Everyone can buy a content website for an online business, but not everyone knows how to increase organic traffic to their websites, which is essential for earning profit.
Benjamin Golden, the founder and technical lead of GoldenWeb, is here with us. Together, we will learn why it is essential to start with an audit to get the site’s architecture to generate sales, how he does keyword research and structures his e-commerce content creation, and the importance of link building for e-commerce businesses.
Are you interested to learn more about rapid organic growth on your website? Click the play button now and listen to this episode!
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03:45 Ben increased his client’s organic traffic by 200% within 2 months
04:15 How to do an e-commerce SEO audit
07:06 How to fix broken backlinks on your websites
08:30 The top 3 things to check when doing an SEO audit
12:45 Why time is with you NOT against you
16:10 How to grow your e-commerce business after an SEO audit
18:58 How to structure your content creation into a SILO for SEO
21:55 How to spend less on ads in your e-commerce business
25:17 Ben’s link-building strategy for e-commerce businesses
Courses & Training
Courses & Training
➥ Benjamin finds it amusing that when installing and uninstalling apps on Shopify, the app’s coding tends to remain even after uninstallation, causing problems like unoptimized meta titles, spammy domains, and broken backlinks. He shares his experience working with a brand that had over a thousand broken backlinks. To enhance the website, he suggests implementing fixes such as identifying and repairing broken backlinks from reputable media publications, which can instantly boost its value.
➥ In terms of code and technical SEO, the top priorities would be to review and optimize various aspects. One important consideration is the indexing of pages. Google allocates limited resources to each website, so it’s crucial to ensure that every indexed page visible to Google is of high quality. Shopify defaults to indexing pagination, which creates duplicate pages that should be avoided in the index.
➥ Benjamin emphasizes the importance of finding and fixing every error during the optimization process. He compares it to stacking 1% increases, similar to compounding in the finance industry. While some elements may have a greater impact than others, Benjamin believes that addressing every aspect is crucial for overall improvement.
About The Guest
Benjamin Golden runs a web design, social media, and consulting business named BS Media. He helps companies to grow and generate traffic using the latest and most advanced techniques. Benjamin helps companies generate traffic with these advanced techniques, even if they don’t have a big budget. He is the founder and technical lead of GoldenWeb.
Connect with Benjamin Golden
How would you like to increase your website's traffic by over 200% in 2 months? Hey, this is Jaryd Krause, host of the Buying Online Businesses Podcasts and in this episode I am speaking to you and sharing with you part one of a training we did in inner circle Mastermind call with Shopify SEO expert Benjamin Struznik from Golden Web where they leverage quick SEO wins for organic growth for e-commerce business owners.
Now in this podcast episode Benjamin and I just break down what a whole audit looks like of an e-commerce business and what they actually do with their audit and how they restructure the site and restructure the architecture to clean the site up, juts strip away a lot from it and speed up the site which also helps with conversion rate optimization making the e-commerce business more sales and what actually goes into that, so that’s a big conversation around that and we then we talk about how Ben actually does keyword research for e-commerce content creation and then how he structures and what he does with that keyword research and the hundreds of thousands of keywords that he actually goes away and scrapes and fins and then what he does with those keywords?
How he condenses those down and how he creates a content structure that allows the content to get ranked in Google and bring in organic traffic to that e-commerce business through the content. Then we talk about how they actually do the link building and not just link building to the content either, how to do link building for e-commerce businesses. There is so much in this podcast episode that you get and you are going to absolutely love it so let’s get started.
Today’s episode is brought to us by Niche Website Builders which is a company a few of my clients are using and have used for content creation and link building services that are everything from start to finish, so from keyword research all the way to uploading your completed article for you. We have also had BOB members buy readymade affiliate sites built by Niche Website Builders.
So if you are looking to outrank your competitors and build better backlinks, Niche Website Builders and I have a special deal for you. Head to www.nichewebsite.builders/bob/ I will put a link in the show notes for you but again that’s www.nichewebsite.builders/bob/.
