In today’s episode, we talk with Martha van Berkel, CEO and Co-Founder of SchemaApp, a service that empowers the Digital Marketer to own their schema markup strategy through to implementation without ever writing code or engaging with IT.
We talk about her background in mathematics and engineering (she also attended the MIT Sloan school of management). We also discuss how she spent almost 14 years at Cisco, what it’s like to be an innovator at an otherwise slow-moving, highly-bureaucratic company, and the circumstances that led to her going out on her own and eventually forming her own company with her husband.
In the news, we talk about Google’s recent broad core algorithm update and share our thoughts on how the industry reacts to algo updates as well as our own approaches.
And finally, we deep dive into structured data, how brands can use it, as well as what challenges SEOs face with schema and getting it implemented.
Also, follow Schema App on Twitter.
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Listen to audio only
He is a web standards evangelist, content management specialist, amateur bread baker, member of the LondonEErs ExpressionEngine Group and a founding member of the Croydon Creatives social group.
- His early days as a graphic designer
- How he turned into a technical SEO during his 20 years within the banking industry
- His recent transition to owning his own company.
- We react to the new page speed reports in Google Search Console and other SEO news
- Deep dive on replatforms, redesigns, and website migrations.
Visit Simon’s personal website.
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Hey everybody this is Jacob Stoops and we are here with episode 27 I’m here with my brand new co host. Mr. Jeff, Louella how’s it going
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Doing pretty well.
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And for the first first time it’s me co host and also we have a special guest. AND, TODAY’S SPECIAL GUEST IS GOING TO BE Mr. Simon Cox from across the pond. How you doing, Simon.
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Are doing very well thank you chaps and lovely to see you and he
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So I know nothing about locations in the UK, other than I believe you’re in London. So I’m just a stupid American. So where exactly are you located
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Not in London.
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Now I didn’t
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Know, I used to live in the south of London. I moved about 30 miles south of that the UK is about the size of Manhattan. So distances here while they’re a big to us a tiny to you guys. You’ll travel for a day or two, just to visit SOMEBODY, YEAH. An hour or more on the train for us is forever.
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Yeah, he was quite big. But yes, I’m so let’s do you south of
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In a small village about 4000 people called Linfield has a very famous horse racing course.
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Which my office, he overlooks. Very nice. That’s
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Yeah, that’s, that’s pretty cool. I feel like everything is a it’s just generally smaller over in
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I don’t do I say Europe, European Union, not so much with Brexit.
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Yeah, you can say
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Because even if we had Brexit happens was still part of Europe on the geographical
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Right, right, right. You know,
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Unless somebody digs a great big trench and shifts as anything anything
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So let’s jump right into it. So like the point of this podcast is going to continue to be
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The origin stories of great SEOs as well as like the day to day like this is what it’s actually like. So Simon take us through your career, who you are, how you got into SEO, like, Tell us, tell us about yourself.
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SEO. I saw, I thought this was a church podcast.
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I thought that was very funny.
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And I started off.
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From school career wise you know college and I did technical illustration, our college and some graphic design, except for the four years of that. So there’s a green level, but not actual degree.
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From there I was working in studios creating our footprint, etc. This is years before the internet happened to the public as associate with the army, etc.
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Before that, um, and I was one of the first people in the country to use quality express the Page Layout program. And that got me up to London.
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I’m working there and had hunted all over the place. And eventually, after about two months. I got headhunted by middle and bank because they wanted somebody to
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Do their artwork for them things like checkbooks and credit cards and stuff like that. So I started working for those for them and within four years or so.
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I became aware of the internet becoming something I was already on bulletin boards. I was a big cyberpunk novel reader at the time.
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So it’s very much into that was looking at future stuff and and i thought this web seems really interesting. It looks a lot more interesting in the bulletin boards I was getting involved with sorry what managed to get myself into a pipex I don’t even remember pipex they were
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an ISP, the time that they disappeared. Many, many years ago they were doing call some HTML. So I managed to persuade my boss at the time to send me off on this. God knows how I did that. It was very nice guy. I think I took him out for a beer.
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And built my first website in about 96 beginning to end of 95 or maybe something like five he got six Batman.
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And the rest is history.
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And as far as SEO goes, I really started optimizing for Alta Vista, which was the big thing at the time. Yeah, good old days. So there’s like keywords bang last it healthy and there was about 400 websites at the time. So we all need each other, which is good.
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We got from that.
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Really oh actually wasn’t doing that full time. Let’s also doing graphic designer our work and stuff and running a built up a team doing that for me to about
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And I had a bit of a falling out with a new boss, they brought in.
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And she wasn’t she was completely out of my depth and she and I didn’t go well. So after about two weeks of that I
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Was a good friend of mine in the in the business and suddenly
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There’s this job going in group HBC group because middle band can age group at that point and they wanted somebody to design and build HBC group.com which in 99 became hbc.com
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Once the group one have been bought out by God knows how much they spent on that it wasn’t that much in those days, compared with now, but I’m sure it was a lot. They
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They couldn’t get your HBC net was owned by hand to Street Baptist Church in the States. So we were, we were told a lot to try and get that it was politically a bit sensitive, so leave that that’d be fine.
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So yeah, so I
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Picked up hbc.com Oh, I’d be gripping abc.com and I was literally building a website walking around the color to the HR team like the PR team.
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To get the what’s going on marketing and stuff, etc. And never give me your stories and what’s going on HBC group at the time and I would literally hand coded into
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Some notepads he got three Weaver was very happy with that because I could do things better and quicker.
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And I would literally pass the pages off to somebody in it. Who would then FTP up to the server somewhere. I was led to touch that bit.
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But everything else is just me by myself. Ah, yeah, good old days when you could you could do everything touched off. So that’s how I got into it and years and years of that running hbc.com for about 10 years and then we
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Built a bigger team pass off so that people are they kind of sent me back. I said, right, would you want to do. And I said, Well, I want to build an SEO team in LA. You sure yeah so built the socio team around the world. I had people in China, the Philippines.
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Sri Lanka and Egypt and it did have some of the states, we have a while as well. And we did huge amounts of SEO for the loss of the HBC group.
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Which is very interesting stuff very corporate very interesting
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And that’s it. Two years ago, left HSBC
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amicably to pay me off to go away, which is nice. I’ve been wanting to to go freelance for years and I’ve been doing stuff. And as you do in your bedroom at night. I’m a bit always doing that since back in the 90s.
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Doing bits on the side because it helped me with my job like it’s the only way to really learn to understand, especially with technical SEO. If you can’t build websites.
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Left HSBC and to work with my wife. Now we just set ourselves up a little bitty company. And we’ve got all sorts of interesting
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Clients from literally from the flower shop up in the village, which does rather well on the local search to web or some agencies doing International Hotel SEO and other things that come along.
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Which is great.
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So to kind of deviate. I have it on good authority that you are a train enthusiast.
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And above. Yeah, be careful here.
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That will for a lot of people put me in a subset of weirdos and
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I’m a nerd and geek, but I’m not one I build yeah I build narrow gauge model railway trains.
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Which are to scale. And there’s a there’s a great deal of precision in the men, it’s, it’s not playing trains and stuff is it’s modeling and I actually prefer the scenery more than I do, that the logos and the coaches.
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Open up my fellow society members him his, his podcast is one or two tonight. But yeah, it’s it’s creating miniature versions of interesting see and I i am i model narrow gauge. For me, it’s a lot more interesting. The standard gauge
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Because of the, the actual, real life situations with a world with so varied that know to navigate lines or like even in the States, whether there was plenty of navigating lines as well. So there was quite a few over here and UK
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Yeah. So I do that and that’s for me that’s really good because that’s what I work on digital all day.
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Doing the Madre stuff is it’s I do stuff like sobering which allows me to burn my hands quite badly.
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And in hell Knox’s and dangerous poisonous few years sorts of things which are can’t do
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Digital level. So yeah, lots of
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Hands on stuff on it. So it’s more atoms and pixels as a friend of mine, often said, Yeah.
