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Feb. 28, 2019

137: How To Optimize Your Blog Posts For Higher Search Rankings And Stay Ahead Of The Competition

137: How To Optimize Your Blog Posts For Higher Search Rankings And Stay Ahead Of The Competition

Getting to the front page in the search rankings is a battlefield - you're fighting a war! The struggle to stay relevant and compete with an ever growing number of competitors requires the right tools and the right approach to revitalizing existing blog content and strategically creating new content.

If you are approaching content from a social media marketing perspective, or from a blogging perspective, today's podcast is going to really resonate with you because I want to give you a hopefully new and really holistic way of thinking about search engine optimization and therefore the content that either you already have  on your site or new content that you are going to blog in the future as part of your content marketing and social media marketing efforts.


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What's up, Les? Go Welcome to the Maximize Your social podcast. Follow me. Discover the latest social media marketing techniques from the world's leading experts from top to bottom. This is the podcast where business professionals come together to master social media without all the confusing mumbo jumbo. With no further ado. Turn it out. Here's your host, the one and only meal shaper. Everybody, This is Neil Schaefer. Welcome to another exciting episode of Maximize Your Social. So I have been spending the last several weeks finally migrating my maximize social business dot com website to my flagship mother, Whatever you want to call it, the final destination for all of my content and for those bloggers that have collaborated with me on my own site meal, schaefer dot com I hinted at this move in previous podcasts and block posts. It all began with rebranding my digital presence and the belief that people become Maur emotionally attached to people rather than brown. So instead of trying to create a brand in digital media for lack of a better description which was maximized social business, I believe going forward to yield more influence to become more memorable and at the end of the day create that emotional attachment. I felt the content from Neil schaefer dot com is going to have the best chance for success. So wow, the last several weeks I have been buried in 301 redirects in correcting for, 04 errors. And I don't want to get too nerdy with WordPress and CEO talk here, but, you know, going through this migration process, um, I have just realized so much about search engine optimization, and I've learned a lot along the way. I learned a few chips and tricks here and there, but you know, I have a very, very different approach to this. And if you're approaching content from a social media marketing perspective, or from a blogging perspective, I think that today's podcast is really going to resonate with you because I want to give you a hopefully new and really holistic way of thinking about search engine optimization and therefore the content that either you already have on your site or new content that you are going to block in the future as part of your content, marketing and social media marketing efforts. So let's talk about content. Let's take a step back. So, you know, I've brought this up when I speak on many occasions. But at the end of the day, even though you've seen how active I am in social media and how I evangelize and teach and engage, no matter how much I do that, I still find over time. And there are days where Twitter drives a lot of traffic where Pinterest drives Facebook. LinkedIn roost up, stumble upon. There was some great days from Google Plus, but day in and day out, from a long term perspective, especially because I have so much content. It's been around for so long. At the end of the day. Search engines is what drives traffic, and I know that there are some studies that have been done by share. Aholic used to do one back in the day. You know what drives traffic on the Internet is it searches that email isn't social? I still think at the end of the day, you know, people read emails, people read block, but people do a heck of a lot of searches. And one thing I look at when I look at trends in marketing, I look at new generations, and I look at my kids, for instance, and it still comes down to search is now more more searches of being done in social media. There's more and more searches being done on YouTube, but search engines are still there and are still as powerful and as relevant as ever. And therefore, when we think about content, we should be thinking about search engines. Now I run a blawg in my eye myself is a blogger. Never cared about search engines. I always blocked about content that I think would be relevant for my audience. Timely content, resourceful content. Sure, there were some times where I was sharing content that was more directly related to books or speaking events. What have you? But it was always thinking about the content and the audience, and it was never thinking about the search engines. I still think that's really the best way to think about it. But as I began to go through all you know, the thousands few 100 block post to migrate, and I started to realize that well, some of this content is outdated down. For those of you that want to hear more about this, I did a separate podcast on this topic. How fresh is your content? I'll make sure that there's a link to it when you look at the show notes on Neil schaefer dot com. So there's the concept, the freshness, and it was really when I was doing that where I started to, you know, delete out content that was completely irrelevant. And you need to do this in a regular basis. Just recently, Google Plus said, They're shutting down. Do I still need to have content about Google? Plus, I probably don't. Right now. I take a multi faceted or a multi angle approach here. When I look at the freshness of my content, I will just do a, you know, a holistic approach that says, Go through my post from beginning with 2008 and something that seems