Why Your eCommerce Site Needs a Blog (and How to Get It Right) | Steven Schneider

Today’s Guest Steven Schneider

Meet Steven, the maestro of TrioSEO, where he transforms blogs into leads-generating machines. Previously ruling over a domain of 40 blogs and churning out 400 articles a month to hit 7-figure nirvana, he now joins forces with Connor Gillivan, Nathan Hirsch, and the TrioSEO talents to make content your business's best friend. Together, they're turning the digital world into a customer-catching carnival.

In this episode of the eCommerce Podcast, Matt Edmundson is joined by Steven Schneider, the maestro of Trio SEO, to discuss the importance of blogging for eCommerce sites and share practical strategies for creating content that converts.


  1. Why blogging is still a must for eCommerce sites in 2024
  2. How to approach blogging from a customer's perspective
  3. The power of focusing on bottom-of-funnel content
  4. Strategies for creating a cohesive internal linking structure
  5. Tips for optimising your product pages for SEO success

Key Takeaways:

  • Blogging helps Google understand and rank your eCommerce site by providing context and topical authority
  • Focus on creating bottom-of-funnel content that targets customers who are ready to buy
  • Use a "reverse funnel" approach, starting with bottom-of-funnel content and working up to top-of-funnel topics
  • Aim for 1,500 to 2,000 words per blog post, but prioritise providing value over hitting a specific word count
  • Incorporate video content and embed it in your blog posts to increase engagement and provide additional value
  • Implement a strategic internal linking structure to help Google crawl your site more efficiently and help readers navigate your content
  • Optimise your product pages with relevant FAQs, shipping information, and other details that help customers make informed decisions
  • Steven emphasises the importance of investing in blogging for the long-term success of your eCommerce site, comparing it to saving for retirement – the earlier you start, the better off you'll be.

Whether you're just starting out with blogging or looking to take your content strategy to the next level, this episode is packed with actionable insights and proven strategies for eCommerce success.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn from the experts and start harnessing the power of blogging for your eCommerce site today!

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Matt Edmundson: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the eCommerce Podcast with me, your host, Matt Edmundson. This is a show all about helping you deliver eCommerce wow. And to help us do just that today, I'm chatting with Steven Schneider from Trio SEO about why, you should still have a blog on your eCommerce site and how to get content right on your product pages.

We're getting into all of that kind of stuff. Oh yes. So you want to. Grab your notebooks, you're going to want to grab your pens, I think you're going to be taking a lot of notes from this episode, but of course, if you're listening to this in the car, or you're walking the dog around the park and you don't have said notebook and pen, we've got you covered.

Just head over to ecommercepodcast. net, all of the notes, the links, the transcript, everything will be there. And of course, if you sign up to the newsletter, you'll Then it'll all come to your inbox automatically. You don't even have to go to the website. It just ends up in your inbox, which is a beautiful thing.

So make sure you go ahead and do that. And of course, if you're new to the [00:01:00] show this week, this is your first episode of the eCommerce podcast that you've listened to. It's great to have you with us. My name's Matt and I just love doing the whole podcast thing. It's just, it's such great fun. We get to chat to amazing people like Steven.

We're gonna have a great conversation. So hopefully you enjoy it. And subscribe to the show, join in the community and all that sort of good stuff, but a very warm welcome to you. Now let's chat about Steven, the maestro of Trio SEO, where he transform, transforms? No, he transforms even, blogs into lead generating machines, previously ruling over a domain of 40 blogs and churning out 400 articles a month to hit seven figure Nirvana.

I don't know. I love that. He now joins forces with Connor, Nathan, who has been on the show actually we'll get into that. And the trio SEO talents to make content your business's best friend. Oh yes. Together, they are [00:02:00] turning the digital world into a customer catching carnival. That's a good alliteration.

Steven, welcome to the show, man. Great to have you on. How are we doing? Thanks

Steven Schneider: Thanks, Matt. That's quite the intro to have to carry, just carry my life in buckets and just follow me around wherever I go.

That was the best way to start my morning. If I can get that just as a automatic alarm clock, that's magnificent.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah just take the clip, just turn it into an alarm clock. And why not? And why not? It's funny how you said, this is great for you to start the morning and I'm ending my day. Such is the beauty of time zones and worldwide conversation. But we were talking before we went on air.

You're from London. You're based, I don't know if you're from Seattle, but you're in Seattle, right?

Steven Schneider: Yeah. Just about an hour north. Born and raised. Been here all my life.

Matt Edmundson: Fantastic, which means you're on the other side of the world. Now, if you're regulars to the show will know that last year I took a trip to the US and I took a slight detour. I went over to SubSummit which I'm going to again this year, by the way, if you're going to be at SubSummit, anybody listening, come say how's it'd be great to see you.

But yeah, I [00:03:00] was, I took a sort of slight detour. I went to Oregon. To Astoria, Oregon. So the furthest I've ever been west in the United States the home of the Goonies which is just, you know what, it is famous. The only it's a beautiful part of the world. Claim to fame is the Goonies movie.

And short circuit the film there. I think there's a few others that I can't remember the names of. Oh I think Arnold Schwartzenegger shot a movie there, but it is a beautiful part of the world. I can see why you would wanna live on that side of the of the Americas.

Steven Schneider: Yeah, no, it's a nice little oasis. We only get two months of sunshine a year, but take what we can.

Matt Edmundson: Welcome to England. We don't even get two months. I'm not even sure,

Steven Schneider: Yeah. Hard to complain when you're preaching the choir,

Matt Edmundson: yeah, it's just one of those, right? Oh boy, yeah, that was a little bit sun stunned. I'm looking out the window now. Don't know where it's gone now. Behind a cloud somewhere. So Trio SEO, working with Nathan, what's that

Steven Schneider: it's been great. Yeah we met out of a really random spur of events, just connected through LinkedIn. Small talk led to another as I connected with Connor Gillivan, who's been a long [00:04:00] time SEO. And yeah, we just started talking about each other's backgrounds.

