DIY SEO: a Checklist for Self-Optimization of a Website
When it comes to SEO optimization for a site, two resources are required: time and money. Depending on what you have, you can decide which will be involved in promoting the site. If your marketing budget is unlimited, the easiest way to optimize SEO is to contact an experienced SEO agency that will do everything for you. But what should you do if you are just starting your business or cannot afford high costs? In this situation, DIY SEO can help you out.
DIY SEO is a set of actions for internal and external website optimization aimed at raising a site’s position in search engines for specific requests (independently, without involving SEO specialists).
Beginners DIY SEO is different from professional search engine optimization because of its availability. If you know the sequence of actions that need to be performed, you can easily optimize your site without outside help and preliminary preparation.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to do SEO yourself and what DIY SEO software can be used to achieve the best results.
We suggest that you get right to the point and start your research with a checklist for independent SEO:
- Define your audience.
- Select keywords and phrases for precise targeting.
- Optimize your site for search engines.
- Check and optimize the title and description meta tags.
- Work with the content – see what you need to update or delete.
- Check URLs.
- Check the credibility of the resources that host your backlinks.
- Use images and videos (optimize them if you can).
- Earn credibility and backlinks for your site by using quality content.
- Work on the quality of your social networks.
- Use analytics.
- Track your competitors.
Now we will analyze each item in more detail.
1. Define your audience
Any SEO promotion, professional or personal, begins with a determination of the target audience. This is an important initial stage in which your next steps will directly depend. If I did SEO for my site, I would start here as well.
Typically, to create a portrait of your Target Audience, you need to know the age, gender, location, and interests (needs) of your users. With this information, you can move on to the next step – generating keywords and phrases.
Where to look for data? Use google search optimization tips.
If you already have a website running, you can view audience statistics using Google Analytics. In the “audience review” section, you can find out which devices users access the site, what region they live in, and much more information.
If you are selling a product or service (for example, planning to produce a new product), you can find out trends for specific requests using this service. Just drive a word or phrase into the search bar and get analytics. Learn more about the topic in the article How to use Google Trends for SEO.
Let’s assume that you produce and sell coconut oil. Let’s see what the trends look like for this request. You can also select the region that is most relevant to you in the program.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Here you can find popular queries by category, phrase, or website. You can select keywords based on existing ones, analyze query statistics for individual words, and predict the number of impressions and clicks by keywords.
To access these tools, you need to register and learn the interface – Don’t worry, it is not complicated.
Another way to get information about the interests of your users is to conduct surveys through question-and-answer sites like Quora or Reddit. Read more on the topic in the article Reddit For SEO.
Defining the target audience is already half of the success. Remember: if you do not focus your site and content on the interests and needs of the target audience, you may simply never be found.
2. Select keywords and phrases for precise targeting
Once you understand your target audience and its interests, you can proceed to the next step. Search for keywords based on the interests of your potential customers.
Start your research with brainstorming. Think about the words or phrases users use to describe or search for your products/services. For example, if you are looking for keywords for a dog grooming salon in New York, these might be some of the following phrases:
- Dog grooming
- Dog Grooming Brooklyn
- Grooming a dog cheaply
You can also see key phrases where you are already in the ranking by using the Google Search Console. In the “Queries” section, you can find a list of search queries people have asked when searching for your site.
You can expand your keyword list with beginners DIY SEO services, for example:
Google’s Keyword Planner
This is a good keyword planner that you can use for free. It works in two modes. You can get fresh ideas for keywords or find out their frequency and other metrics for a certain period of time.
This is a tool similar to Google’s search applications. Using one keyword, we can get a whole list of suitable key phrases.
Keyword Magic Tool (SEMrush)
This is an easy to use a keyword research tool.
This is a tool similar to the previous ones.
After collecting the information you can make a list of keywords and phrases, dividing them by priority and search relevance. In the future, this will help to create and organize content to fill your site, blog, and social networks.
3. Optimize your site for search engines
The next step in how to perform SEO on your website is to optimize it. A few simple DIY SEO tips will help improve the visibility of your site for search engines.
Check and optimize the title and description meta tags.
Properly designed meta tags present the site well and help users find the information they need. This will allow the search engines to rank the resource higher in the search results.
The “title” meta tag is actually the page title that shows the user and search engines its basic semantic and thematic load.
