SEO411's Internet Marketing Clinic has been a popular ongoing SEO and Digital Marketing Series since 2003. Created by seo expert Beth Guide, this podcast is designed to help business owners, learn the tips, tricks, techniques, and lingo of internet marketing. We cover different topics each week in how to help our listeners succeed in having a web site that works for their business, works for their customers but also works for Google so that it is highly ranked and visable. We also teach conversion and user related concepts that help our listens learn how to maximize the ROI. With over 600 attendees each month this podcast expands our clinic and makes it more available to our business owners so they can participate on their timeline.
How to Optimize a Page of Content for SEO
I often hear what I do is voodoo or some kind of magic. Simply that is not true. Optimizing for SEO has everything to do with math and common sense more than it will ever be about magic.
So we have some basic steps that we need to follow to do optimization for each page.
Step One: Define Objectives.
Coming off my last topic of Keywords this should be fairly easy to do. Figure out the core words you want to rank on and write them down and put them next to your monitor. They should be the forever guiding principles of how you want to run your website. For us, it is SEO and Web Design and I am going to speak and use those examples throughout. Notice how I just weaved the right words into my blog post.
Step Two: Understanding Your Competition
So maybe this can be defined as one of the most important steps because we need to understand the ecosystem that is the first page of google. So historically the rules were the same for everyone. A certain keyword density and you could bank that it was the same universally. Now the keyword and its usage is much niche-driven. What the right density for one industry maybe can be completely different from a second industry. It also can change from keyword to keyword and not just industry to industry.
The only way we can learn what it should be is is to understand and observe our competition. So you always take the word you want to rank on and see what the research or the SERP says.
When I take Houston SEO, I can see immediately there is a map. Because that map is there, we will have to change our strategy some, whereas the map will get the lion share of the clicks.
Past that I start to do some math and understand how the competition is using the keyword, how many times does it appear on their pages and how many words are even on a page. For Houston SEO the ranking homepages have in excess of 2500 words. And then I go through each page and understand the dynamics of each of the ranking pages so that I can utilize the topics. It’s a lot of data gathering and fact-finding.
I also am looking at what the competitors have as Title tags.
I use tools like SerpWorx so I can get a real good handle on each and every site. I need to understand the word count, the backlinks, and the technical SEO aspects of the page.
I also pick the first 10 non-directory websites to base my research on.
I take the information for each and then create an average and then use that average as the delimiter of how I optimize the page.
Now I do have to take links into consideration with this exercise although link-rich sites usually throw off the average so I do sometimes throw those sites out, just as I would a directory.
Step Three: The Tools
I run the websites through Moz, Screaming Frog, and understand and continue to average out what I should target for the title, word count, and Technical SEO. The slightly being off can be the difference between the first page and the second page.
We are also big fans of RankMath and how that on-page grader can help guide you to the right SEO balance. It is not as detailed as what I am outlining, but it does help guide you through a process and help get you into the right place with things.
Understanding the technical SEO aspects of a page and then what your competitors are doing will help you formulate a great per page strategy that will tell Google what your page is about properly.
Blogging vs Podcasting
There is a lot of confusion about how to handle blogs in 2021. From should I be running a blog down to how should I be running it. As a business owner, your website (notice I said website) needs to have a blog. That is not really optional anymore. And the blog needs to be a part of your website and not being run elsewhere. Everyone needs one.
In today's website world, there is a level of brand building that has to go on for a sale to be made. The days of being in the number one spot and the sale being automatic are gone. Plus, as the end-user has become more sophisticated in that they research purchases and they want to feel good about the company they are doing business with. They review and scrutinize each and every interaction. So to not have a blog that helps customers understand you, your brand, and how you do business puts you at a definite disadvantage in how you are reaching out to them, in hopes they choose you to do business with. The bar is definitely higher
How Do I Start blogging?
That is always one of the first questions I get along what is the difference between a blog and a Vblog. So first things first. To start blogging you need to have your website set up in software like WordPress and it is hosted on your own website on your own domain. Now not to get off into the website builder conversation and why places like Wix, Square Space, and Shopify are not solid solutions for SEO, the fact is you need to have software that supports a solid blog and for us, WordPress is really the only solid option. If you care enough to follow this blog and our videos, then you take marketing seriously enough that it really is the only solid solution to excel in Google.
