On this episode of Mediavine On Air, we’ve got SEO experts Joshua Unseth and Morgan McBride for you. They’re here to answer your frequently asked questions and share tactics they’ve implemented that have resulted in growth in both traffic and revenue. Learn the most effective way to find the best keywords for your site, how many posts you should be putting out a week and much more!
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Cornerstone Content — A blog post about the foundation of a blogger’s content strategy.
SEO Like A CEO Series — A blog and video series that discusses strategies for improving a website’s SEO.
Charleston Crafted — Morgan’s Site.
Simple SEO Keyword Research Course — Morgan’s SEO Course.
Theory of Content — Joshua’s Podcast.
Mediavine’s Content Upgrade Challenge: A 3-part optimization challenge for improving your ad revenue.
**The RPM Challenge has been rebranded as the Content Upgrade Challenge**
[THEME MUSIC] JENNY GUY: Hello, everyone. Welcome. It’s hard to believe, but it is Thursday already. You’re almost through the week. It is August 15th. We’re almost through the summer.
I’m Jenny Guy. I’m the marketing manager for Mediavine. We provide full-service ad management for content creators. And if you aren’t aware, if you haven’t been looking at your calendar closely, you wouldn’t know, but the countdown to Labor Day is on. And it means that our second annual Summer of Live is winding down– sad face. I know.
Not to worry though. After today, we’ve still got two more episodes left. And we are spending all of our last few weeks on– and all of our energy, all of our time, all of our content is to giving you as many monetization strategies and tips as we possibly can.
Just to give a little shout out here, over 1,000 of you have already watched last week’s episode on affiliate marketing, which is super exciting. And I have got a Black Eyed Peas’ kind of feeling that this week’s episode will top those numbers. Because why?
Because we are talking about the topic and all topics for anyone looking to earn in the digital space. There is one acronym to rule them all– SEO, search engine optimization. Whether you’re filled immediately with excitement or dread, the word “SEO” gives every influencer all the feels.
I’ve got two amazing guests here that are going to drop all their knowledge on you and make you an SEO ninja in no time. So I’m going to start introducing them now. I’m so grateful that they’re here.
First, Morgan McBride is a Mediavine publisher with Charleston Crafted, where she and her husband Sean blog about crafting their dream home in Charleston, South Carolina. They’ve been blogging since 2012, but often felt like their traffic was falling into that big black hole of the internet, never to be seen or heard from again. After joining Mediavine in August of 2018– happy one year, Morgan–
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Thank you.
JENNY GUY: –Morgan dove headfirst into learning about SEO strategy. She has more than tripled Charleston Craft’s organic search traffic in less than a year. And it continues to grow. She also recently launched her Simple SEO Keyword Research course that helps bloggers pick the best keywords to target for SEO sources. We will talk about that a little bit more later. And one of her primary resources that she uses for SEO education is co-hosted of by my next guest, who I will introduce here in one second. Morgan, thank you so much for joining us today.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah. I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks. I’m excited to be here.
JENNY GUY: Yay. We’re so happy. I’ve been looking forward to it too.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: You’re sweet.
JENNY GUY: My next guest is the co-host and co-creator of the Theory of Content podcast. He’s also an SEO expert from way back in the day. In fact, he started his career as an SEO consultant-for-hire and is now the director of marketing for AlarmGrid.
He has worked to optimize the sites for numerous brands, including Dollar Days, BraSmyth– I have questions, we’ll address that later– TuneCore, Greensbury Meats, ING Direct, Unilever’s, Making Life Better Properties, Tonight In RI and more. Welcome to the podcast–
JOSHUA UNSETH: Hello.
JENNY GUY: –or I’m not even on a podcast– Hello, Josh. How are you?
JOSHUA UNSETH: It’s funny to hear all the names of those projects, because I haven’t worked on many of those for, I don’t know, 10 years now, I think. So it’s very– I’ve got to update my resume. But it’s funny, because those, back in the day, felt like really big deals. And now maybe many of those brands aren’t even around. It’s interesting.
JENNY GUY: I do have a lot of questions about BraSmyth. And I did take your bio directly from LinkedIn.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah, I should probably update that.
JENNY GUY: You might want to update that there, Brian. So
JOSHUA UNSETH: BraSmyth was a website that sold bras–
JENNY GUY: I assumed that. That was probably a safe assumption.
JOSHUA UNSETH: –for bosom-y people.
JENNY GUY: Good to– good. And I am sure there were so much keyword research that you did. And I–
JOSHUA UNSETH: There was. And there was a lot– it was the weirdest project that I was ever on. Because I would spend my entire day on a website of women in bras. And it was very, very different than any of the other projects. But yeah. So does that answer your questions?
JENNY GUY: It does. Well, all the questions that I’m going to ask now or that anyone might want to know about on our suitable-for-work show.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah.
JENNY GUY: So moving forward–
Thank you both for being here. If you guys have questions– SEO questions, site-specific, general, whatever you’ve got– put them in the comments. I’ll make sure that I ask both Morgan and Josh. And we’ll get you the answers. But let’s start at the very beginning here with my series of questions, which is a very good place to start. What is your relationship to SEO? Where did you gain your expertise? And why did you decide it was important to invest time into it? And I’m going to go ahead and start with Josh there.
JOSHUA UNSETH: OK. So in college, I actually started playing with internet stuff. I was in college when Google IPOed and had a fascination with how it is that people get traffic to their websites. So I started with a couple of things. I was actually playing with one of those college conservative news websites and a Christian magazine website that I basically got to– you throw WordPress up and practice on.
And that was kind of the first two websites that I got to play with. And then after college, I started applying. I really enjoyed it. I was reading every SEO thing. I made all of the SEO mistakes I could possibly do. I’ve destroyed traffic on both sides multiple times, and had been reading tons and tons of resources, whether it was MAUS or SEMrush.
All of these tools and resources were pretty much around even then. I remember I applied to a number of jobs, including MSNBC, where I was nearly given a job as a producer. But instead I got a job as a marketer in an agency called The JAR Group in New York, where I got to work on projects for a lot of corporate entities doing sort of the understudy with a guy named Matt Lurkey, who is a great S– was a great SEO.
I don’t think that he is doing SEO anymore. But he sort of showed me the ropes, brought me in. He was a former big-agency– The JAR Group was a small agency. He was a big-agency guy. I was actually surrounded by big-agency people in a small agency.
They had actually left to start sort of a boutique firm. And I learned everything I could possibly learn about SEO there and went on to do my own thing here at AlarmGrid. So I’ve been doing that now probably– I’ve been doing SEO stuff now for the better part of 11 years.
JENNY GUY: Cool. All right. Well, we’ll accept those qualifications.
JOSHUA UNSETH: [CHUCKLES]
JENNY GUY: And then right after we get off, you’re going to jog straight over to your LinkedIn and update with some of that information.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah, absolutely. I’ll go do that.
JENNY GUY: Because that was pretty fascinating, Josh, and not at all reflected on your LinkedIn. So we’ve got people that are very, very– we’re going to take Morgan here in a second. Everyone is shocked to see you that are listeners to the Theory of Content, which is precisely the response that Morgan had when she came on.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Well, here’s the thing, I’m actually a spirit. And when I get on video, I occasionally will put on my body. So yeah, this is me. This is the form I took today. Yeah.
JENNY GUY: Yeah, we appreciate it. It’s much appreciated. So we’re hearing– Kelly said, “so great to see Josh. I’ve listened to the podcast for so long now.”
JOSHUA UNSETH: Hello, Kelly.
JENNY GUY: Amber says, “the website is going to be updated. And you’ll be able to see his furry face more often.” Jennifer Osborne– “never pictured you with a beard.” In her head, you are “clean-shaven and much lighter-haired.” But she said you are “fine.” So–
JOSHUA UNSETH: Well, thank you.
