The "Big Google Three" you need to know for better SEO
Hi! I’m Sarah Landa - family photographer and Storyroad Creative’s SEO expert.
Three years ago I decided to make SEO my bitch!
I had been plugging along with my business, marketing mini sessions on Facebook and doing the word of mouth thing with varying success. But something else happened three years ago: my twins were starting kindergarten, which meant it was time to make this business thing happen or go get a “real job”.
I decided it was time to dive in on the business side of things and the one thing I had really been avoiding was learning SEO.
“It’s too complicated”
“I’m not a techy person”
“You don’t really need to learn that”
The jig was up. It was time to put up or shut up. NO more excuses!
I started by reading all the articles, watching all the youtube videos, listening to all the podcasts, and joining all the Facebook groups. It was a lot of learning but bit by bit, I started piecing things together that made sense...but I still wasn’t ranking. I had a few lightbulb moments along the way, but learning things the long way and the hard way eventually paid off. I made some important discoveries then started to see progress. I went from unranked to page 4 overnight, then with a little bit of working and waiting, I arrived at page 1, where I remain today!
Throughout all my studies, I’ve learned a few magic bullets as well as the realization that SEO takes time and a little bit of work, but it can be done.
Today I’m going to share with you my first lightbulb moment. As it turns out, if you want to rank on Google, you have to play Google’s game. So, the very first thing you need to do on your SEO journey is get yourself signed up on their free services. I call these the Big Google 3.
Google My Business
This one is basically hanging your sign outside your storefront. You sign up, they send you a postcard and you plug in the code. Now when people Google you, they can see all the info you want them to see, such as your hours, contact info, and reviews. (don’t worry, you can still hide your address if you wish for it to remain private). Having your business verified on Google makes you look more legit and professional.
Google Search Console
This service, also called “web-masters tools”, makes it sound really intimidating but it’s basically helping you figure out what you can do to improve your ranking. Search console helps you maintain and troubleshoot your site’s presence in search results. They will send you emails when they detect problems and most fires can be put out by researching the topic.
When you sign up, you will need to connect Search Console to your website, but a quick YouTube search will get you there.
This one is like the “help me help you” part. Analytics is a service that provides statistics and basic analytical tools for SEO. You can track your audience, learn how they found you, and see how long they are sticking around or your “bounce rate”. You also have to connect Analytics to your site but the instructions are very simple and clear.
I always say, signing up for these 3 free services is your way of communicating with the big G, telling them you exist and letting them know it’s ok to crawl your site. It’s like a Big Neon Sign saying c’mon in!
Get started with this homework and meet me back here in a month for your next SEO tip!