The Ultimate SEO Webinar with Paul Lombard
In this exclusive webinar, Paul covers:
The history of SEO: What the landscape looked like before Google and why Google became the number one Search engine in the world.
Ecommerce SEO: What strategies you can use to get your store ranking on page one of organic search.
The future of SEO: What voice and app SEO means to the future of e-commerce marketing. Does social media affect your ranking?
Find the full transcript of the webinar below:
Cool. Great. Well, thank you very much, Kevin, and hello to everyone that is watching. And it’s really exciting to be talking to people in e-commerce for the world. Yeah, so probably not surprise you that we’re going to be talking about SEO. So let me actually just minimise this window and jump into the presentation. So for the presentation in April screen sharing.
Right, so yeah, hope everyone’s doing well.
Yeah, I’m in Cape Town. And, yeah, it’s
in lockdown, as I suppose a lot of people are at the moment. Cool. So yeah, let’s jump into it. Great. So SEO ecommerce, SEO. It’s quite a topic, and good. So it’s my first ever webinar. So it’s pretty exciting for us, we’re going to be talking about e commerce SEO. And my name is Paul Lombard. I’m the co-founder of content. Here you can see me jumping on the beach. I’m from Cape Town, and Cartello is a specialist ecommerce SEO company. So a lot of digital consultancies that do multiple channels, which is really cool. But Cartello we’re specialists in e-commerce. So yeah, my two favourite topics. So we have a passion for tech and growth and all kinds of things are related around commerce. And some of our current invoice clients, obviously became an enterprise check. And now she wants it for all purposes, etc. And yeah, so it’d be really cool to connect with everyone over LinkedIn. So on the presentation, I don’t know if we can share the presentation afterwards. But over there, it’d be cool to connect with people on LinkedIn. So yeah, feel free to reach out. I get
interrupted if one thing I forgot, we will share the link of the complete webinar after this if our recording goes according to plan, and we will be able to share the presentation as well. So all of this will be presented to all that end got to it.
Okay, cool. Yeah, great. So we can share the actual presentation. So the thing is, with presentations and webinars it’s often quite abstract. So I’m trying to keep this presentation with as many trivers as possible at home. So we’ve got three sections coming up. So we’re going to be talking very, very briefly about the history of, of SEO. So we’re going to watch a little video like we did in grade school, like a video day. And then the second section is really where we get into it, ecommerce, SEO. And then finally, just the book ended the future on VCR, which I’ll just briefly go through. I really want to focus on the middle section. So I’ll pause for questions. And I’ll keep the presentation on like an intermediate kind
I know some people are watching that are quite advanced. So for those people, I’ll just drop in one little advanced tidbit on every slide. So we can, you know, hopefully the presentation is more interesting for you that way. And then what I also want to do for you guys is I assume there’s a lot of marketing people watching. Maybe there’s people who are in charge of growth and they need to motivate, for spending or activity. So I’m going to try and keep it very, like, you know, each like make a checkpoint where we pause and we just say like, these are the things that you have to go do to try and make it as practical as possible. Cool. So, right, here we go. Exciting. So in the beginning, in 1998, in other words, this is the beginning. According to SEO people, Google launched and the rest is history. So why did Google come out on top? I mean, if you’re old enough, like I am to remember Alta Vista, you remember dogpile? Yahoo. Yahoo is around actually, and why is that Google became the market leader. Why is it that their ad platform AdWords was so popular that they turned into a multi billion dollar company. So I want to watch this little video and here’s where we’re going to take fades and see how this goes when we break the presentation. So we’re going to move from the presentation and we are going to present this video, I just want to show you just a very brief video, where this is a really cool documentary where they talk about the history and the founding of Google and the main innovation. So if I click on Play video
and just before the video plays, I’ll just meet
So hopefully everyone could hear that it was okay. But um, so that is a really cool documentary if anyone wants to go watch it. It’s quite old now National Geographic.