JENNY GUY: Your face is–
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Fine or fine.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Was that like, you’re fine? Or was it like, you’re fine?
JENNY GUY: I think you should just infer what you want from that. Jennifer, you don’t need to clarify. We’re all just making our own assumptions in our brains right now.
OK. Morgan, tell us about your SEO experience, how you got into this.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah. Sure. So I, like you said, just got with Mediavine one year ago. And I actually hooked up with Mediavine at Haven Conference. It was in Charleston last year. It’s a DIY blogger conference. The year before, I met Heather from Mediavine.
But someone from another ad agency– we’ll say, sounds like shmad shmive– told me not to sign with Mediavine, just wait until I qualified for them, which was a big mistake. He said I would make no money. Here I am making money. So liar liar, pants on fire– here I am with Mediavine.
And as soon as I signed with Mediavine, I got into the Facebook group. And that’s where all these wonderful people are talking about SEO. It had never occurred to me before. We had been blogging since 2012. We had so much content. And it was all just falling into a black cliff. You would post on Facebook. And my mom would click on it. You put it on Pinterest. And maybe somebody would see it. But all this content was just falling into Never Never Land.
So I really got excited about the idea of giving things more of an evergreen life and writing content with a purpose, which is what has really transformed our blog. SEO and Mediavine has changed my life.
In October, I had a baby. And I went on maternity leave. And it was unpaid maternity leave, of course. But I was able to take it because of these Mediavine earnings. Then I didn’t want to go back to work, of course. You get 12 weeks off. You have a baby. You get attached. I didn’t want to go back.
JENNY GUY: Which is good. It’s a good thing that you got attached.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: It was surprising. It was surprising. But my husband said, if you can get your passive income– Mediavine money– to equal what you were making at work after daycare costs, you can quit your job. And that was when I jumped into SEO. I said of–
JOSHUA UNSETH: Motivation.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: –Facebook is not doing it for me. Instagram is great, but that’s not making me any money. SEO is how I can make money. And dang, it worked. So here I am. I’m a stay-at-home mom/blogger now. And I am so happy. It has changed my life. So I am selling the praises of SEO.
JENNY GUY: SEO for life. All right. That is a very awesome testimony. And you, honestly, in one year tripled, your traffic. That’s–
MORGAN MCBRIDE: It’s honestly more than that. But I was looking at the graph. It’s hard to say how much is attributable to what. But it’s great.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Morgan, how often do you blog?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: We used to blog five times a week. Then we went down to four. And now we’re doing three. And we have much more success with three really good, researched, strategic, planned posts than we did with five kind of just trying to fill out a week.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. I think that that’s pretty typical. I don’t think that doing five is typical. I think that’s atypical. So I commend you for that.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: We did that for five years. For five years. We have so much content.
JENNY GUY: OK. So this actually fits in with a lot of our questions from our readers. We had quite a few pop in all at once. Let me look here. OK. Deborah Cruz asks, “should we be updating old posts–” which is actually a great question when we’re talking about the 800,000 posts that you guys have on Charleston Crafted. Morgan, do you update all of your old content?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Not all of it. A lot of it– this is funny. We found a post today. My husband was looking for something that was about what he had for dinner at Taco Bell one night. And he listed everything.
He’s going to hate that I said that. So we did not update that one, believe it or not.
JENNY GUY: You did not want to update with– do you know that they just opened a Taco Bell hotel in Palm Springs, California? That’s a thing.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Let’s go.
JOSHUA UNSETH: I think that’s here for a short time though, right?
JENNY GUY: What?
JOSHUA UNSETH: I think they’re opening it for a short time. Or is it permanent?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Let’s go.
JENNY GUY: I didn’t read about the permanency of it. I only read of its existence. And that was enough for me to just click Close on that article.
JOSHUA UNSETH: [LAUGHS]
I love Taco Bell.
JENNY GUY: I’m– we’ll leave it there.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: We do too obviously. Yeah.
JENNY GUY: We’ll leave it right there. Yeah, we were writing blog posts about it.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Morgan and I– we’re on the Taco Bell train.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah. Not a food blogger.
JOSHUA UNSETH: I thought that you were going to tell a story about how you’d updated the Taco Bell post and it inured to you 10 million new page views.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: No. I think it would take an act of God for that one to rank. So that one is gone.
JOSHUA UNSETH: How did you decide what you’re going to update?
JENNY GUY: Yeah. Yeah.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: So the first thing we did was just think of what were good projects that we did that we wish had gotten more eyeballs, that we thought were worthy of more eyeballs. And that was a good way to just kind of make a list.
And then the other thing is I dove into Search Console, and saw what was ranking and what Google was already giving us some authority on. And that was where I really developed things that I thought could move up, things that were maybe on the second or third page. That was better than ranking where you’re number 3,000. Something where your number 30 is a lot easier to move up the list.
JENNY GUY: So somebody– I’m going to jump in here. And then I going to ask Josh about his theory with updating old content and how he strategically does that. But someone with the last name of yours, Morgan– it’s Sean McBride. You might know that person.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah, he’s upstairs with the baby. Yeah.
JENNY GUY: He is defending the Taco Bell. He’s saying that Taco Bell was amazing, but the post was terrible. Not the post. So we’re glad we’re drawing a line between the quality of the food and the quality of the content. Thank you.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Separate content form food.
JENNY GUY: Yeah. It’s a good line to draw. So Josh, talk about updating old posts, because that’s something a lot of people– I don’t know that they have as a part of their content creation strategy. And I think that it’s something that gets overlooked.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. it depends, I think, on where you are in the life cycle of your blog as to what you want to do. It sounds to me like doing– I like hearing someone say, when we started, we were doing five posts a week. And the reason is because the biggest barrier to entry, I think, in blogging or any sort of business in this world of the interwebs is that nobody makes content. Nobody. No one wants to do it.
So if you’re making more content than everybody else, kudos to you. And then if what you try is you’re like, you know what, we’re making five posts a week, what we’re going to do is we’re going to scale it back a little bit and try three strategic posts a week, you’re still– I think that most bloggers are doing one post a week. You’re doing three times more than anybody else. And the beauty of that is if you did that for three– what did you say? Three years?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Five years of five.
JENNY GUY: Yeah.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Five years?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: A year of four, and now we’re–
JENNY GUY: That’s insane.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Think about it this way. You did 365– 52 weeks a year– 365 days, whatever. So 52– how many posts is that? 52 times 5? I don’t do math on air.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: A lot.
JENNY GUY: A lot of p– let’s say–
JOSHUA UNSETH: 260? 260 posts a year.
JENNY GUY: To use a word that we were talking about before, that is a shi–
JOSHUA UNSETH: Shoot-ton. –a
JENNY GUY: Shoot-ton of posts.
JOSHUA UNSETH: So that’s like you have you have a base post– a base blog layer of 900-ish posts that you’ve put together over the years. And what that does is it gives you an amazing set of ranked pages that people have searched.
Now, not all of them are number one. Not all of them are number two. Not all of them are on the first page. Some of them are on the 10th page. But what you can do with that is you can go to Google Webmaster Tools. You can start looking at the keywords that you’re ranking for.
And you can start making more strategic decisions about what you’re going to do in the future. So I like to hear that you did a huge amount of work at the beginning. I think that’s phenomenal. And I think that it lets you be more strategic in the future when you decide to sort of scale that back. I think that’s incredible.
And so when you look at posts that are old and you maybe want to update them, what I do is I go– I have a little bit of a process. I go through Google Analytics. I’m going to look at which posts are maybe most visited.
And don’t– and go look at them and see if there’s something that either I can do to expand the post or something I can do to make it a little bit better. And I’m going to go to Webmaster Tools, also take a look at maybe some of the keywords that I’m not ranking really well for and that have a lot of traffic.
