Joshua Lauer is the Marketing and SEO Analyst at Leadpages. His responsibilities include tracking analytics and providing SEO strategies to the rest of the marketing team to optimize their content.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How to properly research keywords to use for your content
- 5 steps to optimize any webpage for SEO
- How one tool can elicit a lot of helpful information for keywords
Tim: This is the conversion journey in 13 parts as told by the Leadpages team. In this all new series, you’ll hear what we do each day at Leadpages to find, convert, and keep our customers. I’m Tim Paige and this is the all new ConversionCast. One of the things that I get asked most often when I’m doing a webinar or speaking at a live event and sharing some conversion tactics that people can use to grow their list or to get more sales or whatever. One of the biggest questions is always is how the heck do I get people to my website in the first place? How do I get people to my landing page? How do I do these things? And it’s definitely not my area of expertise. It’s not a specialty that I have. so the next couple of episodes of the all new ConversionCast are going to focus on how to get people to your site and how to get people to your pages and I think this one I wanted to go with Josh, first because I wanted to focus on something that you can do that doesn’t require you to have a big ad budget and that’s why I’m excited to talk about this. So first Josh, can you tell folks kind of what’s your role is here at Leadpages? Joshua: Yeah. so I am the marketing and SEO analyst here and part of that is kind of tracking analytics and stuff and the other part of it is providing SEL strategies to the rest of the marketing team so that we can show up inorganic search results. Tim: I love it. Awesome. We’re going to share kind of some tactics and some ways that we go about things at Leadpages. Because SEO is I guess we’ll call it a competitive field of study and because there are folks out there that of course are probably competing for some of the same key words that we are. We’re going to use an example that might not be the exact key words that we would use but it’s the same strategy that we would follow. Is that right? Joshua: Yeah, exactly. It’s kind of a hypothetical situation but yeah we’re going to use the strategy that we had use to find key words to target. Tim: Okay. So with that in mind you’re going to be talking about finding the right keywords and doing keyword research. Can you talk about why that’s important? Joshua: Yeah, certainly. So let’s say you want to rank for a given subject, you might have an idea of sort of what you think that should be called or what you might type in to Google or any search engine. But that doesn’t mean that because you think that that’s what people type in that they actually search for that. so by doing keyword research you can find oh it turns out if I switch these two words around or if I add this word to that there’s a lot more volume in it. it really means the same thing. It’s what I was trying to go after. So you can find for instance that are actually being searched for. Tim: Right. So you know just as an example if I was a health coach I might think people are searching for health coaches in Syracuse or whatever. But it might turn out that people are googling how do I lose weight in Syracuse or something entirely different and doing the keyword research and finding out what people are really searching for is going to allow you to get in front of the eyeballs of people who are the right kind of people. The people that are searching for things that lead to them buying or becoming a customer more often, right? Joshua: Yeah, exactly. Tim: So what example are we going to be using today? Joshua: We came up with this great example of vegetable gardening for beginners. Tim: Nice. Okay so vegetable gardening for beginners. So I am I don’t know I teach people how to start vegetable garden. So where do I even start? Joshua: Yeah and this could be even maybe you teach people or maybe you actually sell seeds and stuff or maybe you sell soil. This kind of a topic would be helpful on that respect in terms of casting a wider net by going after a vegetable garden and for beginners because people that are potentially looking for the information that could eventually make them hopefully a longtime customer. Tim: Yeah, great point. [0:05:06] Joshua: So first I would start by actually typing vegetable gardening for beginners into Google and then I just kind of scroll through that first page of results and look at the titles. The titles are the blue linked text that you see and then description is the black text underneath there. But basically by looking through some of the results there you can actually see a bunch of phrases that might be related to your search term. So we’ve got vegetable gardening for beginners, we start to see other things like sustainable vegetable garden, making a vegetable garden, planning your first vegetable garden and you get the idea. You start to have like it’s not just gardening for beginners but there’s other phrases that are showing up on that first page of results.So kind of the next step there so you got some of those that gives you some ideas to jot down and pay attention too. And it’s important to pay attention to these because these could be considered semantically related keywords and phrases So vegetable gardening for beginners is what you want to go after but it turns out you’re seeing all kinds of results like vegetable garden layout or even