1 min read

HubHeroes 1st Ever State of the Inbound SEO Union, feat. Franco Valentino (HubHeroes, Ep. 44)

inbound marketing and seo in 2023

Welcome back to another episode of the HubHeroes podcast! This week .... ohhhh, this is a juicy episode.

Since the dawn of inbound marketing time, SEO (search engine optimization) has cast a wide shadow across the land ... feared by many, understood by few. Is it a verb? Is it something you can check off your to do list? How does one guarantee getting on the first page of Google?

Over the years, the practice of SEO (and how to do it well) has evolved substantially.

  • Keyword stuffing is in.
  • Keyword stuffing is out.
  • It's all about the substance of your content.
  • Just kidding your user experience now matters, too.
  • On page SEO is king!
  • Hold on just a minute, have you heard of schema markup?
  • Marketers control everything about rankings!
  • Just kidding, call your website host provider, their speeds are killing you.
  • Your words are so pretty, they're gonna do great!
  • LOL, nevermind, your developer made the code on your site too bulky and now pages load too slowly for your content to matter.

And on, and on, and on!

So, this week, we're having what we're affectionately calling the HubHeroes State of the SEO in Inbound Union with the one and only Franco Valentino, an SEO Jedi and founder of Narrative SEO and Mekanix. We're going to talk about SEO — what's in, what's out, what HubSpot can help you with, and what it can't.

What we cover in this episode

  • When inbound marketers think about SEO today, what are the key mindsets they need to have?
  • What are the OUTDATED mindsets they need to drop?
  • When I put myself in the shoes of a marketer or business owner of a small business, I can imagine feeling crazy overwhelmed by everything I think I'm supposed to understand. So, what do I actually need to understand? What are the basics?
  • How CAN HubSpot help folks with SEO?
  • How CAN'T HubSpot help folks with SEO? Put another way, if I rely on HubSpot to tell me if I'm doing a great job optimizing my site and content for search, what am I missing?
  • What is actually true about what people need to understand about technical SEO?
  • How do you know when you need a developer?
  • Are artificial intelligence and tools like ChatGPT going to ruin everything?

Extra resources

HubSpot Training with George B Thomas

(We've made it easy!)

🔥 Someone call the fire department because the hot takes in this episode dedicated to all things SEO for inbound marketers were nonstop. 

If you're ready to learn about what #HubSpot can and can't do for SEO, how #AI will impact your ability to rank well, and what SEO trends are on the way out, you can't miss this episode — featuring the one and only Franco Valentino!


#inboundmarketing #contentmarketing #seo #seostrategy #technicalseo #onpageseo #artificialintelligence

🤔 What are the SEO tools every inbound marketing practitioner needs to be successful?

🤔 What can't HubSpot help you with when it comes to killing the SEO game in 2023?

🤔 How will artificial intelligence and tools like #ChatGPT impact content creation and SEO?

These are just a few of the questions we explore in this week's totally 🔥 episode of #HubHeroes, with special guest Franco Valentino:


#inboundmarketing #contentmarketing #seo #seostrategy #technicalseo #onpageseo #artificialintelligence

😱 We know we're not blowing anyone's mind when we say that a LOT has changed in #SEO for inbound marketing over the past few years. 

But if you're feeling overwhelmed by all the conflicting information about what SEO trends are in or out, how much you should (or shouldn't) care about Google updates, what tools you need, how AI is impacting SEO -- and on and on ... well, you're in the right place.

Buckle up for a very special episode of HubHeroes, with special guest Franco Valentino!


#inboundmarketing #contentmarketing #seo #seostrategy #technicalseo #onpageseo #artificialintelligence


A Totally Unforgettable, Unhinged HubHeroes #INBOUND23 Recap (HubHeroes, Ep. 52)

A Totally Unforgettable, Unhinged HubHeroes #INBOUND23 Recap (HubHeroes, Ep. 52)

Hey, everybody! It's Liz here, your friendly, neighborhood content strategist and co-host of the HubHeroes podcast. Now, you may be wondering why I'm...

The Ultimate HubHeroes Sales Enablement Strategy Round-up (Best of the Podcast)

The Ultimate HubHeroes Sales Enablement Strategy Round-up (Best of the Podcast)

Look, there's been some speculation that this particular charismatic HubHero (with volume control issues) was unable to attend HubSpot's...

hubspot forms contacts strategy conversions cro

HubHeroes Lampoon's Wild, Wacky, Winning HubSpot Forms Adventure (HubHeroes, Ep. 51)

In our world, where HubSpot, inbound, and content reign supreme, it's easy to overlook probably THE MOST ESSENTIAL HubSpot tool that exists. No,...

Meet your HubHeroes

Liz Murphy


Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.

Devyn Bellamy


HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.

Max Cohen


HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.

George B. Thomas


HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.

[00:00:00] George B. Thomas: Liz, are you happy you got to hear it this week? I was 

[00:00:02] Liz Murphy: literally just about to say that there is nothing like a good bit of safe harbor language to really just get you hyped. I dunno. I know, right? I'm so excited. Actually, I'm, I'm, I'm excited about a lot of things. First of all, I always feel so sad for people who don't watch this episode recording live.

Yes. While we're in the Hub heroes community because, What you don't see if you're not an awesome member is that we basically have like a little tiny dance party. But what I love is that like, we're jamming, we're jamming, we're jamming. It's like we would also now like to tell you that Devin works for HubSpot and everybody just kind of goes, okay, you just like, exciting part.

[00:00:38] Devyn Bellamy: For me, I love it because one, it's my dream job and two, it reminds me that I do have a job. So it's like, there you go. And, and the fact that I get my extra special, let alone call out in the intro is just, you know, it, it tickles my ego a little bit. 

[00:00:53] George B. Thomas: Yeah. Like that. Devin. Devin and Lord lack man, Devin and Lord lack, they get their call outs in the intro.

[00:00:58] Liz Murphy: know, but you know who didn't get a call out in today's intro? The man's a legend. Franco Valentino. Hello my friend. Yes. You what? 

[00:01:08] Franco Valentino: Oh me. Hi. Hey there. How you doing? I am honored to be here. It's so good to be with my long, long, long term friends on talk a little bit about what we all love and adore and spend our days.

You know, eagerly optimizing is HubSpot and the rest of the internet in general. So, boy, super excited. Oh 

[00:01:24] Liz Murphy: Yes, that's right, actually. Yeah, you know what? You teed that up really nicely, Franco. We have an extra spicy juicy episode of the Hub Heroes podcast for you guys today. So since the dawn of inbound time, let's just all go in the way back machine.

You know what has always been there? Seo, search engine optimization, casting its wide, sometimes spooky, scary, ominous shadow across the savanna. Oof. Feared by many, understood by few. Is it a verb? That's always my favorite thing. We're gonna SEO it. What I I'm sorry. Wait, what? Say what now? Yeah, I know. Is it something you could check off a to-do list?

How does one guarantee getting on the first page of Google? I still want to note that. And then also over the years, let's, let's be honest, um, it's, I've got a little bit of emotional whiplash from how much has changed. Keyword stuffing is in. Keyword stuffing is out. Mm. It's all about the substance of your content and nothing more.

Just kidding. Your user experience now matters too. On page SEO is king. Hold on a minute. Have you heard of Schema Market or can markup or can you spell it? Marketers control everything about rankings. Just kidding. Call your website host provider. Their speeds are killing you. Nothing you do will save you.

Your words are so pretty, they're gonna do great. Lol, nevermind. Your developer made the code on your site too bulky and now pages load too slowly. So once again, your content doesn't matter. And on and on and on until the break of dawn. So this week, 

[00:02:49] George B. Thomas: Liz, I gotta be honest, I'm I, I know you're gonna continue on, but I'm stuck because you said stuffing like keyword stuffing.

