iQuantified – An SEO Podcast

iQuantified is a monthly SEO podcast featuring an array of experts in the field, ranging from those in-house at iQuanti to the larger SEO industry. Our featured experts break down dense topics like how to deal with an organic search decline and the full-funnel connection to search, and make them easily digestible for SEO practitioners of all levels. In the end, you’ll be iQuantified.

iQuantified Episode 1

Dealing with Organic Traffic Declines

10 May 2021

iQuanti Vice President of Search Strategy Wayne Cichanski breaks down the three elements involved in identifying what’s causing organic traffic declines and how to combat those issues. Hint: It’s usually a combination of all three (rank distribution, search volume and CTR). Later in the show, Cichanski gets into the “wildcard” element of schema and how that can affect traffic and how consumer intents have shifted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wrapping it all up, Cichanski discusses Google’s recent page experience update.

About the Host:

About the Guest:

Casey Musarra is a content writer and video production manager at iQuanti. Before joining iQuanti in April 2020, she primarily worked in sports journalism with Newsday and Philly.com. Casey is a podcast nerd who first started listening to podcasts in 2011 (before they were cool!) when she religiously tuned into ESPN’s Fantasy Focus Football and Fantasy Focus Baseball podcasts. Now, some of her favorites include Armchair Expert, Call Your Girlfriend, Code Switch, Pod Save the People, The Daily, and Up First. She spends an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how she’s going to listen to her backlog of downloaded podcasts with only 24 hours in a day and a need to work/sleep.

Casay Musarra

Content Writer, iQuanti

Wayne is a digital executive & SME with over 27 years experience in the field of digital marketing, web strategy, and search. As Vice President of Search Strategy for iQuanti, Wayne heads the global SEO and search strategy practice. A creative, innovative thinker, Wayne enjoys problem-solving and strategic initiatives. Even before Google’s launch, Wayne had been involved in every aspect of algorithms and digital journeys as they evolved over the years.

Wayne Cichanski

VP, Organic Search Strategy

iQuantified Episode 1 full transcript

[00:00:00] Casey Musarra: Welcome to iQuantified, an SEO podcast. I’m Casey Musarra. On today’s episode, we’ll be discussing organic traffic declines with Wayne Cichanski, Vice President of Search Strategy here at iQuanti, a global digital marketing agency. Welcome, Wayne. Thanks for joining us.

Wayne Cichanski: Hey, thanks for having me. This is an exciting new platform and, yeah, this is a hot topic, so ready to dive in.

CM: Definitely. So right off the bat, how do you pinpoint what’s causing your traffic decline?

WC: Well, it’s interesting, you know, after being in this industry for a very long time. I’ll date myself a little bit doing this before Google actually even launched. So about 27 years ago, I’m starting, there’s a lot of changes in the algorithm.

And as we look at those changes, a common question always arises. And that question is: my traffic declined. It [00:01:00] dipped. What happened? How do we fix it? And they actually, when you work with enterprise SEO, surprisingly you’ll even get the question asked, well, my traffic increased. Why did it increase? Now as an SEO practitioner, we’re typically excited and thrilled. And we don’t really want to question, why did it increase? We just take the win and move on. However, there are still some answers in there. So let’s take a look at traffic in itself, what actually triggers traffic? And this is going to be applicable, whether it’s declining or increasing, but obviously the common use case to solve for is the traffic declines.

With that being said, I’d like to say that there are, this is really simple. It’s a complex topic, but it breaks down into three simple levers: The first one being rank distribution. And I’m going to go into detail of each one of these. Then the second one is going to be your search volume or your demand.

And a third one is going to be your CTR. Now these are all [00:02:00] going to work differently. And any one could be the problem or combination of all three, but at the end of the day, it’s just these three that are actually causing traffic to either go up or to go down. Let’s take, let’s take a look at the first one for rank distributions.

Now this is the common, most viewed upon type of, I guess, performance, metric, or KPI that my rate changed. I lost ranks, so therefore traffic went down. It’s an easy one to equate. However what’s more difficult is to say, well, did my traffic go down or did the conversions change? But my traffic maintain the same, what actually caused the traffic to increase or decrease as it relates to ranks?

