User Friendly Content
I didn't understand this when I was doing SEO, slash building my site in general. I just figured if I had the right keywords and then did some of this technical stuff, 'cause there were guides, that I figured that that was enough, but now Google has evolved in a way that it likes content and it does it in several ways. It's the keywords in there is part of it, but it's also how people interact with your site. It's also how people link to that content. Like there is a lot of it that goes into it. So he shared this quote with me and it says, "One of the most important steps "in improving your site's ranking in Google "is to ensure that it has plenty "of rich information that includes "relevant keywords, used appropriately, "that indicate the matter of your content." What this is saying to you is, yeah, that whole only having photos thing, that's part of it, but also if the content is good on there. So it's gotta good what you've got on there and then don't just do photos. Like it's all o...
f those things together. So Google looks and they can see, they can actually tell if people are interacting with it for if they're scrolling, if they're clicking, if people are sharing, like all of that, it's looking at it and saying, "Oh yeah, this page for this series of keywords, "let's boost it up because people "are interacting with it well." So it knows. It's evolved in that way. So we're gonna talk about how to make your content friendly. Like I used to think, "Oh, SEO-friendly, "okay, what's the words?" When you make it user-friendly, something that your users would interact with, enjoy, find useful, it makes it SEO-friendly. So you don't have to think of it really in a technical way. So, just like I said, make it useful, make it relevant, all of that together. Robert, do you want to summarize a couple of these real quick?
Yeah. So basically you just want to try and place your keyword in the first 100 words of your content. We kinda talked about that a little earlier. Use synonyms based on your keyword. So if you're talking about wedding cakes, you might also be talking about catering or you might also be talking about wedding desserts, and Google kind of knows this is all interrelated now. Google's intelligent enough to discern what that is. You want to link between articles and sections of your site. Very, very, very important.
I didn't know that.
Yeah, this creates what's called link equity, or aka link juice, in your own site. You'll rank more if you start linking between pages, and here's a good example of that. Say you are talking about a wedding venue in one of your galleries and that wedding venue links to another page on your site that has another gallery about that wedding venue, or Check Out My List of Top 10 Wedding Venues That I Recommend You Getting Married At, the most beautiful wedding venues, so it's important to link between different pages, if it makes sense. Don't like go out of your way to do it. If you have pages that can be related, do it. Linking to external resources is good. I wouldn't do like 100, but if you're talking about your florist, or your caterer, or your something like that, and it's relevant, send them a link. Doesn't hurt.
And I also think it's good for building community because if you're linking to them, they're going to appreciate it and ideally link to you, which is going to help you in the end.
So this is what I always did wrong. So if you have something where you're sharing a photo and "If you want to see more, "click here," that is so unhelpful. Instead you would say something like this. If you say, "Susan and Joe's wedding "was hosted at the Shadowbrook, "one of my favorite wedding venues," instead of saying, "It was hosted at the Shadowbrook. "To see pictures of the Shadowbrook, click here." The link should be on the word Shadowbrook. It's called anchor text and it's telling Google what the link is basically. It's saying what you're linking to. It's giving it more context.
We didn't really get into content yet, but these are just some tips. Breaking your content up into chunks. Like if you wrote a long blog post, breaking it up with an image or into different headings. Use bold and italics, something that's gonna be easy on the eyes of the reader. If you have this long, heavy text, breaking it up is known to improve readability.
I'm sure most of us won't have that problem.
Write short paragraphs, three to five sentences. Use images to break up the content, and this is where these things get scary because Google really likes content that's 1,000 or plus words. This is called long-form content. Typically the first three results in Google have more than 1,000 words worth of content, but there's also an exception to that rule. It could be like a Buzzfeed article or something like that which it's just a list or it could be linked to for a million different places.
So I'm just gonna say I don't write over 1,000 words. Like I just can't.
This is just more informative.
This is recommended and if you read about it, this helps, but I'm not gonna do it, so my point is don't be like, "Well then I'm screwed. "I'm not writing, no more SEO."
Here's a good example if you really want to rank for a certain thing, like we were talking about the cosplay photography and it's a specific type, you could write a lot about that, write more about it if you can. Google also doesn't like if you make spelling errors. Use something like Grammarly.com. That'll help.
