Ep 166 | 5 SEO Tips to Take You to the Next Level with Erin Ollila

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SEO (search engine optimization) is all about getting organic (free) traffic to your website. You're probably doing some basic things but if you're ready for more this episode is for you. Erin Ollilia is here to share 5 steps to take what you're currently doing to the next level.

What you'll learn:

→ ways to repurpose content so everything isn't created brand new.
→ how to see what your competitors are doing.
→ what data is important to track.
→ getting more exposure on other peoples websites

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[8:10] Audit Previous Content You don’t need to start from scratch. Look at previous written content and see what new synonyms can be added to existing content.
[13:02] Search your Competitors Research your competitors to see what is working for them and why. Adjusting your content to focus on actual intent can lead to more precise searches and improve your ranking.
[17:33] Analyze SEO KPIs If you aren’t currently collecting data, start immediately. Look at the data you have related to pages on your website. Update the pages on your website to be found easier outside of blog posts.
[24:22] Take Time To Do The Work Don’t skip out on the tiny details. Take the time to add in SEO keywords and meta descriptions to make sure you get the best personalized results.
[31:44] Share SEO Offer to write guest blogs for other companies or ask them to provide content for your website. Backlinks, or mentions, can be a great way to gain traffic from other audiences.

Resources

Talk Copy to Me Podcast
SEMRush
Proton
ahrefs
Google Analytics 4
Uber Suggest

Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila

Position

Conversion copywriter. Copy Coach.Wing Woman. Word slinger. No matter what you call her, Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform—and even transform—its intended audience. When she’s not working with big brands and small businesses to marry strategy, storytelling, and SEO, you can find her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast or exploring southeastern MA with her family and friends. Erin graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and then co-founded Spry Literary Journal, which celebrates undiscovered and established writers' concise, experimental, hybrid, modern, vintage or just-plain-vulnerable writing.

Reach out to her on Instagram @ErinOllila or learn more about her at https://erinollila.com 

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We love creating the podcast and help you grow your organization. If you like what you learned here please give us a tip and help us offset our production costs.

Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Having visitors organically find our website is really the dream right? Ranking on page one is what we all aspire to do. And it can be a bit of a mystery. And so I'm really excited to have Erin Ollila join me on today's episode with five, and she kind of threw in a bonus there, tips to kind of really up level your SEO game. So this episode is great to listen to, if you have already kind of been doing some stuff or dabbling or if you're thinking about hiring somebody, or if you just kind of want to take in and learn about where you might want to go with next steps with SEO, great conversation, lots of great tips and ideas. And you know, kind of fun to hear this perspective as we've had a few episodes about SEO lately. And just kind of ways to take it to the next level. Conversion, copywriter, copy coach, wingwoman, wordslinger, no matter what you call her. Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how message can inform and even transform its intended audience. When she's not working with big brands and small businesses to marry strategy, storytelling and SEO, you can find her hosting the Talk Copy To Me podcast or exploring southeastern Massachusetts with her family and friends. Erin graduated from Fairfield University with an MFA in creative writing. And then co-founded Spry Literary Journal, which celebrates undiscovered and established writers, concise, experimental, hybrid, modern vintage or just plain vulnerable writing, you can hit her up on Instagram @erinollila or at erinollila.com. We will of course have this in the show notes for you to check everything out. But I really like her approach to how we think about the ways that we're creating content and the ways that we think about how we're putting things out there. So it's not just about throwing a bunch of words out and hoping that something sticks, but really paying attention to how our users are trying to find us and what's going to make the biggest impact for the goals in our organization. So I hope you check out this episode, I know I'm gonna have to go back and listen to it, she threw some really awesome tips out there. And really just kind of that reminder that SEO is a long term strategy. It is a consistent strategy in order to make it work. And we have to make it work for ourselves. So I hope you take a listen. But before we jump into it, this episode is brought to you by our website Wednesday workshops. These workshops are live 30 minute sessions, where I teach for about 20 minutes and give you about 10 minutes or so for a Q & A. There are great conversations about how to maximize your website and get the biggest impact and biggest conversions. So if you want to hear about this week's topic and learn more, go to thefirstclick.net/website-Wednesdays. I hope to see you at a future event. These are free, no pitch, just a way for you to learn some more and get your website converting. Let's get into the episode. 