So one thing that kind of level set and understand is that ranks non-branded and branded ranks, from number one placement to number 10 placement on Google SERP has a different CTR value, [00:03:00] and that click through ratio is going to just kind of determine what is, how much of that traffic is driving in each one of the positions.

So for example, a common foundation that we need to set here is on average a non-branded term for first position, yields about 18% CTR, where second position it drops to about 10, 10 and a half, 10.9% CTR. And then all the way, once you get the fourth position, it drops all the way down to four or 5% CTR.

And when you get down to the 10th position, it’s less than 2%. It’s like 1.8%. Now this is average and every brand has a different CTR curve. Well, that’s a little bit different, but even with this knowledge, we have to understand that rank, the position of the rank matters because of the CTR that it’s pulling.

So if your position, if your keyword [00:04:00] had always been in number one placement, you were getting that 18 to 20% CTR value, but if it dropped to fourth position, your 20% or 18% that you were getting is now down to 5%. So, right there, the mathematics tell you that you’re going to lose traffic from going from 18 to 5%.

Yeah.

CM: That’s a pretty dramatic drop, huh?

WC: It is. It is. And this is also something, when we look at elevating ranks, you know, going from fourth position to second, 5% to 10%, you actually can double your traffic with just two rank movements.

CM: Wow.

WC: So, what we want to look at when we look at the ranks is what rates actually dropped, and branded terms actually have a higher percentage up in that 39 to 40% for a top number one ranks for a branded term, because the intent is behind that branded query and that listing is matching there.

So, when we want to say, OK, that the ranks have dropped, [00:05:00] what actually dropped? We looked at pre- and post the traffic period of time. So, if you had a traffic drop last month, well, we’d want to look and say, what were the ranks for the pages, not your whole footprint, but we’re going to look at the pages that have the traffic drop, and every page has got a set of keywords that it ranks for.

So, what we want to look at is for that particular page that had the traffic drop, what were the keywords that used to be ranking? And compare that to the keywords that are now currently ranking. So that makes sense?

CM: Yeah. I think I understand. Do you have like a real-life example that we could kind of pull from?

WC: Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of things. If you have a page, let’s say your, your, one of your product acquisition pages, maybe it’s your credit card page or your life insurance page or something of that nature, that it’s driving acquisition. It’s going to [00:06:00] rank for both branded and non-branded terms. Your branded terms are going to have the product plus the brand name as a modifier, where the non- branded terms will just have the non-branded terms and not the modifier.

CM: So, in our case, a branded keyword would be iQuanti, yada, yada.

WC: So, we had, yep. We have our ALPS platform, which is a product research. And if “iQuanti’s ALPS,” that term, that’s a branded term, however, “predictable search platform,” that’s a non-branded term. So that page should rank for both, right? So, when we look at both branded and non-branded typically, it’s very difficult to lose branded share voice, unless there are others that can offer that same relevancy with the same authority that you have, which is a challenge. So, most of the declines happen in the non-branded space. So, I’ll focus the attention there for a moment, and when we look at that footprint, we’re going to compare the [00:07:00] pre to the post of the keywords, and what we’re looking for is just how many are an exact match and did anything change. So it’s a very simple lookup between the two tables on that chart. And what we’re looking for is did the ranks, did you used to have a number one rank for term like, “life insurance” or “SEO,” whatever that term happens to be, with high search volume and all of a sudden now it’s no longer in that position.

So, if it was in first position, and now it’s in fourth position, we know that your CTR probably went from about 18% down to 5%. Now, if you multiply the CTR by the volume. So, if the term has got, let’s say 165,000 in search volume per month. So, any, any keywords got monthly search volume behind it, and now we know the [00:08:00] pages and we know that the keywords.

So, if the keyword that used to be in first position is now in four, and it had 165,000 search volume. You used to get about 30,000 in traffic from that position, which is the volume times, the CTR.