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I build mini drones fly around and where the SPV goggles and like a freestyle and I have a whole workshop behind me. Also, and
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You know, soldering and things like that. Like it’s it’s fun, like I kind of go through there. Like I work on a computer all day and it’s kind of good to get away and work with your hands and
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Build, you know, whether it’s, you know, trains or again my mind like flying trains, in a way, I’m not building the scenery and things around that but I’m also
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I get to kind of create art that way. And my art. What I do that as making videos, trying to sync my you know freestyle flying a drone up with music and not your photography type of drone where you just hover and take a picture. I’m going
00:11:08.370 –> 00:11:08.760
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Side, like I learned to be a pilot a little bit though. I hate to call myself a pilot because that really makes real pilots like
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A real pilot
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Yeah, so, and you don’t have any any problems flying over
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Can we go kindergartener schools and stuff like that.
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Yeah, like I’m usually going to office parks on the weekend and and flying through there, that the negative that is everything’s concrete around it. So if I
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Mess up I’m usually breaking something. But that’s part of re fixing everything and they’re made of carbon fiber. They’re pretty pretty strong but
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That’s awesome. I kind of come from a similar background to you where I was like kind of a webmaster built building websites from the ground up. I’ve
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Spent tons of time like because I was a designer started with the school for Ashley 3D animation.
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Realize it stunk at that I had Photoshop.
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And having Photoshop back then when you’re a designer and the designers that that were real designers at the time didn’t really see the web as an outlet because you know you have different sized screens different pixel with like, you know, if I wasn’t giving them the exact
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You know dimensions, how many points is this font. Like, I don’t know, it’s
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Fascinating thing you’re talking about it because I went through the whole of that process where
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Graphic designers would saying well web isn’t a real thing. It’s, it’s all over the place.
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But the disciplines that we put into the web over the years actually now match what we were doing in graphic design before the web came along.
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So, you know, we’re doing exactly the same thing. Yes. We’ve given it a different set of names for layouts, etc. But basically we’re doing the same thing.
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So I think is a really good time to go. Now go back and visit
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Great graphic design from the 60s and 70s.
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And see how we can implement that into websites because nobody is everybody’s using WordPress themes which some bloke in his Hungarian bedrooms designing and for $10 or whatever it
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Is you use the writer work with a list apart. And I know that agenda that ground. I used to work with Jason Santa Maria and Dan mall in the past at a different company and
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They really one thing they would teach me just the design aspect of things right. I was doing development.
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They were real designers and also did front end development. So it really taught me like I understood designed to an extent, but never went to school for design and just working with them and
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How they meticulously go through fonts and how headers look and just the usability and readability of stuff really helped me out with a lot of my just creativity in general and make
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Things working with brilliant people like that you’ll pick up stuff.
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Without without a shadow of doubt. So all that stuff will come through and you’ll, you’ll be able to take that I that for for many years I was working in marketing departments in an HSBC and I have a
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Huge knowledge in marketing, but I’ve never done marketing my life. But I know what I need to do to make it work for marketing.
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If no, never done. I’ve never been paid to do
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You pick that stuff up.
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I guess I feel like
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A bit of a psycho in that. My hobby is running a podcast. Like, that’s what I do is I have my day job when I could be building, building drones or planes are being a master breadmaker whatever
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Guy and get some people
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I like mowing the yard.
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Oh man, so like I guess you you were add it as SPC, right. I feel like I’m like mismatching the
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HST now you’re now. You’re confusing me.
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Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation was the original one. But when they bought middle and bank and shifted from Hong Kong to UK
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For reasons that China was going to take back Hong Kong and they want to shift all their
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assets such as the UK UK government. So you need to change your name and not be the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation. So they just bent HSBC, the amount of people that I know they still call it ages be is untrue, even people that have been working as
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Agencies work of ages beats for years 22 meetings with him. It’s like he has been so you don’t really know is that, well, the
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But that’s not the problem. They’re not that interested in, then they’re not that well known in the in the States, as I would like to think is massive in the UK and the rest of the world but states that are there, but
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You like there’s a lot of lot of competition, a lot of competition, what I was gonna say
00:15:59.910 –> 00:16:16.800
With two things. How did you get there many different disciplines of getting into SEO. How did you find that you fell into more of the technical side. And then, what made you you know you were there for a long, long time.
00:16:17.250 –> 00:16:17.670
00:16:17.730 –> 00:16:19.560
He wanted want to jump out on your own.
00:16:21.090 –> 00:16:23.700
Well, frankly, I did only choice jumping on where
00:16:25.440 –> 00:16:31.530
There were some changes. But I wanted to do that for years and just didn’t have the guts today.
00:16:33.180 –> 00:16:40.890
So how I fell into it because being a webmaster in the early days, you did everything literally everything. So part of that discipline was
00:16:41.550 –> 00:16:56.670
SEO, but we didn’t know what it’s called SEO in the search engine. Let’s get some spell today and that sort of came later on. And there were a lot of other things with more important in those days like validation of code, which nobody cares anymore, but it was a big thing.
00:16:59.190 –> 00:17:00.960
As you said, the second bit is
00:17:02.160 –> 00:17:08.940
Well, the, the, the first bit was jumping in becoming a technical SEO. Like, how did you
00:17:09.150 –> 00:17:10.500
Yeah, you know, I did that.
00:17:11.610 –> 00:17:14.520
So the technical side is because I was building websites and
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More home than that HSBC
00:17:19.680 –> 00:17:30.330
I was building my website and other sort of small clients, etc. I got to know content management systems really well. And I was actually to the point while specifying them internally and HSBC and then
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Looking at what we get out of content management system. We went through a lot HSBC, most of which we never up to what we really need it, but I’m saying that and
00:17:44.490 –> 00:17:47.820
Understanding how websites work and what you need to get them to really
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Give the information to people when it got to the point where they said, What did you want to do. I, I sat back and thought, well, actually.
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What we don’t have an HSBC is an SEO team and we didn’t I was the only one at the time and I said that we should do more of this because it’s important, and that was that was back in
00:18:08.100 –> 00:18:13.500
2010, I think, and I’ve been doing SEO for years, but not as a prime discipline.
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Because part of wising as they let me build this team up and
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Yeah, HSBC is a massive brand worldwide.
00:18:24.480 –> 00:18:37.620
And we lived off that and they really didn’t take any notice of SEO at all. And I think that’s changed certainly was changing the last two years I was there and people realize that the disruptors are coming in.
00:18:38.850 –> 00:18:46.110
PayPal etc and getting banking licenses and there was potential and stuff like bitcoin and other stuff coming along, which would
00:18:46.860 –> 00:18:59.400
disrupt it and and the big players like HBC really had to change the game. So there were people behind us. And yet, we need to get some SEO into our sites, then, to make sure we keep our dominant position.
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And it was it was tricky. He was, it wasn’t tricky keeping the site’s ranking well that was no problem at all, because the brand was so strong.
00:19:10.350 –> 00:19:17.640
It was tricky getting stuff done. The big old corporate you can’t get anything done troubles you know
00:19:19.140 –> 00:19:19.710
Lots of that.
00:19:22.500 –> 00:19:35.100
Were some of your biggest challenges like working in the banking industry. Right. It’s a there’s I know in the States. And I’m sure everywhere in the world. It’s you’re messing with people’s money, right. So, and I know you weren’t in charge of their money, but
00:19:35.430 –> 00:19:36.690
Being in charge of the sites.
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I know there’s lots of loopholes and things like that that you can’t really say stuff or do stuff.
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Yeah, I, I understood and
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Black Hat stuff and what people are trying to do to get this stuff to rank.
00:19:50.880 –> 00:19:52.800
We could never do anything like that simply
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Well, for many reasons, the PR out of it would be terrible and either been kicked out immediately. But then we have things like the BMW.
00:20:05.640 –> 00:20:07.590
Europe been to Europe in
00:20:08.790 –> 00:20:19.590
2006 maybe a bit late in that build a set of gateway pages to always gateways to their site and got direct from Google for about six months.
00:20:20.610 –> 00:20:38.310
Go big slap. And that was a big wake up call for a lot of people in the biggest reason why a lot of companies, big companies were using agencies still and hadn’t brought things in house so we obviously we had that. And so when that happens, we were like, yeah, we’re not doing that.
00:20:39.540 –> 00:20:56.490
Because that’s a bad thing to do. And there are lots of things about banking that that people say all the bad bankers, except, sort of, there’s a lot of very, very good, honest people in banking. The fastpass drugs people I work with, not everybody, but the vast majority away with very good
00:20:57.690 –> 00:21:03.210
And morally very good right moral compass. So in that situation where, like, we’re not just want to do that sort of thing.
