Transcript For Answering Your Questions About Schema with Terry Samuels – 136;
Terry Samuels: It’s amazing how many times we get contacted from business owners and they haven’t checked their website in a year. And I’m like, “Dude, it’s your business. Google yourself, check your website, make sure that things are working. Make sure you’re not missing any leads.”
Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan, here with our buddy and schema guru. I don’t know if you like the title guru or not, but I keep saying it, Terry Samuels here, schema expert and friend of the show here. We’re going to be talking about some schema with Terry. We’ve got a bunch of questions we’ve been compiling from all you listening.
Terry’s been on a few times already here, actually, I think your two separate sessions but the first one we broke into two parts, so three episodes, but two interviews. So Terry’s back for a third one. Before we start picking Terry’s brain again here to get some good nuggets, I want to talk about our free Instant SEO Audit Tool. I talk about this every episode and plug it. I’m going to do it again.
If you haven’t used it yet, go check it out. It’s just a great checklist for you to get started on your SEO. If you’re wondering how your website’s sitting or you optimize for a certain keyword and what’s going on, check it out. Go to localseotactics.com. Up in the top, yellow button, free SEO audit, free instant audit. Plug in your web page, just page by page, plug in your webpage and the keyword you want to check it against, see how well it’s optimized for and it’s going to give you a quick PDF with a great punch list, what’s good, what’s bad, what’s ugly with your website and get you down the road to start making some traction. So check that out.
If you haven’t already, you can use it as many times as you want. It’s totally free. Terry, thanks for coming back. Glad to have you.
Terry Samuels: Glad to be here.
Jesse Dolan: So let’s talk some schema, still a hot topic in SEO. If people don’t know what we’re talking about, I should pause real quick. Check out some of our previous episodes of Terry. We kind of start with the first one like what is schema? Why should it matter to you, kind of basic entry level. Pause this here if you’re not even familiar with schema, check those out. That’ll give you a great primer on this.
In episodes we have Terry on, I kind of asked everybody, if you’ve got questions for Terry, send them on in right. We’ll throw them out to Terry and get some answers here. That’s what we’re going to do today, talking some schema. Terry, would you say still one of the main things you’ve got to do, if you’ve got a website and you’re trying to do SEO, I’m paraphrasing, but if you’re not even addressing your schema, you’re making pretty big error, won’t you say?
Terry Samuels: 100%. Like I said, it’s the biggest… People ask me all the time what’s the biggest reason scheme is so important. It’s because it’s the codes in the head and so it gets crawled no matter what type of platform you’re on.
Bots run into problems is after the head starting to crawl the actual website itself. So it doesn’t matter if it’s WordPress, Squarespace, whatever, if you can get the schema in the head and give the bots, all bots, it’s not just Google, because they all came up with this schema language so to speak. But you’re telling now these bots what that page is about before it even gets to the actual content of the page.
That’s the biggest reason why I think that it’s become such an important process now. Schema has been around for a couple of years, two, three, four years even. But I don’t think a lot of people realize the power of it until especially around some of the crawl errors and stuff we get in WordPress in general.
But yeah, I still think it’s schema on page siloing, everything you have to do to your website, I still believe is the most important thing, including over links. Especially for local businesses that are trying to take care of local clientele. Schema gives Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yandex a better snapshot of who you are, what your services are, what your page’s talking about and just makes the whole system easier. Just doesn’t have it.
Jesse Dolan: Not to bash backlinks or people that rely on their main SEO strategy being backlinks, but I’m in your camp of take care of your website first too. We talk business owners probably on a monthly basis that are saying, “Hey, we’re looking at doing SEO. These other guys were talking to… Here’s their backlinks that we’re going to get. These many this month at this price, whatever.” I’m like, “Well wait. So what about your website? Are they touching your website? Are you focused on your keywords? Are you targeting all of this?”
It just amazes me all the time that SEO can just be throwing backlinks at something. I know that can work in certain instances. But you’re missing the boat, man, if you’re not just taking care of your core stuff here first. Yeah, if you don’t know about schema, check it out. You’ve got to get on board with this. It’s definitely a main pillar of your local SEO that you can take advantage of if you’re not.
Just to frame it up. Terry is in my mind, one of the premier experts in schema. We rely on Terry ourselves for our needs and for some of our client’s needs and really leveraging the knowledge base he and his team have for development schema. In my mind, there’s nothing better. I am thankful Terry for you coming on the show, again, to spit some knowledge to our listeners and helping people out there. Let’s get into some of these questions we’ve been curating here over the last… I think it’s been a couple of months since we last talked.
We’re going to start right off the bat here, Terry. Question is, and I got this from a few different people here. I’m kind of paraphrasing. All of these, I’m going to kind of paraphrase. Anybody listening, if you throw a question at us, like I didn’t say it like that, I’m taking some liberties here. This first one is how often should we update schema? Terry, I’m talking very broadly, whether you’re talking sitewide or services or location type schema.
In general, can you speak to how often we should be looking to update this, add new things or things like that?
