Every business or organization that wants to maintain a strong online presence understands the need for proper website SEO tactics. Optimizing your website by putting relevant keywords in your front-facing pages is an excellent way to increase your online rankings. But as Google and other search engines continue to evolve, it’s finally time for old-school SEO to retire. Tom Hazzard delves into the fresh new school SEO techniques, emphasizing why you don’t need to pay a monthly fee just to maintain your good rankings. He also explains how incorporating podcast episodes into your website is a great way to produce keyword-rich but still interesting blog posts.
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Is Getting SEO Provider For Your Website An Effective Way To Get Organic Discovery and Increase Listeners?
I feel the need to speak on the subject that I’m considering like a public service announcement to those of you reading. There is a lot of confusion out there in the market among anybody that has a website, which are billions of us out there in the world. In particular, with podcasters who we work with all the time. There’s a lot of confusion around website SEO. We’ve talked about this in different ways at different times. I’ve encountered more people with the perception that they need to pay a company a lot of money every month to maintain their SEO. Their website continues to show up in search engines and high in Google Search for certain terms that they want to show up for.
I feel the need to help pull back the curtain. I’m feeling like I’m Toto pulling the curtain back on The Wizard here a little bit. I want to help share what we know about SEO, express some concern for all of our readers out there to be cautious and help you understand a little bit more about website SEO. What I don’t want is all of you to be overly concerned with it and spend too much money on a service that, in a lot of cases, is wasted. That’s what I want to share with you.
I also want to preface this by saying we are not an SEO company at Podetize. That’s not the primary service we provide in terms of getting your website to rank high in Google Search for certain words. I’m talking about the front public-facing pages of your website. However, we have an awful lot of experience with this. We are working with about 500 podcasters on their websites every week and we see the data. We see the needle move over time. We know what works and what doesn’t, at least from our perspective. That’s what I want to share with you.
I want to start by saying there is an old school of website SEO and a new school in terms of philosophies. It used to be in the early days of web browsers. How many of you remember Netscape Navigator or other browsers that you might have used? Now, on the Mac platform, you have Safari that’s built-in. On the Windows platform, it’s called Edge. That’s the built-in one. Most people are using a browser like Chrome, Firefox or something like that to do their internet searching.The browser you use doesn't matter as much in SEO because it's the search engine you're searching in. Click To Tweet
We all want to come up in that search. The browser you use doesn’t matter as much because it’s the search engine that you’re searching in. That’s Google for most people. Bing is out there. It’s not used as much, quite honestly. Although if you have an Amazon Alexa and you ask questions of Alexa, it’s going to Bing for a lot of its stuff because Amazon and Google don’t play nice with each other.
What I’m talking about here in terms of the old school of SEO was you would have your website pages. I’m talking about your Home page or About page. It could be your product or service pages, any media page, press page and any front-facing page that would be in the top-level navigation. Usually, at the top of your web page, you’re going to have all those different menu items, all those front-facing pages or at least your homepage. Certainly, you want your homepage to come up high in search for certain terms. Certainly, your name, your company name and maybe some key services.
If you are a heating, air conditioning, ventilation contractor, you want to come up for searches for a lot of those sorts of terms. There are companies that, for decades, have been selling not only a service to initially help your site rank for those keywords and come up high in the beginning. A lot of times, they sell you on a monthly subscription to maintain it and make sure you continue to come up high in that search.
That used to work a whole lot different than it does now. There were a lot of tricks and tactics that could be used to put code within the back end of your website pages that would get you to rank on certain keywords, even if those keywords or keyword phrases didn’t exist on your website. The companies would do what we would call keyword cramming. They put it all in the code and didn’t have to have it on the actual pages. There was a way to hack the system or hack the algorithm and get your website to show up for all sorts of things that maybe didn’t exist on your website.
