This conversation revolves around the introduction and background of Crystal Carter who works for wix.com, hosts SERPS Up SEO podcast, and is also the head of SEO communications at Wix.
Crystal Carter was a guest on the Simple and Smart SEO podcast hosted by B Herzberg and Crystal Waddell.
Waddell explained the backstory as to how she crossed paths with Carter.
Herzberg/Waddell and Carter's podcasts had featured on a roundup list of best SEO podcasts on LinkedIn.
Crystal Carter then went on to introduce herself, her position as the head of SEO communications at Wix, and her co-hosting role of the SERPS Up SEO podcast on the Wix website.
Wix Websites and Crystal's Role at Wix.com
Carter discusses her work in SEO for the Wix site on our podcast.
This includes her interactions with the product team and users, and her role in educating others on Wix's SEO capabilities.
She also participates in broader industry engagement through conferences, podcasts, and articles.
Carter describes how she values Wix's culture of encouraging people to explore and get involved in different ways.
She works closely with the product team who are continuously developing new SEO products for Wix.
Carter loves interacts with Wix users, answering their questions during webinars. Carter also reaches out to SEO professionals, informing them about Wix's SEO capabilities.
She actively participates in conferences as a representative of Wix, talking about SEO in general and Wix’s functionalities. She also appears in podcasts, webinars, and contributes to articles. (
She expressed a great deal of enjoyment in what she does, highlighting her passion for her work.
Why is SEO important to search engines?
We discussed the nature of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and touched on the concept of testing and strategizing to achieve desired website ranking outcomes.
Brittany Herzberg initiated the conversation on how Carter defines SEO.
Carter defined SEO as the process of altering internet outcomes to meet desired goals.
"Bending the Internet to your will."
Crystal Waddell particularly appreciated the idea of an "hypothesis" in this context.
SEO processes often involve strategic decisions and iterations based on results.
We agreed that SEO does not guarantee exact outcomes but requires a test-and-learn approach for success.
Testing hypotheses in SEO with on page SEO and search engines
Next we talked about content strategy, search volume, keyword choice, and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
As well as the need to ensure continual website updates to remain relevant.
Herzberg discussed her initial challenge in accepting payment for her knowledge as guiding principle.
She expressed her previous difficulties in charging for her services.
B emphasized the collaborative nature of her work: forming strategies and executing plans based on expert knowledge.
Carter detailed a targeted approach to create highly ranked SEO content.
She discussed her approach to the development of content strategies by using search volume and keyword ranking data to identify opportunities in the market.
Carter mentioned the importance of monitoring top-ranking competitors for target keywords.
There are possible advantages of capitalizing on neglected or outdated content by competitors.
She also emphasized the importance of Google understanding the relevance and authority of a website.
These factors can influence ranking for various keywords within a certain scope.
This implies a strategic need for unified topic concentration in web content creation.
A unanimous agreement was reached on the need to update website content continually to remain competitive.
It's important to employ effective SEO strategies to gain and maintain high rankings on SERPs.
Utilizing Google Analytics as SEO tools
Carter discussed the importance of refining and modifying SEO strategies based on data monitoring to achieve business goals.
She also elaborated on how website builder Wix incorporates basic SEO features.
The Wix website builders allow room for customization and the addition of refined detail by professional SEO consultants.
For instance, Carter shared about the ability to boost the ranking of website content on SERP (Search Engine Results Page) through strategic modifications to initial SEO strategies.
SEO strategies are not static but should be revisited to include new trends and data gathered.
Carter's views on modifying SEO strategies was echoed by Crystal Waddell, who called this "the roadmap to the hypothesis."
Waddell introduced the confusion of SEO getting included in website builders.
Wix, as explained by Carter, incorporates basic SEO functions like tags, sitemaps, and structured data.
These update constantly without users requiring much technical knowledge.
Carter also mentioned that Wix allows for customization of these SEO functions, catering to both casual and professional users.
For beginners, Wix provides a setup checklist to guide users about SEO essentials such as title tags on the homepage.
Carter also highlighted the importance of hiring professional SEO consultants who bring in an element of "intentionality".
They align the content strategy to a specific target audience.
Finally, Carter emphasized that it's critical for business owners to accurately describe their business on their websites and blogs for better SEO ranking.
