You can do your own SEO. Here are a few steps to get you started on improving your own Search Engine Optimization.
Many SEO companies do not want you to know how to do your own SEO. Basic SEO can be done by many small business owners, if you invest the time.
Listen to Google
Many SEO companies see Google as the enemy. While we may not believe that Google always follows their motto “Do no evil”, we do believe Google wants search results to be the best they can possibly be for consumers. This is just good business. If Google did not return relevant search results to users they would quickly lose market share.
So when Google tells you what they are looking for in your website, listen to them. The Google webmaster guidelines provide you with information on how to make your site look “good” to Google.
While some of the information they give is fairly technical, the section “Design and content guidelines” is a quick and easy read.
How to do your own SEO the easy way… use a good CMS
CMS Stands for Content Management System. Here at Light Bulb Division we use WordPress, but there are other CMS that will make doing your own SEO much easier.
Using a good CMS makes changing your content much easier than having to download and change HTML files. You should be able to login to an admin area of your site to make changes. If you don’t have this doing your own SEO will be difficult without some web development knowledge.
Find out how your potential customers might be searching for your business
A great way to do this is by signing up for a Google Adwords account. It’s quick and free. Once you have an account you can use the Tools->Keyword Planner tool to find out what people search for when looking for your business.
This will show you the number of searches for keywords that might relate to your business. You want to find keywords that have lots of searches. Find the keywords and then test them out… use them to search and see if you or your competitors show up in the results. If you are not showing up, the next steps will help you start ranking.
Install a good SEO plugin on your CMS
A plugin can make your SEO changes really easy once you know what search terms you would like to rank for. Our favorite plugin for WordPress is the Yoast SEO plugin.
Once you’ve installed Yoast you’ll see an extra panel in your WordPress admin. Enter your focus keywords(s) that you chose using the steps above. Save your page or post and then view the “Page Analysis” to see how well your content works for your keywords.
Sign Up for Google Webmaster Tools
Using Google’s webmaster tools allows you to tell Google when you’ve updated your site. If you don’t tell Google your site is updated they will eventually find changes you have made, but the tools allow you to ask Google to review your site right away.
Using the Google Webmaster tools can be a great too when you are considering how to do your own SEO.
Consider how valuable your time is
As a small business owner you have to wear lots of hats. If learning how to do your own SEO is something you can add to your plate it’s not that hard and with a little time you can do a great job.
If you’re busy dealing with all the other aspects of your business consider hiring someone to help you. Just make sure the company you hire can tell you clearly what they are going to do for you. If their explanation isn’t as simple as the points we’ve outlined above be suspicious.
SEO isn’t “magic” or “proprietary”. It takes research and some time, but it’s possible for you, or a company you hire to get great results.
Full disclosure: We would love to help you with your SEO needs. If you’d like to talk about it we’d love to hear from you.