57: Simple Smart SEO: Practical Tips for Improving Your Website’s Search Rankings

Listen on: Apple Podcast | Spotify

Get the Website That Sells Launch List: https://dearkatebrandstrategy.com/list

In this episode:

Welcome back to ‘How You Pictured It’! It’s been a while since our last get-together, and I’m thrilled to catch up. During our break, I’ve been busy crafting new offerings for you all, including launching my Showit template shop, and unveiling the Website Writer Workbook and Website Writer AI tools to make your website copywriting a breeze. You can check these out at dearkatebrandstrategy.com/shop.

But let’s dive into today’s meaty topic: SEO, or search engine optimization. It might sound daunting, but trust me, it’s simpler than it appears. We’re going to unravel how to make sure our websites are Google’s best friend, making them visible to the right crowd.

Today, we’ll talk about three key strategies – utilizing the precise words people actually search for, structuring our web pages for ease of use, and tagging everything properly. I’ll share how making slight adjustments, with tools like SEMrush or Google’s Keyword Planner and ImageOptim, can significantly impact your site’s visibility.

We’ll also cover how to write content that engages users first – because, at the end of the day, it’s all about making sure they find what they need on our sites. Plus, I’ll touch on some off-page SEO strategies to take your site’s visibility up a notch.

Whether you’re a newbie just starting out or looking to refine your strategy, these insights are designed to help you navigate the SEO maze with ease. If you’re diving into SEO for the first time or just looking to brush up, I hope this episode sheds light on how straightforward it can really be. Feel free to reach out on Instagram @dearkatebrandstrategy with any questions! Looking forward to our next chat; there’s more where this came from!

Topics by timestamp:

00:00 Introduction and Welcome Back

00:36 Understanding SEO Basics

01:10 Optimizing Website Design for SEO

01:33 Keyword Research and Usage

04:59 Structuring Web Pages for SEO

08:07 Image Optimization and Labeling

10:44 SEO Titles, Meta Descriptions, and URLs

12:46 Off Page SEO and Final Thoughts

Follow Dear Kate Brand Strategy on Instagram
Learn more at Howyoupicturedit.com

Kate (2): 0:14

Welcome back to how you pictured it. We’ve been on a hiatus for a couple of months now, there haven’t been new episodes in a little while. I have been working behind the scenes on building my Showit template shop and getting that launched. I also launched the website writer, workbook, and website writer, AI tools to help you write your website. Copy. I’m so excited that those things are all live now and you can find them at dearkatebrandstrategy.com/shop, but I’m super excited to get back into the podcast.ATR2100x-USB Microphone: 0:44

Today, we’re jumping into a topic that often gets over complicated. It can be complicated, but we can simplify it too. We’re talking about S E O which stands for search engine optimization. When you break it down to what that actually means, it is figuring out ways to make sure that Google. Understands what our website is about and knows who to show it to in search results. Google wants to serve people the very best results for the term that they’re searching for. They want to make sure that the content that they’re providing fits the needs of its consumers. That’s what makes Google continue to run and be one of the top search engines.1:19

Google’s algorithm is what gets people coming back to use it for search over and over again.ATR2100x-USB Microphone-7: 1:24

when we’re creating our website and adding content, we want to make sure that everything that we include helps Google to understand what the page is about, who it’s for and how it’s going to help those people. By properly structuring our pages, including labels and the right words. We’re helping Google serve our website to the right people.ATR2100x-USB Microphone-8: 1:41

Today. I want to talk about those three things. One using the right words to structuring our pages and three, including labels. When I say using the right words, there’s a couple of things that, I mean, one is going to be the keywords. Keywords or the search terms that somebody is going to be putting into Google to find your page. Oftentimes we use kind of jargony language, not realizing that that’s not what someone’s actually searching for. The word investment is the one that comes to mind the most. No one is looking up photography, investment. They’re looking up photography pricing. So step one is going to be thinking through the words people are actually using when they’re searching for your business, what questions do they have? What do they want to know? I recommend jotting down all of those terms. All of those words. And questions that you can think ofATR2100x-USB Microphone-9: 2:22

And then heading to a tool like SEMrush or Google’s keyword planner.ATR2100x-USB Microphone-8: 2:27

In these tools, we can see how those search terms are performing. We can see how many people are looking for that search term. We can see how heavy the competition is for it go from there to decide which terms we want to target on our website. You’re going to want to go after terms that have high volume and low competition. So lots of people looking for it, but not very many people using them on their website to target clients.ATR2100x-USB Microphone-10: 2:49

