When shopping around for a company to use, most people nowadays do their research by using search engines like Google. If your website doesn’t appear when people search for your service, you could be in need of some much-needed SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
SEO is a means of using strategies like keywords and hyperlinks to boost your rankings. Many people hire SEO companies to do this because it requires some pretty niche skills, however it is possible to do your own search engine optimization. This can be a difficult task but could save you a lot of money. Here are just a few steps to take when trying your own DIY SEO.
Do some keyword research
Keywords are a vital part of SEO. These are the search terms that your ideal customer is entering into Google, Bing and Yahoo. Many people make the mistake of thinking they know which keywords people are using. Whilst there can be some logic to keywords, there may be other terms that are less obvious but just as effective. To find these keywords, you need to do some research.
Services like Google analytics can be installed on your site and can help to identify the keywords that people are entering to get on your site. You can also use services like Keyword Spy to find out the keywords that are leading to your competitors getting hits.
It’s important to determine which keywords are useful and which aren’t. Lots of people may be ending up on your site by searching a completely unrelated term – these aren’t the customers you want, so you don’t want to optimize this keyword. You should also be aware of different types of keywords such as long tail keywords.
Incorporate these keywords on your site
Once you’ve settled on the best keywords, you can start incorporating these into the text on your website. This is one of the most popular ways to boost rankings.
Obviously, you don’t want these keywords to look spammy and you should be careful about how often you use them. Try to incorporate them naturally into the text. Relying on keyword stuffing or using keywords inappropriately could have negative effects on your search rankings. On top of this it could affect the readability of your website and put off visitors.
Backlinking is another way of improving your rankings. This involves using hyperlinks from one site to another. In the case of SEO, you want other website to be linking to yours in order to help boost your website’s rankings. This is all about creating web presence, which can make your website more attractive to search engines. For a backlink to be successful, you have to use the right anchor text (the text of which the hyperlink is disguised as). What is the best anchor text for SEO? This depends on several factors, but ideally you should be using a mix of keywords and more generic links.
Backlinking needs to be natural. You’ll need to get in contact with other website owners and ask if you can contribute a blog post which contains your backlink somewhere within the text. Don’t be spammy when it comes to backlinks – you only need to use one per text.
Because hyperlinking is all about sharing, you should also consider linking a few other companies on your own website. These should be companies that aren’t your competitors but could be useful related services. This will similarly boost your search rankings.
Use internal linking
On top of backlinking, you may want to try some internal linking. These are hyperlinks that link to another page on the same website. You can similarly use keywords when internal linking to help boost your rankings. As with all the above SEO tricks, keep internal linking natural. It’s good to have a mix of internal and external links – search engines generally don’t like internal link hogs and could negatively rank you for doing this.
Share your website’s content on social media
You can also improve your search rankings by using social media in conjunction with your website. Sharing links to your website on Facebook and Twitter can help to boost your SEO by giving you more web presence. It can be even more effective if other people start interacting and sharing your content.
You don’t want to be continuously posting the same link to your social media channels – ideally you should be constantly linking new content. These could be new blog posts that you’ve written or links to new product pages on your website.
Encourage other people to promote your website
Another SEO tactic certain to boost your rankings is to get other people to share your website around the internet. This could be other companies linking your website as a cross-promotional tactic. It could also include news articles and reviews from online publications. This might include sending off some press releases to companies around the web. You could hire a PR company to do this, or similarly do it yourself.
Try services like AdWords
AdWords is Google’s paid web as service. This service guarantees that your website appears at the top of search listings as an advert (you may have seen these whenever you search something into Google). Web ads can be very effective, although you’ll still need to do some thorough keyword research. AdWords allows you to pick out the exact keywords that trigger your ad to come up. You should be aware that web ads only result in temporary results – they’re created on a pay-per-click basis and will only display until a certain amount of people have clicked on them. You can keep running new AdWords campaigns, but you will have to keep paying extra money each time.