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  • BLOG: The Importance of Local SEO
  • Fri, March 04, 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    This time last year, I couldn't begin to explain to others just how frustrated I was about SEO & the ranking of my website, or lack thereof. My photography business of two years couldn't be found on Google, & I didn't understand what I was doing wrong. 

    Do I dare add that I'd previously worked in website design & that I was certified with Google Analytics? Because of how quickly SEO continues to evolve, neither of these things seemed to matter much, & I was starting to feel like a failure. 

    What Is S.E.O?

    SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, & it is a collection of things you can do to optimize your website or get it showing higher on Google based on the terms people search for. 

    Why Does It Matter?

    If you do SEO correctly, you can rank higher against competitors using certain search terms. Without SEO, if you aren't telling Google that you are there, you probably won't rank properly. Like I said, SEO has evolved a lot since I was doing website design in 2010. Search Engines, like Google, have now started digging through your page text instead of just the background data in your site. You'd think this would make things easier, but it can be a very detailed & complex process.

    What do I do?

    Pick your poison. You can search for articles, YouTube videos & courses to help. That said, I'd recommend Pathfinder SEO, which is what I used. They provide you with a checklist of things to do & you have a coach you can meet with. This got me motivated to do my SEO, had me confident in what I was doing, gave me ideas on which search terms to rank for (this does involve doing a little bit of research) & ultimately allowed me to rank much higher. You can now find my business by searching "Brand Photographer Coeur d'Alene," for example. 

    How long will this take?

    SEO is an ongoing thing that you will want to monitor every few months once your checklist is finished. With the detailed checklist & coaching help from  Pathfinder SEO, I was able to finish the checklist & at least get the groundwork done in three months. That said, Google can sometimes be delayed, so you'll probably want to set your first goal at four to six months out. 

    Then what?

    After implementing everything that was laid out for me, I was ranking much higher for the search terms I wanted, but I still had a little ways to go. By keeping your website updated & adding new content like applicable blog posts, you'll be continuously telling search engines that you are a reputable company. 

    Additional things you can do to boost your ranking?

    • Adding posts, photos & updating your holiday hours on your Google My Business page. This is the page that updates Google Maps, & you can have this whether you have a physical location or not. 
    • Having a physical location for Google Maps. 
    • Building a YouTube channel you're consistent on. (Google owns YouTube)
    • Patience & consistency overall. 

    Over the past year, my business has changed substantially because of my ranking. I'm getting more traffic to my website, & thus more quote requests for my photography services. This has allowed me to consider different opportunities, like changing the sales copy of my pages (to attract more people), narrowing down my niche & even upping my sales prices. It's amazing what you can do once you have more traffic coming in.

    I'd highly recommend that every small business look further into SEO tactics, not only to boost business but also to give you peace of mind that you aren't missing out on customers out there who are searching for exactly what you provide & possibly not finding it. 


    Amy Riordan is a Coeur d'Alene Commercial Photographer & FAA Certified Drone Pilot specializing in helping small businesses succeed in online media. She is also a proud wife, dog mom, writer & runner.

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