In this episode with my friend and SEO expert, Paula Rollo, we talk about how to use Google Analytics to know what to blog about.
How many time have you asked yourself, what kind of content should I invest my time in to grow my business? How do I get the biggest bang for my buck?
We’re discussing ways to use your analytics to figure out, not only what your audience wants from you, but also what Google thinks you’re an expert in.
Paula and I talk about how all that information is in your Google Analytics and Google Search Console if you know what you’re looking for.
We talk about targeting keywords in your niche to grow your traffic, how to find hidden opportunities to get your content found, how to piggyback off of what’s working for you on social media, and how to think about riding cultural waves to get your posts to show up in search.
After listening to this episode, you’ll never wonder again what kind of content to create to be successful in your business.
I think you’re going to find this episode super helpful!
- Blogger Genius 4 Biggest Takeaways Email
- MiloTree App
- MiloTree BlogStart Service
- MiloTree Mastermind Facebook Group
- MiloTree Google Analytics Cheat Sheet
- Paula Rollo/SEO
- Catch My Party
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Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello friends. Welcome back to The Blogger Genius Podcast. Before I get started, I wanted to ask you if you wanted to receive an email from me on Sundays, where I talk about my most recent episode, and I share my four biggest takeaways from that episode.
So, think of it as a cheat sheet, or like Cliff Notes. It will save you a ton of time because you can decide whether it’s an episode you want to listen to.
But if not, you will stay up to date on what is really working in online business and blogging today. So please head to bloggergenius.com and sign up. Again, easy to remember, bloggergenius.com and just add your email address.
And I would really love to have you as part of my community. So, for today’s episode, I have my friend Paula Rollo, back on the show. I think this is a really interesting episode, because Paula loves analytics.
She loves digging into Google Analytics and Google Search Console, so that she knows what kind of content to create. I do believe that every piece of content you are creating needs to be strategic.
And Paula is going to share how to think about it, how to recognize what keywords you’re ranking for, and go after those keywords by creating more content around that. The goal is to be seen as an authority in Google’s eyes, and we talk a lot about this.
So, if you’re ever stuck for what to create, this episode will give you so many insights. So without further delay, here is my interview with Paula Rollo. Paula, welcome back to the show.
Paula Rollo 2:22
Thank you for having me again. It’s great to be back.
Jillian Leslie 2:25
I don’t even know what number episode this is that you’ve been on. But you are like my most popular guests. And one of my closest internet, friends and friend friends. So, thank you for being here.
So, we talked offline about content creation. And it’s funny because we teach a coaching group and in our second week, which we just taught yesterday, we talk all about content.
And I think that there’s this perception that when you’re a blogger, you can just write about anything, and that somehow people are going to come. And not only that, but then men are going to show up at your front door with suitcases filled with money.
Paula Rollo 3:10
That’s what we all think, isn’t it?
Jillian Leslie 3:11
Paula Rollo 3:12
So, day one vision.
“Lifestyle” is Not a Blogging Niche
Jillian Leslie 3:13
Yeah. I’m going to look out and go, huh. Today I’m going to write about parenting. And then tomorrow, I’m going to do my favorite muffin recipe. And then maybe next week, I’m going to talk about my last trip whenever it was.
And I’m just going to do this hodgepodge of content and then we talk about my garden, and I’ve got all this great content, and people are going to know who I am and come to my site and love what I do.
And again, those two guys with suitcases filled with money are going to show up and I’m going to get rich and it doesn’t work that way. And the thing that we talk a lot about in my coaching group is this idea that content has to be strategic.
You need to use things like keyword research, and your Google Analytics, and your Google Search Console and all these different elements to determine what you should be writing.
Think of Each Blog Post as a Sales Page
And I would argue my new thing that I say in my coaching group is every blog post needs to be a sales page. There needs to be an action, whether it be buy my product, whether it be join my list, whether it be follow me on social.
Whether it be click to these four other blog posts. This is not just a blog post; it’s got a goal attached to it.
Paula Rollo 4:46
Yes, because people need a path. They’re going to finish your post and then what? Then they’re going to click out and they’re going to go read somebody else’s post.
Jillian Leslie 4:54
And never remember that it was you.
Paula Rollo 4:57
Right. They’ll never come back to you necessarily. Unless you give them a way to come back to you and remember you, because they’re on to the next thing, and we’re forgetful.
Give Your Visitor a Path Through Your Site
As people interacting with social media and all of these things, we forget where we were and how to get back there. And you really do. You have to give them a path through your site and a specific action to take when they’re done.
Jillian Leslie 5:22
I had this analogy yesterday when I was teaching my session, which is we like to think that our blogs and that our content is like going to the grocery store, and that I’m saying, come to my site and pick out what you like.
“The better way to think about your blog is like going to IKEA.
You go to IKEA and they lead you on that whole path through the store and it’s really hard to get off that path.”Jillian Leslie
Paula Rollo 5:59
Jillian Leslie 5:59
And you want to do that for your reader, you don’t want to go, “You guys decide. I don’t know what you like.” It’s easier for me as a blogger if I just make it a grocery store because then I don’t have to think about creating that path.
But if you can step back and really map it out, you will be in much better stead at the end.