Terry Samuels: Yeah. The biggest thing is to think about it as you would updating your website. So let’s say, for instance, that you’re doing a new blog post. Once you do the new blog post, you should do the new article schema for that blog post. If you have a new service page or a new page you’ve added to, one thing we get a lot in our medical spas is they will buy a new piece of equipment. So obviously, if it’s a new piece of equipment, that’s a new service or treatment or whatever.
So schema comes in behind that.
As far as your sitewide schema, you would like if you are going to update, say this new piece of machinery you got for your medical spa, you’re going to put it in the main nav. Okay, so if it’s in the main nav, our typical rule would be we’re going to add it to the schema nav, because the schema nav is also following the main nav.
We just tell people look, as you do things to your website, one, does it need schema and things like a new form or a new thank you page or you’re updating your privacy statement or something. That you shouldn’t even have schema on those pages. But if you’re doing something that’s a new service, a new location, a new blog, yes, by all means, you should treat it just like you would your schema. And then we, as a company, we test schema all the time. Different types of schema, different types of authoritative sites, Wikipedia everybody uses when we try to go out and find what are the alternatives for this product or service or location other than Wikipedia, other than BBB or other than the most known out there.
As we find some, then typically, we will either email our current or past clients and if it’s made a big enough bump. We test this stuff. I think just scheme alone, we have about 16 different websites that we test with. If it causes enough bump, whether it be in the organic rankings or even the GMB rankings, then we’ll kind of initiate out that to everybody. And then we also have to implement it on all of our sites.
Again, we really take into account number one, is it worth the time to add this change in there that’s typically on a site-wide level. The individual pages, the service pages, about pages and stuff for that type of schema, you typically don’t need to go into except for the first time. But organization schema can change just because we might find something that’s a little bit more authoritative. It might push the GMB needle a different way. It might let us go to different areas of the geological location. That’s the type of stuff we’re changing all the time.
Just because you get a schema update on a site-wide level, that’s rare, but it does happen. I think we’ve sent out two emails this year on stuff that we found that really did quite well. We asked people either to implement it themselves and it’s typically one or two lines. It’s typically not a lot of work. Because I give everybody the text files with the schema that we install. So typically, we just tell them, “Hey, in this schema, look for this line and replace it or add these two or three whatever and then test it of course and then implement it.”
That’s typically the biggest thing. But yeah, I encourage all of our clients to blog at least weekly, if not biweekly, twice a week, just because in my mind right now, along with on page siloing, schema is also now the creation of new content. I think that’s our biggest thing that’s happened in the past few months is we need to feed the animal more and more and more than we used to. On our home construction sites or home service sites, I’m blogging weekly now to where I wasn’t blogging every couple of months a year ago. All that stuff is adding, moving the needle, giving us more opportunity, gathering more keyword structure. And then of course, we’re backing all that up with schema.
Jesse Dolan: Kind of a adjacent question here, how often does schema change? How often is… It’s like you’re saying, if you do new content, update your website, maybe think about that a time to update your schema where relevant as you said, let’s just say my website, it’s been sitting there for six months. We haven’t done nothing to it. No new products, no new equipment for my gym. None of that. Does schema itself come up with new variables or new fields to inject? How often does that happen?
Terry Samuels: It does. And there’s also a ton of fields out there that are being used that probably at some point need to be. Scheme is a huge library. It’s massive. Yes, they do come out with every once in a while, like new services. They haven’t come out with new services like roofing company, plumber, service, all those specific schema for those particular type of pages. They haven’t come out with those lately. I’m assuming they will, because it really helps the search engines understand that especially nowadays in the home service world, that a roofer typically isn’t just a roofer, a plumber typically isn’t just a plumber.
I think the idea of this coding or transaction is to be growing that library from a schema.org base. But how often it happens, not enough to really keep an eye out on it, what does happen as we tried new variables of what’s already there. Those new variables will either sometimes be good or bad, especially when you stack schema. It’s very easy to get basically a schema that passes through the schema.org tool for testing variations. But now you start stacking it and you find out okay, well, this is a duplicate now and because of how through AD IDs, how it’s stacking the schema, that now comes into saying that, well, you’ve already mentioned this once, you can’t mention it again.
That’s the type of thing that we test all the time. But as far as the website has been sitting there for six months, you haven’t done anything to it, we tell people all the time, if you update content on the page, spin that paragraph a little bit and put it on the schema. But as far… If nothing had been done for six months, this probably needs to be a little bit more than schema. Like I said, at least some type of new content.
Again, schema backs up all that. I think we’ve talked about it before I have a website, that’s nothing but schema. There’s no public content anywhere. It passes all these algo updates. But I will go in and I’ll add a new paragraph to the schema just to see if I can move the needle or if it causes any… Because a lot of these rankings now are staggered because I haven’t done anything to this website forever. I just check it to make sure that the algo updates didn’t affect it.
But I will go in there now that I’m kind of playing with this thing and I’ll add a paragraph to one of the inside pages in the schema, just to see if it moves that page, because now I’ve got a pretty good track of where everything’s at. I think we’ve got six terms in the top three, which is pretty crazy. But the idea is, is that now we can continue to test.
