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Time for Marketing

Jun 2022

#45 - Lazarina Stoy - Implement Machine Learning in your internal linking Audit

This is one of those podcasts, where I touch on a subject I have no idea about, and learn so much. This is why I do this podcast.

If you wanna talk to Lazarina, you can find here on Linkedin or Twitter, or just at her company.

Here is her presentation from the Brighton SEO 2022 conference

If you would like to read her great guide on internal linking, click here

And if you would like to start with machine learning, here is Lazarina's Beginner's guide to Machine Learning.

May 2022

#44 - Christopher Gutknecht - Build your own SEO and SEM tools with BigQuery

Christopher is the Team Lead of Analytics and Performance at https://www.bergzeit.de/. You can find him on Linkedin.


Here are the things that we talked about



And if you would like to check out his whole presentation, you can find it here


May 2022

#43 - Jono Alderson - We can do better than this - a strategic view on website quality

Yono is the man at Yoast, one of the biggest WordPress plugins, that help you make your website a bit better in SEO. I know I use Yoast for all my WordPress websites.

You can find Yono on Linkedin or on his website.

You can subscribe to this podcast and rate it in your podcast app.

Here is the presentation that Jono used on stage.

Apr 2022

#42 - Despina Fronimaki - Content Creation - Beyond the Checklist

Despina (Linkedin) is the Senior Online Marketing Manager at The Boutique Agency and has a lot of experience in creating SEO that goes to the top of Search Engine Results.

Here is her presentation from SMX Munich and the Giveaway that we talked about link.

Feb 2022

Announcing: SEO roast

Join me on the YouTube live https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkets7b1zOmTYI2qa6rLGlw or if you would like to get a free SEO Audit of your website, submit your website at https://seos.si/en/seo-roast

Feb 2022

#41 - Vix Reitano - Vix Reitano - Proven methods for targeting, attracting & capturing new leads

Vix is the founder of Agency 6B and knows how to talk leads. Her talk at the 2021 Keap conference got me inspired to talk about leads more and more.


Feb 2022

#40 - Lisa S. Jones - Video in Email

Another great presentation from MailCon in Las Vegas, I feel that every year when MailCon comes around, we get a great set of new guests to the podcast.

Lisa is the founder and CEO of EyeMail, you can find her on Linkedin and Twitter.

Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast and rate the episode on your podcast app.

Jun 2021

#39 - Lucy Dodds - How to Create a Comprehensive Guide Hub That Your Audience Cares About

Lucy is a content marketer and SEO and works at the great UK agency https://www.evolvedsearch.co.uk/. Lucy talked at Brighton SEO, the Best SEO and marketing conference around. (seriously guys, I can't make his more obvious, you need to invite me as a speaker to Brighton :D)


Content hubs are something that a lot of companies try to do, but also something that is somehow easy to fail at. Lucy has experience in building them and tells that in detail on how you can do it too. Done correctly, content hubs can be a great addition to your content and a big SEO asset.


Lucy: And then we try to see how we can categorize those in a way that makes sense because you'll result in hundreds, if not thousands, of question based keywords, which is really confused.

Peter: This is time for marketing the marketing podcast that will tell you everything you've missed when you didn't attend

The marketing conference.

Peter: But before we go to the podcast, my name is Peter and I'm your host. I'm an NCO myself. I help internal and external teams and companies, start ups and agencies move their CEOs step forward. If you're looking for an SEO audit or help with your SEO strategy, find me at SEO as SY. Hello and welcome to the Time for Marketing podcast, the marketing podcast that brings you the best marketing conference speakers and makes them sum up their presentation in five minutes. My name is Peter, and I'll be your host today. This is episode number 39, and we're slowly approaching the 40 second episode. Well, you will get all the answers to all of your marketing questions, and then I'll probably stop. If you can get people that are interested into marketing. To listen to this podcast, send them the URL. Time for marketing dotcom. This is time and then the number four marketing dotcom. Or just tell them to Google. Time for marketing. We are having a great episode tonight with me on the podcast recording is Lucy Dodds. Lucy, how are you?

Lucy: I'm great, thanks. How are you?

Peter: I'm all right. How is life on the Big Island next to Europe that used to be Europe, but isn't anymore?

Lucy: It's OK. Lockdown is hopefully ending for us. Soon everyone's getting vaccinated. It's hopefully going to be a much better summer than it was last year.

Peter: All right. And of course, working on a marketing agency, everything is crazier. There is more money that is more work and everyone is buying online. Is that right?

Lucy: That is definitely right. I think we've felt the busyness. Very much so, especially in the last few months. But it's really good to see clients are able to grow up because of unfortunately, a lot of businesses have had some bad times because of COVID. So I'm really excited that people can take this opportunity to start growing their businesses and now things are getting going again. So it's a really good thing now.

Peter: You work at the evolved search, you're the senior content marketing consultant. What is what do we do?

Lucy: Yes. And so evolve. Search is based in Newcastle, upon Tyne, and we are a search agency that specialise in automotive, retail and finance clients. And my role as a content consultant is a mixture between creating the onsite side of content and doing consultancy for my clients on that, as well as creating content marketing campaigns for digital PR link building things like that. But it's mostly the onsite side that like.

