Can you do SEO yourself?

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Travis Brown
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Can you do SEO yourself? Yes you can! Our team feels this is the best case scenario for most small businesses. Once you learn some SEO best practices and a few tactics, it’s easy to start building these concepts into your normal marketing efforts. As the economy gets tougher, the more SEO you can implement yourself, the more money you will save and the stronger your business will become in the long run.

What expenses are involved if I do SEO myself?

You can start 100% for free. We’ll share free resources that will help you get started quickly. There are also many free tools you can use, which we’ll walk you through, including:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Lighthouse
  • Bing Webmaster Tools

As you grow over time, you’ll want to find tools that are cost-effective, help you save time, and help you grow faster. Some of these tools can be found as cheap as $20-100 per month.

If it makes sense to outsource some content for your business, it’s not uncommon to find a going rate of $8-15 per 100 words from many content vendors. This means a 1,000 word article might cost you $80-150, and many of those vendors might be able to deliver it within 3-5 days. Not bad! Especially if writing is a painful process for you, that might be a great ROI for the amount of time it saves you!

How can I start optimizing my business website?

First, we recommend starting with some sort of audit. You can do this yourself with some of the Google and Bing tools mentioned above. In future articles we’ll lay out a specific process for how to do a website SEO audit. Generally, you’d want to be looking for answers to these questions?

  • How much traffic am I already getting, and from what traffic channels?
  • What do my user engagement metrics look like?
  • What keyword rankings do I have, and which am I getting traffic for?
  • What does my Googlebot crawl rate look like?
  • How many of my webpages are indexed by Google or Bing?

Hopefully that starts to paint a picture of what an SEO audit looks like. You want to find out what your current performance looks like, major deficiencies, as well as any low-hanging fruit to take care of first.

Can a business stop doing SEO once it’s successful?

This is how most businesses FAIL with SEO. It’s an ongoing process that should never end.

One example involves “content freshness”. In short, if a piece of content never gets updated, it’s common for it’s ranking performance to decline over time. This makes sense when you think about it. Others are competing with you for those same rankings. If they’re updating their content more frequently and the quality and usefulness of their content keeps improving, naturally your stale content won’t be as good.

We think the best approach to SEO is to treat it like a game. Every ranking factor (of which there are thousands by anyone’s best guess in the industry) is effectively a point in the game. You’re trying to maximize your points. The idea is, keep fixing typos, keep updating old content that is no longer valid, keep fixing broken links.

Also, add new content to an old post or webpage from time to time, provided it’s actually useful content that adds value. Times change, technology changes, new solutions come along. Keep your users up to date with these things and they will keep finding value in your content.

Do I need to worry about SEO algorithm changes?

There is NOTHING you can do about this, so why worry? People in the SEO industry will speculate about these changes and expend enormous amounts of time and effort trying to fight them. Here’s the thing they usually miss, however. You’re competing against companies (let’s be honest it’s Google and Bing) that employ tens of THOUSANDS of engineers dedicated to improving their search engine. No single person can compete with that, so stop trying.

Think about how you would build the world’s best search engine. You want your users to find the best, most relevant, and most useful webpages that fulfill their needs. So how do you determine what’s “the best” and what is most relevant? How do you determine what fulfills users’ needs? How do you figure out what signals suggest a user is happy?

The point we’re getting at is, there are simple principles at play here that are all you need to worry about. This includes things like:

  • Continually improving the quality of your content
  • Keeping content up to date
  • Eliminating technical issues on your website
  • Improving user experience and speed

The algorithms will fall where they will with each new change. You should just focus on trying to build the best product and keep improving your marketing and user experience in the best quality manner that you can. Those tens of thousands of search engineers will figure out the rest for you.