So here's another thing that I thought was really, really interesting and that's great with SEO, and this is one of the things that I know helps me a lot is that when other people link to you, that tells Google that you're relevant and that you're important and it boosts you up in search engine results. And so I think of it like this, if somebody really important, I'm gonna make this up, but let's say like a celebrity, Kardashians say like, "Oh yeah, you all, Lindsay is the best "fashion photographer. "Go check her out." Like to you guys, you're like, "Oh, she must be amazing. "This important person," I'm using this loosely, okay, (laughter) and it's sending traffic because it's her authority is being passed on to me because she's recommending it. The exact same thing happens with websites. It's the exact same thing. So if an important site, or relevant site, or site that has like weight or authority in the eyes of Google links to me, it's like, "Oh, this person's relevant and important," and it pushes me up. So, for example, for me as a photographer, the fact that I've got links on B&H. B&H links to me for a bunch of things. B&H is a really heavy and authoritative site in the eyes of Google. So it's saying, "Oh okay, she's obviously "important and relevant if B&H says she is," and it bumps me up, if all things equal, to another photographer, for example. So what it's called, it's passing authority, which is the same thing that happens in real life when someone vouches for you, but it's also got to be relevant, ideally. So the fact that they're photo and I'm photo, like, clearly there's correlation, and Google knows this. So for wedding photographer in Seattle taking a look at this. Okay, we talked about this guy before. He's the third person when ranked for those keywords. What was it?
Wedding photographer in Seattle.
Wedding photographer in Seattle. So he's the third person. And these sites, The Knot and Junebug Weddings, those have a ton of authority. He's not gonna outrank those. They're really big sites. We looked at his site, and remember how we're saying like write long blog posts and do all this technical stuff, and alt tags and stuff? He kinda does it, but what his weight is from is it's from backlinks. It's from people linking to him because all the people linking to him have authority. So he's ranked super high even just for wedding photographer because he's got a ton of traffic so we looked at it and all of these different sites, brides.com, these are bridal style blogs which have a lot of authority, he submitted his story, he's submitted his real wedding shoots to them, he gets featured, and it links back to him. It passes the authority and it sends traffic. So most of his SEO rank, not all of it, but a lot of it is just because he has really good links. So your strategy might be, "Okay well, "what sites of relevance or import "can I get to link to me?" But ideally you're doing it in a way that is natural. You don't want them just to say, "Photo by Lindsay Adler" and link. Can you have a little bit more context to it? And it's the same thing as if the celebrity's like, "Lindsay." You're like, "Okay, why?" But if they're saying a little bit about you and it's natural in a conversation, you go, "Oh yeah, okay, that makes sense. "I'm gonna go check her out." A lot of how Google looks at things is like real life.
One thing I'll add to that, you don't have to have a blog post on somebody else's site even though we talk about guest posting. Like the example from Wedding Wire or wedding.com, or brides.com for example, they did a blog post and they just mentioned Ryan and did a link back to his website, and that has a lot of authority. It wasn't like they did that because they were like our favorite wedding photographers or something like that, and it was just one image and a link and that was it. It's not like you have to kind of do crazy content for these sites. They'll do it naturally.
By the way, there are ways to actually check to see if a site has high authority, but also you can use your intuition. Like sometimes you're like, "Yeah, this is an important site." But there are some ways to do this. What you should do after all this. We talked about a ton of stuff, like a lot of more technical, very specific things, check for 404 errors, all that stuff. sure you can do that, but there's some things that you should probably start with that are more important to get you going. So the first thing would be to research and build your keyword list. We said that in the beginning. That's going to be important because it gives you a roadmap of the content you should create and how you should integrate it into your site. So do your research. Figure out what those keywords are. And then check and see if there's any technical issues or problems that you have. So this is going back and seeing, like, "Oh crap, did I forget my Alt tags? "Did I forget my titles?" Go back and optimize the things that you've messed up. But then going forward, I mean it takes like a half a second to fill those in. You got to put it on your calendar. "Go back and fix my old blog posts," and doing that. And then we're going to talk about creating this useful and valuable content, but that's going to be the major SEO thing that I'll talk about, and then consider ways to get links. Like I said, that was Ryan's major way of getting SEOs. He had a lot of great links, so can you do that?