More & more businesses are turning to SEO to build their businesses online. While SEO can be tough, Sandro goes over four, more intermediate, yet simple tips to help your small business’ website grow!

Episode 0307

Intermediate SEO Tips 2018

Liz: [00:00:03] Hey there. Welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast, where we give you tips and insight on social media, websites, email marketing, SEO and so much more. Today Sandro is going to be sharing some intermediate SEO tips for you.

Sandro: [00:00:17] Thanks Liz. Recent studies I’ve been seeing online are showing two things: more and more businesses are turning to SEO as a way to build their business online. Yet it’s still at the bottom or near the bottom of dollars spent by business.

Liz: [00:00:31] In terms of lead generation activities, SEO is near the bottom.

Sandro: [00:00:35] Yes.

Liz: [00:00:36] Like, more people are investing in email marketing or social, okay.

Sandro: [00:00:39] Correct. So basically there’s a lot of room to grow. And I know SEO can be tough for a small business, so I’ll try to make these as simple as possible, but they’re next step in terms of SEO. Because in the past we’ve talked about some SEO 101 basics, things like links, anytime someone writes about you or mentions you online, make sure there’s a link. If there isn’t one, send an email. You know, I’m actually working with a food client and the New York Times did an article about them 18 months ago, but they didn’t get a link. We’re trying to get one but they didn’t get one.

Liz: [00:01:14] Good luck. That would be huge. Yeah.

Sandro: [00:01:18] They never asked for one they didn’t get one. So something else would be basic on page SEO. Like a good title to each page so Google knows what your website’s about. So these are next level. And here’s 4 of them.


Link to External, High Authority Websites


Sandro: [00:01:31] I’m going to try to make them pretty basic here. First link to other websites, websites with really high domain authority. I’m not sure why this works to be honest. But there is a correlation showing that if you start linking out to say, an article in The New York Times from your website or to the Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal, you generally rank higher. So if you’re a mechanic, you may have a page on how long tires should last. Maybe link to an article with high authority. Or if you’re a restaurant, link out to an article on your favorite new wines from Food and Wine Magazine. So link out to high domain authority websites. For some reason that works.


Use “Best”, “Top”, “Buy” or “2018” In Titles


Sandro: [00:02:11] Second, use modifier keywords in your titles. So every web page should have a title. Between 30 and 65 characters. That’s what’s in blue when you search for something on Google. It’s the title tag. Well if you start using words like ‘best’ or ‘top’ or ‘buy’ or the current year in those tags, we’re actually seeing more and more people looking for things like current year when they’re searching. I know I do.

Sandro: [00:02:31] So if you’re looking to buy a new car, chances are you’ll click on posts that have ‘2018 Best Cars’ or the ‘best cars’ or the ‘top cars’ in this category in the title. This is kind of more for blogs, but one thing Google likes is fresh content and that’s a good reason to have a blog for your small business. So consider using one of these four modifiers when you’re writing your posts or your page titles.

Liz: [00:02:59] So when we were prepping for this episode you mentioned that a lot of blogs are changing, they’re taking an old article and maybe updating the year for 2016 to 2018, setting up a redirect to make it more relevant. Are they changing the publish date?

Sandro: [00:03:14] Yes, I have been noticing people changing the published date.

Liz: [00:03:18] Okay.

Sandro: [00:03:19] In some, it annoys me when some don’t put a published date.

Liz: [00:03:23] Well yeah, because I know when I’m searching for, if I’m doing a little research on an episode for this show, I don’t want to be reading an article from 2015, I mean oh my gosh, look how outdated is that? So there are so many times where I’m paying, trying to pay close attention to when something was published. I don’t want to read something that was, you know, more than 6 months old.

Sandro: [00:03:44] And hopefully they’re doing new research and updating not just updating the title tag and the date published but they’re actually updating all the new features on a new car or on certain things.

Liz: [00:03:55] Yeah, whatever, and something that I have seen occasionally and I’m going to start to pay more attention to it, is that editor’s note at the top of the post, you know, originally published, you know, on September 2016, we updated it January 2018, like something like that I think goes a long way as well.


Use Internal Links Strategically


Sandro: [00:04:13] I agree. Third tip, use internal links regularly if your website has lots of pages, some are probably more important than others. One way to let Google know they are more important is if you’re linking to them more so internally. This podcast that you’re listening to now just begin ranking in the top 10 for the term ‘MailChimp versus Constant Contact for nonprofits.’

Liz: [00:04:38] So excited about that.

Sandro: [00:04:40] It’s one of Liz’s posts. Yeah, it’s an episode Liz did a couple of months ago. Well, as soon as I saw we were ranking in the top ten I went through our entire website and any reference to MailChimp or Constant Contact, I made a link, an internal link, back to that post that is ranking so well. To let Google know it’s important and we want to continue to go up in rank for it. So use internal links as often as you can.

Liz: [00:05:07] And strategically. You know don’t just say, “Oh! I’ll link to this page this time,” and be very focused on your internal link building strategy. Cause I know that’s important.

