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Empowering your Brand through Organic SEO with Abbey Oslin

Empowering your Brand through Organic SEO with Abbey Oslin | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd
I'm Jade!

MBA | Business Strategist | Productivity Coach | I help busy service providers bring order to chaos with minimalist strategies and systems.

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It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of marketing strategies that allow you to work smarter, not harder, and today’s guest is sharing the low down on one of the most strategic strategies out there: SEO (search engine optimization). Just mentioning the term ‘SEO’ sparks fear and overwhelm for so many entrepreneurs, but it doesn’t have to be complicated! In this episode, Abbey Oslin from the Duo Collective is simplifying SEO for online business owners and sharing how you can grow your brand organically without the overwhelm or paid ads.

Duo Collective is a boutique organic marketing agency that specializes in search and design. Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen have been a Duo for over a decade, dating all the way back to their big agency days, before they ventured off on their own to help small business owners grow their brands. They are a one-part strategy and one-part creative team giving their clients everything they need to get found online without pouring money into paid ads.

Empowering your Brand through Organic SEO with Abbey Oslin | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd

Key Takeaways from this Episode

  • The two strategic sides of your website you need for a better brand experience and client conversion.
  • The role organic marketing is plays for small business owners.
  • What your priority should be to increase your organic marketing.
  • The questions about your target audience to ask yourself when creating organic content.
  • Tips for creating strategic pillars for your content and why you need cornerstone content.
  • A key SEO tool that you may not be using to help your blog posts be more visible in online searches.
  • Tips on finding strategic keywords for your brand and how to rank for those keywords.
  • 4 SEO metrics to keep your eye on to see growth in your organic marketing.
Empowering your Brand through Organic SEO with Abbey Oslin | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd

Connect with Duo Collective

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode


Click here to read the full episode transcript!

Abbey Oslin: Sometimes we think about just traffic. Am I just driving traffic? And there can be a person out there driving tons of traffic, but it’s bogus. Like they’re not getting any inquiries. They’re not getting any sales. And what’s the point?

Jade Boyd: Welcome to the show, Abbey.

Abbey Oslin: Thank you. I’m so excited to be here.

Jade Boyd: I am super excited to have you. We were talking before we hit record and I have recently been binging your podcast. And I do feel like it’s one of those podcasts where I’m like, how have I not listened to this yet? So many helpful episodes and I’m super excited to have this conversation with you today.

So why don’t you start for those who haven’t discovered you or listened to your content yet, tell us a little bit more about who you are and what you do.

Abbey Oslin: Absolutely. Thank you so much. We are Duo Collective and I say we, even though I’m the only one here right now, my other half is always with me a little bit. Courtney is the other half of Duo. I’m Abbey and Courtney is the brand designer. So she makes everything pretty and I am the SEO strategist.

So I work in all the data and the numbers and all of the fun stuff. So it’s really fun to bring that mix of things to our clients, and we really specialize in organic marketing. So we don’t focus on anything in the paid space and really that’s because most of our clients are just starting in this marketing world and trying to figure out what works for them and what we found always works really well is to have that really strong organic base before you jump into paid because otherwise you’re kind of throwing your money at the wall and you’re not really sure where things go and, we kind of fell into this niche because our background had been in the marketing agency world.

We worked on everything, touched everything for a lot of really big clients, worked for Clorox at Target and like we’re selling, you know, Clorox wipes and kitty litter and all the things. And it really just transitioned to wanting to help more small businesses, and when we first jumped into it, we were thinking we need to focus on like offering people everything, like whatever it is that they need to build out their marketing plan and building marketing plans, which is great, but we found that so many people needed that foundation first. And the more and more we did this, the more we realized organic is this really big hole that people aren’t thinking about.

And oftentimes you’re doing organic marketing without even realizing it. You post on Instagram, that’s organic marketing. You share something to your story, you send an email to your list, you share a freebie or you post something on Pinterest, that’s all marketing, we just don’t think about it in that way, which is totally okay. I don’t want you to feel like marketing is this huge beast because you’re likely already doing it anyways.

So it’s just really fun to bring strategy to the fun things in business without needing to think about this huge marketing plan. That’s kind of scary. So that’s, that’s kind of how we fell into it.

Jade Boyd: And I would love for you to touch on. I feel like so many business owners, struggle with not having an outside opinion. And it’s really unique in your business that you do have a partnership. So how did that come about?

Abbey Oslin: Yeah, so we both work together at the same capacity at the agency. So it was so natural just to do what we did there in our business now. So I worked on the client side or the account side of things. So I would be the one that was like interacting with the client more, doing a lot of the strategy, the data, all the behind the scenes stuff. Courtney would be the one building all of the brand assets and bring in the brand and the creative and all the things to life.

So, we worked at that agency for a lot, I was there for 10 plus years, I think. I started there as an intern in college and then just stayed and Courtney came in a couple of years later. And so it wasn’t until the last few years of business that we started working on the same client. And that’s when we really were hand in hand, working on everything together.

And we just started like doing coffee shop walks and talking about like, what could we, what could we do? Like what’s the next big idea. And then we kind of just realized like court was already doing some freelance. I was already doing some freelance, why don’t we just do what we do separately and bring it together?

And so it felt so natural. And I’d say when we first started doing this, we were both so worried about like stepping on each other’s toes because Courtney would be like, she didn’t like sending client emails, but I always did that at the agency world. So it was like, should I continue doing this in our world? Do you want to do this? Like, I don’t want to take something away from you. And we finally just had this conversation where we were like, we like what we’re doing, like do what you do, I do what I do and we’ll just make it happen. So it was funny, there had to be a ton of communication and we’ve talked about this a lot on our podcast too. There’s a ton of communication in the upfront and those like weird conversations from everything from like money to time management to how to tell someone when you’re upset or when you’re like not liking something or like the process. Like we just don’t worry anymore about hurting each other’s feelings. Like we care about each other a lot, but we have to like have these hard conversations regularly. And that’s how our business has really worked.