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Benjamin, it's great to have you here.
It’s great to be here.
It’s been a long time coming. I will tell you that much. I think it was maybe a year and a year and a half ago that we started chatting by email.
Yeah, yeah. A year and a half may be two. It’s been a while, yeah.
Yeah and so you started golden web and you have also got somebody who is a pattern of yours, Mark Whitman who has been on the podcast before as well which is quite cool. So I have gone through some of your results you have gotten through your clients and they are just awesome, in one of which you got a 200 percent increase in organic traffic within two months for somebody in their e-commerce business.
I think it was in the outdoor space but I kind of want to just break that down. What does that look like for yourself as a company, when somebody comes and says hey Benjamin can you please help me with SEO for my ecommerce business, where do you go from there? So I guess first up let us break that down a bit like people come to you and then what happens? You do an audit, right? What normally goes into an audit like what sort of order is that?
Yeah, yeah. So just to kind of give you an idea why we always prioritize the audit because to be honest we get a lot of inquiries about do you do content? Do you do links? Do these? Do that? And we always say that if we are going to work together that this is right and let’s start with an audit.
The reason why we do that is because of course you are going to need content and links to rank but you are going to get a much better return on Investment from the content links if your site has the foundation sorted out which means just doing the audit. Audit is simply a technical on-page and off-page SEO audit and given that we specialize with e-commerce we also do a little bit of conversion rate optimization just because we work with very large brands and we tend to know what, what works in terms of just adjusting things on the site to squeeze a bit more conversions out of there.
Yeah, cool. So you talk about that stuff that you can start on once you have got everything structurally in the right position and the good foundations, what do you mean by the structure of the site? If someone comes to you with an e-commerce website that has a bad structure, what do you do to help it have a good structure? What does a good structure even look like?
When you say structure it’s not that there is one thing that needs to be fixed but rather for example just when we do the audit we take a look through 285 different things and it’s going to absolutely everything so there will be things like mixed content errors, problems in the code with the technical SEO, problems with loading especially if you are on shopify or something like that.
It’s quite funny every time that you install an app and when you install it, just because of how shopify is set up and because it’s still quite a new interface and when you install an app and then you uninstall it, the app will still leave the coding as this is especially a problem with even some of the top apps and just things like that and then you will obviously have other issues like unoptimized meta titles in some ways like a part of the on-page SEO you will have spammy domain, you will have especially with larger brands broken backlinks, like we started working now with a huge brand, I think they have over a thousand broken backlinks.
So yeah, just implementing all of the suggestions and for example recapturing a thousand broken backlinks that are coming from very, very solid media publications, just the amount of value that you are able to just instantly add to the website by fixing it up in my opinion is one of the main reason that we started with this.
Yeah so say for this brand that has broken backlinks from Huffington post or you know big media publications like enterpreneur.com or whatever it is, it must take some time for you to access the right person once contacting them to get that link fixed, right? Is that the process that you would normally go through to get?
So it’s actually a bit different because on their end it’s going to be quite tricky to get them to change out the link because we already have the link pointed and it’s just going to take way too much time but what we can do is adjust on our end because the link is going on our website so the easiest way for us to adjust that is just create, either recreate that old page that no longer exists on our site or just to create a 301 redirect, because all a broken link is just a link that they pointed at our website and then we either modified the url of that page or we deleted the page, that’s why we just have two options we can either recreate the page or we can redirect that url to another kind of relevant page just so that we can recapture the link power because if you have the link going to a 404 page you won’t get any SEO benefit.
Yeah, great, cool. So 280 plus things in this audit, what are probably the top 2-3 most critical things that you do check that may make up the 80-20 of the audit and may be five things but what would those things be that make up the 80-20 of that audit?
