SEO can feel like a shady, scary, confusing and daunting place. Luckily, all you need to know are a few important fundamentals and have a solid foundation for the basics to feel better about SEO.

In this episode, I’m going to dish out the basics of SEO for web designers so you can feel confident with SEO and make a big impact with organic rankings for both you and your clients. We’ll cover 3 areas of basic SEO:

  1. SEO Fundamentals
  2. On-site SEO Practices
  3. Good SEO Tools

I’m intentionally going over the basics in this episode to help prep us for the next episode which dives into SEO in a little more detail and complexity. But just like most other subjects in web design, once you know the basics, you can do just about anything from there!

In This Episode:

02:50 – A few important things to remember with SEO
06:35 – What Google is?
08:05 – Understanding Keywords
10:23 – The goal is domain authority
12:12 – Content that is both human and robot friendly
13:12 – Good navigation and structure
14:45 – Good linking (both internal and external)
17:33 – A quick SEO win (separate service pages)
20:30 – Blogs that answer questions
24:11 – Good HTML structure
27:50 – A site that loads quick
30:47 – Submitting to the Google tools
33:19 – On-site SEO tools
35:35 – External SEO tools

Featured links mentioned:

Full Transcription #054

Josh 0:16
Hey, everybody, welcome into the podcast. This is Episode 54. And in this one, I’m going to cover some SEO basics. We’re going to talk some of the most fundamental and important things for SEO for you as web designers for your websites. But then also, these are the things that you can apply for all of your client websites. And the reason I wanted to do this episode right now and to cover some SEO basics is because the next episode coming up Episode 55, we dig into some more advanced things with SEO, particularly how to optimize your websites and your website content for better SEO Google rankings. And in that episode, I’m bringing in my SEO specialist to talk more about that in a little more detail, which is why I wanted to preface that and kind of give you as an introduction to SEO, particularly for those of you who have not been through my SEO course, and who may be new to SEO, so what we’re going to do in this one is I broken this talk down into three different sections, we’re going to talk about some SEO fundamentals. And then we’re going to talk about some on site SEO practices that you can apply to your sites in your client sites. And then we’ll wrap up with some really good and important SEO tools that are going to be available to that either I use or I know a lot of colleagues that use. And as I mentioned, I do have an SEO course where I this is actually all of this content is pulled from that course. But I just go into a lot more detail in the course and have a lot more lessons in around these things. So a lot of what I mentioned in here, I’m going to make reference back to my course because again, everything is pulled from that but either way, I just wanted to give every single one of you some good SEO basics to follow. So without further ado, let’s dive in and have some fun here. And I do want to preface everything by saying this, SEO can be very scary, shady, you know, a daunting, intimidating world. But I will tell you, my business, Josh Hall.Co is 100% built with organic SEO and I just want to say it’s not rocket science, there’s a lot of different ways to go about it. There are some rights and some wrongs but there’s also a lot of things that are just open to interpretation. So SEO is something you don’t need to fear. It’s also a great option for recurring income, which I talked about my course more. So basically, everything you learn through this episode, you can take what you learn, and you can potentially make this into some recurring income plans for your services and for your clients moving forward. But in any case, I just wanted to preface everything by saying that SEO is not to be feared, you can actually do a lot of good damage in the SEO world with just learning some fundamentals. So let’s dive into it. Let’s dive into number one here some SEO fundamentals, starting with a few really important things to remember with SEO. Number one is that it’s it is a long game. SEO is not something that’s going to happen overnight. Google as you can I imagine it takes a little while for it to start ranking certain pages depending on the topic and the phrase that’s, that’s asked in the Google search bar. And it’s not going to happen overnight. It is a long game. It takes time, consistency. And I know clients don’t like to hear that. But it’s just the truth. Now, you can work your way up click on Google with PPC, which is what’s called Pay Per Click ads. But that’s not something I do. And I just have no interest in it. I’m more about the organic approach. And quite frankly, people who pay a lot of money for Google ads, once their ad is done, guess what happens? It drops and it’s nowhere to be seen often. So it’s a long game. But that’s cool. As you can do it by phases in this is something we’ll talk about next. But your you can just let your clients know you. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to be a long game, but we can do it in phases, step by step, you can just make gradual improvements. Once you start getting a little more Google ranking here. You can start getting a little more there and then next thing you know, Josh has a ton of tutorials everywhere that people are finding left and right in it. It’s taken three years to this point. But that’s exactly how I built my business, the long, long game style.

