SEO expert Daniel Moscovitch returns to tell Sean his current top performing strategy for getting businesses to appear higher up on Google searches. You have to hear Daniel’s take on how the pages and sub-pages of your website can net you massive traffic once you organize them properly.
For SEO help, you can reach Daniel at https://www.morehotleads.com/.
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Sean Corbett (00:18):
Hello everybody. It’s Sean Corbett again, Websites.ca marketing. Kind of a special episode for you today. We have our first ever returning guest. It’s actually from our most popular past episode. So we’re going to welcome back on the show Daniel Moscovitch. He’s the owner of More Hot Leads. And what we really want to do today is just have a nice sort of high level discussion on mastering search engine results for your business. Daniel, I want to hit the ground running with a two part question. So here it goes. Question one, is there anything right now in the SEO game that worked say one to two years ago that just kind of lost it’s juice and you wouldn’t recommend people doing anymore? And then the follow up question to that is, if you could pick one specific SEO strategy or asset to focus on right now today, super effective, what would it be?
Daniel Moscovitch (01:12):
Okay. So first of all, it’s great to be a return guest here on the show. And I’m excited to dive in. For your first question, one thing that has worked well in the past that is not working as well these days would be adding keywords to a Google My Business, or now it’s called a Google business profile title, the name. We used to do this, it was somewhat of a cheat code a few years ago. We did it because we knew it worked. We would add some keywords to our clients Google business profile names and we would see pretty great and quick results. Nowadays, it seems like Google has taken away that factor or it has less juice than it did a few years ago. So there are definitely some new ranking factors that it looks like are happening.
Daniel Moscovitch (02:12):
And then in terms of your second question, the one thing that all businesses should focus on is strategizing how to structure their website and building content around that strategy. Because it all starts with the website structure and the better you structure your website, the less back links and the less off page stuff that you have to get as well. Not to say that you don’t need that at all. Just saying you’re going to need less in the long run. So let me give you an example of what I’m talking about here when it comes to website structure. You want to make sure that you have your homepage that is geared towards either your brand or your general main topic. And then you want to have subpages beneath your homepage that are going to be your top level service pages or category pages depending if you’re an e-commerce or a service provider.
Daniel Moscovitch (03:13):
And then you’re going to have support pages below that. So if you are a service provider, let’s say you’re doing roofing, roofing would be your top level service page and a support page beneath that would be flat roofing, tin roofing, roofing tiles, hot roofing, etc. So the types of roofing would be those support pages. And if you’re an e-Com store, let’s say you’re selling ice cream, you could have ice cream as the top level category. And then you could have different flavors of ice cream. You could have ice cream cones and you could have different types of ice cream cones as a supporting pages. You can have yogurt and then different types of yogurt, etc. So you want to make sure that you really plan out how and map out how you’re going to structure the website and create content within those.
Daniel Moscovitch (04:09):
I like to call them topic clusters. So every topic that you’re discussing, if you offer more than roofing services, let’s say you do roofing, you do flooring, you do plumbing, you do contracting, you do remodeling, et cetera. So you want to make sure that each of those topics has a group of pages around that main service or category or product as well. And then once you have that content, you want to make sure you write blog posts about that topic too and send links to each of those pages within that topic cluster. So that’s what we’re doing right now with a lot of our client sites. We’re focusing mostly on content writing on their sites and then once those pages are live and then we’re promoting them with certain back links like Google my business or Google business profile posts, press releases, social media shares, some guest posts as well. But we’re finding we need a lot less of that if we are structuring the content properly from the beginnings, as I mentioned.
Sean Corbett (05:09):
So when you have say, like vanilla ice cream, right? That’s a little child page of a parent topic, ice cream. And then you might write a blog post about the process of making vanilla ice cream and when it says vanilla ice cream, it’s going to link back to that main page. So when you go offsite and do the articles and stuff, like you said, are those also linking back to the vanilla ice cream page or are they linking to the blog post?
Daniel Moscovitch (05:36):
So as long as your internal linking is right, it doesn’t really matter. We do both. We want to make sure the vanilla ice cream page gets links. The ice cream page gets links and the blog post gets links.
