Thumbnail: SEO Traffic Show | Episode 1

Tristam Jarman, Co-Founder at Purple Smudge After working in digital for ten years in a variety of roles Tristam is now the Co-Founder of Purple Smudge, a Brighton based digital marketing agency. Through his earned knowledge of all marketing channels he is able to drive client success, from strategy through to execution. Whilst SEO (Technical SEO in particular) is the channel in which he takes main responsibility for his specialist field is Data Management.

Jason Barnard, The Brand SERP Guy at Jason Barnard is an author, speaker and consultant on all things digital marketing. His specialist subject is Brand SERPs (what appears when someone Googles your name). He teaches Brand SERP optimisation to students at He also hosts a marketing podcast, where the smartest people in marketing talk to Jason about subjects they know inside out. The conversations are always interesting, always intelligent and always fun!

[00:00:00] Tristam Jarman: And I think we’re live.

[00:00:05] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I can still see scheduled on the top of the screen, so I would assume we’re not. From StreamYard, my experience has been that until it actually shows live, we’re not live. 

[00:00:15] Tristam Jarman: It’s saying live on my screen.

Starting the First Episode of the SEO Traffic Show With Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) and Tristam Jarman

[00:00:17] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Oh, right, okay. Well, it’s showing scheduled on mine. So excuse me, everybody, if we are already live. I don’t have the latest information on my screen. Welcome to the first episode of the SEO Traffic Show. Slight hiccup at the start, which is the way that all the best shows. 

[00:00:36] Tristam Jarman: Oh, no. And I think we may have lost Jason’s internet connection. So, I’m just going to jump in whilst we wait for Jason to reconnect. Hopefully, that won’t be too long. But as Jason was just introducing, this is one of the first episodes of the SEO Traffic Show through Travelpayouts in conjunction with SEMrush. I’m Tristam Jarman. I’m your presenter and Jason, who’s just disappeared due to internet connections, is your host. In today’s episode, what we’re going to do is… 

[00:01:09] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Go ahead, Tristam. You’re doing great. 

[00:01:14] Tristam Jarman: We’ve got you back, Jason. Back to you.

Checking on the Current Location of Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) and Tristam Jarman

[00:01:17] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. Welcome to the first episode, starting off with a little hiccup there, but we are ready to roll. The connection in the South of France, I’m in the South of France right now, and the connection isn’t or wasn’t great for a couple of minutes. Where are you, Tristam?

[00:01:29] Tristam Jarman: I am based in Brighton. And at the moment, we’ve got a heat wave. So, I’m being truly British and complaining about the slightly hot weather. And I imagine most of you tuning in at the moment probably live in warmer climates than I do. But just yeah, being a Brit, we do love to complain and chat about the weather. So, yeah, in Brighton at the moment.

Introducing the Content of the Show: Analysing Different Websites and Giving the Site Owners Some Advice

[00:01:50] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Right. Okay. I’m in the South of France, and nobody complains about the weather down here. So, everyone in the audience, welcome to the show, really pleased to have you here. This is going to be a lot of fun. We’re going to look at different websites. Tristam is going to run them through his super expert analysis and tell you, tell the site owners, first of all, what’s wrong, what they can do better, how they can improve, how they can push their SEO. And we’re going to make sure that the advice that he gives and the advice that I give is applicable to most of the websites. So even if your website isn’t being analysed today, you’ll still get lots out of the program.

[00:02:29] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Please feel free to post your questions in the chat. We’ll try and answer them with as many as we can during the show. If we can’t answer them during the show, then reach out to Tristam and he can probably answer them later on on social media somewhere. I can help with that.

[00:02:47] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): The show itself, you can watch it and replay afterwards. So even if you miss something Tristam said or if he’s speaking too quickly or I’m speaking too quickly for that matter, you can watch it again and you won’t miss out on anything. So, remember that you can watch it again. Don’t freak out if you’re not keeping up with what’s going on at all times.

For This Episode, the Topic Will Specifically Be About Blogging Websites, Which Is Useful for Everyone Applying SEO

[00:03:09] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Now, we’re going to do this show regularly. So, this time we’re going to be talking about specifically blogging websites. So, we’re going to be looking at the blogging aspect of it. Further down the line, on other episodes, we’re looking at other types of sites. We’re going to group it by type of site. So, each week you’ll know what kind of site we’re talking about and whether the episode is really going to be helpful to you or not.

[00:03:30] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): But I suspect that all the episodes are going to be useful for everybody, because SEO is a massive problem that we need to sort out, we need to get better. And every time you get one thing better, you improve a little bit more. And I think it was the British cycling team, and they were saying, we’ve all got the same equipment. All the Olympic cycling teams, we’ve got the same equipment. The difference is in the tiny details. And some of the stuff that Tristam is going to show today is the tiny details. Some of it is, but all of it goes towards making your SEO better.

[00:03:59] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): A quick reminder or a quick information that there’s a competition going on. It’s your affiliate IQ with Who Wants to be an Affilionaire, which is a great name even though I can’t say it. I’ve played it. You can get in a draw to win $50, $25, $10. And everybody who joins in gets a 14 day free trial with SEMrush. I played it. And we’ll see on the second screen here, sorry, excuse me, that’s the third screen, that I’m already in for $50. So, anybody who wants to play now is up against me for that $50. I did it really slowly, but I got all the answers right.

A Brief Background on Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy), Who Specialises on Brand SERPs and Knowledge Panels

[00:04:39] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, questions are in the chat box. We’ll send you the recording and slide soon after the webinar. And this webinar is being recorded, all the stuff I’ve already said. And now we’re going to meet the speakers.

[00:04:52] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): It’s me, The Brand SERP Guy, from Kalicube Pro. I specialise in Brand SERPs. A Brand SERP is what appears in Google when somebody searches your brand name. I also work on Knowledge Panels. If you don’t know what they are, they’re on the right hand side on desktop when you search a brand name or another entity that informs you about it. And I work on triggering those and getting them up there for companies, people, and products. And Tristam is the co-founder of Purple Smudge, which is a name I love. And you were telling me where you found that name. You’ve had it for years, haven’t you?

A Brief Background on Tristam Jarman as the Co-Founder of Purple Smudge, a Digital Marketing Agency in the UK

[00:05:24] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. I won’t take the long story I gave yesterday. But in short, when creating the company, like with a lot of companies, I tried to come up with a cool name. And I remembered that I’d registered this domain name several, several years ago before starting this company and presented it to my business partner. She said she loved it, and the rest is history. So, yeah, Purple Smudge. 

[00:05:48] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Brilliant stuff. I actually wrote a song for kids about colours, and it goes when you take us splodge of yellow, orange, no, hang on. And you take a splodge of blue and you take a splodge of red. Put them both together, what colour do you get? Purple, purple, purple.

[00:06:08] Tristam Jarman: That should be our theme tune then.

Tristam Jarman Is Running the Company for the Past 4 Years With a Background on Digital Marketing and SEO for Around 10 Years

[00:06:11] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): It’s the theme tune for today, like it or not. I’ve been saving that as a surprise for you, but I forgot the words. So, Purple Smudge, you’re a digital agency in the UK. And you’ve been in SEO for years and years, haven’t you?

[00:06:22] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. I’ve been running the company for the past 4 years, but it’s probably 10, 15 years been in digital marketing, and then in the last 10 years, really focusing on SEO and analytical side of things and technical SEO. And then my business partners are head of PPC and paid advertising. So, yeah, I think we’re in for an exciting session today, people. 

[00:06:46] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I think we are. You know your stuff. I’ve been in SEO for over 20 years, which makes me feel very old. And I actually started in the year Google was incorporated. So, I’ve been running alongside Google for the whole time. And it’s been a phenomenally interesting journey, but we’re not going to talk about the history of the internet.

Presenting the Three Websites to Be Analysed and the Common Problem About Their Header Menu Navigation

[00:07:04] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): We’re going to talk today about the three websites we’ve chosen, which are, and I will name them,,, which I love because I’m in France, and And we’re going to start by looking at the issues that are common to all three of them, so we don’t have to repeat ourselves during the actual analysis.

[00:07:26] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And the first one is the header menu navigation. One common problem, I see this a lot in sites that I work with. The client comes to me, and their header navigation is illogical for users and unhelpful for Google or vice versa. What are the problems here that you were seeing? Sorry, that’s my Google phone working up because I just said its name.

The Problem With the Header Menu Navigation Usually Comes From People Who Create the Content First Before Creating the Menu 

[00:07:55] Tristam Jarman: Really, it’s coming in and looking at it as a logical process. A user needs, when we go to Google, we ask questions and we want to find out information. So when we land on a website, we would expect to be able to answer that question or find that information out that we want.

[00:08:14] Tristam Jarman: And what I’ve started to find with these particular websites and many more is people create content and then they create a menu. And then sometimes I feel that content gets a little bit, it’s like a two headed monster, starts to grow and grow. And because you’ve already created that menu originally or you tack on a new header in the menu, things start to get a little bit out of control.

[00:08:40] Tristam Jarman: And so, what we will be looking at today is how to look at all the information you’ve got on your website, have a look at your head and navigation, and just see can we get the user from A to B to C a little bit easier through your website? I don’t want to give away too much more because there’s quite a lot of exciting, fun things, I’m such a nerd, that we’ll be covering. Yeah, so that’s it.

Some People Don’t Consider What They’re Offering, How They Should Be Organising It, and How Their Users Might Want to Use Their Menu

[00:09:05] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah, sure. I find that a lot with head of navigation is that people don’t really think about what it is they’re offering, how they should be organising it, and how a user might want to use that top menu to actually get somewhere once they’re inside the site. And it’s a terrible mistake.

[00:09:22] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): If somebody comes to your site through Google, they find the answer to whatever the question they were asking. It’s a real pity that when they look at that menu, it doesn’t make sense to them. And they don’t keep going around your site, because they can see that there are other answers to other questions that they might potentially want the answer to. So, it’s vitally important.

Another Problem With Websites, Which Is Common to Almost Every Site in the World: Their Page Speed

[00:09:38] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): The other one is page speed. This is pretty much every site in the world, isn’t it, Tristam? 

[00:09:44] Tristam Jarman: Yeah, it is. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a website, and I’d love to know if anyone in the chat has come across a website that is completely a hundred percent problem free.

