Daniela Pimentel Furtado of Findable Digital Marketing joined us for a live webinar about how to rank on Google 1st page. Below is the transcript of the webinar and some incredible tips and tricks help ensure your best work is showing up where you want it.
Today we’re going to be talking about SEO for blogs. I know so many people understand that blogs are still very powerful tools in communicating thought and authority in the subject, but not many people understand necessarily – how do I get this to be something that gets traction and awareness. How do I get the type of reach that I would hope for?
Anyone who’s written a blog before understands that it takes a lot of work and time. Therefore, I hire Copywriters to help me write blogs. I’ve done this before, and it takes a lot of your own precious time to write something. And you do all the work, you do the revisions, you do what you think is best. You press the publish button and then you put it out to the world. And not as many people see it as you hoped, or no one sees it.
And it’s not necessarily that the content was bad, but maybe you didn’t position yourself to receive the traffic that it deserves by doing some simple things. This is why we have people like Daniella Furtado, she helps a lot of people with SEO, specifically.
What’s the number one thing that people completely miss in terms of understanding how SEO works?
Daniela Pimentel Furtado
A lot of people think that I am a google whisperer. I stuffed mumbo jumbo in the back end of their website, or I put something in the code. I’m pleased to put those clients on the first page. I think a lot of people think it’s a lot more secretive or technical than it really is.
I’ll start with [explaining] search engine optimization which is the practice of optimizing your profile or website, whatever accounts you have, whatever you’re searching to position yourself high up on the search results.
So, a search engine is literally any platform that has a search bar. Typically, we’re talking about Google, Yahoo, Bing, but also Pinterest, social media platforms, Spotify. These all the search bar, so when you search something, the results are not random. It’s there because there’s an algorithm calculating the most relevant results for that specific search. SEO – search engine optimization – is understanding the algorithm behind the search engine and tailoring your website or profile to fit that search engine algorithm.
When we talk about Google specifically, there are more than 200 rankings. Google takes 200 factors into consideration when figuring out if the website is going to be on the first page. A lot of those factors we know about because Google has told us or we as an industry have done experiments and shared what we didn’t know about. But for the most part, we can categorise those 200 ranking factors into five groups. Technical, content, local. And I’d say most recently, is website design and user experience.
I think that’s a big misconception people have. It is what you said, do the code stuff on the back end. Maybe they’re talking about technical or on-page. But they don’t understand that the content has to be written in a certain way for Google to understand what it is you’re trying to do. And I always try to explain to people who don’t understand SEO by saying Google is just trying to solve the answer.
They have millions and millions of searches every single second of every single day. And the algorithm’s job is to find the most relevant information, to answer the query, to answer what someone types into that bar. So, we’re not at a place yet where Google can just know your intentions. That might be scary to think about, but there are some things that you can do inside of your content if you’re going that route with your SEO to help Google identify what exactly you are talking about and why this would be relevant to XYZ search query.
Because if they’re searching for, let’s say, for my business – “digital marketing, construction” or “construction, digital marketing.” They want to find information on the entire Internet, whatever they’ve searched that will answer that as fast and as accurately as possible. And that’s where you can kind of get some type of authority in a specific space.
What should I be talking about for my business? Or how can I relate something to what someone’s looking for?
Daniela Pimentel Furtado
Good questions. I like to think of it when people ask me what I should write as a Venn diagram. So, you have your business is one circle, your needs, your customers, what they need, and then you have an algorithm as another and what people are searching for on that platform. And you’re trying to find where the two circles collide. That bridge is where you create your content. So, what are questions that people are asking about your service or product? What are those questions that people are asking for? If they are asking themselves those questions or their friends, they’re probably Googling it as well.
I would start there in understanding the customer journey. What questions do they have at different stages of the journey? That way, then you can use tools like specific for using on Google. This is called Keyword Research. And so, I would like to clarify, you may find that some don’t work really well on Google. Maybe there’s not like a clear opportunity to rank or not a lot of people have written about it or there is a clear opportunity to rank but it doesn’t make sense for your business. Like these are questions that people are asking. But maybe Google isn’t the best channel to promote that content. Maybe it’s not that suitable, maybe it’s very niche. Or maybe it’s just too competitive to rank on Google. Adjust your expectations. Maybe you promote it on an email, maybe you write it for a publication
I would say start with understanding your customers. What do they want to know about your products or service? Buckle down and figure which of those ideas would work best for Google or another platform on another channel.
