SEO copywriting

Presented live on Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Attend our live tutorials

Notice how some people like to make SEO 10,000,000x harder than it is?

Dave Collins is not one of those people.

You’ll meet him in this live tutorial… where he’s gonna give us 20 mins of magic on SEO gems like:

  • How to be amorous with Analytics
  • How to be cool in Chrome
  • How to get cosy in Console
  • And how to get gifts from Google

All with zilch complexity.

And in a British accent.

Get more goodies from Dave:

And check out the tutorial below!


Joanna Wiebe: Dave, when you told me what you were going to talk about, one of the things you said was, “gifts from Google.” And I got excited, because I like gifts, and Google seems like they would give you good ones.

Dave Collins: Well, Google’s got that whole, you know, they do no evil, and everyone knows they kind of don’t live up to that.

Joanna Wiebe: Kind of a little.

Dave Collins: Like the weird Christmas gift from the evil relative. It’s that sort of thing. You don’t like them so much, but they give good gifts.

Joanna Wiebe: I’ll take it. I will take that gift-

Dave Collins: A gift’s a gift.

Joanna Wiebe: Yeah, yeah. So, you’re going to share with us some gifts from Google, and some other stuff in the next less than 20 minutes. Are you down for the challenge, sir?

Dave Collins: Oh, I think I’ll make it.

Joanna Wiebe: All right. Sweet, sweet. Wasn’t your dog going to present this, by the way?

Dave Collins: Well, I did toy with having her there, because that’s her usual resting spot, but she makes noise. But she makes a couple of guest appearances in this [inaudible 00:00:58]. You’ll be delighted to hear.

Joanna Wiebe: That’s awesome.

Dave has led quite a few tutorials over the past couple of years. He’s done training with us, and we first met at MicroCon a bajillion years ago. When I was writing the email for today, I actually put in what it was, and it shocked me so much that I had to delete it. It was like six years ago. I think it might have been seven, now that I say that [crosstalk 00:01:32].

Dave Collins: [crosstalk 00:01:33] … 38 years ago or something.

Joanna Wiebe: It’s a long time though. Six or seven years is a long time.

Dave Collins: Yeah. Last year seems long.

Joanna Wiebe: Yeah. Yes, amen to that. Yeah. Okay, so, shall we dig in?

Dave Collins: Over to me, right. Let’s just-

Joanna Wiebe: Yeah, let’s do this! We can. Yes.

Dave Collins: Okay, you see the right screen?

Joanna Wiebe: We do.

Dave Collins: You say she’s cute now, but-

Joanna Wiebe: So cute.

Dave Collins: Hold off on that. Okay, so the idea … I don’t know what title went out in the email. This was the original title that you seemed to quite like. The real, practical and doable SEO non-bullshittable account remedy [inaudible 00:02:19].

So, I’m obviously a little bit biased with how I view SEO. I understand why most normal people don’t do SEO, because I’ve got quite simple formula, because we all like formulas. If you take something that’s boring, non-urgent, time-consuming, probably won’t work, and maybe it even blows up in your face, what we’re left with is something that we’re just not going to get around to doing. Which I understand. We’re all tight for time. So my aim today is to show you a whole lot of little tools, some techniques to make life a little bit easier. Basically to make sure that you do get SEO on your to-do list, higher up on the to-do list. Going to be left with something that’s pretty effective, quick, straightforward, easy, and it’s something that you just have to do.

I’m going to be sharing a whole lot of different links, tools, systems, all this sort of stuff. You don’t need to worry about writing anything down. Links, names, or anything like that, because at the end I give you a link to a page that’s got all this stuff.

Joanna Wiebe: Yay!

Dave Collins: Need to opt into the list to get it. Of course you can opt in if you like, but you don’t have to. Okay, so four beautiful things that I’m going to be sharing, as Joanna mentioned. We’re going to be looking at getting amorous with Google analytics, cozy with search console, cool with Chrome, and gifts from Google like you mentioned. Obviously it’s been the month of alliteration.

Joanna Wiebe: Yes.

Dave Collins: I’m just enjoying that.

Joanna Wiebe: Love it.

