show the potential client that you asking for $1k per month for your services would be a bargain if he managed to get increased traffic towards his business.
Another really powerful way to secure a client is to get him to fill out a form for a free marketing analysis of their business online.
You can get potential clients to get to this site in many ways:
- Paid traffic
- Word of mouth
- Business cards
Paul offers a templated powerpoint presentation that you can send your clients.
You'll then go through their marketing campaign, find where they are wasting money, and then get hired so you can funnel them to GMB and turn them into clients.
Most of the time, business owners are wasting money on Yellow Pages and similar pages, without getting results:
Help them solve these issues and they will be more than happy to hire you to take care of the marketing.
07 - Interviews
This module is quite interesting, because Paul interviews his 4 most successful students, asking them what their pain points were and how they got where they are.
As interesting as the interviews may be, it really isn't anything incredible, so I won't waste your time by reviewing other people's success.
The Verdict: The Good & The Bad
Before I go on and look at the pros and cons of Paul's course, I want to reply to those early questions I'd set down, and that anyone reading a review wants to know immediately.
So, for the first question:
Are there any SEO & Lead Generation courses out there?
I'd suggest you read until the end of this review, because, although Paul's course in my opinion kicks butt, there is one course that really knocks it out of the park when it comes to lead gen.
Is Paul's course good?
Hell yeah, it really delivers all that it promises and maybe more.
If you are new to the world of SEO and Lead Gen, then I wouldn't blame if you started with this course.
But I must stress that it is a beginner's course, and like all beginner's courses it kind of loses a bit of steam at the end if you already know what you're doing in this area of expertise.
Let's be clear, Paul James has been doing this hustle for longer than most:
He launched his first course in 2010, when Google was a completely different beast to what it is now!
He knows his subject inside out and has been making a massive living out of what he teaches for almost a decade.
He's legit as legit comes.
But what about the price, Ippei, I hear you ask?
As I said before, this is a started course to get you on the path to becoming an SEO and Lead Gen expert, and that is reflected also in the price.
In the most recent webinar, he has slashed the price once more and is selling it for $297!
If you want to start an SEO business and optimize your client's website, Paul's course could be the right one for you.
However, these days I don't really recommend going down the path of SEO like Paul is teaching.
Lead Generation, where you rank your own website, is a far superior model to monetize your skills.
He definitely does touch upon it in the course, but, in my opinion, just not enough.
Let me explain, keep reading...
Why I Quit Doing SEO... Lead Generation Proved to be a Much Better Biz Model, Here's Why...
Our longtime readers know that we have one of the most successful lead generation business coaching programs out there.
So how does it differ from Paul James?
- Our video training is more extensive, the entire business model has been broken down further into more simple to follow step by step videos.
- Our social group is not a forum, it's a private Facebook group with more than 6k members and it feels more robust and personable.
- We provide on-going live coaching calls twice a week!
- We have a lot more extensive training on sales & entrepreneurship. Its one thing to have a skill, but its another thing altogether to be a good business owner that’s able to build a big successful business with it.
- We do live Vegas events once per year, and regional events in other states through out the year.
- We have developed a lot more done for you services and have a huge team there to help you in every specific, so that our students can leverage to scale their businesses much faster.
- Some advanced SEO ranking strategies and tactics that I didn’t find inside Paul James program.
By following our specific lead gen oriented course, I run a $50K per month lead generation business but all of my leads are generating through free traffic or SEO.
So it's pretty much passive income, I don’t have to worry about the performance of any ads or anything.
The website I create ranks on the first page of Google, in the so-called map pack, and the leads just start pouring in.
Paul James programs are solid and he seems to have happy customers and so do we.
Of course if you ask me, you know which program I would recommend.
But ultimately it’s up to you to make that final decision.
I’m not afraid of investing in programs because I’m confident in my abilities to produce so even if I learn just 1 thing, I know I’m going to produce a ROI.
For example, if you’re looking to become the best surgeon in the world, you’re gonna want to learn from multiple experts.
I look at SEO & Lead Generation much the same way. I want to learn from every verifiable high-level expert in this field, because I’m in it to be the best.
For some people looking to pull the trigger on their first program, it might come down to your personal preference of which coach you vibe with more.
Paul James vs. our mentor, Dan & myself, since if you join our program, you get direct access to me as well.
And I can assure you, I know my shit when it comes to ranking websites:
That’s how you found this blog after all.
And check out this other blog:
Is about to crack the top 500K of all the websites in the world.
And I have other sites out there.
And this is how we generate all of our leads for our coaching program. Nothing else. We don’t even run Facebook or Google Ads.
Which is what makes our coaching program so attractive because it's clear as day that we’re practicing what we’re preaching for our own business.
This is why I still recommend people look into doing lead generation with free traffic.
Paul James' Maps Mentor course is well executed, everything is there to start your career in SEO and Lead Gen.
But it's not the best course out there that tackles this topic:
Our course dwarves his in comparison
If you learn how to generate leads with free traffic from us, you can go into any niche and create an incredible level of results for clients.
That’s how 90% of my multiple 6 figure income is generated. And I should add that it's passive income, because, see, free traffic never stops.
In 2020, even during Covid-19, I continue to build more lead gen sites and I write at least 1 blog post a day for this site, because I’ve come to realize that these are the high-income producing activities because it directly increases my free traffic every month.
Click here if you want to know more about my Lead Gen method.