Answering the rest of your questions from Jerry West’s “Ask Me Anything” session.
Nothing is off limits for this AMA.
And I mean nothing.
Want to discuss the latest Google update? What links to avoid? Dating advice? Where to get the best links? The best beer and ribs in Belgium?
We’ve got your answers.
And all is backed up with test results.
No opinion. Just data.
No one else can offer that… but 800+ test domains can’t be wrong…
In this episode of the SEO and Beer podcast, Jerry and Michelle discuss the possibilities around spying on Google “Manual Reviewers” and a recent Google Search Console notice surrounding star ratings that aggressive SEO’s need to be aware of.
It’s what I’ve done since Day One in this business and it has served me well and it’s one of the main reasons you follow me AND trust me.
But it’s one thing to test a process or a product. It’s quite another to test a person.
There have been times in my career I have tested someone’s product and/or methods and while they passed, when I met them in person, they were complete shit.
I don’t do hang with or do business with shit people, no matter how good their product or service is.
“But Jerry, what do you care what type of person they are if their stuff works?”
Yeah, I used to make exceptions, but I’m all grown up now. A shit person will bite you, often when you least expect it. Take it from me, you want to avoid that at all costs.
Finding a quality product with a quality person behind it is rarer than finding a beautiful woman in Thailand that is actually a woman! :D
Enter Nathan Hague.
Hmmm…that was an odd transition, but we’ll go with it.
I bought Nathan’s YouTube course over a year ago. Within the first 20 minutes, I was a fan. And it had nothing to do with YouTube.
He taught me how to integrate and use Google’s Tag Manager (GTM), in a way not even Google’s training could do. He is like me in that he can take a complex issue like GTM and make it ultra simple, where most training takes an easy concept and make it hard so you’ll just hire them as a consultant and do it for them.
Nathan isn’t a piece of shit like that.
The course was so good and effective, that a couple of weeks ago, I flew out to Thailand to meet Nathan in person and do a course with him and Tony Gavin. After some crazy rides through the insane traffic in Phuket and the most delicious Thai food I’ve had in my life, it was clear, Nathan not only knew his shit, he was THE shit.
Good people are rare. Good training that doesn’t waste your time that actually works is rare. Training that I like is even rarer.
If you’re looking to expand your marketing reach on YouTube, Nathan’s updated course is my go-to and what I have all my new hires go through to have a full and complete understanding of how it really works.
And the feedback is always the same. “This guy doesn’t waste our time, he’s smart as fuck and he’s rather entertaining too.”
If you want to take your business to the next level, you can search YouTube for free training videos and try to piece something together that may or may not work, or you can pony up and learn the right way from Nathan in a fraction of the time, and get FAR MORE out of it, for less than $500.
I recouped my investment in less than two weeks. Can you beat me?
I was in Vegas years ago speaking at an event and one of my clients happened to be in town.
“Let’s meet for lunch,” he said. “I know the perfect spot.”
I arrived and the place was packed. “I screwed up, I didn’t make a reservation and the wait is over an hour.”
“Let me see what I can do,” I said as I headed to the hostess desk.
I was gone maybe two minutes.
“They said they will see what they can do,” I said assuredly to my client. “I say we wait.”
Before we could make it to the bar to get some drinks, the hostess stopped us. “Mr. West, I’m glad I caught you. It’s been a while since we’ve seen you. We’re preparing your table right now.”
My client looked at me with a look of “What in the hell did you just pull?!?!”
A few minutes later, the owner arrived, greeted me by name, introduced himself to my client and personally escorted us to his private table.
Upon sitting down, my client just shook his head in disbelief, “Who DON’T you know?!?!?!”
Truth be told, I didn’t know the hostess or the owner. I had never eaten at that restaurant before, nor had I ever stepped foot in that casino until that day.
So how did I pull this off? I’m going to tell you…
Let’s first lay the foundation: If you take clients in your business, the best advice you should heed to is to be selective.
