7 SEO Activities To Start Now, Before Q4 Holiday Season

Jun 17, 2021 12:00 pm1:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

How do you make your product stand out? What if you could apply proven and tested SEO techniques to maintain clients? Companies want consumers to engage in their sites and keep coming back for products, ultimately growing their business. SEO marketing can track success and help you focus on where to invest to see the most progress.

For success, placing unique keywords, images, and videos is key. SEO, or search engine optimization, is successful by making sure that you are explicit in your templates so that you show up for the right type of search results.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant sits down with Jordan Brannon, the President at Coalition Technologies, as he discusses how orphaned and abandoned pseudo archived content and pages are unaddressed opportunities. He brings those pages that have been buried in Google and takes them out of the closet to take advantage of them and regain lost value. Make a splash and dramatically improve your rankings with this SEO-driven virtual event.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

 

  • Jordan Brannon discusses how SEO marketing efforts and outcomes take time to generate results
  • Bringing orphaned pages from the hidden depths of Google to create opportunity and value within a term
  • We review how to access Google Analytics to see which site content and landing pages have generated traffic over time
  • Jordan narrates how to access Google Analytics to see which site content and landing pages have generated traffic over time
  • How do you name a holiday URL?
  • Jordan offers tips to ensure that your monetizable keywords, priority landing pages, and landing page templates are optimized
  • Is it a budget issue or patience?: why SEO is important to gain a website audience for lasting effects
  • How to find the keyword sweet-spot
  • Jordan explains how the “early bird gets the worm” with more SEO tips
  • How do you audit for core web vitals?
  • Make a splash and dramatically improve your rankings
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Event Partners

Guest Speakers

Jordan Brannon

Jordan Brannon

President at Coalition Technologies

Jordan Brannon is the Co-founder, President, and COO of Coalition Technologies, a top-ranked, full-service SEO and digital marketing firm. With 20 years of experience working in eCommerce, Jordan helps D2C and B2B brands succeed in the eCommerce and digital marketing space. Jordan and his team at Coalition have helped propel over 1,000 businesses forward across various industries. Jordan has a bachelor's degree in political science, human rights, environmental sciences, and computer science from the University of Washington.

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Event Moderator

Jordan Brannon

Jordan Brannon

President at Coalition Technologies

Jordan Brannon is the Co-founder, President, and COO of Coalition Technologies, a top-ranked, full-service SEO and digital marketing firm. With 20 years of experience working in eCommerce, Jordan helps D2C and B2B brands succeed in the eCommerce and digital marketing space. Jordan and his team at Coalition have helped propel over 1,000 businesses forward across various industries. Jordan has a bachelor's degree in political science, human rights, environmental sciences, and computer science from the University of Washington.

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant 0:18

Happy Thursday, everybody hope everybody's having a fantastic week. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the Co-founder and Managing Director of BWG Connect.

We're a networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands who do exactly that we network analysis here together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it might be that shaping digital as a whole. We're growing every week. So just shy of 10,000 rent now, but so tonnes of opportunities to network. And I encourage you, if you have any anybody else in your company or friends that you know, you know, shoot them our way, we'd love to grow the network as a whole. So don't ever hesitate to do that, more than happy to bring them in and get them included on any of these events that we're doing. I talk with 30 to 40 brands a week. And with that, as we having those discussions, that's how we come up with the topics, what are people interested in? So a couple of housekeeping items quickly mentioned, you know, how we how you can ask, ask questions, hit star five and a handle go up on the screen, we can simply unmute you and bring you in. The other way is you can always just email me anytime Aaron aaron@BWGConnect.com. And that includes an hour after the call, you forgot to ask something tomorrow, next week. Just go ahead and shoot us over an email, we'll get you back question and under de. And the last thing is we're starting a few minutes after the hour, we're going to wrap up with a few minutes to go in the hour as well. So you have plenty of time to get out of your next meeting without being late. And so with that all, you know, being said, you know, no talking to you know, 30 plus brands a week or so. And you know, it's really interesting that we're talking about q4, right that SEO in q4. But it does kind of make sense that these things are a little bit coming out because now's the time you want to start SEO. This is not performance marketing, where you can pull the trigger last minute and get it rolling. So but you know, it's been coming up enough when we've got great friends, great partners with the network over at Coalition in Jordan, Brannon is on the line today. And if anybody wants to have a conversation with him afterwards, they're great friends, partners, supporters to the network, you know, more than happy to connect you with him and his team. They're awesome. But you know, Jordan, I'll kick it over to you for kind of a brief intro on yourself and Coalition, and then we can kind of jump into some of the topics. Sound good?

Jordan Brannon 2:34

Yeah, absolutely. So my name is Jordan Brannon, co-founder of Coalition, we are a almost 12 year old digital agency focused on eCommerce, we are full service, the namesake coalition is really about being able to do everything that's needed to support the eCommerce success. And so that's our sweet spot for the last dozen years or so, we've got a great team of almost actually over 200 people now. So we're going to sustain that. And we predominantly support established small businesses all the way up to small enterprises on on eCommerce platforms like Shopify and big commerce and Magento and WooCommerce. And so we've got a lot of experience in those platforms and a few others, and are always willing to help we have kind of earned our place I think, in this market, you know, by being interested in giving, and hopefully that that shows up in either the call today or in future conversations.

