What are the best strategies to increase your site visitors right now?
I have SEO, Steve Wiideman, on the show to talk about simple ways to optimize your site for more traffic now.
What I like about this interview is that nothing Steve shares is hard to implement. You don’t have to be a techie to do well with SEO.
Steve and I discuss:
- Whether you should worry about Google algorithm changes, and how to know if you’ve been impacted
- Why you want to dissect your competitors’ blog posts to see how to beat them
- Why you want to add the most important information at the top of your blog posts (so Google might give you the featured snippet)
- Why deciding on the goal of your blog post up front is so important
- And why SEO is all bout the long game
To succeed at growing your business, provide value in the content you create, in the most direct way possible, and make sure you have a well-thought-out strategy behind it.
Table of Contents
- Set up a call with Jillian
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- Steve Wiideman
- Become a Blogger Genius Facebook Group
- All Blogger Genius Podcast Episodes
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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, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie. I am a serial entrepreneur, and I love helping other entrepreneurs, bloggers, creators grow their businesses.
MiloTreeCart Update – Easiest Way to Sell Digital Products to Your Audience
Jillian Leslie 0:24
Before I get started today, I wanted to give you an update on MiloTreeCart. This is the payment solution, David, my husband and I have created for you to sell digital products to your audience with ease. With MiloTreeCart, you can sell memberships and workshops and coaching.
Jillian Leslie 0:45
And we’ve just rolled out the ability for you to sell digital downloads of any size of any file type, and we will deliver them directly to your customers. So, to check this out, go to milotreecart.com and just play around.
Jillian Leslie 1:04
Also, what I am discovering is it is a perfect platform for you creators who have audiences who do not like learning new tech platforms but who want to get started selling. I am watching bloggers with audiences tap into new income streams of thousands of dollars. It is so exciting.
Jillian Leslie 1:31
If you are one of these people, you’re a blogger or creator, you have an audience a significant audience, but you are not selling anything to them. Please get on a call with me head to milotree.com/meet. And we’ll set up a call because there is money waiting for you.
Jillian Leslie 1:51
For today’s episode. I have Steve Wiideman on the show. He is an SEO a Search Engine Optimizer. This episode is all about real strategies you can implement now to get more site visitors. Things like how to handle a Google algorithm update, how often to be updating your posts; how to drive more backlinks, those are links from other sites to your site.
Jillian Leslie 2:16
So, Google sees your content matters. You want practical advice Steve is delivering. If you’re trying to increase your site visitors right now, definitely listen to this episode. So, without further delay, here is my interview with Steve Wiideman.
Best Strategies to Increase Your Site Visitors Right Now
Jillian Leslie 2:35
Steve, welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast.
Steve Wiideman 2:39
Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Jillian Leslie 2:41
So, you are an SEO you have an agency and you are a college professor.
Steve Wiideman 2:47
And a textbook author apparently, and last year I got pulled into that, too. So, now I’ve got more titles than I know what to do with.
Jillian Leslie 2:55
Will you share though, how you got into digital marketing, SEO, all of that.
Steve Wiideman 3:02
Of course, I was always kind of a computer nerd. Even as a kid, I played Oregon Trail on the Apple 2E, and I always had an interest in computing. And so, while I was in the service, this whole internet thing came about in the early 90s.
Steve Wiideman 3:16
And I started to be a hobbyist for friends building websites for their side businesses, their DJ businesses, their wedding coordination businesses. And they had these beautiful brochure sites with the scrolling marquees and the Bevel and Emboss buttons, too much Drop Shadow, all that old stuff we used to do.
Steve Wiideman 3:38
And they’d say, “Hey, Steve, I love my site. It’s so cool. I’ve got all my pictures on here and everything, but it’s not really making me money. And I can’t keep paying you to do website work for me if it’s not really doing anything.” And the whole idea of internet marketing was still kind of a new idea.
Steve Wiideman 3:54
We were building websites to put on our business cards in the late 90s. And so, I had to figure out by necessity, hey, if I’m going to keep this actual site income coming in and help my friends who really want to get more DJ gigs and to do a good job, I’ve got to figure out how to get people to come to their website.
Steve Wiideman 4:12
I was working at IBM my day job where my friend the DJ came in one day mad, he was angry and like, “Mike what happened did the site break or something? What’s going on?” He’s like, “Turn it off.” Like, “What do you mean turn it off?”
Steve Wiideman 4:24
“Turn it off. I’m one guy. I can’t take all these calls. This is ridiculous. Hold on, hold on. No, I’m sorry. I’m booked until July. You have to take this down. Because I’m one guy on a second. No, I’m sorry. I’m booked until August.”
Steve Wiideman 4:36
So, it was that very moment that I realized, oh my God, there’s something in this. Here we are today with 13 employees and get to work with some really exciting multilocation and franchise brands. Working with one sort of famous person in the home and cooking space, which is really exciting.
