As a personal brand, small business CEO, coach, or healer, you’re likely interested in passive marketing tactics that bring customers right to you. Passive or ¨inbound¨ marketing is great because, when done right, you get a long term escalating payoff for your minimal up front efforts.
To get known and get clients, with no spending is the idea here. Personally, I’m a fan of playing the long game and empire building! If this approach sounds appealing to you, there’s one thing you must capitalize on: SEO for personal brands and small business.
What Is SEO For Personal Brands?
SEO for personal brands is the process of coaches, healers and other personal brands or small business CEOs optimizing their websites and blog content to maximize their online search potential. It helps you get seen, known and get booked by complete strangers who are not part of your existing audience.
In essence it works because when a personal brand executes on its SEO strategy, quality potential clients who are looking for the goods or services the brand provides will find their way to the brand’s website. Like flashing a pink neon sign in the desert night, they find you. It’s a valuable inbound strategy that drives growth and increases conversions with zero additional effort once set up. What’s not to get excited about?
How Can Organic Traffic Help Your Personal Brand?
First, let’s define organic traffic. Organic traffic is traffic that comes to your site as naturally as surfers go to find the waves in Hawaii. You aren’t paying Meta or anyone else per click here. Curiosity and unmet desire of people around the world is the only driver. If someone searches for something online and they go to your website to find what they’re looking for, that’s an organic lead. The great content, support and value you offer drew them in. It’s likely that your crystal clear copywriting helped too.
There are multiple ways organic traffic can help your personal brand. Let’s walk through some of the key ways and how they can enhance your credibility and effortlessly boost your reach, your sense of fulfillment, impact, and your bottom line.
Organic Traffic Yields Long-Term Growth
Many businesses like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising because it tends to get quick results. While PPC is one potential part of your overall digital marketing strategy, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in that basket. And in my opinion ad spending like PPC is not truly necessary.
I find PPC is great for short-term growth, but if you want sustainable, long-term natural business growth, you’ll need organic traffic to come to your site. Statistics show that organic search on Google is responsible for more than 59% of the world’s web traffic. The more your personal brand gets a piece of that percentage, the better, right? Let’s get you seen, known and booking more clients.
Organic Traffic Builds Credibility
One of the most important aspects of ranking well on Google is having a trustworthy website. The more people go to your website for the trustworthy and quality content you produce, the better your shot is at ranking on the first SERP (search engine results page). This is like winning gold or silver in the Olympics.
One of the most effective ways to get organic traffic and build credibility is to create content on your brand’s website. This can take the form of a blog, videos or free training programs which we’ll discuss down below.
Organic Traffic is Budget-Friendly
I´m still not into risky business ventures. I definitely wasn’t rolling in extra cash to gamble back when I established my first fashion brand, mid pandemic start up in Mexico. The truth is, like Facebook ads PPC advertising can get expensive, and if you aren’t sure how to run it, you risk losing money. On the other hand, investing in organic traffic and growing your website via SEO is a more budget-friendly option.
The only costs you need to consider are elements like the time for content creation, potential support in graphic design or copywriting and promotion. Spending time honing the clarity, precision and helpfulness of your copy is a priceless long-term investment. Great copy complements SEO like wine and cheese- a love story for the ages.
It also takes time to create your tailored content plan rooted in organic growth. But content creation and strategy can be a source of joy, creativity and aliveness if the subject fits your life´s mission. I like to think of it like a game that waters my money tree.
Organic Traffic Creates Brand Awareness
When you and your personal brand invests in SEO and increases its organic traffic, your brand awareness also increases. Think about it: more organic traffic means more people are visiting your website. The more people are visiting your website, the more they’re seeing and experiencing your brand. That’s why it’s crucial to look at what’s on your website from the user experience perspective. Ask yourself questions like…
What are they looking for exactly?
What is their greatest unmet desire in my area of expertise this season?
