You're Not Writing for Google with Kitty Webb

Episode 5 February 21, 2022 00:23:21
You're Not Writing for Google with Kitty Webb
Launch With Words
You're Not Writing for Google with Kitty Webb

Feb 21 2022 | 00:23:21

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Hosted By

Bridget Willard

Show Notes

How much does SEO matter to a small business? How complicated is coming up with blogging topics? In this episode of the second season of the Launch With Words Podcast, Bridget is joined by writer Kitty Webb for an insightful conversation on why small businesses should put their audience first with their website content.


"Always think about your customer first." Kitty Webb

 

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Transcript

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02:23.25
Bridget Willard
Hey hey it's season 2 episode 5 with Kitty Webb Webb -- one of my favorite people on the planet: SEO, writer, dancer. All the things.

02:34.62
Kitty Webb
All the things.

02:39.90
Bridget Willard
So We're talking to small business owners, Kitty Webb, and like to me everything I know about you makes SEO so easy like it's not really that hard. Like what are some of your like top-of-mind tips to small business owners who are writing their own content?

02:58.29
Kitty Webb
Well first of all, you're not writing for Google you're writing for people. Google is a tool that is trying to connect actual human beings with the information that they want to find and it gets better and better at that as time goes on so you see a lot of these trends in SEO. And everybody's talking about things like keyword density and neural networks and now they're like looking at different keyword categories and you look at Wikipedia and then you look at the subcategories in the Wikipedia category to make sure that you have your internal linking. None of that is necessary because all of that has to do with Google trying to find ways to connect actual human beings with the answers that they want. And it gets better and better and if that's what you're focused on then you really don't have to worry about all those complexities of SEO. Um, honestly, that really only comes into play when you're in the corporate SEO category and it's hyper-competitive and you're competing against Walmart or Petco or something like that, you know, which I've done. And that's a different ball game. But if you are you know a roofing company a contractor, a dentist. Um Google's not going to put you up against dentistry.com. I assume that's a thing. Ah, it's.

04:05.44
Bridget Willard
It should be.

04:09.51
Kitty Webb
It probably is and if it's not I'm sure the domain is like a hundred thousand dollars

04:11.38
Bridget Willard
Right? I mean that's the thing is we hear about these giant eCommerce stores and then we think we had to compete with that. We don't even have to compete with that. We just have to compete with ourselves and our other small businesses.

04:26.14
Kitty Webb
And the truth is that SEO is such a small part of small business strategy at this point. My corporate job right now, Um I'm building their SEO strategy just knowing that that's not how people find us. Nobody is Googling what we do because they're at a different phase. And maybe that's really the key where to start with SEO is understanding how people are finding you and what they want from you. Um, because if they don't know that you exist they're not looking for you yet.

04:47.97
Bridget Willard
Yeah. Yes, I mean your industry, especially if your your industry is like not really known to them. I always talk to people and they go, "what I didn't know that was a choice?" So of course I wouldn't be looking for a laser vacuum.

05:05.33
Kitty Webb
Hear that.

05:11.58
Bridget Willard
You know, but my friend saw it on Tiktok and then she bought it and I saw it and you can't unsee the dust that you regular vacuum. You cannot unsee that. But I didn't know it existed. So I would never type in "laser vacuum."

05:17.44
Kitty Webb
Um, yeah, true sorry.

05:24.23
Kitty Webb
Yeah I mean I've been in content marketing since before it was called content marketing. And way back in the day when I was starting my career, people weren't looking for that because they didn't know they needed it. But they did know they had a problem. And the key to connecting with them was understanding what they were looking for.

05:28.50
Bridget Willard
Um, yeah.

05:41.69
Kitty Webb
They weren't looking for a content marketer. They weren't looking for SEO they had never heard of it. What they were looking for was "my website sucks, how do I fix it?" And that's kind of the key is understanding why does somebody want to find me? do they want to find me? So I want them to find me, right?

05:50.25
Bridget Willard
Aha yeah.

06:01.40
Kitty Webb
And the things that I know are great about me and or my selling points are not necessarily the things that attract people in the first place. If you're doing inbound marketing, you're you're putting out the fishing net. You're saying this is the bait that the fish like and then once they're i --n once they're in my tank, in my net -- then I can talk to them about these other things.

