A prospect named Joe booked a complimentary consultation appointment with me and emailed, “When I found you for our consultation appointment, was that a result of your social media prowess—or did/do you do some paid SEO? I am trying to learn whether it’s necessary to pay for SEO, or if a sound social media strategy can get the job done without paid SEO—or is it necessary to have a mix of both? Any insight appreciated.”
Of course my social media ‘prowess’ contributes to people finding me in an internet search. I use a ‘sound social media strategy’ on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to direct my audience back to my website. But I have NEVER paid for SEO.
That’s right—you don’t have to pay a lot of money for SEO. Your website will be found in a search when you do the right things. Be aware, though, that it will take time. Don’t expect that 30 days after you’ve launched your brand new site that it’s now going to come up at the top of a search—even if you’ve done everything right. It takes time for the search engines to index and rank your site. So be patient. I suggest that it takes a minimum of 90 days to see results with organic SEO efforts.
What do I mean by organic? Organic SEO at my website includes these three strategies:
- Keywords. What keywords would someone trying to find your website use in an online search? Make a list of those and use them often in your website copy and blog posts. A note of caution: don’t stuff your copy with the keywords just to try to rank higher. Use them where it’s appropriate and makes sense. There are tools you can find online to do keyword research. Here are two: Wordtracker and WordStream.
- Links. You want links back to your website. One way I do this is by posting on social media tidbits from blog posts with a link to that post—driving traffic back to my site. Another way is by writing guest posts on other people’s sites with a link in my bio back to my website. Here’s an example. You can also link to another page at your own website in one of your blog posts. For example, right here I’m inviting you to contact me for a free 15-minute social media consultant and linking to my page to learn more about it.
- Content. This is the best organic SEO strategy. Write fresh content on your website on a regular basis, using the keywords you’ve researched. Search engines rank sites higher when they have fresh content. Write at your blog regularly and share that content on all your social media platforms.
There is one more thing I do for SEO. I use Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. They do have a Premium version for $89/year. But I just use the free version. It helps remind me to use the right keywords for SEO purposes. The image in this post is a screenshot of the analysis results of a blog post before being optimized completely for SEO.
If you’re not using WordPress and use some other site builder such as Squarespace or Wix, the strategies I use apply—keywords, links, and content. Those site builders also have Premium SEO you can pay for, but I don’t believe it’s necessary for most people.
Does organic SEO work? It has for me! I always ask people when they contact me how they found me. The last three people said they did a Google search and found me. I always ask what they typed in to the search to find me so I know which keywords are getting the best results.
It really made my day when Joe, mentioned earlier, posted this review on my Facebook page. “I would like to thank Sue Canfield for sharing her expertise of social media marketing best practices with me. What I like most about Sue is she listens to get to know your unique situation and answers questions in a logical and practical manner that is easily understandable. The fact she has done it all organically speaks for itself! Thank you Sue!”
Yes, organic SEO does work!