Paula Rollo 6:25
You would and going to IKEA. I love IKEA by the way. But the thing that they do is they make me want things I didn’t know I wanted and I know that the popular thing is to be like oh I go to Target and Target tells me what I need.
That does not happen to me as much at Target as it does at IKEA because at IKEA there are things that I did not know existed and problems I didn’t realize I was having.
And they give me the solution to it and I buy it because it’s cheap and readily available. I have a problem. I don’t go to IKEA very much because of this, but that is their secret sauce.
As you always say, secret sauce is not just giving you the most popular thing. If you go to Target, you’ll get the most popular thing. And I think sometimes that our instinct is, let me link to this most popular.
Everybody enjoyed this specific recipe. So, I’m going to link to it in my parenting posts and my travel posts.
But they really think through what does this person need whether they know they needed it or not, and give you that right next step, which is what we need to be doing on our site strategically is after a person reads this post, what do they need next?
Jillian Leslie 7:38
Definitely. So, you are the SEO expert. You think about this. My hunch is like when you’re going to bed at night.
Paula Rollo 7:45
I dream about it. Literally I’ve dreamed about keyword research and I woke up and I’m such a nerd.
Niching Down Helps You Get Found on Google
Jillian Leslie 7:51
I love that. Okay, so first, let’s talk broadly. What are your thoughts about niching down?
Paula Rollo 8:01
I have a lot of regrets about not niching down initially, as a blogger. I will say that I think you can be successful, not niching down. So, I’m not going to say that that’s the only way to go.
But these days in a market that’s very saturated with online content, if you want to be found in Google, which is one of the most lucrative ways to be found by a consumer because they spend more time on your site.
Your ads are more valuable from Google than they are from other sites. There are many reasons why Google is the best way to be found by a reader. If you want to be found then you do need to be, if not necessarily niched down you have to be an authority.
Jillian Leslie 8:53
Paula Rollo 8:54
You can’t just throw up a post on a topic even if you are personally an expert on that topic, and expect Google to just be like, well, yeah, that’s a great post, I’m going to rank it high.
They’re not going to because you don’t have the online authority on the topic that is needed to rank well for whatever specific topic you were writing about. Even if you wrote the most ultimate posts that could ever be written on the topic.
If that’s the only one you have on it, Google’s not going to really care.
Right. Because remember, from Google’s point of view, they want to provide the best solution to the searchers’ problem. So, if in fact, I’m Google and I know that this food blogger, let’s say she is a vegan. She’s a vegan, family-friendly food blogger.
Jillian Leslie 9:52
And she has written 300 posts on family-friendly vegan recipes and people love her. When people are writing about family-friendly vegan recipes, they’re linking to her.
And she’s got breakfast recipes, and she’s got lunch recipes, and she’s got desserts and dinner and all of this stuff. There are enough signals that she is that Google says if somebody’s searching for vegan family-friendly recipes.
If you serve this blogger up, chances are, it’s going to be a good experience. Because not only if that person is searching for, let’s say pancakes and sees vegan family-friendly pancakes.
And then looks in the nav bar and sees everything is vegan and family-friendly all of a sudden, that’s a huge win for that searcher and for Google.
And so, that’s why let’s say I’m a lifestyle blogger, and I happen to do a vegan family-friendly pancake recipe, that’s it.
Google’s going to be like, who are you? Look at this other blogger whose owning this space on the internet versus you who’s just chosen to do this as a one-off post.
Paula Rollo 11:08
Yes. And this gets more and more important, the larger the keyword and the more competition there is around the keyword. So, something like a vegan recipe, me on my family site putting up I could have a better, vegan toast recipe than this lady does.
Mine could be more delicious, but that doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, because I don’t have any vegan content except for this one piece of toast that I put out. I don’t even know what vegans eat. I’m sorry.
Jillian Leslie 11:40
Okay. So, I think then what you are saying, which is aligned with what I think is, if you want to have authority on Google, which is the best place you can get Google traffic to your blog, I’m just repeating what you just said.
It’s the most valuable traffic you could get. Being an authority in a space in a niche, even a very narrow niche, is very valuable if you can own it.
So, therefore, when you are thinking about your business, I personally think in today’s market place, which is very different than when we started 10 years ago, and you could blog about anything because nobody knew it’s like the Wild West.
That today if you want to make a mark, if you’re thinking of monetizing. If you’re thinking of selling products, if you’re hoping your blog posts get seen.
You do want to be building around specific niches or your specific niche and building off of that rather than doing kind of a scattershot strategy.
Paula Rollo 12:52
Sure. And that doesn’t mean you could only ever write about one thing. Like for my family site, I have an insane amount of toddler content, even though my kids are now not toddlers anymore. But when I started the site, I had toddlers.
And so, I probably have hundreds of toddler related content. And even though I also have, who knows what else on that site, because it’s been around for 10 years.
But I focus on a lot of other things, there are recipes, there is travel, there are a lot of things on that website, because it’s so old. But my toddler content still does really, really well because I do still have the authority in that space.
And I also have the authority in a couple of different other spaces that all work together and serve the same target person.
And I will say it’s much more difficult to work that way. And it’s a lot more time consuming to work that way, but it can be done if you’re somebody waiting.
Jillian Leslie 13:51
To work which way?
