Interested in becoming a sleep consultant? 

Jayne Havens is a certified sleep consultant and the founder of Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. As a leader in the industry, Jayne advocates for healthy sleep hygiene for children of all ages. Jayne launched her comprehensive sleep consultant certification course so she could train and mentor others to work in this emerging industry.

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SEO For Sleep Consultants with Elliot Zelinskas

SEO For Sleep Consultants with Elliott Zelinskas

Elliott is a technical SEO specialist dedicated to helping business owners increase their sales by optimizing their website rankings in search engines. He happens to be MY SEO consultant and blogger, and I am so lucky for that.


On this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast, Elliott shares:

  • Why having strong SEO is so important for sleep consultants
  • Best practices for keyword research and content creation
  • His thoughts on AI, and how this is or isn’t going to impact how families search for a sleep consultant.



Website: SEO Training for Sleep Consultants

Use the code CPSMPROMO for 20% off in the month of July


If you would like to learn more about the Becoming a Sleep Consultant, please join our free Facebook Group or check out our CPSM Website.

Book a free discovery call to learn how you can become a Certified Sleep Consultant here.



Intro: Welcome to Becoming a Sleep Consultant! I’m your host Jayne Havens, a certified sleep consultant and founder of both Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management.

On this podcast, I’ll be discussing the business side of sleep consulting. You’ll have an insider’s view on launching, growing, and even scaling a sleep consulting business. This is not a podcast about sleep training. This is a podcast about business building and entrepreneurship.

Elliott is a technical SEO specialist dedicated to helping business owners increase their sales by optimizing their website rankings in search engines. He happens to be MY SEO consultant and blogger, and I am so lucky for that.

Jayne Havens: Eliott, welcome to the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. I’m so excited that you are here.

Elliott Zelinskas: Thanks, Jayne. Happy to be here.

Jayne Havens: So before we get started, tell us a little bit about yourself. You’re living a pretty interesting life, and I think our listeners would love to hear a little bit about it.

Elliott Zelinskas: Cool. I used to be an elementary school teacher. I worked abroad for a number of years. Then I bought a computer while I was doing my master’s degree and learned how to build websites. My buddy gave me his login credentials to an SEO course that he was taking. Because he’s been an internet entrepreneur for about five years before I started becoming interested in it. And I was like, well, this is a totally different world. And I got really into it.

I started building websites. I built a website using the SEO practices from the course. The only problem with the course was that it was really high level and it wasn’t for beginners, which was me at the time. But it gave me a lot of good insight. And then since that website, it’s taken off, replaced my full-time income as a teacher. Since then, I’ve been traveling around to just about a different country each month. I just came back to the States two weeks ago.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, when I’m emailing back and forth with Elliott, I’m always like, where are you now? It could be literally anywhere and anywhere. Do you want to share some of the places that you’ve set up shop over the past couple of months or a year or so?

Elliott Zelinskas: Definitely. Last summer, I did Barcelona, Lisbon and Paris for three months. I went over to the far east. Checked out Taipei, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, all over the place of Vietnam, and then most recently, Bangkok, Thailand. Then I just came back to Chicago.

Jayne Havens: It’s so incredible. I love that when you choose the entrepreneurial life, a lot of the time, you can do your work from anywhere. That’s what you’ve been doing. I mean, literally, you support my business. You support your own business. You just travel and jet set and learn about the world, which is just incredible.

Elliott Zelinskas: Definitely. I’ve been taking full advantage. I mean, I have a backpack and my laptop right now. I’ve just been utilizing the ability to learn about the internet, work online, work from anywhere. It’s been totally different than having a traditional nine-to-five job, going into the classroom from eight to four every day. Loved it. But this is so cool too.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think so too. So before we get started with chatting SEO, I just wanted to share with everybody the story of how we met. Because I think our story is actually a perfect example of how leading with a service mentality will always position you to grow. And that’s what I’m always trying to teach my Center for Pediatric Sleep Management community.