Over the years, the major search engines, certainly Google, which is where the vast majority of searches happen, got wise to that and they continue to make algorithm changes to their code for how they analyze websites to prevent that keyword hacking. That doesn’t happen anymore. What does happen is any words or phrases that are contained on those front-facing pages of your website are words or phrases that you can and should rank for in searches especially in Google. That’s one of the major fundamental shifts that happened over time.
If you don’t have a phrase or words in the copy of the public-facing view of your web pages that has those words or phrases in them, your website won’t rank for those words. In fact, to rank on them higher, the more times any of those words or phrases exist on your website, even within one page and on multiple pages of your site, the more likely your website is to rank for those keywords. It’s hard to fudge the system.
Here’s what I want to eliminate. Here’s the important point. This is important to do when you create your website or when something fundamental changes. Either about your website or your website pages or maybe the products or services that you provide or whatever it is that your website is presenting to the world. When something fundamental changes in that, that’s a good time to look at the words and phrases contained there and the words and phrases that you’re ranking on.
For those people that are hosted on Podetize or working with Podetize and have access to our client portal, in our dashboard, there is a website tab and in there, you’re going to see the top twenty keyword phrases your website ranks on. You can download a spreadsheet of the top 100 phrases that your website ranks on. If you work with us and you’re curious to know what your site’s ranking is on, you can get that information. Other services like SEMrush, Ahrefs and Google Analytics, if it’s installed on the back end of your website, can give you some of this information as well. There are many ways you can look it up.Never use long-tail keyword phrases for website SEO. A single word is probably present on millions of websites. Click To Tweet
What I want to make clear is that if you’re not ranking on something that you want to, if you’re not showing up in the search for a certain phrase or series of words. A single word is hard to rank on because a single word is probably present on millions of websites unless it’s a made-up word or an unusual word. It’s combinations of words, what we call longtail keyword phrases, that are what you want to rank on. The example I used before, plumbing, heating and ventilation contractors or companies or services, is a long combination of words. If those words are not contained then the page won’t rank on them.
I’m going to give you an example here of a Podetize customer named Adam Markel. Some of you may know him and others may not. We’ve been working with him for a long time and we built his entire website. We don’t always do that for customers. We do it for some. We’re in hundreds of websites every week and that’s why we have a lot of experience with what works for SEO and what doesn’t.
Adam Markel was upset when he went googling his own name. Adam Markel’s website is AdamMarkel.com. It’s easy to type that in and go there if you know his name. If somebody is googling him, he expected his website would come up on the first page of Google Search right at the top and he didn’t. He was puzzled and upset by this. This is an example of front-facing webpage SEO and the power of it.
He asked for our assistance and support in reviewing it and trying to determine why he wasn’t coming up with his own name. When he typed his own name, there were two pages of other websites that referred to him or referenced him. He was a guest on other people’s podcasts. All these other sites showed up first and his site was buried on page 3 or 4. He’s like, “I don’t get it. Why am I not coming up?” We analyzed his website and we found Adam’s name was all over the main pages of his website but it only said Adam. Rarely did his last name Markel appear right after Adam. This is the lesson and it shows you the power of on-page SEO of your website.
There was no problem with his website other than the fact that the copy that he wanted everybody to be reading about him. He wanted to be more relatable and more real. It was, “Adam believes in this. Adam espouses this. Adam is the founder of this.” He wanted to be more personable but that was not a great SEO strategy because if you don’t have your last name next to your first name in the copy on your website, how do you expect your website to rank on that phrase that doesn’t exist there?
We went into Adam’s website but not everywhere because we still wanted to have some of that personal and relatable feel to the copy. We weren’t doing the copywriting. Adam’s team did the copywriting because they know him better. We went in and added as many places as we could without it sounding too formal. We put Markel after Adam. Within seven days after we did that on his website, if you went into Google search and typed Adam Markel, it’s the first listing at the top of the first page of Google search. Adam Markel showed up for his name.
