In today’s episode, Joe talks to Maddy Osman, Founder and SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith. She creates content optimized for onsite SEO, handles keyword research, and picks feature blog images, among other SEO content writing strategies her agency offers. 

They discuss SEO and content optimization, old school SEO strategies, competitor analysis, and winning clicks in search results.

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:36 Let’s welcome back, Maddy Osman!
  • 03:06 How to start dominating content and SEO
  • 09:19 Keywords and content optimization
  • 13:28 Identifying the reading level of your target audience
  • 17:51 The importance of word counts in SEO
  • 21:30 SEO ranking and relevant search
  • 27:22 The first experience someone has on your site
  • 28:40 Video embedding is an engagement metric
  • 31:03 Tips to content exposure and audience reach 
  • 33:30 How to win clicks in the search engine results
  • 38:12 Target keywords still work when added in the meta description
  • 41:00 Find Maddy online!

Episode Resources:

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: [00:00:00] Oh, do you folks, Joe Howard here. This week on the podcast, we have the one and only Maddie Osman, Maddie and I have been friends for a while now. So it’s always a pleasure having her on the podcast. I think this is her second time being on anyway. As folks listening know I’m pretty big into the content and SEO and marketing world.

And sometimes you just get two people together on a podcast who really vibe. And this is just one of those episodes. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount we were able to fit into this episode. It’s super. Tactile, super tactical, tons of strategies, tons of actionable content for you really you’ll be able to, if you pull out your pen and paper or whatever, your note taking app of choice from how to create the right title tags, to how to do some competitor analysis, what tools to use.

All that’s included in today’s episode. So before Moe gets a little more mad, go ahead and enjoy today’s episode.

All right. We are live on the pod. We’ve got Maddie Ozmen on this week, Maddie. What’s up? Uh, tell folks a little bit about you. I already know a little bit about you because we’ve been friends for a little while, and I know all this stuff you do with WordPress, but I, and we were talking about before you’ve been on the podcast before, so people haven’t gone back and heard that.

First episode, lot of great stuff. And I should go back and listen or not. You can listen to this episode because you’re on with Maddie right now. So yeah, without further ado, Maddie, just tell folks who maybe haven’t heard the last episode that you were on a little bit of your background and stuff you do with WordPress.

Yeah. So

Maddy Osman: [00:01:42] I run this company called the blog Smith and we create SEO content for B2B tech brands, which mostly live in the WordPress space. So. You might recognize my byline on websites like WP buffs. Hints does another favorite client of mine that, and just like a lot of web hosts that kind of tends to be my main clientele in the WordPress space.

If you’re ever looking for an answer to a WordPress problem, I probably we’ve written about it.

Joe Howard: [00:02:11] Totally. I’m on your, uh, Website right now, it’s just the dash blog smith.com. And I

Maddy Osman: [00:02:17] also own the non-data.

Joe Howard: [00:02:19] Okay. Okay. So just the blog smith.com. Okay. So either one of those works, people are going to check out your stuff, Maddie.

I was just going to say, I’m on the website now, and I know that you practice what you preach because. It has on the landing page here. It’s like SEO content written and strategy for B2B technology brands. I can tell you do SEO content because your website, I can see the little, you can see what the title tag is in the tab of your website and it’s, it starts with SEO content.

So clearly you want to be found for SEO content because that’s you do so you’re doing it. You preach when you you’re, you, you do what you preach, which is, uh, is always refreshing. So cool. I mean, I’m, I’m always super stoked to talk about. Content and content marketing and all of that. Maybe we could start just around like content basics for people.

If people want to get found online, if they want to write content, that is, you know, obviously the quality of the content is kind of a little bit up to the writer or people they hired to help with the writing. But in terms of getting that content found, using SEO, maybe using some other tactics, what’s like the lowest hanging fruit for people, where should they start?

I

Maddy Osman: [00:03:27] think that a lot of people build up SEO content in their head is something that’s difficult and technical, and there’s so many steps and there are a lot of steps that you want to. Be conscious of that. You want to, you know, sort of plan for, you can kind of create some guidelines for yourself in terms of like a checklist that you could follow, you know, using a primary keyword in the URL using it and the method title and things like that.

A more technical nature, but I think a good place to start, especially if this is something that’s new to you is to go into Google search and take whatever your primary. Keyword is that you think it should be, or that you’ve done keyword research to validate. And that’s kind of getting more to the intermediate advanced level of the stuff, but let’s just run with whatever your idea is, type it into search and see what comes up.

First of all, you know, before you even hit enter, you get some suggestions from Google, Google. Autocomplete is what it’s called. And it’s basically using whatever that term is and adding extra words onto it. And these are this data’s based on what actual searchers are searching for. So, you know, in that light it’s based on the things that they actually want to know, they want answers for.