Be very selective.
Customers who want your product or service are better than those who need your product or service. Companies who want your product need little marketing and convincing to get their business. Customers who need your service but don’t want it, need to be convinced. That takes a lot longer, more money and a lot more effort, and it may not even work.
As in the movie Jerry McGwire, if you take clients, take on fewer clients. To be most effective, the number of clients or projects a person can manage should be counted on with one hand.
Spoiler alert: That’s five maximum.
You don’t want thirty small, work-intensive, low-budget clients. There may be less red tape at smaller companies, but there is also more e-mail, more problems, more work, and a less impressive resume.
Fish where the big fish are.
Larger companies have no problem writing a $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000 check to you every month if you can deliver. It takes several or a dozen small companies to bring in what one large company will. Make each client a high-class client, so you can work on one client per day, giving them excellent service and something no one else can give them. They will then pass that on.
People love to talk about their business. If you land a large company, it could land press coverage because they will launch a press release and post on their website who they are working with and the results they are obtaining. Then other companies will follow suit.
The way to land big fish is to show them what you can do, how you can do it, and the confidence you have in your ability. In order to set up the right atmosphere, I prefer to meet clients in restaurants as they are neutral territory. Never go to their offices, that gives them the “home field advantage” and the temptation is too large to make you wait in the lobby for a half hour and sometimes more.
Clients rarely, if ever, cancel or are late to a business lunch. There’s food and drink involved … plus, it gives them an excuse to go “off-campus.”
How do you make the experience one of a kind?
Two approaches: First, contact a local restaurant in person and ask for a brief meeting with the manager. Explain you will be conducting business, and you want to be able to have a great table, the best server, and you will compensate the hostess with $100 tip and the same to the server.
No manager is going to say no to this arrangement.
Second is the “envelope approach.” This is to be used at restaurants that you don’t have an arrangement with. Because of this, you should always keep a handwritten note in an envelope with you which states the following:
“I need your help. I am entertaining a high-level prospect today for lunch. I need this deal. May I have your best table, the best wait staff and a table that is quiet so we will be uninterrupted. Please seat my client with his back toward any particular view (golf course, marina, etc.) so his attention is on me, not the surroundings.”
As a gesture of “thanks” I paper clip my business card and a brand new, crisp $100.00 bill to the back of the envelope so they will be in plain view. I used to put them both INSIDE the envelope, but there were a few occasions when the note was ignored for some time.
A $100 bill to a hostess is much like a FedEx package on the CEOs desk. It gets opened first.
One more tip: Never seal the envelope. You want it to be an easy open.
When you arrive at the restaurant, just as it happened in Vegas, there will most likely be a crowd in the waiting area with wait times from twenty minutes to an hour. Politely ask your prospect to wait in the waiting area while you check on a table. I walk up to the host/hostess, smile and hand them the note, saying, “Good afternoon, my name is Jerry West. I need your help. I am here for a business lunch with a prospect. May I make a specific request?” Wait for him or her to answer. Then state, “I have written down my needs specifically in this note. If you can give this prompt attention, I’ve taken care of you for the trouble.”
In the dozens of time I have done this I have never received a negative response. Once they agree, walk back to your prospect. The host/hostess will read your note, pocket the tip, keep your business card to give to the owner later and come over to you and say, “Mr. West, it is wonderful to have you again. Who might this be with you?” You then introduce your prospect. The hostess will continue, “If you please wait a short two or three minutes, we will have your usual table ready. Would that be okay?”
In two or three minutes the hostess will take you back to the best table, just as you requested. Make sure you are directly following the hostess so you can take the best seat (in case the hostess overlooks this part, which often happens the first time). Look for possible distractions, such as art, fish tanks, window views, etc. You must make sure that you get the best view so your prospect has ZERO distractions. This is vital in the art of closing deals.
