SEO 101: a Simple Guide for Yogis, Fitness Studios & Wellness Businesses
If the mere mention of “SEO” brings on an immediate brain fog, and makes you want to roll back over and go back to bed, this blog post is for you!
SEO can seem tedious, technical and intimidating because there are so many complex, jargon-filled posts online presenting it that way.
The good news is, you can implement a basic SEO strategy without much technical know-how and, with a little bit of effort, you can push ahead of your competitors in search engine results.
What on earth is SEO and why is it so important?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and involves a collection of activities to improve the amount and quality of traffic which reaches your website.
SEO has a history of trying to trick search engines, but all that has changed. Google, who owns a whopping 75% of the search engine traffic’s mission statement is: “Focus on the user and all else will follow”, which means providing “relevant content” with “the best user experience possible”. Their algorithms use over 200 signals to work out what each user is searching for and rank millions of web pages. Those “clues”, or indicators, can include relevant text on web pages, how mobile-friendly your website is, social sharing statistics, user location at that exact point in time and how close relevant businesses are to them.
However, there are some basic elements which can make a big difference in whether your website (and studio, salon or spa) will show up in your potential new customer’s search results, or won’t.
The 2 different types of SEO and how they can work for you
There are 2 different types of SEO—local and organic. Each has its own set of indicators, or its own ranking equation. Some indicators apply to both but, in general, it helps to look at both types as individual sets of tasks:
The goal of local SEO is to have your business appear in the very top box of search results. Called the “Local Pack”, it’s an exclusive group of business listings in the boxed-in section within the map at the top of the search result screen.
Whereas, the goal of regular, or organic SEO, is to have your business website listed on page one of the main search results, below the Local Pack box and advertisements.
If you have a physical location, optimizing for local search won’t only help you get found, but it’ll help you get found by people who are nearby and looking for exactly the services you offer.
These are the people you want to attract most!
Unlike the main search results which link to your website directly, the Local Pack box displays a Google business profile, including a map location with address, directions link, website link and reviews.
Therefore, the key to the local search equation is claiming, filling in and maintaining your Google business profile. Surprisingly not all locally-based businesses actually do this, so depending on your local business community, this simple process could push you up into that top three.
Major factors that specifically boost your rank within the local box are your:
Website title on your website – include your type of business and the town you’re in, for example, “Yoga Studio Houston”.
Business name, address and phone number appear identically on every page of your website - the footer is a great spot for this.
Name, address and phone number match on all other websites plus social media. Wherever your business info appears online it needs to match your website and Google profile exactly.
Proximity to search location. This is one you can't control... you are where you are.
Google business profile & reviews – fill in all pertinent info, add photos, respond to reviews... show that listing a little love!
Outside the Local Pack box, page one of the rest of the search results is also an important place to be. This area is driven primarily by the words on your website and is where a regular content strategy, such as blogging, can be beneficial.
Important indicators for organic search ranking are your:
Website page titles and page descriptions – integrate those keywords whereever it makes sense.
Website page headings and other relevant content-driven keywords – the more you write about what your people are looking for, the more google notices (that doesn’t mean stuffing keywords into every inch, though).
Referring links – when other relevant websites link to you.