Yeah, yeah. So the first thing would be just checking the kind of the performance and setting up of the code especially on shopify. Shopify recently pushed out something called Shopify 2.0 which is just an upgraded version of the Shopify platform and it’s just been modified to work better with core vitals in the search console. If someone has as you know like shopify had a lot of problems with cobra vitals just the previous version of shopify and they are very difficult to resolve just because of the way shopify is set up and one of the things that we recommend is not only to get the code cleaned up and remove all the apps that they are not using anymore but also consider upgrading to shopify 2.0 just because of how much faster it is.
So that would be the top things; just going through everything and seeing what we can do in terms of code so just focusing on technical SEO. Next I would mention things like unoptimized index, so as you know Google has a limited kind of amount resources that it will dedicate to each website on the internet just because it has so many websites to go through and with that said you want to make sure that very page that you have indexed and visible to Google is a high quality page and with shopify again by default this is a problem because shopify will index pagination so let’s say that you have a collection page, it will index not only index page but also page two, page three, page four, page five which are all just copies of page one right so they are duplicates so you obviously wouldn’t want that in the index then things like tags, tags are super useful in shopify for organizing your back end but if they are publicly available and indexed in google they again just clog up Google’s index so of course something that you don’t want and then next one I would say look at the links like I mentioned for broken links for example if you go out and especially with kind of the size of the brands that we work with, if you go out and actually buy a placement on a website like I don’t know Forbes, entrepreneur.com, it would probably run you about a $1000 to $2000.
These websites have just link son there pointed to a broken page, obviously you have a bunch of other things that should be checked like basic on page just optimizing each page and each meta title for their target keywords but I would say that’s the kind of 80-20 of it, just making sure that everything works good and just running some basic test to make sure that they don’t have broken images like broken links, broken codes most importantly, just that the user has a good experience.
Yeah, right. So you are cleaning up basically it sounds like you are cleaning up the architecture of the site to make it load faster so the user has a faster page so they can go through and buy things and shop through the online store a lot quicker, is that right?
Yeah, that’s part of the whole process basically just finding every single error that we can find and cleaning it up because you will never know what’s going to move the needle and it’s like stacking these 1% increases and just if you compare it to something like compounding in the like finance industry; 1%, 1%, 1% and then it all compounds and you have a huge increase, it’s not like the thing will, sure what somethings will do more than others but it’s not like one thing will change everything that’s why we focus on absolutely everything we can get all fixed up and then proceed with obviously the links, the content and everything like that.
I am a big fan of compounding and I don’t believe compounding is just a philosophy or a principle for finance. I believe it’s hugely beneficial if we put it on our site and this is a bit of a side tangent I did a training on. People having the perception that time is against you versus time is with you and normally when somebody has a goal set, they try to make sure they can rush towards that goal and try to achieve that goal as quick as possible because they want to achieve that goal super quick but by doing so can make it really, really hard because you put too much pressure and stress on yourself rather than and that’s coming from the position of thinking that you don’t have enough time because you want to achieve this goal by X whereas if you give yourself more time you can put the law or the principle or philosophy or whatever you want to call it, compounding in your favor because all of those little things that you said, all these little things that you do compounding add up to one big massive shift in terms of the increase of organic traffic, right? So those little things are what helped you get this 200% increase in organic traffic just multiple little things testing out.
It’s always like that it’s never just one thing. I mean sure like optimizing the user experience will kind of be the reason why conversion rates go up but in terms of SEO it’s always a mix of things plus you will never know what caused the increase because Google obviously won’t tell you so we found that if we just get everything fixed up and instead of just focusing on one aspect we just tend to get the win ratio in our favor because it pretty much always works.
Yeah, cool. So you do some CRO conversion rate optimization as well, right?
I wouldn’t call Golden Lab like a conversion rate optimization agency but just because we work with these larger brands we kind of tend to see what works. So for example just a very basic example let’s say that you have an ecommerce site someone goes to the product page and adds something to the cart not like this is not a very common practice but when you add something to the cart, you obviously want to present the user with a pop-up or like something that they need to do next, right?
