Management · Marketing

How do I optimize SEO by myself?

Anonymous

October 26th, 2016

I have been wanting to tackle this task on my own, without hiring someone to do it for me. I want to learn the ropes, as I do have some experience with search engine optimization. How do I make sure I am getting the most out of the process for the company as I can though? Things to do and not to do? As I know SEO does change overtime with what should be focused on the most.. Would I be seriously hurting myself if I try to accomplish this? Rather than hire someone with some experience solely in this field. This is a critical part in any start up nowadays, I believe. Would love to hear what you guys have to say.
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Sheldon Poon Technical Director, Drive Marketing

October 26th, 2016

I'm a programmer by trade and I had this issue myself a little while ago where a client was asking me to look at the SEO on their site. I decided it would be a good excuse to learn more about this specialization and turned to Reddit for advice.

The community was incredibly helpful and taught me quite a lot. The short version is that everything that needs to be done, can be done by any half-decent programmer as long as you know what to look out for. That being said, it is an incredible amount of work and detail and is an on-going process.

What I ended up doing was tackling the big obvious issues first. I installed Google Analytics, signed up for Google Webmaster Tools and started reading up on best practices (as indicated by Google themselves).

Webmaster Tools is a great start and will allow you to look for redirect issues, allow you to submit a sitemap (extremely important), and to a certain extent, tell Google how you would like your site to be crawled.

Next I took a look at the HTML code structure to make sure that I had proper meta tags, alt tags on all images, H1, H2, H3, tags where applicable, and generally clean code. Making sure that I added the extra tags required by both Google, Apple iOS, and Facebook so that people could link and share the site properly.

Then I moved on to third party tools. Since I was dealing with an existing site with a decent amount of traffic, Moz Tools and SerpStat already had some valuable advice for me. I was able to check up on the site's visibility, keywords, and backlinks.

With all of this data combined, I was able to review the site again to look for places where I was getting 404 errors, redirect issues, and other technical issues. I made sure to properly 301 redirect pages where I knew I could predict invalid landing pages. I reworked some page titles and meta tags. I also make sure to remove any 'spammy' content.

Finally, I came up with a list of suggested blog posts for my clients to write up in the coming weeks and months so that they could (1) promote the articles on social media, and (2) create additional targeted content to adjust their ranking, page authority, and overall domain authority for products that they wanted to lead in.

I'm still learning and reading more as I go. I was also fortunate enough to have a site that was already mobile compliant and well structured in terms of URL strings.

All in all, a lot of work, but definitely doable with a programming background and control over the site and the server.

Chris Eckman CEO and Founder of Eckman Design

October 26th, 2016

For the most part you can do it yourself. If your using WordPress for your main site it makes it very simple to do it yourself. First thing start off with coming up with ideas on how customers will search to find you. You can hack Google's auto complete to type in some words and see what auto completes. These recommended terms are terms that are search by a large amount of people. You can then take those ideas and look up the search volume in Google's Google Keyword Planner. If you go directly into the planner they are going to want you to setup a new campaign and ad account. To bypass this you can use this link: https://www.google.com/intl/en_us/adwords/select/LegacySignup.html 

Click on tools, and then keyword planner. You can enter your own terms, or grab them from your own website or competitors to see the approx. search volume. 

Armed with this info, go back to your pages and update the title to put your best keywords upfront, then make sure your page is organized using heading tags, and you have the appropriate keyword density on the page. If your using wordpress, the Yoast SEO plugin will help you measure your keyword density. A few other things, make sure you set your image alt tags, have url links that display the keywords in them, make sure your PageSpeed is the highest it can be, use HTTPS for your site, use noindex on pages where duplicate content might be an issue (paginated pages, category pages, tag pages, and author pages), and if you have a blog make sure your posts are using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). 

For detailed instructions you can check out my post on my blog: https://www.eckmandesign.com/blog/on-page-seo-for-business/

Connie Bensen Community, Social Media and Marketing Leader

October 26th, 2016

Hi Ratnesh, You can optimize your SEO if you do some research. The answer to your question is about time. A professional can do it quickly whereas it will take you some time to research, learn and do. There are 2 parts: technical and content keywords 1. there are many guides that provide lots of suggestions for optimizing your site Hubspot has a good tool called website grader. There are also a number of other tools. Moz has a great site 2. Content keywords are critical as you will want to be competitive and rank for certain ones. Google adwords is a good tool to identify keywords and demand. Google makes it easy to see demand. Using the keywords in the correct manner provides your invaluable search ranking. good luck! Connie

Tyson Isham Digital Marketing Consultant, Founder, Business Strategist, and Content Creator

October 26th, 2016

The work with SEO is largely front end loaded. You can do it yourself but there are a couple of risks that your run. You may overdo it, under do it, or fall seriously behind on your founder duties. If you really want to do it yourself I recommend source university. Google it. If you reconsider and want to hire somebody, let me know and I will have a strategy session with you. Also if you decide to hire, be sure that the SEO knows what they are talking about, and focuses on the ROI for your company. If it doesn't make dollars then it doesn't make sense.

Nicholas Rubright

October 27th, 2016

Everyone here has already covered on-site SEO, so I'll go over off-site SEO.

On-site tells Google what your page is all about and what search terms to include you in, but not how high to rank you.

While your rank is determined by a number of on-site factors, for my site, I've noticed that the biggest ranking factor is the number of links pointing to my site.

This is off-site SEO.

To get more links pointing to your site, the first step is to create awesome content.  I'd recommend starting a blog that gives customers in your niche valuable, actionable advice.

When you have a set of articles in place, you can start earning links.

Don't go for spammy, easy links.  Google wants to see earned links before they're going to increase your rank.

Here are the 3 strategies I've used to get powerful links (with links to guides)

1) Guest posting: http://backlinko.com/the-definitive-guide-to-guest-blogging

2) Broken link building: https://moz.com/blog/the-broken-link-building-bible

3) Resource page link building: https://www.quicksprout.com/university/how-to-build-quality-links-from-resource-pages/

Check out these guides, and apply them to your site.  I've found gust posting is the most time consuming, but in my experience the best way to get valuable links.

Hope this helps!