Aaron Conant 3:31

Awesome. Love it. And thanks for being such a great friend and supporter, the network as a whole. And, you know, so if I could get off, you know, we're sitting here, what, just over halfway through June, and we're starting calls that people are literally interested in, hey, q4 holiday strategies, which is, you know, I guess it makes sense, in a way. I mean, if you haven't prepped and got things in place for Prime Day, it's, it might be a little too late.

You know, why is it? You know, number one, are you seeing, you know, the same kind of questions. I know, you guys work with a lot of different companies.

Are you seeing these same topics come up, you know, why is it a worthwhile use of our time, you know, just, you know, the why they're starting to get nice, you know, might rather the outside, you know, backyard badminton and going to the beach, maybe working on, you know, last minute Prime Day fine tuning if you wanted to, but, you know, we'd love to hear are you seeing this pop up? But then, you know, are you seeing it? Is it worthwhile right now?

Jordan Brannon 4:26

Yeah, I mean, I think I would say yes, absolutely. I think you know, we were hearing that sort of pop up in in conversation. I don't know that I would pass on the the backyard badminton opportunity. Right now. Especially given our maybe or how your summer went last year. Playing by yourself and not necessarily as fun but yeah, I mean, I think it really is worthwhile to start this conversation now. Get this plan going now and get some actual activity going now, we prompt this conversation a lot with our clients. And so you know, we're sorry pushing this with them, in part because we know these things do take time to get going. And beyond that, certainly SEO marketing efforts or inputs that you're making into your SEO outcomes really do take time to generate results. So if you want to be in a position where you can get value out of our work or your work, you want to make sure that you are really doing some of those high value things that you can, you know, three to four months before we hope to see sort of that return. You know, we're mid June, like you said, and so three months from now, we're going to be looking at September, October, for really sort of what the telling changes are in our SEO efforts. Based on some of the you know, unaddressed issues, maybe were we getting too close now. possible.

Aaron Conant 5:42

So maybe we for it. So the title seven SEO activities to start now before q4 holiday season, before even there, maybe before we get into those seven items to focus on for this call, what are some of those like big unaddressed things that you commonly see, that could yield their you know, near term improvements as

a whole. And then after that, we can kind of jump into the seven for q4.

Jordan Brannon 6:06

Yeah, probably probably the most common that we see just when we do audits for BWG call participants, or we're doing audits for our own clients that are just onboarding with us, we will typically see, you know, orphaned or abandoned or I think pseudo archived content and pages is sort of one of the big unaddressed opportunities that has a near term impact. A lot of eCommerce managers or marketers are consistently kind of running through a list of updates and refreshes and new additions to their site. And that ends up resulting in content that just got left or abandoned on an older version of the site or the blog or the store, whatever. And and that's really sort of what I'm referring to when I say kind of abandoned or pseudo archived content. And other times that that content is sort of orphaned, because it's been cut off from the navigation and other means of discovery. And so it's, you know, it's been just been sort of disappeared into your site, sitemap, but as a result of redesigns of your menu, or changes in your category and collection structures. And again, that archive contents, just stuff that just hasn't been updated, that sort of forgotten about, and it's just been sort of shoved into the back corner of your website, closet. And, you know, it's basically been buried in Google as well as there as a result of that.

Aaron Conant 7:21

So what do you do? I think people are calls, I'm kind of taking notes here, what do you do to identify those pages, once you have them? You know, we just redid, you know, like the landing pages on our site, we're gonna start doing post call content and stuff like that. So if you have any thinking, a should have an audit done, you know, how you take advantage of them to regain some of that value? Because I imagine a year from now, if we do this call, you're going to bring it up again. And I'm going to slap myself in the head again and say, Oh, yeah, that's

Jordan Brannon 7:51

right. Yeah, I mean, so it was an ongoing thing, because a lot of people don't keep an eye on some of these things. And so that is sort of a functional value to my job, frankly, which is nice, is that, you know, there are people out there who aren't kind of keeping an eye on these things. And so but, yeah, I think in terms of sort of identifying those pages, making sure you can take advantage of them to sort of look at regaining some of that value. Um, you know, I think Google Analytics is probably the low hanging fruit for everybody here. I mean, almost everybody in this call will probably have access to Google Analytics for their site. And maybe you have some limited other SEO tools. So you know, that's just kind of using Google Analytics is a place there. I think really, what I would suggest doing is going to your analytics account, go to the specific website property you're looking at, there's a menu item on the left called behavior. And then you can click into that. And you can see a site content and landing pages as sub menu items. And so when you click into there, it's going to show you some of the different landing pages that have generated traffic over time. And this doesn't just focus on SEO landing pages. And so that that's important too, because a page that was doing really well, and another channel, potentially still has a higher upside for rankings in the future. It's all kind of make that caveat there, I'll usually look at the data there, you know, in sort of, like a comparison of changes over time, you know, if you have a longer website history, you can look at comparisons year over year, give less history, you can do quarterly, or last six months versus prior six months to kind of create relevant views. And you're going to see this sort of comparison of page performance over time. And really focus on the acquisition metrics, columns that are shown here, their default in most GA, dashboards and reports. And you're gonna look for downward shifts and pages between these time period comparisons. If you can see a few you can click through to that pages specific reports and sort of narrowed down the timeframe where those drops occurred. You can also open the page right from from Google Analytics and see what the current experience Like, um, you know, a lot of times you're going to find a leading redirect pages leading to a redirect, maybe it's alive, but it's just really old. Or maybe it's just not really accessible to the navigation. It's still alive, technically, but it's only really available in HTML or XML sitemap. And so once you try to find those pages, usually there is an opportunity to begin thinking about, you know, what is the real best step here. redirecting is usually, you know, kind of an easy thing to do from an SEO perspective, but not usually the right thing, or not always the right thing. And so, think about updating the content. Even if that content is really sort of designed to push people to the new product or collection that replaced it, you can kind of create almost a content driven redirect rather than a hard 301 redirect that we go through, I call those editorial redirects. And I guess maybe one other tip there, too, you can switch your date ranges. So you can put the older date range in as your first date range, and then put the current date range in as the sort of comparison. And that helps actually, with sort of viewing and sorting and filtering changes over time, just as a helpful tip there. And they're also just a number of other ways to expedite this whole thing outside of Google Analytics. But probably the most simple, most successful way to describe it without taking over the entire call here to try to go through that.

