Phil: Great. Thank you, Shemmah and I saw Kate is from Iowa. My parent are actually originally from Iowa. That’s the first time I have seen anyone from Iowa, so welcome Kate. And thanks for the introduction, thanks Convirza for co-hosting this presentation. Again, we’re going to talking about old school SEO is dead, and I’m going to walk through the five new rules to follow.
So housekeeping, we already took care of this. And first question, the Q&A section. Looks like everyone figured that one out, and I also recommend you turn off your e-mail instant messaging, TV’s, radios, Facebook, YouTube. I always put my phone on do not disturb. Turn off my mobile phone. And actually I find it best to just take out a notepad, and go old school and take notes. That will allow you to get the most out of this presentation.
So here’s what we’re going to cover. Important Google updates that you need to understand and be aware of. Three old school SEO tactics to avoid that get you into more trouble than it’s worth. Two tactics you can use to get ranked in as little as 30 days. The five rules that you now need to follow, and how to get started today. And out of respect for everyone’s time, I’ll quickly go through who this webinar’s for.
You do need to have a website to implement SEO, so you want to have a website. We do assume that you provide top quality products and services. And that’s really, you do need to be at that level of providing, you know, top high quality products and services if you want to have a chance and have long term success ranking in Google, sorry. You want to be recognized as the number one provider. Obviously, you want to be ranked number one, and you want to know what it takes to get ranked number one. That’s what we’ll be talking about. And you are willing to take consistent action. So I’ll go through this later on, but it’s worth mentioning here: SEO is not a onetime activity. It is an ongoing marketing tactic. You don’t just set it and forget it.
This is not for you if you’re just looking for tricks, to trick Google to give you the number one spot. There are “black hat” tactics that you can use, and that’s not what will be going over today, because in the long term Google does catch up with those businesses that use those types of tactics and generally penalize them and kick them out of the first page. And I already mentioned this. This is not for you if you want to set and forget it type solution, or a completely hands off solution.
Alright, who am I? Why should you listen to me? If this is your first presentation, again, my name is Phil Frost. I’m the founder of main street ROI, and our business provides buyers digital marketing services, as well as training like the training we’re doing today. And to date we’ve helped over 2,000 businesses with their digital marketing, and my thought leadership has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Amex, as well as Mashable.
I’m also the very proud father of those cute kids. This is a very recent photo. I think I was last exactly a week ago. Last Thursday, I got home from work, walked in on my wife and daughter. That my wife Erin and my daughter Violet, giving my son Emmitt that hairdo there. They were having a pig tail party. And Phil asked a question if this is a offshoot of mainstreethost.com and this is not an offshoot of Main Street Host. I’m not familiar with that company.
All right, so a brief history of Google. This is important to understand what has happened, what are the important updates. And that will allow you to know what tactics are in line with Google’s goals, and that’s really a key takeaway here. So back in the day, it actually started with AltaVista, that was a search engine. And SEO was actually super easy.
The way it worked was the search engine just would look at a webpage, and essentially count up how many times a particular keyword was mentioned on that webpage. And then if that keyword was mentioned more on a particular page than other pages, that would be the page that was ranked number one. So super easy. Unfortunately, because it was so easy, businesses figured it out and would just start dumping keywords onto their pages, and basically expanding the search engine. So it was really easy to get ranked, but because of that, a lot of spam was in the search results.
So then Google enters the market back in 1998. And they came into the market with this great algorithm where it didn’t just count the keywords on the page, it also looked at other websites linking to the page. And that was a key innovation in the search market. It basically used other websites and tracked those, like votes for a website. And intuitively, that makes sense. If you have a website that lots of other websites are linking to, those are like votes or referrals, whatever you want to call them, that tells Google, hey, this page you know a lot of people respect this page. It deserves to be ranked high in the search results, not just because it has a lot of keywords on the webpage.
So because of that, the search results were not so spammy. Google becomes the number one search engine and really hasn’t looked back since. And here’s another critical point that the majority of Google’s revenue comes from search advertising. So not only did they figure out how to clean up the search results so that they are more useful for people searching, they also started to advertise in the search results by showing relevant offers for when people were searching. And when people clicked on those ads Google made money, and that became the majority of Google’s revenue.
