It's All Just Marketing: Episode 1

Success in SEO


In this episode of It’s All Just Marketing, Helium SEO’s CEO, Tim Warren and Sales Director, Scott Sutter, talk about Scott’s overall marketing experience and what he’s seen that works and what doesn’t. Scott, one of Helium SEO’s first employees, discusses keywords and how to know what consumers actually search for, the significance of your URL and whether website design is relevant. If you’d like to speak with Scott further, you can reach him via email at

Tim and Scott draw from their years of experience in digital marketing to provide valuable insights and practical tips on how to create successful marketing campaigns in today’s ever changing digital world. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just starting out, It’s All Just Marketing, provides you with the information you need to be successful. Thanks for listening!

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Tim Warren: Hey, guys. Welcome back to the It’s All Just Marketing podcast. I’m your host, Tim Warren. On this podcast, we talk about marketing and success and marketing and what’s driving success for brands. Scott By Popular Demand. Welcome back to the podcast.

Scott Sutter: Yeah, I’m glad it was a positive reception.

Tim Warren: Yeah, well reviewed, right? Well reviewed. Yeah. No, very positive. And we had you on before. We talked about email marketing and you know, and what cold email marketing looks like and how brands can leverage cold email marketing as a marketing source and channel. Today, though, Scott, I wanted to ask you a couple questions because you for the last five years you’ve spent your time as a consultant viewing websites, analyzing sites, viewing great multinational brands all the way down to small businesses. And you’ve seen the good, bad, the ugly, you’ve seen what’s working, what’s not working. And I think a lot of people listening to this podcast would love to learn from five years of consulting experience of what have you seen that works online really, really well and what does not work so they can learn from those those lessons.

Scott Sutter: Yeah, absolutely. I’m happy to to kind of walk through some of that. You know, starting at the, I’d say the small end of the spectrum. You know, you have some businesses that that approach kind of their web content and their web just property in general as kind of like the throw it at the wall and see what sticks, right? And they’ll come to you and say, Well, how come we don’t rank for these things? We’ve been around for 100 years. And the answer is, Well, it’s because you’re not talking about the things that you should be talking about, right? So I think last time we were on this on this podcast, we talked a little bit about these really like arbitrary headers that are problem solving on a on a website. And unfortunately, when you Google search problem solving, you get Wikipedia and you know, a bunch of different resources about.

Tim Warren:, Right. Like our guide to problem solving, right?

Scott Sutter: Yeah. You know, Mathnasium and all that stuff.

Tim Warren: Yeah.

Scott Sutter: So the issue that a lot of those companies face is that they just don’t understand that Google really is. It is an algorithm that speaks a language. And if you’re not speaking in regards to what your ideal kind of populace is looking for, then you’re just not going to be found for it. And what we get in there and we uncover that they might have all these blogs and all this different content, all these different pages and case studies and resources and things like that. But they’re all either too arbitrary or too specific to what they’ve done. And so they might rank for one of their clients brand names because they have a case study about their client and trying to help them bridge the gap between like content for the sake of connecting with somebody who’s already has an engagement with your brand and is looking for what you’ve done and your case study history. Versus bringing somebody fresh to the website that doesn’t know what they do. Doesn’t know their brand. But is looking to solve their own problems, which, you know, problem solver. But what is the specific problem that you are going to market to? That’s what you need to be doing to to be found by those individuals.

Tim Warren: Man Can I throw something in on that? Because we had a client a year or two back. And you might remember this one. But they exactly to this point, they’re looking at their brand and looking at their business and they’re like, okay, you know, we need to refresh. We need to, hit the new era. They’ve been around for a while. I think they were like maybe 40, 50, 60 year old company. Big company, right. And they went to this agency in Atlanta. The agency in Atlanta came in and they said. We got to rename all your stuff because we need to make it. You know, they did point of purchase displays, right? Remember this company? And so this agency in Atlanta came in and they said, point of purchase is the old term. It’s merchandising now, merchandising displays like, oh, okay. Which nothing against the agency in Atlanta. But they had this idea of like let’s let’s make it sexy. Let’s make it new. Right? You’re not an SEO company. You are a you are a search architect.

Scott Sutter: Architect.

