If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to consider handling some of the essentials of SEO yourself. Below are my highest priority steps for increasing the volume of organic traffic coming to your site.
1. Google Analytics Code Setup:
Google Analytics allows you to see how many people are visiting your website, from where and how long they are staying.
Step 1: Sign Up to Google Analytics here: https://www.google.com/analytics using your Gmail id.
Step 2: Fill in your website details and extract the Analytics Tracking Code
Step 3: Install the tracking code to the website and verify it.
Step 4: Done!
Monitoring your website traffic allows you to better understand what is and isn’t working and make adjustments accordingly.
2. Google Webmaster Tools Setup:
Google Webmaster Tools is free software that helps you understand performance of your website. It provides you with detailed reports about your pages visibility on Google.
Step 1: Sign Up to Google Webmaster Tools https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ using your Gmail id.
Step 2: Add Your Site: Once you signed in, click “Add a Site”.
Step 3: Verify Site Ownership: There are many ways to verify the ownership, choose any one of them and verify the website.
Step 4: Add XML Sitemap: After the website verification, add the XML Sitemap file to the Google Webmaster Tools for indexing.
3. Google Places Business Listing:
Google Places is one of the most effective ways to get your website in front of relevant, local users. Setting up a Places listing and utilising local directories such as Google Places for Businesses will get you on the front page much quicker. Local search placement will increase targeted exposure to your business and lead to visits to your physical place of business.
Step 1: Setup the business here: https://www.google.com.au/business/placesforbusiness/ (Sign in using your Gmail id) and start adding information about your business.
Once you are done, Google will mail you the verification code which you’ll receive in a few weeks.
Step 2: Add the code and verify the business ownership. This ensures that your business is located where you say it is.
Step 3: Fill out the information about your listing and you are done!
4. Google Plus Business Page:
Google Plus page connects you with customers. Get a page for your business here: https://www.google.com/+/business/ Sign in using your Gmail id.
Step 1: Log in using your Gmail id.
Step 2: Create a page for your business and get started.
5. Implement Google Authorship:
Google Authorship increases the website trust. Authorship allows you to link your Google Plus profile with the content you publish on the website.
To implement Google Authorship, you should have your Google + Profile setup.
Step 1: Enter the Website URL in the “Contributor To section” on your Google + Profile.
Step 2: Add a link to your Google + profile from your website. You need to add this code into the <head> section of your site.
<link rel=”author” href=”[profile_url]“>
Replace [profile_url] with your Google+ profile URL and you are done!
6. Keyword Research:
Find niche keywords that will bring you high quality traffic and business. Use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool to search keywords that have high search volume and medium/ low competition. The keyword research will ensure you are using the keywords with the most potential to bring traffic to your site.
Keyword Research is of two types: Short Tail Keywords and Long Tail Keywords. Short tail keywords are general only one or two words whereas long tail keywords are more specific and can consist of many words. For example, a search for “SEO” is a short tail keyword, while a search for “SEO agencies in Perth” is a long tail keyword.
Sign in using your Gmail or Google Adwords email id.
7. Optimising your Meta Tags (Title and Description Tag):
Once your keywords are finalised, create your Meta Titles and Description Tags. Meta tags should include target keyword phrases in a natural way.
The Meta Tag should be 70 characters long and meta descriptions, 160 characters.
8. Add Unique Content to your website:
Using your chosen keywords, regularly write blog posts and add fresh content to your website. Blogging is a great way to optimise your site for a higher likelihood of being found on Google. The more blogs you publish, the more pages Google will index from your site, making it more obvious to appear in the search results.
9. Get a Free SEO Extension:
Download the SEOquake extension to your browser and diagnose your web pages. This free extension will allow you to see if your Meta Tags are in place, if images are missing, ALT texts or whether you need to add heading tags. It even offers suggestions on how to fix SEO issues and lets you know whether these fixes are quick and easy or may require more time than you have.
10. Stay up to date on SEO:
Follow some high authority SEO blogs and keep yourself updated about SEO. The more you read, the less help you’ll need.
These are some of my favorite blogs for SEO:
Of course effective SEO isn’t so much about tasks as it is about an approach. These steps should really just be considered foundational, it’s important to continually develop your website with a complete focus on delivering the best possible experience to your customers.