Yoast SEO Training Takeaways

Find this Podcast “Yoast SEO Training Takeaways” on the ThreeWill Soundcloud, Stitcher, and iTunes.

Yoast SEO Training Takeaways

Danny Ryan:Hello and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. This is your host, Danny Ryan here with the other host, Tommy Ryan.


Tommy Ryan:I feel like a cohost.


Danny Ryan:You’re a cohost? I can call you cohost if you’re cool with that, if you’re not going to …


Tommy Ryan:I don’t need to be as high as a host host.


Danny Ryan:Is there a host and then a cohost or can we both be cohost? Both should be cohost.


Tommy Ryan:Like co-president on the office?


Danny Ryan:That’s a great idea. We haven’t talked in a couple of weeks here and today is the day after Halloween, All Saints Day, November 1st 2018. You celebrated the Halloween a little early.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, on Saturday.


Danny Ryan:It was more like a trunk or treat type of thing.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, caravan, 40 kids all at once ambushed our house.


Danny Ryan:Everything is done in 45 seconds.


Tommy Ryan:It’s pretty nice.


Danny Ryan:You go, kids, get your candies. It’s like going to the grocery store being on the candy aisle in the grocery store, just pick whatever you want kids. Yeah, we had a good time last night. We’re in a pretty big neighborhood and we ended up going out with Connor and McKenna and Kailey is old enough that she wanted to go with some friends in the neighborhood. She’s moved on to that. That’s a new era for us, but she enjoyed doing that. It was a good night. It was a little warm, I wish it was a little bit more cool so it felt like the fall, but it was good. We did a fire and we watched our annual Charlie Brown. We always like doing that right after we go trick or treating. It was a good time. Today I wanted to talk a little bit about, I’ve recently taken some time out doing some coursework and focusing in on our SEO.


There’s periods of time where I’m trying to do stuff on my own and learn scrap on my own and pick up things and learn things. With this, I just wanted to take some courses just to check and see what I’m doing right, what I’m not doing right and learn a little bit more from industry professionals. I’m taking a course from a company called Yoast out of the Netherlands. I just wanted to sit down with you and share with you some of the things I’ve learned so far and just relate it to what our business is doing right now, what things I’m going to change and what things and why I’m going to change them, and what some of the things I’m doing right versus some of the things I’m not doing so right. They’ve got a set of courses and I got the bundle together. So far I’ve gone through their first intro course to SEO. It’s a broad sweep of everything. Right now I’m towards the end of the copyrighting section or copywriting course.


This is to help with how do you produce materials that people want to read and also that they can find because if they could never find the article, they’ll never read it. How do you address those types of things? I think the first thing getting started with all of this is the background is we put a lot of content out there. I think in previous conversations you brought this out very well, which is like how do we deal with all the information inside of our company and what do we share with people out there. At one point in time you’re like, well, this content goes bad over time, and you take it and try to work with people to get it out onto our website and then after that it’s like you don’t have to really worry about every one note file that we’ve saved, everything that’s gone out there. It’s working information. Then we put stuff out on our website and hopefully it’s stuff that people want to read about and can share it with the public.


I thought that was a pretty interesting way to focus in on our content and making sure that we’re sharing things that we’re learning internally with the rest of the world. For folks who don’t know, we do. What I do inside ThreeWill is I have people either do one blog post or one podcast episode per quarter and that gives us a chance for people to share something. It really just encouraged, I feel like I’m a bit of pulling teeth to get it because everybody’s got their normal job and they’re not website bloggers. That’s not what they consider their normal job, but really I think it helps us out as an organization to take some of the things that we’ve learned and package it up for folks.


Tommy Ryan:It’s one of those things that you’re not going to do on your own but if you have someone that can help create that cadence for you it becomes a healthy practice.


Danny Ryan:I mentioned that as the first thing because I think I’ve written some things internally to say what are the types of things that you should write about and share with other people. Typically, we let people know, if you’ve gone out and let’s say you’re on a project and you’ve Googled for something and you didn’t find anything good and then you figured it out yourself. I said, that’s great. You know, whatever you found out, take that information and share it so that the next person who’s out there trying to find that information is able to find that from you. I said just some of our articles that we’ve written through the years are really ones where I feel like they did the research and just packaged it up in a way so that they’re passing it on to the next person the same problem. A lot of our content is what they would classify as informative content. You can have content, there are four primary ways.