Man, I love stuffing. Like I know. It's like one of my favorite, like, thanks. Anyway, nevermind. Not why we're here. 

[00:03:02] Liz Murphy: Sorry. No, I understand that. See, this is that problem we always record what I at a, what I like to call hangry hour, which precedes yes. Happy hour. Yes. So, Yeah, I'm sorry bud, but I do love stuffing too.

But you know what? I am also loving like that flawless segue right there. That one of the things, number two. That was good. That was well done. Thanks. Thanks. Welcome everybody. To the first annual Hub heroes, state of the SEO in Inbound 

[00:03:26] George B. Thomas: Union. Let's go with the 

[00:03:28] Liz Murphy: one and the only. Franco Valentino, an SEO Jedi and founder of narrative SEO and mechanics.

We're gonna talk about seo, what's in, what's out, what's new, what's hot, what's not, what HubSpot can help you with. And most of all, what it can't. Are we ready 

[00:03:43] Franco Valentino: to dig in? No pressure 

[00:03:44] George B. Thomas: at all. Noco, you bro. You got this. I don't even want to hear that. There is no pressure like you eat, drink, sleep, dream. Like, I don't know, like I don't, I don't think there's a minute that you don't think about this stuff.

[00:03:56] Franco Valentino: It's a carnal in my head sometimes, for sure. Yeah, yeah, 

[00:03:58] Liz Murphy: yeah. Franko overwhelming. You're gonna do great. Or else, are we ready for the first question? 

[00:04:02] Franco Valentino: We're ready. Bring all the questions. Awesome. 

[00:04:04] Liz Murphy: So I wanna kick off, I, you know, I've noticed we have a trend, George. Yeah. Starting with mindsets and I thought why break with tradition?

Yeah. So I wanna start there. When we think about inbound marketers and, and when I say inbound marketers, honestly any practitioners, you can be an inbound practitioners, a business owner and actual marketer, sales service, it doesn't matter. But when they think about SEO o today, what are the key mindsets they need to possess?

Franco, I wanna start with you. 

[00:04:31] Franco Valentino: That's a great question. And it's also super loaded because like any other industry, right? SEO means a lot of things. It's like saying I'm in a physics class, right? Are you talking about quantum mechanics or you know, whatever, fifth dimension stuff like, you know, there, there's a lot to it.

So, uh, without getting too deep, uh, there's, there's two basic sides to this and we like to, we like to think about it. Um, in, in as sort of a door, right? There's a front and back door. Your typical SEO is gonna be, uh, content, right? They're gonna look at your content, talk about meta descriptions and URLs, and, you know, tags and the content organization pillars, et cetera.

Then the technical SEOs are gonna be your gear heads, right? They're looking, the ones looking at speed, like you mentioned Liz, right? looking at, URL changes when you migrate a site, that's usually not a good idea when you migrate from platform WordPress to HubSpot or HubSpot to WordPress. Um, because the URLs themselves, the paths are just like on computer.

They're actual folders that Google and other search engines store, and they want you to store them forever. So when you change them, it brings all of those things that are attached to 'em. Uh, it, it destroys it and it has to rebuild it. So that's the technical side of the house, and they really are very, very, very different.

So if we're talking about mindset, it can get really complicated really quickly. So the focus is typically on the value to the user. That should always be number one. All of this, the curb appeal, the curb appeal number one, because with ai, you know, with, uh, the all modern search engine are based on, and they have been for a long time, and machine learning, they're, they're better than we are in understanding what, what is gonna be valuable to user because they have, they train on a data set that's literally billions of queries a day, right?

Mm-hmm. So if you're not making it value valuable for your end user and relevant, none, nothing that you do in the SEO front is gonna work except build the right piece of content. So then you can start talking about, you know, we're sort of platform agnostic, whether it's HubSpot or BigCommerce or Shopify or WordPress, that doesn't matter on the technical side.

It really matters how you del you know, what that content delivers to the emotional side, to the end user. So mindset wise, keeping it a very high level, that's the, that's the answer is make sure that you're providing valuable, uh, and, um, what's the word I'm looking for? Valuable and. Um, content that the user needs at the right moment in time.


[00:06:46] Liz Murphy: George. 

[00:06:46] George B. Thomas: Devin, what do you got? Yeah, so I'll jump in here real quick. And, my mind, you know, I'm a, I'm a simple guy. Simple things, keep what's simple. Simple and let what's complex be complex, but understand what you can actually be in control of or not. There's a great prayer, actually, the serenity prayer that goes, God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

Encourage to change the things I can. I'm not saying SEO as God, but in a digital sense, maybe it is actually when it comes to your content marketing success. But here's the thing. There are many things that you could go into HubSpot, you could go onto on page seo, and you as a normal human being, could be able to fix in the editor, and you would be making a large stride to having something better than you might not right now.

However, there are also other things that you might try to go fix that you will make your life even worse. So this is why I'm saying pay attention to what's simple. Pay attention, what's complex. You should always be learning about these things, not so that you can do them, but so you know what to hand off to the right person so that you don't jack your junk up and you're always going in the right direction.

That's my thoughts, you know? 

[00:07:52] Liz Murphy: And for everybody who's going, like, George, that sounds great on paper, but how do I know the difference between what's mine and what is not? We're gonna get to that a little bit later in the conversation. Yes. But I think it is important to stick that in your bonnet right now because I think we have to admit like as much as we would like to have kept things simple, it's gotten crazy complex out there.

So just try not to have your head explode. Like take it baby steps at a time. 

[00:08:15] George B. Thomas: Nobody told me I was supposed to wear a bonnet today, like a bonnet. You're welcome. Yeah. You said put it, I didn't, I didn't know that this was a rule for today. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Dang 

[00:08:24] Liz Murphy: it. Way to go. George. Devin, please help here with that.

[00:08:28] Devyn Bellamy: Absolutely. I've been using the internet for a long time, like before it was cool. like 

[00:08:34] George B. Thomas: MySpace top bait, oh no, I'm talking when war dying, I missed geos. Geo Cities. 

[00:08:41] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. Hacking Justin Birds. How about that? 

[00:08:43] Liz Murphy: That's how long that gone playing Barcelona, 1992 on Prodigy and Mad Maze. Those were also great times.

[00:08:49] Devyn Bellamy: Absolutely. So the thing is, is that in the beginning it used to be that, everything you wrote, you wrote for the robots and any writing that you did was directed to the robots. So the robots knew how to categorize you. So it was all about, your link juice and getting everybody to link to you and then writing with keywords that you know mattered, to the robots.

and then it became about writing to the robots, but keep the people in mind and, and in during this era, this is, this is how, this is the reason why George W. Bush, I think, uh, still comes up when you Google waffles. And it was just because some SEO nerd went in and just wanted waffles to get George W.

Bush, that first page ranking. And so that Franco, do you want to jump in there real quick? That's 

[00:09:40] George B. Thomas: funny because you can tell that Liz just googled that junk because her face was like, what? The, what? 

[00:09:47] Franco Valentino: Uhhuh. You can also Google the top 10 most beautiful women and get Justin Bieber. Oh. So 

[00:09:53] Devyn Bellamy: right. Just SEO nerds being SEO nerds.


[00:09:56] Liz Murphy: you were gonna say mean, and I was gonna say, flattery gets you everywhere, even if it's a lie. But 

[00:10:00] Franco Valentino: he's at number 10. You're number one, 

[00:10:01] George B. Thomas: Liz. Oh, there you go. Wow. Very nice. 

[00:10:04] Devyn Bellamy: Very, you go. Nice. Wow. Um, but so it transitioned from, uh, you know, writing for the, the robots, keeping people in mind and then it transitioned to Right, for the people that keep the robots in mind.

and now we're migrating to write for the people because robots know everything. And so, like, especially now that like the entire world's gone chromium. And Google knows all, and every, everything is tracked and it is listening to you and, and Big Brother is always watching. It's like now what matters is how valuable, your content is to the people and the, the algorithms have evolved from you can do something as simple as keyword stuffing because that was literally the first thing I ever did.

