WordPress SEO and Spying On Your Competition

February 10, 2016

 Using WordPress SEO Tricks to spy on your competition WILL help you get the edge on your competition, but read on to see ALL the tips to help you rank on Page 1.

Hey guys!!  I have a SPECIAL treat for you guys this week!!  BEEF JERKEY AND FUDGE!!!!!!!

Kidding…but not really.  I’m featuring one of my FAVORITE small businesses on the blog today!  If you happen to find yourself in Laurel, Mississippi anytime soon…be sure to stop in and visit The Knight Butcher owned by Chad and Terri Knight!  (They are the ones holding your Jerkey and Fudge hostage…btw.)

Their brick and mortar shop is doing FANTABULOUS…and I can’t TELL you how much I love the branding!  It’s kinda naughty…but nice?  😀  They call their jerkey Knight Jerky which I think is HILARIOUS.

SEO Tricks to Spy and Analyze Competition

Anyhoo!  I digress!  Terri shot me a text this week asking a couple of questions about optimizing their WIX.com website for a certain phrase!  Of course I went a little bit overboard and ended up writing…well…a SHIT ton of answers.  Like, TWO blog posts worth of info.  I fell SO in love with her questions (and I’m not gonna lie…my answers) that I thought I should put the whole email here for all you guys to see!

I expect a TON of questions from you guys…so don’t hold back!  Let ‘er rip in the comments section below!!


 

Terri’s original request was to learn how to optimize her site for the keyword “Mississippi, Butcher”.

 

“Hey Girl! 

This one might be a bit long, but I have some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tips specifically for Wix and also some general basics for you!  I’ll go over the basics first.  SEO takes about 15-30 days to really START kicking in, so you’ll start climbing in page rank within the next 15-30 days if you keep working at it.  

The whole premise of good SEO is that a website has to prove to Google that they are maintained and valuable for the keywords they are ranking for.  A website that isn’t updated will be considered abandoned and will rank on page 10 or worse, which is like no man’s land. 
A Bit On Keywords:
Google does NOT use keywords anymore.  They use what they call “search phrases” or “long tailed keywords”. (They are the same thing.)  When you google something, the average person PROBABLY won’t google “Mississippi Butcher”.  There isn’t really a large need for that keyword combination.  Instead, you want to rank for the PHRASE that your customer will be using.  You have to THINK like your customer. I recommend “Butcher near _______ Mississippi”.  Since Laurel is a small town, if you want to rank farther out, put the biggest city within a 20 minute driving distance from you where the blank is. That phrase has both the words you originally wanted to rank for…and even better, it’s probably the exact phrase your customer’s are looking for!  
One more thing!  If you haven’t already, sign up for Google Analytics.  It is a necessity for any website owner. It will help you keep track of what is working and where your traffic is coming from. 
Ok…here is a general list of what Google looks for in a healthy website. 
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1) Inbound links.  This is when another website links to your website! These links prove to google that OTHER websites think you are producing up to date and valuable information.  If these people are linking to you…you are MOST LIKELY a trustworthy source! I recommend working to get featured on local blogs that have high traffic (local food blogs or blogs dedicated to small business). In addition, you can try to get featured in larger publications!  Small Businesses are TOTALLY the “in” thing!  Which larger publications are featuring small businesses Mississipians can buy local?  
A great way to produce inbound links is to comment on a LOT of highly trafficked and valuable blog posts on other websites.  Usually you can leave your name and URL, and a great comment!  If you leave excellent comments, you’ll get more traffic to your website!  Another great way to get inbound links is to make sure you are listed EVERYWHERE you can think of!!  Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.  I also recommend (HIGHLY recommend) signing up for Google Maps. There has been a noticeable trend in the small business that are on page one.  They are ALL on Google Maps. 
2) Outbound Links – Outbound links are JUST as important as inbound links!  A healthy (and according to Google, informative) webpage has 7-14 links in the body of the text.  Find a way to link to social medias…specific blog posts….events…etc! 
3) Constantly updated text. Google doesn’t actually SEE images.  Their bots don’t even know images exist.  That’s why every image has to have text associated with it. I recommend assessing your images and changing the image name (imagename.jpg) as well as the “alt text” associated with each of them.  I’m not sure how WIX allows you to edit images, but if there is an “alt text” area, that is where you’ll want to put a variation of the search term we talked about earlier. A great way to keep a static webpage (this is a website that is not constantly updated…unlike a blog) updated is to include a section with “shop updates” and a Twitter or Instagram feed!  Just make sure if you attach your instagram feed, you are updating the descriptions of the images!  Google will pick that up. 

