Hi, y’all! How’s it going? Good! So let’s talk about SEO. It’s what I do. It’s what I love and you’re like, “Hold on. You said you’re an app developer. What are you talking about?” Cool story. We have an SEO app.
We have a lot of users for SEO apps. So it’s basically my job to make sure that I always know exactly what’s going on in the world of search engine optimisation. Like I said earlier, I bootstrapped our company by doing consulting for search engine optimisation. So that’s where we’re at.
Right now, I’m obsessed with direct-to-consumer anything. If I can get it online and it is a lower cost and can get shipped to my house, I love it. I hate going to malls.
To me, that is the future of commerce and I’m about it. So these are my two apps, they’re Orderlookup and SEOmanager. They’re both Shopify apps.
Check them out and let’s talk search. So SEO, I want you right now to not think about SEO in any other way than a multidimensional puzzle. Outbound matters, inbound matters, on-site matters. It’s over 200 signals Google uses.
It’s important to remember that because otherwise, you’re never gonna get found. So, why does it matter? Well, first of all Search and Direct traffic accounts for over 74% of all of the traffic on your site. That’s huge. If you’re not doing SEO, you’re missing out. The average user makes three queries a day and Gen Z so like, the really young people like my daughter, actually have a massive voice search adoption, like 30%, 40%
and at first I was like, two years ago I read this article with 27% voice search, I was like, “Who does voice search?”
My daughter every 30 seconds to her Alexa in her room. So many questions, you guys, and they are full questions and that’s going to be important for later. The other important thing to know is 90% of all traffic happens on the first page of Google. So do you guys wanna hear a joke?
It’s really good. Okay. Where do you bury a dead body? On the second page of Google. You’re welcome.
You can use it later. So how does this all work? Google, like I said, uses 200 different signals. There’s animal algorithms. There’s a veritable menagerie of releases that are typically animal-named,
done by Google and well, you never know what’s gonna come.
That’s one of the tricky things about Google and so I didn’t talk about this.
The reason we’re talking about Google is because their market penetration is so high.
I’m not gonna bother talking about being in Yahoo! So we’re just gonna talk about Google.
The other thing we’re going to talk about is RankBrain. So that’s an algorithmic choice by Google that’s machine learning.
It was launched in 2015. It’s gaining traction, and it’s something you’re going to see more and more and we’re seeing all of the time. This is what happens when you ask those conversational queries like, “How old is Justin Bieber? Why did he sing the song ‘Baby’?” I’m just using examples I hear around my house. So just so we’re all on the same page, I’m gonna use some words and I want to make sure that I’m not just throwing acronyms at you because that’s one thing I hate. When listening to a presentation just being bombarded by words I don’t know.
So SERP search engine results page. The top right there that’s your title tag or your page title.
Underneath is your meta description and below that are site links. Site links are earned. They are gifted to you by Google.
You cannot just get them if you want them. We get that question all of the time in our support queue. They’re like, “What about those things?” We’re like, “Sorry, you need more traffic.” That being said, your page title and your description is something that you have control over and it’s super important, something a lot of people don’t think about. This needs to be on all your products, on your homepage, everything because this is the first entrance if people aren’t coming from social media to your site. If they’re putting in as a query, right? This is the first thing they see.
You need to make a good impression. So this needs to be, your title needs to be something clickable. Think of it like a headline of the New York Times.
And then the byline is underneath. It’s like, “Why am I reading this article?
Why am I clicking through?” Because ultimately, if you get on the first page of Google and nobody clicks your link, you’re not gonna be on the first page of Google for that much longer. The other thing I’m gonna talk about real quick
is structured data. We’ve all seen this, right? Or if you look up someone like Meghan Markle, all of a sudden, all the royal family’s there plus every cast member she’s ever been in film with.
And that’s structured data. That just happens now. But it’s important to add to your store
if you’re in the e-commerce field because it doesn’t come naturally with it.
So this is also This is also RankBrain. So we’re going to talk about something
kind of controversial. I’m on team white hat 110%.
I don’t do black hat SEO. It’s bad. You’re gonna get good results for like a month or two. Then you’re gonna be blacklisted from Google forever. So don’t buy bad backlinks or don’t buy backlinks at all. Don’t keyword stuff. Don’t. People still
do this and this has been something that since 2013, Google seemed penalising. Don’t put white text. We actually get asked this all the time. “What if I just put a bunch of keywords in white tech?” Don’t do that. Don’t do Don’t do meta tags.
These are all things that Google penalises. So here’s some best practices.
Like I was talking about, RankBrain uses conversational queries.
So that means you need to do keyword research with conversational queries in mind. The way I like to start is I like to make my own query. Like, “Where can I buy-” or “Best organic t-shirt?”
So most queries right now are three words. They used to be one, so they’re getting longer.
