Blogging for SEO: Analytics That Explain What's Working
by Crystal Waddell on Oct 02, 2023
Wondering if your blog post actually drives traffic to your site? Here's how to find out!
At some point, every blogger has asked themselves, "How can I tell if my blogs are driving traffic?"
It's a valid question.
After all, blogging involves significant effort, time, and resources. You want to know if all those blog posts you've been crafting and publishing are delivering results.
Enter Holly Weidman, a well-known blog SEO expert.
Holly recommends a wait-and-see approach to Google updates.
In this episode of our podcast, she offers specific tips for creating blogs that Google sees as "authoritative, helpful content" worth showing.
Furthermore, she lays out the metrics to track in Google Analytics and Google Search Console to measure and optimize your blog for performance.
In this blog post, we will dive into her insights on how to tell if your blogs are driving traffic.
Understand Google and other search engines results pages
To understand a search engine like Google's content preferences, take a close look at its search results.
Google’s search results displays come in different forms.
Organic links (website results), and
By analyzing how Google presents information, you'll get a good idea of what content Google is willing to show.
How Infinite Scrolling Works: Google no longer separates search results into "pages"
When people talk about "ranking on page one" what they mean is showing up in the top 10 search results.
That term is now dated because Google adopted the infinite scrolling tactic already implemented by most social media apps.
"Infinite scrolling" keeps users on Google longer, which increases the likelihood they will click on a result.
In theory, by creating content that users will read while on the search engine, you could drive more traffic to your blog.
But how do you ensure that each blog post title you write is interesting enough to convert a searcher into a reader?
Take the time to perform keyword research and create five to seven "Pillar Posts"
To position your blog as a reputable source, pick five to seven topics you want to become known for.
Create pillar posts that are longer, more detailed, and go beyond the basics.
By offering authoritative content on a specific topic, (a "cluster" of articles, Google will regard you as an authority in that space.
This is great for small businesses who write about topics related to products and services you offer.
Taking the time to write helpful articles in your area of expertise will boost your chances of appearing on its search results.
Blog SEO tips to Make Your Content better
Internal links are essential for Google, and headings help readers skim through content.
Ensure that each blog post has a few internal links to other areas of your website.
For ecommerce stores, I like to link back to products related to the blog's content.
Doing this will help Google understand where your content fits on your website.
Plus, it improves the user experience. Use headings to help readers skim through content. For every new blog post, write your blog with the headings first (think college paper outlines!)
That's how search engines read to understand your website, too.
SEO tips to track metrics
Finally, track metrics to measure blog performance.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are your go-to tools.
Track the number of page views, organic traffic, and other relevant SEO metrics.
Also, conduct an audit of past blog content to assess reader experience.
If you have any particular posts that are doing well, add internal and external links to those pages. Internal linking is an easy on page SEO improvement any business owner can make.
Give every page a job: aka a target keyword
A target keyword is the keyword focus of your article. You don't want to do a lot of "keyword stuffing," which is adding that same word over and over.
You want to support that keyword with relevant content. That's what makes up an SEO friendly blog post.
Blogging is hard work, but you can measure results
Remember, to gain traction, take Holly's advice by studying Google result displays.
Create pillar posts in your 5 to 7 subject areas and add internal links on your website.
Finally, track key metrics on Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
By using these tips to improve blog posts for SEO, you'll increase your chances of producing a blog that drives traffic regularly.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been edited for errors.
[00:00:00] Crystal Waddell: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the Simple and Smart SEO Show podcast. My name's Crystal Waddell. I'm here with my lovely co-host, Brittany Herzberg and our wonderful guest of the day, and that is Holly Weidman.
[00:00:17] Brittany Herzberg: Brava .
[00:00:18] Holly Weidman: Oh, glad to be here. This is exciting.
[00:00:21] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, we're stoked to have you.
[00:00:23] Crystal Waddell: So Holly do you wanna tell us a little bit about yourself and then we'll jump into the conversation all about SEO and blogging?
[00:00:30] Holly Weidman: Yes, SEO was something that I have enjoyed over the years. For about 20 years or so, I did photography and did all the things, built my own website, did my own blog, did my own social media, and just had fun with it and.
I love the marketing piece and the s e O that came with it, and then 2020 hit and I said don't think I'm doing any in-person photography, at least through the summer.[00:01:00]
[00:01:00] Holly Weidman: And so I just evaluated what I've done in the past and what I could continue to do in a virtual setting and realized I was already helping a friend of mine.
Do SEO and blogging behind the scenes for her business. And I said that's something that I can do from home more of. And I just jumped into Facebook groups to find other business owners and just started making connections and it really took off.
[00:01:31] Holly Weidman: And then I've niched down into the s e o corner of it because I really enjoyed. Being able to research those keywords and help business owners be found on Google for what they do and have traffic coming in organically to them, and it's it really took off and it's been a journey that I've really enjoyed and [00:02:00] it's been great to, to meet so many.
[00:02:04] Holly Weidman: Unique and talented business owners around the world that have really enjoyed what they're doing for their businesses with that. Yeah.
[00:02:13] Crystal Waddell: So how have you met them? Just because you. Shared the same hashtags or, how did that happen, ?
[00:02:20] Holly Weidman: It was all through Facebook groups.
