The truth is everything I know about website marketing is through trial and error and the kind of time-consuming mistakes that had me shaking my head and crying over my three year long failure at blogging my way out of a job and into a writing career. I have the career now — and I’m expanding it daily — but I’m sure I took the long way around.
Quick Lessons From Trial & Error
Through that trial and error process I changed my name twice. Couldn’t figure out if I wanted to be Jamillah or MizJAI. In my none digital life most people already call me MsJ. But I thought I needed to jazz it up online — M-i-z-J-A-I. And you know every letter stood for something (I was so deep. OMG, save me from my self).
During that same period of time I almost developed multiple personalities trying to write for everybody instead of choosing an audience and sticking with it. It took me forever — 3 years — to buy into the power of tribes, communities and niches. Writing to everybody is not the same as writing to other freelance writers, small business owners, bloggers, airline pilots, managers in large corporations. You get the picture? Focus is powerful.
I also created a faith and inspiration blog that ranks higher for toilet bowl seats and shower heads than it does for anything else. What can I say? I was inpired by a toilet bowl in Seattle, Washington at a Westin hotel and I wrote about it. At the time I didn’t know anything about
- having a theme for your website,
- guest posting on other people’s sites,
- promoting your blog at live events or website marketing in general.
I just wrote and wrote and wrote — and 22 people listened. And that’s frustrating when you feel like you have something to say.
Whether I was willing to admit it or not —
we often have the audience that we can handle. When we are ready for more, then we do what it takes to walk through those doors.
And it turns out that in today’s marketing environment, the website can (and should be) the hub for all information about you, your business, your products, your books, your services. If people meet you live, on social media, hear about you from a friend, learn your name on someone else’s website, there needs to be a trail that leads them back to your digital home — your spot. And when they get there it needs to look great, feel great and deliver great information.
SEO becomes easier when you understand what website marketing truly is.
If you’re serious about your business, dream or book, then I know you work hard. But your website needs to work harder. Search engine optimation (SEO) plays a role in that. Without SEO, it’s more difficult for people to find your website. And if your people can’t find you, then your website marketing is working against your brand and it should be fired.
It’s true, SEO — and anything new — can become overwhelming. To keep it simple, however, let’s look at a few basic concepts.
Every website marketing strategy has to make room for keywords.
Once you choose a theme for your website. Then you need to figure out the language that people use to talk about that subject. In other words, what do they type into Google, Yahoo! and Bing when they’re searching for products and stories like yours? Those phrases are keywords.
You want to discover the right phrases — the keywords — that your audience uses. And once you know, then you can use them in your title and subtitles, article description, tags, as well as the body of your article.
Of course there’s more to this keyword thing, but a basic understanding can go a long way.
For example, if you use a website format that doesn’t let you control the content in your title, subtitles, meta-description, meta-tags or the body of the article, then you have a problem — because you can’t SEO that content. And if you run a doggie day care in Atlanta, GA, then you want everybody searching for “doggie day care atlanta” to find you through that and other related terms.
But if the platform that you use for your website blocks access to those areas, then your website isn’t marketing for you — not as much as it could or should.
A new funk — the SEO blues.
After I came out of my blogging haze and discovered that what I was doing wasn’t working, I slipped into a new funk. It came from studying too much and acting on too little of what I learned. It’s not enough to attend conference after conference, read book after book and blog after blog — if you’re not going to implement any of it.
To make the transition from building one website that was barely found to building another that constantly lands in the top 2% of all websites online, I needed a little website and seo therapy. If you need some too, then stay tuned for the next website marketing article in the SEO 101 series. In the meantime, you may want to review the resource below to help you build a better site.
Can You Hear Me Now? Painful Website Communication at JamillahWarner.com*. That article covers three things that every website needs and 2 tools to help you maximize those three.
*Now-a-days, I have no identity crisis. I use my real name — finally — and MsJ. In hindsight it all seems so simple.