What New (and Old) Bloggers Need to Know about SEO

In today’s episode we talk about search engine optimization, and in particular, the five mistakes bloggers make with SEO and what to do about them.

My guest today is Jim Stewart from Stewart Media. Jim has years of experience with SEO and has helped me with my SEO for ProBlogger and Digital Photography School.

He is currently helping us with SEO while we move ProBlogger to a new domain, and he is also going to be a speaker at this year’s 2016 ProBlogger event.

In This Episode

In this episode (which you can listen to above or on iTunes or Stitcher) we discuss the five SEO mistakes bloggers make, and then we move on to some reader questions from our Facebook page.

Jim adds that one thing that bloggers are getting right is creating great content. Here are the five mistakes and how to correct them:

  1. Understand what Google is crawling on your site, so you can eliminate duplicate content. Type SITE:domain.com in the Google search bar to see what pages are being crawled. The number of pages being indexed should be equivalent to your number of posts. If additional pages are being indexed such as archives, tags, etc., install and configure the Yoast plugin to prevent this.
  2. Setup Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools) This will tell you everything Google sees on your site. You can use it to find and fix errors and submit sitemaps.
  3. Optimize your permalink structure. You want DomainName/PostName. If you change your structure, you have to go back and 301 redirect old posts.
  4. Use good post structure. The page title should be in the URL and enclosed in h1 tags. Use descriptive names in images.
  5. Interlink your posts using a series of posts or sneeze pages. How to Create a Page That Propels People Deep Within Your Blog

Reader SEO Questions Answered

  • What is keyword stuffing and how to avoid it?
  • What is the best beginning blogger SEO tool?
  • What to focus on when using Yoast?
  • What numbers to measure and how to check volume in search console?
  • How many keywords to target on a blog and a blog post?
  • How important are onpage ranking factors, and should I bother focusing on them?
  • How popularity may be replacing linking factors in search results?
  • Is there value in getting links from social media?
  • Should time be invested in getting links from other sites?
  • If a site scrapes your content, should you issue a DMCA notice?
  • What are some tips when moving from Blogger to WordPress?
  • How to look for change of address settings in search console after a 301 redirect?
  • What to expect time-wise when ranking a new domain?
  • Why speed is such an important factor when choosing a host?

Tools and Resources Mentioned In This Post

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript

Darren: Hi there and welcome to episode 94 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com; a blog that is designed to help bloggers to achieve everything that they can with their blogs and to build income streams from their blogging. Today, I want to talk about search engine optimization and in particular, examine five mistakes that bloggers make with their SEO and then what to do about those mistakes.

Darren: Hi there and welcome to episode 94 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com; a blog that is designed to help bloggers to achieve everything that they can with their blogs and to build income streams from their blogging. Today, I want to talk about search engine optimization and in particular, examine five mistakes that bloggers make with their SEO and then what to do about those mistakes.

My guest today to walk us through this is Jim Stewart from stewartmedia.com.au. Jim is someone who has years of experience with SEO and has helped me with ProBlogger and Digital Photography School. In fact, at the moment, he is working on some SEO stuff with us as we move our blog at ProBlogger over onto a new domain. We’re going to walk through these five mistakes that bloggers make. I’ve got some frequently asked and recently asked questions from the ProBlogger community for Jim on the topic of SEO.

You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/94 where there’s some further reading and also links to all of the tools that are mentioned in today’s show. Let’s get on to today’s show where we’re going to talk about SEO.

Good day, Jim Stewart. Nice to chat with you.

Jim: Good day, Darren. Nice to be here.

Darren: It’s very kind of you to jump on. It has been a bit of a spontaneous one. I had this influx of questions from readers about search engine optimization, so I thought I’d go to the guy who’s been helping us with our own SEO on ProBlogger and Digital Photography School (please don’t reveal how bad we are).

Jim’s really been helpful in helping us to fix up some of the issues that we had particularly because we’ve got quite large sites with a lot of archives, we’ve been switching domains, and we have numerous iterations of our designs. I thought I’d get Jim on the line and get him to maybe give us a few things that he sees that bloggers aren’t doing right. Is that okay Jim? Have you got a few things in mind that you can kind of run through?

Jim: Yeah.

