As much as we prefer to be hired to improve your site’s SEO and search engine rankings, we also like to share our knowledge with those who may not be able to afford professional SEO services. There is no replacement for focused, experienced search engine optimization by an SEO expert, but there are several things most anyone can do to help give their site a boost in the rankings.
1. Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics – Google provides several free tools to help your website. Webmaster Tools and Analytics are the two most important. Google Webmaster Tools will show you where your site needs improvement, ‘page not found’ errors, crawl stats, and a wealth of other useful information to get your site up to snuff technically, and also offers some info on search phrases that pull up your site. Google Analytics will show you how people get to your site (social media, organic search, typing the url, etc) and what people do once they get to your site (leave immediately, hang out on the home page, etc). Both tools can get very in depth and detailed but at the basic levels anyone can get useful information about their site and make a plan to improve it.
2. Keywords – or search phrases are what people search for to find your site. Mentioned above, webmaster tools and analytics can show you what people are searching for so you don’t have to guess. Use the analytics information to understand what keywords are driving people to specific pages then focus on those keywords and pages. Keep in mind “keyword stuffing” will get you penalized, so don’t try to hard if you decide rewrite all your content. Write naturally and don’t artificially add your keywords, but keep them in mind as you write. Also consider other industry terms that may not appear in your analytics and if you don’t have much search traffic you may have to make an educated, common sense guess at what people are searching for.
3. Google Authorship – Have you ever seen Google search results with someone’s photo included? That’s the result of proper authorship. You’ll need a Google+ account with a nice head shot of yourself and you’ll need to add a bit of code to your site. It’s not guaranteed, but if you’re found in the search results with an authorship photo people are far more likely to click through.
4. Make Content Shareable – Make sure you have links to your social profiles, like buttons, etc. If someone finds an interesting piece of information on your site they might want to share it with their friends. If you make it easy to do then they’ll be more likely to share your content. That’s the first step in going viral…
5. Write Good Content – I saved the best for last. This is the most important thing you can do! Write natural unique content that’s focused on your visitor, not the search engines. NEVER COPY! Don’t even paraphrase another site’s content. Write it yourself and make sure you’re giving information that someone would find useful. Keep your mind on your target keywords and write one page per idea (which can encompass several keywords).
There you have it – a list of fairly easy things most anyone can do to help their sites in the search engines. There are dozens of other tasks we employ for our sites, but most require a good bit of experience and some fancy tools to do properly. We’d be glad to discuss your site and give you advice. Give us a call