Can DIY SEO Work For Your Business?



By Carl Weiss & Hector Cisneros

Photo credit: cougardigitalmarketing.com
If you own a small business and have a website, or plan to launch a basic business website in order to get more visibility, no doubt you’ve heard about the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website. This is especially important if you plan on selling goods directly on your site.  The rub is that many times web designers spend more time fretting on form rather than function.  As a result, many websites we’ve surveyed don’t have many of the On-Page SEO elements that are needed to get properly indexed by the search engines. 

 To address this issue, you need to either hire a knowledgeable optimization expert, or you can try a little DIY action.  When you consider the number of website analysis programs on the market, DIY SEO isn’t that difficult of an undertaking. In fact, if you invest a couple of hours a month on your website’s SEO then you can DIY it, and be successful.

Keywords Are the Key


Before you start your analysis, it’s important you select the right keywords or phrases for your website. Inother words, you need to select the words or phrases that someone would enter in the search engines in order to find businesses like yours. For example, if you have a beauty supply business, you must have the s “beauty supply” somewhere in your domain. Or, if your business is an automotive detailing business, then you must have the keywords “automotive” and “detailing” somewhere in your domain name.

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Now that you have some samples lined up, you need to sort them out.  The best way to do this is by entering your keywords and phrases into Google’s Keyword Planner, which is found by accessing your Adwords account.  (If you don’t have an Adwords account, you can set one up by going to adwoords.google.com.) The tab for the Keyword Planner is located under the Tools tab at the top right of the page. Once you enter your samples into the Keyword Planner’s lineup, it will come back with the traffic count for each and every keyword or phrase entered.  More importantly, it will also suggest other keywords and phrases along with their respective traffic counts.  Be certain not to select too many keywords or choose ineffective keywords with little or no traffic.  The Keyword Planner is the perfect tool to help you identify the best keywords to target for your business.

Once you have selected the right keywords or phrases for your site, now you plug them in.  There are four
main areas where you need to apply these keywords, namely your Meta Tags, the ALT Tags, and at the
beginning and the end of your website. The Meta Tags are located directly below the Title Tag.

  For example: 

Photo credit: ontopinternetmarketing.com
<Meta name="keywords" content="Jacksonville Video Production | Jacksonville Video Production Companies | Jacksonville Videographer”>


<Meta name="description" content="Jacksonville Video Production and Viral Video Marketing. Local, Affordable and Effective. 3D Animation & Motion Graphics. 904-410-2091"/>

Next comes the ALT Tags, which are descriptors used at the end of the code for every image on your website.  Since search engine spiders can’t “see” images, these descriptors tell the spiders what the image is. While many people ignore the ALT tags, this is a mistake, since they’re another way to let the search engines know how to rank your site.  Below is some sample code that shows you what an ALT tags look like.  One way to up the ante in reaching Page One of any search engine is to ensure all of your ALT tags are complete:

Photo credit: sastrugimarketing.com
<img id="JaxVideoProdlogo" src="Resources/jaxvideoprodlogo.png" width=366 height=74 alt="Jacksonville Video Production Logo">

Next, you need to include the keywords in your content. Whether you’re creating verbiage for your website, blog or video, you need to find a way to insert the keywords and phrases into each and every one of these.  Just don’t go overboard with the keyword density or you risk being penalized by the very search engines you are trying get to find you.  (In fact, there is a Black Hat SEO term, “keyword stuffing,” which every search engine knows and loathes.)

So the key is to use the desired keywords in your content appropriately. In other words it shouldn’t look like keywords are thrown in unnecessarily. Content is designed first and foremost to be read by human beings.  This means that keywords should be used only in their proper time and place.  They should also be grammatically correct.

Here's what Google has to say about hiring & SEO vendor

Last but not least, the most important keyword or phrase should be used at the beginning and end of your website in a font that is bold and italicized.  This lets the spiders know that the word or phrase is important.  Incidentally, all the above is oftentimes referred to as On-Sight SEO.

Google Juice, the Other SEO 


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In today’s content-rich world, even the best On-page SEO isn’t sufficient to generate Page One results on most search engines.   To grab the spiders’ attention, you next need to start providing regular content that is valuable and interesting. (That’s right folks, the spiders have learned how to read.)  Providing fresh content on a regular basis has become king due to the increased competition of the marketplace. People are eager to learn what’s new and exciting with your business.  They want to know how you can help them save time and money or provide a valuable service.  They want to learn what other customers think about you.  Since most people rarely update their website, this makes it difficult for people and spiders to obtain the most current information about you and your business.  

That’s what blogs and social networks are all about.  They’re also good for creating backlinks to your website, which is another benchmark that the spiders use to rank sites.

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When it comes to self-promoting your website, you need to use both On-Page SEO and Google Juice (i.e., Off-site SEO) techniques. Once your website receives a good ranking on all the major search engines, it’s important that you don’t stop providing fresh content (i.e., blogs) and feeding your social nets.  You should continuously work for your Off-Page info each week so competitors can’t dominate your ranking. This requires less effort and time once your website receives good ranking. If you don’t the have time to promote your website, you can also outsource some or all of your online marketing tasks.  Just be certain to thoroughly evaluate any SEO expert you’re considering turning your web presence over to. Because the worst case scenario is you get “blacklisted” by the major search engines. Then you’re in real trouble.  


Workingthewebtowin.com
In this article, I discussed several key things business owners can do themselves to enhance their website's Search Engine Optimiztin (SEO). I discussed On-Page actions such as the importance of Meta Tags and Alt Tags, and also discussed "Google Juice" or Off-Page DIYs such as writing blogs on a regular basis and updating one's social media sites. If you found this article useful, please feel free to share and repost it. I welcome your opinion and comments, just add them to the Comments section below.


That’s my opinion; I look forward to hearing yours.



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Hector Cisneros is COO and director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Webto Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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3 comments:

  1. Thanks; that was very informative. I'll have to quaff me a pint o' that Google Juice. ;^D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just because you hired a professional web designer to craft your site doesn't mean that it is properly optimized. If you don't want to have the prettiest website that nobody ever sees you need to do a little SEO.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think Carl and Hector are right on the money here. Thanks for the helpful info.

    ReplyDelete