Steve Wiideman 4:57
And every day we’re learning this right in our industry and digital, every day we’re learning and even if we don’t want to do it, people are going to turn around tomorrow, change their algorithm. And guess what you get to do tomorrow, you get to learn.
Jillian Leslie 5:10
Let’s talk about that. Because here’s the thing. You are learning and you’re seeing everything evolve, but it’s not like Google opens their book and goes, hey, here’s how it all works. So, it’s like a lot of experiments, guesswork, talking to other people to figure out how things are evolving.
Steve Wiideman 5:36
Yes. Its own creativity.
How Do People Really Know How the Google Algorithm Works?
Jillian Leslie 5:37
Exactly. So, I want to talk about how do people like you know this is really how things work, and about this new Google update and what that means for everybody?
Steve Wiideman 5:53
Sure. And they’re going to be doing updates. They used to do it every four months or so. They did a lot last year, more than usual. But I think the perspective to have around Google updates is if you’re following SEO principles, and focusing on trying to have the most helpful, relevant page, trying to promote that page off your website as much as you can.
Steve Wiideman 6:17
Make sure that other websites are talking about your name and correlation to the words that tie into those pages. And you’re working to make sure that your search appearance stands out from the competition, if you’ve got a recipe, and you’re not using the right recipe markup, the recipes are not going to rank you because you just don’t stand out.
Steve Wiideman 6:37
So, if you’re focusing on those three areas every month, improving the quality of my page, and the conversion rates and the bounce rates; improving how visible my page is off the website, they’re doing relationship building and outreach and influencer marketing, and improving the clickthrough rate of my search results every month.
When You Should Worry About Algorithm Updates
Steve Wiideman 6:55
If you don’t have that mindset, then you have to worry a little bit about algorithm updates. But if you do, you won’t, because every month, you’re going to be showing the search engines a pattern of improvement across your content, your visibility and your search experience. And the user behavior signals that come with it.
Steve Wiideman 7:12
And you don’t have to worry about algorithm updates. And by the way, when they do happen, and you do get a bit of a hit, most of the time, it’s just a short-term shuffling, just let it ride. And watch what happens in a couple of weeks as the spammy results that came to the top start to go down.
Steve Wiideman 7:27
When users start to recognize that wasn’t very helpful, then they go to that 9th or 10th listing that you got moved down to, they click on you. And overtime, you just do that flip and you come right back.
Steve Wiideman 7:37
We had a client recently that was slightly impacted on May 25th. When the algorithm update hit, we said Just relax. It’s just doing its little shuffle to see if these new results are helpful. You’ll know in a couple of weeks, I kid you not couple weeks later, everything is right back to normal. And now every day we’re seeing a little bit of growth.
Jillian Leslie 7:55
Do think that the Google algorithm is like a meritocracy? Or do you think that you can game it?
Why You Should Check Your Google Analytics Once a Month
Steve Wiideman 8:05
I don’t think you need to. I don’t think you need to game it. Like I said, if you’re sitting down once a month and looking at the metrics that correspond to those three areas, you never have to worry about it.
Jillian Leslie 8:15
Again, so I sit down at the beginning of the month, what am I looking at?
Steve Wiideman 8:20
The first thing you’re going to pay attention to is the performance of your content. Is my content still performing?
Jillian Leslie 8:28
So, are my best blog posts, still, let’s say on the first page of Google?
Steve Wiideman 8:34
I would not worry about the first page of Google. I would worry about whether the organic traffic is garnering more engagement to those pages. If I lose 5,000 visits on a page, but my conversion rate goes up and the number of conversions I’m getting on that page is improved or the same, that’s fine.
Steve Wiideman 8:54
And what probably happened is Google saw that the keywords they were displaying me for weren’t very helpful to them. And my page wasn’t very helpful to those keywords. So, that’s a normal thing to see organic traffic drop as Google figures out what you’re relevant to and what you’re not.
Steve Wiideman 9:08
So most of the time, you’re fine with site visitors going down a little bit as long as the conversions and the engagements that are happening in that content are changing. I would look at the engagement for sure.
Jillian Leslie 9:22
A lot of people who are listening to this are bloggers, and they care about pageviews and sessions.
Steve Wiideman 9:28
Jillian Leslie 9:29
So, that becomes the currency that they’re looking at.
Steve Wiideman 9:32
Then what you want to do is take that URL, the URLs that you lost site visitors on, go into Google Search Console, that free tool that Google gives us to look at our page.
Jillian Leslie 9:41
By the way, if people have not installed Google Search Console, please pause this episode go google how to do it. It’s not hard and go install it.
Steve Wiideman 9:51
Where’s that video clip of Arnold being like, “Do it now do it? Do the thing. Install Search Console.” For sure you’ve got to get out there and get that set up. And put that URL in there, and then compare from before and after the algorithm update, by doing a sort by impressions and by clicks.
