Tell Me About SEO

Everyone wants to know what they can do so that their website gets found in a web search. “Tell me about SEO,” asks a client. “Do I have to pay for my website to rank high in a Google search?”

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.SEO screenshot

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!

Grow Your Nonfiction Author Business in January

Each month this year we’ll provide a short tip to help you grow your nonfiction author business.

This month’s tip: Write a blog post.

Blogging builds your expertise in your field as well as your reputation for generosity. Being known as a generous expert will result in referrals and more business. And search engines love fresh content. The best SEO is a steady stream of fresh content.

What’s your expertise? Share it in the comments with a link to your blog so I can share it.

The Series


5 Ways to Provide the Fresh Blog Content Your Fans Crave

We’ve all seen a teenager open the refrigerator for the thirteenth time hoping miraculously that a pizza has appeared where only broccoli lay before.

There’s a marvelous scene in one of the Crocodile Dundee movies where someone points out that his hotel room has a television. He turns it on saying, “I’ve seen television before.” As the I Love Lucy theme fades in he says, “Yup, that’s what was on”.

Can you imagine if the food in the fridge really never changed or if the show on television was actually always the same?

There are some activities in life which hinge on variety, newness, change, to keep our attention. Eating the same foods over and over again gets boring fast – even pizza.

The single greatest reason for potential fans (which means potential purchasers of your book) to visit your website is to find something new.

… more … “5 Ways to Provide the Fresh Blog Content Your Fans Crave”

5 Tips for Blog Posts

five tips for your blog postsSince your blog is your marketing foundation, you want to be sure to follow these five tips for your blog posts:

  1. Create a conversation. To do that ask questions, invite others to write guest posts, respond to reader comments.
  2. Add links to other sites with information relevant to your topic.
  3. Always add an image to your post. I take a lot of my own pictures and create images. People are more likely to read something visually appealing. Then you can also add it to your Pinterest board.
  4. Use an SEO plug in such as Yoast to be sure you’re getting good SEO on every blog post.
  5. Share your blog posts on all your social media networks.

Please share your tips in the comments section!

Do You Know How to Create Attention-Grabbing Titles? Guest Post by Deb Lamb

I’ve known Deb for many years and can highly recommend her work. I’m very pleased to have her guest post today and hope you enjoy it.

The titles you create for your blog posts and articles serve as a first impression. It is the initial point of contact between your content and the reader. If you have a lackluster title, potential readers are less likely to read the rest of your content. To draw them in, your title needs to be enticing and full of promise. It needs to create a reaction in the reader.

Even the most profound piece of writing will see a low readership if the title doesn’t sound appealing enough to lure them in. Remember that today’s Internet user has a short attention span. If you do not grab their attention quickly, they will overlook you and move on to the next piece of content.

If you want to create headlines that will draw in the most readers, here are the things you need to do:

Focus on the emotions 

The majority of our choices are based on emotions. If you create a title that appeals to the emotions of the reader, they are more likely to read the content that follows it.

Your title should make the reader feel:

  • Respected
  • Confident
  • Safe
  • Proud
  • Sexy
  • Energetic
  • Wealthy
  • Attractive
  • Inspired
  • Powerful
  • Motivated

Some examples of this include: Do You Know How to Earn Respect from Your Employees and Colleagues? Or, 10 Tips for Motivation and Inspiration in your Daily Life. 

Empower the reader 

You is a very powerful word to include in your headlines. It makes your reader feel like you are talking directly to them, and they are important and the ones in control. It gives you a chance to speak to the reader on a personal level. Your title tells them that you are interested in helping them find the answer they are looking for.

An example of a title that empowers would be, How You Can Reignite the Passion in Your Dull Marriage.

Use an active voice 

Your title is not the place for passive voice. Leave out words like “might” or “could.” Make sure you are arranging words to sound more commanding. For example, instead of a title that says 5 Ways to Control Your Sugar Craving, you can reword it like this: Control Your Sugar Craving in 5 Simple Steps.

Some other ways to create powerful titles include:

-Asking a question: Do You Want to Earn $1,000 This Week?

-Making promises: Earn $1,000 This Week!

-Sound newsworthy: New System Guarantees $1,000 Weekly

As you sit down to create your title, you need to know who you are trying to reach and inspire. Who is your target reader? A title that appeals most to one person may not be as appealing to another. Create the right headline for the right target so you can ensure that you hit the mark each and every time.

Deb LambDeb Lamb of Your Everything Services is a Ghostwriter and Content Creator who specializes in eBook creations, SEO article writing, article marketing, blog writing and web copy. She has authored hundreds of articles published on the web and assists business owners with stunning content creation. Visit her Ghostwriting website to find out how she can add passion and spark to your content. Your content. Our passion!