After you close the deal, pay the bill with your American Express card and tip the waiter or waitress the same as you did the hostess: a crisp $100.00 bill.
Just imagine what will go through your client’s mind. You came with him to a busy restaurant, were then escorted personally to the best table and received particular attention throughout the meal. The treatment you receive at this restaurant will set you apart from other vendors vying for the customer’s business.
This never fails, even when you are out of town at a restaurant you’ve never been to before.
This is how you land the big fish. You give them an experience they have never had—ever. I had a client tell me once. “I come to this restaurant often. I even come with other vendors. I have never been treated better at this restaurant when I’m with you, and I would like to keep coming here with you.”
If you have followed all of the steps, including your business card and the waiter’s “Ben Franklin” tip, you will be the buzz of the entire restaurant staff. When the owner hears of the story, he will ask the hostess about you. The hostess will then give the owner your business card. Shortly after your lunch meeting, you will get a call from the owner asking, “How might we better serve you so we can have your business again?”
On your next visit to that restaurant, the owner will come up personally to greet you, will take you back to your table and will check in during the meal to make sure everything is perfect, just as the owner did for me in Vegas. Owners of great restaurants are this way instinctively, they take care of those who take care of their staff.
Having such a meal with a vendor at any restaurant will make a huge impact on them. It really sets the stage for conducting good business. Whether you are taking them out or they are taking you out, use the envelope approach and take the best seat. You should always be in charge of the meeting and make an impression.
During these lunch meetings, you need to keep one thing in mind: you are not there to eat lunch. Don’t sit and peruse the menu. Don’t waste time with finicky orders or health concerns. Order something simple. Even better, eat lunch before you go to your meeting. When you do order, order some soup. When it comes, push the bowl away from you, open your business journal and start taking notes.
When your client is talking, don’t eat, listen to them, ask great questions and take notes. Don’t talk with food in your mouth. Have good manners, be polite and keep eye contact. This shows your client you are listening to them. You are not there to eat lunch, you are there to conduct business and close the deal. Never lose sight of your objective.
Many people have told me that lunch meetings where you are dumping $200.00 in tips and $150.00 on the meal is excessive. Really? Excessive? How much do you spend in PPC trying to get more business? What is your ROI? This is a $350.00 investment to get a five-figure monthly contract. I would say that is a very healthy ROI.
Most people looking to do business online have heard of turnkey websites. They seem to be a one stop solution to getting an online business going without all the usual hassles associated with an online startup. Take a look through the business & industry section of eBay and you’ll see thousands of turnkey sites, sometimes going for hundreds or of dollars.
Turnkey sites are ideal way to start or grow your eCommerce activity. However, be wise as what seems “turnkey” to you may not be what you are getting:
Ever tried to design a site yourself. Did it go well? Or were the results not as expected. Designing and building a site from scratch can be difficult work if not impossible to finalise your desired look. Turnkey sites already have been designed by full time graphic designers to look professional and more importantly to achieve maximum sales conversions from your end users visitors. Why spend hours trying to get that look right when you can buy an existing proven design ready to go?
Some look to WordPress as a way around a great looking site. With the many themes available it just seems easy, right? Wrong. WordPress, while powerful, can be overwhelming as if you don’t do it right, your site can really have issues and inadvertently, get penalized by Google to boot.
The worst thing you can do is launch a site that hasn’t been tested, and not just on different browsers, but tablets and mobile phones too. Your site MUST have a responsive design (one that expands and shrinks depending on the device). Other things to test on your site include scripts, databases & different screen modes. There are many sites out there that will show you what your site will look like across different browsers and versions.
3. Easy to modify
The majority of turnkey sites are very easily to modify, especially if it is WordPress. This is necessary, as you should personalise your site with your welcoming text and sales message to make the site yours. You don’t want your site to be exactly the same as someone else’s does you. With all the hard work done by someone else, just personalise your site to complete it and make it stand out from the crowd.