CM: So, it can get very mathematical figuring these things out.

WC: Yeah, they can. But the really nice thing is math is very binary. It’s one of those few things in life that’s black and white. So, there’s not a lot of gray area in this, and it’s really easy to calculate. So, if you took the 165 times 18%, it gives you 29,700. However, if you take the 165 times 5%, which is dropping from first place to fourth position, your 29,000 visitors dropped down to 8,000.

So now you have a traffic loss of 21,000 that made up that page. Now, if that’s the only number you’re trying to [00:09:00] solve for, you’ve just solved the equation, and you can stop there, but typically it’s a little bit deeper than that. But what we’re looking for is how much did these keyword drops contribute to that overall decline?

So, let’s say that you had 25,000 in monthly traffic that you lost, and we just calculated this one keyword that lost you 21,000 of that 25. So now we have solved for the majority of the problem. There’s still an additional 4,000 in traffic that’s not balanced or solve for, and we keep looking deeper for that.

CM: And so in that case, it’s gotta be one of our other three factors, right?

WC: It does. So when we look at this, we talk about rank and if, when that rank drops, your, obviously, your traffic’s going to drop. Now, one of the key indicators of that was we took the volume of that term at 165,000, and we multiplied it by the CTR rate.

Well, what if this month [00:10:00] it was 165,000, but last month it was 201,000 in search volume. So now let’s say the data says, “Hey, the keyword we used to be in first position, and this month we’re still in first position. Nothing’s changed. Why did my traffic go down?” Well, now, if you look at the search volume, you could say, well, your keyword went from 201,000 search volume to now 165,000 search volume.

So even in a top position, in a number one placement, you at 201,000 search volume, you’d get 36,000 in traffic. And we just said that if that was at a 165,000 search volume, you’re down to 29,000 in traffic. So right there, just by the search volume, which is made up by consumer demand, we lost practically 7,000 visits [00:11:00] per month, still maintaining a number one position our rank never changed.

So when we look at this and say, “OK, our ranks are solid, we haven’t moved anything, but our traffic keeps declining. Then you want to look at the search volume. Now this can be compounded. Let’s take that first example. Where the rank dropped from first to fourth. And then the volume also dropped for 201,000 to 165,000.

Now that is a compounding issue. So not only did you lose the rank position and that traffic, but you lost the search volume, which means the demand has dropped as well. So that will make up the extra difference that you’re looking for.

CM: So ultimately, sometimes you lose traffic because you’re losing rank. But other times it’s because demand is going down, and sometimes it’s combination of these factors.

WC: It is. And then the third one, remember we said to calculate traffic, you take the search volume times CTR [00:12:00] and the CTR’s a representation of your rank position. So number one gets 18%. Number four gets 5%.

However, what if your CTR, you’re not getting 18% in the first position. So now you have a scenario where you can say my rank position is still number one. It was number one last month. It’s still number one this month. It was 201,000 search volume and still 201,000 search volume, and my traffic went down.

So how do you solve for that? Well, if you look at the Google search console data, you’re going to see that the CTR for that particular keyword most likely it’s fluctuated and changed. The 18% that you were getting before might have dropped down to 12% just by sheer luck of consumer behavior. And we’re experiencing that a lot with COVID and post-COVID type of actions here, but in general, it can be [00:13:00] any behavior that just doesn’t have a good sense of logic to it.

But that’s your third variable that if the rank stayed the same, the volume of the terms stay the same, but CTR changed, that’s going to affect your traffic as well.

CM: So is there anything that you can do to combat a CTR drop? I also just want to interject here, you know, I know our listeners will probably be wise enough to, to know what CTR stands for, but that’s click through rate, correct?

WC: It is, yeah. Your click through ratio is how many times that somebody clicks on that listing. So impressions is how many times it’s seen. Search demand is how many times the consumers actually search for that term. And then you click through is how many people click on it.

