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 fresh. Every time, I’m a testimonial, like, obsessed person. And, so, anytime somebody writes a testimonial, I put it on the testimonial page. Whether it gets seen or not.
Gabby: Sure, but even just updating your clients.
Anne: Yeah, exactly.
Gabby: You know, anything. Anything that you do to keep that site from just sitting there and doing nothing. When sites do nothing, they really do, they’re like a muscle, they atrophy, they go dead. And Google simply isn’t recognizing them anymore. So, that’s were, you know, frequently people come to me, come to Anne, and go, “Hey, I got this amazing website but nothings happening.”
Anne: Well, you know, it’s absolutely one of the reasons even on the VO B.O.S.S website that we add a blog for every pod cast. And we’re doing that because we’re talking about voice over related topics, and we want to obviously grow our listenership. And, so, putting a blog post up for every podcast episode, it does require effort on our part. But it does reap its rewards in terms of SEO.
Gabby: What are your feelings on analytics? And, for our listeners who maybe don’t understand it or don’t know much about it, is there a way to navigate analytics so that it’s not overwhelming?
Anne: Google analytics?
Gabby: Yeah. Yeah.
Anne: Which can be overwhelming. But on a very general, overall scope they can be super helpful. Because they can show people–first of all they should be installed by whoever is designing your web presence, I think that Google–it should be submitted to Google. Google analytics should be set up for your website. And, if nothing else, you can get an idea, a sense of what pages are the most popular, and who’s visiting your pages most frequently. Let’s say you added more to your bio, that a huge thing that I tell my students. You know, add more text to your bio, please. Because number one, I need to know about, when I’m searching a business, I need to know what it’s all about. And the more text you have, about your biography, about you, I think the better off you’re gonna be overall in terms of your business and in terms of getting found. And, so, keep adding text to that. It’s one way to see if that was an effective thing, is to go into Google analytics after you’ve changed you bio, or your about page, or maybe your demos page, and then you see if there are more people that happen to visit it, and there are lots and lots and lots of stuff that you can out of the Google analytics. You actually need a whole course on Google analytics. But, for the very basic part, it’s a wonderful way to look and track progress on changes that your making on your website.
Gabby: Yes. I don’t wanna scare people.–
Anne: Yeah. Gabby:–What you just said is scary. You in theory, yes, you need a course in analytics.
Anne: And, yeah, I don’t want to scare you.
Gabby: It’s so complex. It is so intricate, and this is stuff that, you know, web designers and developers spend years mastering and learning about. But for your own interest for being able to track and manage your website, I don’t think people necessarily need to take a course in it. I think, we need to hone in. They need to–
Anne: Oh, no, not of the over all. Yeah, not for overall.
Gabby: No, they just need to hone in on the data that can really help them to make a better user experience.
Gabby: So, real quick. Any other SEO tips? Any other things that you think are essential for this first SEO podcast?
Anne: Location. Location is so important. That’s gonna be my golden nugget of the day. Most people think, “Oh, I live in”-I don’t know-“Wichita, Kansas, and so it’s not important that I put my location. As a matter of fact, I may not want to put my location, because I, you know, a global business.” But here’s the deal Google already has location services usually turned on. And, so, if you go search for a restaurant, typically, Google’s going to return searches for you of restaurants that are local. Same thing for anybody that’s doing a search. So, if you actually want to be known, like, I’m known as a Orange County talent and a LA based, LA area based talent, so, if anybody is searching for LA commercial voice over, because I have the location in my text, right? It is going to show up. And, believe it or not, I get so many people that are not even aware that they need, that I don’t need to be in the area, like, I have a lot of local businesses that contact me because they think that I need to either go to a local studio or come to them to do the job. And, so, just by sheer, you know, lack of knowledge, people just call me first. And I get that first opportunity to get the job. Versus somebody that might be in New York state. I will get the first opportunity–
Gabby: That’s really great. Anne:–because I show up first in the search engine. And they say, “Yeah, you know, I don’t know if you know you have to come in or you have to go, you know, we have studio here, in southern California.” And I’ll be like, “Oh, I can also record it at my studio at home.” So, local, put your local area or your general vicinity, as long as, you know, I don’t think there’s anyone that would be hurt by that, to be honest with you. I mean, if you live in Kansas, you’re not gonna try to say you live in LA.
Gabby: No, but you can tag nearby.
Gabby: Like, I know you can tag LA because it’s–
Anne: Yes. Nearby cities. Gabby:–reasonable to you, except traffic. But I do the same thing with Atlanta.
Gabby: And I get, actually, in a given calendar year, I get tons of work–
Anne: Yeah, me too. Gabby:–from people who are around Georgia because it’s tagged on my site. And, yeah.
Anne: Exactly. Put your location. Even if it’s on the footer. You know what I mean?
Anne: If it’s like, copyright 2017, Atlanta. Or something like that, even if it’s in the footer. An address in your footer: Atlanta, Georgia, or something.
Gabby: I think footers are, actually, one of the really essential–
Anne: I agree. Gabby:–SEO tools that more people don’t take advantage of.
Anne: Yeah, contact information, local…Yep.
Gabby: Yeah, they don’t really do a good enough job. I see some websites, even a lot of voice over websites, that don’t even have footers. I’m always like, “Whoa, guys, you’re missing out!”
Anne: Yeah, footers a great. Footers are great
Anne: I like to put contact information, I put all sorts of fun stuff in my footer.
Gabby: You need a little footer fetish. That’s what’s going on. Yeah… Both: Footer fetish.
Anne: Yeah, so, I could talk SEO all day. And, I really think you guys, it’s something to really sit down, and, as we mention early, early on in the pod cast, content is king. Really. Come up with good content. Write good content. And you will not regret it. It will help you in multiple, multiple, areas. It will definitely help you in SEO.
Gabby: Send us your SEO questions, guys. Send us your techy questions. Send us your business questions. This is all the stuff we want to hear from you on.
Gabby: We want to interact with you. We want to know where you’re struggling; we want to know where you’re succeeding. So, just give us a shout. You can send emails to email@example.com or or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anne: So, I’d like to give a big shout out to our sponsor, ipDTL, always a lovely, wonderful connection with ipDTL. I can’t say enough good things about that. So, you guys can also record like a boss using ipDTL technology. And you can find out more at ipDTL.com.
Gabby: And for more on us, remember, loads of place you can subscribe. And, please, go subscribe, and, also, remember to like us! Facebook.
Anne: Yes, please.
Gabby: Twitter. Instagram.
Anne: And share.
Gabby: Youtube. Yeah! We’re all over the place!
Anne: And share with your friends.
Gabby: And, of course, iTunes, Stitcher, all the ways you can access the podcast. And more information about VO BOSS, if you just haven’t had enough BOSS fix yet–
Anne: Right. Gabby:–’cause there’s never too much BOSS fix, I know how that goes. Voboss.com is where you’re gonna find exclusives, and all kinds of great ways that you guys can work with us.
Anne: And some wonderful new BOSS University classes and products that are there. So, you guys, talk BOSS to us.
Gabby: Yeah! Bye, guys!
Anne: Bye, guys!
VO: Join us next week for another addition of VO BOSS With your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved. Anne Ganguzza Voice Talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.