It’s almost a swear word amongst the non-tech savvy…SEO!
Anne (and kind of Gabby) go into full geek-mode and go over all things Search Engine Optimization. With Anne’s background in tech, she knows all the ins, outs and in-betweens of what it takes for people to find your website and what scams you should look out for. You already have an awesome demo, so find out how to make sure EVERYONE hears it!
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
CONTENT is King! It’s the #1 way you’re found!
Google Yourself! What comes up?
Start a Blog. Keep that website fresh!
Include Your Location. Get more local clients!
Don’t Underestimate Your Footer. Content here goes a long way.
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
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Our podcast is recorded entirely using ipDTL. Get better than ISDN quality with: ipDTL!
Full Episode Transcript
VO: Today’s voice over talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voice over talent has to be a boss. A VO BOSS Set yourself up with business owner’s strategies and success, with your host Anne Ganguzza. Along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business. Like a boss. A VO BOSS
Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host Anne Ganguzza, along with my lovely co-host, Gabby Nistico. Gabby, talk bossy to me, will ya?
Gabby: Hell. Yes. All day, all night. Whatever you want.
Anne: I love it! So, today we’re gonna talk about one of my favorite topics, my geek-out topic, of Search Engine Optimization, SEO.
Gabby: I feel like I’m gonna have to leash you for this episode. Like, you– like, we’re gonna have to keep you on the rails somehow.
Anne: I know, I just get so–I get so excited about it. I don’t know. To me, it’s such a, it’s such a cool thing to watch, and see, and evolve, and work! And when it works it’s, like, so exciting. So…
Gabby: Well, then, come on, baby. Get it started. Talk bossy to me. Let’s do this.
Anne: So, Search Engine Optimization, I think, is so, so important when it comes to having a business, and being online, in today’s market place, because I think all of us have, at one point or the other, I do it multiple times a day, I Google all the time. I am searching for information, and that is really where it all starts. When I’m search for a product, I’m typing my search phrases into Google, and then Google is giving me a response and then I’m clicking on those responses to go and find that information that I had search for. So, it’s a very simple concept, and it’s one that I think that if you guys realize that not only are you a business, but you’re a consumer too. And there will be people that will want to hire you, or your voice, or your business products, and will at some point doing a search for, perhaps, commercial voice in a particular area. And, so, it’s important that you have an idea of what Search Engine Optimization is, and what you can do to get yourself found easier from a stand point of a business.
Gabby: Well, let me ask you a question too, Anne, ’cause I’ve always been curious about this, and I do defer to you on all things web. Do you believe there is a difference between the SEO that you do for your personal–the website that you run and maintain, your voice over website, so for me: gabriellenistico.com, and your overall SEO? Just like your ability to be found in a Google search engine, like, you, your name, from external sources. Is that a thing? Like, am I seeing that the wrong way? What’s your take on it?
Anne: Well, I certainly think that it has to do with what words you have about you, online, that Google has in their index. You know, essentially, it’s a very simple concept. Any words that you have on a website, that you own, are typically are going to be indexed, or crawled, by Google, and those words, hopefully, if there are enough of them and are prevalent for your business, will show up with your business as a result. And, so, personally or business wise, if you did a search for Anne Ganguzza, right now, just my name, because that is my personal brand, the first thing that should come up is your website. Because we’re all hoping that you are picking a website, anneganguzza.com, and your name is prevalent in it.
Anne: You know, if you don’t have a website, it may not be the first thing that shows up. Maybe the first thing that shows up is a social media profile, because that’s kind of the way Google preferences things is you’re individual website, all of your social media profiles will show up, as well, if you do a search for that, and, so, that can be personal, and it can also be business related. So, any websites, any social media profiles, any articles that might have your name in it, will show up. And, so, I’m always recommending to people that they do a Google search on themselves, they Google themselves once a week. At least. So you can see what type of information is out there on your name. And on your brand.
Gabby: It just sounds so dirty. To Google yourself. Go Google yourself, would ya?
Anne: Well, yeah! It’s something you have to know how people outside of yourself are preserving your search terms, and your business. Right? So–
Gabby: Isn’t it true. Anne:–personal business, I’m always that person that if it’s on the web it’s my business. It’s my business.
Anne: Very rarely, is it if, if it’s personal it’s okay for other people to see it, and it’s okay for my business brand.
Gabby: Yeah, but–
Anne: It’s a hard rule. Gabby:–you’re not one who just, like, randomly posts pictures of your lunch. I mean, that’s not happening.
Anne: Right. Well, Jerry…
Gabby: Unless Jerry made something absolutely fabulous. Then, maybe. Then, maybe. So, kind of, you know, demystifying a little bit of the SEO process for people who are unfamiliar, or still kind of confused by it, my understanding, and, I mean, this is mainly just reiterating, I think, exactly what you just said, is understanding the prioritization of how you’re found. So, number one is your own web address. Which is super critical. The URL of your website is directly related to your findability on the web, at large, whether it be Google or another search engine. And it’s because the hope is, of course, if your searchable phrase is in the URL’s name, makes it faster and easier.
Anne: And in the website too.
Anne: For sure.
Gabby: And, then, you have things like larger entities, larger websites that have lots of links and click backs and very, very active websites. Things like: Facebook, YouTube, even some of the pay to play websites just because of how many key words show up on them that may out weight or out rank your own site, simply because of the sheer volume of activity that’s on those websites. And, then, there’s probably everything else. So, one of the things I always find amazing that people don’t really, I guess, fully understand about SEO is how content is king, and content, meaning text, is really the number one way in which you’re found.
Anne: Well, absolutely. I mean–
Gabby: How can you, kind of, extrapolate upon this?
