SEO expert Rand Fishkin talks small business SEO with Kate Volman. Rand offers practical tips for figuring out terms customers use to search for local businesses online, creating SEO-friendly content, hiring an SEO company, and more. Learn about GoDaddy SEO Services https://www.godaddy.com/online-marketing/seo-services.
Kate Volman: Hey guys, I am Kate Volman and I am so excited to be joined by the amazing Rand Fishkin!
Rand Fishkin: It’s great to be here, Kate. Thank you for having me.
KV: Your title could not be any better. His official title is Wizard of Moz, which you cannot beat that title like, anywhere.
RF: I guess you know that is the title my wife came up with actually.
KV: Oh, did she?! Beautiful. I love it, that is awesome. So Rand is obviously really big in the SEO and digital marketing space. He started blogging way back in 2004 with an SEOMoz vlog and that turned into this amazing community of people and resources for search marketers. And then you co-founded SEOMoz, which is now Moz, with your mom. And then it turned into this software company. Now you have this multi-million dollar company and you recently stepped down as CEO — but I mean you built this company to what it is today, which is absolutely amazing. So you’re this great marketer and awesome entrepreneur. We’re going to talk about both. I’m really excited to be talking to you today and share your wealth of information to all these small business owners.
RF: I love to do that — I mean that’s why that’s why there’s a big data engineering team behind me. That’s why all these folks are at Moz, is to help people do better marketing. I love it!
KV: Cool! Alright, so let’s dive right into SEO. To start super basic for the small business owner that is still not sure, how do you describe a SEO?
RF: Sure. I think one of the best ways to think about this is to imagine your journey to Google. You go to Google’s website; you search for something … maybe you’re looking for a new car stereo, maybe you need a haircut, maybe you need some moustache wax, right? Maybe you are searching for the best spa or salon or yoga studio in your area. Whatever it might be, you put that search into Google and Google returns results to you, and those results come in two varieties. One variety is advertisements that people pay for. You know, a local yoga studio might say, “hey, we want to pay when someone searches for “Seattle yoga studio” or “Seattle yoga,” and they pay some certain amount and they show up with a little tag that says “ad” on it. On average, those get about 18% of all the clicks in Google search; the other 82% go to what are called organic, non-paid results. You can influence those through a practice called SEO, search engine optimization. Tthe idea behind search engine optimization is that it makes the website accessible to Google so that their bots, their automated crawlers, can get through all of your links and can find all your pages and understand your content, your images or videos. You make the content itself relevant to the searches that people are performing. You optimize it for the keywords that people are searching for. If people search for “Seattle yoga studio” but you’ve got “Emerald City flexible exercise classes,” well, Google might not figure out that you mean the same thing they mean, right? So you want to use the language of searchers, use the language of your customers and audience. And then you’re doing other things like earning links from other websites to your site, engagement and social media shares — building an audience in a community any which way you can and getting people to spend time on your website and engage with your content and have their searches answered by the work that you produce. So all of those things are part of SEO and then many, many more. Especially local. Local has its own separate maps algorithm based on a bunch of things. But, in these cases it is true that SEO can transform a business’s marketing and leads as there’s just so many people searching Google.
KV: Absolutely, let’s start with the website because I know a lot of companies are really concerned or they say I have to hire someone to optimize their website. So first of all, does someone have to hire an agency or a person to do it for them or can a business owner do it themselves? And what do they need to look at in like the backend of their site to make sure that they are optimized so that Google knows the business that they’re in?
RF: It is definitely possible for business owners to do it themselves. …