What Food Business Owners Need to Know About SEO

July 17, 2023

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November 1, 2022

Video Transcript

Cyd Mitchell: Welcome everybody. This is Cooking Up Sales with Castiron. I am Cyd Mitchell of the Sugar Coin Academy. I'm the CEO of the Sugar Coin Academy and I also am the founder of Sweet Fest, and I basically come online and teach you guys about business concepts. We'll talk a little bit more about my background here in a future slide.

We have had two of these sessions previously, which you can find over on the Castiron YouTube channel. So if you haven't seen the previous ones, which we discussed, the first one was five common mistakes that people are making on marketing their business. And then the second one, is how to write sales worthy descriptions for your e-commerce and online sales.

So, if you are struggling with any of those, or you're new in business or you just wanna educate yourself, then please go check those out over on the Castiron YouTube channel. Okay, so here is the agenda: We're gonna go over a brief introduction into who I am and why I do what I do. Then after that, we're gonna talk about the purpose of this training.

And then we will go into the definition of search engine optimization, which is the topic for today. I don't wanna scare you guys. I know that if you signed up for this or if you're watching this video, you must have at some point saw the title and knew what you were getting yourselves into. I promise I will break this down as easily as I can. I'm actually a tech nerd, self-proclaimed tech nerd, and I really do enjoy talking about this part, as far as search engine optimization and other online marketing kind of strategies. I pride myself on making sure that I break it down to where it's fun and educational, but then also something you can use in your business.

Then we're gonna go into SEO factors, which is search engine optimization factors, and things that will impact your business, related to seo, your website more specifically. And then at the very end, we do have an open q and a, just in case you have a quick question. If you are watching the replay, go ahead and write your question in the comments as well, because we are gonna be checking the comments.

But if you're watching it live, then you can also type in the chat if you want everyone to see your question. If you're on the Zoom, then switch over to Host and everyone and then everybody can see it. I'll still read them out loud too as well, just in case there's someone who's watching and doesn't have access to the chat.

Introduction. I am Cyd, That's me with my straight hair. Because sometimes I have an extra five hours to spend on straightening my hair. So I'm Cyd, like I said, of Sweet Fest, which is that little s the one that's kind of like, looks like that. That's my logo for that. And then Sugar Coin Academy is the logo right next to that, that's the business academy that is associated with Sweet Fest and the Sweet Fest Brands. As well as the Ultimate Sugar Show is a trade show that I host in Atlanta, Georgia. And then I am the business columnist for American Cake Decorating Magazine, as well as the business blogger for Retail Bakers of America.

And I also contribute to Pastry Arts Magazine, their virtual conference as well as I just recently recorded a piece for their podcast. So definitely check that out if you are a podcast listener. 

And then of course, I partner with Castiron to help provide educational tools for you guys to be able to boost your sales.

Obviously that's why it's called Cooking Up Sales, but Castiron is this awesome platform that you can use for your e-commerce. So basically, if you wanna sell cakes, treats, donuts, hoagies. Anything related to food, you can use Castiron as the platform for that to make sales. So I'm excited to be partnering with them over the past few months and hopefully more into the future.

So my background is in accounting. I went to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill for undergrad as well as the Kenan-Flagler Business School, which is also associated with UNC as well here in North Carolina. I went on to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is one of the world's largest public accounting firms, and then went on to a couple other places to work as an accountant, an expense analyst, as well as a financial analyst.

So everything that I talk about is business related. I love food and I'm a foodie, and I love the pastry arts. And so I have decided to double down and mainly teach those who are food entrepreneurs like yourself. So that's me in a nutshell. All right. Also, Emily is on the broadcast. She's also probably the one that's gonna be checking the chat here over on YouTube if you're watching the replay.

So if you have any questions about setting up your website on Castiron, Emily is at your disposal. This is her email: help+cookingupsales@castiron.me and she has offered her services to anyone who needs help with setting up their website on Castiron. So definitely hit up Emily.

