Chris Raines: Hey everybody, welcome to episode eight of the Dodgeball Marketing Podcast. My name is Chris Raines. I'm here with Mi- [crosstalk 00:00:10].
Michael Utley: It's for Ariana. Should I hold, should I hold this the whole time?
Chris Raines: Yeah, hold on to that.
Michael Utley: Spin it. I'll just spin it like this.
Chris Raines: Yeah, hold on to that. How you doing, Michael?
Michael Utley: Good. Happy Friday!
Chris Raines: Happy Friday to you. How are you feeling today?
Michael Utley: Good. Yeah, feeling great. I was a little low last week but feeling okay today.
Chris Raines: We've been getting some comments from the viewers of just a low-level tension.
Michael Utley: We're going to bring it back in. [crosstalk 00:00:28] We're going to bring it back up.
Chris Raines: Just so many emails. Nah, I'm just kidding.
Michael Utley: That's right.
Chris Raines: Cool. Glad you're feeling good.
Michael Utley: Yeah, thank you.
Chris Raines: We're going to talk about, this episode we're going to talk about different types of content for SEO. So everybody knows that for SEO content is king. Content is kind of where everything, a lot of this is based. But not all content is created equal. There's different kinds of content with different goals for each content. So that's what we're going to talk about, Michael.
I'm just going to kind of kick it off to you, these different categories of content and a lot of this is mostly as I would say is for local businesses. So you're in a specific geography, you have a specific service area that you serve. But a lot of it honestly can apply to more nationalists. You're, you want to list for the entire country or the entire world so same thing applies. But if you are affiliated with a local business, own a local business, definitely, this applies to you. So the first thing is probably the most obvious thing when people think about content for SEO is the blog post. The blog thing at the top, at the top of the title bar of the website. So, Michael, where does, where does a blog live in terms of SEO? What's the purpose of it and what value does it hold? Yeah.
Michael Utley: Blogs are good. They actually are kind of an easy catch-all. I would avoid using the name 'blog' for your blog. I would pick something that's related to your industry so you'd get some good keywords in there. If it's not news, you don't need to call it 'news'. It's okay to use the word 'blog' as long as it's sort of in addition to some valuable keywords or something that captures the benefit that you're trying to produce with your blog.
Chris Raines: So what would you call something 'Resources' or...?
Michael Utley: Yeah. Well, now maybe if you're, for example, if it's a healthcare website, maybe an orthopedic healthcare site, I might call it "Sports Injury Health Blog".
Chris Raines: Oh, right so you're just... You're adding relevant adjectives to [crosstalk 00:02:24]
Michael Utley: Something to contextualize it in the universe of the subject matter in a way that's a little bit more handy for search engines than just the word 'blog'. But the word 'blog' is not a bad thing. A lot of times, if you have, if you tend to have more timely information rotating in your editorial schedule then 'news' is another word that you could use instead of 'blog'. But for the most part, I would frame it up with something.
Blogs are, blogs are not a bad thing. It's kind of a cliche sort of SEO activity. "Oh yeah, we're going to have a blog, we're going to do this." But what it accomplishes is it gets a flow of something new happening on your domain every month. Ideally even every week or every few days. And also if you're featuring a block on your homepage, to introduce a few of your most recent blog topics, signaling to your search engines that your website is being updated pretty frequently because you have new content that's hitting and signaling that the homepage has been updated.
So anything with 750 words or more, we like 750 to 1,000 words. And then if I had any other advice for this overall blog category, and we've got other episodes and you can look around to see best practices and blogging. But generally cut the fluff. You don't want to write for computers or for algorithms. You want to write for people. But yeah, having a blog is a good thing to do for SEO, no matter what kind of business you are.
Chris Raines: Next content type we're going to talk about is localization pages. Michael, what do, what do we mean when we say localization page for a local business?
Michael Utley: Yes. So while, while what we're talking about today applies to any type of website or industry, localization pages are extremely important for a regional or local service business.
We're sitting here. We're just a few feet away from main street in Nashville, Tennessee. You can hear, you'll hear sirens and motorcycles go by as we're talking. When we're working with a call, we work with clients all across the country. But if we're talking to someone in Nashville, as an example, we would have their website, the different pages for their website and then we would start to think about building pages for each location identifier that someone might utilize looking for services.
So let's take the phrase 'painting contractor'. We might have a page devoted to the topic "Nashville Painting Contractors". We might also have "Franklin Painting Contractors" for Franklin, Tennessee. We might also have Brentwood or Belle Meade or Green Hills. These are all local names and it's a mix of cities, counties, neighborhoods. Different ways that different cities identify themselves and it's very inconsistent. It doesn't need to be a flat list or follow a rigid hierarchy. It really needs to be built around the names that people use for their own place. Like how do they think of themselves?
