Episode 231

SEO For Course Creators and Membership Site Owners with Lindsay Halsey of Pathfinder SEO

We dive into SEO for course creators and membership site owners with Lindsay Halsey of Pathfinder SEO in this LMScast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. In this episode, Lindsay and Chris address some major questions about how SEO interacts with online courses and memberships on both the technical and strategic levels.

Pathfinder SEO is a guided SEO solution for site owners, freelancers, and agencies that Lindsay and her team have worked to develop over the last 10 years of doing SEO for her agency. It is a subscription-based service where an SEO coach helps you map your strategy out and connect with the tools you need to make it happen.

SEO for course creators and membership site owners with Lindsay Halsey of Pathfinder SEO

Lindsay shares what she has found to be the two common solutions to getting found on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The first solution is hiring an agency where they do most of the work for you, and the other is a DIY solution where you work to put together courses, blog posts, and other content marketing strategies.

With Guided SEO, Lindsay offers a third, alternative path where you meet with an SEO coach once a month, and it is like having a personal trainer who can help you focus on the places to boost your SEO and stay on the right path when it comes to building your SEO.

The agency solution to SEO is most suitable for somebody who wants to put in 20% of the effort and hire out the other 80%. If you’re thinking of doing it yourself, then you may want to spend about 80% of your time learning and 20% of your time implementing those SEO strategies.

With Lindsay’s Guided SEO, rather than spending 80% of your time learning and 20% working, you can flip that around. With a coach helping you map out exactly what you need to do, it allows you to invest that 80% in implementing and 20% strategizing.

Course creators tend to be great at putting together content when building courses. Chris and Lindsay talk about one of the largest struggles with content marketing, which is how much you should give away for free and what you should save for a value add in your course.

In-depth FAQs and blog posts addressing specific questions your ideal prospects have is a great way to get good SEO content. Lindsay recommends the tool AnswerThePublic that allows you to find what people search for based off of keywords to help you better position your content.

To learn more about Lindsay Halsey be sure to check out PathfinderSEO.com and you can find her on Twitter at @Linds_Halsey. Use coupon code 25offyippee to get 25% off a subscription to Pathfinder SEO for the first three months.

At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. You can subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom, LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.

Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Lindsay Halsey from Pathfinder SEO. How are you doing, Lindsay?

Lindsay Halsey: Good. Thanks so much for having me today, Chris.

Chris Badgett: Absolutely. Your Pathfinder SEO offer is around Guided SEO, which I find fascinating. What does that mean? You’re also an ex-mountain guide type person like me too, which is really, I don’t meet a lot of in this industry, but what is Guided SEO?

Lindsay Halsey: Guided SEO is a process that we’ve developed over the last 10 years doing SEO for our customers at our agency. And what we saw in the space was that there were two common solutions to getting found in Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The first solution is hiring an agency where they do most of the work for you. And the other solution is DIY, where you bridge together courses, tools, and a lot of sweat equity to try to help get your site more visibility in the search engines.

Lindsay Halsey: With Guided SEO, we actually offer a third alternative path. We give the process that we developed over those 10 years at our agency along with tools, and then we add in an SEO coach that you meet with once a month and you can kind of think of it is like your personal trainer in the SEO space.

Chris Badgett: So, for the course creator out there, somebody who’s building a training based membership site, what kind of things go into deciding whether they should be a do it yourselfer, be guided, or go to an agency and do full on agency SEO work? Like, how can they self select? Who are these different levels for?

Lindsay Halsey: So, an agency solution, I think, is appropriate for somebody who wants to put 20% of the effort in SEO themselves and hire someone to do the other 80%. It requires a more sizable SEO budget. Typically, you’re looking at something, bare minimum $500 or more of a monthly investment, and somebody who’s not really interested in being super hands on in their SEO, but they should also not feel like they can 100% outsource this area of their marketing initiative, because there are some tasks that require collaboration with a business owner or a marketing manager or in this case course creator. So, that’s sort of the agency solution, that 80/20 rule being 20% your own effort and cost quite a bit higher.

Lindsay Halsey: If we go to the other side of the spectrum and you’re thinking do it yourself, to me, that’s somebody that is comfortable with the idea that they may spend 80% of their time learning and 20% of their time doing and they like to piece that puzzle together themselves. Sort of like, if you’re a do it yourself and you want to build your own deck on the back of your house and you’ve never swung a hammer, so, if that excites you, then DIY maybe Good for you. I’m not really actually DIY in any facet of my business or personal life, and I tend to like a little bit more of a hybrid approach. That’s where the guided solution at Pathfinder sort of comes into play.

