Should Voice Over Pros Invest in SEO?
As a voice over artist, you might be curious about using search engine optimization (SEO) to help bring more traffic to your voice actor website and get found online. If you’re curious about how SEO works and whether it’s the right strategy for you, this article has you covered.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization, usually called by its acronym SEO, is the process of optimizing your website and its content to rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing. With proper SEO, your website will appear more often in search results and get more traffic.
How does SEO work?
SEO is all about sending the right signals to the search engines to help them understand what your website is about.
One thing you’ve probably searched for at some point in your career is guidance on how to build a home voice booth. The top result was probably a detailed guide explaining what a home voice booth is, why you need one, what equipment you need, and how to put it all together. As you continued your research you probably searched for related topics like soundproofing and microphones, likely finding similar guides.
You found those articles because the search engine believed them to be the best resource for what you were looking for. And there were multiple signals the search engine used to come to that conclusion:
The article was thorough and detailed. The search engine chose to show you content that had all the information you were looking for.
The website has a good reputation for the topic. Of all the equally good articles, the search engine prioritized the one on the most reputable website.
The article matched your intent. There’s a big difference between searching “voice booth soundproofing” and “best soundproofing material for home voice booth.” The first search would likely give you more general information while the latter would more likely lead you to specific products.
Other websites linked back to that article. When people publish links to an online resource, search engines take that as a sign of its value. The articles you found were probably linked to from other places on the web that have good reputations of their own.
In addition to all this, the website you found met several technical requirements. It was fast and reliably available, well coded, and contained information in its back-end that helped the search engine understand its purpose.
How do I do SEO for my voice over website?
SEO isn’t something you do once and forget about. It’s a process that takes time and consistent effort. Some websites even have entire teams of people working full-time on SEO.
Fortunately, you can make SEO gains without needing to invest all your time and money into it. In its simplest form, SEO starts with four basic steps:
Consider which keywords you want to rank for.
There are two components to choosing keywords: search volume, which is how frequently a term is searched; and competition, which is how many other websites are also trying to rank for that keyword.
While a search term like “voice actor” will have a high volume of searches, it will also have extremely high competition. There’s pretty much no chance your website will show up on the first page in the search results.
You may, however, have success with a more specific query like “bilingual voice over in Montreal.” It’s also likely that you could rank first for your own name.
Include your chosen keywords in the main content of your website
If you want to be found on Google for “Toronto audiobook narrators,” you need to make sure you identify yourself as such on your website. Your target keyword should appear in the page title, headings, and content.
Consider adding additional content tailored to your keywords
Blogging is a great way to build your reputation for a topic online. Come up with a variety of different things to write about that are related to your chosen keywords.
Focus on creating content that your ideal reader will find valuable. In other words, don’t just write about yourself. For example, if you were trying to rank for “English accent female commercial voiceover” you might publish a blog post along the lines of “Six Types of Commercials That Sound Best With An English Accent Female Voiceover”
Link back to your website using social media
Even if you’re not trying to rank for any keywords in particular, just linking back to your website from your social media platforms can send a positive signal to the search engines. Be sure to include links to your website on all of your social media profiles. If you publish blog posts, link back to them as well.
What are the advantages of SEO for voice actor websites?
Investing in SEO has several advantages for voice artists:
Get found online. For those few people who are searching for the keywords you’re targeting, your website will be more likely to appear in their search results.
New audiences come to you. Instead of trying to find the people you want to talk to, SEO makes your job easier by helping them find you.
Appear more professional. Taking the time to consider the purpose of your website and tailor your content to your audience can help you appear more professional online.
Carve out your niche. By focusing on a certain set of keywords, you may find yourself recognized as a top choice within your niche.
What are the disadvantages of SEO for voice actor websites?
Investing in SEO isn’t a no-brainer. There are some downsides you need to be aware of before you get to work:
It’s unlikely to lead directly to jobs. People who want to hire a voice artist don’t usually look to Google first; they’re working with an agency, using established industry websites, or hiring from a pool of talent they already know and like. While SEO could potentially bring in some work, it’s not a slam dunk.
SEO takes a lot of time. Even the most dedicated effort will take months, if not years, to produce results. Despite your best efforts, your website may never rank first for your desired keyword.
There are no guarantees. Even if you do everything right, you may not see the results you want. If you engage in unethical “black hat” SEO techniques, you could even find your website removed from search engines altogether.
There may be other ways to get results. SEO takes a lot of time and effort that could be used for better things like taking more auditions, going to more networking events, or developing your skills.
What should I do instead of investing heavily in SEO?
The primary purpose of your voice over website is to position yourself as a trustworthy professional, mostly for people who are already thinking about hiring you.
Imagine you were going to hire a wedding planner on the recommendation of a friend. You might take a look at their website to learn more about who they are and what services they provide. But if their website looks amateur, doesn’t work properly, or just doesn’t exist, you might think twice before booking them.
Rather than investing in SEO and worrying about the quantity of people visiting your website, invest in making sure your website will make the right impression on the people who are using it to judge whether you’re the right person for their project. Ensure that you have high quality photography, prominently placed demos, and a good experience on mobile devices as well as desktop.
A final word on SEO for voice over artists
SEO can be a great way to get found online, but it takes a lot of work and commitment to do it right. If you’re serious about improving your website’s search engine rankings, start by considering which keywords you want to rank for and tailoring your core content to match.
If you’re considering SEO because it’s something you think you have to do, that may not be the case. Think of your website not as a tool for finding more work, but as a tool for closing more of the opportunities you already have.
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