Ep. 66 – Interview w/ Ryan Morgan

How to Improve Your SEO and Get Better Results

There’s more to search engine optimization (SEO) than merely focusing on keyword rankings and tags.

In this week’s episode, digital marketing expert Ryan Morgan (Digital Marketing StrategistSwell Digital/Founder, the SEO Cohort) helps us to demystify SEO by elaborating on what to focus on, why it’s important to use a strategy first approach, and why knowledge of SEO makes you a better writer. Ryan also discusses what the crucial components of successful SEO are, some trends that B2B marketers should be aware of, and what marketers can do to improve their SEO right now.

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Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Ryan talks about what he believes the crucial components of successful SEO are:
    • High quality content [3:48]
    • A good user experience [6:25]
    • On-page SEO with a single intent [21:04]
    • Backlinks [23:00]
  • Some recommended tools that will help B2B marketers to better understand what your customers are searching for [8:22] | [10:26]
  • Ryan shares some common SEO mistakes and how to address them [11:19] 
  • How learning about SEO makes one a better writer [15:11]
  • The big trends in SEO that B2B marketers should be aware of [28:25]

Transcript

SPEAKERS

Christian Klepp, Ryan Morgan

Christian Klepp  00:00

Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for B2B marketers that helps you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry, and take your marketing to new heights. Each week, we talk to B2B marketing experts who share inspirational stories, discussed our thoughts and trending topics, and provide useful marketing tips and recommendations. And now, here’s your host and co-founder of EINBLICK Consulting, Christian Klepp. All right, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast where you get your weekly dose of B2B marketing insights. This is your host, Christian Klepp. And today, I’d like to welcome a guest into the show who is on a mission. And that mission is to help you to improve the way you think about and do SEO. So coming to us from across the lake in Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Ryan Morgan, welcome to the show.

Ryan Morgan  00:48

Hey, Christian, great to be here.

Christian Klepp  00:49

Really great to be connected, Ryan, and I really enjoyed our previous conversation. So I’m really looking forward to this one. So uh, let’s say let’s get this party started.

Ryan Morgan  00:58

Let’s do it.

Christian Klepp  00:59

Alright. So Ryan, you’re the digital marketing strategist that’s well, digital, and also the founder of the SEO Cohort. So one of the many areas that you specialize in, that I think our listeners can really benefit from, is search engine optimization, or SEO. So let’s, let’s start with a top level perspective. And talk to us about why you think it’s important to have a strategy for SEO.

Ryan Morgan  01:23

Yeah, you know, I think it’s, it’s interesting. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners and growing business owners, B2B organizations know that SEO is important. But they often don’t know where to start or what the significance of it is. And for most organizations, for many websites, organic search traffic is actually going to be the primary source of website traffic that is coming to their site. When you are able to appear in search engines for the queries that your audience is looking for, for your brand name, it builds that trust and credibility that you are an authority in the industry. And it’s one of the best ways, it’s one of the best tools for you to understand how your market talks and what they’re looking for, and how they, you know, the terminology they use when they are looking for the products and services that you offer.

Christian Klepp  02:17

Yeah, that’s absolutely right. It can be a bit overwhelming, you know, when you start out can’t it, right, like, like you said, just don’t know where to start, or what should you focus on first. Should you focus on keywords? Backlinks? I mean, like where to begin, right? So is it a question of like, taking a step back, and just asking yourself like, Okay, what am I hoping to achieve with SEO?

Ryan Morgan  02:41

Absolutely. You know, I think I don’t recommend that anyone do SEO without having a strategy. And that strategy should absolutely roll up to your business strategy. So organizationally, if your goal is to drive more awareness about a certain service offering that you have, or if you’re more in the e-commerce space, and you’re trying to, you know, increase sales or profitability, then you want to use that as a foundational goal and say, how can I leverage SEO to really achieve that goal? And once you break it down into that way, there are a number of different things that you can do. And you’re absolutely right. There are so many different SEO tactics and techniques out there. And I think most individuals, when they’re looking at this and approaching it, find it very overwhelming. There are so many different things that I can do. Where do I start? And I’m happy if you’d like me to, I’m happy to go through, you know, what I think are kind of the prioritized, kind of the crucial components of SEO today.

Christian Klepp  03:46

Yeah, please, please go ahead.