Lindsay Halsey: So, here, you are doing the majority of the work for you. Just like if you were say, decided you wanted to run a marathon, with Guided SEO, we give you the process or the map you’re going to need to follow to train up for running this marathon. We give you the tools, the gym equipment that you’re going to need to use. And then we give you a personal trainer to keep you accountable and help answer your questions. So, in this case, you’re doing the majority of the work for you but you can probably invest about 80% of your time into actually doing SEO, taking action on the tactics that are going to influence the search results, and 20% of your time learning about SEO and kind of doing strategy. That’s a little bit of the breakdown in terms of self selection.

Chris Badgett: That’s beautiful. What kind of things come up on like the monthly coaching call or is it depend?

Lindsay Halsey: It depends, but it also follows kind of a standardization of process. So, our first monthly coaching call is dedicated to keyword research. I don’t know what your experience with keyword research in the course spaces, but this is where we find the biggest opportunity for people, tends to be. The reason is because keyword research is pretty hard and it’s easy to think you want to cast your website into either too big of a keyword space where you’re never going to get traffic and you’re going to fight this uphill battle trying to essentially climb a mountain that’s too big for your business, or cast yourself into something far too narrow and you might get a number one ranking or two out of it but you end up getting no traffic and thus no increase in sales.

Chris Badgett: So, before this call, you were excited about a course creation community in the training membership site people because they’re content people, what makes you excited about that?

Lindsay Halsey: Well, content is sort of the backbone of a solid SEO strategy. This is a place where we really see people struggle is putting pen to paper. So, they have in depth expertise, they have a lot to share, but they don’t feel comfortable with the writing process. So, with course creators we actually kind of flip things upside down.

Lindsay Halsey: The call I had earlier this morning coaching session was all about, why this customer needed to have a blog. What they would blog about? How they would calendar their scheduling. When you think about course creators, the content is all right there. The question is, what do we want to give away for free? And what do we want someone to have to be a member or a subscriber of the course to get? And so the strategy changes and instead of it being very tactical, you need to write, it’s more about, how are you going to determine what content to give away and what content to hold for your membership value add?

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, I have a very specific question on that point. I don’t really know how to ask it without actually asking five questions at once, so bear with me while I get it out.

Lindsay Halsey: Fire away.

Chris Badgett: My understanding is that one of the challenges from an SEO perspective for course creators and membership sites is that, because most of the content is locked down behind the login or whatever, that is not really indexed, it’s not really helping you. That’s assumption number one. Then my next question has to do with, creators are really busy, they wear what I call the five hats. They have to be an expert in an industry, they have to be a teacher, they have to be a technologist, they have to be a community builder and they have to be an entrepreneur. They’re very busy people, but they can create content for days. It’s not a problem. Videos, audios, text, whatever their MO is, or whatever their [specialty 00:07:29] is, but how do they decide if they are going to create content outside of the course or the membership for SEO purposes? How do they decide what to do?

Chris Badgett: Should it be on their site? Should it be on somebody else’s site? Should it be blogging? Should it be a YouTube channel? Should it be, being a podcast guest around the internet? And I’m sure the answer is all those things. But how do they decide where to start without getting overwhelmed because that’s the big problem with course creators is, they’re just very busy and overwhelmed people. So, help them out a little bit here.

Lindsay Halsey: All right. We’ll start with your assumption at the beginning, which is that must much of the content is locked down and thus the search engines can’t get to it. That’s a correct assumption. Essentially, the content on a page needs to be fully visible without having to log in for the search engines to easily index that content.

Lindsay Halsey: Sometimes you see content where you get to get only so far before you subscribe or before you log in. You see this with like news sites that only let you read the beginning of an article and then if you want more, you have to upgrade. In which case the search engines can get through essentially the visible or readable content and then you start to [inaudible 00:08:43] the rest depending on your technology. There are ways around that, but for the most part, let’s just take that assumption to be true, which is locked down content not good for the search engines. Or free content, not so good for business.

Lindsay Halsey: So, we’re going to have to come up with a middle ground for the busy course creator. When we talk about you guys having kind of a leg up in the space, what I think about is breaking this down into the what, why, when, and how space of content. The how, you guys have mastered and are probably far better at it than I am and I can start to learn more from your community. Which is, you guys are really good at creating written content, video content, audio content and could spend days doing so. So, you’ve got the how down, we can push that aside.