So either you will redirect them to the cart or you will have some kind of pop-up of the cart just so that they can continue to the check out, however you wouldn’t believe me but so many stores don’t even have that pop-up set up, you will go onto the page you will add something to the cart and may be the icon will change from 0 items to in the cart to 1 but nothing will pop-up, there won’t be a clear next step for the user, may be like a small notification somewhere at the top which can be easily missed so just basic things like that so just making sure that it’s a smooth and easy process for the user to actually go from hearing about you to actually converting and buying something.
Yeah, great but just out of access and working with so many people same with me is like when I work with Matt and all the other people that are in the mastermind I get access to all these different businesses that help me learn what’s working and what’s not working and that can cross pollinate into other businesses that’s similar with what you find in your work but I guess your main goal is to increase that organic traffic and do you do that audit and once that audit is done, say you carry out that audit and you’re able to increase the traffic for that site particularly e-commerce site, where do you go next?
Where do you go from there in terms of e-commerce business owners like this? I want more, what sort of work do you do then in terms of additional things you can do for growth? Like are we talking like the content and link building as well?
Yeah, so as part of the audit, something that we also do is a collection and protect keyword mapping. Basically it’s going through the website and finding all the pages that already rank well and defining the target keywords for that page as well as all the keyword variations. Then as part of the audit we also obviously optimize all the on page so make sure the meta titles are in check make sure that the H1 tags are in check.
Basically we want to make sure that when Google lands on a page that it clearly knows what kind of keyword we’re trying to target with that page and then once we have all that kind of finished and cleaned up and all of the audio suggestions implemented, we will just put together a content plan and we have a very interesting strategy on how we actually go about doing the content plans so instead of planning the content month to month we typically plan out like every single piece of content that can be written, every piece of content every keyword that ever been searched for example if we are trying to rank for let’s say phone cases we will export every keyword that contains case, cases and that usually gives up about 100,200 to 300,000 keywords to filter through.
I could imagine that’s great.
Basically it’s like a 10-day to sometimes two week process for us to go through all of these keywords and organize them, we obviously use clustering tools that help us merge these keywords into groups but basically then we will have all the keyword ideas and articles that we can write and the next step is that we actually organize all of these articles ideas into something called silos, for example if you are writing about phone cases and we have 5-10 articles that are about maintenance of phone cases like how to clean your phone case, how to not sanitize, how to do this, how to do that we will organize all of these articles into one group, into one silo and by doing that we of course interlink all these articles together and just improve the relevancy and when you do this it’s the number one way to just kind of prove to Google that you are an author in the space if you cover every single keyword with phone cases in there that’s ever been searched, that’s the number one way that you can show and tell Google that you are an authority in this space.
Amazing, amazing, So let's kind of for people listening, some people know what a silo is and some people don’t know what silo so do you want to break down what a silo looks like for yourself. Like when you are talking pillar articles and all of them are interlinked with you know internal linking like what is the silo like say you have got phone cases and you have just gone through and just got all of those keywords like what sort of article structure are you looking like in a silo so you have got.
To be honest, it’s not really complicated all that we do when we are creating a silos we find a relevant theme and we find articles that all contain these relevant themes so the articles that are relevant to each other and a silo is just a fancy name for a group of articles and in that group of articles one article needs to be defined as the parent page, as the parent article, that will host all of these other articles and that’s pretty much it.
Then we interlink all of these articles in one group so one article needs to link to all the other articles in the same group and obviously because we want to, this is essentially just supporting content we’re using this supporting content to rank the main money page which is going to be the collection called phone cases so all of these articles in this silo or cluster group will link back to the phone cases collection which is the money page which is where all the kind of revenue will actually come from.
That’s your main sort of call to action link right in on each of those articles, pages or whatever you want to call it.
Benjamin Strusnik: Yeah, yeah. Call to action but what we’re doing with this is where we are just building up topical kind of relevance, topical authority for the phone cases collection because we have all of these articles and all of these pages answering every single question that’s ever been typed in terms of phone cases and we’re directly pushing that authority and the traffic to the phone cases collection.
Amazing, amazing. So how many articles are we looking at? I mean roughly.