[00:02:23] Holly Weidman: I really I tried to think through who I would be serving with , what I could offer, and so I just thought through.
Where would these business owners be hanging out in Facebook groups and just started putting myself out there, answering questions in those groups where I could being thorough with my answers, not just one or two lines here or there.
[00:02:47] Holly Weidman: , and adding as much to the conversation in value as I could. And then in some groups you're not allowed to, say This is what I do, here's my link.
But people figure it out as you're answering more and more [00:03:00] questions. I do have my own website and I do use Instagram, but I think overall I've only.
[00:03:07] Holly Weidman: Actually reached a new client through Instagram. Once everything else has come through Facebook groups and the connections that you make from those groups, it's really, it's.
The online world, sometimes you feel like I'm the only one I behind my computer doing this. . . But really translating those networking in-person networking skills into the lon world and getting to know somebody and then, Hey, you wanna jump on a Zoom and let's get to know each other better.
[00:03:37] Holly Weidman: That's like the new networking tool for business owners. , you're still working with people and so , that's really where it's grown is through that online networking and just treating each individual as a business owner and a friend. That's where it's grown from.
[00:03:57] Brittany Herzberg: That's such a good thing, and I know that's really important to Crystal and I is [00:04:00] that was one, one of the bonding things for us was that I know Crystal felt very alone.
[00:04:04] Brittany Herzberg: I'm just like constantly making friends in the online world, probably because of the, Fact that I don't wanna feel alone, but I also don't want other people to feel alone. So that was another huge inspiration for the podcast too, so I'm glad to hear that. I love asking all of our guests how they define SEO o.
[00:04:22] Holly Weidman: It's how people find you when they type in a search for a problem. I've been asked that several times too, because it's like, it's an acronym, but what does it really mean?
And it's every time you pick up your phone with a question and you type something in, that's being found through search engine optimization.
[00:04:43] Holly Weidman: Now, on the flip side, as a business owner, You are strategically trying to place your posts and your blogs in a position to outrank someone else on that search [00:05:00] page.
There's 93 million searches every single day on Google and social media or Google and SEO platforms and. It can seem overwhelming at first, but when you really begin to work with a strategy, you know who you're competing against, and it's really those top 10 posts for a given search.
[00:05:25] Holly Weidman: And so once you narrow it down from millions and millions to, okay, these are the 10 people that I'm up against, it really becomes much more manageable and easier to do.
[00:05:37] Crystal Waddell: I think that's so funny because I have a client that I'm writing for, and one of the things that I was doing is okay which person or which number on the list on that search engine results page are we trying to take over?
[00:05:50] Crystal Waddell: And so it's like kind of fun because you're putting a bullseye on somebody. and it makes it tangible okay, this is the target. And that it's a bold move on my
[00:05:58] Holly Weidman: part because it's very [00:06:00] clear if
[00:06:00] Crystal Waddell: we fail, like what happens . But it's also fun because it's now we're hunting, the game is on.
[00:06:06] Crystal Waddell: And I felt like after I did that, just a couple weeks later, she sent me an email and said, Hey, I found this person.
I think they kind of align with what I do. I think this could be a competitor, because when I first ask, who are your competitors, it's kinda I don't really know. I'm not really looking around.
[00:06:21] Crystal Waddell: That type of thing. And come to find out who's one of the people on that list. So it was just very fun,
[00:06:27] Holly Weidman: yes. And it's interesting to see as you do it, I don't know. Most people wanna start with some rush and Ahrefs and all these search tools. But what I have found to be most instructional is actually being able to study Google itself and the different results and learning what, what is going to come up.
[00:06:54] Holly Weidman: And now I do it and somebody will throw out a term and I'm like, okay. It's gonna be this, and this is gonna [00:07:00] show up on your page and this is gonna show up on your page and this is who you're competing against . And once you get to that stage of understanding what results Google is going to put out it, it makes it so much easier to craft a post that fits that .
[00:07:17] Holly Weidman: So I feel. That's almost a piece that's missing in a lot of trainings is the like, you need to understand Google and how they're going to present your content first, then jump into a tool that's gonna help you with some of that research and stuff on the backend. Once I find a keyword word or I'm considering one, I'm popping it into Google to verify, Am I right on my assumptions here?
[00:07:46] Holly Weidman: And does it need a list? Is it gonna be images? Is it gonna be a how-to video? There's certain type of searches that Google has evaluated and said, no, this is how it needs to be presented to them.
And then once [00:08:00] you know that, then it's easier to craft a well-written blog post because you add in all those features that they.
[00:08:06] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, I wanna just second what you said about Google being like your favorite thing.
I know I did the hand raising thing cuz I was like, I am going to pounce on this computer, Yesterday. Just yesterday one of my friends was asking me, and actually in the Instagram dms, What tools do you use for SEO research?
[00:08:22] Brittany Herzberg: And I was like I do use Uber suggest, I do use keywords everywhere. But really, actually, it was on a podcast interview. Really? I just love using the Google results page.
And they were like, what? Really? And I was like, yeah, here, let's talk about it. Yeah. So I'm curious because I heard you talking about how you can figure out what Google favors for those different key phrases.
