Simple SEO For Complementary Practitioners
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a topic that makes most complementary practitioners run screaming from the building! I want to introduce you to some of the simple steps you can take to improve your ability to be found on online.
What is SEO?
In its simplest terms, SEO are the activities you do to help your website get picked up in relevant online searches. It will be based on the search terms (what the person is asking for) and how relevant and authoritative Google thinks your website is.
Just to be transparent, I’m not an SEO expert and don’t offer this as a service to clients. I do however spend a lot of time consuming all things marketing including this ‘fun’ topic.
Do you get bombarded with emails promising to get you at the top of Google searches? I delete at least half a dozen each day from my inbox. Unfortunately, no one knows exactly how the Google algorithms work (other than Google), so these are empty promises.
If you are tempted to employ someone to do this for you, ask your network for recommendations rather than respond to an email promising the world.
There is a lot you can do to help your own SEO. Think about the service Google are providing to their users, they want to provide the best and most relevant information to answer the questions asked. The better the match, the more likely you will show up in someone’s search.
Start with Keyword Research
Keywords are the words and phrases that people are typing into Google to find you. Start by doing some simple research before you do anything.
- What are the key things you want to be known for?
- How would someone looking for your services describe what they want?
- What are the questions your clients keep asking you? These are likely to be the things they are typing into Google?
- Ask clients what they would search for if they were looking for you.
- Type some of the phrases into Google. Look at the alternative options they offer you for more ideas
Make a list of the key phrases you get as you will be able to weave these into relevant places in your website.
Include Keywords Throughout Your Website
You need to put the keywords in specific areas of your website to help Google understand what it is offering the searcher. Different pages will have different keywords relevant to the information on that page. Places to include keywords are:
- The headings so it is obvious what the page is about from the start
- The URL (the address of a web page) should include the keywords, and use hyphens to break up the phrases and make it readable
- Include the keywords in the content of the page. Repeating the phrase will help confirm the relevance but you don’t need to go overboard repeating it here there and everywhere.
- Label your images with the keywords both as the file name and in the ALT Text label
- The keyword section and meta description – this is an area outside of the published page on your website where you can add in details. I have a WordPress website and use a plug-in called Yoast for this. I add in the keywords I want to be found for and a description of the page.
At the end of the day, the content you write on your website is for your audience and not for Google. Be mindful of SEO but don’t spend all your time manipulating your copy to fit in key words. It is far better to have an easy to read website than it be clunky one. Check out this article on simple copywriting.
Good Quality Website
To be viewed as an authority site, your website has to load quickly when someone visits it. We expect things to happen fast these days and people won’t wait around for a slow website. Make sure your images are small files and you don’t have lots of unnecessary elements slowing your website down.
Make sure your website is mobile responsive and changes format so it is easily read on a mobile device. This is a basic requirement of having a website today.
Keep your website fresh by adding content to it on a regular basis. Google views these websites as authoritative above static ones that are never updated.
Check your website has an SSL certificate (this will show up as the green padlock and ‘Secure’ next to your URL). This shows that your website is secure and Google reward the owners of secure websites in searches. If you don’t have this, contact your website host and ask them to arrange it for you.
Links to and From Other Websites
Links to your website will boost its authority but they need to be good quality ones. Old SEO tricks used to include buying links, but this will harm your site today. Get links to your website from reputable websites like quality directories, practitioner register, social media etc. Check out this article about picking online directories.
It is also powerful to link between your pages on your website. If you write a blog post that has a natural link to another post, put a link in the text. You will notice I have done it in this article!
If you’re struggling with your marketing, contact me for a chat to find out how I can help you.
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