If you guys have any specific technical questions about setting up your website on Castiron, she is there to help you. Also a quick tip, kind of like a housekeeping thing. This is not a recap, this is still part of the introduction, but you'll see this slide later where recap is definitely, more relevant, but November 2nd, so next week, on Wednesday at 7:00 PM EST, I will be doing a real time walkthrough of how to set up your online store using Castiron. This is definitely gonna be a great walkthrough to watch if you are trying to sell during the holidays or anything going into the next year.

So, make sure that you guys sign up for that, which we'll be able to do starting tomorrow probably. I'll also send out an email because I have everybody's emails as well. I really wanna encourage you guys, those of you who have felt kind of hesitant or if you felt intimidated or anything like that. I really wanna show you how easy it is to set up a Castiron store. I did this several months ago in real time. I had never set up a Castiron store before. I did this as a live demo at a cake show, and it took me no joke, about 15 minutes, and that was even with people watching me and me not having any of my stuff prepared.

So I just wanna make sure that you guys know just how easy this process is. So that's why we're gonna walk through it together on the 2nd. You can definitely, you know, log in on your computer to watch the Zoom conference, and then also do it in conjunction with me if you want to, or you can just watch it and just see how easy it is, and then go on to create your Castiron store right after that.

All right. Cool. Also, if you are watching the replay on YouTube, this is the time that I say like, comment and subscribe. All right, so hit that notification bell and all the things that YouTubers say in order to make sure that you are up to date on the next time we post a Castiron video or the next time that I post a Sugar Coin Academy video. So definitely find and follow, subscribe, all that good stuff to Castiron as well as Sugar Coin Academy over on YouTube. All right, so the purpose of today's conversation is to break down the meaning of search engine optimization and explain how to use SEO strategies to boost your website's rank on search engines like Google.

In this training, you will discover real life examples, techie terms and SEO factors that will impact where your website ranks on search engines. You will leave this session armed with the knowledge of how to improve your search engine ranking, right? Today is about search engine optimization.

It is not scary, I promise. The definition of search engine optimization, aka SEO, is a methodology of strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high ranking placement in the search results page of search engines, including Google. I gave you guys this generic definition that is really based around websites, but I have a surprise, like asterisks to share with you in just a few minutes.

Just know that SEO has to do with people's ability to find your content on a search engine. Okay? That's the gist of it. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine and by the users of the search engine.

Okay, so the reason why I have these party girls, it's a girl's night. It'll make sense in a minute, but SEO is typically a set of best practices that webmasters and, and web content producers follow to help them achieve a better ranking in search engine results. All right, so one of my favorite examples that I must have come up with maybe like three or four years ago is SEO, think of it like when you went out with your friends, back in our younger days. I mean, you may still be in your younger days, but maybe back in our clubbing days or back when we went, you know out. We went out right. And before Netflix was the thing that we wanted to do all the time. So that's me. All right.

So when we were out with our friends and doing fun things and we wanted to maybe pick up or attract a partner or something like that, then there were a series. Things that we would do to get all dolled up, right? Maybe we would do our hair, maybe we would do our makeup. Maybe we had some special jewelry or some heels, or maybe we had a special outfit that was really cute and pretty that showed off our best assets.

So there was a series of things that we did in order to attract attention from the people we wanted to attract attention from. Right? But it wasn't one thing we did, we didn't just do our hair, we didn't just put on a nice dress, we didn't just put on heels, we didn't just, you know, put on new jewelry or whatever.

We did a series of things in order to attract what we were trying to attract. Okay. Think of SEO that way. It's a series of things. It's not just one thing. It's a set of things that you can do on your website, on your social media that will attract your audience. I want you to keep in mind that anything with a search function can be considered a search engine, including social media.

Keep this in. As you are going through life online, if you see a search function, then that app or website or whatever is functioning as a search engine in some capacity. And based on the type of words that you put in or the type of words that a user puts in, then results will pop up based on that search.

