I’m in NYC for the summer and I’m currently working on a major update to Module 6 (which is all about Traffic and includes a discussion on Google ranking) of the Drop Ship Blueprint… more info on that will be coming later this week.
While I was creating one of the new trainings on how to audit your store, I realized that I had been neglecting (or just not thinking about) the “basics” on my own business!
I’m sure I’m not alone here, so I quickly recorded this new episode of the podcast. It’s a must listen regardless if you’re just getting started, or already running a 7-figure store.
The eCommerce Lifestyle podcast is on 9 different podcast players now (iTunes, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, Sticher, and Anchor) so be sure to subscribe if you haven’t done so already!
Back To Basics (My Strategy For Higher Website Rankings on Google)
What’s up everybody? Anton Kraly here from eCommerceLifestyle.com. Welcome to another episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast. I just realized actually that it’s been I think almost a week since I recorded an episode. Don’t worry, I didn’t give up on this. I’m still super committed to it. Still have a lot of fun and getting these episodes out there and definitely have been getting some good feedback from the episodes that I’ve done already.
And by the way, if you have any feedback, please do go to eCommerceLifestyle. com and either click on contact or click on episodes and go ahead and leave a comment. Let me know what you’re thinking so far. Let me know if you have any input on any of the episodes I’ve done. I really would love to hear it. But anyway, the reason that it’s been a while since I got one of these out, since I recorded my thoughts on business, is because I honestly haven’t been thinking that much about business this past … What day was it?
Today is Wednesday and on Sunday I moved with my family from Austin to New York City. So, you know, not here forever or anything like that, but we’re here for the summer. I love spending my summers in the city. I mean, there’s so much to do. It’s bright out for 14 hours a day, you know, you don’t have to deal with the sun setting at 4:00 PM and being cold and gloomy, you know, New York’s in the winter. It’s not really my thing, but New York in the summer again, I love it.
So we’re here for about 10 weeks, got a place right on Washington Square Park, having a great time, but between moving, you know, a whole bunch of our stuff with our six months old baby. It was a process, but now we’re here, we’re settled in, got my home office setup and back to work, back in 100 percent.
So the thing that I’m actually working on right now and where I’ve been spending my time today, I guess right now, what time is it? Actually, it’s early. It’s like 11:15 in the morning. But because I guess there’s a one hour time difference, so I just started working earlier so I feel like I got a ton done already.
But what I’m working on is actually creating new video training content for one of our online programs, for Drop Ship Lifestyle and the content that I’m creating is all about traffic, how to get more people to your site. And the reason I’m updating it now is because we have a whole new Google AdWords course coming out late July and before that one gets released, I want to make sure everything else is up to date, is current, all the new traffic sources that we are using, are there, everything that again, we’ve changed in the past year or so is reflected in the training.
Why Self-Auditing Your Google Ranking is Important
So the video that I just recorded this morning is all about SEO, right? Search engine optimization and we’ve always had training on it but now it’s a lot more in depth and really going through everything we do and everything you should do if you’re building your store and haven’t really focused on getting the best results from search.
I’m gonna just say this now for anyone that’s new to my approach to SEO because a lot of people are familiar with it. You might not be, but what we do, right, what we focus on is simply trying to rank our product pages and content pages, so all long tail keywords, nothing generic. Back in the day, in like 2008 when I first started to really make money with eCommerce, that’s when I wanted to rank for all my main niche keywords. So think super top level stuff and back then I was living in New York and I actually went to a big SEO firm here, paid them a ton of money, a lot of money, to get us to rank for some very, very competitive keywords and again, these high level like. generic niche keywords and what happened is they actually did what they were supposed to do.
Google ranking had us for a lot of these terms and they got us a lot of traffic. But what happened is this traffic was coming to our sites and the people weren’t buying. Right? Some of them were, but it was mostly just people that weren’t, you know, they weren’t there with their credit card in hands ready to buy. They were more at the very top of the funnel, doing preliminary research and sometimes not even in the market for the products that we sold that they were searching for, because again, they weren’t searching for specific product names or SKU numbers or anything like that. They were searching for these generic top level keywords. So since then my approach was like, okay, SEO, like I understand it, I get it. I know how we could rank for some really competitive terms, but at the end of the day is it worth it? And my approach since then has been, no, it’s really not.
Not for the time, not for the money in, but it’s more worth it to do a lot of different things on your site and to build links to certain content pages to increase your overall domain authority, to get your product pages just naturally to rank higher because that’s what you want. Right?
I would take the long tail searches any day of the week over just ranking for some generic niche keyword. For example, I’d much rather have 100 people every day visit my site that searched for, you know, Anton standup desk model number 123 in black than 200 people that searched for stand up desk. So now that we have that out of the way, that’s kind of again my highest level of philosophy or approach to SEO.
How Does Google Ranking Work?
Now what I started doing when I created our new video training for SEO was just going through the basics. So the new video training starts at the very beginning, kind of how to perform an audit on your site. If you already have your site up and running and you’re not just in the building stages to see, you know, how Google is basically reading your site and to see how you are appearing in search results.
This is where things get crazy and this is where things really get back to the basics. And this is something that whether you’re listening to this and you are brand new and you’ve launched a store a week ago, or whether you had your store for, you know, 10 years like I have, this is something you should always remember and it’s the basics that are the most important. So the one tip or technique or whatever you want to call it, the thing we do is simply go to Google.com. So go to Google.com right now or after you listen to this, type in the search box site S-I-T-E, colon, and then whatever your URL is, .com.