Peter: Newcastle, is that a different Newcastle next to the Newcastle upon Tyne,

Lucy: As a Newcastle upon Tyne and further down the country as Newcastle under Lyme? I think there's a bit of a confusion on that, but we're not

Peter: Good, but you ought to do big city Newcastle. Ok. Yeah. What's your favourite at work when you do content marketing consulting?

Lucy: I think it's a bit of a cop out because this is what I did my talk on, but it's probably going to be guides just because I've been able to learn a lot about them in my time across a national career, and it's been just really good to see how they can get better, how they perform, learning a lot as I go and just getting them working for our clients.

Peter: Hmm. How much is your work as CEO and how much is content marketing and how much are those two the same?

Lucy: So I think that the most of the time I'd probably say 50 50 across clients in general. And just because I think all sites need a degree of link building to get some high quality, topical and relevant links. But you also need to see the on page content is working well for Google and users, and so it kind of depends on what the client really needs at the time. Well, I'd probably say half and half for the majority of my.

Peter: All right. Excellent. I've invited you to the podcast because of your presentation that you had at Brighton SEO, and the presentation was called How to create a Comprehensive Guide Hub that your audience cares about. How was Brighton SEO online conferences? It's getting boring, right?

Lucy: I don't want to say a bore, but yeah, I've been to the in-person one in September 2019 and it was just so, so good. And I did love the virtual ones still, because I did learn a lot from other people. It was great to do my first talk there, ever, but I am very, very excited for the future ones. I think summer one is in person and just fingers, fingers crossed that it's going to be on.

Peter: Would you say that you listened to more speeches when the conference in online than in the offline world because, you know, you only really can only listen to only one track and Brighton is now really already multiple track. And you know, there's a lot of other things that you can do during the speeches. How would you say, how does that work out?

Lucy: Yeah. So the past that I had for the virtual conference meant I could access everything, and I did watch a lot more just because it wouldn't be possible at the in-person conference. So I guess it would be great if in future things were all recorded. I think probably the way that COVID has happened, there probably will be. And just in general across any conference, just because it makes it a lot more accessible, I could learn a lot more. So, yeah, I think I did definitely see a lot more. But it'd be nice to just have access to both sides.

Peter: Hmm. Hmm. Or a podcast that has everything submitted in a short time. Very good idea. All right, Lizzy, let's not beat around the bush. Let's go into your presentation. Here are your five minutes.

Lucy: Bob, thanks. Ok, so when I first started my career in SEO, I was in house doing on site only when I moved my first agency, it was the same. Anything on page was for me. I didn't even think about link building until like two years ago when I started involved. And just because I'd worked with separate teams and I had no involvement. So when I joined involved, I felt like I had a lot of untapped knowledge, and I really want to share that with the team and build on what we already had. So I think my first job to do what evolved for a client was building a guy to help. And I was like, Cool, this is what I know. And I think all the time, I've just learned so much more about them. I've got so much advice and inspiration from all our SEO experts in the Evolve team instead of just me doing the research. And now I've been able to create really great guide hooks for all my automotive retail clients and finance as well. And now that I've been able to see how those perform in a. Great setting with all of our expert team members. That's kind of why it made me want to do this talk. So that's why I chose this guide content as my topic for right now. It's a I think it will be very successful, but I see a lot of sites don't have this, so they have a gap in their content, which is going to be off putting for a lot of users.

Lucy: So because like any service or product buying online, I'm going to be researching it in some way. And I think that every site needs these guides to some degree, as user research is going to be behind every decision. So there's more obvious decisions like getting a credit card or choosing a car online. They need a lot of research. But even things like how to grow my cactus in my home office or say there's like a new style of dress that's on trend. I'm quite tall, so maybe I need advice on how to wear it. Will it suit at all person and so on? So no matter what your site or your product your service is, I think everyone could do with having some kind of level of guide content in an easy, accessible hub. Just because then you're helping users with that research. And while I found the guides that don't result in direct conversions, but that makes sense because users are still doing that research, they're not going to be buying right now. But I found that these guides do convert two times more than blocks and for one client, made up to 200 200k in assisted revenue. So they are just a step basically in the users buying process, but you really want to be part of that before your competitor does. And I think because so many sites don't do this or don't do it well, it's such an opportunity because like you can say, if I just pick a question and I'm going to look at it in the search and what's displayed already, sometimes it can be really rubbish.

Lucy: So you can you can really take that opportunity for your own site and do really well. So the first part of my talk was just explaining that part of why I think everyone should have them. And then I started into some keyword research to look for all of those questions that users are asking about the product or the service that my client's site will provide. So any implied questions I was looking at like pros and cons, for example, of, say, a credit card, that's still a question because someone's asking what was the benefit of a credit card? We have any user research like customer inquiry date, if people are constantly calling and emailing with questions like we should fulfill that online and then we try see how we can categorize those in a way that makes sense because you'll result in hundreds, if not thousands, of question based keywords, which is really confusing to look at just a giant list. So one way I think I gave in the talk was you would organize them by your product offering. I think my example was a website called Wix, who have their guides categorized by kitchens, gardens and bathrooms. And that's how you'd sell your keywords as well. In the same way, because, you know, users are going to be either looking to redo their kitchen or they're looking to get some new things for the garden. So you consult your guides in a way that users would want to see them on your site.

