The Scripted Podcast is a show created for content marketers and content writers featuring real Scripted writers. We'll talk about best practices in content and SEO, our favorite marketing tools, how to find and hire writers, and all the fun and misadventure that comes with being a professional freelance writer.
In this episode of The Scripted Podcast we continue our discussion with Griffin Roer, founder and CEO of the marketing agency Uproer, about SEO in 2020. Griffin and Gregory discuss the use of semantic keywords in content creation, guest posting, link building, hub and spoke content creation and how often does the best content really win? Give it a listen below!
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What's up, listeners? Thanks for tuning into another episode of this Scripted podcast. In today's episode, Griffin and I will be ending our discussion on SEO by talking about other tips and tricks, including the use of semantic keywords, guest posting, link building, as well as discussing certain trends that are fundamentally shifting the way people approach SEO and how you will as well in the future. It's going to be great. So without further ado, let's kick it off.
Griffin, we ended our last discussion talking about linking between different articles, which is a practice that is very related to the tactic of writing hub and spoke content. Would you just briefly overview your thoughts on hub and spoke articles?
Yeah, absolutely. And we advocate for that hub and spoke framework. I think a mistake people make is they sort of publish content linearly and they publish something and they move on from it and it kind of just gets forgotten about.
You know, it gets lower and lower in the blog feed or it just kind of lives off on an island somewhere on your web site and you kind of move on to the next keyword or a topic and you just kind of keep going forward. But if you think of things more in that hub and spoke framework, it helps you strategize around how are we going to rank for this topic overall? We shouldn't expect that, you know, publishing one piece of content on this topic is going to be enough to get us the rankings we want. We have to sort of anchor that topic around what you might call a hub or, you know, a page that substantially covers that topic. Or is the most authoritative page on your web site for that topic. And then you want to surround it with related pieces of content that may target secondary keywords or long-tail keywords or subtopics within that topic. And when you think about it that way, it becomes much easier to create a content calendar. You're not trying to always think of, like with a new topic. Something we can, you know, publish next. You sort of have your topics identified and it becomes more an exercise of how can we publish more around this topic? We haven't done enough here. We've only created a hub and two spokes. So, you know, clearly there's opportunity here to address more of the sub topics. So so let's do that. And if you can keep things organized in that way, you're going to see not only that it becomes easier to kind of come up with content ideas and continually publish relevant content. But also you're going to see better performance overall because that hub and spoke framework, you know, helps you become a topical authority on something you want to rank for. And it promotes really good internal linking. So, you know, talking about you're going back and linking to old blog posts and linking to web pages that you may have previously published.
If you're thinking about it in the hub and spoke framework, those already published pieces of content are still top of mind as you continue forward and publish new content.
Nice. I think that does a great job of breaking down the functionality of the hub and spoke framework. Thank you so much. Similarly to what we just did. I want to throw some more topics at you. And I just want you to talk about whatever comes to mind when I bring the topic up. So the first one is going to be the use of semantic keywords.
Yeah, I think they're certainly important. I think, again, you know, if you're publishing a piece of content and you have your focused keyword and you're really just hyper focused on a limited number of keywords there. I don't think you're today, going to do very well in ranking for that topic. So everything about our related keywords to this query, what are other ways that people call this thing that we're trying to rank for? If you can use some of your keyword research tools, you know, maybe use just your intuition about what else might people call this. You can sort of naturally begin using some of those, like semantically related keywords and bringing those into your content and just improve the probability that you'll rank ultimately for the keywords you are in for.
Nice. We'll keep it quick here. The next one is guest posting.
Yes. Still a great topic. I think you know, that one a few years ago came under some fire as kind of Google said, we're going to be prioritizing the back link there or we're going to be kind of watching this a little bit more closely as it became one of those tactics that maybe got abused a bit. But if you are writing articles or content or related web sites and reputable web sites, it's great, you know, not just for building backlinks, which, you know, is still important, but it's great for driving referral traffic and just building the overall authority of your brand.
Thank you for that. And another topic, we kind of brought this up in the beginning of the discussion, is competitive analysis. I would look for you to take a little deeper stab at this. What is competitive analysis, really? Can you talk us through what you do and what are the best practices when it comes to that?
Yes. So our goal with that is to reverse engineer competitors' content to understand why they're performing so well. So we want to look at various factors like how long is the content? How is it structured? What keywords are currently ranking for? That maybe we haven't thought in terms of bringing into our own content. Where is it placed on the site? How is the URL structured? So you want to answer sort of all those questions so you can formulate some hypotheses around, OK, competitors X, Y and Z rank in position one, two and three of what we want to rank for. What aspects of their content are allowing them to get those top ranking positions? So then what do we need to do when we produce our piece of content to meet or exceed those benchmarks? So that to us is the goal of competitive analysis. And you know why you want to have some tools in your arsenal to help extract that information and do it effectively.
