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SEO with Chase: delivering killer SEO campaigns




Jason: Hi everybody, and welcome to the second in this series of webinars with Chase, SEO, guru genius, wonderful human being. The last one was amazing; you talked all about on-page SEO. Welcome, Chase, for the second one.

Chase: Thanks for bringing me back. I'm super excited to be here and ready to share a bunch of stuff for the audience. And let you guys know exactly how you can take a challenge that a lot of people have, which is keeping clients around and selling SEO services. Giving them exactly what they're looking for in a timeframe that is perfect for you and the client.

Jason: Brilliant stuff. So focusing more on kind of what we can do today quickly to keep those clients. Certainly getting the clients on board in the first place isn't so tough because there are a lot of websites out there, a lot of brands that need their presence online. 

The big problem is that when you do get them on board, you need some results quite quickly to make them feel happy and comfortable to keep that rolling on. Is that about the size of it?

Chase: Yeah. And again, I think the biggest challenge for SEOs these days is not necessarily selling a service. I think it's setting the expectation for a client and delivering on those results in a timely fashion. 

We all want to rank but we want to rank fast... especially, the client. I ran an SEO agency for a couple years and I had 20 or 30 clients and the biggest thing that we always ran into is we were getting results but were we getting the results that the clients were expecting based on what we promised them?

Jason: Chase, I'll hand it over to you to share your screen. Get us started on some great things you can do to get those initial results rolling in so that your clients stay on board.

Chase: Okay, cool. We're only going over five things. Five main things you need to know when it comes to getting results as fast as possible for your clients and for your own websites. 

All of that stuff is going to be in this template. This is a template that I constructed a long time ago. I still add to it to this day. It's a free template. If you want it, it's just chasereiner.com, just my name. It's right on the homepage. You can grab it right there.

I'm not going to be covering anything basic. Like for instance, PageSpeed optimization, everybody knows they need to have a fast website. I'm not going to be covering web design. Everybody knows they need to have a mobile-friendly website. 

I'm going to talk about the five main things that really provide results from an SEO standpoint. They're all on-page. And the best part is you don't have to do any link building.

These are all things that I have used for my own websites, whether they're little local websites, whether they're national websites, whether they're my own websites, whether they're my client's websites. 

The Value of Proper Internal Linking

What we're going to be talking about today first is internal linking. Now, again, kind of basic, right? Well, most people know that when you have a website, you should refer one page to another page.

With any website, you have a foundation and then you have a top level. So, almost like a house, right? If we were to build a house, you have the very bottom part that's supposed to be very sound, right? If you have a cracked foundation at the bottom of your house, the last thing you want to start doing is adding more levels. 

With internal linking, what we want to do is, obviously, before you do anything, you want to cover these other parts first, right?

You want to make sure your analytics is set up. You want to make sure your web design is fine, that you have a mobile-friendly website, that your technical SEO's set up. But again, I'm not going to cover these things because most of this stuff, people already know.

In internal linking, this is when you're going to start looking at the higher levels of your building. And what I mean by this is when you look at all the different pages on your website, you have, let's say, your service pages. This is actually a web design site that I own. It's ranking on the first page of Google for web design in Santa Barbara, California, which is where I'm from.

Anyways, all these different service pages in here you can see, so Photography, Copywriting, Logo Design. These are all pages that are essential to the website in order to get it to rank. And the reason for this is because the more pages you can have on your website that are relevant to your main topic, generally, the better the website ranks.

I'm trying to rank for Web Design Santa Barbara. That's my main keyword. In all of these different pages that I'm creating, I'm going to internally link back to the homepage.

But let's say I have thousands of pages on my website. We don't care about internally linking a page that has no value. If I went in and I looked at my website, how would I go and determine what the most important pages are? Generally, what you can do is you can go into something like Google Search Console.

If you go to something like Pages, you can actually see which pages receive the most traffic. Now, does this mean they're the most valuable? Does it mean they have the most authority? Not necessarily, but it's a good indicator. If a page is ranking well on Google and it has some traffic, generally, that page has some value. 

Let's say I wanted to rank for, again, Web Design Santa Barbara and I went through all the top pages in Google Search Console. What I can do is I can go and see if in any of these pages, does it mention the keyword that I'm trying to rank for?

Let's say I wanted to rank this copywriting page. I can do a Ctrl F if I'm on the windows or Command F if I'm on Mac and I can type in ‘copywriting’. And you can see here it doesn't say anything about it, right? It's kind of hard for me to go and then internally link to that other page.

