Note: This is the 5th article of 6 in the series, Taming the SEO Monster. Part 1, Understanding the Beast, Part 2, Forms of Searches, Part 3, Incorporating SEO in Your Website, and Part 4 SEO Tools are full of great information to help you build your foundation of knowledge about SEO. — Hanna Schoenrock, Editor
When I first started Cherished Keepsakes, like all start-ups, I had no money for paid SEO. But because marketing is part of my background, I knew how to do some things on my own to get top results.
Budget = $0
After I launched my site, I made sure the keywords that people search for were included in the content of my website. The key here is to make sure the keywords aren’t embedded in pictures. Instead, embed your keywords in things readable by Google. Most of my strategy focused on getting top image results and focusing my content on products that weren’t saturated with competitors.
Give people what they are searching for
I knew my clients like to see samples when they are deciding how to honor their loved one. So, I applied this to the pictures on my site. I made nice, elegant samples that would show well online. One of my hacks was using a colored background to help grab attention in a sea of rankings.
Be deliberate in your focus
I knew I wouldn’t be listed as a top result online for buttons, so I focused on having top listings on image searches. That’s how people search for products like mine. These screenshots were taken on January 15, 2021. I’m not listed at all on the regular search, but when you click on Images, there I am, all over the results. I got these rankings by naming my files different search terms, and they’ve been up there for years. It still brings revenue for me today. And all I spent was time.
Claim your Google My Business listing
I also claimed my Google My Business listing to capture local searches; it worked. What I mean by claiming your listing is that every business with a physical address is listed in Google. When you claim your listing and start monitoring it, Google boosts your rankings.
To boost my reputation I switched from posting reviews on my website to posting reviews through Google. There are tools to have those reviews shown on your site as well, so I wasn’t losing anything.
Where to put your money
I tried Facebook ads at first but stopped because it wasn’t converting. Everyone found me through Google. My clients are looking for a quick solution; funeral services happen quickly. Facebook ads work by being shown multiple times and when a person is ready to buy, your ad is there to convince them to buy from you. No one is thinking about our products once the funeral has passed, so Facebook didn’t work. Google did, so I put my money there.
Monitor and adjust
I set a $300 monthly budget put in the keywords — lots of them — and let it run. Ads requires regular monitoring and adjustments. I stopped because I didn’t have the time to devote to it. I say that because my personal rule is a 5x ROI (return on investment). For every $1 I spend on paid advertising, I want $5 back. When I was regularly monitoring and adjusting, I saw those returns. When I wasn’t, I still saw a 1.5-2x ROI. I will be starting it up again soon. This time, I will have someone overseeing it to maximize results.
In the 6th and final article, I’ll talk about creating an SEO strategy for your business.
Until then, transform your business into an amazing brand.
Images courtesy of George Paul III and Pixabay.
George Paul III is a branding expert and award-winning designer. He’s the Founder of Seize the Brand, an education platform designed to empower business owners by leveraging the power of branding to realize business and life goals.
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