This week we’re going to be talking about SEO – Search Engine Optimisation. And to help me (because I know nothing about SEO) I have TWO lovely guests with me! We have the lovely Sarah and Hannah, who are the hosts of SEO SAS. These girls have worked in this industry a long while and they love SEO, so I knew they would be the perfect people to come on and talk to you about this subject. And perhaps you may even be inspired to do something with your own SEO!
KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST
- SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation – the process of increasing both the quality and quantity of traffic to your website, by increasing the visibility of the website or web pages to people via search engines such as google.
- Google has over 200 ranking factors. There are over 200 factors that google look at when they are ranking pages and websites.
- Most people when they think about SEO, they just think about keywords. It is now so much more sophisticated. You need to think about things such as page speed, user experience, technical aspects and accessibility.
- Making one change can make a huge difference, and that may be all you need to do for a couple of months. Simply changing a page title could increase traffic by 20%!
- SEO is NOT dead! It is still very important.
- There are two types of key words – Educational and Transactional.
- You can find out how people are finding you and what they are searching for by using free tools such as Google Search Console.
- Domain Authority is a score out of 100, based on the amount of back links to your website and how trustworthy your website is.
- You need to make sure everything linked to your website is relevant, trustworthy and natural. Otherwise it can be spammy.
- There are link specialists who can help you with your link building. If you are linking out, make sure it is natural and relevant. When getting links to your site, there are lots of different ways you can do this, such as, creating useful articles that can help others (guest post), give a quote about the latest news on another website and digital PR – fun ways to get people talking.
- Make sure your blog title is click worthy and answering something that people are going to search for or something that people don’t even know they want yet.
- You can research what people are looking for through Google AdWords.
- Make sure all your subheadings in your blog are optimised too!
- Is there some added value you can add to your blog compared to those that are already out there? Such as a video, more images, more information.
- Give people a reason to stay on your site longer and go to other areas after they have read your blog post, or even convert!
- Make sure your images are no bigger than 100kb as this can slow down your page speed.
- Name your image something relevant, add alt text (alternative text) that describes that image.
- Metadata is the information that displays in google – you can decide this! Make sure your title is 60-70 characters long, optimised with key words. Description 120-160 characters, use key words here too!
- CTR – click through rate. This will depend on the quality of your metadata.
- Test your title tags and metadata using Google Analytics.
- SEO for your podcast – show notes and transcripts for google to be able to understand. Work out what key words your podcast should rank for and optimise elements on that page.
- Schemer – code that tells google what that content is – Use Google Tag Manager.
- Share your podcast on other channels to promote it but also adds links.
- Sentiment – reviews – google takes this into account.
- Don’t delete products or pages without knowing the consequences! 404 error pages will occur (bad user experience).
- Optimise your URLs – think of keywords.
- Update your SEO as an ongoing task – google is always changing its algorithm.
- Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing.
- Test and measure what you are doing/using.
THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE…
You don’t have to be an SEO expert but there are a lot of things you can do and a lot of tools you can use in order to make a difference. Plus, you can always go over and listen to Sarah and Hannah’s podcast if you want to learn more about anything we have discussed today.
HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN'T MISS
- An introduction to Sarah and Hannah – 07:10
- What is SEO – the basics – 12:27
- The myths of SEO – 18:25
- Educational vs Transactional keywords – 25:25
- Tools you can use to help you with SEO – 28:02
- Links – do I need them? – 37:08
- How to help your blog SEO – 46:14
- Adding images to your blog – 49:14
- Metadata – 51:46
- SEO for podcasts – 55:09
- What NOT to do – 1:01:08
Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How's your week been? Okay. You know those jobs that you put off, all the time? And you think, I'm definitely going to get around to that, I'm definitely going to do that when I have more time? Well, today's episode might inspire you to get on and do one of those jobs, because today we are talking all about SEO. That's right, you heard correct, search engine optimization. I can't even say it, let alone teach you anything about it.
It is not going to be a surprise that today I have not one, but two lovely guests with me because, quite honestly, what I know about SEO would last about 30 more seconds. It's something that, for whatever reason, I put such a mental block on, and just A, I feel like I find it difficult, and B, it's something that doesn't interest me, which doesn't help it. Or, help me when I'm trying to learn it. Anyway, it's super important. I'm trying so hard not to put a downer on it, before these two amazing women come on. It's super important, and I know there are lots of you out there who do do some SEO stuff, and therefore it was really important for me to get someone on to talk about this, because I know I don't know anywhere near enough of what I need to know about it.
And if you're sat there thinking, I don't even know what SEO is, or search engine optimization is, then you will still want to listen to this episode, because I promise you there is something for everyone. We are talking at a fairly good level that most people should be able to take something away from this. If I can understand it, then believe me, you can absolutely understand it.
I really, really want you to enjoy today's episode, and like I said, maybe you will be inspired to do something with your own SEO. So today, I have the very lovely Hannah and Sarah, who are the hosts of the podcast SEO SAS. This is going to be a really difficult podcast, if I've got to keep saying stuff like that. These two girls have worked in this industry for a long while, they've been both agency side and in-house side, they've done lots of different industries, and they love SEO. Which A, is easy to tell from interviewing them, and speaking to them, because they're very passionate about it, but B, they wanted to get it across in a way that everyone can understand.
Because SEO is actually, traditionally, a very male industry, it's also very tech-y sounding, and people do get a bit overwhelmed by that. They wanted to bring it in a way that actually, it isn't as difficult as it sounds, and there are some things that everybody can do. Don't get me wrong, there's some very smart stuff that I'm sure is very difficult that these girls do, but for me, there is definitely stuff you can take away from this.
So, Hannah is a Chartered Institute of Marketing qualified marketer, with a decade of experience, and she has gained specialising in digital marketing, SEO in particular. Her favourite aspects of SEO are pretty much everything, from technical deep dives, to strategic content, and link building in-depth analysis. I don't know what on Earth I'm talking about, but they're going to help us find that out. She is one half of an SEO power couple, as Hannah's husband is also an SEO expert. When Hannah's not working, she likes to do nothing more than hiking and mountain climbing with Dom, very different from SEO.
Okay, Sarah is also a qualified Institute of Marketer, and she has around seven years experience in marketing, specialising in digital and SEO. Over the years, Sarah's worked both in-house and agency side, and has done loads of different campaigns. Sarah is a self confessed geek when it comes to SEO, and loves the challenges that comes with both industry, and as a whole, creating and implementing strategic SEO campaigns that drive traffic and conversion for her clients. Sarah works as an SEO specialist at LikeMind Media, and when she's not doing that, she likes to go on adventures with her girlfriend and her pooch, Millie the Jack Russel. And also, this is very interesting, she blows off steam playing roller derby, where she goes by the name Badass Bambi. I believe it, I believe every word.
Anyway, I think you're going to love these girls, they give such good advice around SEO. And, if you want to find out more, and want to go deeper, then their podcast is definitely the place to do it. Like I said, it's called SEO SAS. And, I just want to put a caveat, when we recorded this episode, which was probably quite a few weeks ago … in fact, it was the beginning of Jan, I think, if I remember rightly, everything was correct at the time. But, as with social media, things can change fairly fast, so obviously if something has changed, then don't come shouting at us, because it was right as we recorded it. Anyway, I will leave you to listen to people who know way more about this than I do. Enjoy the episode.