So then you can hit, enter and get into those search results. And you’re going to have two other places you can look for really great ideas in terms of how to flush out your content, you know, different sections to add or different questions to answer. So in about the top or the middle of the search results, you’ll see a section called people also ask, and these tend to be phrased as questions.

And that’s interesting that they’re phrased as questions because another way that you could potentially rank in search is by answering questions and getting what’s called the featured snippet, which is like that top box that you see on some search results that highlights. Like a certain answer

Joe Howard: [00:05:21] before it’s like position zero is what some people would call it.

Right? Correct. Yeah. So

Maddy Osman: [00:05:25] some people call it position zero because it ranks at the top of organic search. Sometimes it’s under ads, so it’s not position. Zero is the first thing that you would see, but it’s the first organic result you would see and that’s, that’s invaluable. And so people also asked is a good place to look for those questions that you could answer to potentially rank in that spot.

And just to make sure that your content. Is answering the questions that people, you know, actually have about the topic. Um, the last thing that I would say in terms of low hanging fruit is on that same page. If you go to the very bottom, there’s a section called searches related to whatever that keyword term is that you input.

And these are things that may not use the same words. Like you would see an auto-complete, but they use related words and related terms. And so those are. Good ideas for either related topics that you could write about separately or that you could write about again, within that same piece of content. So you don’t need $100 a month SEO tool to be able to create great content.

I mean, I would still say you need some sort of tool for keyword research and that’s another topic, but. In order to validate your ideas and create great content, you can definitely use what’s available to you even within Google search.

Joe Howard: [00:06:37] Yeah. I love that. So you and Lindsay Halsey, who does a lot of SEO and are in and around the WordPress space, YouTube of people I’ve like worked directly with.

Around content and SEO. And I love both of your approaches because if they’re actually like both of your approaches seem to be, go and get the data from Google’s first, there’s all sorts of tools out there that can help you do X, Y, and Z. But like what kind of data is that really? Like, even if they tell you what kind of like is the data is coming back from Google, like, Oh, I don’t, I don’t know exactly where it’s coming from, but.

Right. Google clearly, like is showing you something directly from what their algorithm is giving you in search results. So I like the idea, like, like Lindsay uses a lot of Google search console, just like literally data from Google, which I’m always like, great. It’s like, I just want to know what Google thinks so I can make Google think better of me and continue to, you know, rank for different stuff and all that.

So I love the idea of the checking out the autocomplete for searches. Once you do a search, just scroll to the bottom and you’ll see a bunch of related searches. And also in the middle there mean it may not show up on all searches, but in a lot of searches, it’ll say it’ll have that auto or not the auto, but the what other questions people ask around this topic.

And that’s a really good idea for like, if you’re doing a general topic, well, what should your, like your H one tag you may want to have is like, You know, the general topic of the keyword you’re going after, but what other H two questions could you answer? What, like FAQ’s, could you answer in that content?

Those are maybe some good ones to, to add to your keyword research for a content to write. Yeah. Also interesting to hear about the like positions, zero stuff you were talking about. Cause I think a lot of trying to rank and position zero seems to be like, I’ve seen a lot of search results where the positions zero.

Result that Google auto gives you. It’s not the first organic search in a lot of cases. Not in some cases I’ve seen content. That’s not even on the first page ranking on the first page auto completed, which I think is like totally crazy. It’s like you rank number 30 for keyword, but still you’re technically ranking one because you get pulled into this first result.

Yeah. A lot of that seems to be from the organization of your content. Like, how did you have the right OnPage tags? Like schema markup and or each one, like nested content. So like H2O is all go under.  like having all that really easy for Google to read and understand makes Google think it’s well organized and I think helps get an auto answers like that.

I don’t know if you’ve been involved in more pure SEO, stuff like that, or if you’ve run across anything like that. But. That’s a topic I’m always like, it’s a pretty easy way to rank. First is just rank in position zero, but it’s not always easy. You got to figure out how do you get Google to answer that question for you?

So I don’t know if you have any other thoughts on that.

Maddy Osman: [00:09:19] There’s definitely a lot to think about in terms of how to format your page in a way that’s going to be helpful to Google. And that’s going to get your content index, especially in terms of these different features. And you brought up one thing which was schema, and then another thing, which is FAQ’s.

And so that’s been an interesting, like sort of newer way to rank in search and to like Mark up your content accordingly in a way that it’s sort of helpful in signaling to Google that you have the answers to people’s questions and you can. Implement FAQ schema using tools. Like I think Yost has a feature on their plugin where you can set like questions and answers and Mark them up as FAQ schema.

And so that’s just one thing to keep in mind as sort of extra. Thing that you can do to make your content better and make your content more indexable to Google. Another thing you brought up are things about, you know, what should you put in headings in order to come up full for your snippets and just for others, Google search features.

And so kind of getting more into like the tools side of things. Now I’ve been using this tool called clear scope, which I love have you heard of it, Joe?