Darren: I’ve got a whole heap of questions that have been submitted from our community, mainly from our Facebook group and Facebook page. I’ll throw as many of them as I can get away with taking up your time. Do you want to just give us the things that you see people as getting wrong with their SEO?

Jim: I’d like to start with one thing that they’re doing really right, that most of our commercial or business customers aren’t doing right, and then it’s creating great content. It’s something that we struggle with our business customers getting them to do all the time, but what the blogger community seems to be (well, certainly all the blogger sites I’ve looked at), there are some major things that they’re not doing well.

The first one is basically understanding how Google sees the site. We call this, what has Google indexed with your site? When I say the Google index, these are the pages that Google has actually crawled and are now in the Google index. The way you can find that out is to simply type the word site:web address, it will bring back all the pages that Google has crawled on your site.

The number of pages should be roughly the same as the number of posts and pages that have you in WordPress or whatever platform that you’re using. Quite often though, you’ll find it’s a lot higher and that’s because, for the most part, bloggers either haven’t installed the Yoast plugin or haven’t got the Yoast plugin configured properly.

Some of the things that they’re doing to cause that huge number of pages is that they’re letting Google go and index all their archives, they’re letting Google index tag pages, and basically content we don’t want Google to go and index because it means that, in some instances, it can be duplication of content.

If I’ve got an author (I was just looking at a site the other day) where the author archives, the posts are so short that when you go into the author archives, the entire posts are shown on the author archives, not just the snippets. We’ve duplicated all the content and duplication is a bad thing because it can be confusing to Google. It doesn’t know which page should it show. If you’ve got two pages that are exactly the same, which one should we show?

Getting that number right of how many pages Google has indexed and how many posts and pages you have actually published, getting that to a similar number is really important. You’re eliminating a lot of problems there straight up.

Darren: That’s great. That’s a simple thing. You could pause this podcast right now, listeners, and do that test. Site, was it colon?

Jim: Yup.

Darren: Then your domain. Then just go and look at how many posts you published, and does it correlate or have you doubled it or have you tripled it? That’s going to reveal that you’ve got some issues. What would you suggest people do for a beginner looking at if they find a real discrepancy between how many pages they should have and how many are? Is there something that might bring that down quickly or is that something you need some help with?

Jim: No, you can do it yourself. If you install the Yoast plugin, typically the things that have been indexed and why that number is huge can be noindexed using the Yoast plugin. It will depend on how you’re set-up and Yoast is only available for Drupal, WordPress at the moment, I think. If you’re on WordPress, certainly use this, it’ll be easy to do yourself. If you’re not on WordPress you might have to get a web developer to do it. The Yoast plugin allows you to say do not index author archives, tag pages, and category pages; you just go in and check those boxes. Most bloggers that I’ve looked at have not done that. They’re using Yoast quite good at the post level but not at the site configuration level.

Darren: That’s great. I think Yoast has some good tutorials that help you to work through those setup processes as well, so it is worth investing in that domain. I don’t know if it actually costs at all, does it?

Jim: I don’t think so. Certainly Yoast, the free version, there are heaps of tutorials they have around about that, very intuitive.

Darren: That’s number one. Number two, what have you got for us?

Jim: Set up Google Search Console. A lot of bloggers don’t have Google Search Console set up. This used to be called Google Webmaster Tools; it’s very easy to set up. Once again, if you’re using Yoast, you could set it up via Yoast. It’s just tied to a Google account, so if you have a Gmail account you would probably use that or any other Google account that you use for your normal Google activities, you can just really easily set up Google Search Console.

What Google Search Console is, it’s what Google knows about your site. It’s everything that the Googlebot goes out and finds about your site and puts it into one place. This will tell you all the errors that Google will find on the site, so things like broken links, 404s, server errors, or duplicated page titles, which is a sign that you’ve got duplicated content. Basically, you go through and fix all the errors. If you’ve got a large problem with the index number, fixing all those errors will usually fix that problem as well. The areas to look at are the HTML suggestions, the errors, but get that set up first so at least you can know what errors the site has.

Darren: Google is basically telling you how to fix your search engine rankings with that console so it’s a bit of a no-brainer to install it and learn how to use it. It can be a bit overwhelming when you first get into it, I know I am certainly overwhelmed by it. What would you say the two or three things that you should start looking at there? Is there a tab that you should be living in and watching on a daily basis or is that something you should be doing on a less regular basis?