Aaron Conant 11:21

I don't know, the adjectives I use is simple. But anyways, that's probably why the free audits come in handy. I tried to take notes, we'll try to attach some of those for the posted landing page. But,

you know, awesome suggestions. And, you know, so in the past, I think you've mentioned that one of the like, high value holiday opportunities that brands can tackle is revisiting their old holiday sales landing pages has come up over and over again, like you've built these you've driven traffic, and then, you know, maybe these are the orphan advances, ensuring that those URL URLs are still are being used. You know, that's kind of in this vein, isn't it?

Jordan Brannon 12:02

Yeah, man. It's basically the same sort of theme. You know, again, like you said, I've brought this up a couple of times, it's a great idea to try and maintain your holiday URLs over time, especially if that's the the key running part of what you're trying to do from a holiday sales and marketing strategy. I mean, I kind of debated including this as one of my seven suggestions for this call topic. But I figured Aaron has a long enough memory that I've hammered that point enough over the last couple of calls. So I'm not going to do that today. Yeah.

Aaron Conant 12:31

So quick question comes in over email, and just reminders, you can hit star five in the handle go up. And we can either unmute you and bring you in or you can shoot emails over to me questions. Aaron aaron@BWGConnect.com. You know, so when you're talking about reusing the holiday URLs, how do you go about naming those? So they stay relevant?

Jordan Brannon 12:53

That's a great question. So I usually look at sort of the the big keywords for most eCommerce brands being holiday centric, discounts or sales centric, and then gift giving, and gift recipient centric. So kind of what I mean by those would be, if you want to give a gift to your dad, your boss, your wife, your girlfriend, to your children, your grandparents, usually there's some sort of gifting that's occurring within most eCommerce categories. And so thinking about having those as sort of fixed sets of URLs that you can go back to, you know, we work with a lot of consumer electronics brands or CPG brands or fashion brands. And so, we'll key on who that likely recipient of a gift from the site would be. And those pages are great year round, right? I mean, you have usually more than one holiday, to speak to a specific recipient audience. And so, you know, I think that sort of is it's a really valuable your URL to have a collection page product page or, or, you know, some sort of content page around some gifts, you know, dash four dash Mom, you know, it's going to work, you know, for six holidays out of the year, you know, anniversaries and, you know, birthdays, and just, I mean, all sorts of stuff. So that's one, certainly then, you know, christmas gifts, you know, Black Friday sale in sort of more event oriented, and then, you know, Black Friday discounts or, or sale in the landing page, you know, again, just your URL being optimized for sale on, you know, phone cases or sale on whatever your product is, you know, kind of building that into those those particular URLs for your keyword is there and you're dressing some of these specific sort of seasonal opportunities. That's, that's how it strategize that and it would avoid, so just don't do 2020 in 2021, and you know, all these sorts of things. It's just going to kind of wash out over time.

Aaron Conant 14:43

Awesome. Love it. Any other like quick win opportunities before we kind of jump into the actual seven seven tips.

Jordan Brannon 14:52

Yeah, I mean, if you've got Search Console access, I'd say check for any big no no's. And big no no's are sort of those red warning signs and in Search Console, you'll see that or relating to server errors, site security, manual actions, kind of unrelated, but just came up actually with someone we've met through these BWG calls. But there's a lot of increased intensity around ADA, demand letters and lawsuits and some really sad sort of almost scammy things that are happening in that space. And so if you haven't, this is not an SEO thing, although accessibility is starting to show up and more SEO reports. But I wouldn't suggest crossing your T's and dotting your eyes on ADA, you don't want to deal with a legal headache heading into quarter four. This is just a huge time suck and a distraction that nobody wants or needs. So that's a freebie. Not exactly related to the call today. But I'll put it out there because on my mind this morning,

Aaron Conant 15:43

awesome. Love it. And I think we'll probably should have an ADA call because it's been popping up more and more. You know, I don't know if there was just some grace given during the pandemic, but it's starting to heat up right now. So awesome. Yeah, you know, great tips. I mean, definitely seen a tonne of that coming up. You know, so let's jump into our seven tips for holiday season SEO success this year, maybe you can run us through a quick list in case we started running into a bit longer, and kind of my fault for asking all those other questions up front. But if we don't get all the way into, but it'd be great. And if you want to just, you know, jump into those seven, and we can kind of feel questions along the way.

