Hey friend! Let's grab a cup of coffee and chat about SEO. I know it sounds intimidating, but trust me, it's not as complicated as it seems. If you're anything like me, I know it's important because I've heard about it on just about every platform that talks about any kind of online presence, but it's not something that I was actively pursuing or working on in my business until recently.
In the past, our photography business always ranked on the first page of Google because we were doing all the right SEO things. But over time, we built new sites, changed platforms, and kinda just did the basics and forgot about it.
Recently, in an effort to drive more traffic to our site, we listed all the areas we could work on, and SEO came up as one of the areas we were not doing our best in! We've made it more of a priority now, got our butts into gear, and I can tell you, it's driving results! By making notable changes to your website, you can increase organic traffic.
Last month, SEO was responsible for a chunk of our sales, and it was all organic finds from Google!
Let's just get into the basics here, and then I will give you some of the practical things we physically did to improve our SEO over the past few weeks.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it's all about making your website more visible on search engines like Google. So, whether you have a small creative business or you're just starting out, understanding the basics of SEO can do wonders for your online presence.
KEYWORDS: These are the words or phrases people type into search engines when they're looking for something. To get started with SEO, think about what your target audience would search for. What are the words someone would need to type into Google if they were looking for your products, offerings, or services? These are the keywords you want to incorporate into your website's content repeatedly and in multiple places, headings, and other copy. Now, don't go overboard and fill your pages with keywords in random places that make no sense. Keep it natural and make sure your content remains cohesive and informative.
ON-PAGE OPTIMIZATION: This simply means optimizing the different elements within your website to make it more search engine-friendly. This includes things like page titles (do they include your keywords), meta descriptions (those short snippets that appear below the page title in search results), headings, and the actual content on your website. Don't forget every image you load onto your site should also be named correctly and loaded with all the correct search words and meta data. By optimizing these elements with relevant keywords, you're making it easier for search engines to understand what your website is all about.
OFF-PAGE OPTIMIZATION: This is all about building authority and trust for your website. One way to do this is by earning backlinks from other reputable websites. A backlink is when another website references you or your content and links it back to your website. They are like votes of confidence from other sites, and the more high-quality backlinks you have, the more search engines see your website as valuable and reliable. So remember, content is king. Other sites will only link back to us if we're sharing something valuable, entertaining, or informative that they feel their audience can benefit from! You can also reach out to other websites in your industry or collaborate with influencers to get those backlinks.
Search engines love websites that provide valuable and relevant content to their users. So, make sure you create high-quality content that answers your audience's questions and offers solutions. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally into your content, but always prioritize providing value and engaging your readers.
To measure your SEO success, you can simply go to Google and type into Google the words your audience will most likely use to search for the services and products you offer and see how you're doing? Where does your store come up? We're always aiming for high up on the first page! If you're feeling a little more like an SEO boss, you can monitor and analyze your website's performance using FREE tools like Google Analytics that can help you track your website's traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates. Now that may sound like a lot to navigate but just a few months ago, these terms meant very little to me and made my head hurt, but now I understand them and realize that within them lies data that can really help my business succeed, so I'm learning something small everyday. By regularly reviewing this info, you can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to enhance your SEO strategy.
SEO may seem overwhelming at first, but by understanding the basic principles, you can start improving your website's visibility and attracting more organic traffic. Just remember that SEO should be a part of your overall marketing strategy, and it takes time to see significant results. Stay consistent, keep up with SEO practices, and continuously optimize your website so you can increase your website's visibility, reach a broader audience, and drive sustainable growth for your online presence.
This YouTube video by SIMPLILEARN was very helpful in breaking it down for this creative NON-TECH mind of mine:
Here's the list of things we addressed over the past few weeks on our own site that maybe you need to look at:
- We installed an SEO Booster + Image Optimizer app recommended by Shopify for our store.
- We fixed all our meta descriptions, alt tags, and snippets throughout our site.
- We added keywords relevant to our niche throughout our product pages, descriptions, page titles, and headers.
- We created content relevant to our audience and started adding links to other relevant sources throughout our site.
We will continue to dedicate our time to master our SEO. The most important thing I've personally learned in the past few weeks is that you can never stop learning! Always apply yourself, even if it's painful, uncomfortable, or it means you have to admit you don't know. It's the only way forward!
I hope this serves as a reminder for you to keep going. Well done for what you have done so far, if you haven't done anything, you're not alone! You're juggling many different hats, just keep going, only upwards from here, one keyword at a time ;-)