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Unprepared Ep 19 - SEO and Content Strategies for New Online Store Owners with Rhian Beutler

Timestamps:

[00:00] - Intro
[00:12] - The albums behind Chase
[00:37] - Chase’s first time revelation of his band
[00:46] - Rhian explaining venntov, her company
[01:16] - What app is venntov known for?
[02:00] - What can I do to help my ecommerce store?
[02:36] - Discussion about Google’s core algorithm update
[03:27] - SEO is always changing for the better
[04:01] - SEO principle: Answering your audience’s questions
[04:41] - Google - focus on the quality of your content
[05:00] - How Google determines if your content is good
[06:21] - Google is also prioritizing new/latest content
[06:37] - The easiest ways to have fresh content
[07:18] - Collaborate with other businesses for marketing
[07:52] - The “Drake’s hit songs” analogy
[08:26] - Content quality doesn’t matter in the beginning
[09:00] - venntov has something in the works for SEO Manager
[09:27] - Where to find Rhian and venntov

Key Points:

  • There is large demand for venntov’s Order Lookup app which is a telltale sign that merchants are looking for shipping solutions.

  • Facebook ads are inexpensive right now. Find a way to integrate that to your marketing arsenal.

  • Make sure that your website/online store is optimized for search engines.

  • Last May, Google released its core algorithm update.

  • One of the reasons for Google’s core algorithm update are the people who are “gamifying” and are doing black-hat tactics in optimization. Google wants everybody to have equal opportunities for all.

  • Because of the last few updates to the algorithm, search is now driven by organic content.

  • The best question to ask in terms of SEO: Is your store answering the questions that your audience is looking for?

  • Determine if the content you publish gives something to your customers: value, trust, entertainment, etc.

  • Google themselves said that to be optimized and to be top ranking, you need to focus on content.

  • Google knows if your content is good based on the time people spend on your site.

  • If people spend time on your content, then it must be trustworthy or it must be giving the visitors value.

  • Google’s algorithm likes it if you constantly update your content. Google thinks that if you constantly update and improve your website, then it must be a trustworthy source because you care about the accuracy of your content.

  • Google announced that it will do more to prioritize new content.

  • Blogs are the easiest way to always have fresh content.

  • The best way to have content for your blog is just to ramble about your product. What you would tell someone asking about your product personally, just write it down.

  • Work with other people in your niche, but not necessarily your competitors, to co-market all your products. It's beneficial for your business individually and it helps all your content to be deemed relevant by the algorithm.

  • Content is a long-term, ongoing strategy. The more you do it, the more refined your content will be. And eventually, you’ll hit your target audience.

 

Transcript:

Chase Clymer  

Alright, everybody. I think everything's recording. Welcome back to another episode of Unprepared. I guess this will be the first time I'll quickly say that I'm going to keep this video format of the small content going. 

I've heard a lot of people really like it. A lot of people also want to know what albums are behind me and my guest today actually pointed one out. Rhian, welcome to show. What album did you see?

Rhian Beutler  

I saw Saves The Day - Through Being Cool?

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. Hey, I'll move. I'll move. 

Rhian Beutler  

Blink 182... Oh my gosh! My vision is terrible. Is that another Saves The Day album? And is that a Seaway album? 

Chase Clymer  

Story So Far, Blink 182. Taking Back Sunday, Saves the day. And then 2 of those albums are my band that I was in called City Lights. That's the first time I've ever admitted on-air what band I was in? 

Anyways, I've used up too much time. This is all about you. So you are the founder, the app engineer. What do you want to call yourself over there at venntov?

Rhian Beutler  

I think we call ourselves “app developers” now. We used to be in the agency game for a long time when we started Shopify Partners, we did agency work. 

And then we did app dev work. And then we realized we wanted to focus on app development in 2015. And we just pivoted to a total SaaS model. and it's just been going forward ever since.

Chase Clymer  

Just doing the damn thing.

