5 Steps to Website SEO Success

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Welcome to today's webinar we're talking about search engine optimization or SEO...
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welcome to today's webinar we're talking about search engine optimization or SEO most of the time when you think about SEO you think about ranking in Google or how to get your website to show up on page one for a certain search term ranking and Google may seem like sorcery but it is possible and today we're going to show you the foundation of how to get started with some solid search engine optimization steps that you can take but first off we want to get an idea of your experience with SEO so there's going to be a poll popping up on your screen now take a minute and answer this poll let us know how much experience you have with SEO and if you really don't have any experience but just know what it means or what the acronym means that's okay there's an answer for that too I'll give you a few moments to choose the answer that best represents you okay great thank you so much for taking
A minute to answer that looks like hopefully you can see this on your...
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a minute to answer that looks like hopefully you can see this on your screen 54% of you say I'm a beginner I know some but still feel pretty lost and then write the next one tied is I'm confident that I have the basics but I'm ready for more and then also not much experience at all that is that's really good because today we think that there's going to be a little bit for everyone so we'll cover quite a bit today and no matter what level you're at we feel like you're gonna be able to get something out of today's webinar so let's get started first off I want to introduce the team that I have with me today let me introduce myself first the voice that you've been listening to for a few minutes I'm Blaire Williamson the content marketing manager for Hostgator presenting with me today is Alexis
Presents key our in-house SEO manager thanks for being here Alexis and then...
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presents key our in-house SEO manager thanks for being here Alexis and then also we have on the line we have Jana Thibodeau she's our social media manager for Hostgator she's gonna be following along with your questions on Twitter and and in the chat window so drop your questions in the chat window or if you have any questions you can also send them into Twitter with the hashtag HG webinar hey Jana hi thanks for having me I'm looking forward to some great SEO tips and after the event if anyone wants to continue to ask questions or provide feedback with HG webinar we'll be listening on Twitter awesome thanks Gina so now let's get started what is SEO SEO stands for search engine optimization as we mentioned earlier many of people think about SEO as ranking in Google and
While that is true there's quite a bit that goes into it...
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while that is true there's quite a bit that goes into it according to Moz which is a leader in the SEO field SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results so organic search results refers to any traffic that you didn't have to pay for so we're not talking about ads on Google or ads on Facebook this is organic meaning someone naturally searched or something and they came to your website hopefully they decided that your website had the answer they needed you want them to stay on your website long enough for a search engine to assume that your website was helpful and relevant to their search in turn this indicates to Google that your site is good and should rank well so why does this matter well I don't think I need to convince you that ranking high in Google is good for your business but think about it how many times do you search for something personally and then scroll to page three or four on Google no not very often
Right most of the time you find what you're looking for on page one or maybe...
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right most of the time you find what you're looking for on page one or maybe page two that fits your needs but any lower than that people either lose interest or decide that the website must be not be very high quality in fact a click-through rate study by advanced web reading com shows that the click-through rate drops off after position 3 on page 1 so we're talking about some high stakes stuff here so let's talk about how to get there there are three factors to SEO on page SEO off page SEO and technical SEO off pay on page SEO refers to the stuff that you control on your website so that's the content the HTML your metadata off page SEO refers to mentions outside of your website typically that means links from other sites to yours it's sort of like your reputation online and then technical SEO refers to things about your site's code and speed that helps
Search engines crawl your pages sometimes technical SEO can be grouped...
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search engines crawl your pages sometimes technical SEO can be grouped with on-page SEO because it does happen on your own website but technical SEO involves site speed optimizations sitemaps and your robots.txt files that tells a search engine which pages to crawl and which pages to ignore so today we're mostly going to be talking about on-page SEO but the other two pieces are equally as important so here's a sneak peek of what we're covering today five foundational steps to SEO success what you might learn today if you're not familiar with SEO is that SEO is a complex undertaking in fact it also takes a while to see the results of your SEO work don't expect overnight results since you are at the mercy of Google but know that it could take a couple of months even to see the fruits of your labor but don't give up don't forget to send your questions into the chat box or on Twitter with hashtag
HG webinar we will be following along through the quad through the questions...
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HG webinar we will be following along through the quad through the questions as we go through the webinar and if we don't get to your question today then I have a feeling we will be putting together a blog post answering some of the top questions from today's webinar so Alexis do you want to get started with the first step sure thanks Claire keyword research is the first step in creating an SEO friendly website the goal of keyword research is to help you organize your website and its pages based on how people are searching for your product or business keyword research can also help you develop content that directly matches the terms or phrases people are searching for in Google essentially you want to make sure you're using the same terms that your potential customers are using when they search there are two types of keywords or queries head terms and longtail keywords head terms are your main high search volume keywords high search volume means that a bunch of
People are searching for these queries each month while these may seem like the...
