AskPat 171 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 171 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
Today we have a question from Barney. It's a great question about SEO, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, the best way to keep track of your accounting and your expenses. If you have any clients or people that you're doing consulting with, it's the best way to do invoicing. So you can spend more time doing what you need to do as a business owner and less time worrying about all this other fancy little financial stuff. You let the software do its job for you. And then, of course, during tax season, it just makes it so much easier. So, if you want to get a free trial of FreshBooks, go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Awesome. Now, let's get to today's question from Barney.
Barney: Hi, Pat. My name's Barney ,and I'm from the UK. I've been only listening to your podcast recently after seeing the success of a friend; he's living on a nine-month holiday, and he's got another nine months planned. So, he's certainly doing well of some of the stuff that you've shown him. But what I really want to discuss is SEO tactics. I've wrote all the tactics that I've heard throughout the podcast, old and new, already dated, being only a couple weeks old. Some of them are even no longer suitable due to recent algorithm updates. So, I'm wondering what you, what strategies you're currently employing, what you recommend, and how I can dominate the SEO field at the moment.
Pat Flynn: Barney, thank you so much for the question, and also for letting me know how well your friend is doing. That vacation sounds awesome, and I wish I was there with him, but I'm here at home, loving life, with the family, and I can't ask for anything more. So, let's answer your question. SEO, yes, it is always changing, forever changing, like you said, even stuff that's been posted two weeks ago. Like, it doesn't matter when people listen to this. If they listen to this from like a year from now, it will still be the same. If you just learn some SEO strategies, chances are a lot of it are going to be changed or different in just a couple weeks' time.
But there are some timeless things you can do to increase your chances of being found in the search engines. And really all what it comes down to is being the top resource for those terms that people are searching for. And there's a number of ways to prove yourself as a resource for a particular topic. So, for me, I've listed seven things here; there might be other things that come out of this, but I've outlined seven things that I want to talk about really quickly for you, for everybody else out there worried about SEO and timeless SEO strategies, specifically. First thing, and we all know this, we've beaten this like crazy, but it is important, because it's the basis of everything: high-quality content. High, valuable, unique, quality content is what you need in order to stand out. That's how you prove, not only to the search engines, but more importantly to the human beings that are visiting your web page, that you are the place to go when people need information about that particular topic they're looking at.
And high-quality content relates to everything else we're about to talk about here, including number two, which is decreasing your bounce rate. Bounce rate is very important, and it's just one of the many things in the algorithm, but it makes sense. It makes complete sense. The higher the bounce rate, the more likely Google is going to find out, or to understand that when people arrive on that page, it might not be related to why people are going there. So, people find you for a certain search term, and they go to your site and they land on your page, and then it's not really something that is valuable, they're going to leave right away. And that's why Google looks at bounce rate. So, whatever you can do to lower that bounce rate. That means making sure people stay on that page for longer than 30 seconds, but also having people click elsewhere. Whether it's in your article, or around the side bar, or whatever. We could talk for an hour about bounce rates specifically, and what you can do to decrease that bounce rate, but things like first impression, or making sure the keywords that people are finding you for match the content, and it is obvious that that's the case right in the beginning.
So, you could actually do a few things right now to improve a lot of your articles out there. Go to Google analytics and find your top traffic's articles and then find out what keywords are being searched for to find those article on Google, and then make sure that it's just completely obvious that you're there to provide value for that specific keyword which people are going to find you there for, or from.
So, bounce rate is number two. Number three, shareability. Sharing helps in all aspects as well. Again, this is one of those high, top-tier things you should be focused on, is shareability of your content. And again, like I said, high-quality content matters for that as well. Bounce rate matters for that as well, because people aren't going to share it if they leave. So, shareability, lot of things go along with that, is one, just making it easy to share, not just because it's great content, because you're making it physically easy on a page to share. There are buttons, and it's clear and you're actually providing calls to actions to share. There's actually, those social sharing numbers do matter in terms of SEO as well. A great headline matters as well. When people share your stuff, typically it's the headline that gets seen first besides the visuals. And the more people click on those headlines to go to your page, the more people come, the more traffic you have, and the more people who come as a result of that are going to share it as well and it just becomes this awesome cycle. And then, of course, the visuals that go along with your page as well. Now, yes having it one little nice SEO thing you could do, three point three, would be to have your images tagged correctly in terms of meta data and the file name. Those are all small little things that can help. And obviously, you want to give yourself the best chance to search, or rank really high for the search terms. So you should be doing that, in the descriptions, in the alt-image tag for your images should be related to those keywords as well that you're targeting. Those all will help, but in terms of shareability, visuals, nice, clickable images that people can see on those social streams. When they click share on Facebook or Twitter, are those images enticing and make people click through? So then they can find your article, read, increase that, or excuse me, decrease that bounce rate, increase the amount of people who are there to share it, and so on and so forth.
