Want to know how to get your biz on Page 1 of Google WITHOUT paying for adverts? It’s all about the SEO baby!
SEO is a marathon not a sprint. There are no quick fixes! But if you're willing to put in the time it really is possible to do it yourself - I did!
Before I share with you my own journey of how I went from being on found on page 29 of Google (non-existent!) to Page 1, let’s first ask …
What does SEO mean?
Until launching my own website I hadn’t even heard of SEO.
I had absolutely no idea that once my website went live that it wouldn’t magically start appearing on Google. Boy, was I in for a shock!
SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and it is the process which increases the visibility of your website in search engines (e.g. Google).
Why is SEO so important?
A wise woman named Louise (I’ll share more about her shortly) once said that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one marketing basket.
A lot of small business owners nowadays concentrate solely on their social media accounts - forgetting about other equally important marketing avenues such as their websites and databases of email sign-ups.
Hands up if you DON’T use Google to find solutions to your problems … Exactly! I don’t see many hands up right now, ‘cause just about EVERYONE uses search engines to search for stuff!
If you have a website, online store or blog then SEO helps grow your business!
But it’s not good enough to show up on page 20 of Google. Who the heck clicks or scrolls for that long?! Nope, you need to be on the first couple of pages otherwise people will not know your business even exists.
The great thing about SEO is that it actually serves a few purposes. If done right you’ll not only become more visible, but the overall experience your website gives visitors in terms of usability is likely to improve.
How to improve your website’s SEO
There is a checklist of things you need to do in order optimize your site (and get it ranking well), but it doesn't end there. SEO should be an ongoing part of your website maintenance.
Here’s a very basic summary of some of the tasks the SEO checklist includes:
What are keywords?
Keywords are words or phrases that best describe the content on your page. They are the search terms that you want to rank well for. They are the things that people search for in Google when looking for the services you provide or the products you sell.
Examples of keywords are:
“Virtual Assistant Hamilton”
“Mexican Restaurant Cambridge”
The two main components of SEO are:
On-Page: These are the things you can do to your website and its content to make it search friendly.
Off-Page: These are ways to promote your website or blog so that they rank higher in search results:
To achieve the best results you need to work on both your on-page and off-page SEO.
Can I do my own SEO?
Absolutely! I did!
Over the past few years I have done a few SEO courses and by far the one I rate the most is run by Louise Blakely from Hooked on Marketing.
Louise not only knows her stuff, but she teaches SEO in such a way that it isn’t overwhelming. She breaks it down into really manageable bites so it all makes sense. But I think what I love most about Louise is that there is no such thing as a dumb question.
How long does it take to see results?
This is not an easy question to answer as it depends on the business and how competitive their keywords are.
The advice I give my clients is that it generally takes 3 - 6 months to start seeing results in terms of increased traffic to your website. But there are a lot of variables.
It’s also important to remember that once you get on Page 1 of Google for a particular keyword, there is ongoing maintenance you need to carry out in order to stay there!
My SEO journey
If you’ve read this far then I think you’ve pretty much got the gist of how I got on Page 1 of Google for the majority of my keywords, but here’s a recap.
Launched my website. Proud as punch. Waited for clients to start calling.
No calls. Hmmmmm.
Furiously Googled various search terms looking for My Girl Friday to appear …
Freaked out ‘cause I’m not showing up anywhere!
Googled SEO and freaked out even more as it sounds HIDEOUS!
Did a SEO challenge - and course from Aussie. Total overwhelm. So technical!
Found the amazing Louise Blakely of Hooked on Marketing - NZ’s SEO guru.
Implemented all of the knowledge I’ve just inhaled from Louise.
Watched loads of SEO website audit videos online (OMG - so addictive!).
Waited for weeks. Tweaked. Waited some more.
Checked rankings again. WTF?! Page 1!
Happy dance. Champagne purchased and enjoyed.
Got more SEO questions?
My Girl Friday has helped a few clients out with their SEO with some fantastic results.
Hey there! Thanks for reading this all the way to the end! I’m Sam - the author of this blog post.
I’m a virtual assistant, a Jack (or Jill!) of all trades … a Girl Friday who loves nothing more than to help small business owners and freelancers with their website, social media, SEO, branding and administration worries.