There is No Magic SEO Bullet

There is No Magic SEO Bullet

Sorry, I hate to burst your online bubble, but there is no magic bullet for improving your website SEO and getting you to the top spot on Google. There is no ‘trade secret’ and no way of paying someone to simply bump you up there in one day, or even one month.

Whilst I have not doubt that spending £500+ a month on an SEO service will see you rank higher and may even lead to some extra business (let’s hope it does), most small businesses simply don’t have that cash to throw at SEO. And even if you do pay for that service, do you actually know what your money is being spent on? I’m guessing the sales pitch was all a little vague…

How do I know that? Well, because I get pitched to all the time and so do my clients. No wonder it’s confusing.

You see, SEO is a really hot buzz word in the world of websites and online sales and ‘Experts’ are popping up all over the place. Why? Because everyone wants to be seen – why else would you have a website – and everyone has heard that SEO is the only way to go about it.

In a recent post I busted 5 SEO Myths and upset some of these ‘Experts’ charging HUGE amounts for SEO services in the process. I also took some of their prospective clients. Sorry, not sorry…

That’s all well and good you say, so what am I meant to do instead?

 

What’s the solution?

You need to get your business name out there and let people know what you do, but here’s the thing:

“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall

Well said Wendy. Getting your name out there (in terms of backlinks from other sites, on social media and within your physical networks) leads to more site visitors and that makes Google sit up and notice.

So here are 3 things you can do to improve your business:

 

1. HAVE A STRATEGY

If you aren’t clear and focused about what you offer, how is anyone going to buy into what you offer too?

Get clear on what it is that you are actually selling so that when visitors find your website they are compelled to buy from you.

It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic.” – Jeff Eisenberg

Spend time creating a kick-ass strategy that converts visitors into customers. Create offers, opt-ins and deals they can’t refuse. Allocate time and money to this rather than just SEO and you’ll see results that SEO alone can’t replicate.

 

2. TALK, TALK, TALK

Then, talk to anyone and everyone who will listen to what you have to say.

  • Shout about what you do on social media
  • Join an awesome business network and turn up regularly
  • Share your expertise in online groups
  • Write blog posts about what you know
  • Do a great job for the customers you already have and ask for reviews
  • Tell your friends about your business

If you’re not shouting about your business, then you can’t expect anyone else to. Get out there and get seen.

 

3. Measure your impact

Do you actually know how your website is already performing? If you don’t then how do you know if the money or time you are spending on SEO or promotion are actually working in the first place?

“You can’t just ‘SEO’ your website and be done. It’s a forever moving goal post.” – Stoney deGeyter

Get involved. Learn what your metrics are actually telling you and keep working on your site. You have to know what’s working and what’s not in terms of all aspects of your business and SEO is no different.

Remember, there is no magic bullet to SEO, but with some SMART goals and smart thinking you can have a successful business both online and offline.

Web Goddess

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Is SEO really that difficult?

Is SEO really that difficult?

It’s been almost 5 years since I first posted about SEO (search engine optimisation) and gave you 5 Simple Steps to Improve your SEO. In that time, not surprisingly, things in the SEO world have moved on as technology has improved and the number of websites has increased exponentially. And along with it comes an explosion of SEO myths.

But what hasn’t changed is the constant diatribe of some so-called experts who want to keep the whole SEO world shrouded in mystery and would prefer to talk down to their clients and treat them like children, rather than actually explaining what SEO is and how THEY can make changes to improve their website ranking on search engines.

Note: when I refer to so-called experts I am NOT referring to the real experts like Neil Patel who will gladly share resources online for all of us. I mean the thankfully small group of business owners who scare their clients into buying packages they don’t need so that when those customers come to me they are wary of SEO and feel that it is beyond them.

So, I wanted to bust some SEO myths once and for all so that you can take control of your online empire and feel empowered to manage your SEO with an understanding of it rather than a fear of it.

Here are my Top 5:

Myth #1 – SEO is hard

Attitude over Aptitude - Marie Forleo quote on technologyListen, everything is hard when you don’t understand it or have no knowledge of how it works – and SEO is no different. If you are willing to dedicate some time learning what it is (and what it isn’t) and implementing even the simplest of steps, then it is just like anything else.

Don’t be put off by someone spouting technobabble at you – the key here is your ATTITUDE not your APTITUDE, as Marie Forleo so eloquently puts it…

Myth #2 – It costs thousands of pounds

Yes, you can spend lots of cash on the premium SEO plans – but that’s the same with any service. However, you don’t NEED to spend thousands of pounds on your SEO to see results.

Learn some of the basics (like those 5 steps I talked about earlier) or get an SEO Review done and get on and do the work yourself. There are also plenty of free SEO tools online that you can use to perform a basic check of your site and go from there. My favourite is Neil Patel’s UberSuggest, but there are plenty of others.

Myth #3 – The free tools are crap

I’ve heard this one before and straight to my face – by someone trying to sell me a super expensive SEO package! Funny that…

Trust me, if you took action on all of the advice from the free tools your site would be performing better and that’s what this is all about.

