How to Get More Search Exposure: Additional Coverage on Search Engine Results Pages Webinar

Date: July 22, 2020? ? ?Time: 2 PM ET | 11 AM PT? ? ?Duration: 50 mins

Webinar Description:?

Search engines are actively learning how to align a user’s search query with a list of search results that best fit the user’s needs. Search algorithm updates are designed to improve search result lists. To serve better content and quality resources as an answer to search queries.

In many cases, Google will pull content out of websites to serve directly to their users. Establishing a Zero Click” search, where users can query a phrase and find an answer, all without clicking through to a website.

As webmasters, we can discern the types of content and the ideal landing page layout to improve our own organic rankings competitive positioning, and earn a coveted spot among the Search Results Features.

Join team members John and Sheffield for this 50 minute webinar, where you will learn how to adapt business strategies to improve your search presence and gain valuable Search Result features.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • How to identify page types that Google will rank for various search intent
  • How to build brand presence by gaining Search Result Features
  • An introduction to Schema Markup for expanded search coverage

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Sheffield Pulley:
All right, well, thank you all for joining us today. We are excited to bring to you what is our third webinar in a series of webinars we’re going to be doing over the next year or so. The first two webinars … I’ll put the link here in chat here in a second for where you can find the first to webinars. But the first of which was jumping into YouTube ads, which was done by one of our advertising consultants, [Jay Patel 00:00:34]. And then Matthew [Kay 00:00:35], one of our SEO experts, did one last month, meeting your customers where they are.

Sheffield Pulley:
And today we have John Gibbings who is one of our senior SEO consultants. Been around here at Hive Digital, I think, for over seven years or so. Right, John?

John Gibbings:
Yeah, right around that.

Sheffield Pulley:
And he’s going to be talking to us about how to get more search exposure. I have yet to be on a call or a part of any of his master classes, webinars, whatever they may be and not learn something. So I’m excited to learn myself, and I’m excited for you all to learn as well.

Sheffield Pulley:
If you would, we’re going to save questions till the end, but you are more than welcome to share those questions in the chat, and/or there’s a Q&A at the bottom. Just so you don’t have to remember them, and then we’ll leave about 10 minutes at the end for John or myself to answer any questions you may have.

Sheffield Pulley:
So with that, I’ll pass it over to John. Thank you so much, buddy, for doing this. I’m excited.

John Gibbings:
Thank you, Sheff. I appreciate it, and thank you all for joining today.

John Gibbings:
Today’s training, as Sheff put it, how to earn more search exposure by leveraging various search result features. What we’re trying to do here is gain brand visibility, and really take more real estate away from your competitors, so we just have a larger landscape to work with for our own brand.

John Gibbings:
Who am I? My name is John Gibbings. As Sheff put it, I’ve been an SEO for about 10 years now, and I’ve spent seven of that with Hive Digital. It’s been great. We’ve had a couple name changes along the way, but we like Hive Digital, and we’re going to keep with it.

John Gibbings:
In my free time, I love to develop my coding skills, and one language I’ve been using specifically is Platform. Really, I strive to make some new applications that just make my day easier day in and day out. It’s a fun little thing to learn, and I really love learning about it. I want to pass it on to my daughter.

John Gibbings:
One of the specializations that I have here is content strategy, and I strive to work with brands to improve their content visibility, and just grow their organic presence. One of the ways that I do that is I work with the teams of our clients, and not only do I create new content, but I want to make sure that we revisit existing content to refresh it. And we do something through a strategy called Evergreen Content Lifecycle, and I’ll touch that a little bit further on in the conversation.

John Gibbings:
About three or four years ago, I earned my MBA, and about that same time, I welcomed my daughter, Paisley Grace, into the world. And here she is in the top right corner with my wife, Brooke.

