‘I don’t know anything about SEO for magicians websites. Can you help me with some tips?‘
It doesn’t matter how much you practice your magic, unless you have an audience, all that hard work is for nothing. If you are ready to start performing for the public, it’s time to build a website to advertise your services as a magician. Lets look at how magicians can improve their websites, so they get noticed in the search engine site listings.
Search engine optimization, often shortened to SEO, is essential if you want your magicians website showing up near the top of the search results. However, there are good SEO and bad SEO:
Bad SEO for magicians.
There are many ‘companies’ that promise to get you listed at the top of Googles search results, by clever SEO. Many of these services uses ‘black hat’ techniques that can get you banned by Google for trying to ‘game the system’. Some SEO companies offer to stuff lots of keywords onto a website, or create hundreds of low quality links from other sites back to your site. This won’t fool Google anymore. Generally, if a companies promise sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t true.
Never try to cheat the system when it comes to SEO. Google employs some of the world’s greatest mathematicians and experts. Their job is to stop websites from cheating and to find ways to punish those that do!
Good SEO for magicians.
The good news for us magicians, is that there are many positive things we can do, when building our websites to help the search engines rather than cheat them. The reward for playing by Googles own rules is a greater chance of a higher listing in their search results.
The right keywords.
The first step is to choose the keywords you will target. Make a list of 6 words or phrases that people looking to hire a magician in your area would type into the search engine. Perhaps your name, style of magic, location, type of event etc. So, if you are a close up magician living in Southampton, and you entertain in restaurants, your keywords/phrases could be:
- Restaurant magicians
- Restaurant entertainment
Content is King.
Now that you’ve picked your keywords, build them into the content you publish on your magicians website. Use them in your about page, as headers, within buttons and links.
Don’t over do it. Write for humans rather than the search engines. A keyword density of 1% – 2% per page is about right. If you use the same keyword too many times on the same page, Google WILL notice. If Google thinks you are ‘keyword stuffing’ they may punish your website in the listings. Google could even remove your magicians website from their search results completely.
3 Tips for picking a domain name for your magicians website.
1) Choose domain names that contain some of your keywords. Google includes the keywords in your domain name in bold. This stands out in the search results.
2) Choose a domain that is specific for your local area and client base. If you work 99% of the time in the UK, then choose a .co.uk domain name. Google gives preference to those in the Google UK results.
3) Avoid hyphenated domains. HampshireMagician.co.uk is better than Hampshire-Magician.co.uk
Don’t forget the META tags.
You should also add your keywords in your META tags. META tags are hidden from visitors, but search engines use them to understand and index your site.
The essential one is the Title META tag. The text you add in the Title tag is shown in the main link to your site, in the search results. Ideally, the Title tag should be your magician’s stage name, and the subject of that page (for example, Paul Smith – Restaurant Magic in Southampton, Hampshire).
Keep the page Title tag under 175 characters, so it’s not truncated in the search results.
The other two META tags that are used by search engines are Keywords and Description.
Keywords are not really used by Google anymore, but add a few in anyway. The ‘Description’ IS important, as that’s shown under the Title tag in the search results. It’s not used for ranking, but visitors that look at the listings will read it to see if the page is useful to them.
Google tries to judge a website by how trustworthy it is. To do this, it will look at the number of websites that link to your magicians website. The more high ranking websites that are linking back to yours the more ‘SEO Juice’ your site builds up.
The best way to get links to your site is to make it interesting, so other sites will link to it. A generic magicians website is not going to be a popular site for links, so you need to think about ways to earn links. A great way to do this is to set up a ‘recommended’ page. You can then link to other types of entertainers or party services, who will hopefully give you a link as well. We on the lookout for sites linking to you with a ‘no follow’ link. These links don’t pass any ‘SEO Juice’ to you as Google doesn’t count them.
Don’t get ripped off.
At all costs, avoid companies that offer to set up backlinks for you. Google knows this is ‘gaming the system’ and the latest Google update (called Penguin) will punish sites that use link farms and bulk link-back tactics.
Google counts links on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, so make sure you add a few links back to your magicians website. Remember not to spam links on social networks, as it does more harm than good.
Say goodbye to Flash.
Search engines don’t see Flash, so make sure you use as little as possible on your website.
Provide a guide.
Remember to include a site map for Google to use. It allows Google to crawl your site quickly and get to every page.
Look at website site traffic reports for your site. Notice which keywords people use to find you. Check where you rank in Google for your chosen keywords. If you rank very low for some keywords, think about changing them to keywords that have less competition, but will send more targeted visitors to your website.
Search Engine Optimization is vital for your magicians website to work for you. – If done right, it will bring you publicity, and many more magic gigs.
One of the problems magicians face when trying to get the SEO right on their magicians websites, is who to trust. There is a great deal of companies that offer a paid service for SEO. Some are excellent, but there are many that use questionable sales techniques, and can’t be trusted.
Do you have any SEO tips for magicians you can share? Please leave a comment below. We would love to discuss this topic further with you!