SEO Q&A Week #1

SEO Q&A Week #1

SEO Q&A Week #1

Episode 015

It’s SEO questions & answers week this episode. We’ve gathered the questions we have received across the interwebs and put together our answers.

We had a lot of fun doing this one, so expect to see more Q&A episodes in the future. If you have any questions you’d like answered feel free to submit them at

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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Local Digital  0:04
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 host, Michael and Arthur.

Michael  0:24
Hello, and welcome to the SEO Show. I’m Michael, and I’m joined by Arthur for another episode. How ya goin?

Arthur  0:30
I’m doing very well. How are you?

Michael  0:32
I feel that you should just. We could cut and paste your little response and just insert it every week and save a couple of seconds because it’s always exactly the same.

Arthur  0:40
Well, I’m telling you the truth what you want me to say?

Michael  0:43
You know, what, the the one time that you didn’t do that? You said, You’re very depressed. That was when the lockdown first happened? say, Yeah,

Arthur  0:49
no. Well, I’m doing good. What is still on lockdown, obviously. But you know, there’s a lot at the end of the tunnel. Things are going well, so I can’t really complain. Yeah.

Michael  1:00
Its the light at the end of the tunnel. The fact that we’re talking about SEO questions and answers this week, or is it about the fact that the world’s opening up because I’m not sure what it’s better?

Arthur  1:07
Bit of both really?

Michael  1:09
Yeah, I think we definitely know what’s better. It’s the SEO questions and answers, right?

Because that’s what we’re doing this week. You know, we’ve we’ve had a few questions come in. You know, if you head to our website at the SEO, you can fill out the contact form there, if you happen to have a question. And depending on how well this episode turns out, we might do this every so often. But what we’ve done is pulled together a few of the ones that we like the look of from people getting in touch with us to that contact form, we’re going to run through them today and give our thoughts. So with that being said, let’s just jump into it and see, see how this turns out. So Alex asked us, how much does SEO cost? And that’s it?

Arthur  1:55
that’s a that’s a great question.

Michael  1:56
It’s a great question number of context there, so it’s gonna be relatively tough to answer, but what would what would you say to someone that just asked, How much does SEO cost?

Arthur  2:04
Look, it’s a very, very common question. It’s, you know, anyone that’s looking to do SEO is going to ask that question. And I guess, you know, the answer is, how long is a piece of string? Like? It depends very much on, you know, different variables. So where, what niche the websites in starting, first and foremost, how competitive it is. So, seeing making sure and looking into the competition and seeing where they’re at? You know, there’s a bunch of questions you need to ask them, basically, before you can answer that.

Michael  2:34
I think a big round would be like, Are you are you just servicing? Camden, for example? Are you servicing all of Sydney? Or New South Wales? Or? Or the world? Yeah, so it’s sort of, I guess there’s different schools of SEO services out there, like some of them will just charge fixed packages, and just shoehorn you into one of them.

Arthur  2:55

Michael  2:55
then others will look at all of the above Plus, you know, your goals, and what are you selling? Like? Is it expensive and competitive and other leads valuable? Because if so, there’s going to be more competitors, which means you probably need to spend more to get results. You know, if you don’t something super niche, then obviously, you probably won’t need to invest as much. So

Arthur  3:12
yeah, exactly.

Michael  3:13
It really is. There’s a lot that goes into it does need to be, in my opinion, it needs to be bespoke and customized to you and your unique circumstances.

Arthur  3:21
Yeah, most definitely. It depends if you have a large ecommerce site. So if you’ve got 500 pages of products that you want to rank, or small, you know, you have a small website with five pages, it’s going to it’s going to depend a lot.

Michael  3:35
And how much like do you need? Is it purely a content play? Is there a lot of link building that needs to be done? You know, what is the actual SEO strategy that’s going to be used? So I know that that’s probably an annoying answer, because it’s not an answer. So let’s, let’s just say, you know, on average, what would you know, when we’re working with clients every week and month? On average, what are they spending?

Arthur  3:58
So actually ran the numbers and how to look. So on average SEO client retainer is about two and a half thousand dollars. So that that is a good estimate. I think, you know, if you’re wanting to do SEO, you should expect to spend or be prepared to spend around $2,000 as a bare minimum, but I guess On the flip side, we have ecommerce clients that spend well, upwards of $10,000 a month or even more. So I guess the bare minimum would be around the $2,000 mark to get a good SEO service that’s going to get your results.

Michael  4:30
Yeah. Because that’s the thing, right? Once you start getting cheaper and cheaper and cheaper and thinking of it like a commodity, you are going to get what you pay for, which will be a service that’s doing nothing on your site, or bad dodgy links or the SEO person you’re dealing with has 150 clients and you know, you’re just one in many, you know, they’re just trying to tread water and deal with whatever fires happened to pop up that day. So that is sort of what happens when you go cheaper.

