80/20 SEO: Focus Here & Get Bang For Your Buck
This week we apply the Pareto Principle to SEO, and cover off the 20% of efforts that are going to lead to 80% of your results.
There a lot of different opinions and noise in the SEO world, and it can be hard to figure out what’s important to spend your time on and what isn’t as important.
In this 80/20 SEO episode we cover off the absolutely vital areas that any business owner should cover off with their website if they’re looking to generate real business outcomes via SEO – that’s more traffic, more leads and more customers.
Lockdown Update – Due to the Sydney COVID lockdowns we’re not recording in the studio this week (or for the next few weeks at least) – instead, we’re recording from our home set-ups. Apologies the sound quality isn’t what it usually is!
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It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization, so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your hosts, Michael and Arthur.
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of The SEO show. And it’s a bit of a weird one this week because we are not in our nice studio, we’re cooped up in our home offices on a makeshift setup. But we’re still coming to you with that SEO knowledge because we’ve committed to doing this show every week. It’s in our contracts. And we’re not going to fall short. So, how you goin Arthur?
I’m doing okay. All things considered. I’m doing good. Yeah. Keepin busy.
We’ve finally given into the lockdowns, and we’re not able to go to our studio anymore. So we’re pretty much at home. 24. Seven. So it’s as exciting as that can be.
Yeah,that’s it. I mean, On the plus side, we don’t have to drive to the studio. So that kind of works in our favor.
Sure, sure. But like the drive, you know, listen to podcast,
listen to the thinking. Yep,
yep. But you know what, I guess the other The highlight of the lockdown obviously, is going to be recording these, these podcasts, right?
Yeah, for sure. We have no excuses. Now, basically,
we should be able to bang out one episode after the other. But today, we’re just gonna do the all important topic of 8020 SEO, focus here and get bang for your buck. So what is that all about? Really, like anything in life, if you, you know, 20% of your investment is going to lead to 80% of the results you achieve. So in SEO, it’s no different. You know, if you focus on a few key areas, you’re going to get results. And you don’t need to worry about all the other noise because in the SEO world, there’s a lot of noise about it.
So much noise,
so much noise.
Yeah, do this. Don’t do that, depending on who you talk to.
Yeah, at 20. If you were saying do these things, you will get results. So in the world of 80/20, SEO, tracking and analytics is probably where you want to start, right?
So that’s including making sure you have your Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics on your website, making sure that you’re tracking all the visitors that come to your website, tracking all the conversion points. So contact form submissions, live chats, phone call clicks. Because without that data, you don’t know what’s happening. Yeah, exactly. Super, super important.
You can’t improve, you can’t optimize back to the Oh, in SEO, can’t optimize what you cannot improve. I like that line don’t i a couple of times. But it’s true. You know, if you don’t know what’s going on with your site, you’re flying blind. You don’t know where the pages are getting traffic or web pages aren’t getting traffic, you don’t know how many conversions you’re getting from SEO for it’s pretty obvious tracking in place.
And look, it’s not too hard to implement. There’s so many guides out there so many YouTube tutorials. Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, they’re free. So there really is no excuse not to have tracking on your website.
Yeah. And look, I guess one of the other points we have here is use WordPress, or Shopify as your CMS most you know, in nine out of 10 cases, that’s going to be the way to go with an SSL certificate. But the good thing about WordPress and Shopify is that it’s very easy to plug them straight into WordPress, you know, I sorry, into analytics. So yeah, or Google Tag Manager. So there’s plugins and WordPress that allows you to do that the same for Shopify. The idea being, you know, maybe for some business owners, it was a little bit daunting or intimidating trying to set up analytics in the past. But now, it’s really easy. So yeah,
that’s adding a bit of code to your site. Really?
Yeah, I’m setting up the goals as well, on the the analytic side.
