So you have heard all about SEO and how you HAVE to have it in order to get to page one on Google? But after what seems like an eternity of reading guides, subscribing to newsletters and blogs, you feel completely overwhelmed?
Well Ask Sam Virtual Assistant is here to help with my FREE no-nonsense guide to SEO. I’ve laid out some simple things you can do right this minute to help you move up the page.
I have to tell you I am not an SEO expert – I’m just an extremely thorough person who devours information and there was not ONE definitive CLEAR guide that I could find online. I consolidated what worked for me so there is no reason why it can’t work for you too!
WARNING: There is some considerable effort involved so be prepared to set aside plenty of time – nothing mentioned below involves spending money or buying plugins, it’s all down to hard work and determination!
Keywords is a term you hear a lot. Basically, all you need to decide on are the words you want to be found by when someone types a search into Google. If for example you are a cake maker, you may want to appear at the top whenever someone searches for ‘Birthday Cakes Peterborough’ (or whichever town or area you live in).
If you are a small business, you probably have some very straight forward keywords already in mind. Decide on your keywords – do some searches and see where your competition is coming up. Do you want to compete with them or try something different?
NEXT – Where do you put your keywords?
1. Meta Description
Heard of this? Sounds fancy doesn’t it. Basically, it’s the bit of information (excerpt) from your website page that is displayed in the search results. If you don’t tell your website what text to display, it will automatically take it from your page. You don’t want that to happen because of course you want your keywords in there!
So, if like me you have a relatively basic WordPress website, where do you put the Meta Description? When editing your page, click on the ‘more options’ section and you will see a box that says ‘excerpt’. This is where you enter your keywords and excerpt for that page.
If you can, name your images with your keywords. Eg ‘Turtle Birthday Cake by Sam’s Cakes Peterborough’. Once you have uploaded your images, edit the titles with the same name and copy it into your alt text.
3. In your content
Okay, you need to make sure you don’t go overboard here as it will sound awful, Google won’t like it, and people will soon click away from your website. If you can, enter your keywords into your headings and sub headings and then strategically put them into your content. Always write your content first as that is by far more important. What you really MUST do, is ensure you get your keywords into your first paragraph on your front page.
4. In your site title
In WordPress go to your ‘Customize Appearance’ page and click on ‘Site Identity’. In here pop in your keywords. These will come up under your website name when people search for you. A lot of people just put their company name as the ‘Site Title’ but you want to put in your name and a few other keywords if you can.
You can also try popping in a ‘l’ (otherwise known as a bar) so that you can put two or three short phrases. Something like this: Sam’s Cakes | Peterborough Cake Maker | Birthday Cakes
It’s not just about keywords sadly. You also need traffic to your website. To do this you need to create a reason for people to visit. This can be:
1. Mailing list signup
Put your mail chimp subscriber link on your website so that people have to visit it to get the link.
Writing Blogs is great as it not only creates traffic, but Google LOVES new content. A Blog is not news. News is okay, but lets me honest here, it can be a bit boring. A good Blog should be useful content that solves a problem for your ideal client.
Think about what problems you solve for your current clients, what questions they ask you, and what information you ae prepared to give away for free. You can always rely on Google to help you but don’t go stealing other peoples Blogs!
There are lots of industry specific Blog ideas that people search for over and over again, so use those ideas and make them your own.
TIP: Make sure your Blog title is the phrase that people search for and include those words throughout the Blog where you can. Regularly share your Blog on your social media and through your newsletter.
If you are a product business rather than a service business you have lots of fresh content you can share daily!
TIP: Google also loves videos.
4. Fresh Content
As above, fresh content rules. Think of ways to add new content to your site.
Fairly simple one – link to your Blog posts through your newsletter. You can get a free Mailchimp account to make sending newsletters easier. You can also encourage people to sign up to your Blog directly through your website using a signup widget in WordPress so they don’t miss out.
Check out the competition
Who is ranking highest for your keywords? Why? Check out their website. Are they doing all the things I’ve mentioned above? What are they doing that you are not?
It takes time but these changes will make a difference and eventually you will move up. I can’t tell you where, or how long it will take. All I can do is share my secrets with you.
Good luck and let me know how you get on!