06 Jul How to Do Search Engine Optimization?
5 Do-it-yourself SEO Tips
- Understand your Online Market and Target Customers
Having an offline, real-world understanding of your market and target customers is only half the story. Habits and behaviour often differ online in comparison to the offline world. A prominent offline presence does not equate to a dominant online presence. A leading national store that stocks and sells curtains and blinds, for instance, might have much tougher competition from online-only curtain and blind retailers.
Search online for products and services you offer and take note of the most prominent websites. Study their customer reviews and benchmark their social media presence and activity. You will likely find businesses you have not come across.
- Master Keyword Research
You probably understand your industry jargon and are aware that your customers might use different terms than your trade colleagues to refer to your services or goods. The process of keyword research provides a rounded understanding of key phrases, search terms, and online demand for products or services.
All business owners and managers intending to market online should know how to run keyword research.
We suggest free keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, which requires that you have an AdWords account, and Übersuggest, a Google suggest scraper tool.
If you have the funds, then the paid keywords research tools worth trying are SEMRush and Wordtracker.
Also understand your industry’s head key-phrases (general and highest search volume) and long-tail key-phrases (varied and more specific key phrases usually over four words).
Consider printing out and sticking your keyword research on a notice board as a constant reminder of your online focus.
- Plan your Site
Now that you understand the most searched keywords and the most relevant long-tail words, you should have an idea of what pages on your website address those search queries.
Having a list on paper or a spreadsheet of all top, mid, and low-tier web pages and their corresponding keyword focus forms the basis of your website’s architecture. Each high and medium priority keyword from your keyword research should have a corresponding page on your site.
Long-tail keywords should be used in blog posts and FAQs.
- Build your Site
Now that you have an idea of the pages that should be on your site, the next step is to build the best site in your industry with the help of a professional web designer or agency and with user-testing focus groups.
Google’s head of web spam, Matt Cutts, advises site owners to build great websites that users love and want to tell their friends about — sites that users visit repeatedly. Any website built in 2013 should be mobile responsive to cater for smart phone browsers. WordPress is terrific for most small and mid-sized businesses due to its simplicity, flexibility, support, in-built SEO features, and access to a vast library of free and premium plugins.
- Start Blogging or Producing Regular Content
You don’t have to start a blog but start publishing your own content on a scheduled basis. I am not advocating turning your business into a publishing company by posting content every day. Scheduling weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly updates is my recommendation — consistency is key. Also bear in mind that content does not necessarily need to be text — for example, an architectural firm could publish professionally taken photographs of its projects or Realtors could publish weekly video bulletins. Publishing content that is tailored to the content consumption habits of your target audience is the goal.