Once you have picked your platform, you will need to start generating the content, similar to what you see here. They usually are from issues and situations that impact your clients or provide information based on the services you provide. You would not put up a blog on selling coffee if you were a divorce lawyer. Remember these are ways potential clients and existing clients can know they have picked the right person for the job they have.
Should I have a Blog or a Podcast?
So my answer is both, but why should it have to be an either or situation? The reality is if you do your podcast properly it is the perfect fodder for your blog. After all, you are reading this, aren't you? In essence, it is a summary of the attached podcast and this is providing the show notes. And this serves multiple masters with half the effort. What i mean is that if you take your blog post and do what I'm doing here which is writing an engaging page of content about the blog I am solving two problems with the same idea. It is foolish to me to try to separate the two and the most successful bloggers and podcasters have something for the others.
So let's look at why this is. Most businesses have customers that traverse multiple age groups. Those over 45 often like to take a moment and read about what they may be watching simply because they do not want to invest time into something that may or may not be productive. After all that maybe 2 hours of time you won't get back. There are the folks under the age of 35 that are more apt to watch a video, even if it is a talking head. They want video and have no interest in reading. And then there is everyone else that podcasting has become a norm. They subscribe. They listen in their cars, at their desks, in the grocery store. Podcasting has become a way of life.
Who Should Host My Blog and Podcast?
I get this question a lot and honestly, it's hard to answer in a classroom because I don't ever want to be self-promoting. I personally own a web hosting company that was set up in 1998. We have geared it to what the SEO companies need. We understand the traffic and the needs of running a ...
Keyword: Why they are STILL important
I hear a lot of different opinions on keywords and how relevant they are. I even had someone tell me that Google says there is not published keyword density and if Google says it we know it’s the truth. While it is true there is no published keyword density, the density of the keyword presence is still relevant and needs to be considered.
Gone are the days of just adding words to a page with no consideration of what the user intended to get in results. And we now also have to understand what Google thinks a word is about rather than what the word actually. So it has become a much larger job than just ranking terms.
I suppose if I think about Keywords and how they are now, traffic for traffic sake is useless now. The days of the comment is just a numbers game although still somewhat true, is fraught with a lot of pitfalls. I can think of numerous terms that if I ranked on them would garner me traffic but would not add one cent to my bottom line and that is really the name of the game.
ROI is something that has always been used against organic search. And that opinion is because most SEOs talk about Keywords without any acknowledgment of the value of those words and how you intend to convert that traffic. So as we talk through picking keywords, and how best to accomplish that, the intent of the user always has to be considered, or you end up with traffic for traffics' sake.
Long Tail Keyword and User Intent
Other things to consider, when looking at keywords and with a nod to the evolution of keywords would be the sophistication of the end-user. What I mean is as search has evolved, end-users have learned how to better quantify their results. So they understand the more keywords they add to the root the more targeted the result will be to answer what they are looking for.
Considering the long-tail search is essential because the longer the tail the more unique the search but also the more likely someone will be to buy.
One essential thing in selecting keywords it to understand how many people are searching for the word. When you select a word that no one searches for, it is a pointless exercise in my opinion.
Google of course provides a baseline to help guide this and with the Chrome plugin of Keywords Everywhere. It is designed to help you select the right keyword. The cost is cheap at a penny a search and it is well worth every dime you spend on it.
Some of the metrics it will cover is how many people search for a word. This is a great delimiter to help determine success. If the number is small, under a hundred, that word may not be a very effective keyword in driving sales. Conversely, a high number may equally be limited in the sense that it is so broad, there maybe is not a lot of competition on the word because it may not drive sales. By not being able to discern user intent, it may make a highly trafficked key term a bad key term.
Keywords everywhere also give the cost-per-click information. Although we are working with organic SEO, paid search terms are useful gauges of the value of the term. So when I review how worth a term is, if the word has low search volume but a $15 PPC bid, I am going to look to optimize for that word.
This tool is invaluable to selecting the right keywords for your site. But today, I had someone ask me where to start to find a keyword and the answer is simple. Google your competitors, find the biggest one, and then use a tool like SEMRush. This will help you find all the keywords associated with your business if you can’t figure them all out without some guidance. So when I put these tools together, I can make an informed decision about my website and how I interact with it. This allows you one set of tools to make the proper decision on how a page should rank.
Another overlooked tactic is often to consider your locatio...
SEO Content Strategy : Dissecting the Process
In last week's Score class I got a a question about adding content to keywords after you wrote a page. In essence, what is an SEO content strategy. I answered the question no that I do not do that, but upon further reflection it got me thinking about the process I do use when I create a page and why I usually get it right, with very little tweaking needed. As I thought about it I realized that my process really was a great topic to the Internet Marketing Clinic.