But that's where you can start creating content if those other pages are valuable. And you can obviously just add a little blurb about copywriting or whatever is related to this page. You want to have anchor text generally pointing to the homepage around your topic.

For instance, what we'll do on almost every page is say, "Our team at Web Design Santa Barbara aims to create." And so, that goes straight back to the homepage. And getting all of that internal link, all those internal links passed back to the homepage, I found really improves the value of that homepage. It makes it easy to rank. 

Jason: Sure, 100%. I mean, basically, if you look at Google today, it's all about entities, topic layers, topics which are entities and subtopics. And what we've got here is the main topic, if it's web design in Santa Barbara. And you can link back to that page on that topic. That's really awesome. 

Your main topic is your homepage or is your overall site and all these subtopics should feed into that. I think sometimes people get lost and they go off on kind of trips, talking about other things and forget where they're coming from and who they're trying to attract and why they are interesting to Google and more interestingly, to Google's audience. 

Chase: Sometimes, with local, you just want people to go to your homepage. And your homepage is really representing what you want to rank for, generally, because you're in a certain area, “Web Design Santa Barbara”. 

Now, on a national level though, you might be wanting to rank for something like top 10 web design sites for 2020. Let's say that's a big keyword for you. Now, what you're going to do there is instead of pointing all your links to the homepage, your internal links, you're going to be pointing it to that article that you're trying to rank.

And again, it's not really about having the perfect internal linking strategy. It's about identifying what the client wants so if they say, "Hey, a really big thing for me is ranking number one on Google for this keyword." You go, "Okay, great. Then let's focus our efforts there."

When I'm trying to do intake for a client, so that we actually have an intake in here, I'm going to ask them questions. What is the thing that is the most important sale for you? What is the most important conversion? What do you want people to do on your website? What's the thing that you really want to be represented for?

When you can kind of break up into bite-sized chunks what the different goals are for the client, it makes it easier to go and say, "Hey, yeah, I think we could do this in a month or two," versus if we're going to go and say, "Hey, they want to just get more traffic, more rankings, more conversions.” 

Everybody wants that. But that's kind of a more general goal. And so, the more specific you can get with what the actual client wants, the easier it is to be able to beat that challenge you have, which is, "Oh, they just want to rank number one and get an extra 100 opt-ins for the top web design sites in 2020." 

Jason: I mean, you put your finger on is when you pull in your client, the immediate thing is I want more traffic and they don't really think often what kind of traffic. You want traffic that converts, which I think where you're going to go with this. Yeah?

Removing Junk or Low-Value Pages from Google

Chase: Exactly. And I think that kind of brings us to the next point, which is look, so it's not just about having a bunch of content on your website. It's not just about having the perfect internal linking strategy and the best client goals. It's about what actually shows up on Google. 

If you have a client that has traffic already. Let's say they have a few thousand visits a month. One of the easiest ways to get them more traffic quickly and achieve the goal that most of them want, they just want to see their analytics go up, is to remove what's actually on Google. 

And this seems counterproductive because people think, "Well, the more content I have, it means the more rankings I'm going to have," right? Because every piece of content is basically another opportunity to rank. But the truth is, in most cases, what I found is that the more content you have, sometimes actually leads to less rankings. 

Like, when you have more junk. Let's say you go into a grocery store and there's a bunch of junk everywhere and all you want is a certain item. If you're just there for that certain item, all the other stuff becomes irrelevant. 

And so, having certain things show up on Google, like thank you pages, sometimes PDFs, sometimes dates. Sometimes authors post tags.

Jason: WordPress creates all these tags and people would tag their sites desperately. Because in the good old days, the more pages you had, the more chances you had because Google was fairly stupid and would just match the keyword string to the strings on your page. The more pages you had with the more tags, the more you'd rank and the more traffic you would get. 

That's now completely the other way around is you need great quality content because Google understands much better. It's got much smarter. And all those post tags, as you rightly say, just get in the way. They confuse things.

Chase: Kind of how we check for what pages do we internally link to, we also want to check what pages we have indexed. Because what if you have a bunch of traffic going to a post tag? Or what if you have a bunch of traffic going to an uncategorized page? 

I was working about a couple years ago on my SEO agency and I was hiring this guy that I was training. And I said, "Make sure you get rid of categories if there's no traffic because generally, they're not very helpful unless maybe people are actually looking for these categories on Google." 

