Semantic Search & SEO – Using Python and Google Colab

Semantic search adds context and meaning to search results. For example, if someone is searching for “Lego” – do they want to buy Lego toys, or see a Lego movie or TV show (Ninjago is great). Another example might be “Tesla” – do people want to see the latest self-driving car, or learn more about Tesla the scientist and inventor?

  • Make sure you understand search intent and any confusing searches like Tesla(inventor or car?), Jaguar (car or animal?), etc
  • Look for structured data opportunities
  • Optimise internal links – especially if you are using a “Pillar Post” and “Cluster Page” structure
  • Follow traditional on page SEO best practices with headers, meta titles, alt tags etc

SMA Marketing have done a cool YouTube video about Semantic Search and they recommend tools including:

  • Wordlift
  • Frase
  • Advanced Custom Fields for WordPress
  • Google Colab with a SpaCy

Before you publish a post – look at the search results for the keyword(s) you are optimising the post for. Check in incognito in Chrome to remove most of the personalisation of the results.

For any answer boxes or snippets, you can click the “3 dots” to get information about the results:

As well as the snippets, you can click the 3 dots next to any organic result. Here’s another result for “MMA training program pdf” with some additional information:

With this in mind – if you are looking to rank for “MMA training program pdf” then you will want to include the search terms highlighted in the “About this result” box: mma, training, program, pdf and ideally LSI keywords “workout” and “plan”.

It’s also a good idea to scroll down to the bottom of the SERP and check out the “related searches”

Take a look too at any breadcrumb results that pull through below the organic listings. Combining all this information will give you a good idea as to what Google understands by your search query and what people are looking for too.

Semantic Search & NLP

This is a bit techy, but thankfully, the guy at SMA Marketing (thank you if you’re reading this) has put together a file/load of python code that does most of the work for us. You can find it here – https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1PI6JBn06i3xNUdEuHZ9xKPG3oSRi1AUm?usp=sharing#scrollTo=uatWEoHp5nxZ

Hover over [1] and click the play icon that appears (highlighted yellow in screenshot below)

When that section has finished loading and refreshing, scroll down to the “Installation tensorflow + transformers + pipelines” section and click the play icon there.

When that’s finished doing it’s thing, scroll down again, and add your search query to the uQuery_1: section:

add your query and then press the “play” button on the left hand side opposite the uQuery_1 line

You should then see the top 10 organic results from Google on the left hand side – in the form of a list of URLs

Next, you can scrape all the results by scrolling down to the “Scraping results with Trafilatura” section and hover over the “[ ]” and press play again:

Next, when the scraping of results is done – scroll down to “Analyze terms from the corpus of results” section and click the play button that appears when you hover over “[ ]”

Next! when that’s done click the play button on the section full of code starting with:

“df_1[‘top_result’] = [‘Top 3’ if x <= 3 else ‘Positions 4 – 10’ for x in df_1[‘position’]] # add top_result = True when position <=3 “

Finally – scroll down and click the play button on the left of the “Visualizing the Top Results” section.

On the right hand side where it says “Top Top 3” and lists a load of keywords/terms – these are frequent and meaningful (apparently) terms used in the top 3 results for your search term.

Below that, you can see the terms used in the results from 4-10

Terms at the top of the graph are used frequently in the top 3 results e.g. “Mini bands”

Terms on the right are used frequently by the results in positions 4-10

From the graph above, I can see that for the search term “resistance bands” the top 3 results are using some terms, not used by 4-10 – including “Mini bands”, “superbands” “pick bodylastics”

  • If you click on a term/keyword in the graph – a ton of information appears just below:

e.g. if I click “mini bands”

Google Colab TOol

It’s interesting that “mini bands” is not featured at all in the results positioned 4-10

If you were currently ranking in position 7 for example, you’d probably want to look at adding “mini bands” into your post or product page

You can now go to the left-side-bar and click “Top 25 Terms” and click the “play icon” to refresh the data:

Semantic SEO tool

Obviously – use your experience etc and take the results with a pinch of salt – some won’t be relevant.

Natural Language Processing

next click on “Natural Langauge Processing” in the side-menu

Click the “play” icons next to “df_entity =df_1[df_1[‘position’] < 6]” and the section below.

When they have finished running click the play icon next to “Extracting Entities”

Click “play” on the “remove duplicates” section and again on the “Visualising Data” section

This should present you with a colourful table, with more terms and keywords – although for me most of the terms weren’t relevant in this instance 😦

You can also copy the output from the “Extracting the content from Top 5” section:

Python Google Colab
Then paste it into the DEMO/API for NLP that Google have created here:

https://cloud.google.com/natural-language#section-2

You can then click the different tabs/headings and get some cool insights

Google NLP API

Remember to scroll right down to the bottom, as you’ll find some additional insights about important terms and their relevance

The Google NLP API is pretty interesting. You can also copy and paste your existing page copy into it, and see what Google categories different terms as, and how “salient” or important/relevant it thinks each term is. For some reason, it thinks “band” is an organisation in the above screenshot. You can look to improve the interpretations by adding relevant contextual copy around the term on the page, by using schema and internal links.