4. Trusted Partners
Affiliate Marketing is made easy by turnkey websites. If you want an affiliate relationship with another online organisation you need to be careful whom you choose. But by purchasing a turnkey site already affiliated with another party, all the research has already been done for you. Everything will have been examined about the affiliate program in detail, to make sure they are reliable, secure, pay out on time, offer excellent support to affiliates, and offer flexible linking methods. And if your site is not affiliated to another party but a stand-alone site it will be setup with the other payment links to a trusted payment processor such as Paypal.
Turnkey websites are very cheap. For roughly $200 you can get one setup including one years hosting or pay monthly hosting and get one setup for about $100. Try getting a new site developed for this cost and you won’t get very far. Most web developers charge from $85 per hour, so you’ll be lucky if you get one page done for the same cost.
6. Quick Setup
Sellers who setup turnkey websites normally do it for a living on a full time basis. They’ve done it many times before so they know exactly what they’re doing. Usually your site will be setup and live within 24 – 48 hours. You shouldn’t have any problems after your sites setup, after all they livelihood depends on it and if a sellers making mistakes during the setup can be very costly if not financially, then defiantly towards their reputation and feedback.
Want promotional advice, or to change the style of your site. Who better to ask than the people who created or installed your site? After sales support is normally included by email or a support ticket system and is a valuable source of information. Just one of the benefits of purchasing a turnkey website.
Black hat is BACK!
This is the simple, effective system I’m using to rank in even the most brutally competitive markets.
- Before you begin SEO, you want to know which keywords CONVERT to your offer, so you don’t waste time, effort and money. Run PPC to your site. You can get keywords to target by using tools such as SEMRush or Ahrefs.
- Start your SEO with the keyword that makes you the most profit. Edit that landing page, work the keyword into the Title like you would a paid ad. Make it compelling. Same with the description. Next, make a great CTA above the fold – do a variation of the title in your H1 tag to focus on the conversion.
- Get the right content. I mention Hummingbird. You can get my course on it here. It is dirt cheap. killhummingbird.com. You’ll use Answer The Public and also “People also ask” boxes in Google to come up with the questions you need to answer in your content. Don’t create a page for each keyword, instead, you are doing one page that will rank well for dozens, possibly hundreds of keywords.
- Next are links. I suggested to buy links, and this advice is spot on. You need authority, and if you want to “earn it on your own,” it will take you years. Market yourself. Find authoritative sites, contact them, and get links. If you are an SEORev member, check the Facebook Group more on where to get these kind of links.
- PBN. This stands for Private Blog Network. This process has to do with buying expired domains, repurposing them, and then using them to deliver links to your site. This is an extra asset that you build which you can sell down the line.
- GSA is a software tool that can get you thousands, if not tens of thousands of links to your site. While I don’t suggest that, but using the tool correctly to get a verified list of precisely the types of sites you want and then drip the links from 5-15 per day across your pages will see the site gain ground consistently. This tool can run 24/7.
Parting Shot: Any SEO or agency that states the above does not work and can get your site deindexed has NEVER actually done the above. It works. Consistently. And can build your business fast.
One last thing. A key component in SEO and business is branding. I highly suggest you follow Desislava Dobreva. Her simple techniques and strategies have added a lot of revenue to our projects over the last year.
Content. You need it. But it is a pain in the ass. It’s not only an endless task, but the worst part is figuring out WHAT to write. That is about to change as I’m going to teach you my formula for how to get the RIGHT topics to write about and how to get that content to go viral. No Black Hat strategy here, just plain ‘ol guerilla marketing at its finest.
This process works in ANY industry and if you can stay focused and have some balls, because you’re going to need them as you will piss off your competitors, here is how you do it:
- If you don’t have a Facebook page for your business, you are a stupid fuck. Get one already.
