Your Digital Marketing Coach with Neal Schaffer

Keyword Research: The Key to Understanding SEO for Your Business [Hilary Angrove Interview]

July 14, 2022 Neal Schaffer Episode 275
Your Digital Marketing Coach with Neal Schaffer
Keyword Research: The Key to Understanding SEO for Your Business [Hilary Angrove Interview]
Show Notes Transcript

Search engine optimization is still a golden opportunity for most companies, but many are still making the same mistake of ignoring a critical piece of the puzzle: Keyword research.

In this episode, we are going to go deep on SEO - and keyword research - with special guest Hilary Angrove, Director of Growth and Operations at Make Your Mark Today. She will help us all understand:

  1. The intent of the search determines how you should rank for the keyword. 'Money' keywords are terms your audience is actually using (not necessarily industry words) with high volume and high intent
  2. Do not start a blog if you find money keywords - > make evergreen pages
  3. If you don't have money keywords --> you may want to start a blog or you may to put your resources into other forms of marketing and not SEO

I think you will enjoy this holistic view on SEO as much as I did!

Key Highlights

[01:23] Introduction of Podcast Guest, Hilary Angrove

[03:42] Hilary's Journey to Digital Marketing

[09:48] Keyword Research As An SEO Pillar

[12:05] Search Intent

[12:54] Warming Up the Buying Journey

[17:58] How Hilary Determine Keyword Difficulty

[20:30] Things to Consider in Keyword Research and Intent

[28:47] Non-Seo Form of Marketing You Can Invest To

Notable Quotes 

  • What I loved about SEO was just the analytical part of it. And it is a puzzle, the whole thing is a puzzle. And if you can figure out that puzzle, then you can make your client a lot of money, which is great.
  • Google is the judge. But you also got to stay true to yourself. And that is, don't do everything for the judge. They'll see through it, you got to be true to yourself.
  • SEO just mimics real life, your website, your web pages, they're your storefront. And so you just need to operate your store in a way that's like clean, organized, informational, useful, and people are gonna love it.
  • So first thing that I do whenever I'm working with a client, is I build a customer persona. So who is their ideal client, whether that be and you want to look at who's the current client, I mean, a lot of people have already done this for all types of marketing.
  • Go deep on that keyword research, and really look at that intent.
  • You really want to bring it as close to your it's a keyword that matters to you. It's a money keyword, you want it to be as close to your homepage as possible, because you're essentially flagging to Google, hey, this is super important. 

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Neal Schaffer:

keywords they are absolutely essential to your success in digital marketing, not just for search engine optimization but for other areas as well. But how deep do you really understand the art and science of keyword research? Today, my guest and I are gonna geek out but I think it's going to be an invaluable education for you all on keyword research and search engine optimization in general. On this next episode of The your digital marketing coach, podcast, digital social media content, influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, blogging, tick talking LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SEO, SEM, PPC, email marketing, who there's a lot to cover, whether you're a marketing professional entrepreneur, or business owner, you need someone you can rely on for expert advice. Good thing you've got, Neil, on your side, because Neal Schaffer is your digital digital marketing marketing coach, helping you grow your business with digital first marketing one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach, and this is Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, this is your digital marketing coach Neal Schaffer. Today, we have a very special guest, Hilary, and Grove. And well, I'll let Hillary introduce herself to you. But as she points out, as a listener of the podcast, I've had episodes where I talked about on page SEO, this was my episode, interviewing the Director of Marketing at phrase, which some of you may know is my preferred tool for AI, SEO content writing. I also did an episode on backlink generation. And in fact, I did an episode on influencer marketing for SEO, which also talks about the concept of generating backlinks. But haven't really talked a lot about keyword research. And it really is one of the core fundamental skills that you need to have to be successful. Not just that, SEO, but really, in digital marketing in general. So it was a really, really fun and enlightening conversation, as we talked about not just SEO, but what situations where SEO may not be the best solution for you, what situations where maybe having a blog doesn't make sense for that keyword or for your situation. So once again, try to provide you multiple perspectives, no matter where you are on your digital marketing journey. I'm hoping you find something educational in this interview with Hillary and growth. You're listening to your digital marketing coach, this is Neal Schaffer. Hillary, welcome to the your digital marketing coach podcast.

Hilary Angrove:

Thanks for having me. Yeah,

Neal Schaffer:

it's awesome. excited to have you, you know, I try to make this podcast as international as possible. And I haven't had as many guests as I would like from Canada. So thank you for joining us from our northern brother.

Hilary Angrove:

Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm excited to be on it.

Neal Schaffer:

So I know we're gonna talk a lot about SEO a subject that you're extremely passionate about. I'm passionate about as well. But before we get there, you know, before we recorded this interview, we were talking about our past backgrounds, what have you, how did you go from country music loving, you know, Radio Star DJ at university, to where you are today at an agency working in ESEA.