outdated. If I can revise it and refresh it and if it's still potentially relevant and there's still a lot of content that is relevant, believe it or not from a decade ago, I will go through and revise it. But if it's completely relevant, because the social network just simply doesn't exist, like four square like stumble upon a now Google. Plus, I need outright deleted. The other approach I'll take is the data driven approach, which is looking on my Google analytics. And what is content that's driving a lot of traffic. And what is content that isn't driving a lot of traffic. And I'll start with obviously that the content that's not driving a lot of traffic. And I look at it and I'll go, huh? You know, why isn't this driving the traffic? It should be. And you know, whenever you blogger, you publish content in your blawg. It's it's a roulette wheel. Right there were. Let we off the search engines. What content is the search engine gonna index for popular search queries? Are you gonna end up on the first page of the second page? And you know, yes, there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting higher search engine rankings, and I'm gonna get to that in just a second. But you know, why do some content outperforming some underperform? Well, what I found, some of the underperforming content is actually competing with good performing content in your Web sites. If you blogged about the same thing over and over again. Google is just gonna try to find the best one if you're trying to target the same keyword, right so that you know, part of it is internal competition. Part of it is external competition because everybody is doing content marketing now, and everybody is trying to outperform all the other block post that have been written before it. So if you're content wasn't long enough, I think I mentioned this before on podcasts as well. But I'm Neil schaefer dot com. If if I bring on a guest blogger, they need to publish at least 1500 words, I think that's almost the minimum these days to have a really resourceful content that has a better than average chance of beating out the competition of those companies that still use these content writing farms that push out 350 word 500 were block post. You can imagine just how vague and how little depth that type of word count get into when we talk about something so that comes into play. And you know, there are other things that come into play, obviously the freshness of the content, and I think you know I see some content that I publish where immediately it gets a lot of traffic, right. There are others that maybe it takes a few weeks, others and take a few months. But after a year, if you're contents been out there, what I've found is it's very, very difficult. If you haven't got a lot of buzz around that content, it's going to be very, very difficult to get a lot of traffic coming your website for obviously, yes, there are things you can do from a search engine optimization perspective, but that is one indicator that I look at without a doubt. At the end of the day. Google, you know, can on Lee deal with the search queries on hands and the content that you have on hand. You may have content that just people are not searching for enough. I found a lot of this, actually. But what I've also found is with content that people do not search for by tweaking a few key words here and there, or tweaking a few things in your post. It's very, very easy to start ranking. Four key words that people are searching for that are basically you're content is 99% the same. So let me go through this process with you, and I just want to start by saying and I really should have started this entire podcast by saying this. But the fight for search engine visibility is a battle, right? You are competing against companies that are spending a lot of money on paper click ads. You're competing with companies that spend a lot of money on content. Ah, lot of money on search engine optimization. This is something you cannot take lightly. This is the ultimate global battlefield. It is war. Okay, You know what I found and going back into my process and I'm gonna introduce you to tools. Well, hopefully you've heard of both of them, but it all begins with SCM Rush. Okay. There's a number of S e o tools out there. I am a big fan of SCM Rush. There's also mas. There's ah h refs or all rests. However you want to pronounce it and there are others. There's maybe 10 to 15 different Sio tools out there. Find one that works for you and stick to it. What I love about ECM Russians extremely comprehensive It's very, very complex, but they do offer you a dashboard and a certain amount of automation that allows you get started ver very easily. So here is the process I would introduce to you if you are looking at getting started or revising this process of really ranking form or and Maura of your content in the search engines. So first of all, okay, I had done no s e o. This was blogging purity for the content, not for the search engines. And I still think that's the best way to do it when I'm recommending you do here is used the same content that you've used and tweak its go back and tweak it for the search engines, retaining 99% your content. And in many times you can do it in as little as five or 10 minutes proposed. This is what we call on site S CEO. We're not talking about offsite in terms of generating back Ling's for your content. I'm sticking purely on site foreseeable future because with 1000 and a few 100 blood close, there's a lot of onsite optimizing what I can do. But you know that Let's take another step back and look at the type of content that Google indexes and Google prefers to share in top results in search engine queries. And if you do a little bit of research, you'll find out about what Google says is good content coming from a good website. It is part of this eat or e 80 framework that they have that. I think it was mentioned in a block post by Eric Schmidt, who's like head of Google Search many years ago. And I know there's gonna be an SDO expert that's listening to this that's going to correct me. So go ahead. Confident, opposing. Correct me. But this is really the best