Data Studio – Quick Tips (Advanced)

Speed Up Data Studio Reports (Significantly) – Extract Data

To speed up your reports – you can “Extract Data” and cache it.

It can help to have 2 copies of the report up – so you can see which metrics and dimensions you need to select when adding the data to extract and cache (also a good idea to test the extract data method on a copy of the report in case you faff anything up)

Go to “Add Data” in the top menu-bar

  • Click on “Extract Data”
  • Choose the data you need – eg Google Analytics
  • Add the dimensions and metrics you need for the report
  • On the Right hand side – click to turn “Auto Update” on
  • Select “daily”
  • Click “Save and Extract”

Sometimes you have to faff around a bit with the dimensions – Google Analytics doesn’t seem to like caching a dimension, but still goes super-quick if you cache the metrics only.

Edit in Bulk

If you want to edit all of the charts or tables on the page, in “Edit” mode, right click – go to “Select” and then choose “Tables on page” or whatever type of chart, scorecard or table you’ve selected.

This works instead of CTRL clicking or SHIFT clicking – but you can only change charts or visualisations of the same type at the same time. You can change the style, add a comparison date range etc.

Brand Colour Theme in Data Studio

Click on “Them and Layout” at the top of the screen and then, near the bottom right click “Extract Theme from Image” – you can then upload your logo and choose a theme with your brand colours.

If your shite at presentation like me, this is helpful.

Copy & Paste Styles

In Data Studio – If you want to copy a style from a chart or table, right click it, then choose “copy”

Click another chart/table and the right click – Paste Special – Paste Style Only

Add Chart Filters to an Entire Report

If you want to add a filter to all the data in a report, then it can be a pain going through the charts individually.

Right click on a blank part of the page –

  • Click “Current Page Settings”
  • On the right hand side – click “Create a Filter”
  • Choose or create a filter to apply to all the page

To add a filter to multiple pages

  • Right click on a blank part of the page
  • click “Report Settings”
  • click “Add a filter” in the right side-menu

Add Elements to All Pages of a Report in Data Studio

If you want to add a header and date range selector, for example, to all the pages in the report – add the elements to a page, then right click on the element – and choose “Make report-level”

Quickly Align Elements in Data Studio

Click and drag to select all the elements

Right click – choose “align” – “middle” to get everything inline horizontally

To get an equal space between all the elements, so they’re spaced evenly:

– click and drag to select the elements

– right click – select “Distribute”

– “horizontally” to space evenly across the page, or “vertically” to distribute evenly in a vertical manner.

You can also tidy up individual tables to align the columns vertically – right click and select “”Fit to data”

See our Data Studio Fields & Filters blog post – https://businessdaduk.com/2021/12/15/data-studio-fields-filters-notes/

Data Studio – Data Blending

Bit of a ball ache to work out

There are a few ways to blend data, here’s my fave:

  • Go to “Resources” in the main menu at the top
  • Click “manage blended data” option
  • Click “Add a Data View”
  • Choose a Data Source e.g. Search Console
  • Then “Add a Table” and include another data Source for blending – e.g. GA
    or click “blend data” on an existing table or chart – and select another data source
  • Choose a common “key” to both data sources e.g. “Date”
  • Choose the metrics you want from each Data Source – I wanted to get daily revenue into my search console reports:

Using the blended data above, I can now add Revenue from Google Analytics to my search console reports. I have to remember however, that the revenue is simply attributed to each day and not any queries

**Update to the screenshot –

add a table filter to get organic only revenue from GA.

To be able to filter Revenue to organic only – you need to add a “Dimension” to the table on the right – click the “+” next to “Add dimension” in the GA data and then “Default Channel Grouping” – you can then create a filter in the report:

Blending Search Console Data in Data Studio

Another common reason to blend data – is to get average position data from Search Console “Site Impression reports, added to “URL Impression” data:

URL impression vs site impression

Incidentally –

the main difference between Data Studio Search Console URL Impression Vs Site Impression data – is that Site Impression contains the Average Position metric and URL Impression contains the Landing Page metric. So when you’re blending the data from both sources, make sure you have “Landing Page” as a metric and “Average Position”.

Data Studio Fields & Filters – Notes

Once you’ve created a field – add it to your chart as a Dimension

Mixed Case URLs

Having a mix of URL cases in the letters can faff with your data as D.S. might think each capitalisation variation is a new URL:

  • Click on the Data Tab to the right – then “Create new field” or “Add a Field”
  • Name the field “Lower Source” type in “LOWER(“
  • Then add “Source” from “Available Fields” to the left
  • Click “Save” and add “Lower Source” to the table as a Dimension

Concatenate Data

  • Create or “Add a Field”
  • In the Formula box type “CONCAT” and then select the fields you want to use
  • Close the formula with the final “)” and save it

Internal Site Searches – Extract Search Query

Make the data look nicer and get the search term on its own in the table.