06:16.71
Bridget Willard
Yeah.

06:19.33
Kitty Webb
Show them this beautiful wide world of a lovely aquarium that they didn't even know existed that they want to live in.

06:23.72
Bridget Willard
Right? Yeah, and so when they're saying my website sucks. What do you think that they are fixating on these small businesses? Yeah.

06:34.91
Kitty Webb
I think the trick there is that they don't know what the problem is. Right now where my boyfriend and I are are taking on some projects together. He's a web developer and I do all the other stuff that's not code and we're building websites for dancers and 1 of the dancers is building a entire language.

06:45.65
Bridget Willard
Cool.

06:54.55
Kitty Webb
Ah, like an actual physical language almost like sign language in dance and he wants to eventually register it with WHO as an official language. Um, but he wants to build this curriculum and and spread it out to the world. So he wants to reach people who want to learn how to dance and want it to be easier than the way that West Coast Swing is usually taught. It's a very complex dance. It's not like ballroom.

06:55.92
Bridget Willard
Oh cool.

07:13.30
Kitty Webb
It's not like put your feet here and then you're doing the dance. It's very much in the communication. So understanding how to teach that is something um that he needs to express. And it's brand new. Nobody is looking for this yet. Um, and then the other side of that is he wants people to teach it and teachers who are really frustrated and saying, you know,

07:27.22
Bridget Willard
Yeah.

07:32.72
Kitty Webb
"I'm losing a lot of students. I'm not getting people to stick around very long because this is very hard." It's an answer for them because this is the way that you can teach it and describe it in such a way that it does make sense on levels and to build a website for him. The first step was he was like I I have no idea where to start I don't know. How to get this in front of people? I don't have the budget to get this in front of people. And I think that I'm probably going to come up with some resistance because the people that really are my target have these ideas already and I'm telling them the things that you know about what you're doing are wrong and there's a lot of resistance. So the answer for him was.

08:05.40
Bridget Willard
Yeah.

08:11.40
Kitty Webb
What What are they frustrated about? And what they're frustrated about is I have new students and nobody sticks around. And then what the students are frustrated about is I Want to do this dance because it looks so cool, but it's too hard to get started. Like I feel like I'm never going to get there. And both of those are the same core Problem. So being able to talk to them on that level of Okay, what are the people looking for? What what his problem is is he saying I don't know what people want from me and most of the people I talk to say they don't want me but they really do. I can solve their problem and the trick is okay well your problem is that you don't know the language you need to convey this idea. You don't know what people are asking from you. You think they want this and they want that. So Let's translate that. Let's get deeper into who's going to come to your website and figure out why? Why do they need this. You know they need it. But why? what is that deeper thing? What's that emotional connection? And let's start there. Let's not start with we have a new curriculum. Let's start with hey your students are going to stick around longer if you learn how to do this.

09:10.57
Bridget Willard
Right? And with that emotional connection. How how much does regular blogging play into that?

09:18.27
Kitty Webb
For him, it's pretty vital and he's going to be doing a lot of vlogging. It's dance, right? And he is communicating through movement. So he's got to put his you know money where his mouth is he has to do videos and and create a lot of stuff on his own that shows people how this is working and demonstrates it so that they believe it.

09:25.90
Bridget Willard
Bye.

09:38.30
Kitty Webb
Because I can read this thing on a web page saying if you do this thing that I'm teaching you to do your students will stick around longer. But if I don't have a place where I can dig in and say okay, but how how does that work? I'm skeptical. I need enough information to come to this idea and be like okay this makes sense to me.

09:46.29
Bridget Willard
Um, my.

09:56.44
Kitty Webb
Now I Want to start digging into this system and that's where vlogging and blogging come in. Because they need somewhere where they can dig in and everybody has different questions.

10:01.87
Bridget Willard
Yeah I mean and with so many people that are neurodivergent as well. Vlogging is a very good um, kind of entry way into blogging. Just, you know, people that are really great talking. They just want to get the words out. They're salespeople. Or or they're moving like a dance. How do you translate something that's essentially movement into the words that we know Google wants and people? How do you, you know, bridge that accessibility issue?

