DIY SEO: 5 Tips for Beginners That You Can Apply Right Now
Are you familiar with David Allen’s famous 2-minute rule? The idea is that you break down your tasks into smaller segments. If an item on your list takes two minutes or less to carry out, you just do it. Right then and there. This same concept can be applied to your SEO. Once you create a website, you may be wondering, what is SEO? Search engine optimization simply means boosting the chances of your websitebeing found on Google when a person searches for something relevant to your site’s products or services. It’s a pretty big deal, since the more people reach you online, the more they can hopefully convert into paying customers. Meaning: mo’ traffic, mo’ money.
If you’ve already bagged yourself some SEO skills, you know that it can take some time to see results. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to wait for GOT Season 8 to start working. There are some very simple items you can tick off your website’s to-do list that can hugely benefit your ranking in the long run. But don’t take our word for it. All of the following recommendations have been tried and tested by real businesses from different locations and activities, and have proven to be extremely successful. These sites were able to rank on page 1 of Google for competitive keywords in their industry, all by implementing these effective DIY SEO tips:
01. Get a free personalized SEO plan
Every great project starts with an even better plan. How do you get yourself one of those? Easy. Head to the Wix SEO features. This magical online wizard will set up a fully personalized SEO plan just for your website. All you need to do is answer three simple questions and voilà! A complete and easy to apply (even for beginners) checklist is created in just a few minutes. The plan includes a helpful and thorough list of recommendations to improve your website’s ranking such as: filling in SEO titles and descriptions, adding alt text to images, and more. For each item, you receive a clear explanation of the what, but also the why – so that not only do you rank better, but you also gain some knowledge about SEO along the way. Finally, every time you tick an item off your list, you’ll receive a notification to validate your progression.
Another extremely cool benefit: thanks to Wix SEO Wiz, your website can get indexed instantly. Indexing is what search engine bots do when identifying a web page and saving its information. And since being indexed is the first step to ranking, you can see how valuable it is that this crucial action is done within the tool (in just a click). And Google agrees. In the most recent Google I/O, Mariya Moeva, Developer Advocate at Google, mentioned the Wiz as a groundbreaking tool.
The best part? On top of being extremely intuitive, this tool is for free. That’s why it’s no surprise that thousands of website owners used it, with great benefit. Take Massimo Tovelo for example. He is the proud owner of Pizza Pomodoro in Wellington, NZ, and used Wix SEO Wiz to boost his ranking. Even though pizzerias have hard competition, his website is now ranked #1 for ‘best pizza in wellington’, ‘italian restaurant wellington’ and more. The impact for his business is huge, as every person looking for an Italian menu in the area will be exposed to his website. As a result, his restaurant is fully packed every day of the week.
02. Boost your content with keywords
Keywords are the terms and phrases that people look up online, when trying to find a product or service. Keywords can vary in length, from two words to five or six. Shorter keywords tend to have higher volume and are called short-tail keywords. Longer keywords, called long-tail keywords, are more specific and may have a lower search volume. Both can be used strategically to boost your site's SEO. When you add specific keywords to your content, you stand a greater chance of appearing in the results for those terms. Indeed, Google believes that pages that contain keywords may be more relevant than pages that don’t. This is why adding keywords to your content can really make a big difference in whether or not someone finds your website online.
The first step is to use SEO tools to find those words and the best way is to think like your potential clients: What are the terms that people would most likely type into Google in order to find you? Find the answer, and you’re set with a first series of keywords. You can pop your list into Wix SEO Wiz’s keyword analyzer to understand if your chosen words are popular or not. You can also check out this article on how to do keywords research.
Once you have a list of two to three main keywords that define who you are, simply add them in strategic locations in your pages, such as the following:
Your SEO metadata: This includes your page’s SEO title and description. This is one of the most crucial places to add keywords as it’s one of the first places a search engine like Google will come to find information about your website. Try and add your main keyword once in your title, and once in your description. See below for more detailed info.
Your URLs: The basis of all of your URLs is your domain, so as a first step you want to make sure you’ve chosen the right domain for your site. As for other pages such as product pages and blog posts, it’s a great idea to add relevant keywords for each page in your URL in order to attract the best traffic.
