👍 EP2 PressTribe – SEO Beyond a WordPress Plugin

By | August 10, 2019

(upbeat music) – Hey y’all, I am so
excited to have Rebecca Gill here with us today. Rebecca is a self proclaimed
accidental entrepreneur. I love that title. And she’s been in the
industry in the sales and marketing industry for over 20 years and I actually consider
her to be an SEO expert and I don’t use that title flippantly. She is phenomenal. She offers SEO consulting. She offers one on one SEO coaching, online SEO courses, she
hosts an SEO podcast, and she teaches an onsite
actual SEO bootcamp. So you are in the right
spot if you are excited to learn even just that next
step of SEO beyond a plugin. So I’m gonna give you guys her website. I want you at the end of this
to please visit her website. Connect with her for consulting, and see how she can best help you because she loves teaching. And you guys, you’re gonna see that today. So again, Rebecca, thanks so
much for being here with us. I’m so excited to learn from you. – Thanks for having me. Hi everybody. (Kori laughs) – Awesome. I’m gonna ask you, let’s
see if we can do this. I’m gonna switch screens
here and have you go ahead and share your screen and share with us all your goodness
of SEO beyond the plugin. – [Rebecca] Alright, let
me go into full screen. Is everybody seein’ that okay? – [Kori] Looks good. – [Rebecca] Okay. Alright, so I have done
this presentation before and I like to do it because
it is a really good overview, but with meat and with
some really good takeaways and It does have a lot
of current best practices for SEO which most people
are not even aware of. Okay, so in the old
days SEO seemed so easy. I started, it’s a course that I started with SEO 15 years ago, sales and marketing 20 and we were, it was like you’ve heard
about cowboy coding and that was us in the old days of SEO. I mean, we did crazy
stuff and you magically you could just get to page one in rank. But then, just things
didn’t quite stick that way. But when we were there,
we could see page one. We could get there. We had all of these dreams and we had all of these
expectations right? And we were given the, kind of the keys to the castle and we could do what really, whatever we wanted to get to page one. And there was some crazy stuff that we did to get to page one. And it was really stinking
easy back then to rank ’cause you just had to
know a few of the basics. And why was it easy? Well, desktop was the only search. People only searched for one keyword, maybe they searched for two but
there was no more than that. We could rank with 300
words in a piece of content. That whole not provided and those Google reports didn’t exist. And when we actually saw on a report that we were ranked number one, we were actually number one. And like I said, it was
beautiful back then. Those were definitely the good days. But then, life started to change. Over the last, really I would tell you, five, six years things have shifted. I’ve run my agency for nine years, and when I started with the agency SEO was still pretty dang easy. But the economy wasn’t, but SEO was. And then things started to shift. The technology and the algorithm that Google used became much more complex. Google continues to make updates. They’re updating the
algorithm daily actually. They do make major changes a couple times a year but they do daily tweaks and that’s kind of hard to keep up with. They started givin’ out penalties, that stinkin’ Knowledge Graph came where it takes over the
page one search results. – [Kori] Yeah. – [Rebecca] Voice search
came out, and people started to really shift the way
that they’re using search. Mobile indexing started. That just really hit and Google’s moving the way it indexes websites from the desktop versions over
to the mobile versions. And then finally, in
just the last few weeks, Google started rolling out a
not secure warning in Chrome. That’s a lot of changes and it can make people really feel
overwhelmed with SEO. It can make you feel like you’re chasing that green dot in the SEO plugin, that you’re not making any progress, that you don’t have any control and that your life might be stuck with pay per click and Facebook adds. But even with all of that
and the downward slide that you may feel like you’re in, I’m gonna show you that
there’s a lot of upside to it. Even though we have to deal with things like lack of data and a
focus on those plugins and all of those penguins and pandas and the Knowledge Graph
and personalized search, and now semantic search and malware’s, I mean there’s just so much, right? But don’t feel like you
are spiraling down a hill and you do not have
control of your destiny because I want to show
you that you really do. I want you to know that you
can have success with SEO and you really can excel with it. I taught myself SEO 15 years ago. I’ve continued to teach
myself SEO to this day. And if I can do it, anybody can do it. I was the kid in remedial
reading in fifth grade, barely made it out of,
I swear, high school and didn’t get myself together
until I got to college. And that’s why we start with, ’cause I know SEO can be intimidating but if I can do it, anybody can do it. And I always want to remind people that they can move mountains with SEO. They can win at search and they can bring in lots of traffic, and not just traffic but
really highly targeted traffic that really pertains to your website and who you want to serve. So, how do you do that? Well, for me and for what the information and the education that
they give to people, it’s just about really
finding that right recipe. It’s the process, it’s the strategy that you’re gonna put into place to make sure that your SEO is a success. And it’s the heart of
that recipe is focusing on the user and making sure
that you are helping the user at every stage of their journey online. And that’s through their awareness, their research, their final action that they’re gonna take, any
of that step in that process, we want to have SEO there
and we want to make sure that we’re focusing on that user. So what is my recipe for success? Well guess what? It’s not green dots. It’s not green dots at all. I love the Yoast plugin. I think that the Yoast team
is fabulous, smart people, but that plugin is just a
tool in an overall process. And a lot of times people get caught up with that plugin and they