The ones we focus in on are primarily is informative content. We’re trying to share expertise or things that we’ve learned. There’s also persuasive content. Persuasive content, it might be like a product page. We’re trying to convince somebody to do something or convince them why do this or that. Usually on the main pieces of content that you’re putting out on a website, we do a lot of blog posts but then there’s also a lot of people do the content about a product or a service. For us it would be a service and we’re trying to put out persuasive content for that. Why should you talk to us about doing this? Why is it that we would be the best partner to help out, with something along those lines. We went through a book, a copywriting book of something like how to write copy that sells a while back and it has a framework for how you set that up. I think I’m revisiting my notes from that and one of the things that I’ve gotten from this is I need to create something that they call cornerstone content because we’ve done a lot of content.


I’ll take just the Jive migrations as an example because it’s I think a good example for us and it’s been successful for us. We’ve written a lot of blog posts, we’ve done presentations, we have an eBook and I’ve put all this content out there. The issue right now is if you do it and you don’t have one piece of content that Google knows is the thing that is what they call your cornerstone content then some of your content can compete. Google will not know which page is really the one that you mean when somebody searches for Jive to Microsoft 365 Migrations. Right now I go and search for it and it brings up my almost one of the original blog post is the one that’s doing the best for it right now. That’s good because we have a post from a long time ago and it gets them started. Over time I’ve been updating that post and trying to optimize it where it may lead us to the service that we do for it and make some tweaks on that.


What they suggest to do is to create a piece of content called cornerstone content. You would create an online guide to Jive to Microsoft 365 Migrations. Everything would link back to that guide. Within your site, Google, their algorithms are, I know a piece of content is important because people link to that content and how they figure out. It’s one component of how they figure out what page is more important than another page or what website is more important than another website. One of the things I’m going through right now is I’m looking at some of the pieces of cornerstone content that I need to create on our website so that I’m putting it out there and that’s our main, that’s what I want people to, these are the four or five things that if they see anything on our website I want them to see these pieces of content.


What you would do is you’d create a Jive to Microsoft 365 Migrations guide. That guide would be something you would highly optimize. You would keep up to date all the time. It would just be extremely well-written piece of content. It would link off to other articles, but all these articles would link back to that. It’s your way of showing to Google that this is when somebody searches for this, this is my piece of content that I want to share.


Tommy Ryan:This is key content.


Danny Ryan:This is on our website. It’s Google trying to figure out which content is more important to you on the site and the content that’s more important to you is the one that all these posts link up to and point back to. That was one of the big things that I’ve gotten out of that. We have eBooks and what I’m going to do is take a look at what we have with regards to like eBooks and maybe taking portions of that content and creating a guides out of them and reusing some of the content so that it’s easy for us to take some of the stuff. I got all this great content. Now it’s just getting it into a format that makes sense for Google to process and for people to find. That was a big thing that I had gotten out of this. I mean we’ve done some, was doing research on keywords and what do we want to go after. The thing that they start off with, and this is, I know we’re going through the annual planning and talking about this and you’ve already heard me bring this up several times which is what’s unique about us.


All the coursework is about, you got to start with why are you different than everybody else? Because if you don’t really know what that is then they don’t have any reason to go find you. If there’s nothing different about you then there’s a bunch of other people that are. This gets to when someone is out there and for us I’m typically looking at what problem are they trying to solve, what are they trying to do and where do I want us to show up and show up as being very high on the list. Part of the class is some obnoxious number where 50% of the time people click on the first link on the first page and it drops … I mean it just drops off after the second or third to like 75% of the time they click on those three. Most of the time nobody ever goes to the second page. They really got to be looking for something. Showing up on that front page and then that front page you’re also competing with AdWords as well, which are sometimes up above it. For the things that you want people to think of your company as being the best at and unique about, then you really got to show.


Tommy Ryan:Got to tune that.


