Category Archives for SEM

Don’t confuse search volume with actual traffic


Hi guys. And welcome to another edition of the Zupo's SEO talk and tea. 

Today's conversation is to not confuse search volume with actual traffic. This is an important conversation because I think what often happens is most people conceptually know this. They understand it, but in the speed of the day-to-day, they're moving so quickly that they forget that search volume does not always equate, and it never equates to a hundred percent of the traffic that your site receives. So I'll go into a lot of detail about that just in a second, but I wanted to go ahead and start brewing some of the tea that we have today. Today we have a Pu'Er tea, which is a very common guest on this channel. I drink this Pu-Er pretty much every single day. So very, very familiar with this tea. It's been on this channel quite a lot. But let's go ahead and get that brewing and let's get chatting about search volume and traffic.

So again, search volume is something that we're all very familiar with. Search volume is generally the monthly search volume for a certain keyword that people are searching for. So if you're looking for a keyword and it has 3000 searches a month, that's the average monthly volume. The search volume is 3000. Now, what all can often happen, and what I'm talking about is let's say you did a great job. And for that keyword, you are now ranking on the first page. And if you're even better, you may be ranking on the first, second or third position. That's wonderful, right? That's great. But what can often happen is if that keyword has the monthly search volume of 3000, and then let's say you rank on the first or second spot. Well, people can often confuse as, "Oh, we weren't on the first or second spot, so therefore we're getting 3000 visitors a month from that keyword because it has 3000 monthly searches, and we rank on the first, second, or third spot."

That is a actually not correct. A lot of the people who search, not everybody clicks a search result. Some people click around, not everyone clicks the first result. Some people click to the second, or third, or fourth. I think if you kind of slow it down, it's pretty understandable that, even if you ranked number one, you are not going to get a hundred percent of the clicks or visitors from the 3000 monthly search volume. Because again, not every one clicks a result, not everyone clicks the first position. Some people click ads, some people scroll away. The reasons might be very many, but the whole point is because if the keyword may have 3000 monthly searches does not mean if you rank first, second, or third, you are getting 3000 organic visitors a month from that keyword.

So that's an important consideration, and I completely understand why people make this mistake. A lot of ranking reports, they will have the keyword, ranking position, and then the monthly search volume. So when you're scanning through a ranking report, it's very like, "Oh yeah, okay we ranked at that one, we're getting this much volume." Actually, this is where I filmed another video talking about estimated traffic. This is why SEO tools like [inaudible 00:02:46] and SEMrush created the metrics for estimated traffic so that they can tell you... Just because you ranked number one, two, or three, were on the first page for this keyword does not mean you get all the search volume, but here's our estimated traffic so that you can kind of get an estimate of how much traffic you're actually going to get from this ranking, for this keyword.

Now, again, I've just talked about in the other video, the estimated traffic, take that metric. I don't want to say with a grain of salt, use it more as a guide. It is always best to try to measure the amount of traffic you're getting from keyword through your own analytics and search console. Which I also talked about in a different video, where I showed you the methodology to try to how to get that information. But again, it's pretty simple, but I think everyone gets, I think we all just need a healthy reminder. Even at one point in my career, I think I made that mistake just because you rank on the first page or the first two possessions for a keyword does not ever mean you're getting 100% of the search volume into your site. There is a lot of deviation when it comes to people clicking around or people not even clicking anything on that search result, right?

So, that's kind of just a very quick reminder that I want to give to this video. Remember search volume does not equal your actual traffic to the website. So hopefully that reminder will help you guys in your own interpretation and understanding of the data. If you guys found the video valuable, please like and subscribe, and I hope to see you guys again soon.

Thanks everybody.

What is a canonical tag


Hi guys, and welcome to another edition of Zupo's SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation. What is a canonical tag? You'll see a lot of conversation, especially in the SEO realm of canonical tags. It's a really big word that I'll be honest for a very early portion of my SEO career, I had no idea what it was either. I saw it everywhere and I really didn't know what it was. I do now today. And hopefully what I'm wanting to do with this video is help define what a canonical tag is to those who are watching this video in a very non-academic technical way. I'm not a big believer in having great definitions. I like casual definitions that people can just understand day-to-day. But before we begin, I want to introduce the tea we have today, because this is Zupo's SEO Talk & Tea. And today we have a Oolong tea that was gifted to my dad in China.

Again, this was a gift from one of our family members. It was like a distant, long lost relative in China. My family has been removed from China, has not lived there for six or seven generations. So, when we want to go back and visit our clan, the Khoo family, they gifted us some of this tea. And this tea, I don't really know exactly what it is, but I do know that it's an Oolong and it's roasted. When you brew it has a smoky flavor. So let's go ahead and get brewing and get chatting about what canonical tag is. So again, I will just warn that I do not give academic definitions on these. I'm just going to go just the casual way. What a canonical tag really is, is a canonical tag is a way that you can tell Google it's an SEO tag, or a web tag or something like a line of code you can put on your website, that tells Google, this is the original, or master copy of a page.

What does that mean? So, sometimes when you're doing your day-to-day, online marketing work, you have a lot of things to do. You have your normal SEO, you have your Google Ads. You have your Facebook advertising. You have Instagram ads. Every marketing channel will have its own needs, like for your Google Ads, you most likely will have you to have landing pages that are optimized for that ad. If you're doing Facebook ads, same thing there, you want to have a landing page that's specific to those people who click an ad on Facebook, right? And so in that case, the reason why this becomes important, because as your site grows bigger and as your site begins to need more pages, you need it to be able to organize things with Google.