Arthur  4:58
Yeah, definitely.

Michael  5:00
So, yeah, people it does. Out of all the channels, that’s probably the one that you would invest the most in, you know, in terms of what you spend with the agency. Like, let’s say, with Google ads, you might spend 20 grand a month on the Google clicks, but I mean, a grand on the agency service, whereas with SEO, you could be spending 567 12 grand a month on it. So that is a very long way of saying it depends. Yeah.

Arthur  5:27
I think, you know, like most things in life, you should do your research, speak to a couple of different agencies, and you should get a ballpark figure, you know, they should all be giving you a similar quit. Anyone that’s, you know, low balling and saying that they’ll do it for 400 $500 probably avoid. And again, on the flip side, if you’re getting really ridiculous skirts as well, you know, probably avoid that as well.

Michael  5:49
Cool, cool. And go into it with your eyes open, like compare apples with apples and try and understand what are you actually getting for that spin with each option? Exactly. All right. Well, Craig asked us, I thought this was a good one. How can ecommerce sites avoid thin content penalties, which is a bit of a bane of the ecommerce existence, you know, by very nature of what they do ecommerce sites, there can be 1000s of different pages on the site. And if they’re looking too similar in the eyes of Google, it can lead to, you know, at best, no traffic end of those pages, and at worst, a penalty, you know, your whole site suffering because of thin content. So I guess, to explain what thin content is, Google doesn’t want to see sites with hundreds or 1000s of pages that effectively look exactly the same in terms of the text the content on them. ecommerce sites often have this, how can you avoid that happening? So how can people avoid that happening?

Arthur  6:53
There’s multiple ways you can avoid it happening. I was going to reference eBay. So back in the day, eBay got him for a thin content penalty. 2015 or 2016, back when we were working? I think a bit before that. Yeah. So they had a lot of duplicate pages. So they were just generating pages with very similar content and products. And Google caught on to it. And basically D indexed all this pages. So they saw a massive drop in traffic.

Michael  7:19
And they would have liked so basically, they did it based on the searches on on the site. Like if someone searched like black shoes, size 13, it would create a page for that. Exactly. Yeah. If someone else said black shoes, size 12. You create a page for that and pay millions exactly the same, like lots of the same products. And same with the h1 tag change, not Yes,

Arthur  7:38
no content, millions and millions of pages, which are very, very similar, which actually worked amazingly well for a long time for them until it didn’t, exactly. But to answer your question, how can you avoid it? canonical tags are a good way to avoid it. So if you have, I guess, product pages, which are split across different categories, which are exactly the same, using a canonical tag to reference the original page, so when Google sees all these duplicate pages, it ignores them and just puts all the SEO value to that one page. Another way to get around it would be to remove any filtered result pages from the search results. So we find that this actually happens a fair bit. People will search for something and the the page that it generates will be index. And you might find dozens and dozens of pages, search index pages, hundreds of pages, sometimes clogging up the search results.

Michael  8:30
So when you when you say filter that’s like on a concert, like the filtered navigation on the left hand side where you can filter, yeah, sizes and colors and brands, and all the different combinations of them can very quickly create a ton of pages on your site.

Arthur  8:45
Exactly. Yeah. So removing those and making sure they don’t get indexed before basically being proactive and making sure they don’t get indexed. Because once they do it can be a pain in the past to get them removed.

Michael  8:56
Yeah, yeah. So you want that you don’t want to remove the feature, because it’s good for the users. It’s just setting your site up so that Google, you know, you would have a no index tag on those pages so that Google sees them, but it doesn’t index them. Exactly. All these economic canonical tags on on the bat.

Arthur  9:13
Yeah. And you can also use Google’s parameter tool so you can find the parameters that it uses to create those pages. And basically, Google will ignore and won’t index them.

Michael  9:22
Yeah, cool. Look, another one would be if you have like, you wouldn’t be able to do this for all of these pages that you have an e commerce site, but creating custom content for things like your category pages and subcategory pages, just to make them unique, would be useful. And you really want to, in an ideal world, do it for as many of them as possible. So it does depend on how big your site is, of course, but yeah, like with anything in SEO, the more unique content you can get into a page Generally, the better it’s going to be.

Arthur  9:53
Yeah, so the way I remember we used to do it for a bigger client, David Jones was they had a priority list of products that generated the most revenue, and they were the priority pages. So they were preference of every other page and had, you know, more attention spent on content to make sure that they rank and then as it filtered down that hurt, because you can imagine the site like that, with Jones having 1000s and 1000s of products, it’s, you know, it’s not feasible to write unique content every time a new product comes out.

