I taught a workshop on SEO in the DIY Business Community last week and thought I would share a little introduction here too!
If you got a nice website but really want some more organic traffic then I hope this episode will serve you well. There are so many easy and effective things you can do and they are not even rocket science!
Listen to hear more about what SEO actually is, how you can find the right keywords to target, how to optimise your site and most importantly why quality content and real connections are more important than anything else!
And if you have any questions, as always, feel free to drop me a message!
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My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a livelihood with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I offer practical guidance on tech, strategy, ethical marketing, creativity and money and interview other small business owners who do things their own way.
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Hey everyone, my name is zero and you’re listening to the DIY business podcast. Welcome back for another solo episode in between talking about SEO. Before I begin, I want to say this is a really brief introduction, there’s so much more to say, and do if you want to. And I also want to acknowledge that my kind of philosophy, if you will, around SEO maybe isn’t conventional. And that you might, you know, you might disagree, or you might want to hear other voices on this. But I will just share what has worked for me and what I’ve taught in the DI business community last week. So to do business communities, my group programme, it’s a mastermind, if you will, this also course. And it’s a beautiful community of like minded people, not currently open for enrollment, but will be again in spring, and you can get on my list, if you want to hear about that. In the meantime, you can also work with me as a web designer, or a business mentor, or a tech fairy. And there’s more info on dad on my website era digital.com. Okay, so talking about SEO, I want to begin obviously, by saying what is Seo actually, search engine optimization aims to bring your site up in search results for relevant keywords to drive organic traffic to your site and convert this traffic into customers. So it sounds complicated, I will break it down. And I will also speak to these individual components because they really do matter. So search engine optimization is to bring your site up in search results for relevant keywords. And relevant keywords is really important here, because we don’t want to pour lots of time and energy and money into boosting our site for keywords that aren’t actually relevant to what we’re doing. So for example, I’m not targeting the word web design, but my website a because it’s extremely broad. It’s not really specific or super relevant to what I’m doing. And it’s also too competitive, there’s millions and millions of hits for this. And it will take me years possibly and a tonne of money to actually rank really highly in the search results for that. And that would be a waste of my effort. And the reason that it’s not necessarily relevant is that someone who searches web design could be looking for all kinds of things, maybe they want to become a web designer, maybe they want to take a look design class, maybe they want a totally different kind of web design that I’m offering. Because, really, you know, it’s a whole universe in itself. And what I’m doing is very specifically for small business owners who are sharing values with me who want a functional WordPress site that they can enjoy for years to come, that they want to manage themselves. I don’t work with large corporations, I don’t do boring stuff. You know, I don’t work with Weebly or Wix, for example. So those are all kind of things that make my work design more specific. And it makes sense. Therefore, for me to not target just web design, coming back to the state, what is SEO, to drive organic traffic to your site and convert this traffic into customers, the thing that’s important to keep in mind as well, it might feel a bit calculating. But really what this is about is making sure that your efforts, kind of bring the kind of people to your site that are actually interested in what you have to offer, and that you actually want to work with. And then to also give them away to find out how they can work with you immediately. And that is I think about the user experience that we have to keep in mind. So for example, you could create a blog post for a particular keyword, or combination of keywords, and that gets found, and then people land on it. And they might be interested in what you have to offer. And that’s great, you’re a match on the internet. But maybe you haven’t really linked them up to your offerings, or they can’t subscribe to your newsletter and that page, and so forth. And so you haven’t really created a way for them to easily connect with you in a deeper way. And that’s what I mean. So I’ll read the sentence again, search engine optimization aims to bring your site up in search results for relevant keywords to drive organic traffic to your site, and to convert traffic into customers. So next, I want to talk about what Google is looking for when they’re coming up with these search results. Or someone puts in the word web design. And Google knows exactly what to do and what to show them. How do they know that? So the first most important thing to say to that is that we really don’t actually completely know how the algorithm works. And it’s also changing all the time. There are all kinds of theories and if you’re interested in that, and it feels exciting to you. The Yoast SEO blog, for example, is a great source for a bit up to date information and you know, new insights but but basically we don’t know.