Joe Howard: [00:10:30] No, I have not heard of this, but I love hearing the new tool. So tell me about it.

Maddy Osman: [00:10:34] The sign. So clear scope basically works. If you’ve heard of surfer, SEO or market muse, it’s very similar to the types of things that those tools do, but it focuses specifically on content optimization.

And so what you do is you take a primary keyword, ideally, something that you validated because clear scope is not a cheap tool. It’s something like. $8 and 50 cents to run a report for any new content that you would create. And they have plans that start at like $170 a month for their lowest plan. And so unless you’re creating a lot of content, I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you’re like me and you’re creating a ton of content for clients, Or if you’re like Joe, and you know, you have a blog that you’re trying to maintain with a lot of new topics.

This is a really great tool because what happens is clear scope goes through. I want to say it’s like the top 20 to 30 results for that primary keyword. And it basically reverse engineers. What was rankable about those things in terms of this specific entities? Like the nouns, you know, the people, places, things like the wording, basically within these articles.

And then it makes suggestions to you. So basically you have this content editor and you can use a Google docs add on if you prefer to work in Google docs versus their editor. And it basically tells you like yours, a bunch of terms you should make sure to include because that’s what these top ranking articles included.

And furthermore, it gives you direction in terms of where those terms should be used. So should they be just like body content? Should they be in a heading what’s the order of importance for all of these terms listed clear scope can give you all that information. It also tells you what’s the ideal word count of the top ranking articles based on that.

And what’s the ideal reading level, which is also super important in terms of just like. Matching intent and, you know, reaching your audience the right way. So that’s been a tool again, it’s not necessarily for somebody who’s like a hobbyist or who’s just not creating enough content to justify using it.

But for me, for someone who’s a high content volume producer, it has really revolutionized my workflow.

Joe Howard: [00:12:48] Yeah, that’s a cool tool. Clear scope.io. Anybody from that? Team’s listening. You’ve got to reach out to Maddie and get her. Oh, we’ve yeah. Nice. Nice. Yeah, that’s a cool tool. I, you know what I really like about the couple of things you said, one was what you said around reading level for like what your content is reading levels should be about.

I bet if you use that. Software for like four or five, six pieces of content. You’d see a pretty uniform reading level across, not just like what that topic was for, but like the entire. Focus of your blog. So for like us, it’s like WordPress stuff. I would love to know like what reading level I should be writing for to write to WordPress people in general, maybe it wouldn’t be the same for like a new WordPress users or would be a developer or, you know, I’m sure there are differences, but I need to know that so that I can, we can write good content for people.

If people, I haven’t looked into this, but I think I’ve like read some stuff that like the reading level you should be writing to is always. Probably lower than you think it should be. Like if you’re writing to like a college level audience. I mean, that’s more advanced than a lot of people potentially to like, to be able to easily digest.

And so you may be missing some people who may not have gone to college or may not have that level of sophistication. I’m not trying to like, say anybody’s better than anybody else. I’m just saying you want to write content. That’s really accessible to everybody. Okay. I’ll include myself in this. Like I went to college, but I’d probably rather read on like a sixth grade level than a college level.

I just want to like, read something and understand it. Like, I don’t need like. Some crazy advanced topic, like I’m from Googling something to fix something. I don’t need it written at that level. And nor probably do I want it, I just tell me how to fix the thing I need. Like that’s all I need. And then maybe, Hey, I’ll join your email newsletter or I’ll, maybe I’ll become a customer in the future.

Who knows? Because you gave me the answer I needed. So I think that level of. I like the reading level is a super important thing that we’ve actually like not focused on. I just actually hit up Alec and Slack to ask him, Hey, should we like, think about using this tool and maybe like, think about reading level more in our content.

That’s a definitely an interesting

Maddy Osman: [00:14:54] idea. Yeah. I want to expand on that for just a second, the reading level, and I think you hit the nail on the head in terms of whenever you are looking for an answer to a question, how most of us use search, we’re looking for a quick answer. We’re looking at least for a guide for how to find it.

We’re not interested in reading a novel. We’re not interested in reading a textbook. We want to be able to skim and that’s going to be impossible if the reading level of our content is so complicated and verbose, I mean, I love to write, I love to read and I love to use colorful language, but there is a time and a place and reading level, the way that the metric is composed, like the way that clear scope measures it.

It’s like the average number of words per sentence, but it’s also the average number of syllables within the words. So obviously that’s like a very like bare bones way to judge reading level, but it is a pretty effective one when you consider, you know, multi-syllabic words and, and the fact that you could probably use simpler language if your reading level gauges getting pretty

Joe Howard: [00:15:59] high.

Yeah. I’d agree with that. I think. When I think about things like a short tail SEO keyword versus a long-term SEO keyword, really all I’m thinking about is like how many words are in that keyword phrase. So if you’re looking for like Nike shoes, that’s two. So that’s pretty short tail. Like it’s going to be hard to rank for that.

