Philip:    Good day folks.  I’m very pleased to have Scott Hendison here today all the way from Portland in the U.S. Scott is CEO of Search Commander and SEO Automatic.  He’s a popular keynote speaker on search engine optimization and nice to see that someone eats his own dog food.  He ranks on the first page for internet consultant.  Even a search from Australia, he still comes up on the first page which is quite impressive considering now there are 20 or so, 20 or 30 million competitors for that phrase.  So thanks so much for joining us Scott.

Scott:    You’re welcome, thanks Philip, it’s good to be here.  I didn’t realize that search was good over there too.  That’s great.

Philip:    Yeah, quite impressive.  I wonder if you can give us a bit of an introduction to how you got into search and the businesses you run at the moment.

Scott:    Sure, I actually used to run a computer repair and used software exchange shop from 1997 to 2002.  We did the local computer service repair, we took software items in on trade and like you would buy a game, you would finish it back when Windows 95, 98 were out or you get a Windows 98 computer, your old games didn’t work anymore.  So we opened in 1997 under the idea that we would make money buying and selling software and it actually went pretty well but what happened was as computers changed, I mean we went from 95 to 98 to ME, as things changed so drastically, we ended up becoming literally a warehouse of junk software.  I can’t think of a better way to put it.

So it was probably mid 1999 when I realized that all we were doing was accumulating junk and I needed to sell this stuff some place, so that’s how I started dabbling in putting it online, getting it found in the search engine, Alta Vista was really the one there, those were…yeah some of my first pages, it wasn’t hard back then, there weren’t that many web pages.  You would just put it up and it would just end up ranking it if you stuffed enough key words in it.

I built my business that way.  We also did the computer service and repair and we started ranking locally for a lot of different things and one day, it was probably towards the end of 2002.  I actually closed my retail store in the spring and I was still driving around town doing computer service and I was on my hands and knees in an attorney’s office and they asked me, they said, “You know, if we search for computer repair in Portland, you’re over here on the left, you’re over here on the right in the ads.”  They didn’t know they were ads at that time.  They asked if they could do that for them too and I remember thinking to myself as I was shoving this hard drive back inside.  I was thinking yeah and I would much rather be doing that for you too than – I was getting kind of tired that every time the phone rings in the computer repair business, it’s an emergency.  Nobody ever calls to tell you hey, my printer is printing great or boy our networking sure works well.

So it got so that I was afraid to answer my phone and that’s how I really kind of got my foot in the door with my first SEO client back in 2002.

Philip:    Right okay, so you’ve been in it since the early days.  Ten years or so within search optimization is a life time.

Scott:    Yeah, I would say it’s a strong eight years that I have been doing it for other people and good ten, yeah I spent a couple of years – I don’t know what took me so long to realize I enjoyed it a lot more than I did fixing loose screen windows errors.

Philip:    And I guess obviously a huge amount has changed over those eight years or so.  How do you see SEO at the moment?  What’s your view of SEO in 2010?

Scott:    Well I think a lot of people know the fundamentals but invariably I get phones calls from people who have a site that was supposedly SEO’d couple years ago or a few years ago and they want to know why they don’t rank better and you look at their site and it’s perfectly SEO’d, every title tag, description tag, they are using H1 tags and all that on page stuff but really it’s much more now.  Even more heavily weighted to the off page factors now.  In other words the inbound links.

Your citations, the variety of people that link to you, the credibility of the people that link to you are mattering much more than they ever have in the past as of probably last year.  Links have always mattered but it’s so easy to SEO a small website now with good on page SEO that all the off page factors are really weighing much more heavily.

Philip:    What do you think about – there’s obviously a lot of – well from Google’s perspective cheating that goes on in link building, buying links, etc. link farms, all that stuff and the one way you can’t cheat is around quality content which I find a lot of businesses struggle on the contents side of things to put in all that time and effort to create really good content which attracts the natural links.  How do you see the importance of lots of good quality content and the link side of things?

Scott:    I’m so sorry Philip, you cut out.  Our connection just kind of got lost.