forget everything else about SEO and then they
don’t make progress and they get really frustrated. And that’s something
that I’ve really tried to change over the last couple years as I’ve spoke at conferences
and done online training, I want to drill home
this process to people so that they understand it is a engagement and it’s not just something
that is a one time event like a plugin that you
put in a couple of fields and you make a couple of
tweaks and you’re done. That’s not what it is. So this process that I’m
showing you is the same flow that I’ve done for 15 years. It applies to small
business, big enterprise, B to B, B to C, in any industry, blogs, websites, stores, it
applies to all of them and the reason it can be versatile is because you’re not focusing
first and foremost on you. You’re gonna focus on who’s coming to your website or your blog. And so it’s broken into three phases. First is research, then
we plan, then we execute. And this is something
that takes months of time, not something that’s going to take a week. Could you condense this down in a week? Yes, but your eyes would go buggy and you would want to poke your eyes out. So I don’t want to give
you that expectation that you’re gonna get
all this done in a week. It’s something that you
should really allocate weeks to or months to and
then once you kinda get through the process flow you’re gonna continue to go through it again. So where do we start? We start with that research bucket and it’s really about asking questions about not just you but also
you and your target market. Who is it that you are trying to get into your website or blog? What makes them unique? How do they struggle? What do they struggle with? What kind of questions do they have? What do they need help with? And then you start looking at yourself and you go hm, well how
can I answer any of that? What kind of super powers do I have that I can give back to them to make sure that I am solving their problems and answering their questions? And you may not know all of those answers to the questions that I
just threw out at you. But one of the ways that
you can learn the answers to those questions is to look
at existing data and history. There’s a lot of tools that
have great data and history, like your Google Search Console,
or your Google Analytics. Both of those will give you information that you don’t even
really realize it’s there, but that can help you answer the questions as to what your target
demographic really wants to see, and even what Google sees and
views your website currently. Once we start to have some information with existing history and data for you, then we start to look at your competitors. You can deep dive your competitors from their top pages to bring in traffic or URLs or posts to the
actual keywords they rank on, changes in their keyword history, where their most traffic comes in to the site from specific keywords, how competitive those keywords are, that information is now
available to you on the web. And it’s really important that you embrace that data because it
can help you really make better decisions and
better position yourself. And so I always like to have
as part of that first research and investigation phase your competitors. And when I say competitors,
I’m not talking about who you think your competitors are. That’s a great place to start, but you need to look at specific tools and I’ll mention some later, that show you who’s
your online competition ’cause a lot of times
that’s much different than who you actually think it is. So once we have some good data to kind of use as a reference point, then we go into the planning stage. And the planning stage, we start to look at all this information and going okay, well so I see all this
information and I have this data, but how does it relate
to my website or my blog? We look at that data and we say, well of all this information I see, what types of phrases would I think that I might want to focus on? And by phrases I don’t mean
just one words or two words. It could be one words or two words or it could be six put together
in the form of a question. And what I do is I just
pull all of those out and I drop them on what’s
called the seed list which is basically an Excel spreadsheet with one column which is
kind of just brainstorming. Right? I just have a central place to house all of that information. And I keep adding to it as I’m going through that research phase. Once I feel like I have
a good solid seed list, which is like my wish
list, I do a sense check. So I put that into a tool that will give me search volumes on a monthly basis. And the reason I do that
is because I really want to make sure what I
think is worthy phrases, the actual general public thinks as well because they use them. Like I said, I’ve been
doing this for 15 years. Keyword research never ceases to amaze me because what you may think
the general public searches on and what they actual used in search are a lot of times not the same. People are really weird with some of the things they search on. They’ve got a lot of fears. They got a lot of little quirks and you only really get to be able to see that is if you do good
strong keyword research and that’s why we pull search volumes because it’s a sense check. Once we–
– Rebecca? – [Rebecca] Yes? – [Kori] Can I chime in there just for a second?
– Yep. – [Kori] ‘Cause I actually have a really good example of that. I had a client who, they
do window treatments. So blinds,
– Okay. – [Kori] shades, and shutters. – [Rebecca] Uh huh. – [Kori] And I could
not for the life of me, think that the average person knew to call them window treatments. And they kept saying, yeah
we need window treatments all over our website sprinkled
throughout our website and I kept saying, well
so basically the client and I just kept going back and forth because they were so
close to the industry, they knew
– Yeah. – [Kori] that that word was so popular within their own industry
and their sales team and that’s just what everything was called and I kept trying to tell
them, well I’m not sure. Can we do some research on it? Because maybe I’ll be
proven wrong as well. Maybe that is a popular
search term, right? – [Rebecca] And I’m quite
sure that you were not. (Rebecca laughing) – [Kori] You’re right. So but we did find that as
people started doing research, they became more educated on window treatments.
