SEO, or search engine optimization, can improve your studio’s traffic, whether it’s getting students to your website or getting them through the door. SEO, simply stated, is writing your content strategically to show up more prominently in online search results.

When you optimize your website for search engines you’re gaining potential customers over your competitors because your website appears higher in search engine results than others. According to HubSpot, the No. 1 position on Google gets 33 percent of search traffic. In addition, page one search engine results earn 92 percent of all traffic.

To ensure your content is appearing high in search results, it is important to carefully optimize your content. Although there are many ways to optimize content, carefully finding ways that don’t sacrifice user experience or engagement is vital.

Use highly effective keywords

When it comes to key words it’s important to utilize the keywords and phrases your potential customers are searching for. Pay close attention to keywords your target audience uses or are trending on social media platforms. Like any other aspect of business, this requires you to know and understand your audience.

A term you should understand is “long-tail keyword,” which is a word or phrase that contains at least three words. Long-tail keywords are used to target niche demographics rather than mass audiences. In other words, they’re more specific and often less competitive than generic keyword terms.

Organically integrate keywords

After deciding what key words you’ll be using, integrate them into your content where they will have the most impact. Try placing keywords into the title, headings and anchor text — text you hyperlink to other related pages on your site — title tags and meta descriptions.

While all of these places are optimal, don’t stuff too many keywords into your posts. “Keyword stuffing” can actually hurt your SEO because each search engine will think you’re word stuffing only to gain rank, rather to inform.

Bottom line — strive to use keywords in your content in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural or forced. If you can place them in all of those places organically, do it. If not, don’t over stuff them.

Reference both internally and externally with links

Links create credibility and engagement. If you’ve written about a topic that you mention in your blog somewhere else on your site, then you can link to it internally. That keeps traffic on your studio’s site. It’s helpful to readers and also surfaces other relevant information, which proves you have a reputable site, not just one well-written post.

With external linking — linking to sites that aren’t your own — it’s important to only link to sites/blogs that are credible. Make sure you’re leading your students to info that will benefit them.

Pro tip: Linking externally, like good karma, can come back around. Eventually the sites you link to might link back to you if your content is relevant and informative.

Use alt text to optimize images

Posts with pictures intrigue users, but search engines don’t see images. They see alt text, which is a word or phrase that can be inserted as an attribute in an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) document to tell website viewers the nature or content of an image. Alt text tells a search engine what an image is, which helps it to be found in searches. Alt text also improves user experience for users who use screen readers.

This tip is minor, but every impact helps.

By starting with these tips, your content can be placed higher in the SERPS — search engine results page — which increases web traffic and ultimately, traffic to your studio.