Philip:    No problem, I’ll repeat that.  How do you see the importance of quality content?  There’s so much cheating from Google’s perspective anyway, cheating in terms of link building, buying links farms and all that stuff.  Google are really trying to cut down on that.  How do you see the importance of creating good quality content on this site in terms of the benefit around search optimization when improving your rankings?

Scott:    Well it’s kind of a dual edged sword.  You can’t be very authoritative without having a lot of content but then again if you are in a very narrow niche, in a lot of cases it’s really difficult to come up with quality content on a regular basis.  But it really is important that you at least, no matter how small your business, no matter how little you think there is to say about what you possibly have to do, there are always ways that you can add content regularly.  I always say if a site’s not growing, it’s dying and even if you’re just a super small business, you’ve got a site that’s a dozen pages, if you had one new blog post a month, every year within a year your site is 100% larger and so adding content on your own site is I believe still really important.

Philip:    Right, agreed, agreed.  Any tips to go around effective link building?  I think that’s the one thing that’s getting harder and harder over time.  I’m sure you get spammed all the time and your clients get spammed all the time with requests for links.  I’ve never ever accepted any of those links or those direct spam approaches that I’ve received.  How do you go about good link building?

Scott:    Well, things are a lot different than they were a couple of years ago.  You could go out and you could outsource link building, you could buy links and you still can.  You can buy links from overseas directories that will just increase say by 10 page rank 2 or better links per month.  But the thing is – when you are thinking about link building, one thing that seems to escape most businesses is that they can’t answer the question, why should someone link to you?  In other words, if you tell me you want a link, well why would I want to give my readers a link to your site?  What do you have of value there that you are giving or you are going to amaze people with when they get there?  You got to really have what I would call link worthy content.  You have to have a reason for people to link with you or link to you.  I’m sure the term link bait is pretty popular over there too.

Philip:    Yes it is, yes.

Scott:    If you try and create content.  You’ve got to create content that gives people a reason to link to you and you also have to give them ways to link to you in the way that they are going to be the most comfortable with.  All the social networking sites, I can’t count the number of Web 2.0 properties that must be out there that some people really like – Delicious, some people really like – Digg, some people really like – Stumble Upon.  So if you’ve got something that’s truly link worthy whether it be news or a tool or something shocking, making sure that on your page, there’s a way for people to share that.  That’s going to kind of give you the best of both worlds.  The old methods of link building where you take one article, you submit it to 20 directories, you buy a few links and you end up ranking just aren’t working like they used to as things have become more competitive.

The search engines have gotten a lot better at picking out the garbage links.

Philip:    Right so the starting point for any business assuming they’ve addressed a lot of the on page stuff and don’t have a flash website and have well structured html code and that thing is really around quality, quality content to generate those links naturally and obviously you can encourage those links but you actually need something from the core.  You need quality content from the core.

Scott:    Right and even if you are doing – I don’t know how much you or any of your readers do article directory submissions but there are tons of articles at article directories out there that are hungry for your content like ezine articles, articles now.  There are so many of them and believe it or not, article directory link building really does still work very well but what’s changed radically probably 18 months ago. We used to take one article and submit it to between 12 and 20 directories and what we found was those links, Google will index all 12 pages or all 20 pages that have your content but if they are the same article, if they are not unique, then they just devalue 10 of your 12 or 11 of your 12.  So article directory submissions are still very valuable but you do need to make sure that you’re submitting a unique piece of content to each one of those directories.  That way it’s going to stand on its own, it’s going to be a valuable page in their domain and you’ll get some valuable credit for the back link.

Philip:    Right.  And if that article is listed on their own website as well, is there any issue with duplicate content?

Scott:    Yes and I’ve actually got examples of content I submitted elsewhere back years ago that outranks my site by far for the same article.  I think it was  a – the first time I ever saw it I think it was an rss for rookies article that ranks much higher at ezines than it is on my site where I actually had the original content because ezine articles had a lot more authority at the time than my website, probably still does and so you don’t want to take content that’s duplicated on any one site and put it on any other specially if it’s liable to bump you off the relevance radar.

Philip:    So you are saying then if you just submit an article to an ezine or something like that you shouldn’t have that on your own website?  Is there any penalty for doing that, where there is no benefit of having it on your own website from an SEO perspective?