Chris Raines: The insets of all of this is rooted in how do people search for things.
Michael Utley: Yeah, that's right.
Chris Raines: If we're in East Nashville, which is a neighborhood.
Michael Utley: It's not a city.
Chris Raines: If I was look, and if I was looking for a dentist, I wouldn't just Google "Dentists".
Michael Utley: Or 'Nashville dentists'.
Chris Raines: Or 'Reputable dentists'. I would want, I don't want to drive 45 minutes to get to a dentist. So I want to say, I would search for 'Dentists in East Nashville'. So that's why we make localized pages, right?
Michael Utley: That's right. Yeah. So you've probably got, for any kind of local or regional business, you've probably got ten to 20 local identifiers that you need to encapsulate into a page that's essentially a landing page for that neighborhood or city. It can have sample projects from that area. It can have a testimonial that's from that area.
It can have any kind of media mentions like if you're in the sort of local socialite newspaper, or if you sponsor a little league in that neighborhood. Anything that you're doing that's specific to that neighborhood, that's great, go for it. Otherwise just kind of create some unique content for that page to replicate and offer a 360 degree view of your entire company and all of your selling points on that page. But yeah, as good as you can make it great. But if you can't just build the page with kind of a rehash of your overall value proposition and it'll be a good and valuable page for you for SEO.
Chris Raines: Yeah, perfect. Let's talk about service pages, Michael, and that's obviously what it is. But go deeper into why service pages are important and what kind of service pages you might want to make.
Michael Utley: Absolutely. So the next step here is services pages. We, a lot of times when folks reach out to us either with GoEpps, the parent company, or Dodgeball Marketing, Dodgeball SEO. When we start with them, we're generally seeing a dropdown menu that has a list of their main services or just a link that says 'services' that just goes to one page.
So here's the dirty secret, in SEO, having lots of different pages about your subject matter is good. And you don't want to get in the way of the user. You don't want to think of your, all of your pages being something that the user has to drill through, or sort of find their way down in a complicated dropdown menu. But not everything that we're talking about has to be built into that top nav. But in the top nav it would be really good to have a dropdown menu just for services and have separate pages for each major service area. And to do this in a way that is built around the pain points that your customers have when they are articulating what they need.
If you have two or three different business units of your company, those may or may not match up with your services. Sometimes you can have different ways of thinking about things that are differentiated for reasons that are totally irrelevant to the customer. You know, like sandblasting may be a whole different crew, a whole different thing, and you may do it for service, surface prep or something...
Chris Raines: Let's go back to our dentist episode, teeth whitening. Like it's the same dentist, the same tanks that are kind of in their working. But to the, for the customer, it's "I want my teeth [crosstalk 00:09:05].
Michael Utley: "This is what I want done", yeah.
Chris Raines: They know that some dentists off somewhere does it. But it's meeting them where they are like you said.
Michael Utley: That's right and that may be somebody who's looking for a new dentist or is new to the area. That could even be something that's not necessarily your big ticket item, but it's a good patient acquisition onboarding service. So yeah, that's a great example, Chris, because what you're really saying there is what is the problem the person is trying to solve and start with that. Those are your services.
Chris Raines: Pediatric dentists.
Michael Utley: Whatever's in your P&L as a separate business unit for whatever reason may or may not be relevant. But what are the big buckets of your customers for your business and what are the main things, the main ways that they articulate their needs. Those are your services pages and the answer is, is it easier to just have it all on one page or is it better to have multiple pages? You don't want to hurt the user experience, but it's better to have lots of pages.
Chris Raines: Yeah. The little hooks in the water, right.
Michael Utley: That's right, lots of little hooks in the water.
Chris Raines: And you, you listen to this one, Michael, and then I'm interested to hear what this is to you, but sub-service pages. I haven't quite heard it phrased like that before, but tell me what you mean when you, when you say "sub-service pages".
Michael Utley: That's right. So anytime someone's investing in SEO, they don't want to just get to the point that they have ten blog posts hitting their blog every month. You can kind of overdo it on the blog tactic. Another way to build out your domain as the expertise, authority, and trust of your domain for a subject matter is to have a richer expression of each of your services.
So typically on a services page when it comes to us, and we see it for the first time with a new Dodgeball SEO customer. We'll see that they have two or three services pages and then the services pages might have a bulleted list in there. Maybe in two columns, maybe three columns. But a bulleted list that says "here's what this service includes". And so if it's a, something like a commercial painter, they may have surface prep, sandblasting, site prep, site cleanup. Lots of different facets of doing the service. Some things that are kind of services on their own. Other things that are sort of clustered together to make up the overall service. But guess what, all of those bulleted items can be separate pages.