- Get 100 likes to the page. You should have enough friends to meet this requirement. Don’t do a Fiverr gig with fake likes. Don’t be a dick. Get real people. You’ll thank me later. Remember RCS (“Real Company Shit”).
- Once you have 100 likes, in your Page Manager you’ll get some new goodies in the Insights option. Scroll all the way to the bottom, and you’ll see “Pages to Watch.” This is where you can add other business pages to follow. This may not seem like much but is nothing short of awesome and this will be your new best friend when it comes to writing content. Review this every day that you write content. If you do this you will be a king and queen in no time. I shit you not.
3a. I am sure you are rushing to plug in every competitor you have. That’s cute. Okay, fine, put in your top three competitors, but that’s it. Why? Because your competitors suck at Facebook. They almost all do. This is just so you can keep tabs on them, but 97% of competitors are clueless when it comes to content that is engaging. So you are going to ignore them for the most part.
3b. Who should you follow instead? Follow the celebrities in your market or who are “the” influencers. Ones that have a ton of followers AND a ton of engagement. Engagement is the Holy Grail of content marketing. Facebook tells you all this. Facebook tells you so much about what you should be doing. All for free.
- So now what do you do? I’ll share with you an example. Back when I was selling health supplements on Amazon, I needed to grow my tribe. We were a small business, no one knew who we were. So I focused on not just a celebrity in the health industry, I picked the person with a huge following who was also a steaming pile of shit.
I chose Dr. Oz.
You see when you are a piece of shit, people that follow you aren’t always your fans. Sometimes they hate you. And deeply. A week didn’t go by that Dr. Oz posted something that was ridiculous. He made it too easy, and for that, I was a huge fan. <evil grin> Just looking at his engagement numbers, he is at 20k. That is helluva a lot of engagement and precisely what you need to get traction for your business.
- Facebook Insights will tell you all about the posts they have made in the last two weeks. They will show the actual post, the picture used, the content, the links, everything. You can see exactly what they did. You don’t care about how many likes each post had. You never should. What you want are comments and shares. The more, the better, because it means this topic IS IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW to his audience. And THAT is key. You want people talking about it and sharing it as that will expand your audience reach for free, which is always a good thing.
- So you find a post that he made that had 200 shares and 500 comments, and in the first paragraph you realize this is probably the worst advice ever. So you craft a clickbaity headline. Yeah clickbait is for dicks, and I hate it, but it works, and you want to do shit that works, right? So get over yourself and get good at writing clickbait headlines. It’s easy. If you don’t consider yourself a good headline writer, just rewrite the ones you see all over the web. There are plenty of examples. Or redo his slightly.
Currently, he has a Detox Guide that is shit (no pun intended). The comments on it are weak with 39, but it has more than 1k shares. That is the gold you want. Your first task is, of course, to make your offer better than his. Make a Detox Cheat Sheet that is just one page. Nothing to buy, no supplements, just common sense advice so they can feel a real difference and slam the 1-2 things Dr. Oz missed the boat on. Call him out by name. Back up what you say with test results, science, logic, etc. Seriously, this stuff will just write itself once you have a platform and a message to attack. You will be the hero of all those that read your post.
- Example: How Dr. Oz’s advice could hurt your health! You won’t believe the health hack in this free health cheat sheet.” Or something along those lines. Now, your article is going to debunk his advice and then tell them what they need to do instead. You are going to do this on ONE PAGE. And if you spread out your content over 15 pages to get three cent CPMs from ads you litter on your site; I will hunt you down and stab you in the eye. Knock that off. Don’t piss off your readers, give them an experience they won’t forget. Teach them something valuable without the hassle that other marketers do.
So, after they click your ad, the page they land on teaches them the ONE THING you promised to show them, and you didn’t ask for any personal information. You just gave them the information with no fluff, no filler. Then you have a link to get your cheat sheet. This ALSO is a ONE-PAGE. This cheat sheet must be professionally designed with the tips they need to get REAL results. Are you going to charge for this? No. Give it to them with no strings attached. That means no email signup, no extra hoops. Why? Because you aren’t going to be like the other marketers and you are going to win their trust.