[00:09:55] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I know one, actually. It’s called It’s a guy called something Varvy. I can’t remember what his first name is. And he spends his whole time, all his life, just trying to get the best performance. It’s a very good resource. So if anyone wants to use that, he’s got the phenomenal amount of information about all the different tips and tricks. And he takes it to a complete level I would never imagine doing. It’s real geek stuff, Sorry, carry on, Tristam.

Most Page Speed Issues Are Due to Oversized Images or Improperly Scaled Images, Which Can Be Fixed by a Developer 

[00:10:23] Tristam Jarman: But yeah, and then you have a sliding scale of website issues. You’ve got website page speed issues that I feel even someone with less knowledge of coding and general page speed issues, you will be able to fix some of these issues today. Common issues are oversized images or images that don’t scale properly. So, you’ve got, if you can see on my camera here, images that are this big, but really only needed to be this big. So when it’s loading, it could be loading it. I’ve seen them loading it 10, 20, 30 MB, and really, you just needed a tiny picture because it was a thumbnail.

[00:11:02] Tristam Jarman: So, they’re things you, the website owner can physically do. If you’ve got a bit more developer knowledge, you can start stepping in there, all the way to, probably you will need a developer to look at some of these issues just because that’s their realm. But yeah, there’s a lot of common issues. No website, apart from the one that you’ve suggested that I haven’t found, is free from these issues.

[00:11:27] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): That’s all the guy does. He spends his entire life just optimising his site for speed.

[00:11:32] Tristam Jarman: No, I love that.

The Wins of Having a Fast Site for Google and Especially for Users

[00:11:33] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And the question about page speed, I think we tend to forget it. It is obviously really important for Google, but it’s also very important for the user. Can you give us a few words about the two sides of the coin where we’re winning when we’ve got a fast site? 

[00:11:46] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. When was it, back in 2010, the algorithm with Google changed. So, faster loading pages, et cetera, became a ranking factor. So, obviously, the faster a page loads, awesome. Google is loving that, but then what you need to be aware of is the user. As a person, as a human, we are slightly impatient, maybe me more so than others. There are some interesting stats. I’ll just grab. 

[00:12:20] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Okay. So, you’ve got your stats for the site speed. As a human being, when we’re looking at the site, we look at it when we’re sitting at home with our super duper fast fibre connection or a DSL, and we think that’s fine. And we forget that some people in the South of France on a cell phone or there’s a problem with the communication, or for example, India is a great example of a country that has a phenomenal number of users, many of whom are still on 3G, which is quite a slow connection.

An Overview About 3G and 4G Connections and Some Statistics About Page Speed Ranking and User Friendliness

[00:12:47] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And I did a podcast episode about the difference between 3G and 4G. And Google actually judges your site on a 3G connection, because it wants to serve the people who don’t have those great connections as well as it can. So even if your site appears fast because you’re on 4G on your mobile or on a DSL, Google isn’t judging you on that. It’s judging you on the speed on the 3G connection, because that is the lowest bar you need to get across. Go ahead, sorry.

[00:13:13] Tristam Jarman: Yeah, exactly. And then from the user side of things, just a bit of insight and overview on page speed ranking and user friendliness, there’s a study that’s been done that it says, a 1 second delay of page load time yields an 11% fewer page views and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, a 7% possible loss in conversions. And then in fact, 40% of consumers expect websites to load in less than 2 seconds. That’s 2 seconds. And 40% will abandon a page if it takes 3 or more seconds. So, keep those figures in mind when we’re having a look. I’ll remind everyone when we’re looking through some of the other information.

What Is the Optimal Page Speed Rank for Mobile?

[00:13:54] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Okay, brilliant. I know I get very impatient. And ER is asking what is the optimal page speed rank for mobile? 

[00:14:02] Tristam Jarman: I don’t know what the optimal page speed rank is. But from the information that we just discussed there, you ideally want it to be less than 2 seconds. I would probably go for around a second, but really depends on a number of factors. 

[00:14:17] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): You can use Google’s tools to test and see what Google thinks. And if it thinks it’s slow, it doesn’t matter whether you think it’s slow, Google is saying it’s slow, and your SEO is suffering full stop. And the other thing is think as a person when you’re navigating around the internet, think at what point you get frustrated. And it’s actually, for me, far below that 2 seconds. I don’t want to wait 2 seconds for a page to load. It really makes me impatient.

[00:14:42] Tristam Jarman: Yeah, I totally agree.

The Third Common Problem of Websites: Thin Content or When There Is No Useful Information on a Web Page

[00:14:44] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Right. And the third one is thin content. Now, I’ve put this screen up because I had to do the design for it. My design is great, little drawing of some content on the right there. And that page is a really interesting page. It’s actually part of a test I did to see how fast I could get a page index rather than a thin content test. But that’s all the page contained, a title.

[00:15:06] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And thin content is that. It’s when there isn’t actually any useful information on the page. Anybody visiting that page gets no information, no help, and it’s not a solution to their problem or an answer to their question. That’s an extreme example. Tell us a bit more about the thin content that we’re looking at today.

Similar to the Page Speed Issue, Thin Content Have Two Sides of the Coin: the Search Engines Like Google and the User

[00:15:25] Tristam Jarman: That’s a perfect point, isn’t it? And again, similar to the page speed issue example we were looking at. You have the two sides of the coin, you have the search engines and Google, and then you have the user. And so, as you were saying, user comes along. There’s very little value that this page is serving anybody. So when Google then crawls that page and starts to ascertain this information as well, what do we think is going to happen to this page and your site?

[00:15:57] Tristam Jarman: And also, be aware that if you have a number of thin content pages, Google is wasting its time going through those pages. You’ll have an amount of crawl budget that Google will spend an amount of time crawling your website and finding new content. And so, pages like this example you’ve got here, Jason, it’s wasting its time reading that. So, yeah, it’s a two sides of the coin always.

More About Finding the Balance Between Getting Google to Understand You and Satisfying the User With Your Solution 

[00:16:27] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Sorry, one thing, just to say, in fact, all three points have had that double sided aspect, the user and Google. And everything we’re doing in SEO, we obviously want to please Google. We want to make sure Google understands who we are, what it is we’re offering, and which of our pages provide an answer or a solution to its users when they ask Google for the solution to their problem or the answer to their question. That’s the first stage. So, we need to communicate with Google.

It’s useless ranking top if you don’t provide the solution.

– Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:16:54] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): But once we have, if we do rank, when the person comes to the site, we must never forget we do actually have to satisfy that user. And that double sided aspect is something to bear in mind. It’s useless ranking top if you don’t provide the solution. And if you do provide the solution, but your SEO is rubbish and Google doesn’t understand that you’ve got the solution, you’ll never rank top. So, you need to get that balance.

Would It Be Advisable to Have a Homepage That Loads Quickly?

[00:17:16] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And there is a question that I found quite interesting. Would it be advisable to have a homepage that loads quickly, Tristam?

[00:17:22] Tristam Jarman: I think it would be advisable to have your whole website that loads quickly. But yes, having your homepage that loads quickly is a must. Obviously, we’re going to dive into page speed in a little bit more depth than this. But just a simple one, if you are looking at what your top pages are performing organically, in Google Analytics, you can take the top 5 or 10 pages and run them through some of the tools we’ll be looking at today and start to see, okay, actually it’s my homepage, okay, it’s working quite effectively, loads pretty quick. But these other ones, which are very popular and ranking quite well. There are some issues, and you resolve those issues. And hopefully, you’ll see some positive change from that.

[00:18:02] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah, that’s a brilliant piece of advice. Take the most important pages in terms of the way they’re performing today, because that’s the easy win. And the homepage, whether it’s an important page in terms of traffic right now or not, it’s the entry door. So, it’s really important that first entry is smooth, fast, and efficient, and isn’t thin content, and it has a great navigation.

Passing the Focus Over to Tristam Jarman, Who Will Now Analyse the Three Chosen Websites Through SEMrush

[00:18:25] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Oh, dear, I have actually finished now. And I’m going to pass over to you, Tristam. You are going to now go through the three sites we’ve chosen.

[00:18:34] Tristam Jarman: I am.

[00:18:35] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): You’re going to show us through SEMrush, how you analyse the sites, and give handy hints along the way. And I think that’s brilliant, because you’re going to actually see how you use SEMrush to audit your clients’ sites. So if you can start sharing your screen, that would be absolutely wonderful. And we can take my screen off.

[00:18:53] Tristam Jarman: And then whilst I’m just doing this, I see there’s a number of questions that have come through. So, hopefully, cool, we can see that site. So, there’s a couple of questions that have come through. What I’ll do is I’ll actually answer those as we get to the section. So, Andre, you’ve asked about GTmetrix score, and Joe Journeys, you were asking, we’ve covered that one on the homepage loading quickly. Awesome.

Navigating Through the First Website, Bonjour La France, and Using Some Tools to Analyse It

[00:19:18] Tristam Jarman: So, the first site that we’ll be looking at is Bonjour La France. Hopefully, that was a nice little French accent there.

[00:19:25] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): That was an absolutely lovely French accent. It’s almost as good as mine, but I’ve been here 30 years practicing. 

[00:19:31] Tristam Jarman: You’ve got a little bit more experience than me, so Bonjour La France. So, as I navigate through a website, there appears to be a number of pages that can’t easily be found. So, just for you, guys, watching now, you should always only have pages a few clicks away from where you started. Don’t make people, I can’t remember what the stats off the top of my head, but really we shouldn’t be looking at it anymore, so 2, 3 clicks into the site to be finding information. We want it to be clear, easy, and think of the user. Please, please, please, think of the user.

Creating a Scenario as a User While Looking Through the Current Layout of the Menu Navigation of the Website

[00:20:10] Tristam Jarman: So, I’ve landed on this website, Bonjour La France, and I want to find out how I can travel around France. So, I created a little scenario for myself. This is actually real. I have a VW camper van, my girlfriend, and my dog. And so, say that’s my thought process coming to this website. So, I don’t necessarily want to find out about how to travel around France, say, but what I want to do is know where to stay, attractions, destinations. I like wine, so I want to find out where the best places to drink wine are, stuff like that.

