SEO – Use Search Console to Create Blog Posts that Rank

Go to search console

  • Click “Performance” in the side bar
  • Click “Position”
  • Click “Pages” (near the bottom-third of the page on the left)
  • Click on a high-performing post in terms of Impressions and Clicks in google
  • With the specific page/post selected, click on queries
  • Make a note of all relevant queries in the top 100
  • See if these queries can be added to the ranking post
  • Find any queries that are not directly related to your post
  • Create a new post specifically about this/these queries (if you rank for it without a specific post – you’ll rank better with a specific post for that query)
  • In the original post – put an internal link to the new post

Building Your Brand – Why Blog, Why Use Display Ads etc?

“You’ll never get yourself off the treadmill of paid ads, if you don’t build your brand”

Someone on a Search Podcast, 2019


It’s very easy to dismiss online content, blogs, image assets and even display ads as pretty much useless – because you don’t have the instant gratification of seeing leads and/or sales.

This is completely understandable; especially if you have a background in sales – where your job has been to ‘finish off the lead’ and get a sale.

However, if you are in it for the long (or medium) run, then building your brand is a must. Whether you are a tradesman or a giant corporation, your brand’s reputation and the brand-awareness is your safety net when it comes to consistent website traffic, leads & sales.

It takes time to build a brand – but once it is built, those people who come to you direct because they know who you are – are effectively free – or at least very cheap in comparison to some of the cost per click of Google Search Ads these days.

Building a brand is not easy however. Take my other blog for example – Blackbeltwhitehat.com

The blog has over 600 pages of content, lots of it really long, in-depth and time-consuming to produce. The site has 5,000-10,000 visitors per month, but virtually nobody comes to my website via a branded search on Google.

This could be down to one specific reason – the domain name is crap and hard to remember.

I’ve bought a few more memorable domains (like WokeMMA.com “Woke” being an ironic term for self-awareness used in the MMA & Jiu Jitsu communities) and I am currently weighing up the time & effort of re-branding everything like GoogleMyBusiness, TrustPilot etc. – plus all my back-links currently point to blackbeltwhitehat.com (I’m aware of 301s etc. but I’ll still definitely see a drop in rankings).

My blog is ultimately a hobby that I’ve invested less than $50 into over 6 years.  But if I had some more budget – I’d put together a plan to build my brand online…

Logo Design Illustrator
Blackbeltwhitehat.com

How to Build a Brand Online

First make sure you know your target audience & do one of those SWOT analysis. Then make specific goals to establish some brand KPIs.

Here are some ideas on what to do next:

  • Get a relevant, easy to remember domain name!

Learn from my mistake, a short catchy domain name is an easy-win if you are just starting out from scratch. A lot of the best and obvious domain name will be taken however, so you’ll have to do some research first. If you are just starting out, don’t name your business until you secure your domain name!

  • Display Ads

Depending on your niche, you can set tiny max CPC bids in some instances – and they’ll still get thousands of impressions for very little spend. Gmail ads work particularly well for (potential) low CPM (cost per 1000 impressions).

Rotate your display ads’ design & colours to stop people ignoring them due to ‘banner blindness’.

  • Blog & Outreach

Blog are great for reaching people who are researching a potential purchase.

For example, I landed on Perfect Keto’s blog a few times whilst researching Exogenous Ketones. Then ended up buying their branded product on Keto-pro.co.uk; because, for what ever reason, I trusted their brand.

Create great content, with statistics, images and video – and then outreach it – i.e. send it to relevant blogs and websites.

If you can afford it, use “PR-Level” outreach and contact national newspapers etc. This can be done via websites such as gorkana

If you content gets links too – then great – that’s good for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Doing some of your own exclusive research and generating tables of statistics are great for generating back-links naturally i.e. passively.

So consider doing some market research using Google surveys etc. These guys calculated RV/Campervan depreciation in value, just by looking at vehicles for sale online and get hundreds of back-links.

To turn blog’s into direct sales, you can also use relevant ‘CTA’ images below your blog.

For example, if you post a blog about the Walking Path’s of Snowdonia on your Snowdonia-based-bed-&-breakfast website; consider adding a relevant & clickable ‘book now’ and/or ‘get your free brochure’ button with eye-catching image at the bottom of the post. Many people now do this with newsletter sign up pop ups, which are a bit annoying but do work.

Before you start a blog, do your keyword research.

  • Create Tools

Content is great – but tools tend to do better than copy. For example, NerdWallet’s top page in terms of organic traffic – is their mortgage calculator.

