The essential SEO DIY kit for your website
Your website can be your most vital marketing and sales tool. However, you must know how to tweak your SEO (search engine optimisation) to use your website to its full potential. After all, you want to reach your prospects and customers 24/7 365 days a year wherever they are. Unless you want to spend a lot of money, you need a good SEO DIY kit for your website to get you there.
Essential SEO DIY Tip #1: What is SEO?
Let’s start with the basics. Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of attracting as many potential customers as possible to your website when they search online for information about the products or services you sell.
Essential SEO DIY Tip #2: On-Page SEO
Not many people know the distinction: SEO consists of on-page and off-page actions that determine the success of your efforts. Let’s begin with the recommended on-page strategies.
1. Keyword Research
Your prospects use certain words when they search online for the products or services in your industry. These words are called Keywords or Keyphrases.
You must find a way of working out the keywords and phrases your ideal customers use so that they can find you and buy from you. For this, you need to know who wants to buy from you and why. To pinpoint the ‘who’ – your ideal customer – you can use Hubspot’s handy Buyer Persona tool. Taking this exercise will make it easy for you to get to know your prospects. You will then be able to come up with the ‘why’– the problems, needs or concerns they have. Once you know the who and the why you will soon understand which keywords can bring them to your website.
Let’s say you are a business coach who wants to help start-up companies to grow quickly. Your ideal customers would most likely enter keyphrases such as “growth strategies for start-ups”, or “help with getting my start-up business off the ground”. Compile a list of all possible search terms, taking into account the language your buyers would use. You can also use any of the free keyword research tools available online for this task. This is an excellent start to your SEO efforts.
2. Content Creation
You’ve got your nice and shiny new keyword list, so what now? You must create content for your website that uses as many of the keywords from your collection as possible. But, be careful, we are living in the AI age! Google and other search engines now use sophisticated algorithms that cannot be fooled easily. Avoid using the same keywords over and over again as Google will class this as ‘keyword stuffing’ and penalise you for it. Instead, spread your keyphrases evenly over the content of your site.
Good SEO also means offering content on your site that is useful and relevant to your customers. So use your keywords and phrases on all webpages and blog posts, while addressing your customers wants and needs.
Plan your website content carefully so that it will help create real value for your potential customers and promote your keywords with the search engines at the same time.
3. User and ‘Crawler’ Experience
Your website will rank high with search engines if it is both user-friendly and can be indexed easily. Prioritising your customer’s convenience with a site that is well-structured and gives clear and valuable information is good SEO practice. And this applies to the search engines’ crawlers too. They need to be able to find your website and understand what it is about to index it easily. There are ways how you can make this process easy for the search engines.
Use pages titles that have the correct length and state clearly what the page is about. Include keywords in URLs and add ALT tags to images. Have a clear navigation structure throughout your site and include relevant associated outbound links in your content. All of these will help your website rank high with search engines.
4. Mobile Responsiveness
In 2019, 84% of UK adults use a smartphone over a desktop or tablet to browse the web. Search engines now penalise a website that is not mobile-friendly. It’s vital that your website is mobile-friendly, also called mobile-responsive, if you want it to rank high.
Make sure that you optimise your website’s design and content for mobile viewing. Don’t make your site visitors scroll endlessly through long-winded content. Make it punchy and include strong calls-to-action.
These are the essential on-page SEO techniques. Keep following this guide for off-page SEO tips. You must use both to boost your website’s search traffic performance.
Essential SEO DIY Tip #3: Off-Page SEO
Let’s continue our journey with the ‘off-page’ SEO strategies. Actions like positive link building, using social media, connecting with influencers, linking with business directories, and using Google My Business form a vital part of a successful all-round SEO strategy.
This is the bit where you can prove to search engines that your site is trustworthy and authoritative and deserves to be ranked highly.
1. Building Positive Links
What are links? A link takes you to a new online location when you click or tap it.
There are three types:
- Internal = links between the pages of your website
- Inbound = links pointing to your website from another website
- Outbound = links pointing from your site to another website
The focus in off-page SEO is on building quality inbound links. A link from a trustworthy site to your website can have the same effect as a recommendation by a well-respected person in your industry. For example, a link from your industry’s professional association or regulator to your website makes both search engines and prospects see you as a trusted authority in your field.
The key to positive link building lies in its quality, not quantity. One link from a high-profile, trusted site is worth far more than ten links from low-profile sites in your industry.
2. Using Social Media
Creating high-volume traffic from your social media channels to your website will get you noticed by search engines. The more people share your content and click through to your site, the better your reputation with the search engines gets.
Use your keywords in your social media content, employ the appropriate social media channels for your target audience and address their pain points in your content. Your target audience will come back for more, and you will soon see a significant increase in your inbound website traffic.
3. Connecting with Influencers
It’s simple: if you offer your target audience valuable content, they will consume it, and that will drive traffic to your site.
One way of creating valuable content is by connecting with influencers:
- Connect with thought leaders in your industry on LinkedIn, at events or by any other means available to you. Don’t be shy; they’re only human!
- Write an informative and entertaining blog post or e-book covering their expertise and ask them for a quote. You’ll be surprised at how many people like to give quotes. Try it.
- You could ask them for an interview – face-to-face, via Skype or Zoom, or over the phone. Write a blog post, create a video or a podcast for your website featuring the interview.
It is most likely that they will link to this content on their site or social media channels. This will give you an extra boost of traffic and make even more people aware of your business.
4. Listings in Business Directories
Many free and paid online business directories can increase the inbound links to and citations of your site. A citation is a mention of your business name and address online – also noted and liked by search engines. Check out what your competitors are doing and list your business in the same directories. Look at the directories your target audience would most likely use to find a company like yours and get a listing.
Yes, creating pages in business directories takes a lot of time. But if you set yourself the target of completing two listings a week, you’ll soon be featured everywhere. Make sure though that you list with reputable directories and check out their reach if they are fee-based. If there are directories dedicated to your industry you should list with them. The free listings in directories such as Yelp, Cyclex and Yell might also help your business.
5. Joining ‘Google My Business’
Create a ‘Google My Business’ page for your business if you want to show your business location. The business profile is free, and customers can find you easily via Google Search and Maps. Your listing will appear in a box on the first search results page with a map and general information. It will also show up on Google Maps. This is an excellent way for local customers to find you.
Essential SEO DIY Tip #4: Be patient!
It is difficult to say when your website will show up on the search engines’ coveted page 1 spot. It can take hours to weeks, as the new information must be crawled and indexed first.
Keep working on the above DIY tips and try out different keywords. If you are persistent, consistent and patient, you will get there – promise!
And if you’re not into DIY, we can do all the on-page SEO for you once we have created or revamped your site. We can also refer you to one of our trusted off-page SEO services. Get in touch if you want to know more about what we can do for your business.