Now to combat it, that’s a difficult question. You, to combat click through ratio, the only two items that show up on Google search engine results page, otherwise known as a [00:14:00] SERP, is your title tag and your meta-description. And actually we don’t really control the meta-description as much as we used to. Google will possibly read it. And they may take a paragraph or a sentence out of your first paragraph and do what they, they want to do based on their own algorithm.

So these two variables, title tag and meta description. So what you could do is you could start, you could test your CTR with that, but I caution this with a warning that the title tag is still a heavily-weighted primary attribute to SEO, so it’s going to possibly change the value. So if you’re at a number one position, changing your title tag could actually do you detriment and drop you to a number two or number three position. So we want to be careful of that. Now, a little plug for the ALPS product that’s with iQuanti, that platform actually does some predictive modeling, and I can actually [00:15:00] forecast whether the change in that title tag will have a negative impact or a positive one or push of neutral. Really cool use case for that.

CM: Yes. That can be a very helpful tool for, for our listeners. I’m sure.

WC: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a big game changer when you’re getting into this type of surgical level of strategy with SEO. Now, if you don’t have that one thing that I could suggest doing is look at your paid data. Paid campaigns you can actually do a lot with. You can test it and drive traffic to it, and you can take the existing title tag, run that for a period of time to get a baseline data. And then change it to the one that you think that would be better. And at that point, if it still has the same SEO elements and value, but it’s pulling a stronger CTR rate in paid, it would make sense directionally that you’d have a stronger correlation in organic. Now the conversion or the click-throughs are not going to be the same different audience types, all of those things with paid and organic, [00:16:00] but directionally you’ll know whether that had an impact or not. So to recap, three levers with the traffic: rank, search volume and CTR. Typically, it’s a combination of all three of these. Easy to take it, and this is not a page level. Again, remember, this is not at your whole domain. We’re not looking at the entire footprint. Your analytics are going to show that pages A, B and C had a drop in traffic. Those are the only ones you’re going to look at right now, OK? So you’re going to look at, did the ranks change, did the search volumes of those keywords change and did my CTR change? For example, I have a weird case. I ran data for a client. And this is actually kind of how I discovered some of this was we did a deep analysis and their positions were identical. The rank positions. They were a number one placement for several of the keywords search volumes haven’t changed. [00:17:00] And we’re racking our heads trying to figure out, well, why, why is traffic down? We actually found that the data, for whatever reason, sometimes, in some months, the second position actually yielded a higher CTR than the first position, which was an anomaly. It is not supposed to work like that, but there are some things that can influence that.

So schema is a great example. Schema is the markup. It’s not a ranking factor, so it’s not going to help you move up in the ranks. However, it does help to become a catalyst to your CTR. So for example, we’ve all seen the little stars for the reviews, right?

CM: Right. Of course.

WC: Yeah. And how many times have you looked at, I don’t know anything that you’re looking to buy, and you have the top three results, and the second result, or the third result has got 600 reviews and it’s a five-star rating and the other two results have no reviews. Have you ever gravitated and [00:18:00] clicked on that third one over the first one?

CM: No, definitely not. I’m always looking at the highest reviewed products.

WC: Right. So when we look at those reviews, sometimes that can pull a higher CTR rate as well. So my advice to anybody with schema is add as much schema as applicable to your page. It’s not just the reviews, but go to schema.org. It’s the industry-wide, the only one of the very few things that has the same code across any platform, CMS, any versioning, spiders, crawl bots, all of that stuff. So look at all the different item types and wrap as much schema around your content as possible, because you never know when Google is just going to test something, like the Answer Box or the People Also Ask, those are also influenced by some of the schema that is wrapped around it. You have FAQ schema item types. So the more that you can tell Google what your content is about [00:19:00] and what box or container it should fit into the better off your website is. We try to communicate not only to your audience, but you also have to communicate to Google and the [programmatic] bots, how it’s interpreting all of this data.

So when we go back to CTR, all of a sudden you have top three listings, and you see this a lot in the local map pack for local search, and one of them has got a lot more reviews or it has the review stars and none of the other ones do. We subliminally click on that because our subconscious tells us that that’s a value add to us—that there’s something beneficial to them.