And it’s really cool. It talks about the founding of Google by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. And Kevin, hopefully you can see my presentation window again, just let me know if you can’t. And, and that is the really interesting part. So Google was able to discern a really interesting insight. Rather than just looking at the on page text. They looked at the number of backlinks coming into a page to determine how important that was. And this is a monumental inside that differentiated them. And that’s why, you know, today you don’t talk about diversity on Google. So that was a really, really key insight. And back then it’s if we have a look at the slide, for instance, this is what a search result result used to look like. So, outcomes are search engines, they figure out a way of organising all of human knowledge into searchable, usable search results. Whereas AltaVista and other search engines, you would search stuff and you wouldn’t get what you were looking for. So that’s why Google shut up to prominence. And if you’re old enough to remember search results from the early 90s. You’ll remember this kind of typical text result that’s really simple. It’s quaint in today’s standards, and, you know, it was simple, but the cool thing was that SEO was really, really easy to do. You could rank overnight and by Just putting in your keyword onto the page, and there you go, you and I can have a website, you link to me, I link to you. And then, you know, all of a sudden we rank. So what does it look like today? What does the search result look like today? Well, it’s become far more dynamic. As things have become more commercial, the web is mainstream. The results have become really dynamic. Google suggests you get shopping ads that show up at the top, you can add more ad results, you get local backups here, and local results. So the upshot of all of this is that, yes, you know, you have many more opportunities to gain traffic, and you can get image results and you can get traffic by images and videos, all kinds of cool methods of getting traffic. But not only is it more complicated, in that you have mobile results that are different now to desktop results. Your search results won’t necessarily be the same as my search results. Not only that, but it’s also obviously become far more competitive. So you’re competing with your competitors online. And you’re also competing with Google in terms of Google search results. So if we have a look at a typical search results, and then Kevin, interrupt me if this doesn’t go too well, but yeah, so here we have a typical search results. So this is a modern search result. So you can see all of these beautiful shopping ads on the right hand side, by the way, you’re going to be able to do this for organic very soon. So this is a new piece of news that’s come out recently. So stick around to the end. I’m gonna show you how you can get your organic listings into these product results. So you have a dynamic search result, you have Google ads, they no longer have the big pink strip to tell you that it’s an ad. You have these tiny little labels that look like organic results. So you have a So much more going on. So the result of this is that, that with all of this evolution in Google search results, yes, more people are joining. But it’s becoming much, much harder and much more complicated. You have to track all of this, you have to tie this all back to your ga data, your ranking data, in order to see what the actual upshot is like, No longer can you just say I type in my query and I show up number five, because mobile results personalised results are different. So the upshot of this is the takeaway for you here is that
the results are way more dynamic, you have a lot more opportunity to gain traction, get eyeballs onto your brand, but it’s a lot harder, it’s become a lot more difficult. So here is where a lot of people get derailed. And in this presentation, I’m going to try and keep it to three basic things and But this is this is the overall view of how complicated SEO can get. Seo can cross over with design, data science development, content, PR, even PR it can cross over with. And here’s a few examples of this that may ring a bell with you at your company at the moment. I don’t know what happens when UX people redesign a page. And for the mobile page, they put a pop up, you know, sign up to a newsletter. Do they know that that pop up is perhaps stopping Google from reaching the current content? And what about your PPC guys so maybe have a PPC guy in house and SEO company external? Are they communicating? You know, PPC can troll blades and gather useful data that SEO can leverage off and vice versa? And maybe even your buyers and planners when they’re planning the next season of your shopping for your fashion site? Are they really going to name the shoes category footwear Like they always do? Do they know that people don’t really search for footwear? They search for shoes? How is their planning? Are they looking at SEO data? How do they know that Nike isn’t less popular than Adidas or vice versa, when they’re doing any buying or planning work? So SEO can cross over in multiple ways. And so here’s my first little advanced tidbit, if all of this is boring to us, so far, hopefully not. And what about SEO smoke tests? Okay, I’m just gonna throw this out there. So for example, like how developers write code, and because SEO crosses over so many different areas, and how about writing unit tests or series of unit tests that look at specifically SEO. So when you do a new deployment, that deploy can’t go live unless your canonical tags, your meta description is still where it’s supposed to be. So I think that’s pretty cool for everyone. That’s kind of like yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I do research. I’ve got copyright and all that kind of stuff. So. So yeah, we’re going to try and keep it as simple as possible. Okay, SEO is difficult. There’s a lot going on. But in this presentation, we’re going to focus on three areas, the foundation, building upwards and amplifying that build. And in more concrete terms, we’re going to look at technical SEO, making sure that your technical SEO is correct. Then once your foundations are based, how to build using content, and then how to just accelerate that process with backlinks, because remember from the video that we just watched, core 10 to Google’s algorithm, which is proprietary and blackbox is the number of backlinks coming into your website. Remember, that’s a key thing. It’s the amount of people that link to you because I can always say, Hey, I’m a really important page for hotels in New York and I can put that sex everywhere on My page, but I can manipulate that that’s really easy. But to get other people to link to me and to say, that page is important for hotels in New York, that was the genius insight. So this is what we’re going to do, we’re going to break it down into those three sections. So Kevin is still with me. It’s a really useful tool.
