The words your website needs to rank well on Google 

 

Never underestimate the potential power of your small business website. Honestly, a well-designed and considered website can be one of the crucial elements in a healthy and vibrant marketing eco-system.

If you want a website that attracts customers when you are busy in your business working for your customers, or even when you are asleep, then I suggest that you listen to this episode where I speak to communications expert Lauren McAllister. 

Lauren shares how to create a really healthy and performance driven website by carefully considering the words and other content that you include in your website. 

And it’s not just which words, it's where you place those words on your website that counts.

I would suggest having a pen handy, as Lauren shares lots of really practical tips that you may want to note down.

You can find Lauren at WebStudio.

Website: https://www.webstudio.com.au/ or phone: 02 55 145 145

 

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Episode Transcript

Jane:

Hello Lauren, and welcome to the How to do Marketing Show.

Lauren:

Hi Jane, how are you today?

Jane:

Well, thank you and really excited about our conversation, but before we start with our little Q & A, can you please tell us a little bit about your communications background and how you've landed in the role that you are in today?

Lauren:

It's been quite a journey. I actually have a journalism degree and I started at Sky News in Sydney. Once I graduated, I relocated to Dubbo actually after a couple of years at Sky. I went to my husband who is a physiotherapist and he got a job out there and I was working at the ABC in Dubbo for around a couple of months. And I remember thinking regional journalism, that's got to be better than this 24 hours, start at 3:00am business. It'll be much more work-life balance, but it's still pretty full you know. Big days. As a regional journalist, they want you to be writing content, filming content, voicing content. And then yeah, around a couple of months I'd been there. I had a twin pregnancy sprung upon me by surprise, which was lovely, but also pretty confronting.

And so I went off to have my boys and a couple of months in, I sort of thought I'm going to start looking elsewhere. Because managing two babies and working in the journalism industry was going to be tough because you gotta be on call a lot. Anyway, I wrote an article actually about my pregnancy experience. It was a bit horrifying and it got published in the Huffington post online magazine, you know, and a friend of a friend showed it to somebody who worked in marketing and they hired me knowing all those fun, personal details. So I started there as a copy writer and I worked in that wonderful agency for four years and my role evolved and it was beautiful work-life balance. I still in my heart do love journalism, but I did find as this role expanded how much I loved helping businesses grow, especially those smaller, medium sized businesses. Seeing the results and getting to sharing that was really fun. And then I relocated to Port Macquarie a couple of years ago and I've been working remotely for that agency, but I've just signed on with Simon at Web Studio. And we're launching a marketing service here. So that's really exciting too.

Jane:

It's really exciting. We are so happy to have you in our town. And we have worked with Simon through the academy, as well as through Dragonfly Marketing. We've worked with Simon for many years now. He's a fabulous person. He's also coming up in an episode on the How to do Marketing Show. So you guys teaming up together is a fantastic combination. So that's awesome. Well, thanks for sharing that with us. And as I said, so happy to have you join us in Port Macquarie. So this episode, I mean, obviously you're an expert at the written word, and communications and journalism is your strong point, which is awesome. But this episode I'd really love to pick your brains specifically about small business website communication, particularly about the copy that we need to include on our main website pages, as well as within our blog content. So, first of all, can you explain the difference between what we need to write on our kind of main home page, about us page, like the main navigational pages versus how we might approach our dynamic content or our blog articles?

Lauren:

Great question. So your home page look, people, they have a pretty short attention span. So when they land on your homepage, you've probably got about 10 to 15 seconds to really clearly communicate who you are, what you're about, what you do, and most importantly, how you can help them. So that's what I think of the home page as it's often the first impression a person will ever have of your business. So a homepage needs to give them a little bit of an idea about who you are and what your business is and what you stand for. You want to convey that personality of your brand, of course key services and products. So that's the, what you do. They need to be able to at a glance on your homepage see all the services you provide or products you provide, whatever your business is.

And most importantly, how you can help them. So I believe that your UVP, your unique value proposition should be really present on your home page. So content for the homepage needs to be written in a way that's - I understand your problems and here's how we can help. So for an example, I had a client that was a flour mill. Their key target audience were bakers. And so their main pain points, their main problems are late deliveries, inconsistent product. You know, they get flour and they bake something out of it and then they get the same flour next time. And it's a different thing altogether. They need something that's consistent and they need it on time. So the homepage for this client, one of the key messages front and center, when you landed on their homepage was sick of late deliveries and an inconsistent product.