And side note, did you hear about that kid who did keyword stuffing on his resume in order to get hired and it worked? 

[00:10:55] Liz Murphy: Oh yeah, I've heard about that. 

[00:10:57] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. He keyword stuffed his resume and made all the, uh, font, made the font small and white and put it on, uh, his resume and, and, and he got in for things that had nothing to do with him and his ingenuity got him in.

So keyword stuffing as antiquated as, a technique as it is, there are still systems where 

[00:11:16] Franco Valentino: it can work. There's always loopholes to every system, right? And the, the right, you know, the challenge to all of this is it's not just seo, right? I mean, in today's connected world, it's not just about writing a piece of content and having it published on your website and expecting Google Organic, which is a minor piece of the greater PR landscape and branding landscape.

Uh, uh, actually rank. You have to think in the multiverse, George. I know it's one of our favorite. Yes. Let's go, let's think. Multiverse, right? There's local seo. There's Google My Business profiles, there's each one of the social media platforms. There's AI now. So all of these things work interconnectedly to boost the rankings on all of the platforms.

Let's not forget the golden rule, either the man with the gold makes the rules. Yes. Meaning if Google is, if Google needs your money, they, there's a halo effect to using PPC right? To your website because people will see your ad. They may not click on it, but they will click on the organic and it's going to boost your, your, not only your brand, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

So it's, it's, it really is a multiverse of things that we have to do these days. So keeping it simple is, is the right thing to do, but it's also incredibly difficult to implement. That's 

[00:12:20] Liz Murphy: outstanding. You know, one of the things that, uh, just came to mind, George, and something tells me we gotta find a way to expand on this conversation in another day.

I think sometimes when we think about search engine optimization, you talk about this all the time, never forget that you should be optimizing everything you do within HubSpot for search because everything can be a search engine of some kind, no matter what you think. Like, cuz your story, Devin really just reminded me of that like, People are starting to use all of these different platforms for hiring.

Like we have platforms now that in some way need to be optimized for search HubSpot knowledge base, optimize it for search your workflows tool, optimize the naming conventions. Yes. For search, like we have to understand that we are creating content and scores and mountains of data, both accessible on the internet in intranets, inside platforms, firewalls from other places.

Like we have to understand that the more that we do stuff, we have to go out of our way to organize it proactively in order to make sure that the chaos doesn't fly out of control. Now that was a total side tangent. We're gonna, we're gonna move in a different direction because I wanna take a moment and flip the coin here.

And when I ask this question, I wanna be very clear. I'm not asking you to tell me which trends are out. I'm asking you to tell me which mindsets are out. I already know key keyword stuffing is out unless you're looking to get a job. I'm talking about the stuff up here. So Franco, talk 


[00:13:40] Franco Valentino: me. So, as far as mindset goes, remember we are living in pretty much the best times in human histories.

We have leverage, on almost everything we do. We have financial leverage with loans. We have, um, we have content leverage with ai, we have mathematical leverage with things like Wolf, Wolfram, alpha, right? I mean, there are literally any, any, any bit of knowledge in the know, in the history of humanity is accessible across, a keyboard, right?

In a few strokes. So, so part of that challenge is where do you even start from a mindset standpoint? I think you have to think about your brand. You really have to, you have to think about who you want to be and how your audience is gonna react to it, and learn and understand what the market is looking for within that space.

So, so regardless of whether we call it seo, these are tactics now, right? Seo, technical seo, ai. They are, they're tools. What are you gonna do with those tools? Because a hammer can, you know, you can break a piece of glass or you can, you know, you can build a house. So that's more the mindset is what, what is the right tool for the right job, and how are you gonna apply those tools?

And, and that can go one of a thousand different ways. 

[00:14:39] George B. Thomas: I, I like what Devin was saying earlier, and again, tying it back to a mindset. That the robots, uh, you know, and you know, what's Liz? I, I always do like the humans thing, but I could totally do like robots. Like I could do that, you know, and throw in the, you know, but so the, the humans, like all either of one of those, if you start to think about this, the robots have gotten smart enough that just Right for humans.

Well, I, I love that Devin said that because I think the mindset is that when you go to create a piece of content, the clearer you can make your mind, the better the piece of content is gonna be. And I love that we're entering a world where the robots are actually smart enough to just understand truly what we are writing about.

And Liz, you know, I have battled with this. Over the last couple months because I've literally in meetings, told you I don't give two squats about seo. Correct. I wanna write titles that people will want to click on. I wanna write content that people will actually care about. And while I'm like literally dividing my brain into like, screw seo, and let's just go the human level, I'm thankful again, tying in stuffing Thanksgiving.

I'm thankful today I'm, I'm a little early though. It's not even November, but I'm thankful that the robots probably understand better than I think they do. What I'm trying to do with what I'm actually trying to do by air quotes, not paying attention to SEO and just creating quality content for the humans.

I love that. 

[00:16:12] Franco Valentino: One of the, so remember the, the robots are also going to rewrite your titles and your meta descriptions because they can see what, what, what people are doing on the search engine. Wait, so they're gonna present a better op Wait. Yeah. Wait. All right. Re 

[00:16:24] George B. Thomas: rewind. What? Go deeper into that. What do you mean?

That the robots are gonna rewrite my 

[00:16:32] Liz Murphy: titles? Oh, yes. It's very rare that I see George get so caught off guard by a new piece of day that he literally just, again, for people not watching us live, did a cycle back moonwalk, and did a skirt. Skirt. What I did, that was pretty amazing. All right. I just, I had to do that instant replay.

It was impressive. 

[00:16:47] George B. Thomas: It was impressed. I do my best. 

[00:16:50] Franco Valentino: So, yes, George. So, so machine learning is a big deal, right? Billions of data points in realtime every second. So if you write a title, HubSpot Content Marketing Tips and Tricks, right? And your meta description is, that's your title and your, your meta description is Here are the top five, you know, tips to optimize content on any platform.

Google will take that and see and, and provide variations of that meta description that it rewrites basically like ai. And they've done this for a long time now, unless you specifically put a line of code in your page html to tell it not to do so, it it, and it typically is better at rewriting it to, to gather the click, right?

Because that's the first entry point to the website. They're also gonna rewrite the titles if they think it's more appropriate. So you are right. Write for the humans, but know that the robots are going to try to use their, their wealth of knowledge to increase that click rate to your website. 

[00:17:42] George B. Thomas: I, I find that incredibly comforting, actually.

Like not scary to me for some reason I'm like, oh, well thank you, nice robot for taking care of me and getting me more click. I met ease with our Skynet overboard. Yeah. 

[00:17:54] Liz Murphy: Yes, absolutely. So Devin, Talk to me, goose, what are the updated mindsets you think people need to let go of?

[00:17:59] Devyn Bellamy: Oh, definitely. SEO consultants who are still talking about making sure that you put in your, uh, organize your first sentence this way, organize the first sentence in the second paragraph this way, make sure you mention x, uh, number of times. And it's like, that's old school man.

And it's like you're, you're trying to hack an algorithm that no longer exists, man. And it's like, like, stop, stop coming to me with 2008 suggestions, man. Stop telling me about two, 2012 tactics. Like you, you need to unlearn all of that and, start working towards, stop trying to hack the algorithm. That's, that's, that's the outdated method of thinking.

