When someone calls me to ask about content and SEO, one of the first questions they ask is what an “SEO friendly” website means, and why it benefits them. Recently I had this conversation with a photographer, but the reality is that you can easily adjust this information depending on the industry. The following comes directly from that email exchange, with a few edits to make it blog post ready.
Here is a basic rundown of how to make an SEO friendly website. Thankfully the idea behind an SEO friendly website is not too difficult. It’s only the execution that ends up being a challenge. These are the basics:
– Every service should have its own page.
– Every location you service should have its own page.
– Blog should have words, not just photos or video.
That’s it. There are nuances here and there that savvy businesses will exploit, but if you don’t want to go “all in” in SEO, this is the simplest and most effective way to create a website that is SEO ready.
Imagine that a search engine is a 2 year old child. 2 year olds love telling others about you, but the only way they can do that is if they learn each thing individually, because 2 year olds are really bad at understanding relationships. Example – if you tell a 2 year old you were born in Sacramento, they have no idea that you could be born in or around Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, etc., or that those cities are close enough that for all intents and purposes it is interchangeable. All they know is you told them Sacramento.
Similarly, if you tell a 2 year old you do wedding photography, they won’t have any idea you do engagement photography. They don’t understand that you can do other things.Search engines are essentially 2 year olds with an excellent memory and vocabulary. Every city you want to do work in, every service you want to offer – each one needs its own page about that city or service.
More = Better
In addition, as we know from science, the more you talk to your children the more they learn. Content works the same way. The more content you have, the more search engines know about you and understand you, and the smarter they will be. That’s why a lot of pages, a lot of blog posts, etc., will help you compete in search engines.
Those are the basics. So if you’re a photographer, you’d have a website with a site structure like this:
– Home Page
– About You
— Sacramento Photographer
— Elk Grove Photographer
— Folsom Photographer
– Service Page (Overview)
— Wedding Photography
— Engagement Photography
— Family Photography
There are certainly ways you can expand, but that is the most basic, effective site outline possible.
Doing More to Grow and Compete
Obviously there is more you CAN do. The key to performing even better is to make sure you don’t limit yourself to the few you want to target. Grow your website as much as you can. Example – when I work with a larger investment, I continue onward with these pages – so under “Sacramento Photographer” I would then do “Sacramento Wedding Photographer,” and “Sacramento Engagement Photographer” and so on. Then I would do the same for Elk Grove, Folsom, etc. For Wedding Photography, I might expand to “Destination Wedding Photography” or a more specific service like “LGBT Wedding Photography” or “White Wedding Photography” or whatever else people might search for.
There’s basically no limit, and each time you add pages you are teaching Google more about you. Not every page is going to help you rise in search engines, but every page is going to provide search engines with more information about who you are and what key terms you should show up for.
If you’re interested in learning more about creating this content, or you would like me to come up with a site outline and create it for you, be sure and contact me today.