SEO Strategies The Big Brands DON’T Use (But You Should) – Amanda King

If you’re like most independent retailers and e-commerce store owners, SEO can feel like a never-ending battle. No matter how hard you optimize your site, tweak your content or experiment with keywords, it seems like the big brands always outrank you. In this episode, that’s all about to change.

My guest Amanda King, is sharing the insider SEO secrets that will level the playing field.

Amanda is a leading search engine optimization expert. She’s worked with some of the largest brands and retailers optimizing their online presence – and in this podcast, she’s finally spilling all their best-kept tricks. 

You’ll learn how to hack the hidden structures within platforms like Shopify to skyrocket your rankings. 

Amanda will show you exactly how to manipulate categories, collections, and product pages to fool Google into thinking you’re a bigger player. She’ll also reveal how to leverage user-generated content like reviews to rank for highly competitive keywords. 

Plus, you’ll discover the one sneaky trick that Google has publicly denied but Amanda knows for sure works!!!

Don’t let the big brands keep these strategies to themselves. It’s time to take back control and get found online just like the huge retailers. Tune in to discover the insider SEO secrets that will boost your traffic and sales today.

 

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SEO for eCommerce with tips for category and collection pages. 0:02

Optimizing collection pages for e-commerce sites, with a focus on relevant content and customer needs. 7:49

SEO strategies for e-commerce websites, including internal linking and content optimization. 12:12

Using AI to rewrite product descriptions for e-commerce brands. 18:41

Optimizing Shopify stores for search engines using structured data, prioritizing product URLs, and leveraging content details. 24:27

Optimizing Google Shopping listings for promotions and reviews. 31:19

SEO strategies for e-commerce businesses. 39:48

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Salena Knight 0:02
Hey there, and welcome to the bringing business to retail podcast. If you're looking to get more sales, more customers, master your marketing, and ultimately take control of your retail or E commerce business, then you're in the right place. I'm Celina Knight, a retail growth strategist and multi award winning store owner whose superpower is uncovering exactly what your business requires. To move to the next level, I'll provide you with the strategies, the tools and the insight you need to scale your store. All you need to do is take action, ready to get started?

Salena Knight 0:52
Hey there, and welcome to today's episode of The bringing business to retail Podcast. Today we are talking about something that you know what we don't actually talk an awful lot about it on the show because I have to put my hand up and say, I'm not a firm believer. And I am one of those people who I want to give you tried and true strategies. This is not one of those shows where people can just, you know, write a book and get on the show, we vet every single person who comes on and I think that they're full of BS, they do not make it on to the show. So it's amazing that I have one of these people on the show, or you welcome to the show Amanda King from flock who is wait for it. An SEO specialist. Yeah, I think over 500 episodes, and we maybe have talked about SEO twice. So you are in for I'm not gonna say a pounding or a beating. But you are in here to live it up and tell us why SEO is even important in retail and E commerce. So thank you so much for being up for the challenge.

Amanda King 1:57
Of course, I'm always happy to be a bit of a punching bag, particularly with SEO because there is so much out there. That's that's just bullshit. I stay honest. And I always want to help people kind of wade through it and find the stuff that actually matters. And you know, everything that we'll talk about with with Shopify and ecommerce, like some of it comes down to some really simple things that you just need to integrate yourself into your wider strategy. So all

Salena Knight 2:25
right, I'm gonna share all that stuff with us. So I'm gonna start with, let's just like, put all the cards on the table and ask this question, convince me why someone in e Commerce who has, I'm not going to call it FMCG, fast moving consumer goods, but someone who has products that are seasonal, that will come in and go out. Realistically, they might be on a website or in a store for three months, and then they're gone. But by the same token, we all know that SEO takes time. And I don't understand how you could put the time and effort into something that will rank after it's already left your website.