A few years ago at this point — I don’t remember exactly when this was — I was featured on a podcast called The Side Hustle Show, which has a pretty far reach. I think on that podcast episode, I was talking about both Snooze Fest and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. I had mentioned to Nick, who’s the host of the show, that one of my goals for the near future was to improve search engine optimization for my website. He was like, “Oh, do you have any ideas about that?” Or like, “What’s your plan?” I’m like, I don’t know. I have no idea. Whatever. That was the conversation.

I guess you had listened to that podcast episode and sent me an email. You literally just said, like, “Hey, I listened to your episode. This was a really great story. I love your business. I’d love to just get on Zoom and teach you a little bit about SEO. I’d love to give you a few tips.” And so we got on Zoom. You were trying to teach me how to do SEO for my business, and my brain was exploding. I was like, I don’t get any of this. I was like, Elliott, I don’t want you to teach me SEO. I want you to do SEO for me. And really, that’s how.

And for those listening, I basically had to beg him to do it. Because he had his full-time job, and he was trying to launch his own business. He legitimately — I don’t think, Elliot, I don’t think you were pitching me. You were literally just trying to help, unless I’m still being bamboozled. But I’m pretty sure you were there to help. Then I begged you to help me for pay, and that’s how our relationship started. Right?

Elliott Zelinskas: No, for sure. I love Nick’s podcast. I think it’s an awesome resource to learn how other people are making income. I was so blown away by what you were doing. I was creating my own test preparation course business. And I was like, I just emailed you out of the blue. I was like, “Jayne, let’s just do a 15-, 20-minute Zoom and talk about core stuff. Like, how are you doing up sales, and what are you leading with after that?” And then we got on.

I noticed, using some paid tools that I was doing for SEO, I was like, I just want to let you know that there are some really good key terms that a lot of people are searching for and not a lot of people are writing about. And you should be writing this because you’ll get more organic traffic. You were like, what do you mean? I was like, this is SEO, and this is what you should be doing. Like, I had no intention for writing for you at all. I was just like sharing what I knew.

You were like, this is amazing. Because I was showing you the database from the paid tool that I was using. And you were like, can you just do this for me? And I was like, nope, I don’t do that. Then another email came and you’re like, “Let’s just set something up. Can you write something each week for me?” I was like, you know what? I could learn a lot doing this because this is what I’m doing for my own websites already. And so I said sure. And it’s just been a blast. Now we’ve been working together for a good year.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, so we originally connected several years ago. Elliott worked for me for a little bit. Then he was like, “I have too much to do. I can’t do this anymore.” And I cried about it. I found a couple of other bloggers who were okay but never really hit the mark the way Elliott did. About a year ago, I reached back out for a third time and I was like, “Please, please, please help me.” And it’s funny, the timing was perfect. Elliott had just, I think, left his full-time teaching job to pursue his own entrepreneurial dream. And we’ve been working together ever since.

So I shared that story because I think that when you lead with just a service mindset and you’re just there to help people, I think that that really attracts somebody to want to work with you. Rather than trying to sell, if you position yourself as somebody who’s serving, I think that that makes all of the difference. So I thought that that was a valuable share.

But let’s get into the good stuff. I wanted to bring you on to this podcast because I get asked all the time by people who are interested in becoming sleep consultants. Like, “How am I going to find clients? How am I going to grow a successful business?” Of course, there are a lot of obvious ways to do this — connecting with prospective families via social media, networking in person. But ranking at the top of Google is an incredible way to build your brand name and also a successful business. Can you explain what is SEO? SEO is search engine optimization. But explain that to us. And why is it so important for our sleep consulting businesses?

Elliott Zelinskas: Absolutely. So it’s going to be one of your number one drivers to attract more clients. The way I think about this is twofold. The first one is that nailing your SEO will help you get targeted visibility. Which means if you can say, hey, my name is blank, and I help blank types of people do blank things, for example, if I was a sleep consultant, I would say, “Hey, my name is Elliott Zelinskas, and I’m a sleep consultant in Chicago” for example.

