Juicy SEO Secrets for Blog Posts, Podcasts, Pinterest and YouTube
Do you wish you could snap your fingers and instantly understand and know how to SEO? I don’t know about you, but when I hear the term “SEO” I cringe. Alllllll the experts say, “You have to have really great SEO to rank on Google and get seen!”
Can someone please tell me what SEO really is and tell me how to pick the right keywords… and what on earth are meta tags?! Am I right? Ladies, we’re in luck because Emily Fontes is my guests today and she’s an SEO wizard! Her passion is helping female entrepreneurs learn how to rank in search results so they can grow their business. Emily breaks it down so easy let’s buckle up and dive right in!
Emily, we are so excited to have you here! Before we jump into SEO and all the juicy details, tell us about your business in your mission!
I’m excited to be here, Allison! My business is Tiny Giant Marketing and my mission is to help female entrepreneurs get found on Google so that they can skyrocket their leads. I love teaching non-techie people about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because I think that most places try and make SEO way more complicated than it actually is. Anyone can do SEO, they just need to have good, easy to understand advice.
I love that Emily! So here’s my thing… in business, there are two words that make me cringe: the first word is “networking” (that’s a whole other story!) the second word is SEO! I am so glad that you’re here today because we know that we really need good at SEO for whatever platforms we are on whether it be a podcast, website, YouTube, Etsy, Pinterest, etc. Emily break it down for us…
What exactly is SEO?
I love it you said that networking is kinda like a dirty word because I’m a total introvert which is why I think I got so good at SEO! I really like driving 60% of my leads directly from search results without having to do anything. How awesome is that?! Search Engine Optimization is essentially creating really good content that answers people’s questions. If you can answer someone’s questions and make sure that Google can pick it up and read it, that’s all you have to do! All the “techy” stuff that people think is the core of SCO is actually the easy part. The part that’s most important is fundamentally understanding your ideal client’s needs and problems and being able to articulate those in a way that actually will solve problems and answer questions.
That’s great info, Emily! So basically, we as entrepreneurs and the content creators we need to forecast our ideal audiences’ questions correct?
Yes! And really, we don’t want to just focus on the questions they ask when they already know what we do. For example, if you were a fitness coach and someone is asking, “How do you choose a fitness coach?” … that person already knows who you are and what you do. You need to be answering the questions people ask before they know what you do. So back to that example, someone might be asking, “What’s better: macro counting, or should I do calorie counting?”. That’s a question someone might ask when they could hire a fitness coach.
How do we pick the keywords to get into the minds of our audience?
I feel that the best way to find your keywords is to sit down and write out the problems that you solve, what people might search as well as your solution is. If you are selling something specific, what are the other competing offers in the marketplace? What questions do people ask about those? You can capture all different types of search results regarding things that aren’t even directly related to you specifically if you can just forecast what people are interested in, learning about, or they have questions about.
So when you say “search”, should we be going on Google an actually using the search bar and putting in keywords or phrases and see what content comes up?
Exactly! What’s really nice is that Google has made keyword research way easier than it has ever been. If you go search for something on Google, you’ll notice two things always appear on the search page. The first is down at the very bottom of the search page it will give you a section of related search terms. Second, towards the top, they usually will also provide the “people also ask” dropdown box. If you keep clicking on those, it keeps giving you more and more and more which also gives you really great insight into not only what people search, but also how people phrase things.
That’s really cool! So when we are in Google and we are looking at the search terms and the related search terms, we want to take those words or phrases and (just using a website for an example) would we incorporate those words and phrases into a blog post? Is that how we get ranked on Google?
Yes! You could create content surrounding a particular phrase, that’s one way to do it. For example, you could create a blog post, or you could also create a video on YouTube or a podcast episode… anything where you’re able to tease out more information about that particular search phrase will help you appear in search. It doesn’t just have to be your website. Another thing people should know is that Google is not the only search engine! YouTube is a search engine and so is Pinterest and Etsy. You have to be thinking a little bit outside the box and be willing to be found on many different platforms because that’s going to expand your reach exponentially!
Cool! Let’s jump to Pinterest then for an example. We’re all familiar with Pinterest. We get on Pinterest to look for “fall fashion” or to find the recipe of the day. To use your example of a fitness coach, they want to use Pinterest for keywords or phrases how would they go about doing that?
So, you could either be posting things from your website on Pinterest or you could just be curating information on Pinterest. Those strategies both work but the key is getting the keywords into the pin descriptions and the pin titles. You’re given 500 words in the pin description and 100 words in the title! I usually see people not use all that space which is a mistake. Every single word you put on there counts. That’s what Pinterest is aggregating when someone types a phrase. It’s looking to the text in the title and the description in order to choose what to present in search results. There’s a lot of focus on making sure that your pin images look great, which is also important, but if you don’t have any text then it’s going to be harder to get ranked and found.
You should not shy away from adding a lengthy title to your pins. You should use every letter space possible so keep writing until you run out of space!