And here's why. Let's say, I always like to use the pizza example. Let's say you own a pizza shop, right? And you have a product page called pepperoni pizza. Like, duh, that's what you have at a pizza store. You have a product page called pepperoni pizza, but you were running some Facebook ads. Let's say, "Hey if you click this ad, you'll get $10 off your next pepperoni pizza order." That's a pretty big deal. But anyways, so let's say you got a $10 off your next pepperoni pizza order. So, those who clicked the ad you want for them to be able to go to a specific landing page that has pepperoni pizza, but it has the deal where they can sign up, and then they can redeem the deal. That way, not only can they find where the deal is and redeem the deal, you on the other hand can know how many people clicked the ad, went to that page, and then how many people will actually redeem the deal. So, the problem is though, that page will now conflict with your main product page because you have a main product page for SEO purposes.

You don't have that deal on there because it's for the general public, but for the Google Ads or Facebook ads, you may have a specific deal. Now, you have two versions of a page. This is where a canonical tag comes in. Canonical tag will tell Google, okay, the original page is the product page. This page over here that has that $10 off is a duplicate, or it's another version of it, but it is not the original copy. And that way Google can tell, okay, you have these other pages here, and though they look mighty similar to this original one, we understand you are claiming that this original one is the original copy. And these other ones aren't meant to be ranked on SEO, or organic ranking purposes. You have them for non SEO or non-organic ranking purposes. And that's where canonicals tags really come into play. So, in that implementation for the example, I just gave, you will put a canonical tag on the $10 off-page and say, "This is the page, but this is canonical and it points to the original pepperoni pizza page."

That way when Google crawls that page it will read, "Hey, this page, does exist, but there's a tag in here that says, please be mindful, please know that the original page is not this one. It's a different one." And that way they can see what the original page is, that way you don't risk any duplicate content issues, or cannibalization. The number one thing that you want to avoid with Google, is you don't want to duplicate content. You will be penalized by Google if you have too much duplicate content. And then on a second note, you don't want your pages to compete with each other. If you have two pages with the same keyword focus, they may cannibalize, or go against each other and get in the way of your own rankings, right? So, that's what a canonical tag is in implementation. How to actually add the code is pretty simple, you can use a developer. You can honestly find the code and add it yourself if you really needed to, or if you're using a different CMS, like WordPress, they have pretty simple ways of adding it as well.

But that's what a canonical tag is guys. You really only need it if you're doing things beyond SEO, or you just have multiple pages of things, whether it be Google Ads, Facebook ads, A/B testing, that's when a canonical tag really comes into play. Right? So, hopefully, that will help you guys in understanding what a canonical tag is. I can tell you if you didn't know what it was before. I didn't know for a long time, but it sounds like such a big word, but once you figure out what it is, it's not so scary anymore. But if you guys found the video valuable, please like and subscribe, I'm going to go ahead and pour my tea out. I hope to see everybody again soon.

Thanks, everybody. Hmm, Smoky.

What are broken links in SEO


Hi guys. And welcome to another edition of Zupo's SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation, what are broken links in SEO? This is a conversation I'd like to have because broken links are often discussed when it comes to link building strategies or just general SEO and broken links to me is a very generalized term that I thought used to mean all these different things, but in the SEO realm, it means the one specific thing. So let me go ahead and talk about that today. But before we begin, I want to introduce the tea we have today because this is Zupo's SEO Talk & Tea. Today we have a Roasted Oolong. It's a very frequent guest on this show. It's a very smoky Oolong that was gifted to my family when my father visited China years ago to go reconnect with our family aligning and everything. But let's go ahead and get brewing and get chatting.

So what are broken links in SEO? Broken links, let me start with what it is, and then we can talk about what it isn't. So what a broken link is, in SEO means that you have a link pointing into your website from a third party domain or website. So let's say another website is pointing to a link to your website. What the destination of that link is a 404 page or pointing to a page that doesn't exist. So let me slow down and give an example. Let's say you own a website called and you used to have a page called, but now you don't sell spaghetti anymore. So, that page has been taken down. You don't sell spaghetti anymore, but back in the day, you used to have reviewers who reviewed your food. And it actually links to, right? Because they would talked about it in their review. That's what a broken link is. If you remove, that link now points to a page that does not exist, right?

And so why this is important is because a broken link means that now a third-party website is pointing a valuable link to your website, but it points to nothing. And the reason why that this can become a big implication is that acquiring links is one of the most difficult things in SEO. It is difficult to acquire high value links, right? And so in acquiring a link that goes to a 404, you essentially will lose all value, because Google does not like when users are navigated or directed to pages that don't exist. It ruined the user experience for people. And so in that case, if that link was pointing to Stockholm/spaghetti, you would get no value from that link because it's pointing to a page that doesn't exist.

Even though it points to your domain, that's great, but because of 404 page, you essentially lose all value of that link. So a broken link does not mean like a non-functioning link on your website. A broken link, I think, is so generalized that I think like when people hear broken link, they hear like, "Oh, the contact us link on my website, doesn't work, it's not pointing anywhere." That might be a valid way to use that term, but in an SEO purpose, it specifically means a link pointing to your website that points to a 404 page. Now that's what a broken link is in SEO. Let's quickly talk about how to fix it. If you have pages, if you have links coming to your website that point to 404 or nonexistent pages, there are two fixes. The first, easiest one, that I would recommend it right off the jump, is redirect, redirect that URL.