[00:20:42] Tristam Jarman: So, as we have a look through the website, we’ve got Travel, Trains, Flights, Ferries, Lodging, okay, so that’s about accommodation, Attractions, interesting. We’ve got About France, and then we’ve got a news page as well. So, as I say, this is the current layout of the navigation. So, the navigation menu could be modified to increase conversion, I feel, as it’s not clearly labeled as much as it could be to help people navigate through the site.

Running a Crawl With the Use of SEMrush and Also Using Google’s Site Search Operator to See Which Pages Are Ranking 

[00:21:11] Tristam Jarman: And so, what I mean by that is, and to take a step back before I start going in and breaking down the navigation. What I tend to do is, when I start with a client’s website, have a good look through the website, click around, build scenarios. If it’s an e-commerce site as an example, I want to purchase a product, so you have a task to complete. So, I have a good look through the site.

[00:21:37] Tristam Jarman: What I also do is I run a crawl, which I’ve done in SEMrush. And what I also do is I run a site search in Google. So, this is using the search operator site. And what this does is this actually pulls up every page that is ranking for Bonjour La France on Google. And that has actually gone up considerably since yesterday. But by the by, so I can now see all the pages that are ranking for Bonjour La France.

Trying to Apply Reverse Engineering in Finding a Specific Festival With the Use of the Website’s Menu Navigation

[00:22:11] Tristam Jarman: So, as I said, what I would like to do is find festivals, attractions, things like that. So, what I do is I try to reverse engineer things. So, I’ve got Burgundy Festivals. Awesome, that sounds great. I want to find out more about that. So, I would think that’s under Attractions, personally. So, I click through to Attractions as an example, wait for this to load. And what I’m getting is a whole bunch of information on tourist offices. So, what’s that saying to me, and airports.

[00:22:44] Tristam Jarman: But I really want to know where this Burgundy Festival is. So, let’s just click through, let’s see. Okay. So, this is great, loads of information of what I can do in the festival. So, that’s awesome, and then a little bit about wine events, brilliant. But what I noticed in the breakdown is it’s actually Destinations to Explore, and what I found was Destinations to Explore is actually under News.

Asking an Important Question: Are We Serving the User the Best Navigation to Help Them Navigate Through the Site?

[00:23:09] Tristam Jarman: So, then this takes us back to, are we serving the user the best navigation to help them navigate through your site? My initial feeling is no. Let me just grab this spreadsheet. So, what I would do in this instance is rejig your navigation. And by doing this, I would open up something like Excel to help create your current website map, look at all the pages you’ve got, and this can be done in a number of ways.

[00:23:45] Tristam Jarman: So, you can pull your information from Google Analytics, you can run a crawl through SEMrush, or as I showed you, you can run a site search in Google, or depending on your size, not this one, you can manually just pull the information down. One of the sites we looked at is small with around a hundred pages, so it makes this task easier to do that.

Tristam Jarman’s Suggestions: Rejig the Navigation to Have Destinations and Rename Lodging to Accomodation

[00:24:06] Tristam Jarman: So, start to create what your website would look like in terms of the menu navigation. As you can see here, I just made it very simple. And this is level one of what it currently looks like of the original. So, we’ve got Lodging, Attractions, About France, News, but what I’d like to change it to is Travel, Great Destinations. Because what I found through the website is there’s heaps of information on Normandy, Burgundy, all these destinations. So, I’m coming to the website and I wanted to look at maybe Destinations, I wanted to hit up.

[00:24:38] Tristam Jarman: Now, I would suggest that you rejig your navigation to have Destinations, then Attractions. I change the word Lodging to Accommodation. Why I suggest that is because we want to have a uniform way of talking. When people go to an e-commerce website, you’ll look for the sales page. And it’s generally called sale or clearance, something like that. It’s not a more personalised term. So, I would change Lodging to Accommodation, Food and Drink.

Think about what terms your audience uses for things and stick to that. You want to talk to them in their language. You want to be empathetic to the way that they express themselves.

– Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:25:13] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Just to cut in there, it’s using common terms to the industry and using the vocabulary that your audience uses. And that’s phenomenally important in all of your SEO work is to think about what terms your audience uses for things and stick to that. You want to talk to them in their language. You want to be empathetic to the way that they express themselves. That’s the winning formula. We don’t care how you want to say it. We care how they say it because they’re the people you want to serve. Carry on. Sorry.

More Suggestions From Tristam Jarman on What Common Terminologies Should Be Used for the Titles in the Menu

[00:25:42] Tristam Jarman: Exactly. So, yeah, there’s a lot of information on Attractions, as we just looked at, Accommodation. Food and Drink, there’s information on that. About France, I think that’s a great section, and it can stay there. And just keep the new section just for News. Because if we jump back in here, in the News section, we’ve got Latest News and Info, awesome. But then we’ve got Do It, See It, and Enjoy and Snooze, Eat, and Indulge. And that’s where I would change those titles to things like Food and Drink, Attractions, Accommodation, just to use those more common terminologies.

Being Clear and Keeping It Simple Because Google Likes Common Vocabulary 

[00:26:16] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And to be clearer, because what the website owner has done is that they’ve been quite inventive, and it’s a little bit poetic. Poetic is great, but it’s more poetry. It’s not the poetry necessarily your audience will understand. And Google doesn’t get poetry. Google likes facts. Google likes common vocabulary. Carry on. 

[00:26:35] Tristam Jarman: And it’s the KISS theory, keep it simple, stupid. 

[00:26:40] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Right. Okay. So, I thought you were talking about the band.

[00:26:45] Tristam Jarman: So, yeah, just keep it simple. Think about what you’re doing. Actually, myself and Jason actually spoke about this yesterday because I threw this to you, Jason. And you were saying, actually, I come in this site and I’d have destinations and go in through that way. And what the interesting point of that conversation was we both had a thought process of how best to structure the website. Go on, Jason. You jump in.

Jason Barnard’s Suggestion for Bonjour La France: Organise in Terms of Geo Location

[00:27:13] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah, no. I was thinking about it coming back from the Curry house earlier on after lunch. And in fact, what I was saying or what I was thinking is I would tend to organise things in terms of geo location. So, I would have Bonjour La France, slash, name of department, slash, name of town, slash, type of attraction or things to do or whatever it might be. Because Google understands things within the context of their geo location. It knows the Eiffel Tower is in Paris and that Paris is in the 75th department.

[00:27:49] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And it’s a very good way for Google in terms of the structure of the URL, for Google to understand what it is you’re talking about and be sure that it’s understood what you’re talking about. It’s also logical for a human being who actually has a little knowledge of geography, but that doesn’t stop you in your navigation, organising it in the way that Tristam is suggesting. Your navigation doesn’t have to correspond to your URL structure, so in fact, the primary navigation.

[00:28:14] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, in fact, you could actually have the choice of having one whole section with navigate by region or navigate by place. And then have your departments and your towns with the attractions in one menu, and then a second access through lodging or things to do or whatever it might be. And as a human being, different people might want to access that information or they might access it logically in a different manner.

If the Main Audience Is Not From the USA, Does It Have an Impact on SEO?

[00:28:43] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And we’ve got a question. If the main audience is not from the USA, does it impact on SEO? If we’re talking about France, I think that’s an interesting point, but here it’s Bonjour La France. So, we’re looking at people outside France who want to come to France. And that intent, we need to serve it and Google needs to serve it. So, I’m not a hundred percent clear what the question actually means.

Considering Two Approaches by Users: Finding Information About a Place and Looking for Directions to Get to the Place

[00:29:05] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): But the thing about it is, from what you are saying, Tristam, is that somebody is looking for attractions. Some people might know what they’re looking for, the Eiffel Tower, for example. And some people might just be saying, I want to go to Montpellier. What can I do there? So, they would be thinking, Montpellier, what do I do? Whereas, somebody who’s looking for the Eiffel Tower would say, Eiffel Tower, how do I get there? And that’s two different approaches from people who are actually looking for the same thing. And you need to serve them both. Go ahead. Sorry.

Work out how to structure your menu navigation in a logical way that’s answering people’s questions.

– Tristam Jarman

[00:29:35] Tristam Jarman: Yeah, no, exactly. And I think that’s a good way of looking at it, as I said earlier, creating scenarios when you go in and look to audit your website and your navigation. You might have someone coming in, as you said, Jason, with a very clear mind, like I want more information on the Eiffel Tower. And again, if we came in here, Attractions, we are looking at tourist offices mainly.

[00:30:03] Tristam Jarman: And secondary to that, yeah, you might come in and go, I want to know about a town or an area or I’ve heard about Montpellier, say. And then you’re like, I want to find out more information on that. So, how would you answer these questions that people have? And so, for both of us, we had this conversation yesterday, that really what you need to do is have conversations like this, like me and Jason did. But also look at the data, what are your popular pages, what are popular search terms, stuff like that. And start to really work out how to structure your menu navigation in a logical way that’s answering people’s questions and hitting the mark, really.

Are There Changes After Implementing a Silo Structure for a Website? 

[00:30:49] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. Quick question from Ronit Dey, it’s about silo structure. Have we seen changes after implementing silo structure? I think every SEO in the industry has had at least one case where the structure was awful. We’ve put it into nice silos. For me, it’s not really silos. It’s having a URL structure that is logical.

[00:31:06] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And this particular site, I’ve noticed quite a lot of the URLs are at the root level. And I never dig that. I encourage my clients to always put pages in a category a) because it’s easier to analyse your site, b) Google is going to understand it better because the pages are then in context with its parent. When you don’t have structure, Google has a lot of trouble understanding what page fits where. And also, you probably don’t know.

Tristam Jarman’s Audits for Bonjour La France Using SEMrush, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics

[00:31:32] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Can we look at the SEMrush audits? Because I really like the way you were doing that. With Bonjour La France, you audited the site?

[00:31:41] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. So, what I should know for everyone watching is if you are an SEMrush user, subscriber or if you’re thinking of using SEMrush, what I would do is I suggest that you open up SEMrush. You jump into the projects panel, open up the dashboard, and this is the dashboard for Bonjour La France. And as many of these little sections as you can, set up, link Google Search Console, link your Google Analytics, and set these different crawls and backlink audits off on your website.

