Part 3 of an Interview with SEO Expert, Jason McDonald of JM Internet Group
Female Voice Talent Debbie Grattan chats with SEO Expert Jason McDonald about some very affordable voice-over solutions that commercial voice talent can use to improve their Search Engine Ranking (see links to parts one and two of this interview at bottom of page).
Commercial Voice-Over Talent, Debbie Grattan: What do you think is the biggest mistake that people in the commercial voice-over business (or any small business) make when trying to improve their Google search ranking?
Jason McDonald: Oh, that’s easy. They don’t try. I would say 90-95% of small business owners do nothing when it comes to improving their SEO. They have no strategy. They don’t make it a priority. They don’t try to understand it.
Debbie Grattan: Or maybe they just don’t know what they don’t know?
Jason McDonald: I guess you could say that, but it’s really that they don’t make the effort to even find out what they don’t know. This is a learn by doing art. It’s a lot like physical fitness. You have to get started and you have to be realistic and give it time. We’re not all going to run marathons, but we can all walk around the block once a day. So making an effort is the most important thing to do and the biggest mistake is to do nothing.
Debbie Grattan: So, to help people, can you recommend some affordable SEO voice-over resources?
Jason McDonald: One of the reasons I got pulled into doing training is there aren’t that many good resources out there. I think the reason for that is because the SEO industry is currently dominated by these sort of geeky, nerdy people who speak a secret language and who don’t make this accessible to the average person.
My personal mission isn’t to be the innovator in terms of the latest esoteric thing. I want to be the popularizer, the guy who makes it easy to understand.
A helpful and affordable voice-over resource for any commercial voice-over talent is to go to Amazon and buy a couple good books on the subject. I have a book on Amazon, Peter Kent wrote “SEO for Dummies”, which I think is an excellent resource to have in your library. Get a few of the good SEO books and begin implementing the information. That is probably your most affordable voice-over strategy for getting up to speed with your SEO.
Secondly, finding a few people like myself, teachers or mentors who make this easier to understand and follow them on Google+ or Twitter. Maybe take a class or two, which seems to help most people quite a bit. Get yourself into the learning curve and start wrapping your mind around the concepts.
Debbie Grattan: I know you offer classes on SEO and have a helpful website, and what else can you recommend for affordable voice-over SEO solutions?
Jason McDonald: Yes, my website is www.jm-seo.org or Google “Jason McDonald SEO.” There’s also an official Google SEO Guide. It was written in 2010 so it’s a bit dated, but it contains probably a third of what you need to know.
Debbie Grattan: Can you sum up everything here in a nice little nutshell? Maybe focused on voice talent who wants to be more visible?
Jason McDonald: First of all, it’s like any area of knowledge. If you want to become a good cook, you have to start cooking; you have to start paying attention to how people cook. You have to read some cookbooks. You have to be a critic about what you eat. You have to make it a priority that you want to understand this and have the humility that you’re not going to understand it fully right away. It’s going to take some time. So, the first thing is attitude – that you WANT to do this and you’re going to make it a priority to succeed at it in the long run.
The second thing is, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Where do they go to find commercial voice-over talent? What are the steps that they would go through to identify somebody they would like to hire? Then reverse engineer that process. So, if they go to google, what keywords are they going to type in? If they go to Facebook, what kind of Facebook page are they going to “like” and want to interact with? As the saying goes, the customer is always right and that definitely applies when it comes to SEO and social media. Wherever your customers are hanging out is where you want to be.
From there, the quickest, easiest, most important thing is: Know your keywords and put your keywords in your title tags on your website. If you do that, you will be ahead of 80% of the people in your industry. It’s pretty easy to get that accomplished. I have many people who take my classes and we fix that one problem, and they rejoice! They suddenly do so much better on searches. It’s a simple thing that can make a huge difference.
Debbie Grattan: Is that something you can do on your own – without HTML and without having knowledge of building a website?
Jason McDonald: Sure. For most of your web software, whether it’s WordPress, Dreamweaver, or on Godaddy, there is somewhere in the software that deals with “Title of the Page.” Create a good title that includes some of your highest priority keywords. Or if you have a web designer, tell them what you want it to say. You can go to any web page on the internet and look at the very top of the browser and whatever is at the very tippy top – that is the title (on this webpage that you are reading, the Title starts with “Affordable Voice-Over SEO…” Find it now so you know where to find the Title in your browser). If the title does not have the keywords, you’re dead in the water. It’s very simple to see on any website.
Debbie Grattan: It seems like it’s such an easy thing to do and people who are serious in any business would take advantage of this!
Jason McDonald: Unfortunately, most people don’t understand it and aren’t taking advantage of it and we’re still so early for most small business people that the good news is, if you just make minimal effort, you’re ahead of 70-80% of everyone else right away. It’s true that once you get the minimal stuff handled, then it gets more complicated. But most businessesowners are just not very competitive in terms of SEO so there’s a big advantage for those who take the time to figure it out.
I always emphasize to people to stay positive, stay motivated. People can become discouraged about learning SEO. I find that part of my job as a good instructor is to be a good motivator. I keep reminding my students, “this is doable!” That attitude is so important to success and I always want to impart that to the people I work. For various reasons, the SEO gurus try to discourage people from understanding this but once you get it, you kind of just go, “Oh this is actually pretty easy!”
Be sure to read Part 1 & Part 2 of this article to see additional suggestions from Dr. Jason McDonald on what commercial voice-over talent can do to improve search results.