Jordan Brannon 16:28

I tried to kind of jot down and seven, seven, I prefer to have seven. So these can be tailored, I think to a lot of different sites and you know, brands and industries and things. I try to keep them more relevant to everybody. But I would say first tip, optimize for monetizable keywords, which sounds obvious, but I think is maybe a little less obvious than people might think a second is ensure that your priority landing pages or landing page templates are all really strongly optimized and have opportunities for unique content. Third, is ensuring you're maximizing your structured data and schema opportunities on site to kind of dovetails into the last 1/4 ensure that you've really identified influential sites relating to gift giving sale and holiday purchasing type keywords. And that's you're starting to work on link building and outreach and promotional strategies with them now. And then fifth, I'd say that you really need to be taking the time to close any gaps in the mobile site and page experience. And six, ensure that the SEO strategies is something that is factored into and incorporated across email and social and elsewhere. And finally, the last one that I wrote down was just to try and make a splash in October or early November. So you're kind of have some some spillover into to the holiday months. here really quick are those in, you know, as you're writing this down, I those in priority, those were those ordered in a particular way. Not really I mean, I say look at the areas where you can move the needle the most the easiest and and start there, I think one of the things that we really think helps us get more consistent results as an agency for our clients is really a focus on value. And I think it'd be beneficial for a lot of marketers who are internal to be thinking about this the same way. Now, when we're looking at a client campaign, we're weighing what's going to take what it's going to take to kind of what's the what sort of activities are going to take the most work or cost, and then how that sort of measures up to the expected results. So when we try to build that value formula into our campaign, it really helps us determine where to act, you know, brands have different priorities, their capabilities change, and our values have to be responsive to that our value equation has to be responsive to that. And so I think most people on this call will know that their brand, and their company has certain sort of cost centers that aren't necessarily money oriented. You know, they've worked with different companies, and you sort of see how one company can sort of set up artificial costs are extra costs on things that don't necessarily exist elsewhere. And so you know, for some of you, maybe it's getting new pictures or video is going to require 700 approvals. Maybe it's adding text to a page is basically an impossible mountain, you can't move maybe it getting a budget for sponsored content and influencers stuff is just, it's gonna be really hard given sort of, you know, what the budget is and how things like that have been in the past, you know, some of these strategies are going to be easier to execute on than others. So I'd say invest where you think you're going to see the most progress and the most sort of completed activities in the next few months. That way, you have an opportunity there for the holidays.

Aaron Conant 19:33

You know, it's a great point. You know, it seems like a lot of, you know, marketing best practices as from SEO to PPC to email to social, you know, ultimately, you know, at times get tripped up by company and brand, you know, characteristics as a whole. Do you see that? Do you see that being the case with people you're working with today?

Jordan Brannon 19:54

Yeah, yeah. It's part of what makes agency work. I think more challenging than it needs to be and we are being paid to Do a job and we can do that job really well. It's just tailoring what we do to the grey areas of each client business that can slow things down. And again, it's just part of reality there. But, you know, if the client client point of contact doesn't really know what those grey areas are, or doesn't share them with us, you know, we can sort of walk into a wall in the dark, and it's not fun. theory, I

Aaron Conant 20:20

mean, I think that comes up a lot is, you know, the engagement with an agency for the first time, it's not handing everything over and walking away. They're executing on your behalf and you know, providing additional context and input. But at the end of the day that the brand has to be making decisions, you can't approve content, you know, or brand guidelines for them. Awesome. So let's jump into like the first tip, you had that emphasizing monetizable keywords is what I wrote down. And if I mess that up, let me know, and all keywords that a company wants to focus on monetizable. That's what comes to mind. Isn't that the heart of all the SEO work for eCommerce brands as a whole?

Jordan Brannon 20:58

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's, I think it's a pretty common misconception we see from our clients, clients generally sort of fall into a few sort of buckets or mentalities, you know, kind of relating to keywords, you know, one is they want short term results. And they think that long tail keywords are the best way to do it. Others are long term mind. And I think the best thing to take on that is focusing on head terms with lots of traffic. monetizable keywords, to me are keywords that provide two opportunities, I think one is you want to have a keyword that has an audience, that's gonna buy from you. seems obvious, but that that's not a filter that a lot of brands are really considering even SEO, they're thinking about it as a keyword, they have a chance to make money off of before your SEO budget dries up. So those are sort of what I look at. And I think too, is sort of a silly sounding one. But the reality is that most SEO agency switches are sort of campaign and marketing abandonments that we have, whether it's in its URL square, then of happening because the businesses that they're being run for run out of budget before they see the returns on their investment. And so, you know, budget can be a few things actual caches. One, although that's not as common because a lot of companies sort of rotate through SEO campaigns. You know, it's it's not really a budget issue. More often, it's patience. And I think marketers are often stealing internal and external pressures to get results. And so when they're not getting the results in the timeline, they need either the agency goes or they go for or SEO goes to monetizable keywords as it pertains to this discussion, then it's really keywords that you can gain enough ranking traction on in the next three months to get that buying audience to your site.

Aaron Conant 22:32

I love it. It's just like, give me a create a little dictionary. Now. I haven't used monetizable keywords, or a lot of people all have had shortness of

shortness, can you clarify monetizable keywords? I love it, you know, how do you figure out you know, where and what those are, then, I mean, I enjoy the concept. They really like it. But I'm thinking about all the SEO words that are out there, like, which ones are the most meaningful and impossible to get into ranking traction in the next three months.

Jordan Brannon 23:03

I mean, I love it for a KPI. It's, it's awesome. But how do you figure out where and what those?