Tim Warren: Yeah. You’re a search boutique. If you’re like, cool, right? You go to Google search boutique zero searches per month, right? It’s like, what is that? And so they had a cool idea of like, let’s rename it so you can own this, this ideal, right? Well, what happened is they changed all the names instead of point of purchase, which is what they used to go after all their pages. They changed it to merchandising and all their rankings tanked.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: And their leads on their website tanked and people got fired and things went badly. And it was like, what’s happening? Right? And so when we came in, it was like, we don’t rank for this stuff and our leads have gone down and like, things are bad. We came in and we basically looked at it. We’re like, Did you guys do a site redesign in June? Yeah, How can you tell? Oh yeah, Your traffic looked like it fell off a cliff. Hey, did you what did you do? And they told us this story of like, well, this agency convinced us to change the names of everything we said, but is that what people search? Oh, I never thought about that.

Scott Sutter: Yeah, right.

Tim Warren: We go to Google and it’s like merchandising display. No searches, Point of purchase display, tons of searches. Right? This is your problem. And so we walked them through how to change everything back to what people actually search.

Scott Sutter: Right. 

Tim Warren: And so while while there is something to be said for the new and sexy and different, that’s like, oh, you know, you don’t call it a grocery store, call it a, you know, whatever, the online food palace. Great, fine. But then people are like, that’s great. But like, where do I buy groceries? Oh, you buy groceries at Kroger? It’s a grocery store. Can we just call it a grocery store? So I understand like there can be cool ways to rebrand things, but you have to think about search as well. And you have to also think about what people’s associations are.

Scott Sutter: Right. 

Tim Warren: When I think car dealership. Right. Like, yes, that’s an old term, but also everyone knows what that is.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Everyone knows what a car dealership is. So if you try to rebrand that to be like, you know, an automotive palace. No one’s going to know what that means. But they know a car dealership is.

Scott Sutter: That’s right. So we call that thought leadership. When people try to get ambitious with thought leadership and search, it just doesn’t work. So, a good example to to speak to would be is Carvana that that does these auto what are they called, auto vending machines or car vending machines. Right.

Tim Warren: Yeah.

Scott Sutter: So ten years ago there was no such thing. Five years ago maybe there was no such thing. But they have put so many marketing dollars behind that and other channels that now their search volume for car vending machine.

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: If they just came to us and they said, we want to drive this initiative with SEO, five years ago, we would have looked at the search volume and been like, terrible idea.

Tim Warren: No one’s heard of this. 

Scott Sutter: Because nobody searches that, right. And that that goes back to that passive versus active searching when people are passive and they’re just being fed advertisements on social media or even on YouTube, you can get away with some of that stuff. But when you’re talking about an active search and advertising and an active search, then ultimately you have to understand what people are looking for. What is the closest relationship to the populace in terms of keywords, Right? Google is a keyword search engine. You punch in a keyword and it takes you somewhere. You know, that is the key that that starts the car to continue the analogy.

Tim Warren: So let’s say Carvana came to you before there was there was actual search volume, right? And they said we need to rank for this. What would you recommend? What channels and how would you go about that?

Scott Sutter: Yeah. So I would recommend social media. I would recommend YouTube. I would also recommend potentially Google ads in the sense of can you get in front of somebody that’s searching for auto dealer and in that advertisement, speak to car vending machines. Try to train the brain to have that association.

Tim Warren: Got it.

Scott Sutter: But ultimately, from an organic perspective, we would never recommend something like that just because you’re, to put it callously, you’re wasting dollars if you’re going after keywords that don’t have any search volume.

Tim Warren: So in a nutshell, like social and maybe even radio TV print, right? Like more traditional means. Those are better for interruptive marketing. Where, where I want to get an idea, an ad in front of people who aren’t looking for it.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: But I can I can now shape purchasing behavior because like Swiffer, right?

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: People didn’t search for Swiffer. P&g put a lot of money behind. Look, there’s a Swiffer thing. It’s like a mop slash broom thing that’s like you need now. And they’re like, Oh, cool.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: But until Swiffer came out, no one searched for what the heck is a Swiffer?