So a search engine is not just Google, Bing, Yahoo. Those are not the only search engines. Search engines are anything with the search function. Keep that in mind because it's gonna make sense when it comes to people finding you on social media as well.

SEO factors. Much like the girls night out scenario, there is no one thing that will cause your website to climb the ranks on a search engine. So it's not just the factors that I'm gonna say. There are multiple factors and I'm really only gonna break down like I think four or five. Four or five that are kind of like the top ones because there are so many different factors that maybe Google uses or Instagram.

These are known as the algorithm, right? Everybody talks about this algorithm. That's what it is. The algorithm basically serves up to the system as to what the results should be and what they should show. Okay? So there's not just one thing. So there's search engine factors: factors such as keywords, content quality, mobile friendliness, page speed, so like how quickly it downloads back links and session time all play a role in how well your website will rank on, on search. Okay, so the thing about Google and other algorithms is that they don't specifically tell, you know, the user, they don't tell people who have websites, they don't tell like web developers or someone who has a social media page, they don't just come out and say, "this is how you rank higher on social media".

That's not how this works. They don't, they don't disclose that because it's kind of proprietary information. But what does happen is that there are these people who get basically paid to do this, all this wonderful research, right? So they'll launch a website and they'll launch a website in a way that they can research how this page ranks on Google.

And then they'll come back and they'll say, well, the experts say that it's keywords or that it's how fast the page uploads or how long someone stays on the page. So that's how we know what these factors are. But there's so many factors because it's really a proprietary thing. But we are gonna talk about some of the key, basic ones that you can use to help boost you on search engines.

So last thing before we really dig into each individual factor that we're gonna discuss is, why is this even important? Well, first of all, if you want to be found organically by your customer, so when someone types in different words, if you wanna be found, and it's important that you rank on search engines, this is.

The most visited websites on the internet. This is the list of the top nine as of January, 2022. These are the top nine websites that are the most visited websites on the internet. Out of the billions of different websites that are on the internet, these are the top nine. Okay. And as far as I know, I don't know what Yandex.ru is.

I don't know what that is, so I can't confirm. But the other eight on this list are search engines. Okay. Google, YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia, Amazon. They are all search engines. Yes, they may serve as social media outlets, but they also have search functions. That means they are search engines. So that's why this is very important.

You wanna learn the concepts that I'm gonna be teaching here, so that you can know how to stand out on these search engines such as Facebook, such as Amazon, if you sell on Amazon or Instagram or wherever. Okay? Uh, or Yahoo or wherever. Great SEO factors, first factor keywords. We can't talk about SEO without talking about keywords because, and I quote, the internet can only read.

 I didn't put that in that slide. I probably should have put in this slide deck somewhere. But the internet can only read. That is why keywords are so important. I feel like they're working on the internet, being able to hear, even though it's really not even hear. It's more like the internet will hear and then they'll transcribe and now they have words. Ok, so it all boils down to words.

What are keywords? Keywords are search terms that users enter into search engines when looking for products, services, and or general information. Examples of keywords that your audiences may be typing into search: cupcakes near me, bakery in whatever your city is, I put Atlanta because that's my default, bakery in whatever the city is, cupcakes for birthday party. These are all relevant keywords that your potential customer may be typing in. Now, mind you, you may say sell bagels or you may sell sandwiches or something else, but y'all get the concept. These are just examples of keywords that someone you are trying to attract may be typing into the search, and we want you to pop up, okay?

For your business, website, or social media to show up when a potential customer searches for a keyword, there must be an online association between your business and that word or words.

Now I say this as an association because if you are in Atlanta, then you need to have keywords on your website or on your social media that connect you back to Atlanta. If you never actually describe where you're located or you never actually describe what you do and you never use the keywords that someone may be typing in on the internet, to find you, if you never use that in connection with your business name, then the Internet, Google, Facebook, whatever, will not know to pair you with that thing when someone searches for it. So you have to draw an association between your business and that keyword.