Yeah, once you narrow it down, it does give you that sort of KPI to track success and what's working I mean, so that's sort of one of the things we love as digital marketers, we love the data feedback. And so kind of narrowing that does help but, um, if you're already doing SEO on your site, or if you've already got organic traffic coming in, I start by looking for keywords that are ranking in in between spots, three and 20. Usually a bit higher if you have a strong domain or a solid ranking on a lot of keywords. Or if you're just working with an automation like that.

Jordan Brannon 23:44

hear me patting myself on the back on the call. Now. Most the most most marketers will have access to SEO tools paid are free that are going to generate a list of ranking keywords for your sites. And so keywords that you already rank on are usually they're pretty accurate, you do want to understand sort of the formula whether they do this by sampling different regions, or whether they're trying to do sort of region agnostic results. But you want to look into those keywords, which fall into that sweet spot, again, sort of spots three to 20, typically, and then started sort of doing your keyword research there. First, you know, filter segment the keywords by their proximity to checkout. Again, this is probably an organism by proximity to checkout. I mean, you know how likely it is that that keyword is going to drive a purchase. So think about which ones really are money keywords, what's the conversion rate on those terms today, you know, maybe through a paid ad campaign. Now how well do those products or product collections that that keyword relates to sell? Do they just a product line that you do well with as a brand or as a company? You know what the customer who's purchasing that product, you know, kind of relating to that keyword, what's their satisfaction level is that high return rate is it a place where you're going to get reviews that are favorable, you're going to get some Instagram, you know, you know, sort of feedback and some photos and things, UGC. You know, and so start to sort of narrow down that keyword list using those criteria, I kind of usually will clear them, I'll sort of like, here's my top couple, you know, just my best in class terms, and then sort of work my way down. After that I checked search volumes, I don't always start with search volumes, which is sometimes backwards seeming to others. But I like to sort of know what where I can work and really sell the product. And if you're ranking competitively on a keyword that is close to check out, especially in the top 10, spots, search volume really becomes a difference maker here. So that's sort of where factors then, you know, you move up ranking wise by a spot or two, and you see meaningful growth in traffic, most of us have sort of seen that really steep drop off in traffic charts, where you move out of spot one, and two, and three, and then the traffic just sort of plummets. And so we really want to focus on on getting there. But that doesn't mean that spots, you know, four and five and six aren't valuable, you just you kind of want to be kind of always weighing like, I'm getting good traction, I've moved in a spot for, you know, but I've got three, you know, hyper strong domains is sort of reaching a point today where I'm not necessarily going to have the opportunity to take on sort of an overpowered sight. And maybe I sort of need to look at focusing on another opportunity that was sort of in the sweet spot that I was talking about.

Aaron Conant 26:20

Awesome. And so I've had a it's a great tips. You know, I can see, you know why it's a great place to start, right. If your strategy is off in terms of keywords you're targeting. Everything else is kind of a moot point, right? I mean, that's the reality. So can you expand on tip to making sure your key landing pages or templates are optimized it? You know, as far as what there are guys for and with unique content as a whole? you'd mentioned that I actually had a couple questions come in exactly on this would you speak more about landing pages, especially collection type pages with multiple products? So you know, this is right it is the same thing is coming to my did just a really quick for those who were able to join halfway through having an awesome conversation with Jordan Brannon from Coalition Technologies, you know, great Brand Partners supporter, the network, the digital agency side, this one's done SEO, but everything from performance marketing to platform selection, enable it. And so just if you have any questions, hit star five handled up on the screen here, we can unmute you and bring you in or just keep sending over questions via email. And we can answer them that way as well. Aaron aaron@BWGConnect.com but so can you expand on and tip to making sure your landing pages and templates are are optimized for that would be?

Jordan Brannon 27:39

Yeah, I mean, first note know the audience is most eCommerce audiences, consumer audiences today are mobile first. So it's sort of at the top of mine that I touched on this. And I think what later tips but really one of the things that makes us unique in the SEO space is that we have a full design and development competency. We're well known in Shopify and big commerce, other platforms for our design development work on top of the marketing side of things. But really, the reason that's huge for this conversation is that we generate more consistent results, because we're really thinking about building an opportunity. So the content in the development and in the design strategy. And so a lot of SEO strategies are much more expensive to execute. And they often are longer delayed, and results because the site was never really built for SEO, the theme or the template that was chosen was really sort of all about him using a brand or creative director. And it didn't have much real world application for the audience or for the marketing strategies that would be really need to be used to make it successful. And so, you know, I say this is one of those areas where you want to get a jump on it now, simply because of the time it can take to get development changes in production. really the goal for sort of this tip is to ensure that key marketing channel landing pages really have the opportunity to highlight a mix of unique technically optimized and keyword optimized images and text and video, at a minimum. And again, with sort of the device focus in mind that I mentioned earlier. If you get the templates down, you'll be in a great position to start creating content as a marketer, and not as a developer and SEO landing pages are easier to turn up in the future. And it's one of the really big ways that you can reduce your SEO cost and whether it's interest in time or or investment of effort and start to increase results.

Aaron Conant 29:29

So in your mind, you know it maybe, hopefully you can explain it, you know, over the phone, right? I'm sure it's easy to pull up a template, it will we'll do a Go To Webinar sometime like that. But what is it an SEO optimized landing page template look like to you?

