Are you looking to gain more search engine traffic to your website? Wondering how to SEO your website but don’t know where to start?

Whether you’re a small business owner, a web developer or a copywriter, you can gain more qualified traffic from search engines and grow your business by engaging in SEO.

In this article, I’m going to discuss how you can optimise your website and rank high in search engines.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this post…

  • Where to start
  • The Skills and Resources Required

What exactly needs to be done to optimise a website.

Skills and Time Required

Before you even start to do SEO for your website, it is critical to grab a good understanding of time, resources and skills required. As a small business owner, it’s about juggling between a lot of daily chores and hence knowing about the resources, time, money and skills required upfront makes it easier to prioritise tasks.

Also, knowing what’s involved before you lay your hands on anything helps in deciding whether it’s something doable on your own or better to hand it over to someone with relevant skills and experiences.

Above table provides an estimation of time and skill required at the start of an SEO project. Since there are a lot of technical fixes required to make websites search friendly, it takes 50% of your allocated time at the start of an SEO campaign. Some of the common technical issues that require web dev. resources are duplication of contents, page load times, accessibility of search engines, mobile responsiveness and structure of website.  In some cases like converting a website to mobile-friendly, changing website platform (Wix to WordPress for example) web development could take up to 100% of your time.

Strategic marketing is another important component that eats up a lot of your allocated time in the beginning stages. Some of the tasks required to strategically market your website involves, keywords research and mapping, competitors’ analysis, SEO goals settings, etc…

Start with an SEO Audit

Performing an SEO audit at the start of your SEO campaign is important for various reasons. It helps identify any issues that might hold you back as well as opportunities and recommendations of what needs to be fixed.

Here are a few pointers on how to audit your website.

  • Technical Audit – This is the first step I take when auditing a site. It involves checking whether a website is accessible to search engines and users. Besides accessibility, you also want to ensure your site is indexed or listed in search engine databases. If your site is indexed, it means search engines can show your pages to their users.
  • On-page Audit – This refers to an analysis of your content and other onsite elements to ensure they align with search engine guidelines. What I usually check is the following:
    • Whether page titles and descriptions are unique
    • URLS are well-structured
    • Text is well-formatted
    • Content is unique and well-written.
    • Related pages are linked together
    • Images are optimised
    • Broken links
    • Page loading times
    • On-page Audit – This refers to an analysis of your content and other onsite elements to ensure they align with search engine guidelines. What I usually check is the following:
      • Whether page titles and descriptions are unique
      • URLS are well-structured
      • Text is well-formatted
      • Content is unique and well-written.
      • Related pages are linked together
      • Images are optimised
      • Broken links
      • Page loading times

Conduct Keyword Research

What are keywords? They get talked about a lot. Businesses rely on them, websites rely on them. Well, keywords are basically the search terms that we type into Google or other search engines. They basically describe what we’re looking for.

An important thing to remember about keywords is that they’re not just single words. They’re actually usually 2, 3, 4, 5 words that are combined together and sometimes are called long tail keywords or keyword phrases.

Whenever we’re talking about keywords we first need to decide which keyword we should target. That’s where keyword research comes in. Keyword research is basically the process of finding the actual terms that potential customers enter into search engines. Having information about these search terms can help you know which topics and words to target in your SEO campaign.

Below I’m going to provide you some of my recommendations to help you discover, evaluate and select the best keywords for your SEO campaigns:

  • Assemble Your Initial Set of Keyword Ideas – These will form the basis of your keyword research. Brainstorm some ideas that are related to your business and products and services. Some ways I use to find keywords during this step include:
    • Checking competitor sites to see what keywords they target
    • The Google search auto-complete feature
    • Related searches in Google search
    • Researching my target audience to find what words they use on forums, social media, blog comments, and more
  • Use Keyword Suggestion Tools to Expand Your List of Keywords – Once you’ve gathered your initial set of keywords. Put them in keyword tools to get information about them and discover even more keyword phrases to target. Keyword tools save time and are usually effective. They’ll help you see how popular a keyword is and how hard it will be to rank it in search engine results.
  • Analyse and Refine Your Keyword List – You should have a comprehensive list of keywords by now. The next step is to now identify the best ones to use in your SEO campaigns. Eliminate the keywords that are not relevant to you. Below are some tips I recommend:
    • Choose keywords with high search volume and low competition
    • Choose keyword phrases with 3 to 4 words that are specific to whatever you offer
    • If you’re selling, go after keywords with a commercial intent. Such keywords usually contain words like ‘buy’, ‘coupon’, ‘review’, ‘discount’, and more.
    • Here are some general recommendations to get you started with your onsite optimisation:
      • Provide a great user experience – Search engines love sites that are easy to use and satisfy their users. Search engines can tell whether or not visitors are happy by looking at what users do on your site and how they interact with it. So, make your site easy to navigate so users can easily find what they’re looking for, whether they’re on mobile devices or on desktops.
      • Include your target keyword in page titles and within your content. Make sure search engines can easily tell what topic your website is about by using the right words.
      • Structure your content using headings and short paragraphs that are easy to read or scan through.
      • Include images, videos, slides, illustrations, and other multimedia elements in your content.
      • Include outgoing links to other trustworthy and authority websites in your industry
      • Inter-link your related web pages to help spread SEO ranking power and improve usability

      Building Links or Offsite SEO

    • Whereas onsite SEO involves the things you do on your site to make it search-engine-friendly, offsite SEO refers to the things that show how others perceive your website – is your site trustworthy? How popular is your site? Are people talking about it and linking to it? From which sites do people link to your site?The main technique in offsite SEO is building backlinks to your site. Backlinks are just links from other websites that lead back to your website. Backlinks are basically like votes that tell search engines how important or relevant your website is to a particular search query. So the more votes you get the better you can rank.

      Now, not all backlinks are equal.  You only want high quality links pointing back to your site. High quality backlinks are those links from trusted and authoritative sites that are topically related to your website. Avoid links from sites that look suspect or are not related to the topic of your site.

      Besides building backlinks, other things that can boost your offsite SEO and site popularity include:

      • Getting people to share your website and content on social networking sites.
      • Getting published on other sites or blogs in your industry.
      • Promoting your content on photo or video sharing sites like YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, and more.


      Before deciding to do SEO for your website, you should fully understand the skills, resources, time, scope and budget requirements. And if they all require too much time and dedication, you should hire someone to do SEO to concentrate on running your business.

      SEO proving too technical for you? Let the experts handle it for you. Start with an SEO audit and see where your website stands and what needs to be done to improve its online visibility.

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