Jade Boyd: I think it’s really unique that you guys were able to work together on client projects in your current capacity before you went into business together, because I do think that is probably people’s number one concern when it comes to hiring a partner. It always seems good in, you know, the idea of it sounds great, but then in reality, you actually had the experience working together and knew it would be a good fit before you started.

I think that’s super unique and you guys obviously work really well together and your skills compliment each other so well. And I want to talk a little bit more about that. I am obsessed with like the home organizing and like simplicity mindset and there is always this recurring theme of balancing functionality with something that’s beautiful. Which is a really hard balance when it comes to really anything, but that’s what you guys do with the beauty being the branding and then the functionality being the SEO that it’s really strategic. And so I just would love for you to talk a little bit into why both are important and how those two things complement each other.

Abbey Oslin: Yeah. So this is one of my favorite things to talk about. Basically, we always hear, okay, what’s the point of having this beautiful brand if no one can find you, which is so true. If you build your website, if you build this beautiful brand, it doesn’t mean that Google or any other search engine or anyone for that matter is going to be able to find your website.

And then you spent all that money and all that stuff’s just sitting out there and you think it’s beautiful and that’s great, but no one’s seeing it. Well, if you flip that, so it’s really great to have an SEO strategy where people can find you, but if they land on your website, and it doesn’t speak to your voice, your personality, it doesn’t look and feel like you, if that beauty isn’t there, that’s gravitating and pulling them in, they’re not going to stay there. So then what’s the point of driving all that traffic. If no one’s going to actually inquire to work with you or buy your products.

So they both have to happen, and that’s why people love to ask us this question of like, what’s more important, and I’m like, you can’t answer that question because it’s different for every person, like, is it for you, do you feel really good about your branding, , are you excited to share your website?

Are you excited to show people the brand that you built? If you’re not, that could be a sign that, like, things are misaligned. Whether it’s in the voice, like, it could just be your copywriting in the voice, or it could be the visuals that are reflecting your brand, but if you’re not excited to share your website, likely there’s a miss there. And then on the flip side, maybe you are really excited. You love your brand, but no one, you’re not getting inquiries or you’re not getting sales. That’s where, okay, traffic is the issue. So it really depends on the person, but both are so important and both like having a good brand will boost your SEO strategy and vice versa. Having a good SEO strategy is going to raise your brand awareness. So they’re so integrated in that sense.

Jade Boyd: It makes me think of, recently Caleb and I did like an at home date night and we looked up mocktail recipes and went out and got ingredients like made fancy mocktails at home. But we were on Pinterest looking up recipes and Caleb had, he’s like, I don’t want to be on this website. This is so stressful.

Cause you know, the recipe websites that have all the advertisements and they’re popping up everywhere. And it’s a terrible experience where I’m just like, this is status quo. I’m kind of used to this. But then thinking about what you just said. The like meal planning or recipe websites that I actually like bookmark and go back to or subscribe to their email list, they are the ones that have really great recipes, but also a really great website experience where things are aesthetically pleasing. They have beautiful photos. It’s easy to like jump to the recipe. And so what you said, like, yes, in some industries, one might be more important than the other, but ultimately if you can do both, it makes a huge difference.

Abbey Oslin: Oh yeah, that, if you can do both, those are the people that remember you. And like you said, join the email list, like come back again and again. And like, those are all the people we’re trying to attract, right? Like those are the people we want to hang around. And so when you can do both, you’re really building like a much better brand experience for sure.

Jade Boyd: And I also wanted to get into the idea that the internet is getting more and more saturated, more people than ever starting businesses. The internet is, you know, the amount of information that’s available, the amount of websites that are available, the amount of search results that come up anytime you’re searching anything, it’s only growing.

And so in 2024, I would love to hear your predictions, what role does organic marketing play? Being that that’s the world that we’re living in, that it’s becoming more and more competitive to rank for certain keywords. And the internet is like flooded with more businesses and information for business owners, what emphasis and what role is organic marketing going to play for them this year?

Abbey Oslin: Yeah, for sure. So there’s been so much talk about the paid obstacles too and like all the privacy policy, like the new privacy laws and everything. So targeting it’s even harder than ever. And if you go to a Google search page, you can see it too, that when you type something in, sponsored, the big bold sponsored is bigger than ever before now on a search page too. So people know when they’re being sold to and 90 percent of people are scrolling past the sponsored ads and going to the organic listings anyways. So why not? Because the second you stop paying for a paid ad, you’re not going to show up anymore, you’re gone. But if you show up organically, the chances of you being booted out there instantaneously is really low. So that’s something where you can stay there on that page one, we have some blog posts that we’ve written four to five years ago that are on page one of Google that will update every once in a while, but they stay there and they continue to drive traffic and that’s the magic of organic, is that, every energy and effort you put into boosting your organic marketing is long term, like all of that stuff you continue to grow and focus on, but it will show you that long term growth where paid, you don’t really see that benefit, paid definitely there is a time and a place for it and that’s when your organic is working really well for you because now you know what to focus on, but people know when they’re being sold to an organic is something that you’re not selling as much as you’re trying to build a relationship and you don’t have this mindset of like, I need to write the best CTA, I need to write the best hook, like I need to write something.

