Recently it crossed my mind that many people that are selling SEO services out there have a hard time telling people what it is they really do. Does it help to make it seem like what you are doing is rocket science? Well, SEO is not rocket science and neither is the reason for why you should consider doing at least the basic SEO or hire someone to do it for you.
The process of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not really complex at all. In fact it is so simple that you could probably hire a monkey to do it. So why in the world would you hire an SEO or online marketing company to do the SEO for you? The answer is actually quite simple, even though you can teach a monkey to do specific tasks, then you have to make sure that the task is done properly before you have someone do it. So if you do not know how it works or what you should be doing, then there is really nothing to teach. Done improperly may not only waste your time and resources, but may also lead to a marketing company helping you with this, having to do more work later on to counteract what you did.
So here are the basics of SEO and how it works. The key thing to keep in mind when working on search engine optimization, is the ultimate goal of the search engines, and what type of results they like to show to their users. Once you have that in mind, the rest is easy. So let´s get started on what you need to do in order to do some SEO.
1. Plan your strategy and do your keyword research. There is nothing worse than finding out that a company has spent countless hours working on optimizing a search phrase or keywords that no-one is actually looking for! Pick key words and phrases that get searched for, yet may not be extremely competitive. Unless of course you have nothing other to do than your SEO.
2. Make sure you follow the basic guides on how to insert your titles, tags and descriptions on your website. Each page should have its own unique combination of these since chances are that you are no using the exact same copy on all pages. Look through the content on all of your pages, then match you meta information to the content of that specific page.
3. Content always has been and always will be king of search engine optimization. Put high quality content on your website. This means articles you write, filled with all the keywords you are looking to optimize for. Make sure that it all makes sense for the user to read though, there is nothing worse than to get ranked with a page that a user cannot sit and read through. It is obvious, but if the user can´t read it he will simply leave again which defeats the purpose of doing SEO in the first place.
4. In-bound and out-bound links. Remember what the search engines are trying to do and you will understand why these are important. Increasing relevancy of your website is a key element in the search engine optimization process. How you do this depends on your industry, but several strategies exist, all you have to do is follow one of them that fits your industry.
5. Take all the time you need! This is the most important factor, because search engine optimization is very time consuming you need to make sure you have the time to do what is needed. Do not try to rush things and think you are still doing a good enough job. You want things done right the first time, because many times things can´t be un-done or will simply cause more work down the line.
There you have it, like I said before, search engine optimization is not rocket science. There is no black magic, hoodoo or spells involved. It is simply a matter of understanding what you are doing, then having plenty of time to do it. Just to give you an idea, when we take on a new SEO client, we probably spend between 80-120 hours in the first month doing what needs to be done. That is right, just in the first month we spend the equivalent to a full time person for 3 weeks just getting the basics done. Want to know why you should consider hiring a specialist or company do to do you SEO? Just think of the time alone that you need to spend to catch up with what they do. How long would it take you to put in 120 hours worth of work on your SEO along with of course running your business, selling your services, managing your people…. Ohhh and yes, servicing your clients!
If you have the time, SEO is something you can do yourself and I do encourage you to do it. We have examples of keywords being worth thousands upon thousands of dollars in business. If you do not have the time nor the longing to be ranked naturally for keywords, you may want to consider just setting up a PPC campaign. Those will require less time and will lead to more business as well, just make sure you set them up right so you maximize your click through rate without busting your budget!