Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More!
Kyle is joining me today to share expert tips that will help you increase your organic page ranking.
In this episode:
- Why is SEO important, especially in the realm of digital marketing?
- What is the difference between adding keywords and content optimization
- How to connect SEO to keywords, pages, and personas
- What are the minimal requirements that anybody managing a website needs to consider in terms of search engine optimization?
- What are the specific areas on the page that Google likes?
- Basics of changing and not changing URLs
- What are the basic requirements for marketers to do SEO?
- What is the biggest problem with SEO?
- How to choose the right SEO agency?
- What is a good relationship between a client and an SEO agency?
- How to do SEO for the content that is not text-driven?
- What are some common KPIs that clients should track?
- How to broaden the number of keywords?
- How often should businesses update, refresh or add new content to your website?
Quotes from the episode:
“It comes down to understanding that SEO is a probabilities game. Put yourself into the position for the best opportunity for success. No SEO professional will be right 100% of the time, but the idea is that the most successful ones are 70 to 80% of the time.”
“One thing that I do is that I run tests on Google’s algorithm, and I’m continually running tests on the algorithm to see what is or is not a ranking factor and which factors are the strongest. And what’s interesting is that SEO basics stay relatively the same, and they are still also the strongest factors.”
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To expand your knowledge about SEO and organic page ranking, check out some of my previous podcast episodes, blog post, and videos.
Hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More with me, Pam! I’m so happy to be here today. I have an awesome guest, Kyle Roof. His company have a specific product that is related to SEO that he offers. It’s called Page Optimizer Pro. And he has been used by over 1,000 SEO and marketing agencies around the world.
So welcome, Kyle. So happy to have you here.
Kyle Roof: Thank you for having me, Pam. It’s great to be here.
Pam Didner: So why is SEO important, especially in the realm of digital marketing?
Kyle Roof: Yeah, I think the most obvious thing is that it boosts your online visibility.
Pam Didner: Organic ranking?
Kyle Roof: That’s right. If you build a beautiful website, and then you don’t do any SEO. I think it’s the equivalent of building a wonderful sign for your business and putting it in the basement.
Pam Didner: Ooh. I love that analogy. Very sharp.
Kyle Roof: It might be. It might be a wonderful sign, and people might love it, but nobody’s going to see it. And so, um, it’s the same thing with your website. You should build a
beautiful website, but if you’re not sealing it or you’re not SEO-ing it, you don’t have any SEO plan, it’s not going to do much for you other than just be kind of a business card that you can pass around to people one by one.
Pam Didner: So, you know, SEO is just like, okay, let’s add many keywords to our website, and then we call it SEO optimized?
Kyle Roof: No, there’s a lot more to it than that. And that’s another benefit of doing SEO that when you are building a site, it’s very similar to writing a book. You know, there’s so much that needs to go into its organization, and SEO can provide that framework so you can write a better book and tell a better story, where a lot of people get off track when they’re building their websites and, um, same thing with books. And so if you’ve ever sat down and tried to write a book, it’s terrible.
Pam Didner: I wrote three.
Kyle Roof: It’s a terrible process.
Pam Didner: I think I understand what you said. Writing both you need to have, you need to build a structure. You need to have an outline is what you are saying while you’re building your website. It’s kind of like constructing your website, and SEO can help you build a better structure and just have the right keywords. But you have to think through where the key was and will fit and where that should be. Would you agree?
Kyle Roof: That’s exactly right. And then also not just the particular keywords, but what types of pages are we building for our site? Um, you know, there are different, uh, personas, you know, the people who will come to your site, they’re going to resonate with different things. There need to be different sections on your site for the different people that might be coming who’ll be interested in your products or services.
You have to have a plan for that. You have to have, uh, a plan to grow the site in the right. In the same way, you need to grow your site’s authority, and you can do that through the content you’re putting on the site within an SEO plan because you want your site to be seen as more authoritative to Google. And in doing so, SEO can help you provide that guidance to rank for better keywords to get more traffic. So hopefully, as you’re getting more traffic, then you’re getting more conversions.