John Gibbings:
As far as what we’ll learn today, one, we want to identify the types of pages that Google ranks for various search results and search intents; we want to learn how to build our brand presence by gaining search featured results, and distinguishing the differences in the type of content that Google uses, and the types of results that they’ll typically follow, and things you can expect; and then I’d like to close with an introduction to Schema Markup, or structured data, which is just a quick way for Google to identify what the page is about and how to pull information out so that they can show it in the search result. We just want to expand the amount of information that we can have, and just have that extra edge against the competition.

John Gibbings:
As far as an additional overview, I’m really excited to be here, as Sheff put it. This will be recorded. And my dog is also as excited as we are. She more than likely will join in today’s conversation when mail arrives, neighbors come home. Just don’t be alarmed if she chimes in. I’m sorry. And what I’m really excited about is the question and answer at the end. We don’t get a whole lot of chance for face-to-face time, but I just want to have a conversation, and develop some strategies. Just do what I can so you can walk away and implement these strategies for your own site.

John Gibbings:
Now, to start, I would like to build a foundation around what search engine optimization is and the type of search results that we’ll typically see. Now, SEO, which you’ve heard, stands for search engine optimization, and simply put, it’s the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

John Gibbings:
Here on the right, for an eCommerce search page, this is typically what you can see as an overall layout. We have paid ads, which typically are in the top or in the bottom. We have Google shopping ads in the right sidebar. We have the SERP features, and then way down below, we have the organic SEO results.

John Gibbings:
Now, a couple of caveats. SEO is a game of patience. It takes time, strategies, can take a little bit to implement, but the results, they’re not going to be immediate, and they typically won’t be felt tomorrow, the next day, or even next week. Sometimes, it takes a little bit of patience just to let Google do its thing, recognize what you’re doing as a site, and then allow you to compete. It just takes a little bit of time.

John Gibbings:
Search engine results are full of information before even going to a website. We can use that information to determine what it is Google is trying to decide. The intent is of a user whenever they type in a search query, are they looking for a new product? Are they trying to fix something? Do they just want to learn, or do they have a symptom but they don’t know how to solve it, and that’s just where they’re starting? You can find that information out and apply that to your own content.

John Gibbings:
Building on that, Google actively tries to camouflage the SERP features and the paid ads with the organic positions, and it starts to muddle the different between each of them, and you have to understand how you can compete and what you can do.

John Gibbings:
And, lastly, making things more difficult was the Google domain diversity update, which they were at least a couple months ago. That means that Google has come out and said for a single search result, a single website can only have two organic listings. They’re trying to make it more fair for everyone, try and make a fair playing field to allow other websites to come in with information or products or features. So, in effect, we’ve lost the ability to rank multiple websites in a single search result, and your real estate for just positioning as a brand as decreased. And that’s where SERP features, and paid ads, and a couple other things that I’d like to talk about today really can play in your favor, because you can go beyond those two organic search result positions, opt in for the search result features or the paid ads, and just start to build that brand presence.

John Gibbings:
Before I get to the search result features, I’d like to build the foundation of understanding what an organic SERP is, and what metadata is typically shown. Here’s an example of the code on the back end. I won’t get into the nitty gritty of how to write it, but this is the typical anatomy of the metadata that you’re seeing in a search result. We have the rich snippets, the page title, the URL, and the meta description.

John Gibbings:
For the title tag, it’s typically 50 or 60 characters long, and for a specific page, it needs to encompass the best keyword that you’re trying to focus on. Typically, it’s a primary and secondary keyword with a line break and the brand name. So, in effect, it would be “We are selling green widgets in the green widget department at the Green Widget Company.” So you start to build a structure with it. Green widgets are what you’re trying to sell, so you want that to be in the top left.

John Gibbings:
The meta description is typically the larger body of text under the blue and the green links, and this is the call-to-action. This is the banner advertisement that tells customers to click into your site. This is extremely important. It’s not so much ranking signal, but it’s the language you have to convince people to come in. It’s usually 50 characters. That’s kind of a best practice we like to suggest. You can go up to 150 and 60, but it can get wordy. You want to be clear and succinct.

