You’re highly educated and highly skilled. You studied hard for your coaching certification or during the advanced degree required to become a therapist, and every client you’ve worked with has thanked you for the results. You’ve changed lives.
And you’d like to change more, so why aren’t you fully booked? And what does any of this have to do with the alphabet soup in the title line?
I can answer both questions. It doesn’t matter how good you are. If people don’t know about it, they can’t book you. The answer to the first question is marketing. It’s time to up your game.
You might find the letters S, E, and O in alphabet soup, but the letters in the title line point to something a whole lot hotter!
Search Engine Optimization is the best strategy for being found on Google. It is the strategy to catapult you or your business to the first page of search results where most sales that start with an internet search happen.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
Since SEO relies on an algorithm—not just Google, each search engine has their own algorithm, but this blog will refer to Google best practices—the explanation is going to be a little technical, but I’ll make it as snooze-free as possible. Promise.
A search engine is any website or app you can type into the search bar of and get specific results. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, Bing, Insert Random Name Of A Website With A Search Bar Here are all search engines. When we talk about SEO for that platform, we’re talking about writing our content in a way that makes it easy for the site’s algorithm to find and boost.
The easiest way to think of this is that the algorithm is a robotic spider. (It really is. It’s AI.) The spider has been programmed to find certain things, and it crawls everything posted on its search engine looking for those things. When it finds something that meets the elements it was programmed for, it grabs the content with it’s creepy spidey legs, matches it to the search it fits with, and pushes it up.
That’s search engine optimization in a nutshell. But each platform will have slightly different rules, so you’ll want to tailor your content to the site you want to be known on.
How Does Google Rank Search Engine Optimization
You know what’s awesome about this question? Google actually tells us exactly what they’re looking for in a site. Expertise Authority, and Trust. They use the “EAT” acronym to help people talk about and understand it.
Expertise is your experience and what you know. However, Google won’t rely on your resume or testimonials to take your experience and knowledge at face value. They want to know you know what you’re talking about.
“Jeni, how do I convince a robotic spider I’m good at what I do? Also, can I just say having to convince a robotic spider I can do my job is annoying.”
Yeah, okay. We’re all annoyed by that last part, but the good news is robotic spiders are fairly easy to convince. You just need external links. These can’t be just any external links. They need to be solid external links. Aunt Dorothy’s blog or a flat earther’s Youtube channel probably isn’t the best place to start.
Start with authorities in your industry or niche. For a therapist, that might be the American Psychological Association. The coaching industry can be highly unregulated. If you’re a coach, you may want to start with your certifying body. But Google prioritizes sites that end in .edu or .gov, so scholarly articles and relevant government websites are good for anyone.
Just remember, the goal is to convince Virtual Spider Man we know what we’re talking about, not to publish a list of links. That’s so 2012.
Virtual Spider Man also has to believe you’re the authority on whatever it is you’re talking about. But if you paid attention to the first letter of this acronym, you’re halfway there. You’ve proven expertise. Now, you just need to prove that Thing You Linked to Scholarly Sites On is a thing you talk about a lot.
An added plus is the more you talk about That Thing—especially while using the rest of the acronym—the more you’re boosting your expertise. Consistency has always been the most basic and most crucial marketing strategy. You’re just consistently marketing in the information age.
“Fine, Jeni, but how do I prove to Mr. Spidey that I talk about The Thing a lot?”
Oh, that’s easy. You need internal links. If external links prove expertise, internal links prove authority. You’re just linking to other parts of your own website or your own blog posts. (If you don’t have a blog and want to use SEO as a strategy, I strongly recommend you get one.)
Virtual Spider actually trusts you easier than he believes your expertise or authority. But it may be once you’ve taken the time to prove you’re an expert and an authority, trusting you is easy. The “T” comes naturally.