Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be tricky and it can be time consuming. The internet is not a static environment. And that means SEO best practice is constantly changing and evolving.
Making sure your business’s online presence is ranking well across search engines can be a lot of work. And if you don’t have the in-house resources or expertise to stay on top of it, then it’s definitely worth outsourcing the work to a quality SEO agency.
Before you do that, however, it’s worth looking at what you can quickly and easily take care of yourself to get on top of the SEO basics. Taking care of the basic optimisation will help you to understand the SEO process and approach a digital agency with the outlines of a strategy and plenty of good questions to get the process moving. And this will save you time and money.
Before you hand your online presence over to a digital marketing agency, we have some DIY search engine optimisation tips to help improve your organic rankings.
- Do your keyword research
Keywords are the cornerstone of good SEO. If you get this right, the rest should flow naturally. Keywords and phrases are the terms that people punch into search engines to find particular products and services. Keyword research will help you to understand what words and phrases your customers are using to find your products. You can also find out what kind of search volume these terms have and how much competition you’re up against.
There are plenty of online tools you can use to get started on your keyword planning including Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest and SEMrush.
Having a general understanding of the relevant keywords in your industry will put you in a better position to provide input and direct your SEO agency when it comes to the keyword strategy.
- Know your competition
Your keyword research will help you to identify your main competitors,find out which businesses you’re competing with for search terms and which ones you’ll actually be competing with for customers.
It’s worth visiting your competitors’ sites to make note of what they’re doing well or doing differently. How are they presenting content and how much is there? Look at the quality and volume of their images. How much product information are they providing? How is their site structured? Check out their reviews, social media, blog and so on.
Make note of anything you think is working well or anything you want more information about. Your SEO agency will be able to further analyse your competitors and determine whether or not it’s feasible to incorporate some of their elements to into your website or digital strategy.
You can also gain insights into your competitors’ search initiatives using tools like SpyFu.
- Remove duplicate content
Google does not like duplicate content. If you’re using content from another website or using the same content across several of your site pages, then you could be falling down the rankings.
Tools like Siteliner and Copyscape will help you to identify duplicate content on your site and check whether your content is original.
Remove any duplicate or copied content from your website and replace it with original and well-written content of your own. If you don’t have the resources or expertise to write your own content, then speak to your digital agency. Most quality agencies will have in-house copywriters who can provide fully optimised content for your site.
- Create regular content
Google is always looking for new content and trying to promote the latest quality content to the top of its rankings. Since website content mostly remains static, regularly creating new content can really help to keep your site at the top of the rankings. Try to post some new website content weekly or at least monthly.
Regular blogging is a great way to post quality content, but it can be extremely time consuming. If you don’t have the time for posting a weekly blog, look for more efficient ways to post regular content. For example, an image with a short description and the appropriately optimised tags and titles will register as new content.
- Use internal linking
Internal linking is an easy way to give your SEO a boost. By linking your pages to other pages on your website, you’re improving readability and navigation and making it easier for Google to crawl your page. Make sure you’re linking to pages that are rich in content and relevant. Your blog content is brilliant for this.
- Use Google Analytics
Don’t underestimate the ability to quantitatively measure any changes you make. Without Google Analytics, you won’t be able to tell if the changes you’ve made are having any effect. Google Analytics is surprisingly easy to use and there are plenty of online tutorials. Being able to track your metrics will also come in handy once you engage a digital agency, as you’ll be able to track their results and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
- Contact a quality agency
The DIY tips above should give you a solid SEO base and help you to start building a strategy. It will also prepare you to approach a digital agency with plenty of questions, ideas and direction for where you want your digital strategy to take you.