– Yes. – [Kori] And then they did
start to use that key term, but we certainly needed to have other key terms in there as well. – [Rebecca] Yeah and that’s
part of that buying journey, and another, and it doesn’t
matter what industry it is, people have that journey
with them on the web. And like so an example
is I’ve been working with a plastic surgeon recently. I actually have two
plastic surgery clients. And when people are starting to look for plastic surgery options,
they don’t even maybe know that that’s what they need yet. They’re looking for non
surgical options first. They may be just saying okay well, this is what’s wrong with my body. What does this mean, right? They still don’t know what
the actual terminology is and they just do it, it’s
much more generic searching and just like kind of saying
well here’s my issue right? Then once they start to do research, then they start to get
more technical terms and they’re like, okay so what I have other people have and
this is the phrase for it. Then they finally start to say, okay well now I know what this phrase is. What’s the treatment? Here’s the surgery. Here’s what the surgery’s called. And that’s an evolution in search. They’re not ready to
actually probably pull the trigger until they
get to that surgery name and now they’re comparing actual doctors and testimonials and
references and things like that but there’s definitely an
evolution to their search process and when we build up that seed list we wanna make sure that we’re thinking through that customer journey
and including all those. And you’ll miss some of them which is why we do those pulling those
search volumes and get the, use those tools to be able to get some variance because now you start to see at the various phases where
those search terms might apply. And again, just like
your window treatment, it is across all industries,
big or small websites, big or small companies or blogs. People have an evolution in search. Okay, so then once we get all
of the search volumes back and we can kinda see what
might be total losers and what might be just like totally crazy, we start to look at that list again and now we start to say
okay, I see the list, I see I’ve got a lot of options but really when I, let me narrow down this list to what’s really gonna work for me and my target demographic. And a lot of times, it’s,
you just having a gut feel for your industry or for whatever
you’re doing your client, and trying to pick through those phrases to say which ones are gonna be the best. Some of it’s art of data and some of it’s just your gut and what you
think really needs to be done. And then we whittle the list down. Once we have our final
selection of what we really want now we’ve got to figure out what to do with those keywords. And unlike what a lot of people do, of taking a snowball of keywords and just going (imitates whooshing) and seeing what sticks to the website, we don’t wanna do that. We want to have a solid plan. We want to have a roadmap
’cause when we create that roadmap of keywords to content, we know where keywords lie on the website or blog and so does Google and when Google knows Google will use it. So what you do is you literally say, okay if I have 20 keyword phrases that are really important to me, where would these live on my website? Do I have an existing content for this? Yes, so let’s match them up, or let’s create a roadmap for that and say these three
keywords belong to this URL. These three keywords belong to this URL. Well now I’ve got four keywords and I’ve got no content for it whatsoever, but that helps create a plan. And you use this keyword
association to URL to match up what you currently have, find your gaps and then create
basically an editorial plan of what your gonna continue
to work on and create. Now notice, we haven’t created any content yet whatsoever right? We’re just, we’ve been
doing research and planning. We’ve been setting the stage and building up our foundation for success. Once we have all of
that now we can go over to this execution phase where
we write quality content and we make sure our quality
content has a solid outline and that outline aligns
with the keyword phrases we’ve selected for this piece of content. We write our content for the human right? You have to create it first for the human, then we use tools like
the Yoast SEO plugin to help us optimize it for search engines, keeping in mind we never
compromise the users for SEO. And then once we have that content, it’s been written, it’s been optimized, we’ve published it, we’re feelin’ good, we want to walk away,
we can’t walk away yet. We need to look at the content and we need to figure out how
to kinda promote it online. Social media, email newsletters. There’s a lot of different ways that you can get your content
out in front of people so that they can see it and
the search engines can see that other people are interested in it. And that’s the process but
when it’s all said and done, you need to wait a little bit. Then you need to see what really worked because you’re gonna have winners and you’re gonna have losers. SEO’s like everything else in life. There’s not 100% perfect score. It just really isn’t. You’re gonna have good stuff,
you’re gonna have bad stuff and you need to look back at it and go okay well here’s my good stuff. What characteristics and qualities does this have versus the bad stuff? And it could be you, it
could be things outside of your control but you
try to figure that out and then you take what you’ve learned from the good stuff and you repeat it. You take the bad stuff and you improve it. And then that’s your process. And you’re gonna do this
process over and over again and each time you’ll get better at it and each time you’ll expand out your reach and you’ll continue to grow
your dominance on the web. And again, this is not something that is real quickly done but it is something that’s really important because it helps put you far above whoever you’re competing with online. Okay so I had said earlier
that we ask questions to, about ourselves and about those who are coming to our website. Here are some of those
questions that I rattled off and I put them specifically in a slide so that you had a takeaway. Okay so we, things that I
mentioned earlier, who are you? What do you do? What makes you different? Who do you compete with? Who do you serve? That’s probably more
important than anything. What problems do they have? What questions will they be asking? People ask questions on the internet, whether it’s a true question or whether it’s a portion of that question
that’s what they’re doing. Some of the users actually
put please and thank you when they’re searching on Google which it cracks me up but
people actually do that. And then once you have all of those earlier questions answered, now start to connect those together. How can you help answer those questions? What content do you have
on your site or your blog that might be able to service those users that have all of those
issues and those angst and those challenges that you
can help resolve for them? So I asked you, and I
told you to do research and some competitive investigation. I want you to collect that data so you can make better decisions. Where do I go to get that information? Well, I go to Google Analytics. I go to Google Search Console. Google Search Console and Google Analytics are
different, keep in mind. Analytics shows you what
happens on your website. Google Search Console shows
you what happens in search. So people might actually have you pulled up in the search engine results page ’cause you’re on number five page, and never actually get to your website. So they wouldn’t show up
as an active search query producing traffic to your site, but it’s still important
