SEO, or search engine optimization, is the act of optimizing your content so that search engines can easily find it and rank it higher for visitors to find. However, this isn’t as easy as publishing a few blogs and posting on social media.
If you’re thinking about starting a do-it-yourself SEO campaign, then here’s everything you need to know to help you get started.
Develop a Target Audience
The very first thing you need to think about when learning how to do SEO yourself is to develop a target audience. This is a helpful small business practice you should carry out regardless of your SEO goals. But, it also helps you focus your keyword list and content (*if you need help with this, send us a message and we’ll send you our FREE guide on How to Create Your Target Audience).
Think about different demographic factors that aren’t the usual age, sex, and location. Think about your ideal customer and what they’re interested in, what their occupation is, and whether or not they’re married or attend school.
These are all important factors that will help you narrow down your audience in order to find your niche. As a business this is crucial. For your web content, it’s even more important.
Because there is so much competition online for search engine rankings, you want to create content that’s highly specific and targeted. This means that you’re going to want to create a blog, for example, that focuses on a few niche topics and stick to that.
Then, when you’ve got your target audience, you’ll be able to find better keywords that are going to be more attractive to them. Because you understand who your audience is, you now know what they’re searching for online.
Do Lots of Keyword Research
What does SEO stand for in marketing? Search engine optimization. This means that one of the most important components of SEO are the keywords that people put into search engines to find certain people, places, and businesses.
So, that means that keyword research is going to be important in the success of any do-it-yourself SEO campaign.
First, you’ll want to head over to Google’s Keyword Planner. There, you can enter a few keyword ideas to get you started. From those keywords, Google will generate a list of top ideas.
If you’re really looking to stand out, however, you should take a look at your competitors’ websites to see what kinds of keywords they’re using in their content. Enter these keywords into the planner to see what similar words you might be able to rank for.
The goal is to sort the keywords by the average search volume. Look for words that have the highest amount of monthly searches while still having “low” or “medium” competition.
Avoid trying to use highly competitive keywords. Usually, these are shorter keywords with one or two words. “Coffee” or “best iced coffee” are examples of keywords to avoid as they’re likely way too competitive for a small business.
Format Your Content Correctly
Now, if you’re going to use keywords to create paid ads, then you need to learn how to properly create an SEO advertisement. These kinds of paid ads use keywords and ad copy to attract visitors to your page.
You’ll create a Google AdWords campaign, use the keywords you found. This includes creating various different ad campaigns and copy. Hiring someone for SEO campaign management is a good idea if you’re looking to dive this deep into SEO.
Paid ads are incredibly budget-friendly and they’re usually successful in gaining traffic and increasing conversions. But, there is a lot that goes into paid ad campaigns and they require a lot of maintenance and attention.
However, if you’re just doing SEO yourself to enhance your on-page content, then you’ll need to learn how to format your content correctly.
Because search engine crawlers are crawling your page to understand what kind of information is on your site, you need to organize it in a way that’s easy for them to read. The easier and higher quality that the content is, the higher they’ll rank your page.
So, make sure you devote a keyword to each of your individual pages or blogs. Use this keyword in the title and set the title to be H1 format. You should also include the keyword in at least one subheading, in the body, and in the conclusion.
Don’t Forget to Optimize Your Images
One thing that SEO beginners tend to overlook is the need to optimize images. This means two things:
- Optimizing your images so that they feature alt text and titles that use keywords and descriptive text.
- Compressing your images so that they load properly and don’t slow down your site’s pages.
Whenever you include an image on your website, you should title it with something relevant and then include an alt text that both tells the viewer what they’re seeing and includes helpful keywords that crawlers can use to rank the content.
These kinds of image texts help robots that don’t have eyes make sense of the content on their page. As mentioned, SEO is about the crawlers looking for the most relevant information related to someone’s search. So, this helps them learn more about what’s on the page.
This is also helpful for your visually-impaired visitors. If they visit your page, your alt text will help let me know what the images are about.
Optimizing your images also means compressing them so that they load fast. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to load a webpage and not having any of the images load.
And, loading speed is a huge part of SEO, especially if you’re engaging in pad ads. Loading speed falls under the category of user experience, and that’s one of the biggest ranking factors for Google ads.
Help with Do-It-Yourself SEO Campaigns
Do-it-yourself SEO doesn’t have to be hard, but it does require that you familiarize yourself with the terms and techniques of search engine marketing.
If you’re able to define a clear target audience and then find the right keywords that they’re going to be using when they search for whatever your business sells or does, then you’ll be on the right track.
If you need more help with SEO or other digital marketing tasks, then send us a message. We’ll be more than happy to do a free SEO audit and chat with you about a possible strategy to success.