Amanda King 3:09
Yeah, absolutely. And when you are working with FMCG, right, it's not the products that you focus on, right. It's your product categories, it's your verticals, and actually your campaign periods, right. So rather than creating a collection, every year, for Black Friday, you have one that always exists that's always there that can continue to build equity for you. And same with your product lines, right? You may have, you know, five different types of sweatshirts in a five week period. But you're still going to have that sweatshirt category, right? So that's where you're building your visibility. And that's where you're creating that unique content and answering people's questions. It's not at the product level, per se. Okay,

Salena Knight 3:51
so back up there. Let's get back to this Black Friday thing, because you just said have a Black Friday category that sits there in perpetuity. How do we do that? Like, give me some more information there? Because I understand the concept of why you do it. But I don't understand the practicality of how you would do it. Yeah, so

Amanda King 4:13
it would basically be right you have your sales period of Black Friday, which is Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is the end of November around Thanksgiving time if you're in the US, and that is when your actual collection is active, right? But it should stay active. Because as we know SEO takes time. Your your Google Ads takes time to warm up everything takes a bit of time to think and recognize and if at the end of that campaign period, you just shut down the page or if the URL is like Black Friday 2024 or something, your your time bounding it straining it. Yep. So you want to just have a look Selection that's Black Friday, and then when, when the sales period ends or when your campaign period for it and switch over your dates, and then have some fun, nice brand driven placeholder content that's basically like, hey, it's not Black Friday yet, but check out our other Sales or checkout or other offers or something that still directs the client somewhere. And it's, it's, it's a small thing, but it's simple enough to just create that kind of experience,

Salena Knight 5:33
I know that you're gonna give us a lot of tips. But that is one that I think that you just slipped in there that maybe people didn't catch, which was, when you name something with a time constraint like Black Friday 2024, you're automatically giving it a date as to when the SEO is going to stop working, or Google is going to stop, like 2024 that's been in gone. 2022 been and gone. We don't need to see that information anymore. So just that one little tip is something that I think a lot of people don't think about, because when we're creating collections and categories, and all that kind of stuff. We're thinking very literally, and how it works for our business, we aren't thinking quite often about what's what is the customer thinking about? Like what is what are they typing in when they're searching for these products? And they probably are typing in Black Friday 2024. But on our end, we don't want that to end. Yeah.

Amanda King 6:32
And I mean, it's still something that you can ensure include in your meta title and your page description and all of that, but keep your URL static, because you do want it to live forever, right? Because we know these campaign periods are going to keep coming. Okay, can we

Salena Knight 6:47
then go back again, to where you said, looking at those category or collection pages? What kinds of information do we need to include on that, because an if we can kind of just bring in AI and chat GPT into this level of the conversation if you're okay with that, because what we're seeing and hey, I'm a proponent of, especially with things like product descriptions, if you know the prompts that you that work for your customer, then you can use these to your advantage. And you can streamline the process and you can create something unique compared to your competitors, because your customers are going to be very different to your competitors customers, even though they're the same people, the reason they're coming to shop with you, is a reason. So can you give us a bit of a maybe a bit of a wireframe or some tips and tricks that we can think about for landing and collection pages and category pages. And then how we can use AI if we can to be able to make that better. Because not everybody is a copywriter. Yeah, absolutely

Amanda King 7:49
no. So generally with collection pages, right, you don't want to put too much in between the the person and the thing that they're trying to navigate to like it is a transactional or even purchase level query. People know what they want, and they're trying to find what they're looking for. So generally, what I recommend for collection pages is a small paragraph, maybe two, maybe three lines at the top that's almost navigational, that's reminding people hey, you're in this category, we have women's shoes in you know, every color of the rainbow every like here's our size range, these are the type of materials that we use whatever it may be something that grounds people and okay, this is the offering because they could be coming from anywhere, realistically, right? And then a few frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page after your collection is kind of complete is generally what I recommend. There are some industries like if you look at JB Hi Fi as pages, for example, which I referenced because I worked at Optus for three years, and they were my primary competitor and I hated how much better they did in the SERPs than Optus when iPhones launched. But that's a whole nother story. No,

Salena Knight 9:06
no, no, that's if we can just stop there. Just pause for one moment and forget remember where we are so we can come back to that. But for those who are not illustrated JB Hi Fi is a very overt very big electrical supplier and everything is in your face is bright yellow and bright red and things are made to look like their handwriting even though they aren't. And it feels very slapped together. Like someone just came in with a great big marker and wrote clearance on everything. Even though it's not necessarily a discount store. And you worked for a telecommunications company, which obviously sold phones and things like that, and a very different brand because the Optus brand is a little bit corporate much more streamlined, much more sleek and it is not in your face. And so if we can just move the conversation, I feel like I just need to write down where we are just now. You can just move the conversation because we got to come back to AI and chat GPT. But move that conversation to how do we get our branding? To be relevant? I've I just went down a different, I've just gone down a whole different wormhole. And maybe I need to write that one down and come back to it. That's