[00:08:43] Brittany Herzberg: One, how are you figuring that out? And two, do you have any tips about when you're just looking at the Google results page, like what people can pay attention to, maybe what we're missing?
[00:08:51] Holly Weidman: Just putting it in and looking and seeing what kind of results are given. [00:09:00] Do you have ads at the top?
[00:09:02] Holly Weidman: That right there, it signal signals to me that it's probably a more competitive keyword because someone is paying.
To show up first, and that means there's money behind that search term. So your competition is already higher there. How many ads are there? And then is the first result a YouTube video?
[00:09:27] Holly Weidman: More often, than not, it's a visual content that they want to present. So they'll give you YouTube videos.
If it's an organic, just regular hyperlink blue link, you click on it. More often than not, those are blog posts and so you can.
Oftentimes have a easier chance of getting your blog post found on those because it's not serving up a video first or a list post or whatever.
[00:09:57] Holly Weidman: There's like probably 20 or [00:10:00] 30 different kinds of presentations that they will give you. Sometimes it will come up. A snippet.
So it like gives them the answer and oftentimes you, you need to read through, you know what that snippet is that they're already offering.
Because if Google is giving them like almost the entire answer, they've satisfied what's the largest cat breed , they're probably not going to click into.
[00:10:31] Holly Weidman: Even that spot number one, because the reader has already gotten their information, so then you can evaluate and say, you know what?
It's probably not worth my time to write this whole long blog post and try and outrank this spot, number one, because even if I am in spot number one, it's probably not gonna translate to a lot of clicks because the reader already has what they need.
[00:10:54] Holly Weidman: They're done, they're gone. They're on their way. So just training yourself [00:11:00] even just to be aware of Hey, am I seeing similar things?
And realizing, okay, this is a how-to post. It needs a video. This is what they're looking for. This is a list, a post, best of, best organizing apps or something.
[00:11:15] Holly Weidman: It's a list. You start to see those common themes. Telling yourself to start looking at the Google results and categorizing them, you'll start to see more and more of those patterns coming up .
[00:11:29] Holly Weidman: I love it.
[00:11:30] Crystal Waddell: Okay, so I have a two part or.
[00:11:31] Crystal Waddell: So the first thing is, I heard a statistic the other day, it said something about there's a significant percentage of searches that have a zero search volume, meaning that they've never been searched before. So I always thought search volume was pretty important. But I also know that search intent, which is what you're talking about, is also very important and really outrank search volume.
[00:11:57] Crystal Waddell: So I wondered what you thought about [00:12:00] that. And let me let you answer that first. Okay. And then I'll do the second question. Yeah.
[00:12:05] Holly Weidman: It depends on, I think that's SEO's favorite word. It depends.
[00:12:11] Crystal Waddell: Erin. Erin. I
[00:12:13] Brittany Herzberg: know. I thought of Erin too.
[00:12:15] Holly Weidman: on what your. Website goals are now I work with AdVine and media vine bloggers.
[00:12:23] Holly Weidman: Their main goal is traffic number one, we just want traffic. So if I'm looking at a keyword for them, which has a really low search volume, as in 10 people a month are actually searching for this answer, it's not something that's worth our time to create content around.
Unless it's part of a broader main topic, say they all, they write all about organizing and it's one question about organizing kitchen drawers.
[00:12:55] Holly Weidman: They may want that piece on their blog simply to say, this [00:13:00] is part of everything that I talk about. If Google wants anything to do with kitchen organizing, It's on my site. You may want it for that, but if you are simply working for your own small business, and you are going after keywords that actually have a significant volume to them so that a percentage will come to your site, that keyword volume is important.
[00:13:28] Holly Weidman: Usually the statistics are, position one gets about 30% of the clicks, and then I believe it. Position two, it drops to 18% and then on down the list.
So I do recommend going after keywords with larger volume because, The percentage of how much you'll get out of that is really important. If you're getting 3% out of 10 clicks or you're getting 3% out of a thousand clicks, [00:14:00] that's a major difference in traffic potential for your site.
[00:14:04] Holly Weidman: So I do watch that volume. And how much is.
[00:14:09] Crystal Waddell: Okay, so second part is, have you guys noticed that on the Google search results page, it. There's no page two or three or four,
[00:14:17] Holly Weidman: Yes. You've gone to infinite scroll.
[00:14:19] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. Okay. Infinite scroll. That's a cool, fun word there. I wanna put that on the T-shirt.
[00:14:24] Brittany Herzberg: I'm actually seeing both. Yes. I've seen some where I'll click in it and it has the pages, 2, 3, 4, whatever. And then I have seen somewhere, it's the infinite scroll and now I'm gonna have to pay attention if it's certain keywords, if it's certain platforms that I'm on. Yeah. But yeah, I
[00:14:37] Holly Weidman: think part of it is it's still rolling out, like it is a newer feature that they've added.
[00:14:42] Holly Weidman: But still, like if you're working with an Uber suggest or something, and they say page two, it's still within 11 to 20. That's where it falls in your results, even though there's not page two technically in motion.
[00:14:56] Crystal Waddell: So Why infinite scroll? Do you know what's the reasoning behind [00:15:00] that?
[00:15:00] Holly Weidman: Facebook Is infinite scroll and people stay on the platform longer. The same thing. It's, there's a mental trigger of oh, I have to go to page two. . Whereas you might keep scrolling further down if you don't have to do that. So they're staying on Google longer. It's easier and they can just keep loading them.