Michael  10:19
Yeah. And that’s a pretty good point to make about SEO campaigns in general, you know, you want to focus on low hanging fruit and the when you know, where the winds are gonna come from, so pages that are generating revenue, start there, don’t go writing for every page on your site that may not even get traffic, you know, looking at analytics, how much traffic’s going to the pages, how many leads or how many conversions, you know, ecommerce sales are being generated by the pages and prioritize that way, like a lot of people with SEO campaigns don’t necessarily always do that. And that’s just a good thing to keep in the back of your mind with SEO campaigns. Another one I like. And Amazon’s really good example of this is having user generated content, like reviews, or questions and answers built right into the product pages. Obviously, it’s going to probably need a site to have a decent level of traffic to get that, but anything that you can do to encourage people, publishing stuff to the pages is good, because that’s going to be unique content, it’s going to be naturally filled with all sorts of keywords and related keywords for those products and categories that it wouldn’t have had otherwise. So encouraging reviews, encouraging Question and Answers straight into pages can be a good answer, or solution for some types of e commerce sites. Then the last little point we had on this is like, like with everything in SEO, boosting the strength of your domain with links is always a good thing to do. For all sorts of different reasons. In this case, the stronger a domain is, the less likely it’s going to have a thin content penalty. That’s why sites like you know, the Amazons of the world or eBay previously, were able to spin up all these pages and get a ton of traffic and rankings on the back of it because their domain so strong. So you always want to have that undercurrent of link building going on boosting the strength of your domain. Because it helps with rankings, it helps with things like then content penalties. That was about all we had for that one. Moving on, we have your favorite question here.

Arthur  12:26
Yeah, from Khan,

Michael  12:27
you liked this one before we before we started, didn’t it? I loved it.

Arthur  12:31
So Khan has asked how important is schema for localized optimization? How important is it? You tell me,

Michael  12:40
I think it’s important, you know, schema is just extra code that you can add to your site. And it helps the search engines better understand it. So with schema, you can add in, you know, business types. So you could go in and put local business schema. And you can specifically tell like, if you’re a lawyer, even you can go down to the oil level and say, you know, I’m a local business, I’m a lawyer, here’s where I’m located, his the hours were open, here are our social media profile links, all that sort of stuff you can put in, you know, here’s our review rating from Google My Business, you know, five stars from 50 reviews, you can put all of that stuff into code, put it on your site, then Google comes along and reads it all and goes, Oh, well, thanks for telling me all of that you’ve done it in a way that I understand. I’m going to use that to understand your business and and show it in the search results. You know, so if people are searching for a lawyer, I know that you’re a lawyer, and I know that you’re nearby, because I know your address. And I will show your social profiles in the in straight in the search results as a result. So I think it’s important, you know, it’s pretty easy to do as well. So it’s just a tool in the afternoon that’s there. So why not do it?

Arthur  13:48
Exactly right. And it’s also super, super important to have a optimized Google My Business profile as well. And make making making sure that all the information across your website, your schema, your profile all matches up.

Michael  14:01
Yep. So it’s there, it’s easy to do doesn’t take long, so definitely do it. So we weren’t being a little bit facetious. You know, in that that question that was at the save it because, you know, scheme is quick and easy. But, uh, you know what, this was your real favorite. There’s no fun, wasn’t it? Five minutes question?

Arthur  14:21
Yeah, it’s a good one, isn’t it? So Simon has asked which parts of SEO are expensive? And why are people spending 1000s of dollars per month? Yeah. So probably one of my favorite questions, really. So there’s, I guess two ways to answer it. So I want to say the most expensive part of SEO would be link building. So the largest cost that we incur as an agency would be link building. Yep. would you would you agree?

Michael  14:51
Yep. You know, we’ve got the team to run. We’ve got publishing fees. In some cases, we’ve got content creation costs infographic costs. software tools, all sorts of stuff that goes into acquiring links.

Arthur  15:04
Yeah, it all adds up. Yeah. And I think I think that’s something a lot of people don’t realize that there is a lot of time and effort and cost involved in getting one backlink. Yeah,

Michael  15:15
I see it a lot with the clap perspective is, you know, let’s say $1,000, for example, they’re spending 1000 bucks and they think that $1,000 is going straight in the pocket of the SEO person. Exactly. What if that SEO person cares about results, and it’s doing the right thing. And that’s a big if, you know, it depends on who you’re working with. But some of that spin is going to be going straight into getting those results for you. So it’s not like it’s just going in their pocket, there are costs involved in delivering an SEO service properly. Exactly. content creation, as well as another one, you know, content writers. Depending on the volume of words being churned out, there’s quite a lot of expense that goes into that.

Arthur  15:52
Exactly. So that was the first part of the answer. But the second part is my favorite part of the answer. Okay, so I guess like with most industries, you’re paying for the time, first and foremost and experience.

Michael  16:07
degree? Absolutely.