Pam Didner: You know, I have done SEO for my website, and I have discovered SEO can be so hard because there are so many elements you have and the factors you have to take into
account. It’s, you know, in the past is like, “oh, let’s use keywords.” And, but it’s more to it. So can you share with us some of the minimal requirements that anybody managing a website needs to consider in terms of search engine optimization?
Kyle Roof: Absolutely. One thing that I do is that I run tests on Google’s algorithm, and I’m continually running tests on the algorithm to see what is or is not a ranking factor and which factors are the strongest. And what’s interesting is that SEO basics stay relatively the same, and they are still also the strongest factors. Google looks at particular areas on a page.
Pam Didner: Such as?
Kyle Roof: So the most important ones would be your page title and the title tag. So that’s often referred to as the meta title. The H1 is the title humans see in paragraph tags, P tags, and within the URL. And if you can put your keyword in those four places, you’ve done probably 60 to 70% of SEO right then. Right.
Pam Didner: That’s good to know. So these are the four things people need to understand. Is that correct?
Kyle Roof: Yeah. The only caveat on the URL is if you have an older page, don’t change your URL. If you have an older base doing pretty well, leave that as is, but if you’re doing a brand new page, you want to get your target keyword there.
Pam Didner: That’s good to know. I love that because I did try to change my URL early on when I started. And that was a huge mistake because it caused like 404 error, and it’s tough to find. And so once you have established a URL, keep that URL the way it is. If nothing else, do a redirect, would you agree?
Kyle Roof: Exactly right. The other thing is that a new URL is a new page to Google, so it has to recrawl it. So even though you’re like, well, I’ve had this page for years, Google will just see that all I did was change the URL, but Google doesn’t know that. To Google, it’s a completely different page. It has to completely re-crawl it and re-index it, and then we rank it. So you’re kind of starting from zero.
Pam Didner: So, for the longest time, you know, marketers have this tendency of checking something off and then move on to, you know, like, um, other brand new things like we have to do email campaigns or product launch. So we do email campaigns, product launches, and you would check that off and then we’d do something else. So is SEO something that you can check off ever? (laughs)
Kyle Roof: Well, the problem is, is that the goalposts shift. So as new competitors come into the space, as Google does updates, things like that, the goalposts shift, and you need to
check the work that you’ve done to make sure that you’re still hitting the targets that are, that are needed for SEO. That one of the more frustrating parts of it is that you can write a perfect page today, and things might shift a little bit, and while you’re not far away from it, you still probably need to tweak things, just a touch. And so, um, after you’ve done a page and you feel perfect about, say, your on-page optimization, you still need a strategy to check and retouch if needed.
Pam Didner: So what you are saying is even a lot of times, the marketers will create content like a blog post, and they will create a new blog post. They will create more blog posts. Your suggestion is, from time to time, you have to go back and look at your existing blog posts, and you have to optimize it as time goes.
Kyle Roof: Yeah. Usually, at that point, it’s tweaks more than like a wholesale optimization. But yeah, you do want to check your work because you’ll notice that there are new competitors in town, or Google favours something else slightly more so than before. And so you want to make sure that you’re still kind of hitting all those targets or hitting, giving Google what it wants.
Pam Didner: So, in a way, you cannot check off SEO. It’s a living thing you have to do regularly.
Kyle Roof: And that’s why I continue to be employed.
Pam Didner: Aka: job security (laughs)
Kyle Roof: It is job security. I love Google updates. People get terrified of them like,
“oh no, are we gonna drop?” You know, are we don’t really see drops because we don’t really do that’s outside of Google’s guidelines would get swept up generally speaking. I love it. When change happens, that’s just better for me.
Pam Didner: Yeah. I know. Every time change happened, I was like, oh my God, why do I, why do I need to know how do I get myself up to date? You know, in terms of keeping up with
Google’s updates or even some of the technologies out there is so overwhelming sometimes. So that leads to my next question. Can this SEO stuff being done by, you know, even in house marketers? Or do they have to partner with an SEO agency or SEO expert? Can SEO be DIY?