John Gibbings:
The general template that I like to recommend is a question followed by a statement followed by a call-to-action. So using the green widgets, again, “Are you looking for green widgets? We have the widest selection of green widgets. Come and shop our green widget selection today. Find out more.” Something like that to draw them in.

John Gibbings:
Now, moving on, we have the search result features. And one thing that I wanted to try is I wanted to ask Google what are search features. And guess what? We had one pop up. Initially, right at the start. And here’s a quick definition. A SERP feature is any result on a Google Search Engine results page that is not a traditional, organic result. It’s typically a visual layer added that provides additional information.

John Gibbings:
One thing we want to consider is content takes many forms. We have video, like YouTube. We have interactive quizzes, PDFs. We have text, which is the general landing page. And then we have the visual representation of infographics and image carousels.

John Gibbings:
Google is always trying to figure out the best way to present this information, and they do that by testing. One of the ways they do that is they ask the question, is a zero click search enabled? Is that what’s occurring? Are users continuing into the site for more information? Let’s say there is a text page with a list of contents for a first aid kit. What do I need to go packing? What do I need to keep in my car during winter? And then typically in the search results, there is a “view more” button. Are users clicking through to find out more, and if they are, that’s great. That means they are starting to interact. They want to find out more, and potentially, they want to convert, which is the next part. Actually, two below.

John Gibbings:
Another way they look at it is do users change their search phrase entirely, as in do they type something in, realize this isn’t exactly what I’m looking for, and then they go in and try and search again. One of the things Google likes to do is consider that relationship. When people type in multiple phrases trying to find the same thing, they’re building the contextual relevancy of a phrase to a topic. They’re trying to build the umbrella. They’re trying to build the branches out. What phrases, what language aligns with the intent? And you start to build this relationship of these are related phrases that you might want to consider to add in your content.

John Gibbings:
And then, lastly, do users reach the point of sale? Do they click through? Do they try and convert? Do they fill out a contact form? And, ultimately, are there butts in the seat? That’s just a number of the ways Google tries to look and see if the content types are converting.

John Gibbings:
Now, for the zero click search, a individual named Rand Fishkin, formerly Moz, now a part of SparkToro, released some data, some research from June of last year where more than 50% of all organic searches result in a zero click search. That means that more than half of all the search queries out there derive their information directly from the search result without going to a single page. They find the information and they leave. They don’t interact with anyone, and that’s it. Regardless of if you have the first organic position, chances are that did not help that individual.

John Gibbings:
Here are a couple of examples of some featured snippets that you’re likely to run across. We have a featured snippet here for “nurse midwife,” followed by a “people also ask,” which is an accordion-style Q&A. We have a definition-type SERP feature, just what is SEO. Or, making the dictionary kind of irrelevant, you have the definition service right here, and the translations as well, followed by the knowledge panel, which is exceedingly important for businesses and local places. Somewhere you want foot traffic.

John Gibbings:
Going back to the idea that there are multiple types of content and search intents. I was looking up how to apply a knuckle bandage, and here, I had four videos pop up and a “people also ask.” Now, if you start to consider what the search intent is here, and deriving the type of information users are looking for, we can see and probably make the assumption that someone is bleeding, and they want to fix that and make it stop.

John Gibbings:
So we have a quick transcript of what you need to do. And then if you aren’t sold on the strategy of applying that, we have other videos, followed by the “people also ask.” So we don’t know if people are trying to buy Band-Aids. Probably not. They’re probably trying to look for something that they have inside to solve a solution. This is an example of a zero click search.

John Gibbings:
Then, we have video annotation and the SERP features. This, here, I have a bug … It’s a bug trap. And I have a light bulb that emits CO2. Here in North Carolina, the mosquitoes here are about the size of birds. That’s how we like to joke about them, and I just wanted to figure out a way to replace the bulb, because it wasn’t inherently clear. So there’s some annotation features down here that look at the transcripts, and provide some ways to search through that. It’s exceedingly helpful.