 

4) Duplicate Content! – Google HATES redundancies!  That means, don’t name every image the same thing. Name your best image using the primary search phrase you’ve decided on.  All of the other images should be keyworded for other great search phrases that you’ve come up with. Think something like “Best Butcher in ______” (use Laurel or a nearby bigger city), or “where to get beef in ______”. 

 

This duplicate content issue goes hand in hand with any features you receive from other blogs or magazines!!  If there is a blog post that writes an article about you, be sure to link to it from your website, but don’t re-post the entire body of text on your own blog!  Google will see this as duplicate content on the web, and both your URL AND the original site’s URL will be knocked back a few pages. 

 

5) The URL – This is an easy one.  Take a look at your individual page URL’s.  Sometimes they will say something along the lines of  www.theknightbutcher.com/page5/135490980.  On most websites, you can change that string of numbers to a personalized phrase!  If that is something Wix lets you do, change those “slugs” (that’s what they are called) to a smaller, but still rankable phrase like “laurelbutcher”. You can’t use spaces…but you CAN use dashes ;    “-“. 

 

6) Keyword Locations – Ok…this one is big!!  Google actually determines which phrases you should be ranking for based on WHERE they are located on your page AND how many times they are located on your page.  You should figure out how to put your keyword phrase in the first sentence of text of your website.  For instance in the first paragraph, your first sentence could be “Welcome to the best butcher shop in Laurel, MS!  The Knight Butcher…bla bla bla.”  When someone types that into Google, the bots say “Oh! That was at the top of that one page on that one website that has other blogs telling us they are awesome!”

(The BEST keyword locations in order of awesome are: Page Title, Page URL slug, in an H2 Tag (It’s a bolded black and white subtitle WordPress allows you to insert), the beginning of the first sentence of paragraph text, if your page has an area to describe your page, as well as peppered 4-5 times throughout the rest of the page.)

 

You also need to try to repeat this keyword or variations of it throughout your text as much as possible.  Obviously, you don’t want to be spammy…but even something as simple as “Do you think we are the best butcher in Laurel?  Tell us on FB!” would work beautifully!  Sometimes you have to get creative.  😀  

 

7) Google + and other Googly things – This one drives me NUTS.  Since Google owns the whole world…most SEO experts recommend that you sign up for Google +.  It MOST DEFINITELY is not a must….but it helps!!  I have an account, but don’t really use it.  Maybe one day.  lol. You should also sign up for Google My Business.  

 

8) Page Titles – This is the area of text at the top of your page written on the browser tab. 

 


SEO Tricks to Spy on Your Competition

 

It looks like yours currently says “The Knight Butcher”.  This is a GREAT place to put your keyword phrase in!! (Remember…no redundant titles!!  Put your keyword phrase on your MAIN page…but variations of it on the remaining pages!) You SHOULD be able to do this within the WIX structure. 

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Woo-hoo!!  I think that covers the basics of SEO!  There are a TON of way MORE in depth SEO practices…but these will get you off on the right foot! 
_________________________________________________________
I took a look at your website and have a few pointers!  I haven’t used WIX in years…like 6 years. It’s been a while. When they first came out, they didn’t have much SEO ability…but I’m guessing that’s changed!!  There is no way they would have been able to stay in business.  🙂 
Your Website Assessment (Out of Lurve, of course!!!) 
 
Main Page – There is no text on this page, which means google actually doesn’t see much. It looks like WIX allowed you to fill out the basics for behind the scenes stuff, so you have some basic keywords in there.  I would replace those keywords with the phrases we talked about.  THEN, find a way to include text on your main page with those keywords in it.  The screen shot below highlights the keywords you currently are asking google to be ranked for. Because they are so vague, you will probably never be ranked for any of them.  Use those phrases!!  Use phrases that www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com has no interest in ranking for!  🙂  
     Images – Don’t forget to add text to these if you can!  Google will read that as text on your website! 

     Add a plugin to keep your webpage constantly updated (twitter, new on the blog, Instagram, etc)…OR put it in your calendar to update something on the main page with new information. On a weekly basis. 

 This is one of those SEO SPYING TIPS I Was Telling You About!!! 

This image is EXACTLY what Google Bots read…FYI.  That’s why getting your keyword at the top of the page is SUPER important. If you want to see what the bots read for all of your pages, I recommend using Chrome. 