So, it's with much pleasure that I welcome the very lovely Sarah McDowell and Hannah Bryce to the podcast. Welcome, ladies!
Thank you for having us.
Yes, very excited to be on your podcast.
Ah no, I'm excited to have you on because, as I've already said in the intro, today we're talking about SEO, and I told people not to turn off. Because I know that they might go, “Oh, hang on a minute, I don't want to listen to this.” I'm promising them this is going to be totally worth their while because I know very little about SEO, and I was just saying to the ladies, before we got on, that I love podcast episodes where I know nothing. Or, not nothing, but I know very little about it, because it means that A, I learn something, which is ace. And B, it means I can ask the stupid questions, and none of you listening can sit there thinking, oh thank God, she looks the fool, we don't have to by asking the stupid questions.
I'm really excited to get some kind of real basics, for everyone. So, if you've not come across SEO before, then you don't need to panic, this isn't going to be really, really high level, but I'm really excited to get those basics across.
An introduction to Sarah and Hannah
Before we get into it, let's just find out how you two got to do what you're doing right now, and become the SEO experts that you are?
Wow, okay. Hannah, do you want to start?
You can, you go first.
Okay. I'm getting the baton to start.
Basically, I fell into SEO. I studied dance at university, realised that I couldn't-
Natural progression people, dance into SEO, hand in hand.
I mean, it will happen, it will happen. Yeah, realised I couldn't really make a living in dancing, so basically, I went for a reception role at a SEO agency. They'd already filled that role, but what they were looking for was link builders that had no prior experience, so I pretty much fell into it, and started from the bottom. I was link building, content writing, and I was in that agency for a couple of years, and I progressed.
Then, I moved from agency to in-house, and then that's where I met Hannah, because we worked together at Sister's firm. And then we parted ways, and went other jobs in different industries and stuff. Then yes, we also do SEO SAS podcast as well, so that came about because me and Hannah, a couple of years ago, realised that the SEO industry was quite male dominated, especially with the speakers, and even the audience really. I mean, it's got better as the years have gone on, but I just saw an opportunity, we need a female led SEO podcast. We also wanted to make SEO fun.
Yes, I've had about seven years experience in SEO, working both in-house and in agency, so I've worked for different industries. Hannah?
Well, I started off as a marketing manager, so doing pretty much the whole marketing mix. Then, I did that for a few years, but realised … Actually, I remember the exact moment that I thought, I could do this, when we had an SEO agency come in and pitch to us. I was like, “This looks really cool, I could definitely do this.” Sorry to whoever that agency is, I just took your ideas and rolled with it. I actually found that, one, I was all right at it, and two, I really enjoyed it.
I moved on from that, tried out agency because wanted to get lots of experience, with lots of different industries. Then, from there, managed to get some really good opportunities in-house, where I could really, really focus on honing my skills in SEO, and getting into a bit more depth.
At the minute, I'm working at Gym Shark as part of an SEO team, which is amazing. Obviously, Sarah's part of my extended team, outside of work.
Cool. No, that's so good. Actually, you said a couple of things there that are really important. First off, it's a very male dominated industry, and has been for quite some time. Secondly, you said you wanted to make it a bit more fun, which I think is totally a brilliant way to go about it. To have the podcast, to have that medium that you can explain, and get your personalities across, and that sort of thing.
Tell us again, what that podcast is called? Because my idea for this episode is that if you're listening to this new thing, that's awesome, it's a great introduction, but actually I do want to know more, then these ladies have got the perfect podcast for you. So, what's it called, again?
The podcast is SEO SAS. It's called SAS because we want to be seen as your special answering service, so a bit of play on the combat, and army, and stuff.
Basically, it came about because lots of people know about SEO, or know that they need to do it, but A, they don't really understand what they should be doing, or because people think it's a boring subject, people easily turn off. So, with the podcast, it is about educating, and we find relevant topics to talk about, maybe there's something that's happened in the industry, recently. Or, maybe there's just some myths, or anything, really. But, the main thing is to make it fun, because SEO isn't boring. If you get it, and you start trialling stuff on your website, or working on it, you can get some really good results. I think Hannah would agree?
Yeah, just on that point, as well as fun, because obviously we like to think it's a lot of fun. But, one of the other really main, important points is that it's accessible, because with SEO certain people think, oh, it's just a dark art, I don't understand it. It must be super technical, and really, really complicated.
We'd like to think that we're helping to make it a little bit less complicated, because it's not as complicated as everybody thinks it is.
Okay, cool. Lots of people that listen to this podcast have their own business, they're doing their own marketing, and they can't go to a big agency for SEO, so this is why I wanted this episode, to actually give them those kind of helps, and helping hand, and tips and things, to do a bit themselves.
I'm going to start right at the beginning, and I'm going to literally ask you, what is SEO? When I ask you that, I also want you to explain what it stands for. So, who wants to take that one?
What is SEO – the basics
I'll take that one, if that's okay? SEO stands for search engine optimization. Basically, it's the process of increasing both the quality and quantity of traffic to your website, by increasing the visibility of a website, or web page, to people on search engines, such as Google. Yeah?
Okay, okay. Yeah, I'm searching something in Google, and SEO is going to help me come higher up in the rankings?
Yes, to get you that traffic to that page, or that website.
Now, when people talk about SEO, most people think about Google because, at the end of the day, Google is used by a lot of people, but there are other search engines, such as Bing, Safari. But, most people will talk about Google, and be optimising for Google.
Sorry. When we talk SEO, the stuff you're telling us today, is this only for Google, or is this for everything? And, it's all kind of much for muchness?
Well, I would say this is more gearing towards Google, but it still sort of works for other search engines, such as Bing. But, it's just different search engines have their own ways of ranking websites, but I would always stick to Google because that's the one that's most used by people.
What is important to know is that Google has over 200 ranking factors. So, what that means is there are over 200 factors that Google are looking at when they're looking at ranking pages and websites. Yes, that is quite a big number, but I see that as opportunities. Lots of different opportunities that you can optimise your website or web page.
There are three main ones, aren't there, out of those?
Okay, because I'm sat here, laughing to myself because I was going to go, “And we're going to go through every 200.” But, no we're not, we are not doing that.
In all honesty, I think that's what scares people, because they're thinking, oh, I've given up already because if I've got to do 200 extra things on my website, you can forget that. I totally get why people think that it's this crazy, weird thing, and it's really hard. Sorry for interrupting, go on.
No. I would say that SEO falls into two main categories. So, you've got your on page stuff, and your offsite stuff.
On page refers to things that you actually do to a page to optimise it for search engines, such as Google. So, you've got meta descriptions. When you go into Google, and you search for a keyword like … Give me a keyword, Hannah?
Red hat. So, you've got your listings of all your websites, your meta description is that description underneath the view link that you click. So, it's normally a couple of lines, so it's just a description of what that page is. Your title tags is what makes the clickable link in Google, you've got keywords on that page, you've got speed, you've got your headers.
So on a page, you have your main title, and you've got your subheadings, and it's getting a little bit technical. There's also things like metadata. You can use metadata, it's code, basically, that you put on your page, to help Google understand what that page is about, or what that content on that page is about. Then, offsite refers to things that you do externally from your site, so that's like building back links to your website.