[INTRO] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business. 

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hey, everybody join me in welcoming Erin Ollila to the podcast. Thanks, Erin, for joining me today.

[Erin Ollila]  Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So. we're talking SEO today. And I know you've got kind of five killer tips that you want to share with everyone. But before we jump into those, kind of why SEO and why is that something that can be an impact on an organization's marketing?

[Erin Ollila] Yeah, no, I think SEO is so important. Because the way I like to describe it to people is when you are investing in SEO, you are getting clients from all over the world, from the right awareness, and the right need to work with you or to give you money, whether it's fundraising, whichever type of effort that you're putting in for SEO. So you are determining, these key things are important to me, these key things will attract the right type of people, and you're not limited by a geographic location, or a social network or anything like that. But what you're doing is you're creating the opportunity for people to find you. And you know, they're the right people that you want to find you. So I think SEO just really gives you more control in your marketing, even though it's a long term process. And you might have to wait a little while for results. Or you might need to play with your efforts to make sure you're really like calling the right type of people over time. I think it's a really solid way to attract people. And the one thing I didn't mention is the beauty of SEO is it serves you in the long run. So a lot of the times when we're putting in marketing efforts such as like paid advertising, or even content creation and I really don't want to be one to knock content creation because I do love it and find the value. But when we're talking about that kind stuff, social media, those are all short term immediate results. Whereas if you have created SEO content, and you are putting in the effort to make sure that the keywords and keyword phrases that you're using are the right ones, it could serve you a year, two years, three years into the future. A quick example, when the pandemic hit, all of the people who had blog posts or content on their websites about how to start a sourdough starter, how to bake bread, they did not expect that they would see and I really hope I'm not using the wrong figure here. But I think it was a 9,000% increase in search terms for bread baking, or similar types of keyword searches. So it goes to show that we cannot necessarily predict what will happen in the world in the future, what people will see as value over time. But if we do create content and use SEO, within that content, for the longer term, good of our own business, anything that could happen in the world could really help us. It just might not be time oriented to when we think it could.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, I think also, I love that example. And I think also we don't know, always, what's going to hit. So like even in the shorter term, sometimes things we think that are going to hit and be like, great. And everybody's going to love this piece. And they're going to like find so much value and resource in it. And then the things that you're like, Well, okay, this is okay. But you can't predict what's going to, what's going to take off?

[Erin Ollila] No, absolutely not. And you know, I think knowing about the clientele that you have, or the types of people that you'd like to come to your websites, if they're not clients. That's great. I mean, having key insights is the only way to have information on what may potentially hit right. But you also then have to trust in those audience members, because they know what they need, you know, and I think by allowing them to make the decisions and find you by being strategic with what you'd like to have people find you for, it's just going to give you more and more insights, to be able to find out what people need, what people are looking for. Because the beauty of SEO is it's not just results based, right? So you're also able to find maybe keywords that you should target that you're that you'd never considered. I always explain to people that intent is one of the hugest things that we really need to consider when it comes to SEO, and I'll talk about this in the tips as well. But like, for me, if I were to just have copywriter as one of my search terms, what I wouldn't realize is that if you Google copywriter, you're going to find job advertisements for people to hire copywriter, you're going to find an immense amount of people searching how to become a copywriter. So my clients aren't necessarily using that one word, they might be using things like SEO website writer, because they know those are the things they need. So intent really plays a large role in how to determine the keywords that we use, or the keywords we update.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, I want to, we're gonna jump into tip number one. And I'm glad that you put this as tip number one. And you kind of alluded to this a little bit at the beginning. We don't have to always create new content in order to create an SEO machine. So why don't you jump into what your first tip is?

