Sam Sayer is joined once again by Chris Anderson, SEO expert from Springhill Marketing to discuss the importance of content within SEO.


0:27- How do you approach content creation?

1:56- SEO content strategy and the importance of landing pages.

5:53- SEO strategies for blog content.

12:45- The importance of understanding the target audience and their needs when creating content.

14.18- The value of creating customer personas.

15:42- The need to separate website navigation and pages.

18:49- The importance of preserving valuable content and missed traffic opportunities.

22:30- The Benefits of Case Studies for SEO.


Sam Sayer 0:07

Mr. Anderson, we meet again.

Chris Anderson 0:10

Mr. Sayer. It’s always a pleasure.

Sam Sayer 0:12

Indeed, mate. Indeed. So we’re on our journey on our SEO journey. And I mean, this next topic we could go on. This could be a whole series in itself. So we’ve talked about overall strategy, we’ve talked about keyword research, the biggie content.

So I’m just going to start with a bit of an overview of how I approach things we are really keen to hear and I’m sure our, our screaming fans will love to know more about how we approach this. And you know, what, the top tips. So we’ve all heard these phrases, content is king. You know, it’s long been known that building content is good for your, for your website, SEO, for your business, ultimately. And I’ve, I’ve always pushed that, and particularly more so having seen Marcus Sheridan, who came up with and drove the concept of you ask that aside, they ask you answer, which is all about building content around answering questions, you know, people don’t want to be sold to, they want to be heard, and they want to be answered, you know, the information, you know, don’t feel empowered by it. So, as part of our process, regular questions we get in, become FAQs, or indeed become a blog article, you know how to do this, how to do that. And that’s been really powerful for us in terms of a reference point. But I suppose it’s more around. Well, how’s that gonna help you? So how’s it gonna help with SEO on your website? Over to you. Chris Anderson 1:56 Okay, huge, huge topic. There’s so much that we can talk about on this. So we need to be a little bit careful that we’re

Sam Sayer 2:05

Yeah, I think let’s keep it on, you know, on site content, because there’s, you know, there’s all kinds of different content, right. So, yeah, on site content, although that’s

Chris Anderson 2:14

Okay. So, from an SEO perspective, the main thing that I’d want to say is that it’s very easy to create content for a website where it’s bloody hard to write content and produce good content for a website. But it’s really easy to create content that Google doesn’t love. And the assumption is by lots of website owners is that as long as they’re creating content, that somebody somewhere will like it, and for that reason, is going to be useful for SEO, and Google will like it. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. There’s so much content out there now that you really do need to have a plan when you’re producing content, if you want that content to be a part of your SEO strategy in your SEO wins.

So the place to start when producing content and it kind of, It matters, what content we’re producing. So let’s cover this quickly. From an SEO perspective, there’s content that leads to an inquiry or a sale or transactional search that leads to a page, which is the answer to that search. So we would generally call these landing pages.

And then we have supporting content, which is the type of content that people still they’re searching for, and they’re finding it but it gives them an answer to the question or educates them on something, rather than that search being something that will lead to a service or an inquiry or a sale or a signup, okay? Now, they’re both as important as each other, but they definitely play different roles from an SEO perspective, the landing pages or pages that are produced, like I said, these trans transactional searches that end on a visit to a page that will lead to that end goal for a website, which might be sign up for this download, so and so fill out our contact form by a widget. Okay? Now, that’s all good. And you have to produce those pages and you need to produce pages that are going to be specific to the types of searches that people make. And often, you’ll need to create different pages for different searches is generally not good enough for you to have a single page that kind of suits for all of these searches. Okay,

Sam Sayer 4:55

Right, sure. Can I just say it might be useful to have a bit the context of how we’ve approached it. So we have a landing page called web design, Kettering, which is all engineered around those search phrases, right. But then we also build a lot of, we’ve got a blog on how to build a great landing page. How to write your value proposition, that was things we get asked all the time. So we’ve got, you know, there’s, there’s the useful content, then there’s the hard working content. And I suppose it’s finding that sweet balance, right?

Chris Anderson 5:29

Yeah so, your web design Kettering page is the page that people within that location are searching, and they’ll find that page, and then they’ll contact you for to speak about your services. Whereas your blog content or your articles and things like that, they’re the type of content that helps people to learn about the types of topics that you’re covering. Now, it’s really obvious what those landing pages do. But in terms of blog, or helpful content. I think a lot of website owners tend to assume that that’s there just to show Google that their website is still alive. And it ticks that box of fresh content, which is honestly just a bit of a huge myth in the SEO world. And it costs around that. And people started to believe that you have to just keep posting content, because it tells Google that you’re still relevant. And without posting regular content, you’re effectively dead in the water. But in reality, that’s just not the case. And Google hates that kind of idea. Because Google doesn’t want endless stream of dull content, what Google really, really wants is the best content possible to it in response to a particular search that somebody has made.