Paula Rollo 13:52
In multiple spaces.
Jillian Leslie 13:54
Got it. At different sides of the niche.
Choose One Topic and Be Amazing at It
Paula Rollo 13:54
If someone listening and going oh my gosh, I’ve already written about 10 different topics because lifestyle blogging is what we all did. That doesn’t mean there’s no hope for you. The easiest way forward is choosing one thing and being amazing at it.
But you can also think of it as, these are my three amazing things. And I’m going to create content around these three topics and make sure I answer every question for these three things.
And then maybe I’ll round out that fourth because I already have 50 topics or 50 travel posts, and then I’m going to work on rounding that little silo out.
Okay, I think that’s great. I recorded a podcast and somebody described it this way to me and this sticks in my head, which is SEO is like a tree. So, let’s say the trunk is the very big keyword phrase.
Think of SEO as a Tree with Branches and Leaves
Jillian Leslie 14:53
We’ll do vegan because we’re here. Let’s do like, family-friendly vegan restaurant recipes. That’s probably pretty big niche, or at least vegan recipes, big niche that’s like the trunk.
So, if I’m looking at like who’s ranking for vegan recipes, it’s going to be like vegan.com. I don’t know if that exists, but like veganrecipes.com, it’s going to be all recipes. It’s going to be Food Network; it’s going to be these huge heavy hitters.
It might be some vegan blogger who’s been at it for 15 years. And so, to come at it from that perspective is probably difficult. Google is going to be like sorry, you little teeny blogger, your content can’t compete.
However, if I think about it as a tree, and there are all these different leaves, and I start going after the leaves. The small leaves to begin with, and then maybe get some bigger leaves of the tree and flesh it out all of a sudden.
So I do again, like the vegan pancake recipe and the vegan mac and cheese and the whatever it is or some vegan desserts.
Your Posts Are the Leaves
And then all of a sudden, my tree starts filling, the leaves start filling out and it signals to Google, hey, she might know something about this. And you can start to then potentially rank for the bigger keywords like in the truck.
But this at least the strategy, I always love this analogy of like going after leaves, especially leaves that aren’t that super popular. But you can start building this library of content.
Paula Rollo 16:29
And that’s building your authority where Google will go, oh, wow, she answers everything that has to do with this topic. Instead of just she has one really good post on this topic.
They can feel, they being the Google bots can feel confident sending people to you because even if that blog post didn’t answer everything that you were asking the next layer down does.
And so, people are going to stay, that’s going to signal to Google this person found the information they needed. These are all signaling really, really good things to Google that will scoot your post up higher and higher in the rankings.
Jillian Leslie 17:07
So, you provide a service, where you will work with a blogger, and you’ll look at their Google Analytics, you’ll look at their Google Search Console, and I’m going to break down what the differences between those two in a second.
And you say to them, hey, I see your content. I see it’s almost like a smorgasbord of content. And I’m going to tell you, where you’re ranking well, where you’re ranking pretty well.
But you could probably update that and really optimize that post and improve your ranking on that. And you give people ideas of what kind of content to create, because I know that this is a big question. I did a podcast episode where I talked about this.
And it’s like one of my most popular posts, which means people are wondering, how do I know what to write about? So, if I were to get into your brain how do you think about this?
Make Sure You Have Google Analytics and Google Search Console Set up
But first, will you define what Google Analytics does versus Google Search Console? And I guess the first thing is if you don’t have both of those set up for your blog, Google how to do that, and get them set up.
Paula Rollo 18:15
Email me, and I’ll do it.
Jillian Leslie 18:16
Paula Rollo 18:17
Do it yesterday. You need it.
Jillian Leslie 18:19
Okay. So tell me, how do you think of Google Analytics versus Google Search Console? What are they both good for?
Google Analytics Tells You About Your Visitors
Paula Rollo 18:26
Sure. So, Google Analytics is the tool that’s telling you, who’s on your website, how long they were there, there’s real time analytics will tell you hey, there are 10 people on your site right now. And this is what they’re looking at.
It breaks down how many page view you got per post, where those page views came from. So, you can see if you’re getting Pin traffic. All this wonderful information you can go back.
As long as you’ve had Google Analytics on your site, you can go back and compare dates. It would be really valuable to see what’s doing well.
And what did well historically to try to say like, last Christmas, this post was doing a lot better. And now it’s not I need to re-share or I need to update that post,
Jillian Leslie 19:12
Could you say if Google Analytics and Google Search Console are free?
Paula Rollo 19:17
Jillian Leslie 19:17
Yes, you’re giving your data to Google, which is what Google’s getting out of this. However, it’s totally worth it to install them on your site.
Paula Rollo 19:28
Jillian Leslie 19:28
Okay. So, Google Analytics is really how your audience is seeing you. How your audience is responding to your site.
Paula Rollo 19:40
Yes. You can see the average amount of time people spent on each page, what they did after they read a certain post, you can get really, really granular with it or you can just look over and be like, “Okay, cool. I had 1,000 page views today. That’s nice.”
You can view it from a lot of different ways. And they also have an app which can get obsessive so be careful.
Jillian Leslie 20:01
By the way, Google Analytics can seem really overwhelming. We have a cheat sheet that we offer. And it’s your three basic things to look for in Google Analytics and how to get there.