[00:32:16] Tristam Jarman: Because if nothing else, this really does give you a great snapshot of how your website is viewed by search engines and give you a bit of a roadmap of what to do. We’re not going to go into all of these today. I guess they may be covered in future sessions, but let’s just jump into the site audit section. And so, as you can see, I ran a site audit.

After Setting the Crawl Limit to 10,000 Pages, the Audit Showed That 31,400 Pages Are Being Indexed by Google, Which Needed to Be Investigated

[00:32:38] Tristam Jarman: And I think there was a question actually from ER. Does it mean when I did the site search, does that mean that 31,400 pages are being indexed by Google? Yes, that is correct. And then jumping back into here, I set the crawl limit at 10,000 pages because I just thought it was a blog. It probably wouldn’t be that big. It hit the 10,000 pages limit.

[00:33:09] Tristam Jarman: What I would then do is probably look up that crawl limit to understand what’s going on. I think when I looked yesterday for the site search, it was actually about 6,400. So, there’s something not adding up here. Technically, I would definitely, if this is your website and you’re watching, I definitely take this away and investigate this a little bit further.

The 102 Mobile Links That Is Ranking for the Website Should Also Be Further Investigated

[00:33:32] Tristam Jarman: Something I also raised with Jason yesterday, which is slightly off topic, but I did, through my hunting around this website, found that you’ve got 102 of these mobile links ranking. And I haven’t gone in technically to see any more information than what you can see here, but I can see that these URLs are ranking in Google at the moment. It might be that we’re waiting for them to disappear because you’ve made some changes to remove this, but they are there at the moment. So if you’re not aware of anything to do with this, I’d probably put that on your list of things to investigate for this site. But, yeah, so let’s crack. 

[00:34:14] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): That’s a sign of bad housekeeping, and that housekeeping implies that you actually don’t pay attention, and that can never be good. Sorry, go ahead.

More Suggestions for the Menu Navigation: Organise It in a Logical Format and Use Main Headings, Sub Menus, and Other Links Below It

[00:34:21] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. And so, that’s why really, this SEMrush software and certainly this site audit section is just invaluable because you can set, I think, you can set it daily, weekly, monthly, periodically set crawls. And then you can compare crawls as well from what your last crawl was to your next crawl to see if you are improving. So, yeah, I’d say if you’re not using it, do use it. As you can see, there’s a number of issues that really need to be looked at. But, yeah, if we just round off this section of looking at the navigation.

[00:35:00] Tristam Jarman: So, yeah, as I say, for everyone watching, what I would probably do just to keep it simple is build yourself a little navigation. You can do it in a number of ways. You can do it from side to side as I have or top to bottom. And yeah, start to build out your website’s menu navigation in a logical format, have it printed out like this on a screen. You could discuss it with other people.

[00:35:23] Tristam Jarman: But then you’ve also got a paper trail of what was before, what you’re doing now, so you can start to see if your increments will improve, changes are helping your site improve. So, yeah, if your site’s navigation menu starts to look a little bit cluttered, consider organising your site better by using main headings, then by sub menus, and other links categorised below it.

Looking Through the Page Speed of Bonjour La France Using Pingdom, GTmetrix, and PageSpeed Insights

[00:35:47] Tristam Jarman: Let’s jump in and actually have a look at the page speed for this site. Let me just pull up some more links. So, there’s a number of tools that you can use. What I’ve done today is I’ve used Pingdom, GTmetrix, and last but not least, PageSpeed Insights. And they’ve all loaded up in different tabs, brilliant. That’s embarrassing. Let me just grab that one.

[00:36:24] Tristam Jarman: And so, I think there was previously a question on GTmetrix, so we can have a look at that. I think it was on whether I felt the GTmetrix score was relevant. I don’t dive in too heavily into these reports and paid speed issues. Why I say that, what I do is I run a number of page speed tools to get an aggregate idea of what the issues are.

[00:36:51] Tristam Jarman: I try again even with crawling software, keyword ranking software, try to have a look around and see. Every piece of software is built differently. So, certainly, with page speed issues, I’ve used these three particular tools. There are more. And hit me up on Twitter afterwards, and I’ll be happy to share some of the other ones that you can use.

The Importance of Optimising Images and Looking at the Priority Score of Your Site Using Tools to Improve Your Page Speed

[00:37:16] Tristam Jarman: But running this site here, it seems like we’ve got a reasonable page speed score here. But as I was saying, this here is an issue that you could probably do yourself. And so, that’s optimising images. So, you’ll just be reducing size or quality just to make sure they load a little bit faster.

[00:37:36] Tristam Jarman: But what’s great with GTmetrix is you can start to see, let me close this quickly, see a priority score or level here. And then what’s great, similar to SEMrush, is you can actually have what this means. So, you start to get educated whilst you are running these tests over time. So, I would have a look through this, if this is your website, start to ascertain what you feel you might be able to tackle. Areas like these defer passing of JavaScript.

[00:38:06] Tristam Jarman: That might be something that’s a little bit more high level and might be worth getting in contact with your own developer or hiring a developer to have a look at some of these issues. And then keep these test scores saved, so then you can have a look in the future to see again whether you have improved your page speed score.

The Different Statistics on the Page Speed and Size of Bonjour La France When Using Different Tools

[00:38:28] Tristam Jarman: It’s saying that the site here is 3.88 MB and took a total time of 17 seconds to load, but we’ll have a look at the other tools to see what they’re saying. So, this one’s saying it took about 4.4 seconds. And you can see we’ve got some similar and slightly different issues here. What’s great though, it can tell you that 2.1 MB of this homepage was taken up by images, script, 35% of that.

[00:38:58] Tristam Jarman: And so, even things like script, if you aren’t using Google Tag Manager, I would suggest you do use Google Tag Manager to deploy all your scripts through that. So if you’re using Google Analytics, you can put that into Google Tag Manager or probably take a step back. Google Tag Manager basically takes lots of code, whittles it down, and just deploys it in a far easier, manageable format that doesn’t slow your website down.

[00:39:25] Tristam Jarman: So, as an example, a lot of websites will have Google Analytics code on their website. They’ll have maybe Hotjar, which is a conversion rate optimisation tool. And then you start to add on maybe affiliate, stuff like that. All of these little pieces of code in your website’s code do start to drag your website down. So, something like Google Tag Manager popping your script through there will just help your site run a lot smoother.

Tristam Jarman’s Suggestions for Page Speed: Use Different Tools, Do a Little Research, and Ascertain Your Level of Knowledge

[00:39:52] Tristam Jarman: And then if we just jump into the last tab, this gives a slightly different view and score. Mobiles are coming back with a score of 6, and desktops are coming back with a score of 21. And again, what this does is it gives you a whole bunch of information of what opportunities are here and what diagnostics has come back.

[00:40:16] Tristam Jarman: So, I would personally, whoever you are, if you have a website, I would look at least these three tools, run your website through it, and just see what’s coming back. Have a little research, ascertain what your level of knowledge is, and whether you can resolve these issues or whether you might need to reach out to someone to help you to resolve these issues.

[00:40:38] Tristam Jarman: As we say way back at the beginning of this, every second counts. You reduce it by a second here and there, you’re making Google happier, you’re making users happier. That makes you happier. People want to spend more time on your site. They should hopefully convert better because your website is just, it’s streamlined and working perfectly. Yes, Jason, sorry.

More Insights About Page Speed According to Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:40:59] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): One thing I saw across the three is a) 2.1 MB of images is almost certainly too much. You could certainly reduce that. Think about why you’re using so many images and why they’re so heavy. Another was the amount of scripts. As you said, lots of cumulative scripts, but also the fact that they’re all saying the browser thinks it needs all the scripts in order to actually show the use of the page.

[00:41:25] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And in fact, it doesn’t need all those scripts. You can defer them, which just means push them back, to load after the page has displayed, and then get the JavaScript to act in, for example, the map. You could have an empty space, have the map load with the JavaScript and all the rest of that behind, once the page is displayed for the user, which would make that initial load much, much faster.

Having a Fast Host Provider on a Reliable Platform Is Phenomenally Important for Your Site’s Page Speed

[00:41:47] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And the third one I noticed they all had was the server response time. Having a good host, a hosting provider who has a good server that’s fast, you’re not sharing it with thousands of other sites, that could potentially mean that any given moment, it can’t give you the resources necessary to deliver your pages. And hosting isn’t that expensive. It’s not such a big deal. It’s not a game changer. And having a fast host on a reliable platform is phenomenally important, because it will save a lot of headaches all through your site and throughout the year. 

[00:42:21] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more with that. Back, back, back, probably, I’m 37 now, so when I was 18, I created my first website. And I had no idea of servers, any of this stuff that we’re discussing now, actually. I was just building websites. 

[00:42:40] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, you have been in this for 20 years, 18, 19 years. So, you started about the same time as me.

Research Where Your Server Is, How Fast It’s Running, and How Much Up and Downtime It Has

[00:42:46] Tristam Jarman: Yeah, but SEO came a bit later. It was an interesting process of, oh, I’ll make a website. And then it was like learning how to get people to find your website. But yeah, even back then, I just basically went for the cheapest deal of hosting. And that seemed like the most logical way to go about getting hosting. It was like, well, they’re doing a great deal, I’ll go with them. And as you highlighted, that might not be the best way.

[00:43:11] Tristam Jarman: So, yeah, go out, research where your server is, how fast it’s running, how much up and down time it has. I know companies that I’ve worked with previously have a lot of server issues and downtime, and that can cause so many problems. Whether that’s problems for users, clearly, clicking through, the website’s not working. But also if you’re running PPC ads, and you’re funneling traffic through to your site, and the website’s not loading.

Always think of the user first.

– Tristam Jarman

[00:43:40] Tristam Jarman: So, you can start to see, again, page speed issues, servers, why all of this stuff really, really matters. And as much as we want to make Google and search engines happy, I’ll stress this probably a hundred times more through this webinar, but please think of the user first. Always think of the user first is what I say.

[00:44:01] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Brilliant.

Looking at the Thin Content Issues for Bonjour La France Using SEMrush

[00:44:01] Tristam Jarman: So, let’s jump on. So, let’s have a look at thin content for Bonjour La France. Let’s just bring that, a little sneak peek of what we’ll be looking at next. And so, when we look at thin content, we need to identify thin content pages. And some of that can be done through SEMrush. So if we just jump back in here, we go to issues. So, obviously, I’ve set up, I’ve run my crawl. It’s brought back all this information.