I think because Nike is probably gonna rank for that. But if you do a search, you know, if you’re trying to rank for Nike high top is high top one word, I think it’s one word, Nike high, top yellow and black. Basketball shoes. In DC, that’s like nine words long. So that’s a much longer tail, obviously there’s probably less volume, but it’s more targeted keywords.

Someone who’s looking for that, like probably looking like, Hey, I want to buy like that specific shoe. And if they land on your e-commerce store selling something like that. Hey. Well, who knows Nike may not be happy if you’re selling knockoffs. Nike’s this is just an example. If the longer tail keyword has better intent as well.

So I’m with that. Another thing I wanted to touch on what you mentioned that that tool provides is like an optimal word count for a certain piece of content. And you were just talking about, like, people are looking for an answer. They don’t want to novel, they just want their answer, but there’s also this balance you have to find of, Hey, if the top piece of content is like a thousand words, but how do you do better than that piece of content?

Obviously, if you write piece that’s half as long, but twice. Good. That’s great. But there’s also like Google does just like, see how many words on a page. You can probably dictate at least to some degree, maybe it’s yeah. Correlation, but there’s causation that a longer piece of content is going to be, I don’t know, better informed is going to be more in depth.

So if someone’s writing a thousand word article, maybe you want to write a 1500 word article, but I’ve also had people give me feedback on that. Like. That’s bullshit, Joe. Like you don’t need to do that. Just write a good piece of content and it’ll outrank. So I don’t know exactly the right answer to that.

Like I look up recipes all the time when I’m cooking something. And the thing that bugs me so much about when I look up a recipe, I’ll Google something it’ll come up like great. I just, I just need to know. I just looked up the recipe and there’s like, 2000 words before the content is like, here’s some other recipes you might like, like here’s the history of like this soup.

And I’m like, I just want to, like, I just need to know like what ingredients I need to mix in this thing. And then I have to scroll on my mobile phone, like all the way down anyway, I’m sure other people have encountered this as well. So I want to know your thoughts as someone who writes a lot of content.

That’s SEO specific. You’re trying to outrank other content. How do you guys deal with board count and like, how do you dictate how important it is in certain contexts? Well,

Maddy Osman: [00:18:36] first of all, I want to give you a hack for the recipe situation, which is I just go to the recipe button and just get rid of everything else.

And then I just keep that.

Joe Howard: [00:18:48] Number one tip we’ve ever had on the podcast in a hundred plus episodes just hit the print recipe button. You get the recipe right there. I’m actually going to use that. So thank you.

Maddy Osman: [00:18:58] I’ve been using that a lot lately, so it’s very top of mind for me. And I do feel for the people who run recipe sites, who.

Or trying to follow whatever they think the best practice is. And much respect to the people who offer, give us the jump to recipe button, because that’s also quite invaluable.

Joe Howard: [00:19:18] Yes. You can write all the content. Just give me a little button, just go to the thing you need.

Maddy Osman: [00:19:22] That’s great. Yeah. You can still have your content and maybe I’ll read it, but right.

So you got to think about the user no matter what, and that’s what content is. It’s finding the balance between. How do I make sure I provide the best user experience, but how do I hit my minimums kind of with like, whatever I need to do for SEO. So my thought in terms of how to correlate the SEO best practices with content length is.

If a piece goes longer, that extra word count can be used to address like those extra semantic keywords that I want to make sure to include. So, so that’s the correlation. It’s not that longer. Content is better. It’s just more opportunities to fit in your keyword, your related keywords, answer those questions for people.

Also ask. Maybe cover some topics from searches related to stuff like that. So that’s, that’s the only correlation there’s, there’s no other correlation between, you know, content length and content

Joe Howard: [00:20:23] quality. Okay. So if I’m writing a piece of content, I just want to make sure I understand exactly what you said.

If I can write a longer piece of content, as opposed to a shorter piece of content. I should do that. Given the fact that the longer piece of content is still fully focused and adding value throughout the length of that content. And that link to the content is not just long quote unquote, because I added some fluff to the end and it is 2000 words.

Instead of 1000 words, that’s all, as long as it’s like adding value and it’s valuable content and good content, then it’s good to be longer. Is that right? Pretty right.

Maddy Osman: [00:21:00] Absolutely. Yeah. I’m a huge believer that you don’t have to add stuff just for stuff’s sake. And again, going back to even like word choice and being concise and not using, you know, overly verbose words that plays into it too, you have to say it, you have to add to content in a way that still gets to the point.

That still leads people to the answer quickly. So yeah,

Joe Howard: [00:21:24] exactly. Yeah. I agree with that first one to answer people’s questions and add value to them, but there’s also this, like, I want my content to rank well, and I want to, like, I’m sure you’ve heard of like skyscraper approach, right? It’s like that, like Backlinko like strategy of.