Ryan Morgan  03:48

So I think a great place to start, the best place to start for entrepreneurs marketers, is high quality content. That is really the foundation of modern SEO. And really what’s important is having original, unique, and most importantly, valuable content. So even though your businesses are likely founded on products or services, you can serve as a real thought leader for your audience in terms of the information that they’re looking for, you can help them understand what you offer. And when people hear content, they think I have to create all this new content and all these brand new pages. And in some cases, yes, that can be a way to drive more traffic to your site through SEO. But if you’re looking to start small, what I would recommend is starting with what is the most important page on your site, or the most important couple pages on your site, it’s probably not your homepage. It’s probably not your about us page. It’s probably you know, a service page or a couple key service pages, or a product page or a couple key product pages. And I would have you do the following. Number one, make sure that it’s up to date. Because like most of our websites, sometimes they collect dust, we don’t update them for many months, or oftentimes many years. So we want to make sure it has the most up to date information, we want to make sure that the information is complete and thorough, it’s no surprise that Google will often rank more contextually deep pages higher than those that are really sparse of information, because those pages do a better job of providing information for what the searcher is looking for. And I would encourage people, you know, one of the common, you know, challenges that I see with entrepreneurs, or even marketers is that they talk about, they write the content for their product or service pages from their perspective. And as you know, Christian, you really need to get into the shoes of your audience. And you need to use the terminology that they’re using, and you need to speak to them about the benefits and the, you know, what they’re gonna walk away from, what problems you’re solving, rather than the, here’s what we offer. So that starting with content is really important. And then from there, and I want to go through a couple of these quickly, just to get back to the conversation. User Experience is a really important factor these days. Google has placed an exceedingly high amount of importance on user experience. And the things that I would look at are, is your site mobile friendly? If it’s not, that’s a great action item. Is your site secure? If it’s not, if it doesn’t have that HTTPS, or that shield that you find on many browsers, make sure that you secure your site. Is your site fast loading? If it’s not, that’s something that you can and should resolve. And is it easy to navigate and use your site from a multitude of devices? All of those things go into user experience. And these are really important things that Google factors in today, because they want to send their users to a good experience, they don’t want to send users to an experience that’s slow, or is going to be challenging to use, or is going to be risky from a security standpoint.

Christian Klepp  07:22

Mic drop. (laugh) That was, um, that was some incredible advice. And I really hope that the listeners were taking as many notes as I was, because those are really, those are really some very useful tips and information. And, you know, back to what you were saying earlier, it’s, you know, sometimes as marketers, we tend to forget that, like, you know, you got to look at things also from the customer’s perspective and the users’ perspective. So not just necessarily if I’m going on said company’s website, but if I am a member of the target audience, looking for a specific product or service, you know, you got to put on a you know, you can say, put yourself in the customers shoes, or where the, wear the customer is hat, or goggles or whatever you want to call it. And what would I be looking for? And why? and how is that going to help me, help move me further along in my journey, right? So more often than not, like, you know, sometimes that that tends to get a little bit lost in the more tactical aspect of it all, right?

Ryan Morgan  08:22

Yeah. And Christian, there’s, there’s two tools that I really like to use to help me get into that mindset. So one of the greatest things you can do is understand what a user is looking for, understand what their questions are, right? So if you take any keyword or phrase or topic, you can literally you can, you can do this, as we’re listening. You can type it into Google, you can search for any, you know, search for one of your services, search for one of your products. And there’s going to be a section in Google called people also ask, and Google will literally give you the questions that people ask related to that query. And this is great research for you to understand what kind of information do people want on my site when they look for this keyword. So that’s a great free tool. You can do the same thing with Google’s autocomplete. So let’s say we’re talking about management consulting, for example. That’s a really competitive term in and of itself. But if I go into Google, and I type in management consulting for and I let Google do its thing, it will show me perhaps some niche industries that I can maybe niche down in, maybe there’s management consulting for frontline leaders, maybe there’s management consulting for CEOs, and now I can start getting a sense of what is Google commonly seeing as the search terms that most people are actually looking for? Where I can actually compete right. As a growing business. I may not be able to compete with you know, you know, some of the larger global management consulting firms, but compete on a more niche scale.

Christian Klepp  10:02

And that’s probably the right way to go too. I mean for some of these companies, if you think about it, but back to what you were saying earlier, and I thought it was really interesting about the people also ask. Is it the one where you, you key in a question or word and, and then it creates these, these diagrams around these keywords. Is that the one?

