Have you been putting some major effort into your online presence only to find that you haven’t been seeing the results you want? Have you been thinking how to do SEO yourself?
I constantly get asked by friends and family members to give out practical advice for DIY SEO. I find that the truth of it surprises many people trying to upgrade their websites. The world of SEO is not as complex as it may first appear. Really!
With dedication and patience, anyone can have relatively good SEO results without working with an SEO professional or a big SEO firm. It’s all depending on whether you have time to learn and implement.
SEO that works takes two things:
- Up-to-date knowledge which you can find anywhere on the internet, including this blog.
- An investment of time – time to learn and time to put the pieces in place.
SEO isn’t so much about working hard as much as it is about working smart. And, you don’t have to be a techie to implement basic or very powerful SEO strategies.
If you’ve got SEO ambitions but don’t quite have the big budget to hire an SEO professional just yet, this article is for you.
So here’s some straightforward tips on how to do SEO yourself.
1. Everything begins and ends with your website
You’ve probably spent a lot of time designing and refining your website. But, is that website actively helping you to appear on Google’s first page?
Here’s something many people can’t believe at first. Even though your website may be a thing of beauty, aesthetically pleasing websites are simply not enough to attract Google to you.
Beautiful design and flashy images don’t help you meet your goals if search engines don’t send anyone to your website.
Your site must pay close attention to its core SEO purpose, or you are risking becoming invisible to the search engines.
To boost your SEO, I can tell you that the overall design, usability and accessibility of your website matters hugely.
Your website’s main goal should be providing your target audience with what they need.
When learning how to do SEO yourself, UXD will be a term you’ll become familiar with.
UXD is a techie term but it basically means putting the user at the heart of your website design.
With your site, everything you do needs to be based on what your target market wants, needs and appreciates.
2. Start with what you know about your audience.
You have powerful knowledge already.
When you are figuring out how to do SEO yourself, here’s something to build from.
You are in the best position to create a website guaranteed to please your audience.
Why? Because nobody knows your target audience better than you.
I suggest two steps to building a specific and targeted website.
1.) Ask some questions about your audience.
- Who is using this site? What kind of language do they use?
- What are their specific needs? How can I meet those needs?
- What are their specific wants? How can I cater to those wants?
- What questions do they need answers to? How can I provide the answers?
2.) Build your website around the answers.
Your SEO depends on it.
3. Keywords are actually key to getting people to your site.
In the world of SEO, the keyword still reigns supreme.
Why? Because Google bots pay very close attention to your page content and meta-information.
This is critically important when considering how to do SEO yourself.
Every time someone types in a word or phrase in your marketing niche, they are typing in keywords for that niche.
Search engines work to make a connection from those words to the websites that deliver the best answer to their search.
When your SEO plan is working, your site gets put in front of that person when they search.
Keywords, then, are supremely important.
To make the best use of your keywords invest time in researching all possible keywords in your niche and come up with a keyword/keyphrase strategy for your website.
Later you’ll include those keywords in the title of your website’s pages, your page meta tags and your content, but for now, it’s just about having a keyword strategy plan.
Do you optimize for every keyword?
When you’re learning how to do SEO yourself, insider secrets come in handy.
Here are some important bits of knowledge I want to share when it comes to keywords:
- Ranking for one-word or two-word keyword phrases is attainable, but it’s very difficult.
- Instead of focusing on one or two-word keywords, focus on longer, more detailed keywords. These are called long-tail keywords.
- Better still, focus on topics instead of individual keywords and you will end up ranking for many more individual keywords.
If you’re in an area that has plenty of competition, and a few leading players already occupy the top spot on the Search Engines, here’s something to try:
Consider the following example:
Which one of these two keywords will help you rank more highly?
- A very competitive keyword like “healthy food”
- A very specific long-tail keyword like “healthy food for busy parents who eat on the run?”
The competition for long-tail keywords is likely to be a lot less than the more popular – shorter – keywords in your area.
And, since you are targeting very specific audiences, you will end up improving your SEO in a shorter space of time.
There are important SEO keyword tactics NOT to use.
When you understand how to do SEO yourself, you’ll soon see that some SEO tactics just don’t work.
In the battle to get ahead, many believe that the more keywords they use, the better.
This is a major mistake.
To achieve success here, seek out the sweet spot for your keywords.
- Have keywords that are aligned with your content but don’t overstuff those words.
- Use a combination of exact keywords and similar phrases to help your content to appear as natural as possible.
4. You can blog your way to SEO success
To blog or not to blog? That is the question.
When it comes to understanding how to do SEO yourself I can only give you one answer.
Blog. Keep on blogging. And never stop blogging.
For two main SEO reasons:
- The search engines pay very close attention to your content. If it directly addresses your audience’s needs, you can significantly boost your SEO.
- To become a major player on the Search Engines, you have to be seen as an authority in the eyes of your audience. Creating great content is a powerful way to do that.
Equally important, and even more important is to allow enough time to promote every piece of blogging content you publish.
Content quality is extremely important.
When you’re thinking about how to do SEO yourself, here’s what I suggest you need to do with your content:
- Provide content that your audience finds useful and interesting.
- Make sure the content is crafted in such a way that the search engines knows that your audience will feel that way.
If you want that content to take your website to never-before-seen heights, that content needs to be optimized for the search engines.
Here are some tried and tested ways to have quality content on your blog:
1. Provide answers
People go onto search engines to find information. They are searching for answers of all kinds.
Your content must provide answers to questions in your niche.
How do you provide those answers?
2. Be strategic.
Create high-value content that your target market is looking for, and craft that content so that it answers their questions and addresses their concerns.
3. Stick with original material
Did you know that the average person has a lower attention span than a goldfish?
There’s no point putting out the same content that others are already providing.
You have got to stand out from the crowd.
Ask yourself the following questions to be more original:
- Is this content presented in an interesting way?
- Does it have a variety of different ways to provoke interest? Does it utilize the ten fundamentals of image SEO?
- Does it add value?
- It it thought-provoking?
- Does it encourage action?
- Does it promote engagement?
4. Be prolific
The more high-quality content you create, the happier the Search Engines will be and, the more people will see you as an authority.
5. Learn how keywords should appear in your content.
In your quest to learn how to do SEO yourself, we’ve already seen how important keywords are for your website.
They are equally important for your blog content.
For SEO purposes, it’s best not to build your content around your keywords. Rather, provide information that incorporates your keywords.
This way, your keywords don’t just appear organic – they actually are.
6. Use Social Media
Today, the average person spends more than one hour and forty minutes a day on Social Networking sites.
You can leverage the power of social media and boost your SEO by putting your content on your Social Media pages.
Once there, you can encourage people to engage. (Facebook is the leader in the field when it comes to engagement.)
Then, continue to link back to your website.
7. Use Links within the content you create
Quality links are very important to SEO. I suggest two things here:
- Whenever you produce content, always link back to other content you have created, or to other important pages on your website.
- Link to outside sources too, but always make sure those sources are reputable, respected sites that add to the information you are already sharing.
Building up your SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.
But, if you’re consistent in your practices, and committed to making things work, you will increase your ranking on the Search Engines.
In this guide on “How to do SEO yourself,” the focus has been on some of the easiest and proven ways to DIY your SEO.
Should you need to go deep with this, you may want to adopt a more strategic approach to SEO or reach out to a professional.