So they were dependent on their search engine, and very dependent on making sure that users kept using Google to go find information. So that’s an important point that Google’s whole business model depends on people coming back, finding the best information from their search engine. Otherwise if they don’t do that, people are going to think, “Hey, Google doesn’t provide great information. It’s full of spam.” They’ll go to Bing or Yahoo or any other search engine.
And because of that, they obviously hired some of the smartest people available to fight any type of spam that could get into the search results. So it’s a pretty big uphill battle to try to trick Google. It really threatens their business model, they depend on their users going to Google searching and clicking on their ads.
And because of that over time they have issued a lot of updates. And one that you’ve probably heard of, or you’ve probably heard of all these. There’s the infamous Panda update. And this was basically to remove low quality content from the search results. Over time, businesses figured out hey, Google is just looking at links. So you could just you know create some pretty low quality article, get some links to it and Google would still be ranking that low quality article. So people were tricking Google, Google figured it out, and issued the Panda update.
And then over time Google figured out…excuse me, people were getting a lot of low quality links, and basically creating their own network of links to point to their own websites. Because of that, again, you already know if you have a lot of links to your website, Google will naturally rank you higher. But Google started to figure out, hey, we shouldn’t count all of these low quality links that people are getting. Those aren’t real votes, especially if the business just created another website and linked to its own website. That’s not a real vote. So Google issued the penguin update, and tried to remove all of these quote over optimized websites that didn’t really deserve to be ranked on the first page.
Another important update is Google Plus. You’ve probably heard of Google Plus. It’s Google social network. There were a lot of rumors that it was dead not too long ago. And then it was brought back to life, I think about a month or two ago, with new version of Google Plus. The main point is that Google is still playing in the social media space. They’re still trying to compete with the other big media networks like Facebook. And a lot of this has to do is collecting data and ultimately using that data to improve the search results. So it highlights the importance of social media signals.
And then you’ve probably heard of the algorithm update called hummingbird. And that was a big one where they overhauled their search algorithm. The analogy is taking out the engine of a car and putting a new engine in. And this new engine now understands context of searches as well as synonyms.
And a great example is if you’re on your mobile phone, and you type in places to eat near me, Google can translate that now. And they know you’re really just looking for restaurants. So nowhere in that search places to eat near me is there any mention of the keyword restaurant, but Google will take that search, interpret it as all right, this person is looking for restaurants near their particular location.
Okay. So based on those updates, here the old school tactics you absolutely should, must avoid. And the first one is over optimized webpage’s, and I still hear to this day people talking about writing for Google.
You may have heard of keyword density, and I really urge you to just forget about writing for Google, forget about keyword density. And just write naturally. And more specifically, write for your target audience. That’s what’s going to resonate with your prospects, that’s alternately what will convert those prospects into leads in sales. So that’s what you want to focus on with your website copy. And you don’t want to keyword stuff, and this is an old school tactic based on how, again the AltaVista days when all the search engines looked at were keywords on your webpage. People still have that in their heads that, hey, I need to somehow just cram in a bunch of keywords on my page.
And that’s really not the approach you want to go after. As long as you are creating a page that is highly relevant for the keyword you want to rank for, your naturally going to write and use that keyword in the copy. So you don’t have to force it. I recommend you aim for at least 500 words. That’s in line with Google’s goal of ranking pages that are going to give their users enough information and really satisfy the user. So if you do not have a lot of words on the page, that’s an indication that you’re not going to satisfy the searcher with enough information. Then finally, you obviously want to provide valuable information. You really need to…one trick you want to rank for a keyword is look at what is ranking. And then write content, create a page that has better information, more valuable information than the pages that are already ranking.
Okay, the second old school tactic you must avoid is self created links. We already touched on this with the penguin update. You don’t want to buy links. That’s actually against Google’s terms. You do not want to add links from irrelevant websites. Again, this is related to the penguin update. If you’re let’s say a dentist, you don’t want to go out and get a link on a completely unrelated website, like a website about motorcycles, or a sports website that then links to your site. That’s going to obviously look spammy. That would be a red flag that you’re probably doing something that’s not in line with what Google would want you to be doing to get your site ranked.