Scott:    In a best case scenario, the identical article that’s on your website that you submitted ezine articles, in the best case scenario, your web page will rank number one for a snippet of code in there and occasionally you will see that duplicate article rank somewhere else or be indexed somewhere else but more often than not, you’ll see a little line in Google that says, “we’ve omitted similar results.”  It says something like “we’ve omitted similar results, to see more results, click here” and then you can click there and you’ll end up seeing the duplicate copies of your article.  So in a best case scenario, taking your duplicate content will just do you very little good if you submitted other articles in other article directories.  In a worst case scenario, it’s actually going to get credit for the original authorship and you’re not even going to have page rank for that phrase right in your own website.

Philip:    Right so…

Scott:    The short answer is yes, never submit or no, never submit a duplicate piece of content from your site anywhere else.

Philip:    A lot clients don’t seem to have the time to create this content.  Can you outsource this creation quite effectively or do business owners – and how much of a sale, how much control should business owners have in actually creating this content, do you think?

Scott:    Outsourcing is really probably the strongest option if you are a business owner unless you’ve got a real passion for your subject which some would argue you need to have to be in business.  If you don’t have the time to write good content, you can just go to the – I mean if you are an internet marketer and you’ve got dozens of websites and you want to go write up a little description and outsource there at Odesk or Scriptlance or Rent-A-Coder or somewhere and say I’m looking for an author to write me 400 word articles on this subject.  That is kind of shooting in the dark and you are going to win some and you are going to lose some.  You can get them pretty effectively that way, you can get them pretty inexpensively that way and if you do the editing, if you actually take the time to open them and edit out the poor grammar, you can actually come out alright.

Philip:    Yeah, I agree with you, it is very much hit and miss.

Scott:    Yeah I mean much better – if you have a business, if you are in real estate – I had a real estate office that was a client for a long time and I would get on them because they wouldn’t let us outsource content because they didn’t like the quality, they didn’t like it showing up but yet, and we would do our share of crummy to middling link building but their site wasn’t growing in authority.  They weren’t getting the rankings improvement and they just would not write anything on their site.

So in one discussion I was having with them, they were like well, we don’t know what to write about and I said how many emails go back and forth between your sales people or between your real estate agents and their potential customers about neighborhoods, about schools, about contractors, about topic relevant geographic information that could have the privacy information stripped out of it with a simple right click and cut and boom, you’ve got a blog post.  So what they started doing was they had their real estate agents basically send a weekly summary to one manager who was – here’s what I did or I talked to the Jones family about the house in Greshamore again, I went and showed a house last night over here.  They had people emailing little two sentence summaries about each trip, each house showing that they would show and they had one person, just compiled it into kind of an informational post about what went on in their article or what went on in their office that week.

While as they grew, that went from being a weekly, let’s add it once a week to every agent summarizing their own day.  With the way real estate was taking off, they were all showing plenty of houses back then and so their site was growing in size and content really quickly and that was real helpful.  So I always encourage people now to look in their sent mail folder, look at your communications with your customers.  If you don’t think that you’ve got content to put out in a story, look back at some of the one on one communications you had in the past and there’s your content right there.

Philip:    Yeah I agree. So the best way really for businesses is to almost redesign their business processes and build this content creation in process into the daily or weekly activities.  To create that content rather than commissioning somebody to write five articles and doing an upload onto your site.  It’s really around look at all the valuable information you are creating on a daily basis and turn that into content.

Scott:    Well that’s true, I mean it also depends what your competition is doing.  If you are selling flea collars for penguins, you can probably post once every three or four months and you are going to dominate the market.  On the other hand, if you are in a really competitive environment where your competition is posting all the time, then you have to be equally aggressive.

The other thing I would add is if you do go out and you do get five articles outsourced, say you spend your ‘’x” amount of dollars, you put your content in, make sure that you don’t add all that content all at once.  Google would much rather see a new page added once a week for five weeks than they would see your site grow by five pages in one day and then not touch it again for a month and a half.

