Stukent Expert Session 03- Introduction to SEO with Benjamin Beck

By | August 27, 2019


Hey everyone this is Trevor Erikson
with Stukent and we are excited to do another
Stukent Expert Session especially since we have Benjamin Beck with us. He is going to be talking about an introduction to search engine
optimization. Ben and I had a chance to go over his slides the other day and you guys
are definitely in for a treat! Ben comes to us from the state of Utah where he’s an
online marketing consultant and he specializes in helping startups charities and small businesses find and
grow success online. Ben and I actually go way back to our college days at Brigham Young
University Idaho where he was pretty much the the rockstar online marketing guy on
campus and is a cool guy to be around. Ben founded a
an organization called SECA which stands for Student
E-Commerce Association and before this organization was
started there wasn’t an online marketing
class or course taught there after Ben started this byu-idaho implemented what is now they’re their online
marketing course so that’s pretty cool It was it was fun to be a part of
that with Ben. Without further ado I am going to turn the
time over to Ben and his slides that he has today for us so Ben there you go. Ben Beck: Awesome thank you Trevor I appreciate it and am definitely glad to be here I am excited excited to be talking to
everybody. Trevor: Hey Ben? Can I cut in on you for a second? Ben: Absolutely. Trevor: So before we go on I just want to make it clear that at anytime you guys can just chattin your questions
on the right hand side the panel. There’s a chat box and you can type in a question for Ben and at the end Ben we’ll go over all the
questions and answer them for you and also we are doing a giveaway
as well. So stay tuned because you might be the
lucky winner of a Stukent swag bag. So anyways sorry for the interruption Ben! Ben: No thats awesome I want
people to know that throughout the presentation if there’s any questions people in SEO love to use
acronyms all the time and certain terminology so a lot I say it without thinking
about it and realizing people might not understand it. So definitely, while I am going through, if I use the term or say something that you
don’t quite follow feel free to shoot it in the chat box and I’ll try to resolve it and make sure everybody is following along. So yeah feel free to use that and then I am excited to see who wins the swag bag in the end. That will be fun! So just again as kind of an intro of what Trevor talked about. My name is Benjamin Beck I do consulting company called local stampede and also blog at bejaminbeck.com and if anyone ever has other questions after this in the future feel free to hit me up on Twitter. It is really easy to get ahold of me and I’m more than happy to a talk more
about this as Trevor can even tell you I love talking about this and I will ramble on for a long time but I will try and keep it short and sweet today for everybody. To overview what we’re going to be talking about today
is talking about search engine optimization or SEO and kind of the pros and cons versus
pay-per-click or PC I know a lot you in this simulator are doing a lot of PPC work and
I’m going to be showing the other side of marketing
online with SEO. The main areas we will be talking about are: choosing the right keywords to target optimize your site and then how to make your site stand out through link building and building up the authority of your website so and again I love and am a little overly obsessed with online marketing and SEO and you’ll
definitely see that while we’re going through it. So I’m really excited to be talking about this with you today. so first off the introduction to SEO or Search Engine Optimization will start here we’re probably a lot of you are familiar where if you have a question or you’re looking for an
answer you jump over to Google and type in a phrase and this pops up: the search results page and in my eyes I see this broken up
into two very distinct sections. You have the paid
section which is the PPC area and then you have the free SEO section and that’s where most answers fall in line this could change depending on whether it is local or national not every search result is the same but this is the most common one that
people see and use and we’ll be focusing on the SEO side of things today. To kind of give you and idea of the differences between PPC and SEO there are some definite
pros and cons to each of them the first one when it comes to
ranking with PPC you can actually go out
there today pick your keyword set up your account and you could be number one today for basically any keyword you
want so just the time and ability that
it takes to become number one first for a certain keyword through PPC is remarkable where as with SEO it takes time you know you have to build-out the page you have to, you know, optimize it it takes a lot of time and a lot of resources before you get those rankings in SEO. As for traffic with PPC you only get showed based on if you still have budget right and it only gets shown around
keywords and certain factors that you set up so if you
don’t want your shoe ads to be shown for the keyword
slippers it wont whereas SEO you’re not really in too much control so your website
could show up for a whole slew of different keywords you didn’t even think about my
personal blog I wrote about writing a bull once and now I’m ranking for bull riding keywords which is really funny
because I’m not a bull rider at all but I get a lot of traffic from it and then you have cost so the cost of PPC you have to develop the campaign and
then your budget and so for every click you have to take that
out of your budget and so the PPC focus on getting the most clicks and value out of that budget whereas SEO once you develop that page and it gets ranking every click you get is
