Search Engine Optimisation is everywhere, and with more and more people learning the basic principles and implementing them, it is important to keep up. Basic SEO doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, so here are five search engine optimisation basics you can do yourself for free.
1. Submit to Google, Yahoo! & Bing
Make sure your website is available to the main search engines. At the time of writing, Google currently takes up about 70% of the search engine market share but Bing is fast approaching. It is important to be listed in these major search engines and more if possible. Most search engines should crawl and index your website naturally but by submitting your web address to them, you speed up the process.
2. Keyword Research
So you’ve started your business and you love what you do. But what words are people actually using to search for businesses such as yours?
By conducting careful keyword research, you will have a better understanding of what people are looking for and how competitive the market it.
The Google AdWords Keyword tool is my favourite. It can be found under the report section of your AdWords Campaign. It’s free to use and very easy as well. You can play around with the settings to see what people are searching for locally or globally, whether there are any trends in when people are search for a keyword and how competitive a term is.
This means you can find keywords that best describe your business but to begin with aren’t too competitive. Using these on your website will increase your chances of ranking higher in the search results.
3. Directories & DMOZ
Submit your website to local and national directories. This enables users to find you naturally if they use those directories and builds backlinks to your website. Backlinks are links from other websites to your own and search engines such as Google view these as ‘thumbs-up’ for your website.
DMOZ is Google’s human run directory which means it can take a long time to get listed but it search engines do like websites more that are listed there.
Other directories include: Local Business Directory, UK Small Business Directory and Business Directory UK.
It doesn’t take long to submit a listing with a short description about your website. Make sure you include a link to your website and a keyword rich description of your services or products.
4. Blog writing and Article Marketing
Writing a blog or articles is great for SEO. It gives you the opportunity to get your name and brand out there to others in your industry or niche and build backlinks to your website. Try writing once a fortnight to begin with and post your article or blog on your website first. Then, post your articles to article directories such as EzinesArticles or GoArticles. To avoid being penalised for duplicate content, vary each version slightly.
To keep an eye on backlinks you have created you could use Yahoo! Site Explorer which is great for a keeping an eye on how many backlinks you have to your website and where they come from.
5. Track your progress
Keep an eye on how you start to move up the rankings. There are several good trackers out there for seeing where you rank for your keywords. By doing on-going SEO work, you should see your website move up the rankings over time.
I hope you have found these tips helpful as a starter for SEO you can do yourself. There is of course a lot more to search engine optimisation but these tips should help you get started.