So best organic shirts. And then, “Who has the best organic shirt?
Where can I buy the best organic shirt?” And you’ll start to see people come up. Those are gonna be your competitors, right? So look through their page, look through their content, see what they’re using. Write it down. I do it totally old-school. I just write it on a piece of paper and the words I see over and over then I’m like, “Okay, this is, they’re really going for this.” The other thing you can use, you can use Moz.
You can use keywordtool.io. That that one’s free. The first one is not, and then you can also use Google Adwords when you’re building ads. You know how you get the volume and the competition? It’s free if you don’t buy an ad, so I think it’s a great tool, and when you’re doing this keyword research, if you’re getting these keywords strings and you’re like, “Okay, this is cool but I can’t put this in product descriptions.” Write a blog about it. Alright? Research your competitors. That’s why they’re there. So you can spy on them. Make sure you write compelling everything. Everything should be good.
You are selling a product. Big boxes are dying. We know that, right? Where I live in Southern California, there is not a mall within 30 minutes of my house because they have all closed. Everyone buys things online. It’s just the way it is.
So we need to treat e-commerce like we would physical commerce. Another important thing is to
consistently generate new content. So that means if you’ve built your site
and it’s like 2 years old, first of all, it’s probably not all that responsive,
you should work on that. But second of all, that content is old.
Google’s like this isn’t relevant anymore. We don’t care about this anymore. So make sure to to work on that. So these are the things you need to implement right away. I’m sorry, if there might be some pros in here.
You’re like, “Okay, this is super low-level out there.” But there’s beginners too. So I wanted to kind of touch on
everything across the board. So page titles. Those are those blue links. Make it good,
make me want to buy your product, meta descriptions. That’s underneath. Here’s a note on meta descriptions. Last year, at the end of last year, Google announced they were gonna have meta descriptions
that are 320 characters. Like a month ago, they were like,
“We’re just kidding. It’s back to 160.” So if you went through all the effort of making it 320, go back. The other thing we’re noticing is RankBrain is doing something a little bit tricky. If they don’t think the content on your site or in your metea-description is good enough, They just determine what your meta description
is going to be. So that’s why it’s so important to write
good meta descriptions. Otherwise, Google is just gonna make it up for you and it’s like, always really bad. It’ll put the price in there and it’ll say like, “Buy now. Shipping free.” It’s a very messy process. So make sure to write it well. Otherwise, it’ll get written for you
and you’re not gonna like it. Another thing to implement immediately is
alternative text. Alternative text is an accessibility issue and so people that are uncited can see the pictures online through talk-to-text technology. The other benefit is that it tells Google
what the picture is. Otherwise, Google just knows there’s a picture.
They don’t know what the picture is of. This is how you appear in Google search,
Google image search. Make sure you have amazing content that is keyword-driven, but not keyword-stuffed. So it has to sound like a real person wrote it and that it’s actually interesting and it’s not just like, “This cool, cotton, organic, sustainable, trade t-shirt is awesome and comfortable. t-shirt.” We’ve all read it, right? It’s like reading eBay listings and you’re like,
“That’s a lot of words.” Make sure you have JSON-LD. That’s structured data.
If you have a Shopify store, there’s a few apps to do it for you.
Make sure you don’t have any broken pages. This is important too when you’re working with affiliate, right? Because, for multiple reasons,
but if you’re landing on a store or a site and it’s broken, Google’s like, “This doesn’t work.”
And then it kicks you out and it impacts your rankings. I’ve seen people’s stores that have thousands of 404 errors.
This is especially prevalent after a migration, so when you do migrate or
I’m Shopify exclusively so I’ll always just I’ll go to there, but we’ve seen people migrate
from other platforms to Shopify. It kicks tons of 404’s. There’s apps, including my own, that have smart features to help the redirect. Make sure you submit your sitemap. This is something we see most people not doing and I’m always like, “This is so easy! Just do it!” If it’s Shopify, your sitemap is always your
URL four slash sitemap.xml. Always. If you don’t submit your sitemap, it’s like dropping me off in Barcelona saying, “Get to the convention center. Good luck.” Right? We want to give Google a map of your store so they know what to do. Also, compress your images. Don’t put really weighty images on the internet. Super slow load time. It’s not cute. So be fast, right? It’s very important to be fast, especially on mobile because if you are clicking, when users click and it is slow, then they bounce. So compress your images.
Also, do the Google site speed test. If you’re not green, and if you’re anything below like, high,
But also get get rid of it. Be mobile.
In March, Google said they are ranking mobile first.
So a few years ago, there was a release and it was, Google said,
“Okay, if your site’s not mobile-friendly, you’re no longer going to appear in mobile search.”
