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29 Comments

SEO Expert AMA (still here!)

After 5 years working in SEO I've developed an eye for quick wins and SEO strategy.

Ask me anything: Technical SEO, content marketing, product SEO for SAAS, link building.

My only stipulation is please try to be specific, explain your strategy, share your site. That way this is more valuable.

Edit: I'm still around checking this post so feel free to keep posting your AMAs.

Edit 2: If you need help with SEO I do in-depth keyword research for SAAS. (Email in bio next to profile pic)

  1. 2

    We are starting our Saas https://flutterhost.io/ how we can improve in SEO? The problem is that users won't specifically search for "Flutter Hosting", how to get to the users?

    1. 2

      How do you know people won't search for that? Just today I searched for "how to deploy Flutter," "Flutter CI/CD," "Flutter how to automatically deploy iOS and Android," etc. I found Codemagic ultimately solved the problem. Yours could be similar.

      1. 1

        Mine works slightly different - it is not alternative for Codemagic, it has slightly different use case, but indeed this search phrases might work for me too. Thanks!

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          Yeah I'm not saying your app is an alternative to Codemagic, I'm saying don't immediately assume no one will search for Flutter hosting. Buy ahrefs with the 7 day for 7 USD trial and test it out, you'll get a lot more info.

    2. 2

      Great question.

      Firstly do you know for certain that people don't search for this? If they don't, how will you have a market for your business?

      Secondly you have to think beyond 'flutter hosting' and create a customer profile. What other things is your target customer going to search for?

      Think about something like canva. They create pages about how to design Facebook ads, because their product can be used to do that. What is your product used for that people search for more generally. That's content marketing in a nut shell.

      Edit:

      Couldn't help myself. Some content ideas:

      • flutter Vs react
      • flutter templates
      1. 1

        My clients might search for "How to share app without appstore" or something like that. Thats what mine tool is solving

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          Great. That's your first piece of content then.

  2. 1

    Hope I'm not too late to the party for this!

    I'm doing a little experiment with programmatic SEO. If I have a spreadsheet of data, and I plug it into a template, would google penalize me for that?

    The "articles" generated would be about 80% the same probably. But not exactly the same. I guess I'm just curious as to what Google thinks "duplicate" content is.

    1. 1

      I'm not clear on exactly what the articles would be. If each page is for a member of Congress, that's not duplicate. But no guarantee Google will index all programmatic content if you have a lot of it. They will want to see traffic and demand.

      But to be clear there is no penalty for doing this. Even if you do submit duplicate pages Google will usually just pick one and use that rather than applying a penalty.

      1. 1

        Cool, this is helpful info. Thanks!

  3. 1

    Hey,

    So I have some side projects and at least one is growing quite nicely when it comes to search traffic: getworkrecognized.com - It is a platform for employees to track their work achievements and create a self-review.

    1. How do you figure out what content to write or which keywords to target. Like can you give a step-by-step guide on what you are doing?

    Then I have another project: tooltipr.com and I do not even know where to start or what my strategy should be. I was thinking maybe some nice public glossary pages like for crypto which might drive traffic.

    1. What do you think should be the strategy for this project?

    Cheers, Kevin

    1. 2

      Hi Kevin. Tooltipr and glossary pages sounds like it could work.

      I'd create a page per word too. That way you can target people searching for "SAAS meaning" or "what does SEO stand for". Would be interesting if that could be automated but I would suggest testing this out first to see if traffic converts.

      You also mention onboarding in your site so perhaps you can create content around onboarding and problems associated with it - ideally where you can being the product in too.

  4. 1

    Hey, @jackocarroll!

    I've just recently implemented a blog page for my latest project - BotMeNot - https://botmenot.com/blog/ and published the first article. I would like to know your technical opinion!

    It's a SaaS that will let you know how well protected your website is from bots and give you a bot protection score.

    I'm currently also looking for ways to improve my positioning on Google's search page and would also like to know what you think I can improve on https://botmenot.com/ regarding SEO.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. 1

      Hi mkrunic. Apologies for late response to this.

      First of all, I really like the name of your SAAS and the defined purpose of your service. This makes my life easier as a marketer.

      Secondly, great article! BUT you are making a common mistake that I see with SAAS companies. They write great in-depth expert interesting content, but they forget that this is meant to be "content marketing" not just content.

      NB: I recently worked with a VC funded competitor in your space doing a very similar approach to you. So now I'm going to tell you what I told them.

      In your case the article is going in the right direction, but framing it as a purely informational history lesson, rather than a problem solving article, is my issue with it.

      In fact you have a content plan within this article. Take each heading and make it an article:

      • How to stop ddos attacks in 2021
      • How to prevent user agent spoofing
      • Can captchas be hacked?

