About Morgan: Morgan is a mom of two boys age 5 and 3 who writes the blog Morgan Manages Mommyhood where she shows moms how to make being a mom easier and being a kid memorable through hidden veggie recipes and fun kid food. A hardcore nerd for life, she fell into a love of analytics, SEO, and productivity and now teaches bloggers how to create content more effectively through keyword research and editorial planning.
Notes from Episode #034: How to use Search Console to plan your editorial calendar effectively, finding keywords to create content that your users and Google want you to be creating.
Fun fact: Morgan met her husband at a Memorial day party and 3 years later her son was born on Memorial Day so they are fond of this holiday!
Morgan started her blog when she was pregnant with her first child. She went through a time like most bloggers where she was creating content willy nilly – nothing planned, based around what she “thought” was a good idea or what she was making for her kids.
Morgan was tired of feeling like she was just trudging along, so she dug into her analytics to find what was WORKING and what wasn’t. Instead of throwing stuff at a wall and hoping it stuck, she learned what Google wanted to see from her, so she could become an authority on one thing, then started creating content with a research plan in place, and began seeing results and worked to become an authority on that topic. This allowed her to build on traffic for the audience she already had.
By going through Google Console and Analytics, Morgan determined that Google was bringing traffic to her site because she was creating playlists of songs to dance with her kids. When she identified that this was helping her, she grew her blog by embracing this information.
Morgan learned that a ton of the content she “thought” was a great idea was created without any kind of keyword in mind – see, “Chicken Boo-Dle Soup”. Simple changes in her planning methods let her create the fun content her readers wanted in a way Google could still recognize and then rank.
It’s important to use Google Analytics for more than just to see how Pinterest traffic is going. By digging into it more you can really capitalize on what you can grow into.
Morgan knew that she didn’t want to be known for song playlists so she wrote out a list of what she did want to be known for. She wanted to share about getting veggies into foods for our kids to eat/hidden veggies recipes.
Morgan went to Google to figure out how to be the authority on content about this topic. She knew it couldn’t just be a one-off post but had to include cornerstone content. So she went out and figured out everything to know about veggies and cooking and baking with them. She wrote out everything you might want to appear in a Google search for and went about answering those within her posts. She built on those topics and then created content all around it.
Morgan utilized people available to her to find out what people wanted in relation to hidden veggie recipes. She joined mom facebook groups and reach out to friends to ask moms questions about veggies and kids eating and then answered what they said they are researching or googling in her content.
When you select a specific topic for your blog that is specific like hers was, you have to be ok with a smaller demographic.
It is not opinion when looking at Google Console and Analytics.It is fact. What Google really wants is to provide value to their users so the audience doesn’t go to another source to search for this content.
Even if you just spend an hour a week on Google Analytics/Console, it’s valuable information! Schedule it into your week to make it happen.
Get on board with batching! This makes life so much easier because you’re productive and not switching physical gears or mental gears throughout the day.
It’s good for planning your calendar – in one afternoon you can work to prep a lot of recipes for content that span a week/two/three.
Batching helps you to be productive and make the most of your time.
You will get in a flow and do a large amount of dishes and prep once vs daily.
This gives you other days to focus on analytics, writing posts, edit photos, etc.
If you’re on the first page of Google for marinara, then you switch gears and you decide to work on curry, you’re confusing your audience and losing momentum on traffic. So instead build on that success and create content that uses marinara in the recipe. Then interlink the posts and get your audience excited about these additional recipes.
Now you have several pieces of content based on this marinara that could include bolognese, lasagna or meatballs. You can get creative, write on how to freeze sauces too, then interlink to the other posts.
These posts help your editorial calendar to fill out too.
Google wants consistency. So if you post weekly, stick to that. If you post 5x one week but then only once the next, that’s not good for the algorithm.
Tips to using Google Console:
On the left side of the screen as you open to the console, it says either Search Results or Performance – start here.
A line graph appears. You can set it to different times at the top of the page.
Click Through Rate – (portions and clicks) If you’re the first result it starts at 20% and then it goes down to 13% for 2nd and 3rd position and 4th and 5th position is about 8%, 6th position is about 6%
You can entice people to click on your link by changing the title and meta data
Query = key words
You can look at analytics for your overall website and a specific page within your blog.
Morgan likes people to check out the queries (vs looking at a specific page of your blog) and then sort by position. It’s important to look at posts that are at 11th position because that signifies what appears on the 2nd page of Google. So positions 11-20 are the 2nd page and these are low hanging fruit. This lets you know you can refine or update that content and hopefully move it up to the first page of search results.
In June, Google said you can only rank 2x per page per domain and updated their algorithm. So if you have 7 types of “goulash” you can only rank for 2 of them. So now you know to branch out and offer similar style recipes and ingredients that are common in other recipes and suggest those but don’t try to gain points in posts that are all the same.
Morgan has seen updates to Google as early as 6 weeks after updates are made to it but she leaves any post that she’s over hauled alone for at least 3 mos to let Google scroll her site and pages.
If you update a site and it’s stagnant for 3-4 months, then yes, change it. But if it’s going up month over month, in the right direction, leave it alone.
It is such a waiting game, you have to know that. You’ll put a lot of work into many parts of your blog but then it’s time to sit back and let Google find that out.
Get some backlinks and additional content surrounding what you’re trying to be an authority on to help you.
Republishing old content is Morgan’s favorite thing to do. This will help traffic and positioning. It’s more user friendly and offers a lot of value. Fill up your editorial calendar with content that could be a good post and valuable to your audience, if its updated – anything more than a year old. Be sure to document that detail on your page – “content originally published and updated on DATE”.
If you have older posts with dates in the permalink – update the content but do not change the URL and don’t republish. It’ll give you 404s and will break the links. You don’t want to have to create redirects if possible.
Morgan loves spreadsheets. You can share it with your VA and make notes! She offers a mini course on how she uses it if you’re interested. There are other options too like Trello, Google Calendar, etc
If anything says ERROR within Google Console/Analytics, then you want to fix that. ASAP. Yellow warnings aren’t a worry.
Your time is valuable. Remember that when you go into Google Console. Do a search and focus on an area where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Then dive in. Think about your ROI!
Update your posts that are seasonal and that are ranking on the 2nd page.
Remember your time is valuable; don’t waste time on things that don’t offer value or posts that were never, ever looked at.
Take yourself out of it. Take your ego out of it. Sometimes having an outsider look at it for you will help you get objective.
REMEMBER: This is what differentiates your work from a hobby to a business.
Morgan knew other people valued the work she’d done to grow her blog business. She started creating keyword research plans for friends since they found it tedious and that’s how her keyword research and content planning business began.
Now she creates Content and Competition analyses for clients as well as do complete monthly Search Console Analyses each month. Morgan’s goal is to teach clients how to use Search Console to help guide them to create content that will rank as well as show them what content needs a little bit of love in order to see huge results.
Morgan does the nerdy stuff for others. She has a membership site for people to join.
Some of the work that she offers – checking your analytics and provide updates, suggestions for content, offers key words and questions needing to be answered. She tells them about broken issues that have to be fixed. She can help create editorial calendars. She’s willing to do a lot to help you or she’s able to customize helping in one area.
Favorite Quote: If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. ~Ben Franklin
Helpful references from the episode:
Get to know Google Console & Google Analytics