Sean Corbett (05:55):
Daniel Moscovitch (05:55):
When we’re doing our linking for those blog posts, we’re definitely sharing the blog posts in the press releases and the GMB posts, but we’re also making sure that we get some links built to each of those main pages as well. So as like I said, as long as you have your internal links in the right way where the blog posts are pointing to the vanilla ice cream page and also the ice cream page, maybe the vanilla ice cream page is also point to the blog post about vanilla ice cream as well.
Daniel Moscovitch (06:21):
Then your link juice is flowing where you need it to be. So doesn’t really matter where you point those links, all three of them would help. It is important to make sure that most of the pages you want to promote do have some formal links. And again, those links can be free links where you’re just doing like social bookmarks. It can be a post on social media, that’s still a link. It can be a press release, which there are tools to use for that as well. And then it could be paid links and guest posts and things like that.
Sean Corbett (06:57):
When you’re setting up a new page, you better make sure that it doesn’t exist in a vacuum outside your site. It better be part of the web in some way, shape or form.
Daniel Moscovitch (07:06):
That’s exactly what we do. I mean, yeah. We want to make sure that… Our process, the way we do it is we dive into their existing site. What content do they already have? What services do they provide? What pages are they missing? What do competitors have? We take all that information and we kind of make a mind map or a visual site map we call it. And we plan out how we’re going to structure their site. Then we determine what pages are going to be the most priority pages. And we’ll focus on those first and then create pages as we go along in our SEO cycle with a client. We typically like to create all of the pages within one topical stack first, before moving on to the next one. However, we’re going to make sure that we create all those top level pages first, because you want to make sure you have all the top level pages done. And then you worry about the bottom level pages on one topic, then moving on to the next topic and so on as well.
Sean Corbett (08:02):
That’s interesting because in theory then — obviously in practice, you’d probably want to add more copy. But in theory, you could take someone’s site and not have them add any more content which so many businesses struggle with, but just restructure the existing content along the lines of what you said, and then go around and do the linking and be organized with it. And that could be a nice easy win for an existing website.
Daniel Moscovitch (08:25):
Oh, that’s a dream. That’s a dream of that. To have all that content already created and just have to reblend internal linking. That doesn’t happen that often. A lot of times we’re doing audits of sites… I mean, it depends how established the business is, but a lot of the times we’re doing audits of sites, I think the biggest mistake we see a lot of the time is that people just have like one service page and it’s like their service pages… “these are all the services we provide”, but they don’t have individual service pages per service. And they definitely don’t have those subservice pages that I was mentioning as well. So the types of services.
Sean Corbett (09:05):
I’m very out of date on this topic so you’ll have to bring me up to speed and forgive me here. When I think of… So when I was into SEO years ago, the idea was like you don’t want duplicate content too much. And so when you’re talking about organizing them, I’ll just call it sort of parent-child kind of organization. So if you have like plumbing services, right? Then it’s emergency plumbing, this kind of plumbing, that kind of plumbing, whatever it is, you’re saying that your parent page is not just going to be a branch. The parent page is actually going to have content on it that might sound similar-ish to the specific pages?
Daniel Moscovitch (09:45):
Absolutely. Our view on duplicate content on the same site is try to make it as unique as possible, but we’ve gotten away and gotten results with using basically the same content on these pages and just changing a few things up. My understanding from the duplicate content is they don’t want you plagiarizing other people’s content. If it’s your own site, as long as it stands out as a unique page to Google. So the way that we do that is you want to make sure that your title tag is unique. Your H-1 tag is unique. Maybe you have a couple paragraphs that are unique to that page so that it has a different purpose than the other page.
Daniel Moscovitch (10:35):
We’re finding that that works. Same thing goes for location pages. So I mentioned, subservice pages, we’re doing the same thing on our client’s sites, but with location pages. So we focus on one main location that they want to go after and we create sub pages, which are neighborhood pages. So we basically clone the homepage, which is typically our main location page and then we create neighborhood pages for each of those neighborhoods they want to target as well. And the only thing we’re changing out is we’re just switching the city with the neighborhood and we’re adding a thing or two about the neighborhood, things to do in the neighborhood and things like that.
Sean Corbett (11:16):
So this is a terrible example on my end because I wasn’t prepared, but I mean you could have big city name, main contact page and then secondary page Chinatown, secondary page Little Italy. Obviously neighborhoods have more specific names than that, but that’s all I can come up with on the top of my head. Is that basically what you would do?