Yeah, that can be a bit trickier, depending on the site. But you know, like I said, there’s so many tutorials out there, you can spend half an hour just educating yourself. And it shouldn’t be too hard to add tracking to the site
yet. So Shopify, very easy WordPress, use something like contact form seven or Gravity Forms, there’ll be 1000, guides online, you can’t go wrong. So let’s assume you’ve got all that in place, then your website itself, on the site optimization, a very big pillar of SEO. You know, there’s all stuff you can do around keyword research and looking for LSI keywords and synonyms and all sorts of stuff. But really, to simplify it down to that 8020. SEO, the old keep it simple, stupid principle is really just going to take your target keyword and put it in the title tag, the h1 tag, and early on in the copy, few important pages like your homepage, your category page. That’s it. As simple as that. You don’t even need to do research. Really, do you just go with what makes sense?
No, I mean, keyword research is great later on. But a lot of the time we find that we spend a lot of time doing keyword research and by the time we’re done, you know, we find that the most obvious keywords are the keywords we’re going to be targeting anyway. So making sure that you have the You know, in your h1 and your page title and early on in the copy on the page to start off with and then supplement it with keyword research later on, I think that’s the way to go
yet. So an example, let’s say you’re a podiatrist, then really, it’s as simple as using podiatrist and then whatever location you’re in, in your title tags, it might be podiatrists, Surry Hills in your title tag on your homepage, then you use that keyword in the h1 tag, use it in the page copy. And if you repeat that process for every page on your site, you know, the next one might have saw heel treatment, sorry, hills on the Thor Hill page, it’s pretty straightforward. If you were just doing that across every page on your site. That is giving Google a lot of what it needs to see.
Very exciting stuff that let’s move on,
then we’re making we’re making it sound so easy. Look,
foundations are easy. It’s when you start getting super competitive link acquisition, maybe the sometimes the technical side of things, but for the purposes of ad 20, SEO, there is it sounds serious, he’s a lot of websites, they don’t have easy as it sounds, they don’t do this stuff. That’s it,
they have a lot of the clients that would come on board have all this stuff, you know, missing so.
So we’ll normally start you know, and when a client first comes on board, we’ll run them through these these main points when they first start just to get a baseline for where they’re at. But anyway, moving on, this one might seem obvious as well, but create new pages to target new search opportunity. That helps, right,
definitely always helps. So there’s a bunch of ways you can do this. If you’re a service based business, and he generally operate in a specific area, creating location pages, targeting the suburbs around that area, they’ll be far less competitive than let’s just say podiatrist, Sydney. So if you’re a production provider, you know, finding the suburbs that you want to target and creating pages around those. Looking at low hanging fruit, so what I like to do is look in H refs and see what keywords the clients already ranking for. And, you know, targeting specific keywords that are still valuable, but you know, a ranking there abouts bottom of page one, top of page two, and building content, and pages around those keywords.
You can also put your competitors into href. And just have a look at the you know the top pages on their site and see what keywords they’re ranking for. And if they are ranking for keywords that you’re not then go create content and pages around those themes as well. So that you have a chance to compete with them.
That’s it. A lot of people want to, you know, go for their head, target keyword first a competitive keyword. And that’s great. But it’s going to take time for you to rank for that keyword. So finding these low hanging fruit keywords is, you know, definitely a great strategy when you’re starting off.
Yep, absolutely. So moving on, you’re creating, you know, you’ve got your pages created or the content on them. One thing that I see businesses not do so well is internal linking, as well. So when I say an internal link, that is a link in the body copy, so the text on a page, from that page on your site to another page on your site. Now, we’ve spoken a lot about how External links so link building is super important. You know, it’s a massive pillar of SEO. But we haven’t really spoken that much about the importance of internal links, but they are pretty important as well. Right?
They’re very important.
So the knowledge there, so I will, I will. So for two reasons. First and foremost, that helps pass link equity to deeper pages on the site. So when Google crawls the content on the page, it passes the link juice that would build to the deeper pages and those pages, therefore benefit. And you should start start seeing an increase in the visibility of those pages. But it also helps Google understand the hierarchy of the site. So if you’re linking From the homepage to the category page, and then from the category page to a deeper page or product page, Google can start to understand how the site is structured. And therefore benefit benefit, you basically help help you rank couple of the pages deeper pages rank.