John Gibbings:
Google also has taken it a step further by labeling the SERP features. Here, we can see research for lawn mowers followed by research for golf clubs. If you’ve ever heard about the buyer’s journey, think of it like a funnel. We’re trying to bring people in from the top that may not know what they’re looking for, or they’re trying to find a symptom. “My grass is tall, and I need to cut it.” Okay, are you trying to pay someone to cut it, or do you want to cut it yourself? You start to provide content based around that, and you draw people into the site.

John Gibbings:
Here’s another example. Someone is trying to find some golf clubs. They want an outside sport during COVID, and they want to go outside. Google has understood by looking at the patterns of individuals on how they’re searching. They might be price sensitive. You can see a descending order here based on price. Or they’re trying to look at make or brand. And Google has already done most of the legwork in compiling the information for you. We have the top articles from 2020, something recently as far as 2019, as they are associated with the brand or the specific type of club, and then they provide the information right there for you. The club type, is it right-handed or left-hand? And then the materials that are used to manufacture it.

John Gibbings:
But Google does not always get it right. I was searching for Band-Aids, and I wasn’t sure what would come up. This was right after a recent Google hour update, where I feel like they updated some of the language, and began to re-train the algorithm to learn what the intent is of the user. So in the bottom left here, we see a four-star rating, Ruby Tuesday’s, with Band-Aids included in the review. You see Band-Aids the brand, and you start looking at how Google makes the correlation. They feel like people are looking at Johnson & Johnson. Okay. Kleenex, maybe not. Betty Crocker for cooking, Ziplock bags, and Chap-Stick. And then after the organic listings, you have takeout, delivery, great cocktails, and no reservation seating. Not exactly what I’d look at for a organic listing, especially as it relates to Band-Aids.

John Gibbings:
Now, doing a little bit of research, I looked at the Band-Aids listing here, the review. It turns out that the context was missing. Someone got hurt. Some of the staff brought a Band-Aid to the patron, and they were happy when they left. You miss out on that context, so you want to make sure that you’re following how your brand is being presented. Are these reviews popping up? You just want to be careful. Google doesn’t always get it right.

John Gibbings:
And here’s another example. I love this one. “Why are fire trucks red?” One popular answer to why fire trucks are red goes something like this, “Because they have eight wheels, and four people on them, and four plus eight makes 12, and there are 12 inches in a foot, and one foot is a ruler, and Queen Elizabeth was a ruler, and Queen Elizabeth was also a ship, and the ship sailed on the …” blank. Google doesn’t always get it right.

John Gibbings:
Now, we have a good foundation for what an organic listing is, and what SERP features are. So what’s the next step? That would typically be optimizing content for the search results.

John Gibbings:
Here is the Evergreen Content Lifecycle. It’s something I had mentioned earlier, and I have an article at the end of this presentation that breaks all of this out into some strategies that you can apply to your own content on your site.

John Gibbings:
You want to prioritize the content to the update. Look at Search Console for relevant traffic, the search impressions for the terms that you’re showing up for, and those terms that users are clicking to get to your site. You can prioritize based on impressions or clicks. I won’t go into the minor details here.

John Gibbings:
Get ideas for improvement from the search results. Look at the SERP features. Look for query intent. Look at the competitors, what are they doing? And then look at the pages that they’re linking to from that content.

John Gibbings:
Improve the content. Build it out. Go back and revisit the page title and the meta descriptions. Then look at the internal linking, and republish.

John Gibbings:
Here’s an example of how you can build up content for the featured snippet grab, and what it really boils down to is answering the question directly. State the question, state the answer in the content. And this example here is how someone can ask the question, “How long will a rhinoceros live in captivity?” And the example is a long paragraph about how long they could live as opposed to living in the wild. But the best strategy is to go and clearly answer the question. Have a header, have something that calls out how long to rhinos live in captivity, and answer it. “A rhino would typically live 35 years in captivity.”