Using Google Search Console to improve SEO
Next we discussed the importance of implementing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies- particularly for solopreneurs.
Clarity and structure in website content is pivotal in online visibility and search engine indexing.
Carter emphasized the need for businesses to clearly state their services or products on their website.
This aids search engine bots in comprehending their site.
Herzberg echoed Carter's sentiment.
She emphasized the significance of clarity in website representation.
Waddell steered the conversation to the importance of site AND keyword mapping for SEO.
The importance of a site map
Carter robustly explained why a site map is essential:
a) it aids web crawlers in understanding the structure and content of your website,
b) it helps to showcase your main pages to search engines,
c) it allows you to eliminate unimportant or useless pages, thereby improving your SEO.
Carter highlighted that SEO is not just about getting indexed (the equivalent of getting a song played on the radio.
It's about ranking (akin to having a hit song).
SEO tools to use, such as the one within Wix.
Other tools to try include Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. View how these search engines crawl your site.
Carter ended with a practical strategy for getting non-indexed pages indexed:
Add internal links from indexed pages to non-indexed pages.
Improving Google's indexing of your site
Next, Carter elaborated on her unique analogy for optimizing web pages using internal linking.
She compared it to the strategy of ensuring all nachos get covered in cheese, not just the top ones.
Carter views the top-most pages of a website, those that get a lot of visibility and search traffic, as the top chips of a nacho pile, covered in cheese.
These are pages already indexed by Google.
According to Carter, there are also pages underneath, similar to the chips further down in a nacho pile, which may not be getting as much visibility or search traffic.
To avoid ending up with unindexed pages or pages with low visibility (chips without cheese), Crystal Carter suggests using highly visible paged (top chips) as a reservoir to link to less visible pages (chips underneath).
Carter explains that this strategy ensures that when Google crawls a popular page, it will also discover and index linked pages.
Those were previously less visible, thereby improving the overall performance of the website.
Crystal Waddell and Brittany Herzberg appreciated and praised Crystal Carter's unique approach and the simplicity of her nachos analogy.
Using tags correctly for SEO
Next we discussed the use of tags on website pages, particularly in relation to Shopify commerce stores.
The main focus was on reducing unnecessary duplicate meta tags, and prioritizing tags that are relevant to improve page ranks on search engines like Google.
Waddell mentioned an issue encountered while working with a Shopify store owner, of tag usage inadvertently creating new pages.
She asked for a solution to prevent this from happening.
Carter suggested automatic de-indexing, a practice she mentioned is used on Wix.
She clarified this might not be the best approach for all websites and depends largely on the site configuration and tag usage patterns.
Carter noted a lot of websites have "sloppy tagging."
This is when similar characteristics like "shoe" and "Shoes" are tagged separately, leading to unnecessary duplicates.
She proposed going through all tags to eliminate duplicate or near duplicates.
Carter explained that the overuse of similar tags can eat into Google's crawl budget for a specific site leading to inefficient indexing.
Google should not be 'wasting time' going through irrelevant or duplicate tags.
Carter advised that tags should be created with a purpose.
If one doesn't expect users to search or rank those tags, it's better not to create them.
Answering Waddell's question about what makes a good tag, Carter explained a tag should attribute user value and align with website navigation.
Primarily in e-commerce, tags can help users navigate through different product attributes like color or fabric.
These tags, according to Carter, are user visible, and therefore should be created keeping user expectations in mind.
Carter also highlighted the importance of considering how bots would read the tags.
The tags should provide relevant information to help bots understand what the website is about.
How to help search engines index your site
Next, we discussed content creation for websites, the importance of relevant tagging, and effective utilization of technical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to ensure better visibility.
Carter describes blogs, the concept of 'tagging', and importance of maintaining consistency in brand messaging to help search engines understand the brand better.
She shares an example of a blog written by a hat maker.
What's important? Tagging keywords relevant to the main content (like "travel" or "inspiration".
Rather than one-time topics like "Mardi Gras".
Herzberg poses a comparison of tags to hashtags and whether each post should have different tags.
Carter suggests using the free tool 'Screaming Frog' for under 500 URLs to pull out and analyze tags.
She also advises on checking the visibility of these tags in the HTML of the page.