And so then, when somebody is doing a search for "sandblasting contractor" in your area, you may come up and they may know that they need sandblasting because you're looking at 50-year-old walls that haven't been taken care of. And they may be planning to paint afterward, but they may just happen to do a search for sandblasting or media blasting. And so, building out these bulleted lists as separate pages is excellent SEO.
Chris Raines: It sounds like it could also be a way to, to me, tell me if you think that, if you agree with this, to serve maybe customers that are more sophisticated and know all the little sub-genres of a service.
Michael Utley: Yeah.
Chris Raines: And know exactly what they want and know the ins and outs, and you can kind of hook them in that way. Would you look at it like that or...?
Michael Utley: Absolutely. And a lot of, a lot of folks who are looking for services, especially local and regional searches, they, when they get the first page of results, a lot of times they have a lot of national brands in there and they're, they're actually looking to work with someone more local. Or they're getting a lot of aggregator sites like house/home advisor or Yelp. And they're trying to get past that so a lot of times the second word searches are not refinements based on geography for a subsequent search. Often they're refinements based on adding a second service. So commercial painter, you get, you get a bunch of yellow pages, Yelp, Steph, you say "No, no, no, no, i, I want, I need commercial painter sandblasting" and so sometimes these additional keywords are the more robust search that one does. And it's, I wouldn't say it's even long tail.
I would call these types of searches, mid-tail. They're not cryptic combinations that are rare and hardly ever going to happen. They're actually the bread and butter. They're actually pretty valuable. It's very difficult to get paid to page one for something like commercial painter or a local dentist. But if you have something that makes you different, you want to push ahead with that and it's better for that to be something substantial, not fluffy. And that's your services, what do you offer? What do you, do you want that to be, you want search engines to never have to struggle to understand. And so the sub-services really helped do that.
Chris Raines: Michael Utley, talk about industry you serve pages.
Michael Utley: Yep. So yeah, everybody has kind of four or five different sets of customers they're used to seeing come in the door. And just like localization pages and services pages, these pages are essentially a landing page for someone looking for someone who works with their industry. So sticking with our previous example, well, let's use dentists.
Chris Raines: That would be more like demographic...
Michael Utley: Demographics, yeah. This would be a dentist works with kids.
Chris Raines: Right, pediatric dentistry.
Michael Utley: Yeah, pediatric dentistry could be a standalone page.
Chris Raines: Or pediatric for sen... Or a dentist for seniors, maybe.
Michael Utley: Absolutely. Or, I don't know enough about dentistry, but like...
Chris Raines: Special needs dentistry.
Michael Utley: Or emergency, I know one is emergency.
Chris Raines: Emergency, yes.
Michael Utley: So emergency dentistry, that's an industry or a sub-industry. That's a subset.
Chris Raines: 24-hour, yeah.
Michael Utley: That's a subset instead of, for somebody like...
Chris Raines: This is probably more applicable to like B2B services though, right?
Michael Utley: Well, I think it is quite often, but I think the same logic can be applied to B2C
Chris Raines: Right, cause it's about who they serve, not what they do.
Michael Utley: Not what they do, but what categories of the universe they connect with well.
Chris Raines: Painters for gymnasium.
Michael Utley: For painters that's going to be higher education, education. We've got painters in places like Boston, Chicago who do a lot with food and beverage industry. So they have different certifications, different ways of doing things. And so they have the industry pages for those industries. Yeah. Great example.
Chris Raines: Yeah, last category here is support pages. So these are about contact pages, things like galleries. How can people use those pages, Michael Utley, to enhance their SEO?
Michael Utley: Don't forget that Google's looking for at least about 300 words for Google to even feel that they've got a page that's indexable. So your Contact page probably has too little content. Your Gallery pages probably have a lot of great images but no text. Your About page could probably be expanded to include a bio for each team member and a separate page for each of your executive team members. So these pages are sometimes kind of considered throwaway pages or are not really an opportunity for SEO. But we like to expand them and make the most of them. So don't forget supporting pages.
Chris Raines: Bulk them up and make them indexable [crosstalk 00:15:56].
Michael Utley: Make them valuable. Make them more valuable to users and search engines.
Chris Raines: Great. Well, that's all we have you guys, and that, and really that list is, basically covers almost everything. If you're a really [crosstalk 00:16:06].
Michael Utley: It's a really valuable list.
Chris Raines: Any, that, any page that you want to make, that has SEO value is in those categories. It's really great primer, if you own a local business, to hit all those six types of pages. So that's all we have. We'll see you on the next one.
Michael Utley: Excellent. Thanks. Thanks, Chris.