vegetable garden plants. So this can give your ideas for what kind of content you might want to wright about for vegetable gardening and for beginners and how kind of widespread the content is. But then also after that or even simultaneously it doesn’t necessarily in that order. Using the Google keyword planner tool, you can get an estimate of how many searches there are for a given phrase in a month and what they competition is. So using this example Google is telling us there’s 1900 estimated searches with medium competition for vegetable gardening for beginners. So that makes it something especially if you’re just starting out medium competition is good. When you hear 1900 searches I don’t know if you think if that sounds like a large number or not. Tim: To me, it sounds pretty low. Joshua: Yeah. And so if you actually look at just vegetable garden you might see a much higher number. But you have to ask yourself the question, if I put in vegetable garden, what am I really looking for? Am I looking for how to do something with a vegetable garden? Am I a beginner? There’s a little bit more context around vegetable gardening for beginners so that makes it slightly more targeted which brings the overall volume down pretty significantly compared to like a one-word phrase or a two-word phrase. This is also capturing a certain intent of like a person that’s out there that is a beginner that’s looking probably for advice about how to make a vegetable garden. Tim: Awesome. Now before we go any further I have to mention that all throughout this episode and in the all new season of ConversionCast, you’re hearing what we do at Leadpages to automatically grow our email list and boost our sales every single day. Well in my next webinar, I’ll show exactly how do to this for your business. In this free training, I’ll give you a live step by step walk through of the top 3 tactics we use at Leadpages to automatically grow our own list week after week. This is going to be everything you need to know to implement this in your business. So make sure you check it out. To reserve your spot on the webinar, text LEADPAGESLIVE to 33444. That’s all one word, LEADPAGESLIVE to 33444 or head to leadpageswebinar.com. All right let’s get back to it. So the idea then is to find the audiences that are the right audiences as opposed to just like you know like you said vegetable garden. It could be just about anything that people are– any reason people are looking for that but vegetable for beginners that’s your right audience even if it’s only 1900. Now is that like a– Is there a certain number of monthly search volume that you would set as a minimum for example. I know with Leadpages that might be a little bit bigger. But just as an example if we sold seeds and you found that keyword and had 1900 with medium competition, would you go after that keyword? Joshua: Yeah, I would definitely go after that keyword with 1900 searches a month. I mean if you think about that do the math for 1900 x 12, it’s actually a substantial number and if you’re ranking high enough for that in the search results it would be a reliable source of traffic and keep in mind that would probably be for one page of content that we’re going after a specific phrase like that. So yeah I wouldn’t shy away from 1900. If the number was 10, I’d probably like that’s not worth it. But even like some phrases with like 100 to 200 if they’re targeted enough and they really get to the gist of what you’re going after, they can totally be worth it and that’s also kind of another interesting facet to the whole thing and sometimes the content team can brainstorm ideas and sort of ask me to look up various keywords for some of those ideas and sometimes it yields results where it’s like there’s not much here maybe we should look at doing something else. So it does vary. Another interesting thing too when you punch in that phrase in the keyword planner, vegetable gardening for beginners it also can give you other phrases that things are similar. Now these are different than the actual search results themselves. [0:10:51] So one that actually looks kind of promising with 6600 monthly searches is gardening for beginners. And it’s a great example because when you think about gardening for beginners versus vegetable gardening, as a vegetable gardener you’re probably interested in eating the stuff that your garden produces whereas gardening for beginners could be about flower gardens or rock gardens or who knows what. So it’s kind of another example of how a more broad phrase what may look more appealing because it has a larger search volume. It may not be as specific to what the searcher or what you’re looking for in terms of traffic come into sight and stuff like that. So that’s important to keep in mind. Also with the various suggestions that it spits out, you get volume on all of them. But it’s another way of finding potentially related phrases that you might want to include in your content overall and obviously there’s a theme here. We want you to– Ideally we’re putting together the best quality content that we can with all these research so the one side of the research is anyone searching for this but the other side is giving you the information you need to make something that’s really informative. Ideally what you’re wanting to do when you make any page that you’re trying to rank for a phrase, your goal is to make the best page for that specific phrase on the internet. So with that in mind you’re going to want to click through to all of the sites, read through the articles, takes notes