When I first started my business, I thought I would never be able to get my website to show up in the top five search results. I thought I simply didn't have a budget to compete with the bigwigs who spend up to $50 million per year to advertise on Google.
Thankfully it turns out you don't need to break the bank to rank higher on Google or get your business in the top search results. I've spent a grand total of $0 dollars in advertising on google for my business, and yet my website will appear first if you google my name, Jason Hewett.
All it took from me was a bit of clever wordplay and keeping my content organized... and generating a lot of content. Then I implemented the following three strategies:
Rename the Photos With SEO Keywords
By rename photos, I don't just mean captions and alt text. I mean the names of the files themselves.
SEO Expert Anna Crowe says it best: "When it comes to SEO, creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is absolutely crucial. Not customizing your image file name is like getting a burrito with nothing in it. It just plain sucks."
I like my burritos stuffed with as many things as possible, and I name my images with as many relevant keywords as possible too.
Instead of IMG-1234567 I renamed the photos things like "Jason Hewett Writer" or "Jason Hewett Voice Actor" depending on what purpose the photos served on my website, and which platform I'd be using them on.
For example, if I'm uploading a photo to a voice acting website, I'll save a copy of the image I want to use and name it "Jason Hewett Friendly Trustworthy Authentic" because those are keywords people may be using to look for a voice like mine.
I wouldn't use the copies of photos named "Jason Hewett writer copywriter online content writer" on a voice acting platform because that's not the kind of burrito people are looking to order.
The reason this works is because search engines look at the image filenames, and they'll display images accordingly. So if your product isn't appearing on google image searches, you may just need to go back and change the file names of your photos.
Backlink With Your Network
Backlinks, also known as linkbacks, inbound links, (and a plethora of other terms,) is essentially when one website mentions another and hyperlinks to it.
Ideally, the website that links back to yours has a lot of credibility, which will get you more "votes" and help with search algorithms.
That said, everyone has to start somewhere, and even if you can't get your website mentioned on the New York Times, it still helps to have relevant sites mention your website.
The more you're mentioned, the more you build a reputation for search engines, but more importantly in my opinion, you're also building your reputation within your network.
Whenever possible it helps to partner with other websites, which could mean writing a guest post on their site, tagging them in social media, doing cross promotions, etc.
Update Your Keywords (And Questions) Regularly
I think SEO goes beyond the actual keywords you use--it's also about the value you provide to potential customers who visit your website.
That's why I don't just look at keywords, I look at questions. For example, the keyword "gluten-free" might be growing in popularity, but I'm going to distinguish my food blog from competitors if I'm able to answer the most frequently asked questions, which vary seasonally as well as yearly.
For example, I might have an idea to share my mom's recipe for gluten-free Swedish Apple Pie after visiting her over the weekend, but my SEO research shows people are asking "is it possible to make gluten-free stromboli?"
I can answer that question verbatim in my next blog to capitalize on the demand.
At the end of the day, keywords get search engines to introduce people to your site, but when you
Answer questions people regularly type into search engines
Offer solutions to common problems
Keep your finger on the pulse of industry trends and actual questions
That's what's going to keep their attention.
How often should you do this? I'd say it depends on how much content you're creating, but each time I plan a new batch of content, I do the research.
I review my SEO and strategy for most of my clients once a month.
How's SEO Going?
Let me know if you've ever tried these tips and found them useful, and if you'd like to work together for your business drop me a line at email@example.com