Are you curious about DIY search engine optimization? Small Business owners know that they need SEO and content marketing to grow their business. Yet many haven’t taken steps to build their online presence, Why? Some lack the budget or are unsure of what SEO tasks they can manage themselves. Work toward a better organic search ranking today with these DIY search engine optimization tips and tricks.

1. Basic Keyword Research

You know you want to hire a qualified marketing agency to help you with in-depth keyword research and implementation on the back end of your website. But you could still do some digging of your own. There are many free SEO tools designed to help small business owners like you get started with search engine optimization and content marketing.

Sit down with the stakeholder in your business and come up with a list of relevant topics or questions someone seeking your product or service might ask. These ideas can be used ot generate keywords.

Once you have a good list, feed each idea into the Google search bar. Google’s auto-complete feature will add relevant words to your search term that you may not yet have thought about. Add these to your list. You can also use a tool called Soovle to see the most popular search phrases on each major search engine for your industry—because Google isn’t the only search engine!.

Next, research the keyword search phrases you’ve gathered with a free tool like Moz’s Keyword Explorer tool. You’ll gain valuable insights into which keywords have the most search traffic, which are most competitive, and which will be the easiest for your brand to capture traffic around.

2. Basic Competitor Research

Which keywords and keyword phrases are your competitors using? Are they building links, publishing frequent SEO-optimized blog posts, and running ads? Have they invested in creative landing pages and engaging website copy and design for better user experience? Most importantly, what can you do better to outrank them in organic search?

You can learn some of this by simply looking at your competitor’s website. You can also use free tools like SEMrush.com, which give you an overview of the backlink profile, top organic and paid keyword rankings used on other sites, and many other valuable insights.

3. Implement Keywords on Your Blog

We advise always paying a qualified professional to do in-depth keyword and competitive research. And to implement the best keywords on the back end of your website. Anything super technical should be left to an SEO specialist. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t implement keyword research on your blog and other website content yourself.

Do yourself a favor and install the Yoast SEO Plugin right now. It’s one of the best tools out there for small business owners who need DIY search engine optimization.

Yoast has easy-to-understand prompts that help you include the right density of relevant target keywords in your blog posts and web page copy. It also analyzes the “readability” of your posts and makes suggestions to improve the formatting, sentence structure, and overall reading ease. This means a lower bounce rate and a higher likelihood that your content will drive sales.

4. Build Backlinks

Backlinks—links to your site that originate from other websites—are a valuable signal to Google that your website offers high-quality content. More backlinks mean a higher domain authority, better online reputation, and more traffic.

One of the easiest to build high-quality backlinks is to sign up for HARO—Help a Reporter Out. This free service pairs journalists with sources who can give knowledgeable quotes for their articles. Simply go to the website, sign up for a free profile, and wait to receive your first email digest of press and link-building opportunities. You can choose from verticals like health and wellness, business, travel, and many other industry-specific categories.

For easier link-building, add a resource section to your website that offers visual and video resources that other sites can share. You don’t have to be a designer to create an awesome infographic or video tutorial. Free programs like Canva allow anyone with a creative idea and a few hours of time to make an infographic.

Once you’ve created your resource, promote it on social media and send personalized emails to websites that may want to share your resource with their audience. You can even distribute your work to the media if it holds enough mass appeal.

5. List Your Business and Earn Customer Reviews

Make sure your business has accurate and updated business listings. This is a DIY search engine optimization basic that is often overlooked. Each of your online business listings should include consistent branding and the exact same business information. Even a comma or period in the wrong place on your address can detract from your Google quality score.

Build business listings and positive reviews through Google, Yelp, NextDoor, and even industry-specific sites like Cars.com and Hotels.com. Positive reviews not only build trust with your audience, but also build credibility and favor with search engine algorithms.

Google displays it’s own reviews first in organic search results. Take advantage of this and ask clients and customers to leave you a review when they’ve had a good experience with your business.

You can complete some SEO research yourself, but there are many complex SEO tasks that are best left to the professionals. Does your business need an SEO audit to succeed? Witty Kitty SEO services include in-depth keyword research, competitive analysis, content strategy suggestions, and back-end technical implementation.

Reach out to Witty Kitty if you have any questions about our SEO audits or what your brand can be doing in-house to achieve a better organic search engine ranking!

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