So, high-quality content, low bounce rate, shareability in terms of easy to share, headline and images or visuals. Number four, email list; this is actually something that a lot of people don't talk about in terms of SEO, but again, like shareability, your email list can help drive traffic, which then increases the sharing on your site. Plus, people on your email list are likely to be those who are already interested in you and what you have to share. They've sorta given you permission to have you talk to them and send them information. And when you send them something good—again, number one, high-quality content—when you send them something good, they're going to go to your page; they're going to decrease your bounce rate, because those people specifically are going to help increase the amount of time that people spend on that page. And then more than likely, those people are going to share it, which then increases your email list, and so on and so forth.
Now number five, external content platforms with content that's related to the content that's on that post. So, for example, YouTube. If you have a YouTube video related to that post that you want to rank really high for a certain keyword, create a YouTube video and make sure that the title and the description and the content in that video relates to that stuff on that webpage too. This, again, will help decrease your bounce rate. It'll also add to the quality of the content on that page; it will add to the shareability. And, Google owns YouTube, so there's some crossover there as well, and it just proves more authority for that particular topic. There's other sites, like SlideShare, that will also have the same effect as well. A lot of people have been having great success with SlideShare, and then embedding that SlideShare into one's post as well.
Number six, getting relevant content around your site linked to in that article. So, in a very Wikipedia-type style, anytime you write a piece of content, if there's relative content that you've already written about that's in your archives that's related to that, find a way to naturally link to it. I do this a lot in posts I have … Excuse me, little burp there. I have, I don't know if I have this ability or whatever, but I mean, I think just as you continue to write content … I have 700 posts on SPI, on Smart Passive Income, and for some reason, it's just probably because I've, I was the one writing them, and I'm so into my content. And this is probably just the case for everybody: you know what posts you've written about that new topic that you're writing about. So, go ahead and try to naturally link to those posts. It might be as easy as saying, “Hey, I've written about <keyword> before,” and then you'd link to your older articles, “but today I'm going to talk about it in a different light, or “today I'm going to add value to the post that I've written here, here, and here.” So, you could do that, and that, like Wikipedia, and why Wikipedia ranked so high—again, it just proves authority and relevance to that particular topic.
And then lastly, number seven is getting relevant blogs or other articles around the web or other leaders in the space to link to you for that article as well. And that goes along with everything. High-quality content, for example. I have my podcasting tutorial, at PodcastingTutorial.com, which is what I feel some of the top-quality content out there in terms of helping people understand what it takes to start a podcast. A lot of people who have podcasts, and who have … A lot of people who have podcasts are just like, “Hey, you have the best …” I forget who it was, I think Michael Hyatt, even said that. Michael Hyatt from MichaelHyatt.com—he was like, “Hey, Pat. Thanks for creating this tutorial so I didn't have to.” And he links to my podcasting tutorial now. I believe that was Michael Hyatt, but if it wasn't, I apologize. But creating content so good that other people in the space who talk about or who have those same things will link back to you and that just incredibly, that just does an incredible job of increasing my authority and my search engine rankings for that particular topic. So, go ahead and look up “podcasting tutorial” in Google, and people go to that podcasting tutorial as well.
And of course, number eight. I guess you could say, I know there were seven, but here's a bonus one: just making sure that you have your basic SEO things done like, keyword in the title, keyword in the meta description. If the title makes it, so the keyword, that blue link in the search engine results page that has the keyword in it, but also the description underneath it, meta description. Those are all important as well.
Those are the basics. And I think if you cover all those things, which, it's just not that hard. I mean, it's hard to remember all those things but I think if you write naturally and you want to do your best to provide value, it just naturally happens that way. I mean, I don't pay too much attention to SEO. I just do what would be best for my audience, and that always seems to help those articles rank quite high in the search engines. And, really, that's all what it comes down to.
So, Barney, I hope that answers your question. I can't wait to send you an AskPat t-shirt, all the way over across the pond to you, your place. And an assistant of mine will be emailing you very soon about that. AskPat.com, for those of you who would love to send in a question and potentially get featured on the show here as well.
And, of course, I want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks. If you go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section, you can get the piece of software that millions of other small business owners are using to save time with headaches and frustration with accounting stuff coming in, stuff going out, invoicing, all that stuff. And plus, they have, it's on the cloud, so you can use it on any sort of mobile device, and it just makes it incredibly easy during tax time. So, get your free trial right now by going to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Thank you again for taking time to listen to the show. I appreciate you all so much, and as always, I like to end with a quote. Today's quote is by Doug Warner, and he says, “In the world of internet customer service, it is important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.” Hmm, love it. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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