We have experienced things like this over time. We have direct cause and effect. We see what works and how you can make sure you’re showing up in Google search for some of the phrases. It was easier with Adam’s name because there are not many people on Earth with that name and then have a website. It was easier for him to come up as number one.
If you’re a plumbing, heating and ventilation contractor, there are tens of thousands of those in the United States so it may be hard for you to rank on that phrase alone. You might be able to rank highly in your local geographic area if it’s plumbing, heating and ventilation contractors Cleveland if you’re in Cleveland, Ohio or whatever town. Geography can play a role and you can easily rank high on that.The more podcasts episodes you record and convert into blog posts, the more phrases you will rank on. Click To Tweet
When we’re thinking about our website SEO, the phrases we want to show up for, we have to think about how those phrases can be present as many times as possible in the copy on your website in a genuine, organic way that isn’t going to look odd. You don’t want to have a page full of all sorts of crazy phrases you want to rank on that’s nothing pleasant for people to read. That wouldn’t make a lot of sense. My point in this is once you’ve set up your main pages with the words or phrases you want to rank on, you’ve done it.
Is there anything to be maintained month over month? Usually not. That’s why I get frustrated and sometimes disheartened when I meet somebody new who’s spending $500 a month for a company to maintain their SEO. Also, to make sure they continue to show up at the top of Google search for their own name month after month. There’s nothing for them to do. This kind of SEO is something that you need to do once and then review once or twice a year. Make sure that it’s still accurate and you’re showing up for it. This is not something you need to maintain monthly.
There are different things you might want to have a service and pay them for to help you continue to show up monthly. If you’re doing a pay-per-click advertising campaign with Google, you want to come up in those paid those ad spots that come up. Usually, 2 or 3 are above the organic search results on any Google page. That’s an entirely different animal and that is a paid program. You can pay to show up in those searches. All Google cares about is that you do pay for it. How expensive it is, is completely dependent on a few things. How big is a search volume there for those terms? How much competition is there for those terms?
There’s a market that’s ever-changing for what you’ll pay per click when somebody clicks on the ad and goes to your website. That’s different. That’s not SEO. That’s pay-per-click based on keywords. There’s some relation and some similarities. I’ve been talking about old-school SEO, keyword hacking, putting things in the metadata and not putting it on the pages. I’ve shared with you what organic SEO is for keyword phrases on your main front-facing pages.
I want to share with you what we consider the new school of SEO. You need a little bit of the old school. You have to configure your website, make sure it’s right and make sure you’re ranking for what you want to. You can only rank on so many things unless each of your pages has thousands of words on it. Most front-facing web pages for most of our websites don’t have that many words. There’s only so much you’re going to be able to do there.
Here’s where the wonderful power of podcasting comes in. This is the new school of SEO and this is what we do with all of our clients that we’re producing episodes for. Your blog pages on your website are such a ripe opportunity for you, the podcaster and the website owner to rank on so many different things, thousands of different phrases, even tens of thousands of different phrases. We see this all the time. We do it for ourselves and we do it for our clients.
We have people ranking anywhere if they’re new to a few hundred to a couple of thousand keyword phrases all the way up to hundreds of thousands of keyword phrases. That’s what can happen over time. How can that happen? You have to have more content with more words in it to be able to do it. You can either write blogs the hard way and write them like an article. It takes a long time. The statistics that we often cite when we speak at events are that the average person takes 3 to 4 hours to write a 1,200-word blog post. You agonize over it, want it to be perfect, want it to be good and spend time on it.
You can speak your way to a 3,000-word blog post by recording a podcast that’s about twenty minutes long. The average person speaks about 150 words a minute unless you’re Scott Carson, somebody that we work with. He speaks at probably 250 with gust up to 300. I like to tease him. He’s a friend too. Even Tracy in The Binge Factor speaks faster than some. She certainly speaks faster than me. I’m one of those slower speakers when I podcast.