CM: So schema is like a little bit of like a wildcard in terms of how this can play out with your other factors, yeah?

WC: It is, yeah. So not every page is going to have applicable content that makes for good schema, but I would encourage you to look at your content needs on that page and say, do you have abilities to embed different [00:20:00] schema? Can you actually create content on that page that you could embed the schema around that could help you into the SERP? Now that could be for a movie listing, it could be your movie times. For a product, it could be the review or the price, quantity available. It could be the color or the T-shirt, or it could be a credit card. It could be an offer that you have. There’s a lot of different things that you have in the schema.org, but all of these, if it shows up on the SERP, can actually influence and give your behavior, consumer behavior, a little bit of a boost over your competition.

CM: Got it. That’s all very helpful advice. And, you know, you mentioned the factors you should be looking at. So what tools do your clients use to get the metrics around these key factors?

WC: So when we get into content, really, we, this comes back to mapping the keyword and the intent. When we were kind of getting into another segment, which I’m sure we’ll have, it makes good podcast as [00:21:00] well, but yeah, just a little preliminary on that is, Google is all about the intent, the consumers and the customers, is all about intent. So it’s interesting. We talk in complete sentences, but for whatever reason, when we get to the computer, we all of a sudden became an expert in shorthand, and we don’t even talk like a normal human. So it’s left to Google to try and interpret: what is it that you’re actually asking for?

There’s a question behind every query, even though we don’t formulate it as a question. So for example, personal loans, we type in personal loans into Google. What is the intent? Do you want to get one? Do you want to know what they are? Do you want to look at our APR rate? I mean, what is it about a personal loan? It’s a very vague term. But yet it’s a highly competitive term that people are really sought after, because it has so much volume. What’s interesting is if I was to [00:22:00] tell you and say, “Hey, now type in the word, ‘payday loans.'” It’s the same two-word derivative. It’s actually in the loan family. Why would they be different? But a payday loan is going to actually trigger a local map pack.

Local map pack means that there’s local intent behind it. So those two words, even though they’re very similar in nature, the intent is quite different. So coming back to intent, it’s really critical to understand the intent, and then you can start building content around that intent. And when we build content, we want to make sure it’s answering all of the questions that have to do with that intent. And the minute that the intention shifts or pivots, that’s the key indicator that we should probably roll out and spin up a new page, or that content belongs on a different page. You want to keep the intent very focused. But when you do that, you’re going to have really high relevancy signals, and you’re going to have good schema opportunities. And that will influence not only the rank from the content relevancy, [00:23:00] but the schema will help influence your CTR. So this trick actually works. We talked about the decline, but it also works when traffic goes up, why did it go?

CM: You mentioned earlier that, you know, you’ve seen the COVID-19 pandemic influence things, did COVID change or shift a lot of these intents?

WC: You know, there, there has been some shifts and intent. There is a shift in more research done. There’s more people at home or people kind of living and breathing on the computer. On the consumer behavior, with the conservative money spending habits have shifted. So people are a little bit more reserved at times. So they’ll do a little bit more research, and those indicators of behavior should actually help drive your strategy.

That maybe your down funnel terms that are driving your products are not the only thing that’s going to drive your traffic. Or some big brands that rely on only their branded traffic, now is [00:24:00] missing some of this audience of these people doing research and they miss mid- and upper-funnel traffic. So you got to look a little bit deeper into where that journey is, is kind of going from top to bottom and make sure you have that covered.

One interesting fact when we talk about the traffic going up or down, here’s an interesting mix too. Let’s say that traffic went up, but my conversion rate went down.

CM: OK.

WC: So now I’m really throwing a loop in here that we were trying to solve for our traffic decline. Well, what happens if the conversion rate declined? And when you look at the data you would normally say, “Oh, that’s great. Well, I mean, that makes sense because our traffic declined, and if we still hold the same conversion rate at 3%, whatever the traffic is, it’s going to of course have the same drop in conversions or lead generation.”

CM: Right.