I don't know if you want to chip in on this, but you generally have your two different categories of SEO, don't you? It's onsite, and offsite.
Yeah? One last thing that I would say on this point is, most people when they think about SEO, they just think it's about keywords, and they just think about how many times a keyword is put on a website, when it's not that. That was way back, way back when.
When Google or the Internet first came about, that was the only way that Google could understand what a page or website was about, was about the keywords. But, it's so much sophisticated now, it's more about the page speed. You've got user experience, you've got your technical aspects. So, is your website accessible to Google? Yes, I hope that explains that? Or, if you've got any questions?
Okay. Just so you know people that my face just glazed slightly over with this stuff, and I happily admit to anybody that listens, to my audience, that I am not tech-y, not to this extent.
If you're listening just thinking, oh my word, back links, and site speed and stuff, don't panic. Do not panic, because I promise you we're going to help you understand some of these things that bring you in it.
I know that poor Sarah and Hannah are probably sat there thinking, Teresa, you're an idiot.
No, not at all.
Because this is what they do, day in, day out. Obviously, to them, this is probably a very low level conversation we're having here, but I really wanted to open it up to as many people as possible.
Actually, this comes to my next thought, around the fact that there are lots of myths around SEO. I think I remember, years ago, … obviously, I've been in marketing a long time. I remember seeing an SEO company, and it literally was like a dark art, there was only very specialist Jedi type people that could do it, and you shouldn't even think about it.
The myths of SEO
What are some of those myths? Is it what people think, is it that it's a dark art? I saw something not that long ago that was like, “Oh, it's dead now, don't even bother with it.” Then, obviously, you can't do it yourself, you've got to get someone else in. Just help us understand some of those myths?
Okay, I'll take this one, then. Touching on the dark art side of things, it isn't, it isn't a dark art. That partly comes from, one, people not understanding SEO, but two, there are being several different ways of doing it.
There's ways of doing it which is wrong, and really, really bad, which might get top of the rankings for a short-
Is wrong and really, really bad, which might get you to the rankings for a short amount of time, but then you'll plummet and your site could even get blacklisted and all that kind of stuff. So that's called black hat. So if you see anything to do with black hat, stay away from it.
White hat SEO is the complete opposite. So playing on the whole magic side of things, you can see where these names are coming from. But the best ways of doing it are all the documented ways. And just touching on the dark art side of things, sometimes just making one change can make a huge difference and that might be all you need to do for several months. So maybe just changing the title of a page can literally increase traffic by 20%. Yeah, so sometimes it's really, really small things and other times it's a lot of things.
So just touching back on what is SEO and what Sarah was saying, you've got say onsite and offsite stuff, but you've got the technical bits. So I'm not going to go too far into this, but like the page speed, like making sure you've got all the right signals to Google, making sure that things are in the right place, all that kind of stuff. If you've done all of that and you maintain it, you keep on top of it, it's like having a car with a really, really good engine and a warranty and all that kind of stuff. You just maintain it.
Content then and the link side of things is all this stuff that you then can do to improve it, so that's all your spoiler and your heated seats, all that kind of stuff. That's actually going to keep moving you up so you can carry on. You've done your technical, you've got a really nice machine that's working for you.
The other side of things just helps you improve. Like I say, it can just be one thing a month, just like you would with an upgrade you'd need in your house or your car or whatever. Do you know what I mean?
Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.
It's not that scary. It's not like you've got to do all of them, and suddenly you've unlocked SEO and now-
Yeah, well yeah.
Like Sonic the Hedgehog or something, that sort of thing.
Can I just say that Hannah is the queen of analogies, and we've actually coined a term on our podcast that we call them a Hannalogy.
So she is the queen.
And I need stuff like that, and I think we do. Because I think like you said, there's myths around this that put us off and make us think, ‘Oh, I can't even go there because it's too big and too scary.' But like you said, I'm more than happy about that. So I'm guessing that you're going to say, Hannah, obviously it's not dead. This is something that we should still actively be doing.
Absolutely. I mean the reason that people say it's dead is primarily because Google Now will take content from your website and display it however it likes without necessarily people needing to click through to your site. But that's not in every single case. And it's not in most cases, to be honest. Usually when people are researching something with an intention to buy, they'll want more information. It's not just what Google shows. Do you know when you search for something and it comes up and it'll give you the answer in a big box? And sometimes that's all you need, it could be what time is [inaudible 00:22:04] open until. And it will show you that. Or what does BBC mean? And it will show you that. And you don't need to click through.
But if you want more information, and most people on the buying journey will, then you do need to click through. So that's why people think it's dead because Google is displaying whatever it wants. But actually it's not. It's really, really not.
And often I find, so this morning, right before this podcast, I was Googling skincare for teens because my daughter's 10, bless her, she's going to really appreciate me saying this on the podcast. She's getting a couple of spots, and I wanted to see what I can give her. So I Googled it, and the big box that came up at the top was not what I needed. Obviously it's pushing on products, and what I was really looking for was a review or a conversation or a forum or whatever it was. So like you said, it's not just that. That isn't always going to be the solution to the question that you're asking, is it?
That's it. So all Google is trying to do is deliver you the best service there, but sometimes it doesn't always know. It can have the most sophisticated algorithms-
Yeah, exactly. But sometimes you do want that bit more. So we're always going to need to offer more then they won't stop.
And just to add on to that point, there's always ways that you can entice people to click. So taking Hannah's point about when Google will take information and display it in, we call it a featured snippet or position zero. So it takes information and puts it right there on Google's results page. There's ways around so sometimes you see a list in that box. And there's little tips and hacks. So for example, Google can only show eight points on a bullet point list in that box. So if you have more than eight, it will show that there's missing information, and that will entice people to click. Because they're like, ‘Oh well I haven't got all the information here, so I need to click on to this website' and get them on. And so there are ways around it as well.
Yeah you can manipulate what is actually in those, and you can target them as well.
Okay, cool. So we know we need to do SEO. The other thing I just want to touch upon, because obviously one of the things I talk about on the podcast and we've had conversations about is the fact of if you've listened to this podcast, it's about that there's Facebook ads and there's Facebook and there's social media. And the thing that I see the big difference when you're looking at SEO or advertising through something like Google and when you're looking at Facebook and you're looking at social media is when you're doing the social media side, you are making an assumption that someone who fits the criteria of your customer may or may not be looking to purchase your thing at that point.
Educational vs Transactional keywords
Whereas the big difference with SEO and the big difference with if you were going to do Google ads, which we are not going into today, but if you did do that, the fact is the intent is there. They are searching for that thing. So whereas on social media you're hoping that you're targeting the right people and you're hoping that they're in the position to buy, and you might get lucky. In fact, people do get lucky. Obviously it works. However, from an SEO point of view, when I'm typing in skincare products for a 10 year old girl in the UK, I am looking to purchase skincare products for a girl in the UK. I could have been served an ad on Facebook, something similar, but I might not because I'm a mum of a 10 year old, but I might not be ready at that point.
So just to answer to that point, so obviously one part of SEO is your keywords, and you've got your different types of keywords. So for example, you have your keywords that are in the educational category, and then you've got your keywords that are in your transactional category. And there's lots more different types. But if you understand, so obviously Google's getting better and better at understanding when someone puts a term into Google, what they want, what information they need. So if you understand what is a educational keyword over what a transactional keyword is, you can better optimise it. Because if it's a educational term or keyword, then that's where people are looking for blogs, information, reviews, articles. If it's transactional, so I don't know, buy-
You can say cheapest or something.
