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In this post, learn how to earn extra income with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
If you are serious about generating income from your creative product or service, a website is essential. However, building the website is just the first step. Just as important as creating a good website is ensuring people find and visit your website.
The more traffic you draw to your site, the higher the chance you will close a sale or “convert” your traffic into income.
In a previous post, I outlined 7 ways to promote your website. This is an extension of that post and in this article, we explore tips on how to optimize your website for Google for creatives.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You need to learn to optimize your website for SEO purposes. That means making your website easy for search engines to index and rank.
Being “Google friendly” is vital since Google is the world’s most popular search engine. There are different ways to optimize your website but one important thing to do, especially for new websites, is to verify your website with Google Webmaster Tools.
You will need a Google account and follow the steps to verify your website. This may seem a bit technical and overwhelming but the support documentation is good that helps you along the way. You will need to have access to your domain registrar. Verifying your website is important to get it indexed on Google.
There are “tips & tricks” to get ranked higher and faster on Google but that has changed in recent years due to the way Google sets their search algorithm and other parameters. This is not a course on SEO and I am not a top-level expert. SEO strategies and tactics are very fluid so I suggest looking for a professional to assist with your SEO.
There are, however, four immutable factors that improve SEO:
Key Word Relevance
When thinking about SEO, you need to consider which keywords you want to try to “own”. This refers to the keywords a person enters into Google to find what they are looking for.
If you are a designer, you might naturally think about ranking the keyword “designer” but that is too broad a category. You need to be more specific and targeted. For example, you need to specify the type of designer you are. And you might want to specify what market you want to target or what geographical region you want to target.
So, “graphic designer for posters in Sydney” is much better than “designer in Australia”.
Similarly, if you are an entertainer, you would naturally want a keyword that describes your art. For example, “juggler”, “acrobat”, “magician”, “singer” etc.
However, the level of competition you have with other entertainers “fighting” for that same keyword depends on the size of your industry. For example, if you are a singer, it will be very difficult to rank highly on Google because of the sheer number of singers and the size of the industry. You will be competing with all kinds of singers from recording artistes, session singers to cabaret acts, touring shows and lounge singers.
So, you will want to add either a specific style or geographic location to your art and try to rank high in that search term.
In my case, my desired keyword is “Asia Illusionist”. It describes my entertainment art form but also my primary market and locality (Even though Asia is huge).
Based on the work I put into optimizing my website, my website ranks #1, and even #2, #3 and #4 at times, for the keywords “Asia Illusionist”, “Illusionist Asia”, “Asian Illusionist” and “Singapore Illusionist”.
This means that any time someone Googles for an illusionist in Asia or Singapore, my name will appear multiple times. Hits and links will include my website, YouTube Channel and/ or media articles that I was featured in. This not only ensures that I’m always found when someone is looking for an Asian illusionist but it also increases my credibility because I dominate the results in the keyword search.
There are multiple ways to rank high on Google but it requires time, know-how and some savvy. Do a search online for articles and services on how to rank high in the keyword of your choice.
Regular Good Content
Having well-written, useful and substantial content is the best way to ensure your website is indexed and ranked high by Google. In addition, the nature of featuring good content means people will visit your website regularly or share it; thus increasing your SEO at the same time.
Updating information, photos and videos regularly (or even semi-regularly) will ensure you keep in Google’s good books.
Back links refer to hyperlinks from other websites back to your website. So, if a blogger blogs about you and links your website from his blog, he would have created a back link. The more back links you get from a variety of websites, the higher your chances of being ranked well on Google. If the websites that back link to you have high traffic, this will increase the importance of your website in Google’s eyes.
Google did an update on April 21, 2015 with a significant new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that is designed to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results.
This basically means that websites that are mobile friendly and responsive will be ranked higher than others that are not. If your website was designed more than 3 years ago and not updated for mobile responsiveness, there is a good chance, it may not be Google mobile friendly. To check if your website passes Google’s test, use their Mobile-Friendly Test here.
If you promo website is not mobile-friendly, check with a web designer to see if it can be converted to one. If not, now may be a good time to get a new website!
The Essential Search Engine Checklist
If you are a creative professional, whether full-time or part-time, or just someone who wants to make some extra cash with your hobby, a website is essential to sell your product or service, serve as a sales fulfilment platform or showcase your portfolio.
Just as important as it is to create a quality website with valuable content for readers, you need to ensure that your website is search engine-friendly or more importantly, “Google friendly”.
Backstage Business Academy contributor & SEO Specialist, Joseph Then, has written a checklist of essential things you need to do to ensure that your website is Google friendly and it is FREE for subscribers!