One thing I don’t know and I got asked this question again yesterday is what is the prime number words of content for a schema? We always try to guess as SEOs. How many words should be on a page. When I started, it was 3-400. That was like seven, eight years ago. Now, it’s closer to a thousand, is the recommended amount. If you ask Google, they want more than 2,000. So you have 2,000 words on a page that are public on the public view, what’s the magic number on the schema view because we always try to put different content on the schema in the paragraphs than we do on the page.
Why would we put both? We might as well mix it up. If you Google gets a full crawl on the page, that now they just crawled 4,000 words of content, they should all be a little bit different. So it doesn’t sound repetitive. That’s the thing that we’re kind of testing now is how many words should that description, ambiguous description be. What’s the sweet point. There’s always a sweet point. That sweet point could be 500 words, it could be 1,500 words. That’s the kind of test that we do. And then when we find the results in that way, we can communicate it with everybody, “Hey, in our most recent test, we want to keep the description 500 words, we want to keep the ambiguous description at 750 words.” Or whatever because there’s always a sweet spot with everything Google does. That’s kind of a test that we run. That’s as far as we change it.
Jesse Dolan: I think as you’re saying this, too, I think it really underscores the fact that, again, schema is A, something you’ve got to be doing in your site but B, it’s new. You are somebody who probably spends way more time in schema than most SEOs and you’re uncovering things, you’re testing things, you’re still trying to learn what the sweet spots are, as opposed to some more, “traditional”, air quotes here, if anybody’s watching on the video.
There’s a lot of best practices that are defined for on-page SEO. This is kind of still new territory for schema, which speaks to the fact that if you’re not doing it, man, get it on your site now. Because your competitors probably aren’t either. If you’re not aware, but new territory that can really, really give you a jump on everybody else.
All right, next question. Terry, thank you for that one. We’re talking here about sitelinks. Everybody doesn’t know what we’re talking about there just to frame that up. You do a Google search and you’ll have your title and some kind of a snippet or description there. But then sometimes you get some links, that it’s almost like a menu of your website right in the Google search page. Those are called site links. You can, theoretically, have those pop using schema. Terry, can you give us any insights on certain fields to use there. You don’t have to necessarily crack open a secret recipe here by any means. But what are some things people can do if they want to leverage schema to get those site links?
Terry Samuels: Well, typically site links are going to come after your main nav. If your main nav is about services, contact, whatever your main nav is, your site links are typically going to be showing up that way in Google and it does show up through knowledge schema, but how it crawls. The challenge with site links is you could get a site link you don’t want on the main thing. I caution people who are trying to go out and specifically get snippets or specifically go out and get site links or specifically do something to show something different, because it could backfire on you.
The challenge of site links and doing it through schema is you could have your roofing company Dallas page show up on a site link. Now, somebody’s checking out. It’s all through brand. You search your brand and everybody should do this. So search your brand, just kind of see how Google presents itself, your brand to people. Do it incognito, or do it through Firefox or something while you’re not logged into Gmail. And then just kind of look and see what Google is saying about you. So one of the reasons I do this is because Google will typically give you the priority of pages after the homepage.
You hope your homepage is the first page that shows up, you’re hoping if you do have site links there, it’s just your normal pages, about, service, web design, SEO, whatever. And then you just kind of go through the SERPs and go from the top of the page to the bottom and you kind of see how Google has an idea how it lays itself out, your website and their SERPs. Because that’s when you start seeing wow, okay, my LinkedIn page is more important to my about page.
All this stuff’s important to know because it kind of gives you a snapshot as a business owner of maybe where you kind of spend some resources. My LinkedIn page is super powerful and I don’t do anything with it. I actually hate LinkedIn.
I call it the Insta Spam Network, because as soon as I fricking accept somebody, all of a sudden, I get a private message that they want to sell me something. I just don’t do much with it. But in the process of figuring out okay, where are my sitelinks at? What’s showing, what’s Google showing? Google is also showing stepping now. What stepping means is that you have your homepage and call it the zero result or the number one result. What they’re doing now in the SERPs is are actually stepping thing kind of like an outline does to show your about page and then they’ll show your contact page.
That’s a different thing they’re doing now. A lot of times, they’re doing that instead of Sitelinks. They’re showing people an overview of your website, then below that is your about page and your contact page, maybe a service page and then you come in for ranking number four is your Yelp and then your whatever pages. But yeah, it’s not saying you can’t force anything. I heard some guy say, “I want to be able to force sitelinks.” No, you can’t. It’s Google.
So it’s all based on the authority of your brand. The more brand authority you have, the more trust, the more all this stuff that we need at brand level. The more you have that, the more you’re going to be able to see different things in the search. You can get some sitelinks. I personally don’t want sitelinks, just because of the fact I’ve got probably 16 pages out of 400 that are normal pages. The other pages are very geo specific, very service specific, not something I would put in the main navigation system.
So same with rich snippets. A lot of times, the rich snippets will give all the answers to the search query, but not enough answers to create a lead. A lot of times, people will realize that the rich snippet’s pretty, it’s pretty cool to show off. When I used to get them to show for clients, I kind of brag about them. But then you wouldn’t see many clicks going to that page when you look at the traffic.