free so you can get a lot of clicks and it
only cost you the development and resources to get you to rank so thats a big difference
between the two is that PPC is very constrained based on what your budget where as SEO you can
get a lot of traffic and it doesn’t cost you anymore depending on the amount of traffic you get. When it comes to reporting PPC it is very measurable like we were talking about you know exactly how many times your ad was seen how many people clicked
on it and then hopefully it’s going to a page that your tracking an action being it filling out a form or making a purchase that makes it very easy track. With SEO is a little bit harder to define because you don’t know exactly what keyword they were coming in on and then once they get there they might click around So SEO is a little bit harder to track back the reporting compared to PPC and then finally the ROI Return On your Investment PPC is very predictable and consistent and like we said you can have it going very quickly where’s SEO it’s a lot more the long-term investment so it cost you a lot
more up front to get the rankings but then once you
have them and you can maintain them it definitely gets you a lot more bang for your buck. That’s kind of the
differences between the two the PPC and SEO and today we will be focusing on the SEO side of it. The question everybody asks me is how do you rank for these terms? How do I show up in the SEO? The short answer is it is very complicated and it is very difficult google has over 200 ranking factors that go into deciding who is the most
relevant website for that specific term and it is always changing so is never
consistent and they keep it kind of quite they don’t tell you exactly what it is because then people would say Oh, if I do this, this and this I will be number one and they can make a lot of money that way so Google keeps it very quiet about what exactly is in an algorithm and again as you can see from this time line it is constantly evolving as soon as they tell you what it was it
could be different like two weeks later so the short answer … or this is the long answer: that there’s
lots of factors and we will be going over the very basics so basically picking the
right keyword making sure your site is about about that
certain topic and then building authority through off
site getting links through off site. So the first thing we are going to tackle is picking the right keywords which is
basically the square one the most important step at the very
beginning of our process to rank for and I always think of this: Dwight if you are familiar with the office Dwight always references himself as
assistant regional manager and then Jim comes in and is like “No it is assistant to the regional manager” defining putting in those little extra keywords you know assistant to the regional manager
in Google’s eyes makes it a completely different keyword and makes the search volume and everything else very different so we will be talking about that: what keyword at the right time to get us the best Return On Investment or that we should be focusing on. That usually starts with going
through the purchase funnel and will be going to
each of these stages So at first you know kinda
discovery stage they don’t know exactly what even the right question is so they are usually trying to figure out what is the question or define what the problem is and
then once they have that they want to go and actually research you know the solution to that
problem you know they want to figure out how to solve it and then once they have a couple of solutions they want figure out which is the best solution out of all of these and then once they have figured out which one is best they go and purchase it and after they purchase it they might have new questions about what
they just bought and so I know this is really high level so we’re gonna put our doctor Brown back to the future thinking hats and we are going to think that we are selling this for airline tickets so that’s that’s the job
thats what we are trying to do and we are going to pick the keywords that people if I’m selling airline tickets what ones would they pick. So going back to kind of this funnel working our way through it the first one
is like what is their question? So let’s say their students and they are trying to figure out what they are going to do for summer vacation or spring break so that’s kind of the questions they would have. So what would be the possible solutions for that
would be maybe they want to go to Asia or maybe they want to go to Europe that’s kind of…they did some research on that and what it came down to was price maybe they cant afford to fly to one over the other they compared. They compared the prices of flying to China versus flying to London
they narrowed it down to those two destinations and then when they are looking to purchase they are looking probably for the cheapest flights to China and once they find that then they
might want you know flight insurance to be able
to protect what they’re doing. So that is kind of the process of going through each of it as you see on the left vacation ideas that is something
very broad but as we go along the spinal you know the terms are getting longer more defined lot more specific so as
you get people further in the funnel they are a lot more likely to make that
purchase and those are the people that we really want to target. It kind of reduces to this: this is a older graph but it illustrates that a very short or a one word phrase there is usually
a lot of competition and a lot search of search volume like for shoes. Shoes has millions of search results every month but it is a really broad and a really bland keyword and they are probably not even looking to buy shoes they might have questions and they can be anywhere in the final