Amanda King 10:17
all good. No, no. How do we get our branding to be relevant from like a content perspective? Yeah. I mean, like, I'm, I am, by no means a branding specialist. Right. But I think it is, it always comes down to knowing your customer, right? And not necessarily going to Google first off to see, okay, these are the 10 most popular pieces of content that I've written have been written about X, Y, and Zed. Let's just kind of copy and paste those and do it a little bit differently a little bit better. My, my general, prompt to a lot of people these days is talk to your sales team, talk to your support team. First, before you even go to Google for for inspiration, and build your content for your categories and your collections that way, answer the questions that customers have, before they get to the point where they're asking your sales or your support team for them.

Salena Knight 11:13
Okay. All right, let's go back to you were, we were talking about collection pages, and making sure that we optimize those. And then you were telling us about how you the company you worked for, and you were always a little bit jealous about one of the competitors. So what were they doing that you weren't doing?

Amanda King 11:32
So what they were doing is essentially the antithesis of what I was recommending, they had probably like 1500 words of copy beneath their collection pages. That was the what is an iPhone? How should I choose? I'm like, all of those kind of 101 questions. And it helped them rank really, really well, I think, potentially partially because it was in their brand DNA as well. Because they chatty, chatty. Yeah, they're shouting out eight.

Salena Knight 12:00
Whereas

Amanda King 12:04
Google, whether or not this is actually true, I tend to feel like Google has a bit of an understanding of what a brand identity is.

Salena Knight 12:12
And so when it comes to I'm with you on that one,

Amanda King 12:15
so when something like if, when I was at Optus, if I tried to do that on our collection page, it would probably fall like it wouldn't get the same result may get some uplift. But it wouldn't get the same result as JB Hi Fi like if I put 2000 words of copy beneath our collection pages for the SEO content, right? And

Salena Knight 12:33
I send it like, even just like if we just move aside again here that the user experience would be to the point where yes, you might rank but if no one's buying, because it's like, Oh, my God, there's too many words on this page. Then what's the point? Yeah,

Amanda King 12:47
exactly. So there. It's always a balancing act, which is also why I am a really strong proponent of testing, right? Like if you have multiple collection pages that and multiple, like product lines that do really well. Try a different strategy on each of those product lines and see what happens because it is going to be different for every industry, it's going to be different for every company, it's going to be different for every brand, though. It all it all comes back to do your best to answer the customer's question first.

Salena Knight 13:17
Can I go back to this one paragraph ish that we're putting at the top of a collection page? Hmm, do we? I am so old school. I was doing SEO back in 2007. Yeah, a very long time ago, before it was really a thing. And we did a lot of keyword stuffing. And so my question to you hear is, you mentioned let's go back with with hoodies or sweatshirts, and, you know, we have all the different colors. Do we do hyperlinks in there? Like, are we we have, you know, the latest pink hoodies and the latest blue hoodies? And are we hyperlinking those to something or like how far down this rabbit hole of keyword stuffing in internal linking, like what's relevant right now?

Amanda King 14:00
Yeah, so I'll answer those separately, because they are kind of separate concepts at the moment. So one of the biggest weaknesses on any ecommerce site, right is internal linking, things can get really, really siloed. And my my general kind of recommendation is, how can you expect Google to think a product line is important. If you aren't telling it, it's important by linking to it yourself.

Salena Knight 14:27
So dig into that a little bit more. So

Amanda King 14:32
that that's where internal linking really comes into play, right? So if you're, whether you're writing an article or whether you have related categories, or product lines, or any of that, or even kind of the breadcrumbs that you have on your website, you want to make sure that those are linking to the correct categories and that you are actually through what you're linking to. You're telling Google Hey, you know our sweatshirts product line is really important to us or we've just released this new homers product line, we really want you to pay attention to it. If you're not emulating that kind of word of mouth, on the internal linking in your own website, why is Google going to make that connection? So, so

Salena Knight 15:18
this is really, I feel like this is a really important moment. So if we can just pause here, yeah, so some of the ways that we can do that you just mentioned bread crumbs, which are the little I love that they call bread crumbs. I used to hate bread crumbs on my website. But now I see how important they were, I just, it looks so messy. It's the thing that kind of says, You came to home, and then you went to women's then you went clothing, and then you went sweatshirts. So little, the little line above the top where people could potentially navigate backwards up one level. So in breadcrumbs, it's important to have the thing that we really want Google to like at that very higher level. And like you said, in perpetuity, so whether that might be a brand name, whether that might be the hoodies, pink hoodies, whatever that looks like to you. Then you mentioned related categories. And so are you talking about how at the bottom of like, underneath people also purchased? Or you might also like, is that where we're trying to stuff this stuff in? Yeah, that's