Again, there’s hit and misses with all the stuff that especially Google does on their SERPs. But that’s typically what to do with sitelinks. You just make sure that the same nav menu is in the schema and it’s typically on your site-wide schema, you’re not listing all the service city pages. You’re just listing. Maybe even your service pages and then you’re about contact, free, quote all those type of pages.
Those are fine to show up in the SERPs as far as… I used to call them table of contents. It’s the same type of thing. But yeah, again, it’s hit or miss. It’s not up to you. All you can do is present it and see if Google likes it. Again, just watch it because you don’t want it to backfire. I’ve looked at one guy’s schema and he sent me a couple weeks ago and he had every page listed in the site wide. You just don’t do that. Not only is it too hard for the bots to understand, but it goes against the grain of what the searches are ultimately going to show.
Jesse Dolan: And to be clear, there is no field or code for schema for sitelinks. Like you’re saying, that’s just part of what Google show is based on adjusting your site and reading it. If you’re doing your stuff fundamentally the right way, if applicable, they’ll pop. Applicable in Google’s mind. But yeah, there’s no secret trick or secret coding to throw in there and pop some sitelinks.
Terry Samuels: And people used to say, there’s… I can’t remember what the schema’s called. There’s a schema specifically for menu systems. Rankmath tries to use this. They’ll have a header schema, they’ll have a sidebar schema, they’ll have a footer schema basically it’s just structural schema. It really doesn’t mean anything. It’s not like Google is going to better understand your website. They know you have a header, they know you have a footer and you probably have a sidebar, not a sidebar.
But the idea is that you’re not telling Google anything it doesn’t already know. All you’re doing is saying, “Hey, here’s what we would like you to show if you allow us and here it is, matches the nav system. I didn’t put any… Oh, let’s see if we can throw in the Tucson page because I’m focusing Tucson right now.” I don’t want to do that.
Again, just take it with a grain of salt, but there’s really no forcing the issue, you just need to present it in a way that Google will accept it. Some days, I have a rich snippet, some days I don’t. It’ll pop back in and out. I really don’t care. I don’t kind of track it anymore for different keywords. But the idea is I always check my brand. I check my brand probably at least three or four times a month and I spend time going through the first five or six pages of my brand just to make sure there’s no surprises there. There’s no Chinese pages or something that got thrown in through some kind of link thing that people are doing. We’re in a nasty business if you’re in a high competitive market. But one thing I found in my Dun and Bradstreet, the listing was wrong. I wouldn’t have never known that if I wouldn’t have searched my brands so I wouldn’t fix my Dun and Bradstreet listing.
Jesse Dolan: Some good lessons for business owners out there too listening, like we can get caught up in the vanity of things like the sitelinks or the rich snippets. I got more exposure on Google. To your point, though, is if people aren’t clicking on that, getting your website and then converting and patronizing you, all that was more real estate on Google that you took up. You don’t want to give away the milk if you’re trying to sell the cow, one of these deals.
I think it’s really good feedback. I really like what you’re saying about the brand part too because we find that a lot with people. You can leverage that different ways for your SEO, but yeah, do some searches on your brand. See what’s popping up.
Terry Samuels: Especially… I do a lot of malware cleanup. It’s actually one of the biggest things I do. It’s amazing how many times you get contacted from business owners, and they haven’t checked their website in a year. And I’m like, “Dude, it’s your business Google yourself, check your website, make sure that things are working, make sure you’re not missing any leads, check your phone numbers.”
Me and you both know how many times business owners, a phone number will get changed in a GMB with somebody with a level 10 guide and you’ll never know. Now all of a sudden, Bob’s getting your calls instead of Tom. Unless you check yourself, unless you Google yourself, on your phone too, don’t just do it on the desktop, but take mobile take more ownership in your properties. This is your property.
If you ever go to sell your business, if your website is not a huge asset, then you did it wrong. Take care of that asset. I specifically will spend two hours every day on Saltair Properties. So it doesn’t matter if it’s at night, it doesn’t matter if I’m sitting in front of the couch watching TV, I’ll go out and start searching just to make sure that I’m not seeing something that I’m missing. Because it’s that important, especially when you’re relying on your website to bring in leads. If you’re not checking your forms, I get people all the time, “My forms aren’t working well.” “How long haven’t they been working?” “I don’t know. I never check.” Check your forms.
Jesse Dolan: It’s literally why we’re trying to get ranking is to get form fills or phone calls, things like that. Yeah, you’re spot on and I like what you said too about like the GMB type stuff. Is your phone number the right phone number? Are you closed on Wednesdays or you just didn’t realize it because somebody went in and change your hours? That’s the good, the bad side about some of these things of Google is it’s great for us to be able to feed the beast with information. But a lot of it’s so much public or like you said, some high level guides that get a lot of power. Man, if you’re not paying attention, the earth can shift right underneath your feet.
Terry Samuels: Yeah. And now all of a sudden, you’re sitting there going, “Oh, crap.” Always in this business, I’m getting ready to have a call later this afternoon. It always in this business takes 10 times longer to fix than it does to figure out the first time. It’s Google. I tell people Google’s like the gas company out here in Phoenix, they will shut you off immediately.