I’m going to go into Google Analytics, and find those posts, and then see what kind of traffic I’m missing– what the opportunity is. And then I’m going to go and update those posts to start making them a little bit better as well.
And the reason that you do the first ones– those are probably going to be high-ranking posts, the ones that are getting a lot of traffic. You want to make sure that you are out-competing people who are below you and continue to out-compete them.
And what you do with the posts where there is a lot of traffic and you want to get some of that traffic because you’re ranked low is you go, you update it so that you can compete better with the people above you. And if you do that, you’ll start building traffic in amazing ways.
JENNY GUY: That’s a byproduct that we would all like to have happen. So we have got so many questions flowing in. And it’s so quick. First of all, Deborah Cruz also wants to know, “does Joshua do SEO audits? I need to find someone.”
JOSHUA UNSETH: I don’t. I don’t generally advocate audits.
JENNY GUY: Why?
JOSHUA UNSETH: Audits are expensive. And they’re– and here’s the thing about SEOs. SEOs are paid to find things that are wrong with your site. So you give me a website– you go to my website, you’re going to find things that are problems. And an SEO will tell you that if you fix these problems, then you will get trillions and billions of new people coming to your site.
But the truth is that the only real solution to getting new traffic is to do more content. And there’s other things you can do to make it easy on Google, to make Google like you a little better, to rank your website up on those maybe last four or five spots. Maybe you’ll be ranked fifth. How do you get to number one?
It’s hard. There’s no guarantees. But if you want a better chance of being ranked high, you need to make sure your website’s fast. You need to make sure that you’re updating regularly. All these little things. Those little changes that SEOs make might help with those sort of– the final lift. But if you want to know what to rank for, you’ve just got to make content. And that’s the part that most people have trouble with.
So you can do your own SEO audit. There’s a lot of real simple ways. We actually have a show with Theory of Content on how to self-audit yourself. And you can go ahead do that using Google’s documentation. Google has all of the stuff that you need– everything. And the little nuanced things that SEOs fight about as to whether they work or not, you can go and read about that, but for the most part you don’t need to. Just get your website ready. Do what Google says. And then write, make content.
JENNY GUY: And I will say that one of the first things that probably an SEO expert is going to tell you if you have an audit done is that there is a massive problem with your site. And that problem starts with an A, and then there’s the D, and then a plural. A. lot of times that is the first thing that an SEO person will say– that the problem with your site is ads.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Oh, I couldn’t get that. I didn’t realize you were literally spelling “ads.” I was sitting there trying–
JENNY GUY: You didn’t’ real– it was a long word. It was a really long word.
JOSHUA UNSETH: I was trying to figure out– I was like–
JENNY GUY: No it’s literally those two letters. It’s “ads.”
JOSHUA UNSETH: [INAUDIBLE]
JENNY GUY: Yeah, that is usually the first thing that they’re going to say the problem is. And luckily, we do a lot of things to make sure that you don’t have the slowdown from the ads and do everything we can to make that possible.
OK. Another question. Let’s see– Morgan, have you ever had an SEO audit done on your site? Have you ever had a private SEO expert come in and do that?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: No. Girl, I am a DIY blogger. I don’t pay for stuff. I do it myself.
JENNY GUY: Mic drop.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah.
JENNY GUY: That’s awesome. I love that.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah, I listen to that episode probably three times as a podcast. And also, the Mediavine RPM Challenge Google Sheet document is really helpful for specific posts, sort of auditing them.
JENNY GUY: Love that. And we will share that. We just shared the Theory of Content. OK. Valerie Bareman says, “where do I find the Google tools to audit?”
JOSHUA UNSETH: Oh, you want to know the document itself?
JENNY GUY: yeah, the literal place to find those Google tools.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Give me one second. Google– I’m going to search “Google SEO requirements.” Maybe that– there’s literally a document, Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. That’s what you want to Google. And it’s on Google’s Webmaster Tools stuff. It’s on their own domain. And it’s just a long guide that will take you through everything you need to know about how to optimize your own stuff.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: You can also do a site speed audit on Google. And that’ll give you a lot tips that in general are just good for fixing your site.
JENNY GUY: So we– excellent. We love those DIY learning. And that’s going to help you then too when you’re not only learning how to optimize existing content, but then moving forward creating content with that in mind– which you said you’re not doing, Morgan. You’re doing purposeful writing, as opposed to just writing about Taco Bell or something like that.
JOSHUA UNSETH: There’s another thing worth mentioning too. And it’s that most SEO bloggers are using WordPress. And WordPress out of the box pretty much does everything. So if you’re looking at SEO audits– I tell people this all the time. You want me to do an SEO audit? I’ll do it for you. I’ll charge you $10,000.
And what I will do is– and that’ll be a month. And and what I’ll do is I’ll sit down with you and we’ll come up with a content calendar. And you’ll hate paying it. And I won’t take– I don’t actually want to charge you that.
But you could do that yourself. I’m not as good at figuring out what you should write as you are. And the content calendar is one article a day. So you’ll pay me $10,000 to give you one article a day, or one article a week, or whatever the heck it is that you want to do. And you’ll be unhappy.
So what you need to do is just do co-schedule or some other thing. Use an Excel spreadsheet and just start creating a calendar of content. And that would be the entirety of what I would do for anybody if I were doing an actual useful audit that was going to grow your traffic.
JENNY GUY: So keep making content. We love to hear that. OK. Will Nichols has now asked this twice. So we’re going to answer him before he goes for a lucky number three. “Something I have always wondered–” and this is a great question, we hear people debating on this all the time– “should I be removing the date from evergreen content? I want to, but I’m ranking really well at the moment. And I’m kind of terrified it will nuke my rankings.”
JOSHUA UNSETH: Interesting.
JENNY GUY: Yeah.
JOSHUA UNSETH: I am of the opinion that if something is ranking really well for something you want to be ranking for, then leave it alone. Just don’t don’t do anything with it. And then if it eventually, some day, drops, you might want to jump in there and do something about it. But touching content scares me a little bit when it’s doing really well, just because Google’s a fickle beast.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Does he mean the date in his URLs? Is that what he means?
JENNY GUY: Yeah.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Oh, in your URLs?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Is that what he meant?
JOSHUA UNSETH: Don’t change anything there.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Oh. We had those taken out. And we have only gone up and up since taking those out. But you can’t correlate it, who knows
JOSHUA UNSETH: If you’re starting a blog, I would say don’t put the URLs in. But if you’ve got an old blog–
JENNY GUY: Don’t put the dates in your URLs if you’re starting out now.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. If you’d made that decision a long time ago, it doesn’t hurt you. It’s not as pretty. And there’s other problems. Like if you update the post in WordPress, I don’t think it keeps the old URL. I think it updates it, which is a problem.
You’d have to employ a 301 redirect on that old URL in order to make sure that it’s pointed at the right one. And then all of a sudden, you end up with this spider web of redirects and stuff. I don’t love that. And I say that if you have an older blog, you’re going to have some legacy stuff that maybe isn’t optimal. But it’s not going to kill you to keep it.
JENNY GUY: So Will is saying “no, the date on the page.” It’s not the URL. He’s talking about the date of the top of the page that comes out in the SERPs on Google.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Oh. Like I was saying, if it’s ranking number one, I generally wouldn’t touch it. I doubt the date will affect that ranking. I would bet you could remove it, and it wouldn’t be a big problem. But I personally wouldn’t touch it.
JENNY GUY: OK. Here’s another question that I’m asking for my own edification after hearing a lot of people talk about it. A lot of people that have been blogging for a long time that have a ton of legacy content, like you just talked about– they want to delete a lot of it. They want to get rid of it. They hate it. They say it’s ugly. They don’t like it at all. They don’t even blog about that anymore. What is your philosophy on deleting outdated content?