Amanda King 16:21
one opportunity. Another opportunity is in is within the collection pages themselves, right? Some people will have like that kind of third level navigation, where you've got, you know, pink hoodies, blue hoodies, or you've got cropped hoodies, whatever it may be, there may be a bit of that third level navigation, or even links to to other related categories from that category or collection page. So it's, it's just fine. It's finding smart ways to tell other people tell people, hey, there are there's another level of detail here, if you want it, or if you've liked this, maybe maybe you want to so cross sell and upsell kind of opportunities, essentially.

Salena Knight 17:08
And so that is really important. Because what you're saying is don't think everything, you're saying be strategic about the things you are linking to each other, and maybe coming maybe not maybe actually coming back to your marketing plan. And saying, you know, this month, we're really pushing X brand or this month, we're really pushing pink booties. So we need to make sure that as many things as possible, are connecting back. And this is what your E commerce manager is doing. If you're doing all the things yourself, this is gonna sound really, really hard. And is where you kind of go and get someone who's smarter than you and not be doing all of the things. But you're saying like put the pink hoodie here, go to the tracksuit pants and put the pink hoodie go to the dress put the pink hoodie, go like add it in as some as an upsell. And then you mentioned also that three level navigation so on the landing page where you go, outerwear, and then it might go hoodies, and then you might go pink hoodies blue hoodies cropped hoodies. I had a quick question there around blog content. Is it even relevant? I mean, I have to say, and I've said this many, many times, when Google Reader died, I never read a blog post again, like I used to spend. So this goes to show how long I've been in the industry, I would see in the grocery store in the checkout, like just reading the titles on my Google Reader. Oh, yeah. Why don't we save that save that come back to that, once that died? I don't think I ever read a blog post again. Are they still relevant? Do we even call them blog posts in E commerce? Like, you tell

Amanda King 18:41
me like I am. Personally I am kind of in your school, right? I don't really read blog articles anymore. It's everything is kind of moved to social media. It's snippets of information and getting details from people and doing all of that. But we can't deny the fact that it is still a vehicle for Google to understand your level of knowledge and authority and a space right it's it's almost more along the lines of LinkedIn right where you're using it as as a way to say Hey, I am a thought leader and this doesn't necessarily matter. It's maybe a bit controversial doesn't necessarily matter and diversity doesn't necessarily matter if any eyes actually get on those articles. It's a way for you and your business to go into detail about a particular concept or to maybe share a bit more about your supply chain transparency or your manufacturers or about the the nitty gritty of your business that actually makes you an expert because partaking really in the last 18 months or so with this explosion of chat GPT and AI generated content, I was coming back to that. Google, Google is kind of obsessive at the moment about finding ways to prove that you have written the content. And it is your experience, and you are an expert in the field. And one of the only ways left to do that, that is kind of directly legible by Google is blog articles. Okay, all right. So let's,

Salena Knight 20:33
let's pause there for a moment because this is really important. I'm going to ask you another question here. Another one said, my question, my question at the end of this is going to be can you give us a really awesome prompt that we can use, but I like I said, I'm a staunch believer of using something like AI to be able to streamline the process and separate ourselves out, especially in product based brands, where you're just a reseller of somebody else's stuff, and you are just copying the manufacturer's description, just like everybody else. And realistically, all we can do then is compete on price. And we don't compete on price yet. So is Google savvy enough, I guess, or is it detrimental? Right now, to take that product description and throw it into one of these, either AI products that write descriptions or create a prompt for chat GPT, or Claude or whatever open API we're using to be able to rewrite that product description in a way that works for us, is this going to be a good thing or a

Amanda King 21:29
bad thing? I think a lot of it comes down to scale to a certain degree. I don't think on an e commerce website, where you have maybe 100 200 products, doing something like that, where you make sure that you are kind of grounding it in your brand and the way that you talk. I don't think that's necessarily an issue when you're talking about 1000s and 1000s of products, which is when unfortunately, automation and scalability becomes more important. It can be i, because the thing that I always remind people is AI. And large language models

Salena Knight 22:15
are not creating anything new. Right? Yes, they can't touch they can't feel they can't smell. Yeah, so I, I

Amanda King 22:26
at a base level, I agree, I don't think it's a bad thing to to take a manufacturer's product description and use AI to inject your own brand voice when you don't necessarily have the time to do that yourself. There's, but it's always going to be a bit of a gamble, particularly as you as you build your product base, and you have more more products on selection. So yes, but no.