Lucy: Although I guess it would be kind of different depending on whoever the client is, but in general, that's a way that's worked for me or any e-commerce client. And then after I went into some practical tips on how to create guides, so best of all, I was looking at title text and descriptions. Often, if you just type in that keyword question, you will see that the title tags are always the same, so we need to make sure they stand out. I also check competitors formats. That's another thing that you must do when you're creating your guides. So if someone's doing a listicle or someone's got a really long form guide that's really detailed and then make sure that you should be replicating that as well, but not copying. You should also forget word count. I think that people get really hung up on word count, but I just never copy this. Just make sure that you provide the information that's the most relevant and accurate to whatever you're trying to tell your user. You don't need to have loads and loads of words to explain some things. And even that will be dependent on what they're asking in the first place. Maybe something on credit cards will need a lot of detail, but perhaps styling address might not need so much. My next part is unique, a show of some unique expertise. The guide content that does do well, sometimes if you read to the surface and competitors will have content that is kind of saying the same answer. So if you want to be the best, you show your original expertise that your client would have or you will have if you are the site owner.

Lucy: And so that's kind of things like having all the bills with good descriptions to show who you are or that you really have the credentials to see what being said. And even if you aren't talking out about like a really serious way and while your money or your life topic, then that's OK because your personal interest is going to be still more important than, like the average person would have the next part. I look for featured snippets. Now, otherwise, I don't copy. But in this case, I do have a look at what the current featured snippet is. So these kind of things, when I type a question into Google, I'm going to see the snippets either a paragraph, a bullet point list, the numbered list, whatever it is, and I replicate the past by looking at the source code of the current snippet. So I'm going to look at it, see if they've got see H2S and then bullet points that I'm going to do the same. So my question will be in the H2 and then I'll have the bullet point as well. My next part was for internal link opportunities. It's only really unsophisticated, but a lot of people don't have access to tools like refs to find internal link opportunities. So I just do like I Google my brand and I'm working on and say a word that is related to the guide that I'm talking about, or you can do a site search for the same thing.

Lucy: So say, if I was doing a mattress cleaning guide, I could just type say my kindness mattress online, do a site, search for mattress online and then type clean after. And I say all the articles that I might be able to link to. And then my final tip was just to take time with guides. And so in my SEO talk, I did have a site and I had sorry. I had two sisters who are in a similar space and have very similar guide hooks and one has. Great backlinks. It's a more of a trusted brand, and people know who they are, the website's more technically sound, but the sessions are very low on their guide hope. And then another site that I work on that isn't very trusted doesn't have many links. People don't know about that brand yet. Their guide hook is. It has a lot more sessions, and I think it was something like five times more sessions as what I said in my talk, I'm pretty sure that's still right here. And the problem is, is the first site kind of a rush, their content, they've been like, they've been hastily produced. There's a lot of different writers and it's not very original content. Well, the other site is put like a lot of effort and a lot of detail into them. So I think just take your time with guides and eventually the results will pay off. If you can get them right. And I think that's it. Yeah, I think that's everything.

Peter: Yeah, that was very in-depth. A couple of questions for those people who are not. What is going to happen, what exactly. When you say a guide, what how do you see them? What is it?

Lucy: Yes, a couple of clients, I'll ask this as well just about like what the difference is between guides and blogs and is it not just the content yet? So I'll say the best way to describe guides is for users who are at an awareness stage. So they are aware of your product or service and they're thinking about getting it. Well, they need a little bit more information before making that decision. So say, if my client was selling credit cards and then I might need, you know, like what is interest? What is a credit card, how do they work? All those kind of questions that I find through keyword research. I need to be answering to give the user that kind of trust in me, that I'm not just trying to sell them this serious financial product. I'm actually going to help them make a decision that will benefit them.

Peter: Okay. Ok. Yeah, that sounds a great definition. When I see the guide hubs, I see that often companies think about going to a different CMS or a different system to show the content on the web page. Sometimes I don't know if nothing else they'll use like their support system like Zendesk has something to show up to show guide. Do you think that's a good idea? Should they should? Should people use a specific system that is very good for the hubs or should they just use what they have and make the best of it?

Lucy: I would honestly say whatever's easiest and best for that client. I do have clients that have separate hubs just on WordPress and separate to the main CMS. And it does make it easier, I think, just for organizing and finding content and creating it, especially if you have a large company with a lot of content writers and if they're in various parts of the website, then it makes it easier for them. So it's better for scaling. It's also better for like if you've got a smaller team and say there's only one developer, but only this one developer can offload content or something, then it makes it easy if you don't have to kind of get them to use that time, because I think that WordPress get really easy to use after a while. So, yeah, so I guess just whatever's going to be easiest for you. But yeah, it just depends on the site, I guess.