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people are searching for these queries each month while these may seem like the best keywords to target they're very competitive which makes them difficult to rank for examples of head terms for Hostgator are web posting website builder and shared hosting longtail keywords are exactly what they sound like keywords or queries with multiple words usually a phrase or question and are pretty specific because these queries typically have our search volume they're not as competitive making them easier to rank for examples of longtail keywords for Hostgator are what is web posting how expensive is web hosting and how to keep my website secure as you come up with the list of keywords to focus on for your website you should have a good mix of both head terms and longtail keywords if you run a local business you'll want to specifically target people in your area or people visiting your area for example a keyword phrase might be Italian restaurant in Austin or Italian
Restaurant near the domain Austin Texas there are a bunch of different SEO tools...
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restaurant near the domain Austin Texas there are a bunch of different SEO tools to help you do keyword research some are free while others have paid options SEM rush and Moz are two trusted keyword research tools in the industry they are paid tools but even Moss has a few tools like their keyword explorer that you can use for free up to five times a day most SEO keyword research tools will tell you the monthly search volume of each keyword like in this example on the screen and this will help you determine competitiveness if you're just getting started and don't want to spend money on keyword research yet there are still free ways that you can come up with your list of keywords great thanks Alexis so let's go over a few of those free tools that people can use for keyword research the first free keyword research tool we're going to cover is Google autocomplete you know how when you go to Google and you search for something then
Google tries to like complete the phrase and guess what you're trying to type...
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Google tries to like complete the phrase and guess what you're trying to type well Google autocomplete is actually showing you common terms that people are already searching for that are similar to the phrase that you've typed you can take advantage of this and use some of the keyword phrases that Google populates for you as part of the keyword mapping so let's take a look at this in action let's say I'm doing keyword research for Hostgator I'll search for web hosting you'll see it a list of related topics pop-up such as web hosting company and even web hosting free so I'm gonna write down some of these options and ones that I want to think about more and then I'm going to search again this may maybe I want to look for best web hosting so common searches include things like best web hosting for small businesses or for blog looks like people are searching for cheap web hosting for small businesses which that's really interesting so I'm going to choose that one cool so here's the different options that popped up also you'll notice that
This box pops up in the middle of the page it's either labeled as people also...
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this box pops up in the middle of the page it's either labeled as people also searched for or people also ask these are additional related topics that I might want to consider for my website so in just a few short minutes we've completed some free keyword research and now we've got our list started for my website if you're a visual person you might like this tool called answer the public essentially you put in the general keyword and the tool generates a big list of topics and inquiry buckets basically like an expanded version of the five W's who what when where and why here's an example of the results for web hosting this tool is especially helpful for developing ideas for blog articles another google tool that you can take advantage of is their keyword planner well this is technically part of Google Ads you can still take advantage of the tool even if you're not planning on running
Any ads to access keyword planner go to your Google Ads account and under tools...
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any ads to access keyword planner go to your Google Ads account and under tools select keyword planner then click on discover new keywords next you'll see an option for start with a keyword or start with a website like you see on the screen if you already have an active website you can enter its URL and the keyword planner will scan your website and give you a list of relevant keywords and phrases you can then use these keywords to inform your website strategy or if the keywords the planner gives back are not the keywords you want to target then you know you have some work to do on creating new content or pages for your intended audience of the free Google tools we've mentioned so far Google Keyword planner is the only one that will actually show you search volume to help you turn determine competitiveness take a look at the search volume and how competitive each keyword is in order to determine which keywords to focus on so now that you've
Done some keyword research let's talk about the first place you should...
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done some keyword research let's talk about the first place you should implement these keywords arguably the most important thing you can do to quickly impact your search results in Google is to register your business with Google my business Google my business is the official business profile with Google that integrates with Google search and Google Maps so if someone is driving around trying to find your business and they search on Google Maps to find directions your Google my business listing is what will show up Google my business was originally created to give business owners more control of what shows up in the search results and it allows you to provide Google the correct information about your business such as your business hours phone numbers etc if you don't list your correct information Google will essentially crowdsource it make sure that your Google my business information is accurate and matches all of your listings online so if your physical address is Street instead of
Drive make sure that information is typed in exactly the same on your...
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Drive make sure that information is typed in exactly the same on your website your Facebook account and on your Google my business listing oh thanks Alexa so first let's take a moment and I want to see how many of you have already done this how many of you already have a Google my business profile set up and how many of you have some homework to do so there's going to be a poll popping up on your screen take a minute and give us the answer that most closely represents you have you set up your Google my business account already should be popping up in just a second okay so the results are pretty split about half of you have not created your Google my business profile yet so you'll want to write that down as probably your first step to do after this webinar go set up your Google my business profile okay so before we switch back over to the slides and keep moving on I know
That some of you have said we're going a little bit fast and that you had trouble...
