It’s called search engine optimization, and it’s an incredible tool for small business owners. It’s the marketing I focus on the most when building any new service, and it’s what’s given my business wings.
It’s also why every personal chef should put some effort into it. The return on investment is tenfold what you put in. While you may still have to do other forms of marketing to get clients quickly, there is a lot to be said about the long term gain of this strategy.
The tips below only scratch the surface. But these are to get you started. There is no reason to get overwhelmed. Do this research, figure out if people in your area are even looking for personal chefs online, and start to build your web presence so you show up on the first page of Google. You can also do the same if your goal is to do cooking classes or other services. We now rank #6 for Whole 30 delivery on all of Google because of these tips, because doing your research and spending an additional 15-30 minutes per web page or blog post can really make a big difference.
Here are some tips to get you started!
1. Find one keyword you want to show up #1 on Google for. This is usually the language your clients use when looking for your services. What do they type in Google when looking for a personal chef? It’s often “Personal chef (and name of your town.)” Go to the Adword Keyword Planner (Google this and sign up.) Type in “Personal Chef (your town.)
Here’s what that might look like:
From there, this page will show up. Choose Keyword Ideas (not ad groups.)
Note that in SF, the competition is high for this specific keyword. This means the competition will be harder than say, Fresno.
See what happens when I research cooking classes. You’ll want to go with low competition keywords when you can. So, here you’d choose “San Francisco Cooking Class” as your keyword.
Great. You’ve got this.
Next up, open up your homepage.
- Make sure your URL has your keyword (http://mysavvykitchen.com/personal-chef-service-sacramento
- Place your keyword at the top of the page in H1
- Insert the keyword in the first 100 words of the first paragraph
- Insert an image in your page and place your keyword in the “alt text”
- Make sure you have more than 300 words on the page. The longer the better.
- Don’t have duplicate content anywhere on your website
- Make sure your homepage is linked to your About page (at the end of the page, insert a link that leads to your About page. Link your About page to your services page. All the pages on your website have to be interlinked.)
Download the Yoast app and follow the steps to an optimized page. If you don’t have WordPress, see if your host has any SEO optimization tools. If they don’t, follow the steps above.
This is a good place to start to learn more. SEO can make your brain spin. I just want to give you a few tools so you can start thinking about and applying it.
Because it’s incredible marketing for your business. Instead of hundreds or thousands of dollars in ads, tons of energy spent trying to find clients on Thumbtack, you can have the RIGHT clients looking EXACTLY for your services on Google. The people searching for personal chefs WANT a personal chef, so you don’t have to convince them to hire you. They are halfway there.
Of course it does help to hire an SEO expert, but never buy a SEO package from a questionable firm that promises incredible results.
SEO is more than the steps above. However, in the right areas where you don’t have much competition, it is likely to be enough. In competitive areas, you’ll have to work harder.
Either way, you have to start somewhere. Start with the research. Put a specific keyword on your website, the one you want to be most known for. Start there. Don’t overthink it. Just do it.
From there, you’ll at least start the process. You can learn more as you go.
Some people end up stumbling upon building their business on SEO accidentally without trying, like my friend Diane from Cast Iron Kitchen. It really depends on luck and the competition.
But establish this strong foundation in your marketing, and you’ll be set for a long time.
Do you use SEO in your biz? Do you have any specific tips to add?