Sandro: [00:05:19] I don’t pay for Yoast for any of our clients, but I know that’s something in the paid version, the free version of Yoast is fantastic. So you don’t really have to pay for it.

Liz: [00:05:27] Love it.

Sandro: [00:05:27] But the paid version, they do help you do internal linking. That’s one of the options. Haven’t tried it, but that may be a reason to go with the paid version of Yoast.

Liz: [00:05:36] I haven’t tried it either but I might start testing that for my own site.

Sandro: [00:05:41] It’s like 60 bucks a year or something.

Liz: [00:05:43] That’s nothing.


Use Answer the Public for Ideas


Sandro: [00:05:43] Finally, when doing keyword research, one of my favorite tools to use and it’s free, is Answer the Public, or Just go there now. Try it out when you have a moment. Go there, type in whatever your business is all about and see what comes up. What will come up is a whole lot of data and ideas on things you may want to try to rank for, or ideas for blog posts.

Sandro: [00:06:09] Once you type something in it’ll give you two options. It defaults to visualization. There’s visualization or data. I like to use data, so click over to there and view it that way. But it’s a website with a lot of fans. I think once you check it out you’ll see why, they’ll give you a lot of great ideas and like I said, it’s completely free. There is a paid version and it just works faster. The free version you’ll notice is throttled, like once you click enter it’ll take maybe 10 seconds to get to your answers, but that’s perfectly fine. So that’s my fourth tip. Check out and you’ll be amazed by the number of ideas coming your way.

Liz: [00:06:46] And how much is the paid version?

Sandro: [00:06:48] So the paid version is fifty dollars a month. And it gives you unlimited searches.

Liz: [00:06:52] Now I have not played around with this at all, I’m going to dig into it when we’re done recording. But do you think this is a good tool to complement the Moz Keyword Planner and the Google Keyword Planner?

Sandro: [00:07:03] It’s a complement, it doesn’t take the place of those or paid because it doesn’t tell you how many searches each of the ideas has, so it won’t tell you, well this keyword is better than this keyword because it has more monthly searches, and it won’t tell you how much they cost per click. Some more advanced tools will tell you, this keyword will cost you about $1.20 per click, this keyword will cost you 50 cents per click. It won’t tell you any of that advanced information it will just give you a huge slew of new ideas to write about, to think about, to consider, and then go take them to your paid tools like SEMrush, yeah things like that. Check them out.

Liz: [00:07:43] So it’s an idea generator. Got it okay. And I struggle you know with like a Moz Keyword Planner, you know to see a key phrase and then it says, ‘no data,’ that irks me. And you know, I know that Google is not as forthcoming as they used to be but it’s frustrating, because I would be, it would be nice to get a little more insight for sure.

Sandro: [00:08:05] The website has a very angry looking old man.

Liz: [00:08:09] That’s kind of creepy.

Sandro: [00:08:11] Yeah, he’s very funny though. He’s like, come on, ask me a question, he wants to know your question.

Liz: [00:08:15] Okay.

Sandro: [00:08:17] So those are four different kinds of tips for SEO that are pretty simple to implement but are next level. Use internal links; you should link out to high quality authority websites; use Answer the Public; and use modifier keywords like ‘best’ or ‘2018,’ things like that.


Any High Authority Domain or Specific Pages?


Liz: [00:08:34] Now, jumping back to your first tip. Another question popped into my head. So you said linking to sites with good domain authority, Wall Street Journal, New York Times. Should we pay attention to the page in the article itself? Or is it more the fact that it’s in general like a Wall Street Journal article?

Sandro: [00:08:53] I would say make sure it’s relevant to what your page is all about but from what we’re seeing it generally seems like it could be any page on the Wall Street Journal.

Liz: [00:09:04] And the reason I ask is because in our industry, in the marketing industry, so we most of us have heard of HubSpot and they have that one page, what’s it called? You know it’s like their master list of marketing stats. And I will tell you it’s…at certain points in time I’ve linked to it, I’ve referenced it. If I’m out and about doing research on a site and there’s some kind of stat, like there’s a good chance that the website is linking to that specific HubSpot page. So yeah. I was just curious. . . If you know if it’s a specific page or a specific article that has got a lot of good credibility or if that doesn’t matter. It sounds like it maybe doesn’t really matter.

Sandro: [00:09:46] You know, I’m sure there are websites with low domain authority but high page authority, there’s one page on there that everybody goes to for that one statistic or topic. I think that would be great too, you know. I’m sure Google notices there’s 30,000 links to this one page and no other page on the website gets any links. So Google knows this is an important page if you’re linking to it too. I think that would help, just consider more outbound links to high authority pages and websites. And for some reason that works, we’re not quite sure but there is a correlation.

Liz: [00:10:17] Good to know. All right well thank you for these tips, super helpful and thank you for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can find us on iTunes and Google Podcast. You can also find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you have questions, send us an email we’d love to hear from you. And we will definitely give you a shout out in the show. Thanks so much and we’ll see you next time.