Virtual Assistants – Step 5 in this series of 10 steps for virtual assistants, providing tips and tricks to establish a list full of satisfied clients and become a successful virtual assistant, doing what makes you happy and your clients happy!  (To begin at the first step in this series, click here.)

Of note: This particular series of articles is written from a perspective of someone who is currently a virtual assistant or has the specific skills to become one, and would like to add or obtain new or additional clients.  If you are interested in being a virtual assistant but would like training or instruction, we will be adding additional resources and sites where training can be obtained, as well as sites where you can register yourself as a virtual assistant available for hire.

#5 – Using The Search Engines to Promote Your VA Business

Here’s the search engine scoop:  They want to help real people find what they are looking for.  If you have a service to offer and someone goes to Google looking for what you have, then Google wants them to find you.

Getting found in the search engines doesn’t have to involve complicated algorithms, mathematical calculations or hours and hours of keyword research per article.  Where’s the fun in that?!  You can get found in the search engines for highly relevant keyword terms with natural SEO that allows your visitors to get the experience they are looking for.

I hope that puts you at ease a bit.  I know when I talk SEO sometimes people tune out totally (believe me, I can related to that feeling!).  They think it’s too complicated and don’t even want to bother trying.

Here are three reasons why getting listed in the search engines is worth the effort:

  1. You can find highly motivated clients because they are seeking you out.
  2. You will be seen as an expert because they found YOU.
  3. You can get traffic and clients for years to come based on efforts you do once (with some updates to keep it fresh).

Your next question is probably going to be how do you optimize your virtual assistant site for the search engines?  I did mention natural search engine optimization and I want you to think along those lines.  Don’t try to follow a specific formula or plan.  What you want to do instead is make sure you use a lot of very descriptive content.  You want to include details like:

  • Where you’re located so you can get local traffic.
  • What software programs you work with so you get people looking for help in those programs.
  • What type of client you work with so that they can find you to work with them.
  • Any specific processes you use so when someone searches that they find you.

The more details you add to your page the more likely you will get found for topics that relate to your business.

It’s not a bad idea to do some keyword research so you’re certain that the words you are using to describe your services are the same words a potential client would use to look for your services.  This can be done by using a number of free online tools that actually give you statistics of how many people search for certain words in a day.  This is good information to know so that you can be sure you’re not targeting something that no one is looking for.  Just go to Google and type ‘free keyword search tool’ and you’ll find a few good ones.  Here’s one to get you started that Google offers for free:  Click Here.  Google also has lots of articles and sites and tools to assist you, so if you feel a little lost with all this information, make sure to click on the “help” button and you can find explanations and tutorials to help you out.

If you’re not sure how to lay this out or where to include the content here are some of the most common places to include important details that will get you found:

  • In the website title.
  • In the page URLs.
  • In content headings.
  • In your page titles.
  • In categories and tags if you are blogging.
  • In image names.
  • In image alt tags.
  • In internal links.
  • In bolded content.
  • In regular content.

Now like I mentioned before, don’t go all crazy and put your targeted phrases into every place mentioned above as many times as you can.  That would be considered trying to game the system and generally isn’t well accepted by Google.  You want this to flow naturally while keeping the above list in mind as you go.

Generally, I would advise not to get overwhelmed by SEO and keywords, be knowledgeable about it, learn what you can, use what you have learned, but don’t make it more complicated than you need to.  If you have reached a level in your business where you can afford to turn this part of your business over to an SEO expert, that is also an option.  However, if you are getting consistent traffic from the right people (people who are looking for what you are offering), then you may want to save that money and go ahead and continue on as you are, since you are getting the results you would like.  If you would like your traffic and business to grow, or simply find SEO and keywords make you want to rip your hair out–then search out a reliable and well-respected SEO expert and use the time you spend working doing what you are good at and what you find enjoyable.

Good luck at continuing to grow your list of clients as a virtual assistant!