I will tell you, my business, Josh Hall.Co is 100% built with organic SEO

Josh 4:05
Now, on the note of setting expectations, that’s the next big thing is that you need to set expectations for yourself with your website, but then also your clients as you can imagine, so a lot of people say, Well, I just built my website, why isn’t it coming up on Google? Well, that depends that first of all, it’s a baby on the internet. So Google doesn’t know about the site. You know, is the site built? Well, we’re going to talk about some on site SEO practices shortly. Does it have all that in place? Or you know, is it doing a lot of things that are kind of a no no for SEO? But then also, are you linking to other sites? Are you getting the word out? Are you driving traffic? All those things are going to, you know, make or break whether a site is showing up relatively quickly on Google and it also depends on the what’s being searched again, going back to whatever keyword or phrase is being searched. It also depends on your competition, your area, there’s a lot of different factors that are going to you know come into play when it comes to an SEO strategy and a site pulling up on Google. Now, there are some times that you can get pretty instant results. But more often than not, it’s going to take a little while for sites to start showing up on Google, unless you’re searching the company name or a brand name or something like that. But in any case, you want to set your expectations again, going back to the long game, it’s not going to happen overnight, you need to very carefully tell that to your clients to that way, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this, you build a website. And then the next day, your client says, Hey, why are I number one on Google for, you know, dentist services or something, and the expectation needs to be set. And then finally, in this little point here, as I mentioned in the outset of this, there are some right or wrong things with SEO. There’s some practical things. However, there’s also a lot of things that again, are just open to interpretation. And I actually find a lot of freedom in that because it’s something that is first of all, it’s constantly changing and constantly evolving, but it’s also something that you know, some SEO Experts and web designers do things their way. But I do things a different way. And a practical example of that is with keyword research, which we’ll talk about here. A lot of people do very data driven keyword research, and they want to find out what is being searched for. And there’s a lot of pros to that. For me, I built my entire SEO presence with my tutorials and videos with just answering questions that I had, or I thought were good questions. And I just out what I thought would be good. So a lot of ways to go about it. There’s some practical, right wrong things. But there’s also a lot of ways that are open for interpretation. Now, one thing I want to address real quick, too, is what Google actually is. And this should really make things feel less daunting for you. And that is that Google is just a search engine. A lot of people call it a matchmaker.

Josh 6:45
It is simply a way to get when somebody answers or ask a question. It’s looking for an answer. That’s all it is. It is just a tool that helps answer somebody’s question. So that idea alone has really made me feel more confident with SEO with the idea of the bit, the most important thing I need to do in that all of our clients sites needs to do are to answer questions. So whatever keyword is searched, you want to answer that question. This is also why side note, blog posts are generally more important and have a lot more SEO value than standard website pages, like services or product pages, because Google is generally you know, getting questions and they’re going to try to find the best match for that question and a blog post or something that’s near that area or, you know, something that has as much relevance as possible. So when you have a service page, yeah, that might have a lot of information. But maybe it’s not answering your question. They may not you know, somebody is very rarely sear, searching for as many services as they are answers to questions. Same thing with products. So a lot of times, while those do have really good SEO value as well, you’re going to get a lot more prominence with blog posts, which is another side note why blogs are still king content is king. So just remember, what is Google? It’s just a search engine. It’s a search mechanism. It’s looking for answers to questions. That’s it.