[00:15:21] Brittany Herzberg: I wanna go back to what you were talking about, the first question that Crystal had, and you were talking about you like going for bigger keywords, and a question that we get all the time is like, what, amount, what search volume should I be looking for?
[00:15:33] Brittany Herzberg: Do you Have any advice for anyone listening who's I wanna know how many,
[00:15:35] Brittany Herzberg: What volume to look for?
[00:15:37] Holly Weidman: It depends on what stage of the game you're in. in your business?
If you are just starting out and time is limited and you're trying to get content and trying to rank my suggestion would be to. To look at your categories, think of them like the pillars of your building.
[00:15:56] Holly Weidman: Like your blog is your foundation, but then you've gonna have these pillars of [00:16:00] content. So if you're writing about organization, you're gonna want a call it your pillar post. That is how to organize. And you're gonna put, everything that you've learned about organizing. In an outline and you're gonna talk about it.
[00:16:18] Holly Weidman: And that is going to be the post that you will update, every six months, every year. And that's gonna grow from a thousand words to 2000 words to, eventually that may be your 5,000 word post.
It's got all your good ideas and tips and tricks, but it's everything. And then the next one may be on decluttering, and that's another.
[00:16:40] Holly Weidman: Part of your pillar content that's writing, those are gonna be your huge keywords. One or two keywords, one or two letter words in a keyword phrase is always gonna be your larger topic. So those are gonna be huge volume. You're not going to necessarily rank for those because you're new, but you [00:17:00] want Google to understand.
[00:17:02] Holly Weidman: This is who I am. Like if you're going to, if I'm writing content, it is all gonna be around these things. So get those big pillar posts in place on your website and then you can begin working on smaller keywords to start being found and being the one that Google does use. Cuz if it's smaller keyword chances.
[00:17:25] Holly Weidman: It's not been written on as much, and you have an easier chance of starting to get traffic to those. So you want to, that graph to start going up by your little keywords. And then over time, your pillar post with thousand, 2000, 3000 words are going to pick up a lot of that w wording, nouns, verbs around the topic.
[00:17:50] Holly Weidman: And Google's gonna see that and attribute it to you.
[00:17:54] Crystal Waddell: Yeah, I like that cuz that's what I've, Had conversations with different people about, it's no longer just [00:18:00] about keywords, or winning a specific keyword.
It's really demonstrating topical authority. So I like how you describe that, and how to, not only that you need that on your website, but how to create it.
[00:18:13] Crystal Waddell: What do you think in terms of pillar posts, , like how many would you suggest that you have? Or is it, a pillar post per topic that you wanna be an authority on? Is that what we're talking about here?
[00:18:24] Holly Weidman: In the industry that you're in, there's usually main peak pain points that you're talking about.
[00:18:32] Holly Weidman: If I'm working on organizing, I have to learn about decluttering. I need to learn about systems. I need to learn about, what kind of things do I use to do it.
Bins, boxes, crayons, whatever. And you. Really do need to think through what am I always gonna be talking about in some fashion or form and keep it pretty, pretty simple.
[00:18:56] Holly Weidman: I really suggest like five to seven [00:19:00] at the most of this is what I'm gonna talk about. And part of the reason why I see that is I was watched a YouTube video and I was talking about. How now we are learning about how the AI models work for organizing information and search engines and stuff.
[00:19:19] Holly Weidman: And it was so interesting because you had all these, hundreds and hundreds, thousands of dots on the screen representing parts of information.
And the algorithms organize all of those information. So think of like your kids take your, their Lego box and they spread 'em all out over the floor.
[00:19:42] Holly Weidman: There's colors everywhere, but then it starts to arrange them in. All of the red legos go over here in this pile.
All of the blue goes over here in this pile. And those are your topics. It starts to group information, like information with like [00:20:00] information.
If you're talking about organizing, it expects to find words in your content, like drawers, labels kitchen, decluttering, like all of those words.
[00:20:11] Holly Weidman: It's going to say, okay, these go together, these entities go together, or these nouns go together and it puts them in piles.
And so that's why more and more. Bloggers are becoming niche bloggers because Google puts all that information into a little pile.
And the more concise your pile of information can be, the more it sees you as the authority on talking about this topic, because you've got all the Lego pieces in one pile that talk about organization, and so it sees you as that authority.
[00:20:52] Holly Weidman: And That visualness of it, I, I love because I'm like, yes, that makes sense to me. I love, yeah. Organizing things in that [00:21:00] way. Why would it not as a program, like it is trained to group things together, so it just, it makes sense that we should be doing that to start with.
[00:21:11] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah. Would you recommend, because this is another question I've at least heard a lot for the pillar content posts, do you recommend writing them as blog posts on your blog or having them as webpages?
[00:21:25] Holly Weidman: I've heard both.
It Would probably need to be done at the very first if you're doing, setting up your site to have 'em as pages, which is a little bit, structurally , technically different than writing it. If you can do that. I do think that Google sees them as a little bit more authority than a blog post.
[00:21:45] Holly Weidman: Cause blog post is usually all your general information and your pages are specifically laid out.