  • Select to a “Add a Field”
  • Use REGEXP_EXTRACT formula to pull out the search terms and get rid of “/search?q”
  • Use the REGEX shown below:

Search Queries – Pull Out Questions – What, Why, When?

  • Create / Add a New Field
  • Add REGEX as shown below and save
  • Add New Field as a Dimension to the table
  • Create a table/data Filter so that you include only table rows that equate to “True” in the new dimension/column

CASE Formulas in Data Studio

CASE formulas are basically “If this, then do that” formulas

When X happens, Then do Y

You can use the CASE Formula to classify and group channels together

For example:

WHEN query matches “who”, then display text “Who?” in the table

  • In the Formula – you need a “catch all” default for when nothing is true in the criteria
  • If the search doesn’t contain “who, what, why” etc. then:
    ELSE “others”

    So if the search term, doesn’t match any of the REGEX criteria – classify it as “others”
– Save the CASE statement
  • Add the new field – to the table or report

Date Ranges & Filter Controls

Taken me ages to work this out – I’ve only just twigged:

You can add Comparisons, Search Boxes, Drop Down Menus and all sorts to your Data Studio Reports

For controls and filters to work – you need the chart or table to have “Default Date Range” set to “Auto”

See my post about REGEX for SEO here.

Ta

If you want a pre-made Data Studio template, you can send me some money and hope for the best.

Online Marketing for New Businesses

Started a business?

Got a website?

Okay, now you need to look at building your brand and getting traffic and engagement on your website and social media accounts.

Website Checklist

  • Trust signals – include membership badges, university logos prominently
  • Humanize the site – include images and videos of people who work for the business
  • Social Proof – include reviews and testimonials. TrustPilot and video testimonials work well
  • Site Speed – make sure the site is quick and works perfectly on mobile devices
  • EAT – Expertise Authority & Trust – show your credentials on the about us page
  • Contact Form – Make it as easy as possible to be contacted
  • Trust & Transparency – Include full contact info if possible – address, tel number, email
  • Have you got Google Analytics & Search Console installed?

You will also need to think about the colour scheme and imagery.

Think about what mood you want to portray

https://www.bedtracks.com/blog/2017/6/15/how-to-coordinate-music-with-the-colour-in-your-video

  • Strong Call To Action

You will probably want a “Call to Action” or “CTA” button, such as “Buy Now”, “Learn More” or “Contact Us”

This CTA button is generally placed “above the fold” on most pages, so that people don’t have to scroll down or look for a way to get in touch or buy from you.

“Join Free for a Month” – is the CTA on Netflix’s homepage (at the time of writing)

For more expensive, high end or though-out purchases such as – buying a car or contacting a therapist, sometimes it’s better to have the CTA below the fold. The best thing to do is test it, with Google Optimize.

For more information about “Conversion Rate Opimization” (CRO), see this article:

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/conversion-rate-optimization-guide

For a full SEO (Search Engine Optimization) checklist for your website – to help get visibility on Google – see this article – https://backlinko.com/seo-checklist

Google My Business

Register your website and your office with Google My Business

You can go through the steps here:

https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/

Google will send out a postcard to your office (or home) address

The postcard has a code – so you can confirm you are at that address

Local Directories

Register your business with high quality, local directories such as

  • Bing Places
  • Yelp
  • Yell
  • Free Index
  • Open Di

Try and get on any local government directories too.

Social Media & Captioned Videos

If relevant, register your business on:

  • Linkedin
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok


    Arguably the best way to get noticed on social media at the moment, is to create videos with captions – so they can be watched on mute.

Linkedin is said to have the greatest organic reach at the moment too – meaning you can get your video, image or text-post in front of more people, without paying for ads.

Social media sites like people posting videos too – because they drive a high rate of engagement and keep people on the site for longer.

  • Do NOT post to YouTube and then post a link on social media

Instead – upload your video direct to the platform.

Social media sites will tend to kill your reach if you post a link – they don’t want people to click and leave their website

YouTube is also showing on more and more Search Results Pages on Google.

Consider creating a YouTube channel with lots of informative, helpful and entertaining content. You can then edit the videos and post to specific social media platforms.

Jab, Jab, Jab – Right Hook

General principle of content and social media marketing by Gary V.

Identify your target market

Identify their issues and pain points

Post helpful content related to their pain points and problems

Do NOT constantly promote your business – slip in the odd “Right Hook”, every 3 or 4 posts

People do not want to be sold to constantly, they want helpful, insightful and funny content.

For example.

If you target market is small business owners, take a look on Quora and Reddit and see what people are talking about. If a common theme is Facebook advertising for example, make some helpful videos and blog posts about Facebook marketing.

SEO, PPC and More

The above is just a foundation.

