Given how important search engine optimization (SEO) is to most businesses, more and more companies are investing in the practice to get more visibility and therefore become more competitive. However, one of the popular questions we get asked is how can small businesses or startups conduct SEO by themselves, without any prior knowledge or training? Today, we’re going to offer you a nifty guide on how to launch your own SEO campaign.
What is SEO?
SEO is defined as “a methodology of strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) – including Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.”
In layman’s term, this means that a properly executed SEO campaign will help you get higher rankings in SERPs in comparison with your competitors. To give you a better idea, let’s say for example that you are selling blue dresses in Milpitas. Your primary keyword would then be “blue dresses in Milpitas,” as this can be referred to as your area of expertise or your unique selling proposition. The higher your rank, the more likely it would be that the potential customer would choose your website.
However, there are many things to consider if you want to get more traffic to your website. Terms such as search engine marketing, social media marketing, link building, and content management are among the number of things that are good to have in a campaign, but can be difficult to execute in-house particularly if you don’t have an SEO expert on board.
For this reason, many companies would choose to pay SEO firms to do SEO for them. The rates can vary from affordable to exorbitant, depending on the company’s needs and requirements. However, all these things are performed with one goal: to push a website’s ranking higher than its competitors.
If you are a startup or a small business owner who are looking to revamp your website to make it more SEO-friendly, without incurring additional costs, what are you to do? Here are some ideas that can help you boost your rankings without professional SEO intervention.
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• Read at least one thorough article on SEO
We’re putting this on the upper portion of the list because this is one of the most critical things that you need to do. If you are not hiring an external team to do SEO for you, then you need to at least have a clear idea of what you’re supposed to do. This would also help you understand jargons and terms that would otherwise roll over your head if you are new in the business.
• Know your market
Once you have a clear idea of what SEO is, you will need to really know your market before you can create a campaign that targets them. Consider what your demographics’ day would look like. What would they be looking for online? When would they usually search for products? What is their normal behavior?
If you don’t have the means to conduct market research, then search online for the products or services that you offer. You’ll most likely come across your competitors’ website: once there conduct thorough research by checking out their customer reviews, rates, social media presence, and activity. This way, you will have a clearer idea of what you’re up against, and what you need to do to target the right audience.
• Know your keywords
Properly optimizing your website for the right keywords can make the difference between a high rank and a low rank. You need to conduct proper keyword research to have a solid understanding of the common search terms, key phrases, and the online demand for your services.
To start off, get an AdWords account and use Google’s Keyword Planner. This would at least help you determine which keywords to work with.
• Optimize your website
Basing on the SEO article you read earlier, you would then have a clearer idea of what you want to achieve. Your website should be optimized in the sense that your website’s architecture must have your priority keyword on it. There is also a proper word count per page, as well as other SEO add-ons you have to incorporate. If you have a wordpress site, Yoast is a popular tool to help your site optimization.
In terms of design, your website should be easy to navigate and comprehensive. When a potential customer visits your website, they should find the information they are looking for in a snap for you to effectively make a conversion.
• Produce high quality content
Next, start getting word out there that your company exists. Create a blog site and write your own content that would somewhat promote your keyword. Remember that all your articles must always add value to the lives of the readers. In a similar vein, you don’t always need to publish a chunk of text – for example, you can publish photographs or images. Whatever type of content you decide to go with, ensure that you are consistent in updating your blog – at least an article per week should do the trick.
• Be active on social media
Finally, harness the powers of social media and use it to your advantage. Curate relevant content and share it with your audience, and share the content that you have published on your website. You want to ensure that you appear as credible and authoritative on the subject matter so that you would get more followers.
Reach out to influencers as well. You should produce high quality PR material and pitch them to the media so that word about you would spread faster.
Lastly, interact with your audience. Once your audience notices that you actually take time to talk to them, they would be more interested in building a relationship with your brand.
These things, alongside knowledge of utilizing tools such as Google Analytics and understanding reports, would help you get your SEO campaign started. As with everything in life, do not be afraid to ask questions, and always research! These two things can help you nudge your campaign in the right direction.