Hilary Angrove:

It was a long road with some serious twists and turns. I'll spare you all of the details. But so today where I've landed is I'm the director of growth at Make Your Mark today. And we're a boutique digital marketing agency. But we're really focused on the power of SEO, everything we do is just SEO first and then everything else is just to support the SEO efforts. Essentially. I started in digital marketing about a decade ago, and loved it love digital marketing. But I was when I was like four years old, I'd always wanted to be a lawyer. So during that period of time, I had applied to law school and funny enough I got in. So that was probably five years ago, and I dragged my husband across the country and brought him to law school, worked as a lawyer for about a year or two and realized, I really, really missed digital marketing. The funny thing is, when you're doing digital marketing, especially SEO, like the client will always win. There's a way to make the client win every single time and the thing about law. What I realized is the only person that wins is the lawyer. And I really like that so I transitioned back into digital marketing and in to SEO, which before had been more in like social media paid advertising. And what I loved about SEO was just the analytical part of it. And it is a puzzle, the whole thing is a puzzle. And if you can figure out that puzzle, then you can make your client a lot of money, which is great. So that's kind of my journey from country music star to lawyer to SEO website developer.

Neal Schaffer:

So well, I've had a lot of guests and have asked a lot of people about their backgrounds. That's a very unique one, but also a reminder that we are the masters of our own destiny. And if we want to choose paths, we can be successful, right? We need to be doing what we love to do. I love doing what I'm doing as well. So glad to hear. I'm curious because you have a legal background as well. Do you think that impacts the way you look at digital marketing? The way you look at SEO? Do you tend to have a you know, more of like a legal focus? Or, you know, do you think it's influenced you in any way?

Hilary Angrove:

I'm definitely like the analytical side. So building a case is just like looking at all the different factors like the law, it's funny, the the way, at least Canadian law works. And I think it's pretty similar to American law with common law, you've got your case, and you don't really know that the judge is just going to interpret what you're giving to them, and you hope that you're hitting all their checkmarks, right, with your evidence. And same with SEO, like, Google is just going to interpret what we're giving to them. And we hope that we can like build a case or build a web page that has all the factors that Google is going to rank you because they're gonna like what they're seeing. So I guess that like, that part is similar. And it takes both are research oriented. So I love

Neal Schaffer:

that. I love that because there are so many people who get so frustrated with Google that they say that Google is the enemy. And what you're saying is Google's the judge, they're just generally what you give them. And I think that's really, really, really appropriate. And a really fantastic way of looking at it.

Hilary Angrove:

Yeah, God, Google is the judge. But you also got to stay true to yourself. And that is, don't do everything for the judge. They'll see through it, you got to be true to yourself.

Neal Schaffer:

Amen. Awesome. I know, our listeners are already sort of getting excited because you you have a very unique view. So let's talk about like your passion for SEO. So I'm late, I started out in social media marketing, and really got into digital marketing with COVID. And started doing a lot with SEO when I was writing a new book, you know, in late 2019, early 2020. So I'm a relative newbie, but I have a very different perspective, because SEO excites me a lot as well. But for a lot of people that have been in digital marketing for a long time, they move off of SEO, they move on to you know other things. And I'm really curious that you have a lot of experience in digital marketing, yet, you're still passionate about SEO, I don't find many people like that out there. What do you think drives that passion that you have?

Hilary Angrove:

This is gonna sound crazy, but I find digital marketing, other types of digital marketing sometimes feels like this is a people at my company say this is a horrible metaphor, but I'm going to use it anyways. It feels like I'm throwing spaghetti at a wall, hoping something sticks. And then kind of analyzing the spaghetti that stuck, which just seems like a really long drawn out process. And what I like about SEO is you know what spaghetti is going to stick to the wall. So you're one step ahead. It's a really weird metaphor. But that's what I like about it. And I also like your SEO just mimics real life, your website, your web pages, they're your storefront. And so you just need to operate your store in a way that's like clean, organized, informational, useful, and people are gonna love it. And there's just so much I have I, like the return on investment for SEO is insane. You're building an asset. Like you're building equity in something when you use your money, and you give it all to Facebook, or you give it all to Google ads. If you're not making money off of that money that you get given to advertising, it's just lost. Whereas SEO, even if it's a slow burn, like I'm sure you, you're a perfect example of a slow burn, you didn't even know you were doing SEO, you just love to write a blog. And there was like a slow burn that you all of a sudden had this asset, and it drives traffic. And if you then have this traffic, you can do something with it. Whether that is retargeting them with ads, or email marketing or whatever it can be. It's just the it's the perfect base for everything. And it takes less effort and less money. For the most part.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, I'm not in an agree 1,000%. So that's the listeners like okay, Hillary I'm sold. but how the heck do I do it? So let's dig a little bit deeper. And as people will see this on their podcast player, the title of the episode is all about keyword research. And I think maybe we should start with one of the terms you were talking about before we press the record button was money, keyword. So why is keyword research or keywords sort of the centerpiece of SEO, and then what are many keywords that start there?