Ryan Morgan  10:20

So you’re talking about one of my other favorite tools, which is a tool called Answer the public.

Christian Klepp  10:25

Answer the public, there you go.

Ryan Morgan  10:26

Yes, I am not affiliated with them. I love the tool, answerthepublic.com. So essentially, it’s the same idea, you can go to this site, and type in a keyword or type in a product or a service. And it will give you this huge kind of mind map of all the questions that people ask related to that, again, giving you this kind of goldmine of questions that you can answer on your site, knowing that these are questions that the actual audience is asking and wanting to find out about.

Christian Klepp  10:56

Yeah, no, that’s absolutely right. That’s absolutely right. You know, you’ve touched on some really interesting points in the past couple of minutes, and you’re probably going to have a field day with this next question. If we’re on the topic of SEO, you’ve probably seen it all when it comes to mistakes and misconceptions. So tell us about some of the major ones that you’ve seen, and what B2B marketers should be doing to address those?

Ryan Morgan  11:19

Yeah, so one of the mistakes that I commonly see is something that we did kind of already touch on. And, you know, because content is so important related to SEO, it’s very common for me to work with a new organization and find that they have been writing from their perspective, using their terminology, using their internal vocabulary and acronyms, especially in the tech space. I mean, Christian, you know, we love to use acronyms. And you know, it’s really important to know, does my audience understand these the same way that I do? Or do I need to really speak in terminology that they can understand? Oftentimes, organizations like to talk about their products and services, not the benefits and the solutions and outcomes. So they’re not really solving the problems. And this all comes back to the idea that many organizations just aren’t doing any kind of research before writing page content. Oftentimes what I’ll see is organizations will try and optimize for search engines after the fact. And it’s really not a good approach. There’s this great process. And I want to just quickly walk through what happens when you research before you write content for any page, it could be a product or service page, it could be a blog post. But if you understand at least a keyword or key phrase, or keywords that you want to start to think about for a page and understand what kind of search volume they have, and what kind of competition it has, you can get a sense of how competitive you can be really quickly with that content. We talked a lot about understanding the questions that the audience has, if you have that information before you write the content of the page, you have this great map of what is the content that I need to write to really satisfy the audience needs. And you have the most important pieces of information that the people need already at your disposal. So kind of reverse engineering and saying, let’s not do SEO after we’ve already written all the content for our site. But let’s use SEO and think about it before we write content. And think about it as an ongoing thing. That’s the other misconception that I think people have is that SEO is a one-time thing, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna bring in an SEO consultant for a two week or a four week project and have them optimize my site. And then we’re going to be good, right. And the reality is that SEO is an ongoing opportunity that you want to take advantage of. Google definitely values fresh, new, up to date content. So you want to make sure that if possible, some of your content, you know, potentially as topical, is hitting the important trends and topics and things that are happening in your industry. And when you optimize once and then leave your site, many of your competitors are going to be optimizing their sites at the same time. They’re going to be climbing so you’re no longer playing defense, you’re just slowly degrading. You’re just slowly kind of losing that space that you’ve earned, that one time that you focused on SEO.

Christian Klepp  14:39

Yeah, that’s a really interesting point. And you brought up something which is, um, you know, which is a beautiful segue into the next question, and it’s an interesting one, and I’m gonna throw this out there also to all those B2B marketers, right. Because something that you said in a previous conversation about that learning SEO makes one a better writer. So can you explain that? And also, what can people do to avoid? And you know, that term “SEO stuffing” in their copy?