If you have the time and resources, you will ideally produce lots of insightful blog content, earn lots of inbound links and work your way to the top of Google.

You will also want to consider “PPC” – Pay Per Click ads on Google, Facebook and Linkedin.

One beginner mistake to avoid with ads – is sending people to your homepage.

Have a specific “landing page” for each advertising campaign.

oh – make sure you have a good looking logo too. You can use Canva or hire someone on PeoplePerHour.com

A good place to start with SEO is to check your website using an On-Page SEO Checklist.

Videos are great for social media, and YouTube is also starting to show more and more often in the Google results. I would personally have a good go at gaining an online presence using videos and social media – particularly Linkedin at the moment.

Build a Brand

Here’s a good article that some hero wrote about building your brand as a small business

  • Nail down your USP
  • Identify other propositions “why use me/us and not the competitor?”
  • Write down your brand story
  • Use high quality photography & videography (avoid stock pictures)

Consider making customer support a key element of your brand – this can help with online reviews too. Pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase consumer stages are all opportunities to impress and help.

Get Content Ideas from Competitor Websites (SEMRush)

Requires:

  • SEMRush
  • A computer
  • The internet

If competitor has articles and blog posts inside a subfolder e.g. “buyers-guides” or “/blog” – make a note of the sub-folder name

  • Add Competitor’s homepage URL in “Search Bar” on SEMRush Homepage
  • Click “Organic Research”
  • Click on the “Positions” tab
  • Click on “Advanced Filter” and add the subfolder name e.g. “blog”
  • Export Results into Excel
  • Create a Pivot Table
  • Use the settings below – you’ll need to change position to “average” instead of “sum of”:
  • Tick the check-box for “URL” at the top
  • Drag search volume, traffic and position into “Values” box at the bottom right
  • Click the little arrow on the right of “Sum of Position” – go to “Value Field Settings” and choose “average”
  • Analyse which articles get the most traffic (approximately) and have most potential

Obvs. the URLs of my competitor have been blacked-out in the image above

If the competitor has all their articles at the root domain level e.g.

https://barbend.com/best-weightlifting-belts/

Just use SEMRush – Organic Research – Positions tab and download and pivot the pages data – no need for advanced filter

Sorting XML Sitemap URLs by Folder Depth

This can be handy if for example, you only want a list of products and they reside on folders that are 3 “/” deep into your URLs/Domain

For example:

  • Myshop.com/categorypages/subcategorypage/productpage/

I only want the URLs that reside at the third level – i.e. /productpage/

  1. Go to your XML sitemap – usually at Myshop.com/sitemap.xml
  2. Right click and “save as” – save on your computer
  3. Open Excel
  4. Go to the Developer Tab (you might need to add this as it’s not there by default)
  5. Click “Import”
  6. Browse to find your sitemap.xml and import it into Excel
  7. This usually pulls all your URLs into column 1 and other info like priority into separate columns
  8. Delete all the columns except the first one with your URLs in it
  9. Remove the https:// from the URLs with “find and replace” – On “Home” tab under “Find & Select” on the right
  10. In cell B2 add the function:
=LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2,"/",""))

11. Drag the formula down the rest of column B

12. You can now order column B by the number of “/” found in each URL

If different categories have different folder structures then you can conditionally format and use different colours for different categories and then do a multiple criteria sort – by colour, then folder depth (column B)

You can download an example spreadsheet with the formula in here

SEO Technical Audit Checklist (advanced)

The idea of technical SEO is to minimise the work of bots when they come to your website to index it on Google and Bing. Look at the build, the crawl and the rendering of the site.

Tools Required:

  • SEO Crawler such as Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl
  • Log File Analyzer – Screaming Frog has this too
  • Developer Tools – such as the ones found in Google Chrome – View>Developer>Developer Tools
  • Web Developer Toolbar – giving you the ability to turn off Javascript
  • Search Console
  • Bing Webmaster Tools – shows you geotargetting behaviour, gives you a second opinion on security etc.
  • Google Analytics – With onsite search tracking *

    *Great for tailoring copy and pages. Just turn it on and add query parameter

Tech SEO 1 – The Website Build & Setup

The website setup – a neglected element of many SEO tech audits.

  • Storage
    Do you have enough storage for your website now and in the near future? you can work this out by taking your average page size (times 1.5 to be safe), multiplied by the number of pages and posts, multiplied by 1+growth rate/100

for example, a site with an average page size of 1mb with 500 pages and an annual growth rate of 150%

1mb X 1.5 X 500 X 1.5 = 1125mb of storage required for the year.

You don’t want to be held to ransom by a webhost, because you have gone over your storage limit.

  • How is your site Logging Data?
    Before we think about web analytics, think about how your site is storing data.
    As a minimum, your site should be logging the date, the request, the referrer, the response and the User Agent – this is inline with the W3 Extended Format.
log file analyzer

When, what it was, where it came from, how the server responded and whether it was a browser or a bot that came to your site.