Arthur  16:09
Yeah. So you can outsource your SEO, you can find someone a junior that maybe has one or two years experience, you can find someone overseas. And you’ll probably pay a lot less than working with a local agency with experienced SEO hours. But it just comes down to like most things in life, you get what you pay for. And I like to use the analogy of mechanics, which I’ve used in previous episodes, because I think I think applies to most trades, you know, plumbing, electricians, most most trades, you know, you are used to the mechanic example. So if you were to get your timing chain change in your car, you’ll probably spend about 15 $100, right, and to get it, you’ll take it to the mechanic, they’ll cost you 50 $100, you have a look at the pot list, and you’ll find that the actual chain probably cost you $350 $400 max. And you got to ask yourself, Well, where’s the extra money? Well, the extra money goes to the mechanic, the guy that spent, you know, six, seven hours tearing your engine apart, you know, the expertise, the years of experience he has knowing what he’s doing, and the peace of mind, you get knowing that he’s done a good job. So I guess that kind of I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s very similar to SEO, you know, links are just one part of SEO, but you’re really paying for the expertise of the SEO, the experience they have, you know,

Michael  17:24
they’ve worked, even their location might, you know, you’ve mentioned overseas before, that could be good for some companies, but other companies want to have someone locally to talk to him, and then a local team for the agency costs more than an overseas team would cost. So yeah, I guess it sort of comes back to what you want out of the relationship, and the things that are important to you, and your goals with the campaign and the like. Like, for example, you know, you mentioned before, we’re looking at recruiting a developer at the moment to work on SEO, SEO campaigns. Yep, hiring a developer is expensive, those costs sort of go into what the clients invest each month. Exactly, you know, as controlling a developer under our own roof is probably going to be a better experience for clients then working with the developer themselves overseas directly, where you might not even know the terminology or how to engage with them or working with an agency that just outsources that to some random overseas and the reliability and all that that goes with that. So that’s essentially why SEO can be expensive. It’s the cost of the goods or the the things that go into the service, and then the team’s expertise and the quality and

Arthur  18:38
Yep. And like I mentioned earlier, you know, you get what you pay for. So I’d be I’d be reluctant to work with someone that’s going to promise you the world for $500 a month because they’re either doing something really dodgy that will harm your website, long term, or flat out just lying to you and taking your money, sir.

Michael  18:58
I’ve actually I’ve read a story the other day. So this is this I’m going to see your mechanic example and raise you with a new example here. It’s a little bit gruesome this, how much we use it but I read a story about a man who’s in court at the moment, because he was running from his tattoo studio like a tattoo and body piercing studio. He was also doing like liposuction for people. He’s not a doctor, he has no training like black market labor, black market labor, he Well, he charges woman $800 to do labor on her and then she she went home like really sort of unwell he gave us some nurofen said away and she you know was very, very, very ill from it. And I guess the, I guess a comparison there of you know, paying 800 bucks to get liposuction done. You’re getting what you pay for a dodgy backyard operator with no medical qualifications whatsoever. Yeah, there’s reasons why lifepo cost many 1000s of dollars and it’s much the same with any service really. So

Arthur  20:01
that’s a good analogy.

Michael  20:02
Yeah, yeah, definitely the the story I read is much more gruesome. I’ve gone with the PG version of it. But yeah,

Arthur  20:08
yeah. But I think the point, the point is that you can apply that logic to any any, anywhere in life. Really? Any any kind of trade, any skill. anything, sir. Why not apply to SEO?

Michael  20:22
Yep. And at the end of the day, I always like to say like it, it’s not an expense, it’s an investment. So really, whatever you’re investing in it, it should be returning many times in the future. And you need to be confident in the plan that’s getting you there. If you are, then you want to be spending as much as possible, because that returns so great. So yeah, that is a pretty good answer to that question. I reckon. So let’s move on to what tosha or Tasha, sorry,

Arthur  20:49
I think it’s Tasha tossa.

Michael  20:52
Tosh is asked, should I be using transcripts from my podcast, and you know what? We’ll let you know in six months, because we’ve only started this podcast himself. And we’re putting we’re putting transcripts make sense that transcripts work from an SEO point of view for your podcast, because in theory, they should work.

Arthur  21:11
It’s long foot long format content. I was doing some research. So a 30 minute episode can be upwards of 6000 words. So it’s a lot of copy for Google to crawl and index. And yeah, there’s a lot of natural language in there. For example, we’re asking and sorry, answering a lot of questions. So the sort of content will be great.

Michael  21:32
Yeah. So what we do with our show is, we use a AI, we don’t sit there and write out every word after listening to it. You imagine how painful that would be? I thought you did. Yeah. Yeah, I have to burn the midnight oil getting the transcript done after each episode.