Steve Wiideman 10:10
What went down, what went up. Sometimes what you’ll find is what went down actually move to another similar page that you created. Maybe you created something new for the season and your old 2021, top 10 birthday gift ideas or something, lost traffic, because the new 2022 page absorbed it.
Steve Wiideman 10:29
A lot of times, that’s what you’ll find some of that data. But sometimes you’ll find it being just the opposite. Maybe the page was driving a lot of traffic for top 10 ways to do X how to where to Y to whatever, wherever you created your content from by looking at, answer the public or Ubersuggest to drive it.
Why You Want to Dissect Your Competition’s Blog Posts
Steve Wiideman 10:55
And suddenly you’ve lost traction on it, what I would do there is go to the actual search results, see who’s appearing. And then what you do is a side by side, take a Google Sheet, put your URL in there and put the top 10 pages in there and start to pinpoint attributes.
Steve Wiideman 11:03
Then take a couple rows and start to document the topics and subtopics that those other pages are mentioning. Maybe if you have a post on how to clean white shoes, and most of the top pages include things like bleach and toothpaste and something else and you’re missing those from your page.
Steve Wiideman 11:25
And Google thinks that those pages answer the problem better based on how users interact with it. Well, then now it’s time to go and update your page based on what you’ve learned and what the competition is doing. And then just do it better. Make better diagrams. Make the video that the competitors don’t have on their pages.
Steve Wiideman 11:43
And the other thing I would do too not just one, is content, compare your content to theirs. What could you do to make yours better? And what are the topics that are being used? The second part of that is looking at where the top 10 pages are getting their links.
Reach Out to Other Sites for Backlinks
Steve Wiideman 11:56
So use a tool like Ahrefs.com or Semrush.com are plenty of online link analysis tools that you could use, figure out where those other websites are getting links and reach out to those sites and say, “Hey, I see that you’re mentioning this article that so and so did which I think is amazing. But wait until you see ours.
Steve Wiideman 10:54
Take a look at what we do. And by the way, if you’d like us to create some supplemental content, based on our article for your website, we’re happy to donate graphics, video, whatever you want, so that you can get some site visits from this as well. All we are asking for the change is that you give us attribution?”s
Jillian Leslie 12:25
You think that works, because I get those emails all the time?
Steve Wiideman 12:35
Oh, yeah, it depends on how you’re communicating for sure. If you get the link request email, I don’t even read them. I just delete them. This is more about the relationship piece of it. And that’s getting on social with someone that you know, is the editor running the site and actually communicating with them and up in a DM not in an email.
Steve Wiideman 12:58
The emails, they just don’t work anymore. They’re dead. You’ve got to connect with them directly.
Jillian Leslie 13:04
I did something which I hadn’t done previously, I Googled like, top blogging podcasts. And I realized that I wasn’t in a couple of them. And I reached out and just introduced myself, like, personal email, not long, but not like a canned email.
Jillian Leslie 13:25
And I said, “Hey, I see this is a great list. And I love a lot of the shows on it. And would you take a look at my show, to include it.” And I’ve gotten two people two sites to add to my podcasts.
Steve Wiideman 13:38
That’s amazing. Because sometimes when you give your email as opposed to ask, that will work still, I love doing that, where I reach out and I volunteer something, volunteer my time volunteer, “Hey, I recently wrote an article that’s already on the first page of Google for this other platform.
Steve Wiideman 13:38
And I’m looking for more places I could contribute content looks like they’re doing pretty good with that if there’s something that I can do for you, fantastic.” And then you build that relationship.
Steve Wiideman 14:08
And then six months down the road, you go back and six months will fly by you go back and you’re like, “Hey, I’ve given you guys a lot of contents and some really cool things. And I did this thing a few months ago.
Steve Wiideman 14:18
And I totally forgot to ask, would it be okay, if maybe you mentioned this thing in this research that we did that can support this other page that you wrote.
Steve Wiideman 14:28
You’ve contributed so much to our own traffic and our own content. And the least we could do is give you a shout out and link to that and that page is awesome. In fact, we’ll share it on social media for you too.”
Start Building Authentic Relationships to Get Backlinks
Steve Wiideman 14:39
So, start with the relationship I think more than anything else, but the approach of, “Do something for me,” as opposed to, “Hey, I’d like to do something for you.” It’s a completely different paradigm and I seem to have better results from it.
Steve Wiideman 14:52
I had a team member several years ago say, “Steve, there’s no way in hell I can get a college website to link to our sites. There’s just no way. I’ve been doing link building now for three years, doing outreach calls, emails, everything I can do and I cannot get an edulink.”
Steve Wiideman 15:09
And I said, “You can, you just have to think about the angle and figure out a way that you can provide some value.” So, what I did is I have recorded my screen. I opened up my email and I found some local colleges Northridge was one of them.
