When you have taken that bold step to launch your personal website to further promote your voice over career your work does not end when you press that LIVE button. Your website, as part of your marketing tool should be able to reach your target audience – SEO or Search Engine Optimization, makes your website easy for both the users and search engine to understand.
Why do you need to do SEO?
Users trust search engines and having a website on top of the search results for the keywords increases the site’s trust rating. A search engine optimized website puts you ahead against your competitors. When a client uses keywords that match your category or niche (eg, hire female animation voice actor) the websites in the top positions are more likely to get the “click” and potentially the project. However, it is not all about search engines, following good SEO practices also helps increase the quality of your website by making it user-friendly, faster and easier to navigate.
Below is a basic checklist of SEO Do’s to help you get started:
Create and Submit a Sitemap
A Sitemap is a document used as a planning tool for your website design, or a web page that lists the pages of your site that are accessible to your users. A Sitemap helps search engine crawlers like the Googlebot intelligently discover the content of your website. There are free and paid websites or plugins that can automatically create a Sitemap. If you are using a WordPress you may go use Google XML Sitemap plugin. Here are also links on how to submit your Sitemap to Google and Bing.
Use Webmaster’s Tools/Search Console
Search Console is a free service provided by Google that “helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results.” By submitting the Sitemap you have created, you can view details of your crawl rate, top keyword, errors found when crawling your site and other statistics.
Do a Keyword Research
Create a list of keywords you associate with your voice over brand, and what your ideal clients may also use in their search. Come up with as many combinations of phrases as you can. You can get more keyword ideas by using Google Keyword Planner (You may just use the keyword ideas feature without purchasing Google Ads.)
Narrow down your keyword list by using the keywords that has a large search volume but has a low cost per click. These are keywords that you might have less competition. Focus on these keywords by creating groups of semantically similar phrases and assign groups to an applicable page. If some keywords do not apply to any of your page, you may use them in your upcoming blogs.
There are areas in your webpage or blog post where you can optimize your keywords:
- Article Heading/Page Title – write a unique title tag using your focus keyword; make sure that it is more than 40 character but less than 70 characters
- Page URL – use the same focus keyword in your page URL
- Meta description – write a unique meta description for each webpage, using your target keywords assigned to that page. Keep the entire meta description under 155 characters.
- Images – if your page is image heavy, you may add alt tags to the image to help search engines understand what users are seeing; you may also include your focus key word
Write a unique content, not less than 300 words for each of your page. Make sure your content can only be found on that page and not anywhere else in your site. You may also add photos, videos, illustrations and other visuals on your pages.
Also set up a blog page on your site and publish articles related to the voice over industry – write about your experience, opinion, and anything related to your top target key words. Aim to write about interesting and current topics in the industry at least twice a month.
Add social media buttons to your web pages so users can easily share your updates or blog posts. Also, regularly update you social media pages with your news and articles and link it back to you website.
Connect with industry “influencers” – these are voice actors, producers, directors, coaches, etc. with large following on their social media accounts and blogs. Give relevant comments on their posts without sounding spammy and hopefully they allow backlinks (an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website) to any relevant post or page on your site.
When you publish a press release of your site launching, or any of your big career updates, make sure that is well written and links back to your website.
Also find sites that lists voice actors like industry associations, affiliations, or voice over resource sites to link back to your website.
Keep on Working!
Your SEO efforts should be continuous as results don’t happen overnight. Once you have started you have to constantly update – publish new VO contents, interact with your followers, post on your social media profiles, and connect with other voice actors through forums and blogs. It takes hard work and constant monitoring to build trust in your website.