  • Blog Post Publishing
    Can authors and copywriters add meta titles, descriptions and schema easily? Some websites require a ‘code release’ to allow authors to add a meta description.
  • Site Maintenance & Updates – Accessibility & Permissions
    Along with the meta stuff – how much access does each user have to the code and backend of a website? How are permissions built in?
    This could and probably should be tailored to each team and their skillset.

    For example, can an author of a blog post easily compress an image?
    Can the same author update a menu (often not a good idea)
    Who can access the server to tune server performance?

Tech SEO 2 – The Crawl

  • Google Index

Carry out a site: search and check the number of pages compared to a crawl with Screaming Frog.

With a site: search (for example, search in Google for site:businessdaduk.com) – don’t trust the number of pages that Google tells you it has found, scrape the SERPs using Python on Link Clump:

Too many or too few URLs being indexed – both suggest there is a problem.

  • Correct Files in Place – e.g. Robots.txt
    Check these files carefully. Google says spaces are not an issue in Robots.txt files, but many coders and SEOers suggest this isn’t the case.

XML sitemaps also need to be correct and in place and submitted to search console. Be careful with the <lastmod> directive, lots of websites have lastmod but don’t update it when they update a page or post.

  • Response Codes
    Checking response codes with a browser plugin or Screaming Frog works 99% of the time, but to go next level, try using curl and command line. Curl avoids JS and gives you the response header.

Type in Curl – I and then the URL

e.g.

curl – I https://businessdaduk.com/

You need to download cURL which can be a ball ache if you need IT’s permission etc.

Anyway, if you do download it and run curl, your response should look like this:

Next enter an incorrect URL and make sure it results in a 404.

  • Canonical URLs
    Each ‘resource’ should have a single canonical address.

common causes of canonical issues include – sharing URLs/shortened URLs, tracking URLs and product option parameters.

The best way to check for any canonical issues is to check crawling behaviour and do this by checking log files.

You can check log files and analyse them, with Screaming Frog – the first 1,000 log files can be analysed with the free version (at time of writing).

Most of the time, your host will have your logfiles in the cPanel section, named something like “Raw Access”. The files are normally zipped with gzip, so you might need a piece of software to unzip them or just allow you to open them – although often you can still just drag and drop the files into Screaming Frog.

The Screaming Frog log file analyser, is a different download to the SEO site crawler – https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/log-file-analyser/

If the log files are in the tens of millions, you might need to go next level nerd and use grep in Linux command line

Read more about all things log file analysis-y on Ian Lurie’s Blog here.

This video tutorial about Linux might also be handy. I’ve stuck it on my brother’s old laptop. Probably should have asked first.

With product IDs, and other URL fragments, use a # instead of a ? to add tracking.

Using rel-canonical is a hint, not a directive. It’s a work around rather than a solution.

Remember also, that the server header, can override a canonical tag.

You can check your server headers using this tool – http://www.rexswain.com/httpview.html (at your own risk like)


Tech SEO 3 – Rendering & Speed

  • Lighthouse
    Use lighthouse, but use in with command line or use it in a browser with no browser add-ons.If you are not into Linux, use pingdom, GTMetrix and Lighthouse, ideally in a browser with no add-ons.

    Look out for too much code, but also invalid code. This might include things such as image alt tags, which aren’t marked up properly – some plugins will display the code just as ‘alt’ rather than alt=”blah”
  • Javascript
    Despite what Google says, all the SEO professionals that I follow the work of, state that client-side JS is still a site speed problem and potential ranking factor. Only use JS if you need it and use server-side JS.

    Use a browser add-on that lets you turn off JS and then check that your site is still full functional.

  • Schema

Finally, possibly in the wrong place down here – but use Screaming Frog or Deepcrawl to check your schema markup is correct.

You can add schema using the Yoast or Rank Math SEO plugins

The Actual Tech SEO Checklist (Without Waffle)

Basic Setup

  • Google Analytics, Search Console and Tag Manager all set up

Site Indexation

  • Sitemap & Robots.txt set up
  • Check appropriate use of robots tags and x-robots
  • Check site: search URLs vs crawl
  • Check internal links pointing to important pages
  • Check important pages are only 1 or 2 clicks from homepage

Site Speed

Tools – Lighthouse, GTMetrix, Pingdom

Check – Image size, domain & http requests, code bloat, Javascript use, optimal CSS delivery, code minification, browser cache, reduce redirects, reduce errors like 404s.

For render blocking JS and stuff, there are WordPress plugins like Autoptimize and the W3 Total Cache.

Make sure there are no unnecessary redirects, broken links or other shenanigans going on with status codes. Use Search Console and Screaming Frog to check.

Site UX

Mobile Friendly Test, Site Speed, time to interactive, consistent UX across devices and browsers

Consider adding breadcrumbs with schema markup.