Jim: Initially, when you first get into it, I’d be looking at it on a daily basis. After you’ve cleaned everything up, usually once a week is enough just to get in there and just go and have a look and see if any errors have developed.

One of the things that Google Search Console allows you to do is to submit a sitemap, and this is just basically something that, once again, most content management systems will generate a sitemap. You just submit that to Google and that tells Google where all your content is, you do that by the Search Console.

I’d be looking at the sitemap area, I’d be looking at the crawl errors area, and the HTML suggestions area. They’re the three areas that if you keep an eye on those if you’ve got problems, they’ll probably pop up there first.

Darren: Let’s keep moving through these problems and mistakes that bloggers have, number three.

Jim: Optimizing URL structure. I did this recently with a blogger. She was ranking number nine for her key phrase. Once we did this, she went to number two overnight, and now she’s number one. Basically, all this is, is a lot of sites will have the permalinks out of WordPress, where they’ll have either a date in the middle of the URL or in the case of this blogger I was talking about, she had I think it was a date, she may have had something else in there as well. Basically, by changing that permalink structure, so it’s just domain name/post name, it greatly increased her rankings.

The reason behind this is Google’s trying to make things really simple and easy for people to understand, so if you’ve got a really long, convoluted URL, it’s probably going to show a simpler URL on another site above you. If you get those simple URLs fixed, once you do that, you do have to go and actually change all the internal links on your site, so they match the new URL structure. That can be a bit daunting if you’re not up to that. You might want to get a developer involved in that side of things, but it does have a big impact. One of the things that Google is all about is making it easy and fast for people to access the content that they want. If they can’t understand your URL, they’re less likely to click on it.

Darren: We’ve certainly got this problem at the moment on problogger.net. I think we’ve got the date in there. I know some bloggers often have the category in there as well, which just lengthens it again. There are all other kinds of things that WordPress allows you just to get in there. I think you can actually have an author name as well and some of that type of stuff.

Really, you want to just have it set up so that it pulls in the title. Yoast allows you to chop out extra little words like ‘a’ and ‘and’ some of those sorts of words as well, so you might want to check that option with Yoast. Can you just, again, give us that warning, if you change this is it going to go and change all your archives in WordPress?

Jim: Yeah. It’s not going to change the links on the page. They will have to be redirected or changed.

Darren: What’s the redirect that they want to be able to set up there? What number is it?

Jim: It’s a 301. With SEO, you never use anything else except for a 301 redirection. That’s known as a permanent redirection.

Darren: Let’s keep moving through. There’s an opportunity for our readers to ask questions of clarification in our show notes today, so I might flick some of those questions to Jim if they come in. If you do want some further clarification on any of this, let me know and I’ll pass them on to Jim. Let’s get on to number four.

Jim: Number four is just a really good post structure. A good SEO is a good document structure. What I mean by that—both ProBlogger and DPS did this quite well—is your page title, which is probably the most important thing as far as Google is concerned on the page because it tells us what the post is about.

For most WordPress users that will simply be the name of the post. What you want to happen is that page titles to also be the URL of the post and you also want it to be a heading 1 at the top of the page. Depending on the theme that you’re using and maybe the framework that you’re using, when you create a post you want the title of that post to be the page title, but also to be a heading 1 at the top of the page on that post. So, it’s in the page title, it’s in the URL, and it’s a heading 1 on the top of the page.

Most bloggers are not using that heading structure properly. In your editor, when you’re writing a post, you’ve got the drop-down box which will allow you to do a heading 1, heading 2, heading 3, you should use them as they’re designed to be used. Heading 1, it’s obviously the most important thing, heading 2 is a subheading of the heading 1, and h3 is a subheading of heading 2. If you use those properly, it’s good document structure and it tells Google what the content following is about.

The same applies to file names of images, for instance. One of the things that Google recommends is that be descriptive with your file names. What they’re actually saying there is use your keywords in your file names; don’t just name a photograph image023.jpeg, call it photographofmydog.jpeg or whatever it is. Explain to someone who might be vision-impaired and might be using a screen reader, let them know what that image is about because that’s basically Google as well.

Darren: Excellent. This relates to one of the questions I get asked a bit and Nathan actually submitted this question. He said, “What is keyword stuffing and at what point does a post become stuffed?”