And it feels kind of stressful. Where organic, you can just test and learn. You can just play around with whatever it is that you wanna share or use to connect with your audience. And as long as you’re actually watching results to see what works, whether your favorite platform for organic is Instagram. Like make sure you’re looking at your best performing posts and content. If your favorite way to do marketing in general is like blogging, then make sure you’re looking at Google analytics and actually tracking like which posts are working the best for you so that, you know, then how to continue to create content, but it’s kind of this less pressure space.

And like you said, there’s a lot of people out there, but if we flip the script and really thought about it as wow, there’s so many people out there I can connect with like your goal shouldn’t be to reach everyone. That’s crazy. Like no one. That’s so much pressure, right? But if your goal is just to meet a couple new people, then that can be a great opportunity just for you to continue to move forward because there’s so many people out there. And every time you create a new piece of content, you have the opportunity to reach more people. And that’s pretty great.

Jade Boyd: So when it comes to organic marketing, can we kind of break down what channels we should be focused on? Like if we’re like, okay, I get it. I want to build relationships. This makes sense to me, but what should I actually be focused on? Is it really blogging and Google search or are there other things or does it really depend?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Abbey Oslin: Yeah, you should focus on what you like to do. Like, there really isn’t a wrong answer and we always say pick one. If you are one person, pick one priority platform and live there. Stop trying to be everywhere and do everything because there’s so much pressure. And even for Court and I, we both have priority platforms.

I love email, Courtney loves social, so we kind of live there. But we have other people who help us with Pinterest or we pull in other people to help us with blogging and content creation, and we can still provide strategy and ideas and all of that, but we pull people in to help us in other areas where we want to show up, and I think that is really important to figure out where you like to be.

I love watching our email list grow. Like that’s one of my favorite things. And also I’m an SEO strategist. I love doing the keywords and strategies. I don’t like writing blogs. Like I’m going to be fully honest. I don’t like writing blogs and that’s okay. Like I know the benefit of it and I’ll bring in someone who does like to do that where I can still oversee the strategy and all of that good stuff.

But I’m working on something I actually like to do and I will never miss a weekly newsletter. Like that is something I’ll never miss because I like it. And I think if you like what you’re focusing on, you will be better at it and you’ll connect with more people and you’ll do more of it. And like, that is the most important part is just finding what you like to do and then setting a goal for yourself so that you stick to it.

Jade Boyd: I love that advice. I completely agree. You are so much more likely to stick to things when you actually enjoy doing them because you want to do them. And I love that you pointed out that you don’t write your blog posts because I assumed that you did from looking at it. And it is absolutely beautiful for anyone who like wants a good example of SEO and branding playing together.

I could scroll your website forever. It’s so good. In both aspects. but I do think that a lot of business owners really jump to when they think organic marketing, they think blogging, they think ranking on Google. They think like search traffic, which might not be something they like doing or like to their skillset.

So I would love to hear like your thoughts on, for a service provider, especially someone who might be like location based where they have a really small group of people they’re trying to reach. Do you think that it could be strategic for them to be on channels like blogging and Pinterest, or are there certain industries where it makes just more sense for, depending on what your goals are, what channel you should choose for organic marketing?

Abbey Oslin: Yeah, I don’t ever, I never think there’s not a reason to blog and create content. Like I always think there’s opportunity there because even if someone isn’t looking, like say you have a really niche product and offering, they might not be looking those specific keywords of what you have to offer, but, they are still going to be your audience searching for problems and solutions and like ways to help them and you need to think about like, before they’re ready to buy with you, what are those people searching for? What types of content are they resonating with? and how can we reach them?

So like for us, for example, we focus on branding and SEO, and I’m not going to blog only about those topics. One of our top performing blog posts is conferences, like 2024 conferences for entrepreneurs, because we know that our audience is a group of passionate entrepreneurs that love to learn, that love to invest in themselves. And so our audience is likely looking for conferences and that’s where they want to be.

And so connecting with those people is good to draw them in because they’re likely just like us who also want to grow their business. They may not SEO or branding right now, but now they’re in our universe. They might listen to a podcast, they might, like, read, join our email list, and then they might be like, oh, maybe I do need to focus on this.

But they were brought in because we thought about them as an audience and who they are. So that’s where content is so powerful. Writing things that will connect with your audience that aren’t just related to your services and your offerings,but I think they’re and now I’m like forgetting the question you even asked to begin with because I’m just so excited to talk about why everyone needs a blog, but you do. But, again, there really isn’t like a wrong answer and what you’re going to, like, spend your time on, I’d say. but yeah, I’m a huge advocate for blogging, obviously.

Jade Boyd: I think you did answer the question. The question was like, is it worth it to blog if you only have this like small area to reach or something like that? And I think that the answer is yes.

Abbey Oslin: Mm hmm. Oh, yeah. For sure. And plus, your audience, like, you might have a small audience within your universe, but so, like, billions of people are using Google search every day, you have so much more potential to reach more people out there just by creating content.

Jade Boyd: And to build off of what you started talking about, you also talk about creating content pillars for your content. and I’m assuming this is relevant for blogs, but also any other channel that you’re creating content for, and you emphasize that you can create content pillars that are outside of exactly what you offer.

Just like what you said, besides branding and SEO, which are obviously your niche, you also blog about other topics. So what are some of your tips for coming up with content pillars that are strategic that make sense that are going to actually help you reach your business goals, but also just feel good and feel fun to write about?

Abbey Oslin: Yeah. Yeah. So the easiest, lowest hanging fruit is your offerings, right? Like whatever it is that you have to offer, those are easy, but then also think about who your audience is. So what does my audience like to consume that also resonates with me? Because you don’t want to start writing about something you don’t care about either.