because that helps us know that those are possible search terms that you are potentially a good fit for that Google kinda likes you for but you don’t have the best content for. And that gives us a great starting point to kind of build from. It can be low hanging fruit for you, or it can be an epiphany,
a light bulb that goes off, that says I haven’t even thought about these but this is great. I really need to think about this and incorporate this
into my future movement. For competitive research I
love using SpyFu and SEMrush. I could not live without SEMrush. Okay, so I talk about
competitive research a lot. I keep preaching it. When you figure out what your
competitors are doing right, it gives you a launch pad to do better. Once you know what they’re doing and what they’re working
on that’s producing success for them you can look at it and go, well I can do better than
that and definitely you can. So you definitely want
to think through the data that you’re seeing for
them, relate it back to you, and kind of match that up to say, yep this applies to me and I know more. I can produce more. I can make better. I can really put my content
above theirs in search. And you’d be surprised as
when you start to view content that way online and competitors online, how easy it is for you to
be able to make progress. Okay, so I also mentioned building that seed list of
preferred keywords, right? I want you to pull the search volumes for those preferred keyword phrases, and I would encourage you to use tools like KW Finder to figure
out the volumes of those, who’s ranking on page one,
the SEO difficulty of those, and Google, KW finder will even let you see questions people ask on Google, autocompletes in Google. So it’s a really excellent tool. If you don’t want to use that tool there’s a number of other
ones that you can use as well. Google’s got it’s own AdWords tool and that used to be my go to tool until I discovered KW finder and then I kinda fell in love
and never looked back. But it’s, again it’s that
process of investigation and making sure that we’re using data to help us make better decisions. Okay, so I have a number of
hat tips in this presentation. It’s things that I want to call out and make sure that you’re aware of. First one is we have reached a point with SEO and online search
that 50% of all search queries on Google are for four words or longer. How crazy is that? Because remember what I said when I first started doing SEO there were only like one or two phrases, right? Or keywords. And everything was really short and the reason it was really short back then was ’cause Google kind of sucked. It could not give us good results for anything that was complicated. Well that’s changed. With semantic search
Google can be very complex in how it looks at a user’s inquiry and how it matches it up to information that’s available on the web
to bring that into search. So when you’re thinking
about those keyword phrases, keep that in mind because it will definitely make a difference. Okay so the next hat trip is don’t forget to think through the buyers journey. I’ve been sayin’ that verbally but I really want it to hit home with you and the fact that we all go
through that cycle of awareness, consideration and then our final action. And our search terms are going to change as we go through that and here’s a example that I gave yesterday too in a webinar is I moved
recently into a brand new home that we custom built on a farm and I like to do vintage purchases. I like to re-use, recycle and re-purpose. Well, I bought 100 year old doors that are very very thick
for my home office. The problem is is like the week before I was supposed to move
in my builder contacts me and says what am I
hangin’ these doors up with? Like what do you mean? You’re the builder. He said nothin’ I have locally
is gonna hang up these doors. They’re so thick and large and big, the normal hardware we have would not work and the hardware that we
would normally purchase to put on the doors like the
handles isn’t gonna work either because these are vintage doors and the holes that are
in the wood don’t match up to anything that’s
currently used on the market. What’s a girl to do? Well this girl being four hours
away is gonna go to the web. I start to search for both issues right? Both products that I needed. My search phrases from the beginning of awareness that I had a
problem when the builder called, to the middle of where I was really starting to get good research and have a better understanding of what I needed to the point of me taking
action definitely varied. I had no idea what the heck I was supposed to search for at the beginning. I was just randomly throwing stuff in. Then I was like okay, I’m seein’ some trends here with some words. This is really what I
should be searching for. So that kind of became my middle process of now I know what I’m searching for. Does it have the specifications? Will it be thick enough to manage my door and things like that? Is it the dimensions? Are the handles long enough
to be able to really reach it? And so once I got that and I knew exactly what I needed now I
needed to have somebody who could do quick delivery. And quite honestly this
young lady right here, maybe middle aged lady did not care how much that stuff was gonna cost ’cause I needed to move into my house. I was livin’ in an RV at
the time on my property. I needed a house with laundry
and an office and a bed. But that was the evolution right? I completely shifted from being clueless to what I needed to havin’ some education to I’m ready to make that purchase and I need somethin’ that’s in stock that’s got quick shipping,
things like that. Reputable. But searches changed as I
went and that’s something that you need to keep in mind because you want to grab people at all phases of that buying journey. Even if it’s not buying and they’re just getting information from your site, the same theory plays
in and it still exists. Okay so the next hat trip is to, tip, is you can discover great keyword options by using the tools available on the web. So Google Keyword Planner, KW
Finder which is my favorite. Google autocomplete which
is as you slowly type something into the search box Google comes back with a list. Great seedless building right there and then the Google’s related searches which are at the bottom. I have literally spent two hours going just on the searches of just what’s on the bottom of the page to build up a seed list of keywords. I just keep clicking on those and going from one to another to another to another and I’m like oh my gosh, this is like Christmas
morning of keywords. There’s so much information there. And you might think if you’ve
never built a seed list before that it’s gonna be really challenging but if you start to use tools like this you’ll be surprised that, you’ll see start keywords everywhere. They’re everywhere all around you and you just need to
kinda open your eyes up so that you make sure
that you pay attention and that you notice them when
they are in front of you. Okay so I said earlier,
don’t use a snowball effect and just throw keywords
at your website or blog. I don’t want you to do that. I want you to make sure that
you’re not sending visitors in circles or Google in circles. I want you to create that map
of keywords to contact, right? Make sure that you know
exactly where the keywords should be on your website
for search engines to come to and that you create that map. I’m not saying if you’re
selling WordPress themes that you can’t mention WordPress themes throughout the website. But what I am saying is you need to have a destination
page that when you want anybody including the search engines to go to a page or a post