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that some of you have said we're going a little bit fast and that you had trouble catching the names of the SEO tools that we were talking about at the beginning so the ones we mentioned at the beginning were Moz which is spelled m o z and sem rush so it's spelled s e M ru SH and then the other free tools that we covered they're listed at the top in the heading of the slide so hopefully that helps you out with the first couple that you're trying to look for okay giving you a minute to breathe I know he said it was a little bit fast so next we're gonna move on to metadata so put on your techy hat for just a moment but this is a technical piece of SEO that you're gonna want to implement and we'll walk through what it is and how to do it great so your second step to SEO success
Is going to be to set up metadata on all of your pages metadata directly impacts...
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is going to be to set up metadata on all of your pages metadata directly impacts how your website looks like in the search engine result pages which we refer to as the SERPs if you get one thing out of today's webinar setting up your metadata is the number one thing you'll want to do for a quick SEO win it helps Google understand what's on your page and entices users to click on your website in the search engine results so let's say you search for website domains on google this is what you'll see for Hostgator is the title tag the little arrow is currently pointing at the title tag it is literally the title of the page and it contributes to your search rankings so it's important to set these up correctly and to include some of your keywords a common format for a title tag is the page name a pipe symbol and then your brand name this title tag format is called back branding and it's where you list your brand name or business name at
The end of your title tag most businesses useless format if you want to...
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the end of your title tag most businesses useless format if you want to try out some other formatting options you could use a semicolon instead of the pipe symbol in order to save one character of that valuable title tag space if you're a new business however and you have a unique business name and you don't have a target keyword in your brand name you might want to try front branding this is where you list your business name before the title separator front branding is a good way to make your brand name more recognizable particularly if you're a local business competing in a saturated market and you don't have a keyword in your name for example if your business is Suzy's bakery with the bakery keyword already in your name back branding might be fine but if your bakery has a unique name like yummy mummy front branding might help you stand out and a list of bakery results the rule of thumb for a title
Tag is to keep it around 60 characters so that it doesn't get truncated in the...
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tag is to keep it around 60 characters so that it doesn't get truncated in the SERPs the next part of metadata is the meta description the easiest way to think of a meta description is like a billboard for your page it's the short little description that you see right below the title tag you have an arrow pointing to it on the slide meta descriptions do not directly contribute to your rankings but people will skim the meta descriptions to decide which page to click on and high click-through rates result in better rankings for example if you search for web hosting services here's a snapshot of the SERPs that you'll see personally I start skimming the meta descriptions and I can tell that the first one is a definition for web hosting services that's not what I need because I want to buy web hosting what is the small or what is the best web hosting for small business this one might appeal to me if
I have a small business and want to read reviews before I purchase but a few...
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I have a small business and want to read reviews before I purchase but a few spots down I see Hostgator is my description that says Hostgator is the leading provider of secure and easy web hosting services perfect I want a leading provider so I'll click on that one for the Meta Description it's best to stick around 150 characters so that your description doesn't get truncated we recommend that you use the meta description to describe what the reader can gain from your page and end with a short call to action like read more what happens if you don't put a Meta Description on your page good question Google will pull from the first sentence of the page and then truncate the rest of the sentence after it hits a hundred and fifty characters something else you'll want to pay attention to is how your Meta Description appears in the search results well it's possible that you may have added a Meta Description to your site Google can still override it with something different while this may
Seem annoying Google is actually trying to be helpful and ensure that you have a...
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seem annoying Google is actually trying to be helpful and ensure that you have a Meta Description that best represents your content so we recommend that you search for your page in Google regularly to see how your Meta Description appears and make sure that you're happy with the final result when it comes to adding metadata to your site you can add metadata manually to the header code of each page but if you're using WordPress or a website builder like our gate or website builder there's an easier way to setup meta data automatically first if you have a wordpress website we'll show you how to set up metadata using the Yoast plugin Yoast has a reputation as the number one SEO plugin for WordPress the free version is pretty robust in fact we use the free version on the Hostgator blog but there's also a paid premium version if you need some of their additional feature you can check out the differences between the paid and free versions on
Their website to see which one is best for your website or business Yoast is...
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their website to see which one is best for your website or business Yoast is especially helpful because it can automatically generate a lot of the technical SEO aspects that you need for your website and make recommendations on what you might need to improve for better SEO rankings you can install Yoast directly from your WordPress dashboard simply go to the plugins section select add new and search for Yoast once you install Yoast go to the plug-in dashboard and click on check SEO configuration right at the top the wizard will then walk you through a 9-step process to setup your SEO and metadata settings using Yoast you'll be able to set the standards for your page titles type in your website name as you want it to appear and choose your preferred title separator now that you have you installed and configured go to
The page editor scroll to the bottom of each page for article and you'll see the...