[Erin Ollila] Yeah, so my first tip to really get the you know, the best impact for the SEO efforts that you're putting in, is to audit all of the previous written content that you have to see if there are seo keywords, or even just SEO synonyms. And if you're not familiar with that, what I like to think of that is, as an example, if you are a landscape architect, this is just a wide one, I looked out the window and I saw my shrubs needed cutting, but if you're a landscape architect, maybe it could be landscaper as a synonym. Landscape designer, like all of these phrases, and terms that are in similar standing to what you're looking to rank for. Look at your previously written content to see what new synonyms can be added into the text. And if any of those seo keywords that you're using need updating or adjustment, so really, it's a beautiful place, because you can look at what you've already created and just make adjustments. You're not starting from scratch. I think one thing that people fear when they hear SEO or like even fear in hiring an SEO copywriter or an SEO strategist is, oh my goodness, it's going to cost a lot of money to start from the bottom and work my way up. But if you want to see a huge impact, look at what you have and use that. You're not starting from the bottom anymore. You're starting from the middle or even the top. If you have a really well performing post. You don't have to just accept that it's performing the way that it is. Think can I make this better? Is there more content I can add into this? Can I target a second seo keyword phrase? Maybe I'll make adjustments which I will preface, you should always be careful for the adjustments you're making to any type of content that is really working well for you. Because you want to make sure it continues to work well. But look at the massive amount of content you have and see how you can adjust that to serve you before starting from scratch.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So could this be something like let's say I have a blog post that's like summer activities? Now that your kids are off school, or whatever, let's say that's a blog post that I have. And maybe it's a little outdated. I wrote it a couple of years ago, and now we have a bunch of new activities that we work, you know, with kids on. So could you just take that blog post, edit the copy, and then just kind of maybe put something like you see this all the time on posts, they say, you know, post updated on.

[Erin Ollila] 100%? Yep, the answer to that is 100% yes. And I highly recommend it, especially for seasonal things. You know, I always try to encourage people to create evergreen content. And what I mean by that is not time specific or new, specific. But seasonal content can still be evergreen. Summer happens every year, right? So that content is always going to be valuable to people. Let's say in the first iteration of that post you shared, you know, five seasonal activities for your children. And let's say it's performing really well for you, but you'd love more traffic, add another five, I mean, you don't have to remove the five tips, they're still valuable, but why not add to it? Or instead of if maybe the type of content that you have isn't something you can add more tips to, maybe you explain each tip and a little bit further, or maybe you give them a suggestion, like, if you want to do crafts with your kids, but you guys are tiring of the same crafts, maybe you hire an artist to come to your house and give like one of those painting classes, right. So the tip is an addition to how to take this to the next level, there really are so many opportunities for how to adjust the content. Again, pretending this is a really high performing post already. You don't want to make the content, you don't want to take away from what's performing well. So adding to it is the key there. Now let's say this post has not been performing well for you. But you think it could be a highly converting post for whatever bunch of reasons. Well, then in that case, I would suggest let's look at it, why isn't it not performing? Are we not using the keyword or keyword synonyms enough? Are we not explaining them? Does this content even relate to the rest of the website because Google knows, you know, they kind of put you into a general category. So if me as a marker started writing about baking bread, they'd be like, Alright, I'm gonna give you a chance Erin. I'm gonna give you a chance to see if you can relate this to marketing. But no, you're not, we're not gonna like move this up. Because there are bread makers who are doing such more valuable work than you are. So again, updating can be great for posts that are doing really well and posts that also need some help as well.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] No, that's, that's good. And I think that's a nice kind of way to jump in, too, if you haven't really been doing SEO, because then you're not trying to figure some of those things, as well as now having to create new content at the same time. And you're talking a lot about keywords. So I know Tip number two is kind of some resources to help people find those keywords that might be relevant to them.

