It’s not a secret that you need quality search engine optimization (SEO) to be found on the world wide web. And yet, if I had to choose between wrestling snakes in a vat of chocolate pudding while wearing a sumo suit, or figuring out how to get Google to pick up on my website AND place me in the top ten on their search lists…
I’d be tempted to go with the pudding snakes.
But, if you have a problem with snakes, (or chocolate pudding) then we should probably figure out this thing I like to call “Google-ability.”
Let’s start at the beginning.
#1 Who are you and what do you want to be known for?
If you were to Google yourself, what would you type in?
Pick one phrase you want people to know you by. Yes, just one, single, short phrase.
For example, if I have a website on techniques for wrestling snakes in chocolate pudding, I might choose a phrase like, “wrestling snakes in pudding.”
Now type your chosen phrase into Google and see what you get – thousands of hits? A dozen hits?
You’re aiming for something in the middle… too many and your keyword competition is high. Too few and it’s probably safe to assume people aren’t searching your phrase often enough to bring you a noteworthy amount of website traffic.
Want to take it a step further? (of course you do!) Use a program like WordStream or Moz. You can also use Google’s own Keyword Planner. There can be a price attached to keyword tools, but I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for.
These types of tools will give you a big-picture look at what keywords the world is searching for in your general field.
They’ll let you know if “pudding-snakes” is a better option than “chocolate-pudding-and-snakes” or “wrestling-snakes-in-pudding.” All are very similar, but one phrase will ultimately be better than the others.
Don’t assume you know what that phrase is. You may be surprised at how the rest of the world thinks…
#2 Include your keywords in your Google titles and descriptions.
This is the title and the short paragraph you see as part of your search results. This is not always your website name or domain.
If you have a web developer, they’ll know how to do this for you. If you’re running your ship solo (like so many of us are), there will be a section of your website builder just for SEO tools. Check there first.
Don’t forget to also include this phrase in the main text of your home page. Once or twice is fine, there’s no need to over-do it. Google can tell when you’re trying to be a sneaky keyword over-user.
#3 Alt tag your photos.
Search engines can’t read images, but they can read image descriptions. This is a great place to boost your keyword content. Take that same choice phrase from #1 (wrestling pudding snakes) and make it the description of at least one image on each page of your site.
#4 Create useful content and post often.
It’s great to repost and retweet other people’s stuff on social media, but you also have to prove that you have a useful brain and can think on your own. Write your own stuff, publish it on your website and your social media accounts. Always make it valuable.
The more valuable your content is, the more people will share it. The more people share it, the more unique views you’ll get to your website. Which brings me to number five.
#5 Inbound links are gold!
Google watches to see where your website views are coming from. If people read your stuff on social media (see #4) and then click to check out your website, (because you’ve given them your website URL at least once) it’s called an inbound link. This means people are interested in what you have to say. Interested enough to take a few moments out of their crazy-busy day to click on your website. (Go you!)
Be social, comment on other people’s links, stories, articles, thoughts, etc. You click on their stuff, they click on your stuff… that’s kind of the point of social media.
And remember, it takes time to build traffic. Even if you do everything right, you won’t increase web traffic overnight.
Be patient. Be consistent. Play by the rules. And before too long, you’ll be at the top of the Google top ten list for your keyword!
Go ahead – Google ‘Total Wellness Writer’ and see who is at the top…
(spoiler alert, it’s me!)
As a side note, I highly recommend Googling ‘wrestling snakes in chocolate pudding.’ It’s entertaining and completely work appropriate.