Danny Ryan:You got to tune that and really, really be focused. That’s why like the cornerstone content, Google says, “Well, I know ThreeWill is good at these four or five things.” They got a hundred blog posts that are out there that point back to this guide and just all this, you’re giving an abundance of reasons to Google like why these four or five things are things that make us unique as a service provider. Part of that is making sure that our site reflects that. Right now I’m going through the process right now of doing that. Also, some of the other things that I’ve learned as we’ve picked up on this is that I’m going away from these … I loved mega menus and I love the menus and all that sort of stuff. Google is very focused on mobile. I know for our stuff typically the profile is somebody at work at a desktop, probably googling things, but people could be, somebody could have on their to do list, “We got to get off Jive and over to Microsoft 365,” and could have their mobile phone and just type that in.


That could be what their on and off hour and just, they’re doing some research. The issue with these menus is, is that you’ve got the drop downs and it just doesn’t map very well over to mobile. Then also the idea of you can drive somebody down a couple of pages. You don’t have to have it on the homepage, which it used to be I had almost like a sitemap for our menu, everything was up there. I was like, I want to throw everything in your face so that you can just find it from the menu. Then just describing how that can be from an experience, it’s like we’ve talked about paradox of choice. If you have too many decisions, you can’t make a decision.


Tommy Ryan:It’s paralyzing.


Danny Ryan:It’s paralyzing. They’re really saying put the four, your menu should be the four or five things why somebody would come to your site. They want to learn more about our services or they want to learn more about the company or they’re there for finding a job. Just putting up and emphasizing what are the things that somebody wants to do and just have them click on it and you’re there. Right now I’m in the mid part of the process of simplifying our navigation. Then what I’ve done is I’ve taken almost like a site map and put it at the bottom of the page because people are used to like, if I can’t find something, scroll to the bottom and also this links up the site as well. We’re emphasizing to Google what are the important pages on our website as well.


I’m using that and trying to simplify the processes especially for our mobile user, for how somebody uses our site. Going through some of those types of things, we’re trying to make it easier for mobile. Time wise I could probably talk for, I know we’ve got five minutes here or so before our standup, but the copywriting stuff, the stuff I’m in right now is good because they just walk you through the structure of what a good blog post looks like and how somebody processes reading a blog post. Sometimes, and I think going back, the importance of headers and the importance of how you organize and structure something so that most of the time someone’s just scanning it. You want it to be, you’ve got a header that described what it is. They’re saying, the importance of that first sentence saying what are you going to get out of this, it’s almost like most of the time people are just going to read that first sentence.


Tommy Ryan:Elevator pitch [crosstalk].


Danny Ryan:This thing is either worth my next two minutes or not and I’m going to decide based upon number one, it looked interesting so the meta descriptions are important. Meta descriptions are, I use the Yoast plugin to describe what that page is about. It’s like, why would I want to go there? That shows up on the search engine page, the results page. You want to have that be compelling and then what are you going to get out of reading this? The first one is like, what’s your main point? What’s your point here? I’ll read more if I think I want to learn more about what your main point is, and then it just drives through and how creating ordered lists makes things easier for somebody to process. I think we’re doing a good job with I’ve got next at the bottom of each post it’s linked off to a related posts so somebody can go from there to something else that might be interesting to them. It’s just really going through this, the structure of how do you create the appropriate structure.


A lot of it was just sometimes I think some of our posts are like paragraph after paragraph after paragraph and it’s not easy for the person to process. Learning some things about that. I think the keyword stuff, I think as we’re looking at planning for next year, like yesterday we were on the … I’ll share this and I’ve got one story and then we’ll wrap it up. The keywords should be influenced by what makes us different from everybody else. That’s why I’m really trying to, and I focus in on search engine. I’m not doing a lot of things with AdWords so I’m not paying for placements right now. I’m trying to optimize our searching because paying for it has sort of two … Number one, you have to pay money. Number two, it seems like you’re trying to be persuasive when you try to place yourself for it. We probably could do a better job and really across the different networks that are out there. You have to hit people multiple times. I think there’s things we can do in a smart way. As we look at next year trying to figure out what are the things that differentiate us and it’s tough if you could just say, we love to solve business problems and we’re the best in the world. All the things that consulting companies will say about themselves.


