In a world that Google is a part of our everyday lives, the number of small business that don’t understand the benefits of search engine optimization or avoid it surprises me. SEO is an organic way of getting traffic to your website. Put even more simply, Google decides where your website shows up in the search results so it is crucial to optimize your site for Google.

Not to fear, do-it-yourself SEO is more than possible! It simply takes a little bit of learning and getting used to, but is an invaluable skill. Basic optimization often leads to increased traffic, conversion rates and ultimately revenue! As a digital marketing strategest in Vancouver, this post is intended to help small business owners bring a little search visibility into their lives, without hiring an SEO consultant!

3 DIY Tips to Optimize your Website for Search Engines

Being able to understand the backend of your website, is valuable for any small business owner as it allows you to update content, add new products and add blog posts without having to call (and pay) your website developer. Using platforms such as WordPress or SquareSpace allows you to easily edit and update your website accordingly. Once you have spent a couple of hours getting to know the backend of your website, optimizing your website for search should become increasingly easier.

Follow these simple applications and watch your website appear!

1. Choose Smart Keywords

Keywords should be the first step of your SEO campaign. Use a free keyword tool to generate a list of words that your customers are already typing into Google when they are trying to find a product, service or information that your website holds. Compile a list of 20-30 keywords that you can incorporate into your website’s content in areas that make sense. These keywords are crucial to tell Google what your website is all about.

Long-tail keywords or key-phrases are also a popular way to connect with your customer’s online. Long-tail keywords are a longer and more specific string of words that visitors use when they know exactly what they are looking for. ‘Search engine optimization’ is a keyword that a user might search when looking to discover what SEO is about, however when looking to implement SEO into their business a user might search ‘how to do SEO myself’ – thus a long-tail keyword.

Remember, that Google’s and your customer’s number one priority is well written content so ONLY put your keywords and long-tail keywords in where they flow with the rest of your content. Keep in mind that these keywords and key-phrases can also be incorporated into your URL, titles and meta-tags.

2. Create Fresh Content

On top of well written, Google likes up-to-date content. So, write a blog (once a week, once a month – as often as you can) and incorporate relevant keywords into these posts! Design your website and write your content so that your users have a positive experience on your website! People are attracted to navigable sites that contain the information they are looking for, so make the content on each page enough to get your point across and to suffice your customers need for information, but don’t overload it so that it becomes boring! Load up on headers and bullet points as they are easy on the eyes.

Tip: I recommend somewhere between 250-300 words on your main pages!

Fresh content is also the easiest way to get people to link to your website. The more people that link to your URL on their webpages, the more Google views your site as credible and liked by users and then voila! the more visible your site becomes on Google. Therefore, link to your website from your social profiles, post your blog posts to forums where they answer people’s questions and encourage any online press that you get to link to your website!

3. Optimization Your On-Page Elements

On-page optimization is another key piece to the SEO puzzle, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these basic tips, to optimize your site!

    • Title your images appropriately, using brief but descriptive file names. Add keywords into image titles ONLY where fitting
    • Each word in your URL should be separated by a dash (-) and you don’t need to include filler words. The proper URL for this post would be (and is) j.ringer.ca/blog/diy-search-engine-optimization-vancouver
    • Meta-titles and meta-descriptions should be used to describe your page to the user! Add keywords into meta-tags where fitting and ensure that they are the appropriate length – 50-60 characters for the meta-title and 150-160 characters for the meta-description
    • Internally link pages within your website and from your blog posts to related pages. For example, if you discuss the services you sell in on your about page, link to the services page

As an SEO consultant in Vancouver, I want to share my wealth of information with small businesses! Although sometimes hiring a digital marketing expert is a great option, DIY SEO is a great way to optimize your site when you can’t afford a consultant or simply want to do-it-yourself. For a more in-depth guide, Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide is a great place to start!

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