To create that keyword association, you must use those keywords on your website and your social media. All right, So I know we're talking about mostly websites, but this even boils down to like your Instagram.

If your Instagram profile or Facebook profile, or TikTok or whatever the latest social media platform is, by the time you're watching this, then if your profile does not include your keywords, then when someone goes to search for cupcakes in Atlanta and your bio or profile or whatever doesn't say cupcakes in Atlanta, nor do any of your posts have anything to do with cupcakes in Atlanta, then people are not going to find you on that social media platform in a way that connects you back to cupcakes in Atlanta, you actually have to use those words. This is on your social media. This is on your website.

So first thing I want you to do is to create a list of relevant keywords. Create a list of relevant keywords that a potential customer might use when searching for products or services that you provide.

 I'm gonna give you some examples. Oh, also side note before, and I said don't forget, and I almost forgot, don't forget to include your location. This is actually one of my pet peeves when I do reviews on people's websites is that they don't include their city, their state, but the ZIP code does not necessarily matter.

I mean, very rarely. I know for me, very rarely do I type in a search, you know, my zip code and then bakery. Hardly ever do that, but at least your city and your state. And then maybe even surrounding areas. Especially if you have a service area. Another thing to keep in mind too, and you'll see a great example of this later in a couple slides, is that you wanna make sure that you include, I know I said the state, but for real include the state if you are living in a city that is not a popular city.

For instance, Jackson. Alright. I'm from Tennessee, so there is a Jackson, Tennessee. Right. If you are posting on your social media, on your website, don't say that we are the best bakery in Jackson. You need to say which Jackson. Because there's a Jackson, Mississippi, there's a Jackson, Tennessee. There's probably a Jackson, Georgia.

There's probably a Jackson, Texas. There's probably a Jackson in almost every single state. So if you live in a city that is maybe a common name for a city, make sure that you also associate the state name. Now I live in Atlanta, or I go back and forth to Atlanta, so if I wanna say Atlanta, that's usually the Atlanta, there's not many Atlantas, right?

But there is a Dallas, Georgia, and there's a Dallas, Texas. So if I am, you know, have my business in Dallas, Georgia, then I need to say Dallas, Georgia out loud on the internet so that when people find my website or when Google serves up my website, then they know I am in Dallas, Georgia and don't serve me up to people who are looking for bakeries in Dallas, Texas.

 So it's important to draw that association with your business name and your location, especially if you only serve a specific location. Another thing to keep in mind is that Castiron has the option for you to kind of identify different badges on your website. We talked about this previously.

These are also things that can kind of go along with helping you with those keywords, right? Gluten free. Allergy-friendly. Woman-Owned. If somebody's looking for a woman-owned business in Dallas, Georgia then I can go ahead and select those on my Castiron site. So keep that in mind as well.

Other examples of keywords. So I gave you a whole bunch. I'm gonna give you some more. Cake, cupcake, wedding cake, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, anniversary. So, two ways to say that. Anniversary or anniversaries. Baby shower, bridal shower, bachelor party, bachelorette party, homemade desserts, gluten-free, baked goods, treats, grooms cake, food delivery, fresh pastries, donuts, parties, kids parties, birthday parties, you know, I don't know, adult parties, like, you know, there's all kinds of different ways that you can put these words together on your website or on your social media to draw that connection back to your business name.

So one of the things that I like to do, whenever I am designing websites is there'll be times where in pictures I'll describe the picture and I'll say that this is the best bakery in Atlanta, Georgia that serves wedding cakes in the metro Atlanta area. Right? Because now I have associated Atlanta, I've associated the bakery. I've associated all these different things that someone may type in when they're searching for, the type of business that I might have.

So, the next factor we're gonna talk about is quality content. Including quality content on your website or social media will have an impact on the session time, which is a factor, and will be an indicator to search engines that your platform contains information of interest to a certain audience.