Arthur  21:48
Is it good? Is

Michael  21:51
it is okay. Like, the spiel on the tool is like, you know, our artificial intelligence, learns how you talk and it starts to understand things. But pretty much every week, like when we say the word SEO, it will be putting like TGA and CD and like, it always gets it wrong. And I always have to change it. And it doesn’t seem to learn. So I don’t know whether that’s how are the actions because it seems to struggle. Sometimes when we we talk quickly, or, you know, mumble a bit button, it gets about I would say 60% of the job done. So then I go in and change a bit and then I sort of sometimes get bored Nagurski. You know, what? Close enough is good.

Arthur  22:33
But I’m 60% 60%. Higher, I thought it would have been lower than that.

Michael  22:37
No, no, it gets it gets a lot. But there’s just some really weird, totally incorrect things in there, like all the way through it. So Be that as it may, you know, we will put the transcript up in our podcasts like on the podcast host, then we also put it up on the website in the show notes. Each episode stands to reason that Google will come along rate all of that. And over time, it’s just there ever increasing library of content on the site that’s unique to us. So yes, you posting transcripts of your podcast, even shorter, short answer. Yes. Yeah. Even though we haven’t like thing we got there in the end zone. Yeah, we say yes.

Arthur  23:15
And look, if it’s easy to do, if it’s all AI that’s doing the transcripts, and why not? You have no nothing to lose.

Michael  23:22
Yeah, we might revisit that one. In the future, though, once we’ve got a bit more evidence behind our satellites, I’d like to let you know as well. We’re doing a little bit of link building for our podcast website at the moment. And we are probably going to do some tests on the SEO for the actual podcasts. That might be something we look at in a future episode, provided it all actually works. So let’s move on to Tyson. He said. Now, this is a pretty broad question. My rankings and traffic have gone backwards.

Arthur  23:52
Why? I love I love for questions.

Michael  23:54
Yeah. Okay. Well, let’s say someone came to you and said that, what do you do? How do you figure it out?

Arthur  24:02
So someone’s come to me and said their rankings have gone backwards? Yeah, why? So the first first thing I’ll do is I’ll have a look. So I’ve got access to their GA, I’ve got access to all the tools. I’d go in there and try to figure out when when did the traffic start to go backwards? And where? So I guess touching on when I’d find out what date everything started going pear shaped. And then I’ll have a look at a list of all the algorithm updates and see, see if it lines up with any specific update that’s been rolled out recently, and see if there’s any correlation there. Because that would be a good indicator that I’ve been hit by an algorithm update. The next thing I would do would be Have a look at where the traffic was lost or which rankings have fallen, whether it was sitewide was a specific page or a cluster of keywords and then work backwards from there. What else would I do I’d have a look at the backlink profile. So I’d have a look and see you know, has it been any negative SEO have to Been acquiring really dodgy spammy links? Has someone been doing poor link building? Have they been doing any link building?

Michael  25:09
to look at things like, you know, no indexing or accidentally blocking the site and robots, you know, go in search console and see like, what’s your sort of in index data? Throw the pages? Like, is it the same as it always has been? Or is it drop? Yeah, that’d be a good one. Yeah, maybe, you know, what changes have you made to the site recently? Did you happen to a good place to start? Did you happen to wipe all of that content that was put on there for some reason you

Arthur  25:32
look at happens. Yeah, it definitely happens.

Michael  25:37
Maybe look at competitive to like, have they upped their game in any way, shape, or form?

Arthur  25:44
I think there’s a lot to it, you’d probably would just do a you’re doing audit. So you do a technical audit of the site and a competitor audit, it get to the bottom, but I guess a good starting point would be trying to figure out when and where? Yeah, and then work backwards from there.

Michael  25:59
If you if you like what we’ve just covered off there, you’re probably going to find there’s gonna be clues, basically, in most cases, so they would be the starting point. But like with many things in the SEO world, another answer to that one is it depends. So the answer why my rankings traffic going backwards? Why the answer? It depends, again, need to look into things a bit more. But um, let’s move on. Let’s move on from rankings and traffic going backwards. And let’s look at success. Because Jennifer asked, what metrics do you use to evaluate SEO success? And, look, there’s, there’s things that if you look at the things that business owners look at, and the things that business owners look at other stuff that probably mattered the most, you know, revenue, conversions, leads, phone calls, people signing up to your mailing list all that stuff. You know, that’s the stuff that business owners really care about. And that’s probably the most important SEO metrics to look at right?

Arthur  26:59
Most definitely.

Michael  27:01
And we like to, you know, revenues and everyone conversions, the more insight you can get on that, the better. So you don’t just want to say that a lead came from Seo? Like, admittedly, that’s good. It’s better than nothing. But can you track that lead in your CRM all the way through to it converting into a customer? And then do you know, you know, let’s say you’ve invested X amount in SEO that month, and it’s generated X amount in business, because you’ve tracked it all the way through from your website, into your CRM into your proposal software into becoming a customer? Yeah, exactly. That’s what your real that’s the name of the game right there.

