The primary aim of every online business owner is to get on the first page of the search engine results. However, not every business owner can afford an SEO consultant, especially if the business is new.
For now, here are 15 do-it-yourself SEO tricks you can start with:
(1) Commit to a long-term strategy
First off, understand that it takes time (usually months) to double your traffic using search engine optimization since search engine algorithms continuously change. There is no magic trick or instant solution that can accommodate each and every website's SEO requirement. Search Engine Optimization takes time, commitment, and a long-term outlook.
(2) Learn SEO
There are numerous guides that will help you to learn SEO in-depth, and you can apply the simplest and easiest strategies to increase site traffic. Many of these these guides can be found online for free from many SEO authority sites.
(3) Have a good domain name
Select a domain name which contains your main target keyword. Shorter domain names are ideal since they're easier to remember. And of course, use a .com for the extension since it is globally appropriate.
(4) Do keyword research
Research relevant keywords that your target market might be searching on the web. Choose both popular and competitive keywords to have a balanced list. Ideally, it should be a balance between low competition and high monthly search volume.
You can use free keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner as well as free versions of WordTracker or Keyword Discovery, especially if you're on a tight budget.
(5) Build an awesome website
If your goal is to dominate a certain niche, ask yourself if your website is as good, if not better, than the top 10 websites in that niche.
The truth is that there will always be competition among websites and businesses. But it’s important to make sure that there is one differentiator that separates your product or service from the rest. So, make sure your site is better in at least one or two aspects to increase your chance to be at the front page of the search engine results pages.
(6) Have web analytics on-hand
It's critical to have web analytics software installed on your site right at the start. If you have a plan and defined goals for SEO, the web analytics package that you choose can help track and analyze the elements on your site that work, and which ones don't.
(7) Publish unique, relevant, and useful content
'Content is still king' especially if it's useful to the end user - your future customer. Make sure it's uniquely written and easy for your audience to digest. And don't forget that you're writing content for humans, not the search engines.
(8) Optimize page title and Meta description
One of the most important on-page SEO factors is the page title. Use primary keywords on the page title for ranking purposes, and on the Meta description. While the latter doesn't have an impact on SEO, it serves as a snippet for online searchers to get an insight of a specific page on your site.
(9) Include a page for site map
A site map assists search engine spiders in finding all the important pages on your website. It also helps the spiders understand website hierarchy especially for those with hard-to-crawl navigation menus.
(10) Use image ALT tags
ALT tags are short text descriptions for images you use on your website. Since search engines cannot read an image, an ALT tag tells the SEs what it is.
(11) Create internal links
Internal links are great for user navigation. Use targeted keywords as anchor text, as this helps search engine spiders to understand what the page is about.
(12) Build external links wisely
Find authority sites within your industry and ask their owners if you can provide an original post with a link to your site (guest blogging). You can also build links using social media to spread awareness among your followers.
(13) Diversify your site's traffic source
While Google search engine traffic is a given, it's best to have other sources of traffic such as social sites, local search, and subscriber emails. This protects from suddenly losing majority of your traffic if, for example, the next algorithm update hits your site hard.
(14) Use local search opportunities
Optimize your site to catch local traffic by using your location name. Prepare a detailed description for your business and submit your website URL to free local listings.
(15) Take advantage of search engine tools
Google Webmaster Central, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo Site Explorer can help you learn more about how these search engines see your website (e.g. how many inbound links they can detect).
There are still more ways to increase website traffic without spending a lot of money and by doing it on your own. It does take time to see the effects of SEO tactics and applying them at the onset is the best time to do so.
Do you have any more DIY SEO tip/s to add to this list? List them down on the comments section.