So in this case, the .com/spaghetti to a different URL, just do a 301 redirect and that tells Google, even though, if users and links link to this page, we have moved this URL to a different URL. So please pass the value and the importance to the different page. That way Google understands, Okay. You've just moved URLs. So if someone lands here, we'll just move them to the other URL. In the best case scenario, move that URL, or redirect it to a similar corresponding one, or at the very least to your homepage. I don't always recommend to the homepage because the homepage is one of the pages that easiest gets the most links. You sometimes you want to drive links to other pages that could use some more of that link value. That's number one, just redirect, you really want to redirect the 404 page to corresponding URL, or at least the homepage.

Second, go and reach out to the person who is linking to you, ask them to update the link. This one is much more difficult because I don't think anybody ... First, it's hard to outreach to someone, so I can get ahold of them and third getting their attention, and then having them actually go in and update the link. A lot of people are really busy. They don't really want to go in there and figure that all out. Especially if the website is owned by different people, or that's run by different people. It's hard because you might get the contact with an answer contact or web department that gets a little messy. In its purest form, though, if you can get that, get it, get that link updated to a new URL.

But in most cases it can be very difficult. So in the short term, just 301 redirect. That way you don't lose the value of a link, it's therefore is not broken anymore. And it passes value to pages and gives actual value to your website. So, that's what a broken link is in SEO. And so when you hear about broken link building in SEO, it really means like about like cleaning up your link profile so that you don't have links pointing to non-existent pages on your website. Hopefully that clarifies and that helps explain what broken links are. If you guys found the video valuable, please like, and subscribe. And I hope to see you guys again soon.

Thanks everybody.

The difference between a redirect and a migration


Hi guys, and welcome to another edition of Zupo's SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation, the difference between a redirect and a migration. Although, it might sound obvious conceptually, or by saying it out loud, it sounds obvious, but it actually can be a little bit more confusing or forgotten in the day-to-day experience of a different website. I want to film a video to kind of clarify help teams slow down and understanding the difference.

But before we begin, I want to introduce the tea we have today. Today we have a Green Tea that was gifted to my dad in China. It's a Green Tea that I tend to have every so often. I'm not the biggest Green Tea drinker anymore, but whenever you want something a little bit lighter and more soothing, this is something that I'll pull out and drink. And again, always a clarification, this is actually not from Teavana, it's actually I just use the Teavana casing.

But let's go ahead and get started. So the difference between a redirect and a migration. Let's just get started with the obvious one, what a redirect is. This is the one that a lot of companies will use right off the bat. You may own five or six different URLs and so what you want to do is if anyone navigates to any of those URLs, they will automatically be redirected to your website. So a redirect is pretty much simplistic way of saying, "If someone lands on this URL, please automatically forward them to a different URL." Let me give you an example. Let's say I own, but my website is on If I type in pepperoni pizza, and I add a redirect on that URL, the person who navigates there will automatically be moved to Plain and simple, right? Redirect is pretty simple.

A migration on the other hand is different. So this is where we have to be very careful. Let's say you used to own Your site used to be there. Now you're saying, "Hey, you know, I kind of want to change my URL, I would love for my URL to be" It doesn't matter the reason, you just know you want to do that, or your team or your company knows that they want to do that.

So in that case, you want to say if anyone goes to I want them to be redirected to, but I also want the site to be on So my sites currently on, but when someone navigates to, or sorry, let me slow down. If someone navigates now to I would like them to be moved to, but I also want my site to show up. That's what we call a migration, not a redirect. Because the difference is, if someone types in and that's where your site used to live, and you want to go to, your site used to exist on pepperoni pizza, and the problem is, your site now needs to be moved to So the migration ... Sorry, I just got to make sure it's all poured out. Yeah, a migration is when not only a redirecting a URL, a migration also means you're moving sites.

So let me just say it one more time to make sure that everyone's clear on it. A migration is if you have a website on one URL, and you want that website moved to a different URL. So a migration is almost essentially like a redirect, but it's moving everything over. The difference is that because if you're doing a redirect, it's pretty simple. Like if someone goes to this URL, automatically forward them here. A migration means hey we got to move this entire site to a different URL. And the reason why this is important is because if you have a URL, let's just say I have again, my site lives here, and then I want to go to now. If you redirect, and you don't do the migration, let's just say you're moving too quickly and you say I want to redirect pepperoni pizza so that all users who go to pepperoni pizza actually go to, but they see my website. If you just do a redirect, they'll see nothing, because a redirect is simply a forwarding. You must do a migration. A migration tells the rule not only do I want the new URL to be here, but every asset, every page, every line of code I've ever had on I want to be moved on over to And that way, not only is your URL updated, but your whole website gets to move with you.

This is really important, especially when it comes to SEO, but also for anything else. You just don't want to lose a site, because if you were to do that wrong, and you didn't do the migration, but you did the redirect from pepperoni pizza, let's just redirect, your website would disappear and you would land on a, which has nothing on there, it would just show an empty page, or this page has no website on it. But the good thing is you can easily reverse that. If you made that mistake, you can reverse it, break the redirect, get the site back up and then start the migration process.

We don't have enough time in this video to talk about how to do a migration, and honestly migration is more of a developers kind of conversation, but what I want to make sure is for those small businesses, or marketing departments who are trying to quickly move sites because you want to switch URLs, anytime you move websites or move URLs it is worth slowing down. Where redirects are very casual, you don't have to worry too much is if ... Okay, let me clarify this, you own a website already. The site lives on that website, and URL, but you own eight other URLs that have nothing on them, then yeah, those eight URLs can redirect to your current site, because there's nothing on those, you mine as well redirect them there. It's the other way, where you have a website living on a URL already and you want to move that somewhere else, that's when you really need to slow down.

