For most bloggers and online entrepreneurs, we don’t have the budget to hire a SEO team to help us with our search engine optimization.
Hence, learning how to DIY our own SEO is very important.
Wouldn’t you love to learn how you can do your own SEO?
Personally, I choose to do all my SEO by myself, and Google is my #1 source of traffic!
In this post, you’ll learn the 15 things you need to do to up your SEO game like a pro marketer.
*This post may contain affiliate links where relevant.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization is the process webmasters use to get their content to rank highly on search engines like Google.
How I started with SEO
My initial opportunities to learn SEO were actually from my job in the corporate world, where I did basic SEO for a startup’s website.
It was good fun!
Also, in my over 10 years of blogging, I have been learning about SEO bit by bit as I sought to get more organic traffic.
I find SEO to be a very good strategy to get free traffic.
I’ve never hired an SEO agency, and I do all my SEO myself – so you know that I practice what I’m preaching!
I love how Google has been around for so long, you know what to expect from it. It isn’t as unpredictable as newer platforms like Pinterest.
Don’t fix what’s not broken, my friends, if Google is working as a traffic source, you want to be on this bandwagon as well.
Here are some of my tips to help you to do your own SEO.
1. Do your keyword research
Keywords are everything.
You have to remember that Google is not a machine.
Instead, it reads the words you write to determine if it’s a fit compared to the queries people are searching for.
Your blog posts have to be optimized for keywords to increase the chances of your content ranking for a particular keyword.
I highly recommend using KWFinder to do keyword research: It will help you to determine if a keyword actually has people searching for it, and give you insights about how competitive a particular keyword will be.
You want to optimize your post for keywords that have more monthly searches but are not very competitive.
2. Optimize for SEO
Then, you will want to add your chosen keyword (s) in these spots to optimize your articles for Google:
- Meta description
- Alt text of images
- Your internal links
- Within the body text of your article
- … and more, but these are the more important ones.
3. Write epic blog posts
There is no point trying to “game Google” if your content is bad.
If there’s one thing you must know about Google, it is that every single change Google makes to its algorithm has its end user experience in mind.
For instance, when Google penalized pop-ups for mobile searches, it was because popups annoy users.
It is well-known that longer posts rank better on Google. Why? Because users receive more value from them.
And so on.
If you want to learn how to write amazing blog posts, here’s a post I wrote a while ago on how you can write the perfect blog post. There is even a printable template for you to download!
4. Understand your competitors
Why? You can check out the best-ranking SEO keywords that your competitors have, and then copy the heck out of them.
You can use do this manually (although you wouldn’t be able to know for sure which posts are ranking well, only which posts are popular), or use SEMRush (a paid SEO tool, but 100% worth the price) to do this.
5. Self-host your website
If you don’t self-host your website, you NEED to do so ASAP. This is a pre-requisite before you perform any do-it-yourself SEO.
Without a self-hosted website, trying to rank for content is like an uphill battle. Google has not announced this specifically, but it is a well-known fact that Blogspot, Weebly or Wix sites (and other alternatives) don’t rank well on Google.
I personally feel that if someone doesn’t even put in the effort to own their own servers, it is a strong indication to Google (and the world) that this person may not prioritize writing good content, even if this may not be necessarily true.
Here are some relevant tutorials that you will find useful to help with this:
- Blogging For Beginners: How to Start a Blog in 20 Minutes
- Can’t Decide What’s The Best Blogging Platform to Use? Answers here.
6. Good web design & theme
You may not see it now, but the website theme you use will affect your do-it-yourself SEO efforts in many ways.
- A good website theme will ensure that your website is mobile responsive.
- A good website theme will not slow down your site unnecessarily (which is bad for SEO).
- A good website theme has built-in SEO functions.
- A good website theme looks good and keeps visitors around.
The themes I recommend are the Divi theme or a Studiopress theme using the Genesis framework.
For new bloggers, I have a done-for-you website kit you can check out over at Your Stunning Website.
Relevant post: Divi Theme Review: Based On My Personal Experience
7. Create a brand that stands out
Google values user retention. If people land on your site from Google and then leave immediately, Google actually takes note and adjust your rankings accordingly.
You want to have a solid brand that stands out so that people don’t just read your post, they end up on your website for a long, long, time.
I have a tutorial containing 9 great ways to create a superior brand that stands out that every online business absolutely has to read!Here are 15 amazing tips to do your own SEO (an ultimate guide!)Click To Tweet
8. Create an audience of loyal readers with your email list
A blog post with actual people visiting definitely has a higher chance of being ranked.