Kyle Roof: Yeah, I think it comes down to more than anything is an understanding that SEO is a probabilities game. You need to put yourself into the position for the best opportunity for success. Um, no SEO professional will be right 100% of the time, but the idea is that the most successful ones are 70 to 80% of the time. So it’s better than a coin flip. And so if you can get yourself into a position where you’re better than a coin flip, then sure, you can do your SEO. And then the idea of going with a professional or going with an agency is that it increases your likelihood of success. But you can certainly do SEO on your own. And, um, as long as you have a basic understanding.
Pam Didner: Oh, what that is and how to tackle a problem, you need to have the basic knowledge.
Kyle Roof: And then you can build on from there, you know, for sure you can do it yourself. The problem with SEO is that it’s deceptively simple and complex at the same time.
Pam Didner: Same time, I do agree with you. That is a very nice way of talking about SEO specifically. And, uh, I tried to do SEO myself early on, and I just wanted to share my lesson, you know, with everyone. You know, as a small business owner, I have a limited amount of marketing budget. I allocate that to do many things, and SEO is not necessary on the list initially. And then, I tried to educate myself about SEO and also different tools out there. And I purchased the tool, and I tried to do it myself.
Still, I have to tell everyone that if you have a budget and if you don’t have time is better to, uh, work with SEO experts or an SEO agency is important. This is not something you can skip, unfortunately. SEO is part of your website presence, and this is not something you can skim or skip. So with that being said, my recommendation to my audience is, Find a good SEO expert or work with an SEO agency. So do you have any suggestions in terms of how to select a good, solid SEO agency?
Kyle Roof: Well, I think to your point, you should be able to get from the agency how to do SEO. The agency should be completely transparent in what they’re doing. You should know exactly what’s going on, exactly the strategy and what the expected outcomes are. So that, in fact, you then could learn SEO by watching how the strategy is implemented and how it unfolds. So transparency is the biggest thing. Are they showing you exactly what they’re going to do?
Maybe not the specific technique, but you will see the outcome. Like you will see the finished product, or you will see, you know, if they put something here on the web or put something on your site that you’re able to see it and evaluate it and understand what it is. So transparency has to be the biggest thing. Many people get frustrated with agencies where they feel like they’re just giving them money and don’t know what’s going on. So, uh, transparency, and then also communication. Are they regularly communicating what’s happening with the project?
Pam Didner: How often should an SEO agency communicate with its clients? How often should the client demand that SEO provides the dashboard?
Kyle Roof: Well, in our agency, we do a, a report and a meeting at the end of the month or beginning of the month with the idea of like, if it’s at the beginning of the month or, say, the start of a project, this is, this is what we’re going to do. Here are your problems. What are your goals? Here’s what we’re trying to accomplish. These are the techniques that we think we’ll get there. And then the idea is that then we do them.
And then, throughout the month, you’ll get a couple of updates. Hey, we’re working on those, or we’re doing. And then at the end of the month, it’s a discussion of, this is what we did. So we then show the work, and then for the upcoming month, we need to stay on this track, and we need to continue to do this because we can see X, Y, or Z, or we need to shift just a little bit because we noticed whatever. But then these are now the deliverables. So that each month, what it should be delivered and what should be provided and that there’s monitoring and tracking
to that as well.
Pam Didner: So that leads to the next question. What are some common KPIs? Would you suggest that the clients do track or work with the agencies?
Kyle Roof: The mind remembers one of the first, um, goals or reasons for SEO: online visibility. That means that your site is being seen more. So that means that one of the most important measurements is his impressions. Impressions are the number of times your site is seen, uh, by humans doing searches. So your impression should be growing. To grow impressions, healthy pages on what sites are gaining more keywords, your website won’t, or a page on your site won’t rank for just one keyword. It’ll rank for hundreds, if not thousands of keywords. And so a healthy page, a successful campaign is gaining more keywords. You’re casting a wider net.
Pam Didner: When you say more keywords are unnecessary than the keywords you use to write your content, you are talking about broader the number of the keywords. Is that correct? Can you give me a specific example?