Josh 8:05
Now, when people are typing in questions, they’re using what’s called keywords. So you’ve got to understand keywords you may hear also phrase is key phrases. But there are this is the biggest thing and I talk about this in a little more detail in my SEO course, but I’ll give you the basics here. There are three types of main keywords or key phrases. there’s what’s called short tail, mid tail, and long tail keywords. A short tail example would be like veterinarian, that would be a short tail like one word key phrase or keyword. A mid tail would be like dog veterinarian, it’s a little more specific. It’s you know, not terribly specific to a breed or to an area or location but it is a little more specific than just veterinarian. And then a long tail example is dog veterinarian in Columbus, Ohio, for example, since I’m in Columbus, so you could do like dog veterinarian Columbus, that would be a very popular type of search term here in Columbus. So those are the three different types of keywords and key phrases that’s really, really crucial to know. Particularly, this is something you’re going to want to relay to your clients. Because going back to my example earlier, if my you know, if I get a dental dentist client and then the day after we launched their site, they wonder why they’re not number one on Google? Well, maybe we need to focus on mid and long tail keywords that we can actually rank for, as opposed to dentist, because if you try to rank for dentist, you’re going to have thousands and thousands of competition, even dentists, Columbus is going to be much harder to reach. Now. However, if we did dentist Grove City, which is where I’m in, which is a suburb outside of Columbus, we could definitely make some waves in that and the Google ranking. So the biggest thing with the success of an SEO presence, whether it’s blog posts or service pages, or whatever, is really the keywords and those three things the most important things short tail mid tail, long tail, the side note you, you’ll often get a lot more quicker results with long tail keywords because they’re more specific. Then once your site gets more popular on Google starts to like it, we’ll talk about domain authority next, then you can work your way up to mid tail, and then eventually short tail type of keywords. But short tail, mid tail, long tail, those are the biggies. Really recommend that you talk to your clients and give them a good understanding of what those are. Now, like I just mentioned, domain authority. This is the goal. The goal of every website’s SEO strategy is to build domain authority. And in short, that’s basically Google’s way of saying, Hey, I really like your site. your site’s good. It’s got really good content. you’re posting things consistently. We’ll talk about the on site practices next here, but it’s going to give your site precedence and prominence over a lot of your competition as your site grows on the internet. And as it builds domain authority, and as Google likes it, it’s going to start again showing results from your site over competitors and over articles and similar industry. And is also one thing that will really help your domain authority apart from really good content. And everything that we’re going to talk about here coming up, is if you can get other people to link back to your site. That’s called backlinking. And in the next episode and 55, I talked with Michelle about like really in depth with backlinking. Because there’s some shady spammy ways that I recommend you don’t go. But there’s also a lot of good, organic, wholesome ways we’ll say, of getting good backlinks. And Google loves that because Google wants a site that is good, relevant, consistent, but it’s also a site that other people like and that they link back to. So Google loves that. So those are just some of the most important ways to build domain authority. Above all, though, guys, it’s consistency, and it’s good content, apart from what we’re going to talk about moving forward. So the goal is to build that domain authority. This is also why when you release a brand new website, on the internet, it’s not pulling up as quick. Even if you have really good blog posts, it may take a while and that’s because it doesn’t have any domain. authority. Google doesn’t trust you yet. So relay that to your clients to, it’s all about domain authority. And then finally, your website content. We’ll talk about this more in the next episode. we dive into this in a lot of detail. But it’s got to be content friendly for both humans, and robots. So it’s really a mix of doing keywords and having some data and information and content in the post that’s specifically to that keyword or that key phrase, like we talked about.