Okay. You want to rank for this keyword? Pretty much all you have to do is, I mean, obviously it’s more complex than this and takes more time than this, but if you just do a search and you find it and you’re like, like, look at the first page of all the results and you gather all that content together and you spend half an hour, like picking out all the good things about all those pieces of content and then put those all in an article.

That’s obviously not like plagiarized. It’s obviously like you wrote it all, but it just takes the best from all the other content. And like, now you have the best piece of content. Obviously it takes more than that to rank number one or rank high for a keyword phrase. But in general, if you can follow that strategy and execute it well, you can have.

Theoretically all the best content out there. And so I feel like the back of my brain is telling me, like, this is a strategy that you heard about like seven or eight years ago. And maybe it’s just, it’s not exactly the same anymore. So maybe I need to get updated on my SEO stuff, but just around like, Competitor analysis and writing content that is the best content out there.

Is that something that you and your team focus on? Are you just starting from a fresh palette? Like, Hey, we want to just do what we want to do and write the best content, or are you looking at all the other content already ranking and saying like, Oh, this is good. We should include that. Oh, this was like not good.

Like if we don’t include that, it’ll probably actually make our content better. I don’t know if you use competitor analysis around content. It’s like a way to be able to write. Great content.

Maddy Osman: [00:22:57] I think if your goal is SEO and ranking and relevant search, then you have to compare your content to competitor content and make sure that, you know, you’re covering all the things that people sort of expect to see in that piece, you know, trying of course, to be bothered than it and to add more value.

And I think that something that you made me think about while you’re talking is just the idea that a lot of stuff has been done to death. You know, like there’s, there’s just so many different variations of content on the web. And so you want to be thinking about what can I do to add sort of like an original opinion or to add original content to the way that you’re going to cover that topic.

And so just to give a couple ideas, it’s things like, you know, considering. Doing like an expert Roundup where you’re asking questions to like a targeted group of people who could submit their answers. And there’s definitely like an art and a science to doing it well, but you know, not just regurgitating what those experts say, but formatting your article in a way that weaves in those perspectives to whatever, like the other points you were trying to make are.

And so complimenting. W whatever research that you can get done on your own with original, extra stuff that you could get from other people who are experts. Another thing you could do is like, if you’re working with a client or, you know, if you’re a content marketer on a team, In-house or something like that is to hold interviews with subject matter experts on your team, on the client’s team.

And, you know, I think it’s useful to just say, like, I’m limited in the knowledge that I have in my head. And you know, like me personally, it’s like, I focus a lot on content writing and SEO best practices and stuff like that. But then when it gets like deeper into other topics, you know, I just don’t really have the mental capacity to.

So to commit that to memory. And so it’s stuff like, you know, realizing that you’re not the only one who has knowledge and that you might be surrounded by some people who have really cool things to say and share, and maybe they’re not even used to being asked their opinion, you know, but if you do that, then you can create some really awesome original content with the right questions.

Joe Howard: [00:25:13] I think that is. Totally right. I like the idea of really trying to be unique around the content you’re writing. It continues to be more important to be able to stand out because there’s so much content online to be able to like write content that stands out is becoming harder and harder. Like I’m going to be honest, like some of the content on the WP bus blog is like not really super original.

Written just to kind of rank for a search term. Like there’s some listicles on our website. Okay. Honestly, I think a lot of the writing on our site is very good. Like it’s good writing and it’s good content, but is it’s really unique. I don’t know. I don’t know. Like if you go to the second article in some of those, is it like about the same article?

Maybe that’s the case. We’re actually, we just hired a head of content. So one of their projects, one of her projects when she gets started is. To come up with some really good ideas about how to continue to differentiate us and like, how do we evolve the listicle, you know, because I don’t think we’ve done anything bad.

We’re adding value to people. We’re giving them all the options out there, but like, how can we evolve it? How can make it better? And so I like that. Idea of coming up with content and maybe some different content formats that people haven’t seen before. And I think another reason why that’s valuable is if you’re competing in SEO to try and rank well in Google, like you’re just, you’re not always going to be the first search result.

Right. Especially as you scale, right? It’s like you have a hundred pieces of content that not all a hundred, it’s going to be like ranking number one. So it’s important. If someone comes to your blog and read your blog, If they think like Schmidt or whatever, that was fine. If they do another Google search in a month and they see your website ranked number one and someone else ranked number two for us at different search term, maybe they’ll just go to click the second one because they remember, Oh, that’s I gave me an okay.

Blog post, but it wasn’t that great that like affects your click through rate and your other rankings. And so. If you make your content really good people click through, Oh man, WP, boss.com. That article had a video in it. It answered my question exactly how I needed to boom. You could maybe be ranking number four for another search term and they see you below three other articles.

They’re like, I remember WP bus. I’m going to go back and read that article. That’s like part of like, I think the. I don’t know if I’d call it the forgotten piece, but like honestly, the piece, I think a lot of people don’t pay attention to in searches like that user experience part. Because if you give people a good user experience, they’re going to come back to you.