Rhian Beutler  

Just doing the thing. (laughs)

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. Awesome. So what's your what's what's the app that you guys are known for in the ecosystem?

Rhian Beutler  

What we consider our flagship app is SEO Manager. But what we're noticing right now is that we're having a really high adoption of Order Lookup app. 

And we've never seen an adoption like that before which says to me that merchants are really looking for shipping solutions right now. And there's no one size fits all for them. So yeah. it's awesome. 

We're getting like loads of great reviews, and people are reaching out to us being like, "Oh my gosh! where was this app a year ago?" And I was like, "Yes, it was in the App Store." But it's been an interesting move for us. So both of those.

Chase Clymer  

Well, my general audience, I would say, is small to medium-sized Ecommerce businesses. So what I'd like to do in these 10 minutes is, what can I be doing right now that's going to impact my small business? My Ecommerce store, what can I be doing?

Rhian Beutler  

Absolutely. Well right now, I will say, I don't know much about Facebook ads. I know Chase knows a lot more about them, so talk to him. 

But I do know that Facebook ads right now are very inexpensive and should be looked at, optimized, and utilized. Also making sure that your store is optimized. 

So when you're spending all that money for people to drive traffic to your store, they're getting to a SEO optimized store. And actually, on May 4, Google just released their last broad algorithm core update. They do this ever so often. This is par for the course.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. They throw these curveballs at "SEO-ers", search engine optimizers, essentially. But it is for the greater good. 

Rhian Beutler  

Yes. 

Chase Clymer  

So it's usually, at least for my uninformed perspective... I would, in no means say like, I'm a search engine optimination specialist.

Rhian Beutler  

(laughs)

Chase Clymer  

[I] ruined that word. I would say that the bigger changes that they make to the algorithm are because people are gamifying, or even going more black hat with some of these things. 

Rhian Beutler  

Yeah.

Chase Clymer  

They're like, "No, no, no. That's not what we want. We want this to be fair for everybody." Except if it's a Google product, that's always number one. 

Rhian Beutler  

Right. Always. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah.

Rhian Beutler  

Always. Yeah, I think as SEO 5 years ago is way different than SEO now. And what really changed the game was this algorithm update called Hummingbird which changed the nature of SEO in terms of you can't just stuff a bunch of keywords and things are going to work for you. 

Now, search is really driven by organic content like "Is your store answering a question or serving an audience that people are searching?" If that makes sense. Are you answering a question?

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. It makes sense to me. I think that oftentimes people don't understand that in Ecommerce, your product needs to be solving a problem. And people are usually googling that problem. 

Rhian Beutler  

Yeah.

Chase Clymer  

And that, in a nutshell, is how you SEO.

Rhian Beutler  

Absolutely. And especially with... It's called BERT and then there's Rankbrain and it's like all this fancy AI, machine learning, neural matching stuff. But it really just distills down to [the question] “Does the content on your store provide a [solution] for what people are looking for?” Point blank. Period. 

And even in the most recent documentation sent out from Google Search liaison. They said, "Focus on content." If you focus on content, you're going to produce the content that we're looking for. If you try to blackhat it, it's not going to work.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. And it's [one of] a few things that I've noticed with producing content that people don't think about. And it's like "How will Google know about this content, if it's good or not?" It's like, alright. 

If the time on your site goes up because you've produced a good piece of content, Google will see that and they're like, "Oh, people are spending more time on this page reading this. It's probably good content." So then you're gonna go up in the rankings. Another one is... Lost my train of thought. I was gonna say something about videos.

Rhian Beutler  

Oh, that's okay. But you're right, because it shows you're trustworthy. 

Chase Clymer  

Yep. 

Rhian Beutler  

Right? There's something of value to be found. Like, why else would people be coming to your website or to your store, and spending 5 minutes, and then clicking through a bunch of things and not just bouncing from that one page. That's what Google wants to see. 

They don't want to see someone bouncing off of your homepage in 2 seconds.

Chase Clymer  

I got it. It came back to me. So another thing that Google likes to see is that your website is constantly being updated. 