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: But they pushed it, right. They created a need for Swiffer by a lot of interruptive advertising. Right? A lot of TV advertising. I think that was not pre-social, but it was before like social would have been as big.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Today it would be on social. And so what you’re saying is if you want to come up with a new idea, a new product or a new way of thinking, go social media. Because you can push that and you can do it via video. Whereas in you’re saying search is much more reactive to the market where new ideas have to get launched, then people know of them, then they search them. Then you should focus on search. Am I getting that right?

Scott Sutter: Yeah, 100%. And the other difference there obviously would be that in social media you can target demographics. You know, who who do I who do I assume would be interested in a car vending machine or a Swiffer? Right. I can actually build out the demographics based on interest, based on profile in Google. They are telling you what they’re interested in because they’re punching it into the search engine search bar.

Tim Warren: Great point. Yeah.

Scott Sutter: So the difference there obviously is you don’t need to know what demographic they’re from because they’re showing interest in intent by what they’re searching. 

Tim Warren: By keyword.

Scott Sutter: That’s right. And that’s also something that you have to be careful of because oftentimes businesses think that a search term might have a certain type of intent.

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: So one little hack that I always encourage people to do is if if you’re if you’re interested in a keyword, just Google it. Google that keyword and see who shows up. If those businesses don’t reflect or mirror your business, it’s not a good term for you because Google knows a lot more about what the user is looking for than we do. Even as a search company, Google knows a lot more about what they’re looking for than even we do. So the assumption is probably safe that Google knows more about what the users are looking for than the business that’s potentially going to target that keyword.

Tim Warren: I think it’s great. All right. So back up to the top level. You know, what you’re saying is at a high level, brands should be really careful what they rank for. And you shouldn’t assume because you’ve been in a market for 20 years, you’re going to rank.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: You shouldn’t assume that because you are a facet of the community you’re going to rank. And you shouldn’t assume that because you know, you think you’re saying it the right way, You’re going to rank.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: You need to actually check and go to search console. You need to look at your competitors. You need to look at search trends and see, am I optimizing for the right terms and the right way?

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: You’re basically saying this idea of thinking Google owes you something or because you have size or you have market dominance in other areas, that is automatically going to translate to search volume.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Scott Sutter: So what that ultimately speaks to is just kind of a lack of awareness around Google’s excuse me, Google’s algorithm. Right. So if I’m a business that’s been around for a hundred years and you can ask anybody in the neighborhood, you know, how reliable is this business? And everybody says, oh, they’re super reliable. Well, how does Google how does that get communicated to Google?

Tim Warren: Yeah, right.

Scott Sutter: The answer is it doesn’t. Right? So Google works off of its algorithm and what it determines as sources of reliability and sources of trust. And oftentimes that’s backlinks, right? So when we go in and we start to talk to a company about do they have the authority, you know, we talked about relevance before. Are they speaking the right words? Are they putting the right copy on their site Now it’s important to understand, do we have the authority to compete in this space as well? And that, again, that’s a process that takes years and years to build sometimes in order to, you know, play at the level of authority that some of these other businesses are playing at. You know, you might be around for 100 years, but if your web property is outdated and you aren’t actively trying to build trust with other Web properties, but there’s this shiny new business that does what you do and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their marketing, their digital marketing strategy for. The last five years. Chances are they are leagues ahead of you from a Google perspective in terms of what they’re able to generate.

Scott Sutter: So unfortunately, Google doesn’t care about your feelings, right? Like they want to see that you are, you know, playing the algorithmic game that they’ve established the rules for.

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: And so when we come in and that’s another area kind of on that spectrum that we come in and talk to is; you might think you’re speaking the right language, but you probably aren’t if you’re not ranking for the terms you want to rank for. And you might think you have the reputation that you want. But from a digital perspective, you probably really don’t. If you’re not ranking for the terms that you want to rank for as well. So that’s a matter of something that’s a little more, you know, a little more transactional that we talk about, which is the, the concept of going and building links, you know, outside to point back into your website and generate that authority. That’s how Google measures the authority of your website, is how many outside sites are trusting your site and linking to you. So that’s another area on that spectrum in terms of when we talk to a business and they think they should be doing great or they’re confused as to why they’re not doing great, or even, hey, we’re in a good place, but how do we level up?