Josh 12:26
But just remember, humans real people are going to be reading it and they set much more priority than robots. Now, it is important to make sure your content is robot friendly, but you got to make sure people enjoy reading it because if people are going on there, and they bounce off really quickly, side note, Google knows that. So you want to make sure it’s both human and robot friendly. So those are some really fundamental things to understand with SEO. Now there’s a lot more but I’m just giving you guys kind of the the high level stuff that I think that I’ve found, in my experience to be really, really important. Now, let’s move on to some on site SEO practices that you can apply to both your website and again, your clients. These are things that you can also do in phases and make additional services and content upgrades for your clients as well. Starting with a good navigation structure, this is one of the most important things to do, especially for a brand new website, you’ve got to have a really good organized navigation menu that has the most important links to your website. And this is where you’re typically you have services, blog, you know, team or about maybe it’s your process or things like that. And you want to come up with a really good hierarchy. This is really important for sites that have even even a small site that may just have five to 10 pages, but it’s extra important for a site that has a lot of pages because as you can imagine, you don’t want to go in your menu and have 30 blog posts in your menu, you want to come up with a really good navigation structure, that is your services, then it has links to all your different services and then you’ll have a separate link for your blog posts. And maybe there’s different categories of blog posts. So you really need to think about your navigation in your structure. Because Google wants to know what the priority of pages are. It’s all about UX user experience, you want people to go on your site, and understand where they need to go to find what they’re looking for. And the best way to do that is to have a really good navigation and structure. I recommend practically having no more than six or seven main links on your menu, a website that has like 20 links on it on the main menu, it just isn’t going to go well. So you want to make sure you have really good emphasis on your navigation in your structure and create that hierarchy for sites that have a lot of different posts, and different post types. Like maybe it’s a podcast, blog, pages, whatever. Now the other aspect to this is linking and you want to have good linking both internally on your site and externally. And the reason this is important is because Google wants to know what your most important pages are, but then how it’s all connected again going back to that UX. So one of the best things you can do is for example for like linking, not only on the menu, but on your homepage, for example, you could link to those main pages on your homepage, as well as your menu. This is going to tell Google, these are the most important pages, then people can drill down from there with the information they want to get to. This will also help when people land on your blog post or podcast page or something first, and then go back to your homepage, or are then looking in your menu to find what they’re looking for next. Now, there’s variety different ways to go about this but as I just mentioned, one of the best things that I’ve seen implemented and then I’ve seen work for me is to just have your main pages linked on your front page. So for example, my site has what I’m closing in on 200 pages and posts between my tutorials, my blogs, my podcast, I’ve got a lot of different posts out there. So the challenge I had more recently that I had to address was how do I help people get to where they’re, they’re going to what they’re looking for and It’s still in the works, I’m still working that out. But one of the best things I did was I created kind of master categories, the main areas of my site, which for me, are my courses, my blogs, my tutorials, my podcasts, and then a couple other areas. And that’s what I did. That’s what’s in my menu, my menu is courses, tutorials, podcasts, etc. And then I have a section of my homepage that echoes that with a little more detail. And then they can click off to look at all the different types of tutorials, and then the podcasts, etc. So anytime you can do internal linking like that, that is a great way to tell Google what’s most popular. This is also another side note, a great way to help display what pages you see when people Google your site. So a lot of people want to know, when you Google a site, how do you get the pages to show up? Well, there’s actually no for sure way to control that. But one of the best ways that you have a good chance of your main pages showing up is to set the hierarchy like we’re talking about with linking. And then also one thing you can do before we move on to the next one is to link to external sites that have good domain authority. So anytime you can link to similar articles, or sites that are even in your industry or even sometimes your competitors, it’s a great way to go because Google’s going to view your site as a site that’s generous and is sharing information is linking to a bunch of other sites. And you’re going to be that connector. There’s a lot of power and being a connector, both as a person in business but then also as a site, because Google is going to be, you know, looking at your site is going to be connecting to a bunch of other sites. So it’s a great way to build SEO.

Josh 17:33
Now, another kind of another side topic on linking is to separate your service pages. This is one of the quick out of the gate SEO wins that you can have for a new site. And that is to create a separate service page for each of your services. And the reason this is so important is because as we talked about with the idea of like keyword research, again, what is what is that? Well, Google is just trying to answer a question. So If somebody wants to find more about a certain service, it’s not going to take them to a service page that also has nine other services. Reason being is because that page has a bunch of conflicting information, there’s really no chance for you to create a nice keyword or a nice key phrase with a service page that has nine different services. It’s just Google doesn’t know like, well, what’s it looking for? That’s, you know, dog grooming, let’s let’s use like dog grooming, for example, or dog training. If you have a page that has all these dog services, if you type dog training, it might find that page. But then you’ve also got grooming and care and maintenance and all these other things in that page that’s conflicting with it. So one of the best things you can do right out of the gate for you and your clients is create those separate service pages. Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a page for your services. That’s like the hub that will link out to that. But guess what Google is going to pick up before that page. You’re right. It’s going to pick up your detailed short or excuse me mid or long tail keyword page, that is your service. So let’s take for example, on auto mechanic and you’re working on a site for them, they may say, you know, here’s our services page, well for you, one of the best things you can do is tell them what I just told you, it’s really important if you want to have a good SEO ranking out of the gate, and to build that foundation to have each one of these services as their own page with new images, different content that’s related to that service that answers some questions and has more information and automatically, you’ll be ahead of the game compared to their competitors, just by having additional service pages. So that’s a big one. And it’s great because you can add more work to your portfolio, your portfolio, or excuse me your proposal, and you can do bigger projects like that. And then you can also do it in phases. Again, worst case scenario, if your client is really limited with a budget, you could do one services page, but then maybe two months later, then you build out all of your service pages. And then maybe phase three would be to build out blog posts that support each one of those services. And that’s how you’re going to build this beautiful what I like to call SEO tree with really good internal and external linking as you link out to other sites as well. So separate service pages, that is gold, you guys, I promise, it’s proven. I’m perfect example. We’ve done this with client sites, separate service pages are the way to go. There’s so many win wins. And again, you don’t have to scare your client with, you know, developing 100 page website right out of the gate, you could just start out with a 10 to 15 page site that has your services in different detail, and then you can grow it from there. Now, as far as growing it from there when you’re doing blog posts, just remember this, the most powerful blog posts just simply answer questions. This is again, why blog posts and we have much more authority and domain value and domain authority than regular pages because people are searching for questions or they’re searching questions and then they’re getting answers. Typically, answers are going to happen in blog posts. And this is also why you can get better quicker Google rankings because with a blog posts, if you’re answering a certain question, it’s often going to be a longer tail keyword that’s a little more specific Again, going back to let’s go back to the veterinarian idea, like there was veterinarian, there was dog veterinarian, then there is vetinary in Columbus. Well, you could do a blog post about how you know, your Columbus base dog veterinary place is, you know, has these awards or whatever. And then this is some stuff that will help you out with, you know, with your dog. You can answer questions, you could also do something like in this case, what are some standard things you can do for betania care for golden retriever dogs because I have a golden retriever, who I love. So that would be long tail keyword that you could do a blog post and answer questions about, you know, the general care you should do for that type of dog breed. And that post is going to get seen and it’s going to get shared and as long as it’s helpful, and it’s written for humans, but also has a keyword in mind, that’s a great way to build your blog. You know, that same idea, the idea hopefully that wasn’t confusing. The idea is just to create blog posts that have good content that are a little more specific and then guess what you do with that, you then link that to your services, which is inevitably going to link to your homepage. It’s all interconnected. It’s all linked. And it’s a great way to go. And then additionally, what you can do in your blog posts, to help out with this on site SEO practices, is you can first of all, address the first paragraph.