So it’s understanding who your audience is and maybe it’s understanding like their mindset or their struggles or the things that really aren’t working for them. And is there content within there that you can create? It’s also going back to your brand values. So this again, how brand strategy can come into SEO and creating content is really understanding the brand values that you that your brand wants to encompass. So is it sustainability? Is it, like simplicity? Is it making sure that, you like community is ingrained in your business too? So that is one of our buckets is community. And we do make sure that we’re spending time actually creating content that is bringing community together.

So like we’ll curate posts of like the best coffee shops that we really love to go to in our local area, which is helping to support our local community. But then also the conferences. blog post is also community focused because we’re supporting all of these entrepreneurs and small businesses who are hosting conferences and need to get the word out.

And so all of those are kind of under that community bucket for us too. So it’s understanding that. And I usually tell people you don’t need that many. You need like three to five, like it doesn’t need to be that much. So just think of a couple and then your content pillar should be broad enough that you have a number of ideas like you’re never going to run out of content ideas under that bucket If you make a bucket and you’re like I have two ideas, but I can’t think of anything else then it’s probably not It’s probably too specific, you need to get a little broader So if you go look at our blog too duocollective. com/blog you can see we have a sub navigation there and each of those sub navigations is basically our content pillars. So you’ll see SEO you’ll see organic marketing, you’ll see branding, you’ll see community, and then you’ll see also like business resources, because we know that our audience loves tools, they love resources, they love systems, all of that kind of stuff.

So sharing that is super important, even if it’s not related to SEO and branding. So, The cool thing too, from an SEO perspective is each of those pages can be a mini landing page on your website. So someone who’s looking for SEO resources and tips could actually find our blog category page, and that’s how they could connect with us.

So actually thinking about them strategically from that sense can help drive traffic to your website too, because once you’ve set those content pillars, you can make them category pages on your blog and you’re not just having to use that for your blog. Now you can help that bring to life your email content or your social posts.

So you really can use that anywhere. But I usually start with blog because long form content is the easiest then to repurpose, break down and use elsewhere.

Jade Boyd: So for someone who is, like heavily blogging and they want that to be their focus for organic SEO, I would love for you to speak into how much organic website traffic is realistic or what should we be aiming for month by month? How do we know if it’s working or not?

Abbey Oslin: Yeah, so I don’t want you to look necessarily at traffic numbers because that’s going to vary so much and also depend on what you’re writing for. So if, for example, there are some blog posts where you have like a really niche keyword and it’s like only a hundred people a month are searching for that.

And so it’s pretty low. So you want to bring those people in, those are your exact audiences, those are your exact people. So just because you’re reaching a lower volume of people, it’s more niche and specific, so that’s still a great thing to do. But you might want to complement that with another blog post that’s Like has a keyword that’s driving thousands of traffic.

So you have to understand when you’re writing the piece of content, your expectation, like, what am I hoping to get out of this? Because then you can actually go look at your Google analytics and see like what’s performing the best. I would say from a measurement standpoint, it’s more about looking at, okay, I chose a keyword, I’m writing a piece of content. I’m posting this blog. Am I showing up on Google? Like that’s more of the measure of success lesson as much as block traffic, but I’m making sure that you’re showing up on that first page, second page or something up there high enough because that can tell you that one, Google likes your content and two if you’re showing up on page one or two you’re likely driving traffic now if you go to Google on mobile or on your desktop you can scroll for six pages before people get the view the next page button.

So that just made position 1 through 60 that much more visible. Like, people weren’t going to go to page 3 of Google. They might go to page 2. But they’re not going to go that far and that deep into Google. But people love to scroll, thanks to TikTok and Instagram. So now people are scrolling a lot longer than they ever did before.

So even getting on page 6 can be super beneficial for you. You’ll see more traffic than you did before. So I would be looking at that and just seeing, like, am I getting search traffic at all? Like, did this piece of content create traffic? If it didn’t, don’t trash it. Like, go edit it. Revise it. Update it. See who is ranking on page one for that piece of traffic. And start understanding, like, okay, maybe I don’t have enough words here. Like, maybe I need to add more content. Maybe I need to add a whole section or an FAQ piece of it here to help address something that I wasn’t even thinking about.

So there’s other things you can do to update your content. I would never trash anything unless it’s not speaking to who you are and what you offer anymore.

Jade Boyd: So how do you test what page on Google it’s showing up? Because I know I’ve tried this in the past and like what I’m searching versus what my husband is searching, we get completely different results. So what is the best way to like test, is this blog ranking or not?

Abbey Oslin: Yeah. And that’s a good thing too. Like you want your search engine to be catered to you. So like, remember too, if you’re getting different results, that’s a good thing. Cause it means a search engine is understanding you and how, which some people might say that’s kind of scary, but in the world today, like things are personalized and they should be to create a good experience.

So that’s definitely a priority for them, using a tool called Google search console is what I would recommend. Everyone should have this because this tool, one, you can tell Google, hey, this page is here because a lot of times we write a blog, Google doesn’t know about it for weeks, months, maybe. So you can actually use this tool to put your blog post in and say, hey, Google, can you crawl this so that you know about it?

And then they’ll crawl it instantly and your content will get indexed. And you have to play the long game, wait it out, and then hope that it continues to rise in the rankings. But that’s where you can tell Google, like, hey, this piece of content is here. And then that tool will tell you, are you getting traffic for that piece of content?

Where is it living? Like understanding the pages and where it is in Google search is really helpful. Even if you like are scared of that tool and don’t want to dig around in it, just signing up for it and getting it set up is huge because you’ll get these monthly like email insight recaps, and it’ll tell you what your best performing pieces of content are, what keywords people are using to find you.

And you can just look at those and those emails are actually like really beautifully laid out. So that makes it more fun to kind of scroll and look at how you’re performing

Jade Boyd: So how often are you’re indexing your website? Because I’m sure a lot of business owners, like when they initially set up their website, they go through the checklist and it’s indexed. And then how often are you going back to check Google console to make sure everything’s coming up?

