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If you want more people to find your website, you may have heard that you “must” do SEO (search engine optimization).
And when you start researching how, you become overwhelmed by all the technical aspects of it, or even some actions may feel disingenuous to you, that they want you to do things to “beat the competition”, rather than come from a place of service.
In this post I hope to de-mystify SEO for us spiritually-oriented small business owners.
Once you finish reading this, you’ll be able to take simple and genuine actions to improve your SEO without having to do much technical work at all, and without trying to “game the system”… but instead, simply doing your “SEO” from an intention of loving service toward your ideal audience.
To give you some context:
Search engine algorithms change very frequently. Every year, Google Search changes several hundred times in minor ways, and half a dozen times in major ways… how is a conscientious business owner, with an online presence, supposed to keep up with that?
1. You might think you need to hire an SEO firm. The problem is that there are a lot of SEO marketing scams out there, and a reputable SEO firm will cost you in the neighborhood of $1,000 per month.
2. You could try to keep up with the algorithm changes yourself, which is very exhausting… not at all recommended.
3. Or, here’s an authentic and service-oriented way to think about it:
The higher purpose of the search algorithm changes are to make the search engine work more efficiently for the user.
… so if we stay true to that primary intent, we will be fine — year after year — without having to try to keep up.
Google’s own SEO guide says:
“You should base your optimization decisions first and foremost on what is best for the visitors of your site.”
If you’re a small business earning less than $10,000/month (an arbitrary number but I’m keeping this guide as simple as possible), I would recommend not hiring any person or company to do your SEO, and not worrying about the technical aspects of SEO.
By simply following the guidelines in this post, you’ll already be doing better SEO than most.
When your ideal customer is searching for services like yours, can they easily find you?
The Main Factors & Actions for Authentic SEO
…for whether your website ranks highly on search engines:
Factor 1. The quantity quality *and* quantity of content, on your website, that is relevant to the “keyword” (a word, phrase, or question) that your ideal client is searching. For example, if your ideal client is searching for the keyword “energy healing” and you have a lot of blog posts about energy healing, or even just a few high quality — helpful and entertaining — webpages about energy healing, then your website will come up more often in searches.
Create higher quality, and more, content on your website, relevant to what your ideal clients are searching for.
Factor 2. This means you should get to know what your ideal clients are searching for online. How do you find out? This is called “keyword reseach” and I’ll address this later.
Do some keyword research regularly (at least once a year).
Factor 3. How much online competition is there for the keyword that you want to be found for? I’ll address keyword competition below.
Choose low-competition keywords, that are also relevant to your ideal clients, and create helpful content on those topics.
Factor 4. Whether *other* relevant websites have linked to yours… this is called a “backlink.” For example, if another blog post has the phrase “energy healing” hyperlinked to your webpage, this tells the search engines that your webpage should come up when people search “energy healing”. Having other *relevant* websites link to your site is very helpful in SEO.
Share the best content from your website (e.g. the best blog posts or resource pages) with other relevant websites, and if they find it helpful, invite them to link to it.
Factor 5. Are you listed in relevant directories, especially listings of local businesses?
Search for directories of businesses like yours, and consider submitting your website link there. Don’t pay for any directory linkings unless you’ve heard from other people that it’s really helpful. The best free directory that can really make a difference is Google Business — go and set up your business listing there. If you don’t want people to knock on your door, then choose the “service area” checkbox.
Make your website a truly valuable resource for your ideal client, by creating helpful (and ideally, also entertaining) content on your website — that you *know* they are looking for — and sharing those pages with the world (e.g. on social media) so others can find and perhaps link to it.
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