[Erin Ollila] Yeah. So one thing I think people are well aware of is that they can use SEO tools to be able to figure out what keywords to use on their own website. Even for example, Google Search Console is going to tell you what type of impressions that you're making, as well as like how people are clicking into your website. But there's a factor that like the next level up that people don't consider, why aren't we using these SEO tools to find out what our competitors are doing? When it comes to competitors, whether it comes to copywriting or SEO, I never suggest copying, because they have different goals than you do. They have different reasons for doing whatever it is they're doing. But the amount of research that you can find on your competitors is endless, right? You take the data that you have on them, and then you pull it into your own ecosystem and say, okay, Sara's company is doing this. Why? How does that fit into my end goals? Like, are they attracting clients for this? Do I want those same type of clients? And I think once you have the answers to those questions, it's very easy to look at your competitor’s data and say, they're really doing a good job on this. This is a segment we didn't consider. Let's go back into that old content we've created and adjust it to this segment, or because we haven't considered this because this is a new segment for us. We're going to start a content campaign to create content specifically for this segment and test it. Or it could just be that maybe you're both, what you're finding from that research is you're both going out after the same keywords and neither of your ranking, so let's look at that data to find out why. Is it one of those instances of like using copywriter, how I mentioned earlier? That both of you are getting watered down in search results because the intent isn't there. And if that's the case, let's look at it and determine where we can shift the phrase to focus on the actual intent. So honestly, I think that there is endless, endless information that you can learn by searching your competitors. And it is one of the rarest things I see from my clients who come to me who have already, like had some SEO work done. They're not doing this. And I think it's a great place to start if you're already following some of the other tips in this episode.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] What are some of your favorite tools for competitive research?

[Erin Ollila] Oh, there's so many. And honestly, to be fair here, I would say this depends on budget a lot. So SEM Rush, I was gonna say Answer The Public is a cheap one, but they have actually been bought recently by Uber suggests. So Uber Suggest is a great starting place for a company or an individual who is looking for an affordable tool. What I like about it is that Uber Suggests, like I said, now they have answered the public, so you have more data. But what I also like is they have a free plan that allows you to start tracking small things. They also have a lifetime upgrade that is extremely affordable. So you're able to get great SEO information that you can have a strategist look at and then help determine the next steps for you. But again, you have other ones such as Proton has one, SEM Rush, ahrefs, which I'm pretty sure I say wrong every single time I say it.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I see sem rush like some people call it SEMrush. Sem rush, it's like A H refs.

[Erin Ollila] That's the right way to call it. In my mind it's ahrefs, I don't know why.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern]

We will link up all of those in the show notes as well. So you guys can go back because I'm not sure off the top of my head, of those, which ones have nonprofit rates and which ones don't, but I'm sure some of them do also.

[Erin Ollila] Absolutely. That is something to pay attention to. But also remember, depending on if you hire an SEO person or an SEO agency, they may already have access to this. And they have all of like the higher rate access that they are able to just incorporate this into the fee that they are charging you versus hiring a person and paying for on your own.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] And so let's jump into tip number three.