sort of framework or best concept. I should say that guides me in not only my own content, but also who I will bring on as a guest blogger because if you've been blogging and you've gotten any sort of visibility in the search engines, you probably have tons of people reaching out to you, saying I'll provide you free content and basically what they're trying to do is they're trying to get a back ling from your website and they're trying to improve their own S e O by using a specific anchor text link anchor text in the link back to their own website or to the website of their clients to higher rank. For key words, that's what drives that industry. And in fact, I had a conversation with one of my love, my bloggers Joel Dawn, who blogged about social business trends. And he said, Neil, I'm getting contacted by all these people saying they know the interview me for free for block post or they want a link to my poster. Can I accept their their content? And you know what's going on here? And it's all about the fact that it is a battlefield to rank in the search engines, and people are looking for creative ways to get a link on your site. Just the other day, there's so many different tactics that these people used to try to get links. Hey, just wanna let you know that we linked to your post in our website? Do you want to link? Thio are content your website, even some people who said they didn't link, but they really enjoyed this content, they found It's so awesome they're sharing it on social media and, you know, went to be great if you link to our content because it could provide a resource to your readers. And, you know, if you're not in here, your problem in the same boat. I am in getting tons of this email almost on a daily basis. So let's get back to eat, right Expertise, authority. Trustworthy, Right? Are you an expert? If you are blogging about a certain topic over a period of time, you would expect that other people would recognize that and content creators with linked you right. But getting back to the linking. And I think that's where we start talking about authority when more, more people looking to you that shows authority on the Internet with the expertise. You know how often How many times have you talked about this subject and how much expertise do you show in your content? And I think this goes into that minimum 1500 words ties into this because if you're an expert, you number one probably have blogged a lot about that content Number two within the content. When people go to read it, they are in cops. Elated. They stay there a long time. They're very engaged. They're going from one post on the subject that you're an expert on to another post, right, And that's what gets into that expertise and gets into defining your content. And this is why you know, I take on guest bloggers for a number of different sort of categories of content. I think I'm currently at 40 categories. One of the things I did when migrating my sight was to reduce that from 80 categories of 40 categories. And at the end of the day, there's some categories that I rank better for than others linked in. I've been blogging about, linked in for 10 years. I have expertise in that. And I think that search engines see that. And therefore, in general, something about linked in is going to get better rankings than something about another topic that I just have not blogged or guest Bloggers have not blogged a lot about now. There have been topics that I have tried to build expertise on by bringing in more guest bloggers or blocking more about I mean case in point Instagram or Facebook, or influence or marketing, right? So you know If you want to get higher search engine rankings, you need to be an expert on the subject, obviously, but you need to show your expertise by blocking Maur more frequently more content and having you know more of this content pertaining to these types of keywords or category keywords in overtime, Google in undoubtedly noticed that you have certain expertise in that subject. So most of what I'm talking about here is focusing on the expertise. The authority is really when you start to generate back links to that content from content creators, from businesses from other people in social media. And that's not this online or on side s CEO, but the offset issue. We're gonna tackle that at a later stage because I think there's so much you can do from on site as CEO. And once you start to an off site s CEO, it could become a little bit fishy, especially if you start to generate back links from irrelevant websites, right, which a lot of S E o Service's will do. I don't know how much that's gonna benefit you in the long term, you know, outside of the expertise and authority we have the trust worthy aspect. So, you know, are people like I said, stayed on your website a long time? I think that also will hopefully generate a little bit more trustworthiness for you. When people come to your website. Are they bouncing around this? Also, I think ties into advertising are you showing you know, these full screen pop ups? Are you bombarding readers with advertisements so they can't see your content? You know there's no written rules about a CEO. Otherwise, everybody's gonna try to dupe Google on all the other search engines. But I think from a very, very holistic and just practical perspective, if you think about it, those are things that take away the trustworthiness of your sight and of your content. So this is something that you'll want to think about. I I look at the trustworthiness. Obviously, there's something about the expertise and authority A. There's an inter relationship between all these different pieces. But in my perspective, or for my experience, that trustworthiness, really ah, lot of it is gonna come down to the architecture of your sight and how you display and build trust with that content with prospective readers so that framework that Google has said. If you want to rank for content, you need content that has. You know, you're an expert on the subject, your authority and you're trustworthy. So taking that one step further than when I look at ECM rush for the first time and it could be quite overwhelming if