Sam Sayer 6:52

So it’s specialisms, right sorry to just jump in, so yeah, it’s going back to our previous conversation about keyword research. It’s all stems from your audience. So, you know, we’ve we kind of think when I’ve come up with content is right, who’s it for? Who’s gonna read it? What’s their niche? What’s their categories? Their sector?

Chris Anderson 7:15

Yeah, yeah, you need, you need to do all of that before you start putting pencil to paper, right. And a lot of people don’t do that. Because it takes a lot of work. It takes research, you have to consider your audience but avatars in place, think about their pains and their needs, their questions and things like that. But when you bother to do that, and when you learn how to do that really well, then you can start producing content that answers those needs, those wants those questions. And, and that’s what Google likes, because it because it can show that content for that particular search.

When your helpful content starts to get some traffic and starts to get some love from Google, and also around the internet, people think it’s, it’s a useful piece of content, and they reference it, the authority for that particular blog, or that particular article starts to grow, because it’s, it’s getting the love on the internet, then you can use that authority to build up the general authority, have the website and reference it and link it to those landing pages that you want to be shared. It shares that link juice, it shares that authority with the rest of your website.

Sam Sayer 8:30

Link juice, ooooo that’s a good phrase. Google Juice

Chris Anderson 8:33

Just been trademarked apparently. Not by me.

Sam Sayer 8:39

Okay, so I know we’ve talked about on-site content. And I guess this is not necessarily an SEO thing, I don’t know, you can probably tell me more. So a lot of what we do as well is produce content to then post a link to that on LinkedIn, or Facebook, whatever. So again, it’s building out our overall marketing strategy is like, right, we’ve got this, this question that people ask us, let’s make an article about it. We’ll then post that on social media have linked back to this. So we’re taking people from social media to our site. Now, does that benefit your SEO at all?

Chris Anderson 9:13

Yeah, so you need to be a little bit careful with this. You need to be careful that you’re not duplicating your content and distributing it everywhere. You want to own your content and for your website to be the owner of that content. So the best way to do it is to produce content specifically for your website, and separate content that specifically for those different platforms, but they can relate then back to that content. So for instance, if you’re producing a an ultimate guide on something or you produced a really good article on your website, then then don’t just copy that and post that whole article on LinkedIn.

Sam Sayer 9:58

Oh sure. We Just yeah, we’ll write a paragraph about that. But click here to read it.

Chris Anderson 10:03

Yeah, yeah or even better, you record a small video, or something that kind of elevates that one message that you wanted to talk about within that, and then find out more, we’ve produced the EBA, we’ve produced the amazing article that covers all of these types. And then topics excuse me, and then it goes, it goes points back to your website. But again, that’s an extra level of, of effort and work this, these are the things that you need to be doing if you want success. But very few companies do it. So when you do these types of things, you start to win. And people recognise it. Because it’s not just a post, it’s not just a couple of words. See, our most recent blog is what you see a lot. And it’s but it’s not that powerful.

Sam Sayer 10:50

It’s not no, so what I had been doing, and this is a bit lazy, but then, you know, I’m always like, yeah, keep putting stuff out there because you got to play the game and that sense. So I take the first paragraph from my article. And that’s my snippet for social media. But read more. But what I’ve started doing now is rewording that putting my personal spin on that. So again, it’s unique content, is that the right approach?

Chris Anderson 11:16

I’m not a social media expert, however, yeah, I really like what you’re doing there. And, you know, within our own company with our own social media platforms, we’re doing everything we can to try and elevate those social posts as much as possible, it’s really easy to take that first paragraph or that for that first sentence, but it doesn’t have the same impact as it would within an article.

So what what we’re trying to do is, we’ll probably create five different social posts for every blog that we place on our website. And instead of, so we’ll have a post, which promotes the blog in total, here’s that subject, go and find out about it here, right. But it wouldn’t just be a sentence taken directly off the article necessarily, unless it happened to work really, really well. But then we’ll pick out maybe four or five different major points within that article. That might be very on a very specific area. And we’ll use that within the social post that says, here’s an amazing thing that you didn’t know, I bet you have always been blah, blah, blah, whatever it is, okay, we’ll cover it here. So you can really make the most of that single post, because it within a post, let’s say it’s 1000 words. You know, there’s lots of nuggets of amazingness within that article. And it’s doing the article or the post in an injustice just by saying, this is the major topic that will be spoken about.

Sam Sayer 12:44

Sure. Do you know what? I’ve it’s tricky, because there’s different phases of business, right. And early stages, you’re doing everything right, your marketing your accounts, everything else. And this is something I actually put on a poll in LinkedIn quite recently. He’s like, Look, do you want an all in one? Or do you want specialist for me? It’s all specialists in certain things, but there’s always a degree of well, you want to do stuff I quite enjoyed writing. So I’m quite keen on writing blog posts, you know, it’s kind of therapeutic. But then I’ve always got to think of all what’s our goal with this? Who’s our audience? What’s it gonna benefit? Because like you said, it’s no point just posting stuff for the sake of posting it. It’s yes, that bigger plan, right, the big picture.

