In this episode of Smart Marketing’s Pillars of SEO, Jason Bagley and Justin Lester discuss what “site relevancy” means and recommends some tools and techniques you can use to help your website rank in online searches.
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Whether you’re a business owner, seasoned marketing professional, or just starting out, the Smart Marketing podcast will help advance your knowledge by sharing the latest in SEO, paid advertising, email marketing, content marketing, social media, and conversion optimization.
Your hosts — Jason Bagley and Justin Lester — bring you regular, actionable digital marketing tips, tactics, and strategies that you can use to improve your marketing.
Jason Bagley is the VP of Digital Strategy for SiteCare and Justin Lester, the founder of Ruby Digital, a digital marketing agency from Cape Town, South Africa.
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Full episode transcript
Hey, Justin, how you doing, man?
Very well, sir, very well. How’s it going your side?
Very good. I’m very excited about this episode. It’s number two in the series. This is a bit of a series we’ve got going: The Six Pillars of SEO. And, obviously, we’ve done the first one, being accessibility, so making sure your site actually can be found.
If you haven’t heard that episode, pop back into our feed, grab the first one, have a listen to that one. But today we obviously going to be talking about the second most important step of SEO, and that is relevancy — making sure that the site … is getting found for relevant search terms.
Without a doubt, I’m going to be honest with you guys, this is definitely right up Justin’s alley. I’m a bit of a novice here so I’m going to hand over to him to go through this. So, I’m going to be the guy asking questions if I don’t understand anything. Justin?
Cool. So, to your point, you’ve been found and now Google has to say, “Okay, cool. We can access this website, and what is it that you want me to rank you for?” So, the first thing you need to do as a website or as a business is to say, “Well, what keywords do you want to target in the first place?”
And the way that you do that is, well, obviously, think about what your customers are going to be searching for. And then use things like Google Keyword Planner, or you can use something like Ubersuggest and type in some of those queries that you think your customers will be searching for.
And what it’ll do is it will return information and tell you how many times that keyword is being searched for. Very, very important because, obviously, you don’t want to rank for something where there is nothing there and to not being searched for.
And sometimes it’s little things. Like, I remember once we had a children’s furniture company that we used to work with…We noticed that the most searched for term was actually ‘kids’ furniture’ and not ‘children’s furniture’. And just by making that slight change, we were able to increase their traffic by 20 times. So, it just shows you how relevancy is such a big thing.
Ja, Justin, just quickly on that though, how did you pick up that it was kids’ furniture versus children furniture? Like, would this tool be able to help with that? If you’ve entered in children furniture, does it then help you go, “Oh, actually yes, there’s some volume on that, but kids’ furniture’s actually more volume”?
Yeah. So, Google’s pretty great in providing you with sort of like alternative suggestions. That’s also up to you to just think about the English language, or whatever language you are speaking, and then think about synonyms and, ja, plurals.
Google has definitely gotten better and will give you suggestions around that. So, cool. Now you found that there’s search volume, then there’s obviously making sure that the keywords have a really good search intent. So, we were talking and we were using the example around would you rather want to work for… Rank for the term plumbing.
Right? Obviously, if someone types in plumbing, what are they really looking for? Are they looking for a plumbing company? Are they wanting to learn how to do plumbing? Are they trying to figure out some information?
It’s not clear. And what you want to do is if your objective is to generate leads, you want to be targeting customers that are really, really at the right stage of buying your product. So, I’m looking for a plumbing company that has a 24-hour call-out in the New York area.
So, that’s a very clear: intent search phrase, and think of all the keywords that go into that. From 24 hours to New York to and and and. So, now it’s like, “Okay cool, we understand that. We kind of get an idea of the keywords. Now we have to pretty much take those keywords and put them into the website.”
And the first place you would start is update your meta title. So, meta title is just the description that comes up… It’s the first sentence that you will find on a search result when you Google something. It’s obviously in blue. You’ve got a character limit there so really think about the most important keywords.
So, again, if you are a plumbing company in New York, I would probably go: plumbing company in New York. Plumbing company, New York would be a good example because you can only fit so much in there.
And it’s a very good, clear, narrow description of what you’re relevant for. Then you’ve obviously got, underneath that, you’ve got something called the meta description. That’s just a short paragraph where you’re able to also… It’s more space to just maybe start to slightly diversify some of your keywords.
This is where maybe you could introduce the words like 24-hour call-out, best. Simple things like that. So, now we’re expanding our relevancy, trying to rank for a bit more. Then, once we go onto the website, you’ll have things called, that you may have heard of, called header tags or H1s, H2s, H3s. And these are really just your headings, your subheadings. If you think about it, that’s kind of a summary of what the next paragraph or the copy’s going to be about. So, again, Google kind of looks at this from top down in order of importance to determine what your article’s about, or what your page is about.
So, think of it like that. So, the more you reinforce certain keywords that you’re trying to rank for in these areas, the more Google’s going to understand that you’re relevant to those specific terms.
There’s also the other thing: it’s your page title. So, your page title’s obviously something where you open up your browser and you hover over a tab. You’ll see at the top of the tab, it’ll show your page title. Another way for you to tell what your content is relevant towards, your URL. Also, when you’re in a search result or someone sees your URL, you want the URL to also include those keywords. And then the last one, which is the one that most time people get right, is the copy itself. All the content around there. You need to have the keywords in there.
But just to close this off is one of the things you’ve always got to do is make sure that you balance the keywords that you’re putting in, right, because you want to be found by the search engines, but you also don’t want to make the experience terrible for the user. So, I always say, like, “Try use your keywords sparingly and don’t stuff the keywords into the content.” It needs to still make sense to the user. It still needs to be a good user experience. But at the end of the day, you do need to still realize that the search engine needs a bit of guidance as well. So, guys, if you follow those steps, use those processes, take those things into consideration, you would have followed the second most important step by becoming relevant for SEO.
Cool. Love it. That was awesome, Justin. I learned a ton from this episode.
Off to do some keyword planning myself.
Nice one. Cool guys.
Cool guys. You wrap up. That’s all good. You wrap this one up. You deserve it. No, I’m joking.
No, no. I’ve spoken enough. No, I’ve spoken enough. I’m fine. I’m going to go to sleep now.
Okay. I’m just going to say this has been a awesome episode. Thank you so much for listening. See you next in the one.