00:21:03.960 –> 00:21:14.700
But then people out there and we’re like, well, we can’t do this. So we had to we have to be creative and work within was terrible in the law and banking regulation.
00:21:15.420 –> 00:21:30.270
Throughout the world is it’s really tough. I would spend days with with our lawyers on calls and, you know, three, four hour meetings every day for weeks, going through stuff to launch site. It was horrible.
00:21:31.500 –> 00:21:43.110
Because the lowest really those night back in those days just didn’t know anything about the internet, I would like to do now. But back in here at all. And yet, explain everything. Now, there was this. Okay, that’s fine.
00:21:46.230 –> 00:21:49.110
I used to work a lot in the pharmaceutical industry and
00:21:50.460 –> 00:21:58.020
I remember having to print out websites and fax them to lawyers, so that they could
00:21:59.160 –> 00:22:07.740
critique it and I’m just like, here’s a web address. Hey, just go to the website, but they needed it in print, so that they can circle and right things and
00:22:08.580 –> 00:22:17.610
The couple banks that I have worked with, weren’t they weren’t so bad. I guess I didn’t do a ton. I was just really more of them wording right. I couldn’t say
00:22:18.600 –> 00:22:27.690
You know, free checking if it wasn’t totally free. And you know, I used a lot of their terminologies and yeah lawyers were involved every step of the way. When we anytime we want to update content.
00:22:29.370 –> 00:22:34.530
Was also lucky in my life that I’ve got to work with some big brands, where I didn’t have to do any of that.
00:22:35.850 –> 00:22:44.580
You know link building tactics that would get companies in trouble. It’s I see every time there’s a big update I of course everyone gets a little, you know,
00:22:45.120 –> 00:22:56.790
Anxious when it happens, but at the same time, I like I know that I’m out there spending, you know, $20,000 a month building links done it before I actually had some clients that wanted to do big things like that.
00:22:57.990 –> 00:23:05.010
In the banking industry, but it was because there was a big merger coming and they wanted to own like the term your free savings account.
00:23:05.790 –> 00:23:16.260
Great before the merger so that they could say that. So they spent gave us tons of money which was fun to go and try to do that. But we just knew it was going to be a bad day for them at the end and
00:23:16.950 –> 00:23:21.270
We didn’t know the merger was coming, they did. And that’s kind of was the deal that was going on. So,
00:23:23.130 –> 00:23:34.920
But they were also one of those companies that were part of the collapse here in the States and merged and got bailed out. So that was one of the, you know, some of the fun times that we’ve had here in the banking industry in the States.
00:23:35.160 –> 00:23:35.820
00:23:36.000 –> 00:23:40.110
You know the lawyers STILL SORRY, YOUR LAWYER still use faxes today.
00:23:42.150 –> 00:23:57.690
I don’t know. What’s the matter, but they really I think the fact that it’s really, really difficult to intercept will change your facts because it is a facsimile they still like faxes and they still live in well do it secret. Oh, sorry, don’t you say
00:23:57.750 –> 00:24:03.360
No, it’s okay. I was just gonna say it’s funny that you guys bring up kind of the legal aspect. It’s not something
00:24:03.900 –> 00:24:13.380
That people think about, Okay, think about SEO and I have been with one of my clients in legal update health for about the last month where we have
00:24:13.860 –> 00:24:25.230
A lot of content that is mission critical to doing what I need to do on the SEO side and what we need to do on the SEO side, but we’ve been in three or four weeks of
00:24:25.680 –> 00:24:42.300
Legal updates and with the client has kind of a small digital team. So, because that lawyers take priority priority that has definitely been prioritized ahead of my little meager seo, seo changes such as funny that that come comes up.
00:24:42.660 –> 00:24:51.330
And I’ve been lawyers like where we submitted a site and we have a deadline that like when I was in the pharmaceutical world that a drug was launching
00:24:51.780 –> 00:25:00.270
We need certain things done. So that like 1130 at night, the lawyer might have finally got to it and spit it out, and I would be at back at the office.
00:25:00.930 –> 00:25:04.140
Working on things that that was before kind of remote work was actually easier.
00:25:05.040 –> 00:25:16.170
But being back at the office just waiting for that facts and once it was done, we had like 35 minutes to get it done. We had like a certain window. It’s kind of like we were launching a rocket. There was a. So you have this window to get something done.
00:25:17.640 –> 00:25:27.480
So Simon before we kind of move on to the to the news house a house kind of the new business going, what are, what are some of the things you’re kind of running into there.
00:25:28.920 –> 00:25:36.630
That’s, yeah. Because we are very small. This has been a wife and she does a lot of marketing type stuff and business.
00:25:38.850 –> 00:25:48.270
Molding business center and we kind of picking up all sorts of work. So there’s me off doing International Hotel SEO and she’s talking to the florist on the radar.
00:25:49.980 –> 00:25:59.760
Organizations any other other way eccentric. It’s fascinating. And I love it because it is so so varied and I’ve got to say, working for ourselves is is great.
00:26:01.560 –> 00:26:11.070
Really we should be working 24 hours a day. So it’s like clients, but we don’t we stick our feet up. And we have a good time and we just don’t take our work because it’s there, we just
00:26:11.610 –> 00:26:26.250
If we like somebody will work with them if we don’t like that we just tell them to say thank you very much. Hey, try this person. So we don’t have a big roster clients we we do, we do pick and choose. And I’ve got to say we have in a very lucky position to be able to do that.
00:26:27.840 –> 00:26:36.810
Most people can’t but but I’m old life amounts of money over the years and it’s it’s it’s payback time and it’s
00:26:38.070 –> 00:26:40.380
It’s going well and we’re enjoying it.
00:26:41.970 –> 00:26:42.510
00:26:42.540 –> 00:26:59.460
Yeah, that’s a you know a lot of a lot of times that I’ve thought about, about the same thing, kind of going out of my own and I like you. Hip, hip, not to this point, then willing to to take the take the risk and it sounds like you may have been kind of forced into taking the risk
00:26:59.790 –> 00:27:08.670
Was but to be honest, I’ve been waiting for it for years. And because I knew that that leaving a bank. I’m going to get substantially good payoff.
00:27:09.780 –> 00:27:21.990
Which is gave me the, the, the, the fighting fun to actually set myself up and or ourselves up and go freelance and I don’t you can’t do without that you can’t just hope because you got movies and stuff to pay, which we will have
00:27:23.730 –> 00:27:25.530
It’s difficult. You’ve got to have a
00:27:28.560 –> 00:27:36.240
Treasure chest of money you save that to make sure that you’re okay. If it doesn’t come in or people don’t pay, etc. It’s it can get very difficult
00:27:37.470 –> 00:27:38.700
To the car breaks down or
00:27:39.780 –> 00:27:45.900
Playing drop something on your roof. I’m I’m under the get week flight path here. So I was worried about
00:27:47.100 –> 00:27:47.640
00:27:47.700 –> 00:27:48.570
dropping off planes.
00:27:49.950 –> 00:27:50.910
For the houses cheap.
00:27:52.890 –> 00:27:54.390
Jeff, it wasn’t any
00:27:58.740 –> 00:28:05.370
Awesome. Well, there was, it wasn’t like a huge week this week in in SEO news, but there were some cool things that were out there, one
00:28:06.600 –> 00:28:16.650
That I’m personally digging through and enjoying is the new version of Screaming Frog was released version 12 had some really good things updated into it and
00:28:18.270 –> 00:28:19.170
One of the things I
00:28:20.250 –> 00:28:25.290
Love that I struggle with, but always was trying to find like the best way to report on speed.
00:28:26.160 –> 00:28:32.790
Like, how can I get a speed report throughout the whole site. And there’s many different ways, you know, with different tools, but now Screaming Frog. Another way to add that so
00:28:33.270 –> 00:28:43.860
It looks into Lighthouse metrics and uses the the crux data to be able to get some of that UX data pulled in from Google insights. So on that one awesome thing that with it.
00:28:45.000 –> 00:28:46.500
If you had a chance to look through it at all. Simon
00:28:46.800 –> 00:28:48.570
Yeah, I think that’s absolutely fantastic.