They’re going to remember your name, you know, companies like HubSpot, you know, it’s like you see HubSpot in search results. You’re like guests I’ll read the HubSpot article. Cause it’s probably good. Like they’re content machines. Like they literally invented inbound marketing and like, this is what they do.

So that’s super powerful. So I’m totally with you in terms of creating. Good user experiences that also you may not do initially because you want to get into it. Not everything’s going to be amazing all the time, but eventually you want to keep improving, improving, and try to get to a place where you can really write unique content and be one of the best in your area.

Cause that’s the only way you’re going to stand up. I was

Maddy Osman: [00:28:05] just agreeing with you in that, like, it’s an aspect of branding that first experience someone has on your site and maybe the second and third until you start to become a familiar name to them. And yeah, I mean, it totally. Influences a searcher and the choices in front of them and who they’re going to pick.

And I agree. I think WP bus does a great job of incorporating multiple visuals. Like I remember that about working with you that that was something that was really important to you. And even just like the gifts, you know, like it’s just like fun to have engaging visuals, multiple different mediums from which to consume that content.

So like you mentioned video and I think. That’s something that’s going to be more and more important and it’s like video, you can turn that into audio. Like you can meet people wherever they are in terms of how they like to best consume content while also, you know, satisfying the things that you need to do for SEO.

And I think that video only adds to that, especially because YouTube is owned by Google and it’s like the second biggest search engine in the world.

Joe Howard: [00:29:08] Exactly. Yeah. I mean, that’s one of the biggest reasons we started the YouTube channel so we can compliment. All of our written content with video content, you know, Allie’s like literally going through analytics, Google analytics is just like going through the list of like blog posts, got the most traffic over the past three months and like creating video content for it.

So that people who come on to the blog post, maybe they want to read it. Maybe they just want to watch the video. That’s cool too. And if they watch the video embedded in the website, man, their time on page skyrockets. So that’s great for us.

Maddy Osman: [00:29:34] Right. And that’s engagement. It’s, it’s an amazing engagement metric to embed your video.

It could be someone else’s video too. I think that’s what people don’t realize is like, even if you don’t have the capacity on your team, like. You know, like something that’ll do for clients is just like explaining a concept. Somebody else did it. Or, you know, here’s a tool in this like, list to call and here’s a video about how to use that tool.

It doesn’t have to be your video. It’s great.

Joe Howard: [00:30:03] That’s a super good point. I think probably a lot of people don’t think about that. I think that’s a great opportunity once, like increase your time on page two, it’s like make a cool connection with someone like, Hey, I just included your video and this just so you know, like, Hey, good video.

It’s in my blog post to people read it. They’ll watch a video, more exposure, free exposure for you. Maybe now we’ve become friends. Maybe now you do a video and like include us in the next one. You know? So there’s a lot there. I think recently I did a guest post on, I think it was like torque. Blog. I can’t remember, but I included embedded video of, I can’t remember.

I don’t even know who it was, but it was a friend of mine in the WordPress space. I found his video and I was just like embedded it in my, in my guest posts. That was just like, maybe I could have embedded our own video by embedded his, and I pinged that person afterwards. I was like, Hey, include your video in here.

Just so you know, it was a good video. Nothing else. That’s all. Thanks for shooting the video. And that person got back to me. I was like, thank you so much. Like, that’s so cool. Like. Hey, and that, you know, that’s good for like relationship building as well. So yeah, I’m done with it. Yeah.

Maddy Osman: [00:31:05] I want to expand on that too, because I think that’s a really good leaping off point for any links that you include in your content.

To just go through and what I like to do with content, I’m creating for myself and definitely with content I’m creating for clients is at the very top of the article before getting into the content itself is just a link of any links, referenced, any links included as external links, and then also internal.

And since I want to show them, you know, that we’re kind of covering our bases in terms of all the different SEO. Pieces that are important, but, um, to take that a step further, not only doing links, but also taking the time to grab like Twitter handles of any brands that you’ve mentioned. So say like you have just examples, you know, in your article or sources that you’ve referenced for statistics, quotes, you know, whatever.

I think it’s, it’s a really good idea to take that extra time. Write down their Twitter handles. And then when your article is live, just tweet at them. Hey, so-and-so, so-and-so so-and-so, you know, just included you in this article, check it out.

Joe Howard: [00:32:10] Yeah, I love that strategy. That’s something we do. We’ll include 10 outbound links to different companies.

I have. Let’s just say it’s like listicle thing. Or if not, just to say it’s like 10 outbound links, we’ll go through grab Twitter handles and do like 10 tweets scheduled over the next month. Each one, tweaks that article. But it just tags the single person with like maybe a quote about them from the article, or just saying like, Hey, we learned about this person, like this new article and sometimes six out of 10 times.