And then you create content that demonstrates how you are positioned to help them. So your home page is overarching. You need to get a lot of information about who you are out quite quickly. So that's the way I think of a home page. Whereas blog articles are generally addressing an area of concern or providing advice and guidance or sharing a specific part about your brand. So it's a more niche audience. You can break your target audience down into sections and have blogs that addressed each sort of section of that audience. And also they are really helpful for SEO, which I know that we'll get to down the track, but like if somebody is looking for a psychologist, for example they're not necessarily going to type in psychologist or counselor to Google. If they're suffering anxiety, they might be typing into Google tips to manage anxiety or mindfulness exercises. So this is where the blogs come in and they catch people in that section of the funnel where they know what their problem is. They know what their pain point is. They may not be ready to seek out help yet, or to purchase the product or use the service yet, but you're getting them into your funnel through these blogs that really speak to them and communicate well to them. So that's sort of the way I think of a blog. Yeah.

Jane:

Yeah. That's such an awesome description and such a great differentiation between the two pieces of content. And I love your description there. And your example of the unique value proposition that you spoke about, particularly with the flour mill there, because I know something that I notice a lot of small businesses, I guess, a common mistake of a lot of small businesses and big businesses in some instances, is they think they're actually differentiating themselves, or they think that they're actually communicating their unique value. But actually you're kind of saying the same thing as everybody else. And in your example of, you know, sick of late deliveries and an inconsistent product, you can imagine, that all the other flour mills trying to speak to these bakers would be all about, maybe family history, you know, flour has been a legacy business or customer service, all the typical words that people use. So to go straight in with that hook using the language and the pain point that's been clearly identified is really, really clever.

Lauren:

Yeah. And that's about also framing the content in a way that's less, here's what we can do for you and why we're so good and more we understand who you are. We can identify with what you're going through and here's how we can help you. It's just reframing it to be more about them, less about you.

Jane:

Yeah. And just really simple. It doesn't need to be 10 points. It doesn't need to be all the lists of value. It's just a simple, we can deliver on time and a consistent product.

Lauren:

That's it. And then the content everywhere else in their strategy, including other pages on the website is all framed around those pain points. So we did a corporate video that shows their process that shows how quality control is such a big deal and why the product will always be consistent. We did blog articles talking and testimonials from people that say, yes, delivery is always on time. Sensational, like all your content that you frame around those pain points. It's not just the blogs and the websites. It sort of drives everything from there as well.

Jane:

Yeah. So then people start talking about the consistency and the on time instead of another flour mill. Yeah. Just another flour mill. I love it. Perfect. So one of the most important things that our website needs to achieve is visibility within search engines, mainly Google. I know there's others, but let's face it. Most of us want it to become visible to people who are searching for what we sell. We can ensure that our website is optimized for search. So some people might know that as search engine optimization or again, as SEO. So can you explain SEO or search engine optimization and why it should be incorporated into a small business website?

Lauren:

So SEO is a quite a broad term. As you mentioned, it refers to sort of just how your website is optimized for Google and other search engines. It comes down to a huge plethora of different things that contribute to being an SEO friendly website. If I’m covering the main sort of top level points, the things that we're looking for are technical things like, and that's, Simon's area of expertise here at Lawrence Studio, as part of our team, when we're doing sort of an SEO assessment of a website, he's checking things like site speed, whether it's mobile friendly, you can do all the SEO copywriting in the world and make sure that your keywords are all over your website. But if you've got a slow website with huge pictures that take forever to load and a website that's not mobile friendly, your ranking is going to be hugely impacted.

So that's step one, have a well-built website. Which is sort of the first thing we're looking at. Authority is also a factor. So this is where backlinks come in. The more people that are outside your website that are linking back to it. Google sees you as a figure of authority and it ranks you well. And I know that there are services where you can pay to have backlinks to your website. Google knows, don't do it. We want back links from other really relevant well-respected websites. So for example, one of my clients was a brewery equipment manufacturer. We partnered up with some brews news type magazines, really well-respected publications in their industry. And they became contributors publishing content to their website as a contributor, which then links back to their website. And that's a really great authoritative backlink that Google loves.