00:28:49.710 –> 00:28:58.110
I have a little web watcher that just watches. If there’s any changes to the release page. So, and you said it was coming up before we Tweeted it
00:28:58.740 –> 00:29:07.590
And I think it pings off every two hours. So as soon as they age radio. But yeah, great and I download immediately. So yeah, Australia. Now what’s going on and
00:29:08.250 –> 00:29:16.710
A month ago, the ad is structured data testing into the tool, which was a great step. And I think they’ve taken what they’ve learned from that and said, Well,
00:29:17.250 –> 00:29:26.850
Let’s go for speed testing with with lighthouse and whilst I’ve, I’ve, I’ve run quite a few calls this week with with that and got the lighthouse.
00:29:27.360 –> 00:29:30.840
So I have no idea what it means, yet it just throws a wrench.
00:29:31.740 –> 00:29:41.700
We’re gonna go. This one’s really bad. And this one’s really good. Why, I don’t know, and it’s a case of going through and looking and seeing how it really helps. But being able to look at a whole site.
00:29:42.300 –> 00:29:56.730
That quickly and it really is fast and bring that data back from my house is fantastic, which means I don’t have to pay into Chrome Developer anymore and per page by page and bang, it’s there and you can really just dive into what’s
00:29:57.870 –> 00:29:59.850
What’s looking not how it should do.
00:30:00.900 –> 00:30:04.260
Is a really good thing. So yeah, literally before
00:30:05.970 –> 00:30:15.540
We came on air. I was doing something I was, I had a problem getting because I switched over to the database way of saving the files in there as well.
00:30:16.680 –> 00:30:25.140
Which is super because you can structure it and organize it by folder as well so you can drag and drop the stuff in there. And I thought that was like, I need to open up some old
00:30:27.240 –> 00:30:31.020
Screaming Frog databases. I’ve got me. Sorry files that I’ve got.
00:30:31.620 –> 00:30:41.160
For for sites. How do I do that because there’s no open anymore. It’s just the call button. But there’s an import feature further down in the file thing because I paying off a support, support emails.
00:30:41.580 –> 00:30:49.530
And Dan came back fairly quickly. So there’s an important thing and it works, works perfectly. And you can bring that when you when you then import your old
00:30:50.490 –> 00:30:59.250
Files. They actually, it adds it to the database and is there. That’s great. It is really, really good and I haven’t tested here, but this is an export one as well. So imagine
00:30:59.640 –> 00:31:15.480
Where stuff gets old in your database starts get rather beacon and gets two gigabyte speak and laptops screaming with desire to have a bit more space. You can probably export stuff out to an archive somewhere. He says good
00:31:15.720 –> 00:31:22.170
No, no liquor, you know, one of their competitors. Now sampled and sleep. One thing I like about light bulb.
00:31:23.340 –> 00:31:33.300
And not even like what the tool scrawls and things like that. Is that is kind of a work off that database mentality. Also, and then you can do comparisons. Oh, yeah. Last crawl versus crawl.
00:31:34.320 –> 00:31:38.730
I don’t think this version. Screaming Frog does that. But the database storage is awesome. Like, I know it’s
00:31:39.870 –> 00:31:56.640
Having the same Screaming Frog files. It’s a pain in the butt. The only good thing with that is you can share them, but the negative with that is like I’m sharing like a 20 gigabyte file we have in our office machine is dedicated for crawling 64 gigabytes of RAM and
00:31:57.690 –> 00:32:11.340
Things like that. But now it’s you know now that seems like overkill because the database storage bottle, you know, I mean, you still need RAM, they’ll run it, but it’s, you know, you don’t need 64 gigabytes of memory to just run 100,000 URL site anymore so
00:32:11.970 –> 00:32:18.240
That’s a good, good point. Because I don’t share it in my files because my wife just went know what to do with them. Yeah, this will
00:32:19.590 –> 00:32:20.010
00:32:21.930 –> 00:32:26.580
Yet she wants me to run through that and stuff and analyze it and then tell her what to tell the client.
00:32:27.210 –> 00:32:32.340
She has no idea to and I haven’t got real to share them with so I’m quite lucky that but yes and
00:32:32.970 –> 00:32:46.440
That’s an interesting point, actually, if you if you are keeping that stuff in inside your database yourself. How do you share with with colleagues, but that’s the same cycle and bust cycles brilliant and I love Sai Baba, especially the guys
00:32:48.000 –> 00:33:04.830
That run it, who invited me to the UK surge was last year, we had a very, very jolly time, so beverages, and it was. And it’s a great tool. Really, really good tool that it kind of breaks boundaries and the way the offense will come out with the
00:33:06.000 –> 00:33:09.510
Year. The graph mapping things which really useful. Everybody say
00:33:11.730 –> 00:33:13.170
00:33:13.740 –> 00:33:20.910
It’s a great tool. And I love it. Just, you know, just because of that reflect the graphing of it. They now kind of give the ratings of the different sections.
00:33:21.240 –> 00:33:27.960
Which is kind of what I usually take the report and make a reading off of that, like, of what I think about it so that they add that in there, which is great.
00:33:29.070 –> 00:33:29.370
00:33:29.520 –> 00:33:34.080
I am personally excited about the time savings.
00:33:35.310 –> 00:33:53.220
I spent in I have my own like special spreadsheet, which pulls in web page tests paid Google page speed insights GT metrics, basically all my favorite speed tools and not having to go one by one by one. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of the extra
00:33:54.450 –> 00:33:59.130
Extra time that I’m going to have on my hands. Something else useful but um
00:33:59.250 –> 00:34:00.090
Well, analyze it.
00:34:00.810 –> 00:34:07.350
Well yeah, I don’t know if you guys find this, but I’ve been like battling for I feel like now years
00:34:08.010 –> 00:34:13.770
With respect to site speed and the battle is that everybody knows it’s important
00:34:14.100 –> 00:34:22.710
Nobody wants to do anything about it. And it literally makes me pull my hair out especially when I’ve gone to, like, huge organizations and say, Hey, guys.
00:34:23.130 –> 00:34:34.740
Improve your speed by like a second and you can make like a couple million extra dollars. No, they just laughed me out of the room. But no, no, I don’t know how you guys feel about that I
00:34:35.010 –> 00:34:45.930
Constantly had that problem and in HSBC we have everything was organized in such a way that our development teams basically were part of it and had a book and
00:34:46.710 –> 00:34:57.960
Every time I went to them and says we need this. That book was shot for the next year. So it’s so difficult to get resource to actually go and build anything we wanted a really good example of that.
00:34:58.530 –> 00:35:03.480
One of the last projects I worked on before I left, and then what’s in it for about two years was
00:35:04.200 –> 00:35:18.180
The HBC asset management set of websites. It was one website with lots of countries have sub folders within that. And then once the spit them out into sub domain so into local domains which made a lot of sense at the time.
00:35:19.830 –> 00:35:34.380
Whether it does now. And I don’t know how to take care, they’re not paying me. So we had about 32 websites and in a multitude of languages and I can’t remember what they all work together. So I remember there was probably 20 different kind of us probably slightly less than that.
00:35:35.400 –> 00:35:48.330
But we shifted over from the content management system we have a job. It was an IBM. One more comment, but it was web sphere, I think, with a vision on the back end of it or something over to cycle.
00:35:49.980 –> 00:35:59.640
And as part of that. So the key let’s let’s go a source of hreflang tool. So as we go and deploy each site, we can add all the hreflang then for each
00:36:00.780 –> 00:36:07.440
Each site because basically the content was the same one every, every site, but just in different languages for the different countries, etc. And a slight variations
00:36:08.310 –> 00:36:20.250
In content here and there and stuff and they went to six months when they come back to come do it for another year. So what we did, we went and built our own Excel macros spreadsheets and would manually.
00:36:21.330 –> 00:36:28.920
Push this stuff out and then we would actually push it up in the content management system as a text file or XML file.
00:36:29.850 –> 00:36:35.970
Via the CMS until Google where I hate ref Lang files were because they were under the law place.
00:36:36.720 –> 00:36:43.200
And you could do that. And that’s really IF YOU LOOK AT THE SIZE YOU GO WE HAVEN’T GOTTEN A traveling. Yes, we have. You just can’t see it.
00:36:43.710 –> 00:36:52.140
It’s done it. I literally and it’s still there now. So there’s been at least three and a half years and that resource still hasn’t been made available.
