The aim of this do it yourself seo guide, is to help those who want to “give it a try” and make sure you avoid a few of the classic pitfalls.
There are many ways you can start to optimise your own website for very little, or even no cost at all. However, dependent upon the competition in your particular niche or region (if you are targeting regionally) you may or may not be able to achieve a high position for your specific keywords without some kind of investment over and above hosting.
Speaking of keywords, this is the first step in SEO, you must discover which keywords are relevant to your website and business, then research how many people are searching for them, this will give you the initial information required to begin developing a website. In an ideal world this is all done before you even launch a website, however in reality, many companies launch a website without the knowledge required to do it in the most effective way from the outset, this isn’t too much of a problem and can be rectified, we are just talking about ideals here.
In fact, if a website has been around for a number of years, but not achieved good rankings, this can also be a benefit, as Google and many of the other search engines, favour websites which have been around for a while, a common assumption between SEO’s is that 2 years or more is good. So you can see that if you already have a website or not, can be a bit of a double edged sword.
The next thing to do, is to start thinking about what you want the website to achieve, i.e. do you want to refer customers there for product information and downloads? do you want to encourage customers to call you? Will you have an online shop, so therefore want the site visitors to make a purchase? Or is it simply part of your overall corporate identity? The likelihood is that you have a number of objectives, so prioritise them, this will help you to focus on each of the successive steps as you venture further into designing your website and search engine optimisation adventure.
Once you have your keywords and know what you ultimately want from the website, you can start working on the copy, the objective here is to pick a keyword that you have decided to focus on and write a page of content for the site readers, make sure you use the keyword near the start, in the middle and again at the end. We will be using it a few more times when we actually start building the pages in the title and various tags on the page, but for now just start writing. It is essential that it reads naturally, if you are unable to fit the keyword in 3 times naturally, don’t do it, again, we can worry about keyword density later on.
It’s useful to use notepad for this text, as it will not add unnecessary formatting to the text, so when we do come to building it into web pages, it will drop in nicely, without the need for additional work.
OK, by the time you have done all this, Part 2 will be posted, so then we can start looking at website design and formatting.