SEO – Search Engine Optimisation is very important for your business if you want to get traffic from search engines like Google.
Without SEO your blog posts are not very likely to get traffic and that’s a huge missed opportunity for you.
But.. paying for SEO can be an expensive game of trial and error.
There are so many ‘sharks’ out there – how do you know who you can trust with your SEO?
How do you know what is a fair price to pay? Prices can range fro very cheap (£99 a month) to thousands…
How do you know if your SEO team are doing a good job?
SEO is a long game and it can take a long time to see results.
How do you know if you’ve spent your money well if you don’t see tangible results for 6 months or more?
Well, I’ve been that SEO person… the one who has been hired to do the SEO work for you and I can tell you this… you absolutely can do your own SEO if you can commit a few hours a week and can handle a little bit of tech and want to ‘do it right’ rather than fool Google.
Now I’m talking to the real bloggers out there. You know who you are… you want to blog because you have a message to share.
You want to blog because you like writing.
You want to blog because it feels good.
I’m not talking to you if you are only blogging because you think you have to.
Or you absolutely hate it…
Writing and blogging is not for everyone.
If you are blogging because you think you have to and it’s not ‘your thing’ I advise you to not blog – go find clients some other way… save yourself the pain, life’s too short.
But for the real bloggers – step closer, I’m talking directly to you.
The most important SEO advice you need to hear
My biggest and most important piece of advice around SEO is ‘TRY IT OUT’.
With some good basic knowledge you can go far.
SEO algorithms are constantly changing. You may be thinking ‘How can I ever keep up with SEO?’ but the good thing is – the basic principles are always the same.
Google really isn’t out to get you. Google is setting standards to ensure you – the content creator, creates a good experience on the internet.
What is Google looking for?
Google isn’t that hard to please when you look at it simply.
Google just wants good content on good websites.
Good content means unique, valuable content that people want to read.
Good website means a website that people are happy to read. So it needs to be fast, error free , have easy to find and read content.
If you are committed to creating that then you are off to a good start.
If you want to cut corners and write mediocre content and don’t care about the user experience on your website then you won’t get very far.
Ok, so now we have a certain level of understanding, let me tell you 5 reason why you can and should do your own SEO.
1. You will save money by doing your own SEO
Paying for SEO services usually means an ongoing retainer starting from around £500 per month.
What they do depends on your goals but a typical service might include writing a blog post, trying to get links to it (more on links later), monitoring your traffic and fixing technical errors.
It goes without saying – you WILL save thousands of pounds a year doing it yourself. If you at least try you will quickly work out what you are good and what you are bad at. Then you could hire a freelancer occasionally to help you with the areas where you need help.
One such area could be with writing your blog posts.
Now if you love blogging – writing a blog post shouldn’t be too tricky. But we all know life can get in the way and sometimes a few months can have gone by without a new blog post written.
If you want help with blog writing you can find SEO blog writers who specialise in writing – maybe even in your field. So before you pay an agency expensive retainer fees – see if you can get a freelance SEO writer to help you out first.
2. You can manage your links (and your brand) better
Articles written just for links can damage your brand.
If brand image is important to you (it should be) you need to think twice about hiring and SEO to do ‘link building’ for you.
If you don’t know, link building is where you get a link to your blog article from another website. Google sees the link a vote of confidence that your content is good. If another website is linking to it, then it must be good.
But, what some agencies do is they write a short article (guest blog) on another website and link to your website from within that article.
The standard of article can be very poor. Often you have no control over this article. If a potential client came across this article it could damage your brand.
On the other hand, sometimes the article can be good but the link is useless because the article is on a blog network (blog site set up specifically to fool google with its links) so you don’t actually get any traffic. Google sees the link doesn’t get traffic and therefore doesn’t value it very much so it’s a pointless exercise that has cost you money.
Fake links can get you blacklisted.
Link farms exist for a similar reason to blog networks but they don’t even bother to write blog articles. They just pop your link on the website, sometimes disguised as a user profile.
This is basically a fake link – but a link nevertheless. Sometimes Google doesn’t see it’s fake and you get the thumbs up, sometimes it does see it’s fake and your website gets the thumbs down.
If you can’t control where the links are being put, you risk your website being blacklisted by Google and this can take a long time to recover from.
Once you understand what link building is you will realise there is a legitimate way to link build. You shouldn’t blindly trust an ‘expert’ because the damage they can cause can really set you back.
If you do employ a link builder ask for complete transparency over the process.
3. You will create a better website by understanding your analytics
When you are monitoring your SEO efforts you will quickly learn that user experience has an important part to play in your ranking.
You will become familiar with basic analytics and be able to identify problems on yoru website that may be holding your visibility back.
You will see what content is good, what is bad, and what completely missed the mark.
You will see if your site is slow.
You will see what people are doing on your website. Are they reading lots of blogs or leaving after just one?
Understanding your basic analytics will help you to feel more in control and you will feel less reliant on others.
You don’t need to be an expert but analaytcis may be an area you need a bit of help with – there are lots of freelancers who can help you out occasionally.
4. You will know who to hire when the time is right
Even though I want to encourage you to do your own SEO, I don’t want you to do it forever.
But how do you know when the time is right to hire SEO help?
How do you know what SEO services you need?
How do you know who to ask and what you should be paying?
Most importantly – how do you know how to talk to an SEO services provider?
Without the basic knowledge of SEO you can’t have confident conversations with SEO service providers.
I’ve heard takes of pushy salesmen who use fancy jargon to confuse clients into purchasing services they don’t need.
When you have tried to do SEO yourself you can go in with your eyes open, well at least more open than they would have been!
You will be able to identify your SEO weaknesses and you will know what you need and what to look for.
Your lack of knowledge won’t be taken advantage of.
5. You might actually be good at it and enjoy it
Once you learn the basics of SEO you might actually realise it’s not as scary as you thought.
You might find you are good at it and it comes natural to you.
This is what I want for everyone – to realise SEO is a natural part of blogging.
With a bit of practice you will realise it’s just a habit you need to form while writing your blog.
It’s not rocket science, just logical. If you can follow a checklist, you can do your own SEO.
Well, if you feel like doing your own SEO, I have a workshop where I will introduce you to the basic concepts and give you a step by step plan to help you do your own SEO.
You can find out more details here >> SEO Workshop