[Erin Ollila] Sure. So the third tip is to analyze your SEO KPIs over a longer term, so that you can determine what's ranking or not on pages versus post. So then you can make those changes. And here's why I accentuated the pages versus post is because when we think of content, the easiest content that we are able to look at the data is a blog post, or anything that's being treated as a blog post, such as case studies or portfolio pieces on website. Because on those pages, there are more words, and with more words, the Google robots of the world are able to scan the post and make a clearer, firmer decision on what that post is about. Whereas pages often have less content, and are often using shorter tail keywords, or local keywords in order to rank for them. So generally most people will look at, how's my organic traffic ranking for the blog posts? So let's put those to the side, absolutely do that. But let's start paying a little bit of attention to the pages themselves. Because I find that when I work with clients who have a lot of content created, whether it's copy or content, pages are neglected, and there's so many easy tweaks that you can make to the copy on those pages, easy things that don't disturb the message of the page, or the conversion factor of the page that will help with SEO. So tip number three is pretty simple. Like ignore the posts for a second. And let's take the data that you have. If you're currently using Google Analytics as an example, take it on a year, two years, range and say, Well, what's been working on these posts? If you don't have the data now, this might be one of those longer steps for you. Start collecting data today. Set something in your calendar for a year, year and a half from now to go back and check that data. I should probably mention here just by the time this episode goes live that one of the key things that people need to start considering is changing over their Google Analytics account to the new G four analytics account because you want to do immediately like if you're listening to this episode, and you haven't done that, go change it because you'll only get previous data back to the date that you have the new G four analytics. So if you set that up today, in 2023, when the change happens between, you know, Google's own change, you'll have from today until the future to look back on data. So if you haven't done that yet, make sure to do that. And you know, another thing to do is collect the data you have and make those research reports like if you have old Google Analytics data, print them, like, let's get really old school, save them to your computer, print them so that you can use them next year as well.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, and I’m really glad you brought that up, because I believe the standard Universal Analytics is going to stop tracking data as of July 2023, correct, and then you'll lose like, then it's just going away at the end of 2023. So like you said, you won't even be able to go back and look historically at that information. So I do think that is critical. But I think it's also super exciting. As non-technical SEO people, the data that you'll now be able to pull through g4 is going to be so much more dynamic and give you such a better picture. All the things you're talking about today will be even easier with that new system.

[Erin Ollila] I agree. And you know, as much as it was paid advertising in the past decade has been this wonderful thing. It is also the privacy concern that I have had and other people have had. And yes, as marketers it may stink to lose what we are used to, we're used to specific types of data. But like you mentioned, what we're getting next year, I think is really valuable information, it's really helpful. So I think it's a more fair view of our clients and what we can do to be better businesses to our clients. So if you're hearing this, and you know, maybe this is something you're familiar with, and you're just nervous about it, because you're worried about losing data, I really want you to encourage, I want to encourage you to go into this with a more positive mindset to think that I'm gonna get new data like, Sure, I'm telling you now to collect what you have and store it like you know, under lock and key. But it's not a bad thing, this change is not going to be a bad thing. I think it'll be really great for you once you start to like see the data that you're getting.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, I think some of the examples, just in case, you know, you're trying to visually think like, what could we be talking about, like some of the things are just even how users like more transparency and how users are interacting with your site. So you might not have as much information on the individual user anymore. But I think to your point, like you said, it's going to be even better because now I can see where they're interacting on certain pages, where how far are they scrolling? So for those core pages that you're talking about, now I can get a much better picture of how to actually push people into the places where they kind of make that conversion with a little bit more thought.

[Erin Ollila] Yeah. So a very clear concrete example for you right now is I forgot whether this is Google Analytics, or Twitter analytics. But a few years ago, I was searching into the micro details of the people that follow me. And I found that they love eggs. Now I am a marketer. I do not know and I also, I mean, I do really like eggs, I'm not gonna lie, I do. But I don't think I've ever spoken about this in my business. It does not serve me to speak about this in my business. So that's what we mean right now about micro details, right? Like, I don't need to know that like, you know, the women in the age range of 28 to 42 are like, absolutely buying eggs on a like weekly shopping trip. I don't need to know that. Some businesses maybe, absolutely I don't. But that same niche of women just as a complete example, I do need to know that when they look at the Services page, people are really motivated to click at a certain point. And, while that's granular maybe for the nonprofits and like the people making decisions, from a business standpoint, it is not granular for your marketers, it is not granular for the people who are the website designers, right. So it is really helpful for us to know when people are motivated to make buying decisions. So that type of data is really the more truthful, right? It's the more like, it's the more transparent. It's not that someone likes to look at their iPhone, when clicking on this page, and that they also eat eggs and go to the gym, like we don't, we don't necessarily need that. We really need to know how people interact with us, why they interact with us, and what we can do better to interact with them.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, no, that's so true. Okay, so I feel like the first three tips were kind of geared towards people that have maybe already been doing a little bit of SEO, might be on the cusp of hiring a professional, or are really kind of going through audits. So kind of like the second phase of you know, stepping into it, but I love this next tip because I think it's just one for everybody and anybody.