[00:44:37] Tristam Jarman: And then you’ve got these three key areas. So, you’ve got errors, warnings, and notices, and you’ve got this lovely little search box. So, I’m just going to go for low word count. I have to spell that correctly. So, there’s no pages that have a low word count, awesome, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ve got these weird, thin pages with duplicated content and stuff.

[00:45:02] Tristam Jarman: So, yeah, always make sure you write between 2 and 300 meaningful words on a page. Don’t just write words for the sake of writing them. Jason, what are your thoughts on the minimum amount of wording? Because I’m doing research, one set of people say this, one set of people say that.

What Are Jason Barnard’s Thoughts on the Minimum Amount of Words in a Page?

[00:45:22] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Well, I’ve had a featured snippet with 35 words. So, it is possible to write. It was a trick, and it was a very specific query, but the 35 words answered the query. So, it’s fine. And importantly, Joost from the plugin Yoast, I was talking to him about it and he said, oh, but you have to have at least 200 words. Because otherwise, you can’t create the context that Google needs to understand what the page is actually saying.

[00:45:47] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And there’s a double side there. Because the site I was using was so well structured, I was talking about the structure earlier on, it was a page that had a parent page that was very clear and a parent page of that parent page that was very clear. The context was inherited. So, we had a situation where I could do it. I don’t say do it. I don’t say this is a good idea. But if 35 words gives the answer, in 35 words, give the answer.

If You Want a Quick Answer, Use a Few Words; For Users Who Want to Learn More, Discuss It on an Article With 300 Words

[00:46:11] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): But I would agree with Joost. If you really want to give context to Google, so it can truly understand that you have an answer that can truly satisfy its users, less than 200 words, you’re going to have trouble. But I disagree quite a lot with people who say you have to write 1,000 words, especially on mobile. I think it’s important to remember mobile. I can’t read 1,000 words on mobile. 

[00:46:35] Tristam Jarman: I don’t want to read 1,000 words on mobile. I think that’s more it, isn’t it? 

[00:46:39] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And I was talking, I can’t remember who I was talking to about, basically, if I want a quick answer, if I say what colour is the sun? I don’t want 1,000 words. I want a few words that says it’s orange or yellow or whatever colour. There might be a debate about it. If I then want to learn more, maybe you should write a second article that discusses why we think it’s yellow or some people think it’s orange. And that will be on another article with 300 words. And then if I really want to know more about it and I want to get into astrophysics, I’ll read a book.

When Writing Your Content, Always Think of the User and How to Optimise for the Search Engines 

[00:47:08] Tristam Jarman: Exactly. And I think that nicely loops back to what we were saying earlier, where it’s think of the user first. We’ve just discussed that there’s studies and tests that say between 2 and 300 words. There’s other studies that say long form content works best. But as you’ve just given the example, what was it? What colour is the sun?

[00:47:29] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. I don’t know why I used that.

[00:47:31] Tristam Jarman: No, I like that. But we don’t need 300, we don’t need 1,000 words, we just need a simple answer. And so, yeah, just think of the user, as well as obviously optimising for search engines.

Jason Barnard’s Experience on Having a Very Successful FAQ Section About eSIMs

[00:47:44] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Quickly cutting in there. In fact, I’ve had a very, very successful FAQ section. Basically, what we did was identified very specific questions and gave very specific, helpful answers on eSIMs. And we’ve managed to go from no visits at all in December to 2 or 3,000 visits a day in 6 months. But because we’ve written incredibly helpful, precise answers on a topic we know incredibly well and for which we are authoritative, which is eSIMs, obviously, the upsell is that we then sell data plans for eSIMs, which I’m actually using today.

[00:48:21] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): It’s called Ubigi, a bit of promotion for them because they’re really good people. And I’m using their network to do this webinar. And I think people forget, for webinars at least, is that these things work really, really well when you’re in countries like France. But that’s a really good example of specific answers to specific questions, and it works really well. But if you were searching for how does an eSIM actually work? That’s useless. I need 300, 1,000 words to actually start to understand it. Sorry, go ahead now.

More About Thin Content: What Content Can Go, What Can Be Created, What Can Be Expanded, and What Can Be Combined 

[00:48:53] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. Exactly. And then, I guess, just to bring a bit of background on what we’re talking about here with thin content.

[00:49:00] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Oh yeah. I’ve forgotten about that.

[00:49:04] Tristam Jarman: Does all the content on your site need to exist and be live? Although there was no warnings in the site audit that we ran for low word count, you could still be diluting your site’s value by burning through your crawl budget. The more pages you give Google to crawl, the more work it has to do. If pages the search engine crawls aren’t useful for the user, then Google will have a problem in wasting its time on your content.

[00:49:36] Tristam Jarman: So, we can look at things, like extremely similar pages can be combined, using canonical tags. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to remove them completely from the search engine results, just because they have little value. What content can go, what can be created, what can be expanded on, and what can be combined. And so, yeah, how can we have a look at that?

[00:50:02] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): We’re actually at the 50 minute mark. And I hadn’t noticed the time passing because you’re content is so much fun. And that’s the thing. When you’re in SEO, this is actually a lot of fun. And we’re looking at a phenomenal number of details that you can improve. And we want to improve all the details we can and pick the ones that we can actually affect.

That’s what’s going to push your SEO forward. It’s solving this problem by problem by problem, and moving the needle a little bit every day, and being persistent and consistent.

– Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:50:20] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And that’s what’s going to push your SEO forward. It’s solving this problem by problem by problem, and moving the needle a little bit every day, and being persistent and consistent. I love that. Persistent, consistent gets you the monkey, is what they say in South Africa. Can we move on to the next site or do you have something else to share?

Some Thin Content Issues for Bonjour La France: Duplicate Title Tags and the Content of the Website Itself

[00:50:39] Tristam Jarman: No, of course. So, I was just going to round it off by saying with some of the thin content issues, you have duplicate title tags, content issues. And as you can see just in front of you here, I will highlight some of the issues, duplicate title tags, content, et cetera. If I was Bonjour La France, I would run an order in here and I would start to look at tackling some of these issues.

Moving on to the Second Website, Find Me Here: Its Different Language Versions and Its Menu Navigation

[00:51:01] Tristam Jarman: But yes, let’s move on to Find Me Here. I had a great pleasure looking around this website. It makes me want to go on holiday, massively. Look at the images, they are great, slightly jealous. But again, so I come in, so back to head and navigation. I come in with a thought process that I want to complete a couple of tasks on the website. And before I actually moved on to doing that, what I noticed was awesome, there’s actually a Spanish version of the site. That’s great.

[00:51:31] Tristam Jarman: So, let’s have a little click on that. And just because I can’t speak Spanish, I’m going to get Google to translate it in English. But what I noticed was actually you’ve only got the two links in the head and menu navigation. That might be a business decision you’ve made or it might be a time or resource issue. If that’s the case, I would work towards.

[00:51:52] Tristam Jarman: And if you have enough Spanish traffic and you want to expand on that, I would definitely have a Spanish version of your website and an English language version of your website. The website is awesome. It seems a shame that you’re not delivering that to more Spanish native speakers. But that again might be something you’ve made a decision on saying, well, I don’t actually get that much Spanish traffic, so I didn’t want to expand on that, which is fine, but yeah.

Looking Through and Analysing the Website’s Menu Navigation, Where Tristam Jarman Suggests That It Needs to Have a Dropdown Menu 

[00:52:19] Tristam Jarman: So, we’ve got a fairly straightforward menu navigation, Home, Destinations, Photography Gear, Our Work, Templates, About Us, and Contact. Brilliant. So, I’ve just had a little look through the site. I’ve been to Bali, but let’s pretend I haven’t. So, I want to go through and find Destination at Bali, and I want to find out as much information as possible.

[00:52:38] Tristam Jarman: So, we jump into Destinations. And I was hoping there’d be a dropdown box, but it’s a cool map here. Okay, so it’s in Asia. So, bear in mind I’ve clicked twice now. So, I’m in Asia, and so I’ve now got to scroll through. Okay, so here we are, Bali. So, we’ve got best hotels in Ubud, lovely place.

[00:53:03] Tristam Jarman: What I’d suggest actually is this here in the Search by Category, I would look to rejig your navigation with Destinations being more of a dropdown. So, I can actually jump in and go Destinations, Asia, Indonesia, Bali, type of thing. So, just really making it straightforward for me to get to the content I need. And then that can actually be taken on further.

Suggestions for the Photography Gear Category: Expand the Content, Be More Specific, and Build More Information About Photography Gears

[00:53:30] Tristam Jarman: I was just having a think from when I audited the site, but you’ve got Photography Gear. And depending if you want to look to try and expand on content, there’s some great information here. But under Photography Gear, it might be photography gear for walking around a city or photography gear for underwater filming and photography, because you cover some great camera equipment here. There’s a drone and there’s GoPro here.

[00:54:01] Tristam Jarman: So, it might be that actually over time, you want to get more finite. You found some keywords. You’ve been researching. Then actually you find you can start to build more content about your photography gear. So, that’s just an idea of how you could expand on this menu. But on the whole, I do really like the menu. It works pretty well.

Analysing Find Me Here’s Search Box Through the Use of Site Search Data From Google Analytics

[00:54:21] Tristam Jarman: One thing I did notice, and I just need to quickly get a 404, is to get more ideas. What you’ve got is a great search box here. So, I’m just typing Bali. And what’s going on here is your search box, which I could only find through actually creating an error on your site, actually pulls out all the Bali information here. But what you notice is up in the search bar here, you get this little s.

[00:54:49] Tristam Jarman: And what you can do is in Google Analytics, you can go into site search data, just jump into that. Here we go. So if you set up site search to be collected in Google Analytics, so it is as simple as going into your settings for your view and adding in for the site search settings, adding in the s. So, it starts to collect the data that get put into the site search box.

Why Is Analysing the Site Search Data Useful: To Determine Navigation Issues Where Users Are Not Finding Certain Content

[00:55:27] Tristam Jarman: This is, by the way, a Google demo analytics account. It’s none of my client’s data. But what you can see is if you then, collecting this data, jump into behaviour site search terms, you can see all the search terms people are using on your website. Why is this useful? You might start to find that people can’t find content and are consistently searching for a particular category.

