How To Optimize Your Site Using SEO


This past week I had the chance to talk with a lovely gal who has a hand-made jewelry business. Like most first meetings, there comes a time when I ask how they discovered my blog (it’s important to know the source so I can measure effective marketing mechanisms) and here’s what unfolded…

Julie: I am going to be attending a local women’s trade show and was searching for some booth ideas. I put the words ‘more than just a pretty booth’ in my Google search and you came up.

Julie was referring to my post: {Booth Display} It’s in the Details, written back on September 1, 2011.  This post contained the words ‘It’s more than just a pretty booth’ in the copy. I was the third listing down from the top of the first page on Google!

Many creatives and small business owners ask how they can come up on the first page of search engines without paying for it, so today I’ll share one of my tips for optimizing your site using SEO…to leverage your online and organic marketing efforts.

What is SEO and why is it important?

SEO (search engine optimization) is about optimizing your site, so you can be found on the first page during searches, and obtain a prospective pool of people to your site!

SEO helps you boost traffic to your blog or site, increase readership, and income.

Think like a client.

  1. Ask yourself,what is a word or phrase my reader would search for?”
  2. Use Google Keyword Planner– to see if this is a strong word or phrase that would attract prospective clients to your site.  (Update: Google Keyword Tool was replaced by Google Keyword Planner)

My philosophy, “Be a big fish, in a little pond!”  My goal is to have low competition, so that I come up on the Google search engine first page.  If I write about a term that is ranked HIGH, then I have a lot of competition and thus my odds of coming up on the first page are slim to none.

Let’s do a real life example today using the Google Keyword Tool.  I’m going to search the words ‘Personal Brand’.

Remember, I look for words or phrases that:

  1. Fit my blog – what my readers come to my blog for = marketing for creatives and small businesses. Note: not all search words or phrases will fit your business target audience, so choose only the ones that do.
  2. Have a low competition ranking.
  3. Have a large number in the GLOBAL MONTHLY SEARCHES column.  Because my blog target has no borders, I focus on the global number.  If you are a local only business, then focus on the LOCAL MONTHLY SEARCHES column number.    

personal brand

personal brand search info

Based on my keyword search, I would definitely write a few blog posts around or containing the phrase “personal brand” and/or “what is a personal brand” phrase.


It fits what my target client would be searching for, has a low competition ranking, and has a large number of global monthly searches (49,500).

Here’s another example…

Let’s say you write a blog around living a healthy lifestyle.

A word or phrase your reader might search for might be ‘healthy food’.

healthy food search info

Based on the Google Keyword Tool data, I’d write some blog posts around ‘healthy organic food’ (fits target + low + 90,500 global).  And by adding the word organic, you’re going after more of a niche market!

BTW: you might even choose to write some posts around the phrase “healthy food vs junk food” …due to the data.

When it comes to SEO, there are lots of small pieces that contribute to its success. This is just one of the many I do to attract the right clients to me. I’d love to continue this conversation, so if you have SEO tips, I’d love to hear them as well. Together we can grow our businesses to where we want them to be!

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