Josh 22:18
The first paragraph is the most important piece of content in any page, or any post and we’ll talk about HTML structure next. But what I’ve learned to be super successful and beneficial is to have a first paragraph that explains what you’re about to talk about, or answers a question quickly. And then they can scroll down and get more information with the detailed information because there are people who want to dive into something and get a quick grabby answer, then they’re going to leave but there’s also people who want a little more and you want to be able to appeal to both. So one of the best things you can do is have a really great first paragraph that articulates what you’re going to talk about and answers a question and I actually, here’s a freebie, when I became a blog author for Elegant Themes, this was one of the first things they said, you need to have that first description paragraph that explains what you’re going to talk about. And I didn’t really understand why. But now after my experience of blogging, and with my site, it makes perfect sense. That’s exactly why it’s the most important thing in the page. Now, we’ll talk about HTML structure next. But another really quick point I wanted to make with doing your blogs is that anytime you can use bullet points or a numbered list, do it. It’s great for readability for people reading it. But Google also looks at bullet lists and numbered lists, and often features them as what’s called featured snippets. So a lot of times like if you look at some of my articles, a lot of my snippets are now being found on Google when people ask questions. So for example, if you type in Divi Theme verse Divi Builder, you will see one of my featured snippets pop up first before Elegant Themes and any of the other high ranking sites, which is pretty cool. Now that snippet in this case was actually just a sentence. I answered the question, but some of my other bullet lists and numbered lists have got pulled up like that as well. And it’s a great way to go. It’ll really help Google find your site and have a good quick answer for those who are looking for grab and go answers. Now, let’s talk really quickly about HTML structure. Doesn’t that sound fun? It is, man…it’s not super sexy or super fun, but it is super, super important. And here’s the deal. Here’s the download guys, whether it’s a page, or whether it’s a blog post, there’s a couple things you need to have with the idea of a keyword in mind. You want to make sure you have that in the site title in your site description and we’ll talk about some tools to do that. But you want to make sure that keyword is in the page title itself. You don’t want the title to be too long, but you also don’t want it to be too short tail or too confusing because as we’re talking about, like the dog grooming stuff, if you just if grooming is your page title well Google’s like grooming for what grooming for humans grooming for dogs, grooming for cats, grooming for other creatures? Like, what are we talking about here? So when you do a title, you want it to be fairly specific you want to do like dog grooming. And then sometimes you can do additional posts. That’s like dog grooming Columbus, you know, getting into the more longtail stuff. So you want to have a detailed title that has the keyword. You also want to make sure the URL the permalink has that in there as well. And then here’s the biggie, you want to use an h1 heading and you want to use only one of those only one h1 if you have multiple h1’s. And a good Google knows that. And the reason why that’s so important is because it’s all about hierarchy. So heading ones, h ones are the most important title, that’s what you want on there, but you only want one that should be in the title. And then the rest of the structure are h2, h3. h4 is an onward and you just want to match those up with the hierarchy of your blog post or of your page. Now you can do paragraphs in there and then that’s where you can put your lists and bullet lists and numbered lists and things like that in that with the content, you can have as many h2 s and H3’s, etc as you want. But either way, you want to make sure you follow one h1 heading and then have the rest of your page structure and nicely outlined and structured to where it’s a good hierarchy that people are going to be able to read. But then also that robots know. They’re like, okay, here’s the most important thing. Here’s the title. Here are the subtitles. Here’s the content. Oh, there’s a nice little bullet list, right? There are a numbered list and then there’s the answer to a question. That’s what the robots have Google are looking for. And then additionally, when it comes to structure, one thing you can do that’s really important for all of your pages, is to put what’s called alt text in your images. in WordPress, when you click on an image, there’s a section to put alt text, you can actually do that through Divi as well. And then another little side note, as far as your structure, when you’re putting content in a page is to optimize the file name for SEO. So instead of just your file name being some wacky number, you know, put like if you have a dog getting groomed, then put like dog grooming Columbus, Ohio, you know, Lucky or whatever his name is in there. So, great way to go. Those are just some things I recommend for your HTML structure.