So, it is just to see so you can know which of your posts are doing well, you can look at your overall traffic, I forgot what the third one is, but I think it’s where your traffic is coming from.
But if you want this cheat sheet email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will happily send it to you. It could be your first entree into Google Analytics and it will say click on this, followed by this followed by this and here’s what you’re going to say.
Paula Rollo 20:46
Jillian Leslie 20:47
So, you can start there. Google Analytics is how your audience is responding to your site, Google Search Console, what is that?
Google Search Console Shows How Google Sees Your Site
Paula Rollo 20:55
Google Search Console is my favorite thing. I live in Google Search Console. That’s where I built my house. It tells you how Google sees your site, I guess would be to go with how readers see your site on Google Analytics.
Google Search Console this is what Google seeing. You get information about what position you’re ranking in Google, because I don’t know if you know this, that everybody’s Google is a little bit different.
So, if Jillian searches, “toddler tantrums,” and I search “toddler tantrums,” we’re going to get different results, there’s most likely going to be specific things that always rank near the top or most often rank near the top.
But if Jillian had just spent six hours on my toddler site, for example, and then she searched some toddler related query, my content would probably rank higher for her than it would for somebody who doesn’t know who I am and has never been to my site.
So, not everybody’s always going to see the same thing. And if Google knows that, you’re the one searching.
It just gets a little wonky sometimes where you may or may not be seeing the same thing everyone else is seeing if you just run a Google search yourself.
So, Google Search Console helps because it tells you, on average, you rank position one for this term, or you rank position 150 for this term, they go up to like hundreds, which is just sad when you see those.
Jillian Leslie 22:25
These are search terms?
Paula Rollo 22:27
Search terms. Yes.
Jillian Leslie 22:27
And what’s interesting because I go into our search console for Catch My Party. And I will see terms in our Google Search Console that we don’t even have a blog post for.
Paula Rollo 22:42
And that always the most defined.
Find Terms You Rank for In Search Console and Make Sure You Have Posts About Them
Jillian Leslie 22:43
And immediately ding ding ding, ding ding. Exactly. Like wow. In fact, recently we were ranking for I think it was adult on social distancing birthday parties. And we didn’t have content on adult specific social distancing birthday parties.
So, immediately I see that we’re ranking for that, because we have some content around that. But I immediately said, Oh, great, I know what our next blog post is going to be. We’re going to go directly toward that.
Paula Rollo 23:21
I like scrolling through if you go into Google Search Console, and then search results, and then it’ll always show you like the top 10. And then I usually put it on 100 and scroll through.
And that’s the first thing I look for is, am I ranking for something that does not make sense that I know I do not have a post on my site that answers the question because oftentimes, they are questions.
Or you can tell that there’s an intent of a question, even if it’s just a word or two. And I know that my contents not answering that and even if I’m on page three, that would be like a 30 position.
That still tells me If I’m ranking for a question that I’m not answering, then there’s a need for somebody to answer this question and answer it well, because I’m what Google has to offer.
Jillian Leslie 24:10
But it thinks that you’ve got some juice there, like it’s somehow connecting you there, so you want to make that connection.
Paula Rollo 24:19
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How to Go After Small and Large Search Terms on Google
Paula Rollo 26:10
Then you want to look at, is this a larger search term? Or is this a small search term? If it’s a small search term, maybe you just need to update the post that’s ranking.
And add an H3, a heading number three, or number two, that asks that specific question and answers that question well. If it’s a larger search term, then you want to make an entire blog post.
Like for your adult parties, that’s going to be a big search term, even though the data is not going to be around it yet, because it’s an outbreak topic. So, you don’t know exactly how many people are searching that per month.
But you can tell that that’s going to be a large enough search term that needs a whole post versus how do I do X at a distance party?
Jillian Leslie 26:56
Whereas I have that post.
Paula Rollo 26:57
Just an H3 or an H2 added into the post to enhance it a little bit to go you know what I could pick up this keyword too. I’m ranking for this focus keyword over here about kids social distancing parties.
But I could also pick up best balloons for kids social distancing parties as just an H3 because I’m sure like 15 people a month search best balloons for social distancing parties.
Absolutely. So, let’s just back up for a second, H2’s and H3’s you might not know what I’m talking about. Those are headings. So, in a blog post, I always say this, you’re writing it for two audiences, and they’re overlapping, one is Google.
Jillian Leslie 27:34
And one is somebody who I used to say was standing in line at Target in the checkout line scrolling through your post. Now they’re home watching television while they’re scrolling through your post.
How to Optimize Your Post for Google and Your Visitor
But the point is, they need to be able to scroll through understand exactly what this post is about, find their problem and see the solution to it quickly. Even though it might be a very long post.
For Google, you do want a long post that answers a lot of questions to show that you’re an authority. But really it goes back to like, seventh grade. When you learn to outline your essay.
That punch line is where your skimmer is going to be searching in your headings. Like here’s a heading and here are bullets if you can use bullets, awesome if you can write in short sentences with short paragraphs that really punch up and answer those questions.
If you can put the actual question as you said, in an H2 in headings, so I’m scrolling through this post. I’ve got one eye on the post and I’m watching Disney Plus, because I think we’re going to cancel it.