Arthur  27:35
Yeah, exactly. And look at the obvious answer, as well as rankings and traffic. But I feel that a lot of people get hung up on specifics like that. So they don’t, I guess, attribute the ranking sorry, at the traffic from a specific keyword. So they they just want to see traffic increase, or they want to see like a vanity keyword rank first. Not not quite understanding that there’s a bit more to that. And not quite understanding that all like not all traffic is the same. So although you might be getting traffic to the site, is it converting? If it’s not converting, then it’s basically useless traffic?

Michael  28:07
Yeah. Like we spoke about on another episode, that example of the e commerce store ranking for like, popular sports in Australia. And they got a ton of traffic, but it didn’t do anything. So then, you know, when that website, that blog post stop ranking Monday, they’re concerned about the traffic drop. But meanwhile, revenues going up, because there’s more relevant traffic coming to the site, you know, the SEO being focused on non brand conversion, intent, focus keywords has actually done better. So yeah, rankings and traffic, they’re a good way of seeing how well a campaign going at the end of the day, though, of course, yeah,

Arthur  28:43
there’s a bunch of different SEO metrics as well. So the tools that we use looking at domain rating, trust flow, citation flow, so they basically measure how strong your domain is. So you want to obviously see those improve throughout the campaign, and also looking at overall organic visibility across different keyword positions.

Michael  29:01
Yep. So we use for that href, and majestic will give you the DRT F and CS schools. Visibility, you know, all sorts of different tools, rank tracking tools address, lets you see it as well. So, um,

Arthur  29:14
I think, first and foremost revenue and conversions, because that’s what is gonna, you know, that’s why they’re paying us basically.

Michael  29:21
Yeah, exactly. So, um, Josh has asked, why would someone invest in SEO, as opposed to going with something else like Google or Facebook ads? I think, yeah, I come at it from the angle that you know, all these channels are important. You don’t want to just favor one over the other. In an ideal world. You want to have a little bit of a presence across multiple channels, you know, get that traffic to your site, and then your site should be set up to convert it. So that the overall story is a good one, you know, your your revenues growing, your return on investment is positive. So trying to be too siloed in is not always the best approach. But let’s say someone had to choose between them, then why would you invest in SEO? Why invest in SEO?

Arthur  30:11
So why would I invest in SEO? Well, first and foremost, because most people still turn to Google when they’re searching for a product or service. And there’s been studies done, a lot of people will scroll past the ads in the shopping and, you know, go straight to the organic listings, because they find that they trust the organic listings more than paid ads.

Michael  30:34
And this is, despite Google doing everything they can to get people clicking on the ad. Exactly. It’s still like 7060 to 70% of the clicks again, at Google, organic still,

Arthur  30:44
exactly right. And SEO is the channel you earn. So if you stop spending, the traffic is still coming through.

Michael  30:52
Mm hmm. And it’s, um, like, with Google ads, for example, you have your budget that save three grand a month. And after 100 clicks, maybe that budgets gone, and so your traffic stops. Whereas with SEO, you only have unlimited traffic potential in a way, because, well, I wouldn’t say Unlimited, you’re only limited by the amount of like volume that’s out there in your market for the keywords you rank for. So let’s say, I’ll try to do some math on the fly. Let’s say you have a $3,000 a month budget, you got 100 clicks. So that’s $30 a click. But really, there’s over 1000 clicks in the month. So really, you would have needed to spend $30,000 a month on that on Google ads. But if you were ranking for it in the organic keyword, then you would be able to get all those clicks.

Arthur  31:37
Quick maps there?

Michael  31:39
Yeah, I’m not even sure if the math was right. But you know, you get the play. Yeah, I get the point.

Arthur  31:47
You’re not you’re not you’re not capping yourself. So yeah, there’s a lot more potential.

Michael  31:50
Yep, the upside is much higher. You’re not stressing, you know, like with paid search, when you pay 30 bucks a click, and it doesn’t convert, we sometimes have clients like calling freaking out because one day, they have a few less phone calls. And they did the day before. And they want everything to be perfectly the same and consistent every day, it just doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. But you know, with SEO, at least, the more traffic you have, the more chance you have to leave to be generated. And then the more choice you have as a business owner as to which leads you decide to go after, for example. So like SEO, that’s why you would invest in SEO versus other channels. The flip side of that is Seo takes time, as we always say. So if you need results, now, it’s not the right channel for you know, the Google ads or another channel Facebook ads would be a better choice in that case. So just playing both sides of the coin there. So I’m moving on. Next one, this is so this this question is not actually a question that someone has sent in to us. It’s more something that we came across in the wild. Let’s say I guess business owners, any business owner listening to this probably get an absolute ton of sales emails from SEO companies trying to sell them the world, you know, over email. For the world of SEO sales is very amusing at times. And we actually had a competing SEO salesperson speaking to one of our clients and telling them that pipes using pipes in a title tag verse dashes, a fundamental error, I believe is even though we were using dashes instead of pipes in this example, yeah, fundamental error, it was fundamental ly fundamentally. And we should have known better, they said, we should really have known better, which is not really. So the question that we’ve taken from it is, should I use pipes or dashes in my page titles? The answer is, it depends.