Morgan, start first. Then Josh.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Morgan– yeah.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: I’m smiling, because I know Josh is going to say don’t delete it. Why bother deleting it? My opinion– we used to do recipes along with some of the talk about– not good recipes. We had a hamburger salad that looked like you got it at a cafeteria. We had some really bad recipes– not too many. Maybe 50 total. That we did delete all of them.
They got messed up. We had a weird recipe plug-in. They weren’t ranking. They weren’t helping anything. And they got messed up when the plug-in– they all got really messed up. So we deleted all of those. And I saw no adverse effects, no good effects. I threw one redirected to the home page, because there was nothing relevant to direct it to.
But we’re not really deleting old posts just because they were boring or because they got no clicks. I think that you could do that. I don’t think it would ruin your site. But to me, that’s a waste of time.
Even if you just spend three minutes on each one, if you delete 100 things, that’s 300 minutes. You could have written some blog posts or gone and seen a movie in that time. That would’ve been a better use of your time.
JENNY GUY: The only person that knows they’re there are you. And you’re the only one obsessing about it at night– maybe your mom because your mom liked everything on Facebook when you shared it initially. Josh, what about you?
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. I think I’m taking a less hard-line approach to it than maybe I did at one time just because of being introduced to bloggers. And they’re super passionate about sort of their brand. And these are labors of love for them. And I get that.
But I think that Morgan’s hitting on it. I think generally going through old blog posts and deleting them is a waste of your time. That’s the worst thing I can say at this point. There is an opportunity cost both to the time that you could have spent creating new content and, if any of these old pieces had actual traffic, you’re giving up the opportunity cost of that traffic as well. So it’s generally, I think, better to keep it.
I think that you are not necessarily going to be the best judge of whether Google thinks that the content is good or bad. And what you think might be bad content, Google might not care one bit about. In fact, I’d almost guarantee, if it’s a normal-length post, they probably don’t care at all.
So yeah, I think that Morgan’s correct. It sounds– it’s hard for me to criticize someone like Morgan, who’s doing as much content to she’s done. She’s done so much content. It sounds like you didn’t really stop to delete posts. A lot of people use it as an excuse not to do more. Right?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah.
JENNY GUY: Yeah.
JOSHUA UNSETH: So if you’re using the fact that you have this content on your site– like, I’m going to delete it, and that’ll raise my traffic. It’s probably not going to raise your traffic at all. It’s probably to have little to no effect. It might even be negative. So for the most part, I advocate people leaving it up. But if you really, really hate it, I’m not going to chastise you if you’re continually making content, like Morgan has done with her blog.
JENNY GUY: Yeah. She’s killing it. “What’s Morgan’s site?” We referenced it earlier, Ellen Folkman.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Charleston Crafted.
JENNY GUY: It is Charleston Crafted. We’ll share that link in the comments for you so you’ve got that. We don’t want anyone to miss Morgan’s site.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: There you go.
JENNY GUY: So let’s actually just jump in here for a second and talk about some– well, I’ll share what Will said. Will said, “that’s good to hear.” He was actually talking more about a blanket removal than per-post. This is going back to Will’s question about removing the dates. So maybe this is something we can do.
We do have a question here. I’m going to go back through. OK. “What about backdating a new post so it’s before someone who is ranking number one? For instance–” this is Sing Nickerson. He said, “like I wrote a post yesterday someone ranking one published in March.” Should he pre-date it to February?
JOSHUA UNSETH: Oh, that would be a weird thing to do. I don’t think Google would give–
I don’t think they would give you a boost for that just because it’s first. I think a lot of SEOs will tell you that there is a boost for being first on a keyword or something like that. There really isn’t. Google has a sort of algorithmic boost for new content a lot of times.
If your content is just released today, you might see a couple of keywords. Google tests it. They give you a little boost on a few things. And if you perform well, then when that boost kind of goes away, they’re going to stick you somewhere in those rankings. Because they want to know if people like your content better than other content that’s up there or not.
So they’ll test you out. But you don’t really get a boost for three-four months ago. If you really want to outrank them, I’d go look at their post. See what they have in there that you don’t have. Maybe make some– add what they have if there’s other information in there. And then maybe add a little bit more so that your post is actually more relevant, better, and better for the searcher who’s looking for that post, whatever it is that that would be.
JENNY GUY: And I’m going to toss it to Morgan. And she actually reference something before I hit record. And she referenced a term that was used. It’s a famous term. It’s an infamous term around here at Mediavine. She said “par boiling” when you are trying to increase your ranking, which is something we talk about a lot when we talk about SEO and increasing rankings. Morgan, what did you mean when you reference your par boiling?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: [CHUCKLES]
Well that was a joke, because we were talking about Bob Ross Halloween costumes. And–
JENNY GUY: We really were, everyone.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: –then we had the idea of a bunny Ross, then a dog Ross. So I said it could be my par boiling to make a lot of Bob Ross content. But the idea was that Amber, on her site, wrote a post about–
JENNY GUY: On Food Fanatic.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: –on Food Fanatic, wrote a post about– I don’t know what the foods were. Let’s say chicken. Par boiling chicken. And it did well. She wanted to do better. So she wrote posts on par boiling carrots, par boiling potatoes, par boiling celery. I don’t know what par boiling even is, but I know that she ranks for it. And what she did is– I call it creating content trees.
JENNY GUY: I love that.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: So you would have maybe a main post– How To Par Boil. And then you’re going to have all of these branches that come off of it for carrots, and potatoes, and chicken, and all these things. And what you’re going to do is you’re going to build that authority with Google. When they think par boiling, they’re going to think of you. And so that’s what you’re really trying to do, is just content, content, content that all links together and shows that you know what you’re talking about.
JENNY GUY: When it comes to par boiling, you know your stuff.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah.
JENNY GUY: Can we actually share that par boiling post? And I will say– you said “content trees?” Is that what you said, Morgan?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: That’s what I call it. Yeah.
JENNY GUY: That is a much more attractive word and concept than “par boiling.” So I’m just going to–
JOSHUA UNSETH: [LAUGHS]
JENNY GUY: –throw that out there as a baseline. We might want to look at “content trees.” And we’re stealing that from you. Josh, can you talk a little bit about content trees, or par boiling, or however you want to refer to it?
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. At least for us, what it comes down to is when you create a post, you’re going to rank for whatever it is. In this case, it was par boiling. Amber was– I think it was par boiling potatoes that she ranked for.
JENNY GUY: I think that was the initial post. Yeah.
JOSHUA UNSETH: And in looking at it, I think they’ve looked through Webmaster Tools and discovered that there was a lot of keywords on par boiling generally, whether it was “par boiling,” “par boiling carrots–” par boiling all sorts of different kinds of veggies.
And so they did exactly that. They made a ton of content around par boiling so they could rank for all of those keywords, thus expanding the number of people that then come to the site on a keyword that’s relevant.
And frankly, the beauty of content like that is that you’ve already produced sort of a skeleton for how you want to write those posts. You don’t think that a post of a par boiling carrots is going to have to be that much different than par boiling potatoes– I assume. I don’t really know what par boiling is either. But–
JENNY GUY: So guys, par boiling is partially boiling an item, cooking it part of the way.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Oh, it’s a portmanteau.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Sounds mushy.
JENNY GUY: [LAUGHS]
I mean– I’m not going to comment on the validity of par boiling or not par boiling, Morgan.
JOSHUA UNSETH: It does sound mushy.
JENNY GUY: That’s neither here nor there.