Yeah, you can even use like when we talk about external link building. anchor text. You know, if you overdo it with the anchor text that can be bad from a you know, Google visibility point of view, excuse me, but with internal linking, you can be a bit more aggressive with your internal with the anchor text you use. So let’s say for example, you know that one of your category pages has a lot of External links pointing to it. You might put an internal link from that page to one of your service pages using the exact keyword you want to rank for and as you said, we’ll pass all of that link juice from those External links to that internal page that you’re linking to. So what we recommend you you do really is again, you can use h refs run your site. Do it and find which pages on your website have External links pointing to them. And then make sure that all of those pages, in turn linking to the most important pages on your site using a keyword rich anchor text. That’s it. Are you
with me? with you. And if you don’t have a trips, the homepage is generally the most link to page. So making sure that at the very least having internal links from that homepage, linking to your category pages.
The other thing with internal links is that helps with getting pages indexed, you know, like, you know, you can always go to search console and submit a new page to be indexed. But having internal links on your site to a page also works because Google’s crawler will come along, find it and find the page and index it. So
there had to have been times where I’ve started working on a client, and they’ve had pages within their CMS that weren’t linked anywhere on the site. And they had no idea right there.
orphan pages. That’s it.
Yeah, well, that’s I just had something to talk about. Right. So an orphan page is a page that exists that has no internal links, it’s sort of it has no parent pages linking to it. This is bad, because from a Google point of view, this page is just sort of floating around on its own, it’s not really benefiting from the, I guess the links flowing into your site, externally. So you want to make sure that all pages on your site can be clicked to from somewhere else on the site. So using tools like Screaming Frog, and the like to try and identify orphan pages, is another thing that you know, we’re getting a bit outside the realms of ad 20. Seo here. But I guess the general gist is, you know, internal links are important. And you want to be making sure that you are linking where it makes sense to other pages on your site. And a lot of businesses don’t do that they just throw up content. And don’t ever spend any time linking and you know, in WordPress, Shopify and the like, super easy. It’s just like using Word, you can just insert a link visually, don’t need to know code, any business owner can do it. So moving on, we touched on it before, you know, using WordPress or Shopify as your CMS is going to be the way to go most of the time. The other thing that’s very easy to do is add an SSL certificate, whether you’re on Well, if you’re on Shopify, you should be able to get that anyway, if you’re on WordPress, most hosts these days let you add an SSL certificate for free. Yep, really, there’s no reason to have a site that isn’t secure. So that’s just a fact that has HTTP in the address without the little padlock in the address bar. It’s a ranking factor to have a secure site Google have said it, it’s free. So you need to do it. It’s like 30 seconds of work. Yeah. Moving on. The other thing is your site needs to be fast. So we’ve spoken about this a lot. But we speak about it because it’s important. And again, it comes down to your hosting choices. If your business if you have some sort of a budget to you know, invest in your business, invest a little bit in fast hosting.
Yeah, there’s a lot of people skimp out on that.
Yep. And there’s no reason to because you’re talking a few 100 bucks a year for really good hosts, really fast site. Google likes fast sites. If people
Blackfyre sites, I like fire sites, you like fire sites very much.
Yes. And when it comes down to it, if your site is really slow, and your competitive is fast, and everything else is equal, the fast side is going to do better. And Google.
That’s right. And I guess going back to what you said with WordPress and Shopify, there’s plenty of plugins out there that can help speed up your site.
Yeah, so WordPress, there’s, there’s caching plugins, there’s plugins that strip out all of the bloat in WordPress. So there’s a lot of stuff like you, all you have to do is search a guide, you know, WordPress speed optimization, you’ll be able to make some big changes to your site that have big impacts.
That’s it, but always make a backup of your site. Oh, yeah.
You know, what we should probably, this is an 8020 SEO but as a rule when choosing a host have a house that does backups, or use a third party backup and sort of WordPress maintenance site, right? Yeah.
And having staging. So if you’re going to be making wholesale changes, you do it on a staging server, not in the live site. And once you’re done, and test it at all, you know, push it live. But yeah, so many times have been situations where we’ve been working on a live site without a staging server and things go wrong, they do go wrong. So
particularly if you’re like a business owner just sort of playing around, maybe not doing this every day. It’s very easy to break site.
Yeah, we’ve learnt that the hard way.
Alright, so all of that stuff is you know, your site, it’s the on site optimization. It’s a technical optimization. The last part, the biggest pillar of SEO, as we’ve spoken about a lot of the link building the external link building side of things. So really, there’s two parts to this. There’s First there’s what we call building foundation links. So what are foundation links?