But he didn't hear the part where I said, "If there's no traffic." And he didn't check to see if there was traffic or not. And what happened is the website was getting most of its traffic from Google from categories. 

Jason: I think that's really important is to look at your Search Console to check what's bringing in the traffic and make sure that you don't lose what you already have.

Chase: Yes. And I think the recurring theme that you guys are going to see today, based on what Jason's saying, based on what I'm saying is that look, almost everything that you can do quickly on an optimization level is going to come from your actual data on what sort of traffic you already have. We want to look at the actual data we already have versus going and trying to build data that we don't have. 

Jason: Yeah. I think that's worth repeating, Chase, what you just said. Take the data you've already got and start working with that rather than doing this big kind of building site and trying to create new data. Use the data you've got. 

Chase: Yes. Find the quick wins that you can do without spending 10 hours on some weird technical issue you found in some sort of crawler. Do the things that you know are going to work right away. 

Look, there's so many websites out there that they put a page on. They put a special on, Black Friday deal. They put a click funnels page on there. They put whatever. And what happens is they forget it even exists and they forget that they indexed it.

And so, it's very important to go through these websites and start looking at “okay, are the thank you pages indexed?” If I type in thank you, you can see when somebody buys a class from me or whatever, it takes them to a thank you page. And this page should not be indexed.

Jason: I’d just like to pay you a compliment because you're one of the few people who's actually willing to point out their own mistakes. And I think that's important as well. None of us are perfect.

Chase: The reason why I say go and de-index these thank you pages is generally, it's just a little button that you can switch off. I don't know what everybody uses on their websites. I think I use Yoast. But to get rid of all these thank you pages, you click one button and it gets rid of all of them. 

What I'll actually do sometimes is I'll just type in the “name of my website:” And I'll actually just go and walk through and go, "Oh gosh, that shouldn't be there". Go through the different pages on your website and see how they actually look on Google. Do you have a bunch of junk on here that shouldn't be there? 

Jason: It's nice to walk your clients through it because it's a very quick visual demonstration of how much junk they have. And then you say, now, imagine how much kind of Google's having to sort of around all this. And also, if it does rank, don't you look stupid?

How to Improve Click-Through Rates

Chase: The other thing too is...how can you actually improve what's showing up on Google? If I know I can go and make these results look better on Google and get more traffic instantly, why wouldn't I do that to my top 10 pages if it only takes a few seconds? 

Most people already know how to optimize a title tag and a meta description. But do they know how to put the right words in there so that Google's going to pick up the thing that it wants. Where it's like, "Oh, yeah, we changed the title tag in the description" and now, we can see that there's actually a huge improvement in rankings; a huge improvement in the amount of people who are clicking on it versus seeing it. So how do we do that?

Inside this little spreadsheet, we’ve got click-through optimization. What I'll generally do here is I will go into Google Search Console. I'll export all my pages.  I'm just going to go and plug those pages into this little spreadsheet. 

What you can see here is some of the pages have huge click through rates. They have a 20% click-through rate. One has a 3%. One as a 7%. Not bad. But then, other pages have very low click-through rates, like 0.50%.

How do I go and raise that up and what even is a click-through rate? Click through rate basically is the amount of people who see a result on Google versus the amount of people who click on it. I want to make sure that the amount of people who see a result on Google are going to click on it as much as possible.

In Google Search Console I can click on the URL just like this. I can go to Queries. And what's going to happen is it's going to show me all the clicks that I'm getting for this URL. You can see it says Chase under SEO audit template, SEO audit template, SEO roadmap template. 

If I go to the page and it says SEO audit checklist template, I probably want to have the keywords match what the page is saying. After I figure out what the page is about, then I'm just going to match this in the title.

I have a very simple formula. I actually want to hear your formula too, Jason. But what I do is I'll take the main keywords and I'll pull them to the left. This is the same thing I do every time. 

I'll take the main keywords, pull them to the left, SEO audit template. And then I'll put some sort of qualifier on the right. And the qualifier is basically just something that's going to entice people to click, but also includes other things that people are searching for.

I've used this sort of formula on the top 10 pages of websites that I work on. And what will happen is I find that when I do this, the traffic in the click-through rates for these pages go up tremendously. 

Effective Keyword Research: See What the Competition Ranks For

The next thing you want to do (or if you don't have a website with any content or any traffic in the first place), you're going to go straight into keyword research. And you're going to go into building new content.

I use, obviously, SEMrush. And what I like to do is I like to take my domains and I like to plug them into Domain Analytics. Let me go type in siphonking.com. This is a gaming website that I own. And you can see, I've been building the traffic for a little while. 