So partner content, it's another big thing. Content on page, so that's our keywords. So that plays a huge role. And that's where keyword research comes into play. So we use a paid tool called SEM Rush. We can use that to research how your domain’s performing amongst your competitors. So it's really quite fantastic. And so keyword research is who is my target audience? What are their problems? Therefore, what are they searching for in Google? That's the first step. You don't just want to go searching like thinking, oh, I think this is what people would type. So I'm going to start incorporating those keywords into my content. No, you actually want to do the research to know what people are searching for. For example, you sell shoes and you think I'm going to have running shoes as one of my focus keywords.

Through research, I might be able to tell you that in actual fact, more people are searching for running sneakers. So that might be a better word to be prioritizing. We love having different versions and that's what we would do anyway. But it's sort of like what you think people are searching for may not actually be what people are searching for. So that's a key lesson there. We also look at competitivity of the keywords as a factor. So if you're a local credit union, I wouldn't recommend going after home loans because the big banks are paying big money to rank for those and the traffic coming through to those websites every day, we can't compete with that. So that's fine. But there are other ways as a credit union to be found on Google, as I mentioned. So you do your keyword research and then once you have a clear idea of what their interests are, you make sure that those keywords are in your content. So that's in your blogs or through your service pages on your home page, making sure that those keywords are all through your website. And there's lots of places they need to be, which we can go into. Yeah. But it's authority technical and on-page SEO back links. They're the sort of top level.

Jane:

Yeah. So two questions there in terms of those partner links that you're talking about, like the most ideal link, do you mean, like the example that you gave, that you've got one site linking to your site and then your sites linking back to this. So there's like that reciprocal link.

Lauren:

That's great. But Google cares mostly about sites linking back to your site. So there's back links and then there's internal links. So if I'm ever publishing a blog article, I am always linking to at least two or three other pages on that website. So there'll be a contact us if you [inaudible] that link back to your website, blogs that have internal links that helps your ranking, but external links from other websites is awesome because that helps with your authority. Google thinks, oh, look, how many well-known respected authoritative websites are linking back to this website. That's a great thing.

Jane:

Yeah. Fantastic. Then when you're saying about doing your research for keywords to find out, because I think it goes back to the example you gave about the psychologist as well. But I think as business owners, we know all the terminology that we use within the industry. And the terminology that we use is generally not as technical as the terminology that our customers use, let alone from a different perspective because some customers don't know what they don't know yet. So they don't know the answer to their anxiety is a psychologist or a counselor or whoever you might be looking to kind of Snapple that person. So when you're actually looking for those key words, what is the research that you're doing there? Are you actually going and asking people, or are you using keyword research tools?

Lauren:

The keyword research tools are great, but to me, and again, I think this goes back to my storytelling journo sort of background is you can't be writing anything without knowing the person that you're writing it for in every detail. You need to be thinking of the different ways that they might be looking for you, the different problems they might have, so I always believe in talking to people. One of my other old clients, was a migration agent based in North Sydney. And there was no point again in chasing migration agents, Sydney, huge competitivity, lots of people paying money for those keywords. But I said to her, and one of the visas that she specialized in was partner phases. And business owners know their customers, even if they don't know how much they know, they do. And I said to her, okay, so when somebody that wants a partner, visa sits in front of you, what are their pain points? What are the questions they're always asking you? And she said, oh, statutory declarations. None of them know how to fill out statutory declarations. And it's really quite difficult because you don't know what's relevant, what to include, what you're missing.

That is one of the key frustrations and pain points for my customer, so we wrote a blog titled ‘what to put in a statutory declaration for a partner visa.’ It was fully optimized and made sure we shared it widely. And it is now the key page that is used to get people onto her website. It is viewed hundreds of times a month. It is the main way that her website is found through Google. And that all came down to asking the question, what are your customers worried about? What are their main issues? So keyword research is sensational because you can see what people are searching for. So it gives you an idea, but I always think it really just comes down to knowing your customers and what their issues are.