00:36:53.070 –> 00:36:58.020
Yeah, because I wanted all there banging the drum. Right. But that’s a really good example of of
00:36:58.860 –> 00:37:05.310
Trying to get results in any big corporation or any small corporations, to be honest, I’ve worked in other places. Since then, that’s
00:37:06.030 –> 00:37:13.290
Where getting resources just very, very difficult for SEO. It’s not seen as being the bottom line.
00:37:13.860 –> 00:37:18.840
Bringing money in. I think that’s changing. I think people are realizing a lot more SEOs are coming in the house.
00:37:19.440 –> 00:37:25.230
Of last year’s. And that’s I think that’s because companies are realizing they need to spend money on SEO.
00:37:25.860 –> 00:37:36.360
And it. I’ve seen situations where they’ve actually had dedicated Deb’s sitting with an SEO team and where that works. It works really, really well. But even in those situations.
00:37:37.230 –> 00:37:50.340
Getting resource time is is difficult because there’s there’s minds are. I know a lot of there’s no work with them. There is there elsewhere. They don’t care about SEO. It’s like a little tape. It’s like accessibility. Same thing. It’s like to do that.
00:37:51.630 –> 00:38:00.540
Yeah, implementation, it’s the biggest challenge we face. And the funny thing is like we are struggling all the time with implementation.
00:38:01.200 –> 00:38:17.220
But one thing I constantly, constantly get is, why are the results like x or what’s going on with this. Why isn’t this moving or whatever. And it’s, it’s not a valid answer to point back to, well, you didn’t implement my recommendations.
00:38:17.490 –> 00:38:18.540
Or it took six months.
00:38:18.960 –> 00:38:21.060
Or whatever. So, but
00:38:21.630 –> 00:38:29.070
Also the competition is doing the same thing at the same time. Last Google’s changing everything every single day. Several multiple times a day as well.
00:38:30.360 –> 00:38:39.300
It gets very, very difficult. And there are there are many marketing departments are still hang on rankings and listen. Everything I will rank is going up today.
00:38:39.810 –> 00:38:58.800
There was a there’s a UK company called strategic who brought out a tool last year that did hourly tracking our rankings and I was lucky to get on the beat on there and it was absolutely mad. Yeah, we do small tests about either 20 keywords something and
00:39:00.150 –> 00:39:01.740
You could see the top three
00:39:03.330 –> 00:39:12.690
Terms with were bantering a little bit, but the further you go away from the top three it was all over the place. And Google is just testing constantly
00:39:13.380 –> 00:39:25.650
Which means any ranking tool that comes back and says, Oh, you’re at this position, say it depends. When they go and test it, because it’ll averaging it they’re not testing every minute. And every day and saying this is this is roughly where you know not all
00:39:26.520 –> 00:39:27.930
When and where. Yeah.
00:39:29.160 –> 00:39:32.550
So I don’t believe rankings at all anymore, it is good that what we clients.
00:39:33.570 –> 00:39:34.380
See, number one.
00:39:35.700 –> 00:39:43.830
It is tough. I and I’m lucky that I have some clients where rankings aren’t. I mean, we like to. I like to look at them as a whole and see if things are moving but
00:39:45.030 –> 00:39:57.960
I tried to get away from like those single terms that we want to do well on. I do have one that has a very specific term and he checks it every day. And if he’s, he doesn’t need to be number one. He just needs to be in the top five. And he’s happy.
00:39:58.890 –> 00:39:59.340
00:39:59.700 –> 00:40:10.860
Yeah, and it’s because it’s a it’s a term that’s near and dear. It’s like there it’s kind of a product that they made. But other people sell it. So if he’s getting beat up by Amazon. He doesn’t care. But he’s wants to be up there.
00:40:11.490 –> 00:40:16.260
Because either way, he makes the money, but it’s just one of those ego terms like on that that they’d like to do
00:40:17.280 –> 00:40:24.270
But yeah, I try to, I try to stay away from. We run ranking reports, of course, but I think definitely like to look at them as a whole.
00:40:24.690 –> 00:40:34.440
And like, here’s a group of terms, maybe for a category. And is that category doing better or worse, but there’s so many variables like with personalization and stuff that it’s really hard to
00:40:35.070 –> 00:40:40.770
To really take take that information and say this is exactly what is happening right now. Right, so
00:40:41.430 –> 00:40:43.440
I’ve been doing a lot of local over the last year and
00:40:45.300 –> 00:40:52.740
Savor the florist shop up the radio and it’s fascinating. If you can get up into the map pack or three sometimes four
00:40:53.670 –> 00:41:10.470
You can really increase your business a lot especially local because people just don’t look be on that map pack and getting in line and working well it’s it’s a skill. It’s just little bits and pieces that help, but I have I’m frustrated one particular small company.
00:41:11.520 –> 00:41:20.760
Who I’m as frustrated me and I’m doing loads of work for free on this because I literally just want to make him. Number one, he just constantly two and three in the map pack.
00:41:21.840 –> 00:41:36.900
against somebody who is constant number one whose website is the worst websites in my life. This is in for until very recently. He’s each one said title there wasn’t even a product or anything. I was just, just like ranking.
00:41:37.920 –> 00:41:39.780
Or something like that. Yeah, it’s just so annoying.
00:41:40.830 –> 00:41:41.100
00:41:42.330 –> 00:41:49.170
It just, you know, just when you think you know everything, and there’s like a site like that cycles is working. Yeah.
00:41:49.980 –> 00:41:53.730
That’s the same with all of us as well. It’s everything’s changing so much
00:41:54.780 –> 00:42:09.450
Just trying to consume all the what’s what’s changing and looking at the SEO uses every day and trying to understand how things are changes really difficult. This day me yes yeah 10 years ago it was like SEO. Yeah, I read that once a month.
00:42:10.710 –> 00:42:16.050
And you understand where things got these days. And the only way I can keep up with it. It’s keep on Twitter.
00:42:17.250 –> 00:42:27.930
With the masses of people are see what the clever people are looking at and say, oh, read this and if it’s not for them. Right. It’s not in Twitter and somebody saying this is good. I don’t, I don’t get real.
00:42:29.070 –> 00:42:29.430
00:42:29.910 –> 00:42:40.020
I use a program or a site called nuzzle and nuzzle takes all the like takes all my tweets and all the people I follow and groups them in like oh 50 people retweeted this
00:42:40.560 –> 00:42:43.080
Must be more important than than other things and so
00:42:44.130 –> 00:42:46.740
It’s usually Barry Schwartz articles, all of them. So I can just go to his site.
00:42:48.300 –> 00:42:51.630
Freedom, because it seems like everyone retweets is right away, but I’m
00:42:52.650 –> 00:42:53.040
00:42:53.310 –> 00:42:55.350
I’m a barrier that he has no idea what he’s doing.
00:42:57.240 –> 00:43:03.210
Is pushing the right buttons right he fell on his feet. He’s very lucky man. That’s awesome. I’m
00:43:03.570 –> 00:43:10.860
Also in the tool world there is a new tool that was kind of announced called sunlight metrics and if you’ve heard about there. They’re um
00:43:12.360 –> 00:43:17.970
They’re claiming, and it’s not even out yet i i think me and Jacob puzzle both signed up for a
00:43:18.300 –> 00:43:18.900
00:43:19.200 –> 00:43:27.780
Yeah, the waitlist but it’s supposedly a log file analyzer. That doesn’t need log files, where I don’t know how they’re doing it. If it’s a piece of j is that
00:43:27.810 –> 00:43:28.470
00:43:28.830 –> 00:43:40.830
It’s a piece of JS and they’re analyzing the the bot traffic as it’s crawling your site as opposed to like having the physical log file so interesting concept.
00:43:41.100 –> 00:43:42.210
Well SoC rubbish.
00:43:43.410 –> 00:43:45.060
It very well. Very good.
00:43:45.720 –> 00:43:46.680
Sounds like it might be
00:43:46.950 –> 00:43:47.580
One of the drops
00:43:47.730 –> 00:43:48.750
While doesn’t find
00:43:49.440 –> 00:44:04.080
Somebody to come up with something no logs are incredibly important and I was going to bang on about this. It’s really difficult hold a logs, but they’re so important to understand what traffic is coming to your site that I’ve recently switched my personal site from craft Kirby.