Steve Wiideman 15:24
Professor Mike Lloyd digital marketing instructor at Northridge, so I’m like, “Oh, and here’s his email address.” “Hey, Mike, I’m seaweed him, and I’m actually right down the street from Northridge, about an hour away. And I’ve been doing some guest speaking at other colleges.
Steve Wiideman 15:43
And I was wondering if you want me to, perhaps come in and talk a little bit about search marketing strategy and some things that we’re doing with brands like Skechers, and some other fun things, if you think your students would appreciate it. I’m just trying to get back to the community a bit into the future SEOs let me know if you’re interested.”
Steve Wiideman 15:58
Within like, 10 minutes, pause my little Camtasia. And like, 10 minutes, I got an email unpause Camtasia. Mike is like, “Steve, yes, I’d love that. Are you available on June 6th?” “Yes, absolutely. Let’s make this thing happen.”
Steve Wiideman 16:10
And then I shot the video back over to the link builder and I’m like, “There you go.” Less than 20 minutes, I was able to get a commitment that would be the catalyst to us earning a link from a college.
Jillian Leslie 16:20
Wow, what I love about what you’re saying, because you’re an SEO, so you’re in there looking at the data, kind of nerding out on that. And at the end of the day, you’re telling me it’s one-on-one relationship building.
Steve Wiideman 16:37
Absolutely. 100%. And I think the search engine is looking for that too. If other websites are curating your answers, like what is the best way to do X? The best way to do X is to do such and such such and such. And everybody who hits that page goes, “Wow, this is really great.” And they copy that short answer.
Google Is Looking For the Best Answer for the Featured Snippet
Steve Wiideman 16:54
Pretty soon Google starts to think that’s the best answer, and you get the featured snippet. And that’s a relationship in and of itself, because you’re giving the answer first, and not making the reader scroll the whole darn article, to get the one thing that they needed, that you could have summed up in the first paragraph.
Steve Wiideman 17:10
So, you get that first summary in there. And it’s really important to do that. I know you want them to stay on your page, but they’re going to curate that, and other folks who are writing their own articles are going to quote that paragraph, they’re going to share it. They’re going to put it on Quora and Yahoo Answers.
Steve Wiideman 17:24
And eventually Google is going to realize, hey, that’s the best answer to this thing. Not only am I going to rank you well, I’m going to give you the featured snippet, position zero, which by the way, shows up on 70% of voice searches, when you ask your assistant a question, it’s going to pull that featured snippet first 70% of the time.
Grab My Free Blog Post Checklist to Help You Write the Best Posts
I wanted to take a quick break, because whenever I do SEO podcast episodes, I always say if you are not using my blog post checklist, definitely grab it. If you go to milotree.com/blogpostchecklist, you will get a worksheet that you can use so you don’t forget anything when it comes to optimizing your posts. I get so much good feedback on this.
Again, milotree.com/blogpostchecklist. And now back to the show.
Jillian Leslie 18:16
I want to break this down.
Steve Wiideman 18:18
Let’s do it.
Jillian Leslie 18:19
I’m a blogger and I’m blogging about how to whiten your sneakers. And let’s say based on you we’re talking about bleach and toothpaste and vinegar in there.
Steve Wiideman 18:36
Let’s do it.
SEO Tip: Start Your Post with Your Best Information
Jillian Leslie 18:36
So, we’ve got three possibilities. And you’re saying when I start this blog post, I started with like very important information so that Google sees that and other people are seeing that.
Jillian Leslie 18:52
So, I’m not burying in the middle of wanting people to scroll down my page, so they see the ads on my site, but I’m willing to give it away at the beginning.
Steve Wiideman 19:03
Jillian Leslie 19:04
Tell me, how am I structuring that? Am I putting my title, and then I’m doing some H2s walk me through how you would create this piece of content.
Write Blog Posts Like You Write High School Essays
Steve Wiideman 19:18
Remember in college and even I think a little bit in high school, we used to use the Modern Language Association guidelines. When we wrote our thesis statements. We had a cover page; we had a main heading. We had a thesis paragraph.
Jillian Leslie 19:33
The paragraphs, yes.
Steve Wiideman 19:35
And we had a thesis and then we had subheadings to support it. We said what we were going to say we said it and then we said what we said. So, I think if we structure our pages in the same manner. And we make sure our headings are in sequence. Your main heading one, heading two.
Steve Wiideman 19:52
Don’t start with heading two and then go to heading one. Keep those headings in sequence. It makes it really easy for users and search engines to understand how that page is structured to understand topics and subtopics.
Steve Wiideman 20:04
Because we’re using H1, H2, H3 in our headings in the right order, we’re summarizing the page and the short summary at the top. And you can even call that if you want, you could just say short summary. Or the short answer, read below to get the details on how to clean with bleach how to clean with vinegar.