right looking for that but as you get into this more long-term like for an example here logistics management and software case studies thats a very very specific keyword. It probably doesn’t have as much search volume, it probably doesn’t have as
much competition either and they’re very far in the funnel a lot
more likely to purchase so usually when I am looking for keywords I looking to focus more on the long
tail and more when they are further along in the tunnel because that is where I get the most success so going back to the funnel we where looking for to sell airline tickets people in the discover or in the
research we could definitely make contact or try to target those people but they might still fall out of the funnell they might still leak out and we wouldn’t get their business whereas if they’re in the comparing and the purchases section those types of keywords: we are a lot more likely to get that traffic if we get that traffic we are a lot more likely to convert it into a sale. So flights to China or cheap flights to China Those are key words that would lead to a sale that are a lot more likely than you know
vacation ideas or destination ideas those are
really brought and you know for destination it might be
a road trip or kayaking or something else that is totally out of my industry of travel so I want to focus on people that are deeper down the funnel in comparing and purchasing something that’s very relevant
to my product and so once you kind of have an idea of where they are in that funnel and those keywords that you want to traget then you need to go and use a tool like the Google keyword planner where Google lets you know these are very specific this is the search volume they get on a monthly basis so that way you know what to target and so for example I am putting in my keywords here you know flights to china, cheep flights to china those are the keywords we decided we want to target and when I do that these are the resultes that Google is giving me and it is really interesting so flights to China this first one here it gets 1,600 a month But if I go down to the the suggested keywords “flight to china” so just taking off the ‘s’ says that one only has a thousand searches a month so just that right there making it a
plural versus a singular is a differance of 600 visits on a monthly basis so that’s just something I need to keep in mind as well going from cheap flights to
China it’s a thousand searches at the top but
I looked at it cheapest flights to China it’s only 170 so they’re basically the same area in the funnel they’re both looking
for cheap flights to China but one of them has nearly you know nine times the search volume as the other so just by going through this process I’m
finding out which terms I really want to target and which ones are moral likely to
get more traffic but once I figure out which ones have the
most traffic I don’t just take it off of this and then go and try to rank for it right I have to see who’s already ranking there. Alot of people come to me and say I wanna ranked number one for Nike
shoes they are like it gets
10 million searches a month i cant I can’t go wrong if I rank for that well have you see the search result
whose ranking and so this is what cheap flights to China
looks like we have a lot of PPC here at the top and
the right Google is doing a lot with the travel space with their PPC ads but if we look here at who is ranking at the
top and SEO section cheapflights.com and Expedia two very big very powerful web sites and we’re gonna do this in a
bit about what makes a powerful web site
but it would be hard for me to start a new website even if I am very targeted to only China these two websites are
already ranking there and they’re very authoritative so it’s not just picking the right keywords but
also knowing your industry and what’s showing up in the
search results and comparing those as well. So for me to
overtake these it would be very difficult at first
especially starting from scratch with a website that has no authority to it at all so we need to focus on a strategy and the battles that we can when
so I would probably dig deeper and go toward this long tail right down here with a very long very
specific keywords where there’s not so much competition I would
probably spend more time finding opportunities
there you know for example “cheapest flights to {a specific name}” in China or to the airport in China I
would do different terms that aren’t as competitive and I would try to focus getting those to work first kinda like PPC where need to get traffic and see what people are doing that land on the page and then see if I
want to target terms on that more there’s a lot of vanity metrics. Some people will say “hey I rank number one for contact lenses” but is that driving you any sales like if you
just ranking for contact lenses but nobody is buying it doesn’t really help you so focusing on
the long-term and see what works and slowly
progressing up into the more competitive head terms is a great strategy that I usually focus
on so in this one I probably wouldn’t target cheapest flights to China because it’s
extremely competitive. I would definitely focus on
something that’s more long term. So the review of picking the right keywords is focus
on each state research the competition of those
keywords and then target keywords that are higher
in search volume if you can but lower in competition and
then focus on those and see what works and then move towards shorter more competitive terms once you
know what works. Now moving onto the next part: On-Site Optimization When I am trying to explain what on-site
optimization is to people that aren’t familiar with SEO
I always rack my brain and think I finally come up some some good metaphor to share so
you’ll have to let me know what you think and if this makes sense
when I think of on-site optimization I kinda think if I were a search engine if I