Jim: It’s a very good question. I don’t tend to worry about necessarily keyword stuffing. I always look at it from the reader’s perspective. If you can use a keyword and it’s good for the reader, it helps the reader then do it; if it doesn’t then don’t use it. Some weeks, I’ll write a blog post and every week, I try to get relevant keywords in my titles. Sometimes, I want to get a keyword in there but it just doesn’t make sense, it just doesn’t read well, so you don’t do it. It’s about having that balance between signposting everything well for the machines like Google but also making sure that it is a good read.

Darren: The age-old advice of write for humans not machines really is key there.

Jim: Yeah, and the only difference I would say to that is—I’ve had this argument a lot with PR people and all sorts of people over the years—think of search, your search headings, your search titles and those sorts of things. Make them as specific as you can be to the person doing that search. If you try to be too cute with creative headlines, you may not get as much search traffic off that because you may not be having your keywords in your creative headlines.

I tend to use those creative, eye-catching, link-baity type headlines more for email subject headers or tweets or whatever it might be to encourage people to click. But when you’re in search, they’re actually looking for the thing that they’ve just typed in. They want to see an exact match to that. Sometimes it’s a bit of linguistic gymnastics to get that right.

Darren: No one’s ever going to go to Google and search for “you’ll never believe what happens when this elephant meets this cat.” That’s good for Facebook (maybe; that’s debatable in itself), but you want to say “cat meets elephant” or you want to put yourself in the shoes of whoever’s doing that search. That might be not the best example.

Jim: No, but that’s exactly right. This blogger I was talking about recently wanted to rank for healthy Thermomix recipes, but she didn’t have the word Thermomix anywhere on her site. I said, “Well, we’re going to talk about […],” and subsequently she went number one for that, but you use your keywords.

Darren: Number five, I think you said you had five.

Jim: Yeah. This is a really good technique, and I know you’ve talked about things like sneeze pages or series of posts and those sorts of things, and that’s actually really good for SEO. One of the things that helps a post rank is not only backlinks from other sites that you may have shared it to but just links within your own site, so getting that internal linking structure optimized so that the post that you write ranks for what you want it to rank for.

One of the things that you can do there is either use a sneeze page to link to other pieces of content (and that will help Google understand that it’s an important post on your site), but also you could write a series, you could write parts one, two, and three and then link them all together over a course of a week or two weeks or however you want to do it.

By writing a series, it allows you to link like pieces of content together, and Google can see the depth there. It’s more for the readers to come back later, and they can see that there’s another two posts that they should be reading as well. So that’s really, really helpful to do.

Darren: It’s good for the reader as well. It’s good for the user experience. The more pages that they view once they’re on your site, the more sticky your site is, the better your brand is in their mind. It’s good on both fronts there, both the machines and for the humans as well. They’re great starting points. I think particularly those starting out with SEO, there are five really actionable things that you can be doing on your blog. I’ve got a ton of questions if you’ve got time to answer a few.

Jim: Yeah.

Darren: Excellent. Amanda asked, “Should I invest my money in buying SEO tools like those offered by,” and she’s named a few, “Moz, SEMrush,” that type of tool. Do you think that’s useful for a blogger, particularly in their early days or is that something that’s a bit more advanced?

Jim: I would say that’s more advanced and when you’ve got a much larger blog and maybe you’re across lots of different content. One of the things I think you should buy and get used to if you’re thinking about buying tools for SEO would be Screaming Frog. That’s probably the best SEO tool out there. What that does, it’s a robot basically that crawls your site similar to the way that Google would and it shows you all the problems and errors and just displays things really, really well for you.

Those other the ones that you’ve mentioned, I think SEMrush, if you’re really advanced you’re really looking to find out what’s maybe your competitors are doing or you’re really look them to find out more about who’s doing more advertising in a certain niche, SEMrush is awesome for that.

The Moz products are great for people starting out. I know a lot of people use the domain authority information from there (which is quite handy), and also some of the backlinking tools to find out who’s linking to you and those sorts of things, but Screaming Frog would be a must.

Darren: Okay, that’s Screaming Frog. I’d probably recommend the other ones I’ve used myself and found for an intermediate level if you’ve done the five things that Jim’s already talked about and you want to take it up a notch, particularly if you’re doing research into keywords and monitoring of those keywords and how your ranking, that can be quite helpful.