Steve Wiideman 20:22
But you start with that first paragraph under 375 characters, or a really short bullet list that might actually become your table of contents.
Steve Wiideman 20:33
So you could say, here’s the 10 steps to doing X, and you put it right at the top, and that’s a little box around it with a table of contents, then of course you get the checklist right in that featured snippet as well.
Steve Wiideman 20:45
And if you want to go the next level with it, you could put a little copy-to-clipboard button right next to your paragraph, almost like that amazing tool that you have for Pinterest that I love.
Steve Wiideman 20:55
So, you have something similar that’s a copy-to-clipboard where it only copies the short answer, or the checklist items itself short answers. Not long paragraph lists, but really short answers. And you’ll see after time people are going to copy that, put it on their own websites, and eventually you’ll have that feature to answer.
Steve Wiideman 21:14
So, I would say start with that main strong headline that convince them that what they were searching for is going to be available on this page, you can get a keyword in there, great. But remember, don’t obsess over keyword. Address the users intent first, the keyword second, then we’re going to have our short paragraph or short summary.
Steve Wiideman 21:32
Here’s what you’re going to find on this page. Here’s the short answer. Then you have the table of contents. So, it drops to different sections of the page.
Jillian Leslie 21:40
So, my intro paragraph, then my table of contents with my solution.
Steve Wiideman 21:46
You got it.
Jillian Leslie 21:47
With my ten steps.
Steve Wiideman 21:47
And make sure you have those.
Jillian Leslie 21:47
And then each one is going to connect is going to link to that part of the solution with another heading.
Steve Wiideman 21:57
You got subheading.
Jillian Leslie 21:58
Steve Wiideman 21:59
So, your subheading will be an H2 for using vinegar to clean your shoes. And then another subheading will be using, bleach to clean your shoes. And then each one of those have an image and that image is going to be how-to-use-vinegar-clean-shoes.jpg.
Steve Wiideman 22:22
So, it’s really clear what that image is so that Google can interpret the URL so it’s not just IMG 00153 dot jpg. Use an alt tag to describe the image, use a caption to describe the image.
Use Structural Markup Schema in Your Posts to Tell Google What It’s About
Steve Wiideman 22:34
If you want to get really nerdy, you can use this structured markup schema.org/imageobject so that when somebody does see your posts on a mobile device that’ll have a beautiful little thumbnail next to it and make it more clickable.
Steve Wiideman 22:48
And then video, do the exact same thing with video markup your video with video object, make sure the video thumbnail is named after the keyword that you want that page to appear for. And then include it in your video XML sitemap that you feed to Google Search Console. So, now you’ve got the utmost page ever.
Jillian Leslie 23:08
Do I need to know all of what you were just saying? Do I need to mark up my content for it to give me that competitive advantage?
Steve Wiideman 23:16
It’s helpful, but it’s not required.
Jillian Leslie 23:19
Do you think that it can still rank?
Steve Wiideman 23:19
These are all things that give you a little bit of an edge.
Jillian Leslie 23:21
Do you think I should be watching YouTube videos on marking up all of the elements on my page?
Steve Wiideman 23:27
I think it is helpful.
Jillian Leslie 23:29
And what this means, by the way, just as a pause to everybody, it’s like you’re giving Google information about what this content is. This is a video, this is a heading, this is whatever, so that Google goes, oh, I don’t have to guess at what this is. They’re telling me what it is.
Steve Wiideman 23:36
And that’s the what but the why. And the hidden agenda for us SEOs is so that we have rich results in search and that we get clicked on more often. That way, Google thinks our listings more helpful because we’re getting clicked on more often.
Steve Wiideman 24:04
And all these schema things that we do, you don’t have to know any coding, I don’t know, any of them. I’ve been doing this for like 25 years, and I know the type like the image object and whatever, but I couldn’t for the life of me do it by hand. So, I use plugins, that’s going to get really easy.
Use Plugins or Schema Generators to Mark Up Your Posts
Jillian Leslie 24:20
Okay, so you use plugins.
Steve Wiideman 24:22
Or generators, just do a search for schema generator. And there’s thousands of them out there and just plug what it is that you want to mark up into the tool and it spits out all the code for you and you just copy and paste it.
Jillian Leslie 24:36
Good. So, I think to get that edge because I feel like everything is about these tiny edges. Like getting this little advantage and then a little advantage there isn’t this like silver bullet.
Steve Wiideman 24:51
No, I look at it like Miss Pac Man. I got a ton of arcade games here and Miss Pac Man is one of my favorites. I feel like there are these pellets that you’re eating as you’re going through and improving your page all the time, like what else can I do? What else can I improve?
Steve Wiideman 25:05
And for each thing that you do you get extra points to those pellets. And there are power pellets, like page experiences a huge power pellet. Having a strong conversion, focal point like a sticky footer that has the call-to-action or that’s always omnipresent is to me as a power pellet, getting links to that page from the website.
