In the wild world of DIY SEO and digital marketing, visibility is everything. Page hits fly in from social media, google queries, and backlinks, but that’s only half the story.
Your audience is going to hit the first page that matches their needs. How do you make sure that Google knows what you offer and how to display it? Search engine optimization.
What Does SEO Stand For?
SEO Working Definition
SEO or search engine optimization is the fine art of labeling your content so that an algorithm can interpret the type of content you have and choose when and where to display it.
By analyzing keyword density, intent (i.e. sales, white paper, review, blog), and backlinks, the Google algorithm gives your content a ranking for various search terms or queries and displays your content by ranking within a search engine results page (SERP).
This process also scans your content to create direct answer experiences within a SERP.
The exact process Google uses to rank and sort content is proprietary. To keep things fair and accurate, they do not disclose precisely how the ranking process works. However, let’s go over some basic principles of SEO.
SEO for Dummies
Your Basic Guide to DIY SEO
Don’t worry, digital nomads! There are a lot of things you can do on your own to improve your site ranking and give yourself a DIY SEO checkup.
Before you can optimize, you must determine what keywords you hope to use. In other words, what queries do you hope will return your content as the top choice?
To start with, determine your current keyword density. If your website is on WordPress, you can use free SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or Rank Math. Both plugins have tons of great features including their own builtin keyword density analyzer tool. This tool will show you how often your focus keyword is used throughout your content compared to your content’s total word count.
Next, try generating a SERP and running the top-ranking pages through the same tool. SERP will show you, in direct numbers, how your keyword usage compares to the top-ranking article. It will also show you the top keywords utilized by the top-ranking content, keywords you may want to incorporate into your content during your next edit!
With keyword info in hand, remember Google doesn’t just use your plain text. The Google ranking algorithm pays special attention to backlinks, paragraph headings, urls and alt-text. That means you should too!
Leave it to the Pros
Affordable SEO for Small Businesses
Is this starting to feel overwhelming? Don’t worry; I’ve got your back.
Once you’ve given yourself a DIY SEO checkup and identified your areas for improvement, you might feel like the hill is too high to climb alone.
SEO doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are lots of services for every budget from simple check-up tools to full service solutions, and most importantly, mentoring to guide you through.
Your first step is to optimize your existing content. Using an SEO suite of tools like SEMrush or Loganix can help you chart a clear course to improving your existing sites and measuring their performance. Using an SEO toolkit gives you measurable, actionable feedback rather than the qualitative inference you might do on your own.
Once you have identified what works, and what does not work, about your existing content, you have the information you need to create new, more impactful content within your niche. At this stage, you are ready to utilize freelancers to create custom content that rank competitively in the ever changing SEO world.
Of course, like any entrepreneur, you, and you alone, have the vision that makes everything possible. You must balance the power of delegation with the need to invest in yourself. By spending a little more time now to master the world of digital marketing, you save yourself time and most importantly, money. When you are ready to take your DIY SEO to the next level, you are ready for mentoring and mastermind sessions.
DIY SEO Checklist
Search Engine Optimization in 4 steps
Whether you are performing a marketing audit or crafting your strategic goals for new content, make sure you can check these ‘SEO best practices’ boxes.
- Have you identified your keywords?
- Are your headings, URLs and alt text boxes keyword optimized?
- Are you linking to relevant content both within your site and to other sources?
- Have you linked Google Analytics?
- Are relevant sources linking back to your content?
As your business grows, so will your on page SEO needs. Even so, affordable SEO for small businesses is possible!
Hopefully this DIY SEO guide has provided you with some marketing wisdom you can apply to your niche right away. If you found more questions than answers, let this be a wake up call for you! No matter how big or small your business goals, it is always the right time to invest in yourself. Why not start now?