Yeah, I mean we don’t really go with the number of articles just because every article will have different word count but an absolute minimum we would do is 20,000 words per month. For some of our clients we handle 100,000 words per month so it’s quite a process so it’s a lot of content writing but it’s something that works and in my opinion if we are very serious about it, this is the number one way to really become the work in the space.
Especially with organic, right? That’s what your e-commerce SEO is ranking organically and getting organic traffic, I mean it can be easy to just throw ads behind some of the products to boost them up, get them in Google or wherever you are advertising to that. So with the content that you do create, I am sure you have a pixel or a tag on each of those pages so you can do remarketing to them as well as an extra layer.
Yeah so like one of the just to kind of explain so whenever we, these brands that we work with, it’s always the number one reason and the number one motivation behind them approaching us is they are spending way too much on ads and obviously ads are always, they can be constant but they can also be very unreliable especially with ios updates rolling out with for email. For Facebook ads and everything like that we always have obviously they have the pixel on there but something we always focus on are out pop-ups so that we can get as many people into the email kind of newsletter as well.
So for example if we are doing a lot of different kinds of top phone case styles we will add a pop-up that will say do you want to see the top 100 phone case styles of 2021, just opt in and you will get the PDF. That gets them to opt into the email marketing and obviously with e-commerce email marketing typically makes between 25-30 percent of the revenue, if it doesn’t then you really need to look into email marketing. That’s how we monetize all the traffic.
Yeah, yeah because that’s a big piece of the pie. Some people may listen to this and go oh okay I can go away and create content and rank in google and get traffic, the goal isn’t really just traffic, the goal is sales and the goal is to get closer to that sale and if you can tag them or whenever way you can remarket to them is best, right?
And remarketing without having to pay money on ads i.e. email marketing is a beautiful thing. So I want to emphasize on that because people listening may be going like oh great I can just create articles and make a lot more money with my e-commerce site but there is a whole strategy on the back end of getting that traffic right?
Yeah like because the articles to be perfectly honest with you, the main purpose of the articles is to boost up the main collection page because the article itself usually won’t make you a lot of money sure it will get you the traffic but the traffic doesn’t directly result at least with the articles doesn’t directly result in money in your pocket, it does result in that if you get the collection ranking higher because the collection will bring in a lot of revenue so like adding the pop-up to the blogs is just another way to monetize them, right?
Because it’s going to be very tricky, it doesn’t happen often that someone’s going to find an answer to how to clean your phone case and buy a phone case from you because it’s just not realistic but if you use one of the other ways to monetize you can do it.
Yeah, awesome. So that’s your content marketing strategy and then do you have a link building strategy for those pieces of content or do you do a link building strategy for say the products as examples for some people that may have great content around those products.
Yeah we do a mix. I mean we have many relationships with the media publications and we usually just acquire links that way by doing these partnerships. We usually do a mix of sending the links to money pages and also sending links to the blog pages. Now I see a lot of brands that just either, most of them will send the links to money pages so money pages collection and product pages but it’s simply not realistic like typically blog articles should have more links then the money pages because obviously they have more resourceful information.
So people should link those more, we do a 50-50 approach, so we send about 50% of the links to the money pages, collection and product pages and the other 50% to parent pages so before we were talking about kind of silos and the groups and how we always define the parent page, we will send about half of the links to parent pages because when you link to a parent page, that external link that backlink that you just acquired will not only boost up the parent page but it will also boost up the entire silo because it is all interlinked and the entire silo will then boost up your main collection page juts in a more natural way.
Awesome. It’s a great strategy and I really after hearing this it’s really cool how you put this together.
Want to have more financial and time freedom?
Jaryd Krause is a serial entrepreneur who helps people buy online businesses so they can spend more time doing what they love with who they love. He’s helped people buy and scale sites all the way up to 8 figures – from eCommerce to content websites. He spends his time surfing and traveling, and his biggest goals are around making a real tangible impact on people’s lives.
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