Think About the Goal of Your Blog Post and Optimize for That
Jillian Leslie 25:25
Why? So, let’s say it’s to like join my email list or what do you call it?
Steve Wiideman 25:30
It depends on the intents of the user, when they hit the page, I like my upper funnel content to try to get them to join an email list or an opt-in or to download something, get a free list, sign up for a free course, get my masterclass.
Steve Wiideman 25:47
If it’s a sales page my call-to-actions are generally something like contact us or chat with us now send me a text message. Anything that I can do to get the fastest engagement with them. That leads on to a sale, I’m going to do on those lower funnel pages.
Jillian Leslie 26:04
Where are you putting this on your post these call-to-action?
Add Sticky Buttons to Your Footer for Conversions
Steve Wiideman 26:08
Actually, the sticky buttons are great in the footer, because the user doesn’t have to find them. They know throughout the time that they’re reading it what they’re expected to do as a next step if they want to engage in the page.
Steve Wiideman 26:22
And we’ve seen it where, especially on lower funnel pages where we’ve added, I remember the restaurant chains that we work with, during the pandemic they had driving directions as the sticky footer link.
Steve Wiideman 26:33
And I’m like, “Hey, how about now that there’s a pandemic going on we could start order in there maybe right by our thumb, start order?” We get an email Monday morning, and it was, “Guys, we had a $2 million weekend, what happened, what was going on? Can someone look at the analytics and like, put a button for start order.”
Steve Wiideman 26:49
And it was omnipresent for the user they didn’t have to try to think about or have any friction and getting to the place where they placed an order.
Steve Wiideman 26:56
We did the same thing with an attorney. We made his sticky buttons, chat or call. The call was closest to the thumb and the chat was a little bit further and 300% improvement in clickthrough rate, so overnight.
Jillian Leslie 27:09
Wow. Again, it makes sense. You just kind of go well, if you think about people, and that they are looking for easy solutions. And if you can offer up that easy solution. It’s amazing that people will take action.
Blogging Tip: Stop Looking at Your Blog on Desktop
Steve Wiideman 27:24
And stop looking at your desktop site start looking at your mobile. 80% of your traffic is on mobile, stop looking at desktop, look at your mobile.
Jillian Leslie 27:33
That is always a reminder I need to hear because my husband and I, we sit here at these big computers, because this is how we work. But you’re absolutely absolutely right about that.
Jillian Leslie 27:50
So, here’s a question. You’re talking about, update your content. And is there a point at which you can update it too much? Should you not be in there futzing around all the time?
Jillian Leslie 28:02
Also, I get asked this question all the time. How long should my blog posts be? Is there some rule about that? And how would you answer both of those questions?
Don’t Update Your Content Right After an Algorithm Update
Steve Wiideman 28:15
This is actually really, really, really easy questions, I wouldn’t touch any of my content right after an algorithm update. I like to let the dust settle. So, I don’t touch any content until at least two or three weeks after a major algorithm update.
Steve Wiideman 28:31
Just a best practice, because if they’re still making their updates in the middle of you updating a page, it could impact the history of that URL. So for me, I just let that settle wherever I can. Doesn’t mean you can’t create new content, I just wouldn’t touch my most important pages during that period, at least a few weeks after.
Steve Wiideman 28:48
So, is there ever where you’re doing too much? I don’t think so if the things that you’re doing are conducive to improving your conversion rates and bounce rates. One thing that you could do to mitigate that a bit is you could create a paid search page or landing page that’s not indexed by search engines, perhaps on a subdomain.
Steve Wiideman 29:10
Maybe as a staging environment that you can create and then divide your traffic up use like Google Optimize and divide your traffic up between the current page and the test page to see which one performs better. And if the one that performs better is on the staging environment, then roll that out as a live page.
How to Test Your Posts for Maximum Conversions
Steve Wiideman 29:29
So, do some tests like that first, divide the traffic up keep one of the pages not indexed. So, Google knows exactly which one is the canonical that should appear in the search results and which one is the testing environment. I think that’s the state way.
Jillian Leslie 29:42
You’re sending paid traffic to the other, explain.
Steve Wiideman 29:45
You could Yeah, you could send paid traffic or send email, you can do a split email test. I’m going to send out 1,000 emails 500 to this version and 500 of this version, and let’s see which one performs better.
Steve Wiideman 29:55
There are all sorts of mediums that you could use from ads to email to social posts paid social, you can do all sorts of different ways to drive traffic to those pages to run that test.
Steve Wiideman 30:06
You could also use a crowdsourcing site like Mechanical Turk, and A/B and say which page do you like better A or B and why? Make sure they say why, otherwise, they sometimes skip the test, don’t even read it. And they are like, “Give me my 15 cents.” So, it’s a really good tool to use to get real user feedback.