Josh 27:04
There’s a lot more to that, I actually have a whole, I have a couple lessons in my my SEO course, that dive into how to actually write all this out. And then make sure you get as much value as you can and optimization from that structure. But that’s the basic, you need to have a good title that has the keyword that’s ideally fairly specific, one h1 heading, and then a good paragraph that answers a question or talks about what you’re going to do then have your content with h2, h3, h4’s with your paragraphs and sentences and bullet points in there. And then just a couple of wrap up this section with some on site SEO practices. Again, there’s a ton more but for this podcast episode for the sake of the basics, these are the most important things that I’ve found. And that is you need to make sure your site loads quick. The big keys to this there’s really two main keys for bad load times. It’s bad hosting, and images. Those are the two things that really kill loading speeds. Bad hosting is going to include the cheap hosting like GoDaddy Bluehost some of these other ones that are, you know, sounds great Oh, it’s super cheap, but their servers just suck their share, there’s, you know, there’s so many issues with it, they may not have the latest PHP versions, which is what’s behind your site. They don’t support WordPress as well some other so you want to make sure you have decent hosting, I use Siteground I’m a big proponent of that I highly recommend using siteground and if you’re not already have your clients aren’t start your website hosting and maintenance plan get them on there. And make sure you because hosting is like, the way I like to explain this to clients is it’s like a house we could build this beautiful website this beautiful house but if your house is in like a terrible shady, scary neighborhood, it’s not gonna go very well. It’s probably gonna get broken into or hacked it’s probably going to get you know the value isn’t going to be very good because it’s a terrible place. So want to make sure you have good hosting above all and then on top of that, the other killer again is your images. Images are the killer for load time. There’s a variety of ways to go about optimizing images. I’ll mentioned some tools here in a little bit. But ideally, you optimize your images before you put them on your website, you want to make sure images are quick as as low and as small as they can be before they go on the web. You don’t want to take a picture with an image, like on a camera, upload that to your computer, then you’ve got like a six megabyte image, then you upload that to your page and your clients like why is my page loading so slow? It’s like, well, you got a six megabyte picture in there, which to their, you know, they don’t understand anything about that’s why it’s your job to explain this and to learn from this kind of stuff. But you want to make sure that everything is optimized as much as possible before it goes into the site. We’ll talk about some tools that will help with that, but that those are the two biggest culprits. And I do want to say too, for those of you using Divi or who are exploring Divi, Divi is not bad for SEO. A lot of people say that and I see that all the time, and it’s just not true. My site is a perfect, perfect example of it. It’s all about the methods that we’re talking about. To feed into SEO that get hairy, like you can use Divi or you can use any other theme. And you can make a site that loads super slow because your images are huge, or you have bad practices. And that’s what’s gonna kill SEO. It’s not Divi itself. So I just wanted to make note of that. Make note of that for moving on. And then finally, on site stuff, one of the most important and best things you can do is to submit, excuse me to submit your site to the Google tools, and we’ll talk about that shortly. But you want to make sure that your site is indexed by Google. And it’s kind of a fast track way to tell Google hey, here’s my site. Here’s my links. And you can go from there. And you’ll submit what’s called a sitemap, which we’ll talk about here with tools to what’s called Google Search Console. And you know what we’re talking about tools.