on what sort of unique things they talk about that maybe surprise you. Also with the keyword tool you’ll get other ideas going back to this-garden ideas, organic gardening, garden plants. More phrases where it’s like okay if we’re covering these phrases, it’s going to imply to search engines that you have a more specific knowledge about that subject and so that’s another kind of interesting detail. There’s been a handful of studies that have been done about how many words are around a page and usually the more words and close to 2000 if not more words on a given page the more there are. Typically the more likely that page is to actually rank for the phrase you’re going after. Tim: Interesting. So when you’re doing this research, you’re finding thing the phrases that make sense. How do you then even if you create that great content and it is the best content for those keywords that you’re going after. How can you do a better job of trying to make sure that that content that blog post or whatever it is, is more likely to rank for those keywords? Joshua: That’s a great question. One of the main important things is the actual on page optimization. So we’ve written the content we truly believe it’s the best content that we can come up with for this keyword. And you want to make sure that the keyword appears in the title of the page which again is that blue hyperlink thing. It’s also the text that you see on the tabs usually if you’re using chrome browser. The H1 would be the first heading on the page, you also want the keyword in the first sentence and ideally in the URL as well as the meta description. So there’s like five spots where you want the keyword to go on the page and those are things where it’s like– And potentially if you have any images you might want to include in alt tag that has that keyword in it as well. And you hit on those five things and that’s basically sort of you’re basically set. You’ve done your research, you made great content, you put the key word in all the key places where a search engine would go. And so at that point, the onsite optimization is pretty well taken care of. So at this point you can get into search console and submit your new page to Google if it’s a brand new site. If you actually have a pretty establish site, Google comes back to it pretty regularly to see if anything is updated. So like bigger sites like CNN.com or something, Google is probably hitting that multiple times a day. So as soon as they have a news article that comes out that’s going to show up. But if you’re just starting off it makes sense to get into search console and make sure that you verify your site and submit a site map to Google and potentially whenever you release something new, you may want to ping Google to say hey we’ve got new content here. Tim: Interesting and how do you do that? [0:15:32] Joshua: There’s an actually login called search console on Google. If you go to Google and type search console you’ll come across a place where you can sign in to this sort of search console dashboard using your Google email or whatever and if you have like if you’re using Google analytics or Google tag manager sometimes you can verify with those just the code for those being on the site. Or if you don’t have those they have a little text file you can upload to your site and once that’s there they’ll verify. So there’s a bunch of different ways to verify. But then it’s really helpful tool because not only can you submit your pages there but you can also kind of see more information about what kind of keywords are actually driving traffic to your site so it’s very important if you care about that stuff. Tim: So it sounds like there are a few key things that you can do to rank once you do that research. But at the end of the day the impression that I’m getting from you is that the content for that keyword is the best page for that keyword that’s really the most important thing you can do to get the attention of Google and then of course to get the attention of the folks who are doing the search. Joshua: Yeah. So definitely quality is better than quantity. I couldn’t overstate that enough. I think you go back 5 years or so and people are like well let’s write another blog post about the same exact thing with one different word. Let’s write another one like this. And they write so many that they sort of end up all being about the same thing and maybe there’s a paragraph that’s different across anyone of them. But if all that would’ve just been condensed into one really well thought out post it would’ve done a lot better. Tim: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So we’ve spent this time talking about how find the right keywords, how to rank. Next episode we’re going to be talking about how to get out there and spend some money to get the traffic that you want using Facebook ads. It would seem to me that the smartest marketers are doing a little combination of both and so I’m excited that we’ve been able to do this kind of one two punch of traffic. And Josh, I just want to say thanks for coming on the show and talking to us about some awesome SEO tactics. Joshua: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. Tim: Next time on the all new ConversionCast. Speaker: You caught their attention with your image and headline and then you could start to actually sell them on why they should click through on the rest of the copy. Just do that research to see like just confirm that that’s the way that you look at an ad and build your ads that way. Be really interesting in the headline of that image.