Abbey Oslin: Only when I make changes. So if I made changes, like I changed a headline or I updated content on a certain page of my website, then I’ll go re index it. But otherwise, it’s indexed with the content that’s there, so you never need to redo it unless you’re updating it. if you’re changing, like, SEO titles or meta descriptions or anything like that, you definitely can go request a new crawl, even for the backend stuff, because that’s still important too, but I will do blog posts like right after I publish them. So right after a new blog post hits our website, I’ll go get it crawled. So like in, let’s be honest, I don’t remember instantly every time. Sometimes it’s like a month later and I’m like, wow, I haven’t indexed any content this month and I’ll go through and do it. , but getting into the habit of creating blog posts and content and then indexing it right away will only help people see your content quicker, which is the whole point. Like, we don’t like to write a post and then have it sit out there and be like, okay, no one’s going to read it for months. Like, you might as well wait three months to write it. So it’s, it’s a good process to follow.

Jade Boyd: And I do feel like not a lot of people talk about that when it comes to blogging. I mean, I’m sure like the hardcore bloggers who are monetizing their blog, it’s something that comes naturally about in those spaces. No, because I, yeah, I don’t hear anyone talk about it when it, again, launching a new website. Of course, that’s something that’s always mentioned, but it’s not really talked about that you have to do that maybe weekly if you’re creating content.

Abbey Oslin: For real. I’ve worked with a couple influencers who have loads of content online and they get most of their traffic from social, they don’t get traffic from search, and it’s because Google doesn’t know about them. And it’s as simple as getting your content indexed in Google Search Console, in addition to making sure your content was written well, because sometimes that’s a problem too.

But a lot of times. People have tons of blog content and Google’s indexed them for like three pages. And I know right away, like, okay, this is number one problem. Google just doesn’t know you’re there. It’s not your fault. You’re creating good content, but no one knows about you. So doing that indexing is kind of step number one to make sure that you can even get traffic in the first place.

Jade Boyd: So low hanging fruit, quick and easy win, go index your websites. That’s a great tip.

So speaking about creating content, you also talk about creating cornerstone content and I would love to, you just speak into what that is and what business owners should be thinking about if they really are setting the foundation, they’re just starting or they just created their content pillars, what should they focus on when it comes to creating cornerstone content?

Abbey Oslin: Yeah, so really you should have like one or two maybe pieces of cornerstone content and it should be the core of what you do and offer. So, for example, what is organic marketing? Like that could be our cornerstone piece of content. Because it digs into the barriers, like into everything of like all the tactics you can use, ideas on how to get started, you know, your content plan, like all of that kind of stuff.

But it’s a huge blog post, it should be the meat of what you do, your thought process, your, why you do what you do, like, all of that should be ingrained in it. And it’s likely, it could also be a question that you get asked all the time. Like, people are always asking me, what’s more important, SEO or brand name. So I’m going to create a cornerstone piece of content that I am going to share over and over and over again to help answer this question.

So not only does it save you a little bit of time, because now a bunch of people are asking you a question that you can just send them a blog post for, but it’s also a piece of content that usually is going to rank really well for you and drive traffic. And you’re going to update it like every, I would say maybe quarter if it’s not changing, if it’s not a topic that changes that often, you could update it maybe twice a year or something like that, but it’s something that you’re going to share in Facebook groups when people ask questions or clients, when they email you, or you’re going to feature it on the front page of your website, things like that.

So, you should really just have like that one piece of cornerstone content that speaks to what you do, what you offer, and is something you’re going to continue to update and share continuously.

Jade Boyd: I feel like when I’ve talked with clients about this in the past, they often feel torn where like, wow, that seems like a really long blog post to link. But typically cornerstone content is also linked to a bunch of different like sub topics when you’re talking about a certain topic within the content.

And it’s meant to be that like hub that links to everything else. But when you’re first starting, it can be challenging to know, like, should I create all these small little blogs first and then the master thing? Or should I start with the big thing and work down? Do you have any,ideas or like recommendations for that.

Abbey Oslin: Yeah. I would actually recommend starting with the big thing. And then as you create content, just make a task for yourself, like, I don’t know, once a quarter, because we don’t need to do it monthly or weekly even, but once a quarter, go back and update your blog post with all of the small pieces of internal links that you can add in.

And it takes just a few seconds to add all those internal links of like, okay, now I wrote a blog post on this and this and I can add these all in here. Google likes updated content. Like Google loves to see that. So actually updating your content and continuing to make it relevant is super important and will help your content rank better and get indexed better.

So it can be much better to start with that cornerstone because again, you’re saving yourself time by having to not repeat yourself over and over again. And then start creating content that complements it and then linking it afterwards and just updating that on a regular basis.

Jade Boyd: That is really good to know that Google likes it when you update content because I do people put a lot of pressure on themselves to be like, okay, it has to be perfect before I hit publish. But with blogging especially, you can always update it later. It’s not like social media when, when you post it, all the traffic is going to be like in the first 24 hours.

Abbey Oslin: Yeah, for sure. And we have this post that I’ve written. Like I wrote probably at the beginning of our business days because it’s all about our favorite keyword research tools. And that has continued to evolve as I’ve evolved my process and as tools have evolved and all of that. So over time, I’ve updated the content, shared different tools, added different resources in there and then more recently we had a podcast episode on it, so in addition to the blog post, I added the podcast embed. So now if people don’t want to read, they can listen. So like that post has evolved throughout four years. And the best part about it is that. When I went to do the podcast episode, I didn’t have to write a whole new podcast to support that podcast episode.