Clean URLs

Image from Blogspot.com

Make sure URLs – Include a keyword, are short – use a dash/hyphen –

Secure Server HTTPS

Use a secure server, and make sure the unsecure version redirects to it

Allow Google to Crawl Resources

Google wants to crawl your external CSS and JS files. Use “Fetch as Google” in Search Console to check what Googlebot sees.

Hreflang Attribute

Check that you are using and implementing hreflang properly.

Tracking – Make Sure Tag Manager & Analytics are Working

Check tracking is working properly. You can check tracking coed is on each webpage with Screaming Frog.

Internal Linking

Make sure your ‘money pages’ or most profitable pages, get the most internal links

Content Audit

Redirect or unpublish thin content that gets zero traffic and has no links. **note on this, I had decent content that had no visits, I updated the H1 with a celebrity’s name and now it’s one of my best performing pages – so it’s not always a good idea to delete zero traffic pages**

Consider combining thin content into an in depth guide or article.

Use search console to see what keywords your content ranks for, what new content you could create (based on those keywords) and where you should point internal links.

Use Google Analytics data regarding internal site searches for keyword and content ideas 💡

Update old content

Fix meta titles and meta description issues – including low CTR

Find & Fix KW cannibalization

Optimize images – compress, alt text, file name

Check proper use of H1 and H2

See what questions etc. are pulled through into the rich snipetts and answer these within content

Do you have EAT? Expertise, Authority and Trust?

https://www.semrush.com/blog/seo-checklist/

You can download a rather messy Word Doc Template of my usual SEO technical checklist here:

https://smallbusinessdad.files.wordpress.com/2021/11/drewseotemplate.docx

It uses Screaming Frog, SEMRush and Search Console

How Not to be a Dick in Work

I’m a big admirer of Huel, from both the perspective of a marketer and as a nutritoinist (I have an MSc in Nutrition). I recently saw the Huel office wall – “Don’t be a Dick” on my Linkedin newsfeed:

It certainly got my attention. A good bit of social media marketing foda, if nothing else.

It does sound similar to Google’s, now infamous, “don’t be evil” mission statement or motto which has since been dropped. Probably because they’re a bit evil.

The potential problem with such a bold statement, is that – nobody thinks they are a dick. Even the laziest, most unpleasant people I’ve ever worked with, will constantly complain about others, but put themselves on a (dodgy) DIY pedestal. Self serving bias is an amazing thing.

This video explains the dickhead-bias a bit more – people who think they’re a good person, usually aren’t:

With this in mind, I thought I’d put together a post, on what I think, a dickhead’s behaviour typically entails; I hope it helps!

Summary

  • Feedback in private, not in public or in meetings
  • Do not try and control & do everything, then complain nobody is helping you
  • Do not talk over people in meetings
  • Don’t be aggressive in the office – it’s cowardly
  • Don’t ‘bad mouth’ any other colleagues – it makes other anxious
  • Find a productive way to vent your negative feelings – complaining & projecting negative emotions needs to be avoided at all costs*
  • Don’t make fun of people, unless they’re a good friend and it’s mutual banter
  • Don’t force your opinions on other people – unless they’re backed with data

Work hard, have a laugh, have each other’s backs

*Everyone needs to vent somehow, I personally don’t like it when people talk ill of colleagues, to other colleagues. Talking to someone outside of work is a good way to vent, you can then exaggerate all you want without damaging the professional reputation of whoever is in question. Exercise however, has to be the ultimate way to vent. You have the fuel in terms of anger or frustration, turn it into something positive by exercising.

Talking ill of other colleagues, will also make those around you anxious. Imagine let’s say, you talk badly about someone for making a mistake, everyone around you will automatically become more anxious about making a mistake and are less likely to fess up.


On a Personal Note (Bit of a mind-dump)

Please skip this bit unless you want to know my mental health history!

This section is a personal rant that I embarked upon after a few beers on a Saturday (what else can you do during lockdown!?)

SEO and MMA blog founder Drew Griffiths
Grapple & Strike – Light HeavyWeight Final – 2007

So that’s me, in the picture above, on the left – about to slam UFC fighter Jack Marshman into the canvas. You can watch the video here.

You’d think that 8 MMA fights, 1 Full Contact Kickboxing Fight and years’ of experience as a doorman, might make me immune to office bullying – but if you did – you would be very wrong.

I hold myself accountable for not building enough confidence and not being able to set boundaries very well, but being mocked, shouted at, literally screamed at, made fun of constantly – led me down a pretty slipperly mental health slope in the last 3 years.

Again, I’m happy to ‘own’ this, I need thicker skin, but a vent on my own blog can’t hurt, I don’t think?

Maybe I’m a threat to people, maybe they don’t get me, I don’t know but avoid being a dick if you can because it literally made me suicidal…

I honestly think that 90% of people try and be good and nice, but they don’t realise when they are being dickheads. Not many people have the emotional intelligence to detach and evaluate their behaviour. Either way, never take anything personally and remember “hurt people, hurt people” – i.e. people will issues, often become bullies or general wankers.

