Want to know more about this thing called SEO?
SEO doesn’t need to be scary and mysterious – that’s your job, right? ????
You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of having the ‘SEO’ (Search Engine Optimisation) right on your website, but haven’t a clue what that means or how to go about it.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Running a successful escort business keeps you busy enough, but there are some simple, free – yes, free ways to do the basics of getting your website, branding, and socials in top shape.
Does your site have an SSL certificate properly installed?
What is an SSL certificate?
Here’s a great explanation from HubSpot:
Have you ever noticed that some URLs start with http://, while others start with https://? Maybe you noticed that extra “s” when you were browsing websites that require giving over sensitive information, like when you were paying bills online.
But where’d that extra “s” come from, and what does it mean?
To put it simply, the extra “s” means your connection to that website is secure and encrypted; any data you enter is safely shared with that website. The technology that powers that little “s” is called SSL, which stands for “Secure Sockets Layer.“
The easiest way to check if your site is secured is with Why No Padlock? You copy your URL from a Google search of your home page into the box on their website, and they generate a report with the results. Take a look at Bumbershoot Creatives report to see the information they provide for you:
Having an SSL certificate is not only important for your security but also your SEO. Although Google closely guards their algorithms, HTTPS has been a ranking signal since 2014. Furthermore, studies have shown that Google gives an SEO boost to sites using SSL certificates and “that HTTPS correlated with higher rankings on Google’s first page“.
Finally, having an SSL certificate can raise your website credibility and trust with your users. Without one, browsers will display a warning page when visiting your website, which may cause visitors to exit your site without looking at any of your content. Having that protection and reliability around your website is all about safeguarding one of the most important assets you possess.
Is your site mobile-friendly?
Google uses mobile-first indexing. According to Google themselves, “This means that Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google Search with a mobile device, Googlebot primarily crawls and indexes pages with the smartphone agent going forward”.
In simple terms, this means that your website needs to adapt how it displays itself on different screen sizes. Your website text needs to be easy to read on mobile phones; your users shouldn’t have to pinch and zoom in on the screen to make buttons or links easier to click, and your website should use web-friendly images that load quickly for your visitors. If your website is clunky or slow on mobile devices, then it could affect your search ranking.
Are you connected to Google Search Console?
Google is the most popular search engine here in Australia, but you may want to submit your site to other search engines as well, depending on where you live and what browsers are most popular with your customer base.
Google explains what Google Search Console does for your website as follows:
“Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results. You don’t have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google Search results, but Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site”.
This is a valuable tool to add to your website arsenal because you can identify errors that could affect your SEO rankings or problems with their bots crawling your website. We can help you look after that if it seems a little too hard.
If your website is built with WordPress, you can connect your Google Search Console directly to your WordPress dashboard with the help of plugins like Monster Insights and Site Kit.
Click to tweet: “Get started with DIY SEO for your sex worker website that won’t cost you anything, and learn and take control of your website yourself.”
How can you learn more about DIY SEO?
Yoast is an international company that provides all website owners with a strong technical foundation, giving them tools and resources, educating them, and helping them make the right decisions.
Their simple goal is: “we help website owners get more traffic from the search engines”.
They have Free and Premium Plugins and a helpful blog with lots of easy to understand information and downloadable guides around SEO management.
The blog topics cover a wide range, including:
- optimising your images
- WooCommerce SEO
- how to submit your sitemap to a search engine
- tips on writing SEO-friendly blogs.
Kate Toon’s FREE SEO Nibbles online mini-course makes SEO feel less technical and overwhelming. Not only does the course show you how to DIY, but you will also be able to understand if an SEO specialist you might engage knows what they’re doing and whether they’re charging way too much.
The course starts at the very beginning of your SEO journey and is structured around where you are on that journey. Simple, quick steps are provided via lessons that include some short videos and checklists to do the basics yourself or see what needs to be done by an expert.
By the end of it, you’ll definitely understand what a keyword and a meta description are!
We found this mini-course really helpful when we started learning about SEO, and that’s why we also recommend it to our clients.
Learn how to check your website’s speed and performance
A slow website can hurt your ranking in Google; your visitors might leave if your pages take too long to load, or they might not stay around as long. You’ve spent too much time and money getting your website created to risk that.
There are several free tools for testing your website speed and performance that will do the trick.
Use them in different browsers and test out location results. This will show you how your website is loading for visitors close to your server location or how it is loading for visitors further away. Each of these tools will measure your website in a slightly different way; it’s good to run the tests multiple times to capture a better average.
This is important if you intend to travel interstate or, fingers crossed, post-COVID internationally.
Here are the links to free tools that I recommend:
Tip or Hint: Do one of these simple tasks to get your SEO on track each week and watch your rankings in Google improve. You’ll be surprised at the results. SEO can be a long-term game though, so be patient.
Want some help with your SEO? We LOVE doing performance audits and optimisations, and we’ve presented on this very topic at WordCamp Sydney.
We can help you get started and offer consults and advice along the way. We can also refer you to sex work-friendly copywriters. Getting the words right in the first place goes a long way to winning the SEO game. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.
Your Sex Work-Friendly Web Designer
Kim is an independent filmmaker and web designer/developer. Her short films have been selected for and screened at festivals around the world from Perth, Australia to New York City. As the founder of Bumbershoot Creative, she aims to apply her own creative skills and experiences to new projects, helping and supporting her clients as they grow their own businesses and ventures.
Kim has years of experience building websites for individuals and businesses in the adult industry. As such, she understands the unique challenges that owners of adult businesses are often faced with, including billing discrimination, hosting and service restrictions, shadow-banning, and stolen content.