10:36.39
Kitty Webb
It's interesting that you bring up neurodivergent because the person that we're building this website for is neurodivergent. He has the condition where he can't actually visualize things. He has no visualization system. He can be very literal and he can describe things but he cannot create pictures with his mind and he's a world champion dancer.

10:52.86
Bridget Willard
Wow.

10:54.58
Kitty Webb
So obviously he has some spatial awareness but this is an interesting neurodivergent thing that he's dealt with um so understanding his needs has been really key to being able to say okay, we're talking about movement. We're talking about dance. We're talking about art and expression and creativity and specifically communication. Through movement and through touch and to describe that in words gets a little tricky. His system, he's been working on it for a really long time; it's very clear. Um, but a lot of it is being very visual. And again getting back to not really thinking about what the product is or what the system is or what he knows.

11:17.56
Bridget Willard
Yeah.

11:33.59
Kitty Webb
But what do people want and what's the problem that they need to solve? And the deeper you go into it. Like we're we're doing learning content -- a lot of it is video-based -- but describing it and being able to break it down into the the simplest forms is really key.

11:34.64
Bridget Willard
Yeah.

11:48.98
Kitty Webb
It's almost like that Einstein idea of if you can't explain it to a three-year-old, you don't know it well enough. Yet so to create the content we've had to really get into it and know it forwards and backwards and do it. Um, we're learning the system too. We're dancing every day we're testing the concepts and then.

11:51.15
Bridget Willard
Yeah.

12:05.96
Kitty Webb
Talking about it afterwards. So to have somebody else describe you know this is what I'm feeling and this is what it seems like to me. Does this make sense to you? Has been really helpful in creating that kind of challenging content and I see this in other businesses too especially in tech businesses. Ah, my my main Gig is at a legal technology company. This is the one where people aren't searching for us because they don't know what they need. There's not even a name for the type of software that it is. Um and when they see it, they're like oh that solves this problem that I have but they have to see it first. And the big challenge for them is when they land on the homepage of the website.

12:26.45
Bridget Willard
Right.

12:39.50
Bridget Willard
Right.

12:40.54
Kitty Webb
Do they know what this is? And it's hard because if you do so many different things, I think. This software helps you efile. It helps you serve documents if you need to, like Subpoena somebody in another state. It'll go through all the different steps to find somebody to serve the subpoena for you and then it manages your billing and it does all of these little things but there's not a nice neat umbrella to put that under..

13:00.00
Bridget Willard
Right.

13:00.24
Kitty Webb
And there's not an easy way to describe that where it would make sense to somebody who's never heard of it or doesn't have the frame of reference to it. So The exercise there is again getting really deep and knowing it very well. nd then paying attention to the questions that people ask you. If you describe it to somebody else sitting in a room, what questions are they asking you? And write those down. Because those are the things you want to answer right away. Like those are the points of confusion and like oh I get it. Because of bla Bla Bla Bla. It's your words are the least important ones; their words are the most important points.

13:19.37
Bridget Willard
Um, yeah.

13:28.62
Bridget Willard
Yes, yes, and I've seen tech companies do this with their support tickets. They will publish it as a blog post I mean I know this one in the Netherlands That's what they do. It's ah you know it's a form and then once it submitted and the ant.

13:35.84
Kitty Webb
This.

13:48.60
Bridget Willard
Answer then it's like I don't know whatever he did made it automated so that the actual question is the headline. Then the question is answered. And that's the text of the blog post. So you get to use the the way people are asking and use your jargon to define the actual steps that are missing. I I find that that's really helpful when I write for clients. I just start typing in a question at Google and let Google auto fill. It.

14:16.55
Kitty Webb
A.

14:20.52
Bridget Willard
You know if I don't have access to their frequently asked questions or their pain points or points of confusion. But that is an excellent tip. I know for my Launch With Words pack and the book that it's based on I recommend that small businesses owners have a journal where they write these specific questions down. So that when they do write or hire a writer they will have that right there. These are the questions we need answered. and it is difficult when you're far away ah from the customer and you're not hearing those pain points.

14:56.18
Kitty Webb
That is million dollar advice right there is to like take literally the questions that people have asked you and answer them in those words on your website. What am I favorite absolutely that's the words that people are using and you can do SEO research all day long. But if nobody is targeting a keyword.