Waddell relates the term 'tags' to content pillars on a website. Carter agrees.
All metadata, links, and keywords should consistently inform Google about the brand.
Carter elaborates with an example of Google search for 'hats' that leads to 'Lids' as the top result.
She explains that its due to the website's consistent messaging about selling hats.
Overall, the ladies emphasize the importance of a consistent brand image and messaging.
Specifically, the need to use tags, meta data, links, and attributes that narrate a clear, consistent story about the brand to both search engine bots and human users.
SEO tools for brands, bots, schema and the end user
We then debated SEO copywriting, its importance and its implementation.
Our focus was on schema.org and how it can improve content visibility on Google.
Herzberg stated the importance of SEO copywriting that caters to both humans and bots. She also emphasized the role of storytelling and branding.
Waddell expressed her interest in learning more about schema.org and indicated an upcoming podcast on the same topic.
Carter shared her article on schema markup at Moz blog and guided on how to search for it.
She advised on utilizing validators at validator.schema.org to look at other people's schema and learn from them.
Carter also mentioned about the Rich Results Gallery and an article on the Wix SEO Learning Hub.
This article provides information about gaining additional visibility on Google.
Carter explained how schema markup powers rich search results like Google for jobs and recipe cards, hence improving visibility.
Improving Wix SEO with Wix user feedback
Carter highlights the significance of user feedback in Wix's continuous improvement.
She introduces various features including the SEO Learning Hub, monthly webinars, in-app SEO Dashboard, and the Wix Partner program.
According to Carter, Wix has over 200 million users and continuously interacts with them to enhance their services.
Wix effectively incorporates user feedback in their improvements, evidencing this with an SEO board that discusses new ideas.
The Wix SEO Learning Hub is a feature exposed to Wix partners through a monthly webinar.
The team also promotes SEO dashboard in their content management system (CMS) where new content from the SEO Learning Hub is visible, along with Google Search console rankings.
Wix aims to fully support all those trying to do SEO on their platform
This ensures that basic tasks are covered and also catering to sophisticated needs including Schema.
They provide numerous examples from which users can extract code and modify as per their needs.
Utilizing Ghat GPT with Wix SEO tools
Finally, we discussed the integration and implications of AI.
Specifically, ChatGPT, in SEO and content development for Wix's website editor.
Carter showcased how Wix has integrated GPT into their WIX builder to create AI-led content for client's website pages.
She also warned about the limitations of AI and encouraged users to give a personal touch and thoroughly check AI-generated content to avoid issues.
Will Google penalize Ai-generated content?
What are the risks of AI Content? Will Google detect it and punish us for using it?
Carter suggested that an authentic personal voice is a defense against this.
Waddell mentioned the potential use of AI in creating schema markup for SEO. Carter exposed AI’s limitations.
She indicated that while AI could help generate a standard framework, it often produces non-existent URLs requiring a thorough check.
The conversation wrapped up with a reminder from Carter and Herzberg to always check and validate any AI-generated work before publishing.
Carter's predictions of top three trends in SEO
In conclusion, our conversation primarily revolved around SEO trends and effective practices for small businesses.
Carter emphasized utilizing multimedia, AI, and brand dissemination in various digital spaces.
A bonus tip was to pay attention to the growing significance of Bing in the online search domain.
She emphasised the importance of considering multimedia, not just written content, for website optimization.
The role of AI in SEO tools
Bing was highlighted by Carter to be becoming a prominent player in online search. They have a 15% rise in usage while Google saw a minor decline.
Carter recommended small businesses to utilize Bing webmaster tools and Bing places.
AI makes it easier than ever to expand a brand’s presence across different digital platforms.
This aids indexing, boosts the brand's digital footprint, and organic traffic and enhances SEO.
Brittany Herzberg suggested signing up for HARO as a part this digital dissemination.
When it comes to optimizing your site for SEO, Wix provides tools to help you get started and stay ahead of the competition.
From keyword analysis and page optimization to image compression and content optimization, you have access to an array of tools that will help you keep your website optimized for search engines.
With these tools, you'll be able to create a website that is both accessible and attractive to search engine crawlers.
As a result, your website will rank higher in the search engines, giving your business more visibility online.