Ryan Morgan  15:11

Yeah, it’s a great question. And I work with a lot of really talented writers. And I see a lot of different styles out there. And most writers, from my perspective, are really good writers. But when it comes to SEO, don’t quite know how to integrate that into their writing for the web. You know, like you said, the idea of SEO stuffing is a lot of writers will follow this pattern of I’m going to write the entire piece of content, and then someone else, maybe someone that knows SEO is gonna optimize it. And what happens when you optimize after the fact is you, you do exactly that, you’re just kind of inserting keywords in there, where they maybe don’t feel very natural, they probably don’t belong, just to try and boost your SEO rankings. And it doesn’t sound authentic, it doesn’t sound natural for the reader. And it usually doesn’t work from an SEO perspective, like I talked about earlier. If you flip that, and you’re a writer, and you’re able to learn some kind of basic SEO research that you can do before you write a piece of content. So now you go into writing a piece of content. And you know, there are certain keywords that people want to know about. So again, if we use management consulting, there may be certain keywords that people want to know about, including, you know, leadership and change management and project management. So I know I have to talk about some of those topics. If you know the questions that people ask, it helps you create this really great outline. And a lot of great writers that I know will create an outline before they write the actual piece, before they dive right into it. And it’s going to really give you this informed idea of how can I understand the topic and the audience, then write the piece. And in that way, you have this optimized piece that is naturally written, it’s this kind of balance between writing great content, but also ensuring that it’s informed by quality SEO research, rather than writing a great piece based on assumptions and trying to retroactively optimize it after the fact. And I think when writers know that, and you know, I’ve worked with a lot of writers in the agency space, a lot of freelance writers, it’s such a valuable skill, because they’re able to write much better for the audience just by having some of those basic SEO skills.

Christian Klepp  17:45

Yeah, those are some definitely some great observations. And they kind of got me thinking, and then out of that thinking came two more questions, which I’d like to ask you. First, going back to what you said earlier on on the piece. Why do you think that a lot of marketers, not everybody… Well, but many of them, you know, produce content without doing that due diligence? And why do you think there’s still teams out there that are, you know, developing the content first, and then optimizing for SEO afterwards? Is it because they just, they’ve just been hesitant to just change the way they work? Or is it a question of mindset, or processes? Or it could be a combination of all of those factors?

Ryan Morgan  18:28

Yeah, I think, for a very long time, SEO was looked at as a post type of work. SEO was something that, well, we’re gonna come into this website, and we’re gonna perform SEO on it, we’re gonna optimize things and content wasn’t at the core of SEO, it was really kind of coming in and, you know, updating some keywords, probably a little bit of keyword stuffing, you know, and it has totally changed. And I don’t know that every marketer has caught up with this. And I think one of the other things is that there’s just not enough awareness out there of how to perform some of these activities. You know, a lot of writers especially and marketers that I come across, don’t know how to perform that research and don’t really want to, you know, SEO can be a fairly technical sounding pursuit. And I think a lot of marketers are hesitant and/or feel like they know their audience enough and feel like they know the topic enough to be able to write that content. But I think when you bring in SEO research into the equation, it’s really… it’s data. That’s what it is. You’re giving yourself the benefit of having so much more data. I know how many people are searching for these things. I know how competitive it’s going to be. I know the exact questions that people want to know about and I don’t know the exact keywords that I should touch on in my content. It’s just such a much more informed piece. And I think it’s just not part of the natural process for many writers, and even for many marketers, and SEO for a long time has been this thing that happens after all of that work. So I think, you know, it’s really time for us to look at it differently.

Christian Klepp  20:21

Yeah, no, that’s absolutely right. That’s absolutely right.

Hey, it’s Christian Klepp here. We’ll get back to the episode in a second. But first, is your brand struggling to cut through the noise? Are you trying to find more effective ways to reach your target audience and boost sales? Are you trying to pivot your business? If so, book a call with EINBLICK Consulting, our experienced consultants will work with you to help your B2B business to succeed and scale. Go to www.einblick.co for more information.

You touched on some of these earlier, but talk to us about what you think the crucial components of successful SEO?