Daniel Moscovitch (11:34):
That’s exactly what we would do. Yeah. So we make sure that the main city page links down to the neighborhood pages, the neighborhood pages link to each other, the ones that they’re close to and link up to the main city page. So it’s basically kind of creating another topic cluster there, but of the location. It just adds some more relevance in Google’s eyes that they do serve that area. They serve that city and they also serve these specific areas. We’ve seen greater results in expanding our maps ranking reach when we do create these pages. Because Google then says, okay, they actually do service this area, even though it’s 25 minute drive away from their location, they do service clients in this area.
Sean Corbett (12:19):
Would you embed a Google map on each of those area subpages as well?
Daniel Moscovitch (12:24):
Exactly. So what we do on the main city page, we embed the Google map of the client’s business, the Google my business. So the Google business profile now and as well as a Google map of the city and then on the subpages we’ll do the same thing. But instead of the city, we will do the Google map of that area.
Sean Corbett (12:42):
So interesting. Okay.
Daniel Moscovitch (12:44):
We also link to a few Google map pages of things to do in that area. And when we get that information, we actually get it through Google. So I’ll do a Google search of like a specific neighborhood in a city. And Google will tell me, here are the things to do in that neighborhood. If you go into Google maps or like attractions, I’d go to that tab. I find the things that Google is telling me that are relevant because it thinks it’s irrelevant. So I’m taking the information that Google is giving us and I’m putting on the page and say, Hey, if you want to go to this area, check out this restaurant or this park. And it definitely doesn’t look that good, but it works. So we always put that content at the bottom of the page. And typically what we’re doing right now is we’re also hiding that content in accordion. So it doesn’t show to the average user.
Sean Corbett (13:35):
Oh, okay right. So like a little, yeah. Toggle if you’re in this neighborhood and if you’re having ice cream at this famous ice cream shop and you’re thinking about getting plumbing here, blah, blah, blah. Okay. So from a website building point of view, because of course Websites.ca always approaches things like that, I’m just thinking, how does this affect the user experience? Because your website menu sounds like it’s getting huge. Are these displayed in the main menu, all these sub pages or are they basically going to be hidden?
Daniel Moscovitch (14:04):
Well, it depends on how your menu is. If you have the sub menu items. But typically we just focus on the top level pages on the menu.
Sean Corbett (14:15):
Daniel Moscovitch (14:15):
Locations. It depends on how many locations, but we’re also not going to link to the neighborhood pages on the menu. It would just be the main cities. So, Winnipeg where I am right now is kind of a bad example because it’s really one main area. There’s not many other Metro areas around, but if you’re talking about Vancouver or something like that, you might have a locations tab on the menu and it says, Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Port Coquitlam, et cetera.
Sean Corbett (14:42):
Yeah. And so the listeners have to understand that there’s different customer journeys depending on how users come into the website. So when we’re talking about these sub location pages or subservice pages that, I mean, that’s going to help with SEO like you said, but somebody might actually search something where they come into that, let’s call it a hidden subpage, through a Google search. And now they’re in the ecosystem of the website and they’re clicking around. But sometimes the website owner is thinking… The website owner often just thinks, well, someone will first come to my homepage, right? Then they’ll go here. But you’re setting up all of these different entry points and customer journeys. Would you say that’s accurate?
Daniel Moscovitch (15:21):
I would say that’s exactly accurate. And for the location stuff, typically we don’t… I don’t think there’s much search volume for someone looking for the service plus the neighborhood. But every so often there are and we rank those pages as well because no one’s really going after those things, they’re going after this service plus the main city. So we get traffic to those pages, but we’re doing it also for the Google maps rankings, like I told you at the beginning. We used to use the shortcut, which was just putting keywords in the name and it worked really well. And now Google has kind of taken away that shortcut. And so we need to do give it a lot more signals and some of the signals are exactly what I mentioned. Just having those pages on a site, showing Google your service areas, matching that to the Google business listing as well.
Sean Corbett (16:08):
Yeah. So you’re creating an asset of all of these obvious, in the case of locations, obvious neighborhood signals and these are like a cluster of different signals that are showing Google, yes, this is the right area. So that’s really interesting.
Daniel Moscovitch (16:25):
And you can even get a step further into it. Some things right now that are going through the SEO community are giving Google signals through driving directions. So if people are actually requesting directions to the business from a different area, especially an area that’s mentioned on your site and driving to the location, it’s showing Google that people are willing to use that business from a neighborhood that’s not in its proximity. So those signals are also really powerful.
