How to start SEO yourself in 2023
How to start SEO yourself
If you’re considering how to implement organic SEO for your brand, then you probably already understand the significant benefits that SEO can provide to small businesses. Starting with SEO is actually quite simple and accessible, as there is an abundance of information and free tools available to use. Additionally, working towards improving your SEO can benefit your website, even if you don’t see immediate ranking results. For example, enhancing user experience, speeding up your website, and producing high-quality content are all smart moves for any brand.
However, it’s important to note that achieving lasting and significant results with SEO requires a significant time commitment. SEO is a long-term marketing strategy that needs consistent effort and nurturing to grow into something fruitful. Fortunately, if you put in the time and effort, you’ll reap a bountiful harvest that will continue to benefit your brand’s growth well into the future.
Need help getting started with SEO?
Beginning with SEO is relatively straightforward if you are willing to invest your time and effort. However, if you are a busy business owner juggling multiple priorities, it can be challenging to progress and learn how to achieve long-term results with SEO. If your business is prepared to move forward with organic marketing, partnering with an SEO agency can be beneficial. An experienced agency such as PDE can help you develop and execute an effective SEO strategy, which includes keyword research and mapping, creating conversion-focused content, and providing targeted SEO services to increase your website’s visibility.
If you’re interested in doing organic SEO for your business, we have created a comprehensive guide that can help you get started. Whether you prefer to hire professional SEO services or handle it yourself, our step-by-step guide can provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to succeed.
1. Keyword Research
Keyword research is the process of identifying the search terms that your target audience is using to look for information. This includes the queries they put into search engines like Google, the number of people making these queries, and the results they expect to find. By understanding this information, you can create content that is optimized for your audience.
Although keyword research can begin with brainstorming and guesswork, it is mostly a data-driven process. There’s no point in optimizing for a keyword that nobody is searching for, such as “comfortable dog beds” if your audience is using different search terms.
Here’s how to do keyword research for SEO:
- Brainstorm general keywords related to your business.
- Use free SEO tools to discover more specific keywords based on your target audience’s interests.
- Determine the traffic potential of each keyword. Consider how many people are searching for that keyword. Search volume can be a rough guide to determine a keyword’s value to you.
- Check the ranking difficulty of each keyword. Determine how competitive each keyword is. Some keywords might be too competitive for you to rank for.
- Select keywords that match the search intent of your audience. Consider why someone is making that particular search and what they hope to find.
- Keep in mind that your target audience’s search intent and the type of searches they perform may change over time. Therefore, it’s important to do regular keyword research to discover new opportunities and optimize your content accordingly.
- keyword mapping
2. Create a keyword map
A keyword map is a tool that links specific keywords found during Step 1 with the corresponding pages on your website. This ensures that each keyword is appropriately associated with the correct page. Later, you can create content optimized for each keyword and its intended search purpose.
Intent Search intent refers to the underlying purpose or motive behind a search query. It’s essential to understand why people search for a particular term, so you can create content that satisfies their needs and provides an enjoyable user experience. Search intent is a crucial ranking factor, so it cannot be ignored in your SEO strategy. By providing valuable and relevant search results, Google will reward you with better visibility.
Creating Your Keyword Map
Start by mapping out your core products and services based on the keywords associated with them. Typically, product and service pages will focus on high-purchase intent keywords such as “buy car insurance” or “running shoes for sale.” These keywords attract users who are looking to make a purchase, compare products, or receive a quote.
For secondary pages and blog posts, you’ll want to target more informational keywords. Examples of these keywords include “types of car insurance” or “best running shoes for women.” By targeting informational keywords, you can attract potential customers who are seeking knowledge, ideas, or inspiration, but may not be ready to make a purchase.
3. Content Writing
Now that you have your keywords, it’s time to create highly valuable content for your pages. Optimized content is crucial for SEO, so it’s worth investing time in developing a solid content strategy. All content should be optimized for the relevant target keyword and any relevant secondary keywords. Additionally, the content should also be optimized for conversions.
Your content should take your website visitors on a journey, starting with the reason why they clicked on your website page in the first place. Maybe they’re looking for basic information like “what is acoustic insulation?” or perhaps they’re trying to compare different types of acoustic insulation to decide which is best for them. They might be looking for a specific insulation product to buy or a quote for local installation services.
No matter the search intent, ensure that you give your visitors what they’re looking for in an accessible and engaging way. If a visitor stays engaged on your site, it signals to Google that your content is valuable and of high quality, helping you to rank higher. To take your content to the next level, make sure you’re implementing these content tips.
When starting with SEO, it’s easy to focus on creating new content all the time. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to audit your older content as time goes on to ensure that you remain competitive and relevant. Learn how to optimize your existing content for search.
4. Optimise Your Website Pages for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
On-page SEO involves paying close attention to specific details to ensure that Google understands the content of your website. This requires optimizing elements such as URL slugs, title tags, meta descriptions, image alt-tags, and image file names. It’s important to use target keywords in each of these elements and be as precise as possible. However, it’s also essential to avoid keyword stuffing, which involves using keywords in an unnatural way. If you engage in keyword stuffing or use unconventional punctuation or sentence structure, Google may penalize your website.
Optimise things like:
- URL slugs
- Title tags (read our guide on how to optimise a title tag for SEO)
- Meta descriptions
- Image alt-tags Image file names
Helpful resources – A List of 200 Important Google Ranking Factors
5. Improve the Overall User Experience
The experience that users have on your website (UX) has a significant impact on your website’s search engine rankings. If your website takes a long time to load, provides inaccurate information or is challenging to navigate, visitors will leave quickly, which can negatively affect your rankings. However, if you can demonstrate to Google that your website provides an excellent user experience, it’s more likely that Google will choose to display your content over your competitors.
Some effective ways to improve user experience include improving website speed, optimizing for mobile devices, having a professional website design (you can follow our website branding tips), making navigation easy and intuitive, using high-quality images, and breaking up content with headings, bullet points, and tables. You’ll also notice that investing in user experience has benefits for paid marketing strategies as well.
6. Internal site linking
After preparing your website pages, the next step is to focus on internal linking. Internal linking refers to the way in which the pages of your website are interconnected. It helps Google understand the relationships between different pages on your website and avoids any competition between them for search engine rankings. Moreover, internal linking can enhance the user experience by making it simple for visitors to navigate your site.
7. Build Website Authority
Google considers authority as one of the important factors when ranking websites. This means that other credible websites should recognize the value of your website. To build your site’s authority, you need to earn high-quality backlinks from relevant and trustworthy sources. Avoid any black hat tactics as these can harm your rankings.
Here are some effective ways to build your site’s authority:
- Write guest posts for other blogs
- Create and share infographics
- Publish highly valuable content such as ultimate guides
- Provide information to reporters and bloggers
- Pitch your content to resource pages (for example, if you own a local cafe, you could reach out to sites publishing content like “best places for counseling” or “best counseling for families”)
Building an extensive and effective network of links can take time. Keep searching for new opportunities as part of your ongoing SEO strategy. Aim for a range of different kinds of sites and backlinks to provide a varied and holistic picture of your brand’s authority to Google.
8. Optimise Google Business Profile
If your business caters to a particular location, then Google My Business is a vital component of your local SEO approach. By leveraging GMB, you can attract more local traffic to your website and physical store, and the best part is that it’s entirely free. To get the most out of it, you must optimise and maintain your GMB profile by frequently updating it with fresh and relevant content, much like you would for a blog.
9. Monitor your SEO performance
Just like any other aspect of business, measuring your SEO performance allows you to identify areas for improvement. You can utilize tools such as Google Analytics to monitor your website traffic, including where your visitors are coming from and how they interact with your site.
By analyzing your data, you can determine how to enhance your SEO strategy. For instance, if a specific search term generates a lot of clicks to your website, it may suggest that your title tag and meta description are effective. On the other hand, if visitors are leaving your site quickly, it may imply that your content does not meet their search intent or that your loading times are slow.
Remember that market trends will change over time, and what may have worked in the past may no longer be suitable for your target audience. By keeping track of your SEO performance, you can remain relevant and safeguard your search engine rankings.
10. Keep on top of algorithm updates
In addition to monitoring the changing market, it’s important to keep an eye on the constantly evolving Google algorithm. To achieve a high ranking in Google’s search results, you need to understand the most important factors and avoid practices that could result in penalties. Stay up-to-date on updates such as the 2023 update to core web vitals and prepare your website accordingly to meet these specific metrics.
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