Ryan Morgan  21:00

Yeah, so I touched on, you know, I can’t say it enough content is really at the core, you know, making sure that your content is original, unique, valuable, making sure that it does the best job of providing the information or answers based on a specific topic, or if you want to go as far as saying a keyword or key phrase. So we talked about that, we talked about user experience being an incredibly important aspect of SEO today. And then you get into aspects like, you know, on-page optimization, so this is sort of related to content, but you want to make sure that each page on your site kind of has a single intent, and associated keywords or key phrases. So if I have a… I’m going to use the management consulting example, again, if I have a page that is on management, consulting, but it talks about management consulting for nonprofits, and management consulting for leaders, and management consulting for the arts community, I now have diluted kind of the intent of this page. Whereas if I were able to create a single intent for each of those and create three separate pages, then I can really target the keywords for that. So I think that’s something that I commonly see is, organizations will try and do too much with a single page. And I encourage organizations and marketers to really, you know, make sure that it has a single intent, there’s nothing wrong with taking people to another site or taking them deeper into your site. For on-page optimization, you know, we’ve talked about this transition, don’t keyword stuff, if you find good keywords, find a great writer that will be able to work them in naturally where it fits. Don’t worry too much about the frequency of how many times they appear, just worry about doing the best job at solving that user’s question or query. And you’ve got kind of the standard recommendations around making sure that you’re using the right keywords in the title tag and the headers and the alt tags. And that’s kind of baseline SEO. The last thing I would say, and this is not an exhaustive list of you know what’s important in SEO today, we could probably take hours and talk about that. But the last thing that is still really important is backlinks to your site, which really do tell search engines what kind of authority your site has. So when I talk about backlinks, this is really other sites across the web, that are linking to your site to specific pages or specific content. And each time this happens, you have two opportunities. The first is that you have an opportunity to drive traffic directly from that site to yours. So you have a traffic opportunity there. And you also have an opportunity to prove to a search engine like Google, that your site is authoritative, right? It’s kind of like saying, Well, I’m friends with this person. And, you know, Google says, oh, okay, I trust that person. That is going to help me inform my opinion about you. And that authority is important. And we when we talk about backlinks, you know, creating content that is compelling, and can be shared through social media can be a great way to collect backlinks. For any business out there. This is especially applicable for small businesses, but growing businesses alike. Get your get your site on Google My Business, if you don’t have it, there. Now, it’s free, it probably takes you less than 10 minutes. And it is a great way to make sure that you’re showing up in local listings. It’s a great way to make sure that you own your brand in Google. And then some other common ways that organizations are getting backlinks. Guest posting is probably one of the best ways and without going into, you know, kind of a really in depth conversation about that. I would encourage organizations to again, kind of niche down. Don’t start by going after Forbes and Inc and things like that. If you’re large, those could be you know, good, good places to go eventually, but start with some of the industries publications in your industry and pitch really good ideas, read those publications and understand what kind of content they write and pitch ideas that are in line with that. And, you know, getting backlinks guest posting can be time consuming, you know, the hit rate, you know, you might send out 20 emails to publications and get one response. So it can be time consuming, but in the long term, those backlinks will help build up your authority for your site.

Christian Klepp  25:59

Oh, thanks so much for sharing that, some pretty solid advice. I just want to go back to the topic of backlinks because somehow I feel that that’s still an area that’s very misunderstood. And there’s a lot of like noise out there. We all get inundated with companies trying to solicit business, in the hope that they will help you to build those backlinks on your website. So can you talk to us about like, you know, how can B2B marketers and also small businesses or small, you know, entrepreneurs, how can they distinguish between, you know, the legitimate companies trying to like, genuinely help you with the backlinks versus the well, shall we say those have a more questionable nature?

Ryan Morgan  26:47

So, I’m going to give you probably a fairly simple answer and say that it’s questionable, even a little bit questionable. I would probably trust your gut and not go that route. It’s well publicized that Google will penalize websites that have paid-for links. And you know, a lot of these backlink providers will say, hey, we’ll get you five backlinks for $1,000. Or, you know, there’s some kind of offer like that. And if it seems too good to be true, it usually is, if it’s questionable in nature, it probably is something you should pass on. There are good business partners out there that can help you do this. But I would encourage organizations to think about link building in the most natural way, the good link building organizations will go out there and do research on important industry publications that your organization may be able to appear in, they will either suggest to you what kind of content you can contribute, or they will write it for you. They will run everything by you before they send it to that organization, they will ensure that the publication has agreed to link back to your site. So ask them some of those questions and try and understand that process. But in general, if it looks too good to be true, if it looks too quick and easy, it probably is, and avoid the headache of dealing with Google penalties or issues like that. And, you know, try and keep it really safe and aboveboard.

Christian Klepp  28:25

Yeah. And also, like avoid the penalties because you wanted to take a shortcut. Right?

Ryan Morgan  28:31

Exactly.

Christian Klepp  28:33

Exactly. Okay. So this is something that we talked about in our previous conversation, right? So SEO has changed so much in the past couple years. And it’s imperative for B2B marketers to understand how these changes impact what they are doing. So what are the some of the current trends in SEO that B2B marketers should be aware of?