You don’t want to use the same anchor text. And if you’re not familiar with anchor text, I’ll give you an example there. Let’s just say again, you’re a dentist. And I wanted to link to your site. I might write NYC dentist and then make that the link, so NYC dentist. If you click on that that would then link to your site.
That phrase NYC dentist is the anchor text. Google looks at that anchor text, so they read that. And that’s another signal to tell Google, hey, what is this website about? What should it be ranking for? People caught on to that, and it became an actual SEO tactic to get a lot of links with the same anchor text. And that was working for a while, but now with all these updates, especially the penguin updates, that is another red flag that can actually get you into more trouble than it’s worth. You don’t want to get links with the exact same anchor text across a lot of different websites. So definitely, avoid that.
And what I would recommend is really focusing on content marketing, creating and sharing this high value content, and using that to naturally get links. So rather than thinking about how you can create links, focus on creating really good content. And in turn by doing that, other websites will want to link to that content.
Okay, the third old school tactic to avoid is unnecessary SEO web pages. And this is related to the hummingbird update. And the approach you want to use…so I’ll give you an example of a mistake that businesses use. They’ll do the keyword research, find all of the relevant keywords for their industry,. And then they will go out and try to create one page for every single keyword. For example, even the singular and plurals would have different pages.
And that actually used to work but with all those updates I went through, that’s not a relevant tactic. You want to avoid that. And instead you want to use what I’m calling keyword themes. So you want to group similar keywords together and then just create one page for that group of keywords.
So you would not want to create multiple pages for similar keywords, like plurals I already mentioned that or similar intent. And what I mean by that is if you just think about what it is that that person is actually searching for, when they type that keyword into Google. And if they’re essentially looking for the same thing, then it’s highly likely you want to just have one page for those different keywords that you’re trying to target. And here’s a very straightforward example, dentist in NYC. Somebody searching for that is the same as somebody searching for NY dentists or NYC dentists.
All right, so here’s some predictions for 2016. Nothing too crazy here. Google will definitely continue to fight SEO spam. I already mentioned any spam in their search results threatens their business model. If they lose users, they lose the search revenue, and that’s going to really hurt their business. So they’re just going to keep investing in hiring really smart people to fight SEO spam. And what does that mean? Keyword stuffing on your pages, getting unnatural links to your website, and having a lot of unnecessary pages.
You’ll also see, this should be obvious to most people, that mobile is becoming more and more important, which mobile search actually overtook desktop search recently. So more people are actually searching on their mobiles now, on their mobile phone. And that actually is related to local signals. So people are searching mobile, on their mobiles. And mobile has location capabilities with GPS. So Google is now using those signals to rank websites. So it’s important to have a mobile presence and a mobile optimized website, as well as be optimized for local SEO.
I mentioned Google’s still playing in the social media space, and I do think social signals will become even more important as we progress into 2016. Now all of this comes down to the misconception that SEO is about tricking Google. And I would argue that it’s really more about partnering with Google, and you want to try to help Google help their users. So what are their users trying to find when they search a particular keyword? That is what you want to put on your web pages. And another analogy you can use here is that SEO reflects real relationships. So it should resemble the real world. And SEO matures it is starting to resemble more and more closely to the real world. When we started it was all about just dumping keywords, and having really spammy looking web pages. And now it’s progressing. Google can actually understand context and synonym. And it’s much more about creating a really good content, and a really good user experience.
And you also want, just like you would want buzz in the real world, and have people talking about you, online you want people sharing information about you, reviewing your business, referencing your information by linking to you business. This a great quote from Wayne Gretzky here. A good hockey player plays where the puck is, and a great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. And that’s why I think it’s so important for you to understand the history of search engines and understand all of the different updates that have happened to date so that you can play in the SEO world using tactics that are appropriate for where SEO is going to be.
Alright. So with that out of the way, we’ll dive into the five rules, aka the five R’s, to make it easy to remember. And the first R is research. And this is really the first step with any type of search marketing. You need to do keyword research to figure out what your ideal customers are actually searching.