Philip:    Okay.  Makes sense.  In terms of the link building let’s assume businesses starting to create this valuable content over a period of time, links should come naturally but obviously you can encourage those links once you’ve got something to attract other visitors.  How do you go about building links or how do you go about building links actively?

Scott:    Link building is probably the single most frustrating thing that any search marketer has to do.  It’s tedious, it’s slow, there are literally dozens of networks where you can rent links and we sort of separate our link building into classes that I guess I would call C level links, D level links and A and B level links.  A and B level links are the good editorial links that you might write an article that compliments a product, you read something in the paper that’s right on topic and write about it and link to them.  Get familiar with your local press.  If you are in an area where your service the market that gets written about often become friendly with your local media.  There’s no more authoritative link to you than one from a newspaper reporter or a TV station that’s done a report on you.

Also, for high caliber links you can actually create software tools, you can create screen savers for your industry. A really effective way – we had an interior decorator that just had no links.  They didn’t write anything.  They created a screensaver of gorgeous interior of before and after shots of the work they’ve done.  They made this – it’s a screensaver program – they bought it for $30, they used their digital camera, they made themselves a little executable screensaver, they put it on their site and it was very nice, and they submitted that to – there are literally hundreds of software directories out there, excuse me, I don’t like having to cough with a mouse but I hid it – there are lots of software directories out there where you can get free screensavers and free software downloads and if you can create a product like that they are happy – and submit it – they are happy to write that up and you actually get a back link from them.  In some cases it can from a I don’t know what your authoritative software distributions services over there would be but I’ve seen some pretty good links come back that way.

If your readers want to search on “PAD” files, that’s a pretty effective way, something that we do for all clients, get them to either make a tool bar or a screen saver or something of value that we can submit to the search engine directories.  Again article directory submission is always good but those are kind of the sea level links, I mean you’ve really got to get creative and do something in your industry, even if it is just, something with a hook, something that gives people a reason to search and as I say that, there’s somebody who’s named Todd Malicoat, Stunt Double and if you were to search “link bait hook”, you would see a fantastic article he wrote.  I don’t know how many years ago.

Link bait hooks and he talks about the different types of hooks that are out there.  Contrary hook, an attack hook where you go after somebody in a blog post or you blog about something  that you don’t like that seems to be controversial.  I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that I discovered this by accident.  Two of my biggest traffic blog posts ever, one of them was a rant session against Microsoft office 2007.  I went on a rant about 10 things I hate about Office 2007 a couple of years ago and that’s one of my highest traffic pages, and another one was some frustration I had the day after Christmas where I accidently insulted the entire Apple community by not saying I was completely in love with iTunes.  I think I called it I hate iTunes and I got links from it, I got comments from it and that was how I kind of discovered wow all you have to do is be a little bit contrary and that’s one of Todd’s hooks in his original article.

Philip:    Right, that’s a great resource.  Most of us know that search engine optimization consists of three core areas and we’ve touched on two of them and the first is around quality content, the second is around link building which works off the back of that quality content and the third one is around your on page factors.  Can you talk a little bit about the on page factors?  What’s important, what’s not important and the areas that people should focus on first?

Scott:    Sure.  And kind of in a nutshell here, I would say the number one on page factor is going to be your title tag, that’s the headline that displays in the search results and I would say the second most important thing and most SEO’s would disagree is your description tag.  You do want to have a description tag on every page but you got to remember that on the search engines, if you have a description tag, that’s what they are going to show right beneath your title.

Philip:    Which essentially is like Google Adwords, like the actual ad that you write for Google Adwords, so it has to be really compelling as well.

Scott:    Right, I always say to write it as you would a classified ad.  You’ve got a two line classified ad, you’ve got to sell your page, give it a distinct title, give it a good description tag so it shows up.

I’m still a fan of the keyword metatag, I usually will toss a couple in if I’m putting a page in WordPress or something.  I do fill out that, take the extra take a few seconds and alt tags also for images are becoming even more important.  With universal search out there if you search for sleeping bags or camp stoves or what not, more and more we are seeing videos, we are seeing pictures and we are seeing other news items.  We are seeing real time search, we’re seeing other things besides just regular web pages so having an alt tag on your images that are your important images that are very specific to that page, is another ranking factor and it does carry a little bit of weight.