John Gibbings:
Now, one thing I had mentioned earlier was the Schema Markup, the structured data. Now, I don’t want to scare you away. It’s a coded language or coded set of phrases that just calls out the information on the page so Google doesn’t have to read the content and determine what that means on its own. Here is a listed example of what you could do to make a specific list of features or brand when comparing in a SERP. And I’ll break that down next slide.

John Gibbings:
So here is the FAQ, frequently asked questions, Schema Markup. All it does is you have to have the content listed on the page, and through this markup, you say “This is a question, and this is an answer.” And Google will pull this if they want to. They will pull this information out and put it directly in the search result.

John Gibbings:
Now, if we go back and we remember the organic listing, or the search result where we had the paid ads, the SERP features, the Google shopping ads on the sidebar, and then the organic listings down below. If you see this accordion, how much extra space are you taking up on the page? You’re more likely to have someone click on this and just build that interaction with your site, with your brand, and start to encourage them to click through.

John Gibbings:
Here’s the organization schema. This is important for a knowledge panel if you want to just describe your business. We have the ID; the type, which organization; the name, your brand; the URL that you want people to go to; and then the file location for an image. So you are doing all of the legwork for Google. They just come in, it’s TL:DR, too long didn’t read, and they pull that information in.

John Gibbings:
We also have the local business schema. Imagine this is the Yellow Pages. This is the directory that you want users to come in and look for your website. This is extremely important. You want to have the name of your business, the address if someone wants to come in for foot traffic, and then the phone number. You have the image, and the hours of operation. That way, users can come in and expect the times that you’ll be able to work with them. This is extremely important, too, especially with COVID. If your hours of operations have changed, you want to reflect that here. It happens. Most of us understand.

John Gibbings:
Schema Markup for product reviews. This is also a great way just to build this reputation for your brand. Boom, you have the five-star rating with the 185 reviews for just under eight dollars, and it’s in stock. That’s most of the research that users are looking for before they even come to your page. Now, if no one else in the search results has it for this product, then it’s more likely they’re going to click through to your site.

John Gibbings:
So some of the product schema that we can include: the in-stock; the price; the product name; the reviews; material; manufacturer. And there are a couple others.

John Gibbings:
Reviewing the idea, kind of going back to the beginning, that Google is trying to camouflage the listings in the search results. We have the organic placement up top with the star rating, the price, the number of views, and that it’s out of stock. And then you look at the ad down below. Has a lot of the same information. Some would argue it even looks better, but the only way that we can tell that’s an advertisement are the two letters in the top left.

John Gibbings:
So Google is blending this landscape where we have all these different SERP features, and then with the domain diversity update, they tell you that you can only show two listings, two pages. So your legs are almost being cut out from underneath you. Now, it’s extremely important to have organic listings. I want to stress that. But you also want to consider some of the other avenues that you can draw individuals in. Maybe you get some ad placements. Maybe you start looking at how you can improve your content for the featured snippet, and that’s really what it is. Google has decided that whomever has the featured snippet has the best content available, because they pull it right out and put it on the page. They want to present that to the individuals that are using Google.

John Gibbings:
And with that, I want to say thank you. Here is a quick snapshot of our team. We have many specialties, a handful of departments, and those include web analytics, search engine optimization, paid advertising, and social media marketing.

John Gibbings:
Now, my favorite part. Question and answer time. Let’s talk. Does anyone have any questions that I can answer? Any problems that you’ve run across? I’m happy to open up the floor.

Sheffield Pulley:
Thank you. Boy, that was fantastic as always, and yet again, I did learn something new.

Sheffield Pulley:
We do have a few questions that have popped up in the Q&A. Anyone else who has questions, you can just leave them there. [inaudible 00:28:21], I noticed that you had raised your hand. Unfortunately, I’m not able to unmute for some reason, so if you have a question or a comment, you can just leave it in chat. And/or if it’s a question, you can leave it in the Q&A.

Sheffield Pulley:
But, John, the first question … I think you can see these as well, but I’ll read them … is does aggressive bidding on paid keywords help improve organic results, too?