So this is really important, because it has wide implications, not only for your SEO, but for your marketing. I've had conversations with companies who thought about changing URLs or changing names and stuff, and this stuff gets really important for your ultimate success, especially if you've had SEO success before, moving sites can derail that.

All right, so hopefully that was helpful, guys. If you guys found the video valuable, please like and subscribe. I'm going to go ahead and pour out my tea, and I hope to see everybody again soon. Thanks everybody.

Local SEO necessitates Local Content


Hi, guys. And welcome to another edition of Zupo SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation, local SEO necessitates local content. This is a really important conversation because, really, a lot of companies now, today, are under more and more pressure or more incentive to rank locally. And I want to talk about how content comes into play with that. But before we begin, I want to introduce the tea we have today. Today, we have a Pu'Er tea that is my, essentially, daily companion. I drink this tea pretty much every day. And I'll have to be honest, I'm getting a little nervous. We're almost running out. And this is my last remaining, I guess, what would be the word, collection of it, I guess. Or the last remaining like set of the tea. But it's a Pu'Er tea, which is a fermented tea. I like to drink it because it's the closest thing you're going to get to black coffee. It's very dark tea when it comes out. And it has a kick that you may want in the morning.

But let's go ahead and get brewing and get chatting. So when it comes to local SEO, remember, local SEO is trying to rank your site in a locality or geographic area. So my company, we're in Orange County. We do SEO. We're trying to rank for SEO in Orange County. So what I said earlier was that local SEO necessitates local content. So in that case, if my site is trying to rank for SEO in Orange County, my site then necessitates local content, which in this case means Orange County content.

So what that means is like, when you have a business and you're trying to add information to your blog or whatever it might be, the thing is that people don't want to narrow the funnel of the potential people they could work with. So for example, for me, I could do SEO anywhere in the world. That's just generally like the nature of this business. I don't need to be doing it locally because there's no geographic restrictions. But in SEO sense, there is. Because SEO is kind of seen as a local search when it comes to SEO in Orange County, or SEO services, I need to optimize my site where not only it's optimized for SEO, but it's also optimized so Google understands I serve the Orange County market.

But what does that mean? Well, here's what it means. If I'm trying to rank for SEO in Orange County, I need to talk about on my website SEO topics. That's why I film these videos. That's why I write on my blog. That's why we have more pages. But the other thing is I need to add SEO Orange County content. And that's where it gets a little bit more nuanced. It's a little bit more difficult. Because when I talk about SEO, it's hard, like broken link-building, or canonical tags, or AB testing. These are pretty universal. Like they're not specific to Orange County.

But in another sense, though, if Google is trying to understand my website better, they need to understand by reading my pages and my content that I'm trying to rank for Orange County and not just SEO generally. So therefore, your blog needs to have topics like some variation of like what it means do SEO in Orange County, or unique things about doing Orange County SEO, or stuff like that. You need to have content that talks about what you do in addition to the locality that you're going for.

And this is where your content creativity really needs to come into play. A lot of my clients, a lot of people I've worked with, have had a hard time trying to wrap their head around this. And I understand why. It's like how do I talk about my trade with only my local area? That just seems very stifling in that sense. And on another level, most of my clients say, "I don't want to just talk about Orange County or the local area because I can service anyone around the world," which is also true. But if we're thinking about SEO in a sense if you want to rank in your local area, you need to have content, and lots of it, that prove to Google that you serve that local market so they'll rank you for that keyword.

So for SEO in Orange County, I need to have SEO and Orange County content, a lot of it, with a lot of links coming in, so that that can prove to Google not only do I know SEO, I optimized my site for Orange County with a lot of Orange County content. And I have links going into those pages that prove the value of them. So when you're kind of ideating your content, there will naturally be an aversion to focusing too much on the local realm. I understand that. But if you want your site to rank in the local area, you need to do that. So there's a balance between that. So understand, if you're going to go into local SEO, you will need to write local content. And in that case, you have to make sure that you understand that like how are you going to organize that.

Some of my clients, they're open to writing the local content, but they don't want it to be like shown heavily on the blog. So what we do is, on the main blog, we have all the technical topics, but when it comes to local content, it really only shows up on the local landing page. So if we have an Orange County location page, the local blog must only show up there. So there's many ways around it.

My main message today is that if you're going to do local SEO, you need to have local content. And I know there's going to be an aversion to it. I know that it's a little bit weird. But when we think about it in an SEO sense, it just must be this way. How is Google to know that you're trying to rank in your local area? It's by you proving that you have the content and the links to back it up, and your content needs to show that local area that you talk about in your content library.

So I hope, as you walk away from today, you understand that you need to write about your local area as much as possible. When you start out, it'll be a little bit weird. It will be like I can't even think of any ideas. My best recommendation is just get the ball rolling. It may sound kind of awkward at times or whatever, but as you get more ideas going, you'll find that you'll find a way to kind of talk about it. Maybe in another video I'll talk about some different ideas of how to be creative with it. But I would say you need to do it. A lot of people avoid it or they just feel like [inaudible 00:05:43] they don't do it. If you don't do it, you're just not going to rank.

So hopefully that will help you guys in your own local SEO kind of campaigns. If you guys found the video valuable, please like and subscribe. And I hope to see everybody again soon.

Thanks, everybody. Ooh, it's hot.