“But don’t I want to give them my awesome 50-page eBook?” No, you do not. Let me ask you, how many gigs of “free ebook reports” do you have on your computer right now that you planned on “reading later” and never did? Yeah, thought so.
You want them to CONSUME your content, so they know how awesome you are and they didn’t have to disclose any personal information to get it. Believe me, in today’s shit bag of a marketplace, they will notice the difference.
What you are doing, however, is dropping your retargeting pixel to have your follow-up sequence hit them with your offer, and that is where you close them.
- So, how do you market this? Easy. Facebook. And can you guess who’s audience you are going to target? Ha ha. Yep.
- This is where you will have to have balls of steel and withstand the backlash because they will be assholes and you will have C&Ds sent to you. Withstand them. I was served with a C&D from Dr. Oz which was a petty bullshit request and complaint. How did I react? I scanned it and posted it on my site and then ran Facebook ads to it. Who’s audience did I target again? Yep. Had a lot of his fans backlash against him and became loyal members of our tribe.
You see, it is interesting when you point out bullshit with no agenda a lot of people grow an immediate affection for you. “I did what this person said, and I already feel better. What else do they know that could help me even more? All Dr. Oz wants to do is get me to buy a new weight loss supplement every six weeks.” And the polarization has begun.
- Now your content for SEO is a whole different animal that I could go on even a longer rant, so we will do that another time. But if you use sites like answerthepublic.com you will discover real questions people are asking, and if you answer those in your content, you start to rank for some cool shit. Get some great links, and you start to move up. You see, content for SEO these days is less about creating a page for every keyword you want to rank for like the old days. Today it is about long ass pages. I have some that are 25,000 words. But they never read the content because my call to action at the top of the page is so good they just take the offer. As Mark Joyner would say, The Irresistible Offer.
So the page I use to market this offer ranks for over 1800 keywords, and over 80% of the visitors never scroll down. They take the offer. That is what you want. Get your cold traffic into your funnel as fast as you can.
Stop fucking around and get shit done.
When things go to complete shit, who will you trust? Who do you want next to you?
Lately, Facebook has been filled with posts about business partnerships going bad, trust violated, and shit hitting the fan in general.
We’ve all been there. And it sucks. But we also know it will happen again. That is how this business is. It’s a roller coaster ride and that’s why we love it. Ups and downs, twists and turns, it isn’t for the faint of heart.
So, I’m going to ask the question no one wants to say out loud:
What if Google kills all link building and PBNs. Then what?
What will you do?
How will your business survive?
Florida. Panda. Penguin.
Did you survive those, or not?
You don’t have to be like most marketers who go into the fetal position and cry when they get hit by an update. You can be like me and my team and simply reload and get back in the game.
Reality: The only constant in this industry is change. The market will always change. Nothing ever stays the same.
However, even with all that change, the same people, the same companies always seem to be on top.
It’s because they chose the right foxhole buddy.
This is what my grandfather taught me:
In times of crisis, surround yourself with the right people and the problem you think is unsolvable becomes solvable.
Ask yourself, do you want a foxhole buddy that puts you into “concussion protocol” after losing everything? Slow down, rest, start over…
Or do you want to be foxhole buddies with someone who’ll be there with smelling salts, cortisone shots, and steroids, who will tape you back together and shove you back into the fight?
Because that’s how my team and I roll.
Jack Nicolson actually said it best in The Departed, “This ain’t reality TV!”
This is your BUSINESS, your LIVELIHOOD and it’s not enough to have a system in place for what’s working now, it’s having bad-asses you can trust next to you in the foxhole when shit happens. Because we all know it will.
My team and I are like Axel and Wags on Billions. When things go to shit we figure out the next thing. Nothing stops us.