So that’s building links on web tip on our profile citation. directories, basically, you know, branded links that you can acquire quite easily, that help Google that basically, signal to Google that you’re a legitimate business, and making sure that you’re building out these profiles and matching up all the information. So it matches up with information on your site.
So when you say information,
so like all your your address, your phone number, your your website, URL, your business name, yeah. And those links are foundation links to the branded links. And they lay a, I guess, a foundation, which is why they’re called foundation links for you to actually go out and do more targeted link building.
Yeah, so they’re the types of links that every business website should really have. Yeah. Most of the time, the anchor text is either the URL of your website so that you know www.whatever.com, that are you are the brand name of your business. So it can make your anchor text profile very natural with with all those types of terms. It helps Google Yeah, as I said, Google will understand that you’re a legitimate business that can actually help your SEO, your local SEO performance, having those types of links in place. But the reason we really like them is it is that foundation to then go and build 30 links that will actually move the needle with your rankings. So they spend the first couple of months working on your SEO link building on building out those foundation links. The only investment really as a business is your time, if you don’t want to spend any money, you can just spend a lot of time creating these profiles and directory listings. Often there’s no cost involved to build those out. No. But like you said, you can you can spend half a day or an afternoon just there’s plenty of lists out there that you can find online, and just start running the Local Digital if you set business directories, Australian business directories run of Allah article should be at the top that sort of thing. So 50 or so Australian ones, if you’re in Australia, that you can go out and build right away. So there’s a starting Sophie. But
good afternoon, good weekend, crack open a beer and start building directory.
Make that locked down time fly? Yeah,
but that’s a good opportunity actually locked down. If I find if you find that you have nothing to do start building foundation links,
you might discover this passion for SEO that you didn’t know you have, once you start getting stuck into some directory link building. unlikely, but probably not. But the thing is, you do need to do this stuff. And then you only need to do it once. Once it’s done, it’s done. But it is the foundation to then build on to sort of scaffold on with your authority think building. So after that, tell me a bit more about a 30 link building.
So authority link building, unlike foundationally voting is actually going and cherry picking sites that you would like to place a link on. So sites which are super relevant to your business. So if you’re a plumber, you know, home DIY sites, renovation sites, and sites, basically that are relevant to your business, and then placing content on that site with a link back to your website in order to pass some of that link equity from that site to your site.
Cool, okay. And the important thing with authority links is you need to be, you can’t just go out and get any type of flat right, you need to be looking at the quality of them they need. Absolutely,
yeah. So there’s so many different things you need to look at, you know, the domain rating or domain authority looking at the trust flow and citation flow. So using different, the relevance is a big one, just looking at it on face value, you know, a lot of these sites might appear spammy. So just having having a quick look through the site or having a look at the content that they post, making sure that it gets traffic as well, and that it’s indexed is super important. Yep,
yep. And look, it This part is the part that takes a lot of time, it’s probably not something that you’ll just knock out in an afternoon. And while in lockdown, it takes months and months and months of ongoing work. And like all of the stuff we spoke about initially, like the on site optimization, technical stuff, foundation links, that’s easy enough, the authority links are is really where the needle is going to move from an SEO point of view. And with the 8020 principle, most of that 80% of results again, account from this, whatever percentage the link building, if you know where the most of the results gonna come from in any competitive industry. So it’s really where you can stand out from the competition and make or break your SEO campaign. So it is important that you’re doing it strategically and that there is a bit of planning and thought behind the types of links you’re getting and you’re investing the time in it. It does take a lot of time, but I guess Good things come to those who put in the work and the effort. So that very much is true on the link building from but really look, there’s no point going on about this too much longer. They are the 8020 principles of SEO. If you’re getting most of this stuff right with your website. But you’re gonna have a better time in the Google search results then most free competition. So we hope you enjoyed this first podcast from home episode of the SEO show.
The lockdown edition
yeah lockdown edition one. We’ll be back with another lockdown edition next week. In the meantime, if you’ve enjoyed it, please subscribe, give us a little review. whatever you can do to help us get this in the earholes of more business owners it would be much appreciated. Until next week. Have a good one.