How to AB Test with your SEO pages


Hi guys, and welcome to another edition of Zupo SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation, how to A/B test with your SEO pages. This is an important conversation because I will have to admit I've gotten this wrong. I think I've actually filmed the video that talked about this before, but I think I got some information wrong. So I just want to own up to it and film a new video to kind of clarify how we're going to do A/B testing.

So before we begin though, I want to introduce the tea we have today. Today we have a tea from, not Teavana. It's just the casing I use. But this is a green tea that has some importance to my family. My father, years ago, went back to China to go reconnect with our, I guess, actually, clan. My family has been removed from China for about six or seven generations. He wanted to go back and touch back with the roots. When he went back to go meet our clan, they gifted him some of this tea. So this is a great tea to have. It's a green tea. And I have it every so often when I want something soothing.

But let's go ahead and get started talking about A/B testing SEO, and brew some tea. So with A/B testing, A/B testing is pretty prevalent when it comes to paid advertising. So if you're doing PPC or anything like that, or Google Ads, you most likely are involved in A/B testing. The problem with A/B testing SEO is it gets a little bit difficult with the two. And in a SEO purpose, usually you don't want to mess with a page too much because you're trying to get it ranked. Or it took you so long to get it on the first page, you don't really want to mess with it too much. But at the end of the day, it is still good to A/B test, even your SEO pages, because you want to make sure that, on one hand, you're getting your page ranked on Google on the first page. On another hand, you want to make sure that when people visit that page, that they're actually converting.

So I'm not going to go that much into detail about like why A/B testing SEO is important. If you're watching this video, you probably already know. Let's go jump and dive into the meat of this, though. And this is what I want to talk about. How to properly A/B test in SEO. So I will tell you, like right off the jump, what I have done and what mistake I've made. I have, in the past, what I've done to do A/B testing, there's already the original version. I have the original version of a page. We already have it. And then what we do is we create an alternate. The B version. So the A is the original. B is the alternate.

We'll create an alternate version of that page. And what I have done is I use the tool Google Optimize, which is a free tool from Google where you can run A/B tests. I like to run a redirect test. There's different version that Google Optimize has. I like redirect test. And what a redirect test is, is that when someone lands on that URL, they will either go to that URL, or be redirected to another URL, which would be the B alternate. So for example, if I have a website called .com/about, I might have a redirect test that says anytime someone navigates to .com/about, redirect half of them to .com/aboutourteam. So there's two versions.

And so this is all plain and simple, but this is where implementation gets really important. There's a couple of things we want to make sure we're not doing. Actually, hold on, let me go back to my story. So what I've done before is, the B version of the page, the alternate, what I have done in the past is noindex that page. And so that way, Google knows that this page, the B alternate, is not what we want indexed, and the A version is the original, and that's the one we want indexed. Now, that's where the mistake actually is. And I've actually run into a huge issue with this.

Noindexing an alternate page that is almost exactly like the original, which is going to be the case through A/B test pages, because when you're testing two different pages, they will most likely be very similar. If you noindex the alternate or the B version, like I just talked about, what you can risk is that when Google reads the B version, they can see that's almost an exact copy of the A version, but the B version has no index. What they can do is say, "Huh? The A and B look really similar. And if B is supposed to be noindex, A probably might want to be unindexed." And they may unindex the A original version. That has happened to me before with some of my clients. It was a big fiasco. So we had to kind of figure it out on the fly. Luckily for my clients, everything got fixed. But it was a big lesson for me that you do not noindex.

So let me get to how you actually A/B test when you're doing SEO. The implementation is not noindex. It's canonical. So what that means is, when you create the A version, which you already have, that's great. When you create the B version, you don't noindex it. So you do index it. So you allow Google to index the B version. And then second, you put a canonical tag on that page, referencing the original A version. So again, the example that I gave earlier, this .com/aboutourteam, would have a canonical tag that would point to the original .com/about. That tells Google these are other pages that exist. The B version's another page. But the original is here and we want to give all credit to the original. This is not supposed to be a standalone page. It's just a version of this first one. Please give all credit to the original. This way, Google can index both pages, but then they'll know that, okay, you don't really want that alternate page to be really indexed or shown to users in organic search. You more so want to add for testing purposes or for whatever other purposes.

So all in all, you do not noindex pages. You canonical the page. So your alternate versions of the pages should always canonical to the original version of that page. So again, this is the way that I would A/B test. Again, this is in the redirect sense, if you're doing a redirect A/B test. If you're doing the other implementations, you don't necessarily need to have to do this. But I'm specifically talking about if you have two versions of a page, two URLs, and you have people go into two different ones. So in summary, do not noindex because I already made that mistake and I've had pages fall out of Google. So don't do that. What you want to do for an A/B test, you have your original version and then your B version will have a canonical tag that points to the original page.

And if you want to be extra careful, make sure your original page has a canonical tag that points to itself. So in essence, you have a .com/about. Add a canonical tag that points to .com/about. It tells Google it's a self-referencing canonical tag that says, "This is the original page."

So hopefully that clears it up on how you're going to A/B test doing it with SEO. I've already made that mistake before. Hopefully you can learn from my mistake. You don't have to make that same mistake. But this is all just a learning experience. So we can all help each other out. So hopefully that was helpful, guys. I'm going to go ahead and pour out my tea. If you found the video valuable, please like and subscribe. And I hope to see everybody again soon. Thanks, everybody. 

