I recently had the opportunity to meet Melissa Berry and do a branding photoshoot with her. She is the founder of local social media community and blog, Everydayspokane.com, and co-founder of the Trending Spokane Podcast. While on our shoot I got to know a bit more about her and her business ventures and was super intrigued! As a full time freelance writer and editor in the tech and economy sector, Melissa has become an SEO guru. Testing out her knowledge on her own business proved worthy of her expanding and taking that knowledge to her local community in Spokane, WA. She now helps other businesses in her community to rank higher on search engines.
Melissa agreed to meet with me, give me an SEO audit, and teach you guys a little bit more about how SEO works.
What does SEO Stand For?
Before we dive in, let’s clarify some definitions of terms we’ll be discussing today. Starting with SEO…
- SEO = Search Engine Optimization
- Keyword(s) = words or phrases that define your content and your business
- Rank(ing) = Google ranking systems sort through hundreds of billions of webpages to find the most relevant results and present them in a way that helps you find what you’re looking for.
What is SEO and why is it important for small businesses?
- SEO helps your business get found on the internet, which in turn helps your ranking.
- When done right, it’s consistent free advertising.
- YOU NEED A WEBSITE to take advantage of SEO.
- While social media is great, it is short term content that, where SEO on a website is long lasting.
How can a small business use SEO as free advertising?
You have to be on the first page of Google. The #1 organic (not paid) result on Google is 10x more likely to receive a click than the #10 spot. So, if you want to be found, you want to be #1… or at least very close to it!
3 ways to get on the first page of Google
- Understand your audience
- Who is your target audience and what do they want from you?
- Identify what you want people to find you for or what you DON’T want them to find you for (ex. professional branding photography vs. baby or wedding photography).
- Think like your customers. Find the right terms that your audience is searching for and put them in your copy.
- Your home page is the most important page
- Your website just needs a REALLY GOOD introductory page.
- You do not have to have a lot of pages. Include Who You Are, Why You Are Important, What You Offer, Testimonials, and How to Get in Touch.
- Tell them upfront why they need you. Leave the fluff out.
- Even though you don’t have to have a lot of pages, still have a good portion of valuable information. The potential client will be on your page longer which Google will recognize and rank you higher.
- SEO and Blog Posts
- A blog is helpful to push your website higher in ranking.
- The goal of blog posts – a way for you to show your expertise. It is an opportunity for you to really showcase who you are, what you do, and what you offer. Focus on answering people’s questions. What are people searching for that your business provides.
Tips for a better blog ranking
- Don’t put the date in the url.
- If you have this currently, HIRE someone to change it. Don’t try to do it yourself because it can break the links which hurts your ranking.
- Lead with video or image
- This engages your audience SIGNIFICANTLY more than just having a block of text.
- Make it mobile friendly.
- Most people are reading blogs on their mobile devices so make sure that your content looks good on your mobile device.
- Bullet points, bullet points, bullet points!
- Bullet points are extremely important for readability. They draw the eye to them and get important points across easily and effectively.
- Make your bullet points into headers
- When you make headers in your blog post, Google and SEO combine to help rank your websites higher.
- Internal linking
- It is great practice to write some blog posts that are inadvertently about your product. Ex. A branding photographer with a blog post about Professional Headshots. With blog posts that are not specifically your key word “brand photography“, link it to your home page. This shows Google that every time someone searches for “Professional Headshots” then it will also be linked to your website that is about brand photography!
Does all of this seem overwhelming?!
Melissa is available to help with any SEO needs. She offers training to do it yourself or you can hire her by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with her via Instagram at @everydayspokane and find the links to her podcast at @trendingspokane.
Looking to elevate your brand or create a new one?
Schedule a WorkStory BrandStorm
The WorkStory BrandStorm is a deep dive brainstorm interview where we get to know everything about your business, where you’ve been, where you are and where you’re looking to go. We will identify what your compelling brand story is and a plan for exactly what it looks like to infuse that into your branding and marketing so you can attract more ideal clients. Then you can decide to hire us to execute the plan or do it in-house. The plan itself is a valuable roadmap for you and your business, so it’s a win either way! The cost of the BrandStorm will be applied to your package when you decide to hire us.