I recently saw this joke on Twitter: Where do companies go to die? The answer is page two of Google (ba-dum-bum-chhh). Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a hot topic among web design and business writers for good reason. With more and more consumers using the Internet to find what they want, ranking high in the search results is paramount to attracting clients to my massage practice. As an independent practitioner, getting to page one can be challenging but is absolutely possible without paying for placement or hiring an expert.
I’ve read a lot about optimizing your website, but the simple truth is the websites on page one of Google have paid to be there or have had the most visitors. Users type in a few keywords and peruse the results, most likely not getting past page two before making a decision or doing another search. My website got to page one (or two, depending on the day) of Google searching for “barefoot massage Denver” in about eighteen months (before I changed my URL when I changed my business name). Here’s how I did it:
I have my website link on other websites like Yelp, Groupon and Living Social (I recently ran another campaign), LinkdIn, Facebook, online massage therapy directories, etc. This increases exposure for my website in addition to making it more visible to search engines.
I used keywords I thought clients might search for in my page titles. THIS IS THE BEST SEO TIP I KNOW OF! I manage my own website, but if you have a host be sure to verify this is done. The title to each page is what search engines compare keyword searches to. My home page title is “Deep Heeling Barefoot Bodywork-Ashiatsu barefoot deep tissue massage specialist serving metro Denver, Colorado”. I’ve intentionally included my business name, the industry and lay terms for what I do, and the major city I’m close to. My website was live for over a year before I learned about this, and once I did it I moved up quickly.
I content purpose mapped my website. Basically, I decided the actions I wanted visitors to take on each of my web pages and created links to those pages. On my home page for example, I want potential clients to be able to book a massage (of course), learn more about me and get answers to questions about Ashiatsu/LOKTE™ Method, so I have links to my Hours and Scheduling, About Me and FAQ’s pages within the text. This keeps them on my website longer, increasing not only the number of hits to the site but increasing the chances that they’ll book or contact me (click here for a more detailed explanation of the content purpose mapping process).
Since changing my business name and website URL six months ago, I’ve already climbed to page three of a Google search for “barefoot massage Denver” (thanks to Living Social) and page one with “Ashiatsu Centennial Colorado.” I think this ascent is faster because I had my page titles assigned sooner. Whatever the reason, being easy to find on the web by those who are looking for what I provide is essential to growing the practice that I love!
Do you have any SEO tips or questions? Please share them in the comments. Thank you!