Crystal asks (and you’ve already mentioned Yoast, “Is using Yoast plugin enough or am I using a big SEO element that I need to add in somehow?” Maybe you’ve answered that with that last question as well?

Jim: Yeah. With all the tools, they’re not going to all of a sudden, get you ranking number one or anything like that. Anyone can wield a hammer; it depends on how good you are with it to what you end up with. The main thing I would emphasize about Yoast is that a lot of bloggers are focused on the post-level tools that Yoast provides, which are great, but they really need to look at the SEO settings of Yoast and get those configured properly.

Darren: Karen would like to know some numbers to aim for. I know this is always a hard question to answer, but she writes, “A lot of SEO advice out there but nothing to measure against if you’re doing it right. For instance, if someone’s putting out a blog post per week and following SEO advice, what sort of numbers should they see?” She does say that it will be for different industries, but do you have any advice there in terms of measuring the success, I guess? Obviously, you want to get a higher ranking in Google, but is there something else we should be looking for there?

Jim: I’d be looking at the key phrases that you’re focusing on and getting an idea of the search volume for those phrases, then you can get an idea of the target that’s in front of you. The Google Keyword Planner is a great tool for doing that, for getting the keywords out and the volumes of those keywords. There’s also a tool in the Google Search Console called Search Analytics. It will tell you what you’re actually ranking for or what people are typing in and when your site comes up for those phrases. A lot of people don’t even know that that’s there.

If you’re already on page two or page three for the key phrase that you’re ranking on, you can get some really accurate numbers out of Search Analytics in the Google Search Console, which will tell you the volume numbers. Then you can decide, of the 5 phrases I want to rank for, each gets 1000 searches a month. If I can get to 2 or three, I might get 20% of those clicks. That’s the way you work it out. Obviously, monitor what’s going on in Google Analytics so that you can see what traffic is coming from search. That’s the way we monitor it.

Darren: While we’re talking about keywords, how many would you target with a typical blog and how many would you target on a blog post is one question that I had.

Jim: On a blog post, usually, I only go for one.

Darren: One word or a phrase?

Jim: No, one phrase for a blog post. For a site, especially if you’re a blogger, it’s difficult if you’re trying to talk to a lot of different buyer personas on your blog because they’re all going to be typing in different things to Google, so that becomes difficult. It’s also difficult if you’re across very, very different subject matter on your blog, so the more focus that you can have on your blog.

To give you an idea, for a client that might be selling outdoor furniture, we’ll target outdoor furniture, antique furniture, and concrete tables, and all sorts of things around that. You start with the one that’s going to bring in the most traffic and convert the best. A real estate agent doesn’t want to rank for real estate, it’s going to take too long, and they’re not going to get any business out of it. They’re better off focusing on a three-bedroom home Bundoora or something like that. 

Keep your keywords focused. Blog posts, you’re only going to be aiming for one phrase, you’ll end up rate ranking for a heap of others. One keyword, if you focus on that, get ranked for it. You might rank for fifty variations of that and that’s the thing to remember. I try to monitor as many key phrases as I can because it gives me more information about what’s happening with my site and how Google thinks about the site. Go for the big phrases that you can rank quickly for and that will convert well.

Darren: Sally asked a question that I hear a lot of bloggers with this sentiment, and they’re probably all stopped listening by now. Her question is, “How much is on-page factors like getting keywords in your posts, image tags, headings, apart from ranking and how much is really out of my control? Is it really worth all the hard work of doing the on-page stuff because it’s more about the links coming in?”

Jim: Here’s the great thing about bloggers, because they’re already doing the audience building stuff, once you get all this stuff right, your rankings will actually go through the roof. If you get this stuff right as a blogger, provided you post on a regular basis, you’re active in your communities and all those sorts of things, Google loves people that build an audience.

I saw this with a few blogger sites I worked on last year. We went and fixed these things and all the results just went through the roof. That was because they were already building their community. To me, it’s almost criminal that you’re doing all this hard work but there’s all this benefit you could be getting really, really quickly if you just went and did these five things. It’s really, really worth it.

Darren: It really can be the difference between your blog being seen and not and it can happen relatively quickly, like Vanessa, my wife, started blogging. In three months after she started blogging, she was ranking for a fairly highly searched-for term around Christmas. She was getting 2000 or 3000 visitors a day from this thing, and she’d only really published probably about 15 posts on her blog at that time. It didn’t have many links coming, I don’t know how it happened really. I didn’t link to the post, no one was linking to it. I don’t know whether it is getting quicker potentially. Do you have a view on that?