Now that you know a few key ways organic traffic can help your personal brand flourish in the long term, let’s chat about some pillars of your SEO strategy and how they’ll help you grow your brand into its next level of thriving. Sound good?
Pillar 1: Onsite SEO
Onsite SEO is just as simple it sounds; it’s when you optimize your website for search engines to find and rank. Statistics show that 75% of people who search online never click past the first page of results, and if you want your website on the first SERP, you need to prioritize onsite SEO. There are a few key elements to onsite SEO, but the ones listed below are some of the most crucial to adopt, especially if you wish to maximize impact without becoming a total SEO expert.
Keyword optimization is the process of researching keywords that people type into search engines and using your research to optimize your website and content to rank for that keyword. Perhaps you are a health coach wishing to guide people to a blog post that presents your juice cleanse tips and also contains a lead magnet to your email newsletter. One example of a keyword is “best juice cleanse recipe”.
If you wanted to rank on the first Google SERP for that keyword, you could start by doing an initial SERP analysis to see what kind of content is on the SERP linked to your topic.
In practical terms, all you do is enter your search term into the Google search bar and see what prompts come up. Then analyze what content comes up.
Pay special attention to things like:
- The type of content—are they videos, articles, podcast episodes, or a mix?
- The websites that come up on the first SERP—are they industry leaders who inspire you or friendly competitors?
- The information within the content—what kind of information does the content include, leave out and how is it presented? Is it visual, interactive, include a lot of details, etc.? These are all things to note, as they helped that content get on the first SERP.
There are plenty of tools you can use to do keyword research, and some even provide free versions for you to use. Keep in mind, though, that the free versions tend to be limited and only provide a fraction of the information you need to fully take advantage of keyword optimization.
Make Use of Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Alt Tags
Don’t let things like title tags, meta descriptions, and alt tags slip through the cracks on your website! These elements are vital parts of onsite SEO that, when filled in properly, can boost your ranking. First, let’s clarify what exactly these elements are and where they show up:
- Title tag—This is an HTML element that allows you to tell search engines what the title of your page is. This is the title of the page that shows up on the SERP.
- Title tag—This is an HTML element that allows you to tell search engines what the title of your page is. This is the title of the page that shows up on the SERP.
- Meta description—This is an HTML element that summarizes what your content is about. The meta description is the little blurb that shows up under the title tag on the first SERP.
- Alt tag—This is an HTML element that provides a description of a photo. For example, a photo you insert into a blog post offers a great opportunity to add Alt tag words. Choose any words that describe the situation and context.
Utilizing all these elements are essential because it gives Google a better idea of what your website and content is about. Think of it like adding more yummy courses to a free meal you are feeding Google, so Google is even more satiated with your excellent cooking and ready to brag to the world about your chef skills.
These elements also help create a more user-friendly experience on your website. The title tag and meta description give people a clear and accurate idea of what your web page is about. The alt tag comes in handy if an image doesn’t render; instead of there just being a blank space, there will be a description of what the image is. It takes a bit of time, but if you have a notepad with your SEO and descriptions handy, a simple copy and paste will suffice.When these elements are properly optimized, they can make SEO for personal brand strategy perform better and, therefore, give it a better shot at ranking higher.
Compressing Images and Video Files
While having images and videos on your website can help you online, images and videos that have large file sizes can hinder your ranking. This is because your website’s speed plays an important part in how Google chooses to rank you online.
People are used to getting instant gratification online, so if your website takes a long time to load, chances are they aren’t going to stick around. In fact, statistics show that website conversion rates drop by an average of 2.11% with each additional second of load time (between 0 and 9 seconds). If people are consistently leaving your website because something isn’t loading, your bounce rate increases, which could signal to Google to not rank your page on the first SERP.
Compressing your images and video files can help increase your website’s site speed without sacrificing visual quality. The key is to find the right format and compression ratio that still leaves you with a good quality visual element.