Josh 30:43
Let’s dive, dive into it. This final third section, we’re talking about tools. We’re going to talk about some good and important tools for SEO starting with what we were just talking about, which is the Google tools. There are three main Google tools that I’ve found that that we typically use, with all sites and client sites. Number one is Google Search Console. This is something I didn’t really start using till a few years ago, but I found to be super beneficial. Now I do want to say, you don’t absolutely need these, your site will still get indexed, and it will still pop up on Google. And you can still do a lot of damage with SEO without these tools. But these are the best way to tell Google, hey, I’m using your stuff. This, these are the most important pages etc. And so Google Search Console is great, because when you add your site to that, you add what’s called your sitemap, which is all of your post types and pages that way. Again, Google will start to pick those up eventually. But the quickest way to do that is to upload your sitemap, which we could do through a tool called Yoast or some other ones that we’ll talk about. But you upload that to Google Search Console. And then Google Search Console will say, alright, we’ve got all your posts submitted. We’ve got all your pages submitted, we’ll start indexing those ASAP as possible, and we’ll be good to go. So Google Search Console is great. It’s also the tool that will show You what people are searching for to get to your site, because Google Analytics, which we’ll talk about next, does not show those key terms. So you want to make sure you have Google Search Console. Now the other one, like I just mentioned, is Google Analytics and it’s strictly that. It’s strictly analyzing your site’s traffic and your user. So you’re not going to see the terms that people are using to get to your site, but you will see what they’re doing on your site. So this is a big one more for reporting and understanding your site, seeing what’s working, seeing what the most popular pages are, this is where you track your pageviews and all that good stuff. So those are the two biggies. Now, the third one is Google My Business. This is a necessary and an absolute must for businesses that have a brick and mortar shop. This is where like your barbers or pizza shops, your automotive place, all these need to have a Google My Business Page. My business with Josh, CO. I don’t have a Google My Business Page because I don’t have a physical address that my business is at. So it’s not important. For authorities and bloggers and other types of industries that don’t have a location, but for the majority of your clients, they’re gonna need to make sure you they have their Google My Business setup. And that’s going to link to their website, and then they can change their hours and all that good stuff there. So those are the big three Search Console, Analytics and Google My Business. Now there are some onsite tools that are a key. One is to have some sort of SEO plugin on your WordPress website. This is not related to Divi. This is not related to element or any certain theme. It’s just WordPress in general, I use SEO Yoast this is I think, the most popular WordPress SEO plugin. And it’s it’s done very well for me. There’s been a couple times in the past where you know, there was an update that needed to be patched or something like that, but it’s never broken any of my sites and it’s always been a strong tool for me, SEO Yoast. There are other ones. There’s one called Rankmath. There’s All-In-One SEO, and I go through a ton of other ones in my course, but I’ll link to a few in the show notes for this episode. If you’re curious about trying a different one, but the reason that’s important is this, these are the tools where you set your keyword and your pages. It’s also where you can set a page to be indexed by Google or not indexed, which is pretty cool. And it’s also where you can specify things to show up a certain way on Google versus like socials. And it’s also the tool that you can adjust the page title in the page description and which is absolutely key for your websites as well. So want to make sure you’re using a tool. And additionally, this is where when you submit your site to Google Search Console, it’s going to ask for a sitemap. Well, on SEO Yoast, you can go find your sitemap there, and then put it over to Google Search Console. So want to make sure you have an SEO plugin. Now we talked about image optimization briefly. There are plenty of tools for that. Again, I recommend either using Photoshop or Adobe Bridge, or something to optimize your photos and images before they go on to the website. But if you want to optimize them even further or if you have clients managing a site and you don’t trust them to optimize their photos, which I don’t blame you, there’s plugins like WP Smush, Shortpixel is one that we’re using now too. And there’s a plethora of others, those are a couple of the popular ones. And then also a lot of site or excuse me, a lot of hosting companies will have their own media optimizers. So Siteground is who we use, they have their own Siteground plugin, that will do a lot of this stuff for you. They have a media optimizer that will compress your images, you still do have to adjust the settings manually once you upload that, but it’s a great way to optimize your site as best as possible.