Who are you going to align yourself with? Someone who guesses or a team that tests?
I do one kick-ass, balls-to-the-wall training each year and this year’s is coming up. Align with us, learn what’s working right now and stop living in fear of what may happen tomorrow, because if things change, we’ll have the solution.
Throw in these fundamentals with the new on-page techniques I’ve been using the last three months, and will share during this once-a-year training, and you’ll have one helluva cocktail to boost your rankings.
THAT is what we do, we’ve been doing it since 1996, and now’s your chance to make sure we’re on your side.
A few weeks ago there was some shocking news. Matt Cutts, Google's long-time Czar of Organic Search, informed via a blog post that his wife had passed away suddenly.
She wasn't sick. There were no signs of health problems. He was on a business trip, and she was visiting her parents. She just stopped breathing.
This isn't going to be a post for you to run out and hug those that you love because you never know when they will leave you. No. I've made it clear in older posts that those that mean the most to you should already know how fucking awesome you think they are.
No, this is going to be uncomfortable for you because we're going to talk about your death. Yes, yours.
What would happen if you suddenly died? Without warning? Without time to prepare? And I'm not talking about the emotional aspect and thoughts and prayers; I'm talking about the financial aspect.
What would happen to your business that you have spent years building? Could it go on? Who knows your passwords? Your bank information? How would your employees that you have carefully selected and trained still get paid?
If you don't know the answers to these questions, I can tell you the answer. Your legacy will not be one of greatness, but how you fucked up the lives of those who count on you today because you didn't properly prepare. Think of the nightmare someone will have to go through to try and sift through your financials and the dozens or even hundreds of logins to figure out to keep things running for your business.
And you just thought you needed a will and life insurance.
Yeah, no. You need more, much more.
I'm going to give you a list of tasks to do so in the event of your unexpected death.
- Review your will. Update it if necessary. Ensure it is legal and you have a copy in your safe deposit box and your attorney as well.
- Life Insurance. Check to see who the beneficiaries are. I did this a couple of years ago and was shocked that my FIRST wife was still listed as a beneficiary. If she would have known that, possibly I wouldn't be here today ;).
- List your bank information. Logins and passwords to all of your accounts, including those that run your online business. Saving them on a USB is fine. Also, include a one-page document on what needs to be done in the event of your death.
- Pick two people you have absolute trust in. The first will be the primary contact; if they are not available, the second person is contacted.
- In your will, you have listed the location of the key to your safe deposit box.
- Meet with your bank manager, and find out their policy for accessing your safe deposit box upon your death. The policy at my bank is simple; they have the two people I have listed under file. They arrive at my bank, present photo ID which is verified, along with a notice of my death, and they are granted access to my safe deposit box.
If you are married, you may feel that the best person to choose would be your spouse. This isn't always the case. If your spouse needs help with turning on a computer, they probably aren't a good choice to take care of your business. If you choose someone other than your spouse, it is a great idea to have a conversation with them about your decision.
And it doesn't have to be a hard conversation; it is actually real easy:
"Remember Matt Cutts? Yeah, his wife died suddenly without warning a few weeks ago. She was young. It's crazy. And it got me thinking what would happen if I died suddenly. I think we need to update our wills, check our life insurance, and pick someone we both trust that can run my business, so you and the employees are financially protected."
Boom. It's that easy.
One more thing.
If you are married and have a big life insurance policy and you have designated your spouse as the only beneficiary, that is stupid. If you are both killed in an accident that is going to cause problems.
Just like your data, you need to have backups. Get backups you trust and then review the information every year. Pick a date. I use "Tax Day" is when I make my reviews and that's coming up soon.
The bottom line is your life changes, the people you trust change, your circumstances change. The last thing you want to happen is to die suddenly, and everything goes to your ex because you were too lazy to make updates and create a plan.
Do this today. Get it done. You'll sleep better knowing if something bad happens, your awesome legacy will continue.