Okay, so now we're talking about two pieces at the same time, we're talking about quality content as well as session time. And session time is basically how long people stay on your website. If they come to your website, they stay two seconds, get bored and leave. That is an indicator to Google, and it's called your bounce rate.

This is an indicator to Google or any other search engine that may have this as a factor that the content on your website may not be quality content because they didn't stay for an extended period of time. They didn't even go to a another page on your website. So you wanna make sure that you have higher session times as well as quality content to keep people around.

Although it may feel time consuming, it will benefit you to focus on the details when writing and publishing descriptions or captions on any online platform. This will help you reinforce the keyword associations. So, I know I just said that it may take you 15 minutes to set up your website on Castiron.

That would be great. You'll be up and running, but I also want you to come back and take some time to actually write up your descriptions, in a full like, kind of robust way, and I'll give you an example of that as well. Matter of fact, here it is. All right. So when I first set up my demo cast iron website, I was in a rush because like I said, I was at a cake show.

And so I just said, chocolate covered strawberries. And then my description was deliciously yummy strawberries covered in amazingly beautiful and rich chocolate. Okay, I mean, simple enough. You know, and it was quick and easy for me to write at that particular time, but this is actually not the best way to describe these chocolate covered strawberries so that I can be boosted higher in the search, right?

I need to give more context. So again, quality content so that the reader will know more about what I'm selling that will help build trust as well as the internet will know exactly what's on sale or what's being sold on my website. Okay, so this was a better description and what I came up with after I came home and, you know, kind of built it up a little bit more.

Delicious chocolate covered strawberries perfect for an anniversary gift or as a yummy after work treat. Our chocolate covered strawberries are available for pickup or delivery within the metro Atlanta area, and they are sold in a set of twelve. Each strawberry is dipped in chocolate with an option for a mix of milk, white or dark chocolate.

You can also purchase a box of chocolate covered strawberries that include only one flavor. Available for delivery in the following metro Atlanta City cities. So I'm gonna deliver, you know, outside the perimeter. Alright, so Atlanta, Brookhaven, which is another city that's close by to Atlanta, which is associated with Atlanta.

Marietta, Smyrna, Mableton, Decatur. I could have gone on, but these are cities that are literally associated with Metro Atlanta. Now, the piece that I missed and the thing I told you guys not to forget, Is the state. I didn't put Georgia at all. However, I feel like the association between Atlanta, Brookhaven, Marietta, Smyrna, Mableton, and Decatur are all already associated with Georgia.

So not to say that we will be found in search or we won't be found in search, but I know for sure I'm gonna go back and say Metro Atlanta, Georgia Cities. Hope that makes sense. So how about you guys put "with you", so I know that you guys are still with me. We're with you. Okay. If, you haven't seen the previous video, which is now out on the Castiron YouTube channel, make sure that you go back and watch the 'Writing Descriptions That Sell' video that's still out there because I talk way more about other elements that you should include in your description, and that was just an example of how you can go about doing it. Okay? So go ahead and make sure that you watch this video as well, so that it will all make sense and that you can write the descriptions, but then also that helps with your key words.

Now you know more about it. Direct traffic is another factor for search engine optimization. Okay. What is direct traffic? Direct traffic is defined as a website visit with no referring website. Generally, direct traffic is attributed to users manually entering your website's URL into their web browser or clicking on a bookmark link.

However, direct traffic can also come from emails, text messages, or other various places. When many users go to a direct website, it signals to Google that that domain has high authority and value. So think about it, every morning when you wake up, if you go to whatever your news outlet of choice is, or whatever blog website that you like to frequent to get your gossip, your you know celebrity gossip, you know, if you go directly to that place, that's letting Google know that people have committed this site to memory enough because there's some quality content over there.

And so it boosted up as high authority. If you have been waiting, and those who know me well enough, you know, I'm about to preach about websites and email. All right? You know, I'm gonna preach about email right now. If you've been waiting for a sign to send out your website, link via email or text message campaign, this is it.

