Today marks a new day *breaks into song*. For whilst I have no lion cub to raise in the air, I *do* have Elton John playing in the background and I am feeling particularly optimistic. Last week I put something really big off all week. Scratch that, I actually put something really big off all month. I had finally done all my chores (because you know laundry only gets done on procrastination days) I delved deep into what's really going on and I realised what I really found absolutely joyous about what I do.
It all started two weeks ago when I had a bit of a meltdown. I know that that doesn't sound particularly optimistic does it but bear with.
You see, I had just done an Instagram story takeover, where I had literally hundreds of messages and new followers, and I was completely overwhelmed. I felt like such a total failure. Imposter syndrome kicked in. I'm supposed to act like a big (well, small to medium) hotshot success right? Like, who am I to be a human bean or something?!
I had a good truth serum served by people close to me. The next day, I stripped back a whole load of stuff on my To Do list that was making my business feel bloated and wham bam I felt a million times better.
Free of the shackles of my own doing (I never promised this email would be drama-free) I came to a realisation.
I decided to put myself out there more. Not just for any old thing but in a very decisive way.
You see, when I put myself out there more I actually enjoy what I do more. I get more enquiries. I feel *in control*. Oh yes we love a bit of control round here.
And guess what? I get SO many questions asking how you can put yourself out there more and so I put them together in one handy place....
Getting found online (i.e. SEO what I do) is about stepping up and stepping out. It’s about saying “Dream clients here I am, come and get me!"
1. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else who does what you do.
If I compared myself to other SEO consultants there’s no way I would do anything like I’ve done. If I compared myself to other business coaches there's definitely no way I would be able to muster up the courage to show up online. As the great Dolly Parton says 'Figure out who you are and do it on purpose'.
2. Stop worrying about what others think of you.
I have a newsflash for you: no one is thinking about you nearly as much as you'd like them to be. It used to consume me too. As soon as I just relaxed and continued on, I started having a lot more fun and actually enjoying all these things. What you love to see is what you do, because it’s your passion. So don’t be afraid of heading out there. If others don’t want to see it, they won’t interact with it, and you'll learn from that. It won’t always be just family and friends who are supporting you.
3. Keep a note of why you're awesome.
Realise that just as new competitors emerge each and every day, the market is saturated, argh what about Brexit, that they cannot actually directly affect what you sell as a product or service. You have had clients before and you will have clients again. Read through your testimonials to remind yourself of why you're amazing at what you do. (I do this every day, it's a wonderful habit).
4. Stop getting scared of doing it wrong.
It’s not actually that a big deal of a deal to do the hard things (whether it's write a blog post, get your website updated etc). Once new tasks become everyday habits, you find you learn by doing and hire experts *ahem* to help you upgrade that plan.
5. Set goals for what you want to do and make a plan of action.
I *love* helping others plan and sort out their business brains + lives. What do you want to sell, how often do you want to sell it, and where have you sold it before that worked well? Promote on the channels that work for you. Hire an expert to help you in the areas where you're stuck. Don't let fear of lack of time get in the way. Think of the time you're wasting deliberating and instead move on up!
6. Believe in yourself.
You've come this far already! If you follow me on Instagram (hello!) then you'll see I regularly post reflective posts recognising how far I've come, focusing on my wins of the week on my #ThingsILoveFridays💖 If you don't believe in yourself you'll watch Netflix all day and never achieve anything you want to do. With self belief comes positive action. It's not wishy washy. It's fact.
Tell me in the comments - which tip hit home for you?
You’ve got a website and you may even be blogging. You want people to see it and you want to know who, when and how people are seeing it. This is useful to you so you can be more strategic with your content.
Obviously, you want to increase the traffic and therefore bookings through your site with the aim of creating income from these site users, but this can seem like a scary task when you have little to no information about who is on your site and what content they are viewing.
What is this ‘Google Analytics’ thing people keep on talking about? And why is it useful to me and my business?