And so what you can do is you can do keyword research and see what people are searching for in your local area. You can say, I can write for topics that will rank on the top of Google. That builds credibility both in the eyes of Google but then in the eyes of anyone who might be your future client. Because once they see you online, they can say, “Oh, look at this. This person is serious about what they’re doing. They’ve crafted their own website, and they’re actually building it.” So that’s the way I think of it.

Jayne Havens: What are the first steps that a beginner should take if they want to improve their SEO?

Elliott Zelinskas: Definitely. So the way I think about SEO is: there’s internet SEO and then there’s local SEO. I have a feeling that local SEO is going to be kind of your first go-to because you are providing the service to local people. And in order to do that, there are some quick tips that can really help your website gain authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of Google. And in doing so, they’ll rank your website higher.

So, if for example, you are in, like I said, I’m in Chicago right now, so you’re going to want to make sure that your local area is put several times, especially on your homepage of your sleep consulting website. So I might say very clearly “sleep consultant, Chicago, helping parents get restful nights” or something that’s just clear and easy to understand. You want your local keywords, your local area, right in your homepage.

You also want it in the footer of your website. The footer is right at the very bottom. And right at that bottom, we have a couple of other key information that’s going to help your website again build trustworthiness in the eyes of Google. And that’s having your business name, your full name, your address, and your phone number. And if you have those things, then Google says, well, this is a real person crafting a real business that provides real value to real people.

Another thing that you can do is register for local business directories. So a lot of times, again, just whether that’s Nashville, Denver, Chicago, wherever you’re at, someone has built a local business directory. And whether you own a pizza restaurant, or a daycare, or whatever kind of business, you can register your business there. And again, Google indexes those pages, and they can connect the dots between oh, elliottsleepconsulting.com and Elliot Sleep Consulting is on this local Chicago directory, for example. So as you mentioned earlier at the top of this, Jayne, about meeting people in person, well, these local directories are kind of like putting your flag in the places that Google and real people will see and search for.

Jayne Havens: Okay. What about if you are supporting families all over the country? Like I’m based in Baltimore, Maryland. But actually, a lot of my clients don’t live locally. Would your strategy be different if you are trying to target a more national audience?

Elliott Zelinskas: The only thing that’s different is, I would add on to creating blog posts that are not only relevant to your local area but also relevant to the problem that you solve. So if, for example, I was focusing on local SEO, I would talk about the Chicago land area. And if I wanted to focus on providing families around the nation my guidance and support, then I would do the keyword research in order to list and see what people are searching for just about the sleep consulting niche.

If, for example, a mother or father types in a keyword phrase like ‘how to get my two year old to sleep faster,’ that has nothing to do with the area that I’m in. Those are the kinds of blog posts that you’ll want to write in order to rank for. Because no matter if that parent is in New York, or Texas, or California, or anywhere, if you or I am in Chicago, then they can still get my attention, and I can still help them out no matter of location.

Jayne Havens: Okay. So if I’m understanding correctly, the content creation piece — blogging, which is what you specifically helped me with — the idea behind that is that we want to be answering the questions that people are asking on Google. Is that right?

Elliott Zelinskas: Exactly right.

Jayne Havens: Okay. It’s that simple. I know that it’s complicated and probably can’t all be explained in a simple podcast episode. But is there a general strategy for sprinkling in those keywords so that your blog posts actually rank effectively on Google?

Elliott Zelinskas: Absolutely. So there are some free tools and some paid tools. The two that I like the most is called — the free tool is called SEO Surfer. It’s just a Chrome extension. It provides some information about when you use a Google search, you just go to Google and then you search, for example, ‘how to get my two year old to sleep fast,’ it will provide some information, like keywords, that you can use in writing your blog post.

Then the paid tool that I use is called Ahrefs. That’s A-H-R-E-F-S. What you want to do is you want to look at what Google is currently ranking. So if you type in, for example, ‘how to get my two year old to sleep fast,’ Google has already shown the world the top three ranking blog posts. And that to Google is who your competitors are.