All right? If you hadn't seen it as a sign before, this is it. I want you to build authority with direct site visits, and you can get direct site visits by having that website link in your email or you send out that text message that has a website link. Build authority. This is your sign.

Next factor is back links. Okay? Back links, which is basically the opposite of direct links. Okay? All right. What are back links? A back link is a link from some other website to that web resource. A web resource may be a website, web page, or web directory. Back links allow you to leverage traffic from more popular websites.

Okay, so any time that another website that is not your website has your link on its site and it's directing people to your website. That is a back link. I'm sure we have examples that you guys didn't even realize were back links, examples, blogs. We kind of knew that if somebody feature you, maybe there's a wedding blog or maybe there's a kid friendly, you know, cookie party blog or something like that, that highlights you.

That is a back link. Okay. If they have a direct link to your website, that is a back link. Okay. Online magazines. If you were featured in American cake decorating or pastry arts or somewhere else, or a podcast, I didn't even put podcast on there. You know, if there's some place that has a link on their website that comes back to your website, that is a back link.

Review sites such as Yelp, such as, Wedding Wire, The Knot, all these other review sites, places where people can leave reviews. Those are back links, so you wanna make sure that you include a link that goes directly to your website. Business profiles such as if you have a page on The Knot or Wedding Wire, or even Google, if you have a Google Business profile, um, or if you have a Yelp page or Yellow Pages or whatever the other pages are where you can have a business profile, LinkedIn.

Any of those, you can have your link, and that is a back link. Same thing with social media outlets. If you have your link on your link in bio, like on your Instagram, your Facebook, wherever, then that is a back link that goes to your website. Now that's what I'm gonna say. Keep in mind, star this, for those of you who are using stuff like link in bio, LinkTree, whatever the other ones are, where it's kind of like a shortcut that you can have several links at a time that is not helping you in search engine optimization.

That is not helping you as a back link because you're not actually using your back link. You're using LinkTree's link, you're using some other domain name as your link to kind of give people access to other links that's not the same. Okay? That's not helping you. So what I usually suggest people do is that you create your own links page on your website that only you can get to from a direct link. So for instance, sweetsbycyd.com. I would have a page on my website that goes sweetsbycyd.com/social. So then whenever I have that, whenever I wanna share whatever links I have, I'm gonna share sweetsbycyd.com/social in my bio or profile or whatever on social media so that I can get like points.

For that back link as opposed to LinkTree. And then on that page, on my website, that kind of hidden page on my website, I can have access to my Castiron store or my Amazon store or you know, like a affiliate store or you know, whatever other links that I may, you know, maybe you're voting for something and maybe I'm up for some award and I want you to vote and I'm having link for that there.

Or maybe it's a link to my gallery or something like that. Okay, quick recap. November 2nd, write this down because I've been talking a lot about Castiron and how you guys can use it to make money and all that kind of stuff, but I know that some of you are still a little reluctant and hesitant to kind of take that leap and I want to kind of ease your fears and your concerns. So I'm gonna walk you through and show you just how easy it is to set up your Castiron store. Okay? So again, November 2nd at 7:00 PM go ahead and write that in your calendar. We're gonna do a real time walkthrough to showcase setting up your online store. It's gonna be great for the holidays.

It's gonna be great for any holiday coming up in the future. So that could be Mother's Day, Easter, you know, Father's Day, whatever. Not just the end of the year holidays. So the SEO concepts that we discussed, we discussed keywords and how you need to draw that association between your business name and the key words that your customers may potentially be looking into or researching. You wanna make sure that you have quality content on your website. That means you need to have robust, detailed captions and descriptions on your social media as well as on your store. Also, if you have the ability to create a blog on your website, then, because I know some of you already have an existing website and you're gonna be using Castiron to sell on your e-commerce, you're gonna connect the two. Then on your main website, then you can include a blog as well. Okay. That's gonna help tremendously because you'll have an opportunity to give a ton of keywords that will draw that association between your business and whatever the keywords are.