00:44:05.910 –> 00:44:12.300
For various reasons, but one tool. I’ve used in both his retort craft plugin burrito was brilliant.
00:44:14.760 –> 00:44:24.090
And fortunately for me. There’s a retort plugin for Kirby as well. And what that does is allows it basically maps everything that’s been asked for on the site and
00:44:24.780 –> 00:44:35.790
Gives you a failure list and then you can then go map it to some way you want to see redirects in but you’re going to see without looking at the logs all the URLs have been asset failing.
00:44:36.360 –> 00:44:46.500
And the problem with if you’re not looking at the logs and stuff. He really, you’re not going to get all that information and the amount of
00:44:47.010 –> 00:45:02.130
WordPress URLs that have been hit on my site, which has never had WordPress on it isn’t credible. So there’s obviously people in the various places in the world, though just pounding everything in the world and see where the vulnerabilities are so they can check their paid links and
00:45:03.300 –> 00:45:11.460
I’m assuming that paid links because I didn’t do any of that. So yeah, it was. It’s always interesting where you know insights that I have this
00:45:11.970 –> 00:45:19.050
How are people trying to get to these pages. And where’s that coming from like this page never existed. Ever. And there’s just going to be a ton of
00:45:19.680 –> 00:45:26.010
Bot machines out there that are just hitting that type of stuff trying to find vulnerabilities. I guess the interesting world that
00:45:26.940 –> 00:45:37.230
I want to meet somebody who does it just to to talk to them and just understand why. And if it is just to put, you know, Viagra ads on my page then because I’ve had like a WordPress site taken over and
00:45:37.830 –> 00:45:43.560
I found out that in my old hometown I ranked number one for like Viagra and you’re the name of the town.
00:45:44.790 –> 00:45:55.980
Was like, oh, cuz somebody who was doing some research, let me know. And I’m like, oh, that was one of those someone you know took my system over and only gave it to Google bought. I never even noticed it.
00:45:56.910 –> 00:46:09.150
So it was a very interesting time and then you know it was weird, trying to get it out of the site because they somehow really got into the core and I couldn’t like how to delete everything and start again that’s
00:46:09.180 –> 00:46:21.600
One of the reasons I don’t use WordPress. It’s a fantastic tool. And yes, I do SEO for a list apart and let’s just shift on WordPress. Earlier this year, but it’s the VIP WordPress is pretty good stuff.
00:46:22.920 –> 00:46:32.370
But most WordPress setups aren’t looking at all, every day, making sure that everything’s okay you see things can happen like that people can have vulnerabilities and
00:46:32.880 –> 00:46:45.900
With those plugins. It’s fantastic. You like oh I could do this, I can, I can have a table of contents, bang. There you go. Just press a button. I’ll take a box, you get table contents and but you don’t know underneath there is somebody going to backdoor in which is why
00:46:46.950 –> 00:46:52.890
I have been using content management systems over the years, which I tend to focus on ones, which
00:46:53.460 –> 00:47:09.360
Really do separate the data away from the presentation layer. So I’m talking here expression engine. I use expression engine for years and years. I do use it for some clients. Still, and then adopt perch for small sites. Again, same thing and craft because craft came out of expression engine.
00:47:10.170 –> 00:47:19.230
That the guys who developed that were expression Engine developers and plug in developers and they didn’t like the way, especially if you’re going to hit the
00:47:19.230 –> 00:47:29.130
Wrong one but craft is very, very devery so very composer lead, etc. Yeah, my cup of tea, which is why I switched my slavish to Kirby.
00:47:31.350 –> 00:47:41.760
I mean that split between your data and your, your presentation layer really does separate to and you don’t get that in WordPress and now because WordPress has got Guttenberg as well, which still blocks and everything.
00:47:42.210 –> 00:47:51.240
All the systems we had that for years. And in fact, you can make up your own templates in the background in the back end. Rather, and I do that all the time for our clients or small clients.
00:47:51.990 –> 00:48:00.930
Yeah, we’re building templates them to change the page, then get in. Do it most of the time they they pay us today. So I just make it easier for my wife to
00:48:02.970 –> 00:48:21.060
But that sort of stuff is important to to put together and for me is if you know what you put together. You know what shouldn’t be there. And that’s why people get in with WordPress and change that because people are checking up a WordPress site. Don’t know what’s actually in there. Yeah.
00:48:21.660 –> 00:48:27.540
That’s it’s just so easy. Yeah, I can push a button with my host of a new setup and minutes. Yeah.
00:48:28.110 –> 00:48:35.760
That’s basically what we did with with the HQ podcast website which is WordPress, which will probably get hacked, at some point, but
00:48:37.980 –> 00:48:38.190
00:48:39.810 –> 00:48:46.500
So you y’all mentioned a lot of platforms. So I feel like that is a good segue.
00:48:47.700 –> 00:48:48.600
00:48:50.400 –> 00:48:53.250
What do you guys think of when I say re platforming
00:48:54.660 –> 00:48:57.630
You tell you WordPress contents ticket or something else is that
00:48:59.220 –> 00:49:13.560
I usually think ominous ominous use it usually comes to mind like especially if you’re trying to do re platforming and or redesign or migration, it basically any any moving or changing of have a website.
00:49:14.670 –> 00:49:25.740
Pretty, pretty ominous ominous and pretty, pretty daunting is what typically comes to mind when I hear brands mentioned that they’re they’re thinking about it. I don’t know how you guys feel
00:49:27.390 –> 00:49:28.110
Well for me.
00:49:29.550 –> 00:49:33.090
It’s fantastic. Doing a migration where someone is saying on the same platform.
00:49:35.580 –> 00:49:40.320
And they just switching a few bits and pieces over but what often happens is
00:49:41.640 –> 00:49:53.490
You will get somebody going well, we need to go. Stick it on this new platform because that’s now the group standard or the company standard and we need to ship them to that. Let’s use this as an opportunity to redesign it way.
00:49:54.030 –> 00:50:02.430
And then second thing is, while we’re redesigning it will change the content as well and as an SEO you sitting there going oh my god, everything’s changing
00:50:03.150 –> 00:50:19.440
It can be managed. But if you’re not in there at the beginning of the process, telling them what they need to really think about etc. If you’re brought in two weeks before they launch or worse. Two weeks after they launched, you’ve got one hell of a task on your hands, you really
00:50:20.280 –> 00:50:27.030
Have to be a lot of time. So this it all. It was launched and our traffic center plummeted. It’s like, well, I wonder why.
00:50:27.960 –> 00:50:36.030
And a very good example of that. And, and I’m not going to drop anybody’s names into this. But after I stopped running hp.com
00:50:36.600 –> 00:50:46.320
And it was passed out to other teams to burn within the year I was entered to run it, they did do exactly that. They did a platform change and its design change. And I said,
00:50:46.680 –> 00:51:01.620
You need to redirect all the URLs and as well as 12 1400 URLs inside the inside to redirect the top 200 only and for the next two years, the traffic and all those pieces.com plummeted to a third of what it was when I was running it.
00:51:03.060 –> 00:51:05.640
And never regained anything like it was before.
00:51:07.170 –> 00:51:11.550
But they’re going to get that sail off me and I was like, Yeah, I read it much better.
00:51:12.300 –> 00:51:26.130
Well, the thing about that is like when that happens, especially for companies that depend on that traffic or for business that that has a real world implication like probably cost. Some people their, their jobs in
00:51:27.180 –> 00:51:32.520
And I, and I always say, like, at the outset of any project like this. Like, look.
00:51:33.030 –> 00:51:41.100
Business owner brand you think of me as somebody that’s going to grow your web your, your, your traffic right that’s what people think of SEOs well
00:51:41.700 –> 00:51:52.350
You need to erase that for right now when we go through this project. My goal is to protect your traffic and help you not drop off a cliff flat, the
00:51:52.620 –> 00:51:59.730
Client once said this to me, and it’s beautiful. Because I because I’ve used it over and over again. Flat is the new up
00:52:00.210 –> 00:52:11.310
Right. So when you’re when you’re going through a major change like this like just maintaining stability is a really, really good thing. Now hopefully you’re doing this re platform and redesign.
00:52:11.910 –> 00:52:23.460
To ultimately allow yourself to grow long term and that certainly would be the goal for the SEO people too, but simply getting through and making sure that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot or feet.