Hilary Angrove:

So SEO I like to look at SEO is having Four Pillars. See if your technical SEO, your content and user experience is the second pillar on site, which is your third pillar and off site, which is your fourth pillar for all for your web pages to rank, you need all four pillars, and today we're going to focus on content and user experience. So just because you're gonna become experts in that pillar from this episode, it doesn't mean you can't do the other parts. And I think you actually have episodes, Neil on on site SEO and off sites like backlinks and sourcing media and stuff like that. So there's other resources for those. So I just want to start there to say, if you become an expert in this doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to rank but you're definitely on your way. So talking about money, keywords, money, keywords, those are the keywords that have really high intent. So people a good example, behind 10 keyword is massage therapist available today. That person, they want a massage, and they want it now. So that's a really high converting keyword. I have never checked the keyword, the volume of people who are looking for that. But if there are people looking for that, and you're that first person on the list for that keyword, you're probably going to get a sale. So that's a money, keyword. And money keywords also, you want to see how high volume they are because or keyword that has high intent. If there's no one looking for a high intent keyword, it's not a money keyword, because there's no one that's looking to buy.

Neal Schaffer:

Gotcha. So we always talk about and maybe we should take a step back and talk about search intent. Because we always talk about well, US digital marketers say, hey, you know, the thing about SEO on Google is that people are on Google for a reason. They're searching for a reason. And this sort of, you know, feeds into this idea of they're searching for something they want to immediately buy, and therefore the money keyword. But what is let's talk about, you know, the the search intent piece, I think, is really fascinating, because there are keywords, and then there are keywords, there are keywords that how search intent align with your company, then there are others that maybe not so aligned, or maybe not many keywords. So can you can you describe that a little bit more detail?

Hilary Angrove:

Yeah, so search intent, there's kind of a process that I at least take to understand search intent for your company. So first thing that I do whenever I'm working with a client, is I build a customer persona. So who is their ideal client, whether that be and you want to look at who's the current client, I mean, a lot of people have already done this for all types of marketing. So I'm sure you already have this in your toolkit. So pull it out again, and look at that best customer and their challenges, their desires, their demographics, give them a name, I love giving the ideal customer like a really funny name, like Rachel, the researcher or like, like carry the converter. So give your give your persona a name, and then start building a list of keywords like, who is that person? Like, what does that person looking for. So when they're looking for a product or service, I think that stat that Google recently put out was 96% of people start their buying journey with Google. So they're researching. And that doesn't mean they're ready to buy right away, these could be super cold leads, you're gonna need to warm them up, but at least you're the person that is there in front of them that can then warm them up, whether that'd be a social media, email marketing, whatever choice you make to warm them up, some of them are ready to buy those high intent keywords, they're ready to buy. So for. So you're gonna build this list of keywords for Rachel say, that's the name we give to the customer persona, what and you're like Rachel's gonna be looking for these words. And then you're gonna look at them and look at the, what the intent of that person searching for that is. So I'm going to use an example of a client that I worked for, actually, in my old industry. And one of my first clients, she was a family lawyer. So she was interested in SEO, which man lawyers are not doing SEO or marketing. So they're pretty, it's pretty great. The the keyword difficulty is pretty low for these these keywords, but she was really focusing on meat. So mediation was the Word, Oh, someone who's looking for a mediator. But what she didn't realize is she really put herself in Rachel shoes say, Rachel could be looking for an employment mediator. She could be looking for a mediator to come into the workplace, like there's so many different types. So when we looked at family mediation in her area, no one was searching for family mediation, like and they might just be researching it, right, but no one was looking for it. And there's a free tool that I suggest people use if they're just starting out in the SEO journey. It's called Uber Suggest. I'm sure you all already know about it, but it's great to see the volume. And if you we use h refs, because you can get more kind of honed in, but it's great to see what volume. So what we ended up figuring out through this journey of figuring out the intent. The intent is we start we then built a page for the keyword divorce and I know you're like but she only does mediation And well, no one's looking for mediation. But there are a lot of people who are looking for a divorce that is actually friendly and isn't fighting in court. So then you build your content around the type of ideal customer that you want to attract, while using that high intent keyword, even if the keyword isn't directly aligned with you. I don't know if that helps. I don't know if you have any questions or that helps explain keyword intent.

Neal Schaffer:

So yeah, so you're casting a wider net, knowing that that usually for most companies, that exact keyword that exactly describes what they do, might not have a lot of keyword volume.