So quality content. Also the same way on your social media, you can have that keyword association on every single post, right? So make sure that you focus on what you write in your captions to draw that connection. Okay. Session time. Wanna make sure that people are spending time on your website. The blog can help with that.

The extended descriptions can help with that. Okay? Direct traffic. Start sending out that direct traffic, start sending out that link to people, whether it's via email or whether it is in a text message or whether it's just, you know, making sure that people share your direct link, having a direct link on your social media profile, that's gonna help as well, because it's gonna give you some authority with Google.

And with other search engines. And then finally back links. Something that can really help you with your back link, especially if you are still using Facebook. Like, so if you haven't really switched over for maybe for instance, you're using Instagram and you're using Facebook. Facebook, you can actually still put the links and the links still works.

So every time you share a post on Facebook, go ahead and include a link that goes directly to your website. Why not? Why hurt? We've been putting hashtag, you know, keywords in at the bottom of our posts this entire time, might as well use back links as well. So maybe it's a direct link that goes to an article, or maybe it's a direct link that goes to that product, like specifically to that product that still counts as the back link, even though it's on Facebook, even though it's on YouTube, even though it's on Instagram, even though it's on wherever, it still counts as a back link.

And that back link is a factor that helps you with your search engine optimization. All right. Any questions? Any questions. And also, I'm gonna put Emily's information up here as well. For you guys. Okay. Penny says sometimes I'll see a post that has 50 or more hashtag keywords. Would you recommend this or just on your profile about area?

Penny has a great question. So, you know, I still use whatever. The hashtags are like whatever the limit hashtags are on Instagram specifically, I don't really use a ton of hashtags on Facebook anymore. I just make sure that my captions are very clear and direct. I still use the same words. I just may not put a hashtag in front of them.

And I think Instagram is going that same direction as well, because earlier in the summer, they started talking about how hashtags weren't necessary like even though you can still put 30, they said to the effect of like, you can still just use three, or it's probably better for you to use less, like a less is more type of thing.

But still at the end of the day, you need to have in words, in your caption that connects you back to whatever that thing is. What I can't stand and what I hate to see is when someone has this beautiful video or beautiful picture, whatever post they've shared on social media and they didn't have any caption, like not even an emoji.

I would at least want you to have, you know, a sentence or two so that Instagram or whatever the platform is, knows what's going on inside of that post. Other than just it's video. XYZ 1, 2, 3. Okay, I got some chat comments. Thank you for making SEO easier to navigate. Great job, Cyd.

Oh, yay! Awesome. Love it. Nivea says, Thanks, Sid. Awesome, awesome. I love hearing that. I once was very scared and intimidated by search engine optimization, and then I forced myself to dig into it and study it. Then once I figured out kind of what are the best practices, what the definitions actually were, that took a lot of the intimidation off of my plate and then it almost became like a video game to me and I grew up with video games, Mario Brothers and all that kind of stuff, and so I used this as my opportunity to play an online game with my own website to see how much higher up in the ranks I can go, or if I can climb even higher by adding another post or whatever.

The difference, you know, things are bells and whistles that I can do to help it work. So, I will say if you see an opportunity to type in words anywhere, whether that's your profile, whether that's a caption, whether it's description, make sure that you make that association between your keywords, your city, your state, you know, whatever the flavors are, whether it is, whatever service is, whatever the association you wanna draw, bakery, weddings, whatever, use those words together as much as you can.

All over the internet. All over the internet on the review sites, everywhere. Penny says, excellent session. I'll have to go back and watch again to see your product description. All parts were informative, but that one was exceptional. Ah, thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Okay, so hopefully I will see all of you guys on November 2nd at 7:00 PM in . The walkthrough of how to set up your Castiron.

If you set up your Castiron website by then, you could still show up and maybe we'll find out some more things together. I actually do have a meeting with some of the feature folks who are, you know, folks, some of the folks at Castiron that are in charge of the features.