Tommy Ryan:Right, like agile.


Danny Ryan:Yeah, we’re agile. We’ve got happy customers. It’s just like the rest of the world can say this and really what people are looking for is for us is how are we going to help them solve a specific problem that they might have. It’s got to be something that their own teams can’t solve themselves. Especially for us is they have to go through and you know this, they have to go through the process of bringing us on as a vendor so it’s got to overcome that hurdle. It’s got to overcome a lot of hurdles for us to actually do a project work together. You got to have something that’s like, “Yeah, I got to talk to these guys about this because they’ve done this and they’ve got this tooling or they’ve got this process and I know this and I saw that there was another organization that similar to us that did this.” You just got to really overcome a lot of big hurdles in order for them just to pick up the phone or fill out a form or just for them to because I don’t want to waste their time either.


The last thing is we had an interesting call yesterday and this relates to all of this, which is last night, 4:00 yesterday we took a call from NBCUniversal and I didn’t know whether it was related because we’re also talking to them about migrating with Jive and Jeff’s working or helping out with that opportunity. That came up earlier this week and they reached out to us and it was about integrating Salesforce with SharePoint. They had seen the Trove stuff. Some of the materials are still out there, just like on YouTube and some of the, I don’t emphasize it, but people can find out. I mean you Google, this was from doing my research. We still show up very high when somebody searches for Salesforce and SharePoint. This is what somebody was looking at integrating. We came up and they reached out to us. Yesterday, by the time I was talking to the guy, he knew more about it than I think most of us inside this company know because he had gone through the blog post. He was describing like, “Well, I saw you guys had addressed some of the issues with the file upload size.”


Jeff and I were in there like, “Yeah.” I’m talking to him about it and I explained to him this is something we used to have as a free thing out in the community. It’s no longer on the [app], giving all my caveats to, this isn’t a product and this is something we could bring on the projects. Then also trying to, I think for us was because we had already been working with NBCUniversal for this other migration was saying and Jeff mentioned the names. I was more of using this as maybe if we’re doing this other work it’d be easier to bolt this on. It might be a good opportunity for us to use this asset for them, especially if they were a client that we’re doing something else with. Also, just makes it seem a little bigger. It’s like we’re talking to this group and they’re talking to that group. Nobody’s heard of ThreeWill. My head is not that big. It was just a neat way of triangulating on it.


The reason I mentioned that is because both of the opportunities are coming from people searching for, somebody searching for a Jive migration and somebody searching for Salesforce and SharePoint integration. It leads to these two opportunities that come up and from a marketing standpoint, you start to look at the origins of things. How do I get into somebody’s mind as being someone that can solve the problem? I think a lot of it is because we put content out there and they were able to find us and everybody does their research. This guy, he’s been in the research phase for a while. By the time he came along it was just like he knows what we’re doing and we put the content out there. I just want us to continue to emphasize how important it is for us to put content out there about what we do. Even if it’s something we’re not emphasizing, still, people will find it, which is pretty amazing.


I want us to continue to, as we look at this next year, is to find those things and think about this is trying to challenge the group as well. We don’t put it into your words, put it in, you have to get into the mind of someone who is trying to solve a problem and what are the terms that they’re using. We call our managed services sustainment. Somebody is not searching for that. What are they searching for? Because if they never find this and if we’re not optimized for those keywords, they’re never going to know about us. That’s one of the things I think I’m taking from the course and trying to make sure I share with others. I covered about 99% of the … I appreciate you listening.


Tommy Ryan:Sure.


Danny Ryan:Just still processing some of the stuff. I’m just on the copywriting course. I still have more to go with some of the video stuff and other things that I’m looking at. Well, thank you everybody. We are past our standup time. I have to go jump into another meeting. I appreciate you listening. If you’ve learned anything from the Yoast courses or have anything to add, leave a comment at the bottom of the page and appreciate you taking the time to listen to this. Have a wonderful day. Thanks, Tommy.


Tommy Ryan:All right. Goodbye.


Danny Ryan:Bye-bye.


Additional Credits

Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

Danny RyanYoast SEO Training Takeaways

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