 

Open the website.
Go to View at the top of the bar.
Hover over “Developer” and click “Source”.  

 

That will give you the HTML text you see below! This can be a GREAT way to spy on your competition, btw.  😀  

 

(Google your chosen key phrase.  If page one of your search consists of all HUGE names in your industry…this may not be a great phrase!  You need a phrase with page 1 being blogs and other very active but smaller business type sites. Once you get that search mastered, click on the first website and follow the instructions above.  You are looking for words towards the top of the code that look like they might be strong key phrases! This method also lets you see what plugins your competition is using as well as what platform they are writing on!  If they are using an SEO plugin, you can see the description they’ve put together for their main site (probably very keyphrase heavy). All of this is valuable information that tells you how they are ranking!! 

“Our Story” – Yay!! Text!!  😀  This one will be easy!  Did you know that a websites “about page” is the second most trafficked page on the majority of websites? Make sure it’s the absolute best it can be!!!!   Make sure the image has text.  Change the “slug” of the URL to something like “About-Laurel-Butcher” or something along those lines. Make sure that the phrase you want to get found for is in the FIRST sentence of that paragraph!!  I also recommend changing the “Our Story” header to something a little more descriptive.  
This page would be a GREAT place to add some outbound links as well!! Link to any blog posts (directly to them!  Not just to the blog url!).  This would be a great place to link to any features you guys have received, any awards you will be receiving, and any direct social media! 

 

“Products” – Pretty much the same thing!  It looks like these images are named “ribeye.jpg”, etc.  Use your phrases on these images!  Anyone googling for a local butcher will LOVE seeing the meat they are about to buy.  The images will show up at the top of the google search page…so you want to make sure you are ranking for images!  Make sure to put your keyword phrase in the first sentence and change the title of the page and the slug if you can! 

 

The descriptions of these meats are a little bit tricky! Google recognizes dashes, “-“, but only as a connector word.  I recommend using a comma instead to separate your words.  The bots are going to see some of these phrases as a collection of words that might not go together. For instance “Bone-In” “Boneless Ribeye-Tinderloin Ribeye” “New York Strip-“.  If you use spaces or “enter” to make a list form, Google will recognize the appropriate words. Another reason I recommend using a list form, is keywords in paragraph form tend to make Google a little nervous.  There are a lot of people trying to play the Google game, and if they think you are cheating by repeating phrases in a wonky format (Ribeye for example), they will knock you down a few pages and put you in time out. 

 

SEO Tricks for Small Businesses

 

Don’t forget outbound links!  Link to blog posts that might have something to do with these products!  🙂 

 

“The Blog” These look great!  Be sure to link out to as many places within the blog posts as you can.  Each post should be focused on ranking for a keyword phrase!! When you comment on other people’s blogs (in related industries) be sure to link directly to a blog post!  That looks GREAT in google’s eyes! Try to comment specifically on other blog posts within the WordPress framework.  🙂  Make sure each post has a detailed slug for the keyword you want to get ranked for. 

 

The reason blogs rank so well is due to the amount of text on them.  Google sees that they are updated often, with ranking keywords, traffic that interacts with the page (shares and comments), etc. Pretty much everything I talked about above! 

 

“Contact Us” Same thing here! Add a bit text thanking your customers for stopping by and giving them a timeframe for your response.  It’s also a GREAT place to link to a FAQ section on the Website!  That way, they get their question answered, there is another outbound link on the page,  AND it’s more of a reason for them to stick around. 

 

 ________________________________________________________
 

 

One more thing to keep in mind: The location of the searcher.  When you finally start ranking for your chosen keywords, you should know that unless you are using a computer you have NEVER used before (like at the library)…you will never have a good idea of what page you are ranking for.  Google’s algorithms take into account your previous search history as well as the location of the actual ISP (Internet Service Provider). SO, you will always be on the front page on your own computer…because Google knows you’ve looked for that website before.  The only true way of knowing how you are doing is through seeing an increase in traffic, Google Analytics, and checking your Alexa rank at Alexa.com. 

 

TIP: I recommend, when you have the time, starting a blog NOT on the Wix platform.  It will count as another link towards your primary website (and vice versa) and will be AMAZING for SEO.  WordPress is better than ANY platform out there. There is a learning curve, but there are a ton of classes on Skillshare and a ton of FB groups!  And of course there is me. 🙂  I’ll help anytime! 