And the tool I would recommend you use is Google’s keyword planner tool. It is 100% free, and you can just go to Google and literally just Google keyword planner tool, or even just keyword tool and it should be the first result. And what you’re looking for, it works like a thesaurus. You’ll type in some keywords that you think people are searching for. Just type in some obvious ones. And then Google will tell you how many times that particular keyword is searched, and it will show you additional keywords that are related to that and show you how many times those keywords are searched.
Obviously, you want to find keywords that have search volume greater than zero. And that means they are in fact being searched each month. If the search volume is zero, that is an indication that very few or no one is actually searching that keyword. The next point bullet point there is focusing on buying intent, which is absolutely critical with SEO. Not every keyword is created equally. Certain keywords are going to be more keyword, sorry certain keywords are going to be more research oriented, where the person is just doing research trying to find information.
Maybe they’re in college doing, writing their thesis. So they’re not looking to buy anything. And then other keywords have what we call buying intent. I gave you a pretty straightforward example, best dentist in NYC has more buying intent than how to get whiter teeth. They’re both related to a dentist, so a dentist might put these keywords into the keyword planner tool, might think that those are both good that they get searched each month. But the reality is the majority of people searching how to get whiter teeth, are just looking for information. They’re not really looking for a dentist, whereas somebody searching best dentist in NYC is obviously looking for a dentist, and most likely looking to schedule an appointment.
And the final question here when you doing your keyword research is do you deserve to be number one? And by that I mean do you actually offer the information that that person is looking for? Do you actually offer that product or that service that they’re looking for? And if you don’t, that’s going to be an uphill battle. Or you have to invest in actually creating that information, or having that product or that service. I just saw a question pop up, so I do want to clarify: Google’s keyword planner tool is actually for Google AdWords. So that data is still relevant for SEO. It’s showing you how many times the keyword is searched, but there’ll be extra data in there. Like the estimated cost per click, and that is related to advertising. So that’s not related to SEO. You can ignore the cost per click data.
You can also ignore the competition, but I will say that there is a correlation between high competition for Google AdWords where advertisers are competing heavily to get their business to show up as well as SEO competition. If a lot of people are competing in Google AdWords, strong correlation between that and a lot of people competing for the SEO organic rankings as well. So you can kind of gauge the SEO competition by looking at the AdWords competition.
But I do want to clarify that, that data is specifically for Google AdWords, it’s not for SEO. So step one, you need to do your keyword research, ideally finding all of the buying intent keywords that you should be going after. And step two is relevance and by that, we mean website relevance. And it’s really marketing 101. You need to match the message that you’re going to display on your website to the market.
And we talked about this already. You want to pick one page per target keyword theme. So group all of your similar keywords together. And then pick one page on your site, if you already have one that exists. In a lot of cases, you won’t actually have a page that’s relevant for a handful of your keywords.
In that case you’ll need to create additional pages. And then to make it relevant, there is a little bit of HTML code that you have to edit. And I promise this is very easy in terms of coding. Any developer would be able to do this and know exactly what you’re talking about. You want to edit the title of the page, and you can see the HTML code there with less than sign, a title, greater than sign. So that’s the title. The headers; that’s the H1,H2, H3. And then obviously the body copy. So all the content or words that are on the page.
You want to write about that keyword that you’re targeting or that keyword group of keywords, or the keyword theme that we talked about. You obviously want to write naturally and maintain that same focus on that keyword, but you don’t want to stuff the keyword unnaturally into the page. So you do want to use it in the title. That’s important, that tells Google that your page is relevant for that keyword. So create a natural looking title with the keyword. And then create natural looking headers that ideally are using a variation of the keyword. And then write naturally about that keyword in the body copy.
So the golden rule of relevance here would really be to create a webpage that you yourself would actually want to find if you were the one searching the keyword. I that’s a nice spin on how you can approach the page that you’re creating. Just put yourself in the shoes of your prospect, searching for that keyword and what is it that you would actually want to find. And what would you need to see on that page, all the information for it to be the best, absolute best page for that particular keyword?
