It seems that SEO is everywhere these days, and it’s much of what people talk about in the online marketing world. Yet, there’s a reason that this buzzword is on everyone’s lips – garnering organic, free traffic by being highly listed in search engine results, can have a revolutionary effect on your business. Without having to pay the typically high cost for new customer acquisition, this is like having abundant foot-traffic in a brick and mortar store – without ever paying for advertising.
However, this is much easier said than done, as the competition to rise in the rankings can be stiff. If you’re a new company or want to square things away before calling in the experts, you don’t need an agency to begin optimizing your online pages. There are some basic things you can do on your own, to position your website for the best possible ranking.
Task #1: Look at Your Tags.
You cannot afford to overlook the tags on your pages, if your site is going to earn a high search engine ranking. These must be optimized for the keyword or keyword phrase that each page is targeting. Pay special attention to both the title tag and meta tag, as the search engine’s crawlers will look at and rate this information when examining your pages. In addition, the page address (url) itself is important, and if you can include the keyword the page is geared towards in the address – this is the best approach.
If you don’t have much familiarity with html tags such as these, then you’re likely using a website building program. The most versatile of these will allow you to change these tags, without ever having to look at a single line of code. Check out these website builder articles, to see which of these products will work best for your level of skill.
Task #2: Monitor Your Site’s Status.
It’s difficult to know if your SEO efforts are working, if you don’t track the performance of your site. Today you can watch a huge number of metrics, but getting more data isn’t always beneficial. If you don’t understand or apply the information you learn in the course of your tracking, then the whole exercise will be a waste of your time.
It’s far better to track a few key metrics that you fully grasp – so you get a clear picture of how your website is doing. You’ll likely want to chart numbers like monthly (or daily) traffic, conversion percentage and average time spent on page. These aren’t pertinent (or only indirectly so) to SEO, so here you’ll need some different metrics. The main one to focus on is your page rank, which you can track using options like the Google toolbar or Alexa. You’ll also want to peek behind the curtain, to discover the search terms visitors are using to find your site and navigate to your pages.
Task #3: Build Your Backlinks.
By far the most complex of the tasks covered here, building backlinks is a science unto itself. There are a multitude of techniques (above-board and less so) which can be used to increase the number and quality of your backlinks. Content marketing, social bookmarking, social media postings, guest blogging and more are all valid avenues for you to explore.
These can take time to gain proficiency in, but most users can become reasonably adept at this process – without having to hire an outside firm. While an SEO and online marketing agency will hopefully have highly refined strategies for winning top backlinks to boost your page ranking – if you don’t require (or have the funds for) an extremely sophisticated approach, you can do this on your own.
These tasks will at least get you on the path towards a fully search engine optimized site, even before you call in professional SEO experts to look at your pages. Or, perhaps you don’t have the budget for this type of consultation, and just want to know what you can accomplish without any outside assistance. By giving proper care to your tags and keywords, tracking relevant metrics and building your backlinks – your site will be better primed for SEO success.