Oh yeah. Stop trying to use syntax and sentence structure and, you know, repurposing content. So you have an identical blog post that says slightly different things with rearranged programs or rearranged paragraphs. That's, that's dead, man. Stop trying to hack the algorithm and just be a good human and provide valuable content.

and then get with somebody technical who actually knows what they're doing. It's 

[00:19:10] George B. Thomas: funny because my brain, you guys know my brain works in weird ways, but I'm like, Devon's talking and I'm like, and envisioning this guy coming running out of his office. Guys, guys, guys. I did it. You did what? I hacked a Commodore 64.

All right. Like it doesn't exist anymore. You're being stupid. Like, stop it. 

[00:19:26] Franco Valentino: I'm running doom on my iPhone. No, 

[00:19:28] Liz Murphy: no. I love what you said there, Devin though cuz like I'm always amazed like marketers are like, I just gotta call y'all out for a moment. Like you all are self victimizing butt heads when it comes to wow because seriously, not long, but a significant percentage will be like, I'm gaming this system and the house won.

What the heck? I was trying to cheat the system and then they made a rule that made it so I can't cheat anymore. Why am I being personally victimized by Google? Because you're not trying to be helpful. You're trying to win. Those are two different things. Ruin everything I know. How do you ruin anything?

Give marketers a question and shove five of them into the room with a whiteboard and see what happens. Like Liz, it's just a 

[00:20:10] George B. Thomas: lot. Liz, I so wanted you to go into, I fought the law, but the law won. I was waiting for that to happen on that segment. I lived 

[00:20:17] Liz Murphy: disappoint you all day and every day. Right man. We get strikes in any 

[00:20:21] Devyn Bellamy: other ways, the system won't even recognize it, so it's 

[00:20:24] Liz Murphy: fine.

Oh my gosh. All right, so let's dig into the HubSpot of it all. So there are HubSpot tools. There are ways in which HubSpot is trying and does well in a lot of ways to help people with their SEO o. I don't wanna talk about the gaps yet. I first wanna talk about what it does. Well, Franco, I'd love to get your take on that.

[00:20:43] Franco Valentino: Sure. So, um, like most SEO tools, right? I mean the, the HubSpot SEO tool can, you know, connect to your analytics platforms, by the way. Um, there are certain base level platforms that everybody should have as a website owner, that's gonna be your Google search console portal. So you can actually see it's your dashboard into Google and how, um, how many impressions Google is giving you by keyword, by page, by timeframe, by type of listing.

mobile view, desktop view, and some of your, what they call the core web vitals, right? The, uh, the important bits of speed and the, you know, how, how the users, the type of experience they're getting off of your website. So Google Search Console is a must have, uh, Google Analytics, GA three, GA four.

Gigantic discussion problematic for Google because of the money they lost in Europe by getting sued. And so they had to push this thing out. Really? Oops. Yeah. Oops. For Bill. Oops. Yeah. GA four is, is I. The more you use it, the better it gets, and it's getting better over time. But, you know, obviously this was forced, and as of two days ago, the GA three mobile data is still populating.

So it wasn't supposed to be populating after July 1st, but it's still there, so, oops, I don't know what's going on, but should be, I'll Google from Google. Yes. Oh, Google expect more goodness in the coming months. Uh, GA four obviously have to have it. third party tools. So this is a really important point, whether you're using HubSpot or not, your industry classification, what you do, whether you are a product seller or a service provider, really, really matters in how you tackle exposure, right?

Your branding and your pr, if you are a local business, if you're brick and mortar, you have franchises or a national company. Your, your Google business profile, your GMBs, as they used to call them, are critically important. And that is, there's a lot of SEOing to do there. I don't know if we should call it seo, but it's more like local optimization.

we know national organizations, uh, that I can't mention that are, that barely manage their websites anymore. They just have hundreds, I mean, close to a thousand g uh, Google Business profiles that they gather their leads from because now the organic has gone to maps, and maps are getting optimized.

It's still a, the wild west, it's still a very, very scammy affiliate laden area, but if you control it, they're getting better, better at fighting it. Right? So map spam, I dunno if you guys have ever heard that. It's a, it's a pretty common term in local seo, that that's really important. If you're a, if you're a local, uh, e-commerce can be really, that can be pretty powerful for it.

And there are ways to SEO that more to the anti-d devvin comment of, you know, the content is not as important as it used to be on the local side. There's still a lot of keyword stuffing going on, so because it's still working. 

[00:23:09] Devyn Bellamy: I, I've, I've, I I will say there may have been a company that paid me to do it because their competitors were doing it and Exactly.

So I begrudgingly showed them how to get it done 

[00:23:20] Franco Valentino: And so it's this thing still work. I mean, there's loopholes everywhere, right? Yeah. So, so you'll have your G G bp, gmb. There are a couple of platforms that help you optimize those, and I think they're worth a shout out as well. Bright Local is one of them.

lead Snap is another new up and coming, uh, fabulous tool. It's a little bit of an agency tool, but if you're a, you know, website owner, uh, smb, that should be, uh, that should be a good one for you too. Mostly on the G B P. Your website has also do with how you connect it to, so again, it all depends, right?

The toolbox is there. You just have to know what tool to pull out, depending on what you want accomplish. In case 

[00:23:50] Liz Murphy: you were wondering. Yes. This will be the most stacked resources section of the show notes. Yes. Of all time. I love it. Franco bringing his a game here. I love it. You get to stay on the rest of the podcast, Franco.

You did it. Yes. Uh, I might change my mind in five minutes though. I get a little bit feisty in the back half of an episode, George. True Fast. And Devin, tell me, what does HubSpot internally do well that you guys love? Don't all jump in at once, everyone calm down. 

[00:24:15] George B. Thomas: Well, I have thoughts, but I was gonna let Devin go first, so Polite.

I know 

[00:24:20] Devyn Bellamy: one of the things that, uh, and, and it's been a while since I've used the tool, but when we were using, when we were building out pillar pages, it really helped me come up with topics to use, um, for that, uh, for the pillar page. And, and, and, and again, it's been like four years since I've used the tool.

This was back when it was brand new. 

[00:24:41] Liz Murphy: but it really and called the content strategy tool, not the hubspotter co tool. I got really mad about that rebrand, but that's a story for another 

[00:24:46] Franco Valentino: day. Continue 

[00:24:47] George B. Thomas: Devin. Spot naming. My goodness. Yeah. 

[00:24:50] Devyn Bellamy: but I, I had to write, a pillar page about shower, specifically shower bases.

And I had a really hard time struggling. Uh, I had a hard time coming up with a long tail, uh, keyword topics, and it was, uh, it was helpful and just, you know, side note, long tail keyword, uh, for those of you guys don't know, does not mean long keyword. it's, ooh. Yeah. Yeah. It, it, it doesn't mean like, okay, well let's talk about this thing, but make it a sentence that, that it, it has nothing to do with the length of what you're going for.

It has to do with search volume. And so if you look at a graph where at the beginning of the graph you have high search volume for like shower based, versus a lower search volume for, say, neo angle accessible 12 by 12 shower base or something like that. but it's not about so much the length.

It's about spec, uh, specificity within that particular, subject matter. And the reason why it's long tail, because as you look at the graph, the tail gets longer and longer as the search volume dwindles. But the reason why that's important is because just because the search volume is lower, the doesn't make the words less valuable because chances are, if there is a balance between the, let's say the search volume and your market size, you might be finding highly qualified, uh, uh, uh, uh, leads within that long tail keyword section.

But it was, yes, 

[00:26:24] Franco Valentino: Franco. Yeah, I was gonna expand on your point because that, that's a brilliant, brilliant point. The long tail, especially in e-commerce, is critically important. Yes, because I may be looking for, um, air Jordans, but I need a size 11. So if I don't have that qualifier on there, size 11 and a half, that, that alone is a highly, that that buyer is at the bottom of the funnel ready to convert, right?

So that happens a lot in e-com, in gaskets, for example, pool industry, you have sizes for, you know, is this gonna fit my backyard? That's really the long tail to your point. So, great, great observation. 