Jane:

Yeah. Yeah. And I think too, because when customers are in conversation mode as well they kind of tend to talk and this business owner was obviously giving you an example of questions that people ask. But I like to have those face to face conversations with people as well, because I think when they're in conversation, language they're using that language that they would just use every day. And they're not putting formal statement because they're not trying to impress anyone with the right answer or the written word, or what do they want me to say? You know, here, it's just like, this is how I talk and learning how they talk and how they refer to stuff in a natural environment can be where the nuggets are. That absolutely nuggets of insight.

So by the sounds of things, search engine optimization is an absolutely key ingredient for small business website. And it is something that you have to nominate, and that you have to actually, I think be quite… And you guys obviously do it as a given like it's part of your service and it's something that you guys are completely aware of, but I don't think it's always the case with website developers. You know, some website developers will just develop a website. They haven't necessarily put the thought behind the keywords and the load ability and all of that sort of stuff. So I think that for any small business owners listening, make sure that your website and your website developer is across this and ask them questions about it, to make sure that when you are paying for a website, that it will be visible online.

Lauren:

Absolutely.

Jane:

Okay. So you've spoken a little bit about how blog posts can help us become more visible. And that example of the migration officer was a classic example because you've answered a question that a lot of people have. And I can even see people literally typing in How to do statutory declaration. So answering that question with a headline like that is awesome. How else can they help us become more visible? And how else do they contribute to that search engine optimization?

Lauren:

When people are searching into Google, another thing that Google takes into account is their intent. So, that sort of relates to where they are in the funnel. So somebody typing in how to get a partner visa to Australia is different to what to put in a stat deck. So that comes down to your keywords in those key ones that might be more on your homepage or your service page. So the partner visa landing page that we built for her that was a lot more focused on that. The people at the bottom end of that funnel, whereas what blogs do is they capture people at that top end up in the broader awareness. They're still learning. And that's why they are really handy tool, but blogs also even just sort of separate SEO blogs can also be a lot of the time, the first impression someone gets of your business, they might not land on your homepage first.

It might be as these people are doing, through this blog. So every blog needs to be written in that brand tone of voice with your values present. And it's an important stepping stone for people. The blog is step one, but you always want to be, as I said, including those internal links, it doesn't even need to be booking an appointment that doesn't need to be the next step for this person. It might be. So again, for this example, we actually created a guidebook about partner visas for this client. A huge one done in Canva, beautifully presented, a 15 page guidebook on partner visas. It was a huge undertaking, but that blog sort of led people. And when they got to the bottom of it was, would you like to download our guidebook on partner visas? We collect an email address. They go into the partner visa funnel. So blogs separate to SEO even, are so useful for that sort of thing. And they're also really useful as lovely tidbits you can share across your socials or in your newsletters to drive traffic back to your website, which helps your ranking.

Jane:

Yeah. A hundred percent. And that's how we share. We share all of our blogs via our social channels. We certainly never just write a blog and then leave it sitting there hoping that someone will discover it. But it's funny that you can say that, the blog can sometimes be the traffic generator, like one of the main traffic generators. One of the girls that used to work for me, Ellie wrote this awesome blog last year, right at the height of COVID. And we were going through for all of our clients, like literally building, you know, checklists for all of them going, okay, your Google my business page. This is what we need to do there. Your Facebook, your LinkedIn, your website letters, every touch point, every bit of communication for every different client we were putting checklists together to make sure that we'd sent out the right communication for each client. So we had this really great checklist and Ellie put it together. And as a blog post that to this day still remains the biggest traffic generator on my website, beyond my home page for some months, like it is insane. And I think once it gets that traction, once it starts driving that much traffic to your site, it stays at the top. Doesn't it?

Lauren:

Because it's a bit of a chicken and egg situation, is that the more traffic that's going to it. And that's why, again, like a local credit union and a home loans page, they can't compete with big banks because they've got thousands of people visiting their website every day. But again, that blog there that you just use as the example is the same thing in that you identified, what do our clients need right now that checklist was really helpful for them. And that's why it did so well. So blogs to me, are a crucial part of SEO. Yes. But it's more that SEO exists amongst your content marketing strategy. It's a content marketing.

And yeah, as you just used with your example then, blogs and SEO of course is important. But to me, SEO exists as part of your entire content marketing strategy. Blogs don't exist in a bubble or in isolation, it's all connected. The blogs are a stepping stone. They get shared across your socials and your newsletter and it all needs to be cohesive and in line with your brand and with what your customers expect from you.