Yeah. Then you know that that person is wanting to buy rather than wanting to read information. So you can understand, okay, this is what the person's intent is and this is the content that they need so I'm going to write that content.
Yeah. Also just on that point and on your point Teresa about social media, with keywords as well, it's really, really important to keep track of what people are using to get to your site, and there's some free tools that you can use to do that. But the point here is sometimes if people are only searching for your brand, so say it was Aveeno or something like that, for the skincare, and actually you found that people had only came to your website because they've searched for Aveeno and it was a new product that you put on social media. Then you know that actually the attribution for that, the channel which actually is being successful for you is social media. People are then going on to Google to search for it later on or they're being recommended it because of the social media ad. Whereas if they're looking for skincare for acne or something like that, and then they're coming to your site, that's more likely to be because of your SEO efforts.
Yes. Yeah. And you're entirely right. Everything's got its place, hasn't it? It's not that I'm sat here now today saying don't go on social media anymore people, don't pay for Facebook ads. It's just a fact of things work for different things. And like you said, if people are Googling something and finding it, then that is from your SEO whereas new products clicking through.
Tools you can use to help you with SEO
So tell me some of those free tools that will help in terms of getting to know how they're finding my site.
Yeah, so the main one here is Google Search Console. So if you've got Google Analytics set up, which every site should definitely, definitely, definitely have, just to see how many visitors you're getting, how long people spend on pages, all that kind of stuff. You can also get Google Search Console set up really easily, it's from the same sort of family. And from that you can look at the queries that people are literally typing into Google to come to your site and the page that they're landing on, click through rate for those pages, how many clicks exactly, all of that kind of stuff as well as all the technical bits and pieces. It keeps track of that for you as well. So it's an amazing tool, and it's completely free.
Can I add a tool?
Just so you know, people-
I've got my hand up.
I was going to say Sarah's just put her hand up. Yes you may speak Sarah, go ahead.
It's the kid in me, isn't it? I always put my hand up. So another tool to understand about keywords and what you're ranking for is Neil Patel's Ubersuggest. So basically this is an awesome free tool because it gives you so much information. But with his tool you can put in your URL or anyone's URL and it will tell you what keywords and pages you're ranking for. And I can't believe it's free, like you should be paying, he should be charging for it.
I think that's really cool because you can kind of see what you're already ranking really well for. But you can also find those low hanging fruit opportunities. So what I mean there is, okay so stats say that people generally click from first, second, or third result. So it's in your best interest to get high as you can. So basically identifying low hanging fruit opportunities are really good. So there you can find where you're ranking on positions five to 10, or even on the second page and see what pages are ranking higher than you and then understand why. You can do a bit of investigation so put your Sherlock Holmes hat on. And what's that thing called?
Yeah, if you listen to mine and Hannah's podcast, you will understand our dynamic, that I can't say words, Hannah has to say it for me.
Just finishing the sentences.
We're so in tune. Or I'll say words wrong. So there's a term in the SEO world called-
And I always called them cankles.
I love it.
But anyway, I'm going off on one.
Everyone knows what Sarah means.
It's fine. Yeah. You've come up with a new term for that. This is now going to be you can Google that. No, I'm joking, you can't Google it.
And it's going to come up, and your name's going to come up. You should do that because you could, because you guys know what you're doing. You could make that trend, you should do that.
Gosh, pressure, Teresa, pressure.
I know, I know. I'm going to tell everybody to look for it. No, I'm joking. Okay, cool. So we've got a couple of really good tools there. Is there any others that you want to add to that before we shift on?
There's loads of tools. So obviously with SEO you want to be using tools because it just makes your life easier. So I don't know, maybe we could do tool off.
I can, yeah.
Is that a thing?
Like it, like it.
So I'm going to start with one of my favourite tools that I use pretty much every day, and it's called Screaming Frog. And basically it's a website crawler. So what Screaming Frog will do is crawl your website, crawl all the pages and URLs and find issues basically that you need to fix. So we'll find out if you've got missing meta descriptions, if you've got duplicate H1 tags, if you've got broken pages.
Will it explain to you what a H1 tag is because I don't have a clue.
It just means header one.
So usually say you're on your homepage, you'll have a main title, and it will be tagged with a H tag. So it'll be header one, and that's what Google would consume first on the page. So it'll consume your headers to find out exactly what's on the page before it then gobbles up all the paragraphs and stuff.
So yes, you'd use Screaming Frog to [inaudible 00:32:32] and just find out, and it's free as well for only up to 500 URLs though. So if you've got a small website then you're okay. But to be fair, even with the paid version, it's only 150 pound per year.
Yeah, it's really cheap.
So for a whole year and it just gives you so much information. And also the good thing with Screaming Frog is because lots of SEOers and website users use it, there's so much help out there. So if you want to find out how to get the most out of Screaming Frog or you're not quite sure how to do something, there'll be a resource out there. So that's helpful.
Oh, just quickly then before we move on to Hannah. You said 500 URLs, and I'm confident that someone's going to be sat there, and I would have probably been the same, go ‘We'll only have one because I've only got one website.' But obviously you don't mean that, you mean so TeresaHeathWareing/. For instance, I have a URL for every single podcast episode so every episode is TeresaHeathWareing.com/whatever the number is. So instantly I now have over 100 of them. So that's 100 URLs already, isn't it?
Yeah. But even images and stuff. It's everything that makes up your website basically.
So will it do the first 500? Or will it just not do it at all?
It would just crawl up to 500. So basically how Screaming Frog works is similar to Google so it will follow links. So it will just go from link to link to link and then once it's gone to 500 it won't do any more. But that's only the free version.
If you do the paid version then … And there's lots of other reasons why you want the paid version because you can do so much more with it. But yes.
Cool. Okay. Hannah, over to you.
I don't know. It's quite difficult for favourites. Are we doing favourites?
Well, I don't know.
Okay. So we've not really touched that much on links yet. I know it sounds quite scary, but really what it is is making sure that you've got lots of votes for your site from other websites. And one of the analogies that I've got for this, this is quite a really-
Hannalogy, yeah. Let's go.
Well this is crowd surfing. So say your crowd surfing, and you've got three people that you jump on top of, you're not going to look like you're that great. Do you know what I mean? People aren't that bothered about you. They're not voting for you. They're not got your back literally. They're probably going to.-
Yeah, whereas if you're crowd surfing and you've got hundreds of people, you've got some really strong people throwing you up in the air. You've got some really weak people as well. It's all really natural. Everyone wants to get involved. That's the kind of website you want.
Okay. Can I just say when you said crowd surfing, I instantly thought of crowdfunding.
I was like I'm really confused. No, that was me just being a bit slow this morning. Yes.
Hannah crowd surfs every Saturday evening.
Well that must be it cause I don't think I've ever. I wouldn't want to take the risk if I'm totally honest. I'd need a real mix of strong people to be crowd surfing.
We are not condoning crowd surfing, people.
Healthy and safety.