was Google and I was crawling the web and I cam across you site and your site looked like this…I just wouldn’t know what to think… I come here and it definitely has my attention but what is this about I’ll is about Halloween costumes is about unicorns is it like awkward high school senior photos or just
awkward family photos what is this about? I don’t really know! I think this happens a lot with
Google when they come across a website and it is mostly images or its a ton of content but it’s not very
specific at all so our job is to help them understand what the page is about so this is just an example that the people over at Moz put together a website if they
wanted to rank for a term chocolate doughnuts. You have your title tag at the top which says this page is talking about chocolate donuts. and then their headline is talking about
chocolate donuts from this bakery and then throughout the content they are talking about that keyword now it’s not too repetitive they’re breaking it up they’re
using plurals I think they could have talked about other things and they could use other synonyms as
well in there but this is an example of what you
can do to optimize your site so when the search engines come and they see your site they are like: okay I understand what this is about
throughout the hierarchy of this page from the top all the way to the bottom and all these different places it is talking about this specific keyword and so going using my amazing graphic design skills I did the same
thing for if we where trying to target cheap flights in China so up in the title in the headline throughout the page on, the page you where at on the bottom you know I made a fictitious website “chinacheapflights.com” you know so I basically made my own website and this is how I could potentially optimize onsite for that so thats how thats going and so once you do that it’s really you
do it once and you’re basically done you focus on
1-3 keywords that you’ve research you put that
throughout the page and use it throughout the page and those prime spots you know the
title headings breaking up the content in the
headings the URL having the keywords in there these are all places and signals to Google of what the page is about and then also don’t be a robot and just use the same word or the same phrase
over and over over. Use variations, use plurals, use synonyms and that will help give the search engines a better knowledge that ok its about all these different things around this topic now I’ll
help it break as well so I hope the unicorn picture wasn’t too
distracting but it helps you kind of understand that’s our way to help communicate to the search engines of what the page and size are about and then lastly going back to building the
authority of your site it is link building and this is things that is off sight so it’s a little bit more
out of control the reason that why it is important is there’s copycats out there but up to this point anybody can go
out there they could build a website they can target the same keywords as you they can optimize their webpage the same as you there’s no way to
really distinguish who’s the best and so Google
when you only have 10 results you have to rank them
1-10 who is the best and a major factor in doing that is link building or having quality signals that your
website is the best so going back to the cheap flights page the results you know it says here that
cheapflights.com has 737 links to that and the Expedia page has 406 links to the china flights. I’m sorry I didn’t have time to go over what
these numbers mean this is through Moz this is an extension you can install into Moz so this is not through Google this is not
Google telling us how authoritative these web sites are this is a
third party that kind of giving us their idea of what it is and so it’s not exactly fool proof but just at a quick glance I can see on how
authoritative and effective these web sites and how many links this third party boss has out so if they found them Google certainly has found them. a that is probably why their ranking and so just looking at this the PA or page authority/authority of that page is a 51 and then the second one is a page authority of 33 so it’s not as high of a page authority but if
you look at the domain authority so the entire website for Expedia is at 91 which is also very very high so again these are two
very authoritative websites and that is probably why they are ranking there they have a lot of links/a lot of people basically voting for these sites and their quality and again the way I explain links is that they are kinda like votes to your website or to the search engine saying that your website is quality and so the more that you have usually the better and to talk
about that a little bit talking about votes there’s kinda like
3 different buckets that I thrown them into you have the low influence links you have the high influence links and then you have links that could work
but if you get caught its bad news so kind of like stuffed the ballot
box and so low influence links: thats like my blog or other people that blog for a hobby or
small niche sites These are websites that don’t have much authority they are not very big a link from them might be just one person like just one person casting their vote right it’s not a huge signal to the search engines
like oh you got a link from bejaminbecksblog it’s not that big of a deal versus if you got somebody from a high value site so if you got a link from like CNN or if your doing a flight or travel if you get a link from the FAA.gov thats a really authoritative one! Or if you get links from a college site so this a aeronautical flying college or something
I found really quickly so getting links from these have a lot more value and a lot more authority and would help you more especially if they are on topic of what