Ideally, you want to send a ton of traffic to your blog posts, so that these people can then share your post out, link to your post, and generally create buzz for your post.
With more shares and links, Google is more likely to classify your blog post as “high-quality content” that is worth being in the top 10.
By building an email list, you can send traffic to your latest posts everytime you publish a new blog post.
Here are some relevant tutorials for you:
- Why Building an Email List is a MUST for Your Blog & Business
- List Building 101: How to Build An Email List That Makes Money (Cheatsheet Included)
9. Long tail keywords
If I had to start over in a new niche and newly launched website, I would invest heavily in writing articles optimized for long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords often have hyper-relevance that I love.
Essentially, it will get you a tribe of people squarely in your target audience.
For instance, by ranking for “newsletter content ideas” instead of “newsletter”, you are able to create a community of people with a particular need that you can solve and monetize easily.
Plus, it is generally a lot easier to rank for the less competitive long-tail keywords.
If you need help to get more traffic and grow your email list, make sure to sign up for my FREE traffic & list building workshop, where I go through 3 of the most effective strategies that have allowed me to grow my email list exponentially:
10. Write regular content
You have to write regularly if you want organic traffic.
This seems very duh, right? But you’ll be surprised by the number of bloggers who don’t publish regularly.
No articles = no articles ranking = no search traffic.
Here are some content writing tips for beginner bloggers to help you write with more ease.
11. Get social shares
A blog post with traction is a lot more likely to get ranked than a blog post with no visitors.
As I explained earlier, more traffic at your blog post would mean even more people visiting your blog post and linking to it – which is good for SEO.
I like using Pinterest because it’s a very effective alternative to drive traffic to any blog post, aside from Google. Here are some Pinterest strategies for you to check out.
The social sharing plugin of my choice is Social Warfare.
I have a Social Warfare Review where I talk about my personal experience using Social Warfare. You will also learn how it can help you get to more social shares.
12. Market your website
Continuing on the same vein, you want to put in extra effort to market your blog posts so that more people will find it useful and link to it.
Here are 50 tips you can use to market your business online.
13. Use Yoast SEO plugin
The Yoast SEO plugin is a great plugin to use to help you to optimize your blog posts.
It even generates a neat checklist for each blog post to help you with your SEO efforts:
If you don’t have Yoast SEO plugin installed yet, you have to. It’s one of the best WordPress plugin available on the internet.
14. HTTPS your website
You may have heard of Google’s not-so-recent move to prioritize websites with a SSL certificate.
Essentially, your website URL will start with “https” instead of “http”.
I made the switch from http to https using Codeable. Codeable is like Upwork for bloggers but of a much higher quality and standard.
The move from http to https may seem simple but there are actually many ways that the switch can become a complete disaster for your business
Codeable has the best contractors, so I highly recommend you find someone from Codeable to help you with the switch.
You don’t want to make the switch and realize that your website traffic has tanked from the move because you didn’t make the transfer properly.
15. Install a sitemap
Having a sitemap for your website is important.
You can easily DIY this and create + submit your own sitemap to Google.
I actually have a comprehensive post about what a sitemap is and how you can use them, so I won’t talk too much about it here and just direct you to the article!
Relevant post: What is a Sitemap | The Simple Sitemap Guide For Your Website
Summary | 15 Tips To Do Your Own SEOHere are 15 amazing tips to do your own SEO (an ultimate guide!)Click To Tweet
I hope that you’ve found this article useful to DIY your own SEO.
- Do your keyword research
- Optimize for SEO
- Write epic blog posts
- Understand your competitors
- Self-host your website
- Good web design & theme
- Create a brand that stands out
- Create an audience of loyal readers with your email list
- Long tail keywords
- Write regular content
- Get social shares
- Market your website
- Use Yoast SEO plugin
- HTTPS your website
- Install a sitemap
I hope that this post has helped you! If you enjoyed it, please share the post.
If you need help to get more traffic and grow your email list, sign up for my FREE traffic & list building workshop, where I go through 3 of the most effective strategies that have allowed me to grow my email list to 10K and beyond (20K subscribers now):
Have a blessed day ahead!
Gary Jones says
Hello Realyn Tan
Cam you tell me how much it costs to Join
Siteground. I have already paid about £120
and they want the same again
Raelyn Tan says
You only need to pay once – probably you just need to login.