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the page editor scroll to the bottom of each page for article and you'll see the metadata for each page Yoast automatically generates the title tag and meta description for you but if you click on each of these sections you'll have the option to edit them one of my favorite parts of the Yoast plugin is that has the snippet preview so you can see what your meta data will look like in Google and then you can decide if you want to make changes if you're using our Gator website builder for your website you have the ability to change the SEO elements without needing an additional plugin you can change the title tag and meta descriptions in the settings tab of each page another important piece of metadata you need on your website is alt text for images unfortunately at this point Google is not smart enough to see an image and understand what it is Google knows that there is an image but
Not what is in the image that's why you need to provide what's called alt text...
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not what is in the image that's why you need to provide what's called alt text all text describes what is in the image and in a way allows Google to see it and rank it within Google images essentially in your alt text you want to describe what's in the image and if you can include one of your keywords from your list of keywords but don't stuff it in there and make it unnatural alt text is also used for the visually impaired and for slow loading websites so that all visitors can understand what was supposed to be in the image even if they can't see it to make sure your alt text is accurate and descriptive if you have a wordpress website you'll see the option to add alt text when you upload an image to the media library type your alt text into this box to describe what is in the photo or if it's an illustration you can describe the purpose behind the photo if you need to add alt text after an image has already been uploaded you can always go to your
Media library click on the photo and edit the alt text box there alt text is...
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media library click on the photo and edit the alt text box there alt text is also built into our Gator web site builder to add it to an image simply click on the image when you upload it and change it under the settings section okay thanks Alexis so now we're going to talk about content to improve your site's rankings you need quality content for some people this may seem like the hardest part of SEO but here's the deal when someone comes to your website they will quickly skim through the site looking for information they need if your website doesn't have quality content that is relevant to their search helpful or interesting they will probably leave and pretty quickly quality content is especially helpful so that Google can understand what your site is about and can crank it for the correct search terms quality content is also the best way to get what we refer to as backlinks that's part of the
Off-page SEO we mentioned at the beginning and that's when someone links...
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off-page SEO we mentioned at the beginning and that's when someone links to your website from theirs most importantly as a guiding principle make your website primarily for people not for search engines well what do we mean by that so instead of trying to game the system just for the sake of SEO make a website that is easy for people to use easy for them to read and easy to understand what your business offers a useful test is to ask yourself does this content help my users would I create this content if search engines didn't exist you can also use your keyword research to determine how to organize your website so for example the Hostgator web site has landing pages for shared hosting dedicated hosting and VPS hosting which are important keywords for us and then within each one of those pages we're targeting three to five relevant keywords so let's talk about
Best practices for quality content your content should be relevant unique...
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best practices for quality content your content should be relevant unique authoritative and timely first off relevant to the searchers intent we talked about this a moment ago but to recap when someone comes to your website they're going to quickly skim looking for information that's relevant to what they were searching for if they don't see what they need or what they expected to find they will likely leave this is where your keyword research comes in handy you already know the terms that they are searching for specifically so now you just need to make sure that information is easy to find on your website next your website should be unique think about what makes your business unique valuable or engaging and make sure that information is reflected on your website and then also from a literal standpoint your website copy should be unique you can't just copy and paste content from another website onto yours Google is gonna know that you did that and they
Won't index that page of your website if the content is available for batum...
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won't index that page of your website if the content is available for batum somewhere else so make sure what you're offering is unique the last two tips we're gonna group together for a minute because we can tackle them with one approach the content on your website should show your expertise on the topic or the product that you sell and your content should be timely meaning the it's current so think about it like this if you went to a website and you saw that it was last updated two years ago you would probably wonder if that business is still in business or if the information is correct a great way to accomplish Authority and timeliness is with a blog you can establish your expertise and credibility on a topic by writing blog articles on your website and a blog allows you to publish new content on a regular basis which shows Google that your website is timely and active use your keyword research to develop some topics for your new blog for the Hostgator blog for instance we
Typically published five days per week and for the Articles that we really want...
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typically published five days per week and for the Articles that we really want to rank and search those articles are about 2,000 words long another important element related to your content is your headings and the headings that you put throughout the page headings are like the titles and the sub titles of your page and they can heavily contribute to your rankings so it's important that you include your keywords in the headings keywords are like the guideposts that help a reader move through the paragraphs they can help summarize a section and they can also help her reader find what they were looking for but for Google the headings also indicate importance of information so you're going to want to use headings correctly hairs have heading 1 or h1 is your page title it's labeled h1 because it's the most most important heading on the page there should only be one h1 per page and you will usually want to include one of your high-volume keywords
Which is usually one of your head terms h2s are your subheadings they should be...