So, we watched Hamilton now. We’re watching it.
Paula Rollo 28:54
Getting all the nostalgia you can right now.
Jillian Leslie 28:55
Exactly. So, I’ve got one eye on this post, and I’m scrolling and skimming to find the answer, but for Google, I want it to be really complete. So, you want to be thinking about it in these two ways.
But what you are saying is, so let’s say there’s a question about balloons, what kind of balloons? Because actually balloons are a big deal at social distancing and drive by parties. What kind of balloons or how can I decorate? And the answer is balloons.
So, I could in heading put that question in my social distancing post, I could even answer it in both my one for kids’ parties, and my one for grown at parties. And I can just put it as a heading, and I can answer the question, and I can call it a day.
So, an H1 is the size of your title. You only want to use H1’s in your title. H2’s are those bigger, bold headings and H3’s are still headings but they’re smaller. So again, going back to how we were taught to outline essays.
Think about that when you’re writing post, it’s not about your flowery language. It’s not about even sharing nostalgic stories about your grandmother. Of course, you can put that in. But it really is solving other people’s problems.
So, the quicker the easier, if you can serve up that solution better than somebody else can, your visitors are the ones who are voting. Because if they bounce off of yours, they’re saying, “No, I don’t like it.”
And then they’re going to go to somebody else’s and stay there for a while. That is a vote for that other person’s post. How can you get that vote? Would you agree?
Paula Rollo 30:40
I would for the most part, Google is taking all of that data in. And because it’s not just our sites, they’re tracking all of us, from our phones, to our everything, and they just are and they use that data to help figure out what we want.
And they sound so malicious and evil, they’re tracking all of us. They’re not I appreciate them doing it because they’re making the internet a better place by doing that. And they’re trying to make sure that people get the information that they’re looking for.
You used to be able to just shove a bunch of keywords, even hidden text in a post and rank for something and it be spam that’s coming up or pornography that’s coming up or something crazy that’s unrelated.
You searched for toddler tantrums, and now you’re getting an ad for bicycles. And it makes no sense. And so, Google’s gotten really smart about those things. They’ve put this stuff in place that does feel like oh my gosh, another thing to do.
Google’s Goal is to Serve Their Audience Really Well
But it really does serve the user, which is another reason I love SEO, and I love Google, because Google’s goal is to serve our readers really, really well. And I don’t feel the same from social media right now. But our goals and Google’s goals are aligned.
And so, if we are really putting out the best of the best content and the user experience is amazing, and we are trusted, and we are formatting things well. There are a bunch of things that go into it.
But if we’re really doing that, you will be rewarded in the search engines because that’s what Google’s looking for. And that’s in line with what we’re already doing.
Jillian Leslie 32:23
Absolutely. And I would argue that Google is really smart, and it can read your stuff. Again, I don’t want to turn it into a person. I don’t want to anthropomorphize the Google bots.
But they can read what you’re writing and they can understand the context of it. So, it used to be that you’d have to take that keyword and repeat it, repeat it, repeat it and it wouldn’t necessarily sound like good English like conversational English.
Paula Rollo 32:50
Jillian Leslie 32:50
But Google can now determine the different ways in which you’re using words. So yes, you want to use that keyword. You might want to use it a couple times. But you also want to use variations of that same key word.
Paula Rollo 33:02
You might want to use it in different ways, different ideas.
Jillian Leslie 33:05
It sounds relatable and readable. And you’re not just writing for Google, you’re writing for humans first. And you’re thinking about Google second, but you want to be thinking about yourself as an authority.
So, let’s go back to Google Search Console you look at your hundred results of keywords you’re ranking for. And you go through those and you say to yourself, do I have posts for these? Like, could I update certain posts and put these keywords in?
Especially say, if it’s a keyword that I’m in the 30th position for this keyword? Could I bump that up?
Paula Rollo 33:40
Yes. So, monthly I do the thing that I said, where I go through and I say am I not actually answering questions that I’m ranking for, that Google has noticed my site for?
Make Sure You Have Relevant Content For the Search Words You’re Ranking For
That’s about a monthly exercise at this point, because for the most part, I’ve done it already. If there are questions that I wasn’t answering now I am. And I’ve rounded those things out.
Then the next thing, just like low hanging fruit you can look for is the position nine, I would say anything position 9 to 13. Look there first. So, when you’re in Google Search Console, you’re in performance and search results.
That’s what you’re looking at. And then under queries, you can select your average position, your impressions, your clicks, and your click through rate. I like keeping them on there because I want all the data. But the number you’re looking for is the position.
And that will be on the very far right and look at 9, 10, 11, 12 because that means you’re either at the very bottom of page one, because there’s 10 results per page of Google generally, or you’re at the very top of page two.
And if you’re in one of those two places, you’re not going to see that in Google Analytics because nobody cares about the bottom of page one. People sometimes sort of a little bit care about the top of page two. But not really.
Because if it’s not on the first three to five things of page one, you’re going to try a different search, you’re going to be like, you know what, Google didn’t understand me, I’m trying something else.