Lindsay Halsey: We need to decide next the what and the where. The what and the where is going to be where the strategy component comes into play. So, when I think about the what, I think about where do or what point in time do I want to meet my potential subscriber, my potential member in their journey on whatever they’re learning. So, I tend to want to meet one of those people at a point of pain. I work in the SEO space and I want to meet someone that’s maybe struggling to decide what SEO plugin to use in their website. I’m going to create free content around that concept because I’m trying to meet them at this point where they’re turning to Google and asking a really explicit question that I have an answer for, and that is a perfect place to create action. If you go back to like building a deck. You’re going to meet somebody when they’re really frustrated because they’re asking questions in the search engines, and a great place to do this research is in a tool called AnswerThePublic.

Lindsay Halsey: So, check out AnswerThePublic and put in like the two phrases, two word phrase that you would use to describe your course content, and then see this unbelievably exhaustive list of what people are searching for and go through and you’ll see the what, why, how, when, you see versus in comparison questions in this tool, and then highlight out of there where you think that person is like the most frustrated and maybe focus some content around that space.

Chris Badgett: Wow. That’s amazing. I have to ask because I get asked this all the time. Which SEO plugin should I use? Like do you have or can you tell us about the article or [crosstalk 00:11:20]

Lindsay Halsey: We’ll keep it short here for you which is, we really love the Yoast SEO Plugin, and for most sites that I do SEO on we upgrade to premium because it has some really robust tools. But Yoast is definitely the industry leader in this WordPress SEO space in terms of tools and functionality, so that keeps life pretty simple.

Chris Badgett: What do you get in the premium version that … like, what’s the main benefit of Yoast premium?

Lindsay Halsey: My favorite part of Yoast premium is the redirect manager. So, no matter what version you’re using in Yoast, you get the ability to connect Yoast or your WordPress site to the Google Search Console. So, we’re getting a little bit deep into the world of SEO here, but you get those two things connected and you start to listen to where Google is hitting roadblocks in your website for [inaudible 00:12:10], and with with Yoast premium, it’s like a click of a button to basically respond to that conversation. So, instead of having to go through a couple different plugins and bounce around, I can go through and respond to page not found errors that Google’s giving me just really simply. And so as somebody doing SEO quite often for other websites, I like the speed and efficiency there.

Chris Badgett: For the uninitiated, can you describe the difference between like going to your Google Analytics versus your Google Search Console?

Lindsay Halsey: Yeah, that’s a great question. Google Analytics you can think of as you’re all in one marketing enterprise level analytics suite. It has more data than any of us will ever understand. It’s endless and super powerful. Google Analytics, you put the script on your website, and every time you log into Google Analytics, you can see almost everything about your visitor behavior except for who they actually are. So, that private data, and you can sort and filter and do all sorts of cool stuff.

Lindsay Halsey: The Google Search Console is really SEO specific or more SEO specific than just a general marketing tool. I think that is like my communication tool with Google. So, I verify my website over the Google search console to prove that it is my site or a site that I manage, and then they’re going to give me back a ton of great data that has to do about things like performance, they give me what keywords are driving traffic to my site, they give me where are they having an experience or difficulty crawling my website. So, there is a ton of different data in there that all relates to SEO and so, I end up spending more time in the Google Search Console these days than I do in Google Analytics, but that’s just because I’m hyper focused in the world of SEO.

Lindsay Halsey: You can connect the two and get a lot of the performance data out of Google Search Console into Google Analytics, but you don’t get all of the other kind of crawler data and stuff that you can get when you go directly into the search console. So, long winded answer, you need them both.

Chris Badgett: Super awesome. To the previous question I asked you. Should everybody be blogging? Like, is that a big part, especially a course creator who they’re busy, but they know how to, in most cases create content, should they be blogging?

Lindsay Halsey: Yes. We talked a little bit earlier about the where. So, we got through kind of the what type of content should you be writing or what type of keywords maybe, but then you have to decide where you’re actually going to publish this content. And a blog is a logical place, especially if you’re in WordPress. The search engines, they love blogs because they have recent content, frequently updated content. It used to be enough in SEO to just simply like blog once a week, and if that’s all we did for a client for SEO, we’d see them start getting an upward trend. Now, that’s sort of a minimum bar. The assumption is that most businesses, especially course creators, are going to be blogging or putting out fresh content. And so now you have to be a little bit more purposeful with the what in addition to just the fact that you are blogging, that you’re really blogging and writing in a manner that the search engines can digest to [inaudible 00:15:39] meaning out of your content.