[Erin Ollila] Yeah. So the next tip is pretty simple. Do the simple stuff you're not doing. And I've done SEO professionally for almost a decade now. And I also don't do it because it's just like you know how sometimes I was like, we want to eat healthier, we want to drink more water. I think everyone knows that. Everyone knows water is healthy for us. But how many glasses are you drinking a day, right? So that's how SEO is usually approached as well, because it's one of those things like, you know, when it comes to water intake, we don't see that on a daily basis, easily, how it changes our body and how it makes us healthy. With SEO, we're not being reminded of that on a daily basis. So it's easy to overlook things that feel tedious or tiny. But I'll continue from my speech to say the actual tip, do those tiny things that like you know, are important but you're not doing because time is preventing you, such as like actually adding the SEO keyword phrases into the images that you're uploading, or actually creating those meta descriptions at the bottom of the page, because for the most part, Google will create meta descriptions for you. If you're not familiar with what meta descriptions do, they're basically that preview text that you see when you Google something you know, so it'll say the page title and a quick description of what to expect from the page. Well, if you don't create that, on the back end, Google will put something for you there. So it's easy to be like me, I'll do the meta descriptions later, right. But if you write the meta descriptions yourself, using those SEO keyword phrases, you're able to direct people. Like, this is the intent of my page, I'd really like you to come here for this reason, right? It makes a change from the impressions you get to the actual clicks that you get. So all these tiny things, using your image descriptions, making sure that when you do the alt text of an image, you are one, speaking to the screen readers for people with accessibility needs, as well as potentially putting your keywords in there. If it is natural. Yes, it's a great place to put keywords. But I do not want anyone to keyword stuff, I want you to use those tools for accessibility, as well as just little things like are they in your keywords? You know, we're not five years ago in the SEO world where people could easily say, great, you have a keyword, put it in the title, put it in a header, use it X number of times. That's the SEO of the past. But I mentioned it because it's still relevant, right? Like, we can't just say oh, I would really like to rank on this page for drug treatment center, and then never write, you know, addictions treatment center in the post. So the tiny things that we've all learned, we know are important, often get very overlooked. So whether you start very tiny and say, I'm going to take this on a page by page basis, whether you say okay, every month, I'm gonna look at three blog posts from the past and see, have I been doing these things? That can make a ginormous, actual measurement, right there, a ginormous difference in the people that come to your site, and the increase you can potentially get when it comes to SEO.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] And I think what I've learned too, because this is a habit I'm terrible at also. But when I'm really consistent with that, I have also found that it really helps me with going back to your piece of intent. Because then when I'm like, Oh, well, this is why I wanted people to search it. And then as you start going through the checklist, like there's so many, if you're on WordPress, like rankmath, or Yoast or whatever, like they'll give you a whole checklist of things to go down to make sure that your post is healthy. And you start to like check off as many of those as you can. And then sometimes you realize like, oh, no, my title is way wrong, or like, you're right, I do need to change the intro text, not to keyword stuff, because when you wrote the post, and when you really got back to the intent of it, they weren't quite 100% aligned. So it's kind of just a checks and balance.

[Erin Ollila] Absolutely. And the one quick thing not exactly relevant is I will say, those tools like Yoast, I do like it. So there's not a negative point here. But when it comes to the red light, green light, yellow light, I get asked so often like, oh, well, it's in a yellow light. I really want that green light. And I'm like, okay, one, Yoast does not tell Google anything, those tools are for you, as an end user, to try to do the best practices. Two, when it comes to things like when they say like readability, like what grade level, like that's all artificial intelligence, you do not have an editor that is reading that. What they're basing that as, like how many words are in each sentence, how many long sentences follow each other. And so take those tools and think like this is really helpful to me. But no matter what, you're still a smart, intelligent person, and your own intelligence can sometimes rank artificial intelligence. So don't worry too too much about always trying to get things in the green or if you're struggling with like maybe something reading more academic than reading like more simplified. It really relates to your own nonprofit, your own, like, what are your needs, who are reading your site. So use the tools as helpful, healthy things for you. But recognize that you have to also make your own decisions on whether or not you will, you know, bow down to those tools as well.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, I agree. And I always take a look at it from when, you know, when I look at the yellows, and the reds, and I read those, again, I feel like intent is the word of the podcast. Does it make sense for what you're trying to do for this post, because you could probably end up almost harming yourself, if your only goal is to get all greens, you're gonna hurt yourself in the long run.