Steve Wiideman 30:26
If you want to pay money, you could use like, usertesting.com, that gets really expensive. And you have to put a lot of documentation together about what you want them to do. Whereas in Mechanical Turk, you can just put out a really quick, which version do you like and why?
Jillian Leslie 30:40
So, Mechanical Turk is like Amazon. It’s where you can hire people to do tasks.
Steve Wiideman 30:48
Five cents a task.
Jillian Leslie 30:49
So, what you’re saying, and by the way, A/B testing, I have a love hate relationship to it, because it sounds like really statistical but yet, I think, very difficult to get honest, real results, because it’s hard to get your numbers high enough, in terms of like your N equals whatever.
Jillian Leslie 31:15
Coke could do a very good A/B test because they have so much traffic. But if you’re talking about small traffic, it’s really hard to get statistically significant results.
Example of Using Mechanical Turk to Run a Website Test
Steve Wiideman 31:24
Keep it simple. So, here’s an example we asked 2,000 users in Mechanical Turk, five cents each, which of three pages, they would buy a hot tub from. From this Lowe’s page, this Home Depot’s page, or this jacuzzi.com page, and then why, why would they choose?
Steve Wiideman 31:45
And then we even asked the third question, and that one is, what’s the one thing that really stood out for you and why you chose this particular one versus another? And then we ended up with those 2,000 rows and an Excel sheet that we downloaded.
Steve Wiideman 31:59
We took a column and we said theme, what’s the theme of this one? Oh, they’re saying that Jacuzzi site doesn’t have price transparency. They don’t say what the prices are how much they cost. They like the Lowe’s page because it had a really easy way that they could place an order where jacuzzi was this longer drawn-out process.
Steve Wiideman 32:18
So, we took all those different themes. And then we just did a quick pivot table in Excel to see which themes came up the most often. Oh, my God, the theme that came up the most often 35% of the people surveyed said that they thought that this page needed a price transparency.
Steve Wiideman 32:35
And now you go to the jacuzzi site, and there are little dollar signs. And they’re giving you more than they did back before they had a PDF you could download on price transparency.
Steve Wiideman 32:43
And that was the result of us doing a very easy non-mathematical required study by asking 200 people couple short questions, theming them and then doing a pivot table to do some math on what were the common themes.
Jillian Leslie 32:58
That is so interesting. As we’re launching MiloTreeCart, I want to talk to you about how we could do that. That is very interesting. We are putting together some landing pages. And again, we are really close to them. And we want to know how but again, using something like user testing, I know is very expensive.
Steve Wiideman 33:21
And time consuming. The brief you have to put together. It’s the brief that you have to use in user testing. It’s almost like it was made for people whose jobs are user testing, it really makes me not want to use them. Whereas when you just do a quick little survey, and you can just drop the survey tool, Survey Monkey.
Steve Wiideman 33:45
You just use like a Survey Monkey and drop the URL right in the Mechanical Turk and say, Okay, go.
Jillian Leslie 33:51
Interesting. Okay, so to wrap this up. Talk to me, just briefly about patience. And when I’m doing SEO, it’s the long game.
Steve Wiideman 34:05
Jillian Leslie 34:06
How do you speak to people who want immediate results? How long should they be waiting for their traffic to grow for things to start working for them?
How Long Until You Can Expect to See Search Engine Results?
Steve Wiideman 34:20
And I know that the default answer for most SEO is always it depends. And my it depends on this one, unfortunately, is it depends on the competitive nature of the keyword that they’re trying to appear for.
Steve Wiideman 34:33
So, if it’s a super competitive keyword, like best mortgage rates in California or something, versus how to tie your shoes quickly or something, depending on how competitive a certain search terms is going to determine how long it takes.
Steve Wiideman 34:50
It took Bob’s watches nearly three years to appear for some of the product models that they have. They’re all on the first page now but it was a lot of time patience in here trying to make that happen. I often get asked how long does it take to rank?
Steve Wiideman 35:03
And the generalized answer I give that helps get clear or paint a picture, I suppose of how SEO works is our content is what is going to get us in Google’s index and showing up for some of the search terms that we’ve included on the page itself.
Steve Wiideman 35:22
They’re going to look at those keywords and say, okay, great, I’m going to test this URL for the words that you’ve used on this page. And that could take up to three months before you see yourself on maybe page two or three.
Steve Wiideman 35:32
Next, it’s going to be around the Off-Page signals, or other websites mentioning my brand name, or as Google likes to refer to like the entity.
Steve Wiideman 35:41
Are they using that entity and the words, that I want my page to appear for off the website? Like, “Hey, I noticed this entity, I noticed this keyword, what do I have in my database for that site?”
Steve Wiideman 35:52
Oh, I found a URL that best matches that query. So great. Now I know which page to show. So, if we get other websites that link to us, and mention us, with the search terms, we want to appear for maybe six months down the road, we’ll find ourselves on page one.