Jane:

Yeah. Now what about, and this is a question that's a little bit off piece, but what about for those, like, B to B or service or expertise, IP, that kind of thing where writing about what you do makes sense. What about for those say e-commerce sites that just sell products like clothing, or gifts or something like that, do you think is blogging relevant for them? Like is blogging relevant for them in the same way? I mean, I guess because they're taking different products out that they can then share and the product pages on their website that detail the hoodie or the shorts or the candle or whatever they're selling, they're taking those aspects out and sharing those out by the platforms. How could they incorporate blogs? Is it necessary for them to incorporate blogs?

Lauren:

I think it's still necessary. I would agree that it's not quite as important as service-based businesses because they really need to demonstrate their expertise in their field. They need to demonstrate how they can solve people's problems or meet that need. Retail businesses, I have seen huge success I think through videos and with retail, for me, it really comes down to what might be simple stuff, but a lot of people still don't do it really detailed product descriptions on their websites. Personalized branding, I love personalized branding when it comes to smaller retail outlets. There's one called Vine Apparel that was based on the Northern beaches. They had a shopfront there, but everywhere I go, and they have really distinctive sort of looking prints and I'm obsessed with their stuff because I’ve bought several things from them or I see people at the park and I say, are those the vine apparel leopard print tights? And I knew because their visibility, like they still have a brand visibility. They don't do as many blogs. And so it's not quite as important, but it's the blogs, as I said, also get that brand visibility out there. And there are still definitely questions that can be answered in terms of retail on the retail space and how to find the perfect pair of jeans, because that's just every woman's nightmare.

The blogs in that sense will still help with SEO, but I think they lend more to getting your brand out there, sharing fun things that get more brand awareness and traffic back to your website. So if I was looking for the perfect pair of jeans, again, I might not find them traditionally. But if I type that into Google and then I read their blog, I'd be inclined to click and see what kind of jeans they had. It's still relevant. It's always relevant because I think communicating who you are and what you're about to your customers and potential customers is always important. But yes, in terms of retail, it's not as not as relevant, but still important.

Jane:

Yeah. That's a really good point now on the topic of videos, this is something I've been wondering recently. So if you're actually using videos on your website, how do they rank for SEO? Like, are you best if you're using videos to make sure that there's a transcript within the page itself because the SEO will pick up the transcript or will they read the video?

Lauren:

Google prioritizes, engaging content as well. So videos generate more engagement a lot of the time. And so that's how that would work as well. But also accessibility is becoming quite huge. So with videos I noticed a lot of businesses that are standing out are the ones that caption their videos so that people that can't hear would be able to read what's happening. Yeah. Cause usability is huge, but yeah, the more engaging the content ranks well as well.

Jane:

That's a great point. Excellent. Okay. So what are five things that we can do? Because we've just heard about how important blog posts are. So I know that there's a lot of technical aspects that you can write. I think I've got a five page how to write the perfect blog post with all the technical instructions. And I can tell you now, not even I read, I got I think halfway through. So what about just five simple things that we can do to make sure that when we do write the blog post, that it actually is helping us become a bit more visible.

Lauren:

Okay. The first one, and it's always the same is know your audience and your purpose. So you can't decide what your focus keywords, as I've said, are going to be until you know who your audience is and what their goal is. So before I write any blog posts, I ask myself three questions. Why am I writing this? Because as I said, Google ranks you on relevance. So if you're writing for the sake of writing, just stop, you're wasting your time. There's no point. The best blog posts, as you've said with your one that ranked really well for the checklist for businesses, the best blog posts are always going to be the ones that answer that really well. Like it's oh, I've been needing this for so long or, ah, that answers to questions that I've been asking for so long. They will always rank the best.

So why am I writing this? Who am I writing it for? And what pain points does it address? That's always step one. And then you use that information. Step two for your blog post would be some keyword research. I wouldn't spend hours on it, even just half an hour. The tool that I use SEM Rush actually has a content marketing tool within it. So I can type in my keywords that I think I want to use. And it actually comes up with a list of content topics. So that's always very handy, but through the keyword research, make sure, you know your target audience, all right. You know what problem they have, then just do a little bit of keyword research. One of the search terms that are being used in this space, because they are going to be important and will need to be included in your block.