Peter: Ok. Ok. And one more thing you mentioned. People should look at their competition and see what kind of style does the competition have? When do you think we should replicate the style and when should we go in a different direction? I know it depends on how good the competition is, but still, sometimes I think that CEOs and content marketers now are just, you know, re republishing or making stuff to look as good as similar to the competition as possible. But I feel that that's not a good guide on how to do it. What's your opinion on that?

Lucy: No, no. I definitely agree that we shouldn't just copy what's out there. I think the best way for me is I see what's in the top 10 results in the search and see what they kind of have and just try to understand why that might be performing if it is a certain format or not. So I think say if I'm going to use credit card again, like I know that that's an important topic that's going to need a lot of detail. So I already would expect there to be some pretty long guides about this topic. Well, if it's going to be something which like I don't expect people to be doing some really deep research into, then I might go what I think was what I think instead and make it like less so. And because I agree that my that's more digestible than really big wall of text. So I guess it depends on what your product or service is. You could always test it. And if it doesn't work out, then you might have to go back to what other people are doing. But I guess Google has chosen those results for a reason. And if we think that, yeah, actually it needs to be a bit longer and more detailed, it's probably for a reason. So I would just always test it and see what happens.

Peter: Hmm. Hmm. All right. Excellent. I think we gave people a very good idea on how their content hubs should be structured, prepared keyword research and how the content should be published. Lucy, if people want to talk to you about market or content marketing, where can they find you?

Lucy: I would absolutely love people to do that so they can find me on Twitter. It's just my name, which is Lucy, Alice Dodds, and you can email me as well, if you like, which is Lucy at Evolved Search scored at UK.

Peter: All right. Excellent. Lucy, thank you very much for being on the podcast and taking the time out to sum up your presentation, I hope that we can go and have conferences in real life very soon.

Lucy: Most definitely, and thank you very much for having me. This is my first podcast, so it's great to be here. Thank you very much.

Peter: I'm very glad that you were here. Thank you and have a great day.

Lucy: You too.

Bye bye. I know.



May 2021

#38 Lars Maat - How Messengerbots will make you more money

This time with Lars, the CEO of the advertising agency Maatwerk Online about how you should be using Chat or Messenger Bots to get more traffic and more sales on your website, or even more leads if this is what you aim for. You can find Lars on Twitter.

Don't forget to subscribe and rate this podcast on your favorite podcast app.

Here is the transcript of the podcast:

My name is Peter, and this is podcast episode number 38. If you can, go and comment, go and rate this podcast on the podcast app wherever you listen to us, and tell your friends that this is the place where they can get the best info on what is going on in marketing conferences, even if people are not able to go to the conference, every presentation in five minutes. Today, we are going to the Netherlands, where I'm very glad to welcome Lars.

Lars: Hi, thank you. Thanks for having me.

Peter: Lars Maat, thank you for being here. You are the rising star in PPC. At least a PPC Hero said that. You are the owner of the Maatwerk agency. What do you do in the agency, and what are your things? What's your favorite thing on the internet?

Lars: To be honest, the rising star was back in 2020. It already feels like a light year ago.


Lars: Yes, that's true. PPC Hero made me a rising star in the PPC business. I think mainly because that year I spoke at PPC Hero Conf in London. I was announced best speaker of the conference. I think that gave it a boost, but, yes, my name is Lars. I'm currently owning online marketing AC. My background is really purely PPC. Google ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, Microsoft ads, stuff like that. At the moment, at the AC we are with 30 people. We are doing online marketing from A to Z. Basically, the only thing we don't do is build apps.

We build websites, webshops, we do SEO and PPC, of course. I'm focusing on developing the business at the moment, try to implement new things. Innovations in our industry are a weekly thing as you might know. [chuckles] We try to keep up and then make sure that everything is set in place for our clients.

Peter: You are one of those people who likes a lot of stress every day because advertising campaigns fail all the time and the algorithms change, and the number is going the wrong way. Do you enjoy that?

Lars: Let's just say there's never a dull moment in an online marketing agency.

Peter: [chuckles] See, this is why I like to do SEO. It's everything a bit more-- We have a couple of months to do stuff. In advertising, it's hours.

Lars: To be honest, sometimes I'm really jealous of my SEO colleagues because, let's say, we are having a call with a client and a client is a little bit stressed about something, for example. We know if something goes wrong in a PPC account, you have to fix it right away. If something goes wrong on the SEO stuff, you just pick it up in one week or two weeks. It doesn't matter because you got the time. Yes, sometimes I'm a little bit jealous about the fact that I started to learn the wrong business.

Peter: [chuckles] I know, but on the other hand, your business is the sexy thing in marketing, I think, for the last 10 years. SEO is somewhere not really the public favorite.

Lars: Yes. I can understand. To be honest, we went to New York, we went to San Jose, California, on an invitation from Google, and my SEO colleagues are all jealous of me, so--

Peter: [chuckles] My wife is actually an advertiser. We've met in an agency where I was the SEO. She was the advertiser. It's very obvious in our personalities and things, how we see the world and everything, how we are very different. Lars, I've invited you to the podcast because you spoke at BrightonSEO. It was a bit different Brighton as we know it from the past, how did you enjoy the online version of Brighton this year?