John Gibbings:
That’s a hard question, but it’s definitely a great one to ask. There is some improvement that can be gained from connecting your paid ads account, your AdWords account, through to your Search Console. As far as aggressively bidding on paid keywords, it’s not quite my specialty. I have some experience with paid keywords. I’m not sure that it’s a direct improvement for organic, but if you are aggressively bidding, then you’re likely taking away from traffic and exposure from your competitors.

Sheffield Pulley:
I’ll tell you who could answer that with great detail and clarity would be Nina next month when she does her … So whoever that was, save that question for next month, and Nina, head of our paid department who will be doing our next webinar, will be able to knock that one out of the park. But that’s a great question.

Sheffield Pulley:
Number two here. What do you think about Schema Markup plugins?

John Gibbings:
Oh, absolutely. I’m in favor of them. With all plugins, you have to balance the effect of page load speed. Depending on the site or the CMS, they can drag a little bit, but more often than not, I’m a fan of it because it does the legwork for you. You don’t have to go in and code directly.

John Gibbings:
I do have a link following the slide here that I would highly recommend. There’s a fellow SEO in the industry named Joe Hall that went ahead and built out a platform specifically for Schema Markup. So if you don’t have that ability, or if you’re restricted by the plugins, that might be something to consider.

Sheffield Pulley:
Great. Let’s see. Third one, how do we know which terms that my site should target for featured snippets?

John Gibbings:
Oh, fantastic question. So there are a number of ways, and I can easily go down the rabbit hole. So most sites typically have a third party keyword tracking software that will call this out. Moz, SimRush … There are a number of other tools out there both free and paid.

John Gibbings:
But if you don’t have that, my general best recommendation is to go into Search Console and look at your main terms, the terms that either have the highest impression share, because you’re getting the most exposure for it. Impressions typically denote the amount of interest in a term, and you start looking at the phrases that are gaining those impressions. You can also do this by clicks, but it’s generally less reliable.

John Gibbings:
I would just go in and do a manual search for the terms. Start looking at where your main traffic is coming in. Start doing that research and digging through the SERP listing. What information is available? How is Google trying to present that information? Can you improve your content beyond how it currently exists?

Sheffield Pulley:
Excellent. Let’s see, [Catherine 00:32:12] has two questions. One is could you go into featured snippet a little more? So I guess a little further down the rabbit hole as to what featured snippet is, and how it affects rankings?

John Gibbings:
Sure. Sure, absolutely.

John Gibbings:
Featured snippets are generally considered as the zero placement. It’s a knowledge box at the top of the listing. Let me go back up on a couple slides. I think that might be a little easier, too. It’s just a quick call out on, here, to answer the question. If someone’s typing in “knuckle bandage,” we’ll go back to that, and there’s a quick little synopsis of how to apply it. Or what’s the most common color that people like? It might be green, because I like green. A featured snippet is just a little bit of information at the top of the search result that tries to answer the question directly for users.

John Gibbings:
Usually, it’s not a product page. Usually, it’s a bit of information, long form content, that directly answers the question. It’s usually someone trying to find out more.

John Gibbings:
I would imagine if someone asks, I’m going to use my daughter as an example, how to braid your hair, I would imagine there would be a featured snippet with a quick little rundown of the best type of braid for fathers that don’t know how to braid hair. I hope that answers your question.

Sheffield Pulley:
I think it did. Second question, how would you rank in value different content avenues? And she has, as examples, text, visual, PDF, video, quizzes, things of that sort.

John Gibbings:
Great question, and that’s a hard question, too. Generally, I would put preference in text, because it’s the typical landing page that you have. Going back to the idea of the content funnel, we have the high level area, which is typically a blog, where you have people that are solution unaware, where they may be trying to solve symptom, like “My yard is yellowing,” or “My inside plant is dying. What can I do?” So you have a blog post about how to keep a houseplant.