The point there is you need a really healthy backlinked profile. So you need lots of strong links. You need links where, for example the BBC, they can't lie as easily as a blogger for example. A link from them is going to be more valuable. But you do need some bloggers linking to you as well because then it looks natural. So Google really does care about which links are linking to you because like I say, it's votes of confidence to your site. And the more votes that you've got from a really healthy profile of backlinks or crowd surfing people that your site will rank.
So a really good tool for that is Ahrefs, and it's literally A-H-R-E-F-S. That is paid for, but it's not very expensive. It does loads of other stuff as well. So it'll give you your rankings every three days. You can look at all sorts of content. It will show you what's ranking if you just put in a term, and it will show you how many social media shares that piece of content's got, how long it is. But the main thing is it will show you where your links are coming from. It will also show you where your competitor's links are coming from, and you can even do an intersect where say you've got your two biggest competitors and you say, which are the sites linking to those that aren't linking to me? And it will give you a list that you can then target or just even look out for inspiration.
Links – do I need them?
So explain to me, how do I get someone to link to my content? So if someone sat there listening going ‘This is brilliant.' But how? Now I have to say, just quickly on a side note, the bigger I get, not physically, as in metaphorically the business. The bigger I get as a brand, the more requests I get on a daily basis of people saying, ‘Hey, I see you've got this podcast about this.' Or ‘Hey, I see you wrote a blog about this. We've got a great tool. Would you like to link to it here?' Or we wrote an article on this, would you like to link to it here?' And inevitably I will say no because it doesn't fit with me or what I'm doing, or that's not what I'm here to do. And they do often say, ‘We'll link back to you,' but I don't know. Should I be saying yes to these people? Is this the only way of doing it? Or how do I do it?
Well, I don't know. Maybe me and Hannah could give our opinions on-
Well, I don't know. Maybe me and Hannah could give our opinions on this front. But basically, I'm with you, Theresa, I wouldn't just link to something if I didn't believe in it or if I didn't know about it. I would weigh up a couple of things here. So, when you're looking at links and building links to your website and pages, yes, they need to be quality, they've got to have a decent domain authority. And basically, your domain authority is a score out of a hundred, which is basically based on back links, that's right, isn't it? That's the right way of describing domain authority?
Not just on back links.
No, it's your domain's authority. So how authoritative-
And how trustworthy your-
And how trustworthy.
So, you've got that to take into consideration, but you've also got to think of relevancy as well. So, Google is getting more and more sophisticated and back in the day there was more spammy techniques that you would do. So, you could pay for links or buy for links or you could do sort of link farms. I don't know if Hannah's got a better way of explaining what a link farm is, but basic where you own those different domains and you get them linking to each other. So, obviously that's quite spammy.
It's not natural.
It's not natural. So yeah, and there's the natural element to it as well. So, there's all these things that you've got to sort of take into consideration and if it's relevant, if it's decent domain authorities, got a good score, it's trustworthy, then I would go for it, but at the same time, yeah, you don't want to end up building links, because you don't want to link to a website that you don't really know about. Say for example, a good website linked out that reached out to you, hell yeah, you won't go. I think Hannah said once, didn't you? That you are at a job and-
Oh yeah, it basically just said that if we got some really good links from universities because universities, again, you normally have a really decent authority, they don't lie about things generally and then if somebody then deleted that page without telling me first and I found out that my links have gone, I'd just leave.
Just drop the mic, leave. Leave that business. But yes. So, there's a couple of things that you've got to weigh up when people are asking for links. Yeah?
Yeah. Well, I've got a similar view. So, in terms of linking out to somebody else, you should only ever do that when it's natural to do it anyway. So, chances are, if you're going to cite something like a statistic or a piece of research in a blog, you'll already have done it. So, if someone then asks you to put their link into it, why would you do that? Content's done. So, that's-
Yeah. For sure.
[crosstalk 00:41:05] But in terms of getting links to your site, that's when there's loads of different ways of doing it. You can either create things that would be useful for another website, which has a link into yours. So, it would be a whole document or a whole article or a big, I don't want to say guest post, but that kind of thing.
There's ways of doing news jacking, where actually there's a story that's hit recently and you could be a quote in that or you could give a statistic and that way their piece of news becomes bigger and then you're in it and then you get the link to your website. There's loads of different ways of getting links, but-
So, obviously, there's sort of digital PR as well. So, obviously, that's thinking a bit outside the box of… So a good example of this was Game. So, you know the company Game?
Yeah, the shop.
So, obviously, their audience is gamers and geeky, they just want to spend as much time as they can playing their game. So Game, at Christmas time, came up with a fake product where it was the Christmas tinner. So, basically it was a Christmas dinner in a tin.
And obviously, you couldn't buy it, it was just a bit of PR stunt, but because it was so fun and interesting that everyone spoke about it. So, you had the Sun, the Metro, Drum, you had lots of people. So, sometimes it's about thinking outside the box and thinking about fun ways that you can get people talking about your brand and your company, but if you're doing something like that, you need to have something on your website for people to link to.
So yeah, and I think Game even, because obviously, it's very trendy to be vegan now, so I think they had a vegan version and stuff.
Or an example that I did recently was I put a blog post together and I asked for experts opinion. So, I asked for their input and because they were involved in the content, they then obviously, they want to share about it as well. So, I got links through that way. So, there's lots of different ways, but it is hard, isn't it?
It is hard.
Especially in link building.
It's not something that I'd say if you're a business owner that you should look at yourself, that's probably where you do need some help.
Someone to do that.
What about, obviously, I get invited on to the people's podcast, you guys are coming on my podcast, I will link to you guys because obviously, if someone's listening to this and thinks, “Oh, I need to know more about these people.” is that the same thing? Is that link-building? Is that-
That's for good for us. So, that would be doing us a favour. Effectively, you're giving us a vote.
So, please do.
We're crowd surfing on you at that point, but also from the citation point of view and from your links, you're linking out to something highly relevant because we are also a podcast. Or if it's a business person, it's similar to your field, do you know what I mean? So, that's not a bad thing at all.
Yeah. You should always be linking out because I have this conversation with clients quite a few times where they're scared of when they put in an article or blog or resource together they're scared of linking out because they didn't want to send people away from their website.
And there's ways around it. So, if I'm ever linking out to something else, I always get it to open in a new tab.
New window. Yeah.
Yeah. But yeah, because at the end of the day, if you're linking, so if you put some content together and you're linking out to somewhere for resource or to back up what you're saying, Google is only going to trust that content more and that is basically SEO at the end of day, is getting Google to trust.
Yeah. And know that you're a trusted source.
Cool. Okay. That's awesome. Right. Let's move on a little. Just I'm really conscious of time and I'm really… You know what's really interesting about this subject is that it is a bit of a rabbit hole subject as in I can feel that we could literally go so deep in one thing and come out and then have to go so deep into another. So, this might be-
That's our podcast.
Yeah. So, that's why you're going to the ladies podcast because we're hopefully not going to do too much of that because it's too much, isn't it? And like I said, if you want to be really good at that thing, then you are going to have to do that work, but obviously, there is things you can do and most people listening will probably have a blog or a podcast or something around that because obviously, I am a huge advocate of making sure that you're doing consistent content as obviously, you guys are because you have a podcast. I have a podcast.
How to help your blog SEO
So, tell me, let's start with blog, tell me what we can do if we're doing a blog, what can we actually do to help with the SEO? Because that was one of the reasons why you would do a blog, isn't it? Because the keyword thing, but tell me, I'm putting a blog up on my site, what do I need to make sure I'm doing?
