SEO is a very valuable tool in this day and age. Most businesses these days attempt to market themselves online and attempt to be searchable in order to garner more customers. As a recording studio you are mainly based at a physical location, most likely in an urbanized location. However, it will be pretty difficult to get noticed using more traditional methods. Think about it, if you’re looking on Google for a specific place, you will most likely write down a few keywords that describe what you need. This search will return results based on what keywords you use. The top results aren’t selected by random, but by a certain strategy known as their SEO ratings. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization which is what we’ll be trying to explain. There’s a specific way that a recording studio should be trying to use this tool as a way to get their websites seen by the search engine and perhaps make it to the front page of Google search if not the first result!
What are the Benefits of SEO?
SEO has many benefits that you should be aware of. Considering the vast amount of people that use the internet these days, it’s easy to see how you should be tapping into that potential. You want people interested in recording studios to see your recording studio. Competition is getting really tough in the recording studio industry, especially considering the amount of new studios that are starting up. SEO makes it possible for you to always be on the top however, it allows you to manage competition and makes you seen by the millions of people that are on the internet. Most business is often derived from word of mouth or referrals, this is also true for recording studios. But the second most is derived from the internet, people who are interested in your studio and who call in to book a recording session. Optimizing your search engine results makes it so that you don’t appear as the 10th results when someone’s trying to search for your recording studio. Of course, SEO isn’t the only tool you should be focused on but it is definitely one of the most important tools.
How do Search Engines Work?
Search engines as previously mentioned, use keywords to bring up relevant results. Obviously, some advertised results will come up first, this isn’t what you’re focusing on though, it’s the actual results that you should be worried about. When you search up “the best recording studios in [area]”, do you find your studio as the first choice? The fifth? Maybe even the 10th? Depending on your answer to this, it will define how much optimization you should make. Try out different questions and see which position your recording studio will take. If each search attempt shows you towards the bottom of the first page, this means that you are not optimizing your SEO correctly.
Search engines, in this case Google, use a feature called crawling. This feature focuses on using links to connect to external sites. The more links you have that crawl to other websites that are relevant to what you’re talking about and are high in quality is noticed by Google and gives you a higher rating based on that. So the first step is to make sure that your website directs you to other authoritative websites too and also have a lot of other websites connect to your website too (inbound links). You can find more information on inbound links and how many websites connect to yours using SEMRush. The more you have of both, the more likely your studio is going to show up as the first result when searching for those special keywords!
The next feature is called indexing. Indexing occurs right after a website is crawled by Google’s crawl bot. The crawl bot as discussed previously goes onto a website to check for updates and for links that direct to other websites. The more often a website gets crawled the more likely it is to be ranked higher. In order to get your website indexed, it needs to be updated frequently so the bot has a reason to index the website. When your website is indexed by the bot, it gets stored into the Google database. The more that this data is accessed from the database because of recurring requests, the higher your page will be ranked. This means that your website updates will continue updating the database which will rank your website higher and the bot will eventually get used to these regular updates and will crawl through your website more and more often.
Lastly, Google will use both of these features to rank your website. Ranking includes giving your website a score just like a credit score. It will indicate how reliable your website is and how good of an experience it will give the end users. There are 100s of ways to rank your website, and each one boosts your ranking by a little bit.
So How Do You Rank Your Studio’s Website?
This is the toughest part, actually getting your website ranked. First of all, you need to take a look at your crawl statistics. You can find these in the Google Search Console under Settings.
This will indicate how often the bot is crawling your website, the higher the number the better. However, you should also keep in mind the average response time. If the crawl bot takes too long to actually get any information or access the website, it will rank your website lower since the user experience will be hindered. If you see your ms consistently going above a thousand, this means you need to optimize your website to load faster.
There are a few important SEO factors you’ll want to look at. These include a secure and accessible website. What this means is that your website should have a secured socket layer protocol (a green lock next to the HTTP protocol at the domain). The website should also be open for users to search through, this means that you should not have it be locked behind a paywall or behind a sign up wall.
The page speed is another important factor, as discussed previously, the average response time needs to be under 500ms for your website to rank. If your website loads too slow, it wont rank as fast.
It also needs to be mobile friendly, the majority of Google searches are carried out through a mobile phone according to an article by Statista. This means that the website needs to have a mobile compatible interface so that the user can scroll down through it comfortably. If the crawl bot sees that the website is easy to use on mobile, it will rank the website higher.
A study made by Ahref also indicates that the domain’s age plays a large role in how high a site is ranked. Website domains older than 3 years will rank higher than domains that are relatively new or a year old. This is good to keep in mind in case you just started your recording studio venture. It will rank higher in time naturally.
Believe it or not, your headers and web page structure plays a large role in your SEO ranking. In order to optimize this, you must include your keywords in titles or words that are at a higher hierarchy. The hierarchy goes from h1, h2, to h3. These are HTML codes from headlines, h1 being the title, h2 being the subtitle, and h3 being the content. This isnt only for how large the words are, but its also so that the web crawler knows what to prioritize in indexing. The more relevant keywords you have in your h1 headings, the higher you’ll be ranked.
Meta descriptions and alt tags could very well help your website out too. Your meta description is the description that shows up under your website’s search result. In order to optimize that, keep it under 155 characters. Use an active voice and make sure it calls people to action, keeping it unique with specifications that are relevant to what services you provide in your recording studio is essential. Your alt tags are descriptions that go under your images, these are often used by the visually impaired and will rank your page higher if they contain better keyword phrases.
Lastly, you’ll need to look through your user experience to know how visitors react to your website. This is indicated by three variables, the CTR (click-through rate), bounce rate, and dwell time. CTR indicates the percentage of people who click onto your site once it shows up on the Google search, the bounce rate is the percentage of those people who click away right after clicking onto the website, and the dwell time indicates how long people stay on the website after clicking on it. Optimally you’ll want a high CTR, a low bounce rate, and a high dwell time. These three variables combined will increase user experience and in turn increase your ranking.
SEO is an extremely useful tool to boost traffic into your recording studio’s website. There are many services online that could help you automatically increase your SEO rating by providing recommendations, WordPress (if you’re using that) has a ton of features that show how effective your page is in terms of its SEO rating. Other websites give you similar recommendations. All of these different services are based on what was aforementioned in this article. It takes into consideration all of these factors and perhaps more. The better your webpage is optimized using these recommendations, the higher your SEO ranking will be and the more traffic you will be getting. After that, it’s only a feedback loop as long as you keep regularly updating your website with new content to keep it relevant and to attract more people. After all, there’s no reason for Google to crawl and index your page if there isn’t anything new to index. For more articles that can help you out in recording, voice acting, and marketing, visit mellostudio’s website!