Salena Knight 22:55
Okay, so that said, and this was not something I asked you beforehand. So feel free to say, maybe I'll get back to you, and we'll put it in the show notes. Is there a prompt that we could use, that pulls in something about our brand about our customer, and the way we want the content written?

Amanda King 23:18
I mean, I think it's purely making sure that all of those details are actually detailed in your prompt, where you say something along the lines of, you know, rewrite this content to the audience of 34 to 45 year old, suburban moms. You know, from the perspective of a brand, that values, you know,

Salena Knight 23:48
transparency and a chain and yeah,

Amanda King 23:50
that values, you know, quality, whatever, just making sure that all of those things are detailed. The biggest thing with chat TPT is that you have to be super super explicit with it in order to get really good results, because it is a machine. It, it only takes the input of what it gets what you give it, you there is no implicit with

Salena Knight 24:13
with chatty beauty. Okay. So I think what we're taking away there is, give it a go, but test and see how it works for you. Absolutely. All right. If I can come back to there's a lot of coming back into this conversation, you've gone over a lot of stuff that I feel like we need to cover back over. You mentioned earlier on, that there were strengths and weaknesses, and I'm just paraphrasing here, inside of the Shopify platform that we can either leverage or exploit the same thing or the leverage or fall down the rabbit hole have to be able to do better than our competitors. So what are maybe some of those secret areas that for the most part, the general retail Well, you know, six, seven, maybe even eight figure retailer just isn't really looking at. Yeah.

Amanda King 25:04
So I think one of one of the big ones is actually leveraging the structure of it. Right. So

Salena Knight 25:13
okay, dig in there. I'm writing these notes down, because

Amanda King 25:17
like we talked about, right, you should all of your campaigns, the ones that really make you money, you should have perennial collections for right. All the

Salena Knight 25:28
campaigns should be making us money.

Amanda King 25:31
Yes, yes, all the campaigns should be making you money, but maybe the ones that are making really big money, I don't know. But there should have perennial collection pages, right. And then also, something that I think is really underutilized, is that, because it does require a bit of custom coding, unfortunately, you can actually have sub collections at an actual URL structure in Shopify, so they would still be under that collections folder, because that's not something you can get rid of, but you could have women's, and then you could have, say, shoes, or our pants, or whatever, and actually have that in the URL structure.

Salena Knight 26:17
And that's,

Amanda King 26:19
that's really kind of underutilized. Because most places will just have that be in, like the navigational structure and not actually reflected in the URLs.

Salena Knight 26:30
Okay, so some collections in URLs. And I can imagine, like you said, yes, it's a coding thing. But realistically, it sounds like one of once you've done it, once, it's not really a big deal to continue on with it. And if something like this puts you ahead of your competitors, it's worth spending the few $100 to get somebody to do this coding for you. Yeah,

Amanda King 26:51
absolutely. And with that, as well, there's a lot of redundancy in the way that Shopify opens kind of out of the box. And that is really reflected in your products in particular. So and this is something again, that maybe, I would say, 60% of the sites that I work with Shopify wise have this duplication, just because it's, it's kind of a weird one, share things, it's when you create a product, it gets created in two places, it gets created under that slash product URL, and then it actually also gets created under the collection you assign it to. Right. So it's, it's making sure that you have only one version of that that is actually prioritized. And if you're, you know, 90%, of of Shopify websites, it's probably going to be the slash product. But if you're just starting from scratch, right? Google loves hierarchy. And it loves seeing hierarchy in the URL structure. So if you're starting a Shopify website, tomorrow, you would actually want to prioritize the collection URL. So you would always have it in like, women's shoes, or whatever it may be. And Google would understand that topic or relationship. What's the

Salena Knight 28:21
detriment of having to because you kind of feel like if you have to, you got more chances than Google? Like it's a bit counterintuitive here.

Amanda King 28:27
So it's exactly the opposite. If you have to Google gets confused and doesn't know which one is is legit. So generally, what actually ends up happening is it devalues both of them. Because it's like, I don't know which one I should actually pay attention to. So I'm not going to pay attention either.

