Managing Your Own SEO
DIY SEO is something you should be doing when you add content to your website.
No matter the size of your business ensuring that Internet search engines find your web pages and list them in the first page of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) should be a crucial part of your marketing strategy.
After all the work put into designing and building your website you need it to be seen, a website not using effective SEO will sit unnoticed, unfound and will not work properly for your business.
72% of business websites under-perform because their owners believe that SEO is something too complex and time hungry to handle themselves and too expensive to pay for someone to do.
All SEO is not the same!
Advanced SEO is highly complex and best left to professionals. While you can do this yourself if you get something wrong the search engines may identify it as attempting to trick them by using underhand methods (Black Hat SEO) which will get your website penalized and possibly blacklisted, which can effectively kill your website.
Basic SEO is straightforward and is something any one building or managing a website can and should be doing. The foundation of Good SEO is not just the content you put on your pages but how you structure it, following a few simple rules will ensure you have a website that both vistors and search engines will like.
What do Search Engines look for?
Search engines want to make money, they do this by listing the most appropriate websites for the search terms the user types into the search bar. It's not enough that the website meets those terms, they want it to be user-friendly, so they look for things like.
- Keywords: Does the site have information matching the search term? See our article on Keyword Planning to see how to find and choose the right keywords
- Content: Is there good quality well written content about the search term, how often is new content uploaded, is it unique or copied from somewhere else.
- Load speed: How quickly does the page load. Under 2 seconds is the golden rule, any slower and most people will navigate away. over 3 seconds and 53% will move on somewhere else
- Usability: Can the visitor navigate around the site easily
- Links: Does the website have a good internal linking structure, for how to build one take a look at our article on Internal Link Building. Are there quality outgoing links and inbound links from other reputable websites. Do all the links work?
- UX: Overall user experience, a combination of many factors which tells the search engines how satisfied visitors will be using your website. Will they like it well enough to stay on it?
The search engines use bits of software called search algorithms (commonly called spiders or web crawlers or bots), to trawl through websites looking for these factors and many others. There are over 200 ranking factors and the ways they are interpreted are constantly changing.
Google changes its search algorithm 500 to 600 times a year. What the spiders find is used to index your website and determine where you appear or rank in the SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages).
This makes sense, if when looking for something in a search engine it constantly directed people to:
"Websites that took minutes to load, then had to spend time trawling through them to find what you needed and finally when you got to the information it was something copied and pasted from another website".
People would soon stop using that search engine, with the fall in numbers using them advertisers would leave and profits would fall. This is why the search engines need a way to vet websites and direct you to best ones they possibly can for your search term.
This article from Google explains How Google search works and gives a brief insight into how SEO affects your website from the search engines point of view. With a 89% share of the worlds search engine traffic we need to meet Googles requirements.
Is My Website Penalized?
No matter how hard you try you find your web pages are still languishing down at page 50 on SERPS. It might be that your website's been penalized for breaching search engine guidelines.
Sometimes you can make a mistake with your own SEO Google which interprets as cheating. You may have unknowingly hired an agency using Black Hat SEO, or maybe you have bought a domain name that has been previously penalized.
You can find out if your website is penalized by using this quick free tool at Is My Website Penalized. Try it now, if you get an adverse result you need to take immediate action to repair your website. We suggest you contact us for help.
There are 2 types of SEO
- Organic or natural SEO
- Non-Organic or artificial SEO
Responsible for driving more than 50% of traffic to your website.
Organic SEO is about the natural growth of your websites online presence, this is not an overnight process. Like a seedling it takes time to grow and develop, once grown it needs tending, feeding and the occasional pruning to get the best growth.
You tend your website by making sure the search engines find what they want to see in its structure and content, you feed it by uploading regular fresh content which is relevant to your website, you prune by getting rid of any clutter which stops it being as user-friendly as the search engines would like.
Over time Google, Yahoo, Bing etc... will begin to rank your website. Then you can boost your SEO using Googles powerful free services, Google Webmaster Tools which gives you suggestions on how to improve your website and Google developers page speed insights which shows you how to increase your page load speed (another SEO ranking factor).
Organic SEO is something you can start doing yourself have a look at our Article on Doing Your Own SEO For Free.
Non Organic SEO
This involves paid services such as pay-per-click and paid advertising which will give your website a quick boost by getting more prominence with people searching for your products or services, the increased visitor rates will boost your rankings but the effects are generally less effective in the long run when compared to organic SEO.
We don't recommend this for small business or start-ups unless you have a specific marketing budget which covers it. For advice on using non organic SEO contact us.
If you are going to use DIY SEO visit our Free tools and resources page where there is a list of powerful free tools and essential resources to help you.