But if you've written a big chunk of content and it's in a pillar or it's in a blog post, just keep adding to that blog. [00:22:00] Post. It will rank and bring in those keywords for that post.
[00:22:04] Holly Weidman: I've seen that too. Got it.
[00:22:07] Crystal Waddell: Okay. So what about having like a content table of contents? I think maybe I've heard you talk about that before, but I also have a client who said, Should I, should we have, that topic cluster available on one page so that people can click to each blog post that support
[00:22:27] Crystal Waddell: this topic?
[00:22:28] Crystal Waddell: Or not? Is that not necessary? Would, do you have a suggestion for that?
[00:22:33] Holly Weidman: Sometimes it's determined by the theme that they're using. Some of the newer themes are laying that out more clearly. already. So the older ones don't, and then you're, manually having to do that.
[00:22:44] Holly Weidman: But I, what I've found is there are some topics where they'll come from Google, they'll find the post and they may click through to a one more post or so.
That's usually one and a half pages [00:23:00] is what most people view. Having a list of this is everything about the topic. Most of your readers are not going to sit there and read five blog posts of information so that they can be well knowledge, grounded in that topic.
[00:23:18] Holly Weidman: They're usually gonna come from Google. They're gonna read one post, maybe another post and then they're gonna be gone.
Now, On your end, what I do recommend doing is interlinking all of those so that as Google crawls through it, it sees all of these are linked together on decluttering. All your decluttering posts are linked because it follows it.
[00:23:46] Holly Weidman: And I think that's even more important than, necessarily having out laid out for your readers because your reader. People want things fast, they want the answer and then they wanna go. But for Google, you do want that linked together.[00:24:00]
[00:24:00] Brittany Herzberg: You mentioned people want things fast. For sure.
[00:24:03] Brittany Herzberg: Something I've heard about recently is, and I can't remember where I heard it, who I heard it from, but they were talking about having at the top of their blog post, how many minutes it might take someone to read. Is that a practice that you recommend?
[00:24:17] Holly Weidman: It's available. I don't know that it's, necessarily changed my mind on whether I'm gonna read something or not.
[00:24:25] Holly Weidman: I do Know e even from using hot Jar or whatever to see where people are reading. People read and click a lot of times on your headings, so make sure your headings are there. When you're finished writing a post, read through it with the headings only.
And see if it makes sense. If there's information missing, go back and add some headings because people skim, people slide fast on their phone, but they should be able to get the gist of it and then find that [00:25:00] particular part that actually answers their specific question.
[00:25:04] Brittany Herzberg: I a hundred percent agree. , .
[00:25:05] Crystal Waddell: All right. So we gotta give bee her flowers on that one because she's talked about that before.
[00:25:09] Crystal Waddell: .
[00:25:09] Crystal Waddell: But I have a follow up question then. In terms of e-commerce, the biggest question I get from everybody is, where does this convert?
[00:25:17] Crystal Waddell: How's this gonna make me money? What, how is this gonna convert to more sales? And I know your approach is a little bit different because it's more, ad sense and media vine or whatever, but have, if you've ever worked with an e-commerce seller or someone who's actually trying to get.
[00:25:33] Crystal Waddell: An opt-in, an email address from a site visitor, do you have any tips on getting that conversion?
[00:25:41] Holly Weidman: In those instances, I would have to ask them, where does this fall in the funnel? . And when you're doing your keyword research, you're looking at. Is this post brand new general awareness that my business even exists?
[00:25:58] Holly Weidman: Or is this someone [00:26:00] searching specifically for my product, they know about me, they're already trying to learn more. Or is this a Nike alternative kind of a question where they're very close to purchasing when people are comparing different, Kinds of products, that's a bottom of the funnel, a keyword question.
[00:26:23] Holly Weidman: So knowing where your keyword falls in the funnel is really important for what kind of conversion they're going to make at that specific juncture. If it's general awareness and like they just found you randomly, they know nothing about your business or your products. They're probably not going to convert.
[00:26:46] Holly Weidman: So putting a really hard by my product call to action may not be your best option, and that's maybe why it's a lower conversion. But I think you need to have all of those parts of it [00:27:00] in your blog topics and your strategy. In order to be at the top working on just email signups and that works best.
[00:27:10] Holly Weidman: When you give them something very specific that's free to get them on your email list, and then you build the trust and then you talk about your product, and then they say on average it takes people 17 times now to hear about you in order to convert to a purchase. And I think in. , her digital age, that number is going up because there's so much more information coming at people all the time.
[00:27:38] Holly Weidman: Okay. I just
[00:27:39] Crystal Waddell: have to throw a wrench in that statistic because GA four gave me a conversion insight for my personal right E-commerce site, and it said that it took seven.
[00:27:51] Holly Weidman: Seven. Oh good. So you're still at seven? . . Good. So
[00:27:54] Crystal Waddell: yeah, so that was pretty exciting and it really made me rethink my strategy because I was like, okay, if it's [00:28:00] seven, then what are the seven?
[00:28:01] Crystal Waddell: I know that the blog is one, I know that Pinterest is another right? And so it's okay, then Facebook and some retargeting ads that I'm running on Facebook is another. So I love those insights because then it helps you think, okay, how can I. Get back in front of that person X number of times.
