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How to be your own SEO guru

Posted by Eric Goodenough on May 26, 2013

Today we are so thrilled to share this fabulous guest post by Bryant Jaquez on his tips on SEO. Bryant is the owner of two companies Noble Creative and RedFounder.  Bryant has the privilege helping companies grow the most important part of their business, their revenue.

Search engine optimization wizzards

Have you ever wondered how a normal person can get on top of all this “SEO” (search engine optimization) stuff? Seriously, there are millions of blog posts about SEO and there are thousands of people who claim to be SEO gurus (hint, people who actually do SEO hate the word guru.  If someone calls themselves a guru, you probably shouldn’t trust them).

The point is, getting started in SEO can be hard, but like most things, it’s a lot easier when someone shows you how.  In this article I’m going to give you everything you need to get started. I will tell you exactly how to:

  • Do your own SEO
  • Point you to the best resources for continued learning

Our goal at RedFounder is to help businesses (in Redding, CA) prosper. Telling business owners how to harness the power of internet marketing is just one way to fulfill that goal. One last thing before we begin. Growth requires action, so make me a deal. If you read this article, you have to promise me that you will implement at lest one of these tips today. Reading about SEO isn’t going to help you grow your business, but doing SEO will.

#1: The Basics.

First, I need to explain exactly what SEO is and how it is used to make you money. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. If you have a company that sells something, people are going to use the internet to look for your goods or services. Optimization will allow you to show up in front of your competition. Let’s take this website for example. The OnRamp helps average business owners learn how to write a business plan. Did you know that the phrase “business plan” gets searched 2,740,000 times A MONTH! Yeah, that’s a lot of people who are interested in business plans. SEO will help all of those people find The OnRamp.

The way you optimize your site for those keywords is simple: You talk about business plans. Google will actually tell you what people are searching for. They have a Keyword Tool that will show you how people search for your product. The trick is that you have to use basic language. If you sell a business plan product, you need to call it a business plan product. DO NOT call is something fancy like, “how to create a shinny road map for your corporation.” You need to use the same language that people use in their searches.

#2 The Tools Of The Trade: 

The first thing you need to get started is a website. My company (BrewSEO) recommends small teams start with WordPress. WordPress is easy to use and best of all it’s free. You will need to buy a domain name and a hosting plan but that is inexpensive (we like to purchase hosting from local companies because it helps boost our economy.)

Once you set up your WordPress site you have two options.

Now comes the fun part, let’s optimize. The reason I started you off on a WordPress site is because of something called plugins. Plugins are extra tools that you can install on your website.

The following plugins will get you started in SEO.

Google Analytics: (This is not a plugin, but you still need to use it.) This is a free tool that Google gives web masters. You can easily install Google Analytics in your site to start tracking your visitors. This tool will tell you how many people visit your site, how they found you, and what pages they read during their visit.

Yoast: The second plugin we are going to use is called Yoast. This plugin will get you well on your way to creating a perfectly optimized website. It will help you optimize your website for the keywords that you’ve chosen to target.

A SiteMap: A site map is a list of pages that you want search engines to index. This is something that tells Google which pages on your site you want them to know about. You can either create one yourself or you can install a plugin that does all the work for you. XML Sitemap Generator is one of the better free sitemap plugins.

SiteSpeed: Fast websites make people happy. For the sake of usability, Google decided to include a website’s “load-times” into their ranking “algorithm” Luckily for you, there is a plugin for this one as well. Install Quick Cache in your site, and it will take care of speeding up your website. You can speed up your site by using smaller images, and hiring a developer to “tweak” your site for you.

#3 Building Links: 

Creating interesting and targeted content is the first step in SEO. The second, is building links to your site. This is another part of SEO that can get confusing, so let’s keep it simple. Build real links to your site. DO NOT use automated programs, or spammy “pay us for a link” schemes. They will get you in trouble and they will probably cause you to lose your rankings in the long haul.

The best way to build links to your site is to connect with other website owners. Find other business owes that have blogs. If a business owner has a blog, they will probably appreciate help filling that blog with good content. Business owners are busy people (I’m talking to the choir here) and they probably do not have time to constantly update their blog and write high-quality content for their site. This is where you come in. If you are an expert in your industry, you can lend them a hand. Offer to write guest posts for their website. They will appreciate the help and you will get a link out of the article.

I use a free service called Blogger Link Up to meet other website owners. This service let’s you network with people who need content for their blog. This service is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to find guest posting opportunities. Building high-quality links to your site takes time, but stick with it. It will pay off in the end.

#4 Learn More About SEO

The last step to doing your own SEO is learning. We have already established the fact that learning SEO is hard, but I can help. Here is a short list of reliable blogs that will teach you everything you need to know (to get started.)

SEOmoz – This is an SEO Blog, and an SEO Toolkit. They also have a beginners guide that is a must-read.

Distilled U – This is an SEO School

Noble Creative - My blog :)

And that’s pretty much it.  All the tools you need to get started.

So what do you think?  Have you tried any of these tips?  Did they work for you?  Let us know in the comments below.

photo credit: voyageAnatolia.blogspot.com via photo pin cc

-via The OnRamp</>