Obviously, I was aware of their free up success. My background in blogging, which we dive into and all this sort of stuff just came serendipitously to the perfect match and started discussing what would it be like to create a blog writing agency, given all of our expertise and just the kind of demand out there and this unmet match between people in the eCommerce space, people in other spaces looking for SEO, but also not really knowing how to, tread into SEO because it is this abyss of unknown territory for people who think it's, Black magic.

Other people think it's out of reach and they think it's just never going to happen for them. So we're trying to take a really simple approach to delivering results and just keeping that our core offer. And it's been working really well.

Matt Edmundson: Fantastic. Now, Nathan Hirscher, dear listeners, you may or may not remember if you're a long time listener, I say long time listener, [00:05:00] he was on a couple months ago, Nathan, and I'd not spoken to Nathan before, I think we'd connected either on Facebook something before he came on the show. And so as I always do before we get to record an episode, I do a little bit of stalking on our guests to find out some information, and I saw that he was friends with Jared Mitchell, who has also been on the eCommerce Podcast and someone who I've become great friends with.

And so when Nathan came on, I'm like we're just going to We're going to get Jared on as well. It was the three of us just chatting. I totally sprung that on everybody. Which was quite good fun. The only time I've ever had a co host on, on the eCommerce Podcast. I'll remember that. And Nathan was a good sport.

Yeah, it was good fun. So let's get into it then. You mentioned you've got a blog writing agency. Can I start off then with a slightly contentious question? Cause I know the answer, but surely blogs are dead, aren't they?

Steven Schneider: We would be out of business if that was the case. So thankfully it's not.

Matt Edmundson: Yep.

Steven Schneider: Yeah, no blogging is far from dead. I think [00:06:00] everyone is up in arms with just how SEO is changing nowadays. The most recent core algorithm update in March which was really targeting, spammy AI content. I think, without a doubt, we're going to see changes in the foreseeable future when it comes to SEO and how content is created and published and ranked, but blogs aren't going anywhere.

Matt Edmundson: yeah. It's interesting you mention, we'll get into blogs and obviously how we do blogs and how your tools and recommendations for that. But I was smiling because at two, what time is it now? It's 4 PM. So an hour and a half ago, I got an email from Neil Patel. It wasn't a direct email.

I'm on Neil's email list, but apparently Neil and Jared Mitchell, who I sprung on Nathan, quite good mates. So maybe we'll get Neil on the show, but he sent an email going through saying Google's March 2024 core updates was a wake up call for many in SEO. Outdated practices and shortcuts don't work anymore.

Join our webinar. To find out why and I thought this is an interesting statement. So what happened in March, 2024? [00:07:00] You mentioned about how Google are now looking for spammy AI articles or they're penalizing you for that, but was that it? Or was there more to it?

Steven Schneider: that was pretty much the gist of it. There's always going to be some minor, tweaks under the hood when it comes to whatever they're changing, but there was a couple of big pillars of what they were trying to shake out and AI content was definitely at the forefront of those pillars.

I think that it's been a long time coming, early on, Google said that they even had difficulty in trying to decipher AI versus non AI and human written content. And even if you look at a lot of the tools available where you can go and I can personally upload an article that I've handwritten myself and it might come back as 99 percent AI.

And these tools nowadays are just not sophisticated enough to decipher good from bad. And a lot of people are saying do you think Google can really decipher good as bad as well? And so up until this point, it had [00:08:00] been this gray area of if you post AI content, be ready for any of the repercussions that might come down the road.

And in March 2024, those repercussions finally came to life. And Google took their best stab at trying to pinpoint sites that, were teetering that line or just flat out abusing it and publishing hundreds, if not thousands of pieces of content and was pretty unrealistic in terms of how content should be produced and just the guidelines around it.

And they were trying to abuse the system, of course. However, double edged sword of that is that sites that are playing by the rules are not creating AI

Matt Edmundson: Yeah.

Steven Schneider: And are actually top tier sites also somewhat got penalized. So of course, it's never going to be a perfect foot however you look at it, but at the end of the day I think that what it shows is that, you can't really just abuse AI and expect that content to rank.

It's going to be looked at differently as it should, people shouldn't be able to post [00:09:00] an article from chat GPT about how to cure cancer and expect that to rank, there still have to be guidelines. Given the niche, given the industry and how people are receiving that content. Cause if you rank on Google, there's a lot of trust that comes from being that top result.

So if you read that content, you have to assume that there's some legitimacy behind it. Yeah, it was a interesting world and SEO kind of landscape for the last month.

Matt Edmundson: I want to get into that, but before I do, let me jump forward slightly and then we'll come back if that's alright. Because we're talking about this topic of AI, and I know, myself included, I have used AI tools to help me generate copy. Yeah. Whether that's, with the podcast, like generating show notes, help me generate show notes, or whether it's things like I don't know, just a bit of copy for the website. I'm sure I'm not the only person that's done that. So are we safe? Because I've not done a thousand articles. I've just done a bit of AI here and there, or should I be in a cold sweat night right now, [00:10:00] rewriting everything that I've done?

Steven Schneider: Yeah. I would say everything in moderation, if you're changing the primary CTA on your hero section of your homepage, You're not going to be slapped on the wrist for that. But, if you're doing a 200 blog article update, and it's equivalent to maybe 100, 000 words of content, you should expect some sort of backlash from that in the event of something happening.

I think that to the degree to which you are choosing to engage is going to dictate the end result. And I would say at the other side of that, your ability to take the original piece of content from AI and edit, improve, match it to your brand tone, match it to your formalities and take it from a, say maybe a six out of 10 and then modify it into a 10 out of 10, which I would hope you do to put it on your site and have some.

All the other things and guidelines attached to it, that's not going to [00:11:00] be an original piece of content, quote unquote, at the end of the day. So if you're strictly just taking it from chat to BT, pasting it onto your site and letting that stand I would say, take it with a grain of salt, that bulk.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah. No fair play. Let's get into it then. I Let's go back to the beginning. I mean you said that blogging is not dead So if I am an e commerce on why I'm an e commerce entrepreneur, we do have a blog so I've got I'm okay I feel like I'm in safe territory Steven if I'm honest with you, but if I wasn't I If I didn't have a blog on my established eCommerce site or if I was starting up a new eCommerce site, why should I think about blogs?