Chris Anderson 13:26

You always have to think back to your target audience, your target avatar, what do they need? What are their? What are their pains? What are that? What are they after? What people tend to do… It’s such an easy trap to fall within, but that people talk about what they do. And that’s not what that’s not what your audience is after. You have this problem. This is how you fix it. And oh, by the way, we can help you fix that thing. You know. Seems really obvious when you say it like that. But that’s not what people’s focus is. We do this, we do that, you know, and it’s easy, it’s easy to do that.

Sam Sayer 14:04

This is, you know, part of our web discovery process is all about, well, you know, okay, it’s fun about you and your business and what you do. Okay, but who’s your client? What do they want from it? And that’s so crucial. It’s a real turning point, right in that conversation. So,

Chris Anderson 14:18

yeah, these avatars they take a lot of time, a lot of effort, you know, and it’s reasonably easy to put a decent marketing brief together. But then to really define an often your audience will be split up into different avatars, and it can take hours to produce a good avatar. There’s a lot of detail in there. There’s a lot of quite difficult questions that need to be answered. And but when you then have done that work, and then you can look back at this avatar that was produced, it has all the answers. Let’s say we were jumping on to do a video like this or we wanted to produce a blog article for our website, if we didn’t have the inspiration, at that immediate point on what we should what we should be doing jumps directly onto that avatar, and it’s all there. They’re trying to do these things, they’ve got these worries, they’ve got these tasks, they’ve got these, needs and these questions is I will pick one of them.

Sam Sayer 15:22

And hey, look, this is what what this this vlog was born out of right is how, you know, how can we help our customers or prospects? You know, what? What’s going to be useful for them? Can they do it themselves? Is it enough for them to have a go? And then actually, you know, what? Havent got time, i need to speak to experts? And yeah, it’s all of those things. Right?

Chris Anderson 15:41


Sam Sayer 15:42

So okay, so that was, I guess, that’s covered, you know, blogs and articles. Is that the main thing? Or is it? You know, obviously, you’ve got pages with content as well. I’m always keen to recommend that. If you have, you know, if you have seven services, for example, don’t try and push all of them. Pick the couple what’s going to what brings you the most revenue? What’s your bread and butter? And what’s profitable? And try and focus more around them? You know, if that’s going to help you, but is it useful to have, you know, loads of services on one page to fill out a page content? Or have separate pages for separate services?

Chris Anderson 16:21

So from a from a search perspective, the answers in the key words, so if people are looking for a broad service, so talking about the kind of things that we do, if someone’s looking for a digital marketing company, that page needs to cover the whole breadth of those services? If somebody’s looking for a web design company, that main page really should be focusing on on web and not, you know, we do this, we also do this, we also do this. And the same same for what we do, right? If someone’s looking for SEO, then our other services is Google ads. Do we want to be mentioning that? Well, yeah, you could mention it. But really, that’s their focus. So being specific is really important. But that the answers are in the searches. You know, if someone’s searching for digital marketing company, don’t try to sell them. Web Design. Yes. Right on that page. And then the decision is that we that keyword isn’t relevant enough to who we are and what we do so.

Sam Sayer 17:24

So it’s been clear, what’s, what’s the purpose of this page? Yeah. It’s you know, and of course, you write whatever over you’re like, here’s all the things we do, you know, click through to read more.

Chris Anderson 17:35

And the other thing to remember, I think, is, the pages that you serve to Google for a particular search don’t need to be exactly the same pages that you serve to somebody who’s just landing on your website, when you go into your website. So this is this is the concern of a lot of clients when they start on the SEO journey, Oh, you want a page for this? And you want a page for that? And there’s another 15 of those? Well, and they just naturally think, well, how does that sit within our primary menu? Isn’t that going to be bloated? And are you know, isn’t up? And they’re absolutely right, if you were to shove those all within your primary Header Menu, that wouldn’t be useful for anybody. Right?

Take, for instance, location, landing pages, you would never list all of those location landing pages within your primary navigation that shouldn’t be there. They’re not for that audience. You know, they are almost doors to your website. So yeah, separate out what the standard journey would be within a website versus pages that you want to get found when people are searching. They’re not always the same thing. But there’s something Sam Sayer 18:50 Yeah, this is something I find really interesting is, you know, we’re talking with a prospect who’s got a site has been up for years, it’s so many of them are saying, Oh, we’ve got too much content, we need to trim it back. There’s too much. It’s like, no, no, no. Content is good. It’s how you it’s how you arrange it. And then we’ll do we’ll look at their sitemap is like, Okay, what about these 10 pages? Oh, no, they are there for other getting traffic? Yes, they are. You know, it’s kind of it’s all the hidden stuff.