Speaker 1 28:44
So now that you've said that, if we're putting the same product into multiple categories, like, let's go back to pink hoodie, we're putting it in pink, we've got a collection, a Barbie collection in pink, we've got goodies. And maybe we've got organic cotton. If you're putting it in all three places, is that a problem? Or does it not matter if we have this product URL? Because it's the same? Same product? Yeah,

Amanda King 29:10
if you do have if you're prioritizing the product URL, it doesn't matter. If you are prioritizing the collection URL, then you basically have to decide what your your home collection is for that product, and then just prioritize that one.

Salena Knight 29:26
I feel like I feel like this is like a little gold nugget that nobody is even thinking about. How do we is this is back to the custom coding. We are people who are going to get in and got to put some coding that says when we create a product, we're going to prioritize product URL, not collection URL. Okay. I love that and then we can put it in as many places as we want.

Amanda King 29:47
Correct. Okay. All right. Anywhere else from a structure perspective. Now, I think the other side of it right is is on the content side in terms of where there are are areas that you can really leverage. Again, Google is kind of starting to get obsessed with a level of wouldn't necessarily, for lack of a better word programmatic detail, like functional kind of details. So on your product pages, right? Think of it almost like if you were a manufacturer and you were sharing specs, right? So you would say, if you're, if you're not talking about it already, you would want to say, okay, these are the dimensions this is the fabric, this is the material, this is the color, you know, is it waterproof? Like, all of those kinds of details, you would actually just kind of also want to include in a list, because Google is really, Google already has its own like Wikipedia, in the background, that that understands and knows companies, right. But it's trying to get that on an even more granular level, and looking at kind of products and markets and industries. So anything that you can do to kind of help be that beast. And as explicit as you can be with Google to feed its own engines like Google Shopping and things like that. Do you sit at least there?

Salena Knight 31:19
So is this one? Okay? Just give me a moment here. Is this one of the places where we dot point like my brain? Or is this one of the places we expand where we go? It's unique, waterproof? Fabric means that you can use it at the beach fishing, like, are we trying to shove some keywords in there as well?

Amanda King 31:39
I mean, you can, but you don't have to. It's really because at the end

Salena Knight 31:42
of the day, if you're not watching, she's not she's shaking her head? No.

Amanda King 31:48
It would be the dot points, right? Because things like my brain. Yeah, you want it super digestible. And because like I said, Google is I think it's always also important to remember that Google is a company that is out for its own profit. And so part of what you need to do as a business that is reliant on Google is understand how you can continue to be valuable to them. And right now, right, Google is expanding into a lot of different verticals, right, you've got Google Shopping, you've got flights, you've got all of these different things. Whereas essentially trying to beat the rest of the market and be the go to source for everything so and none of us are going to ever out compete Google. So if you if you can't beat them, join them. Feed Google the most explicit data that you can about your products so that it can take those attributes, and use them to help filter your products in their Google Shopping results. And love that. And

Salena Knight 32:47
if you're listening to this, I'm not going to get Amanda to rehash something. But just a few weeks ago, we had Raj on telling us how he 25x return on adspend with Google. So go and listen to that one, because he gives you all the tips on how to do that. Amanda is here to give us a whole bunch of other tips on optimizing our website. Now, can we talk about something so dear to my heart, and whether it really matters in this day and age, which is reviews? I like you have to watch this episode, guys. I'm telling you all of the answers. I love reviews, I love reviews as a consumer, because it might helps me make a decision. I love reviews as a marketer, because for me, it gives me all of the things that I can then go and put in a product description. Or if people are saying things are on small, I'm like, okay, when I'm doing my next product around, I need to make sure I have to change these. So Oh, my God, everybody loves this color. Why have we not got that in the product? Like reviews to me are the gold standard for running a business. But data?