Good, okay. Cool. So it’s all about audio and all that kind of stuff. Okay, so here, here’s the meat and bones of it. This is the stuff I really wanted. So I’m going to switch to my browser really often. And if it gets annoying, or doesn’t work, just pay me now. But I really wanted to look at practical examples. And this is something that I or any other good SEO consultant would do with you guys with you and your brands. We do these kinds of exercises. Okay, first concept of your foundation. gotta lay your foundation properly for your website is crawling and indexing. Google is just Like a user, but instead of it being a user visiting your website, it is Google software that’s visiting your website, they have something called a crawler. And that is if we have a little bit of time, I’ve got a crawler prepared on my machine to show you. But basically, it’s a piece of software that goes up and it fixes your homepage, for instance, and then it finds all the links on your home page, and then it begins to crawl your website. And the more important your website is, the more you get crawled. But the problem is often people are neglecting the foundations of SEO with broken crawling, and broken indexation. So if you do not have something called Google Search Console, you can think of Google Search Console as Google Analytics for SEO. It’s a bit of a strange analogy, but it does work. That is what you see on the right hand side of the slide. This is a typical Google Search Console report. And this gives you really cool data. It shows you how often Google comes to the page Many, two sides. I mean, pages have been downloaded, how many errors occurred, and then a whole bunch of more arcane kinds of details like, you know, is it canonical, all that kind of stuff. So, key takeaway number one is, make sure if you do not have Google Search Console installed, and it’s free, please get it done. Or please check with your marketing department or someone similar, that you’ve got the software. So a typical example of broken crawling for is, for instance, we have a client at the moment. And they did a rebo. And they detected with IP detection, all the US visitors and they redirected all their US visitors to the US website. And you may think, okay, that that makes sense, right? You’ve got to do that. But Googlebot is also crawling from a US IP address. So the result is that their Kuwaiti website, the UAE website, Saudi Arabian website, Not getting crawled. So this is the fundamental check that we have to do on your site to make sure that that your crawling is there’s nothing inimical to discovery of content. And then if you’re an advanced user, to make sure that it’s as optimised as possible, you don’t want Googlebot to crawl crazy parameters often. So here, my advanced tip for this slide is nginx, or Apache or something like that. That’ll have log files, just go read for Googlebot, save those as a request, take files. And yeah, pop it over to me and I can maybe have a look for you as well. So yeah, that’s, that’s some analysis that we have to do. So step number one, make sure that you’re getting crawled property. So XML sitemaps. Let’s have a look, for example. So here is this screen hopefully that you can see, this is a typical Google Search Console report. Screaming Frog is the tool that I would use to do demo what crawling looks like that will not we’re not going to do right now. And this is an XML sitemap. Here’s a site map for makeup shacks. And this is just like a shopping feeder, it’s a feed directly to Google that has all your important pages. If you don’t have this or it’s out of days, or the links are broken, check with your development department that you can get this fixed as quickly as possible, because that’s a direct path that’s pointing into all of your important pages. If you’re a mega user, if you’ve got a million I just made that frees up methods. If you’re a mega side of a million page plus plus, then start having to think about
on page links versus XML sitemaps. You don’t have to link to every single product on your site. It’s, it’s, there’s no point to it, and it’s also going to drag your SEO down. So my advice tip here would be Get your product into XML site feed and then use internal scoring algorithms that you’ve hopefully written for your e commerce large e commerce site to inform how you were linking to me. So you’re passing that PageRank to the correct pages. So if you’re a big site, and he’s done all your, you know, your problems, fine. That’s something I’ll definitely haven’t looked at. as well for the
whole before you carry on there, maybe you can just give us a very long elevator pitch description of what PageRank is. And just a very high level overview of words, which would be the most important pages to rank. So if you wanted to push, let’s say, like, from the 8020 principle, and you want to just put like most of your efforts into just a handful of pages, which one should those be? Should they be product pages? Should they be collections of category pages? I’m not sure. He addresses the rest of your presentation. But, but maybe just that could be trying to work out how much effort to allocate and potentially budget and time, what are the important pages to focus on?