Your homepage: Try and add your business main keyword 3 or 4 times in the text of your homepage.
Your blog articles: If you haven’t created a blog yet, we’ve got the perfect guide on how to start one. Here you can play around with different keywords and try to target ones that are slightly longer (and more specific) than your homepage keyword. In SEO jargon, these are called: long-tail keywords. This way you’ll be able to gain more search visibility for keywords that are related to your business. For example, if you’re own a yoga studio, your homepage may include the keyword ‘yoga studio’. But with a blog, you can possibly target keywords such as ‘yoga poses’ or ‘yoga asanas’ in order to get traffic for those keywords, as you wouldn’t necessarily use those for your homepage.
03. Focus on your on-page SEO
So you’ve researched the best keywords, and have added them to strategic locations across your website. But there are a few more tweaks you can do that will ensure the maximum SEO impact. Your on-page SEO, and in particular your SEO metadata is a crucial place Google will consult when figuring out what your website is all about. But how do you shape a winning SEO title and description? Just follow our recommendations:
For your SEO title:
Include your business name, your main keyword and if relevant your location. This is a format we recommend:
Keyword or Page Name | Location (Optional) | Business Name
Keep your title length around 60-65 characters long.
Write unique titles for all of pages. This means that a product page’s title will differ from your homepage title. Make your title attractive: use a title format (this means capitalizing the first letter of each word.) and remember, spelling mistakes a big no-no.
For your SEO description:
Even though your meta description is not a ranking signal, it still has the ability to increase your click-through rate. Therefore, you want to make sure it’s as attractive and informative as it can be.
Add your keywords: In the description you can be more playful, and add more than one main keyword. When someone searches for a certain query, it will be bolded in your description, thus making more people want to click.
Don’t forget to keep your descriptions around 160 characters!
Those are the first things you absolutely need to take care of for on-page optimization. Once you’re done, there are many other things that you can improve to make your site SEO friendly in the long run, including having an intuitive site navigation, a good mobile-friendly version, and making sure your content is shareable.
04. Add alt text to images
Alt text is a textual description that is intended for search engines to understand what’s on your images. As Google and other search engines can’t see images like we do, they will consult your alt text to understand what’s on an image, graph or picture on your website. Plus, it’s a good idea to add keywords when relevant. This will enable your images to be found on Google Image Search, which can lead to more organic traffic.
Adding alt text is actually easy to do. This guide will teach you how to write alt text. After applying those tips, Jemma McFarlane, Head of Design of Dytham Jewellery Design was able to increase the amount of traffic her website’s pages got from Google Image Search. Her business has grown tremendously since she’s started working with Wix SEO tools. She was able to outrank her competitors, and her stunning website became the top place where clients booked appointments. Moral of the story: an image can definitely be worth a thousand keywords.
05. Add your location details
Although your website lives on the Internet, in most cases your biz is located in a specific area and your customers are from your surroundings. But ironically enough, most people will find your physical location by searching for you online. (Lazy, much?). This is why you should invest some efforts into your local SEO. This just means making it possible for your website to rank well in Google’s results for people searching in your specific area, town or city.
The first thing you should do this is to add your location to your site’s content: your SEO title and description, of course, but also in the very text of your homepage. Just see how Jala Alsoufi, General Manager of Soufi’s, simply added the location ‘Toronto’ across all her SEO’s and website’s content. As a result, she now ranks on page one of Google for ‘Syrian Restaurant Toronto’. Local SEO doesn’t stop there. Other easy actions you can take are including a contact page (with Google Maps, and your precise contact details) in a separate page or in the footer of your website. In addition, a great practice is to create a Google My Business account with your precise contact details. This will allow you to be featured on Google Maps and you’ll even get a chance to be featured in the so-called ‘local pack’. This is the box that appears in the search results in which you see a map, and three local SEO optimized businesses beneath it. Finally, make sure to update your social media profiles so that you (and your visitors) can spread the word about your biz. Add your current NAP (name, address and phone number) and don’t forget to add a link to your website.
Want to rank on page one like these users? Create a website with awesome SEO capabilities.
By Ruth Eschenheimer
SEO Content Specialist