“Can I do SEO myself” is a question lots of small businesses and start-ups ask since they have to be very careful with how they spend their (usually) limited budget.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) like any area of digital marketing is a vast topic – there are some areas that you can probably do yourself but there are also areas you’re going to need to either hire a professional to do for you OR undergo some serious SEO training to get to grips with (although a benefit of an SEO professional is that they’ll be able to bring all their previous experience to the table when working on your project).
Here are some of the key SEO activities that go into getting your business on the first page of Google Search results.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a brilliant free tool that allows you to control what information is presented to users about your business in Google Search and Maps results. You can update basic information like your contact information, opening hours, and business description as well as more detailed areas like products and business categories.
Many business owners go through the process of setting it up but fail to optimise it properly. While a primary ranking factor for GMB listings is location, a well optimised profile will often rank higher than a poorly optimised one in the same area. The Google My Business platform is very simple to use so it’s something you can optimise yourself – but make sure to read up on the best way to optimise a Google My Business listing before getting started to make sure you don’t miss anything!
‘Keyword Research’ can sound scary to some people because, as the name suggests, it’s quite research intensive.
This process helps you to identify what searches (aka keywords) people are making that are relevant to your business so that you can target the most appropriate ones with your SEO activity. This involves analysing all of the potential keywords for search volumes, competitiveness and SERP features to prioritise the best target keywords for your business in a documented keyword strategy.
The keywords identified during the research will then be used to inform key rankings factors like your website copy, title tags, meta descriptions, blog content and anchor links.
In all honesty, while there are SEO tools you can use to conduct the research yourself, it’s usually best to hire a professional for this as they’ll be able to conduct the research in a time-effective and comprehensive way ensuring you end up with a keyword strategy that will achieve results.
“Write a blog” is one of our top recommendations to budget-strapped SMEs they help you show up in search results, provide you with extra content to share on social media, attract links from other websites and influencers, show your audience your expertise and establish you as a thought leader in the industry. While not an SEO-specific activity in itself, blog creation is undeniably a key part of any well-designed SEO strategy since it’s give you more opportunities to rank in Google Search results.
Depending on your confidence and capabilities when it comes to writing, you might be able to do this yourself to some degree – just make sure you learn how to write SEO-friendly blog posts or you’ll just end up wasting your time.
If you don’t have the skills or time to write a blog (or you’ve tried and are not seeing results), you should consider working with an SEO expert or SEO-trained copywriter.
When ranking your website in Search results, Google evaluates how reliable and trustworthy you seem. One of the ways it does this is by looking at how many links go to your website from other websites – think of a link to your site as a recommendation for your business (although be careful as not all links are created equal!)
Link building is simply the process of getting more links to your website from other websites.
Link building and blogs go hand-in-hand as they’re the most likely type of content another website will link to. In theory, great blog content will get linked to anyway so link building activities aren’t necessary. But in reality, with so much content available online competing for those same links, your blogs will often need a little help to generate those first few links.
A link building campaign involves reaching out to other websites and asking for a link to your content. We recommend always using a professional for this as link building is a very involved activity that includes vast amounts of research and analysis as well expert outreach and relationship-building.
Website copy is where Google will get the majority of it’s information about your business to determine where you should rank so it’s crucial that you get it right.
Similarly to blogs, you may be able to write some of the copy yourself depending on your writing skills and SEO knowledge but even in these cases you should always run your copy past an expert to make sure you’ve not missed anything.
Writing website copy that ranks well involves a tremendous amount of research and is often an ongoing task to ensure your copy holds up against changing competitors and Google algorithm preferences.
Generally, the best way to get website copy that achieves high-rankings is to first write the information you want your audience to get from the page and then have a SEO professional work on it to ensure it has the right information to compete with other results and the proper formatting for user- and Google-friendly pages.
Straight away, we’ll say that unless you’re very comfortable with HTML and have some SEO knowledge, you shouldn’t attempt technical SEO yourself.
Technical SEO covers everything from a broken link to slow page speed and can involve A LOT of work within your website’s code.
Google is looking for well-functioning websites that are easy for it’s spiders to crawl and provide a good user experience which is why technical SEO is so important. Optimising the technical elements of your website ensures that it runs efficiently, is logical to use, and that users never reach a point where something is broken or cannot be reached (meaning they have to go back a step in their journey rather than forwards).
Performance measurement and analysis
SEO is not a one-time activity. You need to constantly monitor, measure and analyse performance so that you can replicate what is working and change what is not. SEO performance measurement and analysis is the cornerstone of SEO activity.
With proper training, you could likely carry out some SEO performance analysis yourself however an SEO professional will be more likely to uncover issues and find appropriate solutions with detailed analysis. Even if you don’t work with an SEO professional full time, we recommend using them at least once a quarter to analyse your performance and make suggestions for improvement.
It is possible to do some basic SEO without a professional, providing you put the proper time and effort into research and activity. However, an SEO professional like those at Logic Digital can help you complete more advanced SEO activities and achieve results more efficiently.
Think you need some help with SEO? Book a call with our team for a friendly chat!