Fix Broken Links and Build High Quality Ones
Linking is another important part of your overall SEO strategy. Think of links as highly valuable roads on your website that lead to other relevant and useful content. The more valuable roads you have that lead to good content, the more it signals to Google that your website is worth ranking on the first SERP.
If you have a broken link on your site, it’s like having a broken road on your online map. The user was on a great journey until it was suddenly disrupted, which is not good at all. Broken links are bad for user experience, and they’re also bad in the eyes of Google. When Google crawls your web pages, they use links to go to each web page and evaluate its data. If a link is broken, it essentially stops the linking equity in its tracks – decreasing the SEO for luxury brands.
Fix any broken internal links and external links you find to avoid this issue and keep your links in good shape.
One way I like to scan for potential issues is ask five to ten reliable users to hop around my brand websites and search for broken links. Then I buy them dinner or a gift certificate for a massage as a thank you for this essential support.
It’s also important to build high quality links, meaning you create valuable content that other websites want to link to. Google looks at your backlink portfolio and factors it in when ranking your content, so the better links you build that other websites link to, the higher your chances are of ranking well on Google.
Create Yummy EAT Content
As a personal brand, you have developed some expertise in your area of choice, right? You can use that expertise to uplift your passive client incoming rate by creating EAT content. EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. It´s based on how well and often you tell your origin story, talk about your client wins, share testimonial stories, walk people through the client journey and share best practices or insights from your years in the game.
Google uses different indicators to determine how trustworthy and valuable your content is, which greatly factors how it ranks online.
Here are some tips for writing yummy, EAT content:
- Produce content you have expertise in. This is obvious, but so few coaches, healers, and personal brand creators do it on their personal website. You’ve made a name for yourself as a leading personal brand for a reason; now use some of that expertise and share it with the world to gain trust and authority within your online home space (not just social media).
- Make sure the content matches the intent of the keyword you’re targeting. People are searching for that keyword for a reason, so help them find what they’re looking for. Shifting your focus to what people are looking for rather than what most excites you, is a key mindset shift. SEO will support it.
- Only publish high-quality content. Every single piece of content your brand produces has your brand name on it. Make it the best it can be so it benefits and does not hinder your online presence. Art direction, color consistency and fonts matter.If it looks like a Canva Template, you likely won’t be perceived as an industry leader, rather a new kid on the block. The surest way to publish high-quality content includes hiring copy editors, video editors, graphic designers and freelance experts to ensure your personal brand has the professional polish it deserves.
- Use statistics, facts, studies, and other types of research in your content where it’s relevant. You can even do your own research and cite it. I won´t judge!
The more trustworthy and helpful your content is to the world community, the better chance it has for ranking well online. The better you rank online, the more dream clients show up on your virtual (or physical) doorstep requesting your services. Cha-ching!
Pillar 2: Offsite SEO
Offsite SEO, in addition to onsite SEO, is important for your overall SEO strategy. Offsite SEO is the process of having external sites link to your site. As a personal brand, you have a few good options for maximizing your offsite SEO strategy.
Set Up Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool businesses can use to organize their information online. It serves as a central place where people can go to find things like your website, phone number, and hours of operation. Having a Google My Business account can help more people find you faster and drive traffic back to your website. Didn’t think of that one, did you?
Create a Business Listing
Similar to a Google My Business account, creating a business listing online can help people find your business information in one set place. List your personal brand on a website that makes the most sense for your industry niche and watch the traffic flood in.
Are you comfortable asking for help and support from clients, friends and your community? It’s time to stretch your muscle by asking for reviews. Reviews play a significant factor in how Google ranks your brand’s website. They also play a key decision in firing up the mirror neurons in a potential clients mind, and influence decisions to sway the maybe to a full yes. The more reviews and positive remarks you have online, the better your website’s chances are of ranking well online. Its the same as having a podcast. No reviews means no ranking and far fewer views.