Okay, I'll take this one. So, you've got a couple of really basic things is so the title of the blog is really important. Make sure one, it's click-worthy. Someone's actually going to click through to it. And two, it's either answering something that people are going to search for or something that people don't even know they want yet. So, you can research what people are looking for. If you've ever done, and I'm not going to go into this in any depth whatsoever, but if you've ever done PPC, you can sign up for Google AdWords and through that you can research what people are looking for. There's other tools as well, but that's a really good one. And you can look and say, okay, if you're doing a blog on, I don't know, which house plant is the easiest to look after, something like that, if somebody's searching for easy to look after house plants, you know that's going to tick that box. People are hopefully are going to land on that.
Secondly, once you've got the title sorted, you know exactly what you want to put out there, breaking up into different segments, look at what else is relevant to that, make sure that the subheadings within that are optimised too. Make sure that they include the keywords that you're targeting. So, if it is about house plants, make sure that they mention house plants. Not every single one, make sure it's natural and intuitive as well.
But don't forget about what next? Or then what? Because that could apply to any single website in the world and it's not doing you any favours. When Google comes to that page, it consumes those headings. So, headings, really, really important.
After that, I'd also look at what other blogs there are out there already. If you put this idea and you think, oh, maybe somebody has already done it? Chances are, yeah, they have. But how could you do it better? What could you actually add to that? What added value can you give? Is it a video? Is it some extra imagery? Is it an infographic or is it just more headings and then after you've looked at what is the easiest to look after house plant, look at different coloured house plants or something like that, or how to match your house plant with your, I don't know-
Yeah. Thank you. Anything like that. Give them something that they, like I say, they didn't even know they were looking for, but makes them stay on the site because one of the really important things about blogs is that you don't want someone to go straight back off the site. Chances are they're looking to research something. You either want them to convert, to buy that house plant straight away or you want them to stay on the site and consume a few more bit of information so that it doesn't look like they've just come on to the site, researched that and it wasn't actually that relevant and gone straight back to Google and looked at something else. So, like I say, give them a bit extra, whether that's in a separate blog or within the same one, make sure there's somewhere to go on to from that.
Adding images to your blog
Okay. So, what about if I'm uploading a photo with my blog or an image with my blog, is this where this metadata thing, because when you upload an image on WordPress, not that I do much on the website, I have to say, as I've said already, this is not my forte, but if I'm uploading something and I put an image alongside it, do I put the title on as the image or how do I deal with that?
So, there's two really important things with images. Firstly, is the size. So try and make sure they're not above 100 kilobytes because then one, it can slow down your page speed, which is a massive, massive ranking factor for Google. So yeah, make sure that they are relatively small. Put it into Tiny JPEG.
If you need to minimise that.
Is that a tool, Tiny JPEG?
Yeah, I think it's just online. Just Google that.
And there's also, just a add-in on WordPress. There's loads of plug-ins which will automatically reduce images when you play them as well. So, just [inaudible 00:49:53] additional there. And the second thing about opening an image, so you're right about you putting in some text in there. So, first of all, name the image something that is relevant. So, if it's a Yucatan plant or something like that.
A what now? Is that a plant? I'm sorry.
We'll take your word for it.
Or a cactus. Let's go for that.
There we go. We know that one.
Yeah. So, call it that. And then second-
… You'll have, you'll alt text. So, and that will be in WordPress as well. So the alt text is alternative text and the reason it's alternative is because if that image doesn't display properly, then Google can see that you've got an image of the spider plant there and because you said spider plant on coffee table in kitchen or do you know what I mean? That kind of thing.
You describe what's in that image. And secondly, the really, really important reason to do that is because a lot of people who find it hard to see…
… Who are blind, still use the internet and they read it by sound. So, somebody reads out what's on the page and it will say, “Image of blah, blah, blah.”
Oh, my God. Could you imagine? They must have a nightmare. Because how many people are actually doing this properly? So, either they'll say nothing or it'll say a load of random words from what the image you've saved does.
Few people know this. Yeah.
Yeah. And that's just offering a really, really good experience to everybody, which is exactly what Google wants you to do. Because at the end of the day, when it comes to an image on a page or a website, just because we can see that it's a pink cat, Google can't see that it's a pink cat because it can't see the picture.
It has to be right in the optic.
Yeah, and that's what you've got your alt text for.
Cool. So, we definitely need to fill that in. Okay. Anything else on the blog front that we need to be doing when uploading just basic stuff?
Yes. Really, really quickly. So, Sara touched on metadata earlier, which is the information that displays in Google. The most amazing thing here is you can decide what displays in Google.
So, the title, the blue bit that you click on, the link, make sure that that's around 60 to 70 characters long. Yeah?
So, it's optimised of keywords. So, make sure it says, “The best house plant for lazy people” or anything. Do you know what I mean? Make sure it's highly optimised.
Why did you look at me though when you said lazy people? You looked at me the whole time.
So, yeah make sure that it's got whatever [percent 00:52:21] you've got. You can just use the title if you've optimised that already. And then in the description, maximum of between 120 to 160 characters, 120 that's optimal. And make sure you use keywords in there too because when Google then displays your search engine results, it will highlight those keywords, it will bold them slightly. So, making sure you've actually got house plant in there or watering a house plant or something like that. I hope this is really helpful for somebody who's got a plant business.
Yeah. They are going to be, “Boom, you've just done my whole work for me. Thank you so much.”
And can I just add, with your meta description as well, think clickbait. Think how can you get that person? So, yes, the keywords and that is very important, but what is also important is working on that CTR, click through rate. So, it's all about trial and error, isn't it? So, try different methods and see what else people are putting in their meta descriptions and see how you can differ or how you can make yours standout more. So, yeah. Think of-
Yeah, no go.
I was going to say, going back to that school I mentioned earlier of Google search console and click through rate, you can actually see, so you can test.
So, it's trial and error, you can test what works better, you can see which gets more clicks.
Just one more thing as well. Sorry. If you've got a bit of budget that you can play around with, you can actually use Google AdWords to test things like your title tags and meat-descriptions. So, obviously, when you're testing them organically through SEO, it takes a bit of time because you'd have to have it on your site for a couple of months and change it up, but you could, if you've got, I don't know, a couple of quid, a bit more, you can test different things in a Google ad for example and see what works best and then you can use that as your… Does that make sense what I just said? It did in my head.
Yes. It did. It did make sense. I like it. Okay. So, because of pure selfish reasons, because I obviously, have a podcast, what do I need to be doing from an SEO point of view for the podcast? Because it is different. Because we obviously, normally, well how I do my podcast and I know not everybody does it this way, but I have show notes written. So, I have a very lovely girl called Kirsty who will be listening to this because she listens to every podcast I do, the poor thing, and she writes the show notes for me.
SEO for podcasts
And then, obviously, I have a transcript which I use Rev for, I'll put a link in the show notes for that as well, and basically, those two things are my written content because they can't read my audio file, can they?
No, exactly. And that was on my first point on how to optimise.
Sorry. Did I steal it?
