A Beginner Guide of SEO

When it comes to digital marketing, your strategy depends on your budget. Learning how to do SEO yourself can free up resources for other marketing channels, give you control over your organic search plans, and provide valuable insights into your online presence. Doing SEO yourself takes more time, but the good news is you don’t have to do it all at once.

1. What is search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing online content to help it rank in search engine results (also called search engine results pages or SERPs). The goal of SEO is to improve the ranking of your content in organic search results to increase visibility, increase awareness, and increase website traffic.


2. Why is SEO important?

Businesses that want to rank higher in organic searches need successful SEO.  Increased visibility can translate into greater brand awareness and increased organic traffic to your website. Therefore, SEO plays a key role in achieving business goals.

3. Benefits of Search Engine Optimization

While learning DIY SEO can be demanding, the benefits are worth it:

  • Quality traffic to your website (and more)

  • Increase the visibility of your business in organic search results

  • Provides your business with greater trust and legitimacy (higher SERP rankings indicate that Google considers your site trustworthy)

  • Opportunities throughout the marketing funnel

  • Expand your audience

  • Measurable results of continuous SEO optimization

4. 6 Steps to Doing Your Own SEO

Having understood SEO’s meaning, purpose, and benefits, it’s time to get started. In order to build and execute an SEO strategy, you need to follow the six steps below.

1) Conduct keyword research

The first step in any SEO task is to conduct keyword research. Keyword research is important for SEO because it tells us what people are searching for online based on real data. You want your keywords to be consistent with the content of the page, so consider the content of the page before researching.

For example, you might assume that a lot of people are using the search query “awesome red Shoes.” Some keyword research may reveal that there aren’t many searches for that keyword, but there are quite a few searches for “party red shoes.” This gives you a backup keyword to leverage and focus your content on.

To start researching keywords, you can use a variety of free and paid tools. Once you’ve chosen a tool, use it to research the monthly search volume (MSV) for each keyword. Next, go to Google and type “allintitle: your keyword” into the search bar. The number of results shown indicates the level of competition for that keyword; the higher the number of results, the more competition you face.

Ideally, you want to use keywords with high MSV and low competition, but this isn’t always possible.

If you don’t have any luck with your initial keywords, try variations of them or see if your tool has the ability to expand your keywords. For example, using a tool like Google Ads Keyword Planner, you can try the keyword discovery feature to find alternatives.


2) Identify keywords for each piece of content

After you have created your content, you will need to assign keywords to it. In order to know what people are searching for online, you should conduct keyword research.

You need to choose two or three keywords for each piece of content. By targeting these keywords throughout your page, you keep your content focused. In this way, your content makes sense to search engines and, most importantly, to your readers.

It’s important to keep track of the keywords you assign to your pages so that you don’t use the same keywords in too much content. This can help you avoid cannibalizing your content in organic search results and monitor your SEO performance over time. For this purpose, you can create a simple spreadsheet.

If you use the keyword tool, you can even add keywords and let the program track the performance of your content for you. Then, if you want to share that data with others, write it down in a spreadsheet.

3) Develop your on-page SEO

On-page SEO is the optimization work you do on your website, including metadata, body text, and links from one page to another. Every piece of content, whether it’s a blog post or the main navigation page, will contain these elements.

For every page on your site, you should include the following metadata:

  • meta title tag

  • meta description tag

  • Page URL

  • Image file name

  • Image alt text

Meta title tags are what people see in search results, so it’s important to include your primary keywords (and secondary keywords if possible).Note: In some cases, Google chooses the Rewrite title tag, replacing it with the title (H1) tag on the page.

The meta description tag also appears in search results, directly below the title tag. It helps users understand what the page is about and helps increase click-through rates, so craft your page with this and keywords in mind.

The page URL appears in organic search results and in the user’s browser bar. Be sure to include your main keywords, but avoid creating long URLs.

Image filename is the name you give the image file on the page. The best practice is to use primary or secondary keywords in file names.

Image alt text is an accessibility feature that describes images to users using screen readers. Ideally, you want to incorporate one of the keywords while making sure the text describes the image.

As for body copy, it’s important to use keywords so they flow naturally on the page. This is where choosing the right keywords will help because you won’t have to work very hard to include them in your copy. Also, avoid overuse so you don’t make the mistake of keyword stuffing.

Finally, look for opportunities to link from the page you are optimizing to another page on your site (called internal linking). Not only does this help search engines understand the relationships between quality content, but it also facilitates the user/customer journey by making it easier for them to know where to go and what to do next.


4) Develop off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is optimization you do on third-party websites (websites other than your own). You want to do your own SEO work off-page because search engines are constantly looking for signals from relevant, high-quality websites to help your content rank better.

There are several ways to improve off-page SEO:

  • Getting a link to your page from another website (also called backlinks and/or link building)

  • Get mentions of your brand on other websites

  • Share your content on other sites

Examples of this include creating social media content that links back to your page, answering questions on forums like Quora or Reddit, and getting listed in business directories.

The first rule for evaluating which third-party sites are valuable for off-page SEO: check their domain authority. Of course, these websites should be relevant to your industry or niche, but domain authority will go a long way in establishing your website’s credibility. The higher the score, the better.

5) Monitor and maintain SEO performance

Once you’ve completed your on-page and off-page optimization efforts, you’ll need a way to track the performance of your hard work. Thankfully, there are many user-friendly SEO tools that can help ensure you achieve your search goals.

However, no matter which tool you use, it’s important to find one that makes it easier to do your own SEO monitoring. When you look at the data, you can see what’s working and what’s not and then make adjustments.

This step can be one of the most time-consuming, but it’s critical to achieving your goals and increasing your ROI.

While good SEO best practices don’t change much over time, there are some trends and updates that may impact your search engine performance. Here are some popular websites worth bookmarking and following regularly:

  • search engine magazine

  • Search Engine Roundtable

  • Google Search Center


5. Conclusion

As you can see, learning how to do SEO yourself is a long-term process that can bring incredible benefits, including increasing the visibility, visibility, and traffic of your quality content.

Start with one step of the process, then take the next step to achieve SEO success when you’re ready. To do your best, be sure to check out the top SEO software tools that can make DIY SEO easier (and more effective). Or if you are looking for a reliable SEO service, please contact Donsafe.

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