Jillian Leslie 35:16
Paula Rollo 35:17
So, what you want to do is grab those things that Google already is like, hey, she did pretty good on this. But this is not something that you’re going to go into your Google Analytics and say, “Hey, I got 1,000 page views on this last month, let me update that.”
You’re probably getting zero page views on this post, because it’s at the bottom of page one, and nobody cares about the bottom of page one.
But it gives you a great opportunity to improve that post to add some headings to make sure go look at the top three people and see what they’re doing that you’re not. Did they answer a question? Were they more helpful?
I could pretty much promise you that they were more helpful because they’re ranked on page number one and number two, and number three, so really look at it critically. Don’t act like that’s your baby post that you love, it’s not it’s somebody else’s baby.
Be Very Judgmental of Your Posts
Be very judgmental of your blog posts in this moment and say, why is this other person ranking ahead of me and work the things out improve it. If you want to get like really advanced, you can resubmit it to search or you can through search console.
Or you can just wait it out. This is going to take a couple of weeks and see how Google improves, you, most likely, you’ll move up a bit.
Jillian Leslie 36:26
I love that.
Paula Rollo 36:26
But then if you only move up a little bit, you might do it again. Sometimes I go in stages, especially with really competitive keywords. And I’ll do round one, I’m targeting this one keyword.
And once we win it, then I add in a secondary keyword that I also want to win. And then I win that one. And then you can keep going. This is why I get obsessed.
Just do your first round of edits, and then be really critical again, two to three weeks later and say, what did Google like what did Google not like? Am I getting more comments that are asking for more questions?
There’s a lot you can go another extra layer if you didn’t actually make it up to positions one through three in that first round of that is.
Jillian Leslie 37:04
Great. Now, the kind of rule of thumb I use is, now there are some ads, usually in the first position, however, let’s say the first organic position will get the most traffic. If you’re in second position, you’re going to get half of what is in first position.
If you’re in third position, you’re going to get half of what’s in second position, and it goes down that way. So, you’re right. If I am at the top of page two, chances are nobody’s clicking.
However, it’s not that hard to push something from the top of page two, even to the bottom of page one, and then maybe from the bottom of page one up to the middle of page one. And who knows. So that’s kind of the way you want to be thinking about it.
So, let’s switch now to Google Analytics. And what do you look for in Google Analytics to determine what kind of content to create?
Paula Rollo 37:59
So, there’s a lot you can do in Google Analytics. One thing is to just go into the acquisition and seeing how people are getting to your site.
And you can of course, start from Google and see who’s getting to your site from Google and what they are clicking on. And in there, you want to look at, not the, I’m getting 1,000 clicks a day from Google on this post.
You want to again, go to the lower things, I got 20 clicks last month on this post, and see how you can improve that. I’ll do this, sometimes, pull the data from Google Analytics and say, this post looks interesting because I got 50 clicks on it from Google.
Which is not something you’d probably normally notice if you aren’t looking at acquisition. And then pull that URL, take it back over to Google Analytics, put that URL in Google Analytics and see what keywords you’re ranking for specifically for that post.
Jillian Leslie 38:54
So wait, go back, go back. Wait.
Put your posts into Google Search Console to See the Keywords You’re Ranking For
Paula Rollo 38:56
Pull it to Google Search Console. I’m sorry.
Jillian Leslie 38:58
So, you take the URL in Google Analytics.
Paula Rollo 39:04
You can discover what got you traffic in the past month or year, whatever metric you’re working with. Find a URL that looks interesting from Google Analytics, pull that over to Google Search Console.
And then Google Search Console is going to tell you all of the keywords that you’re ranking for how many clicks you got on each, how many impressions you got on each of those, all of that data.
So, you can find URLs to work within Google Analytics, and then pull them over to Search Console. So, they’re both kind of working in tandem.
Then the other thing you can do is look at what is performing well on social media that you’re getting a lot of Facebook traffic, Pinterest, traffic, all of those things, but isn’t showing up in Google.
Look at What’s Performing on Social Media and See if You Can Improve it for Google
This happens so often, where you do have really good content and people respond well to it. Your specific audience responds well to it, but for some reason Google’s not getting the memo.
And so, you can find those posts as well that I got thousands of views from Facebook, but zero from Google, and look into what should I be targeting. Maybe a lot of the times, things that are written really, really well for Facebook just weren’t targeting any keywords.
And so, more often than not, for people who’ve been around a while, it’s not that you had a bad idea of what to write about if you didn’t know how to package it well, so that it would rank.
Because we’re really interested in clever titles and putting things in flower unique ways that people don’t search in Google for flower unique things.
They search things that are more general and more broad or more specific, and they don’t want a very, very targeted made up word. They want to use an example offline of like a Halloween Mantle.
So “How to Make a Halloween Mantle” is going to be different than “The cutest Little October 31 Decor You Ever Did See,” like, that’s fine. And that sounds cutesy and people on Facebook will probably click.
I obviously don’t do any decorating because that probably sounds stupid. But we do that. And we try to make things sound cute. And we forget to also target keywords that are practical that Google will give us traffic for.
And so that can be a really good way of looking at what is doing well on Facebook. And how do I need to reposition this slightly? So, that it doesn’t take away from the user experience people are receiving on Facebook.
But I can gain that better audience on Google with this content I’ve already created that’s already really valuable to my readers.