14:57.40
Bridget Willard
So yeah.

15:05.10
Bridget Willard
Because that's how people are going to ask them, right?

15:15.66
Kitty Webb
You don't know that people are typing it in necessarily plus SEO research is nuanced anyway. One of my favorite things to do is to go look at Reddit threads or type do a Google search and you type in url forum and you find question forums because but think about it when somebody has a question online.

15:18.18
Bridget Willard
Right.

15:33.99
Kitty Webb
First they Google it. And if they don't find the answer in Google going to a forum and typing your question and waiting for a stranger to answer you on the internet is a last resort and that is a hundred percent something they couldn't find the information for before. So now you are the person with that source of information. You're the credible source as opposed to the Yahoo answers which.

15:40.96
Bridget Willard
Right.

15:50.41
Bridget Willard
Right? ah.

15:53.73
Kitty Webb
Oh my gosh. And if you're the person that has the answer to that question and you know how they asked it, talk about SEO. Wow! That is your long-tail keyword.

15:59.97
Bridget Willard
Yeah, that's that is something that's still on my whiteboard I started doing last year was answering questions in Quora exactly the way I did it and I used that as my video content then of course the transcript of has.

16:18.50
Kitty Webb
Um, yeah.

16:18.61
Bridget Willard
Those words. So but that is a great tip for small businesses if you're just wanting to find like people that are asking questions about dentistry or dance lessons or any of those things. They are going to be in there and that would include even ah local Facebook groups.

16:35.56
Kitty Webb
Um, absolutely.

16:37.35
Bridget Willard
Um, NextDoor which is usually a dumpster fire but I like I like Reddit as a choice. It's a really ugly platform. I don't use it very often, but that is like kind of ground 0 for a lot of these ah discussions.

16:54.70
Kitty Webb
Reddit is especially valuable if your audience is Gen x heavy because that is the group of internet citizens who will tend to hang out on Reddit and discuss ideas. Um for a clothing brand Reddit turned out to be really important for us.

16:57.41
Bridget Willard
Yeah.

17:12.39
Kitty Webb
It was a Bamboo premium t-shirt that only made sizes 3x and up. So if you go to like a vacation resort, you'll find those bamboo t-shirts but they were only being manufactured up to size 2x. Period. iterally nobody was manufacturing them any higher. So this guy said well I wear a 3 x.

17:13.76
Bridget Willard
Um, Wow yeah.

17:25.00
Bridget Willard
Wow.

17:31.20
Kitty Webb
I Like these. I'm going to start a company that just caters to these extended sizes. This is going to be our core sizing and then if we do regular sizing before that's going to be our extended sizing. And we thought like okay so you know fashion, bloggers, the body positive movement, all kinds of thing.

17:39.47
Bridget Willard
Right.

17:49.80
Bridget Willard
Wow.

17:50.39
Kitty Webb
No. Reddit. It turned out to be Reddit and all it was was guys on Reddit who were being like, "yo I'm a really big dude. I go to the gym, I chafe. I hate workout shirts. What can I get?" and somebody's like hey have you tried these bamboo shirts and then somebody else was like. Yo I'm a big dude I have to wear a t-shirt under my suit jacket I don't want to wear a long sleeve shirt but I don't want to wear something that shows my sweat. What I got? And he's like have you seen these bamboo t-shirts? And we found all of these threads where it was being mentioned and it was turned out to be one of the best sources for new customers.

18:11.82
Bridget Willard
Um, yeah, yeah.

18:21.24
Kitty Webb
Because it was people saying, "yo I'm frustrated about this. How do I fix this problem?" We started adding that kind of content to the website and it really helped with SEO because like like they're googling it before they went to Reddit.

18:26.36
Bridget Willard
Wow.

18:34.52
Bridget Willard
They're googling it before they go to Reddit. That's so smart I know that one of my peers is in the canna industry and that is a great place for sort of those more taboo industries when it comes to Facebook and Instagram it's a no, it's a no-go. So.

18:48.27
Kitty Webb
Is it.