Or we only have a vague idea and and what we do know is that Google is looking for value. So if someone searches web design, again, they want to find websites that are super relevant to that keyword. Secondly, they’re looking for popularity. So they’re also looking at how many hits is that site getting? Is it being mentioned on social media? Does it have backlinks linking to it from other sites, and so forth. And the third thing is looking for is the security. And its reputation, I would call it that. And basically, what that means is that Google punishes sites, for example, that load very slowly, or that handle customer data in insecure ways, or that have dodgy ads on it. So for most of you, this is irrelevant, because you don’t take credit card payments without securing data. And you probably don’t have done the ad. So you get, and you really only have to focus on the relevance and the popularity of your site in order to come up the nice different elements of SEO, plus on page optimization, which means everything that you’re doing on your page to optimise for certain keywords. There’s link building and social media, which means you’re kind of thinking about who and how people link back to your site. And this content, you want to create frequent content that’s relevant to your audience and the keywords that you’re targeting. And then there’s more technical SEO. And I won’t speak to that so much, because it’s constantly changing. It’s pretty complex, and it might just be not so interesting to you. But just to say one thing, the Yoast SEO tool is free, there’s a free version of it. And that’s pretty good. Just to get you started on the technical side of things. And the other things to keep in mind is that you want to check that your website loads pretty quickly, that’s important, and that it’s a secured through an SSL certificate. So if you’re with WordPress, you want to check with your host if an SSL certificate is included, and if not, then you want to buy one that’s important. So really, if this gets you interested in, you’re curious, and you’re like, Yes, I want to bring more people to my site. And I want to kind of not just focused on social media, I also want to build my newsletter list and get organic traffic to Google, then the first thing that you need to do is do some keyword research and really think about what’s relevant for you and what makes sense to target. So really think about what your audience might be googling and be as specific as possible with that. As I’ve already said, I do offer web design, but I don’t have a web design as a keyword, because it’s too popular and not specific enough. So what I could do instead would be tagging something like web design for female entrepreneurs, which is a longtail keyword, that’s a combination of different words. And that’s more specific, I don’t actually do that I could do that. I’m just wanting to give you an example. Another example is if your head list, you probably wouldn’t target herbalism. But you could tag it something more specific, like herbal remedies, or like herbalism for mental health, or herbalism. For hormonal health, that’s still pretty broad, you could again get even more specific, but I’m just giving you an example of something that is a little bit more specific. If you’re someone who offers local services or products that makes total sense to also add your local region there. So for example, you could say herbalism for women’s health in London, is a pretty long sentence or it’s not you know, as a phrase, not a sentence. But it is a longtail, it makes a lot of sense, because people who do this are much more likely to actually want what you have to offer, if you are a herbalist and London, offering services for women, if that makes sense. If you call the keyword research tools, you will find all kinds of different tools that you can use to kind of get a feeling for what people are actually searching for. And I really recommend that you play with that for half an hour to get a feeling and some ideas and then to list all those in an Excel sheet and kind of prioritise at the top dose that you think are most relevant, and also achievable. So again, if you think that I don’t know like breathwork meditation is so profound for you, that’s great, but it’s probably really competitive as well. And you might do better, to be more specific and say and targeting breathwork meditation for creative people or artists, for example. And I can’t stress this enough, it’s really important to do a little bit of keyword research. Another way of doing it is also just to ask you existing clients would they would Google if they were looking for you? Or maybe they did actually Google something when they were looking for you. That’s good information.
And you can also use social media to some extent for this. So in Israel, for example, if you go on the search, function and You could have it as a mindef example, then you go to tags, it will give you a long list of related tags. And that could give you some ideas for your niche or area or industry as well. And the next thing I really care about sharing is that high quality content is much more important than anything else that you can technically do for SEO. So Google really values quality over quantity, it is good to post new content regularly, that does give you a boost and directing. But the quality is really the most important thing. Because if it’s good quality, and good work, the quality system will recognise that and it’s also more likely to be shared by other people or to be engaged with, which is positive SEO, SEO. And also just at the end of the day, it leaves a much better impression than a keyword stuffed piece of content that you’re just kind of blasting out. So about 10 to 15 years ago, keyword stuffing was more of a practice that did actually work at the time. And what people would do is create content or blog posts, for example, that had the same keyword in it, say 20 to 30 times. And they would publish one of those every week, and that would get them ranking for those kinds of keywords. But that’s really outdated, it’s not working anymore. So all this to say, really, I think it’s much more important that you give yourself time and space and, you know, creative energy to create beautiful content that feels really true to you. Rather than get too heavy about what you could be doing with your SEO, because again, it also, you know, wouldn’t make sense