Dave Collins: So, very quickly, this is just one single thing that I like doing with Google analytics. That’s what analytics looks like when we log in. It’s a familiar view. Someone’s just complained about the sound. Let me turn it up. Hopefully that’s a bit better. Okay, that’s the standard view for analytics, which is great, but this is all traffic.

So, if you don’t know how to change this to only search engine traffic, or [gamut 00:00:49] traffic, it’s really simple. You click on that segment. You choose “system” or “gamut traffic,” click on the [inaudible 00:04:38], drag all users out of the way, and then you’ve got that charming little graph. And what we’re looking at there for the last 30 days or so is the number of organic visitors, the number of free search engine visitors, Google visitors.

What we’re going to do to make that a little bit more useful, if we click on the date dropdown at the top, all we’re going to do is we’re going to change the first year to a year earlier. So, we’re going to change from July 2019 to ’18, click on the [inaudible 00:05:08], and then what we’re looking at is all the organic traffic to your website for the last 13 months. If we then click on the week, little button over there, this is where it becomes useful. So, what we’re looking at, straight away we see over the last year or so what’s been going on in terms of quantity of visitors coming to your website. Has it been going up? Down? What’s been going on? What’s been happening? So, even just this step-by-step thing will take you 30, 40 seconds. You’ll at least be able to see compared to six months ago, 12 months ago, two years ago what’s happening, what’s been changing. So that’s a real, quick and easy … the simplest diagnostic in a sense.

Joanna Wiebe: Love it.

Dave Collins: Okay. Into search console. I love search console, absolutely love it. They changed. They moved today from the old search console. You can’t access it as of today, which is why I had to change the slides this morning.

Joanna Wiebe: Wow.

Dave Collins: This search console looks like … yeah. Thank you, Google. That’s happened before as well. What it looks like, this is [inaudible 00:06:18] Dave Talks. It’s a very old, neglected, dead site we use for trainings. Then we don’t have to blur anything. So, I’m just going to fly through nice and quick some of the really useful things in search console. This first one, performance is great. You click on it, by default it’ll show you all the queries, all the terms that people are searching for that result in them seeing or even clicking on your website for the last three months. Now, if you click the date selector at the top, it’ll give you a whole load of nice options. Seven days, three months, 12 months, 16 months. If you click on the right where you got “compare,” this is where it starts to get a little bit more useful.

So, the default, I think, is that one. The compare last three months to the previous period. If you click on that, it starts to look a little confusing, but it’s basically comparing the last three months with the three months prior to that. Now, if you click on “total impressions” at the top, effectively turning it off, then you’re left with only one metric which is, in this case, total clicks. When you’re only looking at one metric, you see that column on the right? The difference? That will pop up just when it’s a single metric, and then you can sort. So, for instance, you can see which terms have we gained from in the last three months, which terms have we lost from. Same if you filter down to actual pages as well, which is really useful.

Another useful thing you can do from here is, if you click on that “pages” tab, then you can click on pages, the URLs, click on “queries” and then you see the keywords, the specific keywords for people that ended up on this page, on your website. Or at least saw it in your gamut results, which is actually … This is as much data as Google will ever give you, really. It’s better than it used to be, when it’s inside analytics.

Joanna Wiebe: Right.

Dave Collins: And it’s insanely useful.

Joanna Wiebe: Yeah, I haven’t seen this before.

Dave Collins: Yeah, it’s all relatively newish.

Joanna Wiebe: Huh.

Dave Collins: Newish. And other useful things in search console, this is one of my favorite things. The URL inspection. So, if you want to see … take a URL. So I go to the Dave Talks website. I copy the URL, paste it into there, right at the top, and it gives me all this information on is this page actually in the Google index. If I click on the coverage dropdown, it shows me where did it find it from, which links, which sitemaps, and it’s got [last crawl 00:08:49]. Now, this is seriously useful. Let’s say you dramatically overhaul the page on your website, and you don’t understand, it’s not ranking. Can you see this box over here? Request indexing? This is where you can get Google to actually re-index the page.

Now, there’s two caveats to that. The first is it’s a request. So, when you click that, don’t think the Google machine is going to grind to a halt, and they’re going to instantly get very excited about your content. It’s a request. The second thing is even when they do get around to indexing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to start getting loads of traffic for this term. But it is a means of kind of waving your arms in the air, saying to Google, “Hey, we’ve got this thing. Come have a look at it.” So it’s quite useful.