Hilary Angrove:

Exactly, or that it's indistinct. A lot of Yeah, it happens so much. And like, the one that I noticed most is people coming to me with their list of keywords. And it's all words, I don't even know. I'm like, Oh, I'm not in your industry. And I don't know any of these words, and you're a b2c company. So I don't think any of your customers know these words. So when someone's looking for a sub pump repair, fix my basement might be a better way to start. So that's a huge one is, that's why you really got to put yourself in Rachel shoes, or whoever, however you name your customer. An example of it, I'm gonna give you an example of a a low intent keyword that has a lot of volume. So I had this designer, interior designer come to me looking for SEO. And it just wasn't a great fit. Because when you look at her words, Swedish decor, Scandinavian interior design, when I looked at those it was and you because you want to do a search on Google and see who is Google ranking, a lot of it was inspo. So inspo, accounts for DIY wasn't people who are actually looking for an interior designer. So if she's putting all of her effort into those words, Google might not rank her because they're seeing the highest amount of for for their software, the best user experience that they're giving people who are using Google is kind of inspiration and DIY tips. So they're not going to be putting her up on the first page, because it's just not what Google is showing people. So it just wasn't a great fit for her because and it was, so that would be a low intent keyword, there was low intent to buy. They wanted to just check out get information.

Neal Schaffer:

Gotcha. So it sounds like it's a process that a lot of people marketing, they just think, Oh, we do this product or that service. And well, these are not to the keywords, and then they start to create blog content, and they spend a lot of wheels, and they don't get a lot of traffic. And they think that SEO doesn't work is I'm assuming what happens a lot. So. So you're saying is, you know, go deep on that keyword research, and really look at that intent. And I'm assuming that when you work with clients, you're coming up with a fairly long list of keywords, is that safe to say?

Hilary Angrove:

Yes, we come up with a long list of keywords with them thinking of that customer, that best customer and then what we do is we look at the intent doing kind of the research using Google like we just put in Google. Okay, who else is ranking for this? Is it just information? Or is it people? Is it products that are services that people are going to buy? So then we do that. And then another thing is we look at the volume and low volume isn't always a bad thing, but it can be so an example of low volume that isn't a bad thing is I'm just going to keep using client examples because it's the easiest way to navigate the conversation. But a good example of low volume, but high intent is one of our clients is they do school software. So tuition management, software enrollment management systems, there's not the highest amount of search volume for that, because it's school administrators. I mean, it's pretty high for the lifetime value of the customer. But the lifetime value of the customer is 20,000 plus a year, year over year. So if there's only 40 to 100 people searching per month for that term, that's still a ton of value in those keywords. where for example, I mean, this isn't a real example, because I'm just trying to pull one up, but a barbershop if someone's looking, if there's only 40 searches a month in your area for let's say there's like 10 searches a month in your area for a barber. I mean, you're only making 20 bucks 10 bucks, kind of hair. So you're going to put all your effort into that especially if it's a high keyword difficulty. So this is kind of off topic of keywords but the higher difficulty the keyword is then you need to do more of the other three pillars of SEO which I think you got into in your I think I'm just going to put in a plug for your other episode but you had an episode about backlinks you're going to need more backlinks and more difficult the keyword

Neal Schaffer:

yeah Amen. So we need to go deep on the keyword. And we need to be looking at the competition, the volume, the intent. So it really is a larger exercise than maybe most people listening make it out to be. So when you look at you mentioned low volume, like, you know, 10, or 40, do you have like a cut off of like, hey, if it's like, if you're not, if there's not, you know, 50 searches a month, this is really, really low volume. And we may want to move on unless it's this high buyer intent. Do you have like a guideline for that?

Hilary Angrove:

We don't really have a guideline, we it's so custom. So if you have a product that could have $10,000 plus a value for someone converting on that keyword, only 10 People are searching a month. And it's an easy keyword, why not just go for it? Right? Do it. But if you have, like I said, like, it just also custom depends on the value of the product, yours are the value of the product you're selling, like in terms of money? How difficult the keyword, the intent of the keyword, is it very general. So they're not looking to buy, they're just doing research? Are they looking to buy or at least find out about a product or service? Yeah, there's like a full list of things that you need to consider. And those are really the main ones and the cute, like I said, the keyword difficulty. But once you've just so then what I would do next you have your list, you should break it into your money keywords, those are the keywords that people are going to convert on its high intent, there's value to be had there, and then your low intent to other keywords, like still keep that list, it's still an important lesson I'll get into it, why, but it's not going to be the list that you're going to make money off of. And SEO can be a goldmine if you do it right. So let's focus on those money keywords. So you found like we'll use tuition management system, for example, tuition management system for for my client, very long, weird word that no one knows. It was a goldmine, some money, keyword, no very low difficulty, actually quite a few people searching for it, and a really high value product that they're not informing people about and that they're going to sell. So what do you do next, you have this keyword, don't run and go make a blog. So the first thing people always want to do, they're like, Oh, we've got this great keyword, we're gonna make a blog. And we're gonna put this keyword in the blog. If you have a keyword that good, you want to make it a landing page it wants to be you want it to be an evergreen page, something front and center on your website, you want your menu, your homepage to connect to it, not through Blog, your website slash blog slash tuition management system, you want it to be kind of a child page of your homepage, as the first thing to know about many keywords. And when it comes to those periphery keywords, there's what I like to call the non money keywords. Maybe you want to consider making a blog. But again, you have to think about is it worth it. So for our company, make your mark today, we're all about ROI. Like what's the return on investment of you putting your time, energy resources money into either creating a blog or ranking keywords with money keywords, you're just making one web page for each keyword. And it's going to help build out your actual website. And it's going to live there and continuously bring in traffic. But with kind of more periphery keywords. That's mainly when you want to create a blog, but consider your time like your time, resources, money. And if it actually makes sense for you. So the great example is the Swedish decor, woman, it she could take those keywords of all the different I can't even think of them. There's like chalice like there's very interesting words involved in Swedish decor. And like that people are searching for but they don't want to buy they just wanted to like, figure out how to like, I'm going to switch to quirky like me so mad at me right now. But I think cellist but how do I work a chalice into my decor, right? So she could create a blog, but she has to know, she might not get sales, even if she links to her products in that blog, there's a chance she might not get sales just based on the intent. And Google might not rank her if it's too salesy. It really really has to be about information and providing the DIY solutions to people if that's what Google is looking for, and web pages for that keyword.