Jillian Leslie 41:45
I think that’s great. One other thing that I do is I look in our Google Analytics and I see what’s trickling up because if I look like once a week or so I can watch the post moving.
And what I notice is e.g. TikTok parties are exploding right now because I have like two of my top five posts are TikTok related. So, you know what that says to me, TikTok is exploding, go make more TikTok content.
Because if I can own that because it’s new. It’s like it’s a new trend. And I want to be at the front of that trend. And the other posts that are ranking really well for me are about throwing parties during social distancing.
Because as soon as shutdown quarantine happened, we started writing posts because I knew it’s a land grab, and that lots of people are going to be writing posts.
If I have a site called Catch My Party, and I write about parties, and I write about social distancing parties during quarantine, chances are we already have authority in that space.
And now it’s almost like you’re a plant and you’ve just sprouted another branch and you’re going to see I’m attached to like parties, but now here’s this new sprout and I’m going to start building content around that.
So, I’m always looking for trends, things that are percolating up. Also, you will see holidays start percolating, all of a sudden people will find, like the most random Halloween post from four years ago that I totally forgot about.
But all of a sudden, it’s showing up at position 67. And I’m like, wow, I didn’t even think of this. And so, because it’s showing up in position 67, I know it’s got some juice, somebody sharing it somewhere or a Pin is doing well or who knows.
That to me says go into that post, and update that post. Make sure you update the date, but also not just that, maybe add a new photo, a new collage, a new something, answer another question, flesh it out so that Google can see that as a new post.
Ride Cultural Waves When Creating Content
So, it’s a little bit like I talk a lot about waves. And the idea is you want to ride the wave right now social distancing is a wave, so e.g. I wouldn’t be writing about travel tips.
I would be writing about cleaning out my pantry, or how to keep my kids busy, or whatever other things that are related to where people are right now because this is what people are dealing with.
And if you can answer questions about what they’re dealing with today, that’s kind of the wave. So, it’ll be interesting to see because Halloween is a huge wave for Catch My Party.
So, it’s really interesting because certain posts that always come back year after year. I’m curious to see if they actually come back this year. And what it looks like.
Paula Rollo 44:43
What repositioning is needed and what new posts are needed, because it really does come down to creativity because even if you’re travel bloggers, I feel they’re having it rough right now I’m sure because nobody’s really traveling.
But you can still do staycation ideas you can still do, how to have a vacation in your backyard, just get creative. Even safety tips while traveling because some people are still flying. In some states, it’s safer to do road trips, than in others.
So, there’s content that you can create that is more seasonal and that is more timely. But you have to get a little more creative because we can’t necessarily rely on all of the Evergreen posts that we use to rely on for our seasonal traffic.
Jillian Leslie 45:34
Absolutely. And just having this conversation with you. I’m now going to go back and think about Halloween with social distancing. How do you do Halloween? So, all of a sudden, I’m like ding ding ding. Because this is one thing we didn’t touch on.
I want to be linking all of my posts. Let’s say like I take all of my social distancing posts and I link them all together. So that at the bottom of my kids social distancing party ideas post, I link to my adult birthday party, social distancing post.
And I link to drive by baby showers and all of that stuff because it’s like the inter-linking of all of this content to again, like we were talking about, tell people in IKEA, which way to go.
Paula Rollo 46:29
It also tells Google where to go and how to find your content and how your content inter-relates with each other. Especially if you’re natively putting links in the body of your posts, not just at the bottom, you definitely want something at the bottom.
But the more you can put in the body of the post that just naturally happens, the better because that’s communicating things to Google.
Jillian Leslie 46:57
Absolutely. And that’s again, If we use the analogy of the tree, those leaves are overlapping, or kind of act like the idea of I sprouted this new branch of social distancing and now I’m fleshing it out.
But it relates to this overall tree of throwing parties and celebrating with your family and your friends. And so how do you connect all of this stuff so that you can gain authority?
So, this is not my time to go, you know what, I’m going to pivot Catch My Party, because people aren’t necessarily throwing traditional parties. It’s how do I pivot my content to adapt to the problems and the questions people are having today.
Paula Rollo 47:44
It’s less of a pivot and more of a reframing to today’s problems. Because one day we’re going to need those parties again.
And you don’t want those parties to be gone and you don’t want all of the parties that you ever wrote to have to now be edited to be like distance versus not, you don’t need to edit 1000 posts twice.
You just want to add in content that enhances how to make any party on this site a distance party versus editing every party where it’s now Mohana social distance and pro-social distancing. No, don’t do that to yourself.
Jillian Leslie 48:18
No, absolutely, absolutely.
Think About Reframing Content for What People Are Experiencing Today
Paula Rollo 48:20
But there are ways to reframe content that will both serve your readers and be the best use of your time.
Jillian Leslie 48:27
I think that’s terrific. Okay, any parting tips with Google Search Console, or Google Analytics that you recommend?
Paula Rollo 48:40
I think the biggest thing people don’t do is really just get in there because it’s intimidating. And there’s a lot of numbers, and there are symbols everywhere.
And there’s a language that you have to learn to deal with Search Console, they use their own type of phrases, and you just have to get used to that and the only way to do it is just to start trying and start plugging away at how does this look? What is 6.3?