If you have an existing website, I also recommend installing Google analytics and Google search console and checking what terms you’re already ranking for. What are people clicking to? What pages are ranking highest. And optimize more for those keywords or adjust your strategy if you’re not getting the right keywords per page.ATR2100x-USB Microphone-8: 3:06

The second part about using the right words is writing in language that people actually want to read.ATR2100x-USB Microphone-11: 3:11

At one point, putting a bunch of keywords on a page was the thing to do. Google could see those keywords and would provide those results. Now Google prioritizes presenting, helpful, reliable information that’s created with people in mind first.Kate (2): 3:25

In other words, we’re no longer writing to rank for search engines. We’re writing for the people that we want coming to our website. Google offers a few suggestions when it comes to making your content people first. The first is again, to watch the jargon and use the words that people are actually using to search for your services. Second is making the text easy to read and well-organized. Make sure there’s enough space for the eye to move around and find things. Make sure that there’s enough space between elements. So it’s easy for the eye to move around the page. Breakup long content into paragraphs and sections use things like bullet points. Bold and italics to help make things more skimmable. Third is making sure that the content that you’ve written is unique. Not only is it plagiarism, but it’s not going to get you anywhere. Google sees that duplicate content and won’t show your result anyway. And then finally it’s making sure that the content that you’re providing is up to date. So if you have an old post that’s ranking, well, and it’s no longer accurate go back and make some changes to that post to make sure that everything is up to date, you can re edit photos. If you’re a photographer, you can redirect them to something that’s more current. You can put disclaimers at the top saying this is the new change or update to this article. I want to emphasize here that if you’re not doing this step one and really using the right words and thinking through how people are interacting with your site. Then I wouldn’t spend a whole lot of time on step two or step three, because Google again is prioritizing that content that is written for people. Step two and three, really more relate to how the search engine sees the site versus how people see the site. So again, people first. Step one first. Using the right words first. Let’s get into our second topic now. Now we’re talking, structuring our pages. So for this, I mean, a couple of things. One, this does go back to that people first initiative, where we want to make sure that the layout of the website is easy for people to use. Putting all of the information about one service on a page versus having a separate pricing page, and a separate gallery page, and a separate testimonials page is going to be more beneficial for both your search engine results and for the people using the site. A services page would include all of those things. Examples of your work, your pricing, what the service is like, the experience, the testimonials from people that have experienced it. we can keyword that whole page to be focused on that topic. The other piece of page structure I want to mention is using our headings tags. Each piece of text on your website is assigned a certain tag. So it can be an H one tag H two H three H four paragraph or div or nav.. I do have an Instagram post with more details on this, But basically we’re using these tags to act as an outline for our page. So H one is the topic of the page. That’s where our main keyword is. We only use that H one tag one time per page. But that is telling Google the main topic of the page. Then our H two is breaking it down into subheadings. And H three is headings below that. We’re going to use the paragraph tag on the more paragraph style blocks of texts throughout our page. Then the div and the nav are used for other elements. Nav is only used in the main navigation and in the footer navigation of your page. And our div tag is used on any buttons throughout the page or any. text element that is more of a design element. So say you put a number to something like this is step number three. I would label that as a div tag. The other topic I want to cover under this site structure heading. Is going to be the load speed. People are very impatient and if your website is loading really slowly, Google’s not going to display that because they know that people are going to click away from it very fast. So we want to make sure that we’re resizing all of our images to fit what our website platform recommends. On showit that’s 3,500 pixels on the long side of the image and 72 DPI. I recommend also compressing your images from there. There’s a program that I use called image Optum. That’s another reason that I’m not a huge fan of portfolio pages, because those are so image heavy, they do load slower than a page that has images sprinkled throughout. You’ll also want to make sure that any videos you’re using on your site are either hosted elsewhere. So embedded from Vimeo or YouTube or something like descript. Or they are resized to be eight megabytes or smaller. There’s a website called eight M B dot video that will resize all of your videos to eight megabytes or smaller. If you want to load them as canvas backgrounds in show it. All right. Let’s jump into our third topic, which is including labels. So we’ve got the structure of the page down. We’ve got the right words on the page. Now we’re going to go a step further and make sure that everything on our page is properly labeled. Let’s start with the images since we were just talking about image sizes. With our photos before we upload them to our website. It’s a really good idea to rename the files. While the file names are probably a really small part of what Google is looking at. They are looking at that. And more keywords and context to your