JOSHUA UNSETH: It does sound mushy. But–
MORGAN MCBRIDE: I did something similar on blog with barn doors. And so I actually went on Google Search Console and looked at, what was I already ranking for. And I was ranking for how to build a barn door. And what I like to do– a hot tip– in Search Console is to sort it upside down.
So look at the things that you’re ranking really, I guess, low for. High number– so in the 70s or 80s. And this is looking at my one post– my post on how to build a barn door. What was I ranking the worst for? But I was ranking. And I got all these ideas. And what I did is I took those and made blog posts. So How Do You Mount A Barn Door?
One of the best ones– there’s about six or eight of them. But one the best ones that has set me traffic– it’s so surprising– is Can I Use A Barn Door For My Bathroom? I wrote a whole blog post about that. And I get traffic every single day from people who want to know the pros and cons of putting a sliding barn door on their bathroom.
And it was an easy post to write. And it’s just by seeing what Google already sees you ranking for. Create that new content. Don’t try and put it in your original post to boost it up. Just create a new post.
JOSHUA UNSETH: And there’s a lot of ways that– a sliding barn door on your bathroom. A sliding barn door on your living room. I don’t know how many different types of rooms people are looking for sliding barn doors on. You could go that direction.
You could turn it into a content tree about doors itself– how to put a barn door on your bathroom. Oh, maybe people just want– let’s look at all the different kinds of doors people want to put on– how to put a barn door, how to put a regular door, how to put a varnish door. I don’t know what kinds of doors there are, but you could do that.
JENNY GUY: Metal door.
JOSHUA UNSETH: But all on the bathroom. You could focus on the bathroom part of that. And you do something like this with one type of post, it’s a little weird from the content maker’s perspective. Because you’re feeling a little bit like you’re making the same type of content again and again. So it could be a little bit monotonous and tedious.
But the readers are looking for very specific things. They’re looking for content about barn doors on bathrooms or regular doors on bathroom. What other kinds of doors– glass doors on bathrooms.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Pocket door?
JOSHUA UNSETH: A pocket door on a bathroom.
JENNY GUY: Invisible doors on bathrooms.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Invisible door on a bathroom. There’s probably a bunch of search around all of that stuff. And you’ll be able to capture it. And you’ll have 50 or 60 posts that you can suddenly do with no problem. And if you’re looking at a content schedule, you start doing that– you can schedule those out a month or two months so that you’re not doing the same post again and again every month. And just figure out what you can do with all the other content and kind of do exactly the same type of thing.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah. I also use a WordPress plug-in called the Ultimate Category Excluder. And I created a category on my site that’s just called Exclude. And so if you write a post, you check the box Exclude, and you can just publish it. It does not go on your RSS feed. It does not go on your home page.
I set it so it doesn’t push to Twitter or– I usually push them to Twitter actually, because nobody is on my Twitter– and Facebook. And then it’s out there. Google sees it, but it doesn’t go on your feed. So it’s not weird if people are like, why is this chick writing so much about toilets all at once?
JENNY GUY: She loves her toilets.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: That is the thing about being a blogger– you have people who come to your site every day. Believe me, they will comment if they think you’re doing something strange and posting a lot of weird stuff.
JOSHUA UNSETH: And Morgan, do you view your audience as two-fold– like you have your loyal readers and then, on the other side, you have people that just happen to be there from Google? Is that kind of how you view that?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah. So you have either your Pinterest or your Google one-time visitors. And then you have your loyal readers, who primarily get to us via– some people come straight to the site, but it’s either through Facebook, through Instagram, or through our newsletter.
JOSHUA UNSETH: And do you try to convert those one-time readers into loyal readers?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: You try sometimes. But most of the time, they don’t want to be. You can try and put a freebie in. That’s another hot tip. If you have something that’s doing well in SEO, you need to get in there and put a freebie in there hooked up to your newsletter. Get their email address. Put in big letters “follow me on Instagram.”
One thing that has had an amazing conversion for me for these people coming in once off Pinterest or Google is to put in big letters over or under your best picture on the top half of your post “click here to pin this project to Pinterest.” And hyperlink that to your Pin on Pinterest.
You have the Pin It button, but sometimes people need to be told exactly what to do. And so that’s a good way to have that kind of– you’re not converting them to a follower, but you’re at least getting them to spread the word.
JOSHUA UNSETH: So that in marketing is called a call to action. And I think that people who haven’t worked in marketing don’t realize how powerful those are. I think everyone wants to think that they don’t need those. But the truth is a percentage of people who, let’s say, like your post or maybe are just on autopilot for the day– they’ll do literally the thing that they’re told.
So that’s why a literal call to action like that is so effective. Because you’re getting, oh, she wants me to do this, this is the action she would like me to take, and I think it’s worth taking that action on this post. Versus getting their kind of like, oh, I like that post, I’m going to leave now and go–
JENNY GUY: And I’ll do it later or I’ll– you could be like me and have 55 different windows open at the same time. And someone buzzes you somewhere else. So yeah, giving them that immediate call to action and also just letting them know this is what you would like them to do. And they like you. They like the information you’re sharing. And they want to do the thing that is going to make you happy or do something good for you that they can do easily. So yeah.
OK. We have about 800 questions. First of all, people really love the content trees idea. They think it’s great. People are defending the merits of par boiling as a cooking technique. So that’s also happening in the comments. And then–
JOSHUA UNSETH: I’m with you, Morgan– sounds mushy.
JENNY GUY: Mushy. OK.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: we like [INAUDIBLE] yeah.
JENNY GUY: Our very own Rose Sider says, “what if you have posts that are ranking that are not what your niche is? I have posts that are not really in my niche that are sort of,” quote, “low-hanging fruit as far as search terms and could be easily optimized to do better.
Would you bother trying to create more content or update content in this area that is not your niche since you are ranking or look for only keywords that you’re more focused on your niece?” Josh, you start– or Morgan, you start.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: I have a good example of this. So I have a post on my blog– my blog is about DIY home decor, home renovation. And I have a post that I wrote– I occasionally get a little lifestyle. And I had an ovarian cyst. And I had my ovary removed while I was pregnant. It was very dramatic, very exciting.
And I wrote a blog post about it, believe it or not. And I get so many clicks from that thing. It has nothing to do with anything, but I get so many clicks and so many emails from that. I’m not going to create content trees based off that. That’s not a road I want to go down. But what I did do is, about a year later, I made a video.
And it is just a video of me kind of– you can go find it on my blog. Look it up. Just me kind of dramatically telling this story. And I put it on there monetized, because I make money money money off these Mediavine videos. I put on YouTube.
YouTube is the number two search engine. And that sends traffic. I have a lot of things in there, like “if you want to see more details, click over to my blog.” And so I think creating a video for something like that is a really easy way to just boost it even more. But I wouldn’t make more blog posts if it’s something really off topic like that.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. So I think there’s a couple– content is hard.
And I think you have two– with these niche things, there’s a couple of ways to manage it. Number one, I think that you can have niche drift, where you start in this niche and you kind of slowly expand it. And you expand it by touching things that are maybe a foot outside of your niche. And then as that grows, you touch another thing that’s another foot outside of your niche. And all of a sudden, you started with a blog about margaritas, and now you’re talking about airplanes and traveling to Bahrain.
I would call that niche drift or something like that. And then there’s the kind of off-topic niche stuff that you’re talking about– these sort of one-off posts. I think a lot of people who are blogging are going to be doing like personal posts. You’re going to be talking about things that are happening in your life.
I don’t know. Maybe you’re having a baby. And you’re a food blogger. You might be able to get a lot of content from there, and actually do some of these content trees and expand it. But if you’re just writing about the fact that, like you, you had a fairly traumatic surgery, an event in your life that was probably pretty scary, that a lot of people can relate to, but that really ultimately is not what your blog is about, I think that a lot of people will really enjoy that content.
I think you’re right. It doesn’t necessarily need to be made into more content like that. But I do think it’s worth, as a blogger, exploring the niche drift part of this, where you’re saying, I’m this big– there’s only so much traffic. There’s only so many people looking for strawberry margaritas each day. So if you start a blog about strawberry margaritas, you might want to move into pineapple margaritas. I don’t really drink to be honest.
Other kinds of margaritas.
JENNY GUY: It could be because you’re drinking strawberry margaritas only. And that’s [INAUDIBLE]
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. I started with strawberry margaritas. And then the pina– I just kind of went, blech, too sweet. But you can expand that. And then all of a sudden, two years later, you’re like, you know what, we started at strawberry margaritas, but now we have nothing but– we do a huge drink catalog. We’ve got tons and tons of recipes. We do old-fashions, et cetera.
And then all of a sudden, you expand that. You’re like, you know what, we also want to incorporate travel. So then you start doing travel and trying drinks places. Now you’re doing bar reviews. And then from there, you start reviewing the food.
And now you’re doing food reviews. And then you try making some of those food review recipes at your own home. And now you’re doing recipes too. So you can do that sort of niche drift very slowly. And I think that that’s a great way to actually expand your blog traffic.
JENNY GUY: Fantastic. So we’ve coined a number of terms here that you guys are– people are requesting t-shirts. We need a “content trees” t-shirt. We need a “niche drift” t-shirt.
So Courtney Odell is saying, “can you talk more about that niche or “nitch” drift, Josh? I started writing about everything, And. Now just food and travel. I’ve had people really concerned I am hurting traffic by not being niche-specific. Can you weigh in on being able to have more than one niche or “nitch” and be successful?”
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. I think Morgan hits on it quite a bit with this idea of excluding blog posts from your home page or your RSS. You can grow your blog on the back of Google searches and kind of invite people into your community.
To expand on what I was saying earlier about treating your blog like two audiences, I think you can very much view one side of your audience as your community. And you’re the shepherd of that community. You need to decide what it is– you’re curating content for them. And you’re self-curating.
You’re curating your own content. You’re looking at everything you write. And you say, is this good for the community that I’ve built or is this other thing good for the community I’ve built? And then if it is, you send it out. If it’s not, maybe you hide it and bury it. And then let other people on Google find it, because it’s good content, but it’s not in the niche that the community maybe you’ve built has come to love.
It depends on the niche also. There are things that people are very strongly communal about. I don’t know. Maybe that’s travel, something like that. Maybe that’s going and looking at state parks, if you’re a hiking blog, right? And maybe they don’t want to hear about recipes.
But there’s a possibility that you do recipes, and then you build a sort of secondary community of people who are liking the recipe content. You just have two sort of communities that you’re working. It’s hard to balance audiences. But if you can do it, then that means that you can grow your audience or your blog in some kind of cool ways. And yeah, I think–
JENNY GUY: So is it better to– if you’re a hiking blog and you want to write about food, can you then say the best food to have before you go hiking? Can you say the best food to take with you while you’re hiking to stick in your backpack?
JOSHUA UNSETH: Right. You could do gorp recipes and stuff like that. Protein bar recipes and types– you could start out with that kind of content.
Generally, I think that an audience is a little bit upset when they’re shocked by something. They come to your blog for hiking. And they get there. And they see five posts about the muffins that you made last night, which have nothing to do with hiking. But really, they were just trying to find a trail to hike in Oklahoma or something like that. That, for them, would be a little shocking.
So if you ease them into it, and have posts that are a little tangential, and that are not so out of the ordinary, but also something that they can relate to and would find use from, you can kind of start to slowly expand your niche that way. And there may only be so far you can go.
You may only be able to do hiking-related foods on that brand if you want to maintain that audience. Or you might say, you know what, the Google audience is so big that I’m going to kind of say goodbye to that audience and let those who fall off fall off.
JENNY GUY: But that’s, again, thinking about how people are consuming your content. You’ve got the two audiences that we were talking about earlier. Are these the people that– are you trying to cultivate and grow your people? And maybe that has to do with your end result that you’re looking for. If you’re looking to sell products or sell courses to these people that are your people that you’re growing– this cultivated group– that’s one goal. If you’re just wanting to get as broad of traffic as you can and make ad revenue from those people, That’s–
JOSHUA UNSETH: This goes to the name of our show. It’s the Theory of Content. It’s not so much about SEO as it is about how you make it and why.
JENNY GUY: Shh.
JOSHUA UNSETH: [LAUGHS]
JENNY GUY: It’s about SEO, Josh.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: There is a lot of SEO stuff. But the reason it’s important is– you have to make some business decisions when you’re making content, right?
I am always experimenting with things. I often will even do blogs where I will do things badly so I can see what kind of effects they have. So I have a little secret projects. I have a little Beanie Baby blog, for example, that I experiment with.
I wanted to see what kind of traffic was in that space, just try things out. And it’s not a good blog. It’s just trying a few things. I’m just trying to experiment. I don’t have a theme on it. But I’ve just done a little bit of work. And that’s an experiment.
But if I wanted to turn something into a business, I could expand it and do a whole thing about collectibles, hire a designer, and all sorts of things, and then build communities within it about Cabbage Patch Kids, and Beanie Babies, and all sorts of other types of little things. And you look at something like Allrecipes– they’re not a site with a real community, right? People just kind of end up on their site.
JENNY GUY: Yeah. I’m looking for chicken noodle soup. And I ended up here. I’m not following every single day to find out–
JOSHUA UNSETH: So they make a ton of money. So there are good reasons to do sites without an eye toward the community with just kind of tons and tons of random, garbage content. There’s a really good business case for someone to do that. That’s probably not why you’re writing. That’s probably not why you’re here doing it.
JENNY GUY: So if you think for a second we’re glossing over the fact that you just dropped the Beanie Baby blog on us, we’re not. And the people are commenting. And they’re freaking out. And they’re thinking I’m just going to let that move forward. And I’m not going to just let that go. So do you have a favorite Beanie? Do you own Beanie Babies, I think, is important?
JOSHUA UNSETH: Oh, yeah. I have a lot of Beanie Babies. I’m a collector.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Do you want to buy some Beanie Babies? Because I have a lot too.
JENNY GUY: I have a tone too as well. I had a Beanie Baby house.
JOSHUA UNSETH: They’re probably not great Beanie Babies though.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Mine?
JENNY GUY: What does that mean?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Oh, my gosh. That’s so harsh. They’re great.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Well, most people started collecting Beanie Babies after they were popular. So they don’t have any of the rare ones.
JENNY GUY: So is that what makes a Beanie Baby great or is it love, Josh? I feel like you’re making value judgments on people’s Beanie Baby love.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Love makes them less valuable, because they were hugged and used.
JENNY GUY: Wow.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: No. They’ve got tag protectors.
JOSHUA UNSETH: All my Beanie Babies are in acrylic cases with tag protectors.
JENNY GUY: OK. OK. So yeah, there’s a lot. So you were a Beanie Baby– there’s a Beanie Baby investor. And then there’s a Beanie Baby enthusiast, a lover– I love these Beanie Babies. And you’re doing it for their value. And you don’t want to depreciate the Beanie Baby.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Well, no. They have no value anymore. That’s–
That’s the big secret.
JENNY GUY: Do they not? Have you examined? Have you looked into this?
JOSHUA UNSETH: I know how much they’re worth. You can get the old ones– this is the thing about collecting. It’s all nostalgia for me. Because when you’re a kid, you’re looking at it like, OK, an inky, the octopus without a mouth, and who’s gray, and has a first-edition tag is worth $4,000. And then you’re an adult. And no one cares anymore. And now you’re like, I could get that thing for $80 bucks. I’m going to do that.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: $80 bucks still seems like a lot.
JENNY GUY: That’s some money that–
MORGAN MCBRIDE: I couldn’t give mine away.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. Well–
JENNY GUY: You could put them on a street in a box and see if–
JOSHUA UNSETH: Most of the ones that you probably have are worth like $2 on average.
JENNY GUY: Oh, harsh.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Harsh. That’s harsh.
JENNY GUY: I’m sorry. Amy Sugarman just asked if someone could redirect me. Ouch.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Could redirect you– ow.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: All right.
JENNY GUY: Harsh. OK. We’re going to go back to the questions here, Amy Sugarman–
JOSHUA UNSETH: [LAUGHS]
JENNY GUY: –who is on my poop list.
JOSHUA UNSETH: 301.
JENNY GUY: Let’s talk about photos for a second. Don Munro wants to know how she should be labeling photos. Is it necessary to fill in the title, alt-text, and description for each photo in the post? Should this be the same for each field? Let’s talk to Josh. And then we’ll go to Morgan on that.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. You should definitely do the alt and description stuff. It’s for hearing-impaired originally, but it’s also how Google knows what’s in the image. It’s how to turn your image into text. And sure, they’re doing a lot of work on trying to figure out what’s in images by just processing them, but algorithms are really dumb. So it’s just better– make it easy.
All of this is making it easy for Google. That’s why you make your site speed fast. That’s why you make your pages accessible. That’s why you care about a navbar that’s coded correctly. It’s just to make it easier so that Google doesn’t have to do things like go to a website and say, hey, let’s decipher what this person meant to do with this really, really crappy layout.
JENNY GUY: But with all things that we encourage you to do, that also makes it better for your audience, the user experience. You’re making it easier.
JOSHUA UNSETH: 100%.
JENNY GUY: It’s not just Google. You don’t want to just think that you’re building a site for your bot.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Oh, I agree. I’m just saying if you’re– the reason SEOs do that stuff and the reason they affect rankings slightly is because it just makes it easier for Google. Google, incidentally, thinks that those things are better for your user. And they seem to be. Users really like them. Yeah.
But when you’re looking at SEO and people are concerned with it, generally they’re just concerned with the ranking, right? And they’re trying things out. But these things do actually help your audience as well.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah. All I’ll say on that is that I encourage you to go on Google Search Console. And you can filter to see images that you are ranking for. And that will give you some proof of where you titled things and their ranking for those words.
I have a lot of people that come to my blog every day from an image search. So depending on your niece, that might be how people are– just think about how users are using Google. They might be looking for pictures of fall mantles. And there they see my fall mantle. And that’s how they get to my site. So it’s definitely worth your time to fill those fields in.
JENNY GUY: I’m going to jump in here quickly and say– so Josh, those are for visually-impaired, not hearing-impaired.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. Yes. No, you’re right.
JENNY GUY: And it’s fine. Lisa Sharp has been just keeping us on track. She’s keeping us all honest. And Lisa is absolutely right. She just reiterated what Morgan said, which is we all have more visually-impaired readers than you think. And it makes a real difference to use alt-text correctly and help them out.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Right. And here’s the thing. Alt-text– honestly, you’re putting in a one-sentence description of the thing that you have in an image. Come on. You just wrote a whole blog post. You could spend the three and a half seconds to do that. That’s not hard. That’s free content. And often, images rank really well and get traffic. It depends on what the image is.
JENNY GUY: So Morgan, I’m going to jump in. I want to do this. We’re running out of time, which is not surprising. And it is all my fault, because I derailed us with the Beanie Baby talk. But I want to get back in to, other than Google itself– which we have linked to and Josh mentioned– where are the best resources for SEO knowledge? For all the things that you’re talking about here, where are the best places to go get knowledge on this? Morgan, where can you direct people to?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: To get SEO knowledge, just listening to the Theory of Content podcast. I also listen to The Authority Hacker podcast.
They’re targeting people who have affiliate sites and run traffic that way. And they have French accents. So you have to kind of be OK with that. But it’s a lot of good information. And it’s a lot more regular than the Theory of Content.
JENNY GUY: Oh.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Get those weekly podcasts.
JENNY GUY: Burn.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Ouch. Oh. Ow.
JENNY GUY: Sick burn.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: But then the best thing you could do is just get in and try. You can read, and read, and read, and read. But you’re not going to learn until you try. Download Google Search Console. And learn at least the base level of your site.
See where you are, what’s ranking, what pages are ranking. Play with all the different fields. You can’t break anything in there, y’all. It’s OK. Don’t be afraid to click buttons. And get comfortable with where you stand, because you’ll never know how you’re growing or what’s going up and down if you don’t know where you start.
JENNY GUY: Also, Morgan, I was trying really hard to give you a good segue to your own course. And you just completely went over your own course. So let’s bring up your course, which would be very helpful for people.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: So my course is all about keyword research. And it came from the fact that I just figured out that I need to start writing posts that people actually want to read. So you might be doing a project, making a recipe, going on a trip– whatever you do, you’re just writing blog posts about it. And I’m so happy for you. That’s so great.
And if you’re just writing a blog for your mom and for your friends from college, and for people to keep up with you, then you do you. But if you’re here, I bet you want to make money. And the way to make money is to get eyeballs. And to get those eyeballs, you have to have people that are looking for what you’ve got. And so what you need to do is strategically write content that people are actually searching for.
So my course shows–
My course shows you how to–
JENNY GUY: Slow clap.
JOSHUA UNSETH: [LAUGHS]
Y’all are sweet.
I’m in a mastermind. And we take turns going Facebook Live with each other. And I showed how I did keyword research. And they all were just like, oh.
It’s mostly free tools. I talk about SEMrush, but it’s totally not necessary. I talk about Google Search Console, Keywords Everywhere, the Keyword Shitter, Pinterest, and YouTube– all things that you can use for free to do keyword research to find not only your blog post title, but also your subheadings, the layout of your blog post. And I love putting FAQs at the end of a blog post that are just questions people also ask.
And so in my course, I show– there is a screen recording exactly where I click. I do a sample research on each of those tools exactly click-by-click what you do. It’s not my face at all. It’s just clicking. And then I also talk about where you can put those keywords once you find them.
JENNY GUY: So we are about to drop all of those links in there. Someone is asking “is this pre-recorded?” No, Ethan. It is not.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yes, it is, Ethan.
JENNY GUY: Joshua–
JOSHUA UNSETH: We were predicting that you would say this. So we–
JENNY GUY: Yeah.
JOSHUA UNSETH: [LAUGHS]
JENNY GUY: That’s how the mind-blowing our ability is. We predicted that you would say– yeah. I also, live, wanted to call myself out on my Beanie Baby fixation. So I wanted all those things to happen.
Marissa Moore wants to know “what is the name of the podcast that Morgan mentioned.” It is Authority Hackers. We are also going to share the links for Morgan’s keyword research tool. Josh, can you name some of your favorite educational resources?
JOSHUA UNSETH: Honestly, for most bloggers, I think that the Google starter guide– the SEO Starter Guide is the best thing that you can possibly start with, and really as far in and as deep as you need to go. If you want to go deeper, that’s why we have Theory of Content.
We’re trying to– we touch a lot of the sort of surface stuff. I don’t think most of y’all need to know industry news and the day-to-day weather reports of how many rankings are going up and down today. I think that stuff can get you really, really distracted from your job.
And Don Jackson just noted in the live comments–
JENNY GUY: He did. I was about to call that out.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Let me say– Morgan just threw some shade at Theory of Content about how often we publish. Well, Morgan, we’re currently on hiatus. And the reason is because we’re bringing in Don to start producing the show and actually give us the ability to do weekly, regular content. Because you–
MORGAN MCBRIDE: It’s fine. I just think it’s ironic that the guy that says “content, content, content” can’t seem to get out any content.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. Well, it’s–
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Sorry.
JOSHUA UNSETH: The beauty– it’s difficult, because Theory of Content to date has sort of been this labor of love that Amber and I do. We do it to help the community. And we really love to do it. But the problem is that it is secondary to our day jobs.
Like I was saying to them earlier, that we– I’m the audio engineer, which is why the audio is so terrible sometimes. And we really [INAUDIBLE].
JENNY GUY: Oh Lisa Sharp Lisa Sharp just said you’re busy with your Beanie babies.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. I’m busy.
JENNY GUY: I will say that if you– OK. One– I’m jumping in because I can. One, Morgan, I love that you’re shading Josh, who is now trying to be all hurt and like, guys, it’s a labor of love, blah, blah, blah.
JOSHUA UNSETH: (CHUCKLING) It is.
JENNY GUY: No. Josh throws shade all the time. So you are totally justified in throwing the shade that you’re throwing right now. I love it.
JOSHUA UNSETH: That’s true.
JENNY GUY: Beyond that, yes, they are going to be producing more episodes. And the only reason that people are on your backs is because they love it and it’s a great resource. And that’s the only reason people are saying that.
JOSHUA UNSETH: And we love to do it. That’s the thing. We kind of sat down and figured out what it is that our sort of barriers to being able to do weekly podcasts are. And so we’re removing the stuff we don’t like to do, removing some of that work. And we will be coming up with regular stuff and actually doing– some ads, I imagine, are probably going to get added to it.
So the podcast is ironic in more than one way– in that the guy that says “do content” doesn’t do content and the girl that works for an ad network has no ads on the content that she’s making. So we are fixing both ironies at once. And we are going to come out with a new, improved, but still the same, Theory of Content very soon.
JENNY GUY: Same great information, less horrible sound issues.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. Less horrible sounding [INAUDIBLE].
JENNY GUY: I will do your market for you. You’re welcome.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah.
JENNY GUY: And then in addition to all of that, we do have a wonderful– so Don Jackson, who is with the Raven Media Group, who happens to produce podcasts, also did a Teal Talk with me talking about producing podcasts. So we can share that information as well. And we can have that available to you guys that are wanting to start podcasts. So we’re solving so many issues.
Deborah Cruz is saying she needs Morgan’s course link. I believe we’ve already shared it. Let’s share it one more time. We want everyone to have access to her amazing resources.
What else? We do have– everyone is listening– oh, wait. Will Nichols said he figured it out– “since Josh is the spirit, he clearly has all the Beanie Babies for some variety in the bodies he takes over.”
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yes, correct.
JENNY GUY: We’re getting existential on this. One hour– we’ve packed a lot into this hour, you guys. A whole, whole lot.
JOSHUA UNSETH: I actually live in the Beanie Babies at night.
JENNY GUY: He inhabits the Beanie Babies. This is creepy.
JOSHUA UNSETH: [CHUCKLING]
JENNY GUY: Kelly Pugliano just said “her site ain’t broke,” which is Josh’s tag line. We love that.
We’re going to share all of these things in here. Don said “thanks for the plug.” Carmen just shared the Teachable Resource For The Simple SEO Keyword Research course by Morgan.
You guys, this has been a little bit scattered. And I apologize for that. But there’s been so much amazing information shared in here. I am so appreciative of you guys coming in and spending time with us here. Thank you so much.
You guys are both geniuses. I knew that you both were, but you’ve proved it to me. You’ve also proven you’re a little bit freaky, Josh– which I also already knew, but you gave me absolute evidence of that.
JOSHUA UNSETH: [LAUGHS]
JENNY GUY: Thank you.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yeah. We have our hobbies, all of us.
JENNY GUY: We all have hobbies. And rather than creating–
JOSHUA UNSETH: It’s super innocent.
As far as hobbies go, mine is very innocent.
JENNY GUY: It is– creating a website about Beanie Babies.
JOSHUA UNSETH: I was just trying it out. You know?
JENNY GUY: [INAUDIBLE] a lot of reality, that you allowed us all to see that side of you. Thank you. Morgan, thank you so much.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: It was so fun. Thank you, Jenny.
JENNY GUY: You guys are awesome. And will you come back sometime, both of you, together?
JOSHUA UNSETH: Only if Morgan.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Mm-hmm. Bring the Beanie Baby.
JENNY GUY: That’s what I just said, Josh. If you’ll listen to the words that I said, I said “both of you come back together.” Would you both come back together?
JOSHUA UNSETH: Sorry, what?
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Hey, I’m going to the Mediavine Conference in November. Should I bring my Beanie Babies–
JOSHUA UNSETH: Yes.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: –and we’ll do a trade?
JENNY GUY: Are [INAUDIBLE] carry-ons? Can you bring Beanie Babies as carry-ons?
JOSHUA UNSETH: They might confiscate them, because they’re so valuable.
JENNY GUY: You might want to get some armored guards to walk with you through the airport to make sure that you aren’t attacked for Beanie Babies.
JOSHUA UNSETH: It is funny. I talk to younger people nowadays. And these things– these little stuffed animals are complete anomalies to them. They have no idea what they are. And they don’t know what it was like to live through that craze– it was very funny– back in the day, when I watched people punch each other in the alleys to get Spooky the Ghost.
JENNY GUY: That is– I’m going to doubt you, that you were watching people– it’s like West Side Story. We could do a Broadway musical about people– rival gangs fighting for the Beanie–
JOSHUA UNSETH: That’s actually a good idea.
JENNY GUY: Yeah. Yeah. I think that that’s true. Will Nichols wants to know how much you charge for a Beanie Baby appraisal.
JOSHUA UNSETH: You know what? Will, I’ll do it for free. Just send me the pictures and I’ll tell you that they’re worth nothing.
Unless they’re worth something. Then I’ll tell you they’re probably worth a little bit. But I’m pretty good at– I would actually not be bad at that.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Oh, he’s serious.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Moving on. Moving on.
JENNY GUY: Yeah. We’re good. OK. Guys, we can’t move on. We’ve got to go. But we’ve shared all of your links. We know that we’re going to have more Theory of Content coming. We’ve got Morgan’s course. We’ve given you a ton of resources. My guests are amazing. Thank you so much. What am I talking about next week? I’m verklempt because of all of this Beanie Baby talk and the–
JOSHUA UNSETH: (LAUGHING) Look at the comments. They’re all about Beanies.
JENNY GUY: I know. I know. People are going crazy about this Beanie Baby thing. And Amy Sugarman was like, move on. And the viewers were like, no, talk about Beanie Babies.
The next Summer of Live, you guys, is going to be awesome as well. I know it’s going to be hard to top this week. But next week, we are talking about unlocking your RPM. It is part two. Last summer, I had Courtney O’dell and Amy Sugarman on to talk about their RP– the ways that they increase their RPM.
Next week, I have Dorothy from Crazy For Crust blog, and I also have Lance Cothurn of Money Manifesto– two crazy RPM experts who are really excited about it. I believe that’s next week. I’m going to check on that. They are still talking about Beanie Babies, guys. That’s not going to stop.
So I’m going to have to close this conversation down. I sure appreciate you guys coming. Thank you, Morgan. You’re amazing.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Yeah, thank you.
JENNY GUY: And thank you, Josh. You’re all right.
JOSHUA UNSETH: All right.
JENNY GUY: You’re passable
JOSHUA UNSETH: Love you all.
JENNY GUY: Thank you. Love you, guys. Thank you so much.
MORGAN MCBRIDE: Bye.
JOSHUA UNSETH: [INAUDIBLE]
JENNY GUY: Thank you for listening. Bye, you guys.
JOSHUA UNSETH: Bye.
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