[00:28:19] Holly Weidman: And see, that is one of the things GA four is getting more granular. I think pretty much everyone hates it right now because there's such a learning curve to it, but, Once we get over the, I don't wanna change and get into it and see how much more data they're giving, especially on the e-commerce side of things, like that's why they built it.
[00:28:50] Holly Weidman: , it's for e-commerce and being able to track those events more carefully. I think people are eventually gonna really [00:29:00] like it because you can see more granular how it's affecting me in tracking. Yeah. Yeah. I
[00:29:07] Brittany Herzberg: think both Crystal and I really like GA four, but it is, we ha I know we've heard people don't love it, but you brought up tracking the magical word and I know we wanted to talk about that today.
[00:29:16] Brittany Herzberg: So do you have certain programs you like using or is there a way that someone listening could learn to. Whatever they need to track. Tell us all the things.
[00:29:26] Holly Weidman: Yes. I think tracking is one of the most important parts of blogging and being a business owner because you can't improve what you don't track.
[00:29:40] Holly Weidman: And when you track it, if you're meeting the goal that you've set or if you're falling below it, it's like a basketball game. We know who's winning because there's a scoreboard. , it's the same thing in your business if you're not actually tracking certain metrics. You don't know if it's working or not, and maybe you're completely wasting your [00:30:00] time by doing certain parts of your business because they're just not doing anything for your goals.
[00:30:06] Holly Weidman: I've put together my own metrics for what I like, because I know what my bloggers need and my clients need. And once you. Monitoring those every week, every month you start to see where you're growing, where you're not growing, what you need to improve. And I've made up my own, spreadsheet of information that I track.
[00:30:32] Holly Weidman: And for my bloggers, it is page views. Page views is important because, completely corresponds to ad revenue that they're paid. So we're tracking that and Google Analytics, but then Google Search Console as well, because Google Analytics will give you, Everything that's happening, social referrals, email, and just organic traffic.
[00:30:59] Holly Weidman: Whereas Google Search [00:31:00] Console focuses just on all of your organic traffic, who's typing in what keywords, how they're finding you that way. So depending on. If you're looking at overall numbers, you're gonna wanna look at Google Analytics. If you're looking specifically at, how's my organic traffic working?
[00:31:19] Holly Weidman: What are my blog posts doing for me? Where's my traffic coming from? You're gonna wanna look at that aspect of it. So really narrowing it down and figuring it out. Okay.
[00:31:33] Crystal Waddell: This is good. This is helpful. Yeah, and I wanted to say I love that analogy. You've come up with some great analogies, the Legos and the colors and the Legos on the floor. Like I'm, part of me is just thinking ouch, because, I've
[00:31:46] Holly Weidman: stepped on those before . But
[00:31:47] Crystal Waddell: I, it really paints a picture.
[00:31:49] Crystal Waddell: And then the idea of basketball yeah, there's a scoreboard because we wanna know who wins. We wanna know how to win. We need to know like how much more we need to win. So I love those comparisons. But [00:32:00] one thing I was wondering the, a podcast I was just listening to a little bit ago, they were talking about the importance of doing a content audit, but they were of bumbling around about how to find past content.
[00:32:12] Crystal Waddell: And so I was wondering, I was like, do you have any tips for auditing past content? Just understanding, okay, is this performing well or right, do I need to update it? Do I need to delete it? Do I need to, go a different direction.
[00:32:26] Crystal Waddell: What do you think of that?
[00:32:28] Holly Weidman: There's two different ways to approach an audit.
[00:32:31] Holly Weidman: One is gonna be the actual content . If I go to the. Blog post, does it have images that I want on it? Do the images need to be updated cuz they're from 1970 ? What is the actual heading saying on this? Is it well written? Was that when I first started blogging and I put 300 words up and called it good?
[00:32:52] Holly Weidman: Do I just need to write more stuff for this? You're just evaluating how is this for my reader? [00:33:00] Experience when they're on this, does it answer their question? Are my links broken? Are my pictures broken? Just like looking at all of the, those pieces of it and evaluating it. Then there's the SEO side of it, and you're evaluating how many page views is this getting organically?
[00:33:21] Holly Weidman: Is my traffic coming from Google for this post? Or am I getting thousands a month from Pinterest? Like where is the traffic for this post coming from? Where is it performing well? Is it performing well? And you're evaluating that side of the information.
[00:33:40] Crystal Waddell: Okay. So the follow up to that would be, so if it's performing well on Pinterest, would you then say, okay, we need to make more pins for Pinterest, or would you say, okay, that's great that it's performing well on Pinterest, but we need to improve its performance on Google?
[00:33:57] Crystal Waddell: Would you do an either or in that [00:34:00] situation?
[00:34:01] Holly Weidman: If it's a really good one on Pinterest, I would say make more pin. No, follow that up. Get new content out there. That's slightly different. Images are different, text is different and get 'em on some new boards. So having multiple pins for people to pin from, I think is really important for Pinterest.
[00:34:20] Holly Weidman: And then organically, I would be looking at it, are you getting traffic? And he here's my judge. If it's. Getting 300 page views a month, that's a pretty normal amount of traffic organically. If you're above that, you're gonna have some that really way outperform and you need to evaluate what are my top performing posts.