Other things … I’m just going to fly through this, because there’s a lot in search console. There’s coverage. It’ll show you errors, your warnings, what’s working, what isn’t. Sitemaps, if you have a sitemap, and most people do. If you don’t know what sitemap is, drop me an email at the end and I’ll talk you through it. But you’ve got to make sure it’s in here, in your search console. Sitemap is, in a sense, it’s a list of all your pages. It makes it easy for Google to find all your content. And easy is good.

[inaudible 00:10:06] mobile’s obviously very important. It’s going to show … You won’t see that sort of thing. Lots of green. You’re not looking for a mass of red errors. If you have a mobile errors on pages like … I don’t know, your privacy policy, you probably don’t need to lose any sleep over it. But if they’re more important pages, you do need to get those fixed. There’s information on the site. Links, a search box. There’s links information. There’s a ton of information. What I found interesting is, is a suspicious amount of white space on the bottom left, where I think Google … I think there’s more things coming away. I’m pretty sure the design team will be able to space us out a little bit better. [inaudible 00:10:51] bit bigger.

And so, watch your space. I’d say, if at the end of this little session that we’re having, if at the end of this you’ve done nothing other than check your analytics for the trend and spend maybe 15 minutes in your search console, just to see what’s going on, that really is time well spent.

Okay, next. Hurdling through this. Getting cool with Chrome. Now, if you don’t use Chrome as your main browser, I still recommend downloading and installing Chrome. Use it as a secondary. So, if you use … You’re in Safari, or Firefox, or maybe you’re my dad and you’re still using Internet Explorer, it’s still worth having Chrome just for these additional things. I’m going to show you why.

So, if you have a look at a random website like the Copyhackers website, this is in Windows, but it’s pretty similar. If I right-click on it, I choose “inspect,” all this functionality is built into Chrome already. So it gives you a whole load of technical information. It’s giving you a kind of mobile preview on the left. If you go there to “performance”, this is only for the people who really like this sort of stuff. If there’s something on your website or your app that’s slow, then you’re going to spot it here. The normal person stuff is really the juicy stuff, I think, it’s here in “audits.” So, you click on, for instance, “desktop”, you choose SEO. Run the audit. Lo and behold, I see Jo looking slightly nervous, but-

Joanna Wiebe: I’m terrified. I’m [inaudible 00:12:23].

Dave Collins: Look at that, a green 100 for SEO. Amazing. There’s loads of stuff in here that’s built into the browser. If you go to the bottom, you’ve got this sensors geolocation. So, for instance, you can view how your web page actually looks in different parts of the world. Like in Tokyo and San Francisco, and so on. Really, really useful. And there’s no extensions here. There’s no add-ons, or plug-ins. This is purely built in to the native Google Chrome.

Then we have the extensions. Hair is a touchy subject for me, but it’s the best thing I could find at the moment. So, again, don’t worry about the names, because all these are on this URL I’m going to give you at the end. Some really useful SEO extensions. This one, SEO [inaudible 00:13:10] in one click. So you go to your web page, like Copyhackers. You click it, and it’ll show your title, your description, counts characters. It shows URL canonical, all for those links along the top, to look at images, social tools. Really, really useful.

This one, Blue Button, the web page x-ray. I think this is actually a little bit better than the last one. It gives you the same information, and more. So it shows you all your links, your alt tags. There’s a whole load of stuff built in, and it’s one click. This one is bizarrely obscure, and I don’t know why people aren’t using this. Broken links on your website are bad all around. They’re bad for Google. They’re bad for the humans that come to your website, and actually it’s surprisingly difficult to spot a broken link on your web pages without clicking the actual link. If you install this thing, Free Bad Link Checker, you click on it, and it pretty much instantly goes through all the links on the page. Green shows they’re working. Orange is unverified, basically means they don’t know. And if there’s a broken link, that’ll be highlighted as a red link. So it’s instantly showing you what’s not working on your website.