And back then I was like, “Oh, this is gonna come eventually for everything.” And now it is. It’s here. I have one former client
that does $7 million a year with 90% mobile traffic, so it’s so crucial. This is also something and, like I said earlier,
SEO is like a full picture, right? It’s like that multidimensional puzzle. This is also some UX A/B testing to see where the button should go. So beyond product, beyond all of the other things,
make sure your UX is really good. Be secure. If you don’t have SSL, get it. Chrome now penalises your site
if it is not wrapped in SSL. You have a Shopify store? Rad. It does it for you. You just have to click a button, which I would recommend doing because it’s a pain to do. Make sure you do outbound marketing, but I think y’all are pretty covered on that, but it’s important to do both things. Earlier, I was talking to Mo and he said, “You know, a lot of us media buyers? We don’t talk about SEO. Because we’re buying all these hats, we’re getting all this traffic.” And I’m like, “What if you took like 10 or 20% of that that ad spend, and you invested that into SEO? Otherwise, you’re just directing out traffic to an “okay page” instead of an amazing page. If you’re putting traffic to an amazing page, eventaully,
you don’t have to buy ads for that page anymore. It’s just gonna surface on its own.” So here’s how you allocate your resources. 20% Technical. 80% Content. Technical is really easy with Shopify. Some other platforms, not so much.
So, this is JSON-LD, that’s structured data. If you don’t tell Google how your store is structured, It does not know and it just decides. Again RankBrain’s like, wild. It’s like, “Ah, we think you’re open at 8:00 a.m.” I’m like, “We don’t we don’t keep hours like that.”
So make sure you do that. For redirects, your load time, your UX.
Make sure you have clean code. Content, super important.
This is your first impression. This is how you get found.
Blogs are crucial and I get a lot of pushback from people and the pushback is “Nobody’s going to read my blog.”
And my answer is, “Google does.” And if Google thinks it’s good enough,
it’s going to start surfacing in search results. And when it surfaces and search results,
people are going to buy your things. because you can do internal links
which helps with your rank and yeah, and also your general content on your store. So these are things you shouldn’t do. Obviously, have a mobile-friendly site, and I mean a good one that’s very intuitive to use . Don’t buy backlinks. It’s bad. It’s unethical.
You will get blacklisted by Google. Don’t use meta tags, don’t write like a robot. Make sure if you hire a copywriter if you’re like,
“I can’t write.” Fair enough. Make sure you hire a copywriter who’s really and truly proficient because this is something that Google is never going to penalise you for having bad copy, because you can’t bot it, right? You can’t fake copy. You can fake so many other things. You can’t fake good content. Don’t use stock images.
So this is really important for my dropshippers. If you use a stock image,
Google has image recognition technology and it’s like, “This image is the same as this image. Therefore, one of these images doesn’t matter.” Okay? Same with the vendor copy.
If you use the exact same copy that comes, then there’s like 20 other people who have almost an identical copy, you are not special enough. You need to stand out. Have somebody spin that copy for you. I always say, in the states, there’s so many people with MFA’s in writing. I’m like, “Hire one! They can’t get work. There’s not enough jobs.” So like, hire one of them, train them up, and have them write excellent copy for you, and that’s who I always think can make the best copywriters. Don’t have stale content. You can make things evergreen
and you can also reset dates. So on Shopify, you can just decide
what day the blog is, right? So let’s say you need to move the data up, you can move the data up and you can force a recrawl through a Google search console. Don’t take shortcuts. This is the long game. This is not something that’s going to fix your store or your site overnight. It can be frustrating. You can put in all of this effort and be like, “Oh my gosh. When is this going to work?” and you keep putting in the effort and you’re like three months in, and then all of a sudden you’ll start seeing this massive uptick.
It’s worth the wait. Here’s a controversial topic. If you have an interstitial, Google announced this two years ago. If you have an interstitial that blocks on mobile,
they will devalue you. I believe, just like what I talked about earlier, how Google announced that everything had to be
mobile for mobile site, otherwise, they were gonna drop you and then it was going to move to everything. I think this is going to move to everything. The only time that pop-ups are acceptable for Google is if they’re an age gate or if they’re GDPR,
like cookie stuff. Otherwise, if it blocks, Google cannot crawl your site. They don’t know what’s on it because it is actually blocked So, this is my affiliate page as I was talking earlier. Sometimes you just have to ship something, so we built that and shipped it. It was a custom solution. So that’s always exciting, right?
I love to ship new products. That’s my blog and that’s my email. So if you have questions in the future, please feel free to reach out. I’m always around. I’m gonna be building some more SEO content that’s gonna be free to access and I’m gonna be taking weekly questions too.
So if you’re like, “I’ve got this question, it’s kind of niche.” Email me. I can address it one-on-one or I can do a video about it or whatever, but I really love SEO. It’s something that is so important for everybody, and it was great to meet all of you. Thank you.