for you to pour your energy into SEO. And then people learn on your side. And what they see as a first impression is just not that great. Might be like a blog post where you’re just naming the same keyword 20 times, but it’s not inspiring them to work with you in any way, then that’s kind of missing the mark. Right? So, yeah, really thinking about how you’re presenting yourself in a realistic and sustainable content strategy is for you. I think that’s important. Or they tell you a funny little story of an article. So for my other website, daging was calm. I A few years ago, in my mid 20s, I think I wrote an article called What if I want to be single forever. And I really had didn’t have any particular intentions. With that in mind. I didn’t even really have a business at that time, there was no podcast and so forth. But I published it. And because it’s quite specific, it kind of landed me on the first or second page of Google for people searching. What if I want to be single forever? And it got me so much traffic. And it always made me love. You know, there were years and years where every single day, someone would come to my site after growing, what would what if I want to be single forever. And it was great, because obviously I wanted traffic and I wanted people to read my blog. But it was also kind of pretty irrelevant, because I’m not someone who offers people support and being single forever. I don’t even have that much to say about it. I don’t even think that that article was particularly good. When I read it now I really cringe and I wish I hadn’t published and that, you know, the point is, this worked in terms of SEO, but it didn’t actually have any positive results for my business. So I think that’s something good to keep in mind. And so if you’re wanting to know more, and you want to kind of you’ve done your keyword research, and you want to take your next steps. If you’re in WordPress, which I recommend, then working with the Yoast SEO plugin is a great way to get more ideas for how you can optimise your content. So I don’t want to go into that in too much detail. Because it really depends on what platform you’re on, what goals you have, and so forth. But genuinely tagging your content is important. You can tag your images as well. You can work with keywords and your headlines, you can make sure that your site loads pretty fast. You can register your site for Google Webmaster Tools to make sure that it’s easy to do squat crawl for Google. And you can compress your images, which you might also find free tools to do for it to do this with. And that’s helpful as well. And then a last piece of advice I want to share is that it’s really good also to think about ways in which you can build organic backlinks to your site and grow your reputation that way. So this backlink is or link is anytime someone as links to your site and recommends it in that way that’s really positive for SEO. So
you could for example, at the end of a blog post just say hey, if you like this, why don’t you share it and you can have social sharing buttons bam. social sharing buttons are different than social Follow buttons, fellows adjust, pay someone clicks, and then they follow you on Instagram or whatever wherever platform they choose. And also social sharing button just means that they click, and then they automatically share your piece of content on the different channels. So you’re just making that easier for them. And you’re inviting them to do that. And I think that really makes sense because people forget, you know, but when you ask them nicely, they might well do that and feel quite pleased that they have something to share with their friends, they have found exciting. You can also of course, see if you can be invited as a guest, blogger, you can become a guest on podcast and receive backlinks. That way. You can raid guest articles for wider networks, like news networks, or bigger blogs. And you can see if you can swap links, read people’s recommendations or resource sections. So I have a resource section, for example, where I’m linking to a few services that I use myself. And I think that’s nice, I really want to extend on that some time. And built well for my other website as well. And it’s just nice to create these networks of mutual support and link to each other. And, and then before I go, I want to just share a few more things that I think are important to remember, the first thing is that you really don’t have to implement everything that is to do for SEO, that’s almost impossible. And it will probably distract you from what you really want to do in your business and from what feels good and sustainable. So I really recommend to kind of let this sink in, do some keyword research and really think about the boundaries of how much you want to invest in this. So you know, don’t force yourself to write content that you don’t feel like you want to write right now. Don’t stuff your content with keywords, do what feels good, and what comes easy to you. And you might love get some extra traffic coming away, which is wonderful. Also, bear in mind that things always change, you know. So I think this is another reason to really be boundaried around how much effort you’re putting into this. Because things in the SEO world can always change pretty quickly. And then I think it’s also important that you’re making your name searchable. So every now and then search your name, see what comes up if it if it’s not coming up, then think about working with that a little bit more using your own name or on your website. And with what you’re sharing, it obviously depends on your name. Sometimes people might not remember how to spell it. Maybe it’s a really common name. So there isn’t a blank answer to this. But I think that’s something good to consider as well. And then also remember that traffic and itself can be really meaningless. You know, you can get 100 million followers, and none of them are really interested in what you’re doing. Or you can have a small number of really committed excited people that are just kind of looking forward for to anything that you’re sharing. And that’s exactly what you want. And that’s it. That’s all that you need in your business. So I hope this has been helpful. Thank you so much for listening. If there’s any other topic that you want me to speak about and do a solo riff on, please let me know. And I wish you a really beautiful week and your business. Bye