Neal Schaffer:

So I actually wanted to before you went on and you're making excellent points here, basically aligning money keywords with your products and service pages, which to me is you know what I always think of that as and I'm assuming that's, you know, if you don't have a product or service page, then you should have this evergreen landing page. But if you do, then that is the page you want to rank it for. Is that a correct assumption or would you still create a separate landing page and not try to rank for the product page?

Hilary Angrove:

It depends. It is honestly SEO is a lot like law. It does it depends. So you again want to take so for example Let's take a barber like men's haircuts. So that'd be a service, right? So you could have it under, in like a bunch of new men's hair, cut women's hair, cut all of these things. But if it's hidden, Google isn't gonna rank it, you want it to be connected to your homepage. So you can't have it too far down, like what your URL looks like actually matters. So having those money keywords, it's best if it's just homepage slash, money keyword, like men's dash haircut, instead of having it homepage slash service slash men's dash haircut, that might be a bad example, actually, because Google's usually ranking those services. But there could be, Google might also be ranking doing your own men's haircut, right? So they're not going to choose you if you have service in front. So you really want to bring it as close to your it's a keyword that matters to you. It's a money keyword, you want it to be as close to your homepage as possible, because you're essentially flagging to Google, hey, this is super important. This is what we do. This is our bread and butter, it's not buried in with our other services or other products. It's core to who we are. So you should rank us for this.

Neal Schaffer:

Gotcha. And then I wanted to just as you were talking about the keyword research and using Uber Suggest, and you mentioned, use h refs, I'm a big fan of sem rush, I mean, pick your tool. But what you're also saying, though, which I think is really important is that the solution is not necessarily in the tool itself, the tool give you data, but at the end of the day, that whole idea of of who is that that audience Persona of your target customer, and then that intent of each keyword when they search for that keyword, what are they looking for? And how do you adapt to that that's this critical piece that I think a lot of people miss, they just go through the tool, without doing that thinking process that is so critical.

Hilary Angrove:

So much thinking is involved, right? And you can't just rely on seeing, Oh, what's the keyword difficulty? What's the volume? Is this word actually going to work for you and your service. And just another kind of tidbit to that is, you should also make sure that when you're looking at the keywords, part of your keyword research is going into incognito mode. And just Google searching that keyword, it can be a bit difficult when you're trying to rank internationally or in different spaces. If you're I mean, we have a bunch of digital marketers on this listening to this podcast, and they might be working for like a lot of our clients are American, but we're up in Canada. So when I put in a search, I'm going to be getting all the Canadian results, which Canadians might be looking for a completely different thing than Americans. So that's another thing to think about is doing that Google search and figuring out what is Google ranking for? Those are your who are your competitors, not what you think and for SEO, not what you think industry and standards are what your colleagues think, what does Google think those people in the top 10 position or websites listicles? Whatever they are those of your competitors for SEO. So you want to look at them, you want to get to know them, you want to look read their web page? How are they ranking for this keyword? It's gonna be really important part.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, so we talked about a lot of things. One thing we didn't talk about in detail that you sort of hinted out, so I mean, the whole keyword research process, I'm sure that our listeners learn a heck of a lot or have new insight into how they should best be doing that. The money keywords, the the not so many keywords, and the not so many keywords, maybe you don't want to invest in a blog, you had mentioned that maybe you want to put your resources in other forms of marketing for those non money keywords and not SEO. And I was hoping you might touch a little bit upon that.