The length of the title meta tag should not exceed 70 characters. Try to fit the main keywords in the first 50. Make it unique and readable without spam or duplicate keys.
The “Description” meta tag is a short description of the site page that appears in the search results under the heading. The optimal length is from 70 to 150 characters (approximately 15 words). It should disclose competitive advantages and not duplicate the title.
Read more in our article How to Build a Nice Meta Description.
Work with the content – see what you need to update or delete.
Another way to add quality to the SEO for your website is byworking with content. Analyze the content of your site: delete unnecessary information, replace irrelevant sentences, structure the text to facilitate perception, and update statistics. Check the literacy of the keywords in the text and their presence in the text as a whole. Content optimization also plays a big role in improving the site’s position in search results. Read more – Website Content Audit.
Check your URLs
If possible, check each URL or at least links to homepages. Make sure the keywords in the link match the content of the page. Try to avoid lengthy links. The optimal length is 3-5 words.
Check the credibility of the resources that have your backlinks.
The more backlinks you have from reputable resources, the better it is for search engine optimization. Check the credibility of sites that link to your site. Find out more in the article Build High-Quality Backlinks.
Use images and videos (optimize them if you can).
The content on your site must have images and videos. This will facilitate the perception of text by users and may lead to new visitors to your site (for example, through using Google Images). Also, the presence of videos and pictures has a positive effect on the depth of views. Read more on the topic in the article SEO Images.
4. Earn credibility and backlinks for your site by using quality content
If you have a ready-made working content marketing strategy, you are halfway to success. This is an integral part of attracting consumers, converting users to potential customers, and creating a loyal customer base.
Quality content is another answer to the question of how to improve SEO. High-quality content means the presence of fact checking, articles with lists, accessible infographics, step-by-step manuals, evergreen content, and of course, regular publications for the blog.
This type of content helps DIY SEO optimization in several ways:
- Firstly, it helps to gain and consolidate credibility in your industry. You can demonstrate awareness and qualifications in your area with blog articles, infographics, photos, and more. Daily posts are completely optional, but you should keep them consistent and without take long breaks.
- The second advantage of good content is the ability to get backlinks from reputable resources. Backlinks, in turn, are one of the most important building blocks of any successful SEO campaign. Google also appreciates the presence of backlinks. The more there are on reputable sites, the better it affects your position in the search.
Also try to make your content readable. The duration of your users’ stay on the site and the depth of interactions with it depends on how simple and clear the information is presented.
5. Work on the quality of your social networks
Social networks are the most important platform for establishing and maintaining relationships with customers,partners in your industry, competitors, and a wide audience. Every business, even the smallest, must be represented on major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Social networks enable your audience to interact with you and respond to content through likes and shares. These social cues will also be a plus for search engine optimization.
If you don’t know how to do search engine optimization yourself, go to your business pages on social networks. Make them interesting and understandable in order to gather subscribers. Conducting contests and surveys may also help. There is a high probability that potential buyers can come to you through social networks.
6. Use analytics
SEO do it yourself also implies the ability to handle analytics. If you do not know where to find traffic information about your website or what to do with it later, then you are unlikely to manage SEO for your website yourself.
The best platform to get started with analytics is Google Analytics. It is used by 80% of businesses worldwide. With this tool, you can find out where your users come from, segment your customer base, create campaigns, set and track your goals, work with keyword performance, and much more.
Take a little time to understand how Google Analytics works and learn its basic functions. Google Analytics provides free training courses, and will help you understand how this tool works and what business benefits you will get by mastering it. To learn where to find courses and how to understand Google Analytics, read our article on Google certificates for SEO.
7. Track your competitors
Identify your organic search competitors. It is not necessary that these are companies selling identical goods/services. Pay attention to those who get into the top for your key requests.
Analyze the topics they use to write their content, how they structure their site, and how they attract buyers. Also study their blogs and activity on social networks to learn from and repeat their successful experiences.
Read more about competitor analysis in our article SEO Competitive Analysis.
Summing up and answering the questions “How can I do SEO for free?”, “How can I do SEO yourself?” and “How do I start SEO for my website?”, we conclude that nothing is impossible. If you go through our checklist and do everything that it mentions, you will already be able to do your own search engine optimization successfully. Read SEO blogs and feel free to ask questions on the forums. Knowledge about search engine optimization will never be superfluous.