Lars: To be honest, this was my first BrightonSEO conference. I've spoken to a lot of speakers and colleagues who went to previous versions. I was invited for this one. I was really excited because, from what I've heard,Brighton is really a nice environment to be at, let's just say to go to the tops. Yes, it was an online version, of course. My presentation was about Messenger bots, so not really an SEO thing. I was really curious about how that presentation would be received by the audience, but yes, it was pretty nice, actually. It was a good first experience with BrightonSEO.

Peter: Brighton, a couple of years ago, started to move away from- it still has, from my opinion, the best technical in-depth SEO presentations, but the other advertising and other tracks are also being very developed, better and better, and BrightonSEO is now a Brighton conference, not an SEO conference, but yes, departs from the pier, the best.

Lars: Yes, so I've heard. [chuckles]

Peter: All right. Let's not beat around the bush. Let's go and check out your five minutes with your presentation on how Messenger bots will make you more money.

Lars: Yes. I'm going to try to do this in five minutes.


The presentation in Brighton was in 20 minutes and I had to rush that as well, but let me just start with telling you how Messenger bots work, what they are, and stuff like that. Messenger bots are basically a way to automate your Facebook Messenger chats. Normally, when you are advertising on Facebook, people will see an ad. They can click on it and then a lead form will pop up, or you will be redirected to the website, to a landing page, where you can leave your telephone number and stuff like that, in order to get some information from the advertiser. With Facebook Messenger, it's possible to send people to the business page and to start chatting with those people.

Of course, that's fully automated. You can use it to generate leads or you can make appointments right away in a Messenger chat, and the beauty of this is that it works really well. It's fast. People have the feeling that they are texting with somebody, or a company, but because of the fact that it's texting, it sounds like texting, people feel the need to react immediately. It's a really quick way to get in touch with your audience. The reason why I started to use Messenger is because of the fact that I think it's a really good platform, but also Facebook is really pushing Messenger. They are integrating Messenger with WhatsApp and Instagram as we speak.

I really think that Messenger bots will be bigger and bigger. At the moment, they are releasing it as well on WhatsApp and Instagram. Yes, it's a pretty good thing at the moment. At BrightonSEO, I talked about small step-by-step guides for building Messenger bots. I think it's a good idea to name that here as well. The first step is, obviously, you decide what you want to accomplish with your Messenger bot. You don't need to make a bot just because I'm telling you. [chuckles] You really need a good idea or you need a problem that you think you can solve with Messenger bots. The second step is to draw your, let's say, dream conversation on a paper.

We called it a flow. Let's say you have to write down, "Okay. What do I want the bot to say to the audience, and what are the answers that I need from the audience in order to get all the information that you need?" As soon you have drawn that on a paper, you can start building that flow in a Messenger bot tool. There are numerous tools you could use. I'm a fan of ManyChat. ManyChat is one of the biggest tools out there for Messenger bots. MobileMonkey, Chatfuel are also some big names. Then I think the most important step. Once you have decided what you want to use in your flow, and you've built a flow, you really need to test it.

I see a lot of Messenger bots not working very well. I think mainly because people forget to test it. Testing the bot is really important. Once you've tested, you can start to promote your Messenger bot and start getting those results. Two ways in order to promote the bot. There are more ways obviously, but the two I think are the most popular. Advertise with it. Let the audience see an ad, and once they click on it, the chat will open. Another one, and this is also one of my favorites, it's keyword-based. You can put a post on your Facebook page, it could be an ad. It could be an organic post. As soon as somebody reacts to that, so with the Facebook comment, a chat will open and you can continue to conversate with those people in the chat. That's also a really good way to promote your Messenger bots. I think that is what Messenger bots are in a nutshell. Of course, I talked a lot about some rules which apply to Messenger bot, like the 24-hour messaging rule. I really advise to look into that. I gave some tips how to be successful with Messenger bots. I could name them pretty quick right now.

You need to be conversational. You need to make sure to interact with the audience. You need to automate as much as possible. I really love the tool- how to pronounce it right, still not sure whether it's Zapier or Zapier or Zapier, but I think the majority of the marketing audience will note it too. It's a really nice tool to automate. Feed your CRM system. Get those telephone numbers. Get those email addresses from your target audience. Get those sales, basically. Was that in five minutes or--?

Peter: Tell us a bit less, but that's great. I have questions. Can you give us an example of what is the best thing that you can set up if you have e-commerce shop? People should be able to check out where their packages, so tracking, or should that be selling, or--?

Lars: It could be both. There are some possibilities in which you, let's say, do the track and trace for your package. There's also a thing called "one-time notification." For example, you visit a website and you see a product that you like, but it's out of stock at the moment. You could tell the Facebook Messenger page, "Hey, send me a notification once this product gets online again." As soon as that's the case the, the page could send a message to you saying, "Hey, Peter, as requested, the product you were looking for is back online. Do you want to purchase it right away with a call to action, to go through website and a product page right away?

There are some possibilities. You could also work with abandoned carts. I know that, for example, we work with ManyChat, and I know that ManyChat has an integration with Shopify, for example. There are some numerous possibilities. The only thing that's really bugging me at the moment and a lot of Messenger bot builders are the rules on Facebook.