Okay, well, then obviously, obviously, it depends on your business. And it depends on things like marketing strategy and margins and things like that. But to kind of ignore that and and try to answer that is that you want to make sure that you are targeting the correct pages. And you can do that with the internal and external pages, right? So to go back to your original question, what PageRank is, think about PageRank as a condiment, so if I’m a very authoritative website, like say, for example, I The New York Times, and I write an article and I say, by the way, it’s been proven that skin butter butter you put is really good for your skin. And I link to your site and you’re selling those kinds of products. Because I’m such an authoritative website. The link that I’m sending to you will be far more valuable in links coming in from smaller sites. But that same concept applies internally. So I talked about this a little bit in the presentation, you can sculpt your internal PageRank the same way. So say for instance, you know, okay, we’ve spoken to our supplier in Asia, and next year, we’re doing bicycles. We’re no longer doing. I don’t know, tennis rackets. We’re discontinuing tennis racquets. You can already change your internal site structure to create internal links to your bicycle pages to add to that pages, pages page rank up. So it depends on how you shape yourself, and zamel Patreon. And then the question becomes a business question. Well, how difficult is how much PPC money am I spending on a keyword versus where am I ranking? versus how much PageRank? Do I need to rank? So I touched a little bit on that later on in the presentation. But that’s an excellent question.
And the rule of thumb for which you just say, like, by default, your homepage should be the most highly linked to page for any e-commerce store.
All right. One thing to add is obviously, this is like, if you have a large catalogue with a lot of skews, you can go and do this for every product. And you can try the script will block you. So it’ll be challenging. So again, 8020 principle, choose your best product or best selling ones, the ones you really want to focus on. And make sure that they’re ranked in Google, just go to your searches, make sure that your site, use the site colon tag, and then your URL, and then the keywords that you want to look for, or the brand names or the product name. So just focus on the most important one. And make sure those are ranked and really worked hard to get though. The Google Yeah, very
good point. Because even if you’re making a site that is going to be very tedious and difficult to do, so do this as a kind of just an exploration thing of oh my gosh, my, my electronics page is not being found, oh gosh, let’s look into this or whatever it is. So the next Okay, so that might have been a little bit boring. For people who are not technically inclined or interested, I think the next one applies to everyone in the virtual world. Are all my products healthy? So that’s a really good question. And we’re going to look at what that actually means. So here we have typical product results. And I want to give you five, I think it’s five. But I’m going to give you five things to go look at on all of, again, not all of your products, just go pick a product and test it out. Look for these five things. And that’s a good departure point. Number one is your title tag unique to the title, not to be confused with the header that you can read on the page. This is the title tag that sits in the code of the header page. Typically in Chrome for example, when you hover over the tab at the top, that is the title tag. Is your title tag unique and is your meta description unique and keyword rich. Little bit later we’ll talk about keywords. Those are, that’s checkpoint one and two. Number three is Do you have an h1 tag? And is there only one h1 tag? Number four is images, especially with image search. So a couple years ago when people Google Images, if you’re in jewellery, or if you’re in cars or even fashion, people are very visual. And they do from time to time search images. And since a few years ago, clicking on those image results will take you through to the actual website and launches the pop up image. So image search is something worth doing. So have these checkpoints and make sure that they are in place. And we’ll talk a little bit. We’ll look at an example in a minute. And for those people that are SEO, proficient, how about these suggestions on product pages? What about app deep linking? Do you have an app and is your app a really high performer in terms of conversions, you can do something called deep linking. So then, if I have your app installed on my phone, and I search something on Google and your organic result comes up, that click will then take me through to your app, rather than your websites. So might not be great for SEO statistics at the end of the day, but if your conversion on a mobile app is really good, then harness those clicks and send them to the app. If you’re a blogger or content strategist, please make sure that when you’re talking about ballerina pumps, you’re writing about ballerina, embed your products, if possible. And then finally, related products. So often we’ll see people who also shopped whatever, shop the following things, but remember, Google is a crawl and it’s not going to have cookies, so it’s not going to if you’re generating that stuff with cookie and user behaviour stuff, it’s not going to those links are not going to Here. So what can you do to generate suggested products that are related and again, 8020 principle, make sure that that’s the top 20% of products that you push that way. And so let’s let’s have a look at a specific example.