Tim Warren: Yeah

Scott Sutter: Link building is usually a big part of that strategy as well.

Tim Warren: So before we move to what’s working for business and what you’ve seen working for businesses, what are some other things. You know, small, medium and large, that you see on brands oftentimes that are not performing well online, that you see them doing that they should not be doing?

Scott Sutter: That’s an interesting question. I would say not not being intentional about their URL paths oftentimes leads to a lot of disruption. Right? So if you think about a URL that maybe has multiple characters that are nonsensical, you know, 8732PY question mark sometimes.

Tim Warren: That’s on an e-commerce.

Scott Sutter: Site. Yeah, right. Sometimes that’s because you’re attributing out specific products. Okay. You need to understand that that page probably isn’t going to rank in Google for that attribution or it might be something where it’s just it’s a dynamically generated page and there’s very little control over it based on the CMS. Then we might want to consider building out a static landing page that speaks to that product category. Whereas if you’re already on the site and you’re navigating to it, we don’t care quite as much. But if we want to bring people in from outside of the website, you know, you can put certain things in place on that, like dynamic landing page that that doesn’t try to associate it with a Google search. You can build out that static landing page and indicate to Google, this is the page that we want to show up in search engines. 

Tim Warren: Okay.

Scott Sutter: Even though they basically look the exact same. So that would be one thing. Also just from a relativity standpoint, right? The more I think like specific and targeted, you can be as you build out that URL string, the more you can kind of indicate to Google, hey, all of these pages live within kind of a similar ecosystem or a category, right? And so one of the updates really to Google over the last couple of years has been this knowledge based trust model that we talk a lot about.

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: And that’s the idea of indicating to Google, Hey, this part of my website is all talking about one concept, one category. All of the pages that live within here are all related to each other, and we’re going to link to each other in an appropriate way to indicate to Google this is all related to one another. We want to build up authority on this topic. Here’s our 200 pages that talk about this one thing.

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: And you have to be really intentional with your site structure and URLs in order to achieve that. So that’s one big area that that sites miss is just kind of putting landing pages out there and hoping that they rank without thinking about the holistic strategy. How does all of this relate within my business.

Tim Warren: So site architecture and URL architecture is really important.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: And I mean, would you put schema in that category like schema, structured data markup, like, you know, sites doing those things well as well too?

Scott Sutter: Yeah, that’s a that’s a great call out. I always look at schema basically as kind of like the icing on the cake, right? If you’re doing schema right, you’re usually going to end up with probably an extra 10%, 20% of ranking potentially. And that’s because schema allows you to actually own potentially more page one of Google. Which if you can bump two of your competitors off a page one of Google and you show up there, you know,

Tim Warren: Huge. 

Scott Sutter: 50% of that, that first Serp, then you know you can own a little bit more of that search volume right to your website. So I always look at that at basically a schema. And I know there’s people here that are a lot smarter than me about about the schema, but I always the way that I communicate to clients is basically schema matters a ton. It gives you a little extra leverage, but you can have the best schema in the world if you have, you know, content that doesn’t speak to the terms that you want to be found for or the authority that oftentimes you’re still going to you’re still going to miss that, that positional ranking.

Tim Warren: Yeah, you’re not going to rank. What about design? You know, there’s there’s arguments that are design’s very subjective. Right. And obviously you have sites that want to go very, very heavy design and very little text. Which can can work good from a conversion standpoint for a brand to match their brand values. But it can definitely miss on search, right, where they don’t rank for anything because they have no content on their site. But then you can also see sites that look like a newspaper. And it’s not it’s not like there’s no UI good UI. It just looks ugly. It looks like it’s built in 1995. They don’t convert either, right? I’m just curious to get your thoughts on sites that you think are really well designed and what principles of design do you think are great both for user experience, brand value, but also do really well in search?

Scott Sutter: Yeah, that’s a phenomenal question. So I always relate it to like, how much time do you want to spend on the site? Objectively, you land on a landing page. Do you want to be there or not? You know, there’s great content here, but even if this is content that I’m super interested in, if I don’t want to spend time on this website, I’m probably not going to. Right.

Tim Warren: You’re probably going to bounce.