Google Analytics is a free tool available from Google that allows website owners to track the website traffic on their sites and glean some useful information about your site visitors. It collects data on 75% of all websites in the world - that's crazy. There is a lot of information available to you when you log in to Google Analytics. It can easily become overwhelming but you’ll find that there are large sections of Google Analytics that you don’t actually need to pay *such* close attention to and we're here to help you.
This is where Google Analytics becomes your new best friend forever, because as a site owner it allows you to answer these five important questions about your audience:
Who visits your site?
What are people doing on your site? What content are they viewing?
When do people visit?
How do people find you?
How do your viewers interact with content on your site?
It’s not surprising there's a whole lot of fear out there about Google Analytics, because logging in can feel like a minefield, however have no fear because Google Analytics doesn’t need to be scary. I'm going to break it down for you into some easy to digest, bite-sized chunks!
Once you’ve signed in you’ll come to a setup screen.
For Website Name - you can simply use your URL
For Website URL - just type in your website address!
For Industry - we’ve found most of these options don’t apply to the clients we work with – if you’re having trouble picking one, we recommend “Online Communities”.
For Pick your Time Zone - This is super important so make sure you check your specific time zone.
For Account Name - feel free to use your company name. You can have/monitor multiple websites in one Analytics Account, so make sure this name will be appropriate if you plan on adding multiple websites.
Data Sharing Settings - completely optional. Select and deselect as you feel comfortable.
Click the ‘Get Tracking ID’ button and install on your website.
Under ‘Tracking Info’ then ‘Tracking Code’ you’ll find a page which says ‘Website Tracking’ and then has a piece of code below. Copy and Paste this code.
WordPress users: Head into your WordPress account Dashboard and under the Plugin section, search for the ‘Insert Headers and Footers’ Plugin. You’ll want to download and activate this plugin. (Although do check your theme settings as there may be an area under Appearance > Theme > Theme Options where you can add your Google Analytics code. If you're not sure, check with your theme support)
Squarespace users: In the Home Menu, click Settings, click Advanced, and then click External Services. In the Google Analytics Account Number box, enter your tracking ID, and then click Save. It may take up to 24 hours for site statistics to populate in Google Analytics.
Upon activation, you'll need to visit the Settings > Insert Headers and Footers page. This is where you’ll paste the Google Analytics code that you copied into the headers section.
You’re done - congratulations! Stick the kettle on. Eat a celebratory biscuit or three. Nom, nom. Speaking of cookies, now that you're stalking your website visitors, you need to install a Cookie Notice.
I thought it would be useful to write a blog on how to protect your search engine ranking + hard work as so many people come to me in tears "Help! I've really messed this up. I/a friend re-designed my website and I've basically disappeared from Google!" or maybe you're putting off making changes to your website BECAUSE you've heard so many horror stories.
What I see around is a lack of knowhow about how to protect the content you've created whether its pages, image layouts or blog posts. There are many articles out there but they're in a language that is, shall we say, a tad dry.
And you know me, I don't do dry. I make SEO So Exciting Obviously! Hooray
So here's where to start....
First of all, you need to bear in mind that when you re-design your website, however small or radically, then search engines will need some time to register the new changes - even if you've got the same basic text and images content there, then you've still made significant changes to your site in Google's eyes.
You may have updated any or all of the following:
You may have moved content about to different sections whether it's images or text or whole pages, which may indicate to search engines that you consider it less / more important than other content and this will affect your rankings.
You may be creating brand new content + sections that may take longer to rank.
You may be removing content (in which case, of course, it won't rank if it's not there and your rankings may even drop)
You may be changing / updating content (which will take a while to register on search engines)
You may be changing the URLs (links) to the pages / posts in which case any other pages whether on your website or elsewhere will then have broken links
Now you may be thinking - OMG this is an ACTUAL MINEFIELD, but actually, *pushes glasses up nose* there are steps you can take to be reassured that all your hard work is not lost.
Here's what you need to do when protecting your website SEO after a re-design:
1. Keep the old website live whilst you build the new one
If you're sticking to the same platform, create a second site. If you're on WordPress, contact your hosting provider and ask them to show you how to create a staging site. This won't be live on the internet, this is a backroom situation.