Jordan Brannon 29:46

Yeah, above the fold, I want to see some intuitive, relevant navigation to the page that I'm on. I think there's sometimes a miss here where we just sort of rely on universal navigation systems to explicitly There's not sort of alternative navigations that are relevant to the content that I'm landing on. I like to see a prominently styled opportunity to place keywords naturally. In the past, we used to sort of emphasize h ones and things like that from a strategy standpoint, but really that the whole idea behind an h1 is that you want the biggest bit of text on the page to incorporate that keyword. And that sort of that's still a true sentiment here doesn't have to be in an h1. But a lot of times, themes and templates will use it that way. I like to see opportunities to put in a couple sentences at minimum of keyword optimized copy. I also like to see clear next step or next action options present presented to the end user, maybe alongside some stronger conversion drivers, you know, why would someone purchase from you? That can be UGC, that can be user generated content, like reviews, it can be pricing, advantages, discounts, things that sort of really do motivate your consumer. And that's important for SEO. And then I think increasingly important, in my mind is the opportunity to place unique keyword relevant images and video, I think this is sort of a key one where Google is beginning to view keywords a lot more like people. The text is part of how we think about keywords. But when I say, bird, you know, most of you all have some sort of visual image of a bird in your mind, you know, you kind of have this image that's attached to it. And certainly, we know video content is sort of, you know, it consumes a lot of attention. And so tying in unique images and unique video, alongside copy that is related to your keywords does have have bearing on SEO. So building those spaces for that in your template, you can reuse these a lot someone mentioned sort of collection pages, which is sort of the Shopify category format. Having an SEO friendly collection page template that you can turn on for any different keyword or topic, even if it's not fitting into your main navigation is a really powerful tool. And then I think sort of the final thing is speed, you know, that template needs to go quick. It needs to get the content into people's hands, those experiences in people's hands quickly.

Aaron Conant 32:16

Awesome, thanks. Just reminder, keep sending over questions, we'll get them answered. Let's jump over to your third tip is a whole.

Jordan Brannon 32:25

Third, I think I had my note here on this site, I think it's just making sure that your site is is maximizing its use of structured markup and schema. So structured data is basically just a coded markup around content on your pages that explicitly states what that content is, and what it's for. They're primarily used by search engines and other data aggregators or processes, processors use me to understand sort of the purpose of the content on your pages, basically takes something that is implied visually to it to a human user, and converts that into sort of an absolute statement. So you know, something like a five yellow stars on a product page, most of us can intuitively connected, this is related to reviews. Structured markup, and schema is what sort of provides that confirmation. Google is getting a lot better about understanding what specific content is the post to be using sort of the amount of structured data that is now being fed to it. But really making sure that you are as explicit as you can be in your templates is really helpful in terms of making sure that you show up for the right type of search results. And so as some of this, it may be kind of as a visual example, if you if you've ever done a shopping feed, or you've done a product export into an Excel file, you're sort of seeing structured data and action, sort of you have the column which says this is the review. And then in a particular style, you have the review content. structured data helps make that connection for Google in sort of that same way.

And again, this has a couple of different interesting sort of ramifications with with SEO in mind. So if someone is searching for XYZ product in stock, having an in stock, or inventory type of markup on your page potentially helps you perform better on that keyword. And so there's sort of these opportunities where you can take data, about product, about inventory, about product reviews about pricing, and it can actually help you show up for keywords that maybe aren't explicitly using what that data is. So cheap maxi dress cheap for a maxi dress, Google can do that sort of comparison of you know, pricing and say, Hey, this is you know, maybe more affordable or less, because you've got that structured markup there. Um, Shopify has started publishing its product database directly to Google that helps merchants to sort of explicitly make that connection without necessarily having to templatized that, but you also have to be careful there because if you're bastardizing Shopify product fields because of you know, like the 100 variables. And other sort of Shopify challenges, you may need to sort of reevaluate that strategy ensure that the on page scheme is sort of helping to correct that. Awesome. Love it. So

Aaron Conant 35:09

just to keep this moving here, because I know we have to we have to get through seven, your fourth tip identifying and pursuing opportunities with other higher ranking sites, you know, so, you know, compared to like some of your holiday keywords as a whole. Is this really about link building? That's what it sounds like. Maybe I'm wrong?

Jordan Brannon 35:26

Nope. Nope, you're on. I mean, it's basically a link building component here. So one of the problematic trends, I think, that we're seeing in search results is that Google tends to favor aggregators of information rather than actual sources of information, a lot of different keyword types. And so that sort of creates this sort of challenge this need to sort of make sure that you're you're showing up in these and getting links from these particular types of entities. I think it's problematic because a lot of those aggregators generally have sort of lower quality information. Many of you have probably seen this in your own searches, then the actual information, where are actual places that the information is sourced from the sort of take information from one source and dump it down, and then present it as a package is a net negative for what a search user wants? I think most search users expect Google to be the one to provide them with an answer to their search, not send them to another site that contains the answer that that may address their search. But that is a seeming sort of flaw in the system that Google is really committed to. So it's probably here to stay. And so sort of this tip is about taking advantage of it. So there's sort of twofold opportunity here. You know, find out which sites ranked highly on terms relating to gift giving in your category gifting by recipient and your category by the occasion in your category by the type of the gifts that maybe is explicitly focused on your particular product category. And start looking at their editorial and sponsorship opportunities. Now look at who's writing their, you know, their top 10, top 20 gift lists, start those outreach efforts now start connecting on Twitter and elsewhere, you're going to be well ahead of the curve on it's usually easier to get in based on 12 years of experience here, it's usually easier to get those links, get that participation, get that editorial feature in July. If you start in July, or even in July, than it is in November, when the content cycle is already in full swing, you know, content publishers are not waiting to November to write an article for Christmas. They're they're starting to work on that sort of that plan in September, October. And so you want to have that opportunity set up. Now, that way, you're in position to capitalize on that.