Why should I have one?

Steven Schneider: Yeah. So it's one of my favorite questions. And I think the reason being is that websites and SEO, like I said, it's this unknown, what is it, how does it work? And so the best kind of description I like to tell people is that. If you want your content or your site to rank organically, meaning there's no paid ads on top of it, you're just popping up in the [00:12:00] results, you have to give Google or any other search engine a reason to recognize and understand what your website is about.

So if you have, say, 10 product pages, an about page, a Contact page, and a Home page that's pretty much the cap right there. So Google or the search engine can only understand what you have to offer customers based on that content. And so if you have a blog and you have all of these different articles and they're clustered together in terms of the topics and how they're over interwoven and maybe one builds off of another.

If you picture an iceberg where you have all of this content below the water, so to speak, of your website, and that's what kind of builds out your topical authority and just helps Google and other people recognize, hey, you are an expert, you are credible, you do have this trust in all of the Kind of EAT acronym, which is your experience, expertise, authoritativeness and the trust [00:13:00] built into your site that proves, hey, this brand knows what they're talking about, and we can actually send people to their site with some sort of trust behind that.

Matt Edmundson: So super. So the reason then for me having a blog is really to help Google rank my website to let Google know what's going on. How should I approach my blog then from, I say, a customer's point of view?

Steven Schneider: yeah. Great question. So at True SEO, we take a, what we call as like a BowFu bottom of funnel approach to all of our content. And we start to prioritize your content based on however we can get people who are closest bottom of the funnel engagement to your site. So if it's an eCommerce product, we might talk about like how to guides or maybe it's a versus guide or, A versus B, or it could be all these different things that might help people make that decision or that, click in their head that says, Oh, I'm ready to buy.

Obviously, as you move away from that funnel, there's going to be different levels or [00:14:00] different types of content that kind of work people in. But overall, it adds this cohesive strategy that allows Google and everyone else to understand that, Hey, maybe I need a couple extra minutes to decide, and I'm going to go read this article and bounce back to the product.

And within that entire experience. The readers are still met with CTAs or maybe an accident to have pop ups. So they're still, in touch with the brand and kind of all that process. But at the end of the day, we like to think about blogs and specifically the keywords that we merge within blogs as doors to your website.

So even though an article might go after a primary keyword. Within the outline of the body of that article or that blog, we might add in 15, 20 secondary keywords. And those are then entry points for people to find your website based off FAQs or an H2 heading that could be like what is a blank, et cetera.

So we're trying to always. Pinpoint what people are going to be searching for and then how we can bake that into the blog [00:15:00] experience and just drive traffic to the site. Yeah.

Matt Edmundson: Steven, there's a lot there. Jeez. We'll get into that. So just explain. Some terminology for me if you can. So Bofu, bottom of funnel, what do you mean when you say bottom of funnel?

Steven Schneider: So bottom of funnel, there's, that's going to be the closest people who are ready to buy. So if we look at like top of funnel, these are more of the people who are just doing research, anything of how much does a, XYZ costs, like they might be closer, but they're not ready.

They're just getting their feelers out there. Middle of funnel is going to be people who are in between. So they are closer along. Maybe they're looking for something else to make that decision for them. And then that's that kind of end result. And then bottom of the funnel is if you're looking for something, a product brand name specific with a serial number, like chances are you're looking to buy that on the go, or if you're an eCommerce website, like best articles, like best.

Hiking jacket or best, et cetera. Like they're looking for the [00:16:00] best product and they're ready with their credit card. So in an eCommerce landscape, if you were to curate a roundup of the top 10 best ski jackets, and you were ranked for that organically, Against REI, whoever's out there, good luck.

Chances are you're gonna be getting a lot of traffic and a lot of sales because people are looking for that product. They're already envisioned, they've already gone through all the work and they're just saying, gimme the best product here. I'm bottom funnel means. Bottom of the funnel if you think about conversion tactics like they're ready to convert.

They're ready to go.

Matt Edmundson: So this is interesting because years ago when blogs, not when blogs started out, blogs started out in some respects before eCommerce did, but a while ago when we started doing the blogs in eCommerce, we were always told top of funnel, right? Go and create articles for people, top of funnel, get them onto your website, get their email address, nurture them through your email sequences, and then hopefully you'll buy.

What you said is slightly different to that tactic in the sense of you're writing articles to people who are bottom of funnel, [00:17:00] they are ready to buy which sounds to me like a very deliberate choice. Or are you doing I assume you're doing both is reality is what is happening, Steven, but I've not really heard that distinction before.

In terms of blog writing before, so has that been successful for you guys? And I guess, how did you stumble across this concept?

Steven Schneider: Yeah, so two questions I'll start with the latter. So my background is in kind of the large scale blogging aspect So this is like back when SEO was the Wild West and you can get away with a lot more you know back in the day we had 40 different blogs each in hyper focused niches and We went after all of those bottom funnel keywords because they were affiliate style articles.

So it'd be like best XYZ. We'd post about that. So having that bottom of funnel kind of idea wasn't really new news when we talked about trio SEO because at the end of the day, the other side of that conversation with anybody who's looking to SEO is there's this Kind of double-edged sword dilemma where people want to invest in SEO, they want to have all the benefits of it, [00:18:00] but they also don't wanna wait a year for it.

And SEO is such a game of delayed gratification that when you look at how do you balance those two worlds, you have to say anybody who's in business, regardless of what you're doing. Is ROI focused? Agree. So at the end of the day, you can't be spending 6 to 12 months of someone's time and resources going after the wrong content.

So what we do is we go after high intent keywords that are closely related to ideal customers for that brand. And then outside of that, do a reverse funnel approach. We'll go bottom, middle, top. Because at the end of the day, if SEO is not working and driving results, What's the point? Obviously, you might get backlinks, you might get other leads, but everyone who's engaging in SEO wants the cream of the top organic traffic that leads to more sales.