Steve Wiideman 36:07
Hey, we did it, we got through the three months of our content being amazing. And getting us to page two, we’re on the bottom of page one now, thanks to the links and mentions that we have. Now we need to get to the first position. So, let’s make sure that our listing stands out among all the other ones.
Steve Wiideman 36:21
Let’s make sure we have our rich results in our video thumbnails and our star ratings, our recipe markup whatever it is that we can do. Let’s use title tech principles, instead of just writing keyword dash, the name of my site, let’s do a call- to-action by redownload order find out learn how to.
Steve Wiideman 36:40
Let’s use the keyword we want to rank for and let’s use a unique selling proposition. Why should they choose us the ultimate guide to best reference for I don’t know if it’s commerce, maybe it’s something like free shipping or lowest price guarantee or something that makes us stand out.
Jillian Leslie 36:58
Steve Wiideman 37:00
Yes. I love it is up to date.
Jillian Leslie 37:02
Like five tips or something.
Steve Wiideman 37:04
Yes, I love that. We put prices into one of the ECOM sites, we’d worked with and the titles, and our clickthrough rates and search went through the roof. So, it’s our clickthrough rates and the user behavior signals from our experience that Google will look at for the next six months to determine, where you deserve to rank.
Steve Wiideman 37:22
And when you hit that one year point, and your contents on par, your links are growing every month. And your clickthrough rate is better than the competition and they’re staying on your website and not going back to search. At that one year mark, you see this amazing hockey stick curve.
Steve Wiideman 37:37
And that’s where it gets really exciting. And then from then on, it’s just like this. But getting through that first year for that page. A lot of business owners just don’t have the patience. And so to them, I suggest paid search, use paid search to start out with while you’re waiting for that page to mature.
Steve Wiideman 37:52
And while you’re continuing to get your team to nurture the quality and helpfulness of the content, the Off Page visibility and your search behavior signals.
Steve Wiideman 37:52
Got it. So that’s a lot of work I will say.
Steve Wiideman 37:56
A lot of patience.
Jillian Leslie 37:59
Not for the faint of heart.
Steve Wiideman 38:03
I got that so many times. I got a client that came in, he’s like, “You’re supposed to be one of the best SEOs, you ranked number one for SEO, you’re all this stuff. And it’s four months in and we have not seen any massive improvements in revenue. I don’t think you know what you’re doing.”
Steve Wiideman 38:19
And I’m like, “Mike, this is going to take a few more months of us unrooting pages that have been proving to Google that they’re better results. So, we have to earn our way.” We get one year into it, he managed to somehow survive with us after a year, he came in with a big basket of goodies.
Steve Wiideman 38:35
And he was like, “We went from $10,000 a month from a year ago to $110,000 a month now in revenue and I was a total jerk to you and I’m so sorry.” And I’m like, “I know a year is a long time, but it was worth it and it paid off.” And now that business is thriving.
Jillian Leslie 38:49
I think that is such good advice. Alright, so patience everybody patience, Steve, if people want to reach out to you, I if they have questions, that kind of thing, what is the best way for them to do it?
Steve Wiideman 39:03
I’m easy to find it’s just seosteve everywhere seosteve on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn. We do have an academy of search site if you’re interested. And you want to see some of those templates that we’d mentioned before around trying to build out a good strategy.
Steve Wiideman 39:20
You can go to academy of search, use code seosteve to get free access to all my stuff. Enjoy, download, ask questions, give me feedback. But pretty much seosteve everywhere.
Jillian Leslie 39:31
I love it. Well, I have to say Steve, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Steve Wiideman 39:37
Thank you for having me. It’s been a lot of fun. Thanks for letting me share.
Jillian Leslie 39:40
I hope you guys liked this episode. And for me, my biggest takeaway is SEO is a long game and that you can continue to tweak and optimize and reach out for backlinks and it is a process.
Jillian Leslie 39:53
And if you play by Google’s rules, you will be rewarded but there is something very logical and methodical about SEO. And for me, it feels much easier than trying to figure out how to go viral on TikTok.
Jillian Leslie 40:12
Before I go, I want to say if you or somebody a blogger creator who has an audience already on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and or has a significant email list, and you are not selling digital goods to your audience, I promise you, I can help you make significant money.
Jillian Leslie 40:36
So, please get on a call with me head to milotree.com/meet and we will talk about it, and I will see you all here next week.
Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:
- Best Ways to Build Your SEO Traffic in 2022 with Casey Markee
- How the Social Media Landscape Is Shifting with Neal Shaffer
- How to Test your Product Idea Fast with Jillian Leslie
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
If you are looking for ways to grow your community whether that be email whether that be social media, right now head to Milotree.com install the MiloTree app on your blog and it will do the work for you. Let it do the heavy lifting for you.
Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.