How many conversations have you had about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? And how many emails from how many companies have you received effectively saying something like this:
“We’ve visited your website and quite frankly it’s pants, if we hadn’t spent the last month specifically looking for it we’d had never come across it. You need to know that it doesn’t even feature on Google until the millionth page. But, don’t worry, don’t lose any sleep because we’re here now and for a mere several hundreds of £/$’s per month we can sort out the crappy job you’ve done so far on your website SEO”!
Probably, like me, you delete the email shortly after having designated the sender as ‘junk mail’. But, then you periodically for the rest of the day wonder if they were just 10% right? You probably find one of the myriad of SEO consultants in your locality and ask a couple of pertinent questions.
Well, after many such events, you’ve probably concluded that SEO is a complex, dark art known only to the millions of SEO experts that seem to have come into being over the past few years. I did the same. Then I decided I wasn’t willing to spend the requested sums of money on something that I simply couldn’t get my head around and nor could I find an ‘expert’ able to explain it to me in such a way that I finally understood the value of imparting my cash to them.
One day, I was chatting to a lovely fella who I now consider a friend, we’ll call him David Abbott (mainly because that’s his name!), about how he’d established a very successful online retail business in the interiors sector. I was interested because I knew David to be a marketing expert and speaker – what the heck did he know about interiors and more to the point to get his unknown ‘shop’ found on the internet. He replied simply and straightforwardly “I taught myself some very simple sel-help SEO principles and it’s just gone from there”. “What!?” I asked.
Turns out that for a small & micro businesses, SEO doesn’t have to be a dark art, complex, or expensive. In fact, you can do-it-yourself and make your website/blog/online shop quite discoverable. My old mate (he is indeed older than me), David immediately shared with me his ‘Top Ten Tips for DIY SEO’ for the price of a cup of tea and cut’n paste access to the Scarlet Opus ‘Trend Blog Library’. And, at that price, we can both now share it with you FOR FREE that’s right, YOU can now go get yourself found easily and increase visitor/reader/customer numbers by following, practising and getting better with what now follows:
SEO tip #1 – There’s no need to be an SEO expert to get your website onto page 1 of Google. All you need is great site which is easy to navigate, helps your customers resolve their problems (finding somewhere to buy something, finding some information, etc), has fantastic original content, and is quick to load.
SEO tip #2 – When you’ve got a great site, you can help Google understand your site which will help you in the rankings. Start with page titles that describe each page using keywords that people search for. Only use a maximum of 70 characters, including spaces.
SEO tip #3 – Also have an excellent page description. This doesn’t influence rankings, but when your site does appear in search results there’s a compelling reason to click. Only use a maximum of 155 characters, including spaces.
SEO tip #4 – Make sure that each page URL (web address) uses keywords, not just a database generated string of meaningless characters. For example, www.mysite.com/brown-widgets, not www.mysite.com/productID=3387.
SEO tip #5 – Nothing succeeds like great content on a page; write the content for your users to resolve their problems, not because you think it will help you rank with Google.
SEO tip #6 – Keep your site fresh. Update pages, add events, include news, keep a blog. Add customer reviews.
SEO tip #7 – Keep your images small (if the website is going to display 400×300 pixels, make the image that size, don’t rely on the user’s browser to resize it; save it as a medium quality jpg file) so your pages load quickly, Google likes fast sites.
SEO tip #8 – Rename your images from the camera name (like IMG100449.jpg) to a meaningful name (like ‘Purple-product-small-tub.jpg’).
SEO tip #9 – Make sure your images have ALT text, such as ‘Blue denim skirt, small size’; Google can’t ‘see’ what an image really is so this helps it understand the page, and importantly it helps partially sighted people use your site.
SEO tip #10 – This is a big one. Google likes links to your site, so get them from PR, other bloggers, social media, industry experts, directories, trade press, happy customers, etc. DON’T buy them.
So, off you go, have fun and see what all the fuss isn’t about! Oh, one last thing, could you please tell all of your friends, colleagues & contacts about this blog posting so that they too can share in the ‘free love’ that is DIY SEO……..
Cheers to my good friend David who’s rival marketing company (hold on seems a bit more expensive now!) is to be found here www.insight-bp.co.uk
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