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which is usually one of your head terms h2s are your subheadings they should be used to help organize your text you'll want to include some of your mid volume keywords in your h2s where applicable you will always want to have h2s and unlike an h1 you can have multiple h2s throughout the page h3 s are your h2 seven heads h2s can be helpful in organizing content and they're another great place to put keywords if you can so you can see here in this example the Hostgator blog our h1 is always the title of the article on this particular article the first h2 on the page is labeled five steps to secure your website from hackers and then further down the page which you see on the right-hand side actually there are H threes that list out those five steps so putting organization to the order of content if you're using something like WordPress for your website you'll see
The options for various headings in the page editor next up is how to format...
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the options for various headings in the page editor next up is how to format your site's URLs for SEO friendliness URL structures don't have to be complicated in fact they should be easy to read and easy to share your URL should include your domain subfolder and then a URL slug for example here's a URL on the Hostgator blog Hostgator comm is the domain blog is the subfolder and how to create a website is the slug so some best practices write your URLs in a way that explains what a website visitor can expect to read on that page this is where your keyword research comes in handy include some of your relevant keywords in the URL but make sure that it feels natural generally we suggest
Making your URLs semi short and easy to read the optimal character count for...
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making your URLs semi short and easy to read the optimal character count for URLs is between 50 to 60 characters one way you can shorten your slug is to remove what we call stop words examples of stop words are a two or four stock words can take up valuable character real estate and can make the URL slug unnecessarily long so we're definitely not saying delete stock words every time sometimes you do need stop words to make better sense of your page pages for example let's say that you have an article about the band that's called cage the elephants if you removed that you could actually change the meaning from a band name to some new cage elements activists movement which you clearly wouldn't want to do usually the software that you're using for your website will generate the URL slug for you for example if you have a wordpress website wordpress will automatically create the slug based on
The title of the page however you can edit the slug if you want to make some...
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the title of the page however you can edit the slug if you want to make some updates wordpress calls this a permalink and you can edit it over here on the right side of the editor you can remove some words or the dashes or whatever is best for your website alright this is the part where we get to be a little techie for a minute step number five use schema if appropriate schema is the type of markup language that helps indicate certain types of content to Google think about a cookbook you know what to expect from a cookbook right generally recipes in a cookbook are all formatted the same there's the name of the recipe a photo of the food a list of ingredients and then a paragraph with instructions for how to make the food right schema is the same way it takes certain types of content and provides formatting guidelines so Google knows how to identify it then Google
Will read that schema and show the results in an expanded format that we...
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will read that schema and show the results in an expanded format that we call rich results or Rich Snippets let's take a look at an example so let's say I want to make fried chicken for dinner I do a quick search on google for fried chicken at the top of the search results you'll see websites that have recipe schema set up you can see the title of the picture a star rating and how long the recipe takes to make compare that to a regular web page result that you'll see to the right and you can quickly see how the recipe schema makes the search result more appealing and more eye-catching by coding your pages with the correct schema it's easy for searcher to quickly see and find recipes in the search results instead of having recipes scattered throughout the page among the best fried chicken restaurants in Austin Texas there's also a type of schema for news articles so when we search for Fried
Chicken we also saw news articles about Fried Chicken in the middle of the page...
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Chicken we also saw news articles about Fried Chicken in the middle of the page Google knows how to group all of these different content types together and display them visually so how do you know if your website needs schema well chances are there's the type of schema that you can be taking advantage of so almost always want to add some sort of schema to your website there are hundreds of schema types but common types include local business organization website recipe product and FAQ the main thing stopping people from implementing schema is probably just because it sounds hard but it doesn't have to be google provides a structured data markup helper tool say that five times fast that makes it easy for you to choose the type of schema you want just type in all the details relevant to your website's content and the tool will automatically generate the HTML code
That you need to add to your header so we wanted to give you an example of what...
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that you need to add to your header so we wanted to give you an example of what schema looks like in real life so you can understand the context a little bit better here's an example of schema formatting for an organization once you have this schema formatting you simply swap the placeholders with information specific to your website and add the schema HTML to your homepage here's what the completed organization schema looks like for Hostgator you'll then place this completed schema and the HTML header of your website so nobody's going to see it except Google and your developer and then this is what schema looks like in the wild this is host Gators knowledge panel that pulls information directly from the organization schema if you work with a website developer they should know how to insert the schema markup for you or if you're using WordPress there are
Plugins that will insert your schema go to schema org to find a complete list of schema...