Peter: Yes, that you are only able to send a message if, in the last 24 hours, the person gave you the okay to send messages.

Lars: Yes, that's correct. Also, I think it was in December, 2020, yes, December, 2020, they announced some new rules. According to Facebook, it was about privacy rules, but it really didn't make much sense. We had to rebuild all our bots, and then, I think it was in the end of January or February 2021, they pushed back the rules, so we could rebuild, rebuilding our bots again. That's the power of the big company.

Peter: When talking about selling on the Facebook Messenger, how important is it that you have your webshop connected with the Messenger bot? You already mentioned that ManyChat connects to Shopify, but if I have my own CMS, I know that's generally not the best idea, but should I look into Messenger bots if I know that I cannot able to connect my webshop with them or not?

Lars: I think it's tricky. If you have your own CMS system, it's really difficult to degenerate sales in an automated way with Messenger bots. I think Messenger bots could work as well for you, but probably in a different way. Let's say, use it to get some traffic to your shop, use it to generate email addresses, which you could use for email automation, stuff like that. Otherwise, I think it's really difficult to connect a Messenger bot with your own CMS system.

Peter: Okay. On the other hand, when we talk about bots, there are others next to the Facebook Messenger. For example, HubSpot is very big with pushing their own. Do you have any experience with them, and comparing them with Facebook Messenger, which one's better? Why?

Lars: Yes, there are a lot of chat possibilities, of course. The big e-commerce sites are building their own chatbots as well. I think it's not new, but it's not that embraced by the audience at the moment. I think there will be a lot of developments ongoing for the next months and even years on chatbots. I haven't had some experience with the HubSpot bots, for example. The reason that we are purely focusing on Messenger bots at the moment is because of the integration with Facebook. When we are using the Messenger bots on Facebook, we could get all the name, the profile location, and stuff like that, the telephone number, email address, through the Facebook API, which basically means that, as soon as you send a message to my page, my page could reply with, "Hi, Peter. Is it true that this is your email address?" You basically just have to tap the email address that the Messenger bot is showing because it pulled it out of your Facebook profile in the Facebook API.

That's really good benefit for using Facebook Messenger, but it makes sense. Let's say that the popularity of Facebook will decline even more, I could say. That would have some impact on Messenger bots, of course.

Peter: We'll see that in the future what happens with that. I think that's it. We're on our 15-minute mark. Lars, where can people find you if they would like to talk about Facebook Messengers or any other marketing on the internet?

Lars: I think Twitter is the best way to go forward. My Twitter [unintelligible 00:16:25] my name, Lars Maat. I think it will be also available in the comments and stuff like that on [unintelligible 00:16:33] will be shown.

Peter: True. Lars, thank you very much for being on the podcast and talking about Facebook Messenger.

Lars: Yes, thanks for having me.

Peter: Have a great day and go enjoy-

Lars: The bad weather? [laughs]

Peter: -the bad weather. Thank you. Bye-bye.

Lars: Thank you for your time. Bye-bye.

May 2021

#37 Lea Scudamore - Digital Accessibility and Compliance Essential for users, good 4 SEO

Another presentation from the Brighton SEO conference on a topic that is really new, but important for every website owner. Website accessibility is a hot topic because lawmakers all around the world are writing laws that require you to make your website accessible to people with different disabilities. Luckily, a lot of the things that you have to do will have a positive impact on your SEO.

Lea is an SEO expert and understands the link between those two. You can find her on Linkedin, Twitter or on the company website.

Here is the transcript of the recording:

Hello, and welcome to the Time for Marketing podcast, the podcast that brings you the best marketing conference speakers and makes them sum up their presentation in five minutes. My name is Peter, and I'll be your podcast's host. This is episode number 37, and if this is your first time you're listening, please go back in the library and find the excellent guests that we had in the past, that I had in the past. There's some gold in there, because I try to find people who have evergreen content. There are excellent episodes back there. If you have other people that you can promote the podcast to, I'll be glad if you do that. I'm very glad that I have today's guest on the podcast. Lea, hello, and welcome to the podcast.

Lea: Hi, thanks for having me.

Peter: How is Lake Superior?

Lea: It's gorgeous, as always, deep blue and angry. [laughs]

Peter: Me and Lea, we talked before, and I'm very intrigued by the name of the lake at which she has the office. She was kind enough to show the lake view from her office. Lea, you are the SEO analyst at Aimclear in Minnesota US. What are you as a company, and what do you do there?

Lea: We are a digital agency company, award-winning. We love our US search awards. We do everything from web development to paid and, of course, SEO, like I do. Then also with SEO, we roll in accessibility and work between the teams to make sure that we're checking things like contrast and all text and all the things from the ad side to the web dev side.

Peter: For you personally, why SEO?

Lea: SEO I fell in love with almost 20 years ago. I worked for a company that built websites for dealerships that sold power sports. I just really fell in love with the idea of helping those small business owners get found and sell product. When I figured out how to move the needle, it was really exciting. Then I started leading a team, and that's what we did. Then after that Aimclear was the next big challenge because I wanted to see what else I could do, so applied it and here I am.