about WordPress themes, you know where it’s at and you send all the signals possible to tell Google that’s where they should go. That’s what I want you to
do with your little roadmap. Okay. So, another hat tip is if you have a very large blog or website and it feels out of control and you’re not really sure where keywords lie or
what contents you have, use a tool like Dynomapper
or Screaming Frog to be able to spider your site and collect all of that information for you and drop it into an Excel spreadsheet. It’s an amazing tool. Dynomapper can even pull in the data for you and the content if you want it to. But it’ll, they’ll give you
things like your word count, your meta titles, your H1’s, your H2’s. It’s amazing what you will see once that data is aggregated
together into an Excel file for you to actually
start to see trends and, ’cause you have it all
listed right in front of you and it’s a very powerful tool. Dynomapper is a paid for tool. Screaming Frog has a free
version that works wonderful. Okay, so my next hat
tip is semantic search. That is the current day search. It’s ruling Google’s
search engine results page and you need to use it to your advantage. And I’m not tellin’ ya that
you need to be an expert at semantic language or
coding or anything else but I want you to start to
think of things differently. So, just an example of semantic search. So say I have a blog
post that’s about mice and this was my example
yesterday when I was doin’ the webinar so I came to my mind. Am I talking about like the mice that I use for my computer to move my mouse around on the screen? Am I talking about the mice that are existing in my barn that I need some barn cats to go take care of for me? Without any type of other signals
Google really doesn’t know but with the nature of semantic search and Google’s ability to digest
the content on the page, it will start looking for other things and other bits of information to help it know which mice I’m talking about. And the cool thing is is
when my blog post starts talking about monitors and keyboards and comfort level with your hand, it can say hm, I think she’s
talking about a computer mouse. She’s talking about the mice
she uses for her computer. Now if I were to talk about poison or rodents or disease or
cats Google might say, I think her blog post is about
the actually physical mouse that’s got fur and that runs around and that’s kinda creepy right? But it’s smart enough to go and use those two bits of pieces of information to figure out what my content’s about. It’s also smart enough to match that up to the users search and how I search for the word mice or mouse, what did I search for beforehand? What have I already visited? And it collects that data to try to match everything up together. Now, that in itself seems more creepier than the mouse I just
described that’s in the barn but that is today’s search and
that is how smart Google is. You as a marketer needs to make sure that you are thinking about
that as you’re writing your content so that you can truly help make sure that Google can
understand semantically the nature of your content and how it can best apply to someone on the search engine results page. Okay. So next when I talk about advancements with search we can’t ignore
the Google Knowledge Graph because that has been
dominating page one results in search engines and I want you to remember that a lot of
that’s driven by questions and these are real questions. How do I build a website? Where’s the closest Starbucks? Is Mac and Cheese healthy? How many centimeters are in a meter? Those last two came from my kids. What, no one that I know of has never searched for what disease do I have if blah, blah, blah or why is this blah, blah, blah? We try to self heal
ourselves after we Google. These are the kind of things that people are asking and look at
the length of those right? Remember I said that the, 50% of searches are over I think it was four words? Look at those. Those are all over four words. It shows you the nature
of our search shifting and that’s because we have voice search. It’s because Google’s smarter and we know that we can type in longer questions, longer search phrases and Google’s gonna give us really good results back. Alright so another hat tip is as you’re thinking about
writing that quality content, keep in mind the length. The average piece of
content on the first page of Google is about 1800 words. Remember I said at the beginning of the presentation that back in the day I could rank for 300 words? I could. Well those days sadly are gone. We have to have longer content. Now when I say longer content I don’t want you just to fill the
page with like random text like we did in high school in our essays to make it fill the actual piece of paper. That’s not what I’m talking about. I want you to explore
a topic in more depth so you can elongate that piece of content so that you’re thoroughly
covering the topic at hand which’ll make
your piece of information better than your competitor. That’s what I mean when
I say longer content. It’s not fluff. I want you to produce meat but meat with a purpose that Google can say without a doubt yes this is the best piece of content on the internet. Okay. Great, great content. What is that? It’s unique. It’s fresh. It’s high quality. It’s long form and it’s
super strong in usability. You write for humans and you
optimize for search engines and if there’s ever ever a question, usability and serving
your human always trumps serving the search engines and SEO. So, my next hat tip is about subheaders. How many people use
subheaders in their content? That’s H2, H3, H4’s right? It helps break up that
longer piece of content. It helps create an
outline for your content and it helps Google better understand the nature of your content and where different keywords might reside
within a piece of content. The problem that we have is a lot of times when people are entering content into WordPress or other CMS solutions, they’re using those headers incorrectly. They’re either using
all of the same header which provides no structure
for the search engines or they are using the size of those and the colors of those to dictate where they go, to make it pretty. Well, that doesn’t serve the human and it doesn’t serve the search engines. Both human and search
engines and screen readers added into the mix all
want you to have structure and it’s called semantic
HTML5 header usage. Google that. Make yourself very knowledgeable. SEMrush has a wonderful article on it. Understand what that is because that helps create an
outline for your content for both humans and search engines and when humans understand
your content more, they are gonna reward you
and when search engines understand your content more they will reward you
with ranking and traffic. Okay, another hat tip is WordPress users should use Yoast SEO to help them optimize content and meta data. People always say well what
WordPress plugin do I use? What about this one? What about that one? I’m tellin’ you I suggest Yoast. Why do I suggest Yoast? Well, because the head of Yoast is an SEO consultant first and foremost. He is very active within the SEO industry and I’m not getting any kickbacks from the Yoast team whatsoever for this. I say to do this because
I believe in the plugin. I’m only gonna use a plugin that I know is written by SEO consultants that know what is happening with Google, that knows in advance what’s coming down the pipe with Google
and that are active within the SEO community
so they know what’s needed. That’s why I use that plugin. I know there’s a lot of other ones that are getting brought out, but a lot of those are code based and the developers don’t know SEO. They’re just kinda doin’ copy and code pasting from other plugins. You need somebody who’s got your back and who’s gonna keep you out of trouble and that’s why I love