you’re talking about those will help you more than just
one or two blogs from your friends/ blogs about blogs/ WordPress blogs. Lastly there’s like the dangerous things so I hope you don’t take my presentation
as “oh as long as I get tons and tons of links I’m fine!” because that can actually hurt your blog
in the long term as you go to a site like five.com which
is amazing what you can buy there for five dollars but spamming links for five dollars where they will send a thousand links to your website they’re not quality they’re really spammy
and might even be from hacked sights and then Google is like wait they had five links last month and now they have like a thousand and they all look like spammy websites this must be a spammy site as well and we should probably not rank them as highly not right that is highly so definitely focus on getting links from quality relevant places within your niche and so looking at cheap flights backlinks yeah
I see that they have a link from The Seattle Times from Huffington Post there’s one called ref desk but it is in the file travel so these are all very
authoritative websites and are all linking to them about travel or
about cheap flights so thats a very good indicator thats probably what’s helping them to rank so well for cheap flights to China so if you need to figure out how to get high-quality links this link here at point blank seo he has a complete list of tons and tons of strategies and how long it
takes to do them and how effective they are so I would definitely send you to go there and check out those strategies if you have questions or if you want to
find out more strategies. Alright and so just for a couple
examples off-the-cuff of some examples you could do to build links is approve an existing resource this one is worldtimezone.com it is not the prettiest website and this is basically all it is: the world’s timezones and it has over 2,000 linking domains. If you where to make something that looks and works better you could reach out to those two thousand domains
and say okay this is a better domain or or this is a better product that you should
probably try using that’s one way you could do that and then you already know who they are so its a really quick way to build links the other thing you do when is that when you’re looking for these resources if you come across something that’s broken you can find it there is a Chrome
extension that says check my links and it will go through and show you if there’s a broken link on the page and they can go to it and see what it is
if you find a resource that is gone it’s not there anymore you
can check and see if anybody is linking to it via an online service of your choosing to show you who’s linking to a certain page so you find a broken resource you see a bunch of people linked to it you can actually go to web.archive.org and take screenshots of the web so you can
go back and see what it was and that you can actually
recreate it and reach out to everybody thats linking to it that you found and go and tell them hey that link or website is not working but here’s the new updated version here and then it’s really easy for them like
I don’t want to send them to a broken link might as well send them to the new updated version so that’s another way that you can easily get links to your website and lastly is
creating a guide this is one of my favorite examples
by simply business a lot people have FAQ pages but they
don’t have like a really good guide and so this is
basically walking people that are small business owners and
learning how to use WordPress and so each stage is a question and if your answer is No it will send you to a resource to show you how to answer that
question and that move you down the funnell until you are running a small business on wordpress it’s a great guide I am going to suggest you check it out but things like this where it is a all-encompassing guide that people can referance over and over on something like this
a lot of small business owners would be willing to link this alot of business blogs etc link to this so building a incredible guide is also very
helpful in building links but if your looking for more strategies that point blank SEO is phenomenal. Once you go and build it. So once you have created something really awesome and a great resource you need to run and
tell everyone about it link building is not just about making it and the links will come
it’s really rare actually you have to really outreach and talk to people you have to run and tell me about it and so the way you do that is you work with influencers you know in industry news web sites on the
travel insurance travel industry wire call and talk to them saying here is a
breaking news is a new tool that will help people in industry
talking to influencers Tim Farris of the four day work week is a phenomenal blog to follow and he talks about
travel quite a bit so if I had a resource that would help
his readers with traveling more efficiently or saving money I would
work with him and see if maybe he would let me post an article or mention on his blog so working with
influencers and then organizations this is adventure travel is like a
traveling organization or association so working
with them as well and seeing how you work with them and what kind content are they looking for so these are where you could try to place that you could try to place
the content was re-created if if you haven’t build something or
rebuild something actually. So to review rebuilding links help build your sites authority to rank higher in the search engines
I should probably change that to quality links to your site %uh but focus on building something that’s link worthy instead of trying to build links focus on building something that people
want to talk about and check and then reach out to people that can help