Hilary Angrove:

Yeah, for sure. So one place that you would want to put your money say for example, you had the novel product. So say you're the person who invented spike ball and Spike ball hasn't been around yet. And isn't this I don't know if anyone knows you know what spike ball is? Have you seen spike ball? I haven't actually. Oh, okay, so spike ball is this is this perfect actually haven't seen it. So it's this beach game that people play or just backyard game. And it's kind of like a mixed feed like volleyball, you have a trampoline in the middle. So it makes it like a really small game, and you hit a ball onto the trampoline. Anyways, it's, I see it everywhere. Every Park in Canada, every beach in Canada, everyone's playing Spikeball. But SEO for Spikeball would have been a horrible tactic at the beginning. Because no one is googling volleyball like sport that was a trampoline. Like there's just no one searching for that or no one's searching for spike ball even. So it's been a good way for them to get on in front of people that 96% of people who are on Google to find products is to get on listicles so it does take a bit of investment but it might be smarter than you You creating your own blog, because you're new, right? Unless maybe you're a huge volleyball if I don't know who invented spike ball, but if a volleyball company invented spike ball, maybe they have a strong enough website that they can put it out to their current customers and get a following. But if they're a startup with a novel product, even if it's an amazing product, SEO isn't necessarily right for you. So you're gonna want to get into listicles. And listicles, for example, would be summer games, the Summer Games that you need, you'll find, if you do that keyword research, using like Uber suggests, or even just going on Google and searching the pages for things like the best summer games or whatever that those terms are for you reach out to those blogs and see if they'll add you to their list. I mean, there might be a fee involved. But it's going to that money is going to bring you a lot more bang for your buck than starting a blog about the best summer games because people are already reading that other blog, that you're new, who you're new here, no one's reading your blog, doesn't mean don't start a blog, because might gain traffic over time. But to get some customers quickly, you're going to be wanting to invest in something like listicles, or even social media ads, right? If you have a cool product, like something that's like catchy to the eye, I know there's these, I keep doing these. I'm not affiliated to any of these brands, and I'm just finding examples. But Montek is this ski suit brand that did an amazing job in the past few years of just putting out great social media ads, because they have beautiful ski suits that are really catchy, and have the right color tones that are in style these days. So that would be where to go for them. Because it would be hard for them to compete against people like Rosie O'Donnell and all the big guys. So that was a really smart strategy for them. Because when they looked at their keyword difficulty, probably if they were looking into SEO at all, it was off the charts, they weren't going to be able to rank for their money keywords as a new company. So they're gonna gain that traffic on their web site from social ads. And Google's gonna notice that you're getting this traffic, and then you can go on that SEO journey later on.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, really, really great advice. And I think that the listicle approach. So I do have an episode about that called influencer marketing for SEO, often with the episode number in the in the show notes. But But yeah, exactly. So it's the same concept of SEO is just saying, The this is continents getting the traffic, but we're not going to be able to compete with it. Instead of trying to compete, let's collaborate. And trust me, I have a lot of listicles myself, and I have a lot of people that reach out to me. On the other hand, you know, I have, like, just today, an author reached out to me thanking me for putting him on a best marketing books list of all that I have. And part of the reason why I put him on that list was that he had me on his podcast. And not only was I you know, excited to be on his podcast, but I got to know him better as a person, right. And I think we forget that a lot of this comes down to relationships. And if you wanted to go out for the listicles find out what are the websites that are doing them, find ways of sending social signals Be friendly in any way you can listen that episode for more info, but I agree 100% I think that's a really great, you know, idea we always talk about we need to be holistic in our digital marketing, but that's a really great example of their of, hey, go for the listicle go for social, you know, there's eyeballs and social, there's eyeballs in Google, you know, find the best approach depending on where you're at, and what your keyword research shows you

Hilary Angrove:

100% Like keyword research is the base of SEO, but like, I have turned customers away, I do. So like, I don't like to do it. But I don't want to be taking your money if I'm not going to be giving you results. So um, when when people come to me and with like Montek, Swedish decor or spiteful or anything like that, I'm going to send them to people who do social ads better than I do, and, and blogs who have listicles. But yeah, I'm nodding along with the relationship thing, by the way, because it doesn't matter that the world is going online, it doesn't matter that Google is trying to replicate our relationships and word of mouth with reviews. At the end of the day, they're trying to replicate it because relationships, word of mouth, all of that is still networking. Still the base of marketing. I know it's not a topic for this podcast, or really helps either. Either us necessarily, but

Neal Schaffer:

no, no, it's a central concept to everything I do, I think in the books I've written and everything. And you know, I just wanted to two more questions before we leave. And these are gonna get a little bit more advanced. But I'm curious, have you had clients that have been so successful with not the money keywords, the non money keywords decided to invest in have done so well, that they realized that maybe they need to develop a new product or service to meet this demand that they've gotten that hasn't converted on what they thought they'd convert on? Does that make sense?