the Yoast SEO plugin. But keep in mind it is just a tool trying to give you tips and trying to keep you on task while you’re optimizing. It is not the end all and everything that you’ve got that you need for SEO. Okay. So while we’re on the subject of Yoast, let me just clearly say do
not chase the green dots. Green dots are there and that affirmation of yes you’re doin’ the
right thing or no you’re not. I mean those suggestions
that Yoast gives you, those are there to help
you optimize content. They don’t always have to be green. Not all of them have to be green. You don’t have to force them to be green. You just need to review them to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. A good example of that
is it will encourage you to make sure that your keyword is part of the image alt text. But guess what? When you force your keyword in, 99.99% of the time that
becomes keyword spam and it works against you. Because you’re not servicing the user, you’re not servicing screen readers and accessibility and you’re not serving the search engines
because you’re not helping them understand what that image is. So, take those messages with a grain of salt and understand when
you’re supposed to use them, and when you might be over using them and hurting yourself in the process. Google’s got very little
tolerance for spam and things that hamper accessibility. Okay, so what, again we like all things to be concerned about but when you go to optimize content on your CMS, like WordPress or Wix or
Weaverly or your Square Space, what really matters? Here’s the things that
really matter today. Clear and concise titles that use your primary keyword phrase. Remember you can have
multiple keyword phrases per piece of content but the primary one needs to exist in that title. You want short as possible URL’s but you still want ’em to create URL’s that include that keyword phrase. You want to naturally use
your keyword within the text. You don’t chase a density number meaning how many times that
keyword’s used because Google doesn’t use that as a metric anymore. You need to make sure it’s natural and it’s weaved in in appropriate places. You want to have semantic language used to help support your efforts. Semantic. Think back to the mice, right? My monitor, my keyboard, my comfort level with my hand ergonomics. How I’m helping Google understand that this article about mice is about a computer mouse and not a barn mouse. Subheaders will help,
when done right will help provide an outline for your content. Semantic HTML5 subheaders. Remember, go look for that
article, read it, understand it. Image file names. Titles and alt text. Those all help with optimization but you can’t force them in and make it spammy ’cause again
that works against you. Think about the human visitor there and making sure that what
you’re titling that image, what alt text you’re giving to that image is actually representative
to what that image is so it helps everybody involved. Meta titles and meta descriptions, when they are written well, they will help people see them on the search engine results page, entice them to click through
to your website or blog. It’s your first opportunity
to start selling to people before they
even reach your website. You want those to be
clean, cohesive, concise, not spammy but include
your keyword phrase. All of that which is helping
the user which also helps SEO. And then finally you want to have very smart and savvy internal linking. I’ve done a whole webinar on that that’s on my YouTube channel. If you don’t know the power of internal linking, know this. They are the superheros of SEO. So, if you have no idea like what I’m talking about with that I want you to go to my YouTube
channel for Rebecca Gill. I want you to watch that webinar. It’s 60 minutes long where I
talk about the power of links. Internal links are very powerful. They can help or break your SEO efforts and I’ll tell you that 95%
of websites get it wrong. So if you can be part of the 95%, or excuse me the 5% that can get it right it’s gonna definitely
help your SEO efforts. Okay. So, hat tip. Internal links are the unknown superheros. I’m referencing that again
because it’s so important. You need to learn how to use them because they will help you rank and they will help Google better understand your website or your blog. Alright. So, when you click Publish remember it is not the end of your SEO journey. You need to spend time link building and pushing that out on social media because great content won’t matter if nobody finds it right? And Google looks at social media metrics to help it figure out the importance of you and your content. We want to create multiple
paths into our website or blog and every share that you have whether it be a link or whether
it be social media helps. And a hat tip for this is authority matters to Google, right? Be present online so that
Google can understand somebody other than your
mom or your best friend or your dog cares about your content. It’s one of the reasons
why I’m here today, right? Kori was talking about me online. Hopefully she’s linked
over to me from her website to one of my websites which gives me that good will back and which helps Google understand that
Kori cares about me, right? And so it’s just really important that you make yourself present. And I’m not telling you to go chase back links ’cause I don’t do that. I just give freely of
myself and with my knowledge so that those will come naturally to me. Alright so when you’re all done juggling the keywords and the content and links, I want you to remember to
spend time doing some analysis. Look at Google Analytics
and Google Search Console. Figure out what worked, what didn’t work. Review them to look at say, why did this work over this one? What did I do differently? Is my content longer? Is it better structure? Did I have a more precise keyword phrase? Did I share this on social media? Were the internal links right? What did you do right to make it rank? And then take that knowledge and apply it to the rest of your
website or your blog. You would be surprised
how important that is. This is how I taught myself SEO. This is how I competed
against really large websites like SAP and Oracle and Microsoft and how I beat them in search. It was because I took the time to figure out what worked and I took that knowledge and I engineered it back into the rest of my stuff. Okay. So my hat tip and I think is one of my final hat tips is
what are my favorite tools? My favorite tools are Google Analytics, Google Search Console,
Bing Webmaster Tools. Yes Bing does have a webmaster tools and you should be using it. I can’t live without SEMrush. I like SpyFu. I love Dynomapper and Screaming
Frog is a great plugin that’s free that will get, not plugin, piece of software that’s free that will get you going with search. Alright. So that was everything
that I wanted to cover. I am open for questions. I think I hit it right on
1:45 which was my goal. I can’t believe I actually
fitness to be able to do that but I’ve covered my slides. What questions do we have from everybody? I’m happy to answer them. – [Kori] Outstanding. We actually do have quite a few questions. I’m so excited to get to these. Let’s see. So Bernadetta said, how important is schema markup right now? – [Rebecca] So, schema and structured data is very very important. Not every website is
gonna have a big usage for structured data and the usage of schema but it is important. So for those of you who do
not know what schema is, and structured data, so
schema is a universal language that multiple places on the we use. Not just Google, not just Bing. But it’s multiple pieces of functionality and websites and things like that use this language to better articulate what content is about and the best way to explain this is so,