Josh 35:33
So those are some onsite tools. And then finally, some external tools that you might considering using are primarily for keyword research. There are some free ones. Now with keyword research. there’s kind of two ways to go. There’s an organic approach or there’s a data driven approach. The organic approach is what I’ve done for years and that was just writing articles and doing tutorials on things that I thought were good or what I would have wanted to learn or that experimenting with the more organic approaches as well are just to type something in Google. You can even for your clients, they can type in their service or their industry and see what comes up. You can see like what popular terms are coming up. And then anytime you do a Google search, at the bottom, you’ll see related search terms, which is really, really important. And just a side note, anytime you search for something on Google, it pulls up what’s called a SERP, which is the search engine. Basically all the results. It’s a search engine results page. It’s what’s pulling up when people search something. So that’s the free organic way to go about keyword research. Now, there are some tools. There are some free tools. There’s Google, excuse me, Google Keyword Planner. Really good one. You’ll hear about this more in the next episode, but Michelle has recently stumbled on to something by Neil Neil Patel, who is a popular SEO guy. It’s called Uber Suggests which I my understanding is is free. And then there’s some other ones as well that I’ll link to some freebies for ya. And then there are the premium tools. There’s these are the ones that really go in detail with keyword research. These are tools that if you’re really looking to do SEO as a service for your business, I’d recommend checking it out. However, if you’re like me and you don’t really want to worry about these tools yourself, you want to hire this out. This is where partnering with somebody who does SEO is really beneficial because they have these tools. These are ones some common ones are Semrush, or Semrush some say. There’s Spyfrog, A.h.refs is like the top dog. It is expensive, but man, is it awesome. You’ll hear about that more in the next episode. But those are the tools that I would consider looking into either way for some organic and data, data driven approaches. So there you go, guys, those are some SEO basics to give you a good understanding. let’s just recap them real quick.

Josh 37:49
Number one was the SEO fundamentals. We talked about some really important things to remember with SEO with it being a long game, setting your expectations and just remembering there’s no right or wrong way often is it a lot of different ways to go about it. Remember that Google is a search engine, it’s just pairing people’s questions up with answers. Understanding those keywords short tail mid tail long tail, you can get better results with long and mid tail before you can short tail. Your goal is domain authority. And just remember, your content needs to be friendly for both humans and robots. Some of the on site SEO practices we went over were having a good navigation structure and hierarchy and organization. Really good linking both internally in your site and externally to other sites, which will help with SEO, separating your service pages. That’s huge. That’s a great quick win for SEO. Remember that your blogs are going to answer questions. And those are going to have the top priority over pages often. Remember to have really good HTML structure with one heading one, and having a good organized structure for the content that follows that want to make sure your site loads quick, optimizing your images and doing all the best practices we talked about. And then ideally using those Google tools to submit your site once it’s ready, and then finally, the tools that we covered the Google tools, Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Google My Business. Some of the on-site tools are a really good SEO plugin like Yoast, Rankmath, or some other ones, any sort of hosting optimizer or image optimizer. And then those keyword research tools that we just covered, I’ll link those in the show notes. But those are kind of the basic guys, those I hope this episode has helped you just get a good feel for SEO, because it ain’t rocket science. There’s so many ways to go about it. And it’s really a great way for you to add more value to yourself as a web designer. And a business because look, building a beautiful website and having a really nice design. It’s only half the battle. The rest of it is actually getting it found online and getting better Google rankings and your clients are gonna look your clients will love you if you design a nice site. They’ll really love you if you get them to rank on Google. So if you’re interested and taking this to the next level, guys, I’d invite you to check out my SEO course. It’s been helping hundreds of students all over the world so far, and it’s just been a blast to see people implement all this into their own websites and with their clients. And a lot of my SEO students are now building recurring income through their SEO plans. There’s a lot of different ways I covered it to do that. So if you’re interested in that, and you enjoyed this and you want to take this to the next level, I’ll have the course mentioned below in the show notes. I’d love to help you with this further. And then make sure you turn in tune in for the next episode, because we’re going to talk about SEO and a little more detail specifically the content side of things. All right, guys. Well, hey, I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, leave a review. Again, check out my SEO course if you’re ready to dive into the next level, and I’ll see you guys on the next episode.

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