So what you want to do is you want to analyze those competitors who are already ranking for those terms. You want to create a better page for that. That page might become better, a better resource, if you include perhaps a video, or a podcast, or you answer more questions. But you want to look at Google because Google is really telling us what they value in their Google searches.

Jayne Havens: Okay. Let’s talk about the advantages of putting an emphasis into SEO versus social media. Why should we be choosing Google over Instagram, let’s say?

Elliott Zelinskas: For sure. So I know that there are some niches that do a great job with, for example, Instagram. The only thing and my bone to pick with social media is that it feels like it’s there for one second and then gone. And that feels frustrating to me as a creator because I have my own businesses. Like I said, I have a test preparation business. And if I put in the work to make a really nice-looking reel, or a post, or a story, that is seen for literally seconds.

Whereas the posts that I create, especially evergreen ones — evergreen meaning, again, how to get your child to sleep faster — that’s not really going to change between today, tomorrow, next week, next year. And if you create a blog post, that lives on the internet for a lot longer time. It can provide a lot more people with the same amount of value just by writing that couple pages of information. Whereas the social media, it’s hard to get people to stop scrolling. And so there’s nothing wrong with social media. It just feels like SEO is a bigger bang for your buck.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, I can speak to that personally. I have a blog post on my CPSM website that’s from May, it’s either 2022 or 2023, that still consistently ranks at the top of Google based on certain search terms. This is a post that was put up a year or so ago, and I’m still getting clicks and leverage from that content. Whereas if you compare that, I think you’re right, if you compare that to posts that I’ve made on Instagram or posts that I’ve made on Facebook a year or two ago, nobody is seeing that content anymore.

Elliott Zelinskas: Exactly. That’s how I feel with mine too.

Jayne Havens: Sometimes I’m asked by people inside of my CPSM community. Actually, this came up yesterday. Somebody inside of our community was asking for a recommendation of a web designer who can include SEO. I want to know, is this really a thing? Can a web developer make your website so that it just right away pops up at the top of Google? Or is it really a long game where you need to be constantly updating and tweaking and making sure that you have fresh content on your website in order to keep yourself at the top?

Elliott Zelinskas: SEO is totally a long game. That’s part of the advantage and the disadvantage of it. The advantage being, as you just mentioned, you wrote one blog post a year ago, and it still helps you bring in traffic and clients and customers to this day. The thing about that is that when you make a website, it doesn’t just appear on Google. There’s something called the ‘sandbox period.’ And before Google ranks it, Google wants to make sure that you’re serious about this website. And so they won’t rank the website for usually, approximately three months. Then what you need to do is kind of consistently create quality content like a blog post and do that — once a week is what I recommend.

Over the long term, the more content that you show, the more authoritative your image and your brand will become and the more trustworthy that Google sees your brand. So the thing is that it’s not an overnight success, but it is one of those compounding effects that really helps in the long term. Long-term meaning, starting that sort of three to six months, but then just the longer you keep planting seeds of different search terms that are relevant to your niche, the more profitable your business will become. The more people, the more leads will come into your business. But it does take time.

Jayne Havens: So with AI, artificial intelligence, making its way into everything online, I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on how that’s going to impact search engine optimization.

Elliott Zelinskas: Definitely. A lot of people are asking this, especially the people at Google. Sometimes I hear that SEO is dying. The reason that the people that are saying SEO is dying is those people, the people that I’ve heard, those are affiliate marketers.

And so what they used to do is create a website all about some really random product, for example, crossbows or something. Then they would just write reviews about the best crossbows for left-handed people, the best crossbows for teenagers, things like that. Then those blog posts would link to Amazon. And anytime that someone clicks and buys that product, they would make a commission. I do feel like SEO is dying for those businesses. But it doesn’t feel like those were totally legitimate businesses all the time.

For me, in my test preparation business, SEO is absolutely my number one driver still to this day, and I consider it to be. That’s because when you make a search about something that’s really important to you, you want to understand that some real person is behind it. So regarding AI, I don’t know where the future is leading to. It’s a tough one to know about. I think it’s an awesome tool to create things with.