[00:55:52] Tristam Jarman: For example, say I sell black t-shirts, I’m a black t-shirt website. But there’s a lot of people that were searching for white t-shirts, so much so that it might actually make me start to sell white t-shirts or say I just sell all colours of t-shirts. But you can only really find black and gray t-shirts from the homepage and searching through the navigation, but people go straight to the search box and type in white t-shirts.

[00:56:19] Tristam Jarman: Again, that might highlight to me that there’s a navigation issue that people aren’t finding certain content. So, for Find Me Here, you might find that people hitting your search box for typing in Bali or actually other locations that they may not have found on the website. So, this could either lead you to recreate your menu navigation or start to add more sections to your navigation. Do we have any questions on that, Jason?

Analysing Site Search Data Also Shows That Your Menu Navigation Is Not Clear in Terms of the Wording

[00:56:48] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): No. I love the idea of looking at what people are actually searching for on your site. Your example about lodging and accommodation earlier on would be that if people are searching for accommodation because they don’t understand what lodging means, it might be a little bit extreme. But it is a great way to highlight as well that your navigation isn’t clear in the terms of the wording. But as you said, in actual terms of finding things, if they’re searching things because they can’t find it in the menus, but also the wording. I think that’s an interesting point. 

[00:57:19] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. So, really, just some simple changes on this website. But for all sites and everyone watching at the moment, yeah, activate that search. I think I’ll just quickly show you here because I can’t help myself. So if you go into view settings, scroll down, and it’s actually in the query parameter. You’ll want to put this s in there.

[00:57:50] Tristam Jarman: And then when you go back to look at the site search usage and site search terms, that will start to pull in all this awesome site search data that people are using on your site. And certainly, for Bonjour La France, you have site search on your site. If you haven’t checked out this information, it might be very useful to you.

What Are Some of the Common WordPress Problems and Other Plugin Problems With Site Speed?

[00:58:08] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Brilliant. That’s incredibly practical. It’s a great point. And now, we keep having questions put at the bottom of the screen about the site speed, talking about really fast themes. That’s a big question about WordPress. WordPress tends to be quite slow, fast themes, slow themes, plugin blog. Can you just go through very quickly the very common WordPress problems with the site speed itself? 

[00:58:33] Tristam Jarman: The common problems that we found with these sites, yeah. 

[00:58:38] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): In general, plugin blog, sticking in lots of plugins, they’re going to have all the bells and whistles and have my site with all these incredible things going on. There’s a big danger of ending up with a very slow site because you keep adding things. 

[00:58:50] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. Because my mind has gone off on one slightly. Also, just talking about plugins, always be careful to only use updated and plugins that you need. That’s imperative. But yeah, plugins slow your site, huge images slow your site. I don’t have a list of the top 10 WordPress issues in front of me. I don’t know, Jason. If you’ve got any commonality WordPress issues, you want to just throw into.

Jason Barnard Uses Cloudflare as His Go-To First Solution to Get Things Faster Without Investing Much Time or Effort 

[00:59:17] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. I like using Cloudflare. I think in the international travel environment, it’s a content distribution network. And what it does is it takes the delivery of the actual elements of your page, the images, the HTML, the JavaScript, the CSS, and puts it on servers nearer to your users. And that immediately helps with speed. They also have great caching systems. They have very fast servers. So, I would recommend that it’s a really easy plugin to install on WordPress.

[00:59:48] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I tend to use Cloudflare as my go-to first solution to try to get things faster without investing much time or effort. And it generally helps quite a lot. Beyond that, as you said, don’t have plug-ins you don’t need. Check the speed of the theme before you install it. If it’s already installed and it’s really slow and it was badly coded, yeah, you might have to change theme.

If it’s free, it’s probably not very good. So, think about paying for a theme or having it developed for you properly.

– Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[01:00:14] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): But a good rule of thumb, if it’s free, it’s probably not very good. So, think about paying for a theme or having it developed for you properly. If it is free, run it through the mill. Make sure that you know whether it’s fast or it’s slow before you install it, before you invest the infrastructure of your content into something. It’s not, oh, I think that looks good, I think it’s going to be fun. It’s I have tested it and I know its use, it looks great and it’s fast and it’s reliable.

Jumping Into the Page Speed Issues for Find Me Here Using the Same Three Tools Mentioned Before 

[01:00:46] Tristam Jarman: Definitely couldn’t agree more. And as I see, time is steam rolling away. We’ll jump into page speed issues. And so, yeah, what I did again with all the sites, I just ran them through these three particular tools. 

[01:00:59] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): That already looks much better to me.

[01:01:02] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. We’ve got a relatively smaller size page that’s loading. It’s loaded in a reasonably low time, which is great, and yeah. So, I would say probably most of these issues, I would have a developer look at, depending on what your skill set is. But as I said, common issues that come up, serve scaled images. I think, just having a look here. Yeah. So, basically, you are on that website. You are serving images which are slightly too large. And then the suggestion here is you can reduce it by 83% and to serve the right sized image.

It’s imperative to not only do a site audit, but check your website speed on a regular basis.

– Tristam Jarman

[01:01:42] Tristam Jarman: And when you are looking at the size of the page, it’s recorded here, that and then slightly more here. But that there, although there are only small changes during these couple of images, due to the fact that your total page size isn’t very large, that would therefore actually be quite a significant change. So, it’s imperative to not only do a site audit, but check your website speed on a regular basis depending on how you work.

[01:02:12] Tristam Jarman: As you was just saying there, Jason, you might have uploaded a new theme that you weren’t necessarily thinking about too heavily or plugins or et cetera, et cetera. You just slap extra bolts and bells and whistles onto your website without checking the site speed from time to time, even if that’s just once a year, which makes me shudder saying that. But even if you’re just checking it once a year, please do it, because you’ll get a better result, you’ll make everybody happy using your website, and Google will look at you slightly more favourably.

Checking Regularly Can Help You in Making Sure That You Haven’t Changed Something Which Created a Problem and Slowed Your Site

[01:02:48] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): That’s a very good point. It’s not because you tested your site for speed three months ago or four months ago that it’s still fast. It’s because you change things, you add things, you add your bells and whistles. And it is a good idea to keep those checks regular to make sure that you haven’t changed something that’s really slowed it down and creating problems. Which is why being crawled by SEMrush on a regular basis is a very good idea. 

[01:03:13] Tristam Jarman: Yeah, definitely. I stressed it earlier and I’ll stress it again yeah. Using Semrush, just jumping back in, look at Find Me Here, setting up this projects panel is really imperative. Come on, slow connection. But yes, this dashboard, it’s imperative to set this up and set this on some form of a frequency. Again, I don’t know what size is your themes or whether you are individuals creating these blogs.

[01:03:52] Tristam Jarman: But if you look at e-commerce, enterprise size, websites, there’s this huge amount of changes going on a website, whether that’s SEO, updates from developers. So, again, that’s where it becomes even more imperative to put these periodical checks in place. And even some of the most well known brands and companies, I can say, don’t do this stuff. As you said, Jason, sometimes it’s about getting just those tiny little pieces that build the whole puzzle. And if you can do a lot of these little things, it really does make a difference. Sorry, you were going to say something?

You Can Also Use Google Search Console, Which Is Your Communication Tool With Google Itself, to Check Your Website’s Page Speed 

[01:04:34] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah, no. I was actually thinking about a really quick check on site speed is looking in Search Console. It’s actually got a tab. If you go and search for Console, you look at that tab, it will show you the pages that it thinks are slow. Obviously, that’s Google’s point of view. It’s a very good way just to keep an eye on it without wasting too much time, without having to do full audits, just keep an eye. Basically, red is bad, green is good, orange is okay, but probably could be a lot better or definitely a lot better. If your red is going up and up and up, start thinking about doing an audit and getting a professional to help you.

[01:05:08] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. Okay. Again, I couldn’t agree more and so, yeah. I would say just check your site once a month, check it in SEMrush, check these page speed tools. I hadn’t had access to Google Search Console for this webinar, but definitely check your Google Search console for multiple things. But certainly, the area you just discussed, Jason, at least once a month. Google Search Console is your portal and communication tool with Google itself, so use it, don’t lose it.

[01:05:44] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Okay, brilliant.

Looking at the Thin Content Issues, Like Low Word Count and Types of Pages, for Find Me Here 

[01:05:45] Tristam Jarman: So if we have a look at thin content for this site, again, jump into issues. So, we have a look at low word count. And so, we’ve got 34 pages. Let’s just have a quick look through. So, it’s quite a lot of category pages here. And the ones I picked out, let me just grab that, ones I picked out. So, we’ve got Templates, which is just saying it’s a little bit low. And that might be something you can just start adding a little bit more content just to be direct and be a bit more finite in what you want people to do and what these templates are about, just adding a bit more context to that page.

[01:06:25] Tristam Jarman: And then there was also these types of pages. So, you go to category pages, which I felt should be kept, but they’re just missing out in a little bit of information. So, I’ve really enjoyed reading about Bahamas experience. And so, it’s a category page for the Bahamas. That’s great. We can click through, but why not give us just a little intro?

[01:06:48] Tristam Jarman: This is the Bahamas section of the website. You can have some content. You can have some predefined links in there that can actually jump people into other articles. That’s really important. But yeah, I really feel like this page is missing out on just an explanation of what this page is, why we’re here, and what you find me here can give the audience and the reader.

Considering the Users Who Come From Google, It’s Important to Say Who You Are, What You Do, and What Are Your Offers

[01:07:12] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I think that’s a brilliant point. And I think we also forget that if somebody comes here from Google, which is the aim of the show is to get people onto this particular page, let’s say, from Google, I have no idea where I am, what you can do for me, and what you’re actually presenting to me. And thinking about that context, the fact that I’ve just come from Google, I’ve landed on your site, it’s a great opportunity to actually say who you are and what you do and what you’re offering people. And a lot of my clients forget that.

[01:07:41] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And a quick question about content delivery network. Could I recommend the best I really have? It’s Cloudflare. It’s only because I use it from WordPress, and it’s so simple to use, and we’re looking at WordPress sites at the moment. And yes, it does make sense to use them and it’s free. I can’t see a reason not to use it, other than being a bit lazy. Carry on now, Tristam.

