By Ayla Carlin

Search Engine Optimization. The thorn in the side of every ‘non-tech’ business owner. If you don’t have a great team working with you to optimize your website and boost your traffic, you’ve got a lot to learn. And we are sure that you can’t wait to offload this task as soon as you start making some money! But to make that money, you first need to get business exposure. And a big part of that comes through the SEO basics. It’s a vicious cycle, we know. But the aim of this article is to hopefully give you enough grounding to get the SEO basics right. Then you start making money and can hand it over to an SEO expert who can enhance it for you. 

Testing 

Have you ever run a website audit check? If you haven’t touched your website for a while, this is something you will probably want to sit down for. And if you made the website yourself? Make sure you’ve got a glass of wine in your hand. There are many tools where you can run a website check to get a rating of how your website compares to others. A few of our favourites include; 

  1. Hubspot Website Grader
  2. GT Metrix
  3. Googles Page Speed Insights 

Hubspot Website Grader

SEO basics

The easiest? Website Grader by a long shot. It gives you a really simple overview of where your website is lacking without going into too much detail. You can make the fixes it recommends, go back and retest and watch your bar turn green! 

GT Metrix

SEO basics

Great detail belongs to GT Metrix.

If you want to know where all areas of your website stand, GT Metrix has it all for you. They’ve provided it all in an easy to read and digest format, and it even tells you how you compare to most websites in every category! 

Google’s Page Speed Insights 

page speed

The most important – Google Page Speed Insights. Obviously, as it is run by Google, you’ve got to make sure that you please them! It will give you a detailed analysis of how your website is performing on both the desktop and mobile. It even offers suggestions on how to fix them. But this is all likely things that you shouldn’t be playing around with if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re unsure, just don’t do it. You don’t want to crash your website and be missing out on potential income. It’s always better to outsource it to someone who knows what they’re doing, and can probably do it pretty quickly. You’d likely be surprised at how affordable this can be, not to mention the money it can make you! 

But for now, let’s talk about the things that you can do with little tech knowledge. 

Research Keywords

How much research have you done into keywords? For most people, it’s probably very little. There are so many more other exciting elements of your business to focus on! But until you’re able to outsource to experts, you’ve got to do a little yourself. And we are here to help you understand how. 

Ubersuggest is a great tool for keyword research. Type in your industry or the main products/services you offer and watch the keywords start rolling in. For example, I am going to type in the word plumber and see what pops up. 

keyword research

The last column has colours that let you know how hard it is to rank for that keyword in a search description. Red being the hardest and green being the easiest. The lower the number, the better. Also, be sure to go through the tabs across the top to give you some inspiration! 

Once you know your keywords, work your content in around them. 

Descriptions

Did you know that each of your pages (home, about, contact etc. are all different pages) needs to have a description? This is what will pop up under your title in a search engine. If you don’t put one there, the search engine might put something there for you, or it will show up with Lorem Ipsum blah blah blah. Either way, if you want to entice people to look at that page, you need a short, catchy summary. And one that includes your keywords! 

Also, images. On your website, all images have a thing called alt text. This is what is used for people who are unable to see the image, to let them know what it’s about. They say that if it’s just for decorative purposes, you don’t need to use alt text. But I’m here to tell you to use it every opportunity you get! In each area you have to put a keyword, do it! Just make sure you don’t overdo it. Google punishes you for that too. It’s a hard beast to keep happy! 

UI & UX 

These are words that you’re probably not going to know much about until you are looking at web development. But these do play a big role in your SEO ranking. User Interface and User Experience. Do you know that the design, functionality and interaction a client has with your website makes a HUGE difference? You probably do know that, but it’s something we like to tell ourselves doesn’t matter so much because it takes time and money. 

But if you have an unpleasing colour scheme, people can’t work out how to find the information they want and don’t have any interaction with the page – guess what? They’re going to leave your website pretty quickly. The search giants like Google know how people behave, and the longer people spend on a website, the more likely they are to be getting valuable information. Google wants to give it’s users what they want, because that is what will keep people using them. The more you are able to give people a website they stay on and find valuable, the higher Google will rank you. Because you are giving their clients what they want! 

Unfortunately, this isn’t something that a ‘non-techy’ can do. Or at least not well enough to be favoured by a search engine. But what you can do, is assess your site and look into how much you need to save to have a developer revamp your site for you to meet these criteria. 

SEO Basics – The Takeaways 

There are some things you can do yourself, but somethings are better left to the professionals. You wouldn’t expect a web developer to know everything they would need to run your business as good as you. Just as you wouldn’t know how to successfully meet the criteria for a great ranking website. And really, a website is your number one biggest selling point. It’s how people discover you and most often your first impression. 

So when you’re starting a business, it’s crucial to set it up the right way and get the help of a developer. If you didn’t have these costs included in your start-up budget and need to self manage for a while, do what you can until you can get it done by a professional. 

Life isn’t a Disney movie, unfortunately. If you want to succeed, you have to have a plan and work hard to achieve it. You can’t just go wishing on a shooting star and hoping for the best! So hopefully, with this short DIY SEO basics guide, you can help to improve your score a little and increase your ranking. Unfortunately, improving your SEO and boosting your page speed won’t get you to rank on the first page overnight. You’ve likely already had competitors ploughing away at this for years or have a professional team doing it for them. 

But what you can do is work hard, understand your strengths and weaknesses and play to them. These SEO basics will give you a boost and set you on the way to getting your website on track. Good luck, and if you need any help, you’re welcome to reach out to us. 

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