Sean Corbett (16:58):
Interesting. And then of course, if you’re writing out driving directions you can sneak in major landmarks and stuff in the instructions.
Daniel Moscovitch (17:05):
Sean Corbett (17:05):
This is quite a rabbit hole a copywriter could go down. I like it. So you obviously, this is your business, this is your specialty. So you’re doing lots of testing and you’re on the ground seeing what works and what doesn’t for clients. But I wonder for the listeners who can’t devote obviously that much time and effort into it, could you recommend a few resources that they could read or follow to keep up on Google algorithm changes?
Daniel Moscovitch (17:37):
Algorithm changes. I honestly wouldn’t recommend anything to be honest. I feel like that is a rabbit hole that it’s just not worth going down. I mean, you have your main providers like search engine journal or search engine land. And I feel like they’re always thinking that the sky is falling.
Sean Corbett (17:55):
Daniel Moscovitch (17:57):
I’m not really part of that SEO community. I don’t even know when there are algorithm changes to be honest. It’s just not part of my… I don’t know, it’s not part of my daily worries. We’ve never really seen a huge drop. We just keep on doing things that seem to be working for us. And I keep my head down and continue to get results. I think if we saw some huge drops in traffic, then I would be more concerned about that. I would say the one place that I actually found a lot of value recently is this guy named William Jones. He has a program called Rank Fortress. I’ve been part of it for a few years now. He just salt of the earth guy and no BS. He’ll say what he means. He’ll tell you what he thinks and it seems like what he’s doing has been working for him. And so a lot of these tactics that I’ve been talking about today with location pages and things like that, I’ve gotten from him.
Sean Corbett (19:03):
So is that just something that you read or do you participate in mastermind groups with other SEO guys and you guys sort of compare notes.
Daniel Moscovitch (19:09):
If you’re ever on calls, if you want to take part of that, otherwise everything’s just prerecorded on kind of like an online program.
Sean Corbett (19:17):
Interesting. It’s funny that you mentioned that about trying or not following what the algorithm articles say, because a couple years ago we were getting bombarded with stuff about page load time. And I did a bunch of experiments with local web businesses. And it didn’t matter at all. But of course, as soon as you run an e-Commerce business that’s international selling t-shirts, for sure a quarter of a second load time makes a difference in sales. And it occurred to me, and again maybe you can shed some light on this, that a lot of the articles that are on the internet that are easy for us to click and read are not written for small businesses. They’re written for really rarefied niche stuff. Like I said, like crazy e-commerce stuff. And the local small business owner doesn’t really have to worry about that type of thing.
Daniel Moscovitch (20:06):
Oh a hundred percent, I agree. For most of the clients that we work with, the small business owners, service based businesses, the maximum amount of pages they’re going to have on the site, maybe 50? They’re not dealing with 50 million pages. If you’re dealing with 50 million pages then there are things that you need to worry about like indexing issues, because Google is taking a lot longer to index pages. And if you have 50 million pages that’s a really big deal. But if you have 50 pages, less of a big deal, right? So I would agree. I would say that business owners shouldn’t spend too much time reading up about this stuff because the thing is most people write content just for the sake of writing content or because they have something to say or they have a blog that they need to keep up with and stuff, they’re just looking for topics to write. Some of the times it’s good content, most of the times they’re just trying to get something out there into the ecosystem and I wouldn’t take too much insight into that.
Sean Corbett (21:13):
It’s click bait. What I would suggest people do instead is to hire More Hot Leads. And if they want to do that, Daniel, what would be the best way that they can get in touch with you?
Daniel Moscovitch (21:24):
Yeah. They can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or go to morehotleads.com and fill out an application form to work with us and I would be back in touch. Definitely mention that you heard me on the podcast. So I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Sean Corbett (21:43):
That’s awesome. And it’s obviously not just SEO. You guys do… You’re clearly talking about helping with building websites, re-organizing websites, pay per click, right? Let me know if I left anything off there?
Daniel Moscovitch (21:54):
We create email marketing as well.
Sean Corbett (21:56):
Beautiful. Okay, Daniel, I really appreciate you coming on again. And I feel like every time you come on I learn a ton of stuff. So selfishly, I’m going to just keep having you back on every couple months, because it keeps me very sharp. So thank you.
Daniel Moscovitch (22:08):
Looking forward to the next one.