By Jennifer McCoy Blaske
I texted to my husband at work a couple weeks ago, Here’s something fun. Do a Google search for “Atlanta Wedding Pianist.”
Holy cow! he texted back to me.
Yup. Not only was my site in the Number One position for my main keyword, but it was in three different listings above the fold.
I don’t have an “SEO Guy,” and there’s nothing fancy or technical about what I’ve done to get my site to rank high. You can do it too, if you follow these simple steps.
STEP 1: Write a blog post. Then write another one.
I currently have 111 blog posts on my site. Interestingly, I haven’t even written many blog posts in the past three months, yet I’m still holding the #1 spot because I have all those older posts working for me.
What do I blog about? My very first four posts were answering the most commonly-asked questions that I’m asked. The latest event I’ve played for is always a good choice for a post.
I’ve also featured some of my local wedding vendor friends, my favorite local venues, and even discussed wedding trends, not necessarily ones that specifically had to do with music.
STEP 2: Come up with a long-tail keyword for each post.
A long-tail keyword is one that is long, specific, and therefore less competitive. Another benefit to using a long-tail keyword is that one keyword gets you to rank for several shorter ones as well.
For example, a long-tail keyword for one of my posts is “Wimbish House midtown Atlanta wedding ceremony pianist.”
I would recommend choosing your keyword after you write each post so that your writing sounds natural and you don’t end up keyword stuffing.
STEP 3: Use your keyword in both the title and your first sentence.
You sometimes have to be a little creative here so that it doesn’t sound like you’re just spitting out keywords, but it can be done.
In my example above, the title might be, “Lavin and Chris’s Wedding Ceremony at the Wimbish House in Atlanta.” Then I might start the post with “Last Saturday I had a wonderful time playing for a wedding ceremony at one of my favorite Atlanta venues, the Wimbish House in midtown.“
Notice that I didn’t use the “pianist” in either example. That’s because it didn’t seem to fit naturally in either case. But don’t worry, because we’re not finished yet …
STEP 4: Label your photos correctly.
I always like to connect with the wedding photographer and offer to link them if they let me use a few photos. Sometimes this works out and sometimes it doesn’t. But at the very least, I always arrive a little early and walk around the venue before the ceremony to take some photos on my phone.
Then I work in my keywords when I name the photo and in its alt tag. To continue the example above, I might write, “Groom’s Cake for wedding ceremony at the Wimbish House in midtown Atlanta.“
If it’s a photo of me, I’ll call it “Atlanta pianist Jennifer Blaske playing for wedding ceremony at the Wimbish House in Atlanta in midtown.” (See the beauty of a long-tail keyword?)
STEP 5: Use your keyword when you hyperlink.
Once you’ve gotten several blog posts going, you can creatively find ways to link them together, which also helps your rankings. When you do hyperlink, make sure the anchor text you use is related to your chosen keyword.
For example, if I wrote a post about some of my favorite venues, I would not say, “You can see photos of a Wimbish House wedding that I played for here,” because anchor texting the word “here” isn’t helpful for SEO purposes.
A more useful anchor text would be “You can see more photos of this beautiful wedding ceremony at the Wimbish House.” See the difference?
You probably already know to list your site on as many free listings as possible, like The Knot and WeddingWire. But it’s also helpful to link within your own site. After you’ve written about ten or more posts, you can creatively find ways to do this.
For example, I wrote a post about my favorite venues in Atlanta, and when I discussed the Wimbish House, I put in a hyperlink to the post example above.
If you want to learn more about how I’ve used blogging to increase my visibility and get leads, you can download my latest book on Amazon, Giggin’ for a Livin’: How to Make Money as a Musician Playing For Weddings and Special Events.
Jennifer McCoy Blaske is a pianist, homeschooling mom, and the author of two books, including Giggin’ for a Livin’: How to Make Money as a Musician Playing for Weddings and Special Events. You can see her high-ranking website at www.PianoJenny.com.
Photo courtesy of Derek Wintermute Photography