[00:26:54] Devyn Bellamy: Thanks. I, I literally just went through this. So now you'll have a better understanding of why Amazon titles are so screwy, and it's because they're going after the long tail keywords.

Like even today, I had to look for a threat enabled, uh, uh, matter a, a matter smart home automation threat enabled hub, and buy a specific manufacturer. Yep. And that was like the juiciest of long tail keywords, because right now, like you said, I'm in the de decision phase. I'm in the shut up and take my money phase.

And so if I find somebody who matches that, I'm gonna buy it. And, and by the way, that manufacturer doesn't make what I was looking for, so now I'm back to 

[00:27:34] George B. Thomas: square one. Oh man. So, so it's interesting, Devin, that you mentioned the topics tool, aka the content strategy, aka we rename our stuff, uh, at HubSpot quite a bit.

I don't work for HubSpot, so I can say that, uh, there's no disclaimer on the intro of this podcast. So, hey, you know, it is what it is. Where my brain goes with the SEO tool is I love the fact that we have the analyzed tool because my worry about many marketers out there is they're like, my SEO is jacked up to which then I ask, well, where at?

And most of them go, uh, just know it's checked up. How do we, how does one seo Yeah, it's not, yeah, I don't know. I just know it's not working. and I love the Analyze tool because it literally gives you a snapshot. First of all, you can scan your website and then it gives you a snapshot of like on-page SEO versus mobile experience versus crawling and indexing, security performance, user experience, accessibility.

And it literally gives you a number of things that are. Potential fixes, aka the things that are jacked up. And so it's not hard for me to go into a portal and go, oh God, they have 842 performance issues. Or it's not hard for me to go into a portal and be like, oh, well they only have 41 on-page SEO issues.

I can probably fix that in like a couple hours. And so having a roadmap that you can see. And then what I love about it too is if you drill down, like it goes into specifics. So for instance, if I just keep it kind of simple and talk about on page seo, it'll be like, Hey, uh, you need to add a meta description to these seven pages.

Uh, you need to make sure that there's image alt, uh, text, uh, uh, text on these like seven pages. Uh, hey, hey dummy, uh, you have two H one s on these five pages. How about you go fix that? And so it's kind of created in a very human way. Where you can kind of understand this is a simple thing I can fix, but then you'll get down into user experience, accessibility, and performance.

By the way, this is where I say let the complex be complex and hire a developer or somebody like Franco, cuz don't shank that junk. 

[00:29:30] Franco Valentino: Let's talk about that because that's the most important point. So obviously every client and every marketer wants to be on the first page of Google within the hour. Can you make that happen right now, please, George?

Nope, right now. Okay. So, so what does that actually mean? Uh, even if you, even if you tackle all of the things that the AC optimization tool is telling you, like George said, the meta description, the H one s, you know, all of your H tags across the board, potentially speed. Now here's the, here's the benefit of HubSpot.

HubSpot is HubSpot and do that. Those two are the best backend platforms that we see typically. Meaning they take care of all that, all the server hosting gobbledygook that you normally have to dig into and, you know, as a low level developer fix, right? They do an exceptional job of that. What they don't do, Is a really good job because it's not the responsibility of the theme and that's where your feet get cut off.

You have to pick, preferably be purchase and optimize theme from a reputable vendor to make sure that things like, the, the JavaScript that is on the page isn't slowing your page down, or you're not getting a huge amount of latency off of images and it's doing eager loaded versus lazy loading for the heater image.

I mean, we're getting a little bit tactical there, but the theme is what matters the most? So if we're talking about 80 20, the theme is gonna solve 80% of the problems if you pick a really, really good one. And if you don't, then you need to go get the developer. So you can kind of save yourself a lot of heartache.

You know, maybe the H tags aren't quite as optimized. Maybe, you know, the image doesn't have an alt tag, that's fine, cuz the content will wreck on its own. What you can't have is core web vitals that are jacked because of a theme, and that's not on HubSpot, that's not on the user and the marketer. That is a thousand percent on the theme that you install for HubSpot.

[00:31:05] George B. Thomas: It's funny, I don't know if we even have this, but what I would love to know, HubSpot, if you're listening to this episode, please create this filter inside of your app marketplace themes that pass the most SEO tests that have you. You install it in a portal and you get the fewest amount. Of SEO errors, cuz I can tell you right now if an agency would focus on that and could prove the fact that they took one theme and then replaced it with this theme and dropped like 70, 80% of the issues, that theme would fly off the freaking shelf.

Let me 

[00:31:40] Liz Murphy: guess, George, you're asking for a friend and that friend is you Franco? What? No, no, no. I, I, 

[00:31:45] George B. Thomas: listen, I never said that I didn't, uh, love the theme that I'm using, but I know that I deal with a lot of clients that don't pick the right theme. Mm-hmm. That pick the free theme. They pick the cheap theme, they pick the something that somebody put together real quick cuz they wanted to be in the app marketplace.

I'm not talking about you. If you're an agency owner or employee, I'm talking about the guy next to ya. 

[00:32:06] Devyn Bellamy: Just a reminder ideas.hubspot.com. It is a thing, it's a wonderful community to submit ideas. I've had two ideas. Get turned into actual things. So I, I feel special. So yeah, 

[00:32:18] Liz Murphy: definitely just a plug. So if I submit the idea, because I also do not work for HubSpot, to uh, have it changed back to the HubSpot content strategy tool.

Cause to change it to the SEO tool it's not happening, makes it one dimensional and removes the focus on the content strategy. That's fine. I'm not bitter, I'm not still a petty Betty from 2017 and I'm fine. Thank you so much for asking. Speaking of which, what are the things that HubSpot can't help you do, SCO perspective, and, and, and I wanna caveat this because I understand my darmesh Brian.

Yeah. Bubby. I love all of you. I'm not sitting here calling you out. Let's just talk about what HubSpot not only can't help you do because it's not supposed to help you do it when it comes to seo. I wanna throw that caveat in there. Okay? Because I think what can happen is that if people are new to the SEOs of it all, hold on George Uhhuh.

Yeah, hold on George. Think about it though, and I, you will probably agree with this. If people are new to not only HubSpot but inbound overall and they're ingratiating themselves into these terms and trying to understand what SEO is, a well-meaning person could pop open HubSpot and see HubSpot giving them green marks across the board, but still be screwing something up in a different area of the SEO universe that they're just not aware of.

Cuz they don't know where to look. Yeah, that's what I 

[00:33:32] George B. Thomas: meant. Now Liz, this is where I am calling in for a friend and the friend is my alter ego myself, where I'm saying for this the gaps. I, I would wanna, you know, sit at the seat of the master that is Franco and understand like, What isn't HubSpot showing me?

What else can I be paying attention to? How can I make it even better when I think it's the best? Like I'm down for this conversation. 

[00:33:56] Liz Murphy: Uh, lemme get my notepad. 

[00:33:57] Franco Valentino: Go ahead there. There's a lot because, so it, it's a pla it's a platform, right? And, and as I mentioned, we're sort of platform agnostic in the technical SEO field.

So here's what that means as a HubSpot is one of the best tools out there, What it means is what is your goal as a marketer? You have to understand pr. What if you're e-commerce? What if you can sell more by piping the channel from Instagram and sending them to HubSpot to convert, right? That has nothing to do with search engine optimization.

It has social optimization. So, so what, what are the things that it can help you with? It's that understanding your job as a marketer overall and what's gonna be the best lead channel or growth channel for your particular product, service, et cetera, et cetera. that make sense? Oh yeah. 

[00:34:38] Liz Murphy: Oh yeah. Oh yeah, it does.

Now, here is my follow-up question to that, though. You already started talking a bit about all of the bajillion tools that will be listed in the show notes of this section. If you, if you missed that big, beautiful list earlier, how do I make the right decisions of the extra SEO muscle that I bring in?