And so by going from bottom first. That's exactly what you get. And then all of the other kind of topics between middle and top are more of what we call like [00:19:00] solidifying topics. And they bake in the the well roundedness of your site and just help strengthen the inner pieces of it.

Matt Edmundson: Super powerful. So if I'm just looking over here on my shelf because I've actually, cheap plug, we have a brand. Which does Omega 3, right? It's a vegan certified Omega 3. I could wax lyrical about the amazingness of this product, Steven, but I won't, because this is not what this product this podcast is about.

But let's say I'm launching, I've got my website, I sell my Omega 3, I don't really have a blog. Should I then start with something like, the best Omega 3s for vegan and vegetarians that are out there today? And then, I would write a blog post that would obviously contain my Omega 3, as well as, say, the Omega 3 from various different competitors.

Is that what the, these sort of the best of articles are actually about?

Steven Schneider: Yeah. So in that case, yeah it's also a toss up because nobody who wants to mention their competitors on their site and say, Hey, [00:20:00] here's how you direct traffic. So what we can do in that case is, you'd want to shine light on your product, put that first and say, this is why it's the best.

And then you can always. Include that and say, here's are some alternative options and here's where we stand, competitiveness and why this is superior. But on top of that, if you just strictly post that one article and expect that to rank you just, it's not gonna have the same likeliness of success because.

An SEO, the content strategy, you need all of the other pieces of the puzzle in order to bring it to life. And so strictly having that one article doesn't really show Google that you have the credibility to speak on that subject, especially if you're a new website and you have no domain rating.

You don't have any backlinks. You don't have anything that points to your site saying, send people to this website, we trust that what you're offering people is factual, realistic, and comes with authenticity. And so sure. It'd be great to start with that article, but [00:21:00] at the end of the day, you definitely want to add other content.

Maybe it's, what are the benefits of Omega 3s? What are Omega 3? Are there other types of them? What are the downsides? What are the pros and cons? Like all of these. Other pieces of content that when you're reading that guide, you can internally link to other pieces and show people, Hey, if you're unfamiliar with Omega 3s in general, read our ultimate guide on what they are, the benefits of taking supplements like this.

So just like with anything, you'd hope that there's a kind of ultimate sphere of content or a library of content that you can refer to if you're a very basic reader and you need to learn everything under the sun. That's how Google looks at it. If you're trying to be this top tier brand.

You hopefully should know everything about it as well. And so that's the logic behind why more content is always better, but how you produce that content and how it's connected to each other is the core strategy of what kind of brings it all the way.[00:22:00]

Matt Edmundson: So this is this is an important thing actually, because we often say, I get asked a lot, Steven, if I'm going to start an eCommerce business, what product should I sell online? And one of my responses is to show them what I call the product knowledge matrix sorry, the knowledge demand matrix.

This matrix is, how in demand is the product and the other axis is how much do you know about the product? And if you don't know an awful lot, how much can you know about it? Can you learn about this product quite quickly? Because you're going to want to be seen as an expert in this whole thing.

And so presenting that knowledge then to the world, not just to Google, but to your customers, it becomes important. You mentioned then the structure becomes then the strategy of it, so what sort of thing should I be thinking about from a structural point of view? You've just given me 20 titles of a blog post that I could write about Omega 3.

To be fair, we've got them all written thankfully. But say that I'm just, I don't actually know. I'm going to ask Jen who will know, but what sort of things should I be thinking about then from a structural point of view? You've mentioned things like backlinks. You've mentioned things [00:23:00] like internal links, high intent keywords, all these kinds of things.

Where do I start with that? Because it can be a bit bamboozling. Which is a great word actually, bamboozling.

Steven Schneider: I'm going to start using that. Yeah, there's definitely a lot, there's SEO and that's why you know, at least at TrioSEO, we take a really simple approach. We say, Hey, we'll focus on the content. We'll create the strategy for you. We'll do the outlines. We'll write it. We'll publish it.

We upload it as well and make sure that it's a very hands off approach. Alternatively, if you have a team of writers, you can also look at just doing strategy and outlines through us, and then we'll pass that over to you. But like you were saying, when it comes to backlinks, Everyone I think is heard of backlinks, but at the end of the day, it's all about just maintaining partnerships and creating, relationships with people who can offer that trust or that vote of confidence over to your site and link from theirs to yours.

So we always suggest that backlinks are like a passive, out of [00:24:00] sight, out of mind thing that you should be doing regardless. It's very similar to investing in your retirement starting from age 20. If you're a brand new site. You're not going to touch that money for 40 years, 45 years, but you're going to be thankful that you did it at the end of the road.

And so same thing with backlinks. But when it comes to content, the strategy is so difficult to grasp at some degree, because if you don't have the right tools to do the competitor research or perform the gap analysis on your top competitors, You're just throwing darts against the wall in the dark.

And that's scary because there's time and resources that go into all of this. And at the end of the day, if you're coming in this with zero SEO knowledge, and you just know that you need content, FAQs are a great place to start. What are your customers asking you about? How can you help them by creating that content on their site?

And then maybe if one really is popular, expand on that, take that into an ultimate guide and look at what competitors are doing. You can Google any keyword and probably get an article on it and [00:25:00] then take a look at their, the structure of it. What are the headings reading as, what are the subheadings, all that sort of stuff is the outline structure and the psychology that goes into a well rounded article. So there's a lot to unpack, as you said, but I think at the same time, it depends on just taking it slow and coming in with a different set of eyes and looking at it through a different lens. And then as you're reviewing your competitors, you start to see all of these random keywords that you actually just glanced over previously.

They're all baked in a copy. They're baked into headings across the site. I think it just comes in with a trained eye, I guess is a different way to look at it.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah, I can imagine quite, when you look at content, you quite quickly pick up, having done it so long, what's going on. But it's the untrained eye, they look at it and go, I just don't know, I don't know. So the tools then that you mentioned there are various tools out there that I've come across.