18:51.60
Bridget Willard
That is a really good reminder that Reddit is still alive and popular and people use it and that it's a last resort so that that's great fodder for topics I love that no um, Amy Donohue um yeah yeah, she's um.

18:59.98
Kitty Webb
Are you talking about Shayda, by the way? Amy Donohue.

19:08.99
Bridget Willard
She's just doing great things in that and industry and yeah Shayda and her sisters are like doing great too obviously Toyabi. And but I'm just like you know that we forget that sometimes getting those topic ideas are very simple as simple as the customers asking us a question..

19:11.98
Kitty Webb
Are.

19:25.33
Kitty Webb
Um, yeah, and in highly regulated industries like cannabis like firearms a lot of the industries that I've worked that have been highly regulated. Mortgages. You you can't promote them the way that you can promote other things. You can't run Facebook ads about cannabis. you can't run Facebook ads a lot of supplements.


19:38.85
Bridget Willard
By. Right.

19:44.93
Kitty Webb
And if you're going to be heavily restricted in. You're advertising your content is that much more important. And understanding how people are going to find you so much more important than understanding where the sales process is.

19:56.91
Bridget Willard
Right.

19:58.95
Kitty Webb
Because the other big Gap I see in content all the time is like you can get people to your site but then are you giving them what they wanted to find when they get there? Are you answering their questions? Do they know who you are? Can they get a feel for you? Did they find what they care about even if it's not you know here's my sales funnel here's what people need to know before they make a purchase decision? That's great.

20:04.40
Bridget Willard
Yeah.

20:18.77
Kitty Webb
But is that what people want to know when they make a purchase decision in the Bamboo t-shirts. People really wanted to know who was behind that company and they wanted to know if there were like real human beings that actually cared about the causes and cared about the people because the Brand took a stance.

20:18.97
Bridget Willard
Right? right. Um.

20:37.83
Kitty Webb
Brand was like, "Yo. We are not extended sizes. We are calling this our normal and everything outside of this extended sizes. You're not an afterthought here." And that resonated with people. But they also wanted to know that it was real. Like okay, are you virtue signaling?

20:40.16
Bridget Willard
Yeah.

20:51.51
Bridget Willard
Oh yeah.

20:53.56
Kitty Webb
Or is this something you really care about? Because if I'm going to spend $40 on a t-shirt I want to make sure that that money is going to something that I want to support.

21:02.50
Bridget Willard
That's fair. Because that's almost like a hospitality isn't it? Yeah, so if you just bring some hospitality to your online presence, you'll have the customers there. You'll serve their needs. And then maybe they'll buy from you and tell their friends.

21:05.11
Kitty Webb
Very much.

21:16.68
Kitty Webb
Yeah, like it's software. It's really common to see like hey here are the people that actually built this and it makes a difference. It seems like fluff content but it really does make a difference. You'd be surprised how many times people go to about pages before they ever make a purchase decision.

21:21.75
Bridget Willard
Um, yeah, it's really that does surprise me actually. I always think they just don't matter. But I that. Glad you told me that because have a website to write. Ah oh my gosh, Kitty Webb, I could talk to you like all day long but we have reached the end. What one last thing you want to tell people or do you want them to go to a certain website to find you or?

21:40.60
Kitty Webb
Um.

21:53.42
Kitty Webb
Um I don't want to be found right now.

21:58.98
Bridget Willard
You seem kind of like you're chilling. You're loving your life. You're just kind of.

22:03.68
Kitty Webb
So but I'm about to move from Las Vegas to Kansas City so I am trying to not be found until after I get settled it in a new location cross country back to big. But though I think the parting thought is to always think about your customer first and it's.

22:07.38
Bridget Willard
Nice.

22:18.89
Kitty Webb
really hard to do when you're writing about yourself to not write about yourself and the perspective of the things you're proud of and you care about. Really stay in that mindset of what does this person care about? What why are they reading this website in the first place and am I serving them well?

22:26.90
Bridget Willard
Mm.

22:36.34
Kitty Webb
My needs are secondary if I meet their needs. They'll meet mine.

22:37.38
Bridget Willard
Yeah, wow, That's just that's it. That's the mic drop. Thanks Kitty Webb.

22:43.68
Kitty Webb
Um, thank you? um.

 

 

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