Scott Sutter: If it also doesn’t intuitively walk me through the information that I’m looking for, I’m probably not going to spend time in that site either. So you might go to a landing page and these people would be, Oh, we spent thousands of dollars on the UX here. And when you scroll, it goes sideways instead of up and down. It’s like, okay, all that stuff is really cool, but if it confuses the user. And you’re not getting any conversions. Then you want to potentially rethink the purpose of the website. Right.

Tim Warren: Yeah.

Scott Sutter: So I’m a big believer that the reason websites have multiple pages and the reason you would put content out there is for people to read it. You’re not just going to write 10,000 articles for the sake of writing 10,000 articles. You want people to consume that content. 

Tim Warren: Right. 

Scott Sutter: But if you’re making it difficult for them to do that or making it difficult for them to convert, then they’re probably not going to. If your call to action is at the bottom of page and they’ve got to scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll to get to it. And you’re, you know, you have one conversion out of every 100,000 visitors. I think you have your answer.

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: You have your answer as to why it’s not potentially working. Right? So it’s all about, in my opinion, it’s all about what is the user going to want to do when they land on your website? Does it draw them in? Does it give them what they’re looking for? Right. If you’re just looking if somebody’s basement is flooded and you’re a basement restoration company. And you put your user form at the bottom of 10,000 words of content. That person’s probably not going to get to it because they’re looking; I’m in the middle of an emergency. I need somebody that I can call right now.

Tim Warren: Yeah, right.

Scott Sutter: So being as intentional about the experience on that on that page is super important. And if you build the content, you build the UX in a way that compliments itself, but also gives the user what they’re trying to achieve, then you’re usually going to be in a good place. But if you focus too much on one or the other, then oftentimes it puts you in a bad position.

Tim Warren: Yeah, no, I think I think that’s really good. Let’s use that to pivot to our to the kind of second point, which is what is really working for brands. So, you know, you’ve seen a lot of websites in five years that are not they don’t rank well, they don’t have great UI, UX, they don’t they’re not fun to use. They don’t, they’re clunky, right? But we’ve also seen and gotten to work with companies that have really, really good websites.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Right. So what would you say are the principles of of the sites that are really good and perform really well? What are those principles that you’ve seen?

Scott Sutter: Yeah. I’ll use an analogy to kind of answer that question.

Tim Warren: Sure.

Scott Sutter: So I like to think of websites as basically a brain, right? A brain. So your brain is going to have, you know, different areas of information, different kind of knowledge hubs in it. And all of those overlap. That’s why when you start to talk to somebody and stories start to flow into your conversation, it’s because you’re, you know, you’re going off and thinking about different resources that all are relevant to what you’re talking about. So when you think about a website, what I always tell people to encourage people to think about is think about your website as a consultant, right? If you go to a consultant asking for a specific thing like, Hey, I’m in sales, what what should my salary be? You know a lot about sales. You know, let me let me pick your brain about salary. And you and I talk and you tell me, oh, you should ask for this type of salary. And then I’m like, Oh, that’s cool. What kind of sales methodology do you subscribe to? And you’re like, Sales methodology? What do you mean? I’m like, Well, there’s different, you know, sales styles. There’s, you know, Sandler and the Challenger Sale, and you’re like, Oh, I’ve never heard of those. Immediately I’m going to probably think, Well, those are pretty popular and you know a lot about sales. How much do you actually know.

Tim Warren: About maybe you know less about sales than I thought.

Scott Sutter: Right? Yeah. And so what I encourage people to think about with their website is that’s how Google operates on this knowledge base trust model.

Tim Warren: Okay. 

Scott Sutter: And so it’s looking for how much information do you have about a given topic? So if we want to write a blog about basketball and you really want to sell basketball cards per se. You’re probably going to need information on there about the history of basketball. How related is that to basketball cards? Probably not super related. You might be able to talk about some of the, you know, the early guys, Jerry West and link to one of his cards or something like that. But the two topics feel very different. So if I just want to sell cards, why would I write about what are basketballs made out of. Or the history of basketball or something along those lines?