you haven't done this. Like I said, even if you have been to an S e o. What I want you to do is do a search for key words that you already rang for, and ECM Rush will provide you an easy way to do that because you may be ranking for key words. If you haven't been serious about Seo that you had no idea about. And this is really your first step is really These are the key words that Google is saying that you are an expert off, right? So you already have the expertise you want to leverage that. In fact, you want to make sure you don't drop in the rankings for those posts by revising posts or tweaking them over time. This, I think, should be your starting point. I know this isn't a strategic starting point in terms of your business and your content marketing strategy. But from a search engine strategy, this is where it is a no brainer to start with and then to leapfrog off. And once you start to do this, you're going to notice that certain categories of your content or certain keywords already have really, really good search engine rankings. Right? So this is where you begin to set up your keyword dashboard. So I have four different categories of content. I'm not gonna taco everything at once. I'm gonna I'm gonna tackle this holistically. That says, I want to continue to build up my presence, my visibility in search engines with all the content I have. So I am approaching this from a one category at a time, starting with the category that I already seem to have a lot of success with. Okay, the next thing I'm gonna do, and once again, this is within ECM Rush is I am going to go through and do a keyword research analysis. This is something. There's tons of tools that allow you to do this. But when I do the keyword research analysis and obviously I'm gonna start with the keywords in descending order in terms of what people are looking for. Obviously, the more popular the keyword, the Maur competitive, it's gonna be for you to rank for it. But if there are key words where I see that are related that a category that I think are important for my business to ring for, even if it's not a top three ranking, I want to try to work my way up the chain. So I'm gonna add that to my list of key words I don't currently rank for. But in an ideal world I should rank for and I find I believe the plan that ECM Rush has that I am on limits me that 300 keywords, which for 1000 something blockbuster. If I can rank number one for 300 keywords for 300 from Block Post, I'd say that's awesome, right? That's gonna generate a lot of business. So you don't have to do if you only have one category or one type of key word or affiliated set a key word that you're trying to rank for. Yes, you could do 300 variations, but for me, I'm starting with maybe 50 to 100 depending on the category and depending on if I think that key word is relevant to the type of content that already have an obviously to my business objectives. So by doing this, you're gonna add a number of key words to your dashboard. Now, what s your March is going to do is provide you a search visibility index number. If you ranked number one for all those keywords, you're gonna be at 100%. Now, when you do this, you need to start looking at your competitors once again as CM Rush is going to give you a competitors Discovery tab that's going to show you what competitors on average, our ranking higher for the same keywords that you rank high for. And some of these are gonna be no brainers that you're going to consider your competitors. Some are going to be competitive that you may not have heard of. So, like I said, I'm going back to the plan that I'm on. I think I have the ability to add 20 competitors, which I think is enough because you find that you're competing with same competitors over and over again in my experience, so This is where you want to put in your competitors. And yes, there's gonna be some that you're never gonna be ableto compete with, but you want to see how you're doing compared with them. You want to keep up with the Joneses, you want to look for opportunities where they don't rank and you do rank. And therefore you might be able to drink even higher because it's a key word that for whatever reason, they overlooked in terms of my industry, I find a lot of my competitors are either big companies that provide tools, think hoops. We think Buffer thinks about socialist governments. No surprise if we're talking about social marketing or other media sites like a social media today, business to community, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Interestingly enough, I find there are very few people that rank high on. This, I think, is actually an opportunity because I think from the trustworthiness perspective, I think it's easier for people to build trust rather than a block post coming from a tools company from a person that someone might not have ever heard of before. So that's my take off that so once you have this, you begin to have a dashboard. Now I'm all about processes and one of the processes that I've added to my daily mist of things that I do is number one. If I find that search traffic is falling, I want to look in and see if there's any old or non relevant block post I need to weed out. And I do this on a periodic basis, just a little out of time. The other thing I do is I will try to target more and more keywords a little out of time. So this is the process I have and, you know, like I said only to a few a day. But once you have your search engine rankings, what, you're gonna find it On a day to day basis, things were gonna change. So how do I use this? I do it in two ways. Number one. I try to improve the S C e o of old content and obviously for content, and I'm already number one that I don't worry about. But I start with content where I am ranked twice number two in the rankings or below. And what I do is every day I'll go through a few post and I will revised them. I'll revise them to rank higher for that key word. And the way to do this is probably a lot of you. Blawg or create content of WordPress is to use the free Yost CEO Plugin Ghost. ASIO has a paid version which I actually use. You do not have to use the paid version to