Obviously, SEMrush, Ahrefs, these are different pieces of software, which I think are industry standard these days. They all want, 50 [00:26:00] million a month subscription fee. I'm jesting. Obviously, it's not that expensive, these aren't cheap investments, I don't think. Which is why I do think actually, if you're starting out, do look at an agency because the costs of learning and the costs of software, the cost, the barriers to entry are quite high.

And that's before you even think about the expertise and getting them right from sort of day one. I liked your analogy on the pension fund of backlinks. That was quite clever. Um, but tools wise, what is, we mentioned ChatGPT earlier on, should I just forget writing content with ChatGPT altogether and just, should I use it to outline?

Should I, I'm curious where you sit with the whole AI thing. There's like programs I'm just thinking of when we came across SEO Surfer that will go and analyze and write blog posts for you based on information that it's found. I guess where should I not play is a good question.

Steven Schneider: Yeah. So start by saying, I would not suggest writing a full article with [00:27:00] ChatGPT. I think it's a great tool. I think it works great for ideas around FAQs. If you were to say, here's a topic or my brand or my niche and mega threes, for example, give me a set of customer focused FAQs that might be useful to someone learning about Omega 3s.

That's your Chachapiti prompt right there. Switching gears and looking at things like Surfer SEO, great tool. We use SEO Wind, which is a very similar aspect of that. And what it does is it uses AI to analyze the top 10 search results for a given keyword and then scans what headings they're using and then allows you to create an outline based on that.

So you have a competitive edge and you can alleviate having 10 million open tabs trying to sit between all of them and read them and memorize them. So anything to save time on that aspect. We use Ahrefs, as you were mentioning, which is a more data analysis [00:28:00] tool to look at keywords specifically.

But with that, you can look at an average estimated monthly search volume for any keyword. You can also look at the competitiveness of that relative to what's ranking. You take a look at people's backlink profiles. So if you went and looked at a competitor site and saw that they had a bunch of links from someone you never even thought about, maybe it's a different podcast or a publisher, whatever it may be, reach out to them and say, Hey, I noticed you have a podcast and I know that you've talked about mega threes a lot.

I'd love to come on your show and talk about it as well. So just creating those relationship industries, however, you're looking at it. There's a ton of resources out there, but yeah, we kind of stick to the heavy hitting ones, like you said, they are spendy, but when you take a look at the fact that Ahrefs would be impossible, like not having Ahrefs, it's impossible to have our business.

Like the ROI on Ahrefs is pretty successful, in terms of how it's leveraged. Yeah, it really comes down to what you're in need of at that time. But I think if you're a beginner [00:29:00] who's looking to DIY it, SEO wind, Surfer SEO, you can get pretty far with those. But to your point, if you're looking to make SEO a serious investment over.

A six to 12 month plus timeline agency is definitely gonna be best bang for your buck, especially with trio, SEO. Because not only do you not have to learn everything, we have the expertise, we have the infrastructure and system to take it from zero to 10, but at the same time, even if you were to hire an in-house person, it's probably gonna be.

That's going to be two or three times more expensive than an agency. So you have to weigh out your options and see what's best for you.

Matt Edmundson: So I guess then some deep practical questions if I can, Steven. If I'm writing a blog post, how long should it be? I imagine that's quite a common question.

Steven Schneider: it is, yeah. So we usually aim for 1500 to 2000 words with an asterisk on that. And what I mean is that if there's a topic out there that is likely going to exceed that, we're not going to cut out information. If it's a [00:30:00] one off thing, maybe it's like the ultimate A to Z guide on Omega 3s.

I would hope that there's more than 1500 words of information about that. But

Matt Edmundson: Depends

Steven Schneider: devil's advocate, exactly. You also don't want, nobody wants to read a 6, 000 word article. So there has to be this thing where people say you're writing content for Google at that rate. And you're trying to stuff keywords and do all this sort of stuff.

And on the flip side of that, we say not really, because, we understand the logical flow of how someone gets on that page and what information you're looking for. If it's something about, like a off brand thing, we might add in like a TLDR snippet at the top and try to summarize different sections of it because it's.

We can, we just know how people are gonna lose interest over anything over 4, 000 words, even that thousand words. You have to keep that in mind, but yeah, to play rule of thumb, 1, 500 is probably a good ballpark. But don't be afraid to go over or under. I've even ranked articles that are 500 words.

If it's an FAQ don't [00:31:00] expand on it. Like we always like to say, there's nothing worse than trying to find a recipe and having to read 6, 000 words of content about your grandma's historical pastime, making cookies in her kitchen. And it's nah, just give me the recipe. That's what I

Matt Edmundson: Yeah, I guess you are right, yeah. The one of the most annoying things, isn't it, about recipe sites is you have to scroll right down to the bottom just to actually get to the recipe. And you just okay, I understand why you've done it, and I appreciate, you've got to make a living from this, but blimey, can we think about this

Steven Schneider: put the recipe at the top and just put everything else below

Matt Edmundson: please. Yeah, so I guess about 1, 500 words. Should I, how does this work? I feel like I'm getting a lot of free counsel here on Omega 3s, but let's say I want to throw in some video aspects as well. Does could I take my 1500 words, use that as a video script, create a talking head video for YouTube, throw in some nice B roll or whatever add that to the article.

Does that help?

Steven Schneider: Yeah, definitely. So that's where we look at what's called [00:32:00] off page SEO. And so off page is like anything that is outside of your website, but has the intent to point back to your website. So if you posted that content on YouTube and then you embedded that YouTube video in that article, and that would be like a supplementary resource for that reader, that's going to be a great engagement tool, not only for the reader, but it shows Google that, Hey, Your competitors don't have a video on this, like maybe that has value to offer people.

So however you can bake in more value overall is going to be a win at the end of the day.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah. No. Fantastic. Fantastic. So internal linking, just explain what you mean by that and why that's so important.