Peter: What do you do in Aimclear? What are the things that you do daily, and what are your favorite things to do?

Lea: I do SEO. SEO. [laughs] I also work with accessibility to make sure that the stuff we put out is accessible to as many people as we can. That's what I spend most of my day doing. I really love it when we have a site that is not performing come in, and I get to take it by the reins and make it show up and help meet goals, sell stuff, find dealers, or find leads, and that sort of thing.

Peter: Excellent. I invited you to the podcast because you had a presentation at Brighton SEO, probably my favorite marketing conference. The presentation was called Digital Accessibility and Compliance: Essential for Users and Good for SEO. Why accessibility?

Lea: Why have I chosen to go down the accessibility route?

Peter: Yes.

Lea: Oh. Short story is, I had a really good friend that was diagnosed with ALS which is a neurodegenerative disorder that takes your ability to speak and use your arms and things like that. It's horrible. While we were helping her sell her house and move her mom into assisted living and then help her find a place to live, she'd stopped communicating with us. It was because things like Facebook's Messenger doesn't rotate, and things like, Twitter doesn't rotate. She couldn't communicate back and forth in the text messages the way we used to do it.

I was really frustrated when I wasn't being communicated back to, and I was trying to help her with things, and then realize that it wasn't her, it was the software, or it was the phone, or whatever. For whatever reason, once it was mounted on her wheelchair and it was mounted at horizontal so that the fonts were big enough to read, literally things wouldn't rotate. That was the starting point. Then, from there, I realized how important SEO actually is to accessibility and how they are siblings. They're brother and sister, and you need one for the other, and vice versa.

Peter: A lot of basics SEO stuff is actually also a lot of basic accessibility stuff, right?

Lea: Yes. If you actually look at core web vitals, it's accessibility. If you go through the pieces of core web vitals and what they're asking us to do and how search console is notifying us, "Hey, this is too close together." These are accessibility elements right at their core. Google might call it something different, but that's what it is, and you can see it.

Peter: Lea's presentation is going to get you to be in line with your local laws. It's going to help more people see you. It's going to help you be in line with Google. It's going to help you with web vitals and all of the updates that come. Whatever Lea says, has to be gold for you.

Lea: I just want to open everybody's eyes because a lot SEOs thinks the elements aren't as important as they really, really are.

Peter: With no further ado, here are your five minutes.

Lea: My main goal is to change the perception so that SEOs and developers and designers and content creators start thinking that accessibility is about people, because a lot of times we get hung up on- they're not our customers, and that's not the truth, they have wallets, so they're your customers. We need to make sure that we're thinking about accessibility because if we're States side, we're talking about one in five people need accessibility when they're using the web. If you talking about the UK side, we're talking about 22%, which is a little bit more. There's one in five people need your site or need your app to be accessible, so that they can use it easily.

Accessibility is really important because it bridges the gaps between physical disability like location, but also socioeconomic status, education, language, gender, and so many more things they can-- The list is endless. Accessibility, it focuses on people with disabilities or that have a disability, but it greatly benefits everybody around us, including our aging parents. It's really important that everybody thinks about accessibility as empowering users to use your stuff. Use your app, use your website.

When we go through, and we talk about accessibility, and everybody's working to get their website to revolve around core web vitals and getting your site up to speed and making it fast and nimble, without considering accessibility, you're ignoring 10% to 15% of the global population, and in an age when we're all responsible for making money or hitting that bottom line, why would you just automatically cut off that many people? It doesn't make any sense. Since we're all in the process of meeting the core web vitals, and making sure that we don't miss any of those potential sales, because we're not ranking well, it's the same thing as working accessibility into your websites.

There's basically five things to look at. If you haven't started a web accessibility site or information on your site, start by making yourself an accessibility statement and just owning up to the fact that you haven't gotten there. Make sure that you do some tests. Just try tabbing through your website and make sure you can do all the things on your website, like make a purchase, contact fuzz form, things like that. Whatever the main goals of your site or app are, see if you can do it with just having. Then, when you get down into that stuff, go use your site on your mobile.

A lot of people test, test, test on their desktop, but they don't actually take their site outside and see if it's really easy to see during a sunny day, or make sure that everything's easy to click on and nothing's too small, or nothing like a pop-up as the X isn't off the screen. There's little things like that you can do. Probably the biggest thing is having people with disabilities at your table when you're making the plan. That is the biggest thing I need to advocate for because we as a group, SEOs, we don't know all the things that actually need to be done, and having people that need the assistive technology or need these elements put in place, having them at the table during the planning stage is imperative.

Peter: That's it. Excellent.

Lea: That's it. That's the big one. Those are the big things.

Peter: How do we get people to our table, people that can tell us how they practically are using our website? I get the idea. You've done this a couple of times. What's the most practical way to do it?

Lea: It literally depends on what your budget is. [laughs] As everything, right? You can hire within, hire people within to do testing and to work on your dev team, or work in your SEO team, you can do that. There are resources out there, there are companies out there that they have testing available, and it's beyond the computer. Anything that gives you a badge just because a computer tested it, said you're good to go, even the WAVE tool, which is created by the W3C, which is leading the charge and accessibility.