Myth #4 – Focus on SEO above all else

Really? Yup. Heard this one recently too. Whilst I argue that SEO is important, trust me, if your website content, message and other business skills aren’t up to scratch, all the SEO in the world isn’t going to bring you clients (or keep them).

Do what you can when you can and make sure you are putting as much effort into building professional relationships with people as you are into your SEO. In my own business, 90% of my clients come from recommendation and networking and only 10% as cold enquiries straight through my website. So, making sure that I am showing up in person (or on Zoom as it is these days) as well as online is really important.

Myth #5 – SEO is a one time deal

Nope. SEO is not a one time thing. You can’t just add keywords to your site and then leave it forevermore. As with all technology, the online world is moving at supersonic speed, and SEO requires your regular attention. Every time you create a new page or write a blog post you need to have SEO at the forefront of your efforts.

But that doesn’t mean it will take hours of work. It just means that you need to think about your message and take the time to ensure the key points associated with SEO are addressed – such as keyphrases, metadata and structure. After all, why go to all the trouble of writing something if it’s just going to disappear into the internet void. You want people to read it right?

So, there you have it, 5 SEO Myths well and truly busted. My advice is if you are interested and have the time then give it a try. Run your website through a free SEO tool and find out what needs to be improved and read up on SEO and become engaged in the success of your own website.

And if you need a hand, then give me a shout. Translating technobabble and empowering my clients to shine online is what I do.

Web Goddess

A Beginner’s Guide to Meta Tags

A Beginner’s Guide to Meta Tags

A Meta tag is a special HTML tag that provides extra information about a web page without affecting how the page is displayed. This information includes who created a page, what the page is about and important keywords that help people find your page among the hundreds of other pages on the inter-web. It is also important as it helps improve your SEO ranking, but remember to include those search terms and keywords in your front end text too as this helps your ranking too!

In most website builders you will have a section associated with each page that allows you to add your own Meta tags.  On the create.net platform it looks something like this:

Blog-Meta data

The <Title> Tag allows you to change the text that is shown in the title bar of the web browser and it is a good idea to use both your company name and a bit of information about the individual page itself.  This will also appear above the website address when your page is included in search engine results.

Metatag Keywords are the words that you think searchers will type in to find your website and you can include many words separated by a comma (in create.net) but check your own builder for guidelines on entering these.

The Metatag Description tells the search engine what your site and page is about.  Although not essential, they can be useful and I would always recommend typing a description of your page in for each one.

Once you have these all entered in to your site and it is published online, it is worth using an analytical tool such as Google Analytics to track your keywords and visitor numbers and keep an eye on how your keywords are performing. On other platforms, such as WordPress, you may need to install a separate SEO plugin to add metatags – but I’ll save that process for another post!

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5 Steps to Improve your SEO

5 Steps to Improve your SEO

One of my pet hates is receiving telephone calls and emails from companies offering to improve my SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ranking. I guess they are just used to people saying “yes please” because they have no idea what they are talking about and handing over their cash – but not this gal!

In a nutshell, SEO is the process of getting traffic from the “free” or “natural” listings on search engines. All the major search engines (such as Google, Bing and Yahoo) work on these results as well as on paid advertising and it is important to make sure your site ranks well with these to ensure you get traffic to your website – without it you just don’t get seen.

However, you don’t have to pay anyone to sort it for you and in just five simple steps you can improve your own SEO ranking:

Step 1 – Include Relevant Keywords

It requires a bit of research, but use your favourite search engine to search for businesses like your own and figure out which keywords they are using to get to the top of the list. You then need to include these keywords in your own site – within page headings if possible.

Step 2 – Keep Your Navigation Simple

So many sites I visit are difficult to navigate and links within pages to other pages often don’t work. Make sure you visit your own page and search for items that you want your visitors to find. If you find it difficult then so will they. I often ask my husband to check my sites this way because we often search for things differently – you’ll be amazed at how another point of view can help!

Step 3 – Update your Website Regularly

Search engines really do like websites that are kept up to date and a very simple way to do this is to include a blog on your site. As long as you post to it regularly, there will always be new and relevant content to help improve your SEO ranking. It is also a really good way of sharing your ideals and information with potential clients as they see you as someone who is interested in their own business.

Step 4 – Submit your Sitemap

One of the website builder programs I use automatically creates a Sitemap for your website and submits it to search engines every time you publish your site, but if you use a different program, such as WordPress, then make sure you include this useful tool. Having a sitemap allows a search engine to see all of the pages within your website and not just the first page and is key to moving further up the rankings.

Step 5 – Track your Results

I use Google Analytics and I would recommend that you also use a similar analytical tool to see exactly where your visitors are coming from when they visit your site. It helps you to recognise how your social media presence is driving traffic to your website, which keywords are helping people find you and also the demographics of your audience. Very useful data when trying to figure out how to improve your site in future. It is simple to set up an Analytics account and put a small piece of code in your website to track it’s performance and is another free service.

Finally, you can always visit a free online SEO optimisation website such as Woorank.com – you just need to type in your website address and in a minute or two you will have a simple report on some of the issues that could be hindering your website ranking.

So there you have it – five simple steps to improving your own SEO ranking without the help of Pooja from India (yes, that was the name on a recent email I received!).

Until next time,

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