Okay, so the third R here is reputation. At this point, we know which keywords we’re targeting. And based on those keywords we’ve now edited our website to be relevant for those keywords, and now we need to build up what’s called your website reputation. Again we’ll use the analogy of your real world reputation in the…you want to cultivate friends and hang out with people who have solid reputations.
You don’t want to be hanging out with people who have bad reputations, that can reflect poorly on you, and the same thing can happen online, if you have links from bad poor websites I guess I’ll say, spammy looking websites that reflects negatively on you. And if you’re linking out spammy looking websites, again that reflects poorly on you.
And you want people obviously in the real world to be talking positively about you. And that’s where social media can come into play as well as links. So online where people are talking about you. They’re really linking to you or mentioning your business in forums, or on social media. And what this comes down to is really focusing on attracting links, versus buying or creating links. We touched on this earlier. That’s an old school tactic you want to avoid. You don’t want to buy links, you don’t want to focus on manually creating a lot of links to try to trick Google. Instead, you want to focus your time and energy on creating a really great website, really great content on your website that other websites would want to link to.
Okay, I promised I’ll give you a couple tactics that you can use to get ranked in 30 days or less, so I’m going to go through those really quickly here. The first one is called piggyback SEO. Now that you understand those first three R’s this will make sense. What you’re going to do is piggyback SEO, is you’re going to piggyback on other high authority websites. In other words, websites that are already have a strong reputation in Google’s eyes.
So Google really likes YouTube, really likes or respects press release websites. So PR web, WebWire. What you can do is publish content with your target keyword in the title of that content. So with YouTube, it would be a video, and you would a video with the name of that video, including the keyword that you want to rank for. And by including the keyword in the title, as you know, that shows Google that you’re relevant. And since Google already considers these sites higher authority, or that they have strong reputations, that allows those sites to rank high in the search results for those keywords. So I’ll give you a couple examples.
This is actually an article that I wrote, where the arrow is pointing there. So this is a keyword at the top. How to create a Google AdWords campaign. People search that keyword. I wrote this article how to create a profitable Google AdWords campaign, published it on the Kiss Metrics blog, which is a website that has a strong reputation. Because of that, because the keyword is in the title, and Kiss Metrics has a strong reputation, Google naturally ranks that high in the search also, so this is the first page.
The first listing there is an ad, so it’s really ranked number three in the search results. And here’s that same article for a different keyword Google AdWords campaign. And you can see that article again is ranked number three. Again, it’s because the keyword that those words are in the title. Obviously, the article is about Google AdWords and how to create a Google AdWords campaign. So the content of the article is highly relevant. And the authority of that website is really high. So that combination means it will rank high. So this piggyback SEO is all that getting content on another website that already has a strong reputation, a high authority and that allows you to get your information, your content ranked high. And then when somebody clicks through to that article, you obviously in that article want to have a link back to your website.
Okay, tactic number two is local SEO. And this is a huge opportunity for all businesses that are looking for local clients, customers, or patients. And here’s some stats, 20% of searches are local, 40% of mobile searches are local, and 97% consumer search for local businesses. So because of those stats, Google pushed really hard for what they call now Google My Business. It used to be Google, Google Plus, local Google maps. You’ve probably heard about basically it’s when you do a search for a local company. You’ll see the map in the search results and you’ll see a list of all the local businesses.
The way you get ranked there is by setting up a Google My Business. And here are the basics three steps. Again, it starts with keyword research. Find out what your ideal customers are actually typing into Google, and then make sure that when you search for those keywords, Google is showing the map results with local businesses. If they are then that is a huge opportunity for you to get ranked locally for those keywords. And you would set up a Google my business profile. Use the keywords to basically find appropriate categories to add to your Google My Business profile.
And then the other key factors are what are called citations. And that’s mentions of your name, address, and phone number on other websites. So that really comes down to getting listed in a lot of directories. So building up your reputation in the local SEO is all about setting up a lot of business directories. And you also want to work hard to get lots of reviews. If you follow those steps, you can actually get ranked very quickly in the local results.
Here’s a success story, so you see that you can get ranked very quickly. This was Barney at about a month ago. Started going through the local SEO steps. I’ve noticed my Google ranking is moving up. And right now I’m at the number one position for my most important keyword in my area. I’m now receiving phone calls from my listing, and I just started working on a case that came in directly from Google Plus Local.
