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Notes from an Intuitive Creative: Free SEO Guide & Other Resources

Day One

Welcome to Day One of The Intuitive SEO 5-Day Challenge! Please watch the video, above, or download the slides if you prefer to read.

I wanted to start out by saying that I’m so happy you’re here. Having a website that serves your ideal audience thoughtfully, with heart and clarity, is so very important. I get that talking about yourself and your work can seem egotistical, but the thing I love about SEO is that it helps connect your work with people who are actively looking for it—this isn’t about you, cold calling people, knocking on their doors, or shouting about how awesome you are from a soapbox on the corner of the street.

SEO is about helping the people your life’s work is designed to serve to find you when they need you the most, when they turn to Google with a question or need that you can help them with.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and get you to forget all the spammy and sleazy things you might associate SEO with right now, because this really truly isn’t about trying to game the system or trick people into visiting your website.

So, all that being said, let’s get started…

If you haven’t already watched the Welcome video (in the previous lesson) and downloaded the website wish list document I mention in that video, I’d recommend doing that first.

Today, we’re focusing on the fact that SEO is all about making your website clearer, less confusing, easier, and more pleasant for your website visitors/ideal audience to use.

The action challenge for today is to write a few sentences introducing your ideal audience to you and your work. As with all the action challenges I’ll be sharing over the next few days, I don’t want you to overthink this; just do some brainstorming and get something down on paper, even if you revisit it and tweak it in the future. I’ve shared some prompts for you to think about as you write this little introduction copy in the video which I hope can guide you if you feel stuck at all.

Please note: length doesn’t matter very much at the moment. We’ll be adapting this draft for various different places (and word counts) later, so for now, just focus on what you want people to know about your work upon first glance.

Here’s the thing: most of us are so stuck in our own heads that we think we’re being clear, we think our websites are communicating our message more effectively than they actually are. This challenge will really require you to step into an outsider’s shoes, and use empathy to ask yourself whether you’re being clear enough about what your work is about/who you are/who it’s for etc.

Remember, this exercise is all about being kind to your website visitors: it’s no fun to have to work really hard to figure out what the hell you’re looking at or how to find your way around when you land on someone’s website, after all.

One of the biggest things I had to learn when I started working for online publications rather than print publications was that simple is always better than complicated, from a user’s perspective. You might be tempted to be clever, arty, or poetic, but actually when someone lands on your website they want to understand what it is that they’re looking for.

That doesn’t mean you can’t be clever, arty or poetic—those things can be great things to be, and your website is a space for you to be you. It just means your navigation, headlines, and large key pieces of “introduction”-style copy on your website need to be simple and clear so your ideal audience feel welcomed, and know straight away that this work is for them, that they’re in the right place.

Okay so that’s it, our lesson and action challenge for Day One! Good luck, and I’ll see you in the next lesson for Day Two.

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