If you’ve been on the receiving end of dickhead-behaviour, don’t be bitter, finds ways to cope and improve your resilience, lean into negative feelings and use them positively as fuel for exercise etc.

We all just want to be accepted and valued, if you can help people to achieve a sense of both – then you’ll avoid being a dick.

The problem I found was that, the worse my mental health was, the more spaced-out I felt and the more people made fun of me.

My depression & anxiety, really started to get bad in university. I had some problems as a kid, after my dad died, I remember having loads of skin peeling of my hands – and the doctor saying it was stress related, think I would have been about 7. I had stomach and GI issues starting at age 14 (a typical physical symptom of anxiety) and then started with really, excruciating muscle & joint pain. This was really confusing, because I literally couldn’t sleep and my feet and knees were always really painful, I used to ice them all the time. I went to the doctor’s and he said – “nothing is red or swollen, so there can’t be any pain”. This really messed me up, as I thought that I was clearly in pain, but apparently that was impossible – so what was I feeling then? was I going mad? Since then I’ve learnt that muscle pain is also a typical symptom of anxiety, it’s also a common side-effect of the acid-reflux medication they’d had me on for about 10 years. Wankers!

Anyway, got a bollocking and called a nutter by my mum when I told her what the diagnosis was (depression & health-anxiety), girlfriend at the time also had a go at me – for feeling sorry for myself – eventhough I’d not really been feeling sorry for myself or at least I hadn’t gone to the doctors about that, I’d gone to see why my muscles and joints were constantly hurting.

Depression is often caused by inflammation – inflammation can be caused by a lot of things, but gut issues are a common source. Inflammation can cause the muscle pain, anxiety adds muscle tension in the mix and you have a very painful body – especially if you’ve been hammering acid-reflux medication for a decade. Inflammation often causes brain-fog.

Brain-fog is a nightmare. It’s such a vague term that it sounds like bullshit, but if you think how groggy your mind can become when you have a bad cold – it’s a bit like that. In fact, I’d describe my issues with mental health as a bit like having a cold, all the time – as I don’t really think particularly negatively, I just get a shit-load of physical symptoms.

So 2003, after getting told to basically stop moaning and get on with life, Brain-fog-galore, and riddled with muscle pain, I go to work in a local hotel gym. I’m basically a zombie with muscles. This is the problem with depression, the more depressed and/or anxious you feel, the more spaced-out you will become and the more people will give you shit.

I had a first class degree from a top 10 UK uni, and a Master’s degree, but would regularly get introduced to people as “the thick one” whilst in work.

No real issues with people when I got my next job in a bank call centre. The same when I got my first digital marketing job – everyone was pretty cool. I’ve fitted in great in some places, but other places, people have not been particularly nice.

I’m quite eccentric and don’t have any self-confidence, so I guess I’m an easy target? Or maybe I’m just a dick myself – who knows? I used to be Buddhist and would always turn the other cheek – I’ve recently changed my life-philosophy to ‘modified Buddhism’ – Be nice to everyone, don’t take offence or get defensive with your close friends and family, but don’t take any shit off people you don’t know or don’t like.


Feedback in Private, Praise in Public

The number 1 passive aggressive tactic of an office dickhead, appears to be the eagerness, to feedback in front of as many people as possible.

This can cause all kinds of issues as a rebuttal will also be witnessed by colleagues, meaning that the initiator looks like a bit of an idiot.

Example –

In a team meeting, someone complains that you didn’t complete a task correctly. Instead of telling you at the time and giving you an opportunity to rectify any issues.

Feedback should be timely, specific and delivered privately.


Gaslighting – did it really happen like that?

I don’t think people realise how damaging, ‘gaslighting’ can be.

In case you’re not one of the cool kids – gaslighting was a term coined in a book (I think), within which the husband would mess with the gas lights in the house – the wife would say “did you see that, the lighting keeps going off?” to which the husband would typically reply “nope – you’re obviously going insane, nothing happened”

Do this a few times, and the victim will question their grasp on reality and have no confidence in what they’ve seen or perceived.


Don’t Put Other People Down

There are lots of ways to make yourself feel better. You can exercise, learn new skills, meditate, go for a walk in nature, have a bit of banter.

unfortunately, the default way, and lazy way to make oneself better is to put other people down.

This is a bad idea in work for a few reasons.

  1. You make those around you more anxious
  2. You make yourself more anxious

How does it make others anxious?

Well, let’s say you slate someone for making a stupid mistake.

This will make others more fearful of making mistakes. You also push yourself into a kind of metaphorical corner because if you make any mistakes, you will looks like a hypocrite and a bellend.


Assume Miscommunication Not Malice

Be aware of the main cognitive biases, and don’t have stupidly high expectations of your colleages.

If something goes wrong – could you have communicated the task better? Have you been approachable enough?

did you provide the nessery training?