00:52:24.990 –> 00:52:26.760
Is is pretty much the goal.
00:52:28.290 –> 00:52:30.120
Yeah, I mean, there was a time where
00:52:31.440 –> 00:52:39.480
You know, we would tell clients. Hey, we’re going to see a 30 to 50% decrease for three months and and things like that and
00:52:40.830 –> 00:52:47.520
You know Google’s gotten a lot better at that. If you hand them the right you know things right. So we’re not changing every bit of content and
00:52:48.030 –> 00:52:58.980
We’re just updating our content, you know, management system, you know, there. Yeah, we can actually launch and B flat, you know, and that’s great because we’re not losing that we’re having to wait three months for anything.
00:53:00.090 –> 00:53:00.390
00:53:01.530 –> 00:53:08.760
It all depends on on what’s going on. Even if we do change content. It’s all depends on the content we had before we can always change it for the better.
00:53:09.210 –> 00:53:18.600
But changing everything at once, can be, you know, a shock to the system. And that’s one of the things that you know as a technical SEO trying to
00:53:19.920 –> 00:53:29.670
You know, not have that bigger shock. I mean, I think most of my re platforms end up like we’re just going to upgrade our platform. And then what’s the developers go in there. They’re like,
00:53:30.120 –> 00:53:39.120
You know, our templates don’t work with this. And next thing they’re doing is a redesign. And then, of course, while they’re redesigning like let’s just change the wording of the site and it’s like
00:53:40.260 –> 00:53:56.550
So luckily I’ll if I get in there. You know when it’s all happening, you’re six months ahead of time or whenever that’s, that’s great, but far too many times I get called in six months after when traffic is down 50% and they were like, what happened so
00:53:57.030 –> 00:54:04.650
Aside from the, the obvious need for, like, hey, bring the SEOs in early on, so that we can be side by side.
00:54:05.490 –> 00:54:18.720
If, if you’re a brand listening to this podcast right now. Or if you’re somebody that works for a brand or whatever. What advice would you give to that person. And what are like the biggest things that you’ve seen go wrong. Like, top of the list.
00:54:19.950 –> 00:54:20.460
00:54:21.660 –> 00:54:21.930
00:54:23.040 –> 00:54:35.910
Besides, but I’m going to go back to and say, getting yourself into those initial meetings is incredibly important and actually quite hard because normally you won’t know that happening. Somebody just gone off and said, I have this idea in this
00:54:38.070 –> 00:54:53.250
But soon as you find out, get in there and start banging the table and say we need to include me on my team. Some of my team on this, you need to think about these things. And I think that’s a really a case of you can preempt that by saying well notes to people saying
00:54:54.570 –> 00:55:10.170
Well, you’ve done the migration that’s worked really well. And this is, this is why it’s worth to what we need to think about. We do that migration and one of my top tips on that is I always map all the URLs in a site so absolutely everything
00:55:12.060 –> 00:55:28.590
00:55:30.960 –> 00:55:42.510
cause somebody to make the role investment and they take it to court, which is happens. And that was very funny. And I wasn’t involved with that. But I was picked up pieces but yeah
00:55:44.880 –> 00:55:52.440
It’s difficult, but you really, really do need to map the whole lot out and if you’ve got those maps, you’re doing on a regular basis, anyway.
00:55:53.610 –> 00:56:10.020
Because sometimes we don’t get the chance to understand what your contents been putting aside on a regular basis. Usually it’s okay because it’s just the blogging cetera but I would, if you’re in house I would be certainly suggesting mapping your site on a monthly basis.
00:56:11.910 –> 00:56:16.950
Or even a weekly one Screaming Frog it or site, ball, ball D crawl or whatever.
00:56:18.090 –> 00:56:27.510
Just so you’ve got an indication of what you’re actually dealing with. So when those things happen when people start doing that and, you know, at least you’ve got a starting point.
00:56:30.030 –> 00:56:31.380
Jeff, what about what about you, man.
00:56:32.460 –> 00:56:35.970
Yeah, no, I mean it’s with any of it. I think it’s
00:56:37.650 –> 00:56:40.320
Can will keep saying get in there early as much as you can, but
00:56:41.520 –> 00:56:47.700
Really want to, you know, the mapping aspect is definitely something I want to do. I also like I like to get in.
00:56:48.300 –> 00:56:52.530
When we’re in early looking at wire frames. Right. And because number one thing that I’m always
00:56:53.100 –> 00:56:59.550
I’m not all about SEO or content for content sake on pages, but working a lot of the e commerce world.
00:57:00.000 –> 00:57:06.330
I’ll just get in these wire frames and I’m like, where’s the content. Go and it’s like, whether it’s the title or the header.
00:57:06.720 –> 00:57:11.040
Like, what were some content go like we’re, how are we engaging with our customers and where are we putting that
00:57:11.460 –> 00:57:20.220
You know, Google needs something to read. Again, I don’t need a Wikipedia article, but we need a spot to least have content and as a designer I know designers love
00:57:21.180 –> 00:57:28.980
Imagery and imagery is great. It makes you know, get your feelings, but if there’s no words that go on that the the battle. We always have is that people don’t read
00:57:29.460 –> 00:57:36.120
The web pages anymore. So we don’t want to have small bits of content, which is all great like we just need to have those small bits of content and
00:57:36.510 –> 00:57:43.680
We can have multiple small bits of content to be able to get a message across. There are people who do like to read. And Google is one of them, right. They’re the
00:57:44.340 –> 00:57:50.700
Largest blind user on the internet so they can’t really see the pictures. So we need to at least explain what’s going on in the page.
00:57:52.230 –> 00:57:58.860
And if we are doing a migration and we have great content already and we’re ranking like knowing this is where rankings do coming into play.
00:57:59.190 –> 00:58:06.330
If we know we’re ranking well for certain pages and certain keywords like we want to make sure that like I prioritize those lists of pages so
00:58:06.840 –> 00:58:12.600
I want to map everything out. But I also want to make sure that, hey, these five categories are 80% of our traffic.
00:58:13.200 –> 00:58:20.280
Let’s not rock the boat as much on those, if we can, and maybe pull that same content and make I’m somebody who likes to have like
00:58:20.700 –> 00:58:30.900
Let’s keep the same title tag for now. That’s something we can change in the future. We’re gonna change content on the page. Let’s keep the same title tag or something like that. So that way, it’s easier for Google. The mapping thing there.
00:58:32.100 –> 00:58:34.500
But from that I, you know, it’s
00:58:35.550 –> 00:58:39.390
I feel like even if we have everything down the way wanted to go. It’s like
00:58:39.900 –> 00:58:47.970
There could always be that one thing i mean i run Screaming Frog through it a new site a million times run deep crawl through QA servers and like that, but
00:58:48.720 –> 00:59:02.850
Soon as we launch, it’s one of those where it’s just being. This is where our really rankings, maybe not, but I do look at things like on a daily basis because I want to make sure if I see anything start going down that we can address it right away so
00:59:03.300 –> 00:59:16.350
So I’ll see what you guys are saying, and I’ll raise you one. So obviously the content is very important in still, you have to have a content. If you want to rank for a specific thing.
00:59:16.860 –> 00:59:27.000
Redirects probably the most important. But one thing I just went through with a major, major retailer is they have had a bunch of content.
00:59:27.660 –> 00:59:38.190
And they, we had a redirect strategy in place. They wanted to rely less on one to ones because the system just didn’t support more than a certain amount and more on like rejects, which was fine.
00:59:38.760 –> 00:59:48.030
We can work around that. But they they did use it as a bit of an excuse to make the decision not to carry all the content over
00:59:48.420 –> 00:59:55.050
Content that for us was critical, and was within kind of that upper crust of pages driving
00:59:55.380 –> 01:00:05.790
Traffic in the decision making, was a little bit arbitrary because sometimes decision making comes from much higher above and sometimes comes without data informing
01:00:06.450 –> 01:00:17.250
Those decisions and then another function, which I did not expect with such a large organization was that the the team of people moving the content from old platform to new platform.