2. Backup your website
When you come to move your site to go live, please for the love of all that is good and holy, backup your website. Here's how to backup your website on Wix and here's how to backup your website on Squarespace. If your website is on WordPress, then be in touch with your hosting provider to see how often they backup your website. If they don't back it up daily, then you'll need to use a backup plugin on your site. I've always quite liked BackupBuddy but there are many, many others.
3. Save everything first
Save all your text and images in a lovely little folder system. This is a good practice anyway where you have a folder for all your website content and then subfolders per page and then if there's subpages, then more subfolders within that. #gamechanger THEN create a spreadsheet with ALL your pages and posts. No really. Paste the links from each page and post into your spreadsheet. You'll see why in the next tip below.
4. Set up redirects
When you create new pages or blog posts then each new piece of content will have a new link (this is known as URL) and when you replace old pages with new pages you need to tell people and search engines where to look instead as otherwise they'll be met with a UH OH 404 CANNOT BE FOUND page which everyone knows is the most frustrating thing in the worldTM. Think of it like setting up a new address thing with Royal Mail. Dead frustrating if it doesn't work, wonderfully smooth when it does.
So this is where the spreadsheet you've set up in tip 3 above comes into play. You can create a column next to the page + blog post links and paste in the new links so you can see with ease which redirects you need to set up.
So here's how to set up redirects for Squarespace websites, here's how to set up redirects for Wix websites. If you have a WordPress website then you can download a Redirection plugin and then enter each link manually (Note to web designers + fellow nerds: yes there are many other ways to do this, but I figured this was one of the easiest ways to do it if you don't like tech). Going forward I recommend you upgrade your version of Yoast from the free to the premium because it has the rather jazzy function of prompting you whenever you delete a page or post or update a URL to actually redirect to the new link #jazzy
What are backlinks? Any other websites out there on the world wide web that link to you so that includes any press features, any directories you pay to be in, any guest blogs, any mentions of you that link to you. Somewhere you need to have a record of all the places on the internet. If you don't have this and it's stored on notes here there and everywhere then create another tab on your spreadsheet mentioned above and paste all the links you know about there. Then for all the ones you don't know about go to a free tool like this one (I mean there are many great paid options but perhaps budget doesn't make that an option right now).
You then need to work your way through each link and manually update to the updated link. If it links to your homepage which has not changed then no action needs to be taken, but if it links to a particular service page or product range or blog post then it will most likely need to be updated.
But I've set up redirects already I hear you say. True, but really Google doesn't like being redirected too many times and it's far to manually update your backlinks.
7. Update your internal links
Internal links are any links on your website that links to another part of your website. Again, you'll have set up redirects in tip 4 but again Google doesn't like lots of redirects. Using the analogy of your mail when you move, think about your post being battered by the time it's had a few redirects from house to house. It doesn't look great, does it. So it's the same with your SEO.
8. Re-submit your sitemap to Google Search Console
You need to tell Google (and Bing! Don't forget Bing!) about any time you make big changes to your website whether it's a re-launch or not. You can read my blog post all about how to submit your sitemap here.
9. Do a song and dance about your new website on social media because you're ready to share baby!
Finally you're ready to make a song and dance about your new website. GO FOR IT! Internet domination will be yours!
Have you had any horror stories happen to you about this? What did you do? Let me know in the comments.
Woop! It's Wednesday which means one important thing - the next interview in my Gin and Magic YouTube series championing strong creative women is live! Straight from my home to your eyes + ears, this week featuring the super lovely and talented Jen Siomacco from Catalyst Wed Co, the US-based equality minded wedding publication.
As soon as I met Jen at (Un)Convention a few years ago I knew she was someone I had to get to know better. Luckily fate threw us together a few times that first year and since then we've been fans of each other across the ocean.
This was a juicy topic and the longest chat I've had to edit so far because Jen was so open with her wisdom and insights!