This is back when it was called Google Plus Local, and now it is called Google My Business. Okay so, so far went through the three R’s: research, relevance, reputation. We went through the two tactics that you can use to get ranked in 30 days or less. So that’s basically the SEO loopholes. And now my favorite, the fourth R is revenue. It’s not about getting your website to rank, it’s actually getting that traffic to convert on your website. So the number one goal is not to rank, it’s to generate revenue. There’s really three factors.
First, you want to have compelling website copy. That comes down to just understanding sales copy, and resonating with your ideal customer persona. You want to make sure you have social proof on your website, and a strong CTA, which stands for call to action. Now the second one is called the lead magnet. In my experience, most businesses do not have a lead magnet. And that’s a huge mistake because the majority of people that go to your website are just going to leave and most likely never come back.
But if you have what’s called a lead magnet, which could be a free report. It’s basically some kind of free offer on your website that you’re going to offer in exchange for an email address. That’s what we’re calling a lead magnet. Most typical lead magnets are going to be a free report. If you go to our site, mainstreetroi.com, right on our home page we have an internet marketing survival guide. So that’s our lead magnet on our home page.
And the whole point of that is rather than having people come to you site and then leave because the majority are not ready to buy from you, you can get a significant percentage of them to request your lead magnet. And now you have contact information that you can use to follow up. And the third factor is that you’re targeting keywords that are actually searched by your prospective customers.
Because it is possible of to go through this process and get your website ranking for keywords, but if you’re targeting the wrong keywords, like researching intent keywords, then it’s not going to actually translate into any revenue. So it really does start with keyword research, and making sure you’re targeting the buying intent keywords. If you don’t get that right it won’t actually translate into revenue. And finally, you definitely want to track your return on investment. I recommend everyone get set up on Google analytics.
The Fifth R is responsibility. And by that I mean who is responsible for SEO. And you have to remember the SEO is not a set it and forget it strategy. It does take an ongoing investment. And I recommend everyone, if you are looking to delegate, outsource, or hire someone, you do want to understand the basics of SEO.
And by attending this webinar you now do you have a foundation for how SEO works. And that’s really important to understand that before you just completely hand over the keys. And the last slide here is just to remember that Google updates are inevitable, but they actually translate into opportunity for businesses. So every time Google rolls out a new update, that will shake up the search results. And what typically happens is all of the businesses that we’re using old school tactics will get bumped off the first page, and businesses that were using the correct tactics will actually move up in rankings.
And with that, I want to show a poll. Let me get this loaded up. So on your screen right now you should see a poll. Are you going to take action and invest in improving your SEO this year? So really, just trying to gauge who on the line is looking to implement SEO this year. Or if it’s not a good fit for your company, that’s perfectly fine. There is an option there. So I’m going to leave it up for three more seconds. So three, two, one. I’m going to close that down. It’s actually 80% are going to take action, implement SEO, and are going to do it in-house. With 15%, they’re going to look for outside help, and 4% say it is not a priority.
And the reason I asked that, there were a fair amount that were going to implement SEO and are looking for help. So I do want to quickly go through what I would recommend. If you do need help, the first step would be to get an SEO audit. And we have an SEO audit and consultation service and here’s what’s included. We would do a complete SEO audit, obviously more in-depth than what we had time to cover in this webinar.
You would get a written report. And that is not an auto generated report. It’s actually a report we manually create. You’d also get SEO competitor analysis to see how you rank versus your competitors. Custom SEO recommendations, as well as a phone call to get all your questions answered and to discuss the results of the audit. If you are interested in that, it’s only $300 for the audit and the consultation, and as well as the report. And you just go to mainstreetroi.com/seoaudit. And Eric just asked where can you get it. So again mainstreetroi.com/seoaudit.
And with that, we will open to Q&A. And Gary, just saw your question, is there a replay? Yes, we were recording this. And we will get that replay sent out, I’m hoping by tomorrow.
Check out the Q&A portion of the interview with Phil, by visiting our blog.