You’ve heard that SEO is a great way to increase traffic to your website. And you want to increase the number of leads your business gets from Google’s search results. But should you employ an SEO expert or do it yourself?
When it comes to search engine optimization, there is plenty you can do in-house. For a small business, this can save thousands while getting real and measurable marketing results. The process can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Sure, there are many SEO tasks that can baffle even the most technically literate. And an SEO professional or agency can be a good investment. However, before paying someone else to help get you to the top of search results, it’s worth trying a few DIY (do it yourself) SEO tactics.
5 DIY SEO Tips for Small Businesses
#1: Keyword Research & Planning
SEO begins with keyword strategy, so do some keyword research and plan your search terms before you write your website copy.
Keywords are the terms or phrases your target audience types into search engines like Google and Bing when searching for products, services or information to solve a need. We call this behaviour customer intent. And search engines like Google sort all the information on the web to match their users’ keyword query to the most relevant search results.
Wordstream, Ubersuggest, and Google’s Keyword Planner are just a few tools that might help you determine which keywords to focus on. Feel free to follow this beginner’s guide to keyword research, which explains the process step by step.
#2: Blog Consistently
Google is constantly seeking new information and wants to see that websites are kept up-to-date. Yet, there may only be a need for your web pages to be reviewed now and again.
A blog is a terrific way to add fresh, new content for search engines to index and can both fill keyword gaps, as well as boost keywords.
Have you ever searched a question in Google and seen the “People always ask” results? These snippets get valuable real estate high up in Google search results. And they are usually pulled from blogs.
It’s important to note here that blogs are not for keyword stuffing and trying to trick Google. Remember to write articles that are genuinely useful for your customers. Think of their common challenges or frequently asked questions. Write for people, not search engine robots.
Google Trends is another great tool to help with article ideas. This site will reveal popular search queries and even show graphs and data to compare search volume. Such research is a great way to plan and optimize your content.
Guest blogging is another great way of getting content out there and building authority. Write for other sites, or get influencers and leaders in your industry to write content for your blog.
#3: Optimize your Google MyBusiness Profile
A Google MyBusiness profile is essential for local SEO. And optimising your profile is the best way to rank higher in map searches and appear in what we call “local pack” – a search result that appears on the first page of results for any query with local intent.
After you’ve verified your business listing, it’s time to optimize. Your business’s name, address, phone number, website link, and categories are the most crucial details to include in our Google MyBusiness profile. However, there are some other important factors, such as your service area, business description, products or services, and photos.
Once your profile is set, you can continue to increase visibility and user engagement to drive more traffic to your business by using the post feature to publish updates, news and events.
#4: Use an SEO Friendly Domain & URLs
Most businesses have a branded domain name, meaning their business name appears in their website address. But did you know that having a keyword in your domain name and page URLs impacts SEO?
It certainly does. Your domain names and URLs might help you rank higher in search engines.
This might be something to keep in mind if you are planning a new website. But if you already have a domain name and it doesn’t contain a keyword, don’t be concerned. Do, however, plan to optimise domain handles for new pages.
We’re not suggesting that you buy heaps of domains and try and cheat Google. Webmasters used to keyword-stuff sites and rank at the top of search engine results pages (SERP). But the domain SEO relationship has evolved and these cheeky tactics don’t work these days. Google’s algorithm prioritizes content quality and user experience.
While we’re on the topic of domains, shorter domain names are best. They are easier to read, comprehend and remember. So, memorable domain names aid in the growth of organic (SEO) and direct traffic.
#5: Mobile Friendliness
With smartphones in so many hands, every business should prioritise mobile SEO. Since Google’s mobile-first indexing update, only websites’ with mobile versions have been crawled and are qualified to appear in search results.
Responsive web design is essential nowadays for rankings. There are also some other mobile-friendliness factors that are taken into account when ranking a site. A few other mobile SEO tactics include load time, page speed and images in next-gen formats.
#Bonus Tip- Eliminate Duplicate Content
Copying (duplicating) other people’s content and using it on your site is one of the biggest no-nos. Quire simply, it’s one of the best ways to get your site penalised by search engines.
The purpose of Google and search engines is to feature original and relevant material at the top of search results. Duplicate content and non-valuable pages are suppressed in search results or removed.
If you want to include content from another site, a simple best practice is to link to it to reference the source.
Other Crucial SEO Tips
- Study your Competitors
- Build Inbound Links
When to Hire an SEO Expert
SEO requires constant work and Google’s algorithm is always changing. Do you have the resources and time to keep up?
You may be rewarded with good rankings if your website provides a fantastic user experience and contains high-quality content. The truth is that page experience measurements have been used as ranking factors for years.
However, there are other issues and challenges facing SEOs nowadays that we don’t recommend trying in-house.
Google’s Core Web Vitals are indicators that are used to measure website performance. In the test, your page experience will be scored Poor, Need improvement or Good for both mobile and desktop. And Google now combines this information with other ranking signals to rank a website. Unfortunately, these are highly technical factors that often need an SEO professional or web developer to fix.
Responsive web design
It’s no secret that Google has shifted its focus in recent years to a “mobile-first” strategy. The algorithm is more likely to rank a site that meets the criteria, such as being responsive and mobile-friendly. But unless you have an SEO expert or developer in-house, it’s unlikely you have the web design skills necessary to win over Google.
Good backlinks increase Domain Authority, which is another ranking factor. High-value links from other websites to your web pages signal credibility. The problem is that it takes time and effort to create high-quality backlinks. Also, the wrong types of backlinks can have the opposite effect, attracting penalties from Google. It’s best not to risk it, so only use a credible SEO specialist for your off-page SEO.
The five tips outlined above are a great place to start with SEO. You can easily plan your own keyword and write your own blogs to give your SEO a boost. When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), prioritize high-quality content that is useful, corresponds with search intent and comprehensively covers the topic.
However, an SEO expert may be able to achieve results faster. Plus they’ll be equipped to handle technical tasks, such as core vitals, responsive design and backlinking.
The industry of online marketing is always changing. Do you have the resources to keep up? Perhaps the biggest test of whether to do SEO in-house or outsource is time.
When you hire an SEO specialist, things like researching algorithm updates, running tests, and monitoring results are all taken care of for you.