How to Bolster Certain Content: Use the SEO Content Template, Which Is Available in SEMrush

[01:08:06] Tristam Jarman: And so, yeah, just carrying on to thin content, but how we can bolster certain content. And I don’t know whether anyone’s aware of the SEO content template, which is in SEMrush. It’s fantastically useful. So, what I’ve done is I’ve actually just taken a page of content and it’s about the Bahamas, the Bahamas in two weeks of travel itinerary.

[01:08:33] Tristam Jarman: And so, what we can do is I’ve gone through, I’ve taken the page content and literally just dumped it in here. I’ve gone through and looked through the keyword research section of SEMrush. And that gives us what keywords are ranking for this particular page. So, I punch that in, I punch this content in, I clicked go. And what’s great is it gives me SEO recommendations.

The Tool Will Help You to See Which Related Keywords Are Ranking for the Website and What Backlinks You Can Acquire Them From

[01:09:00] Tristam Jarman: So, these were the three keywords. It said this page is ranking for. And I think they’re all in the 60, 70 ranking mark. So, there’s obviously a high level of improvement there. But what’s great with this tool is it gives you 10 examples of sites that rank for one week in Bahamas, Bahamas travel itinerary, all these competitors. You’ve got other related keywords you’d be looking at, backlinks you can go and acquire from. Then it’s actually giving these three keywords and the search results for competitors that are coming up.

[01:09:40] Tristam Jarman: So, you are really starting to draw in more and more information of how we can improve a page, how we can bolster out. This page in particular isn’t a thin content page, but I just wanted to show you, guys, how this tool can actually, you can take it away after this and start to build on the content you’ve got. And you’ll see that we can actually start to build new content on the back of this.

Furthermore, the Tool Shows Your Word Target, Title Issues You Need to Fix, and How You Can Optimise Your Content 

[01:10:03] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah, no, I love that. So, you can actually build on the content you’ve got, make it better, and then think, oh. And there’s a topic I could cover that’s related to this initial topic, create a great page about that, link between the two. And you’ve got this wonderful ecosystem that’s going to be pleasing to Google and incredibly helpful to your users.

[01:10:19] Tristam Jarman: Yeah, exactly.

[01:10:21] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I love saying that.

[01:10:23] Tristam Jarman: And so, it gives you this great score here. I’m not going to go too deep into the tool. It gives you your word target. What’s great is it gives you title issues and it’s saying, oh, we should be using at least one of our target keywords in the title. It gives us information on splitting long paragraphs, all sentences are easy to read, recommended keywords.

Also, the SEMrush Gives Ideas for Your Headline, Picks Out Related Topics, and Shows Questions That Are Being Asked

[01:10:45] Tristam Jarman: What I really liked was, let me just find the section, let me click through, get ideas for your headline in our topic research tool. So if you click that, this tool loads up. And so, I’ve looked at further research on 1 week in the Bahamas. Now, I realise the article was stating 2 weeks, but 1 week ranks. And it’s having a look at opportunities here.

[01:11:13] Tristam Jarman: And so, what this does is it picks out related topics. Now, I see that there’s day trips here that could be something that could be discussed. And then I think it was in here, it says, yeah, how much should I save for a vacation in the Bahamas? Now, in this actual piece of content, it quite clearly states, we tried to budget as much as possible and spent $100 to $150 a night for accommodation and spent double that eating every day.

[01:11:43] Tristam Jarman: So, to me, not only bolstering the content and making it that particular piece of content rank higher, there’s actually questions that SEMrush is being able to show us that are being asked, saying, how much should I save for a vacation in the Bahamas? So, you could actually have this section here on budgets, keep it. But say if you want to find out more about how much you should save to have a trip in the Bahamas, boom, you’ve now got a whole new section of content.

Through Further Research, You Might Find the Usual Questions That Are Being Asked, Which Could Keep the Users on Your Site Longer

[01:12:15] Tristam Jarman: And just think of all of these, getting around how to get to the Bahamas, have a look through this tool and start to see. Actually, could this piece of content actually start seeding a number of other pieces of content? Because I was looking at this website going, I guess you’re restricted with content to the places that you physically visited. And obviously, with the situation we’re in at the moment, traveling, it’s starting to pick up, but it’s not as easy as it has been.

[01:12:44] Tristam Jarman: But the thing is, through further research, you might find questions that are being asked about places you visited that you already have the answers to. And so, this one piece of content could become another 2, 3, 5 pieces of individual content that can all interlink to each other, which again, if done in the right way, Google loves, keeps the user on your site longer as well, searching around.

[01:13:09] Tristam Jarman: And again, Google loves that. And obviously, users want to spend time on your site if it’s useful. So, yeah, this is a great way of how to bolster content you’ve got, if you’re suffering with thin content issues, but also, just for everyone watching, how to then go away and create new content. Any questions around that, Jason, whilst I move on?

An SEO Question: Can You Use the Same Paragraphs in Different Blog Posts?

[01:13:34] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. We’re going to have to move on to the third site fairly quickly. There was a quick random SEO question, which is can you use the same paragraphs in different blog posts? The answer to that is I can’t see any circumstances where you would copy-paste an entire paragraph. What Tristam was saying is you start a paragraph about the budget, then you have a link through to a more complete article. You wouldn’t have that exact same text at the beginning because you’re going to be expanding on that. So, that wouldn’t be a useful thing too.

[01:14:03] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): But there is a very common misunderstanding that people have is that you can’t have a block of content that’s the same on every page or same on multiple pages. And the truth is you can. If it’s in a side, I love semantic HTML5, and basically, if the piece of content that you have on multiple pages is not central to the content itself, i.e. it’s additional information that is relevant.

You Can Duplicate Paragraphs or Content Across Multiple Pages If It’s Relevant and Useful

[01:14:27] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And an example would be in the Bahamas section. You might have a section that says Handy Travel Tips, Simple List of Travel Tips for the Bahamas, that is actually relevant on every single page. You wouldn’t put it in the middle of your article. You would tend to put it at the end of the article as a supplement in the sidebar, as a supplementary piece of information for that section.

[01:14:49] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, the answer is you don’t want to copy-paste paragraphs into multiple articles in the middle of them, but you can have that duplicated paragraph or chunk of content across multiple pages, if it’s relevant and useful, and it’s in a side or at the bottom. Please carry on.

Looking Through the Third and Last Website, Mark My Adventure, Which Was Chosen for This Episode  

[01:15:08] Tristam Jarman: And so, yeah, as you just noted there, Jason, we are racing through time. So, this is the final site, Mark My Adventure.

[01:15:17] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. And the site belongs to somebody called Mark, but that’s not the case, is it? 

[01:15:21] Tristam Jarman: No, it’s not the case. And so, again, came in with a scenario. I wanted to find a destination and understand more about destinations through this website. And so, I thought obviously I’ll start off with My Adventure. But as we can quickly see, it’s a very extensive menu. Just to show you how extensive it is, if I bring it down, you can see because I’ve reduced the size to a more mobile-y view, you can start to see this is everything in the menu. And if I was looking at this on mobile, where am I going? What am I doing?

[01:16:07] Tristam Jarman: So, I pulled the menu apart, chucked it into a Word document just so I could have a look. And what I started to find was there was information on visas for Indian people traveling around the world. Now, to me, that’s a real useful piece of information. So, rather than coming in with My Adventure, it would be having a look at things, going in with destinations, travel tips and resources. Looking under that, you can look at visas, cheap flights, planning a trip, et cetera.

Finding an Article on the Website About Brave as a Browser, Which Is Not Related in the Website’s Concept as a Travel and Adventure Blog

[01:16:41] Tristam Jarman: Something myself and Jason, we discussed yesterday. There’s a Random tab here, which is interesting. And then, so we’ve got Why Should We Choose Brave as a Browser? Now, as we were discussing yesterday, Jason, it’s all about relevance. And if this is a travel and adventure blog, talking about a browser seems slightly off kilter and not in keeping with the rest of the website. So, it might be that something like this is removed.

[01:17:10] Tristam Jarman: But then the next block down is about the four countries that will give you financial help and your trip, which we actually discussed in depth yesterday, which is quite interesting, whoever knew about this. But again, how am I finding that through My Adventure? Quite a lot of information to see under that tab. I’m probably not going to ever click on a tab called Random, personally. So, I would look to rejig the menu navigation. Now, obviously, this is quite extensive, so let me just give you a little example of a site I found, which I quite like.

The Article About Financial Help Should Be Under a Category Called Helpful Tips and Tricks for Traveling Instead of Under Random

[01:17:45] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. The financial help article, I found that incredibly interesting.

[01:17:48] Tristam Jarman: Awesome, isn’t it?

[01:17:49] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And the visas one, that could be under helpful tips and tricks for traveling. That could be a category. For me, it doesn’t belong in random, because it doesn’t make sense to me as a human being and it doesn’t make sense to Google. So, you’re really not doing yourself any favours with that. It’s fun and I can see your point, but it’s not doing you any favours. And now, My Adventures, it’s just so full of stuff. And it’s not organised in a way that I can actually think, well, if I’m looking for that particular article about how I can get financial help to go on holiday from a country, which is brilliant, where would I find it? I’ve got absolutely no idea.

[01:18:32] Tristam Jarman: And again, if you came in to that page of how do I get financial help to travel, you came through there from Google, but you went, oh, cool, what other information has this website got? We’re going, oh, okay. Because people get brain overload as well, and sometimes, just this dropdown menu might scare people off a little bit. The information is awesome, but it just needs to be recategorised.

Based on Another Website With a Simple Menu Navigation, Mark My Adventure Could Rejig Their Website Structure to Be Better

[01:18:58] Tristam Jarman: And I came across this website, which I actually found. It’s very simple in the way that they’ve laid out their menu navigation. For example, Travel, where we understand what that is. And then you’ve got By Location, you’ve got Travel Itineraries. Obviously, there’s information about Solo Traveling, Bucket List, Vacation Destinations. Then you’ve got Lifestyle, Travel Tips, as well as other categories.

[01:19:20] Tristam Jarman: Now, possibly, just with looking at those tabs in themselves or similar related tabs, we could actually rejig this whole website to just read and navigate a whole lot better. And I’d love to know, I think it’s Anand. If you are watching this and you do take on changing the structure of your website, I’d love to know what the results were from how the website works now to how the website works in the future.