This opportunity podcasters have to unlock all these wonderful keyword phrase-rich terms that you’re speaking in your episodes and a lot of them that your guests are speaking. If you don’t create a blog post that’s essentially a speech-to-text conversion in some way, we have our way that we do it that we think is the best and we do that for our customers. Doing it at all is going to be helpful. I don’t know if everybody realizes this but your podcast episodes on their own within the apps are only searchable based on what is in the title and description of each episode and your overall show description. That is such a small fraction of all the things that you say in your episodes.Podcasters may have different purposes. But at the end of the day, all they want is to be found by their ideal listeners. Click To Tweet
That’s the new school of SEO. There is an unlimited number of keyword phrases your website can rank on. The more episodes you record and convert into blog posts, the more phrases you will rank on. The great thing about keyword phrases is it’s not a one-and-done proposition either. How you rank on a keyword phrase is not only about how many times that phrase exists on a page of your website or multiple pages of your website. It also is largely about what your website is doing relative to other websites. There are always new websites being created and old ones creating more content. Your keyword ranking over time can increase.
Even if that blog post is 1 year old or 3 years old, that blog post can still gain ranking higher up. Maybe it’s been on page two and it moves up to page one. That movement happens all the time and it’s all relative based on what other people are doing. Some of the criteria that Google considers in this is not only how often does the word exist in your copy. Does it exist within captions of images? Does it exist in the metadata of the images? Where else is it within the post? Also, it has to do with how many times you use it. Here’s another biggie, is your website something that is still publishing new blog posts every week? Is it publishing them on a regular basis?
A website that’s been static for months or even years still ranks on those keywords but is lower in the list than a website that’s publishing new content every week or even more than once every week. Google looks at the consistency and the frequency of publication, as well as the length and quality of the blog post. There are a lot of things to consider here. That’s why as we got into podcasting many years ago, we quickly discovered the power in the industry called page authority instead of domain authority. Getting your website domain to rank for certain things is harder to do than a page within your website.
At the end of the day, when people are searching in Google, they’re going to get results. If they’re relevant, they’re going to click on them and then they’re on your website on the page. That keyword phrase is the highest in the listing that was in the search results that they clicked and got on to. This is what I wanted to share with you about the new school and old school of SEO. I visited this issue in the past. I try not to talk about it the same way every time but it is fundamental and important. I cringe when I see people spending way too much money on old-school SEO tactics that aren’t helping them so much or that they’re not getting enough benefit out of. Also, the company that you’re paying isn’t doing much for that.
We do try to look out for all of our podcasters and make sure that their websites are ranking and coming up in enough. The websites are ranking on the things they want to rank on and that their SEO is configured as good as it can be. We’re not necessarily the SEO experts but we have an awful lot of experience and a lot of data that shows us these patterns and trends. One thing we know is if you are a podcast or you publish regularly and you convert that into a blog post, your website will continue to gain in keyword rankings and gain unique visitors from Google search every month as a result.
At the end of the day, what all of us podcasters want is to be found by our ideal listeners, followers, customers or a group of people we can market to or are interested in what we have to sell or interested in what we’re providing them in terms of value in our show. Everybody has different goals but we all want to be found and that’s the message here. New school SEO is so much more powerful and more valuable.
One last little tip. People often say, “My domain name is this. It’s one domain name but it’s separated into a couple of words. I typed the words of my domain name and my domain name doesn’t come up at the top of Google search.” My feeling on that is that’s the least important part of SEO because if people already know your domain name, they don’t need to google it. They type it in dot-com usually or dot-net or whatever your designation may be. If they already know your web URL, you’ve already won the battle. They’re going to find you.
It’s more important to rank on things that are their needs, desires and pain points that are in alignment with what you do, what you speak about in your podcast and what you have to offer them. That’s it. That’s my message. Thank you for reading. I will be back and hopefully with my better half, Tracy, who was a little under the weather. That’s why I’m doing this alone. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. We’ll be back with another great one next time.
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