Hilary Angrove:

Yeah, they haven't. I have. So I have a new client. I don't want to give Well, I have a new client that is in kind of, I don't know how I ended up getting to this space so much but still like the child child. would care school software and management online management? So they were they've been writing a blog for 10 years with things like just hilarious things like how to, like how to organize your daycare, or here are some songs, like literally what is their what they rank first for something like best songs to sing to kids at lunch or in a daycare like, and 1000s of people are searching this, like the most random stuff, they just started this blog, because they're, they didn't know much about SEO, and they're, and they're becoming because their domain rating is so high cuz they started it like 10 years ago, when people weren't doing SEO, they have become this force in like the daycare administrator. They're like this resource for daycare administrators outside of what they do. We haven't, it's really helping with their SEO for their money keywords, because Google trust them because it raises the boat, right? It raises about well, they have people stay on their website to download all the daycare songs. So Google is like, Oh, wow, like everyone's downloading stuff on your website, you must be trustworthy. So then when they're trying to say, Hey, your daycare management solution, they're the first one because Google trusts them. So there is so much to be said about your blog, right. And just blogs, why I'm not touching on them as much we could do a whole episode on blogs, is they are a lot of work. They're they're high intensity work, unless you're like super passionate about it and love writing your blog. But not all products and services are I mean, they're passionate about but they don't have enough to say I guess. So that's a really interesting example. And who knows the this, this company could put out like, you know, a soundtrack or a book, who knows?

Neal Schaffer:

Who, what I always think of, and it's a personal journey for me as well, because I find success in getting lots of traffic from certain keywords that don't have a direct relation. But hey, what can I offer? I think it's a luxury to be in right, it means you've done well. But the last thing I wanted to ask you, maybe not as appropriate for every industry, but I find, for instance, in my industry of social media marketing, even an SEO keywords change. And I'm curious and you know, like influencer, marketing Tiktok influencer marketing is something when I wrote my book back in 2019, was not a high volume keyword as it is today. Right? So I'm finding that I need to go back in and look at my keywords, you know, with the emergence of new technologies, like you know, web three, and Bitcoin and blockchain, AI, you know, societal trends, black lives matter, all these different things, right, that we didn't talk about before. And the world changes. So I'm curious how often you go back in and refresh and sort of revise that keyword, do you have a process for that, or any advice you might be able to give the listener?

Hilary Angrove:

Yeah, I love this. So this is something that we provide as a service. With people who have blogs, mostly like with your evergreen pages, you're gonna want to be updating them all the time. But if you've had a blog, like that client has had a blog for 10 years, some of the stuff they have is really outdated, whether it's culturally outdated or keyword outdated. So it's an but having fresh blog content, and updating your content is looks to Google, like you're a trustworthy business, again, because you're not giving old outdated information. It's best practice to set up a schedule within your team. Or if you haven't, hire someone out to do this, for them to go through your blog, and make like start at the end and read through and say, okay, is this outdated, whether it's outdated, because you don't offer the service anymore, maybe you've provided new features, and you're talking about your own product in the wrong way? Or maybe yeah, it's societally, like culturally outdated, or there's keywords that you could have put in there, you've got all that great content, but you're missing that you now understand keyword research. So you're missing the key words that you could actually rank for with this super useful content. So just going through your blog, we have the practice right now of changing the blog, because then you get that new update date. But it's not if you are changing it enough, or you really want to keep that I guess old content as maybe historical, then you can just create a new blog post with your evergreen pages, I suggest updating, don't go create a new evergreen page, you're already ranking for that page. It's better to update it. But don't make sure you don't tweak it too much. You're going to lose those rankings if you're already. It's already ranking. But there are certain factors like Don't, don't take out the number of keywords you have, make sure your titles stay the same. If you're ranking high enough, but But it's no problem. Changing like the information that's around it. If you think it's gonna be more useful and better for your clients or prospects.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, Heather, I'm really glad we talked about this because it's something I've thought a lot about. For those that look at my blog every Wednesday. So one I published four blog posts a week so 25% of those blog posts are republish those are revised. I have, I won't say a calendar, but I do. Pretty much, you know, every right now it's like, I'm looking at content. It's like two years old. And it'll look at every blog post, because some are more strategic than others. But definitely the strategic ones that that offer a lot of volume. I definitely don't want to wait longer than two years in my industry to to revise them. And I look back early on in my career, I wrote my first book on LinkedIn back in 2009, called windmill networking, understanding the leveraging and maximizing LinkedIn. And that's not competitive. I'm gonna give him a shout out Wayne, bright Barth, Wayne bright, Barth wrote Power Formula for LinkedIn Success, fabulous book, and it ended up definitely out selling my book over time. And I'll never forget, as I wrote a different book on LinkedIn called maximizing LinkedIn for sales and social media marketing in 2011. He was already on his second edition. And he talked about how his book was all revised. And I didn't really think a lot about it at the time. But I think that when you go to a website, and you find content that's out of date, or that's just irrelevant today, that traffic is actually a negative signal that people are going to get off your website, it's going to send negative signals to Google. And at the end of the day, you're going to stop ranking. So before that happens, you want to make sure that you're in there revising. And the other thing about republishing, as you mentioned early on, and I agree 100%, this is an asset. So if it's an asset, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. If you already have what I would call the library of content and you cover those main keywords. You don't need to publish new content all the time, you can go in and republish right, and keep those keywords and keep those ranking. So thank you for those responses. And for reminding me to bring it I've never brought that up in a podcast episode. But I just wanted to data's how important things like an author, you know, some books have like five editions 10, editions dusta, you need to think about your content if you really want to serve your audience over the long term. So especially

Hilary Angrove:

if it's informational. Think about textbooks. Do you remember like textbooks in school you had to buy like the new edition? You're like, why can't they use the old one?