That’s good advice because some people are not going for Google for those answers. A great way to do like what we would call the Keyword research is forums. I’ve just recently joined the Digital Marketing forum on Reddit and WordPress because we do a lot of WordPress development, and you can see what people are asking and maybe keep like a Google spreadsheet of some really good questions people are struggling with. Or if your industry is something specific, like we both work with interior designers, architects, and builders.
You can start to go into different forums and find where people are having those conversations and what they’re struggling with in that specific industry. A very simple way of doing some research is whenever you have your ideas, just write them into Google and press search. And then halfway down, if you scroll down, you’ll see related search things that people have searched for. That means Google is seeing people type those things in and they’re categorizing them together. That means a lot of people are searching for this now. It doesn’t mean that you can rank on Google easily. They don’t show you all those types of metrics.
If you scroll all the way to the bottom, it shows you more related search terms that are related to what you searched initially. If you’re writing something for someone to benefit from, the best thing to do is to do a little bit of research to see where the intersect is, like what Daniella was talking about with the Venn diagram, and then you want to capture their attention. And I’ve had to learn this the hard way. It’s not necessarily how good or bad your blog or article or case study is, but what you name it. Is it clear? Does it say what the solution or what the person is going to get out of it?
Ideas or tips for people who are using the headline or the H one tag inside of their blog post
Daniela Pimentel Furtado
Once you figure out what keyword, you are going to brainstorm some ideas. You figured out what your customers are looking for. Maybe you’ve been a fly on the wall in some forums or clubhouse room, groups, meet ups, whatever it may be. You start to make a list of content of articles that you want to write, keywords that you can target for each article. Maybe one keyword. It may be a group of keywords, like five, maybe one big one, and four outlines.
I would start with literally creating an outline of how you’re going to structure the blog post, and that will help. You figure out a heading next. Not just the H1 or the title, but also the sub headings, right, the H2 and the H3’s in the article. And then you can start to think about, OK, where can I place some keywords? The keywords don’t have to be in all the headings. It should ideally be in the H1, the big title, and some of the H2 and H3.
If you can figure out the headings, but also make it clear right from the outline alone, from just the headings, I should be able to understand what the article is about and where you’re going. I should be able to just scan down to the part that’s most relevant to me. What I would recommend is creating an outline, structuring it, figuring out where the keywords are going to be.
I was reading somewhere, and they were talking about the trend of how longer posts are doing better, longer posts that are scannable. So having a quick link that jumps down to the section so people can find the answer they’re looking for immediately. Or that the headings are so clear that if someone were to scan through this longer blog post or article, they can kind of see the gist of everything and then maybe spend more time and dive into the parts that matter most to them. But making it scannable, which is so 2022 because everything is so fast, people’s attention span’s so fast, especially on their phones.
Let’s say you have 2500-word article. I’m just going to scan and swipe, swipe, swipe and see what the headings are and see the gist of it first before I go back and read it. Or I’ll jump down to a section that is pertinent to what I’m doing. I think those are super huge to consider when we’re talking about the words, and the outlines of these articles.
What about the auxiliary things to the articles? What about links and images?
Daniela Pimentel Furtado
Images, metadata and internal links would be the other auxiliary extra factors. Compress your images before you upload them. Photoshop is the ideal software for this, you can use free tools as well, unless it’s huge. And then you can speak to this part as a website designer. But unless the image takes up the whole screen, it usually doesn’t have to be more than 1GB.
So, compress the images, name them carefully. So literally rename the file. This is like a gray area but a lot of people like to put keywords in the file name of the image and they think that’s what SEO is, it’s a piece of cake. If the article is not strong to begin with, if you’re not using keywords of the article or your technical image, SEO is not going to save you just by renaming the file.