Arthur  33:49
It depends. So look, I’ve traditionally use dashes, since since the very beginning. But look, I’ve done a lot of reading on the topic. And you get answers from both sides. You know, people are agreeing from both sides. A lot of people like to use dashes. A lot of people like to use pipes. Now I think the only real benefit of pipes is a, it can look a bit more appealing when you have that kind of vertical line. And be that uses less pixels on the screen. So you can fit in more into your page title module marginally more, you’re not going to get that much more. But yeah, you know, every pixel counts that look, honestly, I don’t think there is a difference. I’ve started using dashes. Sorry, pipes, as a test. And look, to be honest, I saw an improvement in some pages, but other pages haven’t moved. Yeah. But then was that due to the dashes or sorry, pipes or

Michael  34:40
was a coincidental building? Yeah, that’s the thing. You’ve got to isolate that as a factor to be confident that that is the way and there have been studies done on this that don’t really show that much proof that

Arthur  34:52
one actually also wanted to say that the pages that we did test, they did improve, but then they went backwards back to where they were.

Michael  34:59
Yeah, and we got He also made on site content changes at the same

Arthur  35:02
time. Which Yeah, so inconclusive. Look, SEO is all about testing. So test test test, but in my opinion didn’t make a difference other than saving you a couple of pixels in your page title, and potentially making you know if it comes down to aesthetic, personal preference.

Michael  35:22
That’s why sometimes putting emojis and stuff in there, like you know, little emoji icons can attract more attention, you put it in your meta description or something like that and improve your click through rate. So yeah,

Arthur  35:33
I’ve always I’ve always thought dashes looked better than pipes. So why, in my opinion, yep. But after reading a lot of like, posts and forum comments and Reddit, you know, I think it’s the opposite. A lot of people prefer to look over pipes.

Michael  35:49
I reckon personally, that’s a bunch of SEO nerds talking about it. And they’re in the real world. No one even thinks about it that much. You know, what if I was to ask my family or my wife was like, Do you prefer pipes or dashes in your title tags? That look at me with crossovers, again? What are you talking about?

Arthur  36:04
I think a pipe looks more optimized. I think if I see a pipe, I know that someone’s trying to optimize that page title.

Michael  36:10
Yeah, but you know, that? Does someone that’s inquiring about like absolutely nothing publishing,

Arthur  36:16
no one’s gonna think twice about whether we use a dash or a pipe.

Michael  36:19
Yeah. So that one is just personal preference and testing. You know, if you put a pipe and it works, the results are good. Just leave it. If results aren’t there, maybe try a dash and see if that makes a difference. Unlikely, you know, look at websites like Amazon, they’re using commas and inverted, so like colons, semi colons and stuff. So you know, it’s a wild world out there with your model, your meta description, meta title tags, I’m having trouble. And it really comes down to what works, doesn’t it? Exactly.

Arthur  36:53
You got to keep testing. That’s what I see is all about. But

Michael  36:55
I seem to remember in a previous episode, you got metadata perfect the first time every time and now you’re saying test? Well, the metadata, do you have to save yourself? Well, the actual metadata,

Arthur  37:07
the keywords, and that was great. It was just look, I don’t have an answer, because I did test it. And it didn’t make a difference. So therefore, the original metadata was perfect. It was okay. That’s that’s my answer.

Michael  37:21
All right. We’ll move on then to Anoop, what does the neighbor have to face? What’s your go to SEO tool?

Arthur  37:27
h refs

Michael  37:29
address? Alright, moving on MC. Now look, we’ve

Arthur  37:32
covered this off in the previous episode, it does everything you need. That’s a great all in one tool. And it you know, it will get you by so if you were to pick if you were to pick one SEO tool, I’ll definitely choose h refs.

Michael  37:44
Yeah, because we do again, that question is pretty broad, because what are you trying to do with the tool? Yeah, it’s so much, you know, the technical issue you’re dealing with? Is it on site? Is it links? Is it way drifts does all that so? Yeah. But it’s not the best for all of that. But anyway, I addressed this at all. Yes. Cool to keep it simple. Moving on into today.

Arthur  38:06
Moving on to MC, how long will it take to see results?

Michael  38:11
Another broad mix actually written? How long will it takes to see results? We’re gonna have to edit that one. How long will it take to see results? So again, it depends.

Arthur  38:24
Like, I feel like you can answer a lot of these questions with it depends

Michael  38:26
that field name in the SEO world, the answer to everything is it depends. But you know, it does.