Because again, I go back to this business owner who I know is listening to this, this marketing leader who I know is listening to this, someone who has to make a decision, and they're just sitting there going like, well, if I have to focus on everything, I can't focus on anything. So like, what are the top areas where it's like, HubSpot is never going to be able to help you with this.

You absolutely need why, or you need to be asking yourself this question on a regular basis. 

[00:35:20] Franco Valentino: So, so how technically you want to get, because there's, again, it's a, it's a hierarchy of things, right? Okay. So, so the ver Okay, go ahead. 

[00:35:27] Liz Murphy: Let me give you a little context. Let's imagine I am a business owner. I have a marketing team of, 

[00:35:32] George B. Thomas: uh, you don't have to imagine that, Liz, you are, I'm just throwing that out there real quick.

But go ahead, keep 

[00:35:37] Liz Murphy: going. True. But let's imagine for a moment, I am a B2B smd. I'm a business owner who's been in business for maybe 10 to 15 years. I'm familiar enough with inbound to be dangerous. I finally invested in the HubSpot platform. I'm really kind of going in with it. I'm probably more in the pro, uh, pro side of HubSpot.

I'm not at the enterprise level. I have a marketing team of about three people. I've got a VP of marketing, I got a marketing manager, and I have someone who knows a little bit about website stuff. We're making the investment to do content. Well, we are, we've, we're making the investments to do our website well, but when we start trying to get fig, start trying to wrap our head around like, what is HubSpot supposed to do for us?

What are the other core platform like? What are the lather, rinse, repeat things that I need to set up in my ecosystem so I'm not messing something up? 

[00:36:26] Franco Valentino: If, if so, at, at that maturity level, right? You'll already have subject matter experts for content development, for example, right? You'll know what your keywords are gonna be, right?

You know, you know where your entry points for, for clients are gonna be. So if you're leveraging the HubSpot tool, first of all, the internal tool is great. Understanding that, just making sure that your technical bits are right. You have a title tag, you have a meta description that's as good as you can make it from the human side.

Maybe you're using AI to generate some of that. Maybe you're using AI to optimize your content slightly. All right, then. Here, here's where, here's where the technical gap comes in. When you do have to attach Facebook, Google ppc, Google guaranteed local service ads, Instagram into your metrics and your reporting, you might need some help there cuz now you're talking about webhooks and you're talking about pixels on your website.

That that's gonna take, that's gonna take a little bit more of a technical seo. That's critically important as well because Liz, you and I are very familiar with the term closed loop marketing to understand where a customer came in, the very, very first touch point all the way through job costing, how much did I make on this account?

Or what's my recurring revenue on this account? You need to be able to see that entire pipeline. Getting somebody that understands each step of that process is where you really need the extra help. The tools themselves, any one of the tools are gonna be good at the basics. When you are a three person marketing team that has a PPC specialist, has a content writer and has a VP that understands sales, you're gonna need somebody on the technical end to put those pieces together so you have full visibility of your entire pipeline from Alpha to Omega.

[00:37:51] George B. Thomas: Boy. Oh boy. All 

[00:37:52] Devyn Bellamy: right. Is that it? We're done now. 

[00:37:54] George B. Thomas: No, no, no, no, no. We start, let's get started. We, we've just like, no, we've scratched the surface and that's, that's the thing. Like I go back to what I originally said was that, you know, it is a matter of always being willing to learn something new, always diving into what little nugget haven't I.

Uncovered What ha what little thing haven't I figured out? what piece can I get? Like, I wish there was a, and I, there is, it's probably Google Knowledge articles or something, but like an ultimate, you know, guide to everything that you need to know about SEO that you could just like download into your brain and just know it all.

Cuz it's to even just hear you talk about some of this stuff. I've had multiple times in this episode where I'm like, okay, I need a moment. I need a freaking 

[00:38:44] Liz Murphy: moment. I needed so many moments just now. Or maybe just maybe our ai, Google overlords made it so I couldn't unmute myself. That was really weird. I was literally like, why can't I unmute?

Is it because my thoughts are too powerful? Yes. Am I being optimized for search before I go to market? I'm so confused right now. No, but okay. Oh gosh. Franco, we're gonna have to have you come on for another episode because I literally have a thousand other questions, but. To stick with the technical SEO thing for a moment.

And this is, once again, I'm asking for a friend and that friend is yours truly. Liz Moorhead Of course. Pleasure to meet you. cuz I'm a content strategist. Yep. And I'm a business owner and I work really closely with George on content strategy for clients and, and, and all of these other different pieces.

And one of the things as a content strategist that kind of freaks me out a little bit is that I know just enough about technical SEO to be dangerous. Mm-hmm. So what are the core concepts I need to be educating myself in the technical SEO space? Because you have, for example, you've literally tried to explain schema markup to me for the past five years.

I can now just now only spell the word schema. Ha. 

[00:39:50] Franco Valentino: Yeah, so there's actually, so this is why the HubSpot marketplace that they're building out is so wonderful. There are schema apps that you can install that will take care of the majority of that problem for you. So let's, but again, it's really because we can get very, very deep into the microcosm of seo.

Let's keep it very simple. I like that. I like that. Yeah. No, I knew you. That's another episode, George. We need a couple hours. So let's talk about the, the incredibly important basics that are relatively simple. Implement, right? HubSpot, number one, content development. Number two, value for the reader. I'm including that in there, right?

You have to understand your audience, right? Personas, et cetera. far as the technical bits of the tool, the, the internal SEO tool is fine. Follow the recommendations and, you know, that will get you better than most of your competition or your parallels, right? Uh, companies that are in your space if you do a better job, right?

Effort equals outcome. So, so I would say just use the tools as they are. When you get beyond that point to really understand, let, let, let's, let's boil it down. Even, even more simply. Every company on this planet wants one thing business. We need more leads. All SEO boils down to, especially technically as how do I, how do I get more leads?

Right? And that's, that's the loaded question is we're talking very specifically about HubSpot and what, you know, what are the benefits of the tools. The tool is better than most tools out there, right? With a few simple basics. You don't even have to use Schema because there is a base level of schema.

It's really not great built into HubSpot, which is why you want the app marketplace tool. Image optimization is another one. HubSpot isn't great at that. We are developing a, a tool that we've been in development for about a year and a half, pushing two years. It's gonna be game changer for image optimization cause we understand how important it's, especially on mobile, you want that thing to load.

Microseconds and images don't do that. It does a good job of optimizing images overall, but not to the level that you need to compete at an enterprise level. So, so there's things like that that are out of the box. Super great about HubSpot that you just go develop your content, watch your keywords grow, and then here's the other bit.

Go to Google, see who's ranking number one for your key phrase. There could be just minor differences. There could be the long tail that, as Devin mentioned, that's the, that's the difference, that maybe there's a qualifier, you know, there's a speck in there that's not the same that you're using. That's a content marketer's job.

That's a marketer's job. It's not the tool's job to figure that out. So I, I would say out of the box, it's great. Add the schema markup tool. you know, there's some seo, there's some other SEO tools that, you know, would be a good addendums, but that's really up to your teams to decide what they need. And they're very, very easy to install and very inexpensive.

But overall, HubSpot does everything you want it to outta the box. 

[00:42:15] George B. Thomas: All right. I just gotta double click on the fact, and I might sound like a whiny whatever here for a second. But Franco, I want that image optimization. I want the image optimization. Like last week, last month, I have so many clients Yeah.

That have been using HubSpot for so long, and they're like, George, can you optimize our images? And I'm like, I wanna do something with my life. I don't want to sit here for the rest of eternity. Freaking fixing your images. We need some type of HubSpot automated press a magic button. They pay us money, and they think that we're image optimization gods.