What I have noticed though the years is that business owners struggle with the concept of content. The constant pushback is I don't know what to write about. And although I can say check your email and use that the reality is there is a way larger process involved. The problem is that if you're interested in having a ranking website, this has to be handled.
In this class we go though that process and thought process of having a successful SEO content strategy.
Know What Your Business Does
For starters, I challenge each of your to do an elevator speech. Many do it and people have no idea what they do. Practice that because at the end of the day the perfect elevator speech can give you great guidance on meeting your SEO goals. For SEO411 my elevator speech says we cover SEO (duh) Web Design and Web Hosting. Everything I do revolves around one of those three components. So I just know that is what I need to do with each and ever piece of content I create. Just the simple inclusion of this sentence gave me three top teir keywords that I was able to link to a relevant page.
Know Who Your Target Audience Is
Once we know what we do...and you would be surprised how many people cannot articulate what they do, the next step is to identify who you are writing for. In other words, who is your clients. Are you reaching out to them properly. Do you understand who they are. The more in touch with your client you are, the more relevant your search placement will be. If done properly it does create a stream of leads for your business. So make sure you know who your customer is and how to develop content for them. Don't overshoot your target, but also don't undersell your self either.
Know Who Your Competitors Are
Knowing who your competitors are is essential for success. What I often see small business owners not accurately identifying small business. Once I understand who my competitor is, I can utilize them to help me define the key terms I need to rank on. It's a very cost effective way of getting some market research for free or relatively low cost.
Identify Keywords that Embrace Services You Offer with Your SEO Content Strategy
Once you understand the keywords, its is imperative to understand how to formulate content that embraces those terms yet addresses what your client needs. So we used a few examples in this class. You have learn to put yourself on the other side of the screen and use the terms your clients will use. You also need to learn to understand the question your clients ask that may lead to a warm lead. This is often very difficult for business owners to step outside of themselves and see how end users see the. Once you master this, it helps you build a long term sustainable sales funnel. Understand the problems you solve for your clients. Meet people where they are.
Know the Keywords Your End Users Use
One major mistake small business owners often do is not knowing the right words the end user uses. Tools like Keyword Everywhere is a simple and inexpensive way to translate what you think versus the words the masses use. Doing a simple search on the services you offer,
Is your Digital Marketing ready for 2021
So Google is FINALLY seeing things my way. Every year since I've been doing the Internet Marketing Clinic, I've tried to prognosticate where I think we will be or what will happen in the up coming year. I am often pretty well correct. But this year there is a some vindication for me I think. Google announced in December that it was going to make Core Vitals a boost if you past them. Finally Google understands how important your web hosting company is to your overall success. I have been preaching this situation since 2000, pretty much before Google was a thing.
Here is what most don't understand. Your web host can do things that impede the speed and functionality of your website. As a practice we never did that because we understood how essential a powerful website was to the success of a business. Google will begin penalizing sites that do not load right, are slow to respond or have an inferior hosting product.
The design of the website is also part of what they will begin to grade. Really, its bottom line is user experience and trying to improve how that works. I will content that end users may not have a great of an experience because this will cut some of the creativity. But good elements of web design should make it easier to follow. Also this is where solid technical SEO comes in as well.
Lastly are you an expert? What have you done to show you are an expert. This will now be a major factor. There are ways to handle this and we start that discussion.
Internet Marketing Clinic Ep 120: Social Media Tips and Tricks
In today’s episode we discuss social media and tips and tricks and how planning can make these efforts more effective. To that end we talk about:
Why businesses need a Facebook page dedicated specifically to the business and what the About Us section can do for you.
The importance of being an expert, owning your brand, and cultivating that persona across social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Why you need a different strategy across platforms and why knowing your business, what you do, and your target audience is critical for each.
The importance of graphics and pictures on social media platforms in engaging users.
Planning your posts several months in advance and the benefits of doing so.
The importance of creating a Google My Business page and regularly posting to it with graphics.
Why it is critical to respond to business reviews as they come in and encourage further commenting on various posts.
Why responding to a review can reach a further audience than just the person you are responding to.
Being authentic in your social media and blogging efforts to facilitate credibility and highlight your unique personality.
So much great info
Just like class there is so much great info in this podcast. It comes at you like a firehose!