No, no, no. It's natural, isn't it? What are you talking about? So, yes, definitely put in a trans… Because what you need, so obviously, if you've just on your podcast page, if all you've got is your audio, you're not giving much to Google to understand what that page is about or what that content is about. So, definitely show notes is really good. Transcript because obviously, then you're actually giving something for Google to crawl and understand. And what I'd also suggest is figuring out what keywords that podcast or that page should rank for? So, using Google search console or lots of different… If you go into Google and search free keyword tools, there'll be loads that you can use out there.
But yeah, figure out what that podcast and page should rank for and you need to be optimising elements on that page. So, you want to be adding those keywords to your metadata that Hannah just spoke about. Image alt tags. So, definitely get images on there and put alt text in there because again, you're helping Google understand what that page is about. Make sure you're doing your header tags, you've got your page one tag and other tags that explain to Google what this podcast is about and then add in relevant schema. So, that's the code or the description.
I was going to say, you've lost me now. What's that?
So, schema. So, we've touched on it before, but schemas, would you call it code, Hannah? Is that the best way to say or?
I think it's definitely code. Yeah.
So, it's basically a bit of code you put on that page to tell Google what that content is.
So you tell Google what that content is, yeah?
Do I do that? Or does a tech person do that and where would I do that?
Yeah, it's both.
It's a bit techy.
You can do it. There's something called Google tag manager and you can do it yourself through there. Again, it's free to do that. So if you want to check it out, do it that way. And again, it's almost kind of like saying… Say you've got a product. I know that's not really relevant to a podcast, but you can say, “This is the price of the product. Here it is.” And you highlight it and then Google tags it up in its schema markup.
That is more on the technical side, isn't it? But yeah. But two more tips for your podcast is making sure that you're linking to it. So obviously what I would suggest is on your homepage linking to your most recent podcast on your homepage, because this is a Hannah-logy that I'm going to steal from her right now, but she explained to think of your homepage, and link structure as a tree. So your homepage is the trunk.
And then from your trunk, you've got your branches. I'm doing the impression of a tree right now, which is ridiculous. That's my interpretive dance. Hey, my degree is coming in helpful right now.
It's all coming together. It makes perfect sense.
So your branches are your next pages, like your service pages, about page, all that. And then you've got your leaves, which are your other pages that you link to. So obviously the further down the link structure… Is that what you would call it? Pages can get buried, and a way to sort of tell Google that this is an important page and we want you to take notice of is linking it from your homepage because your homepage is… Because it's the trunk of your tree.
It's the strongest bit.
It's the strongest bit. So always make sure that you're linking to your most recent podcast. Maybe there's you find out what your most popular podcast episode, you link from that. So linking is really important to tell Google that's an important page and yeah. And also, share it on other channels. So use social media to promote it. If you've got an email list, push it out there. Just push it out there because if you're promoting it, A, you might entice people to link to it. You'll get some people to know about it, but it is also about the voice, isn't it?
Yeah, the sentiment.
Yeah. Talk about sentiment quickly.
Google cares about sentiment, so like in reviews and things like that, if you've got lots of positive sentiment, it thinks it's a good thing because it is. And then similarly if you've got a negative sentiment, it cares about that too. So it'll always take that into account.
How do they know that? Where are people putting this sentiment?
Well, in reviews on social media. So say for example you've done a podcast that's been incredibly offensive to somebody.
Not that Teresa would ever offend anyone.
Well, I hope not. I hope not.
And you've got lots of negativity on social media for that, chances are Google is going to be like, “Oh, this isn't good.” Or if you've done a [inaudible 01:00:32] one, and it gets lots of links, lots of positive feedback, you get some really good reviews, it's more positive.
What NOT to do
Cool. Okay. Like I said, I'm so conscious of our time because we can just keep talking and talking and talking. So let's finish off by literally going through some really quick things of not to do, because there's always so many and they change, right? There's so many myths around different things. One person will tell you, “Definitely do this.” One person says, “Definitely don't do that.” So what are your key mistakes that you see people making that we should be avoiding like the plague?
So I'd say deleting products or pages without thinking about the consequences of it. So do you know what a 404 is?
Yes. Hey, check me out. I know what a 404 is. [crosstalk 00:04:22]. Thanks.
When you've internally linked to something on your website and then you've deleted it, that link has nowhere to go unless you've taken it away. So it comes up with a 404, which is really just a really bad user experience because that person then lands on that page and says, “Oh, where's this information I was coming to look at?” And a lot of the 404 pages are really negative too like, “Oh, you've not found the right place or something. Have you got lost?” If you're going to have a 404 page [inaudible 01:01:51] , be positive about it and be like, “Oh, let us help you find… Were you looking for this?” Or, “Use our internal search navigation bar,” or something like that.
If you delete things, then you'll get more and more 404s. First of all, it doesn't look good to Google because it's a bad user experience, and second of all it won't look good to the person on your website. So yeah, make sure that you check, before you delete a page what's linking to it. And you can use the tool that Sarah said, Screaming Frog, how to do that. If you get stuck, ask her. Message Sarah, or me, but yeah…
Or listen to the podcast.
Yeah, absolutely. But there're ways of finding out, so I'll just look through the content yourself and just make sure there's not any internal links on there that are going to… you messed up.
So that [inaudible 01:02:31] mistake…
Oh, just quickly, one question on that then. So let's say I have a product business and I have a cup that I sell, and suddenly I don't have that cup anymore and obviously, because I'm amazing at marketing, there are loads of links out to this cup. What do I do? Do I keep the page there but do no longer in stock and do some alternatives? Do I? What do I do with that?
Yeah, if you've got lots of people linking to it from an external website and you don't want to lose all of that value that you've earned from that, then yeah, absolutely. Just say this product isn't in stock anymore. That's why you get those pages because you don't want that [inaudible 01:03:10] page completely. The best user experience there is to say, “Here's an alternative.”
Yes. And re-direct maybe, as well.
Yep. Yep. Great. A good point. The second option there would be to be re-direct that page to a similar page. You do technically lose a bit of the equity from those links from doing that, but if you've not got something that's highly relevant, then you don't lose absolutely anything.
And I think also maybe it's a seasonal thing. So maybe you saw this cup in the winter, but you don't in the summertime. I don't know why I could've thought that.
Like it's a Mother's Day cup. Oh, come on Sarah. You can use that one. You can take that suggestion. Write that down. Next time you talk about cups and seasonality. I know Sarah, just so you know, I've not been mean to it. [inaudible 01:04:07] Sorry. [crosstalk 01:04:11]
Mother's Day cup. So obviously when it's not Mother's Day, you'd have something like it's not in stock, but then you'd link to, but if you like this cup, you might also like this cup.
Yes. Sorry, I'm being mean. Also, sorry, one more thing that just came off that and it's just jumped out my head and let me just see if I waffle, if it jumps back in my head. Oh yes. Right. So I have, again, this is why I love episodes. It's because I get to ask questions about my own stuff. I use Pretty Links, which is a plugin on WordPress. I say that like, I'm so smart. Like I did it. I didn't, someone put it there. I just [inaudible 01:04:48] use it.
So every time I'll say I have a podcast episode, it has its link and then because I want to make it a better user experience for my audience… And so it's easier rather than going go to [inaudible] dot com, forward slash podcast, forward slash word underscore word, whatever dot, right. So instead of all that, I just have, “Go to episode 98” or whatever it is. Or, “This isn't episode 98, don't go there if you're looking for info on this episode.” But, I have the Pretty Link. Is that going to affect my, like you just said something, Hannah, about it will affect the something of the page.