So, you know, whatever, no likes, no retweets just kind of disappears. That’s fine. But four out of 10 we’ll get maybe a, like maybe a retweet, maybe a reply. And then like that creates more like, okay, that person liked it. Whatever. Thanks for liking, I guess there’s not that much more. Oh, that person retweeted, Hey, maybe we should send them a DM and Twitter or email them and say like, Hey cool.

This little thing could lead to maybe more working together, maybe in the future. You’ll link to us, more willing to do more. And now we’re talking about like a bigger opportunity and more of a network and opportunity to do more offsite. SEL in addition to the onsite SEO. So yeah, I think that adds to that strategy nicely.

I’m totally sending this episode when it goes live to our new head of content. So she can just listen in and just like take all these strategies and literally implement them because, uh, this is like a super tactile, like, just like all this stuff you should do around SEO, which leads me into the next thing.

I want to talk about, which wasn’t on my list of stuff, but now I’m thinking about it, which is just like, Title tags stuff. And maybe not just title tag stuff, but like meta description stuff that shows up in search results that would affect the conversion or click through of someone who’s coming to your, Oh, who’s doing a Google search and maybe your website appears next to two or three other websites.

So, um, the reason I’m thinking about this is because. I think there’s a lot of opportunity to win clicks, even if you’re not ranked in like the first or second position, maybe you’re in the third or fourth position, but people see something that says, Oh, That’s kind of a unique thing that’s in that, that title tag, but it’s not in those other title tags or, Ooh, maybe that little thing in the meta description caught my eye.

That that’s something I wanted to read about, but I didn’t see that in the first two articles. So I’m just going to go right down to your blog and let’s click on the third article, even though it wasn’t technically ranked higher. Um, like I tried to put like numbers in my titles, cause that usually is good for click-through it like draws people’s eye, maybe a little parentheses, like how to do this in parenthesis.

Three simple steps. You know, there’s a lot of like parenthesis. There’s a lot of, uh, data showing that like adding little, like hints at the end, a little parentheses or something helps improve click through, or like parentheses video included something like that to draw peoples towards wanting to click your article more than other people.

So like as content folks, how do you make titles? And honestly, like maybe do a little bit of experimentation with titles to see like what. What works and what doesn’t work. Obviously there’s some best practices out there. People can go look out 30 best practices for how to create a good title tag. But I’d love to hear straight from you as someone who like writes so much content, what title stuff seems to work for you under your clothes?

The

Maddy Osman: [00:35:14] brackets thing is a good idea. The parentheses and I think the WP buffs blog is definitely a good resource to look at. That’s a tactic that you’re considering, but haven’t done yet. I think. Where I first learned about that technique was Backlinko. So another great resource to look for ideas for like what you would put in those brackets or parenthesis, but like, just that, it’s kind of like, what’s kind of like the extra included with this article.

Like here’s the title. And then just so you know, like there’s an original interview or special video, or, you know, there’s some, it’s a new study. There’s some original reporting, like whatever. Whatever is kind of unique. Like we’ve talked a little bit throughout this podcast about like, how can you make your content unique?

So whatever it is that makes your content unique, that would be a great thing to put in that title tag or in the meta-description too. I think it’s a good idea to use heading analyzer tools. Like CoSchedule has a really good one and you can embed it as a Chrome extension. So it’s just like really easy to access if you’re creating content all the time in it.

It sort of analyzes like every word and the combination of the words and like, you know, a bunch of different ways. And so it makes you really think about the composition of how you’re putting things together. So that’s, that’s a good practice to not just put something out there without testing it. And maybe I think Buffer’s trick is they test out all the different possible titles that they’re considering by like tweeting them out and seeing which tweets get the highest engagement based on whatever title that they used as the copy for the tweet.

That’s a good pro tip and to sort of proceed that or proceed that. Is to just sit down and write a bunch of different ideas down because some of it is just kind of like getting it, like out of you, you know, and just kind of like, like the creative writing process. It’s just like, even if it sounds dumb, like just write it, get it out, you know, give yourself maybe 10 options.

If you have time, give yourself, you know, 20 options and then yeah. Maybe test them out by tweeting out the article with those different ones. And then, you know, going back after the fact and saying, okay, this one looks like it’s the winner. It’s worth noting, you know, that you can have a different page title, what the human sees when they go to your blog versus the meta title.

You know, w when again, a human is reading it, and that’s the person that you should be creating it for, but you’re also kind of creating it for Google so that they can understand the context of the content. But, you know, take advantage of that because maybe your SEO title is just like a little bit off, like what you really want it to be on your blog.

And that can make a big difference for the people who are coming in from other, uh, you know, like from social or from email or from referrals

Joe Howard: [00:37:57] or stuff like that. Yeah, totally. I, I like to make my Mehta title or my SEO title, the same as my H one title. Because I like to slightly lean in the direction of user experience.