[Erin Ollila] My best advice that I have for my clients that are a mix of like done for you and done with me is do not look at them until the end, right, you can go back like if it's that you're trying to get the SEO light green, you can go back and add some keywords, synonyms, or add some keywords more often if that's helpful for you. If it is like readability, any of those things like, editing is why writing is so hard because we all try to self edit, instead of just write. I mean, I have a master's degree in creative writing, and my undergraduate degree I also have as partially for writing. Let me tell you, folks, I've taken a lot of writing classes, writers write and then edit. Like, I mean, I am a fool to this myself, but like, just get it out, then you can try to make those lights change for things like readability. So edit at the end, make it as easiest as it can be for you to get the job done first, and then go back to make that job done successfully.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] That's a great tip. That's a really great tip. Okay, so let's get to your last and final SEO tip.

[Erin Ollila] Okay, so this one, I think is pretty easy. And it's often overlooked, or people are nervous about this when it comes to things like quote, unquote, competition. And the final quote is to share or ask to share SEO juice, right. And the easiest way to do that is to write like guest blogs for other businesses, or to ask people to come to your business and write guest blogs for you. Because backlinks are very important for Google to see that other websites find you as an authority in your sphere. So, you know, in the example of nonprofits, maybe they want to go to some industry websites, like just thinking as a quick example, because I mentioned addictions before, maybe some of the clinicians, if it is an addictions treatment center, maybe some of the clinicians could write guest blog posts for places like Psychology Today, or very well mind, different places on the internet that already have very good SEO ranking. In the blog post, there's a link back to the nonprofit site. So in this case, you know, maybe it's just in the bio to say like so and so is a clinician at this treatment center. And there's the link that goes back. It is important to look for places,not to get too granular here, that allow follow links. Some certain publications will have what's called a nofollow link. And what that is, is a link to your website, but it's not providing the backlink. And that's something that's just an easy question, you can ask that of the publication later. Don't try to make yourself go crazy to find out do they, do they not? Just ask it when you propose a guest post. But again, find people within your organization that will write a post to a different business like an industry, or it could be what I like to call like competitive people within the same sphere, but not necessarily direct competitors. This is not a nonprofit example. But for me, for example, I might want to have a website designer, ask to write them a pulse. Because we share the same audience. But it is not one to one direct competition. So within the nonprofit sphere, there are many different types of organizations that work with the same type of clients in different ways. And it's as simple as just you know, doing the time resource of sitting down and writing something. And while I keep talking about writing guest blogs for other people's sites, which is the most helpful to your nonprofit, because you're going to borrow their audience. It's great to invite them to your site as well. Sure you won't get that direct backlink from their site, but maybe they do a regular roundup you know, maybe they have a podcast where they mentioned where they've been seen. And in that they're sharing the link to your site. Maybe they have just like an email newsletter that they say hey, you know, our staff was featured on your website. Again, you have the link there to drive people to your audience. So definitely reach out to be a guest blogger, or an opinion share, or a podcast person. Even using this as an example of being on podcast in your industry sphere is a great opportunity. And then that drives people back to your website that might not have found you on their own.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, I think it's going back to what you feel most comfortable with. So if like doing a podcast is much easier for, you know, somebody of authority in your department, just making sure they have show notes, because like I said, like, all of our, like, our show notes will link back to your website, your offerings, your social media, right. And then again, it's kind of like if, if somebody else is having you on their website, then they must trust you. So like, from an SEO space, it's building that trust with the search engines, but it's also automatically building trust with their visitors. So it's like removing a little bit of that barrier to entry instead of cold calling.