This imaginatively, creatively named … The GSC URL Performance Report Deeplink. Horrible name for a really great, really, really great extension. My normal process from working on the page always involves me looking the page in the browser, copying the URL, going to search console, filtering it through kind of like I showed you before; to see what’s happened over time, which queries is it ranking for. With this, it’s one single click. So, I’m on the page. I press the button, and Jo’s worried, “What’s he going to share?” Nothing, because it’s all nice and blurred, but I’m instantly taken to that right place, which is enormously useful. I’d say this extension probably saves me 10, 15 minutes a day, every day.

Joanna Wiebe: Huh, okay.

Dave Collins: Except the weekends because we never work at weekends.

Joanna Wiebe: Never. I’ve never once worked a weekend. I know you don’t.

Dave Collins: No. Absolutely not. Sacred times.

Okay, doing okay for time, which is good. We’re on the last section, the gift from Google. Like I said, I am not a Google cheerleader, but they do put some good things out there that are quite useful. So, here’s our website. One of the more … debatably, one of the more important aspects of website today is the speed. You can’t judge the speed of your website. Your web designer can’t be relied on. Your parents probably make terrible judges. The only opinion that really matters is Google. So they have this page [inaudible 00:16:00] insight. You drop in the URL. It gives you a score for desktop and a score for mobile.

Now, these scores, they’re changing the whole time. Broadly, broadly speaking, if you’re scoring above 50, you’re pretty much definitely okay. Below 50, possibly not. Single figures, definitely you’ve got problems. The good thing is when you scroll down the page, they actually give you actionable information. They don’t just say, “You’ve done really badly.” It’s not like being at school. They’ll actually say, “This is why you scored so badly. These are the things that we recommend you fix,” which is really, really useful.

Then you’ve got the mobile-friendly test. Now, be careful with the mobile-friendly test. You have to have this. You have to have a pass for all the pages on your website. But all that means is it renders on the phone. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it works right. So, the images may be in the wrong order. The text may be in the wrong order, jumbled around. But if you fail the mobile-friendly, you do need to follow the advice and get that fixed.

Other useful things. Google Trends, I love, love Google Trends. It’s really useful. The way it works, you go to Google Trends, you put in your term like SEO, and by default it shows you … That line is showing you the relative number of searches for the term “SEO” over the past 12 months. Then you can change to five years, and you see there’s a bizarre surge, which probably when I stopped talking about SEO, it conferences for a [crosstalk 00:17:32]. Not interested, and then back on the scene, and it dropped like a stone.

Another really useful thing. Over at [inaudible 00:17:41], you’ve got “compare.” So if you want to compare two or more different terms, for instance SEO and social media, it’ll show you … What you can see there is that the trend for the number of searches for “SEO” has kind of gone up-ish, and “social media” definitely. But there’s a really common mistake that people make here. The y axis is not an indicator of quantity. In other words, just because the red’s higher, it doesn’t necessarily mean social media’s getting more searches. So, if you hover over it, it tells you it’s basically relative interest over time. So, don’t make that mistake. I’ve seen so many people make that mistake and just assume, “Well, it’s going up. Social media is obviously far more interesting than SEO.” And it’s obviously, clearly not the case.

Finally, alerts, Google Alerts. There’s a recurring theme: I like anything that makes life easy. Alerts is great. You can put in your email address, your company name, product name, service name, name of your book, whatever it’s going to be. Bizarre things like how to turn water into gold, and Google will send you an email. By default, I think there’s a setting, at most one email a day. And you see what else is there. Keep an eye for mentions of your own company, your product names, your competition, all that stuff. And it just makes life a whole lot easier.

So, as promised, there’s [inaudible 00:19:15] a pretty good impression of Freddie Mercury, I think. But [crosstalk 00:19:19] to the page with all this information. I’ll leave that up for a moment at least, and then … Oh yeah, be careful with the [biddly 00:19:28] links. They’ve got to be exactly like that. Case sensitive. Don’t put a

[inaudible 00:19:33]

slash. As long as you enter it like that, you’ll get this page with all this goodness.

Joanna Wiebe: Thank again, Dave! That was bad-ass. Thanks, everybody, for attending. Especially when the email went out late. And we’ll see you next week! Have a good one, guys! Bye.

Dave Collins: Bye-bye.

Joanna Wiebe: Bye.

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