  • Reviews

As well as brand awareness, you want some social-proofing of your brand. Start with a free account on Trustpilot and GoogleMyBusiness

  • Video & Social Media

The number 1 mistake people make on social media is to harp on about their brand all the time. Be entertaining, provide useful information and insightful comments. If you are over-promotional, people will not follow you. Build some authority by providing helpful insights that your target market will appreciate.

Videos & podcasts can be costly in terms of time. If you don’t want to set up your own podcast, guest-appearance on other people’s podcasts can generate valuable awareness and also back-links to your website (important for Search Engine Optimisation/Rankings).

  • Build an amazing product and/or service

This is your foundation and one of the reasons that Apple is so successful. An LSD-fueled Steve Jobs came up with some amazing ideas and concepts. The brand also turned itself into unique hybrid of tech & fashion thanks to their pioneering products.

The big, light-up apple on the back of Macbooks no doubt was a design aimed at building brand awareness too!

Please note – I realise this blog has a rubbish social media following. But that’s due to lack of time/money investment. I generally just use this blog as somewhere to record my thoughts & to remember how to do all things marketing related. E.g. here are my notes so I remember how to use Screaming Frog to scrape OG tags.

See my 2019 guide to Keyword Research by Clicking Here.

KW Research in 2020

Hello,

Just thought I’d write a post about how I go about doing my SEO & PPC Keyword Research these days.

  1. Add head term to google search bar in chrome

Make a note of the suggested searches & predicted searches

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 12.29.22
Predicted Searches in the Address/Search Bar
suggested google searches
Related/Suggested Searches at the Bottom

2. Google ‘Alphabet Soup’

Put in your main head term and then add a

then b, then c and so on

Make a note of the relevant suggestions

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 12.33.18
Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 12.33.21
Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 12.33.23

For product related KWs, this also works if you go to the desktop version of the Google Play Store.

3. Have a Quick Look on Reddit & Amazon

Have a look at any relevant subreddits on Reddit – e.g. https://www.reddit.com/r/jeffbridges/

Do a quick search for “KW” site:reddit.com

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 12.41.49.png

Have a look on Amazon, just search your head term and see what products appear

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 12.42.40.png

In the example above .- “The Dude and the Zen Master” might be a decent KW

Other forums can help too. For example, when looking for KWs for my MMA blog, I’ll look on sherdog forums for trending & frequent topics.

4. Add Competitor Domains to Ubersuggest

https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ or use the SEMRush plugin.

If necessary, we could export the KWs in this report, and then filter in Excel for those containing “Jeff Bridges”

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 12.46.34.png

5. Upload your Final KW List to Keyword Planner

https://ads.google.com/intl/en_uk/home/tools/keyword-planner/

A final note on search volumes.

For some blogs and websites, even keywords with 0 monthly searches may be relevant.

My other blog – blackbeltwhitehat.com has built all of its traffic off KWs that Google KW planner says has 0 searches.

It all depends on how authoritative your website is and your competitors are. You can go after bigger, more popular KWs if you are a huge website with a DA of 90. It’s a different ball game if you are running a personal blog with a DA of 15

Try and include a number of the relevant searches in your articles etc.

Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing

online marketing

My friend has an interview on Tuesday for a marketing manager role, and has never done any online marketing, so here goes my introduction to it…

About the title-image, sorry it’s a bit sexist – studies suggest that faces looking at you are the best for Calls to Action (CTAs) and for thumbnails on Youtube videos.

The above image is used for my marketing video and thought it would double up to get people to click on my blog post. May as well embed the video now! Here you go:

Internet Marketing Jargon

Online marketing has so many abbreviations, that if you don’t know them, it sounds like another language

What is a “Browser”?

A browser is Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari on an Apple device or Opera. It’s a piece of software for navigating the internet and downloading/rendering websites.

DO NOT say that you use Internet Explorer in an online marketing interview. Say that you use Chrome.

The main reason that people use Chrome and Firefox is that you can get plugins/extensions for Google Chrome. The most popular in online marketing is probably the ‘Mozbar’ which helps you see the ‘Domain Authority’ of a website.

What is a CMS?

Content Management System.  A typical CMS is WordPress. This site is made using the free version of wordpress that uses the WordPress hosting platform, a free design template. The wordpress software can also be used when hosted with a different company such as GoDaddy, and the paid WordPress software allows plugins.

What are “WordPress Plugins”?

They are add-ons to your site that allows you to add ‘functionality’. For example you might add a Paypal plugin that allows you to create a shopping cart and payment system on your site to make in an online shop/ecommerce site.

What does “SEO” Stand For?

Search Engine Optimisation. This is the process of ranking as high as possible on Google and other search engines such as Bing.com.