[00:34:47] Holly Weidman: So I would take Google Analytics. I go in there and I'll look at six months at a time. Click on six months, and then you go down to pages and you can see how many pages, [00:35:00] which specific U R L is getting all the traffic. And just start with your clicks. Set for your highest. So you're looking at your highest P page views for the last six months, and then in a descending order, and you can export it and put it in A sheet, Google sheet, and then just look at it that way.
[00:35:20] Holly Weidman: I love color coding things, so I will color code anything. So if they're getting 10 pages with 10,000 page views, I'm putting, anything 10,000 and above in a top category, then I'm looking at, okay, 10,000 to 5,000. 5,000 to a thousand in the last six months.
[00:35:38] Holly Weidman: And then below that, if , their top pages are getting 500, then I start at 500 to a hundred or whatever. and usually you don't wanna s to start with your top 15 pages posts that are doing really well for you. Don't touch those. , those are your breadwinners. They're bringing you the money.
[00:35:57] Holly Weidman: Don't touch 'em, leave them for now. [00:36:00] Start on your lower and anything over 300 page views usually and working up. For the, from the bottom, sometimes the middle, depending. If you're working with 200 posts on the site, you might start on in the middle category pages, pages two, three, and four that you wanna move up in the search rankings.
[00:36:20] Holly Weidman: But if they've got a thousand, you're not gonna wanna start at something that's making 300 page views. You're gonna wanna start up. So it depends on what size. You're working with in order to evaluate it. But I will just do a really top tier, middle tier, bottom of the, bucket.
[00:36:37] Holly Weidman: And then just evaluate what kind of content is it for the reader experience, and then look at the SEO side of things and start working through. I Like to have something that's manageable. , start with these 50 posts. We're gonna work on these 50 posts. We're gonna update 'em, however, those, notes, write notes for each [00:37:00] one and go through it.
[00:37:01] Holly Weidman: But just looking at what do you have and how do you improve it.
[00:37:06] Holly Weidman: Yeah, I think bee's gonna ask another question here in just a minute, but I wanted to say thank you for giving us a specific. Way to approach this because Yeah. What I heard was okay, identify what your top performers are, let 'em ride, and then get that middle section
[00:37:21] Holly Weidman: powered up. Yep. And I really love that. I really appreciate that because sometimes it can just seem so overwhelming. It's like, Where do you even jump in at? And then to build a strategy off of it and have a process that other people can understand as well. That was so very helpful. So I just wanna say thank you
[00:37:40] Holly Weidman: for that.
[00:37:41] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, hundred percent.
[00:37:42] Holly Weidman: Clients come and they're like, I got 2000 posts done here. What do I do? Where do I start? It's okay, we have to make it manageable, like it has to be able to be a task that we can actually accomplish. Let's do the next 2000 in a year, like this is overwhelming.
[00:37:57] Holly Weidman: 50. We can start with 50. Break it down.
[00:37:59] Brittany Herzberg: So I [00:38:00] actually have two questions and one is tied into what you were just talking about. I recently saw someone posting on Instagram about how the Google update really affected their website performance and mm-hmm. ,, and I know that their biggest concern was with their blogs, and I think they had over 2000 blogs.
[00:38:16] Brittany Herzberg: , I'm gonna share a little bit and I would love to hear your response, but in that case, do you think there's hope that someone's, scoring can improve? And if so, what might be like their first step to making the new update happy?
[00:38:32] Holly Weidman: I think every time I've seen it long enough now, every time there's an.
[00:38:39] Holly Weidman: Somebody's gonna be affected by it and they may or may not know why they were affected by it. you go to the Facebook group and you start like freaking out. Most people in a Facebook group or wherever are not going to be able to help you because they do not have all of the information, background information about your site.
[00:38:58] Holly Weidman: They're not looking at your Google [00:39:00] Analytics search console, none of that. They don't know. Maybe you've been already declining and you haven't done anything about it. And this just Google's okay, this is it. They may have had a penalty. Maybe they don't know how to look for one.
[00:39:13] Holly Weidman: So it's easy to see things come up in Facebook groups and be like, oh no, now I need to like panic about my website. Don't don't take what is happening to somebody else and then internalize it. Cuz you can do crazy things when you shouldn't be doing crazy things because of. So you really need to look at your own information, figure out have I actually been affected by it?
[00:39:42] Holly Weidman: And then do your due diligence to figure out if it was like the exact same day a Google update happened. How long is this Google update gonna take to roll out? Sometimes like it may. On day one, but then [00:40:00] it's a 14 day rollout. Don't do anything on your site if it's still rolling out because there is a flux.
[00:40:08] Holly Weidman: Sometimes it will come back. Sometimes they'll make adjustments and you'll see your traffic come back up. But you need to really comb through your own site and figure out. Is the update done? Has it settled out? Do I actually know why it's targeting? Did all my reviews disappear and everything else is fine?
[00:40:28] Holly Weidman: And it was a review update. You really need to nail down that reason why, and then wait it out. Make calculated decisions, not panic decisions. , and then go ahead and figure out which ones you need to update. But yeah, like we've, I've worked on a lot of different posts where it's declined, maybe not for.