Ryan Morgan  28:54

Yeah, so the big trend if you talk to SEOs in 2021, and I know we’re at the tail end of 2021 right now. This is going to continue to be really impactful for SEO is what Google calls page experience. And we talked about some of these things. But it’s increasingly important that sites are, you know, we talked about some of the big ones right they’re secure. So look, if you’re listening now and your site isn’t secured by an SSL certificate, it doesn’t start with HTTPS, go out and do that right after this podcast, it will take you probably less than 10 minutes, talk to your IT team if you need to. But that’s a really low hanging fruit opportunity. Make sure that it’s mobile friendly, I would assume by now that most of your users have responsive mobile friendly sites. But if you don’t, this is one of the best opportunities, because you will not only start to notice that you’re lagging behind in search performance, you will start to get penalized for not having a mobile friendly experience. Speed is increasingly important. So what I would encourage people to do, this is kind of a tool alert, free tool alert. Go to Google PageSpeed Insights, you can just search for this. Another tool that I like it’s free, is the GTmetrix Page Speed tool. And these tools will tell you on a scale of either 0 to 100, or GT metrics has kind of the report card ABCDE or F grading scale, how fast your site is loading. And it’s really important to know that because this is actually a ranking signal for Google now and in the future. And if your site is really slow to load, it’s going to negatively impact your ability to rank. And then another part of this page experience update is the user friendliness of your site itself. So now, it’s not just that your site has mobile has to be mobile friendly, but also that it has to be user friendly. And that includes things like, does it have enough contrast for users to be able to really read things, right. So if you have, you know, bright red background with light red copy, that might not be the best user experience, if you have on a mobile device buttons that are really close together, and if you’ve ever had that experience of trying to tap one of them, but the other ones too close, you know, the idea of tap size is is going to be part of that user experience. How legible is your copy, right? I’m sure we’ve all been to that, that one website where it’s like, oh, my gosh, I need to pinch and zoom forever to be able to read this. And now I’m kind of scrolling back and forth. All of these are signals of page experience. And I’m going to give you another tool here, what Google has done is in their free Google Search Console tool, they will give you indicators of how your page experience is. And they will tell you, where you have issues with page experience and things that we talked about, they will tell you where you have tap targets that are too close together, they will tell you where you have things that load too slow. So there’s a couple tools that you can really use to benchmark and this is kind of the newest trend in Google’s algorithm is really focusing on page experience. The other trend, I would say, and this is probably more of a last couple years is the idea that intent is much greater than keywords. And what I mean by that is, you know, several years ago, we would get very myopically focused on one page has one keyword that we should be ranking for. This is my management consulting for nonprofits page, that is the singular keyword that I’m going to try and rank for, I’m going to try and make sure that that keyword is in my subject, my headline, and I’m going to make sure that it’s scattered throughout the page. And the reality is, is that Google is semantic. And what that means is it understands even if you’re not typing in the exact keywords, it has started to understand what you’re looking for. So for example, if I went and typed in, what is the movie with the shark, I haven’t typed in the single word yet. But we all know that I’m talking about Jaws. And it’s gonna show me jaws. Now Jaws wasn’t in my search query. But Google is semantic, and it understands what I’m asking for. So the intent is the most important thing. And I would encourage people to use SEO as a tool for market research and to think about the psychology of your users. We’ve talked a lot about understanding the questions that they have, and understand what your audience is looking for, and provide that information better than anyone else. That’s going to be so much more important than focusing so myopically on ranking one page for one keyword.

Christian Klepp  34:10

Those are some really great advice. And you know, back to what you were saying earlier. Um, yeah, we did, we do use some of those tools that you had mentioned. And we, especially last year, as we were building out our own website, we were getting these reminders on Google, oh, by the way, you know, for your mobile version, you might want to consider making these adjustments and so forth. And that’s and that’s really helpful because, you know, like you said, it’s a, it’s you almost treat it like a living breathing organism. You know, you gotta it grows. And then you got to make some tweaks here and there. To your second point about the about the shark, I mean, it could have been Jaws. It could have been Shark Week. Right? (laugh)

Ryan Morgan  34:46

Right. And it probably shows both to be honest with you,

Christian Klepp  34:49

Right.

Ryan Morgan  34:50

Yeah.

Christian Klepp  34:50

Exactly. Exactly. So, Ryan, you’ve given us a lot of great advice, a lot of very actionable, you’ve highlighted the common mistakes and misconceptions and what people need to do about it. Some trends that B2B marketers need to keep a lookout for also moving forward. So what’s a commonly held belief or a status quo in SEO that you passionately disagree with and why?