What I can do is I can scroll down, I can see, what are the competitors for this website? I want to click on these different competitors and see what are the things that are working for them? 

Again, if I don't have a marketing strategy to bring in traffic and I don't have any current traffic or anything, the last thing I want to do is optimize or do some indexation technique or schema markup. I want to go figure out what's working for my competitors and start creating content that's going to work similarly for me.

If you don't have a marketing strategy as it is, the more you can start looking at how other people are building audiences, the better you're going to do. If you want to do well on YouTube, go look and see what people are doing on YouTube to build an audience. 

But again, you have to think about an audience versus optimization. You can't optimize traffic or an audience that doesn't exist.

Jason: Look at your competitors, look at the competitors who are addressing the same audience as you. And basically, use their ideas, use what's worked for them. Yeah.

Chase: You can find markets that people are doing well in. Let's say I go on YouTube and I see that, "Okay, Chase has a video for SEO roadmap. But I think it could be way better edited. I think that the template's trash. I think there's all these things I could do. And obviously, he's getting traffic and he's the only one out there that really has traffic for this keyword. What if I kind of replicated his strategy but made it better?"

When you're doing SEO, you're taking either traffic that exists or traffic that doesn't exist and you're trying to figure out how to improve the content around that thing. Whether it's future content or previous content, that's all it is. 

Dealing with Client Expectations and Goals for SEO

Jason: The only problem I have with my clients sometimes is that they don't accept that their content isn't good enough or that their competitor is more established than they are, that Google will perceive them as being more authoritative. People in business or people, in general, have a great deal of trouble actually looking at themselves, honestly, in the mirror. How do you deal with that when a client says, "But my content's perfectly good."?

Chase: It's really about hammering on the expectations and what your role is in the company. If they're expecting you to help with their marketing, then you need to be the one that tells them, "Hey, this is what you should do with their marketing" and they're lenient to that. If you're just doing their SEO, and you're just changing a title tag, then they need to be okay with that.

Jason: When you actually say, "Here's a list of things we can do," they don't actually do it and then they ask themselves, or they ask you, "Why aren't we getting results now?" And the answer is because you haven't done what I suggested. 

Make Sure You Capture Traffic with an Opt-In

Chase: The cool thing about this strategy here is when you're building up an audience, generally, whether you're doing it for your own company or for a client, if you're good at capturing traffic, which is the last thing we're going to talk about, you don't have to worry too much about whether a client sticks around or not. Because you can bring somebody else in right away. 

How do we create those relationships with people that really want to work with you, that are willing to stick around, that they're coming back and they go, "Hey, I would love to get some SEO done. I would love to get an SEO audit," whatever it is? 

The truth is, look: traffic; turn it into a subscriber or turn it into an email opt-in or turn it into a phone number. If your goal at the end of the day is not controlling your traffic, and this is on any website, any platform, your websites, your client's websites, if you can't capture traffic, it's game over.

You can actually use any traffic that you get and you can leverage that traffic for all these things on another platform. And this is the secret.

I know a lot of you guys who are in chat or who are watching or Jason's audience, my audience, a lot of you guys are interested in knowing one thing. And that thing is, how do I get results quickly for my clients and how do I get those clients to stick around and continue buying services from me? And so, if that's the thing that I know people want, I'm going to figure out something that people are going to opt into.

The Value of Building Relationships and Engagement

The thing I care about is building relationships. Because when you build a relationship online with somebody, somebody that's going to watch what you're doing, somebody that's going to go to your YouTube video, somebody that's going to take your recommendation, you have the ability to leverage that relationship for a ranking, a conversion, or a sale.

95% of the people who are engaging with your brand, they're not going to buy from you, right? They're just going to watch your stuff. They're going to say, "Oh, that's awesome. I love the information but I don't have money to buy this or I just don't really want to buy it."

Now, you can, if you build links. You can, if you do a lot of the stuff that people are doing right now, like PBNs and whatever else. But if you want to do it the Google way, you want to do it the white hat way, you want to do it the way I've been doing over the last three or four years, you let your traffic promote your content which leads to your rankings. 

Let's say we had some traffic coming into YouTube, starts out here. Let's say we wanted to rank on Google...for the top 10 SEO checklist for 2020. And let's say, all the people from YouTube downloaded my first checklist. Now, all I have to do is go message those people and say, "Hey, I just released an article for the top 10 checklists for SEO roadmaps, can you go check it out?"