01:00:17.670 –> 01:00:28.710
Didn’t have the capacity to move at all. So, like, no matter how like if they were working every hour of every day, just on moving content they didn’t have the capacity to do it because they just didn’t have enough people
01:00:29.190 –> 01:00:42.810
So we had to go get into an exercise where we really had to help them prioritize which content got moved over and was present at launch, which meant that a certain portion
01:00:43.260 –> 01:00:53.190
Of content there was critical to performance, no matter what we did. We did every other thing right was not going to get moved over and that was a huge problem. Now luckily we
01:00:53.700 –> 01:01:04.980
solved it quickly after lunch, but we were like honestly we were we were really worried that like, hey, like you’re not moving over 30 or 40% of your content, like that’s going to be a problem.
01:01:05.700 –> 01:01:21.960
So we were definitely sounding sounding the alarm bells on on that one. And that’s just not something people talk about a lot is the actual transition and migration of the actual content they talked mostly about redirection but sometimes not all the content makes it over, which is crazy.
01:01:23.070 –> 01:01:24.210
It is crazy and
01:01:26.490 –> 01:01:34.380
Have you either have you read my article on migration tracking in Google Data studio. So my sites island called.com
01:01:35.550 –> 01:01:42.000
It’s on page article linked and that’s a way of tracking the tracking before and afters and making sure you don’t get the
01:01:42.750 –> 01:01:53.220
Web because track that trope or not or not and see what’s going on. But what I’m going to come into here is that sometimes it doesn’t matter if it does drop because if you
01:01:53.580 –> 01:02:13.020
redesign your site, you might be targeting it at a better audience and you have before. And I have an example with HSBC we have done this with hp.com is a global website and the majority of the traffic was from the US. And there was a separate us site where they could go into the banking.
01:02:14.460 –> 01:02:23.430
We got charged cross charged internally for searches, because the search was done on service CPUs run I regret, et cetera.
01:02:23.790 –> 01:02:31.380
So up and it was costing us quite a lot. So we said, Okay, how can we reduce the amount of searches that people doing and we looked at and said, Well,
01:02:31.710 –> 01:02:40.530
Majority searches are from people from the US looking for Internet banking. So I designed the stack a great big red button on the top right hand corner said login
01:02:41.880 –> 01:02:47.430
And it killed the amount of money we had a panel searches, because everybody coming. Yes, well that’s it bought off they went
01:02:49.950 –> 01:02:53.250
And if you understand what your audiences and then he just do something like that.
01:02:54.360 –> 01:03:01.440
It doesn’t matter that we had fundamentally a lot less page views because we were actually putting the audience, whether it needs to go.
01:03:02.250 –> 01:03:12.600
And reducing our costs. So for us it’s having those KPIs is far more important and that’s what marketing deal with anyway. A lot of SEOs need to get out of the
01:03:13.410 –> 01:03:20.340
The migration thing where you’re seeing and making sure it come back when it most the time that we do want that, and it should be like that. But there are occasions where
01:03:21.060 –> 01:03:29.520
As long as what you’re seeing from the bottom line and profits etc is continuing to rise or it needs to be. It’s okay.
01:03:30.930 –> 01:03:33.000
And maybe with the HBC site that we only
01:03:34.680 –> 01:03:36.990
Only redirected to hundreds URLs. So, so
01:03:38.550 –> 01:03:45.090
Actually what happened there was that a lot of the two hundreds didn’t cope and it was we had the right traffic.
01:03:46.380 –> 01:03:59.730
Yeah okay the traffic drops a lot, but actually was the right traffic that was still coming in. It was a journalist and investors and and people want to know the information. It wasn’t people trying to log on to their bank systems, etc. So
01:04:00.600 –> 01:04:02.190
You brought up a good, a good point.
01:04:03.240 –> 01:04:14.400
In terms of looking at some of those top line metrics and I, I know I’ve run into situations where like when you’re dealing with leadership or C, C suite, folks.
01:04:15.210 –> 01:04:33.570
They judge a sometimes it’s ill advised, but they judge the entire programs performance on those top line metrics visits, not necessarily the convergence in the actual bottom line, how do you, how do you handle that when that happens.
01:04:34.200 –> 01:04:37.710
When you have a situation like you had where you you did it on purpose.
01:04:38.370 –> 01:04:41.100
Yeah, well, we’re telling them. They’re idiots and they should be looking at this
01:04:41.730 –> 01:04:44.190
And that’s why I’m now freelance right
01:04:45.870 –> 01:04:51.870
The really when it comes to see Twitter, etc. You need to start building up dashboards that really just delivered to them.
01:04:52.620 –> 01:05:00.060
What they need to know now get into detail. It’s when you get the teams that are working for the C suite that you need to get more in more detail and the people
01:05:00.600 –> 01:05:10.200
Working for them even more details. So it’s really making sure that your analytics and your data is aimed at the right audience what you want to see.
01:05:10.560 –> 01:05:19.080
And with something like a C suite. If you, if they come in and look at the graphing down we’re going looks terrible. The grass cutting down so well, actually, this is the bounce rate.
01:05:20.640 –> 01:05:26.730
As a really bad example. This is a good thing. So it’s the way you present that information and you make sure when you go into
01:05:27.120 –> 01:05:34.290
A meeting with the C suite that you know exactly what is going to happen, you’ll know exactly what you’re going to tell them exactly what they’re expecting to see
01:05:35.460 –> 01:05:41.580
And you do that by making sure you have meetings beforehand with the people that work for them, etc. And and
01:05:42.960 –> 01:05:45.030
And make sure everything’s smooth as a really
01:05:47.010 –> 01:05:52.740
Great advice sage advice, though. So Simon, where can people find you at
01:05:53.610 –> 01:05:57.660
Simon cox.com, of course, we all own our own domain names. Don’t worry.
01:05:58.530 –> 01:06:00.450
I, I certainly do. Jeff.
01:06:00.600 –> 01:06:02.010
I do mine. Yeah, yeah.
01:06:03.330 –> 01:06:10.260
We all, we were not idiots in somebody else get the domain name. Wait, actually, I did that.
01:06:10.800 –> 01:06:12.870
I do on my own, my own domain name.
01:06:14.100 –> 01:06:17.040
Jacob says, But I, I’m the one that got it.
01:06:17.340 –> 01:06:22.530
There was a time I let mine laps and that’s right after the value of people
01:06:23.520 –> 01:06:27.480
took everything and I was just like, I took the site down and then by accident. I let it lapse and
01:06:27.840 –> 01:06:30.480
had sold by my domain name and try to sell it back to me.
01:06:31.980 –> 01:06:35.550
But that lasted about a year and then they just let it go. And then I just picked it up again. But
01:06:36.420 –> 01:06:36.990
It was interesting.
01:06:37.380 –> 01:06:38.730
You can also find me on Twitter.
01:06:38.940 –> 01:06:39.510
01:06:39.600 –> 01:06:48.150
That’s Simon Cox for those first in there. Thank you very much and you will find me a lot during the week doing Twitter chats for SEM rush
01:06:48.570 –> 01:07:03.600
SEO chat on Thursdays and a few others as well econ chat on Mondays UK time midday, which is before your app, but it’s very good. Very common stuff as well. So yeah, I’m mainly on Twitter I dumped Facebook and Instagram. Last year he before he even
01:07:04.740 –> 01:07:17.670
got fed up with it. I might have to dive back in for for work purposes, but from a personal point of view, I don’t do those anymore. But yeah, anything else as it is, I think, for my sis heroes. Yeah, yeah, it’s
01:07:17.700 –> 01:07:31.260
It’s a, it’s huge. What is it, tick, tick tock, and Instagram. Maybe, maybe good with with those young guns but Twitter’s still, still the main place for for SEO chats, at least as far as I’m concerned. Yeah.
01:07:32.160 –> 01:07:38.670
Well, well, thank you so much for for taking taking time and joining us and being candid. We really appreciate it.
01:07:39.240 –> 01:07:41.700
It’s wonderful. I’m really glad I won’t be back next week.
01:07:44.640 –> 01:07:46.110
Yes, yes, we
01:07:46.740 –> 01:07:47.730
Were moving on.
01:07:48.210 –> 01:07:50.790
That 20 minutes written seemed to go a long, long way.
01:07:50.880 –> 01:07:51.630
01:07:52.620 –> 01:07:54.030
It’s been really enjoyable. Thanks, guys.
01:07:55.620 –> 01:07:56.670
Thank you. Thank you.Post Views: 1,192