So then step three would be where do these keywords need to be included specifically? There's several places. I have a list here. The URL when you're uploading your blog into the backend, make sure that your keywords are in that URL. They also need to be in your title tag and meta description. You want them at the front of your title tag as well, not at the back end of it. So if it was how do I find the perfect pair of jeans, if going back to that example, a perfect pair of jeans would be the, the front of that meta title. And then I would say, how do I find the perfect pair of jeans? Like you want those keywords to be at the front there, and then in your meta description as well, which is all done in the backend of your website as you're uploading the blog. It's like the snippet, I think, is what it's called a lot of websites. You want it in your heading, obviously. You want it in your subheadings, very important. You want it in at least two of the subheadings in your blog. The first 100 words is ideal. So somewhere in that opening paragraph, you want it at least once. It's always also good to bold the keywords within your article. Well, watch

Jane:

Is that for Google because does Google notice that those words are bolded? Or is that so the IP picks up on those?

Lauren:

Both. Yes. You want the key words in your image file name as well. So if you're uploading images into your blog and it's, IS3_792 , get your keywords in there, save your images properly and get your keyword in the image title you want alt text. You want the keywords in your image, alt text as well. So that's again, so that just shows how Google is prioritizing usability as well and accessibility. And you also want it in your anchor text. So when you're sending links in your link texts to other links, it's good to have your keywords as those anchors as well. If you can wrangle that in. So they're sort of the places in that blog article that you want your keywords to be, but obviously that's step three. After you have figured out what keywords you want and figured out who you're talking to. Step four would be making it easy to read Google ranks readability.

So even though I just said, put your keywords in all these places, if you're jamming them in for the sake of jamming them in Google does not like you, it can tell you are always still aiming to write well, and for your audience keywords, that they're important, but don't jam them in for the sake of it. Your content needs to be readable because that's also ranked. And also if your content doesn't make sense, no-one's going to read it ever again. So there's no point in even trying to do that. So readability that is things like a huge wall of text. That's not fun for anyone on your blogs. They need to have subheadings. And I have spaced out paragraphs one to two sentences. When you look at any blog that I write, it's hugely spaced out. You don't want too many big walls of texts. Short sentences, no more than 25 words, short, sharp sentences, not big long-winded. You don't want too much jargon, try and keep it simple. These are all things that affect your readability, dashes instead of comas, two dashes to break things up as you're writing instead of comments, because it adds that level of space and it helps people read things on the page. It just does.

It's that added level of space, it just makes it more readable. So yeah, readability that's number four. Number five for my blog tip would be to share it. As I said, you don't just want to upload it and then let it sit there and hope that people find it. Social media act as an outside link, linking back to your website. So for starters, that's already one awesome thing. You've got a back link there. But also as you said, the more traffic that it generates the better it will do. So you want as many people reading it as possible. So go ahead. Share that log far and wide, share it on your personal Facebook page, on your business, you send it to your customers by ADM.

Blogs can act as a really good little touch point if you haven't emailed your customers for a while, but you don't want to be bothering with trivial stuff, blogs are a great way to touch base and say, by the way, hope you're well, by the way I wrote this blog, or we wrote this blog, have a redd. Yeah,

Jane:

Yeah. Love it. And I'll even suggest in there as well. Don't be afraid to boost, if you are sharing that via like Facebook, particularly, don't be afraid to boost that. Particularly if it's that really helpful content, because you will only get so much organic reach on your channels. So A try and make sure that you're posting when people are online, so there's that opportunity for people to engage with it. But B, if this is some really good content that you think people will like, don't just limit it's share-ability get it out there to the world, promote it, use the opportunity to drive as much traffic back to your website as possible for all the reasons Lauren just said, get it out there. Okay. What about mistakes? What are the mistakes that you see people make?

Lauren:

I think sort of doing the opposite of everything that we just said and writing content for the sake of it, that is a big one. And it's the same with social posts as well. We've seen a lot of business owners that think I've got to get a post out every day. And so they just publish crap. They think that more is best. It's not the same with blogs. If I'm interested in someone's blog and over time, I start reading stuff and I go, this has nothing to do with me and I'm not interested in this. I start to filter them out of my digital communication and same with Facebook, if I'm scrolling and I know that somebody always puts really good stuff like New South Wales Police, their social posts are the best, I will always stop and read what they put up because they have play areas, jokes, and things like that.

