DIY SEO Steps for Beginners – whether you already have a website, or are planning on getting one.
Ideally, your first few SEO steps should start before you get a website, before you even register the domain name, and possibly even as far back as when you first start thinking of starting a business or new business, but whenever you start applying SEO steps, these 4 SEO steps for beginners should be useful:
DIY SEO Steps – no.1
Nothing should be done before this first SEO step, or else one might have to go back and do it all over again. Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and create a list of at least 40 keywords or key phrases that do have search volume in South Africa (or in your own country or state) – it is important to start with a list of keywords when you first start thinking about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it is important that the keywords and key phrases in your list not only have search volume but also relate to your idea for a website, or business, or your target market – or relate to your current domain name and current website text content.
It is important to remember to check search volumes of both singular and plural keywords. Your completed list of keywords or key phrases to target can also be given to a PPC specialist if you decide to also use PPC as a website marketing method.
If there are not too many exact search volume phrases that relate to your business or website (when using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool), you can still include some phrases that at least have broad search volume.
Create your list of phrases, and list the broad and exact search volumes next to each phrase.
TIP: Do not ignore the smaller search volumes, especially if you have many competitors – your competitors may be ignoring these smaller search volume keywords or key phrases. Make use of them.
If you are getting 10 Google page 1 organic search results for your site for 10 different search phrases that each have a search volume of only 10, for eg, that’s still 100 people seeing your organic search result on Google page 1 each month, compared to hardly anybody or even nobody seeing 1 or more search results on page 4 or page 5 of Google, or worse search result page, even if the search phrases have a search volume of 1 000 or more.
It is better to target a phrase that has only 10 people using that phrase each month, if you can get a page 1 organic search result for it, than to target a phrase that has 1 000 people using that phrase each month, if you can’t get a page 1 or even page 2 Google search result for it due to having so many competitors all targeting that same search phrase.
DIY SEO Steps – no.2
If you don’t yet have a website, this would be the step to decide upon and choose and register a domain name for your site (bearing in mind the list of keywords and the search volume for particular phrases.) Checking the availability of appropriate domain names on whois.co.za, choose a few that you like, and that hopefully contain words in them that have search volume, and then discuss your domain name choices with your family and friends, or with a professional. Do not make bad domain name choices. A good domain name can go a long way to help with your site’s SEO.
One of our SEO services is to check availability of suitable domain names for your intended site, for you, and to help you narrow it down to just one most suitable one.
DIY SEO Steps – no.3
Working with a website that already has content on it
(or working with a piece of completed writing you intend to publish on your site)
Write more or re-write your page of content so that in the end it is at least 400 words in length, even at least 700 words in length.
Now working from your list of keywords, edit your page of content so that:
- it has a title that reflects a main keyword or two
- it has that same main keyword or two in the first line of content
- it has a sub-heading or two that reflects a main keyword or two
- it has that main keyword and some related keywords repeated a few times each on the page
Working with a website that has no content on it:
(or that you are going to be adding a new page of content to)
Keep your list of keywords handy while you write a page of content for your site, of at least 400 words in length. Also see tips in the previous point about titles, sub-headings, and keyword repetition.
DIY SEO Steps – no.4
When adding your new page of content to the site, or after adding to or SEO editing an existing website page, do the meta tags too:
If your site is a WordPress site, we recommend using the Yoast SEO plugin, and beneath each page of content on your site, you can fill in the meta title, meta description, and meta keywords. You can also use the same meta keywords for your WordPress-powered site’s posts (blog/news) page tags.
Try to get 100% meta-to-content relevancy, by:
- using the title of your article as the meta title too
- using the first one to one and a half lines of your article as the meta description too
- using the most-repeated words and phrases as your meta keywords too
You can use a free meta tag analyzer tool like the one on seocentro.com to check your meta-to-content relevancy percentages. Meta tag analyzer tools like these also often list all the words in your page, and if you missed adding any of the most repeated ones to your meta keywords, or to your post page’s tags, add a few more now. Also, if you’ve added in meta keywords that are not really repeated all that much on the page, and your meta-to-content relevancy percentage for the keyword section was not too good, you can swop out some of those for ones that are repeated more on the page, and then re-check your meta-to-content relevancy percentage for the meta keywords, and it’s likely to be better than before.
Start with the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and with creating a list of phrases to target. Just doing that one SEO step will make everything a lot clearer to you – so don’t feel overwhelmed! Just take it one step at a time – DIY SEO steps may take you right up to the “front door”, but not if you don’t even take that first step.
© Copyright Teresa Schultz 2013