When you do that, what’s going to happen is you’re going to see a list of all of the pages, all of the content that Google has indexed for you. Okay? The reason I like to do it this way rather than using just like Webmaster tools or something like that is because when you do it this way, it becomes very clear what people are seeing when they’re seeing your site. So you’ll literally see the search results. So it’ll start almost always with your homepage because that would be the main place that Google is showing, so it’ll have, you know, yourstore.com, then it will have the page title that everyone sees on Google. Then it will have the meta description that everyone sees on Google then it might have something like your about us page and your collection pages and your product pages and what this is helpful for is you can identify weaknesses.
Where are your page titles not updated? Where are your page titles, maybe you know, something that you just kind of randomly uploaded a CSV once, never went back, made any changes that you could approve. Where are pages that your Meta descriptions are broken or not as clear as they should be, right? Where they’re not getting you their highest click through rates.
Other things you could see, which is what I saw last night, which is why I’m saying go back to the basics. Because as I was mapping this all out last night, I just haven’t done this in a while. Right? So I went to Google.com type in site, colon and then went through a bunch of our websites and our stores and what I realized is I haven’t done this for far too long because we had made some changes on some of our stores where Google was now actually indexing a lot of our images as pages.
Optimizing Your Website to Improve Google Ranking
And let me just make a note here. If this is way too technical for you right now and you’re like, Anton, what are you talking about? Don’t worry. If you’re a part of Drop Ship Lifestyle or if you’re a part of the eCommerce Lifestyle Inner Circle, all of this video trainings going to be uploaded there by the end of the week. So you can go through where you have a screen share for me and I break it down sequentially.
But again, what I realized when I was doing this test is that some of our sites, right, were indexing images as URLs. And what that means is that Google had literally hundreds, in some cases on some of our sites, thousands of these basically, you know, quote unquote “thin content” pages because all they had was an image there. So what that means to Google is, “Wow, this site has, let’s just call it a thousand pages and 80% of them have nothing on them besides an image.”
So it was basically reading our site as 80%, not spam, but fin, 80% of like nothing. Nothing that they have any reason to show in the search results, which means our other 20%, right? The good 20%. Our buying guides. Our blog posts. Our collection pages, our product pages, that 20% gets diluted because there’s all this other, you know, worthless stuff that’s there, that’s ranking in Google search results.
It definitely did have an impact on our organic Google rankings on our sites that we’re having this issue. So I went into our accounts, I made some changes. And now guess what? I’m sure within a week, all of those pages are going to be de-indexed. Meaning Google is going to know, okay, you know, Anton’s companies don’t want these to show anymore. And then that means the remaining 20%, the good ones, the ones that are actually helpful to people, that is all that Google is going to index, which means we’re going to have a higher basically score of having better content, which means all of our product pages, all of our collections, all of our buying guides, all of our paid content pages are going to rank higher. Okay?
Might be too technical for you, but what I want to get across right now, right? Just going back to the basics, that step, that tip is literally like the first thing that I tell people to do when they’re auditing their site for SEO before they go on and do all the other stuff that I teach in this SEO training. Like, all the other stuff about internal linking and how much content you need and using JSONLD and like all the other technical stuff, like step one is auditing in your site and making sure Google doesn’t have all this random basically crap indexed for your site.
And it’s crazy because we had that for a bunch of our web properties. So the point is, no matter what you’re doing, no matter how long you’ve been in this, even if you’re doing your own SEO, if someone’s doing your SEO for you, if someone’s running your ads for you, whatever, you could know everything.
SEO Basics Will Improve Site’s Google Ranking
You could be trying everything new under the sun to improve your website’s Google ranking on Google, but you could be missing some of the basics because guess what, when you’re trying to do too much, things get kind of slipped up on, especially as your business grows, your team grows, you know, you’re taking on more responsibilities. It’s easy for things like this kind just to happen. And again, if you don’t realize, then your business is going to suffer.
Our search results, what we’ve noticed, which is funny, I mentioned this in the previous episode about having a record of everything you do in your business? We haven’t noticed a big dip in our search results since this has happened, but we have noticed that they pretty much flat lined. Even though we’re adding more great content, we’re not seeing a huge uptick in search results Google rankings as we usually do in organic search volume.
These Google rankings definitely has been impacting us. So yeah, it’s basically costing us money every day this has been happening, but fixed it now, literally the first thing that I recommend people do in our SEO training at Drop Ship Lifestyle and in the eCommerce Lifestyle Inner Circle is something that I didn’t do myself.
Check your business, you know, audit everything and especially your site’s Google ranking. Go back to the basics. Even if you just spend a day or so doing it, you might find all these little things that are so easy to fix that will have a massive impact on how much money your business makes every day, every week, every month, every year.
Hope you found that helpful, guys. I’ll post this one up at eCommerceLifestyle. com, this episode. So if you have any questions and if you have anything that you could share maybe a little things like this that you’ve, I guess, slipped up on or any mistakes you’ve made that have lost money by not making you more, I’d love to hear about them.
And yeah, speaking of that, again, I’m in New York City for this entire summer, so if anyone is around, definitely go to eCommerceLifestyle. com. Click on episodes, go to this one, Back to the Basics and leave a comment. Let me know if you’re in New York, when you’re going to be here, because I definitely would love to meet up with a bunch of eCommerce people here while I’m in town and of course always be learning. So hope you found this useful guys and I will see you in the next episode of eCommerce Lifestyle. Thank you, everybody.