So I skipped over some stuff. So that’s, that’s pretty bad, but okay.
They have something called a kitchen bias. So I suppose if you want to be a boss in the kitchen, you buy a kitchen, kitchen boss, and it’s a blender as everyone can see, and they’ve got this nice, beautiful big image and you know, it’s good and they’ve got related products and the design is really good such a solid page. And if we have a look at a tool, and all the tools and everything are linked at the bottom of the presentation, this thing is called a meta inspector. So you just click on Chrome. And you can see here the title tab. The title is kitchen boss and then after that They basically list the breadcrumbs. So this is
It’s pretty good, not bad. And then in the description, they’ve got the description of the products all in one shopping, landing, etc. Again, pretty good. So they’ve at least got a title description. So that’s one and two. What they don’t have is an h1 tag. So here you can see a warning, missing h1 tag. Now, this is not going to add your SEO, but it’s something worth doing. So what I personally would do for them, I consult with them and say, Okay, let’s look at the name of the product. Let’s see how the database is organised. Let’s cut out this particular kitchen boss text. Let’s wrap it in an h1 tag. And then let’s just use CSS to style it back together. So it looks exactly the same. So that when Google crawls this page, they get a nice juicy h1. But users will get the user experience then they Something else I would have had to check with is and for you guys to go home and have a think about is what data do you have in your database that you can use on a product level to to improve your product pages? So what for instance, what different description elements do you have? And so for example here, because of the way the planning or the buying team or whatever is, they organised this product into a category called mixes, blenders and juicers, which makes sense. But the thing is, if we massage the data for your SEO in a clever way, hopefully with some other data, we can determine that this product is not a mixer, and it’s not a juicer, per se, it’s a blender, for instance. Then we can cut out that keyword and we can use that keyword in the title tag. So now we can do something like kitchen boss Blender instead. It being this mixer and blender and kitchen appliance and appliance, which is not really focused on what this product is about. So my point here is that, take a step back, take a holistic view of your entire product level, and be smart about it, consult with your developers, look at the database and see how you can do something to optimise thousands of patients at the same time. And then just for those, those, those of you who are already doing some of that kind of stuff, let’s have a look here, they do something really cool. They’ve got a really cool review here. They’ve got one very enthusiastic reviewer that’s given a five star called anonymous.