Nice. So now we're going to switch it up just a little bit. And I'm going to read some quotes to you just to hear your thoughts on if you agree with these types of things, really discussing the trends when it comes to SEO and moving into the future. So the first one is, "According to Eli Schwartz, growth consultant and advisor on keyword research and user intent in 2020, content will truly have to be written to user intent rather than just strings that a user might research. Schwartz said keyword research tools may even become less relevant with the primary dataset for content creation coming from suggested queries in 2020. The really smart CEOs will get up from their desk to talk to the customers so they can find out what their audience really wants from them." The question being, what keyword research tools do you use? And do you agree with Mr. Schwartz that these tools will fall behind search engine algorithms? Have they already fallen behind? And I know we talked a little bit about your tools, but if you want to just kind of tackle this for me to be awesome.
Yeah, good question. So we talked a bit about user intent at the top of the conversation and making sure that you're spending time looking at the actual search results so that you can understand, you know, what are the types of content that Google or other search engines are putting in front of users? You make sure that you're publishing a piece of content that can compete in that space. So that's one you definitely want to get in the head of your customers or your clients customers to figure out. What might the intent be behind this search? Are they looking for information or are they looking to buy, you know, and then what is the right piece of content that will match that intent? So that's really important. Keyword research tools. I think they're great, depending on how you're using them. If you're only using them to inform all of your keywords and kind of content ideas, I think you are going to miss out on search intent. So you want to be creative. You know, I think SEO, when people think about SEO, they think of how technical it is and how analytical it is. But it's also, you know, effective SEO requires creativity. So thinking about, you know, who is the end user? Who's going to be consuming this content? What do they want? What is important to them? How can we structure the content so we're giving them the answers right away instead of kind of burying the information and ultimately creating a piece of content that doesn't work? So keyword research tools are still very effective, but it just depends on how you are using them.
Love it. I'm going to hold my thoughts on that just because I know we're getting close to time. The last quote I want to give you is, "To succeed in 2020, you will have to write something that is relevant and valuable, said Tony Wright, CEO of Wright IMC. This means that CEOs need to learn how to write or hire people who know how to write. Wright said Google's editorial discretion isn't perfect yet. There will still be content that ranks that shouldn't. But the day is coming when the best content will win." Question is, how good is Google's current editorial discretion? In your experience, how often does the best content win and what can businesses do to ensure their content wins?
Another great question. I think Google has certainly gotten better in making sure that the right content wins. I don't think that's always a guarantee. And that can be frustrating when you produce something that you believe is the best and should be the top rated with the content. For whatever reason is not gaining traction. And you're seeing these competitors with this crappy content outranking. So Google is getting better and you're starting to see a bit less of that. But it is really important to make sure that your content conveys expertise. So that's where you know kind of what we talked about at the beginning and where you want to meet me, your client in the middle of. And understand that our you know, our role is to be the SEO expert. You know, we don't know your industry as well as you, and we never will be. We want to make sure that we are giving copywriters and the clients as much information as possible about what it's going to take to win so that they can write the actual expert content. And we can kind of put the two together and create something that we think has the highest probability of winning.
Well said, Griffin, we're going to start wrapping this up. I would love for you to just take a moment to share a little bit more about your business where people can find you if they want to learn more about you and what you do.
Yes. Our website is Uproer.com. We have a newsletter that we publish monthly called Searchlite and you can sign up for that on our site if you're just interested in keeping up with SEO trends and the bigger picture stuff. And we also kind of put our perspective to Twitter and LinkedIn so you can find us on Twitter @_Uproer.
Awesome. And we'll be leaving that in the show notes. Griffin, thanks so much. It's been a pleasure speaking with you.
And to recap this episode, a great strategy to help or consent rank is to use the hub and spoke strategy, which means you run a highly authoritative article that covers a broad topic and then you enter sub topics to that hub article which will hit secondary keywords. And when you think about it that way, it also becomes much easier to create a content calendar.
When it comes to semantic keywords. It's essential to use related keywords. So think about what other ways people could call the thing that you're trying to rank for. You can then naturally bring in those semantic keywords and ultimately strengthen your piece of content.
Guest posts are great, and Google has de-prioritized the back links from them over time. But, if you are writing articles or content for related reputable websites, it's great for building backlinks and referral traffic and growing the overall authority of your brand.
To get effective competitive analysis. Think why are competitors performing so well? Look at how long their content is. How is it structured? What keywords is it ranking for that you haven't thought about? How is the URL structured? How are they doing it? What aspects of their content is helping them? And how can you meet or exceed those same benchmarks?
Next, you want to get in the heads of your customers and understand their intent of their search. You want to provide them with the content that meets their intent. So SEO tools are great, but you can use them wrong. If you're solely finding keywords and content ideas through them, they aren't going to be so effective. SEO is also largely about creativity. So use creativity as well as SEO tools.
And lastly, Google has gotten better, but it's not always guaranteed the best content will win. So to increase your odds, it's important that your content conveys expertise. Now to do this, meet your clients and writers in the middle. You bring them the knowledge that it will take to win (SEO expertise). You understand the keywords that you need to be using and allow them to fill in the blanks. Allow them to actually write the content that conveys the expertise while also keeping in mind everything that you passed along to them. And that's going to help.
Now, that's gonna be wrapping up our discussion on SEO in 2020. In the next episode, we'll be bringing our discussion on how to write incredibly shareable content and how to promote your content in general. It's going gonna be a great discussion, and I look forward to seeing you there.
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