website to help you go again, show you in their search results. If you’re not renaming your images, you’re likely putting something up. That’s DSC underscore oh 3, 9, 5. And that’s really just a waste of space. When we’re renaming our images, we wanted to think through what key words fit that image and how it’s going to be used on our website. On a Mac it’s pretty easy to batch rename a group of images. You just going to select them all and, uh, click file rename. and a little window will pop up that allows you to rename a group of images At the same time, Each image does not have to have a completely unique file name. You can create groups of images with very similar file names. Typically we’re just adding a sequence number at the end to keep them as separate image names. Formatting wise, we’re going to be putting dashes in between words or leaving spaces, but not using underscores. When I’m building a website, I have a folder of all of the images that I’m going to use. I typically break that folder down into categories. So for a photographer, if newborn photography was one of the services, I would have a folder for that and then I would go in and batch rename those images in sets. So 10 of them would maybe be city named newborn photographer. The next 10 would be city named newborn pictures. And then the final group would be city name, newborn photography versus photographer. Thinking again, through those keywords that people are going to be searching. We’ve got our list from step one, and we’re going to use those within our file names and then again on our next step, which is within our labels on our website platform. Each platform is going to be slightly different, but within show at each image has two SEO fields to complete. First, the SEO title. You can reuse the file name for this, or you can come up with another keyword that would fit how you’ve used that image within the page. And then our alt text is going to be a description of the actual image. We can sometimes add keywords in here, but it has to flow naturally we are using alt texts to describe the image to someone who maybe can’t see it or for our website reader. Going back to our newborn photography example, alt texts for an image could be something like”newborn, baby boy on blue background in city name, newborn photography studio. That way we’re still describing the image, telling people what it’s about, but also weaving a keyword into it. If you have the time go through and add both of those pieces of information for every photo on your website. Otherwise, just start with the images that stand out to you the most on each page. Our next task in our labeling section is going to be to make sure each page has an SEO title and an SEO meta-description. SEO titles, tell what the page is about. In Google search results, this is often the text that shows up right under the link. It needs to be clear and help people understand that the result is what they’re looking for. We’ll use our keywords here as well. And then the next piece of information we need to make sure is included is a meta description. A meta description can be a sentence, but doesn’t have to be. It’s a further description of what the page is about and what’s on the page. What we really don’t want to do here is just stuff a string of keywords. We want to be descriptive and give people enough information that they want to click to that page. It’s important that the SEO title and meta description is different for each page of your website, for instance, a search shows multiple pages of your website under the same term, people know which one to click to, to get the information that they actually want and need. The final place we can put an SEO keyword for each page is in the actual URL of the page. So instead of dear Kate studios.com/about mine says, dear Kate studios.com/about Fort Collins, newborn photographer. So I’m getting my keyword in there And helping Google again, understand what that page is about specifically. To recap, we’ve covered finding the right words and using them on your website, structuring your pages and using labels. One thing I want to mention as we wrap up this episode, is that not any single one of these things is going to be, make or break on your website though? I will say having the right words is a top priority. Another thing to remember is who your competition is. Are you competing for keywords with local businesses who aren’t doing any of these SEO things, then any little improvement that you make to your site is going to be exponential in terms of results. If you’re competing against someone who’s hiring for SEO, that’s going to be a little more challenging, but keep in mind again, just who you’re competing against and how much time you actually want to spend. optimizing your site. Lastly, this is all on page SEO. There’s also a whole category of SEO called off page SEO. Off page SEO is link-building, content marketing. Social media, public relations, guest posting brand mentions those kinds of things. If you have questions about that specifically, let me know. And I can do another episode going into more detail on how to build that off page SEO authority, but really starting with a good website that you’re driving traffic to is the first step. In the show notes, I’m linking to my free website that sells launch list. This is a fillable workbook style checklist That will walk you through each phase of building a website that sells for you. I’m sharing all of the details of figuring out your strategy, your copywriting, building and designing the site and then the SEO and getting seen. Again, you can find that in the show notes, I hope this has been helpful and really simplified some of those big SEO things for you. If you have more questions about SEO, feel free to message me over on Instagram at your Kate brand strategy. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of how you pictured it. I would love a rating or review on whatever podcast player you’re listening in. and I’ll talk to you again soon. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *