How to perform Search Engine Optimization Yourself

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Getting your website ranked on the first page of Google can literally mean thousands of dollars of money coming into your business .  It is one thing to have a desire to get your website ranked on the first page, it is a whole different thing to ACTUALLY pull it off!  So, how are you going to go about reaching the proverbial “promise land”?

You can certainly seek the expertise of an SEO services company, but for many small businesses today, that option simply isn’t something that may fit into your budget.    More and more website owners are beginning to work themselves to optimize their own website.  If you are one of those website owners, there are a few important steps you must take to have the best chance of success in your website optimization efforts.

Step 1: Researching your industry for the best keywords

This may be the most important step in your SEO efforts.   Make sure you spend ample time on this step!  What keywords do you feel your customers would type in to search for your products or services?

A quality keyword can be one word (e.g. “optimization”), but multiple keywords or keyword phrases are generally recommended, because they are more targeted and more likely to be the type of searches your customers would perform online.  These type of keywords are referred to as “Longtail Keywords”.

Now, take a few minutes and create as many keywords as you can come up with for your website. Call some of your current customers, and ask them how they would search?  Brainstorm with your team. Think of alternative words. Consider geo-targeted phrases if they are important to your customer (e.g. “roofing companies atlanta”). Also, get some ideas from your competitors’ websites. Try to make a list of 15-25 keyword phrases.

After you have gone over your list, choose the best two keyword phrases you think would be searched for the most. But keep in mind, the more competition there is for a keyword, the harder it is to get a top ranking.  If you want to rank high in Google for the keyword “mortgages”, you have a very long road ahead. Try your best to select two keyword phrases that are the most relevant to you business.

Once you’ve selected your two best keyword phrases, you can visit Google’s Adwords keyword tool, and run your chosen phrases on their website to see how many searches are being conducted for your chosen phrase.  The next step shows you how to make some improvements to your home page.

Step 2: “On-page” Website Factors

On-page refers to the necessary changes that need to be made to certain elements on your actual website. Because content is king in the world when it comes to Google and the other search engines, your keyword phrases must be placed strategically on your webpage to show Google that your content is highly relevant to those keyword phrases.  The more prominent they are displayed, the better. (But, remember to keep in mind that your website is meant to serve your customers.  Make sure you web copy reads well.  Your customers come first!)

Here are a few steps that can help you improve the prominence of your keyword phrases:

  • Make sure that your chosen keywords are listed in your main <title></title> tags.
  • Place your keyword phrases in your headings (H1), preferably at the beginning of the heading.
  • Include keywords towards the top of your web pages.
  • Bold or italicize keywords where is makes sense.
  • Instead of having a link to another page that says “Click here to read more “, instead try to reword it to include your keywords, e.g. “Read more about our <a href= http://www.abccompany/roofing.html>roofing services</a>”.

If some of these terms don’t make sense to you, do some searches online.  Take advantage of the resources that are available to you!

Step 3: Get other websites to point back to your website

Make no mistake that getting good quality links to point to your website will make the most noticeable difference in getting your website ranked.   Google looks at links from other websites as “endorsements” for your website.  Although getting links to website is important, the QUALITY of the link is even more critical.   Look at it is a popularity contest online.  If my website was to have a link pointing to it from the White House, that 1 link will hold a tremendous amount of value (“Link Juice”). It is also important that the links you have pointing to your website are also from your same industry. You must put in the same amount of energy to build your online network that you have used to build your business.

Take time to research websites that could link to you, such as non-competing companies. Take some time to write a friendly email to each of them describing the benefit their visitors would have by visiting your website. Make sure your website has something valuable to offer.  Like we said earlier, content is king when it comes to the Internet.

If you follow these techniques above, you will start to see a significant growth in the amount of traffic you get to your website.  Remember to keep updating your website content, and continually increase the number of links to your website.

We wish you best of luck in your SEO efforts.

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