WC: Well, not necessarily. So if traffic, what happens if traffic went up, but your leads or your [00:25:00] conversion actually went down? So now this one has people usually pretty perplexed on what happened. And here’s a trick to solving this one. One of the first things to look at is look at the keywords again that used to rank versus the keywords that are now ranking.

Now, this could change, and it doesn’t mean—let’s say that you had three keywords at 100,000 search volume each for the page. You have 300,000 total search volume. Now, you don’t have those same three keywords. You have one of the keywords, but you lost the other two, but you picked up two more and the two more each of have a search volume of 200,000. So you actually have 500,000 search volume where before you had 300,000 search volume.

CM: OK.

WC: So now we have more volume, [00:26:00] and that means more volume equals more traffic. However, not all traffic is equal. And what I mean by that is if the three keywords that we used to have were very down funnel, very purchase-oriented, and the intent is to make a buying decision. And that 300,000 traffic was converting at 6%. And now all of a sudden, you go to the new makeup and the three keywords you have is a total search volume of 500,000. But the two keywords that you picked up, we lost two that were down funnel and you picked up two and maybe they’re upper-funnel. And they’re, they’re very generic in awareness and consideration, meaning the intent of those keywords that people are not ready to buy.

So your traffic went up, but the buying signals actually went down. So therefore, your conversion rate on that page was no longer six or 7%. It dropped to 2%. And you’re saying, “Well, what happened? My [00:27:00] traffic went up, but my conversions went down.” So when we look at the keyword mix, that traffic quality would have changed based on the different audience segmentation that came through—a very, very important factor there.

CM: So not all traffic increases or decreases are created equal, basically?

WC: Yeah, they don’t all have the same value, right? So when we look at getting more traffic, of course, the correlation is, you know, more traffic times, you know, whatever conversion rate equals more leads, but there’s some traffic that’s going to be higher intent with higher traffic.

Like we’ve mentioned branded traffic has a 39% CTR value. Well, if the majority of the keywords were all branded, and all of a sudden, now you lost that, but you picked up five new ones for non-branded, well, the intent is different. So the conversion is most likely going to drop. So this is a great way to kind of problem solve your [00:28:00] traffic diagnosis of what’s happening. And when you look at it to this granular fact. But again, it always comes down to three, three different levers: keyword distribution, rank distribution, and that will get into the keyword mix, your search volume, which is consumer demand and your CTR for that position.

CM: So that’s a very helpful insight onto how to deal with an organic traffic decline. And just before we wrap up, I’d like to talk a little bit about recent Google updates. So I understand that Google recently announced that it’s delaying its page experience update, which was originally scheduled for mid-May, and for transparency sake, we’re almost to mid-May as we’re recording, and they’ve pushed that back to mid-June. So how can SEO folks expect this to impact their sites when it does happen?

WC: This is very similar to Mobilegeddon, if everybody kind of remembers that. The mobile-first indexing work, you know how that was going to happen. So we gotta to look at what [00:29:00] Google’s primary principles are. And as long, I still remember the day Google launched, sadly to say, kind of dating myself here, but they had a very simple mission statement.

They want to deliver to the consumer the most relative result to the query that has the most trust signals, the most authority that is the best decision, the best piece of content, as quick as possible. Now this has not changed in the years. The algorithm has evolved. Things have shifted some of the stuff that SEOs used to do to manipulate it those don’t work. It comes down to the same mission statement though. So when we look at web vitals and mobile page speed, Google believes, which, you know, as we look at the data, it’s probably not any secret here that the trending face-forward type of integration and engagement with a user is not so much going to be the desktop, [00:30:00] you know? It’s going to be more of a mobile experience. And when we talk about mobile, we have to kind of expand this thought to that mobile doesn’t just mean our cell phones. Mobile means our automobiles. Mobile means our refrigerators. Mobile means our coffee machines. I mean, this is like a whole new age, right? That we’re looking at with this stuff.

CM: Yeah, we’re living in the future, basically.

WC: Right. You know, finally, my best show ever, The Jetsons, is coming to life.