Anne: Well, Google has these bots or, these spiders that run around and crawl websites. And, basically, what they do is they extract all the of things from a website that they can, which would be words, that are index-able. Right? And that can be searchable. Now, graphics and other things, like audio files, in those types that are not necessarily searchable by word terms. So, those are the things will not get put into the Google index. So, it’s always important, I’m telling people, to make sure that you have text on your website that describes who you are and what your business is and what services you offer. Because that’s what people are going to be searching for. And for those people who think their site needs to be clean, and pretty, and just an image with maybe their demos, I say, “Good God, please, just write some text.” Because–
Gabby: Yeah, yeah. Anne:–there’s no way that you’re gonna be found on Google if you have an image and a couple of words. And those couple of words don’t even have the word voice over in them. So, that right now, you know, all of us, we are in the voice over industry. We have voice over business. Now, I’d you to make it more unique than just being a voice over talent because, in that respect, if you just put voice over talent you’re gonna be out ranked by voices, and Voice123, and all the pay to play websites, which have thousand of profiles that have that word in them. So, that’s gonna out rank you.
Gabby: You’ll even be out ranked by some talent agents’ websites, in that case. Yeah.
Anne: Oh, absolutely.
Gabby: Anyone with more of that usage of those words.
Anne: Yeah, because everybody that has a profile has the word voice over in it.
Anne: So, they’re going to be more relevant. And I always want to remind you that Google is trying to be a great search engine. First and foremost. And the only people that know about the SEO algorithm are the people who work at Google. Right? And they’re probably sworn to–probably have a signed NDA, and all that sort of thing,–
Gabby: I’m sure. Anne:–where that algorithm can change. And, so, if anybody out there professes to be an SEO expert that promises you to get your page up on the first ranking, please just run. Far, far away. And go back to what I like to call, “Organic SEO,” that that is just–
Gabby: Yeah. Anne:–writing good content. Write good content. You know, a lot of times when I’m searching for a business I need to know, okay, what is it I’m looking for? I’m looking for a business that offers this, and then I also need it to be this and that. So, what is it that you offer? Make sure you write that in your “About,” or “Services,” or “Front Page.” And that way, people, when they search for that particular service, will hopefully find your page, and, you know, close to the top.
Gabby: Yeah, totally in agreement there. Anybody who is trying to sell you an SEO package, or promising to get you to the top of Google, understand that they might. They may very well succeed, but it’s incredibly short lived. And you might find yourself at the top of the Google search thread for a day, two days, a week, at most, and then you’re bumped. Again. And that’s pretty common. So, the organic methods that Anne’s talking about are way more effective in the long run because your–
Anne: Yeah Gabby:–web presence is just that. It’s a marathon, not a race.
Anne: No substitute for good content, Gabby.
Gabby: Right, and then with regard to content, what you were saying earlier, about the folks who try to be very minimalists with their website, very clean, very modern.
Gabby: Yeah, which I totally dig and I get, but here’s what–
Anne: It looks pretty.
Gabby: Well, sure it does. It look’s beautiful.
Anne: But it’s not gonna get found.
Gabby: No, it’s got–
Anne: Nobody’s going to see it. It’s gonna be so beautiful, but nobody will find it.
Gabby: Right. But there’s techniques there. There’s way around that. I have, as I’m sure you do, on my various websites, I have lots and lots of pages–
Anne: I do, too. Gabby:–that are a part of my site that don’t link. They don’t link back to the nav. They don’t link back to… They’re not easily found. If you go to my home page, is what I’m saying. And doing that helps your SEO tremendously. It helps your site, as a whole, to be found, it helps that page. And then people click off that page and on to somewhere else, like your demo page or whatevers important. But that content, it really is critical. This is the number one reason why more and more voice actors now have blogs. Because blogs allow you to have current, relevant content that you’re, hopefully, in theory, updating regularly.
Gabby: So, let’s talk about that aspect of SEO, real quick. Which is updating. How important is that? How important is it, and how often do you need update your site to keep it relevant?
Anne: Well, I mean, I don’t have a blog on “anneganguzza.” I know that there are many, many benefits to having a blog, and even on VO Peeps, believe it or not, I don’t actually blog too much. I do create posts about events that happen.
Anne: The one thing, though, that I have going for me, in terms of keeping it relevant and fresh, is that I have a lot of text. I have a lot of text on multiple pages, and that helps me. And there’s no doubt in my mind that if I did have a blog, and I updated my information frequently, it might perform better. But right now I’m quite happy with the way my websites are performing, due to the fact that I have multiple pages with a lot of searchable text. And that, for me, is okay. For somebody else, that may not have a lot of information or textual information, a blog can certainly help. And I like to think that only– first of all I want you to keep in mind that it should only be done as many times as you can do a quality job. So, if you can only update your blog– it’s better to update your blog once a month, than try to do it every day or every week, if you can’t ultimately keep up with it. Because, for a potential client to go to your website and the last blog article was, like, 2011, that doesn’t really say so much about your brand. You know? I think that ya have to be current and relevant–
Gabby: Well… Anne:–just like anything that you search for in Google, right? Any profile that shows up–
Gabby: And… Yeah–
Anne: has to be current.
Gabby: But that can also hurt your SEO, because one of the things that Google looks at is years.
Gabby: And… Right. So, if things are outdated and not being bumped by more, by newer, more relevant content. I always tell people that your website is kinda in danger of atrophying.
Gabby: If you’re not, somewhat, active in it. Now, the average voice actor–
Anne: Yeah, exactly. -you don’t need to be in there every day, every week, but every month–
Anne: Yes. Gabby:–every couple of months makes some tweaks.
Gabby: Add some content. Little changes can go a long way, if you have a website that you’ve been sitting on for years–
Anne: I’m adding testimonials.
Anne: That’s actually a great way to keep it fres