Lindsay Halsey: So, putting content on the blog makes a lot of sense and that helps build your own domain sort of trust and authority from within because you’re showing your expertise in your subject matter by giving that content to Google and letting Google display it to others, and that’s a big piece of the puzzle. But then there is this other puzzle that we can create a website that is the most amazing resource on any topic on the internet if we put the time and effort in, but to get trust, we’re going to need more authority coming from outside resources that validate our subject matter expertise and validate our website as a whole. So, that’s this whole world of link building.

Lindsay Halsey: So, when you think about the where to publish content, the other place to publish content is elsewhere so that you can point links back to your website as one high quality link building technique, and that’s where you start to think about trying to create partnerships and doing some guest blogging on other websites.

Chris Badgett: Can you give us like the top five things that contribute to SEO to having good chance of being in the number one or towards the top?

Lindsay Halsey: It’s hard to name top five, so, we can break SEO into like four pillars. How about that kind of approach? And within each pillar talk about kind of the big stuff. The first pillar to SEO I think about is technical SEO. The search engines have to be able to find and index your website. If they can’t find it, they can’t index the pages and put them essentially in the rolodex, they can’t show those pages. So, when you’re thinking about this concept of technical SEO, the things in your toolbox are things like an XML sitemap, robots txt file, your meta directives, maybe your schema markup that’s going to allow them to extract more meaning from a page, and I think this is very foundational because sometimes we see great websites that make one singular mistake in WordPress, which is unchecking the little box when they’re ready to go live in the site settings that says, let the search engines in, and they sit for months wondering why their site is still not getting traffic- [crosstalk 00:17:57]

Chris Badgett: Or yours. I’ve seen yours.

Lindsay Halsey: Oh my goodness. Uncheck that box. That’s one area of SEO. The next area I think of is usability. Here we’re talking about things like site security https, responsive mobile design so I can see it well from any kind of device I’m using, and then thirdly, site speed and performance. We need our sites to be quick to load because no matter how great your content is, how great your web page is, if it loads really slowly, we’re all probably out of there and the search engines are going to hit you for that. Today’s era, most sites we see are responsive, most people are using http, so the tip is to focus on site speed in 2019 because that’s not going away in the world of SEO.

Lindsay Halsey: The next piece is content. We’ve talked a bit about writing content, blogging, having quality content on your site, things like page titles and meta descriptions, using proper use of h1 tags, h2 tags, things like that fall under this content umbrella. We’ve talked a couple of tips there, but one that we haven’t is thinking about those page titles and meta descriptions. It’s another thing we see, someone’s homepage says home in the page title, it really doesn’t give anybody any context about where they’re going except for the homepage of somebody’s website on the internet.

Lindsay Halsey: Then this last pillar is the one we just sort of started alluding to, and that’s this world of off site SEO. Depending on who you talk to, this could be like 40% of the game potentially for your business. So, it’s a really big piece of the puzzle and it’s all about establishing trust and credibility through your social profiles and through your direct ink building efforts from one website to another.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. I know sometimes people get in trouble, they fall prey to an SEO tactic that’s too good to be true, maybe like buying backlinks and they end up being from a low quality place that ends up hurting them, what are some just SEO related things like that, that people should be on the lookout for to avoid? Or a way to think about the SEO to make sure they don’t accidentally end up doing something that’s grey hat or black hat or not ethical or could potentially be punished for later?

Lindsay Halsey: I think about it as the neighborhood I hang out in. So, if something raises that little like red flag of, is this a neighborhood I want to hang out in? Then if it even just like tips the scale, then the answer is no, don’t go there. So, if it seems too good to be true, that certainly is a red flag, but I also just think like, what kind of association am I going to get for my business, for my website via this opportunity. That’s the biggest red flag, I think is, where are you going to hang out and is this going to be something you want to tell your mom about?

Chris Badgett: Okay, that’s good. It’s good. What is some low hanging fruit? If there is a DIYer out there, what’s one area they can look at to optimize or just know about to help with their website ranking? Like what’s that hanging fruit where you can come in and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, you just changed these couple things and that’s going to do a lot.” Like what is that?

