Home Professionalisms New To The SEO Game? Here’s Where To Start.

New To The SEO Game? Here’s Where To Start.


by Shaunda Necole, founder of The Soul Food Pot

The beginning of a new year is always a great time to check in on your strategies to grow your business, and SEO is a great place to start. Increasing your Google rank and showing up in searches is a top priority for any business owner. While there can be a lot of confusion around SEO if you’re new to the game, the good news is that you can get started with a few tips. 

When I started my first blog, I knew nothing about SEO. I was pivoting from owning a brick-and-mortar business and I just knew I loved to create content and engage with other people online. If I’m being honest, it took me over a decade in business to learn about SEO. But I came to realize that it doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do or how good your content is if no one can find your website or blog in a search. 

It is possible to go down a rabbit hole with SEO — because there is an unending list of tactics you use, and like everything online, it’s constantly changing. But if this is your year to level-up your SEO, these tips are a great place to start!

Here are 4 tips to increase your SEO: 

1. Treat Your Website as Real Estate You Own.

Personally, my family business is steeped in real investments, so it’s easy for my brain to go there. But looking at my websites as owned property, taking into account the same core principles of location, purchasing, maintaining and reinvesting, has been a very useful tool for me in building my SEO. 

When establishing your online presence, just as when you’re scouting out a physical property, you first need to see what you like. This might include incorporating best practices, or visual components you’ve seen other people use that you liked. 

I’m also a big believer in investing in my property – in the case of my blog, The Soul Food Pot, investing in learning resources to make my site stronger. Just as continued education is required to keep my license active as a real estate agent, I think of this the same for my online business.  I’m constantly signing up for webinars, and video tutorials to keep abreast of changes in the online creator industry.  

2. Create Content Around What People are Searching For.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Content is King?” Well, turns out these days, content by itself isn’t going to be enough to get noticed online. As I mentioned above, when I started blogging I knew nothing about SEO. Once I started learning, I spent a lot of time correcting and unpublishing content on my blog that just wasn’t helpful for the mere reason it wasn’t created to be searchable. 

While it might seem like a waste of time, this is an important step in leveling-up your SEO before you go on to create new blog channels and content. And going forward? Don’t think about what you want to say. Instead, think about how to answer the question that your audience is typing into their search bar. That should be the focus of your content.

3. Ask Questions While You Share.

As we discussed above, you’ll level-up by creating content that answers your audience’s questions. Let’s take it one step further to really make sure your content is found in a search. My advice is to not only share the content that answers the question, but incorporate the question INTO your content. 

If you’re answering a question, why not write out the question in your post? You’ll also want to make sure that you incorporate your keywords. 

For example:

  • How can I drive more traffic to my website?
  • What do I need to know about SEO to increase my online reach?

It’s all about foolproofing the search process so that your content gets ranked and shows up. 

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Niche Down.

As a business leader, it seems obvious that you would want to create a marketing plan to reach as many people as possible with your product or service. But hold on. In order to show up and rank higher in an online search, it actually makes more sense to get super specific about who you are trying to reach. It’s all about being a big fish in a small pond.

With all the competition out there today, it’s not enough to be the “best” at something, even if it’s specific to your town or zip code. How can you narrow down your audience even more? It’s pinpointing that exact customer (and matching your messaging to that customer) that will help a search engine know EXACTLY who your niche customer is. And in turn, you’ll get a top ranking in that search category. Sometimes you have to go small to get big. 

My hope is that these tips will help you get started on the road to leveling-up your SEO. It seems complicated when you’re on the outside looking in, but once you start to get the hang of it, it can lead to a relatively simple marketing strategy. 2024 is your year to be found online. 


shaunda necole

Shaunda Necole is the go-to recipe creator for modern soul food cuisine. She is the founder of The Soul Food Pot, the #1 Southern soul food site on Google, author of six culinary guides, and the host of The Soul Food Pod, Apple’s first show dedicated to the history and culture around iconic African American dishes. She believes in making life easier, and more soulful, one recipe at a time! Connect with her on LinkedIn @ShaundaNecole.