Kyle Roof: Sure, when you properly optimize for a primary keyword? So whatever your say, your top-level product or service is—
Pam Didner: Cybersecurity.
Kyle Roof: Cybersecurity. What’s going to happen is that the cybersecurity page will rank for
hundreds if not more, if not into the thousands of, of related keywords. We call them secondary keywords or the cluster. Cybersecurity is just like a two-word phrase.
Pam Didner: Right.
Kyle Roof: You will start seeing these three and four-word phrases you’re ranking for. And some of them don’t even exist on the page. Most don’t even exist on the page. And
that’s because Google has associated this chunk of terms with this primary keyword. So you optimize for that primary keyword, and you start to win the chunk. And then you’ll see that a healthy page is now growing more and more of those keywords.
Even though they don’t exist on the page at all, and then now you’re getting impressions for those keywords. You’re getting seen more, and they’re all within the realm of that cybersecurity. And then, as you’re seeing where you’re getting more clicks, those are the three most important KPIs: how many keywords are pages ranking for? How many impressions are you getting? And then how many clicks you’re getting?
Pam Didner: Excellent. I was going to summarize that, but then you did it just for me. Yay!
Kyle Roof: The only other thing relevant to throw in on you is to be mindful of conversions and cause that’s more than and figure.
Pam Didner: I do agree with you. I was thinking, “oh, these are the very top of the funnel type of the KPI, and they don’t help conversion at all.” I was thinking about that. You hit the core right away. I’m glad that you brought that up. I was going to say that none of this helps conversions, and, uh, you can talk about the number of impressions with senior management. You can talk about the number of clicks with senior management.
Don’t they care why – they care about the conversion rate? How many of them are being qualified as marketing qualified leads? And how many of them are being converted to sales, qualified leads? I’m talking obviously in that B2B term. It’s a little bit different from B2C and a nonprofit. I understand. But still, the conversion matters. Then talk to me in terms of how SEO can help in terms of conversions.
Kyle Roof: Well, ultimately, it’s a numbers game. You should know how many visitors turn into a conversion, right for your site. And actually, probably most people don’t. I can tell you for a fact they don’t.
Pam Didner: Well, to make that happen–you can correct me if I’m totally off–like the people come to your website. If you know the I.P. address or can somehow identify the contact name, the contact name can somehow be reconciled with your marketing automation or your CRM database. Then that will come to light in terms of seeing like, “oh, you know, the person will come in. I have a name associated with it.” If you can have that, then you can easily identify how that person is moving, you know, through your purchase funnel. But if you don’t have that, if you just only have an I.P. address, or if you just know a number of clicks, that’s not going to help.
Kyle Roof: Sure. The thing that you identified there, though, is kind of what gets slightly outside. It’s kind of SEO adjacent, where now you’re talking about what call to action, what conversion points, what micro conversions are we having? Are we enabling this traffic to have? And that usually turns into a giant hole in the marketing strategy where, you know, we’re getting all this good traffic, and we know as good traffic as we can see the keywords that are bringing the traffic. They’re the ones that you want and then the right neighbourhood, but people aren’t converting. So now we’ve got an issue.
Is there a problem with this page, you know, that the people won’t convert on this page for some reason? Is there a problem with the messaging? You know, do people hate the product and the people have the service, which happens, but SEO can then highlight those issues where, you know when you realize like, “Hey. We’re getting all of this traffic, but it’s not converting. Why is that?” Especially when you can see that, “okay, we’re not getting weird keywords, right? People aren’t coming from
things we don’t want. They’re coming from exactly what we want.”
Pam Didner: Oh, I got tons of unwanted keywords on my website. Trust me. I will look like, “I ranked for that? I don’t get it! (laughs).
Kyle Roof: You do get some oddballs. And then from time to time, that’s, you know, something that happens within Google to where, uh, you build a page for a specific keyword and you.
I think you will get this type of traffic, but Google associates that term with something slightly off.
Pam Didner: Completely different! Because one English word might have multiple meanings.