Whereas businesses I know that get on that, they are so funny. I'm going to find some examples and send them to you. But yeah, so people that I know are engaging that I know always have good stuff go to skincare. So I always stop and read it because I know that it's always going to be engaging, but people that over time I've realized I have scrolled over it. I've not been interested. I start to scroll past. And it's the same with blogs. So don't be publishing content for the sake of it. Always have that purpose. Always know why you're doing it. I guess another common mistake is that readability factor. I don't feel like enough people know that a giant wall of text on a screen is very confronting. It's the screen thing too, like newspapers. I sit down with a newspaper and I get ready for a heavy amount of text, but when people are reading something on a screen, that doesn't help them. So yeah, definitely be spacing out those blogs with some subheadings, spacing out your sentence, yeah.

And no call to action. That's probably another common mistake it's great to have a blog, but you always, at the end, the call to action doesn't have to be book an appointment or buy my thing. It's if you were interested in this blog, read this other one that I wrote a couple of months ago, that I think you might be interested in like sending them somewhere else, or if you've liked what we've written about here with our moisturizer click, to see what moisturizers we have available and send them to the product page. And then as I said, with the migration agent, the call to action was actually to download the guidebook. The call to action does not have to be screaming at people to call you or buy your thing. Just send them somewhere else on the journey. Don't let the journey end at the end of the blog post, keep it going.

Jane:

Yeah. So engagement call to actions as opposed to sales call to actions. So if someone's listening to this now and going, oh, I don't know whether my websites optimize the search. Is there a way that they can tell, like what's the best and easiest way that they can find out if it's optimized?

Lauren:

Going through a little checklist at a glance. So yeah, I do SEO audits as part of Web Studio. That's one of the services we offer. We go through the website technically, as I said, Simon's job and content wise that's my job. And I'll go through your blogs and I'll go through your home page and all your service pages, all your product pages and make sure they're all optimized. But I guess if I'm thinking about it at a glance, do you have links? would be the first thing. Is anyone linking back to your site? Do you have links within your site? That's an easy one to tick off. Is your content relevant and high quality? Yeah, that's an easy one. Go through your blogs. And not duplicating as well. I know that especially in the financial industry, there's some like companies that publish content for you and you can just repurpose it and upload it.

It's always better to be publishing unique content. That's really high quality. So that's one thing you can be doing. So links, quality content, optimized images. Image is huge. I resize a lot of images before I upload them anywhere onto a website to make sure they're within that sort of nice size frame. Page speed. That's a really easy one at a glance. Is you page taking forever to load? because that's affecting your SEO. Sharing content. Are you sharing content on socials? That's another easy one to just tick off and go, that's going to be helping me. And your keywords, just check for them. Think about what they are. If your not feeling comfortable enough to go down the whole keyword research rabbit hole, because even for a professional like me, it can be a rabbit hole.

Sometimes I find myself going deeper. But even just think to yourself off the top of your head, all right, what would my keywords be if I was just coming at it from a surface level approach and are they in my blogs? Your homepage needs to be your target keywords. Like those really important ones. So the migration agent would still be obviously needing to be on that homepage, even though it's not the key one that you're chasing, it definitely still needs to be present. Partner Visa, using that example again, partner, visa, citizenship, parent visa, all those important things need to be on that home page. And then the next level would be checking your service pages, making sure your key product pages, making sure those keywords are there. And they'll often be like the next stage of keywords. They'll be a little bit more detailed, more specific. And then your blogs are generally the more long tail keywords where they're the questions often  that need to be answered or the how to guides or the checklists. Yeah.

Jane:

And then businesses, I guess once they've done that keyword research, so let's go back to the perfect pair of jeans. And actually that's probably a really competitive keyword. So if we go back to how to do a statutory declaration, could they start Googling that? Like if they think that's what they want to be optimized for, could they go in and start Googling that or get some friends to start Googling some of those keyword suggestions?

Lauren:

Yeah. There’s free ways to do this research. Absolutely. So when you're in Google, obviously as you start typing, it comes up with the suggestions, that's telling you frequently searched suggestions and down the bottom. So if I'm typing in let's say partner visa Australia, down the bottom there's always ‘people also ask…’ that gives you other ideas for things that people are asking for. And down the bottom, there's a related searches section on Google. That's telling me, so now I've got partner visa checklist, partner, visa Australia requirements, partner visa Australia cost, Defacto visa Australia. So there are tools that you can absolutely use that do the work as well. Again, they're obviously not as comprehensive as a paid tool, but that's the kind of thing you can definitely be doing.