Use other top performing pages to find keyword targets


Hey guys, and welcome to another edition of Zupo SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation, using top performing pages, and I mean competitive top performing pages to identify keyword targets. This is an important conversation because oftentimes when you're doing SEO, you can get tunnel vision with some keywords you're only focusing on, but SEO is a [inaudible 00:00:22] there's infinite amounts of keyboards that you really can be going for. And, I'm going to talk today about how to broaden your scope by using your competitors, not even necessarily competitors, but top performing pages in search results.

Before we begin, I do want to introduce the tea we have today. Today, we have a Jasmine Green Tea. I'm particularly fond of Jasmine Green Tea. It gives me really good nostalgic feelings to when I used to drink a lot of Boba, and I used to get Jasmine Green Milk Teas, Jasmine Green Teas, they just have this scent that when you drink them and smell them, it just smells soothing. I will say that sometimes Jasmine Green Teas, because they're more commoditize in the Boba market, the scent's strong, but sometimes the finish isn't always there. But I admit man, sometimes the green tea is really good. Let's get brewing and get chatting.

Talking about keyword research, a lot of times people, when they do keyword research, the first thing they think about is jumping onto a keyword research tool, and starting to look up keywords that come up to their mind. Well that's great, but I will say that the limitation in that is that, you are limited by your imagination at that point in time. And we've all been there where we have writer's block. We're just sitting in front of the screen, and we just can't think of anything. What I've often done before is, I have looked at competing top performing pages, but before I jump into that, I do want to describe exactly what I'm talking about.

Oftentimes, when I'm doing a SEO campaign, we have keywords that we're targeting. But sometimes, we'll find in parallel or just in adjacent to some of the keywords that we're looking at, there are high point blog posts set up here. This can be in the people also ask boxes or just neighboring some of the search results that we have. What I'll often do is I'll take, even if we're on the first page already, I will take other search results on the first page. I will take that search result, and go look up what that search results already ranking for. I'll use some of my SEO tools, and say, "Okay, these sister search results are next to us." Or, even ones that were not on the first page, but we want to get there, I'll go look at those pages, and I'll see exactly what that page ranks for. And the reason why that's important is because then, you can identify not only keywords, but keywords that you can reasonably rank for because another competing page is also ranking for them.

Therefore, I want to slow down on this one. I want to make sure that we understand it. The reason why this is important is because, if you are identifying search results and pages on the first page, and let's just keep it simple right now. You rank on the first page and that's great, but you have sister sites on the search results... Not sister sites, just other search results that are also ranking on the first page. If you take a look at those search results, and you find one page. And then, you look at what they're ranking for.

Obviously, they rank for the same keyword that you're going for. But what you're looking for, to see is if that other page you're researching is ranking for other keywords that you're not ranking for. Because then, this is where the real value is. That page, if it's ranking on the first page adjacent to you and your site, then you guys must be going for the same keyword. But if that other page is starting to rank for other keywords that you're not, you can follow their path. And you know that if they're ranking for those other keywords, you should be able to too, because you're both on the first page. But this one keyword, you can easily probably pivot and make adjustments or create a new page to get to those other keywords, right?

The clear delineation is it's the page, not the domain. If you go and look at another website that is ranking on the first page, and you go research what keywords they're ranking for, if you look at the domain, you're going to find too much data. It's specifically down to the page level. And then, here's where you can find really great targets. You don't always find it every single time, but you got to do your due diligence in that. Because you are now looking at other players on Google or similar to your website, but ranking for keywords that you may not, you know already one, my company is like theirs. Second, my website's like theirs. Third, SEO wise, we're already crossing paths. There's no reason why I can't go for some of the keywords that they're going for. This is a great way to not do keyword research from scratch, but actually do keyword research in the field where you can already see what industry players and competitive people who are like your business are going for. I hope that made sense.

As I was saying, that I wanted to slow down, and make sure that it was simply explained as possible. The example I just gave, is for keywords and search results that you are already on the first page, but this doesn't mean that you can't do this for keywords that you don't rank on the first page. I do that all the time. We will research search result pages for keywords that we don't rank on the first page, but we have a plan to, or we're just interested in, and we'll look at, and see what all of those pages also rank for.

When doing that, I would encourage you to use some of the SEO tools. Personally, for our firm, we use [inaudible 00:05:14] and SEMrush. They both have great tools of finding ranking keywords a page is ranking for. That's what I would do, in terms of identifying new targets. We do that all the time. Actually, my firm's been doing that a little bit more recently, and it can be a great way for your own business to find new targets when you're doing your own SEO.

All right, hopefully that was valuable, guys. I'm going to pour my tea out. If you found the video helpful, please like and subscribe, and I hope to see you guys again soon.

Thanks everybody. Oh, it's good.

Spammy low level links will happen even if you aren’t going for them


Hi guys and welcome to another edition of Zupo SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation, your site's going to get spammy and low-level links, no matter if you're trying to get them or not. The reason why the conversation is important is there's a lot of literature out there, and rightfully so, that talks about ensuring that you don't do toxic or spammy link building. And so a lot of people can be a little bit on guard about getting those to their site and they can be a little bit understandably concerned when they find them pointing to their site. So I want to talk about that today. Before we begin, I want to introduce the tea we have today, which is a Darjeeling black tea. I don't know much about black teas. All I know is that black teas are the main kind of base where most boba tea drinks and especially like milk tea boba and black tea, the way you go.

I used to drink black tea so much when I was younger. I moved away from it recently and have gone to other teas, but it's always a little bit nice to get a burst of nostalgia. It's just always nice to taste something that used to drink a lot in the past, but let's get brewing and get chatting.