For me, personally, I’ll give you an example now that I’m traveling. I’m in Chicago right now. I hadn’t been here for a long time. So I typed in to Google ‘best neighborhoods to live in, best cafes to go to.’ It gave me a list, but the problem is that the list was outdated. I ended up going straight to Google and finding a local blogger that really enjoys going to cafes. I totally trusted her opinion more than the AIs. And so that was like a real use case.

So I think AI can be excellent if you’re typing in something like, ‘what’s the capital of Wisconsin?’ But if you really want to know something that’s really important to you, like how to get your baby to sleep fast, you sort of want to talk to an expert, not just information that was collected and aggregated across the entire internet.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think that’s right. I hope you’re right about that. I think that that’s right. For those who are listening and want to prioritize improving SEO for their sleep consulting businesses — I know that you have a course for this as some of our CPSM grads have already enrolled — do you want to share a little bit about the training that you offer? I think we have an offer to share with our listeners today. I’ll make sure that it’s all linked in the show notes as well.

Elliott Zelinskas: Great. Yeah, the course is called SEO Blog Training for Sleep Consultants. I created it because, Jayne, I don’t know if you remember. About six or seven months ago, you got a lot of questions about SEO. Then you sent me a doc, and then I answered them. Then while answering them, I said, you know what? Why don’t we just get together. I’ll do a Zoom call with all the people who wanted to join. And that became the SEO Blog Training course.

Because I said to anyone in your membership and in your Facebook group, I said if you have any questions at all, just ask. I got a lot of messages. It was really cool. I love talking with small business owners. And so it was great to know what everyone wanted to hear and know.

A couple of the things that I got were that they want the SEO to be simple. They’re busy adults trying to grow their sleep consulting business. And if they can do something little by little, they would love to invest in learning this SEO, this new skill. I said, okay. Well, if I put together a course, would you be interested? A lot of people, I think at that time about 20 or so in the first day said definitely. Then more have signed up since then.

So I made a course that is for beginners. It’s called SEO blog training. It’s specifically for sleep consultants. So what I do is I record my screen. I record myself as I walk through gathering keywords specifically for sleep consultants. I use a website and teach you how to implement your footer in the correct way, how to add the map in the correct page, everything that a sleep consultant would need to know. So this isn’t for a dentist or a digital marketer. This is just for sleep consultants.

Simply put, it’s to learn SEO blogging in order to rank the website higher and grow your business in an organic way, so you don’t have to kind of hunt for leads but instead leads can start to come to you.

I’m really excited because this is going to be the second time we’re releasing the course. I want to offer a 20% off for the month of July. I thought it’d be a great summer program that someone can sign up to. So we have a coupon code that I’ve given to Jayne for 20% off the SEO blog training course for sleep consultants. And that ends July 31. So anytime you want to sign up before then, you get a discount.

Jayne Havens: Perfect. The code is going to be CPSMPROMO. We’ll make sure to link the course in the show notes. Elliott, I’m so grateful for you. I feel like my website is at the tippity-top because of you. I fully give you 100% credit for that. Anybody listening would be so wise to jump in and learn from Elliott and implement some of these practices that he teaches. I’m just so grateful that you’re willing to come and have this conversation on the podcast with me today and that you’re always willing to continue to educate my community and sleep consultants at large. So thank you.

Elliott Zelinskas: Thanks, Jayne. It’s been awesome. And just as before, if anyone has questions, let me know. Otherwise, my email address is also in the sleep consultant training web page. So sign up. Come join our little, tiny Facebook group that we have. It’s really cool. Ask questions and learn SEO so you can grow your sleep consulting business. Thanks, Jayne.

Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, it would mean so much to me if you would rate, review, and subscribe. When you rate, review, and subscribe, this helps the podcast reach a greater audience. I am so grateful for your support.

If you would like to learn more about how you can become a certified sleep consultant, head over to my Facebook Group, Becoming a Sleep Consultant or to my website thecpsm.com. Thanks so much, and I hope you will tune in for the next episode.

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