But once you go and pay your bill to get turned back on, it could take them a week to come out and turn it on. It’s like it took us 30 seconds to turn it off. Google is the same way. I tell, especially when it comes to redirection and remodeling your website and all this stuff that we all go through, but if you all of a sudden see a downward turn and it’s headed downhill fast, not only do you need to stop it quick, but you also need to be prepared. It’s going to take twice as long to come back.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah. There’s momentum in play and going uphill is harder than going downhill.
Terry Samuels: Exactly right.
Jesse Dolan: Next question for you. Talking about an oldie but a goodie, review stars showing up in the SERPs. Definitely a trick that many in SEO was leveraging a couple of years ago. People don’t know we’re talking about, you can get like your star rating with your GMB. How many reviews do we have and what’s our rating. You could pop that once upon a time in the actual SERP results for your individual web pages. It’s kind of gone for the most part, but Terry, can you tell us is there any hope of it coming back? Any trickery we can do or is it just lost and gone forever?
Terry Samuels: I really believe it’s lost and gone forever just because of the emphasis that Google’s putting on the map system and that review system. Typically, what happened is it just got, like everything else, it really got abused. I had times that I might have been eighth, ninth, 10th on the first page, but I would be the only one with my star showing up. It was a manipulated number. It didn’t connect to the Google number. It was just whatever I wanted to put in.
Jesse Dolan: You just had to know how to code it in there, right?
Terry Samuels: Yeah, exactly. And it would pick it up. It was very heavily abused, including me, even though I tried to stay right in line with the number on Google. But I believe it’s gone just because of the emphasis on the maps, because if you still look at your brand, Yelp still shows them, Amazon still shows them, if you’ve got Amazon products. The stars still show up, but only from third party platforms. I still put it in there, I still put the code and everything. It’s the same old code, the code didn’t change.
We’re hoping someday it does come back on the service pages and the product pages if you have products. But I really don’t believe they will. Because again, I just think it got to abused people. Especially lead gen sites. I do a lot of lead gen sites, but in reality, a lead gen site isn’t a good representation of a company and so Google wants the consumer to match up with companies, not a lead gen that’s going to sell the lead to a company.
I think that’s all part of why they haven’t flipped the switch again, it’s just because of if people want to know about Saltair’s reviews, and you search Saltair, hopefully, your GMB will show up with your reviews there. But yeah, we still use the code, we still put it in there. If it ever does pop, we’ll probably be one of the first ones to know. But the ones that we do still see, they have a plumber in Texas and his competitor still has them. Well, up until I think Google comes back to this website and crawls it again, because I’m sure his website hasn’t been crawled in months, they’ll disappear eventually.
They’re not something that you can force by any means. Matter of fact, it is the only penalty that we still get from schema is reviewed penalty. If you don’t do the code right, you will get an email from Search Console saying that you’ve got a structured data element error or whatever the email says. That’s typically because you tried to force the review stuff in.
But we still do that. We still put them on the product pages, we still put them on the service pages, so if they ever do pop, they’re there. They’re just pretty much ignored right now. We had them sitewide, we had them on the contact page, but we had them everywhere. I can kind of see, but as Jesse and I were talking before this, you and I were talking. I saw one with over a million reviews. Hey, it’s like, “Really? Mr. Plumber, you really have a million reviews?” That’s kind of like what Google was just saying. That’s enough, we’re done.
Jesse Dolan: A little outrageous. This question does come up with an example you kind of touched on there, which is like well, hey my competitor still has stars. So it must be possible. How do I do that too? I think your point to summarize is hey, Google just ain’t crawled his page in a while to rediscover it. Once they do, those stars are going to come off. Maybe his ranking won’t change or anything, but the stars eventually, people don’t like to hear this answer but the stars are probably going to come off. It’s just a waiting game. There’s nothing you can do to pop yours.
Terry Samuels: There’s kind of tricks you can get for Google to find that page. I could do a blog and put that page link on my blog and Google’s definitely going to crawl it and find it. But we typically don’t do anything like that. But the whole idea is that your website will get static. If you have a six month old website that you haven’t touched, a year old website, you haven’t touched, you haven’t blogged, you haven’t gone in and updated plugins, you haven’t done anything. And then typically, the Google bot or any bot doesn’t come back to your site to see if something’s changed.
That’s not the way the bots work. Bots, basically come back when you add a new piece of content and somehow you can… There’s ways to get that trigger. So you can share it on Twitter, you can share it on Facebook, you can let the world know which obviously will let the bots know that there’s a new page here.
But if you don’t ever do anything, then Google’s biggest problem right now is bandwidth. We see that on the SEO side. I tell people right now, your blog that you load today is probably going to take seven to 10 days before Google even realizes it’s a new blog. That’s today’s Google. Old days Google, Google will know about tomorrow, because there’s that much resources to crawl these websites but there’s not anymore.
I tell people all the time, either if you have a stagnant website, it’s not being crawled, if you have a website that’s got a lot of technical errors, it’s probably not being crawled. Because Google just doesn’t come back and keep knocking on the door. It just doesn’t do that. It’s not the way it works. It just takes you out of the queue and never goes back. Unless somebody like me or somebody just kind of forces them to come back. But in reality Google’s not going to go back just to see if something’s changed. That’s not… There’s not enough bandwidth for that.
