Before you sign an expensive contract with an SEO firm, consider doing a little SEO DIY. There are several things you can do right now to optimize your site for search and boost your rankings. Put your company credit card away and try these tips first.
DIY SEO #1: Rewrite Your Page Content
To improve the quality of search results for users, Google changed it’s algorithms (the proprietary formulas that rank websites in a search) to reward sites that feature clear, informative content. The idea is simple — if you provide useful, informative content on your site, Google is more likely to display your website to a person performing a Google search.
Voila, better rankings!
Action Item: Review your site page-by-page. Edit page text to trim fluff and rewrite content to include only what’s relevant and beneficial for the user to know. Steer clear of using industry terms that are confusing to the layman.
DIY SEO #2: Update Your Content Often
The more you add fresh content to your website, the more frequently you’ll be indexed by search engines. If your content is useful and engaging, that frequency could result in a rankings bump.
Action Item: Add new pages, update existing pages, keep homepage content fresh.
DIY SEO #3: Scrub Your Site of Old SEO Tricks
“Keyword stuffing” is an old school SEO tactic that involves cramming numerous keywords and phrases onto every website page. Sometimes the keywords would be displayed in visible lists and sometimes they would be hidden, displayed in a font color that matched the site background. “Keyword stuffing” is highly frowned upon by search engines and will result in banning or ranking penalties.
Action Item: Review your site and look for excessive keyword use. Remove it immediately and replace with quality page content.
DIY SEO #4: Use Keywords Properly
Don’t avoid keywords entirely — just use them naturally as part of good content. For example, if you are an organic orange farmer and you want to be found in a search for organic oranges, you definitely want to use the words “organic” and “orange” in your page content, but in an appropriate way.
BAD: Our organic oranges are the most organic oranges that any organic orange farm has ever grown.
GOOD: Our farm grows organic oranges, free of pesticides and non-natural fertilizers.
Action Item: Check pages to ensure that keywords are not missing and are used once or twice in a natural way. If possible, try to include the word in your page title.
DIY SEO #5: Optimizing Images for Faster Load Speed
Google and Bing both factor website load speed into their search rankings. This is how fast or slow your website loads in a web browser. Large images are a common culprit for dragging down load speed. Big, beautiful images make a website look great, but can slow the site down to a crawl. Fixing this issue not only improves SEO, but also allows users to navigate the site more quickly.
Action Item: Swap out images with large file sizes with smaller file, “optimized” images.
DIY SEO #6: Find and Fix Broken Links
Broken links stop search engine spiders in their tracks. Too many broken links can indicate that a site is old and neglected.
Action Item: Fix or remove broken links on all of your site pages.
DIY SEO #7: Header Tags
If your website was built in a content management system, you likely have the ability to apply header tags to your page content. For example, you may use “Heading 1” for your page title and “Heading 2” for a sub-title. These tags indicate an order of hierarchy or importance to search engines.
Action Item: If you have not applied Header Tags to text on any of your content pages, do so now. If appropriate, include relevant keywords in your headers. Update your Title Tags too, if your CMS allows.
Need a Little More Guidance?
Enlist the help of a knowledgeable web developer for just a few hours and they’ll make back-end updates that you can’t, at a fraction of the cost of SEO firms.
For developer assistance, contact Loudthought at 214.827.2600 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.