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: Well, Google looks at all of that as being relevant to itself, right? So one of the things that’s really working right now for clients is a is a very specific and intentional kind of content structure and storytelling across their website. Hey, how do I build out the model if I want to rank for this keyword, How do I build out the model of information that I need and systematically deploy that across my website? You have to be really intentional about it. That feeds into another strategy that we recommend called dynamic, right? So if you want to if you have a national presence or a expanse expanded presence that has multiple locations or multiple different product styles that are kind of within one similar category, you can launch this dynamic concept which allows you to get many, many landing pages live with just small, different dynamic fields in it about Cincinnati versus Toledo versus Columbus versus Cleveland.

Scott Sutter: You might do basement restoration and all those areas. But you need a landing page because when I go and I search, I’m probably not. I’m in Cincinnati. I’m probably not going to look for basement restoration. Cincinnati. I’m probably going to look for basement restoration or basement restoration near me. And I’m going to be fed a map. Right. So understanding how does that feed in at a higher level into this this kind of categorical structure and really road mapping and game planning? Exactly what I want to do with my website based on what I know from a keyword perspective and how all of that tells Google that I am a source of knowledge and a source of trust on this given topic. So it really is about mapping it out the right way and really deploying the right strategy across my entire website that that allows me to appeal to what I know Google is looking for, which is do I have a lot of information and can they trust my website on these given topics. And now is my content speaking directly to what I know my users are looking for. So we are actually encouraging sites now to launch a lot of content. Whether or not there’s keyword and SEO, true like traffic generation capability. 

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: Because we know Google is saying, you know a lot about SEO, but do you know about this little piece of SEO over here? And if we have that content that’s on our website that most likely 1 or 2 people is going to navigate to and read, then Google can still see that we know what we’re talking about on a holistic perspective. So it’s that amount of content that’s really working right now is a wide range of, of high, high quality content.

Tim Warren: So if I had to give the, the overarching idea, there is brands that are that are doing a really good job creating width of content. So you don’t just have a nice looking keyword optimized landing page, right? That 1500 words with some backlinks pointing to it, which is kind of the way SEO has worked. You have content that surrounds all the topics and the subtopics and the not just near me, but Cincinnati and Cleveland and Columbus and all the different services. So that you show Google that I’m hyper relevant for this term or this keyword phrase, this kind of idea of entity SEO.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Those brands are doing really well right now.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: I understand that Correctly.

Scott Sutter: Yeah, absolutely.

Tim Warren: And so I think the interesting takeaway there is thinking about, you know, if that’s the case and of course, I comes into this. Right. How do you use I I’m going to be speaking at Search Engine Land in July or June 13th and 14th. And my topic is on AI and entity SEO and how I think that’s going to be the dominant. That’s going to be the thing that makes Bill dominant in SERPs in the next two years. And the reason I think they work so well together is because that entity idea is if you’re going to rank for basketball cards, you need to rank for basketball and Jerry West and what are basketballs made of and basketball in developing countries and all the whatever stuff you know, you need all that content. Well, AI is really, really good at creating content at scale. And AI is really good at creating content both fast and wide. Because if you use Noble or tools like Noble SEO, which you can Google and go to their website, if you use tools like that, you can create ten, 15, 20 content pieces a day if you want it to, right? We do recommend human editing, but you can create a lot of content very quickly and you can create content that meets Google’s terms of terms of service e-e-a-t and it works.

Tim Warren: And you’re not going to get penalized and you can do it way, way faster than than any company can with a team of writers,

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Right. Unless you have a massive team of writers. But that allows you to have all this topical authority and this topical depth and this topical width, which is causing these brands to rank and search volume to go very, very high. And their online authority is really ranking really rising because Google is like, Well, I’m going to rank them for this, I’m gonna rank them for that. I’m ranking for this. So the basic idea I’m hearing from you is if you’re going to go after topics. If you’re going to win today in search, you’ve got to really go after the topic in its entirety. Try to aim to be more of the Wikipedia of that topic than the oh, I have a Cincinnati, you know, page for water restoration. Cincinnati, I’m fine. You’re probably going to get outranked by guys who are way, way more authoritative from a content perspective. Now on what is water restoration? What is water restoration mean in every city? You know, what’s the history of water restoration, What’s the history of water? You know, like.

Scott Sutter: What is the composition of water, H2O? What does H stand for?