And I didn't even use anything to make it sound like that, but that's what I'm looking for. Okay. I'll be 

[00:42:58] Franco Valentino: quiet. 

[00:42:58] Devyn Bellamy: No, I was literally just gonna co-sign. I was just waiting for a moment to shoehorn in image optimization.

Uh, as well as, Just file size in general. It's not something that people really think about. and I know that there are tools out there that have been around a long time for in, in, in the WordPress ecosystem. but it, it's definitely something that people struggle with. Uh, I've worked with someone who had, uh, something like a two megabyte header image.

Yep. And it's like, bro, it's not that serious. 

[00:43:27] Franco Valentino: So let's talk. So this is the challenge with let's, let's get that real low level for just a second. Oh no, you 

[00:43:32] Liz Murphy: just put on the da. You just put on the Danny Tanner afterschool special voice. Let's sit down for a second, guys. Hold on. 

[00:43:37] George B. Thomas: Let's put on the aluminum mask.

Sit Dean style. Be quiet. The teacher is about to teach. 

[00:43:42] Franco Valentino: All right. Image. There's, there are many image tools out there, but there are none that work correctly. And the challenge is this. HubSpot images are within the baseline. File manager. Just call it the main sub-folder. If we go in there and we optimize an image and we make a mistake, We have the potential of deleting or altering HubSpot files, meaning your content and your configurations and your JavaScript.

So this is why it's taken a year half, because we need to be absolutely perfect in how this is done. Any image tool that you get is gonna do an okay job of applying a compression algorithm to the image. What we're trying to do is add an seo, technical SEO component of it to either ai bring in an alt text that actually matches what Google is looking for.

So there's a secondary optimization and potentially some schema above it. And use the best image, the best lossless image compression algorithm that's on the market. And, and we're coding about ourselves. That's why it's taking this long. We have low level firmware programmers. I don't know if you know what that means, but guys that write operating system code on hardware working on this tool.

So this is gonna be, it's not just gonna be an image optimizer for HubSpot. It's gonna be the end all, be all of image optimization. It's called, it's called Hub Compress. It's amazing. It's coming 

[00:44:48] George B. Thomas: very, very 

[00:44:49] Franco Valentino: soon. We are very, I need it in my life. We're, we're, we're almost at the alpha stage. It's, it's done.

That's amazing. Stress testing right now. But, uh, yeah. Ladies and 

[00:44:56] George B. Thomas: gentlemen, if you need this in your life, you need to email meGeorge@georgebthomas.com. I'm gonna start to list a list of people who want image optimization in HubSpot, that when this is launched, I can send out an email. We can all run around the cities that we live in and we can rejoice, drink wine or root beer, whatever you like, and, and finally sleep at night knowing that our stuff is optimized.


[00:45:23] Liz Murphy: that. I love that for all of us. You know, I would actually like to take a moment here and jump in and answer my own question, if you don't mind, because this is a problem I've actually had to, okay. Yeah. 

[00:45:32] George B. Thomas: Well, I mean, why not? 

[00:45:33] Liz Murphy: So do, so do my dogs. Yes, and all of my invisible friends, I am my own entourage.

Thank you so much for, 

[00:45:39] George B. Thomas: oh, we're heading right to a limerick or a poem with this. I can just 

[00:45:42] Liz Murphy: feel it. No, actually no. See, George, you manifest the poetry. I was actually literally gonna answer my own question. 

[00:45:48] George B. Thomas: I was ju Oh no, 

[00:45:49] Liz Murphy: go ahead. Go ahead. Do I, do I do poetry? Do I do? No, I'm just kidding. No. So I wanted to answer my own question for a moment of, if you are the content strategist, if you are that marketer, if you don't know what you don't know and you know it, what the heck do you do?

Here are some of the baseline things like the mental checklist that I go through. Number one is, if I don't know, have I asked Franco? You don't know Franco, so you don't have that luxury. So in the absence of a Franco, here is what I recommend. Would you interact with your own content on your phone? Would you interact with your own content on your desktop?

Have you ever noticed there's a little bit of a, huh? When a page loads, you need to go talk to someone on your web team or someone who has access to your website. If your user experience is not where it needs to be and you are not familiar with the term core web vitals, please go become familiar with it.

And if you don't have someone as a resource internally or with a third party that's owning that for your company, you need to advocate for somehow that to happen. Because Google doesn't just care about the substance of your content. They care about the experience that your users are going to have it while they are experiencing the content.

That is so important, and that is an easy thing to always keep in mind. That covers a lot of bases because it covers speed, it covers themes. It covers whether or not your host is having issues. Like at some point you have to be this squeaky wheel and say, well, if I don't have answers and you don't have answers, we need to go find somebody who does have answers.

The other thing too, and I will say this from personal experience, and I'm gonna watch Franco's face, collapse because he watched me go through this. Please, before you make any massive changes to your website, specifically your U R l, make sure you check all the boxes because you can undo, I can't even finish the sentence.

Franco, can you finish this 


[00:47:42] Franco Valentino: for me please? You please. You lose 94% of your 

[00:47:43] Liz Murphy: traffic. You may or may not have spent three years trying to, trying, I'm fine and not having a Vietnam flashback, but it's just really important I bring that up. Not to bring up a personal wound, but genuinely, because before you make big changes to your url, like if you're changing your domain, if you are changing your theme, if you are changing your site map, if you are dumping a lot of pages, redirecting a lot of pages, Be careful.

Measure twice, cut once and once again, once more with feeling. Please bring in a professional. You do not want to, you cannot unring these bells. I have watched it happen. I've watched traffic go from 875,000 sessions a month to 175,000 sessions a month. Oh god, in a month. Did you 

[00:48:31] Devyn Bellamy: redirect into the ether?

What happened first? Hashtag 

[00:48:33] Liz Murphy: fire. I cannot talk about this 

[00:48:36] Franco Valentino: emotionally. I'll give you, I'll give you guys an example. Let, let's, let's do the reverse example. Yeah. Because this is a really important point, right? When you talk about sien, we think about your website. Please think about the users first. We talked about this ad nauseum, right?

It's always about the user. worked with, uh, we worked with a company called kosher.com. Um, that is, you know, basically the food purveyor to, to the community. And we were optimizing, a Passover recipes. One thing that had changed was they actually rearranged the main menu. So, there's a, there's a problem, right?

Because you don't have the right entry point when you're looking for a part particular recipe, right? The simple change of reorganizing brings in 94% more traffic and a 300% lift. In overall search impressions during a specific time period. So these little, little simple changes of how would I use this if I was a customer?

That's really the first question on anything you do within, within the website. So again, to your point, Liz, technical structure and critically important, don't make massive changes about really thinking about how it's gonna impact your user category pages in e-commerce, things like that. Those are really, really important things to, you know, to, to really think through before you, before you do make a change.


[00:49:40] Liz Murphy: yeah. And the one thing I do wanna note about that is that while I'm sitting here reliving a trauma, the reason why I bring that up is because you were there, Franco, we all thought we dotted every I, we thought we crossed every T like this was a well-meaning group of marketers and people who are exceptionally experienced.

And the problem is, is that sometimes you do not realize like one tiny thing, one tiny misstep could have just a network effect. And we, we rebounded. We did, we did the work, we got back up there. The, but it's, it's one of those things where you don't know what you don't know, and sometimes you don't know it until it's too 

[00:50:12] Franco Valentino: late.

And, and the machine has learned at that point on a, on a mature website, especially a larger, larger one, it, it knows the layout and the hierarchy, right? As soon as you change that, it's gotta relearn everything and it has to reposition. So there's always that valley and always that over long term delta.

So if you can't afford to lose traffic for six months at sometimes, right. That, that's, it's a challenge. Core updates, you could just do that to you as well. Google can change something, Bing could change something, and all of a sudden you uses traffic just because there's something that it's looking for e t, right?