Kyle Roof: Yeah, exactly. And then what happens is you get a whole bunch of the traffic, but there it’s the wrong type of traffic, you know? So like, you’re like, “oh man, we’re killing it, but it’s not the, it’s not people that would convert or the people that we want to get.” So that does happen from time to time, for sure. But more often than not, if you’re getting the right type of traffic and you’re not getting the conversions that you’re anticipating, then there’s something else that you can look at, but SEO can kind of highlight that for you.
Pam Didner: Another element of SEO is, you need to constantly either update, refresh or even add new content to your website. It’s kind of like the feeding, the monster you have to feed the monster every day. Is that true?
Kyle Roof: Every day is a hard thing, but, um, that is attainable every day might not be quite needed, but it’s a good mindset.
Pam Didner: Weekly? You have to update your website regularly.
Kyle Roof: Well, what I think you should be doing is adding content to elevate your authority, you know, to elevate the strength of the site has. So going after longer tail keywords is an example, longer phrase keywords that are in them, in the neighbourhood of what you want and they answer good questions, uh, related to your topic, your service or products, et cetera, but they aren’t exactly target pages. They aren’t pages that you necessarily want somebody to convert on this. But it’s kind of where you can, um, give a perfect answer or an excellent explanation about something related to your product and service. You should be creating that kind of content continually. As you get more impressions and clicks for those, you will raise your site’s authority.
Pam Didner: But most of the time, you all talking about SEO tend to be text-driven. What about podcasts, which is more audio-driven? And then you write kind of like a description, not
necessarily the full transcript. I don’t like to take the whole transcript and just, you know, copy it down as a blog post, a blog, my podcast episode page, if you will, so I write a quick summary about what that podcast is about. And I have over 170 episodes and uploaded on my website. And each one of them is kind of like a page of its own, but it doesn’t help in terms of domain authority, per se. I have discovered this in terms of the podcast. It seems like you have to create blog posts to increase that. Is that true?
Kyle Roof: So that’s where you might want to consider using more of the transcript because that’s going to be free content for you that you didn’t have to write often, though. Uh, it looks gross, right? It’s like a giant page of text.
Pam Didner: Like it’s just a text as a marketer. I was like, “you know what? I’m a marketer. I cannot deal with that.” So in the past, I think I did a transcript, now I don’t even do that.
Kyle Roof: You can do other things. You can get a little creative, like the sliders and dropdowns and stuff like that. So you don’t necessarily have to just have a wall of text on your page. You can break it up into sliders and dropdowns. You can be creative with your CSS. The only thing Google requires is that you’re not trying to have a cloak or hide the text, you know? So Google only sees it, but humans don’t. So if humans can see it, and they can see it, you’re within Google’s guidelines. And so, you may want to consider the transcripts in a dropdown.
Pam Didner: So is it possible I can add like a couple of paragraphs and then, um, then you can click on “read more”, and then you can see the transcript.
Kyle Roof: Yeah. And I’m again, remember the basics, though. So think about, so what is this podcast episode about, right. Then, you know, you want to think about a target keyword that somebody actually might be searching for that particular information. And then that would go into your, your meta title, your page, title, your age, within the paragraph text to make sure that it’s in that transcript and it’s not, then that could be part of your description and that it’s in the URL. And then you hit some of your basics from there.
Pam Didner: All right. So that’s good information. I got something out of it. That means I have to update like 170 pages on my website because I have every
single page already identified. And I usually write on a very nice summary, but, uh, based on your suggestion, I need to have a transcript. I like that idea.
Kyle Roof: Yeah, ’cause you’re going to get so many–we call them like match or term counts, you know, your term frequency. So it’s going to be, you know, your variations, your contextual
terms are going to, Google’s gonna understand more what this is about, and you’re gonna get a lot more content on the page. It’s only gonna be a good thing.
Pam Didner: Very, very good. And, uh, I know that you’ll have an interesting life. So you lived in Phoenix, Arizona, for a long period of time and doing a pandemic. You moved to Thailand,
and now we are talking, y’all calling me into Zoom from Thailand. Can you talk to us about why you moved to Thailand, first of all, and, uh, how is your life over there doing pandemic? And also, what about now?