I was just able to add the podcast to the show notes to the blog post before. So I think it’s actually more helpful to continue to enhance your content than it is to think I always have to create new, like enhancing content is so valuable. And Google looks at the overall quality of your website.

So like how good of a quality website do you have? Like, is all my content high quality? Because we likely know that, okay, there’s blog posts we’ve written four years ago and, ooh, I hope no one finds them. Like I would recommend starting rather than always creating new content, go back to those and start optimizing old content because it’s actually easier to update an old piece of content than it is just to start something completely new. So that would sometimes just changing that process of like, I’m still helping my SEO by updating old content and I don’t need this pressure of always creating something new.

Jade Boyd: I love that. And I would love for you to also speak into what is your process look like? Especially this is going to be like the 70 something episode of my podcast. So there’s 70 something plus blog posts on my website and I’m creating a new podcast episode every single week. What does your process look like for updating old blog posts, knowing that like, I might not rerecord the podcast, but I might add different links or link to new episodes that have been published. It’s a lot of content to manage. What tips do you have for like the process to do that?

Abbey Oslin: Yeah, right. we use Asana to like manage everything from a task perspective. So everything lives within there, which is really nice. so if I know that we need to update blog posts like quarterly or whatever it may be, I will make sure that I designate a task to it and do it reoccurring quarterly so that I don’t forget about it because if I don’t put it in Asana, I am not going to remember it.

So that’s kind of priority number one, is like wherever you project manage things, make sure you have a task somewhere to do that. So, and then. Really what we do is we will, so our longest form of content, and I would say right now our podcasts and our blog are kind of hand in hand. So, and that’s the awesome part about podcasting is podcasting is what made us consistently blog, and I’m sure you feel that too.

Jade Boyd: 100 percent

Abbey Oslin: Every podcast should, from an SEO perspective, have a blog post to accompany it so that people can learn in multiple different ways. And it makes your podcast more searchable because when you’re speaking and talking like these words aren’t, not yet, at least they’re not getting indexed, unless you have a transcript or something like that. So, creating a blog post has really been helpful for us to consistently blog. So, when we ideate all of our podcast episodes, that’s when we’ll look at, okay, do any of these make sense with another piece of content we’ve created? And then we’ll just make a note in there, like, okay, we’re using this blog post to update this podcast episode and just kind of back into it from that way because another thing you want to avoid is having duplicate content out there. So if Google thinks that this old blog he wrote in this new podcast are talking about the same thing because the headlines are so similar and the content is so similar, Google’s going to decide to hide one of them and they’re not going to tell you which one. So they’re just going to pick one to hide and then to get it unhidden, it’s kind of, you got to do a lot more work. So, definitely important to make sure that your content is unique, and if it’s not unique enough, just combining it together can be a good strategy.

So, and then for us, I’d say, like, since podcasting is kind of like that higher, that top part of the bubble, and then everything kind of repurposes down from there for us, we have someone on our team who helps write the content. So we’ll record the episode, she’ll write the content, and then I’ll go in before the episode launches and publish all the content, make final touches and tweaks. And then usually like tweaking things like from an SEO perspective to before we actually hit publish. So that’s kind of, I would say we have the easiest way, like it’s not the set in stone process, things tweak and move around all the time, but it’s just knowing what you’re the highest part of the funnel is for you.

Like we create content for our podcast, everything flows from there. If you’re thinking about all of your, tactics and silos, you’re going to be doing so much more work. So really just structure it of like, where am I going to live? What’s my priority. And then I’m going to create additional content from there.

Jade Boyd: So building off of what you said, I want to ask a really specific question. So every year I do a planning stack episode on my podcast. So I have like my 2023 planning stack, my 2024 plan stack, but based on what you just said, this is what I’m hearing. Let me know if I’m understanding correctly. It would be better for me to create a master blog post that’s like my business planning stack and then link to the podcast episodes within that instead of having a separate one for each podcast episode.

Yes. Mm I have so many dos.

Abbey Oslin: Right? Yeah, I would continue to update that. Unless there’s like a unique spin on it every year and it’s like, okay, we’re focusing on like this topic within it, then it could make sense to have a unique one, otherwise continuing to update that post and if you have a good keyword for that post that you like want like business planning like that’s what people are always looking for or whatever it may be then you want to rank like rather than having each post rank for a different year because sometimes people are looking for the year but now you’re just like making it this catch all and you can even like highlight past years. This is what we focused on and like highlight that but then you’re just updating one post every time.

Jade Boyd: And I also just want to point out for somebody listening to this, who might be starting this might be a really overwhelming conversation for them to listen to, but I have been podcasting for two years, which is not very long, but I still feel like my workflow and my like to do list for blogging and all the things that come on the back end of podcasting are changing all of the time as I’m learning things.

And so for someone who’s just getting started, I just want to say. It’s okay if you’re not doing everything perfectly, just start. And it’s okay to like go step by step along the way. Because I don’t think I ever would have started if I would have tried to do all of this right out the gate. Because there’s, there’s a lot to do.

Abbey Oslin: Right I would actually say that you have an advantage because you now are gonna be creating every piece of content with purpose whereas some of us who have Years of content need to focus on increasing quality for the past, you know, years of the content we have. So if you are someone just getting started and you’re like, wow, I don’t have all this stuff, that’s a good thing. Now you can dive into it and you, you know, what you need to focus on. So, you know, that piece of that blog that you’re going to create today, you know, that in a quarter, you can go back and update that with links. And that blog is going to continue to work for you. So. I wouldn’t look at that as a negative at all.

I’d say you have an advantage to knowing all of the nuggets of getting that future view of like, okay, I know in a year this is where I’m going to be, which is cool.