Jim: Yeah, I do. Google’s looking at popularity the way that they used to look at backlinks. The idea of a backlink was that it was a vote for your webpage, so if one web page linked to your web page, Google would consider that a vote for your page. That was the thing that made Google a very different search engine to all the others at the time, and they all disappeared and Google won the war.

Over the years, SEOs have gained that and basically mucked it up for everyone and so Google’s been increasingly nailing down on people who are trying to scam it by buying backlinks. In fact, as I talk, we’re waiting for a Penguin Update, which was meant to come last year, we’re still not getting it this year. The Penguin Update is to punish people who are buying backlinks.

I think popularity might be the new backlink, so Google’s looking at what people are saying about you in the various areas that you play, they’re looking at the traffic. I’ve shown that when your site is busier, Google is more likely to come in with the Googlebot and look around. We’ve seen that with a number of different sites that when they’re busiest days of the week, that’s when the Googlebot comes in and has a look and calls the site.

I think popularity is replacing the old backlinks. That’s possibly what happened to Vanessa. If a lot of people saw her post, were talking about it, and came to the site to look at it, Google would’ve seen that as well.

Darren: Another factor I wonder about on that particular post was it was quite long and I know time on site is one factor that seems to be helping on some bloggers, I’ve certainly noticed some of our longer-form content ranking better than it had in the past. There’s probably a few reasons there, but time on site might be one. This relates to another question we had from Juanita. Is there any value for SEO in getting links from social media or is there any indirect benefit?

Jim: I think there’s an indirect benefit, but that’s not the reason I think you should be doing it. Obviously, you should be doing it to get people to your site and getting people on your lists and all those sorts of things. The side-effect of that is that Google will love you for it.

Darren: Bryan asked another related question, “Should I invest any time into getting links from other blogs and sites or would you just invest that time into creating great content and engaging on social media?”

Jim: I would probably do the latter. What we’re trying to do here is build an audience. If you think you can do that better by writing guest posts and those sorts of things, do that. Some people feel more adept at getting into Facebook groups or on Instagram and those sorts of things. Just play where your audience is, where the buyer personas are and get people back to your site. Don’t worry too much about the links and things, just focus on the reader.

Darren: Grant asks, “Another site is scraping my content on their blog and I can’t get them to stop their ranking above me for the same content. What can I do other than issue them a DMCA notice?” Any thoughts?

Jim: Just issue them a DMCA notice. At least that’s what I would do. It’s going to be the quickest and easiest way to fix that.

Darren: Yeah. No problem. I’ve got a couple of questions around switching platforms. One question that came in, “Do you have any tips from moving from Blogger to WordPress? We do certainly switch quite a bit among our audience. I’ve been blogging for six years on that Blogger platform and want to move to WordPress. Should I repost old posts on my new blog? Should I point people from my old blog to my new? Should I erase and restart?” It sounds like she’s got quite a big archive there. Any suggestions?

Jim: I’ve just actually done this for a big client. There’s a conference every year, a big retailer’s conference. The way to do it is call the change of address. You do it through the Google Search Console. It sounds like when you’re coming from Blogger to WordPress, possibly changing domain names. Basically, what has to happen, I don’t know whether you can do this as a Blogger, but you’ll have to redirect every post to the new equivalent post on the new WordPress site.

The process is, get the new WordPress site up and running and populate it with your new content. Then you can go back to the old Blogger site and redirect every post to the new WordPress site. Then you go into the Google Search Console and you’ve got to have both of those sites set-up in Google Search Console. Look for what’s called change of address under the settings in the Google Search Console. Then you can say to Google, “I’m moving this Blogger site to this WordPress site.” Over time, Google will then make sure all the traffic from your old site goes to your new site.

You also don’t have to change Google Analytics for that either. You can just use the same Google Analytics account so you won’t lose any data. […] We have to go from .net to .com.

Darren: Don’t let this stop you. It sounds a bit complicated and it is a little bit overwhelming. I’ve done it twice now. It works and it does take a little time for Google to catch up. Personally, getting off Blogger into WordPress (for me) was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s certainly the best tool decision I’ve ever made. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Another question from the same person, “I’ve heard domains don’t rank until they’re a year old. What should we realistically expect time-wise from building SEO with a new domain?”