[Erin Ollila] Yeah, absolutely. And I really think like when it because this part, this tip is a time investment. And it's not necessarily something you can hire out, like, you know, tips one through four, you could hire me, you could hire like an SEO team like that doesn't do the copy, but just the you know, the strategy, you can hire just a copywriter, maybe you have one on your team already to do the work. Well, now in this instance, you have to have clinicians as an example in the previous one, you need to have people who are CEOs, people who are in leadership teams, invest their time into this. But remember, one, it's a good authority building thing for them as individuals, not just for your organization. So you will have people who would want this opportunity within your, you know, your nonprofit network. But two, to think of this as the comfort level, like you mentioned, if writing is just not going to work for the people within your organization who are willing to invest their time, have them go on YouTube shows, have them go on podcasts, while you have I mean not to get too granular, but you might even want to do things like the Instagram lives where you can both share each other's network. Not the same results so I don't want to talk about that too much. But when it comes to SEO, off site SEO is so valuable. It's just I mean, this could be tip number six, because we're not considering our own copy. But when you mentioned show notes, there's a few different ways to look at that. One, show notes on your own website. So it would be treated like a blog post as an example, that is a direct backlink. So that's the easiest way to describe what we've been talking about. But this is going to be a stretch and I promise there is an answer to this one. And also the description that goes into this podcast episode. Now here's this big caveat red flag I want to throw up. If you're on Apple podcast right now, they're not going to share a backlink. Even if you see a link there, that's kind of like that nofollow backlink that I talked about. So Apple podcast, in their own right, are not sharing the link. However, if the link is written out in the HTTP format, you know, maybe it says like find Erin here, there's a hyperlink on the word here. But my website is also on the side of it. When the distribution type of podcast channels like listen notes, or all these other different types of podcast distributions that share it, you know, near and far, they will see that link, and that will technically over time be treated as an additional backlink. So there is a lot of good reasons why people who might not want to write content would be willing to speak the content, or be on video for the content. So off site, SEO is a great tool, you know, it doesn't have to be just written. Written is a lot easier for like Google robots to scroll those texts. But you can definitely get, you know, a high impact from being on audio or on video.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah. Okay, so many, so many so many good tips. So I think you'll probably have to come back to this episode, and listen as you kind of work through the various stages of where you're at. But definitely start with the tip of meta descriptions and titles, and just all of that, and I would say, definitely start with auditing your content. But what I love so much about all the things you shared is as organizations are in the space of moving to hire somebody, I think, just having the knowledge that you shared to be able to ask the right questions, because I think that's often scary in hiring somebody to do this work. You know, like it's a different language that not everyone speaks. So I think there's just a lot of good stuff in here. Even if you're just like, how do I go about hiring somebody? There's a lot of questions to ask and information that you can glean from this to hire the right person. So I think that's super helpful too. Well, Erin, if people want to learn more about you and what you do, how do they find you?

[Erin Ollila] Easiest way is to come on over to my website. It is erinollila.com. O L L I L A. I know my last name is a mouthful. I also spent a lot of time on LinkedIn and Instagram and I have a podcast called Talk copy to me, which is actually for the business owners. It is not for copywriters, or anything like that. It is marketing and copy and messaging tips from people of all different trades about how you can really harness truthful and impactful and conversion driven copy in your own businesses.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] That's great. And we'll link that all up in the show notes. It'll be at thefirstclick.net/166. Erin, thank you so much. This was wonderful.

[Erin Ollila] Thank you so much for having me. And I'm really excited. I hope that everyone just takes the tiniest effort and really see the impact that SEO can have in their own businesses.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Thank you again, Erin, for joining me on today's episode, you can find all the resources that she talked about, as well as links to her social media and website at thefirstclick.net/166. Let me know how you're going to incorporate SEO strategy into your organization and what that might look like for you. But for now, I hope you'll subscribe where you listen so you don't miss out on an episode and why don't you go ahead and leave us a five star review. I will see you in the next one.

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