Jesse Dolan: Well, you just think about the billions and billions of web pages. Why would they invest their hard earned money? Well, I guess hard earned money might be a stretch. But why would they invest their money into doing that just to see if Terry or Jesse has updated their webpage? That’s kind of ludicrous when you frame it up as a business owner like proposition. So that does make a lot of sense.
Terry Samuels: Yeah. That’s the same way. Because I get a lot of people, especially around my med spas. I’ve got one right now that she’s got a new product, a new service, she bought a new machine. And she’s two weeks in for us to having this new page there that just got indexed three days ago. She’s asking me, “Well, how can we force the issue?”
Well, you really can’t and her website is blogged every week. The bots come back all the time. I think what we had to do and I can’t prove this, but I actually did a blog about it with a link to the new service page and that’s when I think it got picked up. You also have to understand too that there’s a difference between pages and posts. Post typically change and they come in, they come out. If you have a post, I tell people that every 18 months, you should be regurgitating your content. Because the posts just get forgotten about.
They’ll probably be indexed, they’re probably not doing anything, which is okay, because you don’t want Google wasting your crawl budget, coming back to a two-year-old blog. You want them to come back to the new stuff and the new services. It’s one of those things I can never prove but I think that posts are crawled a lot more than pages. I’ve got websites, instead of adding a new water heater page two, all I added is as a post, and I’ll have a better result.
We’re kind of just playing with this. But this is how Google bot works now. For Google just to show up and say, “Man, Jesse. Awesome. Your website hasn’t changed in six months. But we see these stars, we’re going to go ahead and remove those while we’re here so we don’t waste our budget.” I tell people search console has kind of made it a little harder to even find out how often they come search. We used to have some killer tools that we would know not only when did the bot come, how long did they stay, how far the page did they crawl? We don’t have any of that anymore.
All we can do is load up a new blog. Typically, if you use a video sitemap and you put a video on the page, it seems to get indexed quicker. Share the new blog with Facebook, Twitter, your social media accounts, they typically will get indexed quicker. I use a program called Link Whisperer for blogging, for linking my blogs. That seems to really help especially regurgitate some of the older good content. There’s different things you can do. But the idea is, is like you said, the bandwidth is just so big now.
I think the last I read and this was months ago, that there’s a million new website pages every day.
Jesse Dolan: Oh, my gosh.
Terry Samuels: That’s just astronomical. You and I know people that build hundreds of thousands of pages in a whim with these little tools. I don’t. I’ve got 350 pages or something. I have some mass page sites that have four or 500 city pages on them but I don’t spend a lot of time there to see how often that comes back to crawl. So that’s not what they were built for.
Jesse Dolan: No. At the end of the day, we have a saying that’s it’s Google’s game. It’s their game board, it’s their rules. We’re just playing at it. I think it can be frustrating that those resources aren’t there like they were before. But hey, what do you do? It’s Google and we’re just trying to show up in their business on their game board. You’ve got to roll with it. All right, Terry. I’ve got one more question. You’ve got time for one more?
Terry Samuels: Yep. For sure.
Jesse Dolan: All right. So this one here, paraphrasing again, is do I use local business schema on my homepage or on my location page? Now some of these, if you want to navigate through the options, some of these I like if I have a multi location business, maybe I got three GMBs each with their own location page or single business where my GMB is hooked to my homepage, but maybe I’ve got some city pages, trying to get out there and get some traction in some other cities. Can you speak to how and where you might use it on your homepage versus those location pages?
Terry Samuels: Yeah, for sure. Matter of fact, this is one of the big tests where we started doing this podcast together, I had local business on my Saltair site as my sitewide. And this was the test that I was running. My favorite sitewide was professional service. I use professional service on just about every site for sitewide. Mainly because it fits every site, every niche, every variable. But they’re taking away professional service from the schema.
So we’ve started testing other things. First thing I test is, okay, fine, let’s put local business on there. The reason why some things are better sitewide than others is because the amount of data that you can put in them. Like, for instance, a medical doctor isn’t good for sitewide because medical practice, you can put more into, you can put more in about the practice, you can put… You can still put about the doctor and all the different things about the doctor physician but there’s more variables, you can add in with a medical practice. And then on the doctor page, he would get his physician schema on top of that or below that, so to stack.
Same thing with local business. Since this test, we have now switched back a month and a half ago to organization schema on the sitewide. The reason we did this is because I’m a typical business. So I’ve got 14 different locations, 14 different GMBs in my main website. I’ve got multiple websites, but Saltair site has specifically 14 GMBs in four different states. I wanted to fine tune those and separate those from the rest of the website. The way you do that is by putting like organization schema on the sitewide and all you’re talking about from a 50,000 foot level is what does Saltair do?
Saltair does web design, internet marketing, all the different variables that we do, hosting SEO and everything. That was the organizational schema. So then it talked about and I was able to build the brand, I was able to talk about the two business owners, me and Elizabeth, my wife. On a sitewide level, organization is the best fit through our tests. And then now, local business, I have local business on every single page that has a map. That’s the big difference.