Steven Schneider: Yeah. So internal linking a great way to visualize that is if you picture a spider web and the center of the spider web that kind of holds everything together, it's going to be your core homepage or like the main page of your content or your site. And then if you picture like each ring [00:33:00] of that spiderweb as it expands out is going to be a content hub or what we call a content cluster.

So maybe if it's Omega 3s, maybe it's about I'm just making stuff up like the history of Omega 3s. And then you can go into all the articles of, where they were discovered, why are they important? How long have they been used? And those are going to be like little string subjects off that.

And then maybe it goes into. Production. How are they made? Where are they made? How often are they produced? How often should you take them? And it goes into all of these different little subcategories. And then once those pieces of content are produced, you start to find keywords within the body of the content that relates to a second article.

So you'd link that article from A to B. And what that helps Google do is crawl your website more efficiently. So if you have a ultimate guide and you're like enjoying this guide, learn more about the history of Omega 3s. History of Omega 3s, quote unquote, would then be linked to a guide about the history of Omega 3s.

And it just helps Google crawl and understand your website [00:34:00] better as it does readers.

Matt Edmundson: And is there, I guess I, as I'm listening to you talk, I'm thinking of a particular website that I know about where there is no real internal linking, but there's 400 blog posts on it. And I'm thinking, Yeah. And how in the world will someone's got to read 400 blog posts to figure out what's being said where, and then have that understanding of the content to then create those internal links based on what's going on.

Is it as old school as that, or is there something out there that can help me create these internal links? Please, God, let there be something that will help me.

Steven Schneider: Yeah. So there are definitely tools out there when it comes into I think Surfer has a tool built in that kind of offers that. I'm old school, so I have always steered away from tools like that because. What I've learned over time is that they're good, but they're not perfect. And so it might offer something that's not the greatest link opportunity, or at the end of the day, they just show you all of them.

And maybe someone actually goes, [00:35:00] yeah, click add all. And maybe that's 15 links. You should only aim for 3-5 internal links. In some cases, they're just not the most optimized. They're getting better. But what we do at Trio is we'll start with all of the content on the site, throw that into what we call an internal linking library, so that all of the writers moving forward then have access to those links and can just crawl that spreadsheet and say, This is what Perfect.

There's a link on this or an article about this. I'm just going to bake that into my content. So that when we go and upload it, it's already there. But to your example, if you have a ton of content on your site that hasn't been internally linked, it's definitely going to be a one time push to get that done.

It's probably going to suck. I don't know. There's just no, no way around it. But at the end of the day, like internal linking is probably one of the more. Underappreciated and overlooked strategies that can move the needle for a site. So if that person had zero internal links across 400 articles and you look back [00:36:00] two months later, they're all perfectly internal linked.

That site's definitely going to benefit from it. It's going to be a big win. But yeah, it's always better to do it in the process while you're doing anything rather than going back and doing it later. It's just, I used to do that and I learned once you got to touch the stove to know it's hot.

That's never going back.

Matt Edmundson: It used to be that I what you see now is you'll see in an article, an internal link on a specific phrase, which I'm assuming is deliberate in the sense that phrase will be a keyword of some point that will rank on Google. It used to be that you would just put tags at the bottom, almost like hashtags on an Instagram post, at the bottom, we're going to put a little tag cloud in and this is about Omega 3s, this one over here is about Vitamin D, and we'll just, we'll tag all these different things at the bottom of it.

Do we still do the tags or are we actually putting the internal links on the text? Sorry to get granular, but I was just curious.

Steven Schneider: Yeah. So the internal linking with the text is like a non negotiable. And what you described is like that keyword being [00:37:00] optimized is you get the nail on the head there. What I usually say is the anchor text or that keyword that you're linking should A. Describe what the other piece of content is about so you can be able to look at that and know exactly what's on the other end.

And it should also match or be close to the primary keyword that you want that piece of content on the other side to rank for. So if it's History of Omega 3s, and that's the keyword you're trying to go for with that second guide, that should be what's linked. But you want to be able to use some variants, you don't want to repeat it over and over again.

To your second question about the tags, it's pretty dated, I would say very, probably a few people are using those cluster clouds like we used to see on the widgets of the sidebar and all that sort of stuff but categories are still a great, very effective way to organize your blog and we always encourage them to because, just people usually see the blog on the footer.

If you have seven or five other categories that are worth reading, we'd put those on your footer, put them somewhere [00:38:00] else and people can just quickly access them. And there's a lot of like tips and tricks you can do to increase the efficiency of your SEO. And so categories is definitely a great way to do that.

Matt Edmundson: If I was if I was thinking then of doing a blog and I have a site, say on a standard eCom platform, I'm going to pick, I'm going to pick on Shopify because it's the one people know about. Yeah. I personally can't tell you if Shopify has an inbuilt blogging platform. I know it didn't have necessarily, and there were some apps that were able to help you do that.

I don't know whether that's still the case, but do I, what software? Out there, if I've got to say a Shopify site, should I go and say this is a great blogging platform that I can use for my eCommerce website, and I'm going to put all my blogs on this, and it'll probably be a, I don't know, blog.

shop. com domain name or something like that. Do, what would you recommend?

Steven Schneider: Yeah. So [00:39:00] Shopify, they have a built in blog. Component. It works really well. I've seen tons of sites crush, SEO from their blog through Shopify. The way it's set up is it's not even on a subdomain, which is, you don't have to do like a blog.brand.com, they just have it as an extension, as a secondary folder.

So it'd be.com/black blog, excuse me, and then whatever that slug is gonna be. So yeah, it is pretty streamlined nowadays and very efficient if you're using Shopify. Even if you're like using WordPress and WooCommerce, WordPress is a great blogging platform. Squarespace. They're all, it's, yeah, it's 2024.

Everyone has that

Matt Edmundson: Everyone's doing it right. Yeah. So you don't need a separate blog these days.

Steven Schneider: And I wouldn't even recommend that even if it wasn't an option because you're pretty much then essentially having to build two sites. So you want all of that domain authority and your brand credibility in one place. Again, I think going back to that iceberg mentality.