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plugins that will insert your schema go to schema org to find a complete list of schema types and the templated code that you'll need for each one so we mentioned google structured data markup l virtual earlier but google also has a structured data testing tool that you can use to verify that your schema is set up correctly for google and remember you can always go to schema.org to get the full list of schema types and templated code the links for those three tools are on the screen awesome thanks Alexis I feel like we just ran a marathon in a sprint so let's recap these are the five foundational steps for SEO success that we covered today let's go through this quickly because I want to give you some reminders number one do keyword research there are paid tools you can use to do this task
But today we showed you free easy ways to do keyword research with Google...
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but today we showed you free easy ways to do keyword research with Google autocomplete Google's people also asked function and Google's keyword planner use these keywords to help guide your website content and your website structure number to set up metadata on all pages this is the title tag and the meta descriptions remember the recommended character count for a page title is around 60 characters and the recommendation for Meta Description is around 150 characters it's also important to have alt tags on your images and someone asked in the chat window like really I need a meta description on every page yes you do otherwise Google is gonna auto populate it for you or just take the first how many characters from somewhere on your page so you really will want to put a Meta Description on every page number three create quality content the content on your website should be unique and show your expertise on a topic a blog is a great way to do that for a blog article to rank in Google we recommend
At least 1.
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at least 1,000 words but our most successful articles on the Hostgator blog are around 2,000 words and don't forget your heading tags number for URL structure and links your URLs should be easy to read and easy to share the optimal character count for a URL is fifty to sixty characters and finally use schema if appropriate go to schema.org to find a complete list of types of schema to determine the schema format that you might want to use on your website and then use Google's structured data markup helper tool to automatically generate the HTML code that you need okay we have heard a lot and to be honest I know that we have barely scratched the surface of search engine optimization I know that we had quite a few questions and we do have some time for Q&A yeah perfect good good amount of time if we don't get to
Your question then check the inbox we may be putting together like a follow-up...
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your question then check the inbox we may be putting together like a follow-up posts on our blog with some of the top answers or top questions and answers and as a reminder I know you were asking about this as well we are recording the session today so because you're already signed up to attend you're gonna get an email with the recording tomorrow so you'll have that as a reference that you can go back through to you know watch it again make sure you've got all your notes done okay so Jana let's hit social media first did you have any questions on there that we should cover yeah there was just a couple of questions and most of them do relate to some of the questions we're getting here about do I need to set up Google my business if I'm only an online store yeah I saw that one - that was great a bunch of people were asking that in the chat window as well so do you still need Google my business if you have an online store or if you're
Not a physical storefront my answer is yes absolutely if you want people to...
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not a physical storefront my answer is yes absolutely if you want people to search for you online you still need a Google my business account there's a couple different ways you can do it though and Alexis may need to answer help answer this as well just about what's the most current version but even if you don't have a physical location you can put in what's called a service area a provider that kind of says you know these are the like the zip code that I serve let's say you maybe you don't have a physical store but you serve like all of the Greater Houston Texas area you can put that into Google my business but there's a lot of different fields in there that you can use to fill out and what Google my business will do is they'll then use like an email or a phone number or postcard to verify your information but I think you absolutely should have a Google my business listing if you want people to be able to find you online and so most cases if you don't have a physical store you still
Want people to find you online so you're still going to want to have one Alexis...
42:21
want people to find you online so you're still going to want to have one Alexis do you have anything to add to that the only thing I would add if you have other questions about Google my business we did recently publish a post on the Hostgator blog about the best places you should list your business online so I would recommend checking that out if you want further details absolutely okay what else Jana the only other one on Twitter was how long would it take for Google my business to get updated if I made a change um I can go ahead and handle this one a lot of changes need to be approved by Google my business admins before they'll be published so you just have to wait to go through their approval process but I would guess 36 to 48 hours and you'll notice the change okay that's really it from social media I've been trying to keep track of some of the questions that are coming in
There there are quite a few so I know we're not gonna get to all of them did...
43:24
there there are quite a few so I know we're not gonna get to all of them did you guys see any you want to answer or do you want me to go ahead and field some of the common ones um I did write down a couple somebody asked and this is such a tricky one they asked you know how as a small company um how do I compete with the big companies I would say make sure you start with some of these basics like if you can get your website with all the SEO standards that's gonna give you the first step towards being able to compete and remember like we talked about earlier if you're a small business that serves a specific area then you're gonna want to put that city or state in your keywords that you're targeting as well and just make sure that what you have is very unique and various you know tailored to your product or to your audience you can also do some kind of audience research
Or competitor research to see what people are searching for related to your...