Lindsay Halsey: Pathfinder SEO, we go through a scoring rubric to identify the singular pieces of low hanging fruit for different websites so that we can prioritize our effort there. So yes, we have a process that we apply for everybody, but we want to know where you are in sort of our hundred point grading scale to quickly elicit out, what are the top three or four action items that we can take that are going to have an influence on our traffic today or tomorrow. And so, when we start to look at where this grading process that we’ve been doing for hundreds of sites over the years, when you start to look at this grading process and where we tend to see the low hanging fruit, page titles and meta descriptions, almost everybody needs some improvement there. Either they’re missing, they’re too long, to short, they’re not keyword focused. There’s almost always something we can do there. And that’s going to help influence not only your rank but also your click through rates.

Lindsay Halsey: So, you might be number one for a search term, but people are clicking on the second result because they have more engaging text in the search engine results page. Fine tuning those page titles and meta descriptions can be a quick win for performance and traffic. Site speed, pretty much across the board everybody can make some improvements in performance and site speed. And then the last one is really the link building area. It’s a piece of the puzzle that is the most nebulous. Everyone’s a little scared because there were the era of the buying of links and so now that that era has passed, people are afraid that what they’re doing might be considered gray area or shady and they just don’t even want to touch it. But there are great ways to build links and other ways to think about link building.

Lindsay Halsey: I think about link building as partnerships online. So, we all have these relationships in our everyday life and in our businesses and what we’re trying to do for the search engines is model those relationships online. And we do that via links. So, we show who our friends are and what we’re associated with by linking out to other content and vice versa having links come into our site. If you really think of it in this like natural relationship oriented marketing way, link building actually becomes fun because it makes just total logical sense and doesn’t feel spammy or gray hat.

Chris Badgett: Yeah, because I think the reality is, we’re all six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon or whatever that is.

Lindsay Halsey: Right, that’s what they say.

Chris Badgett: If you think about those web of relationships, it’s pretty natural I guess. I can put you on the spot for maybe a harder question that comes up a lot in the course building community, which is, a lot of time, not all the time. But sometimes people end up where they’re using multiple websites, like they have marketing site, and then they have a sub domain for, let’s say, the membership or the course, then maybe like they have a separate site for like a podcast or something like that. And they end up like architecturally breaking up their home on the internet in a multiple places for various performance or different reasons. Does that hurt people from an SEO perspective or not really? Like is it better to have, from an SEO perspective, an all in one website, or does it really not even matter?

Lindsay Halsey: It matters. There’s not a singular answer, but if you had to make some kind of best practice assumptions, to me, it makes sense that your blog, your big content hub that’s for the search engines lives on your main marketing site. So, you consolidate the domain authority and trust that you’re building into your www.mybusiness.com, all there with your marketing materials and your blog happening there. Then your course could be over on a sub domain or something like that. That’s going to be fine because your course is password protected once somebody is a subscriber, so that makes total logical sense that that’s really how we built Pathfinder SEO. We’ve got our marketing site and then app.pathfinderseo, and that works great for SEO.

Lindsay Halsey: Then if you start to get into this other content type like podcasting, you basically have two choices. Put that podcast on my main marketing website or create this other website for my podcast. I think it depends on how well aligned the podcast is with your business. If your podcast is a direct overlap with your main course marketing website, then maybe yeah, you have just a sub folder on your main marketing site, .com/podcast and you place it there. That’ll be a great way to kind of build everything under one roof, really consolidated. But an argument can easily be made for when that overlapping circle isn’t quite as strong [inaudible 00:26:34] overlap, maybe a different brand name for the podcast versus the product or the course, and so there it makes total sense to have a separate website and what you want to do is be funneling some of the value from your podcast website over to your product or over to your course and you can do that with links. So, here you’re building like an off site trust resource that’s pushing back, and that’s good for SEO too.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, since I’m getting some free consulting here, I’m going to ask you one more, which is I have an issue and I know lots of other people feel the same way where it’s easier for them to podcast than it is to blog. So, a lot of people will sometimes gravitate, they’ll blog less, they’ll podcast more, they’ll get the podcast transcribed so there’s that transcription on the page. Is that any better or worse to have like a transcript? I’ve heard different things. I don’t know. But does the blogging versus podcasting really matter one way or the other?

Lindsay Halsey: I think it depends a bit on the medium. If you go back to the what and what you’re talking about, you need to maybe, instead of just doing what you’d prefer to do, which is potentially talking instead of having the right answer the question of okay, here’s the topic I want to talk about, does this better suit itself where the core content type on this page is going to be the written word, audio word or video word or some hybrid there of, and be strategic and really call that out. So, if I’m going to answer this question, how am I going to do it in a really effective way for my users?