Aaron Conant 37:39

It's really quite a question came in around page load speed. And I think you you've noted that in your last one, you know, kind of what those quick a page load speed, you know, core web vitals, you know, everything that's going on, we're gonna not leave any topics around, you know, not directly Apple like, you know, third party cookies going away. But like core web vitals have popped up routinely. Any quick thoughts on page loads be in I think it's twofold is related to the landing pages, and you know, how much data and content you put on those. Any thoughts on on page load speed?

Jordan Brannon 38:13

Yeah, I mean, so the core read vitals is sort of the big June algorithm update. It says the mobile focus update. So if your desktop primary, if you're, you know, really emphasising more of a desktop experience, probably not as a big deal to you. Yet, I think a lot more consumers are shifting mobile still. So I wouldn't give up on this here. But it is sort of a mobile focusing. page load is one of the key sort of page experience criterias for Google. So you want to make sure that you are getting to a point where you are able to load quickly. eCommerce that can sometimes be challenging, especially when you're on a fast platform like Shopify. So the certainly not something you want to to forget about. But it kind of this goes back to that sort of budget comment I made earlier, you can go down the rabbit hole of trying to be perfect on a page load speed score, when you don't need to be in that can be development intensive. And it can really be challenging in terms of investment of time and energy. And once you've covered some of the bigger things that may be worthwhile to sort of move on and circle back when you have more more bandwidth. Awesome. So I'm looking at the sign. Maybe we can cover like five and six together. Yep, sounds good. Yep, that works for me. I think I kind of looking at five and six I had mobile optimization was one and then ensuring your strategy, SEO strategies incorporate into the marketing channel those those things six and so mobile optimization. A lot of SEOs are focusing on this heavily right now. But it does bear repeating. Google is launching that it kind of just talked about this that this sort of delayed algorithm of eight core web vitals is supposed to come out earlier. I have that really fast. focuses on that mobile page experience. And really sort of the core of vitals is that there are a couple of metrics that identify really how good a user experiences on a page. And so the main idea behind them is that they want users to be able to find the important and significant parts of your page experienced quickly. And they want to find that those things are usable by your visitors quickly. And so that's sort of at the heart of corporate vitals. Again, I touched on this, it's a big technical undertaking, our site scores nearly 100 on both mobile and desktop. And we've eliminated a lot of the lab and field results. Don't pass correlate vitals, but that is a huge sort of development effort. And it can take a lot of time. And that's why it's important to get a jump on it today, especially before the holiday. Six is pretty simple. Make sure that you're using your keywords and social media in content posting, whether that's you know, sort of getting it out to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or tik tok. There's a couple of reasons for that. One is that, in some of these instances, Google is able to gain access and crawl that content in Google is sort of mindful of what entity behaviors are. So if you're all about one product, on your your website from an SEO strategy, but everywhere else, you know, social and everything else is sort of trending towards a different one, chances are that that's going to drive a certain sort of missed opportunities. So you kind of want to try to marry those two up and make sure that there's some consistency. Also, a lot of your organic sort of link building and brand mentions and, you know, unlinked mentions and things like that that can happen happen as a result of social media. And so if you're not using your keywords, you're not featuring your sort of SEO products in social media, you're sort of missing out on that opportunity as well. You can also try and target influencers who are trending on those sort of topics that relate to your keywords, your SEO keywords, work on that distribution of SEO content across all these channels. And you'll find that it does influence ranking, even if you're not doing anything else, just sort of publishing an SEO landing page as part of a Twitter post, you'll often see some incremental improvement on ranking, it can help build links, like I mentioned, and then it can also ensure that content is indexed and crawled early. And often you're not in a situation where you're sort of hoping that Google happens across the page and your sitemap or based on internal links. getting it out there in front of a social media audience is a really great way to make sure that Google actually finds that content pretty quickly. And it's starting to index that in advance that holiday season.

Aaron Conant 42:39

Love it. So another question that comes in regards to core web vitals as a whole? How do you bought it for core web vitals? So he comes up with me quite a bit. It just came up here, it's part of one of your you know, you know, key things that to look at as a whole is how do you how do you audit it?