And I liked the experience of people clicked on a title in Google and they see the same title on the website. But I think there are, I think there are situations where like with the meta title or the SEO title, the best practice remains, even though it’s kind of old school, it’s like, you want to have a lot of the main keywords you’re going after, towards the front of your title.

Maybe there’s some cases where it’s like how to do X, Y, or Z, but you want the focus to be on. Those keywords, you know, fast WordPress themes. Like if I’m writing about that, like I’m not going to be like the 13 best ways and methods and situations in which you want to potentially have fast WordPress themes.

No, like you probably want to have like fast WordPress themes. In your first, like five words of the article, you know, because that, the first word of the SEO title, because Google still is going to see, like, that’s, you know, you want Google to know, like, that’s what I want this to show up for. So in some cases you may slightly change the title to have maybe your keywords a little closer to the front, but I don’t know, part of me thinks that that’s kind of like old school and.

Maybe not going to be super helpful for like ranking in 2020. I don’t know. What do you think? Or 2021? I don’t even know what year it is. 2022 is 21. Yeah.

Maddy Osman: [00:39:21] I, I don’t, I can’t keep track anymore. They’re all the same, but yeah. I mean, Google is, currency is speed, right? Cause they’re trying to quickly show you the best search results.

And so as a result of that, you want your page to load quickly and get to. You know, with these new core web vitals metrics, they want your page to be like quickly interactive and, you know, showing, you know, whatever it is that the person went there for. And I think the same can be said with the way that you compose your meta titles.

You want to quickly, you know, tell Google what is. Again, the context of your content. And so yes, by using your keywords early on, I think it is old school SEO, but in that it doesn’t really change. Right? I mean, people have said, SEOs have said maybe even Google has said it’s not as important to put. The keywords in the Metta title and the meta-description anymore.

But like, I don’t believe that I still do it.

Joe Howard: [00:40:15] Yeah. I like from a click-through perspective, because if you have the keywords pretty much focused keyword in the meta description, I believe Google is still like bolds. It it’s a very slight little thing, but I think it still like shows up as bold. Yeah. In the meta description that shows in Google.

So, you know, it’s a tiny thing, but it is a little advantage. It could catch someone’s eye and maybe one in 20 times it’ll catch someone’s eye. But Hey, if those one in 20 times gives you another click, then that’s that’s excellent. So cool, Maddie, this has been like a super. Excellent episode, one of the best we’ve done.

I think no mean anything further. Other people who’ve been on the show, but this was like a super tactile and super like strategy driven. Like people could come in and like have like a list of like all the most important stuff they should do around content and SEO. Um, so let’s wrap up ish. Now, why don’t you tell folks where they can like find.

You online website, social media, all that stuff. Totally.

Maddy Osman: [00:41:09] So you can check out my website, the blogs with.com. And like Joe was saying earlier in this episode have been trying to practice what I preach. I haven’t blogged on my website and like a year, but the last three weeks I have blogged consistently and I’m trying to keep that up.

So I get out to the latest posts and you can always hit me up on Twitter. I’m just at Madea, Yasmin my name. And I, you know, I love to talk about this stuff. So if you have any questions that you’re struggling with, please hit me up.

Joe Howard: [00:41:40] Excellent. Love it. Last few articles on the blog. I’m checking out how to conduct a kick ass content interview for SEO content clients.

That sounds like a good one. How I quit my nine to five, started a freelance business and turned it into a marketing agency. People can. Learn more about your story. We kind of just went straight into the tactile SEO stuff and people didn’t get to hear too much your background, but Hey, people should go to the blogs, smith.com and check out the blog post about it.

They want to learn more about you personally. Maddie. Cool. Last thing I always ask our guests to do on the show is ask our listeners for a little iTunes reviews. If you wouldn’t mind asking listeners, I’d appreciate that.

Maddy Osman: [00:42:14] Please leave an iTunes review. That means the world to content

Joe Howard: [00:42:18] creators. Absolutely.

I couldn’t agree. More. WP, M R r.com forward slash iTunes Fords you right there. If you are on an Apple or a Mac, I read every review. So I will check it out if you leave it. If you are a new listener to the show, man got a hundred plus 120 plus episodes would go and listen and binge some old WP MRR WordPress podcast episodes.

Use the search bar on WP mrr.com forward slash podcast search for any topic you’re interested in. I’m sure we have talked about it before on the podcast. If you have questions for us on the show, hit me up. Yo, Y o@wpmrr.com or you can hit me up on Twitter at Joseph H powered. I’m probably more likely to see it on Twitter, even though I’m not on super frequently, but I like when people tweet at me and I’ll get a little endorphin boost and Hey, hit me up and I may quote your tweet and talk about some.

Answers or just about it here on the show that is all for this week on the pod, it will be in your podcast players again next Tuesday, Maddie. Thanks again for being on. It’s been real.

Maddy Osman: [00:43:22] Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me. See you have a buddy.

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