Arpad Balogh
April 6, 2021
DIY SEO: 5 Step Guide to Generating More Customers From Google

You want more customers, want to enjoy the great benefits of small business marketing strategies like Search Engine Optimization and the Organic Traffic that comes from it, but don't know where to start.

Doing DIY SEO for your own business is the best way to go about it!

But, there is so much information out there, so many gurus, which one to trust?

Which suggestion should you apply?

As a beginner, you just don't know and we don't blame you!

At this point that little freaky monster called
Analysis Paralysis has already set foot in your mind.

Analysis Paralysis is when you have so many choices to move forward with, that in the end, you won't take action at all. The worst thing you can do!

This will leave you more anxious than before and will discourage you from taking your SEO in your own hands.

What you need is a clear set of steps, an SEO Guide that you can follow and apply it to your website to
increase organic traffic, beat your competitors and get in front of your target audience.

Slothio will be your guide and you will be the hero!

We will show you the exact steps you will need to take to DIY SEO your own website and why it is the perfect idea to add it to your marketing strategy.

Just follow these steps (and don't overthink it!):

1.) Keyword Research: Find Your Keywords

creating a diy seo keyword research

The very first step will be finding the keywords that your target audience is searching for.

Finding the right target keywords that people are actually searching for is going to be crucial for ranking in Google and for content marketing at the same time.

Keyword Research Factors:

To understand what keywords you will need to find, we will have to clear up and explain some things first.

Search Intent

getting the keyword intent right

Depending on what phase your potential customers are in the keywords are going to be different.

Search Intent can be Transactional (Looking to buy), Informational (Looking for Information), Commercial (Comparing Products / Services), Navigational (To get to a website - Like typing in Facebook)

For example, someone who is looking for more information about the service you offer is going to type in keywords like "how does this work", "what are the benefits of", "how do I do this".

When starting out, we recommend focusing on more informational keywords and less transactional ones.

Long Tail VS Short Tail Keywords

This section alone deserves an article in itself, but we are going to quickly tell you the difference between the two.

Short Tail: Hard to rank for, more search volume.

Example: Buy dog boots

Long Tail: Easier to rank for, much less search volume, much specific which leads to higher conversion rates. Great for product pages.

Example: buy red dog boots made for chihuahuas

For a new website, we recommend always starting with long-tail keywords (especially it is a product page you are trying to rank) and as the traffic increases, pushing for short-tail ones.

Different Keywords for Local VS Ecommerce Sites

local vs ecommerce do it yourself seo

Keywords are going to be different for local and e-commerce websites as well.

Local customers are likely going to be typing in phrases, with a local modifier in them if they want to find the best service, like: [service] near/in [area]

While E-Commerce users are going to be typing in: buy [product] or cheap [product] online

Given the nature of your website, your seed keywords are going to be different, so it is important to understand what type of website you have.

What keyword research tool to use for a Small Business?

When it comes to the perfect keyword research tool, it depends on your preference and marketing budget (can you invest in a tool or not).

If you have never done keyword research before or wouldn't like to spend any money on a tool, we recommend starting out your DIY SEO ventures with a free tool like 
Google Keyword Planner, which comes free when creating a new Google Ads account.

This tool doesn't give you exact search volume unless you are paying for ads.

Other great free tools that you can use to find your target keyword:

  1. 1
    Keyword Sheeter: It Pulls Autocomplete Suggestions (when you type something in Google and it finishes it) from Google.
  2. 2
    Keyword Surfer: It's a browser plugin, easy to use and very handy!
  3. 3
    Answer the Public: It's a great site for finding informational keywords!
  4. 4
    Keyworddit: You can get data from Reddit threads. Type in a reddit thread and it will shoot out dozens of keywords from that subreddit.
  5. 5
    Ahrefs: Keyword Generator: A Free Section of a very good Paid tool. Gives you 50 ideas, when you type in anything.
  6. 6
    Ubersuggest: This is also a paid tool, with a free option. It gives you decent data.

The best tools for finding your target keyword are of course paid.

  1. 1
    Ahrefs (The Best SEO Tool - Our Choice): Ahrefs is a very versatile tool, not only for keyword research but for SEO audit and Organic Research as well. You can also reverse engineer competitors rankings with it, to find holes in their content marketing!
  2. 2
  3. 3

Our Two-Step Keyword Research Process for Small Businesses:

If you want to find what your customers are searching for, just follow this two step formula!

1.) Think in Pages and Write Up Seed Keywords

a diy kw research process for small businesses

Even before creating your website structure to get the best results, we recommend always thinking in pages.