44:25
or competitor research to see what people are searching for related to your product go look at some of your competitor websites and see what they may have that you don't have if there's something that you need to implement as far as a website goes like maybe there's something like how we talked about how an organized website can make it easier for somebody to find what they need and stay on your website you might even need to think about making sure that you're kind of in line with the standards of your competitors Alexis do you have anything you want to add on that topic yeah I would definitely suggest looking into adding schema or some type of structured data to your website in order to give you those rich results and the SERPs that'll make your pages basically stand out and people will be more likely to click on them and perhaps your competitors or larger businesses aren't taking advantage of structured data yeah that's a great one somebody also asked about I mean a couple of people commented about this
About what can I do for content if I have a store I think there's a couple...
45:26
about what can I do for content if I have a store I think there's a couple ways to go about this so if you have an online store and you're wondering what to do for content I would suggest that you make sure that every product page has a good detailed description of the product you can also implement reviews on the page you know somebody putting comments and reviews and talking about the product as well will also help kind of boosts the content you have on that page and then you could also still start blog articles that talk about like how to use the products in real life or let's say you're like an online clothing store you could do an article about you know outfits to wear to summer weddings if you're a guest and then you know you can show like tips and caught you know thoughts about what to wear to a wedding as a guest and then you can link to the products on your website that are
Directly applicable to that if you have you know certain pants for men that...
46:28
directly applicable to that if you have you know certain pants for men that would be good for you know hot outdoor summer weddings or whatever so just think about creative ways you can expand on the content that's on your website related to your product you know just like a one sentence description is gonna be really difficult to rake in keyword or rincon search so I would just suggest that you make you know that you set that you add some more language and copy about the product but Alexis there's probably schema for products as well right yeah they're absolutely is and something kind of cool although we didn't mention it is that you set up a Google search console account which is Google's I guess more like native analytics tracking tool they do have the capability to check any of your product schema and let you know right in that interface if there's something wrong with it which is a really nice advantage because it kind of there down any issue she may be having that
Would prevent you from getting any rich results in the Serbs okay those of...
47:29
would prevent you from getting any rich results in the Serbs okay those of anyone questions oh sorry there's been a couple of questions about ssl and how important that is for SEO I was just gonna reply in the chat but I and you guys can correct me if I'm wrong especially you Alexis that SSL is huge because if you don't have the HTTPS noting that your site is secure Google will indicate that it is not safe so you're gonna want that HTTPS so that people feel confident that they can share their information with you yeah that's exactly right having a secure website has actually probably for the past ten years been one of Google's top tips for ranking well but specifically asked of last July Google Chrome started flagging sites that didn't have an SSL certificate saying that they're unsecure and that obviously is going to cost
People to leave your site very quickly which increases your bounce rate which...
48:29
people to leave your site very quickly which increases your bounce rate which will then decrease your rankings yeah absolutely so we have some questions about someone asked a question specifically about how big of a disadvantage of it is it to start a cruise or vacation company with no cruise or vacation in the domain name so I'm not going to give you advice today on starting your company and what you should name it or not but I'm going to assume that maybe you have a business like this that doesn't have cruise or vacation in the company name you might want to go back to where we talked about page titles this could be an opportunity for that front branding where you put the name of your business first and then you'll want to make sure that you're always using those keywords in the page title the title tag so that you have those keywords listed in the title tag of each page and then you know it's probably another great place to just
Make sure you have those keywords on pages of your website...
49:30
make sure you have those keywords on pages of your website Alexis you everything to add on that yeah I would say also don't worry about having those keywords in your domain name that's actually kind of an outdated practice and it's kind of considered keyword stuffing so as long as you make sure to weave those keywords throughout your metadata your headings and your content you should be fine great and there's so many great questions on here I'm just trying to figure out okay so somebody asked this is a great one because we talked about this when we were prepping somebody asked what about indexing your site on Google so Alexis you want to talk about this a little bit like Google knows that you have a website right when you start it but then how do you get make sure that your site gets indexed the best way to make sure that your site gets indexed in a timely manner is by setting up a Google search console account Google search console has a feature called fetch and render where you can not only submit your site's URLs to Google but
You can also submit your site sitemap which has a full listing of your urls...
50:34
you can also submit your site sitemap which has a full listing of your urls for priority crawling by Google there's no guarantee when Google will call your site and unfortunately smaller sites frequently get crawled less than larger sites but you do have the option to submit your URLs for that priority indexation through Google search console which can really benefit you you know getting up and running more quickly great ok yeah there's so many good ones I'm like as soon as I read one question I go on to the next one and like forget what I wanted to say ok so I don't have a lot of experience with this but Alexis maybe you can give us some general rules of thumb but a few people are asking about what if I have a website that's in more than one language or what if it's you know a Russian web site is it going to be indexed in English like so how would you handle different languages or
Multiple languages hmm so one of the largest issues multi-regional sites have...