Google is virtually, it has it’s own accessibility issues. It’s kinda like a toddler. It doesn’t go to website
and see what we see right? We see colors and links and images and we see the full depth
and breadth of the website. Google doesn’t. It seems binary zeros and ones. But when you bring schema into the mix and it’s used within structured data which is a common again
language and code set, it can better understand a website. So instead of just
going to the MJM website and going hey it’s the MJM website, great. I see text. Instead it sees like a human does. It says oh, I know this is about a hotel. I know there’s accommodations. Oh, there’s an image. Oh, this is the organization. Here’s the rooms that are
available for this week. Here are the prices for these dates. Oh and there’s a, Madonna’s
gonna be in concert? There’s an event that’s going on. It’s like this big wealth of information that is available to Google
to quickly understand and use. That’s what structured data is. It’s great for local SEO. It’s great for products,
reviews and then you can have all of these different
more complex uses for it but again it’s not gonna be
available and used by everybody and you need to make sure that it pertains to you and you implement it right because structure data enhances the web. Google has very little tolerance
for when it’s done wrong. So you don’t want to
just throw it up there and hope that you get it right. You need to make sure that you test it and everything before you
actually deploy the code. – [Kori] Outstanding. Alright. Mark came in and said,
he had asked a question. You might’ve answered it but I just wanna touch on it briefly. He had said what type of software did you say places the seed
list for the search volumes? And I think you had
mentioned, was it KW Finder? – [Rebecca] I use KW Finder. I love KW Finder because it allows me to import and export and things. So, there is actually on
my web savvy marketing site in the blog there’s a post I did probably a year ago that actually went through like 30 different keyword search tools and software packages and I give you a grid of analysis for each one and then I tell you why I
picked the one that I picked and mainly for KW Finder
import, export I can do regions, countries, city areas like Greater Atlanta and it really gives me a
lot of good information. Also will show me some metrics on who’s ranking on page one so I can figure out the true difficulty lull of a specific keyword phrase. – [Kori] That is a great resource. I love that one. Alright. Another question from Bernadetta says, in Yoast we have a place to
put in a keyword for a page. I heard you mention that
we can associate perhaps more than one keyword per page. Do you know how we might do that? – [Rebecca] So, yes. So in Yoast with the free version of Yoast you can only do one focus phrase right? And keep in mind just because it’s not, a keyword doesn’t gonna rank
just because it’s in Yoast. That’s only used for you internally. You can rank for 500 keyword phrases and never use Yoast but if you want the Yoast tool to help
guide you along the path, you need to buy the premium versions so it allows you five different tabs and five different keyword phrases. Now for you, if somebody’s
starting out with SEO, don’t do that ’cause
it’s gonna be overkill and it’s gonna confuse you. Start with one phrase, get
yourself down with one phrase, when our one phrase,
figure out what you need to write and then move on. Like my online SEO course that I have, I teach you one to one. One keyword phrase to one URL and that’s because I
want you to start small so you can figure out what is right, what’s wrong, get your knowledge down and then once you have your knowledge down then you can expand out to
more keyword phrases per URL. – [Kori] Outstanding. Alright. Christine says, and she
gave me an extra follow up. So let me get through this one and see if I can clarify for ya. Is there a difference
between an SEO marketer and someone who actually
optimizes a website or is there such a thing a
person as an SEO marketer? Is there a difference between an SEO marketer and an internet marketer? What I’ve heard is that a true SEO person is someone who actually
optimizes a website, brings the content to
life to search engines and an SEO marketer cannot do that. And then she followed up. Just to bring some clarity she said, that a true SEO person is someone who actually optimizes their website which is the website designer who brings the contents live to the search engines. An SEO marketer cannot do that. – [Rebecca] So, I’ve heard
the phrase online marketer which would be a much broader set. That could be SEO, that
could be paid per click, it could be social media. That’s gonna be much more broad. And you’ve got SEO. SEO can be on page SEO where someone’s very focused on content marketing. It could be somebody who’s
focused on technical SEO which is completely different. That’s more about the code
and the site structure and the architecture and even your backend performance of that server, and that server configuration. You could have somebody who’s
very focused on none of that but be focused on like structured data, and that type of activity. So there’s not going to be broad phrase or one term that’s gonna be the end all. All of us have our own
unique talents right? I’ll be honest with you. Google Tag Manager
scares the snot outta me because it’s more technical and
nobody let’s me in the code. They haven’t let me in the
code for a really long time so, I’m not real stellar with
Google Tag Manager however, I’m great at education. I can be amazing with
creating content ideas and editorial plans and optimizing that and really getting to the heart of that. We all have our expertise
and don’t discount or buy in to someone based on the title. Drill deeper into what is their specialty? What is their area of focus because I think that’s gonna give you a much better idea of their worth. – [Kori] That is stellar advice. I love it. So one more question here. How important is that readability tab inside of the Yoast plugin? – [Rebecca] Okay. So that’s just trying to get you to make sure that your content flows, that somebody can easily
read it and digest it. But keep in mind, so that
plugin has, again it’s binary. It’s just an algorithm based on data and numbers and things like that. It can’t be smart enough to say hm, in this post Rebecca is
talking about purple kitties and what happens when
you dye your cat purple? But in this post she’s asking talking to astrophysicist and
she’s talking about space and rockets and missiles. It doesn’t understand the difference. Now the readability factor for a post about missiles is
gonna be completely different then the readability factor for a post about dying my cat purple right? It can’t tell the difference. So, I put very little
weight in that because it is just a binary tool and it can’t make a judgment call on that. You want to make sure your content flows and if you have an average website that talks about average things, yeah you could pay attention to that tool because it can help guide you if some of your stuff is choppy. If you’ve got a technical website and it’s serving a B to B audience or a science based or
something mathematical, you’re never gonna score
in that tool because, and that readability ’cause
it’s never gonna be right ’cause it’s too complex of a subject to be able to bring it
down to the average level and have everything flow perfectly. – [Kori] Alright. We have another question
that came in that says, I’ve heard some people will bold or italicize the keyword