So again, let me just say that the big concern is if you have a lot of spammy and toxic links, you can be penalized by Google. And that's a big thing. And even from my own firm, we have a very hard line about not working with spammy and toxic websites. We just don't really entertain that. We don't see the value in it. We do see the value in it, but we don't like the risk of it. You can get penalized, you can get an algorithm update that really hurts your site. So we just really avoid that. Over the years I've met individuals who have really taken that to heart, where they understand spammy and low-level links are not good. Therefore, what they will do is they'll often say, "Hey, my site, we're getting some spam and a low-level links. We didn't build them, but we need to get rid of them because Google's going to penalize them." So let's annotate that kind of conversation.

First things first, to get penalized for getting spammy and toxic links. It needs to be not one-offs. There needs to be a large pattern and your portfolio looks must be large of toxic and spammy links. So if you're getting like 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, I wouldn't really worry about that.

You know, it's not the biggest deal. It's more of like you're in the hundreds to thousands of spammy and toxic links. And the hundreds of thousands are a majority of your link portfolio. So you're lucky if you're in this field, if you're like this. But if you have 5,000 referring domains and 500 of them are spammy or toxic, that's only like what 10%. It's not a big deal. It's more of like you're in the 40 to 50% that you need to be concerned. Well saying that if you were concerned on spammy or toxic links going to your site, it's really only if it's a majority. If your site is small, like you only have a 20 referring domain, then 10 of them are toxic or spammy. I still wouldn't be that concerned because you're still at the kind of start. It's more of you getting to a hundred plus. And it's a majority, that's when I would be concerned. So that's number one.

Two, it's going to happen. I work on many sites and we get spammy and toxic links all the time without trying. And that's just because there are sites out there who have their own crawlers who are trying to add links to their own site. And you know, you're not doing anything. In that sense, I wouldn't worry about them. I wouldn't even worry about disavowing them, especially if you're in a low level. I have gone on another video and I've had conversations with other SEOs and if you go online, you'll read about this, I'm not the biggest fan of using the disavow tool. I really only like to use that tool if we find that there's a penalty or there's a huge impending concern that we have.

But again, if you have 50 referring domains and you have 10 spammy or toxic links that you're unaware of, I wouldn't even bother disavowing them. How I normally advise clients, if you are concerned, the best thing we can do is just build high quality links to outweigh those spammy toxic. The spam and toxic links are going to happen regardless. So don't worry too much about safeguarding your site or disavowing, focus more on getting high quality links and it will outweigh the bad ones anyways. So if you're concerned about your website, having spam or toxic links, don't worry about unless you fit what I said in the beginning. You have such a large percentage of your site having that, that it would be a concern. So therefore, hopefully that helps you and understanding how to balance the spammy or toxic links.

Again, I believe that you need to have a large percentage of your site having it, to be if any concern. Other than that, don't really worry too much about disavows or fixing or getting rid of the links. I would just focus on link building high quality links, either through digital PR or organic link building and that will fix it in itself. You know, you don't need to do extra to fix those one-offs or these random ones that come to your site. So hopefully that will allay some fears for you guys who are watching this, who are concerned that you're getting some bad links and everything. That's kind of like what I advise law clients who get a little bit jumpy. So hopefully it'll help you. If you guys found that video valuable, please like and subscribe. Hope to see you guys again soon.

Thanks everybody.

Strong linkbuilding involves Press and Media Engagement


Hi guys, and welcome to another edition of Zupo's SEO Talk and Tea. 

Today's conversation, Strong Linkbuilding Involves PR and Media Engagement. This is an important conversation because I think oftentimes when people look at SEO, they think of SEO and avoid, they're like, "Oh, well, SEO is different from PR and advertising." Well, there is differences. There are many places where they do converge. I want to talk about that today.

But before we begin, I want to introduce the tea we have today. Today we have a Pu'Er Tea that I drink pretty much every single day, I say some exceptions here and there. I love my Pu'Er Tea in the sense that it's the closest thing you're going to get to a black coffee with tea. It's really dark when you brew it and then also has that strong caffeine kick that you would like if you were drinking black coffee. Let's go ahead, get brewing and get chatting.

The reason why this is important is oftentimes when people are linkbuilding, they can be used to the old school way of linkbuilding words, buying links or going out there doing press releases. Linkbuilding back in the day used to be much more transactional, right? But today, linkbuilding has not become like that because Google has put so many filters and guards that they're not going to really allow that kind of stuff anymore. Links can not be bought. There can't be a pattern of buying links. They want to catch that and they want to penalize that. Right now Google really likes organic building of links.

Now the problem is organic building of links is hard. It's hard to go out there and acquire links, and especially it's hard to acquire strong links. Therefore, what I want to talk about today is linkbuilding ultimately will need press work and media work. And so whatever your business, whether you're B2B or B2C, you will ultimately need to work with the press and the media. You need to go out there and try to get your service or product reviewed, featured, or become a contributor or columnist. These things must happen.

I find that the clients who are not willing to kind of face that reality, where they don't really want to engage with the media or they just want to rank better and then get sales, right? And I understand that 100%, but I would say that there comes a point where to rank on the first page of Google, depending on the competition, you need that media and press, because here's the way to think about it. A lot of competitors, when they rank on the first page, depending on how strong they are, they're on the first page because they got that press coverage, they got featured in some magazines, they got featured in some publications, right? And they're getting strong links back to their website.

