Recently a florist asked me the following:
“I am a florist with a floral design studio inNewHaven and East Haven CT and I am having a hard time getting found by “funeral florist” or “funeral flowers” on Google. Any suggestions to improve my visibility?”
This florist has a “Search Engine Optimisation” (SEO) problem. SEO means “Get Seen On Google”.
SEO for Florists Made Simple
SEO tends to get over-complicated. Let’s look at some simple ways to increase in your Google rankings.
Actually – before you learn some simple SEO, there are two caveats:
A – SEO is NOT a Magic Source of Free Traffic
In order to attract “free” traffic from Google you will have to do work, which takes time and/or money. And time is money. So it’s not free. (Sorry.)
B – SEO Opportunities Are Limited Due To Massive Competition
There are loads of websites fighting for florist SEO glory. So when it comes to general keywords, like “flower delivery”, competition is fierce.
But all is not lost! Read on…
Super Simple SEO for Florists
- Target Local Customers.
Why? Simply because there is MUCH less competition for “wedding flowers Ascot Vale” than there is for “wedding flowers”.
Less competition equals “easier to get on the first page”, which is what you want, second page doesn’t count for much.
Your website should clearly display – in HTML text – a local phone number and your local address. If you do not want your address on the site, at least describe the suburb or town that you are targeting.
- Register with Google Places
Google loves local bricks and mortar businesses and will favour them over non-local businesses when relevant.
So go here and register – it’s free and will ensure that you will show up on the local listings on Google’s map. Sometimes you will appear regardless, but claim this listing anyway.
- Create Specific Pages for Specific Keywords
Google favours webpages specific to the phrase typed into the search box.
So if you can identify some keyword phrases that you think you stand a chance of competing successfully for, then create pages that target those keywords only, like we do here for wholesale flowers
- Google Likes Pages full of HTML Text
Google cannot read videos, images and flash multi-media content so behind every image you should put an “alt” tag that describes it. A photo of your shop that has alt=”footscray florist” attached to it will help your SEO for “footscray florist”. This is really easy once you know how. Google it.
Google loves WordPress so your best bet is to build your website using this CMS if you can.
Flash-driven websites like Wix often seem to have poor SEO. Having said that, if you search for “flowers Balmain” you should see “Art of the Flower”, a wix site, ranking well. Surprised by this result I called the proprietor Amy to see how she is getting such good results.
Turns out Wix have recently changed their set-up and now instead of being purely Flash based they offer HTML 5 too. Seems to be making a difference SEO-wise so choose HTML 5 if you go with them.
Further to this, Amy has done the hard SEO yards:
“I’ve been doing my homework, learning all the tricks. I now know what a H1 tag is and all that – and it’s paying off”.
- Do Some Keyword Research
If I go to Google and type in “wedding flowers Boronia” I see a lot of competition but I still see that it is possible to work your way up into the first page of results here. The same is probably true for most of the different keyword phrases relevant to your area, like “Boronia funeral flowers’, etc.
I see an opportunity because few of the pages showing up here look targeted at the keyword.
So if you were to make a page called “Wedding flowers Boronia” and then do your SEO homework, you stand a good chance of ranking well for these terms.
- On-Page Optimisation
Sounds like gobbledygook but not too hard and very important.
On-page optimization simply means “making your website attractive to Google”. Here’s how:
- Choose your keyword (or a phrase, like ‘funeral flowers New Haven’ but just one, not several.)
- Include keyword in the page title
- Include keyword in the document H1 header
- Use the keyword on the page a few times.
- Include a description between the page “head” tags (google “meta description”)
There is more to it than this. You can go here to seoMoz and sign up for a free trial and use their “On-Page Scorecard” to guide you through the process.
- Get Links Back To Your Website
If websites link to you, then Google sees you as being endorsed by these other sites.
Fill in the well-known directories as well. Avoid less reputable directories that could be seen as spammy and thus negatively affect your rankings.
Hiring an SEO firm to get loads of links from dodgy websites might help in the short term, but Google is fighting a war against spammy SEO techniques, so long term it is likely to backfire on you. A reputable SEO firm won’t do this.
Best way to get links to your site? Create awesome original content (writing, photos, videos, etc).
What To Do If SEO Is Just Too Techie For You
If this is all too much for you, show this blog post and the above mentioned seoMoz scorecard to your website developer and insist they implement it to an A Grade result. They can then export the seoMoz report as a PDF and email it to you so you know they did it, and you can check the other stuff easily yourself.
However, there’s probably not a web developer alive who can originate the content for you. They don’t know floristry or your business and customers. So you will need to do the thinking there, even if they help you with the tech stuff.
Written by Seamus – Tesselaar’s website manager and marketing nerd
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