Even if you have that, those badges really don't do anything if they don't have individual people testing in the background. Look into companies that offer accessibility testing with live humans that are going to go through your site. That'd be beautiful.

Peter: When should we involve them? Should that be when we start thinking about new web page, when we start developing it, or graphics, wireframes? What is the best time to do that?

Lea: Right at the beginning, because they're going to have tips for you to help you get started on the right foot, because you can go through the whole website and build it all out, and every website goes over timeline. It just does. There's always something like, "Oh, we forgot to tell you we needed a whole blog system," or, "Oh, we forgot this," or, "Oh, you know what? We really, really want it." We get those comments after things are already built, right? I can see you. Every SEO or dev person right now is calm faced, right? They all have had that experience.

Having them at the beginning is really important because retrofitting rarely works. It gets really expensive, and at the end of the day, you most of the time end up scrapping the whole thing and starting over. Yes, start planning from the beginning and test, test, test all the way through.

Peter: I feel that if I want to have a very accessible web page, I have to put aside all of the great ideas that my developer had, how we're going to have a unique website. I have to have the F structure and everything has to be squared, and colors have to be four different. How do you answer that?

Lea: I'm not a dev, I'm definitely an SEO. I can read enough code to be dangerous and a lot of times be like, "It's broken somewhere right here." Our designers, they think about accessibility and color right from the beginning. When I see a design idea or the first mock-up, that's the first thing out of my mouth is, "Is it accessible, are all the contrasts?" Then I'll look at the colors and we'll test them because the math.

A really good tip right off the bat is go look at your website. If you have gray font on a white background, people that have glasses have a hard time reading that on their mobile phone. Skipping gray font, gray font is font spam, and it isn't a good experience for anybody. Black is best. If you're doing a black background, white font is best. Make sure that that contrast is there so that it's very easy to read. From the beginning onward, you can still do really beautiful sites. Our designers and developers are doing really beautiful sites that are accessible, because we're starting at the beginning.

Peter: Okay. Yes, probably start at the beginning is the same way. Linking accessibility to SEO. How does that work?

Lea: Okay. Accessibility when you go through the W3's website. The W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium, right? They have the w3.org/wai. WAI, it stands for Web Accessibility Initiative. That part of the website takes you through everything. Accessibility is related to alt text, because if you have really great alt text that actually explains the image or the reason for the image, that also helps with search. We know that. We know that if you do alt text that images help. We know that Google is moving more and more and more towards image in the SERPs.

Because we're doing more and more images in the SERPs, we need to make sure that those images are relevant to the content. You can do beautiful design elements, but then we just mark them as an alt. The things that would rank it would be make sense and ask yourself, "Are my users searching an image search for this content or for this information?" Then make sure that your alt text is relevant to what they were likely searching. That's one.

Accessibility relates to SEO through headlines. A lot of people, there's a lot of websites out there, where they think that H1 is just to make big, pretty font, and so there's multiple H1s on the homepage. abc.go, the ABC News station's website, that entire homepage is nothing but H1s because it's just--

Peter: It's good for SEO.

Lea: It's not. [laughs] It's not. It's really horrible for people that are going through and doing the use kit. My computer, I have set up to go headline to headline. People using their keyboard to navigate versus a mouse, because, say, they have low vision or no vision, then they will do Ctrl and H for next headline and they will pop through and listen to the headlines to get to the story they want to listen to or read. Those headlines, if they're in improper order, they're sending people all over. It doesn't make any sense and they're going to bounce off your site.

Again, remember, it's one in five, need accessibility. You're really limiting the number of people to your site. Those are just a couple of the ways that it is related, but they're pretty big ways.

Peter: Very important. I'm really happy when I get people talk about things that I haven't really thought about, talked about.

Lea: Thought about? Yes.

Peter: Yes, that word. Getting something new to the podcast is great. Lea, thank you very much for that. If people want to talk to you about accessibility or SEO, where can they find you?

Lea: You can hop onto aimclear.com and reach out through the Contact Us form and they'll connect us. That's probably the easiest way. Otherwise, you can find me on Twitter, Lea Scudamore. Just no H on Lea, it's just L-E-A. Three letters, really easy.

Peter: I'll add that into the show notes so people can find you there.

Lea: Yes, so you can find me there, too.

Peter: All right, excellent. Lea, thank you very much. Do you ever go and swim in the Lake Superior, and does that make you superior?

Lea: It doesn't make me superior, but it is a great time.

Peter: I'll do that once.

Lea: Yes, please. Please come. Please come to Duluth and come hang out at the lake with us. Come in mid-to-late June, beginning of July, because we're still talking snow here right now.

Peter: See, this is why I was yesterday at the Croatian seaside where we had 20 degrees Celsius. We were almost able to go to the sea, but in shorts and stuff. This is why we go to Croatia. Croatia is great. We're just rambling, I'm rambling. Lea, thank you very much to be in the podcast. Have a great Monday.

Lea: You, too. Thank you so much.

Peter: Bye-bye.

Lea: Bye.

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