I also like to use headline, I think the jury is still out on whether or not having a headline and sub headlines throughout the text body of your page really matters.  Well to say that I’ve done testing would be a disservice to people that do testing.  But I can tell that everything ranks better in my experience with a headline.  A headline, a sub headline, it adds subject relevance to the page so tags, make sure that you only use one H1 tag and then for H2s, you can use either a H2 tag or an H3 tag or make sure you’re using bolded text and bullets on the page too.  Bullet points and lists that are on topic with your keywords.

And then really, as far as on page, you want to have obviously good anchor text for your own site internally.  Look in your footer, look around your website, if you are linking back to yourself with the word home, or if you are linking over to your in depth product detail pages with the words, read more about it here, then you are doing yourself a disservice.  Just like you want a link from me that says, you are the greatest SEO in Australia, you want to give people links on your own website that tell them exactly what you do.  Link to yourself with a logical keyword that you want to rank for, preferably one that’s in the title tag of the page you are linking to and is also visible on the page.  Giving yourself a link is not quite as good as getting one from another domain but you can play that game too internally on your site.

Philip:    What’s the story with the latest, what’s the latest on using no follow so some people talk about using a tag around these links between pages and telling those search engines not to follow that link to the next page so that you maintain more page rank on your high value pages so maybe your privacy page or your terms of use page is not important from a search engine perspective and therefore you no follow those links.  Is that valid at the moment?

Scott:    Well, yes and no.  It’s a controversial subject that led to – in case any of your listeners don’t know what it is, the no follow tag added to – sorry I’m trying to think of words going back to the beginning.  Page rank is a numerical value that Google places on every url.  What you see in the toolbar isn’t in the Google toolbar isn’t necessarily current but every url has some degree of numerical page rank.  86% of whatever page rank is assigned to that page is passed along through the other links on the page.  So if you have a page with ten outbound links on it, or ten other links on it, the available page rank to pass along is divided by ten.  If you have twenty or thirty, it’s divided by thirty.

Well a couple of years ago, primarily to prevent people from leaving comments spam on people’s blog posts, Google and the search engines and the blog companies implemented this no follow tag.  And what the no follow tag did was it basically said, don’t pass any link juice to this link and it took on a nick name of link condoms, I’ll leave that to your imagination but the idea was if you have so much page rank to go around, but you go in and you no follow five of those links, then all of that link juice is only being funneled to the five links that are not no followed.

Well, that led to something called, in 2007-2008, that led to something called page rank sculpting, it led to serious overuse and abuse by yours truly, I’m totally guilty, I did it and to some degree there are plenty of sites I’ve got that still have the – the less critical links are no follow, links to your contacts page, links to your shopping cart, links to your login admin, links to your privacy policy, that was kind of the way you did it.  You no followed all the important stuff leaving all the link juice to flow through the good text links.

Philip:    And it makes a lot of sense really, doesn’t it?

Scott:    Well that’s what we all thought and then last May, I’m sorry, last June of 2009, Matt Cutts kind of changed the world thinking on that when he announced up at SMX Advance up in Seattle, Matt Cutts from Google said that you are no longer allowed or the fact that you are no following a link, no longer gives you that extra link juice to pour on to other pages.

So suddenly people’s strategies, people’s strategy of no following multiple links on a page, that to some degree went out the window because all of a sudden if I and I can speak to myself, I actually had a product out for WordPress that I was rolling out for that particular conference, for SMX Advance.  In fact I had already been bragging about it for a couple of days.  It was a WordPress plugin, you could go into your WordPress Admin, and you would see the link and the check box right there in the WordPress Admin for every single link on your page, every single link in the body copy, in the header, in the footer, in the left and right side bars and you could check one button that said, you could check one little box that said check all and so instantly you could no follow every link on a page and then you could go back through and selectively uncheck the boxes that you did want the link throughs to flow through.

In my mind I was going to be a hero or go because I was basically – you have an old site that has 35 links on it an old web page that’s a rank 3 or 4, suddenly you can channel all that link juice exactly where you want and give incredible relevance boost to those couple of pages.  Well the ink wasn’t even dry on our submission to WordPress.  I submitted it, I jumped on a train and went off to SMX and it was the next day or two days later when Matt announced that you can no longer sculpt your page rank the way you like.