Some terms to be aware of in SEO:
Meta Description – This is the description that you add the theof your website page’s code that shows in the Google Results. It just described what is on the page. Meta Descriptions should be 155 characters or less.

Meta Title .- this shows at the top of the tab in your browser and in the Google results pages.

meta-description
Image Source

What does “CRO” Stand for?

Conversion Rate Optimisation. This is the process of getting people who visit your website to buy things or sign up for a newsletter or submit a form. If you have an online shop, a ‘conversion’ would normally be a purchase on your website.

What does “PPC” Stand for?

Pay Per Click advertising (not Payment Protection Cover as I thought in my interview at the bank I used to work at). The 2 most popular forms of this are Google Adwords and Facebook advertising. Facebook is usually more effective on a smaller budget.

SEOmoz-PPC-vs.-SEO2

Image Source

What is HTML?

HTML stands for hyper text markup language. It structures websites whilst something called CSS – Cascading Style Sheets.

The best place to start learning HTML is w3 Schools. It can be overwhelming at first, but it’s easy when you get the hang of it. It’s just a load of numbers and letters inside angle brackets <> to remember. There’s no working out or formulas to remember, just letters and numbers.

HTML is one of the ways a websites ‘talks’ to a browser, so that the browser can render the website and show you what’s on there.
CSS makes it looks nice, adding colours, styles etc. For example the CSS might tell the browser to make all the main headings red and all the list items italic.

What is DA?

DA stands for Domain Authority. DA is an indication of how ‘powerful’ or authoritative a website is. The higher the DA (score of 1-100), the more valuable a link is from that website.

What is a Link?

A link or a hyperlink is a bit of text or an image, that you click to go to another website. For example this red underlined text is a link to a fitness blog. When you click it, you should be taken to another blog.

The more links a website has, from high quality websites, the more likely it is to rank higher in Google. You can gain links by creating great content, you can create and run marketing campaigns that people will want to write about, or you can be naughty and pay for some links.

What is Guest Posting?

Guest posting is an old school tactic to gain links to your website and rank on Google. You create an article/blog post, send it to a blogger in an email and ask if they would like to use it on their website. The article will contain a link back to your own website. The typical response from a blogger is either “no thanks” or “okay, that will cost $50”.

Now, this is against Google guidelines and you can get penalised by Google for doing this. People still do though. In theory, if a blogger accepts a payment to link to another website, in any form, whether it is via a blog post or sidebar-link or banner, then it should be a ‘no-follow’ link.

What is a NoFollow Link?

A no follow link has the HTML code – rel=”nofollow” added to it.

This tells Google NOT to count this link and not factor it in to it’s ranking algorithm.

What is the Google Algorithm?

It’s the formula that Google uses to work out where to rank websites on their results pages. Apparently nobody knows all of it, but it looks at how many other websites link to yours, the quality of the websites linking to yours, the quality of your website and its content and how fast your website loads.

What are Keywords?

Keywords or KWs, are search terms used in Google. If I search for “Red apples” then the keyword is “red apples”.
Rather confusingly, search phrases are also called keywords. You want to find KWs with lots of monthly searches, that don’t have lots of competition and add them to your content and headings in a natural format.  Don’t stuff them in everywhere.

Use the Keyword Planner Tool to find KWs with lots of monthly searches. And do a Google search to see which websites rank for those terms. If the top 10 websites for that KW are the likes of the BBC, Fox News and Amazon, you probably aren’t going to rank on the first page for that term.

Long Tail Keywords are less popular KWS, with less searches but often ‘convert’ to sales etc. better.

A Head Term might be “Tennis Balls”
A Long Tail Keyword might be “Buy Yellow Slazenger Tennis Balls UK”

“Tennis Balls” will have a much higher volume of monthly searches but will be very hard to rank on the first page of Google for. “Buy Yellow Slazenger Tennis Balls UK” will have less search volume each month, but will be easier to rank for and people searching for that term are more likely to buy/convert.

Tools for Internet Marketing

A CMS – such as WordPress so that you can create a website

A Keyword Tool such as the Google Keyword Planner. So that you can see what keywords to try and rank for or advertise with if you’re using PPC ads.

Google Analytics – to see who is coming to your site, where from and to what pages.

Google Chrome and some extensions such as the Moz Bar

Screaming Frog for Technical SEO. This gets all the information from a website and downloads it into an Excel Spreadsheet.

SEO Mofo – to make sure your meta titles & descriptions are the correct length. Add a CTA – Call To Action such as “Book Now!” or “Learn More” at the end of your descriptions.

Yoast SEO Plugin – This makes it easy to add meta titles and descriptions as you make your webpages and blog posts.