Interview with Paul Lovell SEO Consultant and Founder at Always Evolving SEO
Welcome Paul Lovell, international SEO consultant and founder at Always Evolving SEO, and also a Search Engine Watch contributor.
Paul Lovell – Steve, how you doing?
Steve Wetmore – I’m doing fantastic today. Thank you. So Paul, could you please give us an outline of who you are, what you do and, and some of your past successes.
Paul Lovell – I’ve been in the digital marketing/SEO industry for many years. And recently I’ve been doing a lot of writing for our Search Engine Watch page and also help out SEMrush.com with some of their webinars and I wrote a big piece on eCommerce with them last year, and I think we’re going to do that again this year. And knowing that I’ve worked with many clients all around the world, Australia, America, I work with Liberty Safes and Impact as well Which I help them out with a lot of their clients. And one of my biggest clients recently raised over 4 million £’s in funding as a start-up in London, when I first worked with them I helped Generate Over £800K in revenue for them in the first year of trading and much more than that with the founder pre-funding.
Steve Wetmore – Ok Paul that’s very interesting. During our conversation you mentioned that we need to talk a little bit about Voice Search.
Paul Lovell – So let’s get into that. You’ve got your basic SEO 101 which most people know. Which means you need to focus on speed etc. Everyone knows that. But what people are not realizing is that the traditional search result page that everyone is used to seeing on their desktop is changing. At quite a fast-pace especially over the last year. And more of the SERP space is being taken up by featured snippets, and QandA, FAQ Schema, knowledge graph as well as ads and everything else as well. So on the SEO side of things, the space for organic listings is getting less and less. And that’s what people need to understand is that they need to start thinking about SEO from a slightly different angle. And yeah, voice search is on its way, and exactly how that’s going to affect the SERPs even more than what it already has, only Google knows. So yeah, I think that’s where people need start thinking about how they can enhance their content, their visibility, and their brand, ultimately, because you want to be selected as the featured snippet in your answer to that query that the users are searching for. You search for something and the featured snippet comes up and it’s your website and your brand, as the best answer for that query. Google is seeing you as the authority on that topic and rewarding you with the Featured Snippet. Now Yeah, the downside means that you’re not getting the user to your website. But then does that mean that that’s going to increase your brand visibility because they see you as an authority on that topic, for example.
Steve Wetmore – So, I’m going to challenge you a little bit. Our readers need some detail on what exactly to do this as SEOs, speculating and using their their expertise to, to come up with some sort of answer on what exactly to do on your website besides all of the SEO 101 stuff to improve or to prepare your website more for voice search?
Paul Lovell – Well, that’s quite easy. Google has published information on the Developer’s Guide. And that’s the speakable schema. So that’s where you give Google the information that you would like them to read out on a voice device. I mean, that’s what the whole purpose of that Schema is for. And placing that Schema Markup on your site with some relevant information in the correct way, according to their guidelines, will give you the ability to serve that information to run on a voice device like Google Home. This code is open to anyone to use.
Steve Wetmore – Okay. I have looked at the Developer’s Guide, and I have to admit that it’s, difficult to follow. It is not straightforward implementation. Now the new Gutenberg editor on WordPress has formatted Schema blocks that you can add easily. You simply fill in the blanks, add the information, and it formats it in schema for you, which is awesome. So with the Gutenberg editor it will help with formatting data for voice search.
Paul Lovell – Use Gutenberg as a bonus. All the schema that I do now is done via Google Tag Manager which is free. And I recommend using what they call the graph, which is the same way that Yoast SEO does it within the plugin. Because you’re able to help join that entity information together a lot more. So if you’ve written a blog post, on SEO for example, and you can say, this is the article, with the information, here’s the main image that’s on the page. You’ve given Google all the data information in a structured way. You also indicate who the author is. And you can have a little bit of information about the author. You can also include Twitter and Facebook profiles as well. Then you can indicate this is part of a web page, this web page is part of the site. Structuring all of that information together in a graph, which then means that Google’s got only one choice, it has to digest that whole bit of schema rather than just picking and choosing which pieces of info it would prefer to digest based on the fact Google is looking for to publish enhanced SERP features.
Steve Wetmore – Well, that is that is great information. So one of the other parts of this interview that remains insightful is what people like yourself are using as your top SEO tools?
Paul Lovell – Yes, I use Screaming Frog on the cloud for working bigger sites. And then I’m able to set to automatically crawl websites to collect the info. And then I can place that straight into that Google data studio report I give to my clients. Additionally I combine that with Google Analytics and Google Search Console to give them highly detailed report which I call the MOAR report, which the client is able to see their actual website data, and H1, H2 status codes, all of that sort of stuff, as well as aligning that with information from Search Console, what pages are being ranked for what queries as well as analytics information as well.
Steve Wetmore – Screaming Frog gives you all that.
Paul Lovell – No, I combine it in Google Data Studio. So that’s the way that the report goes to the customer.
Steve Wetmore – Google Data Studio? Okay. Well, where have I been living? What? Where is that?
Paul Lovell – It is quite new to google it came out a few years ago. And at first, you could only get five reports. Now you can generate as many as you want. You can connect that via connectors, too, for example, Search Console, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and many, many more as well. And supermetrics and they’ve got a plugin that you can pull information from other sources as well at HubSpot and Facebook ads and stuff now, you can create your dashboards and reports in there. And done in real-time.
Steve Wetmore – Wow. And Where do you access Google Data Studio?
Paul Lovell – You access it from your Google account. So if you’ve got a Google account that you’re using at the moment, I’m just typing Google Data Studio. It will come up, you click through to it and then it will show you some of the reports available. There are some template reports in there that you can use. But you can still customize it with a lot of other information from Big Query for example, and CRUX Reports and Page Speed Insights and stuff like that.
Paul Lovell – I’m also using SEMrush and AHRefs as well.
Steve Wetmore – Paul thank you for your insights today. This is a lot of useful information – awesome and thanks again!