John Gibbings:
And to answer your question, it depends on what your site is actively trying to achieve. Are you trying to have people make a purchase? Are they trying to learn information? Are they trying to have some sort of consult where you find out more information, or just turns into a long term strategy? So the answer, it kind of depends. A video is extremely helpful, especially if you have a product, and you’re trying to teach people how to use your product. Or to build value in your product, and you’re trying to communicate its use cases. How can you use it? What is the utility behind that? The video is extremely strong there.

John Gibbings:
Infographics are a quick share. If you’re selling an N95 mask, and you want to teach people how to wear it appropriately, there’s a really good infographic, especially with a beard, of the proper face styles for men for wearing a beard. I ended up shaving mine off, but that was one thing that came out right about that time.

John Gibbings:
So there’s a lot of avenues that you can choose to go through, but generally, I would put emphasis on text, like a landing page, and then you supplement that. How do you encourage people to stay on your site? Is it through a video, and then you have call-to-actions on a sidebar, which may take you to another page. It may take you to video that you have hosted, or it may take you to a quiz, like what’s the best product for me? Take this quiz and find out. That’s great, especially if you have a landing page, a high level page, that someone comes in, “I’m starting to learn about green widgets, but I don’t know which one works for me.” Okay, well, I have this green widget guide, I have this green widget quiz. I have a PDF that you can print and take off, and you can share offline.

Sheffield Pulley:
Excellent. Very helpful, thank you. I just learned something again.

Sheffield Pulley:
All right. Next question. We have a few more questions here. Are there any tools you recommend that can help us manage our metadata and/or the types of steps you’d recommend?

John Gibbings:
Sure. Absolutely. So Screaming Frog is a great tool, which is a search crawler, and for those that are not familiar with a search crawler, it will basically crawl your website. So it will travel by the internal links you have, and pull the metadata so you can directly see it. And you can export it into an Excel. It’s typically a CSV export, but you can pull that information out, and begin to look at it. I like to work in spreadsheets, so that’s typically where I go to.

John Gibbings:
You can see what’s being duplicated, because every page title and every meta description should be succinct. Sorry, let me back up. There should not be duplicated page titles or meta descriptions. Thank you, Sheff. There’s a free download. I think there’s a limit on the number of pages you can crawl.

John Gibbings:
As far as optimizing page titles, I like to work within a spreadsheet, and you can do a quick character count for the number of phrases in a cell or a number of characters. And then I typically have a column for what’s currently existing and a column for new, and I just do the work for me, and just count the number of characters. So you can just go and start experimenting, and try and consider what you want to put in there.

John Gibbings:
As far as trying to consider how to optimize it, or what phrases you need to optimize for, that’s Search Console. And I have an article that speaks directly to using Google Search Console for that strategy on the next slide. And actually let me, while I’m answering these questions, go down there and share these links for everyone. Here. So utilizing Search Console to prioritize and optimize content. It’ll help give you some strategies on choosing the keywords to optimize.

John Gibbings:
But to answer your question, I typically work either on a free site that counts the number of characters in a sentence or in a text block, or I go in Search Console or Excel and I actually just type that out. So it just makes sure that I’m within the bounds of what I’m looking for.

Sheffield Pulley:
Excellent. And these resources will be included in the followup email we send out after the webinar, which will probably be going out on Friday.

John Gibbings:
Oh, thank you.

Sheffield Pulley:
Few more questions. For someone who is a website management novice, what is the best way to learn how to use Schema?

John Gibbings:
That’s a good question. I would say look at the competitors. The question about the plugins, I think that’d be great. Figure out how you can implement it on your site. Initially diving into JSON-LD is difficult, the application for injecting the code on your page or being read. So I would recommend looking at the competitors, and seeing just what it is that they are using.

John Gibbings:
There’s a tool I need to actually add to this list. It’s a Schema Markup testing tool where you throw in a URL, and it’ll specifically tell you what schema the competitors are using. So you can use a real world example to figure out what your competitors are implementing, and you can start looking at the categories of what needs to be implemented.