Is morale low because everyone is always moaning?

Are you inspirnig others or being a dick?

If something goes wrong, don’t blame and finger point – see what you could have done differently.

7/10 there has been some kind of communication breakdown.

Avoid any negative-bias, have a more positive-bias in regards to people and give respect to get respect.


Don’t Have Aggressive Opinions about Stuff You’ve not Researched

if you haven’t read a book or researched a topic – how can you have an aggressive opinion about it?

If you shout louder than someone else – does that make your opinion more valid?

What is your opinion based on? Information, experience or a self-serving bias?

I once attempted and stuck to a low card, ketogenic diet for anxiety.

Every man and his dog slated me for it.

“Someone tell Drew to go and look at a food pyramid” exclaimed one, morbidly obese office dickhead.

Did I mention I’ve got a Master’s degree in Nutrition?

If you’d like an informed opinion on low carb diets, this article is a good starting point.


Don’t Get Angry

If you are consistenly losing your shit, you either have expectations that are too high, and/or you are not taking accountability like you should.

If you lose your temper – you will make those around you anxious.

An office is not a place for aggression. If I spend all day controlling any impulses after years of training to fight people, I expect the same of others.

marcus aurelius quote - calm mind

Don’t Talk Over People in Meetings

This one is so obvious – yet people still do it all the time.

Best way to deal with interrupters, seems to be to wait for them to finish and then say “…as I was saying…” and carry on.

Don’t be H.I.T.O.

A new abbreviation that I literally just made up, stands for:

Hard In The Office

HITO dickheads will get aggressive and use confrontational postures to try and itimidate people in the office.

It’s just not appropriate, go and work on a building site if that’s what you’re into.

youre hard - the office

Cynicism is not Superior

Negativity is a lazy way to feel superior, as is cynicism.

cynicism in the office

It’s not difficult to find fault in ideas, projects, work people have done – finding solutions to those faults is challenging and much more productive. Many office inhabitants prefer to moan and pick fault however, I guess because it’s easier and makes them feel superior.

According to the Macmillan Dictionary, cynicism is defined as:

“…the belief that people care only about themselves and are not sincere or honest…the belief that things will not be successful or useful…the attitude or behavior of someone who is willing to let other people be harmed in order to get advantage.”

I think this quote or snippet says it all really:

“In a management training that my company sent me to a few years back, I was introduced to a new concept: “cynical terrorists.” This category was meant to describe the kind of person who assumes the worst of everyone, shoots down every new idea, and generally drenches their environment in negativity with the volatile energy of a broken sprinkler system”

Quote Source

There is often ‘much logic’ in cynacism, but it can lay a very negative foundation to all of your thoughts and interactions.

Sometimes, I believe, it is better not to think 100% logically. If something lies out of your control, for example, other people’s attitudes, other people’s abilites – then you may as well find a positive in it.

For example, if you work with someone who doesn’t know how to do his or her job very well – this is an opportunity for you to help someone out, or from a narcisstic point of view – to look good!

marcus - i do what is mine to do, the rest does not disturb me

If you want to create a culture of negativity and disrespect, then cynicism is the way to go – more info in this study.


Don’t Hold Grudges

Try and vent in a positive manner. You need to vent – I think anyway – but venting in work and holding grudges is a pretty negative way of dealing with your emotions. Use it to fuel exercise, to motivate you to learn a new skill, or ‘get it all’ out with yoga and/or meditation.

I’ve been guilty of taking pride in never moaning or complaining, only for a rant to come out of nowhere when I’m tired or feeling low – e.g. when my son is teething and not sleeping!

Being spiteful in work however, is the epitome of bellend behaviour – not helping people out for eample, because you are holding a grudge is not exactly being a team-player.


Be Aware of Cognitive Biases

2 of the most common cognitive biases, are self-serving bias and confirmation bias. Also “Fundamental Attribution Error”. I remember one dickhead beeping and waving his fist at a learner-driver, only to complain about a man on his street who was aggressive with learner drivers.

Of course he had an excuse for himself. We judge others directly by events, but we always have an excuse for our own behaviour.

Infographic Source


Don’t Disempower People then Complain they’re not Helping

Don’t be one of those dicks who has to control everything and then complains that he or she is the only one that every does anything


Don’t Take Things Out of Context

This well annoys me.

Apparently, I get all my nutrition info from conspiracy theorist Joe Rogan, I am an anti-vaxxer because I question the flu-jab for children and I went on the keto diet to lose weight.

Not of these are true, people just skew everything, not sure why. I do get some of my nutrition tips/info from Joe Rogan’s podcasts, but usually from Dr Rhonda Patrick and Professor Dom D’agastino – I’ll always check their info against Google Scholar and Examine.com too. I’m not an anti-vaxxer at all and I went on the keto diet to help with anxiety.


Don’t Think Less of Yourself, Think of Yourself Less

just do the right thing, cold or warm, tired or well rested. despised or honoured

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