It's Not Rocket Science! Practical Tips To Take
Your Voice Over Website Up The SEO Ladder
By Anna Lawrence
There's no feeling like being fully 'in control' of your successful voice over business is there?
Call me a control freak, but I like to know that the actions I'm taking to build my voice over career are producing measurable results.
But wait, is anyone actually viewing your website?
Or are you currently positioned on page 12 of Google for your key search term, and so, not getting a look in?
The answer: SEO
The words Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO, as it's more commonly known), strike fear into the souls of many people. I can't tell you how many times I have read, "You need to hire someone to do your SEO" in online voice actor forums.
Well, I'm here to tell you that it's not rocket science. In fact, when you know how to do it, it's really quite simple.
SO TAKE CONTROL ...
Taking control and making tiny tweaks to your website can significantly boost your rankings and book you more work. I'm the proof.
A year ago I had only just created my website. Now I'm ranked top of page 1 on Google and Microsoft Bing for the majority of my key search terms.
You can be too!
So here are 5 easy steps that you can take to boost your rankings.
1. META TITLE or TITLE TAG
The Meta Tag is one of the most important and easiest of SEO steps. It's the headline that will appear in a search engine search. You need your keywords in there! And the highest priority keywords need to be at the beginning. Not necessarily your name upfront. Combine your keywords to make a meaningful sentence and avoid word repetitions.
Meta Title Length: 55 to 65 characters. Google only uses 580 pixels to display the meta title of a webpage in search results - approximately 70 characters (including spaces). There are various schools of thought about whether Google SEO penalises you for Meta Titles being too long, but it is recommended that you don't exceed 70 characters since the title is otherwise cut off by Google. Optimally, your Meta Title should be between 55 and 65 characters long.
Your Meta Title needs to tell people EXACTLY what your page is about. Concisely and clearly. Not only for SEO, but because it's a huge decision maker in whether someone clicks on your page rather than someone else's.
Every page on your website needs to have a different Meta Title. You can't use the same. Google hates this and may write its own title based on your page header tags.
2. PAGE CONTENT
High quality content is one of the most important factors in ranking well on Google and other search engines. Google wants to promote good content sources so it's not necessarily about keyword stuffing, but more about text and info that is of benefit to site visitors that will rank you higher.
800 - 1600 words per page is ideal. This isn't always possible when you want to focus on audio and video, but it is a good aim. Conversely, you don't want to have too much text, as then Google struggles to assign a specific topic to your page. Use headings featuring keywords to break it up.
Inferior, irrelevant or stolen content goes against you and can lead to lower rankings. Unique content is really important. Be careful if you're using ChatGPT. You have no idea if someone else is using the exact same content.
Peppering your content with keywords is the aim. 2.5% to 5% of your text should be keywords. You want people to stay on your website for as long as possible (low bounce rate). But packing your text with keywords makes it really difficult to read, so people might leave your site quicker.
Do not repeat the same content on all your different pages. Find another way to say it!
3. IMAGES AND VIDEOS
Make sure you have named your image files. Google trawls this text, so it can help with your SEO rankings. Name the image files to reflect their specific content and placement on your website.
The text within close proximity to an image (e.g. captions) also plays an important role and should, therefore, contain the most important keywords.
Alt Attributes describe your image. If for whatever reason your image is not able to be displayed, the alt attribute text will appear instead, describing your image. Google will use the alt text to classify the image, boosting it's image search. It is also used by the visually impaired, making your site more accessible and inclusive (win win!) But do not just copy the image title. Google will penalise you for this.
Make sure your photos are the right size. Post images that are high quality to view, but not so high that they slow down your page load speed. SEO ranking takes into account page load speed.
4. PAGE LOAD SPEED
SEO ranking takes into account page load speed. Particularly, the length of time it takes for your above-the-fold content to load. Longer load time leads to a higher bounce rate. Google will penalise you on this because visitors aren't spending enough time on your site.
Above the fold needs to load FAST. If you have videos, audio, etc. that take a little longer to load, get them below the fold. Your site needs to be optimized for mobile. Many people use their mobile now rather than desktop, so it's really important for them to view your site clearly.
On mobile, people act fast. If your content is taking too long to load, have a think about whether you need that content right at the top. On my desktop site I have a video reel. I have removed it on my mobile site for this reason.
5. BACKLINKS - SO IMPORTANT!
Backlinks are links that refer to your website from other sites. If someone else is referring your page to their viewers, Google LOVES IT and it boosts the importance of your page for SEO.
You can get free backlinks all over the web and it's worth spending some time to track them down. For instance, look for free local business listings, agent websites, P2P profile pages - anything that contains a link back to your website. There are also websites where you can trace other VO's backlinks. It's worth doing this to match your competitors.
NOW CLIMB THE LADDER!
So there we are, 5 easy and actionable steps you can take to maximise your website and boost your rankings.
Just imagine the extra opportunities that could come your way with more clicks and greater website traffic.
And the best bit: Google rankings are measurable. You can actively see the difference that small tweaks to your website can make as you climb up the SEO ladder.
Anna Lawrence is an award-nominated British voice over artist. Represented in the UK and internationally, she records from her own voice studio based just outside London, UK specialising in Commercial, Corporate and Medical Narration Voice over. Her warm, trustworthy and reassuring vocal tone is trusted globally by brands large and small, and her portfolio of voice work includes campaigns for Amazon, Santander, Visa, Disney, L'Oreal, Google, Mercedes Benz and The BBC. Prior to becoming a full-time voice actor, Anna was classically trained in acting at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London. Her theatre work includes: The 39 Steps (West End & UK National Tour); Oliver! (West End) and The Sound of Music (UK National Tour and Dubai / Bahrain / Qatar).
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