WordPress SEO and Spying On Your Competition
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.
About four years ago, I was trying to make the transition from a photography business to a purely online business helping online entrepreneurs launch and grow.
Only problem? My OWN business wasn’t growing!! I had successfully been one of the biggest photography names in the DC area…but now I was on page 159 of Google.
(Yep…part hardy time with big names like “Suzie’s Socks Incorporated” and “Torque for You”. Head/desk.)
Ahem. Anyhoo!! Point is…I wasn’t being seen. My message was strong…but I was doing the equivalent of Karaoke in my car. I looked fabulous, but people were passing on by.
One evening, after drinks with Markie and his fam, we got to talking about the business. He asked me how things were going.
He KNEW about my dreams. He KNEW about my plans. He wanted to know how all of it was panning out.
“Markie…something isn’t working. Nothing is growing. I know my message is spot on, but nothing seems to be working.”
“Just keep pushing girl…you’ll get there.”
FOR THE RECORD, Markie’s advice is almost always spot on…but here is a good time to mention, NO ONE is right all of the time!! Those big names you adore in your niche? Yeah…I GUARANTEE you they’ve given you advice that just wasn’t right for you. (Hell…I’m SURE my own advice isn’t perfect for everyone!)
The advice “Just keep pushing girl…you’ll get there.” Seems like great, fatherly advice. It’s a very “you can do it” mentality.
I LOVE that mentality. I’m a rhino, after all.
Unfortunately, that advice is about as bad as it gets. The QUICKEST way to get your business moving in the right direction, is spend some time really trying to figure out where your problems and holes ARE…and to patch them up.
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”. Here's how I responded:
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.
(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.)
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...)
The 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.
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.
"No business is created in a linear fashion, & there are always going to be twists & turns, ups & downs, and vomit-inducing towers of terror."
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.
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!
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!