51:37
multiple languages hmm so one of the largest issues multi-regional sites have is if the site of each one of the sites is in the same language for example if you have a US version of and a UK version of your site those are both English speaking languages which means that potentially the site's could compete with each other in the search engine result pages now if you have like in this example it sounds like it was a u.s. site versus a Russian site those are two different languages so you don't have to worry about any competition in the SERPs what you will want to implement though is if those sites are kind of duplicated just different languages is add what's called h hreflang which lets Google know that those are different variations of the same website that's a little more complex and obviously you know some of the content on on this webinar goes but if you look at H hreflang and mess international SEO best practices you'll
Find a lot of great information on how to kind of work around those roadblocks...
52:40
find a lot of great information on how to kind of work around those roadblocks that's great thank you okay so this is a question that Jana found on social that's a pretty good one and we probably could get into a debate about this one for a while with between me and Alexis but the question is what's more important adding exists updating existing content or adding new content that's funny and fleurs right we actually do go through that quite a lot um from my perspective I don't I think they both have a different purpose right the problem with outdated content is depending on like the timeliness of the piece or the information it just might not be relevant anymore and therefore it might not rank well especially if it was something like I know previously we would do like best web design tips of 2015 like that was four years ago no one
Cares about what the design tips were in 2015 so that's a posts up later and I...
53:41
cares about what the design tips were in 2015 so that's a posts up later and I would go back and update to make more to make sure it's more evergreen and more relevant for 2019 that being said old blog posts typically have more SEO value because they've been on my longer you know they have people linking to them so it's important that if you're going to get rid of that page completely that you 301 redirect that old page to your new page or update the content directly on that original URL yeah okay so that's a great point one thing I was gonna add to what you said is Alexis does a great job of taking a look at like some of those old posts that maybe have quite a bit of traffic coming to them that need to be updated and letting me know on the blog and then I can go back in and kind of refresh the article a little bit and then that will help when somebody comes to that page that they're seeing what
Feels like current information and will help continue to rank one thing I wanted...
54:42
feels like current information and will help continue to rank one thing I wanted you to expand on Alexis you talked about 301 redirects we actually did this as like a web pro tip on social media and not too long ago and was a really popular one so Alexis can you talk about like quickly I mean this is a little bit of an offside but what is a 301 redirect and why would I want to do that I think your web pro tip said never delete a page so if something is an old old article you still would say don't delete it right can you talk about that a little bit yes and although that's not a hard and fast rule I would say 99% of the time it's going to apply the reason you never want to delete a page even if you plan on recreating like an almost identical one it's because that old page has already been indexed by Google and if it was quality content people were already linking to it which is essentially an upvote in Google's algorithm so if you delete that page
There goes all that SEO value when you 301 redirect the page you're passing...
55:43
there goes all that SEO value when you 301 redirect the page you're passing between 90 and 99 percent of the SEO value of that original page to the new page 301 redirect signals to Google that this is a permanent move and that that old page does not exist anymore what it's going to do is it's going to remove that original page from Google's index and then you can do kind of what we were talking about a few questions ago submit that new page URL in Google search console to be fetch and rendered and hopefully get that new page quickly indexed if that old page was ranking and you do a 301 redirect you should expect to maintain similar rankings after maybe a few weeks of fluctuations okay great good to know so I know that we're getting pretty close on time so I wanted to go over a couple things you can keep sending your questions into the chat box because what we're gonna do is
Once we're done we'll go back through kind of review your questions you know...
56:46
once we're done we'll go back through kind of review your questions you know if you see what we might need to address you know if we can help expand information with an additional blog post we're gonna look at doing that and what we first of all let me tell you about the next webinar that we have upcoming and it one should be we're saying in the comments like hey please do another one of these so the next one we have scheduled is on October 16th and we're gonna be talking about how to kick off an epic holiday social media campaign we know that the holidays are busy but we'll walk you through how to maximize your social strategy during the holiday season so that you can create a plan for your holiday content you can sign up for that webinar on our blog the link is on the screen it's hostgator.com slash blog slash resources and you'll see it there in our webinar section also keep an eye on your email because you're gonna receive a recording of this webinar tomorrow and a short survey please fill out the survey to let us know what you
Want to learn about in future webinars or just drop a comment in the chat...
57:47
want to learn about in future webinars or just drop a comment in the chat window I know several of you were saying like hey can you do off page SEO next or you know I want to learn something more about WordPress just drop a comment in the question box and let us know kind of what you want to know either you know expand it on this or other topics you're interested to learn about because we want to make sure that we're giving you valuable content that is addressing your needs so again look for all that in your email drop us some comments in the box we'll review them once we're done and thanks again for joining us we're really glad that you were here we hope you learned some great stuff and we'll see you again next time [Music]

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