John Gibbings:
And then generally the plugins will go ahead and provide that field for you, so it’s plug-and-play. Typically, you just enter in name, advertisement, placement, hours of operation, or similar, and then it’ll just put it on the site.

Sheffield Pulley:
Excellent. All right, next question. What is Search Console, and what insight can we gain from it that can help us here?

John Gibbings:
Oh, fantastic question. Google Search Console is a free platform that is probably my favorite tool that Google offers. It looks at generally four metrics. There’s a couple more, but it’ll look at the number of impressions to a site, which an impression is simply a time that a query has been submitted and your page, one of your pages, shows up in a search result. Doesn’t mean anyone interacts with it. Just the impression is that your site appears in the search result. A click means someone just clicked through your organic placement to your webpage. Then you have the click-through rate, which is just a percentage of your impressions that people click through. And then, finally, the organic position.

John Gibbings:
Its utility really is derived from looking at your main terms that come to your site, or that your site is being shown for. And this also is applicable for your pages. So let’s consider you have a product page. You can look at the number of impressions that a product page is being earned, and if you look at the queries for that, you can start to identify how Google understands what that product page is about and what terms are driving traffic.

John Gibbings:
So it’s really an active health check to look at the number of terms your site is showing up for, and then what terms are ultimately converting. So if you have a page, that product, you’re getting a lot of impressions for a term, but you realize that term is not in your page title, that’s something you can change. You can put that high impression term into your page title, and generally that will improve the number of clicks and the exposure through to that page.

Sheffield Pulley:
Excellent. And this is the final question. If you do have any other additional questions, go ahead and post them in the Q&A. Otherwise, this will be our final question. If you update content on your site, how long until Google indexes it?

John Gibbings:
Oh, fantastic question. That is one I cannot actually answer directly. It depends. Generally, it will take a couple of weeks. It could take as little as a couple of days. But one thing that’s actually really interesting, now that you mention it, is Bing Webmaster Tools. So we have Google the search engine, and then Bing the search engine. There is now a WordPress plugin that immediately indexes your content through Bing Webmaster Tools, which Bing Webmaster Tools is the direct competitor to Google Search Console.

Sheffield Pulley:
Excellent. All right, I don’t see any other questions, so we will go ahead and wrap up. Anything else you wanted to share, John?

John Gibbings:
No, just thank you all. I’ve really enjoyed the chance to talk. It’s usually my daughter in here at home, so it’s really nice to get this time to just be out and about, and really just talk with friends. So thank you all.

Sheffield Pulley:
Appreciate you going to all the effort to put it together, buddy. This has been great, really great.

Sheffield Pulley:
So, yeah, thank you all for joining us today. We will be sending out a followup email probably on Friday, which will give you a recording of the webinar, resources that you see here, and John will add that additional resource he mentioned. We’ll put that in the email. We’ll also have some information about our next webinar, which will be on the 27th of August with Nina Martinez, head of our paid department. Excited about that one. And there will also be a link to a page to set up a 30 minute consultation with this guy. I’m making myself available to anyone who has signed up for the webinar to chat about digital marketing and how we can help enhance what you’re doing through a quick conversation.

Sheffield Pulley:
And with that, we’ll wrap it up. Thank you, again, for everyone for joining us. Thank you, again, John. And we look forward to seeing you next month.

John Gibbings:
Thank you, again. I appreciate it.

Sheffield Pulley:
[crosstalk 00:46:11]

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John Gibbings - Hive Digital
John Gibbings
Hive Digital SEO Expert

John has been working, adapting, and succeeding within organic search for multi-million dollar companies since 2011. He is a Senior SEO Consultant with Hive Digital, where he works to ensure the best focus and care is given to each client.

Sheffield Pulley - Hive Digital
Sheffield Pulley
Hive Digital Client Advocate

Sheffield joined Hive Digital in 2017. Sheffield is a proven professional excelling in the promotion of personal and team accomplishments with extensive, results-oriented sales management, marketing and business development experience.

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