I have a 6.3 on a post, what does that mean? Well click on it and see what they’ll tell you. They’re really good about explaining things. But if you’ve never gotten in there and you’ve never started to play with it.
There’s not a day that you’ll just magically understand it. So, I would just dedicate a few minutes a week, even just 10 minutes, I’m going to go in and I’m going to click stuff in my Search Console, and start figuring it out.
Because I think that’s the biggest thing that holds up most bloggers as well. Yeah, I have Search Console, but I never go in there because it seems scary. Just go in there and mess around and see what happens. Start there.
You Can’t Break Google Analytics
Jillian Leslie 49:46
Keep in mind, you can’t break it.
Paula Rollo 49:50
No, you really can’t. So just communicate directly with Google, which is great, because they’re giving you this information, but it’s not going to mess up your site if you’re just clicking stuff in your Search Console.
Jillian Leslie 49:59
Absolutely, that’s always my fear is I’m going to break stuff. And then I’m going to have to go, “David fix this help.” But you can’t break this. So just click around.
And I like your suggestion block out 10 minutes. Now, Paula, you offer a service will you tell what you offer and how people can find out about it.
Paula Rollo 50:19
Yes. So, I realized that a lot of bloggers are creatives and they like the writing or the photography or the crafting or whatever creative side that you use. That’s what’s fun, and you don’t want to necessarily have to go.
Paula’s SEO Services
Let me jump in and look at some numbers today. That’ll be great. So, I started offering an SEO service where I go in and I look at your numbers and I do a full audit.
And then I send you a document that usually has 10 to 12 because I found more than that feels really overwhelming. So, I send about 10 to 12 things if this is what you need to write that’s new.
That’s actually going to both boost your authority and content that you already have, and maybe win some new keywords. And then also, these posts could be amazing, but they aren’t where they could be.
Maybe they’re ranking number three or four, but you’re not getting the click through rate that you should be for that ranking. Or maybe there are things that are near the bottom of page one of Google like I was talking about that you could move up.
And I’m going to tell you what you need to do what you need to update to either move up or increase your click through rate on posts that are already ranking well, but nobody’s clicking on.
Because the other person structured data was better or their meta description was more fun.
So, I’m going to tell you, all of those things to do about 10 to 12 different posts, and send it all to you and then let you do the fun creative work of I can fill in the blanks on these headings.
I’ve told you this is the question people are asking now all you have to do is answer it. This is the way that you could improve your meta description. Now all you have to do is write it in your own voice and so you really get to work on that creative side.
And I just gave you the analytical numbers. This is what you need to be doing to get the most SEO bang for your buck.
Jillian Leslie 52:08
If people wanted to reach out to you to learn more about this service, how can they do that?
Paula Rollo 52:14
So, you can either email me directly, email@example.com.
Jillian Leslie 52:19
Wait, wait spell out Paula Rollo.
Paula Rollo 52:21
P-A-U-L-A R-O-L-L-O. So that’s at gmail, or same name, same spelling paularollo.com/ SEO. And you can see more about this specific service where I tell you what you should write about and how to get the most SEO improvements for your day.
Jillian Leslie 52:43
Oh, wow. I think that is such a smart service. Oh, my God, I want you to get into my Google Analytics and tell me what to write.
Paula Rollo 52:52
That sounds fun for me because I just want to spend all my time in Google Analytics and Google Search Console and I really like seeing like, oh my gosh, if this person would just make these four tweaks, it’s going to be thousands of page views a month.
And, oh they’re missing it, and no they’re not. And it’s just the stuff that keeps me up at night and makes me dream about keywords.
Jillian Leslie 53:13
And what’s cool though is you get fresh eyes on somebody’s site, when it’s our own site, we can be blind to those opportunities. So, to have somebody come in and go, you’re missing this, here it is, I’m going to lay it out for you just follow these things.
And boom, you should see a big bump like, oh, my God, all the stuff that somehow, I’ve missed. I think that’s good.
Paula Rollo 53:37
So more often than not, it is those content that people are like, I forgot it. I have that post. I have a post like that on my website, like Yeah, and it’s ranking on page one, you just need to improve it with the way you write now.
And you’ll be ranking number one, number two, number three. It’s so much fun.
Jillian Leslie 53:54
Oh, Paula. Well, thank you, Paula. I love having you on the show. Thank you so much for coming back.
Paula Rollo 54:01
Thank you for having me again. It’s always fun to talk to you.
Jillian Leslie 54:04
I hope this episode really gave you a new way to think about content creation using your data to make informed decisions. And in fact, I have a Google Analytics cheat sheet that I would love to share with you.
And to get it all you have to do is go to milotree.com/GA for Google Analytics. So again, milotree.com/ GA, and you can download it or you’ll get a link to it.
And what this cheat sheet shows you are just three things the three things you need from Google Analytics. One is what are your top posts? What are people viewing on your site that they are really liking?
Two. How much overall traffic are you getting? And three. Where is that traffic coming from? If there were three pieces of data that you need to know to make good decisions, these are the three pieces of data.
So, what I’m going to show you is how what to click on to get to these three items. And again, head to milotree.com/GA, and I’ll see you here again next week.
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
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