Do-It-Yourself SEO for Small Businesses
There really isn’t anything new about the basics of search engine optimization. So, I won’t bore you with all the same SEO stuff that you see on the web.
To be honest, I get sick of all the SEO blogs who attempt to scare you using terms like, “Google algorithms” and “Technical SEO.” Most of the search engine optimization blogs say pretty much the same thing and we SEO Analyst’s use pretty much the same tools.
Don’t get ripped off by SEO Companies
Many SEO companies attempt to convince you to pay ridiculous premiums for search engine optimization service. However, they only do enough to get your company name in the search results. What they don’t tell you is that if a user searches for a product or service that you offer, you’ll be left in the gutter while your competitors win searches.
Did you recently purchase a site or domain that “includes” SEO? It doesn’t. When I hear a small business owner tell me that SEO was included in his web build, I cringe my teeth, pat them on the back and tell them it’s going to be okay.
Search engine optimization is a long-term digital marketing strategy, not something you set and forget. If a web design agency charges you a monthly premium for SEO, you better ask them specifically what they are doing each month. If they give you an answer with a bunch of SEO jargon that sounds like B.S., send it to me and I’ll tell you if you’re getting ripped off.
Now there are plenty of great SEO companies out there who do an awesome job and I applaud them. I just get irritated with the ones who charge huge premiums for absolutely no results.
Search engine optimization isn’t hard, but it’s time-consuming and like most aspects of business, requires discipline and consistency from you the small business owner.
If you don’t have the budget to hire an SEO agency, it’s fine, you’ll have to make it up with time and effort. This do-it-yourself SEO for small businesses resource will help you simplify and prioritize the work.
DIY SEO for Small Businesses – Where to Start
When it comes to do-it-yourself SEO or DIY SEO, you must maintain good business practices, understand your customers, and provide fresh, new and useful content to your site as often as possible. As long as your consistent, your small business will have no trouble with SEO and the “changing Google Algorithms.”
You do need to know (DO NOT ASSUME) a few things about your current site and business at all times:
- How do customers find your business? (Organic Search, Paid Advertising, Social Media, Print Ads, TV Commercials)
- What devices might your customers use to find you? (Mobile, Tablet, Desktop Computer, Word of Mouth)
- What pages are most popular?
Google Analytics Tracking
To get this information, you’ll need to learn the basics of Google Analytics. As a small business owner, I’m sure one of the last things you feel like doing is learning a boring subject like website data and tracking, but since you’re on a budget, you’ll need to learn a few key things about Google Analytics (GA.)
If you don’t already have Google Analytics installed on your site or you’re not sure, below are some resources to help you. If you know you have GA installed, skip to the next section.
To create a Google Analytics account, you’ll need an active Google account.
- How to create an account with Google
- Set up Google Analytics Tracking
- Install Google Tag Assistant – If you’re not sure if your website site has Google Analytics
If you have any trouble at all getting Google Analytics (GA) setup and configured correctly, let me know and I can offer you some affordable Google Analytics training. If you want to DIY, watch this Google Analytics for Beginners video provided by Google Analytics Academy.
Using Google Analytics for DIY SEO
Marketers like myself depend on advanced analytics to determine all online marketing campaigns, the health of a website, segment data for most accurate reporting. You don’t need an advanced education in GA, but you do need to know the following;
- Are you reaching the right target audience? (demographics + location)
- Where your traffic comes from (Social Media, Organic, Direct, Referral)
- Which pages are most popular (Behavior)
- How long and how many pages a user visits your site
- Which devices are most popular among your site visitors (mobile, desktop, tablet)
We could spend all day talking GA, including; best practices, building a measurement plan, segmenting data, and custom reporting, but for now, you just need it installed on your site.
DIY for Small Businesses: Content
You must post new content to your site as often as possible. If your website remains stale (no new content), your rankings will drop. For that reason, we SEO people love blogs. Blogs provide an invaluable way to generate useful information to our target audience and allow us to share it across your social platforms like Facebook. The more you can add value to your customer’s lives, the better your site will rank in the search engines.
Keyword research is huge, but there’s already tons of information about the subject, so I’ll provide you with what I feel is the best keyword research resources on the web.
- How to do keyword research by Moz
- How to do keyword research in 2017 by Tim Soulo of Ahrefs
- Keyword research for SEO by Backlinko
Try not to blog just for better rankings. Sincerely try to add value to your customer. Blogs can be hard to maintain, so you’ll need a content strategy of what to post and when to post it.
Quick Notes on Do-it-yourself keyword research and content
- Start with branding (for what do you want to be known)
- What products or services are most valuable to your business
- What makes your company different from your competitors?
- Prove all claims using data and link to your source
Link Your Content
Here’s a perfect example. I’m going to mention a keyword that I want to rank for and I’m going to create a link to a page that I want to be associated with that keyword.
Jason Moore is an awesome and affordable SEO consultant in Annapolis, Maryland.
Notice how I plugged in a long-tail keyword as anchor text and the link points to my about page. If this blog post gains in popularity, it will increase in strength. The strength of this page will help lift my about page and assign the long-tail keyword “best affordable SEO consultant in Annapolis, Maryland.”
My point is to add anchor links to other pages on your site. Don’t do this too much, and don’t link to the same page over and over again, just once is fine. Also, notice how I dropped in my location to help win local searches.
Now search engines like Google probably didn’t like what I did there, but I hope I explained how linking your content is important.
There’s a lot of small details I left out in this article, but if you follow only the above-mentioned strategies, you’ll be able to launch successful a success do-it-yourself SEO for small businesses campaign. You can learn some more about my most affordable SEO strategies by reading my blog or sign up to receive my monthly SEO newsletter. I try my best to provide information for small business owners with limited budgets for SEO. If there is a question or article you’d like me to cover, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email.