you share it and talk about it and by doing that then the links will come and and it will help you build a
more authoritative site and be successful so that’s my suggestion for that. If you
want to learn more SEO moz.com has a
great beginners that as you know quick sprout also has great videos
and guides on how to do online marketing they are phenomenal if you want to learn more about how to do link building I am working on a book right now look for it soon you can go to my site to sign up for email alerts about it should be coming out here soon but yeah those are three great places to learn about SEO and online internet marketing places to learn about online internet marketing and SEO in particular and that’s it for now if you have questions or want to keep up with me hit me up on twitter bejanminbeck.com I’m usually blogging on there. or there’s my email as well I’ll you want to email me! up you know it questions a Tracy the best way I’ll and now I think I’m gonna jump over here into the
questions Im going to jump in and start tackling those I wasn’t paying attention to those
before so hopefully these aren’t overdue. So the first one how long will it take you to rank my
site on a long tail keyword? going back to that ranking a keyword first off it doesn’t matter so much how long the
keyword is it is how competitive the the landscape around a keyword is so the cheap flights to China is
extremely competitive but cheap flights to a very specific city would less competitive. know any Chinese names but to a
very specific city would be less competitive so it’s
really difficult to say exactly how long it would take because one you know how could have
the landscape is to you what are you doing did you make a press release or do something
they got a lot of attention in the media and now that’s they’re all linking to you but typically if it’s not a very competitive if you’re if Wikipedia is ranked number
one or e-how or something that’s kinda not you you difficult to beat on order website
has a domain authority in like 30 that you pretty easy to beat especially if
you’re focusing on very specific keywords just by building site uses
on-site optimization you could probably usually rank
that within a couple of months but again it really just depends on
the landscape and what you’re doing to
build up your website as well such a specific example um would you do
to get on Twitter I can look into it want to get more a
time line okay what programs do you suggest a newbie used to research competitors
online? good question so if you go to opensiteexplorer.com see back a few slides here so this is open site or and if you look at the top there is as
compared five sites so you can compare five different sites all next to each other and it will show you
how many links they have what their domain and page authority look like that’s a great way to kinda show what
several companies look like side by side within your own industry so I would definitely start there another tool I like to use is called St
am rush what that does is it shows you
whose ranking for what words up that’s how I found out
I was for writing all keywords and no idea up so that’s a great way to figure out kinda high level what competitors rank
for what keywords so those are the two I would use to figure out and research your competitors alright next question what’s your favorite way to build links? Like to get creative if I can I had a coworker live like
a flash mob I think as pretty corny I covered in the
media access to I’ll I had clad build fake com a fake product in the body
building space and it’s like shake that is made of lygers milk and turns you into the hulk just by taking is a powerful product this got a lot of people excited and talking in the community. So those are my favorite because they where fun but probably the most effective is: Just making a really great
guide a really great piece of content that
people can go to you over and over and over again something that people always reference every different type of link building
strategy as got him links tons at times just
because everybody knows that’s the resource to go to you so up if it’s
fun the net telling everybody about it and
that from then on everybody’s knows that that’s the best
resource doctors continued to drink a makes overtime so I’m that’s the last
time I questions aghast %uh for now I guess
I’ll turn it back over to Trevor and tools will make sure that we link
and follow this up in the show notes am for for all you who are viewing this
life by awesome awesome on suggestions and some really a cool
ideas on how how we can call now building links I’m to our own blogs before working for an agency or for a small business I’m
some really cool ideas on on what we can do you can spice
up our link profile so Send big thanks to Ben out today and for his time today with us and like we said in the beginning we’re
going to give away a Stukent swag bag you can bet its gonna come in a bag I branded with you can so it is a Stukent
swag bag and we’re gonna throw I’m everyone into
a random number generator which you already have set out and right at this moment I am then
generates be random number and we have a number we are correlated correlated into go to webinar and it looks like chat humes is the winner so we have your email church here and will reach out to you will get a and
mailing address to send this out and I will get your swag back anyways and with a everyone for tune in
next week we have done sir Joh who will be
addressing controversial topic a guest blogging on
its can hit the news recently with Google and and some pros and cons and dues and
don’ts what to do and how to handle that going
forward and Dons going to address that address that so we appreciate your
time spent with us today and hopefully see you again next week

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