Tim Warren: Here’s a degree in chemistry. Yeah, right, exactly.

Scott Sutter: Yeah. No, you’re 100% right. And that actually rounds out our conversation nicely because those are the strategies that we’re recommending today for the companies that maybe do historically have pretty good performance, but want to again, want to take it to the next level. Right. You know, one of the questions that we often get is, well, what about site bloat? And so that’s the concept of your site having too much, you know, too much content or too many pages on it.

Tim Warren: Yeah. 

Scott Sutter: I you know, definitely ask one of the the engineers about this a little bit more than just me. But the way that I’ve always thought about site bloat is oftentimes that takes place when you have landing pages or sorry, you just have website pages that are like they host a Jpeg or they host an image or they host, you know, some random element on them. And now you ultimately because of the way that your your business is built from a digital perspective, every time a new client does one thing, it generates a page on your site or something like that. As opposed to there being like high value content that we’re launching on these pages. 

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: We don’t consider that site bloat. And we also it’s not at the scale that would lead to like severe concern, right? We see websites all the time that have millions and millions and millions of pages on them that are not penalized by Google for having site bloat. So we typically look at when somebody comes up to us with that, with that concern, like, hey, you want me to put 600 new pages live on my website this year? Well, you know, isn’t Google going to say that that’s too much? And the answer is no. I mean, you look at the sites that are that are trending upward over the last six months and you basically can see that some of them have reduced site bloat and you’ll see this big drop in the organic pages. 

Tim Warren: Yup. I’ve seen that a lot.

Scott Sutter: And then it’s starting to creep back up. The organic pages are creeping back up and the traffic’s creeping back up. And it’s because they’ve they’ve taken all of those bloated pages off and they’re starting to launch high quality pages and so the traffic and the page volumes are starting to trend back upwards. So it’s been kind of unique because as we’ve seen this, you know, one of our things has always been, the more content you have, the more traffic you can generate. And so when it first started to happen, we’re like, wait a minute, they cut all this traffic off their web or excuse me, all these pages off their website and their page volume is going way down, but their traffic is spiking. You know, why is that? There’s two reasons. One, obviously, you’re helping Google out because you’re reducing the server bandwidth that they’re using on your website. So they’re going to prioritize your site and not worry about their spiders crawling it. But two, you’re also reducing potential cannibalization, right? So you’re purifying the pages that are on your website and now they’re launching these other high quality pages that have good content on them, and that’s boosting their traffic even more. So we’ve seen that a lot the last basically the last six months is that that big drop in page volume, which is good, it means a lot of sites are realizing, hey, we have way too many low quality pages on our website, so we’re going to pull those back.

Tim Warren: Yeah, Jake Ward on on if you follow Jake Ward on Twitter, you know, he launched a they did a site. I don’t know if it started like how it had a doctor but it had doctor 51. Domain rain of 51 and they took it from 0 to 750,000 monthly users in 12 months by using AI content 7700 articles. They started putting content out there. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. But it was like high quality content. It wasn’t just bloat content, right? And they went from 0 to 750,000 a month in 12 months.

Scott Sutter: That’s crazy.

Tim Warren: Right? And I was actually looking at when I was doing some preparation for a speaking event, I was looking at the travel nursing keywords. And one of the there was a pretty low DR site with like a 33 ranking on page one. And I went to take a look and I’m like, what are what they’re doing? And in the last 30 days, they have increased their organic pages by 300%. It was just like, whoop. And it’s like, Oh, that’s what they’re doing. And so they’re probably doing Entity SEO and going after the entity of travel nursing and creating tons of content around that entity in a short time frame and a wide window of travel nursing. You know, if I bet if we dug into that, we’d see the exact same thing. 

Scott Sutter: That’s right. 

Tim Warren: Where they’re going very, very wide and very, very deep. And that’s one category. And with a pretty low doctor, they’re breaking out to page one for a very competitive keyword. Well, Scott, thanks for coming on, man. I really appreciate your time. 

Scott Sutter: For sure.

Tim Warren: Guys. You’ve been listening to the It’s All Just Marketing podcast. I’m your host, Tim Warren, and we’ll see you guys on the next one.

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