(article written for the Enfield Fit group on Facebook – where I have made lots of lovely friends – this is my ‘thank you’ to the group)
Getting a website to the first page of a Google search for relevant keywords has been the holy grail and ultimate achievement for website owners, designers, SEO specialists everywhere and there are loads of good tips, processes and ‘how to’ steps to enable you do just that. My own contribution is very simple; it outlines my Zumba webpage which got listed on Google, page one for keywords ‘Zumba Enfield’ within 4 weeks. I hope it helps you.
Okay, a bit of background to get the story in context.
My name is Keno, and I run a web agency, Spiral Web Solutions. This means I sit on my butt all day long writing emails, putting designs and proposals together, managing teams and producing websites and oh, writing invoices. Naturally, I get stiff and bored (sometimes). So when I discovered zumba in October 2011, I was immediately hooked and by March 2012, I became an instructor, holding my first classes in May 2012 and trying hard not to allow zumba overtake my web business.
Starting on a nil marketing budget (gotta fill those classes) I started with my strengths and completed my online profile on Zumba.com. At that time I was building a personal blog, so I decided to host a zumba webpage in the blog, rather than build a new website. So even though the blog was not finished, I built a web page at www.iamkeno.co.uk/zumba, and less than 4 weeks later, I was on Google page one.
I was clear about my keywords
I was not going to spend too much time on the website, so I simply assumed that anyone searching for a Zumba class would use a local place as a keyword hence my selection of the keywords ‘zumba enfield’. There is lots of research you can do to identify the most popular keywords and keywords that will work best for you.
I listed my classes on any website that allowed listings
From Gumtree to Classfinder to Netmums, I quickly found out that there were a few directories out there that would list your classes for free and, yes, I got my classes listed on all of these.
I used Facebook
Facebook has been my main marketing tool. I created a Facebook page and invited all my friends, I not only listed my classes, but included articles on fitness and nutrition that would drive traffic to the website.
I wrote regular articles
Any little thought/idea I had, was translated to an article which I published on the website and shared on Facebook. As you can imagine, the words ‘zumba’ and ‘Enfield’ are mentioned in the articles where relevant.
I built more pages
From one page, I now have 6 zumba pages, and over 12 articles written and tagged with related keywords. Google is happy, its robots think I am committed and . . .
I made sure my meta data was relevant . . .
Keywords, description and titles were custom-defined for every page, I ensured that these were not only present, but relevant for each page.
. . and used image alt tags
Wow, I love these; so easily missed, but yet so vital. Every image on my website (the zumba section) is tagged with ‘zumba Enfield’ or other relevant keywords.
I drove regular traffic to my website
I created a newsletter using Mailchimp and sent this out weekly. Now that’s a lot of work, so I now send it out monthly but it drives traffic to your website and Google likes this.
I kept on top of site metrics and adapted my tactics
My number one tip for web effectiveness is understanding what is working on your website. Installing Google Analytics (or other measurement software) on your website is a must. I learned what worked, discovered a few surprises and carried on doing what worked.
So that’s what I did and I managed to do this with time snatched within my day job and didn’t spend any money. There are loads of other ways to promote my classes online that I didn’t get round to doing . . . using Google plus, Twitter, getting listed on Google places, uploading PDF documents etc.
There were a few surprises along the way; using Google Analytics, I found out that my website had been discovered by people searching with the keywords ‘zumba playlist UK 2012’. I had written a post about the music I use in class, so my members could go to iTunes and buy music they liked, but other people seemed to be searching for zumba music and found my website using those keywords. Other surprise rankings were for keywords, ‘The place studio Enfield’; ‘AVM fitness studio Enfield’; ‘zumba dance Enfield’; ‘zumba music Enfield’.