You’ve heard the term SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and you know improving SEO for your Showit website is important for building your business, but why?
It’s because Google, Bing and other search engines crawl through your website to make sense of it. They learn what it’s about and decide whether it’s worth presenting when people do a keyword search. Part of whether or not they recommend your site (how you rank) is based on keywords. That’s why so much emphasis is placed on the importance of keywords and how you use them in your website and blog post copy.
SEO is also a huge area of specialisation and there are lots of experts out there to help you. And, if you have a Showit website + WordPress blog, you have access to the SEO power of Yoast, which will help you maximise your use of keywords. You can read more about it here.
I’m not a keyword expert, so we aren’t going to cover them here. Instead, we’ll look at 6 simple design changes you can make to your site. These will help the search engines crawl your website more easily so that you can start ranking higher and bringing in more potential coaching clients. These changes are also going to help please your visitors (with search engines also really like) by making your site easier to navigate and more visually appealing.
Keep in mind that search engines want to give people content that matches their search, is easy to use and is organised sensibly. If you please your visitors – that is, keep them on your site and clicking around for longer – you also please the algorithm. And here are 6 easy-to-implement tips that will help you improve your Showit website’s SEO.
As I said, this isn’t a post about keywords, but there are other ways that organised and sensible use of text can help you to improve SEO on your website. The first way is using headings properly and consistently.
When you set up your Showit website (or started to customise a template), one of your first stops should be the design settings where you can choose or install your brand fonts and set how they look.
You have options for your Title text, Heading, Subheading and Body including the size, alignment, colour and leading (space between lines of text). This means you shouldn’t have to change much when you add new text to your site and it helps you be consistent with the size of your various headings.
Just remember to use Title text only for your page title, usually in the hero area. This tells search engines what your page is about – like the title of a book.
You’ll use Heading text quite often, usually at the top of each new canvas to communicate what that section of the page is about. In your blog posts, use this heading for each section to give your reader an overview – like a book’s chapter title. This helps your reader understand at a glance what that bit of content is about and makes it easier to scroll and scan. It also helps the search engines understand what the page is about and see how it’s organised.
Your Subheadings come next. These further break down what the content is about, again, helping your reader to scan and scroll through.
Finally, you have your body copy. This is generally the smallest text and makes up the sentences and paragraphs of your blog post or webpage. As a general rule, don’t make this text smaller than 16px or it becomes difficult to read.
There are no other hard and fast rules in terms of the size of your text, but it should be organised logically. Your title text should be the largest working down to your body text. This helps both your reader and search engines understand what the content is about with ease.
Search engines don’t necessarily penalise or reward you for the fonts you use, but again, you want to please your reader. That means choosing legible fonts and using them consistently. Just like you should stick to one size for your body copy, keep to the same font for each type of text.
And that doesn’t mean using 4 different fonts; rather, you should use 2 or 3 at the very most to keep a cohesive look and feel to your site. Often one font is used for your title and headings and another for the body text. The third font could be an accent – like a cursive or script font that is used sparingly. Make it easy on your reader! If the text is hard to read, your visitor is more likely to bounce and that displeases search engines’ algorithms.
We all love to be clever and come up with unique words and phrases for our websites – it’s part of the fun of writing the text. But getting too creative with the words in your website’s menu or navigation panel can be confusing to your visitors.
For example, calling your blog ‘Musings of a Life Coach’ in your menu is definitely unique, but it doesn’t communicate to your visitor what that page is actually about. That means if they come to your site looking for a blog and don’t see it instantly they are very likely to leave. And when people leave quickly, it tells search engines the quality of your site isn’t so great.
Similarly, if the design of your website’s navigation makes it hard to use, it also drives people away from your site. When designing your site, think about what your users know, how they think and what information they’ll be after. Then make it as easy as possible for them to use your site. That pleases them and makes the search engines happy.
One of the most critical elements of optimising your website for search engines is making sure you have page titles and descriptions that use your keywords. This helps search engines understand what your page is about and is also what is presented in search results. Again, this isn’t a post about keywords, but this is so critical I can’t leave it out!
You’ll need to give each page on your site its own unique SEO name and a brief description. Here’s how:
You can read more about best practices for SEO page titles and meta descriptions here.
This is probably the unsexiest tip, but it’s overlooked by so many people! Implementing it will give you a leg up on your competitors and draw more traffic to your site. That is: giving your image files clear and appropriate names.
This is so important because search engines don’t recognise the content of images – they need you to describe it. You do that in the alt text (discussed next) but the file’s name also gives up important information. That means you need to be mindful of what you call your images and also use your keywords if they fit in a natural way. So rather than ‘IMG-345’, give your photo a name like ‘Successful-mindset-coaching-client’.
You also want to pay attention to how you type out the name: google doesn’t read spaces, so if you name a file ‘Successful mindset coaching client’ the search engine sees: ‘Successfulmindsetcoachingclient’; so use hyphens rather than spaces (and never use underscores!): ‘Successful-mindset-coaching-client’.
If you’re using the same image several times, you can also change the file name for each instance using alternative keywords. So for example: ‘Healthy-wellness-coaching-client’. When you run out of alternatives, try adding sequential numbers at the end of the file name so each is unique.
Finally, try to keep the title to 5 words max and don’t stuff or repeat keywords – this makes it look like spam and will lower your ranking with Google.
Ideally, you should update your file names before you upload your images to your site. It makes it much easier to find them using the search function within Showit’s media gallery. It’s also because Showit will auto-fill the image SEO title from the file name.
But there is a way to change this in Showit when your images have already been added to your site:
If your image is one of a few within a gallery:
The image’s SEO title is important, but not as important as its Alt Text, or Description as Showit calls it, discussed next.
The Description field for images is just below the Title field when you click to select an image. The Description is meant to help people who are visually impaired know what’s going on in an image through screen readers. It also helps search engines understand the content of your page is where you can use keywords if it’s appropriate. And if your image is purely decorative (like a swirl or shape), this description isn’t necessary.
For example, with our ‘Successful-mindset-coaching-client’ image, in the description, we might write: ‘A smiling blonde woman wearing a beige hat.’ That’s because we want to keep it brief and avoid keyword stuffing, which raises spam alarms.
Did you know that 47% of users expect a website loading time of 2 seconds or less?! So it’s best to compress all of your images – and do it before you add them to your website. When you’ve gathered all the images you want to use on your website, visit TinyJPG; there you can drag and drop the images (up to 20 at a time) and it will compress them without losing quality (note that the free version will allow a max of 5MB per image). Then you can download the compressed images and upload them to your Showit media gallery.
It’s also best to use JPG files, which are smaller than PNGs. That being said, if you’re using an image that has a transparent background, it will need to be a PNG.
There you go! Now you’re on your way to pleasing your visitors AND search engines so you’ll rank higher and get more potential clients to your coaching website. Remember, though, it takes time to see the effects of these kinds of changes (and any SEO improvements to your site). So be patient.
If you need help or want a website SEO audit, just send me an email. I can help you clean up your website and get you ranking higher on Google.
Then you need a strategy for your website. And you can create one with this FREE guide and workbook.