      (Also don't delete the blog you have, just link from it to each of these new articles to create a natural structure. Then you can expand it in future and it will become useful for PR purposes, establishing expertise.)

      The above articles are all focused on specific problems I might have, that I might google, and that I think you can solve for me. So they make perfect SEO articles in that respect.

      Maybe nobody searches for these things or they are too competetive - I didn't check that. If it is the former, you have no market, which I doubt very much. If it is the latter, you can hire an SEO and start link building after you get those articles published.

      TLDR: Combine content with marketing. In my view 80% (or more) of SEO articles should function as subtle sales / landing pages for your product (but not too subtle). With the rest being for link bait / PR.

      1. 1

        Thanks a lot for the answer and advice!

  5. 1

    I'm building this hardware products comparison website: https://hardware.compare/monitors/

    There's a page with all products listed and it can be viewed in four different views: tiles, table, chart, side by side comparison. Right now you can switch between the views and the url stays the same.

    Would it be better from an SEO perspective that these four different views had their own designated url? Even though the content is pretty much the same? And because the content is pretty much the same would I get somehow penalized for it?

    1. 2

      For this Google would suggest you canonicalise to a single page rather than have multiple pages with the same content. If it is currently a single page keep it that way. I've also seen comparison sites that have the actual comparison tables in a non indexed part of the site and indexed pages are landing pages. I think because the tables are complicated and dynamic.

  6. 1

    What is your recommended strategy to make new content visible in google search results (other na guest posting)? Let's assume it's a fresh site with very first blog post.

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      Research low competition keywords and do some basic link building .

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        What do you mean by basic link building? :)

        1. 2

          Forum links, Reddit links can really help IMO despite being nofollow. I'd suggest doing some keyword research first and looking at competitor sites' links for keywords you want to rank for. Use ahrefs free trial or just buy it for a month to see those links and export the data. I really suggest trying to do it yourself before hiring an SEO.

  7. 1

    Just soft-launched timeivy.com and here's my main challenge.

    Keywords, such as "productivity" or "focus", "getting things done" are overly saturated in the market because pretty much any app that helps you do something is considered to be in the productivity category.

    My current strategy is going after quick wins, such as "competitor vs me" or "best tools to stay focused", but there's only so many of those I can create. I'm also working on specialized landing pages (ie. targeting devs, writers, etc).

    But after that, I have no idea what's the best way to find the ideal keywords and which tools I could use for SEO that are not complicated for a newbie like me.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. 2

      As an SEO myself, I'd recommend using a tool like ahrefs.com (I personally use this tool and find lots of valuable keyword ideas while using it). I'd recommend guest posting on productivity, habits, and other similar blogs to gain brand awareness.

      1. 1

        Thanks Josh, ahrefs seems like a great option, and for your advice on guest-posting.

        Btw, I just checked your personal website (read a few of your blog posts). I'm glad you realized at such a young age how valuable your time is and decided not to waste it on your phone anymore. Clap clap!

    2. 1

      Specialised landing pages sounds the way to go. Writers sounds like a perfect use case. There might be 10 articles you could write just for that use case.

      That's how I would approach this - focusing on targeting very specific people or use cases that the product is a good fit for.

      SEO tools:

      Ahrefs is the best tool for keyword research. Use the keyword difficulty score for example. But be aware Ahrefs is also not a source of truth. There are millions of keywords not in the database and their scoring system is just a model that has no relation to how Google really works.

      You don't need ahrefs either. You can just pick keywords based on your ideal use cases and target customers. Install search console to see if anyone searches for that and finds you.

      Or run some adwords campaigns to test keyword volumes. That way you can also track conversion rates for keywords.

      Free tools:

      Look at Google's SERPs and the results is my second tool - and that one is free. Use suggested searches from Google for article ideas.

      Google Trends. Search for "procrastination" in trends to see trending related searches.

      1. 1

        Wow, there are many things here that I didn't know about or even considered (search console, adwords, SERPs). Thanks for the sound advice!

    3. 1

      For this, I’d recommend competitor research.

      Also, it’s a good idea to think of sister topics that could be helpful to your target market.

      For example, as a productivity app you have a range of things to talk about:

      • Time management techniques such as pomodoro
      • being organized
      • how to prioritize tasks
      • how to beat procrastination
      • etc.

      I could go on all day but the point is to get out of product mode and get into customer problem solving mode.

      Site looks good by the way. Reminds me of a slicker rescue time

      1. 1

        get out of product mode and get into customer problem solving mode

        This is gold. Once you start thinking about it that way, it's easier to come up with ideas and topics. But for some reason, sometimes we get stuck on the product side, rather than on the problem we're solving.

        Thanks for your feedback!

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