Awesome! That is great advice! Ok, I’m going to shift gears a little bit because we touched on SEO and we touched on keywords but I’m going to bring up another term that I see a lot when I’m writing a blog post for my website. It’s probably something that I’m doing wrong so maybe you can help me with this… the word is… meta tag.
What on earth are meta tags?
Meta tags are a type of code… and I know the second I say “code” people freak out. However, you already know what it is! Every time you go to Google and you search, what is presented is a series of meta tags. You are presented the blue link which is the title followed by the paragraph underneath it which is the description and those are pulled directly from the meta tags on your website! The fact that its code is really no biggie. It doesn’t matter because you don’t actually have to write the code! All the website builders out there: WordPress, Weebly, Wicks, Square Space, all of them allow you to code your meta tags without actually having to write the code. The most important thing is to get over the freak out about it being a code and just focus on writing the words! The key really with meta tags is you have the title and the description which are two separate things with two separate strategies. The title is the place where you put the most important keywords for that page. If it’s a page about being a fitness coach, “Macro Counting” are those primary keywords in the title probably followed by: “How to count macros” because those are the two most searchable terms. Then in the description, you have a little bit more room here (it’s about two sentences). The thing that you want to write in there is to convince the person to click on the search result. If you pay attention to your searching behavior usually, you’ll scan through the search results and you’ll look for the one that sounds the most interesting, most relevant, most convincing. It’s important that in the description part of the meta tag, you want to do something that’s a little bit more “grabby” and that’s more like a headline that would get the person to click on your search result. That’s really the difference there. The thing that you need to be careful to remember is that there are limits on the amount of words you can put in your meta tags. If you use something like the website serpsim.com, it’ll show you exactly what your meta tags will appear like in search in it’ll tell you when you hit the word limit. That is one of the tools I use all the time with both myself and my clients just to make sure that my meta tags are going to look good in search results.
That was awesome information! Going back to the meta tag description and the key points that you used were about being convincing and the meta tag should almost be like you “headline”. Is that the space you solve our ideal audience’s problem? Almost like giving them a “promise” using keywords. Is that a good strategy for using those meta tags?
For the description, if we go back to the macro counting example, you could put something in there like, “Not sure what strategy is the right way to lose weight? Learn how to count macros in order to drop 10lbs in the next two months!” That gives a tangible result that would be tied to that particular page that would make someone want to click and read more.
That’s really cool! Could we take whatever meta tag we have for that blog post and we want to turn it into a pin for Pinterest? Could we use that meta tag description and make that our pin title on Pinterest?
Yes! You could use it for the pin title of the description. I would probably use you meta tag title as your pin title and your meta tag description and use it as your pin description. As a bonus, since on Pinterest you get so much more space in the description area, I would probably follow that up with a series of related keywords separated by commas because you have so much extra space. That way you can account for the different ways that people search. People use very different words for the same thing! If you just think about something as simple as “weight loss” and all the different ways you can phrase that: How to lose weight. How to lose 10lbs. How to reduce your body fat by 10%. All of those are really the same thing, they are just phrased differently. If you have something like an eCommerce business, think of how many different ways you can say the word “green?”. If you are selling a green sweater, someone could search for emerald green, forest green, mint green, chartreuse… I mean those are all keywords and unless you actually have them on a page on in a pin description, it won’t get listed for those terms. That’s why you really gotta go deep and understand the different variations that someone could type in for those search results.
What is the best piece of advice you could share for those that are just feeling stuck on SEO?
The most important foundational strategy is choosing the right keywords. Most people I talked to even SEO experts do not get enough depth in their keywords. they will have a set of 10 keywords that they are focusing on and that’s not nearly enough. People search so differently now than they used to. We search in a much more detailed way than we ever have before. When we go to Google, we’re looking to solve a specific problem or find a very specific solution. We have to have keywords that reflect that. For a long time, we thought a keyword is just one word or two words. That’s just not the case. A keyword could be 5 words or 10 words or 12 words and our keyword strategy needs to include all of these very long detailed phrases in order for it to be effective.
Emily, that was really good! You know, something else that just came into my head is that we need to pay attention to our social media accounts when we have customers or clients or are our ideal audience asking us questions in the comments. Those questions could be the keywords or keyphrases we need. Would you agree?
Absolutely! Really, you should be using the exact type of language that your potential clients use because that’s the way that they type things into Google. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our expertise that we forget what it’s like to not know how to describe a problem in layman’s terms. When we know our technical jargon or the way we talk about what we do so well, we have to rein ourselves in back to the way it was before we knew everything that we know now. We have to talk the way our ideal clients talk because they say things differently than us! We must reflect that in the content we create otherwise, we won’t harness those searches.
So true! Emily, I can’t thank you enough for simplifying SEO for us, telling us how to pick our keywords, and then really breaking down meta tags! How can we connect with you on social media?
You can find me on Instagram at Tiny Giant Marketing and I also have a podcast that is about SEO, among other things, which is called, “She Can SEO”. With either of those places, I would love to hear from you. Come and tell me what it is that you want to know more about I’m always interested in creating content that consumers actually want!