Jade Boyd: And speaking about important nuggets, we’ve mentioned this several times, but I do want to dive deeper into keywords. Because I do think that’s one of the things that confuses people. And like, how do I find the right keywords? What did, like, which ones do I want to rank for? Do I need to choose the keyword first?

Or am I choosing the content idea first? So, what are your tips on finding good keywords for your brand and how to rank for those keywords? Hmm.

Abbey Oslin: So we have a resource too, that I’ll share with you, four of our favorite keyword research tools, so I can send that over. I want to take like a really simple approach to this because I think you can Google keyword research tools. Keywords, all of that stuff and get inundated with just so many options and tools and that handcuffs us and makes us like not want to go anywhere because we’re not sure what to do.

So I would literally just grab a pen and a paper and I would write down the, like, just imagine your audience and think of maybe a particular client or a particular customer, particular student. What do you think they used to search for you if they were typing something into Google your offer? Maybe it’s a program name, maybe it’s problem or a struggle. They have like types like just write that down And then I actually want you to ask your audience. Do something on Instagram, send something to your email list, and ask them, hey, if you were looking for me on Google, what would you search for? Because those answers are mind blowing, honestly.

Like, they remove the jargon because you have jargon ingrained in your industry and in what you offer that people likely aren’t searching for at all. So actually asking your audience can be huge and you can do something like, hey, I’m giving away a 50 Starbucks gift card. If you answer this question for me, because then you’ll get more answers for sure or doing a Google forms, which is completely free, which will help you like categorize everything and pull it all together. If you’re doing like email lists or something like that. So ask in your audience and then I want you to find like the common denominators because likely if a lot of people are saying it It’s also a really good keyword to look for and then take that word and Google it and then see who else is showing up on that first page.

Is it resonating with you? Like are these people? Also offering the same type of thing or is there a disconnect and what people are searching for and what you have to offer? Like do we need to focus on education and making sure that like, okay This actually isn’t right. People are thinking I do this and I don’t do this kind of thing.

So like that could be an education moment where we need to start over. but doing that process can help you just get to a keyword without even needing to use a fancy tool to look at like search volume and all of the other metrics, but just to really understand from your audience, what people are typing in.

And then, I would say if you do that and you feel like you have a clear cut answer, that’s awesome. Start using that keyword. In the right places, which would be like your headlines, like, just literally start using it, like, start writing and putting it in your copy, because a lot of times we find we’re not using the word anywhere.

And if we’re not using the word anywhere, Google can’t index us for it. And then we won’t show up for it. So like use your keyword, in a way that like speaks and is fun and playful and matches your voice and all the things. and that’s the magic of what usually copywriters can do for you too, is like bringing all of that to life.

But then if you are at the point too where you’re kind of stuck, One of my favorite keyword tools, and we walk through this in the guide too, is Ubersuggest. And you get three free searches a day. So what I would recommend is actually grabbing a competitor of yours. Someone in that you think you drive the same offers or the same things and take their website and plug that into Uber Suggest and see what keywords they rank for and what keywords drive traffic for them.

That can be really eyeopening to be like, Oh wow. Like they don’t drive traffic for it. Sometimes you look at them and they’re like, Oh, that’s a really good keyword. Other times you look at it and you’re like, they don’t drive traffic at all. And you’re like, wow, they must just be crushing it on Instagram because they’re not doing anything from SEO.

Other times you’re like, wow, their blog drives traffic for them. Like their services and their content and stuff doesn’t, but it’s their blog that’s driving traffic. And so then you can start thinking about like, okay, I need to focus on content because that’s what’s relevant for people too. So it’s just really eyeopening to kind of do that competitive research when you feel stuck and you’re like, I’m really niche.

I don’t know what people are searching for. I didn’t get good answers from my audience. Like then turn to a tool and kind of use your competitors as a guide.

Jade Boyd: So, for an overall content strategy, should a business owner choose like a core set of keywords that they want to rank for, versus like a certain blog post is going to have its own individual keyword research?

Abbey Oslin: Yeah. Yep. So when you think about the core pages of your website, you should have like some keywords, like a bucket of keywords that you’re using. It would be great to have each page have its own, but the world of like one keyword per one page is gone. Like that doesn’t really exist anymore. you should be writing, a piece of content, like a page that might be ranking for a lot of keywords. So like, for example, we have an SEO services page. Obviously, SEO services is like the main keyword for that page, but SEO website audit, DIY SEO course, like SEO strategy call. Those are all other headlines that are on that page.

They’re also keywords. that we can get indexed for. So you don’t need to think about just one keyword per one page. You should be like answering the person’s question that’s searching for it and using multiple keywords. And when you do some research, you can, you, you’ll naturally just find all these words that make sense to write your content for, but, when you’re doing it for your core pages of your website, so like home about services, offering shop, whatever it may be, those, you likely have this bucket of keywords that you’re using again and again, when you’re doing your blog, you’re expanding beyond that. Like you are doing something that’s more like how tos, guides, solutions to problems, sharing resources, like those are much different keywords. And your mindset is a little bit different when you’re doing that keyword research.

Jade Boyd: I do feel like keyword research, besides the strategy and the fact that it helps your SEO, it is a really helpful content creation, like tool to use some of these keywords. And I’ve, I’ve looked at the guide and obviously I’ve been listening to your podcast and abuse a lot of the tools that you’ve mentioned.

And it does just give you a lot of ideas. If you type in a specific keyword, like ClickUp, I’m, I love Asana too, but I’m a ClickUp gal and that’s one of the topics that I create content around. And if you type in ClickUp and a lot of these tools, there are so many different ideas. And so if you’re feeling stuck and you have those content pillars, I feel like it’s also a really helpful nudge in the right direction and could give you some really strategic, but also fun ideas to create content around. I also want to talk about just overall SEO, you talk about, I think, four main metrics to measure our SEO performance month over month. Can you talk a little bit about what those are and how we can find them?

