SEO is the process of improving your website’s visibility within a search engine. It affects where your page is displayed amongst the organic (free) results when a search is performed relating to your site – e.g. “hip hop beats for sale”
This topic has been tricky to research & write up, as it is constantly changing. Everyone has a different view on how to optimise your site, what’s still relevant, and what will be relevant in the future. So I’ll try my best to give you an overview, but as always, I do advise you to do some extra research
So how will SEO help you sell beats? By making your website more visible in search results; making it seem more relevant to the person running the search. According to this article by moz.com, approximately 67% of clicks go to the first 5 results, so you can see why competition is high for these spots
In a perfect world someone looking to buy beats would run a search and your site would be there in the number 1 spot.
Unfortunately it’s not as easy as that.
I takes a lot of work to raise your site’s rank to the point it’s featured on the first page of Google, let alone the first spot. Remember, you’re competing with guys whose websites have been active for years. They’ve been perfecting their SEO a lot longer than you
SEO is a bit of a catch 22, as, technically, the more popular you are, and the more traffic you get, the better your SEO rank becomes. However, SEO itself plays a big part in increasing your popularity and incoming traffic. So how do you manage this?
Knowing and using your keywords is a big part of optimisation. As a producer, your keywords will be centred around beats, instrumentals, and, depending on if you blog or not, studio set up, etc. But how do you actually make use of these? You don’t want to litter your page with your keywords. You need to find a balance between implementing them in your text, whilst keeping it natural and flowing. This way it doesn’t come across as forced or awkward for people to read
Keywords help search engines understand what your page is about and determine it’s relevance. So if you have a page dedicated to buying beats, you want to make sure the page title has “buy beats” in it. Same goes for the Meta Description (an HTML element that describes your page to search engines). This way, not only will your visitors know they’re coming to the right place, but search engines will know to send people here
You want to focus on keeping people on your website, rather than visiting a page then bouncing. Your bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit your site then leave without viewing any other pages. In other words, ‘bouncing’ right off your page. You want to keep this as low as possible as this is taken into consideration when determining the relevance of your website
This can be done with internal links, calls to action, making sure your site is easy to navigate and providing quality content
I said in my last post that blogs are the gift that keep on giving, and it’s worth mentioning again here. Creating a blog is the perfect way to incorporate keywords into your website. This is because most of the content you write will centre around creating, selling & marketing beats. In a blog you have the perfect opportunity to maximise use of your keywords whilst keeping it natural sounding
Long Tail vs Short Tail Keywords
Keyword research is vital. Many people assume the most searched terms are the best terms to incorporate into their website. They think “the more people searching for this term, the more people will come across the site” right?
Wrong. Remember – getting traffic is a massive competition between you and the thousands of other producers out there. So if everyone is going for the most searched for terms – which are usually short tail, (e.g. ‘beats for sale’) – that means you’ll be competing with thousands of producers for that term. However, if you focus on more long tail terms, not only will you be competing with less people (meaning more clicks for your site) but your website will gain more credibility, as people are more likely to stay on your page longer, having found exactly what they’re looking for
This is because someone may search “hip hop beats”, click your page, then leave when they realise it’s not what they’re looking for. This will increase your bounce rate, remember? However, if they search “travis scott type beat for sale” and find what they’re looking for on your page, then they have a reason to stay – you’re giving them exactly what they searched for
According to various sources 20-25% of searches have never been searched before. This means you could be picking up on sales that other producers are missing out on just by making use of long-tail keywords. If you’re making use of your blog, and create a post titled “How To Set Up Your Studio To Get The Best Sound”, the title alone is going to draw in visitors, as you can be sure people will always be looking for tips on this – and similar – subjects
Check out these Keyword Search Tools to help you go further
SEO is not limited to your on-page efforts. What you do away from your site will have an effect on your site rank as well. This is largely in reference to backlinks
These are links on other sites that link back to yours, and are a great way for Google to determine how popular your site is. Gone are the days when you could just swap links with other websites. You must now earn those links with quality content and offering something of value that people will want to reference and/or share
This is one area where quality truly out-trumps quantity. It’s much much better to have 10 high quality links to your site, getting lots of clicks, rather than 100 links that are hardly (if ever) clicked
Forums are a great way to get back links. You can put your link in your signature, and if you’re constantly offering good advice, people will click your link and check your site out. Be warned though – do not go into forums and spam the hell out of them, trying to sell your beats, as you will get banned
Brand Mentions, or Implied Links are now considered to be just as important as as back links when contributing to SEO. This ties in with my post about social media. In that post I stated that you shouldn’t be using social media simply to promote your beats. You should be connecting with your audience, providing value and encouraging engagement with your brand. Similarly, if people are talking about you, mentioning you in blogs, etc., even if they don’t link to your site, it will still have a positive effect on your SEO rank.
This is why in pretty much every post so far I’ve mentioned not going in for the sell, but instead building relationships, earning trust and engaging with your audience. All these little things may not necessarily pay off straight away, but in time, they will have a greater affect on your business
The Difference Between Search Engine Marketing & Search Engine Optimisation
Quite simply, SEO is one part of SEM. SEM includes paid advertising, such as Pay Per Click advertising (PPC), Social Media Marketing (SMM) as well as yourSEO efforts. SEO is based around getting organic (free) traffic, whilst SEM includes acquiring both paid and organic traffic. And that’s pretty much it!
Keep Up To Date
Finally, keep on top of changes in the way search engines work. Google (and others) are constantly changing their algorithms so you must keep up to date. Otherwise you’ll do all this work, and could see it all disappear overnight somewhere down the line. Just like Facebook, the rules surrounding SEO may well have changed by the time you read this, so do your own research to get some up to date information
As I’m writing this I have come across this article detailing some likely changes in the very near future. So have a read through yourself as this is the type of thing you need to keep on top of
Key Points To Take Away:
Do your keyword research ad use them naturally throughout your site
Write a blog to help with SEO and provide value for your visitors
Be patient and don’t expect a sudden rise in search engine results
Focus on keeping people on your site and keeping bounce rate low
Stay up to date so you don’t get caught out by changes
Thanks for reading, see you next week!
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