I think I would recommend original images like infographics, a chart, a table, something like that. Definitely have intent. Make it easy for Google’s bots or crawlers to crawl your site, to go from one page to the other to see every time you put new content. If you link to external and internal articles, then Google will recognize it a lot faster, index it and put it higher up on the surf on the page.
If you are selling like a product, for example, promote the product that is relevant to that post. And I don’t think an anchor text is enough. Like, if you have a digital product and have a PDF, have like a Little banner with a mock-up of the PDF, create a button out of it so they can click through. This is a good way to force ecommerce. If it’s a survey, have a call to action.
Internal links for SEO and conversion if you’re a business. Lastly, I would say metadata. So, this is changing a little bit. Google doesn’t pay attention to the meta titles that people manually write. It’s using whatever your H1 title is by default. Again, it’s one of those things where people think, similar to image alt-tags. People think meta titles and meta descriptions are like the end all be all. And it’s not the fundamentals, it’s just a cherry on the cake. So if you have the time, write a meta title, make it as identical as possible. Write a meta description as well.
How can you use external links to leverage your rank on Google?
Daniela Pimentel Furtado
Your use of external links, actually having way too many can hurt your SEO because it kind of looks spammy using too many. Listed, resources, sources, citations, definitely link to sites wherever it’s relevant and it makes sense to flow to the article, but it doesn’t really add much to your SEO exchange cases.
So, this goes back to what I said about the five categories the ranking factor back into. I won’t get into the nitty gritty. But backlinks is the thing about Google’s algorithm that made it really excel. When Google first started, there were tons of other search engines, but none of them were as relevant. It didn’t have as accurate results because Google used something called backlinks. This looks at what links, what websites are pointing to your website.
For example, You can write all this content. How great. Let’s say you sell cat food. You can say that you sell the best cat food and you can get a keyword all over your side. You can have content all about it. But if nobody else on the Internet is saying that your cat food is the best in Toronto, then Google isn’t going to pay much attention to it. But when Business Review in Toronto, The Star and all these big websites start mentioning your website, when they add external links to your site, in other words, they’re giving you back links. It’s like traffic coming in from the back door. Then that adds to your position.
Yeah, that’s really cool. That really does lend a lot of authority or lends a lot of credibility to your website and to your article or whatever you’re writing about. Because people that have a higher rank on Google are now saying, hey, check this website out. Because again, if we go back to the original premise, Google only wants to give the best answers to the people who are searching for these types of things.
There are ways for you guys to leverage that even in dealing with feature snippets, like when you search on Google, this is something that’s new in the last couple of years you’ll see on a Google Homepage or a surprise when you load up a query, a question, something you type into Google. It’s not just links and descriptions anymore. Now you’re able to see FAQs related searches. You’re able to see snippets of information, whether it’s related to a news article or video.
There are different ways that you can now leverage other content or even within your content so that Google understands that’s. Like if you were to search how to write a blog post? Google might use a feature snippet that shows the best answer on there, which kind of will show exactly a little picture of a snippet or image from your blog post and maybe a few of the other headings that you have in that article.
We’re talking about a lot of technical things, things that are like, okay, we’re talking about SERP pages and SEO and different features, snippets and back linking. And sometimes, yes, I want to make sure people don’t get too discouraged when they’re writing.
Ultimately, Daniella touched on a little bit of it. At the end of the day, you’re writing for humans, but you want to be cognizant of the fact that there is a game at play where the best answers, the people that provide the best results usually have the best SEO, or they are more intentional with their SEO. So, Google is able to read it. But if you were to go to the actual content itself, they write for humans, they write in a way that is appealing for people to read. And that’s where we were talking about making your content scannable, making sure it’s visually appealing, having all of your titles read clearly so people can kind of understand that.
And that’s where understanding who is the audience for what you’re producing is going to be very instrumental. Understanding your buyer persona, what their motives are, what their challenges are, their interests, those are important things, right? You want to choose topics that will resonate with your potential customers and address their pain point.
Here are more tips for Blog Posts To Rank #1 on Google. If you are interested in hearing more or watching the webinar? Watch it below!
Keep up with Daniela Pimentel Furtado at @findabledigitalmarketing
Find Bart Anestin at @creativepartnerstudio