Kyle Roof: Yeah, life. Life is good. I can tell you life is perfect (Pam laughs).
Pam Didner: My, is it a good talking to us? Is there any kind of cultural shock between Thailand and, uh, also the U.S. or Phoenix, Arizona?
Kyle Roof: Yeah. It’s a whole other world. That’s a whole other world for sure. Do you know the Masterclass, that app, um, where they, uh, where the celebrities and something that you can learn from them?
Pam Didner: Yeah. I subscribe to that.
Kyle Roof: So I watched, uh, a few of them. One I watched was the Steve Martine one, and the one I watched was David Sedaris. He’s an author. And they both said something pretty
interesting that resonated with me. That was that they were both in a place in a city, in the U.S., and they were doing well. They realized that the movers and shakers, the most successful people, the decision-makers were all in a different city.
So for Steve Martin, that was L.A., and for David Sedaris, that was New York City. They realized that I could be the most successful person here, or I could go to where I need to be and be around those things, but where I can then accelerate my career or grow within my craft. And in their cases, they could be discovered. You know, and, um, that really kind of resonated with me. And I started thinking where are—
Pam Didner: Where are the SEO professionals? Where do they go?
Kyle Roof: And right now, the hotspot is Chiang Mai. And in Thailand, that’s where you can’t throw a rock without hitting a high-level digital marketer.
Pam Didner: Do you see many Americans or, uh, that people from all over the world live there?
Kyle Roof: Yeah. So Chiang Mai is a smaller city. There’s maybe it depends on how you count.
Pam Didner: Is it on, on the Northern part of Thailand.
Kyle Roof: That’s right, it’s all the way up. So in Chiang Mai, there’s a disproportionate number of foreigners, uh, U.K., US, Canada, and then many people from Europe. A real good mix. In the circles that I run around in, there’s usually maybe one other American. The thing is, though, there’s an instant camaraderie for people who will make a move or come for an extended period. They have a different type of mindset. And it’s easy to become fast friends with people kind of think about the same way.
Pam Didner: So, how long are you planning to stay there?
Kyle Roof: Well, so we’ve been here for almost a year. We’re coming up on a year, a month or two. And, um, we’re signing on for another three years, another three-year lease.
Pam Didner: Oh my God. So you were going to stay another three more years, so you’re going to be in Thailand for four years.
Kyle Roof: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve got a little guy he’s, uh, in first grade. And so we think we’ll do three years and decide if we want to kind of finish elementary school here or, um, if that’s the time to find a new spot.
Pam Didner: Okay. So tell us where they can find you. And, and also tell us a little bit about your page Optimizer, the product.
Kyle Roof: Yeah, that’s probably the best place to find me. Suppose somebody goes to page optimizer. Pro, which is the website. If they scroll to the bottom in the footer, there’s a workshop. I do a free workshop, whether you’re a POP user or not. And it alternates on Tuesdays and Thursdays; a section recorded at the beginning of it explains how to do SEO. Then also how the tool can help you with that.
Then I come on, live on each one of them to answer any all questions. And that can be questions about using Page Optimizer Pro–specifically or generally–or it can just be about, uh, SEO, you know, like, should I do this or that, you know, I answer any all questions. I stay on as long as people are asking questions. You know, sometimes we just get one or two. Sometimes we go for a half-hour more.
Pam Didner: I think that’s wonderful. You put yourself out there and make yourself available. When people have questions, they come to you and ask you a question. They need help, you know, you out there to help them. And I think that’s the best way to convert people and drive business.
Kyle Roof: Talk about, you know, if they like the concepts and then they’ll like the tool, the tool will be useful for them. But if you, if you’re like, I don’t know about this math stuff or I don’t know. And then that’s not your tool. And that’s, that’s fine, but I’m still happy to answer any and all SEO questions.
Pam Didner: That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. Well, thank you so much for coming to my show. Appreciate it. And, uh, I know that is a very early there, and you got up early to chat with me, so happy to have you and good luck in Thailand.
Kyle Roof: Well, thanks so much for having me. Appreciate it.