Or e e a T now. or schema or one, or wait, well, another episode. Say that for another episode. Oh 

[00:50:47] George B. Thomas: no, 

[00:50:47] Liz Murphy: you don't. Wait. You don't 

[00:50:48] George B. Thomas: know about e a T and e ait. Well, no, I know the original, but then he like, but now it's, it's experience. He made it even longer. 

[00:50:55] Franco Valentino: Right. E e they added another E for experience. 

[00:50:57] George B. Thomas: Hey, I got 

[00:50:58] Liz Murphy: that.

Nothing. Yeah. In my itself 

[00:51:00] Devyn Bellamy: for a split second thought, doesn't experience start with an X, and it's like, no, I'm just working too 


[00:51:06] George B. Thomas: Only in our circle, 

[00:51:08] Franco Valentino: let's put it this way, the very simple. Yeah, the very simple discussion of that is if any of us are not doctors and we're writing medical content, we should never rank for that content, right?

That's that part of the algorithm, to make sure that we're not talking about open heart surgery and you're not telling the general public to, you know, I don't know, drink beet juice to solve your art arterial problems. God, I feel like 

[00:51:27] George B. Thomas: this is where I should insert a Doctor of love joke, but I'm gonna just leave it alone and not go there.

No, you know, here's what, what's funny. Hang on, Liz. One second. Here's what's funny. Is. We're at the end of this episode and I'm questioning fricking everything. Mm-hmm. Like I'm like, mm-hmm. Is my menu on my website? Like could, are there tweaks that I should make that would actually like change the amounts of traffic that I would get?

Like, do I need to go in, remove all of my image from all, should my entire website just be a white page with text so that it actually loads faster? Like somebody call a SEO doctor, I'm in trouble. 

[00:52:04] Liz Murphy: Oh my gosh. Speaking of Doctor, that's one of my favorite quotes from Sleepless in Seattle. A doctor of what her first name could be.

Doctor. I love that. Number two. George, I have been taking notes for us for your website, so we'll get there. Yes. And I actually wanna end this episode by quite frankly, Devin and George. I'm skipping the last episode I had, or the last question I had in the outline, which is, what is the one thing, because there is a question that I know is on the top of everybody's mind, and I would rather just give Franco the floor to riff for a couple minutes.

Please do. Here is my question to you, Franco. A lot of people are starting to use chat, G P T and AI for their content. How much is gonna help or hurt 'em depending on what they're doing? Because I know people are thinking about that and I know I get that question a 

[00:52:43] George B. Thomas: lot. Oh, I have thoughts. 

[00:52:45] Liz Murphy: I know, George, hold on.

There's lots of thoughts. The doctors speaking. So 

[00:52:48] Franco Valentino: let, let's, let's, let's actually take what Google said and let's see what they did. Right? Because that's another thing. Google says a lot of stuff, but then they do something differently, like, as any large organization does. They have specifically stated that AI content is okay as long at, is as it, if it is edited by a human that has e a t an expert in their authority, that can actually make sure that the content is accurate and trustworthy.

There are the majority of several large magazines produce most of their content with, with a G P T type engine and, but the human edit, so it is, it's leverage, right? You can't just. Expect it to output and then you copy paste onto your website. You have to edit. But it is a tool like any other, I could manually go check my thousand redirects on the website, or I can go pick Screaming Frog and have it do it for me in 30 seconds.

It's the same discussion. I can have it, I can have an optimized piece of content in, in a few minutes versus a day or two. As long as I make sure that it's valuable and I spot check and check references and citations, then it, as far as Google's told that it is fine. And we have examples out on the wild that are working exceptionally well.

So a again, it's a caveat, but it is a tool, it's a knife. It'll either cut your finger off or it'll make you a beautiful steak. George. Go 

[00:53:59] Liz Murphy: ahead bud. I see you. Did you see him reving up like a champ there? 

[00:54:03] Franco Valentino: I love to dance, 

[00:54:03] George B. Thomas: do a crab walk. It excites me. It excites me because over the last, uh, two months I have had this polarizing journey with, AI generated content and, uh, one side of the fence saying, bad, bad, bad marketer, bad marketer, and the other side of the fence, like, no, no, no, no.

If it's, if you do this good marketer, like good marketer, and from an SEO standpoint to hear Franco say like, look, it, it can be leveraged and then made human, and then you can use it. I get so excited. The other part though, when I whispered, sometimes I whispered, um, I have thoughts, ladies and gentlemen.

You have to realize that you also have parts of your website and part of your marketing that have nothing to do with being SEO optimized. And if you're not using generative AI copy to do those places where it doesn't mean anything, then shame on it. Shame on it. 

[00:55:01] Liz Murphy: I love it. So I wanna end this with a quote actually from the other George.

Jorge Fuentes, who is George, if you guys don't know this, I love Jorge. He was on our, he was on our episode about AI and he recently just shared there's this great series that Jorge does called What Jorge Learned, and you can find it on george b thomas.com. He wrote and shared this, this like, oh my God, I just have to read it.

There are a lot of things to be excited about when we think about advancements in artificial intelligence and tools like Chat, G B T. I'm not denying that, but here's the thing you need to keep in mind. Being human is your number one competitive advantage as a business owner, marketer, sales rockstar, or service champion.

This is something we talk about a lot here with our clients. Yes, use automation and help yourselves to work smarter, not harder, but these tools are not meant to replace your humanity. You still need to show up as what George likes to call a whole ass human in your business, in your content, in your marketing, in your emails.

but hold on scrolling, but chat, G B T can't think for me. Chat, G B T can't fame passion on a particular topic based on years of experience chat. G B T can't join in into client meetings and provide creative outside of the box solutions to complex problems that require a human touch chat.

G B T can't transform a piece of content from something good enough to a piece that is so human and helpful that it not only communicates information, but it conveys shared values. Again, I'm not trying to reign on the AI and chat G B T parades here, but I think it's super important to remember how and when it should be used.

Yes, you can take shortcuts and you can try to get to get it to do some of the more human stuff on your behalf, but you'll only be shortchanging yourself in the long run. 

[00:56:36] Franco Valentino: That is perfect. 

[00:56:37] George B. Thomas: Jorge. Really, really, I'm so proud of you right now. We 

[00:56:41] Liz Murphy: love you, Jorge. You are the man. And on that note, Franco, wait, wait.

[00:56:44] Franco Valentino: One last top, one last thing, one last thing. Really, really important. Okay. Little sprinkle 

[00:56:48] Liz Murphy: on the SEO cupcake. Right. Before we go, 

[00:56:50] Franco Valentino: a, a little, a little, uh, caveat for everyone, anything you upload and test, especially corporate data into chat, G P T is going to be public. So be careful loading up your databases, your service tickets, your Google reviews to try to make some sense out of them because they will become public, right?

So, so what do you do? There's a tool called Faraday, which allows you to download an entire different sequences. Chat, GP three, 3.54 locally. Enter computer. You should have a gaming computer cuz it's pretty intense, but you can do whatever you want locally without it going out to the internet. 

[00:57:22] George B. Thomas: Okay, that's a whole nother episode, and I have a gaming computer, so let's go.

I'm just saying, 

[00:57:29] Liz Murphy: George is about to make my life amazing and ruin my life next week after he like processes and integrates everything we've learned today. But on that freaking note, guys, what an episode. What a journey. Amazing. You know what, no poetry, just love. I love you guys. And to all of our listeners out there, thank you for being here.

And Franco, if you think this is the last time we're gonna have you on here, you are severely 

[00:57:51] Franco Valentino: deranged. It's Jen o'clock. I'll see y'all later. It's all 

[00:57:56] George B. Thomas: I love it. 

[00:57:57] Liz Murphy: Until next week. 

[00:57:58] George B. Thomas: Thanks everybody. Bye bye.