Now, if I take all this traffic and I bring them over to engage with this content that I'm trying to rank on Google, that user engagement generally will help that thing rank. Now, that's pretty much it. That's the five steps. We can open up to Q&A.

Jason: I love that last chunk because it comes back to what we're talking about last time, in fact. It's all about engagement. And I think people forget that. All of these algorithms watch engagement and they measure engagement. 

Chase: I think a lot of the time, most people, they're so stuck on a template. They're so stuck on a keyword or something like that. When they just need to identify where's my marketing currently at? Do I have any authority? Do I have any audience? Do I have any traffic? If you don't, go start building content that you know that works for other people.

A lot of people, they want SEO clients. They want SEO sales. They want to sell services. But how are you finding these people? And how are they finding you? If you don't have a way to create a marketing strategy for your own company, a lot of times, it's very hard to create a marketing strategy for another company.

A lot of times why people, they're not seen, isn't because they're not doing content necessarily. It's because they're not doing anything, right? They're not putting themselves out there. 

Do These SEO Strategies Work for eCommerce?

Jason: Brilliant stuff. Yeah. Great. Wonderful. I love that. We have a few questions. I mean, what I love is the question all about eCommerce. And that we're going right back to the part where you were saying, find the best-performing pages and he wants to know or she wants to know, should you look at the best performing products and link up or just clean up the title for the products?

Chase: I think you can do it for, yeah, any sort of traffic that you have, identify the pages that are bringing that traffic and play to your strengths. If you see your top 10 pages or products, figure out, oh, for instance, the click-through rates, can we make this a higher click through? 

Is it below a 3% click-through rate? Are there any internal links going to this page that are from other valuable pages? Are we indexing a bunch of other junk pages that are duplicate pages of this product?

Jason: Rather than going and doing an entire site audit, say like, "Let's focus on the top 10 products. Let's get them rolling, get some money coming in. You're getting the money that will pay my fees every month. And then we can start doing a bigger strategy." But getting those first sales or the first traffic that lead to sales in would be a really great way to keep people on board. 

How To Research Competitors If You Have No Traffic?

Jason: We also have a question from Chip Paschal, "How can you see competitors if you have no traffic?"

Chase: That's a good point. I think, in SEMrush, they actually have a place where you can just type in your keywords that you think that you want to rank for and it'll show you the competitors as well. Another way as well is if you want you could always just go to Google, start typing in keywords and see what people are showing up for on Google. 

Jason: You've got to be careful and take a little step back and say actually, who am I competing with truly? And especially on those short head keywords where you're going to end up competing with the really big companies and Wikipedia and informational kind of queries, especially. Be careful about that. Don't try and fight people you will never win. 

Chase: I think it's really important, especially on a local level. If you're going and saying, "Hey, my top competitor is Yelp." It's kind of a hard thing to measure when Yelp's doing the same exact thing on every single page. And the reason why they're ranking is generally because they're an authority.

The Importance of Niching Down The Services You Provide

Find those websites that are kind of niched down that are within sort of your level. Don't go and try to start competing with realtor.com or Yelp, and trying to take their strategy or Amazon and use it as your own strategy. 

Jason: You want to rank for keywords against competitors where you actually, A, can fulfill the user's needs, both in terms of the services you provide, but also in terms of the scale of what you can actually handle.

Chase: I think you're hitting on something really important here. And I think this really translates as well to your own business is, look, one of the reasons why I've always been like the ‘white hat SEO guy’ or ‘the guy that does SEO audits’ or whatever it is, is because when you're starting out, you want to carve out something that is important to you that is kind of niched down. The quicker you can get known as the SEO audit guy or the quicker you can get known as the whatever it is, you become easier to connect to.

I actually helped somebody the other day, they started specializing in eCommerce SEO because they were originally, "Oh, I just like helping everybody with SEO." And now, they just do Shopify SEO. And they're getting a ton of clients because they only build content around that topic. 

Jason: I mean, I've gone through this whole thing of wanting to be everything to everybody. It just simply doesn't work. And now I'm the brand SERP guy. I specialize in what appears when somebody searches your brand name, making it accurate, positive, and convincing and in knowledge panels, which are part of that brand SERP. And since I've done that, I've got a lot more people contacting me, a lot more business. 

That was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful webinar. I thought that was a great presentation. And I hope everybody out there enjoyed it. I got a lot out of it. 

Chase: Thank you. Yeah, I loved it. And maybe we'll be seeing them on another one soon.

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