Lindsay Halsey: If you go user first, you’re going to be inherently going SEO first because that’s what the SEO world has moved over to is it’s all about the user. And so thinking about the content that you’re talking about and deciding what medium makes sense, or hybrid of mediums is sort of step one. If you do go over to the podcasting world, then transcriptions are helpful because they give the search engines that MIDI text that makes it really easy for them to know what the podcast is all about.

Chris Badgett: I have another one for you, which was about engagement. I feel like people don’t comment as much more on blog posts. I mean, certain things definitely, it will be hundreds and thousands of comments, but it seems like commenting isn’t as strong, but I’m sure that Google cares about like time on site how many people link to it as a form of engagement?What are some of the factors that search engines look at for engagement to tell like, Oh, this is a hot topic here? This is important.

Lindsay Halsey: That’s a good question. So, there’s always speculation as to the fact of, what is Google doing with big data, and they’ve got their Google Analytics data and so how much do they use things like time on page to then potentially reverse back into the search engine algorithms? So, there’s a lot of speculation on what that relationship looks like and how that’s evolved over time. But it’s not a direct ranking factor. So, having your grandma sit on your favorite blog post for an hour and like boost up your average time on page is not going to impact your SEO. But it is a unique tactic that people think.

Lindsay Halsey: Click through rates, how likely someone is to click on content in the search engine results. That might be an area, but it’s another area that you can’t really gain. Like, you don’t want to go and pay someone to just click on your links or something like that. That’s not an SEO best practice tactic. So, when you’re thinking about a piece of content, that you really want to have strong performance, you then think, well, maybe I’ll use some paid social, I’ll take this piece of content, I’ll put it out in Twitter, I’ll put it out on Facebook, and I’ll boost this post. Then Google should figure out that I got a ton of engagement with this content and it is the best piece of content in this given area. But you circle back around to this concept that social can be bought. So you paid to get that engagement and even though it was really strong engagement, it’s not going to be weighted very heavily in the search results because it could be purchased or bought. It’s also really complex for the search engines to model that social web. So, you’re still not really hitting the nail on the hammer on how to get this content really aggressively picked up in the search engines, and instead what I think about is deep linking.

Lindsay Halsey: Deep linking is when you point a link from an external website into your website, but it doesn’t go to your homepage or your FAQ your pricing page, it goes deep into the site into a blog post, or into a much deeper level page, and comes from a really purposeful location. So, if you write a great piece of content that you want to get out there, then you have to think about, okay, well, who’s this really applicable to? And who can I get to actually link directly into this? You can think of like maybe getting published in like a monthly news roundup, like online publication might do. That would be a really great deep link from their blog to your blog, where your blog is listed amongst the five best pieces of content in your content area. And that would be the kind of link that’s just like a home run for SEO.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. One more question I get a lot about blogging or just regular pages, is the length. Is there really a minimum? Like, does it have to be at least 500 words or does it really need to be at least 1,000 words or 2,000? Does it really matter?

Lindsay Halsey: There’s no definitive minimum or maximum, and you want to go back to user experience and the search engines, you want to look at other competing content, see kind of how long those pieces of content. You want to think about, well, how long did I think it would take for me to answer this? Is it a definitive guide and it’s going to take me 3,000, 5,000 words, or is it just like a singular little nugget of information that I can unpack in two or three paragraphs? It’s content specific. Recommend people really, check their competition around that keyword space or that piece of content, and then just always focus back on the user and say, did I do a good job creating really good content for the user around this topic? If the answer is yes, it doesn’t really matter how long it is.

Chris Badgett: That is incredible. Can you tell us just the best way? If someone’s really interested, what should they do to get in touch with you at Pathfinder SEO?

Lindsay Halsey: Well, we talked a little bit about the scoring process. So, if you’ve been staying on board here with the podcast, definitely diving in and getting your SEO score is a great place to just sort of see where that low hanging fruit is, and start to think about what the map would look like for your course website and for your business to kind of propel forward in 2019.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, Lindsay Halsey, thanks for coming on the show. It was great to connect. Thanks for helping the course creators level up on SEO because this is important. If you’re not found or not optimized, it has a big impact. So, thanks for sharing your wisdom with us here today.

Lindsay Halsey: Thanks for your time. That was fun.

Chris Badgett: That’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide Chris Badgett, I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results getting courses on the internet.

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