Jane:

Okay. And then you can see where your website ranks. So when you actually put those phrases in, you can see, where does my website come? Does it come on page one or page 10 for that?

Lauren:

And it will vary usually from person to person too, depending on location and their interests as well. But yeah, it'll be relatively consistent. Yeah. So again, not 100% perfect, but a highly accurate way of at least getting an idea. Yeah.

Jane:

Awesome. Now what about in… because we do love a measurement. We do love a metric over here and How to do Marketing. If someone was going to measure the effect of their visibility and their search engine optimization, what is a metric? What could they put on their monthly measurement schedule to make sure that if they're really in there doing their best to get their search engine to their website optimized, what's a metric they could look out for?

Lauren:

The biggest one for me. I use Google analytics a lot obviously, but again, that can also be a bit confronting and scary. It's a lot of data and you can go down many different rabbit holes there as well. But the key things there, if you're looking again at it from sort of a surface level, is how are people finding you? And that's how we discovered that this statutory declaration blog was doing so well, because it was again, all over the home page, the number one page that it tells you, when you go into acquisition in Google analytics, like how people have found your website through search. So that'll tell you a lot also the behavior section in Google analytics in terms of the journey that people are going on through your website is also really helpful. Again, it tells you where they started, which is really important, but then it's also showing you where they're going through.

So they might start on your homepage, but then they might go through to this page and then that page, and that's really valuable information as well. Obviously the demographics or Google analytics also tells you the gender and age that people are, that are looking at your content. It also tells you whether they're on a mobile or a laptop. So again, that just comes back to absolutely ensuring that your website's mobile friendly. It seems kind of like a given, but I still find that it's definitely not. So most people, and you'll see, when you look at your Google analytics, a lot of the time most people are looking at it on a tablet or a phone, that's the world we live in. So that's helpful there. And then yeah, SEM rush is the other tool that I use that is really helpful just to check on your rankings, like your specific rankings. And you can also look at your competitors rankings, which feels very sneaky, but it's lovely. Put that domain in and say what words they're ranking for, and you can measure how you're going sort of against them. But you want to focus on yourself. Google analytics is sort of the best tool that I can sort of recommend from that surface level.

Jane:

Yeah, I would agree. And it's amazing how many small business owners don't know that Google analytics is free. It's a tool that anybody can access. It can be plugged into any website. It will take your web developer a couple of seconds to get that set up. So if you don't know if you have it or not go and ask your web developer if you do, and if you don't get them to hook that up, because what you can tell from your Google analytics, it's not just really, even about your website. We can actually start to tell how successful your radio campaign is or your social pan, right? There's so much more that we can tell if it's working or not because of what's happening on your website. So go and get that installed. If you have not. This has just been so jam packed with value. My goodness, I've been jotting notes as we go. This is awesome. So Lauren, if listeners would like to find out more about yourself or the work that you and Simon do at Web Studio, obviously you guys are a huge part of the, How to do Marketing Academy community and some of our marketing experts specialists. But if they want to come and find you, where are they best to look?

Lauren:

I always love a phone call, but a lot of people find that a bit much. So check us out at our website first. So just webstudio.com.au , have a look, see if we feel like you're kind of people. But yeah, give us a call. Email me [email protected]. You can email through, but the contact number is also on the website. I'm pretty old school. I love a chat that's to me. I know that we live in this digital age. I still call people to all the things I know that you can fill in forms online and Facebook messenger, but I still always love a call, so if you're like that, I'll have a chat, but if you’d rather start slowly go to webstudio.com.au

Jane:

Oh, that's brilliant. I love it. I love that. There's a bit of old school in you with all of that technical wizardry. That's awesome that you still like to pick up the phone cause you know, in regional Australia, that's what we do a lot of.

Lauren:

Especially right now. My takeaway order might be the only human I speak to outside of my husband and my children.

Jane:

Thank you so much for your time, Lauren. Really appreciate

Lauren:

Thank you for having me. It's been wonderful. Pleasure.