Philip:    Did you take Matt Cutts over to a dark alley way afterwards…

Scott:    I felt like it but the interesting thing though, what really changed was that he was asked point blank what happens to the extra page rank.  I mean if you had it on the one hand and now you are no following it, if you’re not giving it to the no follow links, what happens to it?  And his exact words were, “Well, you can think of it as sort of evaporating.”

Philip:    Wow.

Scott:    So, I’ve gotten a lot stingier with my footer links, my navigation links, having unnecessary links on any given page in any part of the page.  If I don’t want to pass link juice along to them, I would rather remove them.  I don’t need that privacy policy linked to from the footer of every page of my site sucking off my link juice.

Philip:    It does seem like a strange decision from Google.  I mean I don’t see why they would stop that.

Scott:    Well their reason was because people were abusing it.  People were getting too good, I  mean this plugin, I was pretty proud of it.  It was dangerous.

Philip:    It was the best plugin for a day.  Just shows you how quick things can change in SEO’s doesn’t it?

Scott:    Well I think I made my mistake by blogging about it two months earlier that said we were working on it.  Now that might have been it.  I mean I don’t want to have some inflated ego and imply that I’m in any way responsible but I can sure tell you that I wasn’t the only one that would go in to an old post and no follow forty or forty five links and suddenly those five that were followed were getting a lot of extra juice.

Philip:    What do you think of the most common myths that are out there among business owners and marketing managers around search engine optimization?

Scott:    I think the most common myth is that you have to spend a lot of money on the internet marketing services.  SEO firms are all over the place and a lot of firms really, really charge a lot of money which in some cases is perfectly justified.  I mean if you’re going to take on a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, you better be on your game and you need to be that good but in so many markets, the competition level is so low that someone with the most basic knowledge, really it’s not that hard.  I think the myth is that it’s really impossible.  I mean unless you’re in an ultra competitive market, you can do quite well by just implementing some of the SEO 101 fundamentals on your site and making sure that it’s crawlable, your own webmaster tool account.  So I think that’s the biggest myth that you can’t necessarily do it yourself.

Philip:    I agree, I mean I think the biggest hurdle – businesses either have to weigh up whether they have time to do things themselves or whether they’ve got the cash to outsource it.  Specially starting, creating that quality content – are they going to do it themselves and make those decisions because without creating that quality content you are going to struggle, especially in competitive markets, right?

Scott:    Oh yeah, absolutely.

Philip:    What are your thoughts on WordPress for search optimization?  I know you work a lot with WordPress and you’ve created various plugins.  How do you see WordPress obviously becoming incredibly popular?  We’ve actually recently moved our site towards the end of last year from Joomla to WordPress and have noticed a fair increase in our rankings.  What are your thoughts on how effective WordPress is as a platform for good search engine optimization?

Scott:    Honestly, I can’t think of a better platform.  In fact I am fortunate in the sense that nowadays I pretty much will only work with sites that are in WordPress.  Working in another environment just doesn’t make sense to me because, not only because it’s – the method is kind of imperfected.  I mean everybody knows – anybody who does SEO in WordPress follows the same steps, they are basic fundamental things that you do after you install WordPress that makes your site literally a 100% SEO friendly and that’s just not something that can be done in a static environment.

If you are designing pages with Dreamweaver or some Adobe product, you have to manually go in and give it a title tag and a description tag and your keyword tags, you have to manually add a site to your static site map, you have to manually generate a new xml site map and submit that to webmaster tools unless you have another tool that is going to generate that for you every time you have tp.  I mean the thing I like about WordPress is it puts everything on automatic.

Philip:    Do you think moving from another content management system like Joomla  or Drupal to WordPress, literally overnight will actually help your rankings or do you find it’s more from a, I guess an update of all the details, update of meta data and tags and all that stuff that actually you get to benefit.