Amanda King 33:55
Absolutely. And you saw my face in my face is an open book when it comes to this, like user generated content, again, particularly in an age of chat GPT and AI. Google is also using as another kind of take in your favor. When it's like, okay, people are talking about this product. And we've analyzed it, and it doesn't sound like AI. So these are real people. And they're saying all of these things and listing all of these attributes and talking about all of these products features. And it also continues to be a source of content for your product on your product page. Or if you wanted to, and you have a lot of fast moving categories. You could potentially import some of those onto your collection Pages. Pages. Yeah. But it is it is just a continual source for for data, whether that is for Google to ingest or for you to get more visibility. For those individual products and that kind of short span of time that you have, it's kind of a shortcut. One

Salena Knight 35:07
thing I have noticed is and I don't know if this is just recent, or if I've just started noticing it is when use Google search, pink shirt, pink is on the brain today. Oh, I am wearing pink. That is why, when you when you're looking at something like pink shirt, I have seen that Google is now giving you like rankings out of stars. So I'm guessing it's pulling that from reviews where you know, four out of five, this is. And so all of a sudden, you can see straight away. Oh, that links got a one out of five. I don't think I'll click on that one. So even though it's ranking, it's kind of telling you no, because it's not very good. But whatever they're doing is clearly working. Like Google doesn't seem to care if it's a positive or a negative. It's just saying, people are talking about this thing.

Amanda King 35:51
Yeah. And, and again, that kind of comes back to the way that Google is, is changing their search results, and is looking for new ways to kind of aggregate and share information with people in search results. So again, all any any data and any information about your products, or your product lines that you can give to Google in as kind of unfiltered and explicit away as possible. You want to because if you don't have, you know, product reviews on your site, right, you'll never show up in that kind of, you know, Google says kind of Banner, where if someone is looking for what's the best, you know, pencil for school, or whatever, like, you wouldn't even show up there. Yeah, you've just mentioned

Salena Knight 36:43
something else that I have noticed, too, which is, is pulling the content out of reviews, and ranking that when you said it, it just made something trigger in my head that I had seen it just a couple of days ago, where I remember typing in something random, and I cannot remember for the life of me what it was. But then someone had written those words in the review, because I remember going to the page going. I'm a little bit confused here. This was not what I was after. But it was for a completely different product. But someone had used those same words. And Google had pulled those words out in a review, because I was like, where are these? Marketer? Where are these words on this page? Why did it send me here? It was in the reviews. And so that I mean, that's kind of letting your customers do the hard work for you.

Amanda King 37:31
With with E commerce and and other websites, but in particular, with E commerce, it's getting to the point almost where it isn't. It isn't your website that actually matters, right? It's, it's your content. And it is it's what you write and what you publish. And because Google is just going to kind of take it wholesale and display it or parse it out and say, Okay, on average, you know, the star rating for this product line is three out of five, or x brand, and then have a comparison table with other brands that it's aggregated. So in some ways, you have to be a bit less precious about visitors. Right? And say, Okay, how do I get my information out there? And it's, it's by making sure you have things like reviews, and making sure that you have things like product features, and making sure still that your website hierarchy makes sense. It's really weird world we live in, I know

Salena Knight 38:29
that we've gone from like keyword stuffing to stripping it back to swapping it out with chat, GBT to kind of stripping it back. I have a question. And I don't know if you have an answer for it, because it just came to me, which is, we have this thing called the ultimate promotion run sheet. And in it, we step out everything you need to do to have the perfect promotion, if you could do all the things, these are all the things. We do not have anything here about the landing page slash collection. So my question for you is for us to include that I just need to be to have a bit of an understanding here. When we're doing a promotion, and we have the collection page. And then maybe we've hidden it, like it's just it's not there in the navigation. It's kind of sitting in the background, but we've taken it out of the navigation. And they were like, okay, yeah, we created this Barbie thing, and it had all the pink things. And pink is back again, we're gonna we're gonna re resurrect the pink hoodie category. And how do we tell Google that we're doing that, especially when we have a back to this time constraint of, we're running a promotion for a week or two weeks with pincode? Is Google, we want you to know about these now, is there a way

Amanda King 39:48
one of the strongest things is to link it again? Right. And, and one of the things I think that I was

Salena Knight 39:53
thinking sorry, by link it, you mean put it back into the navigation? Yes. And put

Amanda King 39:57
it back into the navigation and one of the things where A collection pages that is important, right is intrinsically, you would hope they get a lot of press, right. And a part of that is getting backlinks from other websites. So at a certain point, they will have kind of a base level of visibility. And, like blackFriday pages, for example at, again at Optus, it was one of our mostly two pages because people were linking to it from a bunch of deal websites, for example, something similar for most of your campaign pages will probably happen organically, but you should be supporting it naturally as well. And in terms of doing it quickly, when you have that kind of base level of visibility, linking it back in the navigation finding other kinds of places to like, get back to Oh, yes,