Using Silos Can Mean Reorganising Your Menu Navigation in a Logical Set of Columns and Sections, Which Can Help the Users 

[01:19:47] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And that could come back to an example when somebody was asking about have we seen results from siloing and just reorganising. I take that to be reorganising in a logical set of columns and sections. This would be an interesting example because it’s so random and the word random as well. My Adventures is a random menu for me too. If he does reorganise it, what are the effects? That would be very interesting to see.

[01:20:12] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. It’d just be fascinating to know. And so, yeah, I’ll end off there because I know we are steaming through time, but you can quite quickly see we just want to help the user. We want Google to find the content of the website as easily as possible. So, break this site down into a spreadsheet or something like that and start to logically think like a user, what are the steps they want to take. Yeah.

The Logical Format Used by the Other Site: Organising It Based on Geographical Location 

[01:20:39] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Can you show us the My Life’s A Movie one again? Just to make sure that people have got that. It is really interesting because what that person has done is say Travel and then organised it by continent and then country, which is what I was saying earlier on about the geographical organisation of a site, which is logical for us as human beings, logical for Google. And then Lifestyle, you can fit pretty much anything into them, even your browser article could potentially go in Lifestyle. I wouldn’t complain. I’ll say, okay, yeah, that’s your lifestyle, you love browsers.

[01:21:08] Tristam Jarman: And this is just another example where, again, they’ve gone through location based, just keeping it really simple. I just love it. So, yeah, please take this information and just restructure it in a more logical format, and I think you’ll see some really good wins from it. I really do.

Final Thoughts and Suggestions for the Last Website, Mark My Adventure

[01:21:25] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Brilliant. Okay. Can you wrap up Mark My Adventure in the next five minutes? And then we can say goodbye.

[01:21:31] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. So, I would say, I’m not going to go through the page speed for this one. But if you’re watching, jump into Pingdom, GTmetrix, Google Page Speed. There are some other ones. Hit me up on Twitter, and I’m happy to share all the resources that I use.

[01:21:46] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. I get the feeling that you’ve got a little preference for Mark My Adventure. It’s tickled your fancy, hasn’t it?

[01:21:52] Tristam Jarman: Yeah, it has. I just, yeah. I’m not going to overtalk it.

[01:21:56] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, you’ll be able to help, although we’re not going through all the details. Hit Tristam up on Twitter because he obviously wants to help you. I agree with him. The site is brilliant. There are loads of great content. All three sites are brilliant. And this one, it’s just such a pity that it’s so randomly organised.

For Tristam Jarman to Answer More of Your Questions, You Can Contact Him Through Twitter 

[01:22:15] Tristam Jarman: Yeah, exactly. Oh, and actually we’ve just had a message from Anand saying, sure, we’d love to rejig the menu to suit the user. Awesome. As I say, please let me know. And then Paloma from Find Me Here, you say you’ve just joined us late. No worries. This video is going to be posted back up, so you’ll be able to watch all the information back. And for anyone watching, I’m on Twitter, @tristamjarman. I will drop that link in there towards the end because it’s a bit tricky to spell my name. Oh, no, it’s on the screen, so obviously you’ll be able to get that. 

[01:22:49] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. The trick for the Twitter handle is to put an @ at the beginning and remove the space between Tristam and Jarman.

[01:22:55] Tristam Jarman: Yes. Exactly.

[01:22:55] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And you’re away. So, take a screenshot, which is what I’ve just done. And then you can build the Twitter handle from the screenshot, which is absolutely lovely.

[01:23:04] Tristam Jarman: You can tell my brain is firing on all cylinders today, can’t you? So, in terms of just wrapping this up, looking at this, so again, ran a site crawl.

Running a Crawl for Mark My Adventure, Which Showed That It Has 871 Pages 

[01:23:16] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): All right. Yeah. Brilliant. We need to look at the bottom of the project page.

[01:23:19] Tristam Jarman: Just have a look at that. No, that’s good. Wait for this to load, everybody. So, we’ve got Mark My Adventure.

[01:23:38] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Brilliant. Okay. Because Mark My Adventure has relatively few pages. We only got 770. 

[01:23:45] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. So, there’s 871 called out of 10,000. 

[01:23:51] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Just to be clear, the out of 10,000, that means that you told SEMrush it could potentially crawl up to 10,000. It doesn’t mean to say you think Anand has got 10,000 pages. It just means you set the limit, so that I don’t run out of my crawl budget on SEMrush. You can crawl 10,000 pages. There are only 871 pages on this site.

[01:24:12] Tristam Jarman: Yeah, exactly. And you can gauge a good idea when setting up a crawl just by, as I say, doing this site search for whatever site. And it’ll give you an idea of how many pages, indexes, how many pages Google is indexing, for you to then be able to decide on what you should set your page crawl level at.

Looking at the Low Word Count Issues of Mark My Adventure Through the Use of SEMrush and Pagination

[01:24:35] Tristam Jarman: Yeah. Let’s have a look at what SEMrush has thrown up in terms of low word count. And we looked at this yesterday, myself and Jason. It’s predominantly AMP pages. And predominantly, we’re seeing page 11 come up when we click through to the page.

[01:24:54] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. It’s pagination. Because we’ve got this categorisation problem, we’ve got the pagination that goes through to page 11. So, presumably, they’re all uncategorised behind. And I don’t know how it’s actually set up. But those pagination things, a) you need to know indexing, and b) if you categorised correctly, you shouldn’t have, especially with the site this size, you shouldn’t have 11 different pages for that pagination system.

Looking Once Again at the Content Issues of the Second Website, Find Me Here

[01:25:19] Tristam Jarman: Exactly. So, yeah, I’d have a look through here, see which ones you want to not be indexing anymore, and come up with a solution for this, because a whole bunch of these, they just shouldn’t be live. And so, yeah, in terms of just rounding this off really, again, as we look to Find Me Here, any content pages where you’re like, this is a little bit low on content.

[01:25:48] Tristam Jarman: There was a short process, which I may make a video of in the future actually, just of how to expand that piece of content or create new pieces of relevant content for your audience. Always looking at your competitors too will give you a good steer. You might start to find ideas, as we said, that have not been covered and could start to create and attract new searches and new audiences. So, yeah, we’ll wrap that up there.

When Making the Content, Focus on One Project Where You Consider the Time Constraint and Resources

[01:26:17] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Perfect. Great. In fact, we have the person who ran the site, the Spanish and English version. They were saying they started it off and then didn’t really know how to manage both the Spanish and English. I would say that if you can’t develop, if there’s a time constraint, you can’t develop both correctly, just stick to English or just stick to Spanish if you have a Spanish audience.

[01:26:40] Tristam Jarman: Whichever audience, yeah.

[01:26:41] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): But there is a question of resources, how much time do you have? And developing two things half heartedly or half baked isn’t going to work. Developing one thing incredibly well and dealing with all those tiny details, we were talking about with the British cycling team, who did win the Olympics at one point a few years ago due to actually focusing on those tiny details. Focus on one project where you can truly give credit to that project with the time that you can accord to it.

[01:27:13] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): In your particular case, I would say, okay, go for the English version, make it perfect. And then when you’re rich from all the brilliant traffic you’ve brought in, thanks to Tristam’s advice, and the affiliate deals that you’ve got going through the affiliate platforms, then maybe you can say, well, I’ll employ somebody and they can do the Spanish version. We can duplicate it once the first one is brilliant.

Motivation, Enthusiasm, and Passion Are Also Important Values to Have When Creating a Website

[01:27:38] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, there you go, brilliant advice, wonderful stuff. We actually answered all the questions as we went through. We’ve got two and a quarter minutes left of the hour and a half that you said, Tristam, you wanted to speak for. 

[01:27:49] Tristam Jarman: That’s pretty good timing. I just want to add lastly onto that bit you were just saying about, where time constraints and resources get pulled. It’s also like a personal motivation thing that if you are creating a site, you want to be motivated, you want to be happy about what you are doing. And not, the Spanish things a little bit on the side, I’m not so happy with that. I’m not saying you are or aren’t, Paloma. But yeah, I want you and everyone’s being passionate with what you do.

[01:28:24] Tristam Jarman: And sometimes, I’ve seen it just with a number of companies. People have too many things to do, and therefore their enthusiasm and passion starts to wane. So if that’s the case, focus on getting the English site up and running to the level that makes you happy and keeps you motivated doing this, because it’s all out of your own time at the end of the day. And then, yeah, as Jason said, maybe, depending on a number of factors, start to look at breaking out the Spanish side of the site on a later date. But yeah, it’s all about being motivated.

Thanking the Guest, Tristam Jarman, for His Helpful Suggestions and Insights About Site Audits 

[01:28:58] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Perfect. Thank you very much, Tristam. That was a wonderful first episode with the worst start to anything ever, which I’m now proud of. I think that’s going to be a fun moment that we will all remember. It’s one of those things that when it happens, it’s a disaster. But as a memory, when you look back on it, it will be a funny story.

[01:29:16] Tristam Jarman: Exactly.

[01:29:16] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): You were a great first guest. That was absolutely awesome. That was amazing advice you’ve given. You’ve been really kind. And what I love about this show and what you’ve brought to it today is that we’re not criticising. We’re trying to bring help and gentle, kind, helpful information that you can actually implement and you can actually do something. So, it’s an analysis and an audit of your site with your best interests at heart. We’re kind people, aren’t we, Tristam?

[01:29:43] Tristam Jarman: Exactly. But we’re here to help, aren’t we?

For the Audience, You Can Rewatch the Episode for More Information You Might Have Missed 

[01:29:45] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yes, exactly. So, you can watch, for the audience, you can watch this back. It’s going to be on replay. Please do. There are loads of things in there that I’ve already forgotten because there was so much information that Tristam provided. Watch it back, sit back, think about what you can do. And as Tristam was saying, it’s a labour of love for, I think, all three of the people who are running the sites here. It’s a labour of love. Keep it that way, make it as good as you can, make some money into the bargain. Thank you very much, Tristam.

[01:30:18] Tristam Jarman: Thank you very much.

Video and Published by: Travelpayouts. Guest: Jason Barnard. June 25, 2020.

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