Learning to DIY your own messaging with copywriting tips AND being able to do it to speak to SEO is one of the healthiest learnings you can master as creative entrepreneur. But what SEO tips and tricks actually work?
I got ya.
Back, back, back it on up to 1999: I slaved over “ThE aShLyn SpoT~~**~” on Expages in sixth grade. It was fall, and back to school meant making new “Top 10 Cutest Couples in School” lists on our Angelfire and Expages websites.
Did anyone else do that?
Well, gone are the early 2000s days when designers built websites on Angelfire and Expage and “keyword stuffed” for SEO by adding white text on a white background of keywords.
The SEO game has changed, and in creative entrepreneurship, we obviously want to do our best to be discovered by those who don’t know us yet. I know conversion copywriting, but learning is SEO is something I’ve had to put time into figuring out.
Today, I want to unpack a few tips I’ve learned!
Combine this with conversion copywriting tips like I teach to be on your way to being found AND converting those browsers to buyers. Hit up this list of 44 Questions Your Website Must Answer to get started!
Have a robust website.
When you’re picking a website platform, my client and SEO expert Sarah suggests veering towards WordPress
I ran a pretty successful business off Squarespace for a couple of years, but I made the switch to Showit + a WordPress hosted blog in 2017 and have totally seen an uptick in my SEO.
“If you’re not comfortable managing plugins, or you’re brand new to SEO, Squarespace will cover all your SEO bases without a steep learning curve. But, if you already like the WordPress environment, the plethora of plugins will be more than sufficient for your SEO needs,” expert Brian Hughes says.
No matter what platform you want, find a designer (or DIY the design) that melds smarts with beauty — and puts SEO keywords all up in the back of your website.
For design, like I said, I really like the option that I can integrate a Showit template with a WordPress blog … best of both worlds!
Some of my favorite resources for templates are:
Tonic Site Shop, enter “ASHLYNSENTME” to get $100 off
With Grace & Gold, enter ASHLYN10 to get 10% off
Side note—I would recommend finding a hosting company that ISN’T your website design paltform. Just my opinion, but it’s easier to switch in the future if you pick a neutral hosting company and “point” your website to it.
I’ve tried a lot, and Bluehost is my favorite for a few reasons—
- If I switch platforms (like I did from Squarespace to Showit) nothing got lost in translation.
- It’s *mostly* user-friendly. Some of this stuff gets techy, but the Bluehost interface is pretty much easy to navigate.
- Bluehost is pretty cheap, which means you can buy up domains when you think of them to stick your stake in the ground, for about the price of a few coffees.
- 24/7 SUPPORT & CHAT!!! This is huge—I mean, if you’re doing a launch and you’re up at midnight, or just working late, this is really huge for being a work-from-home-small business!
Plug in smart keywords beyond your blog.
So how do you do that? Use the most often searched for terms in the space YOU want to be known for, and put them in:
- Headings and Content
- Images and Alt Text
I’m not an affiliate for this or anything, but Ben Turner creates THE BEST SEO trainings for creatives who have zero idea what they’re doing. I’m obsessed. Seriously (Hi, Ben! Sorry I’m being weird!).
They’re made for wedding photographers, but if that’s even somewhat in your realm, you’ll benefit from the courses—I’ve done some of his paid and free ones, and they’re great!
As a copywriter, this is where my magic wand comes in, because it’s my heart that you don’t sound like a bot when you’re trying to talk to Google AND to your ideal client. Don’t sacrifice one for the other! Blend your copywriting with SEO for best results.
Best tip for SEO headlines when it comes to blogs? I lead with the SEO term, and then rewrite the title about 5 times until it sounds like something I’d actually say.
For actual conversion-ready headlines, I try to put in 1-2 of the keywords … but don’t stress too much about it. I let the images and other pieces of the website (i.e. blog) pull the bulk of the SEO weight.
Bonus tip—don’t forget about keywords that may have less competition. What if instead of “Atlanta wedding photographer” you said “Piedmont Driving Club wedding” in your post a few times, to pull brides looking to plan their country club wedding your way?
DIY your own public relations for backlinks.
Get some Google juice by popping up on guest blogs and publication websites. Submit your weddings, pitch yourself for guest blogs and podcast interviews (that have a website, of course, for show notes), and target editors that need a quote from an expert in your industry for a story.
I’ve seen this really help me out a lot as time goes by!
Before I started my business, I worked in marketing & PR—I actually loved sending out pitches and trying to secure media coverage for my clients.
In this video below, I’ll hand over 5 steps to walk through as you create your own pitch email template to keep on file when you’re ready to reach out about a podcast interview, guest post, print publication coverage, and more.
Automate social media platforms to share your content.
Over time, I can absolutely say this helps too—we get a lot of website traffic from Pinterest and YouTube, yes, but what’s REALLY cool is how Google pulls things like YouTube videos or Pinterest boards in from search.
Sharing on social media constantly can be super tough, so I like to knock it out in one batch day: I schedule out everything for Facebook, Google+ (hi, Google), and Instagram (as well as the blog) on Mondays using CoSchedule, while my right-hand girl Kate tees up everything for Pinterest in Tailwind.
I tried a few options, starting with CoSchedule, left it, tried a few more, and I’m back on CoSchedule … ha! If you have several social media platforms or content outlets, I really don’t think it can be beat. Click here to try it for free for 14 days!
Again, this is just helping to grow your footprint a bit more.
Optimize your blog posts (and yes, you have to have a blog).
Okay, back to the first tip I shared.
A student asked me last week if I thought blogging was dead, and I don’t.
Mostly because it’s SEO juice, and also because I still like it! I like blogging, and I like reading blogs when I need some tips!
Again, I can’t say enough about Ben Turner’s resources here, because they taught me so much.
The basics I learned were that when writing copy for your blogs, this is where your content copywriting gets supercharged with SEO hacks. Add in keywords to your post, the first sentence, the headline, the alt text, and the meta description. When filing your post, tag 4 relevant, super unique tags (think vendor names, “Georgia estate wedding,” “Southern wedding,” etc.). Sort it into a category or two (but three max), and dash in a few internal links to your home page, services page, or other blog posts.
Cultivating a go-to blog writing workflow has helped me so much here!
In this video below, get some info on:
- 6 questions to ask yourself before writing a blog post
- The 5-point outline I use for most blogs
- How to bake in blogpost content gold into your post
Does that get your (Google) juices flowing on SEO? I sure hope so!
Again, you need to combine SEO tricks like this WITH conversion copywriting tips like I teach to be on your way to being found AND converting those browsers to buyers. Don’t forget to grab my 44 Questions Your Website Must Answer to get started!