be able to do what I'm about to teach you to do. But basically, once you put in the target a keyword Yoast will tell you what you need to do and what I find. And Joost is obviously optimizing their algorithm frequently. And what I find is even if I had optimized for key word in the past, it still wasn't properly optimized as we go through time. That way of optimization changes as well. So you know, invariably there are a few different areas that I need to optimize on my post. This is gonna be different for every one of you. I find the areas I need optimize. Sometimes it's I didn't mention the key word in the first paragraph. Sometimes the distribution of that key word is uneven. Sometimes I didn't mention that key word enough in Ault images. I didn't bring that key word to the beginning of my title. I didn't mention the keyword or symptoms enough in 83 and a TSH to subheadings, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Yoast will absolutely work you through this process, and what you're gonna notice is an eye tag. The fact that I revised this content, I'll put a tag like, you know, 1 19 or to 19 or 1 20 to say that Hey, in January of 2020 or February 2019 I'm trying not to age this podcast. Obviously, by giving you dates across different years is that you can begin to track your efforts of revised content versus content that you didn't revise. You're next going to come into finding areas where you rank high for the same block post over different keywords. I prefer right now in my staged only rank high for one key word. And if the others come, that's great. So now you're gonna go through ECM Rush and you're gonna look at the average volume or estimated volume of keyword search queries for those keywords and decide which is gonna be the most strategic. I will then delete the other key word combinations off that dashboard so I can optimize for more and more block post. So you're gonna have to go through and find the block post where you have multiple keywords ranking for and I would just pick one now I'd go for the most strategic one or the most relevant one to your business and stick with that and you basically keep repeating this process. And once you find that you have no more results that are in the top 100 that's when you may want to consider adding other category keywords and beginning the same process over and over until hopefully for the 300 keywords that you want to rank for your at least in the top 100. That's really the initial goal here. So that is the way that I have been tweaking and revising my content for the search engines, even though it was not originally written for the search engines. So what does the other approach tonight take when I want to rank for key words? Well, this is where I go through. I mentioned that I added all these strategic keywords to the keyword dashboard that I want a rank for. What about all those keyboards I don't ring for? That is where I look for ideas to block about. So I looked for an intersection of things that I have experienced recently working with clients or questions that get from clients or on my blogger on social media. I look for an intersection of those topics with topics that I am passionate, excited about talking about at the present, like this topic, together with those sorts of topics that are appearing as popular search queries that I do not have any content that speaks to. So what I found is especially because I'm blogging from topics that are categories that I'm already ranking higher. For that I, you know, within a few days I see myself at least the top 100 search results. And obviously the goal is to get on the page one and getting to the top one or two or three search results, and that's gonna take some time. But I know with this approach over time, that search engine visibility percentage that may start under 1% as you try to work your way up toe. You know, 1235 10 15 should get higher and higher over time if you're doing things right and that you're an expert building authority and you're content in your website and you as a content creator are trustworthy. All right, That was a lot of content for you to consume for today. And I try to keep this short and sweet, but I just wanted to share with you my own process and just the realization that I had that really, we all should have. It's all about the surge engines when we have content or website and it is a war. It is a battle. And you need to fight that battle a little bit more smarter with more more competition, more more companies doing content marketing. So start with SCM rash. Start with doing the things that I did. Make sure you're using euros Tesio. You know there's other tools out there, but you need to have a tool and you need to have a process. And I really do think you need to do this on a regular basis. If you want to be successful over time, All right, everybody. I hope you enjoyed this podcast. Like I said, I try to keep them short and sweet. But there are some that require a little bit more attention. I thought this was one of them. My voice is always horse at the enemy's got more horses. I mentioned that at the end of these podcasts because I'm giving you all my energy and all my passion, and I don't care. My voice gets hoarse thes the things that I wanted to talk with you about today, that I'm hoping you find resourceful and that add value to your company. All right, that is the end of another exciting episode of Maximize your Social. I do hope you enjoy this and that. You reward me with comments on the show notes on my block, Neil schaefer dot com. Or, if you are an item subscriber, you throw AA rating up there in a comment that will help other interested professionals find out about this podcast and this content. All right, I'm gonna stop there. Hey, where we are in the world make it a great social day until next time, everybody Thanks for listening to the maximize your social podcast makes your key and don't forget to subscribe. Rate the show on iTunes so others can enjoy it to someone to continue the conversation and empower your business. Your social media Visit meal safer dot com Right now. Have a great week. Let's go. We'll see you on the next episode.