Salena Knight 40:52
I reveal Rebecca being we're going to, yes, dump this into all the places we possibly can. Thank you for bringing that I did write that down in my notes now. Okay. So if we do this, and then we put money behind it, if we go, okay, we've got pink hoodies, we're on the train, we're going to run a promotion, it's going to run for a week, we're going to throw some Google Ads money. Is that going to help Google? Or can we kind of say, Google Hello? Like, can you crawl my page again? Or can you do something about like, Are there any things we can do? I'm purely asking from a selfish perspective to put into my promo run sheet, that I can say, once you've resurrected this thing, do this, this and this us opportunity, you

Amanda King 41:33
can submit it in Google Search Console, there is a way to say, hey, this page has changed, you can do that. And that will essentially prompt Google to recrawl it and find the new content, running Google ads. So Google, has explicitly stated historically that Google Ads does not come into play in Google organic rankings, but a bunch of their API recently Lee link leaked. And they do actually have that as a factor. And they have also said that in their Department of Justice Justice hearings, so it's, it's not an indirect it's nothing that is like super canonical, like it's not do this, and Google will see this page forever. But it is put

Salena Knight 42:22
our best up, if we're trying to make this promotion, a really good promotion, we could put a little bit of money behind it, and linking instead to the products more maybe to that collection page, which is already ranking, correct. That, I think is the perfect place to finish up ways that we can make more money ways we can hack the system, exploiting these areas that I'm going to go out on a limb and say a lot of big businesses aren't even doing this, because they are so focused on pumping out as much stuff and getting as many products onto the website, they're kind of relying on the fact that they are a behemoth. And they probably spend so much money on ads that, you know, SEO is whatever. So taking this and putting these few things that you've given us quite a lot, but just even putting a few of those into place. could just put you up the search up to the search function. I was gonna say what put you up the search list and get you ranking better, even if you have products that hopefully are not staying on your website forever, ever and ever. Yes. Okay. So, Amanda, if people are like, You know what, this lady has actually convinced me, maybe I need to be thinking about SEO. Where can they find you? Yeah,

Amanda King 43:32
sure. So I am on LinkedIn at Amanda king, but it's easier to find me by my business name, which is block FL o que, or

Salena Knight 43:41
block.co.com. As I have a mistake of.co Taco.

Amanda King 43:47
I am also intermittently on Twitter X.

Salena Knight 43:51
Really? Any you're like the first person I know on Twitter.

Amanda King 43:56
I think the last tweeted was like six months ago. So but the best place to find me is LinkedIn and on my website. Okay,

Salena Knight 44:05
thank you so much for sharing all of this. I now have some juicy tidbits that I'm going to update into our promo run sheet because I don't make it anybody else has those. And I like I have learned some stuff here. And I'm going to say I am further along the road of being can slightly convinced that SEO is good for some businesses, but not necessarily all ecommerce is ecommerce is and retail businesses. I'm gonna say it's dependent on the stage that they're at and the resources that they have got. Is that fair?

Amanda King 44:45
Yeah. And I think as well it it depends on I mean, the market and the industry because a lot of the baseline from Shopify is is getting you like 90% there when and if If you're in a pretty, pretty competitive market, right, you may need these amplifiers from your perspective, right to just get you that that next step. Okay, and you've given us a bunch of them.

Salena Knight 45:13
Thank you so much, Amanda, you. Thank you for having me. So that's a wrap. I'd love to hear what insight you've gotten from this episode, and how you're going to put it into action. If you're a social kind of person, follow me at the Selena Knight. And make sure to leave a comment. And let me know. And if this episode made you think a little bit differently, or gave you some inspiration, or perhaps gave you the kick that you needed to take action. Then please take a couple of minutes to leave me a review on your platform of choice. Because the more reviews the show gets, the more independent retail and E commerce stores just like yours, that we can help to scale. And when that happens, it's a win for you, a win for your community, and a win for your customers. I'll see you on the next episode.

Amanda King of FLOQ

Location: Sydney

Amanda King has been in the digital marketing industry over a decade, worked across countries and industries, and is consulting through her business, FLOQ. Her focus is the product, the customer and the business, incorporating data & analytics, user experience and CRO alongside SEO. Always happy to trade war stories, find her on Twitter or LinkedIn for intermittently shared advice and thoughts on the industry.

 

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