Sure, there are loads of experts and agencies out there that specialise in the field, and many of them do a great job.
But there’s actually plenty you can do yourself before you even need to look for an external supplier to help with your SEO.
To get you started on your next SEO DIY project, we’ve put together a top 20 checklist.
1. Do your research
Identify key search terms, words and phrases, and check out competitors’ sites.
2. Work out where you are now
As soon as possible, keep a regular record of where your site currently ranks in search results, using various words, phrases and questions.
3. Work out where you want to be
Define your goals early on so you can measure your progress and adjust your strategy as you go along.
4. Make your content relevant
Search engines provide the most relevant results to a searcher’s query, so write content based on what people might search for.
5. Improve the quality of your content
Publish helpful, useful articles, videos and other types of media that people will want to engage with.
6. Think about user experience
Make sure your site is easy to navigate, with plenty of relevant internal links to keep users on your page for longer.
7. Ensure your site is responsive
Is your website designed to resize for viewing on desktop, tablet and mobile devices? It should be.
8. Include plenty of internal links
This helps pushes traffic around your site, building higher ‘trust signals’ for Google, and gives your audience more to read.
9. Write meta descriptions
This short paragraph of text under your page’s URL in search results can really improve the chance of someone clicking on it.
10. Include title tags
These few keywords describing the page and your brand name tell visitors and search engines what your site is about in the most succinct way possible.
11. Tag your images
Search engines cannot ‘see’ images but they can ‘read’, so it’s important to describe any pictures you upload to your site.
12. Create evergreen content
More thoughtful and practical advice-based articles can create better results over the long term. Top 20 list, anyone?
13. Consider your domain name
Having a ‘keyword-rich’ domain name can improve ranking but can also lead to closer scrutiny by search engines.
14. Think about headlines
Make headlines as snappy, attractive and descriptive as possible, and stay away from clickbait.
15. Turn on comments
This helps generate a community of engaged users and, whatever their opinion of your content, you’ll know it’s being read.
16. Go social
By using social media channels as a genuine way to interact with customers, you can help generate interest in your brand and drive traffic to your site.
17. Watch your on-site advertising
Intrusive ads can destroy the pleasure of viewing your content and also slow your site down (not good for SEO).
18. Avoid keyword stuffing
Some search engines will actually penalise you for obviously overusing certain keywords on your pages.
19. Be aware of duplicated content
If two sites publish identical content, search engines will only index one of those pages.
20. Don’t hide links and text
Doing things like hiding white keyword-stuffed text on a white background or hiding a link in a full stop is likely to be punished by search engines.
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way up the rankings in no time.