Anonymous has posted a review, and
Okay, so that’s really cool. So they’re collecting review data, which is difficult to do, and they’re displaying it on the page. But when you head over to structured data testing tools and you plug in that URL, you see no data structure is detected. And what structured data is it tells Google about your products. So not only things like price and stock and availability, but also things like the review of the star ratings and things like that. So for instance, here’s an example. Here we can see take a lot, and they’ve got this very nice, handsome looking five star result with five to 10 reviews. So our example that we looked at, they collect that review doctor, but they don’t actually use it for SEO purposes. So that’s something I would definitely tell them to say, Hey, guys, let’s, let’s use this and it’s quite easy to do that. It’s quite easy to mock up and then my final points on product pages are free for everyone. And I think this is probably going to be relevant to everyone to some degree. And again, Kevin’s Pareto principle 8020 things is highly important here is the concept of unique content. Google doesn’t like they tolerate it. It’s not bad, per se. It’s not horrendous, but they like unique content. So when you’re describing this blender on, and you’re writing text for it, or you’re getting text for, make sure it’s unique. So when you pull in descriptions from a manufacturer, fine, that’s okay. But try to make it unique. You don’t have to rewrite and reinvent the book on kitchen boss blenders. But you just need to make sure it’s unique. And get it, go ahead and do this for some of your products. Take a string of text, put it into Google, do a search and you’ll see him you’ll see it says you’ll see this highlighting of bolded text and you’ll see multiple sites using the same text. This is how this is one of the things this is how shopping works. I mean, it’s not a bad thing. You know you pull in product descriptions from the manufacturer but for you top performing products, if you have the resources or the capacity to do it, get somebody to make those descriptions you need higher copywriting company or whatever it is for your top products, because uniqueness is something that’s going to be really important for for SEO.
So all I just interrupt you there for two seconds, we have a couple of questions related to tools and what are the best tools for particular platforms. I think what we’ll discuss at the end of the presentation is just a very high level again, just to recap some of the tools that you use, some of them will be listed in the presentation. So that’s great. And some of the questions are quite specific to WooCommerce to tools for Shopify, so we’ll be able to answer some of those questions a bit later. So if you guys can just hold off on those. I’m also looking at the clock and I’m aware that we get Kosta allocated time so I anticipate this to run out Which I think is fine since we all are in lockdown. And we don’t have any way to go. And I was running up to the coffee shop. So And guys, if you have to go, we saw one of our one of our viewers was selling disposable mops and they left, they had some customers ready to play some orders. So if you do have to go, and you’re welcome to come back, we must still be here. But also we will definitely be sitting around the recording just three. Pull, I just want to stop you rock epic, because I think this is a great question about ranking. So the question was, what do I do if the wrong page is ranking for a chosen keyword? How do I solve that problem?
Well, that’s a really interesting one. So
one of the things I would have a look at is to see how many different pages are competing for the same keyword. And then I look at your on page targeting. So for instance, if you have multiple Nike products that are all mentioning Nike, white high tops, I would either pick one of them and have the others link to that one so that when Google crawls, it crawls the correct destination. If that doesn’t work, and you really want that one page to rank, you would canonical, you would put in a canonical declaration from the duplicate to the original version. But if you want all of them to rank, you would make to some degree, but you have a preferred version, I would write unique content for all of them, and see what the results are. Because sometimes it’s nice if someone’s typing in makeup brushes, and that you get resolved number four and five that you get two results. So it might be part of your strategy. But if it’s cannibalization canonical, or creating internal links to prefer version,
Yeah, I think that’s a great step. So I think that’s very important to remember. I had two friends Like Page Six, which I love, you know, I come from 16 years of productive dimension. And my best tip, which is sometimes very hard for musicians, is have a barcode listed on your product page. So a lot of people forget about the barcode, but it’s a critical piece of metadata for search. So if you’re using some barcode scanning app, they will search Google for barcodes in the search field. And if you don’t have a barcode listed on your website, your products are never going to get found for that barcode. But also, it’s a good way to indicate to Google what the product actually it’s because Google has its own barcode, and this will be able to infer what that product is. It also is really helpful Google s. So shopping ads have mandatory requirements for barcodes and a lot of countries. So if you’re not collecting barcodes now he starts collecting barcodes that are really important. And my second tip is don’t copy and pay The information you get from your suppliers, verbatim is your product page. Because I guarantee you if there’s 10 people selling that product or a merchant selling a product, nine out of 10 of them are gonna have exactly the same content that they also got from the supplier. So if you’re trying to avoid duplicate content, try, you know, 50% of the supplies information, 50% of your own information, or all of the supplies information, plus some of your own information committed to that. So it’s really important to create unique content, use the supply and give you that really make it your own. And don’t just copy and paste like everyone else will be doing. And there are a couple of questions streaming in our poll. I’m just going to wait a bit longer and then I’ll do that.