Abbey Oslin: Absolutely. Yeah. So if you use Ubersuggest, you can actually find all four of these metrics in there by just putting your domain in and then they’ll pop up. So that makes it super easy. So usually what I tell people is like, if you haven’t been focusing on your SEO, do that right now, go take a screenshot of it so that then you can go back and look at those metrics later.

So the first one is keywords, which is really just getting yourself indexed. If you are indexed for zero keywords, that means Google doesn’t know about you. So run over and get Google Search Console and get yourself indexed right away. that would be step number one, making sure that Google knows about you and knows about the keywords that you offer.

Two is traffic. So traffic just from search engines, not from any other platform, but just from search. Are you getting traffic? The third is backlinks. So. This is a link of your website living on someone else’s website. It’s basically the digital word of mouth. So if I tell you, hey, this person is a really awesome copywriter, you should go work with them. You’re likely going to hold that with a higher standard because I told it to you. Trust me, like all of that. I’m, I’m probably not giving you someone who’s shady. Google thinks of that. In the same way, if people are linking your website, talking about you, they must trust you, and you must know what you’re doing, you must have good, like, authority and all of that. So having these backlinks of your website living on someone else’s can also help you be more trustworthy and help your content rank higher. So those three metrics all make up the fourth one, which is domain authority, and that is a number zero to 100.

It’s kind of like a popularity score, I’d say. I hate that word, but it’s the best description I have for it. of Google, of how authoritative you are in your industry and on your topic. The higher the number, the easier it’s going to be for you to rank on page one. So if you have a really low number, it’s going to be really important for you to focus on low competition keywords.

Like, don’t go after the same, like if you Google a keyword and Amazon and Etsy and Forbes and, you know, all of these massive corporations are showing up on page one. It’s likely very competitive, so you should be searching for keywords that don’t have that much competition so that you can rank easier. So the more content you create, the more keywords you grow, the more traffic you drive to your website, the more links you get of your website, living on other people’s will increase your domain authority. And as that grows, it’s going to be easier and easier to create content that ranks. So those are the metrics that I like to watch, I always tell people domain authority is slow, painfully slow. Like it might move a couple of points a year. You just want to know you’re moving in the right direction.

We’ve done some where people have grown one point when we do our SEO audits, and then we do a check in four to six months later, they’ve grown one point or they’ve stayed the same, but other metrics have grown. So we’ll see that hopefully growing in the future. And we’ve done others where I’ve seen people score double. Like it really just depends on the content you have, the industry, how competitive your keyboards are, things like that. But those are the four metrics that I definitely am watching. And sometimes we think about just traffic. Am I just driving traffic? And there can be a person out there driving tons of traffic, but it’s bogus. Like they’re not getting any inquiries. They’re not getting any sales. And what’s the point? Like. What’s the point of that? And my favorite example is we were working with someone who, they’re a luxury kitchen remodel company. So they redo luxury kitchens. And she was like, our content team wrote a blog post, how to DIY your kitchen cabinets. It is their highest performing blog post. It drives thousands of traffic hits to their website. From an SEO perspective, they’re like, nailed it. Great, but no, none of those people are ever going to hire them for a luxury kitchen remodel because they are DIY ers.

They don’t have the money. That’s not what they’re doing. So, that is a good example of, like, your SEO needs to match your overall goal. Like, you need to be driving people who are your audience, and you shouldn’t be going after just any keyword because it’s a good keyword. You should be going after things that are bringing the right people to you.

So look at those four metrics, but at the end of the day, also look at, like, however you want to bring in revenue. Like, are you getting inquiries from people from Google? Like, do you have a part on your contact page that says, how did you find me? And is like Google or search and answer so that you can start tracking that. And then also just knowing like, or from a sales perspective, you sell products or digital products, like actually being able to see where they came from, because that’s going to tell you if your SEO is working beyond just those four metrics. And that’s what I always love to connect with my clients on.

It’s like, Yeah. These numbers look great, but are you actually getting sales? Are you getting conversions? Like tell me what’s happening behind the scenes because that needs to work too in order for it to be like a really good SEO strategy.

Jade Boyd: Yes. Okay. This was so good. I want to end here because I feel like anyone listening to this episode probably already has a laundry list of to do items to do, but for those who are listening to this episode and thinking like, oh man, I need to dive deeper into this SEO thing and figure some stuff out. Where can listeners find you and learn more from you after the show?

Abbey Oslin: Yes. So we’re at duocollective. com is a hub for everything basically you can find everything there. we do have an SEO on tap DIY SEO course that basically teaches you our process of exactly how to do keyword research, understand your audience, where to put the keywords, how to optimize your website.

My goal with this course was not to be overwhelming. Every video is less than 10 minutes. It is super bite sized. It’s manageable. It gives you homework. It’s go at your own pace. So it’s something that’s really meant to make SEO easy. Like I want you to feel. throughout the process. And at the end of the process, like, wow, I optimized my website and I did it. And SEO can be easy and SEO can work for me. And so, that was our whole goal with the course. So definitely check that out. It’s duocollective.com/seo-ontap.

Jade Boyd: And we will make sure to link all of that in the show notes to make it really easy for people to find. And again, can’t recommend your podcast enough. It is so, so good if somebody wants just a jumping off point as well. So thank you so much again for coming and sharing your expertise with us. This episode was so good and probably one of those episodes I’m going to be like forwarding people again and again and again.

So thanks again.

Abbey Oslin: Thank you.

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