CM: Exactly.

WC: So when we look at this, it doesn’t surprise me that Google wants a quick response from mobile. In a way it’s almost a regression. Again, dating myself, I remember when the old dial-up modems came out, and you’d get a 9,600 baud rate modem, was one of the first. And then you got the 4,800 and then the 9,600. And you just get all of these kind of faster type of baud rate modems. And we had to do things back in web development that would blow your mind that we would have to take a [00:31:00] single pixel and copy it and have it tile itself across the whole cell instead of creating a background image. And the reason we did that was to make it super, super fast.

We didn’t have the bandwidth. And that one pixel was less than even a K of data. So it loaded very quickly. In a way we’re kind of regressing, as I mentioned, back to that period where that Google knows that mobile devices, sure, they have broadband, excuse me, the desktops have broadband, but the mobile doesn’t. We’re 4G. Now we’re getting into 5G. Eventually this will pick up and kind of we’ll get the satellites and what we’re going to get faster mobile speeds. But right now, we’re still kind of where we are. So Google wants this fast interaction. And what the web vital update—just like the mobile-first indexing—these are key indicators that Google is just living up to their own mission statement.

So as long as you’re aligned, and this is really important because a lot [00:32:00] of big brands do some heavy stuff. Their code is what we considered bloated, code bloat. There’s a lot of unnecessary code. We have a lot of scripting and third-party attributes, and we do a lot of testing and we do personalization, all of this stuff, but it all weights down your, your load times.

So the web vital is just another indicator to say, “Hey, let’s get your act together. Let’s get your page to load quickly. Give the consumer what they want in a fast experience and make that engagement positive. So then rolling it out, I’m sure that has to do with not so much on our end, but it’s complicated how Google is going to actually adapt this, how much weight and value does this go into? Not everybody has got all of the resources of big brands and then the development budgets that they do. So how does the small mom and pop still compete on the SERP with the big enterprise companies? So all of these are considerations with that algorithm, but [00:33:00] yeah, to answer your question, it’s delayed, but it’s not going away. So look at your web vitals, look at your page speeds. Make sure that stuff is loading quickly. Good rule of thumb: desktop score should be two to three second load times. And when we look at loads, the best thing to do is work backwards. If you’re developing a website, create a load budget. Three thousand milliseconds is a three second load time.

Every element that you put into your, your page is going to take away from that budget just subtract it like it’s currency. And if your image that you’re trying to put up there, it’s 400K, that’s a large part of that budget. Do you really need 400K given away to that? But at the end of the day, if you can stay within that whole build-out on that page and get that to load in three seconds or less, you’re in a winning equation.

CM: That’s great advice. I’m sure any small business owners and large business owners can appreciate that currency metaphor.

[00:34:00] WC: Absolutely. So I know we got technical. We got crazy. We got into the weeds, you know.

CM: That’s what we’re here to do.

WC:  Absolutely. And anybody listening, write to me, email me, email the iQuanti team.

I will answer more questions. We’ll get into details. I can look at what you’re trying to do. This is good stuff. This, this has saved the day in so many areas, and it helps you pinpoint exactly what the problem is. The last thing that you want to do is start doing what we call hope marketing. And that is making a bunch of changes, throwing it and hope something’s going to work, right? That’s not how to do SEO. So let’s, let’s do it the right way. Give our industry a good, strong name and, we’re here to help.

Sounds great.

CM: Wayne, thank you for taking the time. Do you want to plug your, any contact information or social media or anything like that before we hit the road?

WC: Yeah, sure. My LinkedIn profile is Wayne, W-A-Y-N-E. And last name is C-I-C-H-A-N, as in November, S as in Sierra, K-I. [00:35:00] So feel free to connect with me there. You can see me on iQuanti’s webpage, or you can email me direct at iQuanti, which is wayne.cichanski@iquanti.com.

CM: All right. Awesome. Thanks again. And, I guess we’ll close it out with saying you’ve been, iQuantified.

WC: Love it. All right. Have a good day.

CM: Until next time.

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