Rhian Beutler  

100%

Chase Clymer  

If your website hasn't been updated once in the last year, Google knows, because it indexes it every other week, usually. So when it's like, "Oh. This has been updated once a week, methodically for the last year." They're like, "These guys are constantly improving their website. This is a trustworthy source."

Rhian Beutler  

Absolutely. And there's actually the ability to filter by date. And that's going to... Google announced, I want to say... Time is a construct right now. I want to say it was 6 months ago, but it could have been a year ago.

Chase Clymer  

(laughs) Could have been 6 days. Who knows?

Rhian Beutler  

Who's to say? A while ago, Google said they're going to really, really start prioritizing new content. And it's crucial. And a blog is the easiest way because if you have a fixed product... If you have that 1 flagship product in 3 colorways, well you're not going to update that all that often. But you can update your blog content every week, once a week. 

Chase Clymer  

That's the one thing. People are like, "Well, I only have one product. How do I write blogs about it?" And it's like, "Well, let me flip it the script. Tell me about your product." And within 5 minutes, you're going to be rambling about things that are nowhere on your website. 

Rhian Beutler  

Exactly.

Chase Clymer  

Where's the best way to put that? Put it in your blog. Oh, your product is great for Mother's Day gifts? That should have been in your blog. You should have had a whole series about that and what it could pair with. Right there. Easy blog entry.

Rhian Beutler  

Exactly. And if you are that flagship product and you really only have that 1 or even, say, sub 10 products, working on partnering and doing co-marketing with other merchants, either in your vertical but who don't directly compete. 

Like, if you sell hoodies, work with a denim company or work with, I don't know, a plant company, or work with whomever to provide these blogs and co-marketing opportunities. 

And I think people try to get in their heads too much about blogs and [be] like "I just can't do this. When in reality, it's like, "Well as long as they're not competing with me, it's an opportunity."

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. I saw something the other day, I will try to find this tweet and I'll try to put it in the show notes. But essentially, it was like, people write 1 or 2 blogs and it won't move the needle and then compared it to people's --how many-- #1 hits they had on their albums. 

It's like, "Oh. Drake put out 138 songs and only 23 of them hit #1." It's like, "Yeah." Content is a long term game. You gotta keep doing it. 

Rhian Beutler  

Yes. 

Chase Clymer  

The first ones are probably going to be terrible. But eventually you'll start to hit things that people start to respond to. And that's what it is. So you just gotta keep on top of it.

Rhian Beutler  

Yeah. I think we get in our heads a lot when it comes to writing and we try to be perfect, And it's not about being perfect. It's like shipping software. Good software is never finished. Good writing is never done. It's never gonna be perfectly edited. 

And guess what, if you're not a great writer, no one cares. The Internet doesn't care. The Internet reads at grade 5, grade 6 Like you don't need to be writing New York Times level content. You just don't.

Chase Clymer  

What's the old adage? If your product is perfect, when you shipped it, you've taken too long?

Rhian Beutler  

Yeah. 100%. 100%

Chase Clymer  

Do you have some inside baseball there? Have you guys shipped a feature recently that was like, "This is gobbledygook, but we need it out."

Rhian Beutler  

Um, no. Right now, we're just... We're working on scaling databases right now because we have some stuff in the works for SEO Manager. 

Chase Clymer  

Cool. 

Rhian Beutler  

But we had to do some database work first to make sure we could support it, but it's going to be pretty epic.

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. So [if] people are picking up what you're putting down, where can they find you?

Rhian Beutler  

They can find us at venntov.com. In the App Store: SEO Manager, Order Lookup, ClockedIn or me personally on Twitter @rhiankatie.

Chase Clymer  

Thank you so much.

Rhian Beutler  

Of course.

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A few weeks ago the world changed forever. Every business, every entrepreneur, every single person was unprepared for the sudden change we'd all experience. I'm going to use this time to create content focused on what you can do right now to help your business grow. We're all in this together, we're all unprepared.