Scott:    I don’t know that I would say that moving from an improperly optimized or a non optimized version of Joomla would absolutely help if you went to WordPress because you’ve got these terrible – I mean I like Joomla but unless you’ve got the SEF module, unless it’s been optimized and you’ve got the extra modules and plugins or contributions available, it’s not going to be SEO friendly and that same thing goes for WordPress.  I’ll bet you that if you took a standard WordPress installation that didn’t have any SEO and you put it into Joomla where somebody did know what they were doing and it was, all your ducks were in a row, you would probably see that same success.

Philip:    So it’s about efficiency then isn’t it?

Scott:    Yeah I think for me the reason I love WordPress is the efficiency level and the fact that we kind of got it down to a science and I don’t think that they would really be the result – I mean if you took a well optimized site and moved it over to Joomla with 301 or WordPress with 301, I don’t know that you would see a marked difference.

Philip:    The SEO plugin, I think it’s called The All in One SEO plugin seems to be really popular.  Are there any other plugins or couple of tips that people could implement besides the plugin?

Scott:    Well, yeah, actually All in One SEO is a great plugin and we had a method of setting up – I don’t work with clients as much as we used to but we used to have a method of setting up WordPress where as soon as the site is set up, we would go in, we would add a new user, we would change the permalinks, you have to do certain things in WordPress before you are ready to move on and so we took our process. We took all the things that we used to do by hand and we actually automated that, put that into a plugin for WordPress.  So, without sounding too self promotional if you were to go to the WordPress repository and search for – we have a set up plugin called Core Tweaks that comes from SEO and the core tweaks plugin is plugin number one and it basically saves 20 minutes to half hour for somebody that – a minimum of 20 minutes even if you are really good at setting it up WordPress.  This will do a great job.

All the things that you have to do by hand anyway, this will do with one click from the WordPress Admin.  Then we add All in One SEO, then we add the Google xml site map and assuming  your structure is all ready, you activate your Google site maps and that’s it as far as what I would call necessary.  Then of course, every site has its own different needs, different things you want to do and you end up with twelve, fifteen, twenty plugins, it’s not unusual for us to have a ton of plugins on the page if we want to have certain different functions available but I would say those are the big three in our set.  Make sure you either set it up by hand or use our Core Tweaks plugin to get everything right and then All in One SEO and the xml site maps.

Philip:    Assuming someone doesn’t have a really unique site, if they followed, if they got those three plugins and went through the settings and was fairly familiar with all the different settings and set that up, they would probably have 90% of the on page stuff done, do you think?

Scott:    I really do.  All in One SEO is set up so that whatever you put in your subject becomes the title tag.  Whatever you put in the first 150 characters of your post becomes the unique description tag.  There is a setting in All in One SEO that will allow you to use your category names, as meta keyword tags so that’ll take place automatically, there’s even a hack in our Core Tweaks plugin that will change the default.  It will change the default on page tag for your subject.  WordPress makes it an H2 for some reason instead of an H1 and we’ve got a hack in that Core Tweaks plugin that lets you convert that to a H1 tag instead of an H2 tag.  So I honestly can say that 90% of your SEO I agree would be done and maybe even closer of your on page stuff is going to be done with a couple of simple plugins.

Philip:    Okay.  Scott so you’re second business – you have two businesses.  SEO Commander is your consulting business, is that right?

Scott:    Yeah, Search Commander Incorporated is my consulting business.  About a year ago, a year and a half ago, I started SEO and what that’s kind of turned into is more of a white label.  We still get a lot of end users who will go there and they’ll type in their URL.  We’ve got a few tools but our fan base kind of became our SEOs and what people wanted was they wanted my tool but they wanted to use it in their domain and they wanted to give their own advice about the title tag, their own advice about the description tag and so we turned it into a plugin and the SEO tool is kind of an instant review with my spin on it but it’s also a white label so it can be purchased by a search marketing agency and then they can put their spin on the same SEO factors.

Philip:    Excellent.  So that’s and

Scott:    Right. Exactly.

Philip:    Excellent.  Well Scott, you’ve given us some really valuable information, some fantastic specific tips on how people can improve their search optimization themselves and I’d really like to thank you so much for your time.

Scott:    Your welcome, thanks for the opportunity Philip.  Good talking to you.

By Philip Shaw

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