Neal Schaffer:

My daughter? Yeah, she took AP art history. And I took AP art history back in the day. And it's like Gardner's art throughout the ages. It's like Holy smokes. This is like the 35th edition, you know, but yeah, that's that's the classic. That's the Evergreen right? Right there.

Hilary Angrove:

Yeah, I actually have one thing that I want to say that I didn't say what your question about, if you have a web page that is ranking, and it's for something periphery, it's not a money keyword, but you're just getting tons of traffic on it. Look to affiliates. So if you just want to make some passive income, and you have a web page that is ranking, why not use it reach out to people who so I'm gonna go back to that example of like the daycare songs, reach out to like a children's song producer company or a record label and see if you get an affiliate link, or Amazon just does affiliate links easily. But so you can get an affiliate link, and they'll they'll pay you every time someone clicks that link over over to their web page. So that's a really great way to just like you've built an asset. So how are you going to make some passive income off that asset? affiliate links is a really good choice.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, great advice. I have a client also in the What's with the childcare today, I don't know. But as the teacher training, and with COVID, the clinic cannot do in person trainings, they weren't ready to do sort of zoom trainings. So basically, they were pushing affiliates, because they were still getting the traffic, they didn't have the product to offer affiliates, the next best thing at least they can monetize that. So really great advice. You know, Hillary, you're probably thinking, How the heck are we going to talk 30 minutes just about keyword research. But I know with your passion, and with my passion, we can make it happen. So this will become the definitive episode, I hope that everyone listening now has everything cleared up. But I know Hillary that you also have an additional resource for my audience that you want to introduce. So how can people you know, what do you have my audience? And and how can people find out more about you and your company?

Hilary Angrove:

Yeah, so we've created a Google ranking mini guide for anyone that comes to our website. And the special thing about this mini guide is that we make it totally custom and personal to you. So go to make your mark today.ca/guide. And it'll be in the show notes. You can go there, put your webs your own website name, and we'll have our team actually kind of look at your website and see for factors that are low hanging fruit that you can act like action on to increase your SEO. So whether that's what money, money keywords are available to you that you're not trying to rank for? Or what's your health score, and what are a few tips for you to improve your health score. Maybe you have a great page. That's some great on page SEO, but you have no backlinks, we're going to tell you those I think we're giving everyone for free tips. And you can also go to our website, make your mark today.ca And just find out more about our company.

Neal Schaffer:

Is there a place where people can connect with you Hillary if they have specific SEO questions?

Hilary Angrove:

Yes, you can connect connect with me on LinkedIn. So Hillary and Grove I am the only Hillary and growth I'm pretty sure so you will find me and I'm really proud of that. And yeah, you can connect with me on there and ask me some questions. And also you can contact us through Make Your Mark today, our website.

Neal Schaffer:

Awesome. Well, we'll put all that in the show notes. Hilary, thank you so much for coming on today and sharing all this wisdom with us.

Hilary Angrove:

Thank you. It's nice to meet someone else who's as passionate about keywords as I am.

Neal Schaffer:

All right. So I hope you enjoyed that interview. And I hope you hit Hillary up for her offer to give you some advice. You know, one of my salespeople, well, actually my best salesperson when I worked in China, he always said to me, Neil, it's not about how smart you are as a leader. It's about how you hire smarter people than yourself all around you that are smarter and the things that you don't know. And I've always taken that to heart. And I always thought, you know, if I want to work with someone or a company in a certain area, I want to make sure I'm working with the expert. And I think from that conversation, you had a good idea about Hillary's expertise. And you know what, if you want to work with me as your expert, I just wanted to throw it out that I do have fractional cmo consulting services, their marketing consulting services, but not based on a project but based on ours as if I am a employee at your company. You can get more information at Neal schaffer.com/cmo. I know it's not for everybody. It does require a contractual term. It's not like a one off 30 minute call. It's actually a minimum of four hours a month for three months. But if I can be of service to you and your company, I would be honored. And you can tap into all of my various experience across digital content influencer and social media marketing. Well, that's a wrap for another episode of The your digital marketing coach podcast. This is your digital marketing coach Neal Schaffer, signing off and reminding you to keep your eyes on the goal. You've been listening to your digital marketing coach, questions, comments, requests, links, go to podcast dot Neal schaffer.com. Get the show notes to this and 200 plus podcast episodes, and Neal schaffer.com to tap into the 400 Plus blog post that Neil has published to support your business. While you're there, check out Neil's Digital First group coaching membership community if you or your business needs a little helping hand. See you next time on your digital marketing coach.