Encourage customers to leave reviews online as part of the sales or follow-up process to boost your online review numbers. It may feel edgy at first, but I like phrasing that makes it about the collective and uplifting others like, ¨Will you leave an honest review so more people can find my services and benefit too?¨
If you use an online store or Shopify platform, you can easily add apps for product or service reviews.
Pillar 3: Technical SEO
When talking about SEO for personal brands, we can’t forget to touch on technical SEO. This is key even for non tech wizards running personal brands with a solopreneur style or small team approach.
Technical SEO is the part of your SEO strategy that focuses on optimizing the technical aspects of your website. Here are some key technical SEO aspects you could choose to optimize.
Think of a sitemap as a master plan for your website that Google uses to determine which pages are important. It lays out the structure and organization of your website and details how the pages are related to one another.
Properly Developed Website
Good website design is arguably the most essential part of technical SEO. A properly developed website should be user friendly, engaging, transmit the essence of your personality and a clearly communicated reflection of your personal brand. A great website invites strangers into your personal brand story – told visually, in words, and layout. Without a properly developed, written and designed website, your SEO efforts may be wasted.
How the User Experience Impacts SEO for Personal Brands
Another crucial aspect of technical SEO is focusing on user experience (UX). User experience is the process of looking at your website and evaluating how users interact with it. Use sounds impersonal but the goal is to have the best user experience possible, meaning you make it easy for people to navigate your website. The easier it is to navigate your website, the longer users will stay on your website. This is especially true on mobile. Is your website mobile friendly? If so, this will show Google that your website is worth visiting and, as such, should rank higher on SERPs. That’s the Olympic gold medal we are aiming for!
Content Marketing For Personal SEO
Content marketing is the process of creating and promoting content through various channels, including social media and paid advertising. Content marketing is essential for any brand, but it’s especially important for small businesses and personal brands. Connecting with high-end audiences is a top goal for any visionary marketing plan, and content marketing can help you connect with those audiences and make them come to you organically.
Doesn’t writing a SEO optimized blog sound better than harassing people in their Direct Messages (DMs) on Instagram with robotic messages or cold emailing leads who have lukewarm interest in your services?
Make sure you consider including these key pillars in your content marketing strategy for maximum clarity and avoiding personal overwhelm:
- Content creation: Who is going to create this content? Is it a team or solo mission? What kind of content will you create?
- Content distribution: What channels will you use to distribute this content? Social media, Pinterest, Youtube, email newsletter, paid advertising? Are you focusing on one channel, two or multiple?
- Type of Content: Will you be writing blog posts, creating videos, infographics, or all of the above?
- Multi-Use potential- Will you create one piece of content and reformat it over different channels?
- For example, I create a writing tutorial video for social media and Youtube, link it to a blog post on my website, and then share it in an email newsletter. Magic!
Discussing these key pillars is a great first step in planning a comprehensive content marketing strategy that increases your small business or personal brand’s awareness while drawing in organic traffic. The better your content marketing strategy is, the better SEO results you’ll see.
And the more clarity and focus you have in your strategy, the more you create the conditions for good fortune and prosperity. Making clear decisions and sticking with them, regardless of what seems to be working for others on any given day, is key!
SEO for small businesses and personal brands is an absolute must if a brand wishes to flourish in the digital world. Combining onsite, offsite, and technical SEO strategies will help you gain more organic traffic and increase your rankings online, which translates into more people finding your website faster. And if you enjoy high quality potential clients showing up and whipping out their credit cards, then it is worth the upfront efforts. Also note that patience is essential, since Google can take five to six months to show you in their top search rankings. Remember, you are a leader in it for the long game. Less effort is required as you go along.
I encourage you to take the time to plan a comprehensive SEO strategy that benefits both your brand and your audience, and you’ll be on the fast track to continuous and exhilarating online growth.
By: Emily Bauman| CEO, Uplight Marketing