If I have a local business page that doesn’t have a map, if it’s close enough to do a driving directions to one of my maps, then I’ll put local business on it. But let’s say for instance, in Arizona, I have a Tucson page. So Tucson is about 120 miles away from my nearest map. I don’t have a map in Tucson yet. So I don’t have-
Jesse Dolan: When you say map, Terry, you’re talking about a GMB, right?
Terry Samuels: GMB. I don’t have a GMB in Tucson. So I don’t have that as a local business, I have that as a service. I mentioned everything about it. You can still look at the page and I do all the things to do and all that stuff about the city and everything. But I’m specifically under the impression through our test that I could probably put local business on the Tucson page, but it’s probably not going to do any good. I’m not going to be able to… Because it’s local business one is the one that really boosts the GMB, the map.
That’s why I thought it would be good as a good fit for the sitewide. But here’s the caveat, if you have one location and if you’re a roofing company in Plano, Texas and your domain is roofingplanotexas.com, you’re a local business. There’s no getting around that. That would be a local business sitewide because you’re typically not going to be able to go out and get a map in Richmond, which is the next city over on your Plano, Texas exact match domain.
You can do that but it’s not going to do you any good, guaranteed. I’ve proven besides a shadow of a doubt that if you do an exact match domain, which I’m a huge fan of, it’s very very, very difficult, if not impossible to add a city to that. You can’t get minneapoliscopiers.com and then expect to go into three cities over on a city page in a map. It’s going to get ignored. You’ll be able to rank it but you won’t be able to compete for anything.
Jesse Dolan: That’s great for Minneapolis or Plano and for your niche, but you’re definitely painting yourself into a corner, which may not be bad.
Terry Samuels: Yeah. It may not be bad. All my lead gens are exact match domains. All those are local business because it is just one business, it’s never going to grow. It’s not going to grow out of the town because I’d have to do another exact match domain.
It’s Arizona. So if you do Copiers in Minnesota or Minnesotacopiers.com and now you’re in a state level, now I would go back to organization and then local business for the individual cities that you have a GMB in. Again, it wouldn’t hurt you to put the local business under each city as long as it’s specific to that city. A lot of local businesses… A lot of local business schema that I see isn’t for that specific page that it’s on. It’s just like a sitewide. So if you have a local business sitewide for your Minneapolis website, but you also do other cities because you’re not domain trapped, then why would you just put the local business on everything and not give a chance…
You can’t have two local business schemas on one page. Once we switched it back and went sitewide, very broad, now we’re starting to see again, the power of the local business pages. But yeah, even if you’re… I get people all the time, bobsplumbing.com. Well, if Bob will never move out of Dallas, it’s okay. Let’s use the plumber, let’s use the plumber or the home construction schema for sitewide. Let’s not trap ourselves because again, it takes longer to undo. And two years from now, when your Sunday is over and he wants to go to the next 16 cities over there, he doesn’t have a problem doing that now because you didn’t trap him with your schema, same type of deal.
But yeah, local business is probably the most popular schema that I see. Just because everybody thinks they’re a local business and I’m not saying they’re not, I’m just saying that there’s better schema to put on top of that. Still use it in certain spaces but there’s better schema on top of that as far as your stalking goes.
Jesse Dolan: I think they could takeaway there with the schema, it’s almost like keywords for your web pages and stuff. Be as specific as possible. What’s the most specific relevant thing about this page or this topic or this business? Make sure you’re leveraging that. Schema, you’re communicating to the bots, to Google. The clearer you can be, the better your chances are going to be.
Terry Samuels: It’s just like the thing that we run up against all the time. I’m right now redoing a bunch of on-page for somebody that did it before, because they’re in multiple cities but their main city is their homepage. Well, now it’s all screwed up because you’ve just basically siloed yourself to your homepage. People need to understand that your homepage typically can not handle all the keywords, all the locations, all the traffic. That’s not the desire of the homepage.
When you look at rankings, you should see At least three quarters more rankings for inside pages than you do your homepage. The reason for that is because like you said, one page websites are done, they’re gone. They will never come back because it doesn’t feed the animal. But when you have a 300 page website and you have 85 city pages and you have the correct silo, keeping them within the same service and same areas, you siloed your states and cities and you’ve really kind of done this basically roadmap of your website, not only for the bots, but for people that are coming to find you, regular consumers, then you’re just adding to that now.
Kind of think about your website as directing traffic. Get people off the homepage as quickly as possible. If you’re a roofer in Fort Collins, Colorado, but you also have to other GMBs in other places, you’re a roofer in Colorado, you’re not a roofer in Fort Collins. Make your homepage, the state level. Let that be the top of your silo and then do your city pages after that.
Because there is such thing as keyword cannibalization, we see it all the time. The biggest thing to do is remember, just think of it as an umbrella. Your homepage is the top of the umbrella, what is its purpose? Its purpose is to promote my services, tell a little bit about my company, have a contact page. But below that, all I care about now is my services. If I go to your roofing site and all I want to talk about is gutters, that’s all I want to see. I don’t want to have to go through a bunch of roofing crap to get to the gutters.