For you to attain that same level, you must be doing something similar. And even if your competitors are not, getting those press links and those media links will get you to the first page and solidify them, right? On them being your site, sorry. Therefore, it is important to understand that you can link those as much as you like, but you're will reach a ceiling where you do need to work with third party publications, sites and media.

And when I say the press and media, I don't want you to only think that this is the Time Magazine, NBC and Fox News of the worlds. There are many news organizations, website blogs and online publications that exist out there that are not the big players. There's a lot of people in the middle tier and you can work with them as well, right? I encourage you, if you're doing link building, don't ignore going out there in the media and press.

It is important to understand that if you're unwilling to do it, your competitors will do it and then you will be at a disadvantage. Because getting links from the press and media, they often can be one of the strongest links you can acquire. I would encourage you if... I know it's a difficult mindset to overcome, but in the sense of that linkbuilding is not the way it used to be. You can't just buy links. You can't be a part of some network to buy links from a bunch of people and drive it to your site you're going to rank. While that does work in some areas, things are getting too competitive now where you need to be starting to do more press work, influencer work, media work, and that's where you're going to really build long-term SEO success by linkbuilding it that way, right?

Hopefully that was helpful. This conversation's much more of a mindset, strategic kind of conversation, but I think it's more and more important. I have found that the clients who are wanting to go through the old school ways of buying links and having that network, it just isn't as successful as we find for those clients who commit to a long-term engagement with the media and the press, that go out there and get featured and get strong links. And ultimately in the long-term, they will find success rather than the short-term buying links and trying to rank overnight.

Hopefully that video is valuable, guys. If you guys found the video valuable, please like and subscribe, and I hope to see you guys again soon.

Thanks everybody.

Linkbuilding with your customers and clients


Hi guys and welcome to another edition of Zupo SEO Talk and Tea. 

Today's conversation, link building with your customers and clients. This is an interesting conversation because link building is already difficult enough. Oftentimes what helps you be successful in any business, initiative, marketing initiative and especially an SEO and even drilling down more link building is using the assets you have. So today I want to have that conversation.

Before we begin, I want to introduce the tea we have today. Today we have a jasmine green tea from the company black and bold. Again this is a gift from my housemate who bought this because they donated the proceeds to ... Where is it? Disadvantaged and domestic youth in the US. It's always cool to give back and also I'm just a fan of jasmine green tea. I actually forgot we had this and so last night I saw this as I was prepping and I was like "Oh my god, we should have some jasmine green tea." But let's go ahead and get brewing and get chat.

So link building with your customers and clients. This can be a little bit awkward in the sense that when you're trying to link build, you don't necessarily want to bug your customers and clients with weird requests. But oftentimes there is a one win in this sense. What can often happen is your customers and clients already know of you and they already trust you so asking them for a link is a little bit different from then a cold email. But the problem is it's going to be out of the blue. Is that something you can really ask somebody?

So some of the strategies and the most common one that you can use is you can go to your customers and clients and say "Hey, can I give you a testimonial on your site about your business?" Everyone could always use some more testimonials and so a lot of companies ... What you can do is you can say "Hey, I would love to leave a testimonial on your website. And in exchange, could you just ... Where I leave my testimonial, my name and my company, can you link back to my company? Just so ..." In exchange, right? That's a pretty fair way to do it. Oftentimes what I'll work with my clients is with their customers or even their vendors, we'll try to link build like that, leaving reviews on other people's websites and then getting a link back. This is one way to do it. I would say the great thing about this one is you can get on someone's home page doing this. If you can get on their home page, a home page is usually the most powerful section of someone's website. And so you'll get the most SEO value by being on their homepage.

The second thing I will say is you're not going to scale that very far. You won't get a handful of links like that. Again it's depending on your type of business and the number of customers and vendors but I've seen that you can get a healthy prop of links and referring to [inaudible 00:02:40] but don't confuse this with a long-term SEO strategy. I perceive this one as more of a building block, more so than a long-term one. So that's one way.

Another way you can do it is some companies have partner pages, where they will list all the partners they have. Another easy one for you, say "Hey, can we be added as a partner. So that on your website, can you link back to us, even through the image or the text?" That's always great too.

And then the third, of course, is you can always collaborate on content. If you have a blog, which you probably should if you're doing SEO, you can always add content to the blog and then say "Hey, can we do a collaborative blog post? Where I know your company talks about this, we would like to come in as a vendor." This is essentially a digital PR but with your customers and clients. This is another way to do it where you're still providing value for your customers and also getting a link back.

So again, on this topic, I don't want you to confuse this with this is a link building strategy that will last you. That would be your long-term strategy. There are only a few strategies that I have seen. You know I say that a lot about one strategy that I have seen that can be a long-term strategy and it's very niched in so the most common example is web design companies. Web design companies love to put "Designed by" and then whatever their company is on the bottom and then link back to their homepage. That is a long-term strategy because if you have a lot of people having their site designed by you, then you can have thousands and thousands and thousands of links going back to your website. That's great. So that's another way but unfortunately I've only seen that work in the web design industry. So saying all that, unless you're a web designer and you have that scale of clients, that strategy isn't always going to work for everybody.

But to loop back to what I was just saying, link building with your customers and clients, again, it is a great kind of ... I think of it as a stimulus. It's a great way to link some referring domains, it's not necessarily a long-term strategy but you've got to utilize every asset you possibly have. So I do encourage you to do that with your customers and clients.

All right hopefully that was helpful, guys. I'm going to go ahead and pour my tea out. If you found the video valuable, please like and subscribe. I hope to see you guys again soon.

Thanks, everybody.