You want the deepest, [00:40:00] biggest iceberg in the water. You don't want two smaller ones. It's just, you don't want to build two brands. You don't want to have two different things going hyper focus everything at once, put it there.

Matt Edmundson: That's really interesting. Really interesting. So the what about companies that have multi site as in or for example, our business, we have our main website, but then we have a U. S. version of the site. There's like an Australian version, a Canadian version, I think there's an Irish version.

There may be a British version. A Spanish version of the website, all with their own domains in some respects. So actually no, it's all, as I'm saying this out loud, I'm answering my own question because it's all on the same domain. It's just got the language tag after it to give you the different languages.

Should I be blogging therefore in different languages as well as doing multi currencies? Should I, if I'm doing, if I've got these sort of multi sites, like Apple has Apple UK, Apple US. Should I be thinking about that on the blog as well?

Steven Schneider: I would think about it if your [00:41:00] customers are there. If you have a UK audience, like obviously you don't have to write in, the UK, because it's like English is English at the end of the day, but if you have a German speaking audience maybe it makes sense to, transcribe some content over to German and put it on a DE extension.

Definitely want to ensure that you have your HREF Page Reference Language Tags, which is a little more technical SEO component, which I don't even want to get into because I don't know technical stuff don't care for it, but yeah, to your question, if people are there looking for it you can't expect everyone to only find it through US or English speaking pieces of content however, what I would say then, too, is that you also can't assume that the same strategy is going to be a one to one fit with that, because back in the day many moons ago, we dabbled in doing affiliate sites in different languages.

And just based on the translation, the translations are never one to one. [00:42:00] So how people search for content, like instead of it being best mountain bikes in the U S it might be best outdoor mechanical bikes, there's just so many different ways and how

Matt Edmundson: Yeah.

Steven Schneider: differences are. But yeah, to your question, like I would definitely suggest it's more about if your customers are in need of that content, you always have to think customer first.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Yeah. No, fair enough. Fair enough. So all the principles then that you've just gone and outlined that we've talked through is it the same principles for on page SEO for say my product page? Or should I be some thinking about something a little bit different there?

Steven Schneider: Yeah, so with product pages, they're a little bit more unique in that you don't really want to steer too far outside of what's that product is. So you know, if you're obviously talking about Omega 3s and that it's a supplement product page. It probably doesn't make sense to include what are Omega 3s as [00:43:00] an FAQ because 1.

The reader knows that, 2. You don't want to repeat it across any other pages, and 3. It's just does it actually add value to the page? No. When it comes to product pages, we usually recommend like FAQs are great. Maybe those are company wide term policies, size, packaging, all the sort of stuff there.

And then just anything that kind of adds to your brand or that product. Shipping delays or how is it used? Are there any things that you need to be unique clothing wise? How is it washed? Sizes? Really should just be hyper focused on that product specifically, and then you can always use internal links to drive the conversation outward and expand on a specific topic if you wanted to go that route.

Matt Edmundson: So use internal links on the product page if you feel like it's necessary.

Steven Schneider: Yeah, and even if it's not the product page specifically, they should be absolutely mentioned in the footer of your blog. So maybe you're housing three ultimate guides in your footer, where people just automatically scroll [00:44:00] down to see, ultimate guide to Omega 3s. All of owning these and, what have recent customers said?

Like maybe it's like you're heavy hitting pieces of content that are just permanently living near footer and then they're currently there, but maybe there's a specific topic you want to highlight in that product page and if so, that's a great way to internally link to that content.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah. How important is it I'm, just, I'm listening to the question in my head and it's a bit of a strange question, but let's talk about Let's talk about the importance of strategy here, because the reason I'm asking this Steven is to quote a very good friend of mine who lives in North Carolina it sounds like you could get busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.

It's that kind of it's one of my favorite phrases, I don't know why but it's it's one of those things where it sounds like there's a lot to do. And I'm just thinking of, if I'm starting my eCommerce business or it's still like a side hustle or, there's just two or three of us in the [00:45:00] business, we're turning over a couple of hundred grand, we've not reached the dizzy heights for a million a year yet, Steve, and I've not got the staff nor really the money to go and spend on agency.

How important is strategy here? And I guess. How do we start to form the strategy so we don't become busy fools?

Steven Schneider: Yeah. That's a weird question. So if you're doing like a DIY approach to your SEO and you're still like in that, you Like I said, I focus on how can you ensure that the customer has all that information needed to convert and pull the trigger on that. So what FAQs are they being asked a lot? How are the return policies?

What's the shipping like, what's the packaging and handling like all those like easy wins, low hanging fruit, that should be done deal. if there's something that seems like it's a little bit more. In depth, create a blog around it and just know that you're creating that content for customers, not for the ranking purposes that you would hope to get organic traffic from.

And then outside of that, [00:46:00] look at the bottom funnel and really put yourself into the customer's mindset and take a look at the keywords. You can also use there's a lot of free tools out there that'll get you started and, at least show you what keywords are available. And then what we do is we just put on that customer hat and say, how are they thinking about this keyword and what is their actual end result when there's typing this in?

Even take it one step further, go and type it in and Google yourself. See what's coming up. See what people are actually writing content around and then see how you can match that and exceed that content and put it on your site. So yeah. Like SEO is everything is, everything's going to be customer focused.

So I feel like a broken record player to some degree, but it's so true, if you're creating content for yourself and because you think it's going to be this great piece of content, it's, you're not the decider at the

Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Yeah.

Steven Schneider: someone else is. That really just ask your customers, don't be afraid to just say, Hey, what are these topics that are of interest to you?

You don't actually have to produce them, but. Start talking to people, getting that, foot in the door and just seeing where that conversation [00:47:00] lies. Cause they're decision makers at the end of the day for your brand. So everything should be focused around them.

Matt Edmundson: That's super, super important. I've often told the story that one of the things that I look back at, my sort of eCom career, I've been around a little while, we had this one website, which was a beauty website, it was doing super well. And I came to a point where I looked at the site and I realised.