So I'm really excited to give them some feedback and for them to give me some more feedback so I can learn more and help you guys with figuring out the best ways to use Castiron in your business. 

All right, let's see. Got a Q&A. Oh, Chandra, a girl after my own heart. All right. Y'all can't see this, but Chandra says, how does alt text play into this?

Phew see Chandra? I thought we were gonna skip through a whole session about SEO and not talk about alt text, because I know I could spend at least 15 more minutes about alt text, but I'm gonna try to, I'm gonna try to dial it back. Alt text, That's a l t text. Okay, so alt text is, for lack of a better way to explain it, it's a way to help those who have accessibility issues with the internet. Okay. So imagine, someone who is blind, right? And they're navigating through the internet on social media, on the website or whatever. Alt texts helps them understand what is actually on the screen. So it is our role. As content creators, you know, platform administrators, webmaster people who are building stuff for our own, you know, to promote our own businesses to actually put in the descriptions in alt text.

Okay? So alt text would be like, if you see your pictures, this is actually on Instagram, and I would show you guys on mine, but I can't show you on here, but if you go on Instagram right now and you go to your post, any of the last posts you've done. Let's see, picture wise, the last post you did, and you can tap the three buttons and then you can go to edit, and then there's actually gonna be an area that says alt text.

Okay. If you type in there, it's gonna be a blank field, and you can actually write in a description of what's in the picture. So even though, you know, you could have your caption, everybody's gonna see the caption. Alt text is kind of like the hidden behind the scenes, like kind of coding information so that someone who is visually impaired can actually know what is on the screen.

Now the question was how does alt text play a role. It has a role because it is words and you're basically giving yourself another opportunity to give more words to the internet. Okay? So if you see an opportunity to put in alt text, I absolutely encourage you to do it.

Right. I can't say that I've done it on every single post that I've made on the internet, on Instagram or whatever, but I try to do it for as many as I can, as many as I remember. And when I put in my alt text, I draw that keyword association, right? So, you know, Cyd Sweet Treats, best bakery in Atlanta, Georgia, right?

So if I have a picture of a beautiful three-tiered cake that I made for my mom's birthday party, okay, so in the alt text I'll say, beautiful three tiered pink birthday cake made by Cyd Sweet Treats best bakery in Atlanta. I will put all of that in the alt text. All right. And that gives me an opportunity to tell the internet what exactly is in the picture, as well as making that association between Atlanta Bakery and so forth.

Okay? And a little bonus tip, the same way alt text works for the visually impaired. Caption works for those who are hearing impaired or for those who don't have the ability to turn on their sound at work. So if you have an opportunity where you are talking or describing something on your video, if you have the opportunity to add a caption, absolutely add a caption because it gives you an opportunity to let the internet know what is actually going on with words as opposed to just the visual.

Okay, Chandra, I hope that helped. I'm a big fan. If you see alt text, go ahead and put it in there. If you see captions, go ahead and do it, because words are key. Words are very important on the internet, and that is how you grow in the ranks, whether that is on social media or whether that's on Google or any other search engine that exists out there.

All right, well thank you guys so much for joining. Like I said, if you are watching the replay, go ahead and leave me a comment, the replay so that I know whether you enjoyed it. Go ahead and like, subscribe, you know, hit the bell, all that good stuff for those who have been watching live. Thank you so much.

I see your thank yous and the chat. I really appreciate you guys. Hopefully I will see you again soon next week when we are talking about how to set up your cast iron website, because I want you guys to make money this holiday if that is what you want for your business. If you don't wanna take a break.

But if you wanna make a whole bunch of money, then definitely I want you to do that on Castiron because the infrastructure is there and it's gonna help you. Okay, everybody's saying thank you. Love this. Thanks, Cyd. Yes. Awesome. I love it. Thank you guys so much for hanging out with me and I will see you guys in the next session.

Bye everybody.

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