[00:40:51] Holly Weidman: A Google update, but just in general. , you've got competition that's looking at your site. You've got other people that are making brand new posts and outranking you.[00:41:00] Google makes updates literally every single day. There are just some that are a little bit larger, and that's usually when people, freak out, but make calculated decisions when you're making changes, not just a knee jerk panic.
[00:41:16] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. I loved that advice because I remember the first time someone said that they were impacted by helpful content, even though some people say, oh, it was a whole lot of ado about nothing, but there were some people that said, yeah, my traffic really dropped, and I'm thinking, oh, mine was fine.
[00:41:30] Crystal Waddell: , is, it was like that with Pinterest too. Like I, it took me months to experience any kind of drop off that other people were talking about. . But my domain authority did drop eight points. It was six to eight. Probably right after helpful content. And I think I just figured out why this weekend and Ooh.
[00:41:47] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. And I again, I was listening to podcasts all the way to the beach. I was speaking at a conference and I'm listening to SEO podcast the whole time. They were talking about helpful content, actually impacted websites like [00:42:00] p. As much or more than anything. And that's where a lot of my back links come from.
[00:42:06] Crystal Waddell: Yeah, and so I thought, oh my gosh, that's crazy. And so I'm, to your point, I'm so glad that I didn't have this knee-jerk reaction that, oh, I need to fix all this stuff on my side, or I need to do all these things. because the other thing that I like to tell people to take a look at is, their bottom line revenue Yes.
[00:42:25] Crystal Waddell: Is the other thing. I'm getting so much more traffic even than I was last year and my revenue's up and every platform that I sell on. So yeah, that's the deciding factor for me. Now, if there was a major dip in revenue, I'm gonna look a little bit deeper.
[00:42:42] Brittany Herzberg: Right.
[00:42:42] Crystal Waddell: The other thing I would say is I didn't realize.
[00:42:45] Crystal Waddell: Baidu, or B A I D U was a Russian search engine. I think that's what it's called.
[00:42:51] Crystal Waddell: Bedu. Oh, or something like that. Yeah. Yeah. And with Pinterest, I had seen that on my Google Analytics before and I was like, what is this? , and so [00:43:00] with the impact of what's going on globally, that also probably played a role as well.
[00:43:06] Crystal Waddell: I just thought that it's so interesting how things that you would never even associate with your business
[00:43:11] Holly Weidman: Yes.
[00:43:12] Crystal Waddell: Can play a role in something like domain authority
[00:43:15] Holly Weidman: and then one thing circling back to tracking all of your information and why you're tracking it.
[00:43:21] Holly Weidman: I do like to track in 90 day goals because, . That's just how my brain works and that's how my life functions. Very essentially short term, like I have no clue what I'm doing eight, eight months from now. I don't know what I'm doing two years from now. I definitely don't know what I'm doing in five years.
[00:43:41] Holly Weidman: Like those big, long range planning sessions just do not work for me, and I've found, The case with most business owners too, because we do work within that shorter time. So looking at your goals of what you want to accomplish in a 90 day window and [00:44:00] saying, okay, these are my goals for the next 90 days.
[00:44:03] Holly Weidman: I want to get this many page views. I wanna hit this revenue. I wanna track which products are selling for me and doing really well, or whatever. When you put that shorter timeframe on it, you. Pivot quicker. And make more decisions that impact you down the road. And so that shorter timeframe of goal planning, I, I've found to be really helpful in business because, quarters we flow with quarters for a lot of different things and it just, it does help you see what's working and what's not.
[00:44:44] Holly Weidman: And then you're able to tweak and adjust it. And even if you fall short, like you're better off having fallen short of that goal because it was a goal. , you've been focused on it, and then you're able to make changes for the next [00:45:00] 90 days. So I encourage people to, to think in shorter windows of time, not just the big planners.
[00:45:08] Holly Weidman: yeah. Years of work.
[00:45:10] Brittany Herzberg: That's really helpful. This has been absolutely incredible. If someone is listening and they wanna connect with you where
[00:45:15] Holly Weidman: shall they go? ? Yes. Two places. My website and Instagram. I love Instagram. That's my nurture platform, really like making relationships there.
[00:45:26] Holly Weidman: It seems very in the moment and I love that. But it's, SEOissweet.com and SEOissweet on Instagram as.
[00:45:34] Brittany Herzberg: I always love seeing your handle. It's just like Uhhuh. It's such a lovely, gentle, like it makes me so happy every time I see your handle, .
[00:45:41] Holly Weidman: That's great. That's great.
[00:45:44] Brittany Herzberg: Thanks for being on with us.
[00:45:45] Brittany Herzberg: This was really informative and super helpful. I have so many notes of like things that I can go
[00:45:49] Holly Weidman: and do now. Awesome.
[00:45:51] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. This is another one of those episodes where I'm like, Hey, we can all go back and learn from it,
[00:45:55] Holly Weidman: including the hosts, . Exactly. Yeah, we're
[00:45:57] Brittany Herzberg: learning
[00:45:58] Holly Weidman: right alongside you,
[00:45:59] Holly Weidman: Yeah. [00:46:00] That's awesome. That's awesome. you so much. Yes, thank you for having me. I've really enjoyed it. Thanks, Holly. And everyone who's listening, dear a friend, have a wonderful day.
[00:46:11] Holly Weidman: Bye.
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