So is it a bit like Bitly?
It's a plugin.
Yeah, yeah. No, no. Because it still takes you to the same URL. At the end of the day it still takes you to that page. [inaudible 01:05:35] that gets the benefit of it.
So I don't think you have to choose that.
On that point really, really quickly. If you do optimise your URLs by using, I put words in them, you know what I mean? Instead of having sort of, “Episode 20 forward slash HRB two question mark,” do you know what I mean? [inaudible 00:08:56].
Yeah. So there is a thing about having pretty URLs, isn't there? I know that's the term that you just used [inaudible 01:06:03] the plugin, but you can, when it comes to URLs and stuff, have a think of having keywords and making sure there's no horrible, horrid stuff in there, like exclamation marks, weird… Yeah.
Yeah. Okay cool. Sorry I jumped on that one completely. So what's your next do not do.
Okay. I'm guessing we take it in 10 so my one would be, okay, this is a classic one. So people thinking that they've done their SEO, they've done it once off and then that's all they need to do and they just forget about it, I think. SEO is an ongoing thing. Like Google will change its algorithm. So how it ranks pages, it's always changing that on a daily basis. There's something crazy, isn't there? Like 2000 updates a week or a day. Google was constantly changing. And also you've got your competitors to think about. So just because you're ranking really well at this moment in time, you might think, great, I can just sit back and just forget about that. A competitor could better your content or look at maybe your [inaudible 00:10:21], say they might better the content and make sure the speed of the website, the page loads very fast.
So yeah, you've got to be careful of what your competitors are doing and also it's trial and error. So you should always be testing stuff out. And what I'd also suggest is anything that you do to your website… So maybe you change a meta-description or a title tag. Maybe you do some internal linking. Make a note of it because then… You can do that in Google Analytics anyway, so you can put that [inaudible 01:07:55] of what you've done. So then you can see. So when you've changed the meta-description, if that brings in more traffic, you've got a corridor. Okay. So I changed my description. Traffic is going up. That was a good thing to do. Vice versa is if you've done a change and traffic's gone down, you know. Okay, that's good.
[inaudible 01:08:15] change that back.
Just don't think that just because you spent some time doing SEO and you've got it… No, it's an ongoing thing. Ongoing thing.
So what are we doing, like once a month, is that sufficient for a small business?
Oh, I don't really know.
Bear in mind, you've got so much to do.
It depends on the competition as well. If you're in a really niche area then it you don't need to do as much because you don't have as much competition. If you're not, chances are…
Like me, there's a million social media things out there and digital marketing things. I am in like a horrible SEO situation.
Really competitive, yeah.
Rather than thinking about how much time, think about prioritising your tasks. So, because there's lots of stuff that you can do, I would prioritise it and if you would agree on this…
Because to us, you'd spend 24 hours a day on SEO, just because there's so much you can do, but I know that more businesses have…
You two need to get out more. Get a hobby, she says. Who was exactly the same for [inaudible 00:12:20]. It's a Saturday, people. Just so you know, it is actually a Saturday and we are all sat in our respective offices doing this. So there's, we say, get a life and get a hobby. We [inaudible 01:09:33] job. We love what we do, isn't it?
Yes. Yes we do. We do. So that's my… If you've got another one?
I'll give you one more if you want, Teresa. [crosstalk 01:09:42]
Perfect. Yeah, let's have one more.
Awesome. One of mine would be, so duplicate pages, and this is especially important on eCommerce sites. So say for example, you've got a tee shirt and then you've got say…
Are you sure it's not a cup? [crosstalk 00:12:56].
Let's go back to the cup, okay. So you've got this cup, right? But then you've also got exactly the same cup in five more different colours. So you've got six pages for this cup. So that would automatically create potentially six different URLs, six different pages with all the same information on, except for a different colour. So going back to what we were saying about the URL structure and how sometimes you end up with question marks, or that kind of stuff. That's normally because you've added a filter. So maybe you've added “only want to see red cups.” So that's perfectly fine. That's absolutely okay. But then what you need to do is there's some technical work in the background, which I'm not going to go into in any depth, but what you can do is tell Google that, ” [inaudible 01:10:41] Google. I know this page is exactly the same as my black cup, but the reason that it's different, and I've got a whole page for it is because it's important.”
So what you can do is you can say, “This is a variation of the black cup” to Google, and it won't penalise you for having lots of duplicate pages. Also, it will show the cup that actually you want people to land on, rather than them landing on six different cups. It will land on the one that's got the black one as the main one then a different [inaudible 00:01:11:12].
I do think in WordPress, if you've got the Yoast SEO plugin, you can set, so it's kind of…
Cankle. It's the cankle page, isn't it? So I think if you've got the Yoast plugin on WordPress, you can set in there… I believe. I don't know. I think you'd have to have a play around. There're ways around it.
But similarly, if you've got, say if you've got a B2B business and it's just services and you've got say I don't know, a social media for vets. And then social media for doctors and all you've done is just swapped the word out, “vet,” and just put “doctor,” it's really, really bad. So on that side of things, there's nothing you can do about that. You just shouldn't do it.
Oh yeah. Okay. So no duplicate pages where you just want to cheat the system a bit.
Ladies, thank you so much. Oh, sorry, go.
I was just going to say that sometimes it might not even be that you're trying to cheat the system, like it's just happened because of that's how your page is set up and it's just like a mistake, basically. It's just being wary, isn't it?
Sorry. That's all. [crosstalk 00:15:25].
You've ruined it, now. You've ruined the end of the podcast. Oh man, it was going so well till then. [inaudible 01:12:36]
Ladies, thank you so, so very much. This has been really helpful. It also, for me, I don't know about you listening, but for me it also gives me a lot of unanswered questions because it's like, oh, actually there is so much into this. And I don't want anybody to be sat there thinking now I need to be an SEO expert, as well as a social media expert, as well as a content creator as well as… Because all those things are on top of the actual thing you're meant to be doing that sells, that makes you money, the thing that you're selling.
But I want you to take this as a… there are some things that you can do and we've given you some great tips and brilliant tools here. So even just doing one or two of those things will make a huge difference potentially.
And the other thing, like I said, I wanted to do was to introduce these lovely ladies to you so that you can go and listen to their podcast if you want to know more about this and if you want to get better at this and if you want to really start maybe doing this for your site itself. So thank you so much. It has been such a pleasure talking to you today.
Oh yes, thank you very much for inviting us on. And yes, we've had so much fun and I hope we have given people value because that's what we aim to do.
Yes. I thank you for helping us on our mission to try make SEO a little bit more accessible and more fun.
And I hope we had some laughs. I mean we had some laughs, but I hope your audience laughed. You know, SEO can be fun.
Come on, listen to the funny SEO podcast. Perfect. Thank you ladies so, so much.
So what did you think? Did you get some useful advice from it? Like I said, SEO really isn't my subject, so I was very, very grateful for the girls coming on. Obviously, if you want to know any more, or want to dive a little bit deeper then check out the show notes because we put a link to the SEO SAS in order for you to go and check out their podcast if you want to go a bit deeper on the subject. Anyway, I'm going to leave you guys to it for this week. I will see you next week for a solo episode, and until then, keep safe. Take care.