Jim: No. That’s a myth. Especially when you’re doing a change of address because you’ll inherit the age off the old domain. It’s a brand new domain, you can still rank a lot quicker, you’re just going to be incredibly popular all of a sudden. You got to work out a way to do that. If you do the change of address, the new site will inherit all the love of the old site.

Darren: Okay. One last question for today. I’m just seeing a whole heap more come in, so we might have to do part two at some stage in the future. If you do have questions for Jim, please pop them in the comments and I’ll […] this down to do another podcast at some point. “Are there any SEO issues with the host that you choose? Are some hosts better than others from an SEO perspective? Anything you need to weigh up in choosing that host?”

Jim: Yeah, look for speed. I didn’t get into speed today. Speed is one of the biggest things that can give you a big jump. If your site is currently slow, getting it faster would really help a lot. You can have a look in the Google Search Console once again under crawl and look under crawl stats in the Google Search Console and have a look at the page load time that Google’s telling you. You need to be under a second.

Now, a lot of that can be to do with the way that your website is built, to the speed. Another factor could be your hosting company itself; they might be really slow. Go and have a look at the page load times. There’s a number of different awesome web posts out there for WordPress sites. Getting that right, getting the best and fastest possible site you can have. If it’s good for the user (which will be), it’s great for Google.

Darren: “Are there any issues,” this person asked, “around dedicated servers versus shared servers, and you sharing with dubious sites?”

Jim: Google just recently said no, that’s not a factor, but you don’t want to be an underpowered server, basically. If you’re on a server with 1000 other sites, and it’s not state of the art, using all the various load balancing, Cloudflare, and all these wonderful […] things we hear of, then you’re going to have a problem.

You can also look at the PageSpeed tool, just google PageSpeed tool from Google and that will tell you why your pages are slow. Get one that talks about speed. WordPress, one of the ones that we use is WP Engine, which is a dedicated WordPress hosting platform, but there’s a bunch of others out there as well.

Darren: Great. Thanks so much for your time today, Jim. Where can our listeners find more from you?

Jim: They can find us at stewartmedia.com.au. We’ve got a blogger product coming out soon which, if you want to find out about that, just go to bloggersseo.com.

Darren: Excellent. We’ll certainly update our readers and listeners once that comes out. I think I’m allowed to announce that you’re involved this year at our ProBlogger event again in some capacity as a speaker, I hope. If I’m not allowed, Lani will tell me to cut this bit out of the podcast.

Jim: Yes. I’m very excited to come back in and do it again. I love the conference.

Darren: It has been good to have you involved in the past. I do appreciate the time that you have given to our listeners today. Thanks very much. We might wrap it up with that.

Jim: Thanks, Darren. I really appreciate it. I love your work.

Darren: I hope you found that interview with Jim Stewart to be useful to you. Again, you can find today’s show notes with links to all of the tools and resources that were mentioned at problogger.com/podcast/94. Yes, I can confirm that Jim is a speaker at this year’s ProBlogger event. I had to quickly get on Slack and ask Lani who’s heading up the event this year, but if you head over to probloggerevents.com, you’ll find a little bit more information about that event.

Tickets do go on sale at the end of April. I would love to see you there. It is in Australia though. There’s a bit of an airfare involved for some of you, but if you can get out here, we’d love to have you involved, and I’ll certainly give you more information about that event in the next little while.

The last thing I’ll say is that there was a lot of information in today’s show. While we do summarize some of it and give you links in the show notes, it might be one that you need to maybe make a note of and come back to over time. I would highly recommend that you go through those five mistakes that bloggers make and have a look and see whether you’re making them. You might not have even been aware of some of the stuff that Jim worked through, but eliminate those mistakes if they are happening on your blog, and do something about it.

Do that test that Jim mentioned in point one. Look at some of your old posts and look at whether the structure of your posts is working. Sign up for the Google Search Console and think about how you can interlink the posts on your site. I think those five things that Jim worked through today could really have a big impact upon your blogging, and I hope they do. Please let us know if you’ve got any further questions, or comments, or suggestions on tools over at the show notes. Again, they’re at problogger.com/podcast/94.

How did you go with today’s episode?

If you have any additional SEO questions for Jim, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

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