I personally was the guy that had designed the layout for every single iteration of that website up until this point. And this was maybe, when would this have been? Maybe seven or eight years ago. Maybe even 90, it was a while ago. And I, we'd gone like through four different designs and I'd played around in Photoshop and gone, I think we could do this, that and the other.

And then we brought a branding guy in and he was like, Oh, you could redo your brand. And we redid the brand. And it was all wonderful. And then I realized the guy redid the brand, He's cool. I've laid out the website based on what I know about eCommerce. I'm okay. I got some insight into that.

And [00:48:00] then I realized that actually our customers were 95 percent female. And I'm like, you've got a guy doing branding and you've got a guy designing the website. As much knowledge as we have, I don't know if that's the right thing to do. So I called a friend of mine, a guy called Rich Wise and lives in Dallas.

And I said, Rich, have you still got, he had quite a few female designers working for him. And I said, have you still got that team, of female designers, web designers. And yeah, I said, I need them to redesign my website and redo the branding. It's we don't really have any experience in eCommerce.

I'm like, I've got that. What I don't have is the female psyche, the female knowledge. So I'm like, can you please just create something and we'll make it work around eCommerce? And it's sure, man. So we did this project together and it was utterly eye opening because what they came up with, they were thinking about it through the lens of.

them as a customers they were buying the kind of products that we were selling it's like, we would like this, we would like that. And it was so far removed from what I did, but the conversion rate went vertical. It had a big [00:49:00] impact on our business. I'm thinking about some of the other websites, some of the other Ecom sites, one of the things that we subconsciously done, since that time, is for example, on the supplements site is predominantly females.

Again, it's not all it's not as heavy as it was on the beauty website. So the predominant people that write copy are females. I don't know if that's important. Steven, maybe you can comment on this that maybe I've got it wrong a little bit here because If it's predominantly female, I have female copywriters write the copy who are similar to the target audience, if that makes sense.

So I don't have 20 year olds write to 40 year olds and so on and so forth. Is that what you guys do? Am I reading too much into this?

Steven Schneider: No, I think you're on a similar trajectory. I would say that. Less important on maybe gender. And I would say more important on the technical expertise of the person writing the content. For example, some things that [00:50:00] come to mind is like legal guides, like what is a, um, what is a letter of intent, something like that, where you probably don't want a generalist writer tackling that subject.

You probably want someone who's a legal background, or even if you start dabbling in finance topics, which are always super sensitive, what is a Roth IRA or what is a versus anything? It's those have to be very specific. And Google also takes that into consideration.

There are certain niches with that fall within the your money, your life kind of category of health and finance that they need that credible writer to succeed and for that content to flourish. So I definitely think that when it comes down to it, someone who's expecting a technical piece of content.

Should be met with a semi technical piece of content. Obviously you want to simplify it, but it shouldn't be as easy as how to boil water. It should, have some depth to it.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah, fair play. Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. [00:51:00] It makes a lot of sense. Listen, Steven, I'm aware of time. I'm aware I've got 20 more questions, but I'm aware of time and I don't want to take up too much time from you today. Is there anything else? We've had a great conversation, but is there anything else from you that you want to mention before we sign off?

Steven Schneider: No, I think we've covered a lot. I just want to remind people that, blogging is the iceberg of your brand that you're going to look back on 12, 16, 24 months later and wish you would have started then. We're always helpful and happy to help people. Get on the right track when it comes to their content and driving, qualified people and the right customers to their blog and brand.

Yeah, trueoseo. com and learn more about us there.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah, and if they want to reach out to you personally, what's the best way to do that? Just head to the website or are you on LinkedIn? Do you do that kind of thing?

Steven Schneider: Yeah. Yeah. I'm pretty popular on LinkedIn. I wish I'm just joking. Yeah. Get in line. No. Yeah, we're all on LinkedIn. Me and Connor Gillivan, Nathan Hirsch, all of the trio founders. That's the best way to get like a one on one with me and like talk. I'm always loving to meet people and have coffee [00:52:00] calls.

But yeah, that's great. You can always reach out to the website. I'm sure it'll find me somehow, but LinkedIn is definitely going to be the best, more direct way.

Matt Edmundson: Fantastic. We will of course link to Steven in the show notes as well. And yeah, you can, if you've not got those and you're not subscribed to the email, but you're not going to get them in your inbox, are you? If you were, they're going to come to you. But listen, Steven, thanks, man.

I really appreciate. Great to meet you. I've enjoyed the conversation about SEO. I've got some questions for the team. There's a few companies I'm going to send your way because I think they're going to need a little bit of help, but genuinely really appreciate having you on the show. Thanks for coming and sharing all your wisdom.

Steven Schneider: Thank you. Cheers. It's been great.

Matt Edmundson: Cheers. Love that. Cheers. What a great conversation with Steven. In fact, I can do this, Steven. I can do the it was great. Yeah, there we go.

Steven Schneider: Again, I need the soundbite for my life. This is just, it's been.

Matt Edmundson: Awesome. Awesome. Brilliant. Thank you. And so [00:53:00] let me just say be sure to follow the eCommerce Podcast wherever you get your podcasts from because we've got more great conversations lined up and I don't want you to miss any of them. Any of them. And in case no one has told you yet today, let me be the first.

You are awesome. Yes, you are created awesome. It's just a burden you have to bear. Steven has to bear it. I've got to bear it. You've got to bear it as well. Now the eCommerce podcast is produced by Podjunction. You can find our entire archive of episodes on your favorite podcast app. The team that makes this show possible is Sadaf Beynon.

Sadaf Beynon and Tanya Hutsuliak. Theme music was written by Josh Edmundson. And as I mentioned, if you would like to read the transcript or show notes to simply head over to the website, ecommercepodcast. net where incidentally you can sign up to the newsletter if you're not signed up to it, but do that.

So that's it from me. That's it from Steven. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a fantastic week wherever you are in the world. I'll see you next time. Bye for [00:54:00] now.