If you’ve landed here, you’ve probably seen a post somewhere about my Search Engine Optimization for Small Business Class. And you might be wondering why you would bother learning Search Engine Optimization from someone who specializes in baby photography. If you take a few minutes to read my story, you’ll understand.
But before my sad story, how about something happy??
“I recently took Leah’s SEO class and feel like I hit the lottery! She shares a ton of information and it is laid out well. All of the points are easily defined and she takes the time to go through each one and describe ways that you can implement them on your own site. For me, taking the class was an eye opening experience with plenty of ah-ha moments. She pointed out some of the pitfalls that I had landed in and gave me plenty of direction on the changes I should make. The majority of these are easy fixes and can be implemented immediately. Others will take some time but with her clear direction, I am not all overwhelmed by these tasks. Leah is relatable, fun, and extremely knowledgeable. Her class was a joy to take and I am confident that by using her tips I will increase my ranking on google. No matter what business you have, people will be searching for your services online. If you want to be visible to those potential clients Leah can help make it happen!” Heather Marlin, Columbus Ohio Baby Photographer Big Fish Stories Photography & Design
…and just seven days later from Heather, this… “Seriously..I could kiss you. I haven’t started blogging yet and have only implemented about half of the things you taught me but…Look! (At this point I’m viewing the attachment Heather sent of her business listing appearing in the Google “Snack Pack” which is the 3-pack of listings below the Google map, right above organic listings). I never showed up before and now I kicked someone else off the snack pack and here I am! I know I still have a lot of work to do but if this has happened in just a few days then I have full faith in your methods! Thank you thank you thank you!” Heather Marlin, Columbus Ohio Baby Photographer Big Fish Stories Photography & Design
…and from Colorado Springs Baby Photographer Daina Taylor…
“Several words came to mind while going through your SEO training: mind-blowing and eye opening are just a few! There was so much information but you outlined everything so well so that I could follow along and understand every topic you covered. The note taker you provided was a life-saver and is now full of helpful information that I just know will help my business grow! The online meeting helped so much with me being able to follow through with everything you spoke about. I can’t thank you enough for taking ime out of your day to share this with me. I’m looking forward to you checking my website in 6 months to see how much it has blossomed. Here’s to kicking some local competitor butt!” Colorado Springs Baby Photographer Daina Taylor Daina Taylor Photography
Ok, back to my story. Don’t worry, it has a happy ending! I built my first photography website, www.lseverson.com, back in 2004. My website was one of the first photography websites in the Indianapolis area and it routinely topped the Google search result pages for my specialty, which was baby photography in Indianapolis and Carmel, Indiana. It was consistently at the top of Google. So I did what a lot of small business owners do when there’s a certain part of their business that’s humming along smoothly. I stopped paying attention to it.
Now there are a lot of things I’ve done right with my business and a few that I’ve done wrong. One thing I’ve always done is ask new clients how they heard about me. When I was at the top of Google, I would get answers like “I was searching online for a photographer” or “I did a Google search and discovered your website.” But when business slowed down and I realized almost all my clients were repeat customers or referrals, I knew something was up. So I did a very. scary. thing. I Googled my keywords. I had a pit in my stomach as I was doing it because I was pretty sure I knew what I was going to find. And sadly, I was right.
I had disappeared from Google. (cue tears)
Now in reality I was still there. But I was buried deep in the bowels of Google. No one would ever find me on there. If you’re not on the first page of Google, and more specifically – if you’re not one of the top three organic listings – you might as well not even be there. Sure, people can type your web address and find you, and people can type your business name in the search bar to find you. But the people who were looking for a baby photographer in Indianapolis or Carmel, INwere not finding me. And my business was struggling mightily.
The first time I was at the top of Google I had gotten there by dumb luck. I knew that wasn’t going to happen again. I realized three things…
1. I needed to be at the top of Google in order to bring in those new clients automatically without spending any marketing dollars.
2. I knew absolutely nothing about Search Engine Optimization.
3. I could not afford to hire someone to do SEO for me.
You’ve heard the phrase “If it’s meant to be it’s up to me?” That’s where I was. I knew if I was going to climb back to the top I was going to have to learn Search Engine Optimization and make it happen. So that’s what I did. I read books, took classes, studied websites and blogs, ran a-b optimization tests on my own site, and slowly but surely I made it back to the top of Google.
Before I tell you the results of my DIY SEO, let’s hear from another business owner who took my SEO for Small Businesses class:
The Results of my DIY Search Engine Optimization
For my keyword term “Baby Photography Indianapolis” you can see more than 1.7 million organic results were returned by Google. My listing appears as the second organic search result.
More importantly for my particular business, 40% of the images showing up in the first several rows of the Google images result pages are mine. I’ve marked my pictures with a yellow dot. If you own a business where people are looking for pictures of your work it’s crucial that your pictures appear in Google images.
I’ve also optimized my images to appear in the Google images results for “Carmel, IN Baby Photographer.” My business is not in Carmel, but Carmel is an affluent community and most of my clients live there, so I definitely want Carmel moms to find my baby pictures. 75% of the images in the top rows of Google images for the search term “Carmel, IN Baby Photographer” are my pictures.
I have a senior portrait website that is separate from my main website. My senior portrait website has the number two spot in the organic results for the search term “Carmel Senior Pictures.” In addition, my pictures make up 50% of the Google image results for the same search term.
“Leah’s SEO Class changed my life as an aspiring entrepreneur! I just started my business adventure as a newborn photographer and just launched my website. I knew before taking the leap that I was going into a saturated market–photography and even more saturated with focusing on newborn photography. What I didn’t know is how SEO would revolutionize the way I am going to reach my target market and ultimately get clients in the door-ESPECIALLY as a new photographer. The idea of SEO in general before this class was an incomprehensible mess that I thought only a super tech professional would be able to do. Leah made it extremely easy to understand the details of SEO and how to use it to get the best results for your business. She was able to answer all of my questions and left me excited to get started working on my site. It may take a little big of work but once you understand what SEO can do for you it will change your business too! Take Leah’s class as an opportunity to understand SEO now, your business with thank you!”