Ryan Morgan  35:20

This is a great question. And I had to give some thought to this. So there’s a great community of SEO out there. But I’m gonna kind of pivot this and say one of the things that I commonly see, it happens with marketers. It does happen with SEOs. It happens with business owners and entrepreneurs. And it kind of plays off what we just talked about is a, too much of a focus, or a borderline obsession with keyword rankings. This has always, for many individuals been the epitome of how we track success with SEO, where am I ranking? Am I ranking on page one? No, no, I dropped from position one to position two. And the reality is that these keyword rankings will change over time. They’re likely changing every day, as the algorithm change and adapts. They’re also likely personalized by user and your search history. They’re personalized by location. So not everyone, you know, Christian, if I search for something, and I asked you to search for the same thing, we may get very different results. So it’s important to know those things. And rankings are a good leading indicator of you know, how much traffic you’re going to drive to your site and how much awareness you’re going to get. But I really encourage marketers and business owners to follow that signal a little further and ask better questions. Like, how are those landing pages from SEO performing? What are people doing on those pages? Are they staying on those pages? Are they reading more content? Are they getting to your most valuable product and service pages? And the ultimate is if we can look at our business goals, right? Are we generating leads from organic search? Are we making e commerce sales from organic search? Because if I told you, Hey, Christian, I can get every single one of your pages to rank number one on Google. But you’re not going to get any leads from it. And then conversely, I said, Hey, Christian, I’m going to get every single one of your pages to the fifth position. But you’re going to have a steady stream of lead generation, almost every entrepreneur would take the latter, right? Because ultimately, your business goal isn’t to just show up in the search rankings. It is to drive that ultimate business goal, whether it’s lead generation, whether it’s engagement, whether it’s ecommerce sales. So you know, this misconception that rankings are everything, and that we should be really focusing on these rankings every month, they’re a piece of the puzzle, they’re a good indicator, but I really love to challenge entrepreneurs, business owners and marketers to look at the signals beyond that.

Christian Klepp  38:03

That’s absolutely right. It goes back to like, you know, you were saying earlier, it’s like, you know, understand what your goals are, understand what your target audience is looking for, and this is also a conversation I’ve had with other marketers, it’s like, do you do it? Because, you know, you’re trying to jump on the bandwagon? Because everybody else is doing the same thing? Right? Or do you use those tools? And that that approach? Or that, you know, that software, that piece of software? Because everybody else’s as well? Right? So it begs the question of like, okay, well, is that the best thing to do? for, you know, to get your marketing to the next level or not? Right?

Ryan Morgan  38:45

Yeah, and I, you know, I think if it can’t be the ultimate metric, because if we get a page to rank number one, and 1000 people go to it, and none of them take action, that it’s not meeting, our ultimate goal, right? We have more work to do, we need to focus on the content on that landing page, we maybe need to put a better call to action, we need to get them more engaged. So you know, while that may be the end of our journey in trying to get people from a search engine to the site, it’s not the end of the user journey by any means.

Christian Klepp  39:19

Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So Ryan, I mean, thank you so much, again, for coming on and sharing, you know, your expertise and experience with the audience. So please do us the honor of telling us a little bit about yourself and how folks out there can get in touch with you.

Ryan Morgan  39:35

Yeah, thanks, Christian. This has been a blast. So I am, my name is Ryan Morgan. I am a digital marketing strategist. I have my own digital marketing consultancy called swell, and probably more pertinent to this conversation. I am the founder and instructor at the SEO Cohort, which is a instructor led live online training program. For those who are interested in learning SEO. We’ve got great options for evening classes. It’s a five week program, or for those busy working professionals that want a more accelerated version. We have a two and a half day option that they can really knock it out. It really combines mentorship and peer learning. And we have two cohorts that are starting in January of 2022.

Christian Klepp  40:25

Fantastic, fantastic, Ryan. This has been such an informative and insightful and, you know, actionable session. I mean, that’s a session full of actionable insights I should say. So thank you so much again for coming on the show and take care. Be safe and talk to you soon.

Ryan Morgan  40:42

You too. Thanks, Christian.

Christian Klepp  40:44

Okay, bye for now.

Thank you for joining us on this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. To learn more about what we do here at EINBLICK, please visit our website at www.einblick.co and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast player.

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