Arthur  38:34
It does depends on whether you’re starting from scratch. So is it a fresh domain? Have you done SEO before? Like an honest answer? If you’re a brand new website, fresh domain, you’re probably looking at 12 months or more, before you start seeing bottom line results.

Michael  38:52
So when you say bottom line, that’s like revenue lead revenue leads. Exactly. Yeah, you will start to see improvements made before that. But yeah, absolutely. I think improvements in SEO metrics before that at least.

Arthur  39:03
Absolutely. Yeah. You’ll start seeing keywords appearing in the search results or your organic visibility will continue to improve Well, it should continue to improve as the campaign progresses. You usually we see results like that around the three month mark three to six months. Yep. But again, like like we said, it really very much depends. Has has the site done SEO before? Has it got history? Has it got backlinks? how competitive is the industry? It’s all going to play a part in success.

Michael  39:36
Sure. Yep. All right. Well, this is lucky laughs number 13. And this is from inika and inika. I’m not sure if it was a guy or a girl so they have pretty sure it’s a go for a go. Okay, sorry. Why should I continue SEO once I’ve gotten good rankings. So why should you why or should you Even continuous Do you know to add to that question? Yes,

Arthur  40:04
I think so. Yep. Look. Yes, Abner. Yes. Let me let me elaborate. So wild right there. Yeah. Look, it depends, again, very much on the competition and where you’re at, you know, if you get to a point where you’re ranking for your keywords, and you stopped doing SEO, but your competition continues to do SEO, then chances are they’re going to start to outrank you. Yeah. And like I said, it depends on the niche, you might find that you’re in a niche where you can do SEO for six months, 12 months and stop for a bit. Yep. And then come back to it.

Michael  40:40
I guess, yeah. I guess Have you? Have you like written every piece of content that you should have? Like, have you done absolutely everything? A few words? Or is there other areas

Arthur  40:50
of growth to unlock as well? Absolutely. So that’s the other point, you know, you can unlock a lot more traffic. So you might be ranking for the keywords you want to rank. But there could be a plethora of different keywords you could be ranking for that could be driving more traffic to the site?

Michael  41:01
Yeah. So I’ve actually got a good I’ve got a good example on this one. There’s a case study on our website, where we rent like, we took a website from not existing and ranked at number one for a keyword. Now the reason we knew about this industry was tuckpointing. So it’s a very expensive, I guess, brick restoration type service. Yeah. So ranking well, for that sort of a service is good for these companies, because they can sell, you know, jobs that cost many 10s of 1000s of dollars. So it’s you know, it’s good to have rankings, we had a client in that space, we did all this work for them, we got them ranking number one, they turned off their SEO investment, because they’re ranking number one, they had a lot of lead, their business had grown, and they were happy to do that. So that was a while ago that they stopped working with us. Since then, we’ve created our case study site, which is on our website on our blog, our sites now ranking at the top of the search results, and theirs has dropped now, like if I search for tuckpointing, Sydney, 1234 are in there. And fifth, and that’s because they haven’t been doing SEO for, you know, a year at however long it’s been well over a year, yeah, maybe even maybe even two years ago, whatever. But it’s been some time. In that time, you know, a new competitor outside has come along and pushed to the top and other tuckpointing businesses have also gone passive. So those businesses, probably I haven’t looked into it, but I would say some of them have worked on their SEO, whereas our clients that have remained stagnant, our x cloud has remained stagnant. That’s sort of what can happen, you know, ebb and flow if you don’t invest in it. And now when they do want to invest in it, they’re starting from behind, they have to sort of recover that lost ground and all that time. So yeah, normally, it’s normally something you want to keep going because there’s always something you can be doing, can you be creating more content, you can be building more links, strengthening your domain, building more of a moat around your website, that the competition just can’t really get over, because you you’ve continued to invest in it. So generally, we recommend, you know, obviously, we’re a little bit biased in that we’re an SEO agency. So we’re always going to be on the side of SEO, but there’s always something that can be done. There’s always ways that you can be improving things, you know, in the majority of cases.

Arthur  43:15
Yeah. 100% agree.

Michael  43:17
Right. Well, it’s been a pretty long one today, but it’s been pretty fun. chatting about all these different questions. Yeah,

Arthur  43:24
I really, I really liked this format. I think we should definitely chuck it in the rotation moving forward.

Michael  43:30
Yes. So we will if you guys listening, have any questions, just head to the SEO Fill out the form. We’ve actually put a little widget on there where you can record a question, you know your voice, and we’ll put that into the podcast too. So if you feeling brave, wanting to record yourself with Bob that, otherwise just submit the form and we’ll review all the questions every so often and jump back and do another one of these episodes. But that’s all the time we have for today. So we’ll be back next week with another episode. And in the meantime, happy SEOing. See you later.

Arthur  44:01
See you later.


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Arthur Fabik


Michael Costin


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