Do Your Own SEO For Free
For people who know nothing about SEO
SEO = Keeping Google Happy
What Is SEO?
In the Online world Google is the God of search, it's estimated between 77% & 89% of all search engine traffic comes through Google.
Getting your web pages to appear on page 1 of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) is the goal of every online business, 95% of searchers never even jump to page 2
Search Engine Optimisation is the technical, analytical and creative process used to improve the visibility of a website in search engines. Good SEO drives more traffic to your website. More traffic = more sales!
Basically SEO is what you do to get your web pages listed on page 1 of SERPS
Google wants to direct searchers to high quality websites, so they have guidelines to help people to produce what they regard as high quality sites. Google rank websites who follow its guidelines higher than those who don't and penalize websites who break them.
In reality good SEO means meeting Googles guidelines in every area you can and definitely not breaking or trying to cheat your way around them.
Good SEO is called White Hat SEO and Google reward this with higher rankings. Bad SEO is ineffective, so if you really don't want to get involved with SEO leave it alone and get professional help, you cannot do good SEO on the fly.
Cheating by using devious tactics to get round Googles guidelines is called Black Hat SEO. Some agencies promise fantastic results with massive overnight increases in traffic using "special tactics they have invented" to get you on page 1.
Very tempting but beware!
Google will not tolerate Black Hat SEO, if they find a website using it they can drop its SERPS listing from page 1 to page 8,516 in a heartbeat, burying the pages where no one will ever see them or even blacklist the website completely.
Take a look at this video from Googles Webmaster guidelines. He actually threatens to completely remove Websites using Black Hat SEO from search engine results...ouch!
It Sounds Difficult, Can I Really Do SEO Myself?
Yes you can.
Advanced SEO is very complex and requires specialist knowledge, which is why agencies charge £1000s a month to handle SEO for large businesses. If you are into paid advertising then without this specialist help you can end up wasting huge sums of money on ineffective campaigns.
But get this: Only 5% of searchers click on the paid ads in the SERPS, the other 95% click on the other websites that Google list on page 1. Those listings are called natural or Organic results.
There are two ways to get an Organic page 1 listing:
1.Use a really obscure buzzword or phrase on your website that no one else does then when people to type it in the search bar you're listed on page 1. Good luck with that & wouldn't you be better of just marketing your business name anyway?
2. Follow Googles SEO guidelines, then when someone types in a search connected to your product or service, if Google ranks your page high enough, you will get listed on page 1
Organic SEO is something that anyone who builds or maintains a website can do themselves. While how it works is complex, what you have to do to get it to work is not, you just need to follow instructions without over-thinking (leave that to the SEO professionals).
It is preferable to hire an agency, but if your current budget does not allow it there is no reason you cannot manage your own basic Organic SEO.
We are an affordable agency with a mission to help as many small businesses get online with a decent viable website as we can. This is why we promote self build websites and recommend saving your money on design costs and spending it were it really matters, on marketing your business.
Small businesses, sole traders and start-ups need SEO just as much as the big guys, but tight budgets can mean agency fees are beyond their budget, have a look at our article on How Much Does SEO cost.
Better than trying to do it on the cheap and fall foul of Google, it's better to invest a few hours a week and do your own. The hub of digital marketing is your website and the foundation of a website is good SEO and good basic SEO you can do yourself.
OK I Want To Do My Websites SEO, What Next?
Congratulations you are now a Webmaster (anyone who maintains a website is a webmaster), when we talk about webmasters we are talking about you!
Organic SEO will have an effect on your rankings but not overnight, the results are sure and steady and your web pages will creep up in the listings. Organic SEO is about long-term planning, building a solid authoritative website which will eventually have pages that will always rank highly in the SERPS.
If you want a quick boost in traffic, you will have to spend money on Artificial SEO and hire a reputable agency to manage a campaign for you.
Before you start we recommend taking a quick at Googles Webmaster guidelines. (Where we got the earlier video from).
Don't worry about all the techie bits, you can ignore those, you just need to get to get an idea of what's needed to get your website indexed properly to appear in the SERPS and to realise just how serious Google is about cheating (Black Hat SEO).
Do Your Own SEO for Free. The Guides
Google make the rules so let them help you.
The one guide you need to download is the one written by Google, if someone writes a rule book and you need to obey that book so get a copy. Google have written these for those who want to do their own SEO.
Google do two free guides for people doing their own SEO a one page quickie and a really good starter guide which tells you all you need to know about optimising your website.
Other SEO Guides
Doing your Organic SEO is not difficult but the way SEO actually works is very complex and it is very easy to get bogged down in all the jargon and just give up.
If you are serious about your SEO and want to go a little further than Googles basics then you need a guide, a really good guide that will lead you on without swamping you with jargon and explain simply exactly why you have to do certain things to get the best results.
We've looked at hundreds of FREE DIY SEO Beginners guides and Shaun Anderson from HOBO has produced what we think is the best free, no strings attached UK SEO beginners guide out there. This is a comprehensive 340 page book you can read online or download as a PDF.
Please note: We are not affiliated to HOBO or have any other connection with them. We belive that as well as being the top SEO audit company in the UK, they produce some of the best free self-help SEO guides available.
If you prefer video tuition then watch Prof Bucky Roberts free SEO course SEO for Beginners. This is an 16 part course in short chunks, each video is about 5-10 minutes.
Have a look at some of our articles on Basic SEO to help with your DIY SEO.