Chris Anderson 19:17

This, this is a big subject. And if I could, if I could send this message to every web based company out there, I think it would really help just search in general, when you’re doing those web pages, you know this because you just mentioned it, but yeah, it’s really easy for a new web design to scrap all of those old pages and go well, they are you know, it’s bloated, it was okay back then. But do we need it and then, and then they kind of strip or strip everything down. They’ve got this new kind of streamlined customer journey, and they get rid of all these other pages. But the fact is if that page is playing a role in SEO, then you don’t want to lose that because chances are Google sending you a lot of traffic, and a lot of opportunity. So, okay, it might not live within your primary navigation menu anymore, it gets moved somewhere else. But don’t take that from Google.

And if you find a page, you think, oh, it’s outdated doesn’t really mean much anymore, then. But if it’s still good for your SEO, then that’s, time that you need to consider about improving that page, rather than just scrapping it. And then just one last thing that we’ve got topical, relevant content. So you might have hundreds of blogs. And if you’re having this redesign of the website, you kind of go well, everything past the last three years is not really relevant anymore. So let’s not even bother migrating those over. But there might be a lot of really good content in there. Which proves to Google that you know, your industry and it covers what is so and so? And how, how do you do this and all these really important things that help your audience and proves to Google that you are an authority within that market? Yeah, just get rid of it. Be very careful with what you’re doing.

Sam Sayer 21:18

Yeah. Do you know what this is very topical, actually, for me, with a client, we’re talking to at the minute. And they’re getting, they’ve got some old blog posts to get masses of hits, but for all the wrong reasons. So what do you do with those pages? Do you? Do you repurpose it? You know, do you make it quite clear, you’ve landed tear this thing? You know, because there’s, you know, they could probably get high bounce rates on them. You know, what do you do with that kind of stuff?

Chris Anderson 21:44

You have to take each blog post, and you have to look at this and understand what you’re getting the traffic for? Is that useful? How can we use that? Could we repurpose the content? Very, very rarely would I say that? There’s bad traffic?

Sam Sayer 22:04

because you never know that what like one thing? Oh, right. Do you do this? Okay. Yeah,

Chris Anderson 22:08

So you can’t have a blanket answer to that. And this is what you should do as a mistake. They kind of go well, all this is old stuff with this isn’t really the top of our priority, let’s get rid of it all. And it can kind of have a negative effect. So unfortunately, this is almost always the answer with SEO, you have to take every single. Yeah, it depends. But also you have to, you have to kind of look at the the minute information for each one of those things and just go through page by page by page.

Sam Sayer 22:39

I’ve got one last point, I think on this very quick question at the end. But the point is, case studies, and I love these for content, because it covers everything. It’s re-engaging with the client, you know, how do we do kind of thing, but also you’re asking and answering questions. So what was the challenge? What was the solution? Also, you can talk about the secretary can talk about the location. So if you work in Birmingham, for example, and you’ve got some loads of case studies about people in Birmingham? You know, is that going to all build into your SEO story for local search?

Chris Anderson 23:14

Yeah so, case studies and projects and job pages, can be really good for SEO. And it depends. But how you do it really will be defined by the type of sector that they’re in the type of company that they’re in. So sometimes, we produce these pages with a very kind of localised approach to it, you know, here’s our Manchester projects, here our London projects here our particular city, town area, nation however. Sometimes then that’s not actually people aren’t searching by location, and instead they’re searching by job size or particular type of client that you worked with. And here are our enterprise projects. He here are our small business projects, whatever it might be, so it changes depending on which industry and the type of website it is, but they can be really really useful. Not even not even getting close to considering the importance when it comes to conversion, and actually to getting traffic to turn into an inquiry or a sale. But even from a search perspective, yeah, really, really important.

Sam Sayer 24:36

Okay, possibly the most important question of this session now. What’s your favourite flavour of crisps?

Chris Anderson 24:45

Probably cheese and onion. I’m not I’m not a huge crisp lover.

Sam Sayer 24:49


Chris Anderson 24:51

Yeah, any Crisps you put infront of me. I’m, if I’m gonna eat crisps, I’m not that fussy.

Sam Sayer 25:01

Spicy Nik Naks for me

Chris Anderson 25:04

Oh dear, we were doing so well.

Sam Sayer 25:07

Food of champions. Excellent. Cool. All right. Well, nice one Chris. We took a bit longer on this one but I think its important content is you know one of the biggest pieces right? But yeah, we’ll look on the future ones of how that will then benefit other parts.

Chris Anderson 25:24

Fantastic. Thanks, Sam

Sam Sayer 25:26

Catch you later, bye