Jordan Brannon 42:59

Yeah. So some of the things you can actually sort of visually experience on sites when they're underperforming. And so you can look at that one of the big ones is cumulative layout shift. And so the idea there is that as a page is loading, you'll have elements of the page that sort of themes load at the top, and then as another element, the page loads, they get sort of forced down, the more that happens, that means that you have a higher cumulative layout shift, basically, you're sort of in a situation where the overall pages, sort of loading in an unnatural progression, where bottom stuff is showing up first, and then it's coming down. And so you can sort of visually audit for that Search Console, which everybody should be using, does provide a core web vitals, reports. And so you can go into that. And you can see kind of how Google is scoring this. Google has a PageSpeed Insights tool, where you can put in particular page URLs. It's not a site wide thing, but it's a particular page URL thing. And so you can put in a couple of your key landing pages from an SEO standpoint, and you can see how Google looks at it. Right now that PageSpeed Insights layout that report generates, there's really kind of geared towards Cora vitals in terms of what it's emphasising. If you have enough data, there's going to be field the data. So you can kind of basically real world type information and lab data that will be presented there. And so that's a good place to start. And there's also suggestions that these sort of scroll down on that page, what you can improve upon. And so that's sort of a probably how I would start the audit sort of look visually at the page, you'll be able to sort of pick and a lot of cases, what visual elements or content elements are sort of kind of breaking the rules, and either sort of pushing content down. Or maybe there's a particular large section of your content that's loading slowly that can influence your largest content, full paint. Or maybe there's something that's loading that's blocking the opportunity. For a quick input or quick interaction with the page, and again, why these are visual, visually obvious. And so you can start by making some big improvements just by what you see. And then you can kind of narrow down specific, more technical things as you go along. Awesome. Love it. So let's jump to number seven. I, it's something about making a splash. Sounds generic, I mean, this make a splash. Can you put a finer point on it? Yeah, I mean, I ultimately I can, I think this is one where I can give some finer points. And maybe it's a bit of a reminder to everyone. But the key thought here is that e commerce marketing often gets very technical, which means that we get so focused on incremental improvements and metrics that we are making our marketing pretty boring and very repetitive to our customers, you know, we get it again, like it's one of the things that six months into a campaign, somebody wants to run an A B test, on a subject line and an email, or an A B test on a button colour, or an A B test on this. And, ultimately, yeah, you can usually at some point, find some yield there. But for the amount of effort you've been putting in, and the time it takes to sort of get those testing outcomes, you know, in, you're really doing things that are fairly expensive, and aren't necessarily producing a result, and you could have done something else. And so making a splash is really the idea here, that you can dramatically improve your rankings. If you do something that is noteworthy and out of the norm for your industry, you know, you can say something aggressive, you can say something offensive, you can do something that's over the top nice or generous, you don't want to kind of go the other way. You can be ridiculous, you can be sexy, if that's sort of a better fit, you can be encouraging and empowering. But you have to sort of think about how to do those things in such a way to make a splash, right. But it's got to be a little bit more noteworthy in your industry, and with your audience than what is sort of the norm. And so you may find that certain of those things just don't fit as well as others do for your brand, or maybe for you know, for your customer group, or for you're up against competitively. But working to ensure that your SEO landing pages are worth talking about is there really seems, seems silly. But it's a really innovative way to drive SEO success, because most SEOs aren't thinking about that. It's not the easiest thing from an SEO, SEO point of view to do, because it is somewhat risky. And it requires a lot of brand support to get that right, and to be successful with it. But when you do, it can really drive enormous and long lasting ranking traffic revenue. I think a great example, this is sort of like the old, you know, Dollar Shave Club commercial. There's been a couple of beauty brands that have done this really well. And everybody talks us through the impact of the of the creative, the marketing campaign.

But what you know, a lot of people don't talk about it, the fact that that product category for that brand, or that website is ranking for a lot of really important keywords, because it was worth talking about it, it made that splash. And this is something that most people, and most brands most marketers can do is sort of the idea is to sort of, you know, come up with a strategy, a column for the distribution of that strategy, and then really putting an effort into that, and it can provide some of the more long lasting SEO results outside of sort of the technical factors that we've talked about today.

Aaron Conant 48:30

Yeah, now I just killer point. If I think about most like SEO conversations, you know, I participate in, you know, as a whole don't usually sound very interesting, except for like two years into the SEOs. But that doesn't have to be the case. Right? It seems like sometimes it's just, you know, we're taking, you're stripping around to all the marketing, and we're just getting back to this, what is this word? What is that word? It's always a good reminder. You know, we can we can do more with it when the customer really likes what we're doing. So, you know, any kind of last thoughts here? You know, really quick before I kick it over to you a quick reminder, everybody, thanks for joining. Thanks for the great questions. Look for a follow up email from us. We'd love to have a conversation with you. We don't sell anything here at BWG Connect, we do networking and knowledge sharing sessions. We're taking off in person events, we'd love to meet people at a dinner. These are not 200 person events, these are small format, you know, 15 to 25 person events around topics that come up here. But also check out you know, a recap the call, check out our website for upcoming events you can sign up for. And you know, obviously a bunch with Jordan and the team at Coalition. We encourage anybody to have a follow up conversation with him and his team. They're great friends, partners and supporters to a lot of brands in the network. But Jordan like a quick, you know, any any last minute thoughts here before we wrap up?

Jordan Brannon 49:51

No. I mean, I think ultimately, again, I just sort of hammer that that one point of, you know, focusing on the areas that are going to yield the biggest impact for the efforts and you know, kind of dialling on things that you sort of have a near term opportunity on. And again, I kind of come up in the courses call. We do audit. So usually the post call audit tends to focus on SEO. But yes, certainly if you you're looking more page load speed, or you're looking at, you know, Shopify performance or looking at the ADA, certainly, we can tailor that conversation more to your specific need. And we love doing those kind of like to learn a little bit more about all the different brands that we that are out there and, you know, that allows us to share what we can do. So that's, that's probably it for me. Awesome. Well, thanks,

Aaron Conant 50:33

Jordan for your time today, sharing the all the data, being open to answer as many questions we throw at you always, always great to host you. And once again, encourage anybody you want, follow up information, need help in any of these areas, join his team, they crush it in the space as a whole. So encourage you if it's worse, the free audit 100% and worth the time and pick their brains in this space as a whole. And with that, we're gonna wrap up hope everybody has a fantastic Thursday, everybody, take care, stay safe and look forward to having you on a future event. Take care, everybody, we'll be in touch. Alrighty, thanks again. Thanks, Jordan.

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