 

2016 Mini business planner
ALL DONZOES!!!!!  Let me know if you have any questions for me!!  I know it’s a ton to take in!!!  (I hope your back feels better…but at least this will give you something to do!!  LMAO. ) 

 


Final note:  Wix.com has stereotypically been beautiful…but not GREAT with SEO.  I haven’t used the service in years, so I can’t say whether they have improved their system over the past few years.  I HIGHLY recommend checking out reviews on the site and comparing them to other site builders like Squarespace.com.  And, of course, anyone who knows me knows my heart has always been with WordPress.  A website with WordPress…is a strong website with amazing SEO optimization potential.

Whew!!!  I know it was a lot to take in, but I hope it helps you out on the road to ranking higher in Google!  I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to get your questions…so put them in the comment area below and I’ll tackle them as I can!

heartsdrawing SEO Tricks For Entrepreneurs

Thank you guys so much for hanging in this long! You’re real troopers! Be sure to save, fave and share with the pink links below!

Terra Dawn

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18 Comments

  • Terri

    February 10, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Love it! This helped so much and with tiny changes we are already seeing more traffic! Thanks Terra!

    1. workfromgnome

      February 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      I’m SO stoked!!!!!! 😀 I’ll check in with you in a few weeks to see how everything is going! I want to hear that lots of traffic is coming your way, girl!!! (Your jerkey is too damn good!! lmao.)

  • Nicole Nemeth

    February 11, 2016 at 9:41 am

    I didn’t know about #4! I’ll have to start naming my pictures different things from now on!

    1. workfromgnome

      February 11, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      Woo-hoo!! It’s the little things Nicole!! Be sure to be using your keywords in both the image name AND the alternative tags!! Take that opportunity to use variations and get more eyes on your posts! 😀

  • Brent

    February 13, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Like above, I had no clue about #4 either. There is so much to learn, and you covered some great details here. Thank you!

    1. workfromgnome

      February 14, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Oh good, Brent!!! I’m so glad I could help!! Let me know if you have any questions for me and I would be SUPER THRILLED to help you out!

  • Sarah

    February 16, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Wow, I didn’t know any of these! I can’t wait to make some easy changes, hopefully my traffic will go up! Thanks for posting!

    1. GirlyMcNerdy

      February 19, 2016 at 12:42 am

      Let me know how everything works out and if you have any questions!! Thanks Sarah!! 🙂

  • Tally

    February 19, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Another value packed post! Thanks for being you!

  • Rhonda Swan

    March 2, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Love the post and all of your valuable tips. Keep up the good work here and live unstoppable!

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  • Amber Pittman

    August 29, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Currently in Pre-launch mode of my own blog. So stinking glad I came across this! Definitely have to update photos with all that text! LOL! And there are several things I didn’t consider even though I’m not trying to sell anything.

    Just making sure I understand this part: ” Images – Don’t forget to add text to these if you can! Google will read that as text on your website! ” So… when I have off-centered/”rule of thirds” photos, I can add text through photoshop or Canva and the GoogleBots and whatever else will be able to read it? Even without being in the description or alt text when I upload to WordPress? That just seems… odd.

    Obviously, I’m asking because I am a straight up N00b to blogging. I’m getting the basics down right now before I start self-hosting. Needless to say, there’s not much content to be had publicly available. The goal of my daily learning endeavors will lead to a launched blog by early October (even if not self-hosted by that point).

    1. uncorkyourdork

      August 30, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Ooooo….GREAT question!!!! That’s actually TWO part and totally hits on something I didn’t cover!!

      Ok…for SEO, Google will ONLY recognize text attached to the image, like alt tags, the name of the photo, description…etc. It won’t recognize text ON the image.

      BUUUUUUT….Pinterest is currently in the works of changing their SEO algorithm! Since their system is pretty much a visual system, it’s been rumored that they are going to start giving precedence to “pretty” pins and will also be able to differentiate between the text portion of the image and the image portion.

      SO, having text ON your image is a great idea! (When I say “pretty” pins, I mean pins with clear text, high quality images and bright colors).

      This is a just a rumor right now…but it’s definitely something to keep in mind!!

      1. Amber Pittman

        August 30, 2016 at 9:48 am

        Oh, fantastic! That helps me a lot! Tons of people tell me I overthink things, so I wasn’t sure how silly of a question it was going to be.

        And what an exciting rumor!

        Thanks for your help!

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