Same thing with the way you kind of direct the bots, same exact way. You let the bots go through all the gutter pages topping a top of the silo, all the way through. You don’t have any links to the roofing page or any links to the plumbing page or any links to the HVAC page because that’s not the silo. That’s not what the consumer’s there for. Now, you start looking at rankings and seeing inside pages rank and I tell people all the time, your homepage is going to drop. That’s what we want. We actually want your homepage to drop, but we want your inner pages to be able to take all that traffic and be more geo service related that they’re going to be able to make a decision.
Jesse Dolan: That’s where again, it comes back. A lot of this is we’re trying to get rank, but then we actually get a human being that clicks on that page. Like you said, if I’m looking for roofing, I want to be on the roofing page. Now I’m going to call you and you’re actually going to get business.
Terry Samuels: Exactly.
Jesse Dolan: It’s all related. Hey, that was really a good one. We’ve definitely got way more there off of a schema question talking about some siloing. A lot of local SEO nuggets there. So I hope everybody listening, you’re taking some notes on this episode or rewind this because Terry’s dropping some stuff that’s… We have to get some good schema stuff here, but also some pretty valuable local SEO nuggets, as well.
Terry, is there anything else you want to add?
Terry Samuels: I mean, not really. Just let us know, your questions is what kind of feeds the machine. I can talk about schema and siloing and on page stuff all day and it don’t even have to need necessarily be about schema. Like I said, siloing is super important and it’s also something that not a lot of people, number one, understand and number two, how to actually do it.
You can really mess up your silo if you start convoluting your internal links. Next thing you know, you’ve got bots that are just bailing because they thought they were doing web design and now all of a sudden, they’re doing email marketing because of how it flows.
The biggest thing I can tell you, whether you’re an SEO, an agency or a business owner is we only have a super limited amount of time to impress the bots when they get to our site. We can no longer force a bot to come. We can try. A lot of people will re-index a sitemap or they’ll go in… You used to be able to look up a URL on your phone and Google used to have a button there that says, “Mobile indexing. Click here.” And used to be able to get a bot to come that way.
But the problem with those type of bots is they’re typically just going to come to one page and leave. They’re not coming there for the site crawl. You want to site crawl. The way you get the site crawl is that’s when the internal links are for. If I do a new blog today which I’m due to do one probably tomorrow now, but typically, my new blogs will have anywhere from four to seven internal links out. If I do a new blog about web design, then I’m linking to a whole bunch of different blogs about web design, I’m linking to my main pages about web design and I’m making sure that that one blog can get me some more crawl.
If they come there just for that one blog, I still want him to go to other pages. The old days of just putting up a blog with one link to your money page, those are gone. You’ve got to get creative in your linking. That’s where the keyword research comes in. I’m looking at a site right now, a local business here. Not even an agency, just this guy that hired somebody.
Anyways, he’s got 280 of the same anchor text. This guy, he’s going, “I’ve been blogging for a year. I’m doing all this stuff.” And I’m like, “But they’re not getting creative with your anchor text.” If your anchor text is web design, then get creative with it. Web design, web designers, web design agency, web design company. Don’t use the same anchors, because that’s your “keyword”. That’s not how it works. There’s variables that we live off of. Your variables will bring you in a hell of a lot more money than your main keyword will. Kind of another little nugget there for local-
Jesse Dolan: Like you said, those variables, the different intents, what are people searching for. Just like everything else, whether you’re talking about relationship with your spouse, your kids, whatever, my kids are back there just going, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” I’m going to tune that out eventually. But they hollered, “Jesse.” You’ve got my attention now. Just a little twist. A little parallel there. All right.
Terry, I’m going to get to reading our five star review here for this episode. For all you all listening out there, if you like what we’re doing with the show, people like Terry coming on, dropping a bunch of knowledge, helping you out. If you’re getting some good value out of this, we have a favor we’d like to ask of you.
Please check us out and leave a review, whether it be on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, whatever your platform of choice.
Go to localseotactics.com, scroll down to the bottom, click the button for reviews and… I should say click the link for reviews. We’ve got a few buttons that are going to pop up, make it easy for you, whatever your platform of choice. We’d love to get a review from you. Lets us know that we’re doing a good job. Gives us that kind of feedback. Also, if you do leave a review, we’re going to read it on the one of the episodes here and give you a shout out.
This episode here, I’ve got a great review from Denzel N. Denzel says, “Best thus far. I’m building up my SEO business by listening to the Local SEO Tactics.
These guys have so much insight to everything and I’m always tuned in. I missed the class, but I’ll definitely will be waiting on that.” Denzel is talking about a digital mini course that we’re still in development on. It’s kind of in purgatory right now, but Denzel, I promise we have that coming sooner than later.
Yeah, if you guys haven’t left us a review yet, we’d love to hear it and we appreciate all that feedback. Terry, thanks for jumping on. Love having you every time, man. I appreciate it. I learned things, so I know everybody else is learning stuff too, every time that you’re on here talking. So I appreciate it and looking forward to the next episode.
Terry Samuels: Thank you. It’s been a real pleasure. I love doing these things. So just let me know if there’s anything I can help you guys with.
Jesse Dolan: Right on. I appreciate it. Take everybody. Until the next.
Terry Samuels: Okay. Thanks.