throughout the content. Is that helpful? – [Rebecca] That would be spam and that is a tactic from about 10 years ago. Don’t do that. – [Kori] There you go. Don’t do that. Okay. – [Rebecca] Don’t be that guy. (Kori laughs) – [Kori] Awesome. Another question is, is a plugin like an All In One SEO Pack worthwhile? So, I believe that is a name of a plugin. The All In One SEO Pack. Is that worthwhile? – [Rebecca] So, All In One, the SEO plugin is produced by two developers who I personally know, have dined with. They are excellent gentlemen. Is it good? Yes. It is a high quality plugin right? They do know what’s going on. It is written differently
then the Yoast SEO plugin is. All In One is more technical based and it’s not going to give you
that focused keyword phrase. It’s gonna try to keep you
from competing with yourself and creating keyword cannibalism. That’s not the purpose of that plugin. It’s more technically based. I like Yoast better because it
helps serve the average user. It gives you good technology and it keeps you on track if you’re listening to the prompts so that you don’t kill off your SEO and you don’t
compete with yourself. Others than that, I would
question who wrote the plugin? What is their background with SEO? Do they know SEO? Do they have a consultant on staff who stays up to date with SEO and what’s happening in industry because if they don’t you need
to be cautious of it. – [Kori] Excellent advice. A lot of our, a lot of my listeners are freelancers who have clients. So I’m gonna throw in a question here just in our last few minutes to see if you can help them Rebecca with a little bit of education that they might be able to pass on to a client because what I’ve found is, a lot of freelancers
or developers out there who create a website for
a client and launch it, within a few weeks the clients
already Googling themselves trying to find them on page
one and (Rebecca laughs), and they immediately explode and say you didn’t build my
website correctly and oh, why didn’t you do it right? So, could you help us maybe with a reality check right now of how we can educate our clients on expectations for launching a rebuilt website versus a new website or even industry standard? – [Rebecca] So, I’ll tell you first and foremost what Google recently said. If you go and you make changes
throughout the website, maybe it’s a re-design,
maybe you’ve gone through and you’ve cleaned up
all the accessibility and all the bad coding
and everything else. How long is gonna take
Google to actually figure that out and produce
ranking increases for you? They say up to six months for them to truly see that because it’s across the website to digest it and to modify your ranking based on it. That’s a really long time. Well, what if you just
make changes to one URL? Say you’ve got a blog post
that’s written in 2014. It was 300 words. Now you’ve completely revamped it and now it’s 2,000 words and it’s really focused and it’s really good. Could that be six months? No. That’s not gonna be six months. That could be more like a week but it’s gonna be different
for different websites because it’s gonna
make, the difference is, how often does Google
come back to your website to crawl and digest your content? What authority do you have? Are you considered
authority in that market? Are other people sharing that content so Google keeps seeing it now in search? And then activity of web users. There’s no universal
number but I will tell you, I’ve re-designed websites
with SEO in mind. We’ve seen lists within three weeks. Two, three weeks. We’ve had some where it’s taken longer because nothing ever happened to the website for five years before that and to Google it was sleeping, right? So there is no universal answer. It’s up to you as the consultant
to set those expectations. What you need to make sure
your clients understand is this comes directly from Google. SEO is about making incremental changes to your website that individually do not seem like they would have an impact, but brought together they make it easier and better for humans
and for search engines. That is the nature of SEO. It’s incremental changes over time and that’s what you need
to educate your clients on. SEO’s not a race, it is a
journey that you continue for the life of the website or the blog. – [Kori] It is very rare that I ever get a client that comes along and says I’m in this for the long haul. I understand that organic
is the right way to do it. It’s very rare. Every once in awhile we get a client that comes along like
that and I’m very thankful for their understanding
that it can take time right? – [Rebecca] Yeah. – [Kori] We have one last
question comin’ in here. Does Google re-scan higher ranking sites more often then lower ranking sites or are they pretty much all the same? – [Rebecca] They are
definitely not all the same but it’s not necessarily the rank that is going to dictate
how often Google comes back and crawls it and digests the content. It’s more about how often you are making changes to your
site, how active your site is. Does Google need to come back and see your site because you change it daily? Or has that site been sitting
the same for five years and Google knows it doesn’t have to come back once every five weeks? Those are the indicators
on how often Google comes and how often it visits and digests. You can do things to help push that along. You can make sure that your XML site map is linked up to Google Search Console, that it’s clean, that
you have traffic coming into your website from
other places on the web. That helps you get crawled more frequently and your content reviewed more often. – [Kori] And one last question sneaking here right at the end. It says how do I know when
Google even visits my site? – [Rebecca] You can actually see that information in Google Search Console. It will give you metrics
on how often Google comes, how long does it spend there
and that type of thing. So crawl report. – [Kori] You’re amazing. I love this. I learned stuff in this session. I’m so excited to have
you join us Rebecca. Thank you so much and you guys, I’m just gonna challenge
you to reach out to her, Tweet to her, follow her on Twitter if you guys wanna know
when she’s doin’ webinars, when her next bootcamp is. She’s got, do you have
anything coming up right away? I thought I heard about
somethin’ happenin’ maybe in September with you. – [Rebecca] So, I have an SEO Mastermind that is starting in September. I have two sessions. One for developers who wanna sell SEO, one for people who want to
learn the foundations of SEO. Each group is only 10
people and applications are open to come into that. I have a webinar that’s
free coming up in September with Pat from Crowd Favorite. We’re gonna be going through performance and optimization because that’s really important for websites and for SEO. So that’s free to join. He knows so much more about that than I do which is why I’m bringing him in. And you can find the link
to that on rebeccagill.com under the events section. I’m tryin’ to think of what else. I’m speaking in Chicago at a blogging conference in
September I think too. But there’s always stuff I’ve got going on with opportunities for education and the best place for finding
that is rebeccagill.com or the launchpad on Facebook which is the bottom link on this slide. (gentle music) (bell jingling)

3 thoughts on “👍 EP2 PressTribe – SEO Beyond a WordPress Plugin

  1. Monique Robinson Post author

    Wow! What a great webinar – thanks so much. Very enlightening,

  2. Steve Haines Counsellor Post author

    Fantastic Kori …
    Great hosting and Rebecca's knowledge of SEO, combined with common sense are outstanding.
    Very enjoyable! I watch all your videos.
    Keep up the great work.
    Warmest Wishes


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