What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization is the process webmasters use to get their content to rank highly on search engines like Google.
How I started with SEO ?
My initial opportunities to learn SEO were actually from my job in the corporate world, where I did basic SEO for a startup’s website.
It was good fun!
Also, in my over 10 years of blogging, I have been learning about SEO bit by bit as I sought to get more organic traffic. I find SEO to be a very good strategy to get free traffic.
I’ve never hired an SEO agency, and I do all my SEO myself – so you know that I practice what I’m preaching! I love how Google has been around for so long, you know what to expect from it. It isn’t as unpredictable as newer platforms like Pinterest
Don’t fix what’s not broken, my friends, if Google is working as a traffic source, you want to be on this bandwagon as well.
Here are some of my tips to help you to do your own SEO.
- Do your keyword research Keywords are everything.
You have to remember that Google is not a machine. Instead, it reads the words you write to determine if it’s a fit compared to the queries people are searching for.
Your blog posts have to be optimized for keywords to increase the chances of your content ranking for a particular keyword.
I highly recommend using KWFinder to do keyword research: It will help you to determine if a keyword actually has people searching for it, and give you insights about how competitive a particular keyword will be.
You want to optimize your post for keywords that have more monthly searches but are not very competitive.
- Optimize for SEO
Then, you will want to add your chosen keyword (s) in these spots to optimize your articles for Google:
- Write epic blog posts
There is no point trying to “game Google” if your content is bad. If there’s one thing you must know about Google, it is that every single change Google makes to its algorithm has its end user experience in mind.
For instance, when Google penalized pop-ups for mobile searches, it was because popups annoy users.It is well-known that longer posts rank better on Google. Why?
If you want to learn how to write amazing blog posts, here’s a post I wrote a while ago on how you can write the perfect blog post. There is even a printable template for you to download!
Understand your competitors
Why? You can check out the best-ranking SEO keywords that your competitors have, and then copy the heck out of them.
You can use do this manually (although you wouldn’t be able to know for sure which posts are ranking well, only which posts are popular), or use SEMRush.
Self-host your website
If you don’t self-host your website, you NEED to do so ASAP. This is a pre-requisite before you perform any do-it-yourself SEO.
Without a self-hosted website, trying to rank for content is like an uphill battle. Google has not announced this specifically, but it is a well-known fact that Blogspot, Weebly or Wix sites (and other alternatives) don’t rank well on Google.
I personally feel that if someone doesn’t even put in the effort to own their own servers, it is a strong indication to Google (and the world) that this person may not prioritize writing good content, even if this may not be necessarily true.
Good web design & theme
You may not see it now, but the website theme you use will affect your do-it-yourself SEO efforts in many ways.
A best website theme will ensure that your website is mobile responsive.
A good website theme will not slow down your site unnecessarily (which is bad for SEO).
A good website theme looks good and keeps visitors around.
The themes I recommend are the Divi theme or a Studiopress theme using the Genesis framework.
For new bloggers, I have a done-for-you website kit you can check out over at Your Stunning Website.
Create a brand that stands out
Google values user retention. If people land on your site from Google and then leave immediately, Google actually takes note and adjust your rankings accordingly.
- Setup Google Analytics to track website traffic:
- Setup Google Search Console to see what Google makes of your site:
- Use Bing Webmaster Tools to get more information
Google needs to know what your site is about. Making your site SEO friendly is you helping them out to understand your site and content. If you write about many very different subjects then your going to struggle to convince Google what your site is about. Everything has to be related.
If you are using WordPress self-hosted for your site then use a modern mobile responsive theme. More people now search via mobile than desktop or laptop. It just makes common sense for your site to look good on all formats.