“I appreciate you taking the time to show me how to improve our website. It is obvious there are many places to improve our organic results. I’ve paid more then $10,000 for someone to keep our site in the top 3 spots, and after meeting with you I realize I am throwing money away. Thank you for the insight, you are very knowledgeable and thorough. I will take what you recommended and make the changes to our site. Very simple but impactful changes! Thanks.”
“Leah is fabulous to work with. She had everything laid out by categories which made is so much easier to digest all the information. She explained things to me in layman terms making it easier to understand SEO. I can’t wait to start implementing what I learned from Leah to take my web presence to the next level.”
Google wins hands-down when it comes to market share for Search Engine queries. In other words, more people use Google to search for stuff on the Internet than any other search engine. Google has 65% of the online search market compared to Yahoo and Bing, which combined have 33%. Yahoo is powered by Bing and basically return the same results. But you don’t have to worry about optimizing your site for Yahoo and Bing. The Search Engine Optimization techniques I teach work just as well – and sometimes even better – on Yahoo and Bing.
See for yourself below. As you saw in the previous picture, my senior portraits make up 50% of the Google Search Results for the term “Carmel Senior Pictures.” In Yahoo, as you can see below, the results are even better. 90% of the images in the first several rows of Yahoo’s Image Search Results are mine.
Learn to Do Your Own Search Engine Optimization
What’s it worth to your business to have a steady supply of new business – without spending a marketing dime? For me it has meant the difference between continuing to run a successful, financially stable portrait business or getting a j.o.b.
In my DIY SEO class, you’ll learn…
-How to find the perfect keywords for your business
-How to excel at on-page Search Engine Optimization
-How to build backlinks that work
-How to optimize your blog posts
-How to optimize graphics and pictures on your website
-How to make the most of citations and business directories
-How to get your pictures and graphics on Google Images
I would love to help you get your website and your images prominently displayed on Google. I promise it won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and it won’t be difficult. It will require time, effort and consistency on your part.
Read What Others are Saying About My SEO for Small Business Class
“Leah, I just want to thank you for your amazing SEO course. This course is truly like nothing else you can find out there when looking for SEO education. After all, anyone can read a book on SEO – but the way that you explain all of the terminology and apply it to actual websites makes it so easy! I love that you walk through each element step by step and then give specific suggestions on how to implement the changes into my website, and then show how I can measure my results! I can’t recommend this course enough to those that are SEO challenged, or who just don’t have the time to do all of the research on their own. Leah is a true expert on SEO, and her course is a must have if you want to optimize your website for search engines.”
“I was blown away by Leah’s SEO training! Her content was well organized and engaging. Her explanations were very clear and easy to understand. Before her class, SEO was a vague concept that I knew I needed to address. After? I came away knowing exactly what steps I need to take to improve my SEO and my website’s visibility—an SEO Birth Plan! All in all an excellent class that I’d recommend to anyone running a business who wants their website to work for them!”
“I thought the class was great! It’s so important in today’s tech-savvy society to be easily found on the Internet. When I need to find a business, I turn to Google. So it’s imperative to have a high ranking and be listed on the first page of the search engines. I’m sure every business owners knows a little bit about SEO, key words, etc. But there’s so much more information that we need to know. Leah’s class gave me a guideline of where to start and what I need to do to get this done myself. I feel very confident that I’m able to do this now myself. I would definitely recommend this class to other small business owners. Leah showed us that it’s not really that difficult to get your ranking up there. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge and time and you can get highly ranked.”
“This was a VERY informative class! After taking it, I’m confident about doing my own SEO quite easily. I would certainly recommend it to others. Leah was very well-prepared and knowledgeable. I feel I really learned a lot!”
“I loved it! You did such an amazing job. Even though I do a lot to help my blog be on top of Google search in my area, my website is so much behind. After your class I know how to make the changes that are necessary to make it work for me. I’m very confident as I know how to do it now. It will take a lot of time to make the changes necessary, but after your class I know I have to make them. I would absolutely recommend this class to others! I’m so glad I attended. You are very good at teaching the subject. It looks like you spent a lot of time researching it and you also know how to present it. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I’ve learned a lot and am confident that everyone who takes your class will benefit from it.”
Search Engine Optimization for Small Business Class Options
I offer a number of different Search Engine Optimization class options depending on where you are located and the amount of time and money you have to commit to the project.
SEO Private Class: This SEO class can be done in-person in the Indianapolis area or live via the screen sharing website www.join.me. This class can last up to four hours depending on how quickly you learn. Contact Leah for pricing information on the SEO Private Class.
SEO Private Class plus 4 hours of Practical Application: Again, this Search Engine Optimization class can be done in-person in the Indianapolis area or live via join.me. After we complete the class, we’ll begin to apply the concepts learned in the class to your actual website. Contact Leah for pricing information on the SEO Private Class plus 4 hours of practical application.
SEO Group Class: If you’ve got a group of at least 3 people we can schedule a group Search Engine Optimization class, either in-person or live via join.me. Contact Leah for information on the SEO Group Class. Ask how you can attend this class for free or for a reduced tuition by hosting it.
SEO Group Class plus 4 hours of Practical Application: Again, minimum group of at least 3 SEO students. The class is done either in-person or live via join.me. After the class, we’ll spend 4 hours of hands-on practical application. Contact Leah for information on the SEO group class plus practical application. Ask how you can attend this class for free or for a reduced tuition by hosting it.