Kevin Church

Joined April 2021
Hello from New Zealand !!

I'm on a mission to create a pillar page. My first attempt. The page will be an "ultimate guide" to help anyone wishing to hike the world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

My question:

I will write a detailed description of the track itself. It will include geology, volcanology, vegetation, physical features etc. Do I include this in the pillar page or as a subtopic as a blog post?

How does one decide to include all the juicy details in the pillar page or as blog post

The search term Tongariro Alpine Crossing receives 15,000 searches per month. Then there's weather, shuttles and map which receive around 5,000 searches collectively. After these key words the monthly search volume drops off significantly.

I've... See More
Kevin Church
Glad to have you here,  Callum Harland !

I would say for a page like this, you should give enough detail for each section so that your reader (and the search engines) see that you have expert knowledge of that topic (let's say 150-200 words about the geologic history of the trail), and then link to a blog post that covers it in more detail in order to drive people interested in those specific aspects to a page with 500-750 in-depth words that offers the reader exactly what they want.  This allows the pillar to rank well for the primary search terms you're going for and drives users interested in specific aspects to the more informative longer-form material about that topic.  

(For the record, the pages that rank well for Tongariro Alpine Geology are all fairly short, so that specific query should be an easy win!)
Ever since the core web vitals Google ranking update was announced, I have been trying to get our website up to speed (pun intended). In the beginning, I did a lot of research, tried to find out if I could fix things myself, and then ultimately found that the outside website team we use would have to perform updates.

This website team has been working since March to try different fixes for our website to improve our LCP and CLS scores. They updated our Wordpress, they tested the sticky nav as a contributing factor, and we purchased a plug-in to optimize all 10,000 of our photos. Next, they tried the Cloudways Breeze caching plugin but it disabled all of our homepage videos so it had to be turned off.

After the updates, we still are not... See More
Kevin Church
Hi,  Lex Russell .  This is really complex and I'd recommending finding a good technical SEO who is familiar with WordPress and its specific performance issues around Core Web Vitals to really dig in on things. I can refer you to a few that I know and trust if you need.

That said, I did see a few things that caught my attention that you should have your existing developers look at:

• Embedded pages and post images I came across during my quick look at the site showed that the vast majority of images had been optimized. However, I found a lot of banner and background images (like this one https://aquilacommercial.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/banner-image.png) that were still 720-800kb.

• Content on some learning center pieces is being ported from Tableau, and that's tripping up Lighthouse's results; it doesn't seem to affect the real render time, but it does make Lighthouse's performance score drop.

• See if there's a way to optimize your YouTube embeds to be more streamlined and load more quickly.  Embed Plus is a WP plugin that I know works for this.

• It may also be time to talk to your developers about using a CDN to deliver images instead of your own servers. Your server response times are the single biggest thing keeping your FCP score so low. You can also talk to your host provider.

I know it's not the easy fix you were hoping for, but I do hope these help!  

(And another thing to keep in mind: your competition. Take a look at how their sites are performing in Lighthouse.  If you're ahead of them, you're still the best in town!)
Search Engine Journal did an awesome round-up of what to expect in GA4, with new reporting features and updates that are especially useful for marketers using the tool!

From this quick recap, it seems like it's bringing a lot of helpful tools that users have been asking for! Have you read the article? Check it out and share what you're excited about :) See More
Kevin Church
It's neat, but I think it needs a lot of refinement to be truly useful.  I'm also seeing some big differences between the time on page numbers that it's reporting for organic search visitors vs Google Analytics. I checked it this morning after seeing this post and it looks like it's having some issues, so maybe this wasn't fully baked before release.
I feel like I'm in somewhat of a niche market as the marketing director for an air medical company. We provide pilots/mechanics for air medical aircraft (mostly helicopters).

I downloaded the "how to do keyword research" playbook and I can't seem to hone in on keywords that have really high search volume besides: how much is a helicopter helicopter parts and a few airframe specific searches
And those are in relation to completions, which we also do.

How do you go about finding your keywords when it seems no one is doing much searching? I am hoping to use data like this to get my team on board with more content, but I'm a little disheartened. Most of the search volume for phrases like "aircraft operations," "children's hospital... See More
Kevin Church
This is a very tricky market!  With such low volume around specifics related to this topic (I suspect many of them follow in that 0-10 searches a month zone that tools like SEMRush fail at,) I think the best approach is what Connor suggests: actually ask your customers an optional question when getting their information or following up with them: "We're always looking to make our experience better. Is there anything you didn't find while searching on our site?"

I'm also very fond of asking questions in Google and seeing what else it serves up in the "People Also Ask" section.