Jen talked about how Catalyst Wed Co continues to evolve it's all inclusive mission to include all, what exactly intersectional feminism is (and why it's OK to ask), as well as how to deliver value to your audience. Jen knows a lot, and I loved how she was so open about her knowledge. Of course we also talked about the fantasy dinner party, and just wait until you hear her story about Gloria Steinem! So grab a cuppa and watch along as we delve into a fantastic chat. I think you'll find yourself nodding along.
Enjoy and please don’t forget to hit like + subscribe if you enjoy the Gin & Magic videos 🙂
Jen Siomacco is the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Catalyst Wedding Co. She works to mesh together her love of feminism, love stories, accessibility, equality, and design into the Catalyst brand. When she’s not traveling the country working to make the wedding industry a more inclusive place, she’s writing on her couch and snuggled up with her husband and SUPER lazy cats.
Yay! It’s Wednesday which can only mean one thing - the next interview in my Gin and Magic YouTube series championing strong creative women is live! Straight from my home to your eyes + ears, this week featuring the amazing Beth from Bridebook the UK’s no 1 wedding planning app, frankly the bubbliest person I’ve met in the wedding industry (and coming from me that’s saying something - lol) Beth is an absolute ray of light on all things wedding business and general hilarity.
I wanted to get her on the show because I think she’s got a lot of useful knowledge to share with wedding business owners in her role as Head of Community at Bridebook.
Beth talks about what it takes to succeed in this ever changing marketplace, why she wants to Meryl Streep, Chris Hemsworth and Nova Reid in a room, and why jetskis are life. So grab a cuppa and watch along as we delve into a fantastic chat and giggles! Don’t forget to watch until after the end credits because we had to put this outtake in - it’s too funny! All topped off of course with a G&T!
Enjoy and please don’t forget to hit like + subscribe if you enjoy the Gin & Magic videos 🙂
Beth's official bio:
I am Bethany Wright, Head of Community at Bridebook.co.uk. A true northerner, originally from Manchester - I have a love for gravy, Oasis and building communities. My love for community fuels my day to day role at Bridebook, as I channel the importance of connecting with suppliers and learning from each other. In my spare time, you can find me reading Harry Potter, singing Tina Turner on karaoke or stuffing food in my face.
A little more about Bridebook...
Bridebook.co.uk is the No.1 wedding planning app used by over 120,000 couples across the UK. That’s 1 in 2 weddings planned through our platform. Couples use Bridebook to search for and book their wedding venues and suppliers and help them to plan their unforgettable wedding without any of the stress or fuss.
Bridebook Business supports this by offering a free listing service for dedicated and qualified wedding industry professionals. Our goal is to connect couples with their trusted wedding dream team and to help venues & suppliers across the country grow and market their business successfully. To join the Bridebook Business Community head to business.bridebook.co.uk and create your free business account and profile today.
Today I have a fantastic guest to share with you - Vicky Shilling of the Flourishing Pantry. Vicky is an award winning blogger and coaches wellness entrepreneurs with great success.
I had the great delight of meeting Vicky from the Flourishing Pantry last year when she was cohosting a supper club with Charlotte Argyrou who we’ve also had on the show and you can watch here. As soon as I met Vicky last year I instantly wanted to know more about her and her story.
Watch the video as Vicky talks candidly about how she started her blog, how she has evolved since its birth, and where her business is heading next. It's pretty bloody exciting tbh!
What I really enjoyed about Vicky’s story is her openness and willingness to evolve - a great key to success - and recognising the value in that ability whilst at the same time prioritising self care, always.
Vicky's official bio:
Vicky Shilling is a coach helping wellness industry entrepreneurs turn their business ideas into reality. She is also the award-winning blogger behind The Flourishing Pantry and co-founder of women’s wellness retreat brand The Reset.
The Flourishing Pantry is Vicky's hub for everything healthy entrepreneur. She shares recipes, discoveries, tips and interviews to inspire and help people running their own businesses stay healthy in body and mind while they build their brands.