by Casi Yost
Let me start by saying SEO is not as scary as you think. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is only ambiguous because there isn’t an exact formula or clear cut answer as to how to do it. Why? Because SEO is essentially about making your website easier to find on google searches, but doing it with the client or customer in mind.
Why is it worth it? Well, when you want to find a new Thai restaurant, or reviews for a product, or even how to make something, where do you typically go? To the internet. So do your customers and clients! More and more people are searching for local vendors and local businesses. You want your business to pop up in a search, right? I started this summer knowing zero about how to make SEO work for me, and now (six months later) I am ranking on page one for “McMinnville Wedding Photographer.”
So what are the main reasons you would want to take the plunge? What makes it worth it for you?
1. Competitive Edge:
Many of your competitors aren’t investing time into it because they don’t think they need to, and they don’t want to learn. This is pretty true for my niche, wedding photography. There aren’t many solo photographers spending the time on this, so it makes it super easy for me to get to the top.
2. Visibility for your brand:
Organic search is probably the number one way that drives traffic websites. This is higher than referral traffic (where social media or other sites refer people to your website). So wouldn’t you want to pop up in a search to make it easier on your customers to find what they’re looking for?
3. Customers are looking locally:
You know how you type in, “coffee shops near me?” well your customers are doing that too. If you can get your name on google and have your local customers see you in a search, you have a higher chance of converting them to paying customers. The best tip I have for this is to set up your “Google My Business” account. Then ask customers to give you reviews to help build credibility!
4. SEO is pretty cheap:
Monetarily its cheap, but it takes time to get the hang of it. One of the best ways to get your website to work for you and get noticed in the black hole of the internet is to use SEO as a beacon of light to attract your customers. It costs nearly nothing but your time and I consider it probably the only way to get your website to rank when customers search for your kind of products or services.
5. Your business needs to adapt or be left behind:
It isn’t a matter of if your business will fall behind without SEO, but when. Customers rely heavily on search engines to find solutions and products. This will only increase, so you should do yourself a solid and get on the train. It isn’t as scary as you think.
I personally had the best mentor with this. Catalina Jean over at SEO is Fun walked me through how to apply SEO specifically to my website. There isn’t a one size fits all because everyone has different search terms and issues with optimizing their sites, but she spends time and will analyze your business and what you need to do. Head over to SEOisFun.co to see what she does!
You can also go to MOZ.com and they give amazing free education on the topic. They also have the capacity to work with you and your company on SEO. I reference them when I want to learn something new on my own.
What are some next steps for you?
- Make sure you have your website built. If you don’t, you might want to talk with an SEO expert first. It is best to build your website with SEO in mind.
- Start to invest time into learning about SEO and how to optimize your website so it will show up for your ideal customer.
Keep going friends! I know you can do this!
Casi Yost, Wedding Photographer and Community over Competition advocate.
Casi is a wedding photographer and educator based out of Oregon. When she isn’t dancing it up with coupes at weddings, she hosts workshops for women wanting to start their own photography business. She is a passionate about community over competition and how it can heal broken businesses.