On this month’s blog, I invited Rhiannon Carnohan to share her knowledge of SEO. Rhiannon explains the benefits of using SEO and how it will help save us time, money and sanity! Rhiannon is on a mission to take the stress and complexity out of SEO and is changing the game with her honest and simple approach.

Have you ever sat on Instagram for a few too many hours, pulling your hair out because you’re just not getting the results all the Instagram marketers are promising?

I feel you. It’s beyond frustrating to hustle on social media, not reap any rewards from your work and wonder what you could be doing better.

I like Instagram, I do. I’m on Instagram and it’s a great place to network, see what other small biz’s are out there and, of course, watch some #VanLife Reels to inspire my next adventure.

But there are much easier marketing strategies you (yes, you!) can implement that will save you time, money and your sanity. 

My favourite is SEO.

Never heard of SEO? Let me explain…

SEO (which stands for Search Engine Optimisation) is all about making improvements to your website so that it ranks higher in Google search results.

The higher your site “ranks” (AKA: the higher it sits on the Google search results page), the better your SEO is, the more trustworthy you appear and the more likely your ideal clients are to visit your site, fall in love with your biz and start working with you!

There are a lot of things we can do to make your SEO better (and we’ll cover a few of them below), but I want to talk to you more about how SEO can save you time, money and sanity in your business and why it’s the next investment you need to make in your marketing efforts.

Shall we?

How can SEO save time?

Let’s cast our minds back to the last time we tried to create content for Instagram. If you’re anything like me, you spent way too much time trying to lip sync to a trending audio on Instagram Reels, spent also way too much time trying to write the perfect caption, and posted it to only get a few hundred views and a bit of engagement from your biz besties.

I can spend anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours on my social media content, which is a lot of time to spend on something that generates minimal results for my business.

This isn’t to say Instagram (and social media in general) isn’t worth your while. It has helped grow my business, which is what marketing is for. But it’s an incredibly time-consuming form of marketing because we need to generate new content every other day.

Want to know what’s a lot quicker and a lot more effective?

You guessed it, SEO.

Once you’ve optimised your site, you don’t have to do all that much to maintain your SEO. The main thing you want to spend time on is blog writing, which helps SEO by targeting keywords your audience are searching for.

I know that writing blogs sounds like a time-consuming task, but here’s the thing…

You write your blog once. You post it to your website. And it sits there working its SEO magic for your site until you take it down, which in most cases is never.

This is what we call “evergreen” content in the marketing world. Content that will always work for your business, that will always help your target audience in some way, that you don’t have to re-write and update every other week.

Instead of spending two hours on a new reel trend that’ll disappear quicker than you can say “SEO”, smash out one new blog post for your site. Spend a bit of time finding out what your audience wants to learn, do a quick search of the keywords your audience are using to find out this information, and spend your two hours writing a blog post that will help your SEO for the months and years ahead (instead of fading into the algorithmic black hole of social media after 0.2 seconds).

How can SEO save money?

Yep, SEO can save you money, too.

Because every small business owner can DIY their SEO

I know you probably don’t believe me. SEO always seems like a bit of a daunting task to the newly initiated. But when you have the right help, when you work with someone who can explain SEO in a non-scary, easy-to-understand way, SEO becomes a walk in the DIY park.

Once you’re SEO is working for you, it will continue to work for you by generating new leads for your business, for free! And there’s no fear of “switching off” SEO and losing traffic like you would an ad campaign.

Fix your SEO. Maintain your SEO. And reap the rewards of low-cost marketing that generates results for your business.

How can SEO save your sanity?

How deflating is it to spend all that time on social media without seeing any results? I know that, now more than ever, business owners are becoming increasingly frustrated with social media marketing and the lack of genuine leads they’re generating through these platforms.

Even businesses who do social media exceptionally well are noticing that it takes a long time and a lot of energy to get results, which will eventually take a toll on your sanity.

This is one of the reasons I love SEO the most. When your SEO is working for you, it’s like having a lead generation system in place for your business. Your target audience find you on Google, they read your beautifully optimised site, they realise you’re the business to help solve their problem, and they submit your contact form to get the ball rolling on whatever it is you offer.

How can you get started with SEO?

There are three ways you can improve your SEO without spending hours on it:

Find the keywords your clients are using in Google

To optimise our site for SEO, we need to know what our audience is searching for on Google. We call these things “keywords”, and these are the words or phrases we’re going to use the most in our site content.

My favourite keyword-finding tool is SERanking, which offers a free 14-day trial to newbies! We want to find keywords with a high search volume and low keyword difficulty. I try to aim for keywords with a minimum search volume of 100 and a maximum keyword difficulty score of 30. 

And don’t worry about the lingo, you don’t really need to understand what these mean just yet! Just look for “search volume” and “keyword difficulty” on SERanking and you’ll be right.

Optimise your service pages for these keywords

Now that we have our keywords, we need to add them to our service pages. Simple!

Create fresh content to target a broader range of keywords 

Remember how we spoke about blogging before? Each time someone types a keyword into Google, the search engine chooses the most relevant and useful content to answer the searcher’s query. And the key to being relevant and useful is creating content that perfectly aligns with what someone is looking for.

So, find your relevant keywords, turn them into a question, and answer it in a blog post you can host on your site for months (and hopefully even years) to come.

SEO = Your marketing dream

By now, I hope you know just how much SEO can help your small business thrive with minimal cost, time and stress! Who knew marketing could be so fun?

If I can leave you with one piece of advice, it would be to implement those three tips above right now (yes, even before you make your next cup of tea!). It’s easy to add this to your to-do list, but it’s just as easy to push it into next week (and the week after, and the week after that).

And the earlier you get started with SEO, the quicker you’ll see results from your hard work.

Good luck, and if you need a helping hand, you can find out more about SEO for free (!!) on my blog here.

Rhiannon Carnohan
Rhiannon is an SEO expert, passionate small biz supporter and full-time van lifer. When she's not exploring a new town on her van travels around Australia (or surfing, hiking or sampling local wine), you’ll find her in her office-on-wheels, helping small businesses supercharge their success through the power of SEO. She's on a mission to take the stress and complexity out of SEO and is changing the game with her honest and simple approach.