The do-it-yourself SEO Journey

Following on from my last post, I am now making good on my promise to keep you informed with my SEO journey.  Like many of you I juggle with the day-to-day process of running two businesses and being company secretary on another, helping out friends and colleagues and generally living. Therefore, if you don’t outsource the SEO for your website and say you will do it yourself to save the money, what I’ve discovered is that you need to set aside time specifically for this task!  Running a business and looking after your customers is hugely time-consuming. Building up a substantial SEO profile is also time-consuming, an hour a week in the beginning is just not enough.

So, I sit and look at my very, very long list of keywords gleaned from the Google keywords planner. There are thousands! It would be silly to try to fit all of those keywords into the copy on the website, so I will try to identify perhaps three keywords/phrases that I will concentrate on and I decide to start on the homepage text. (Only another 26 pages to go after the homepage!)

Before I started, I decided to explore tips and tricks that others have used, so a quick internet search for “SEO tools”  This, in itself is a time-consuming exercise, and after an hour or searching from one forum to the next I hit upon I had stumbled upon this site the previous week and had read a brilliant article, so I decided I would stop here and work through some of the recommendations.

So, first things first.

I have a new website – lets audit it. By this I mean I want to have a benchmark of zero – new site, no back links, no ranking, but as I optimise the site I need to be able to chart my progress. I’ve downloaded FREE the Website Auditor –  I must confess, even with the free version, I’m instantly reminded that I’ve not paid enough attention to the onsite meta data. So for the next hour, I go back through the Content Management of the website in order to ensure that the Meta Data is in place. In an hour, I didn’t manage to finish all the pages. I think this is something that I need to keep addressing. This is a relatively large website and some thought needs to be given to this, so that each page contains relevant data. Two hours down and I still haven’t started crafting the copy on my home page!

Next on my list is to identify the key phrases for which I want to be found and then to take steps to re-write the copy to optimised the home page for these three phrases. Another hour and a half, continuously crafting the copy and then checking with the Website Auditor allowed me to see an improvement on my optimisation rate from 35% (which was extremely poor) to an optimization rate of 81.8%.

Because I’m not quite ready to launch We Build Websites on the world (we have to relocate offices which will result in downtime and I’m not prepared to leave clients without support for any length of time) I haven’t set up Facebook page, LinkedIn profiles or used any Social Media to promote the site as yet… quite possibly I might chart the pitfalls of this exercise in my next post!