The general advice of a lot of agencies, websites is to find a seed keyword you like, put it into a tool (which will give you a trillion different keywords) and cherry pick/filter the best ones.

What usually happens is that you are going to be overwhelmed with data or have shiny object syndrome where you see a dozen of potential good keywords you could go for and it all becomes a mess.

To prevent that, we recommend thinking in pages and adding keywords to them.

First, note down, what kind of products/services would you like to sell and what your potential customers could be searching for.

Don't overthink it, just write down the thing that comes to your mind first.

If there are several, you are most likely going to end up with several different pages. Just make sure you are searching for keywords, that match the page!

If you want a page that sells, research transactional keywords. If you want a page that informs people, search for informational ones!

For example, as a local business these pages and seed keywords could be:

  • I want to offer Power washing in New York: Powerwashing new york
  • I want to offer Power Washing in Manhattan: Powerwashing Manhattan
  • I want to educate users about power washing: How does power washing work

And for an e-commerce site these pages and seed keywords could be:

  • I want to sell dog shoes: dog shoes for sale
  • I want to sell cat shoes: cat shoes for sale
  • I want to educate users about why their dog needs a shoe: why does my dog need a shoe

List down every single product, page you want to create a in a sheet.

2.) Research Long Tail / Secondary Keywords

Now that you have made your life easier (which you will see in the structure session) and found your pages and keywords it's time to enter them into the tool of your choice and generate keyword ideas that you can filter.

Just choose a tool of your liking and look for longer keywords, like "blue dog shoes for sale", "luxury blue dog shoes for sale".

If it applies to your product/service add it to the secondary keywords list in your sheet.

If you think it could be a page on its own because the product is so different, that is good, you just found another seed keyword!

That's it! Do this two-step keyword strategy for every single page you want to create!

2.) SEO Audit: Fix Website Issues

diy seo auditing your website

Now you know what you want to rank for on Google and know what pages you will need to create or optimize!

But, Before you create and new pages or add new website content, first you will have to do an SEO site audit on your website.

You see, Google and other search engines don't favor websites that lack proper SEO or have a ton of issues.

If your website is slow and is filled with
Core Quality Issues then either result in keyword rankings are not going to show or you will have to spend way more money than you would have to with a properly SEO optimized and issue free website.

An SEO Audit can tell you exactly what issues your website has.

There are a lot of SEO Audit tools out there that do a perfect job in telling you what you should fix on your website.

Please don't fall for any "Type in Your Website and Email for a Free SEO Audit" scam as it is only a marketing strategy by SEO and Digital Marketing agencies and you will soon find yourself receiving an email newsletter that you never asked for!

You can do an audit with Ahrefs or Screaming Frog.

You can find the most common SEO issues (like Missing or Too Long Title Tags, Page Speed Issues) and a step by step strategy on how to fix them in our free guide!

What Are The Most Common DIY SEO Issues?

The most common SEO Issues when it comes to people doing the own SEO are:

  • Not Optimizing Meta Tags properly 
  • Having duplicate content across several pages (most often product descriptions)
  • Not utilizing internal links to spread link juice across your website
  • Over-optimizing internal link anchors 
  • Have as many or more Media on your page as your competitors and add alt text to them.
  • User a clear and organized Heading structure.
  • Check the content length of competitors, make yours similar.

Find more of the most common SEO issues (like Missing or Too Long Title Tags, Page Speed Issues) and a step by step strategy on how to fix them in our free guide!

Fix Your Website Issues Today!

Download our Guide and Learn How To Fix 5 Crucial Things on your website today to generate more customers!

3.) Create a Structure and Add or Update Pages

creating your website structure

Just like your readers, Search Engines love structure.

The structure can be created with internal links or by using a URL structure that puts them in a hierarchy.

Both works, there is no perfect "SEO" way to go about it, it depends on what your goals are and how flexible your website is.

In the last part, you have found the phrases your customers are searching for, now you will have to create a map of where these will fit on your pages.

Assign one primary and secondary keyword to each of these pages (one and only one - to make sure you are not creating cannibalization issues where several pages go after the same ones).

If you already have pages where you have done search engine optimization, just add them to the list, as you will already know their target keywords.

Once you have them all mapped out, it is time for adding SEO Optimized content to your site.

Creating or Updating SEO Optimized Content

First of all, what we would like to say is that you shouldn't write SEO content for the sole purpose of pleasing Search Engines.

Also, don't practice old tactics like Keyword Stuffing where you stuff your article with keywords just to get better search engine rankings!

Every piece of content, blog post that you put on your site, whether it is SEO optimized or not, should give value to the user first and be SEO optimized second.

If you only put up gibberish, SEO Optimized content on your site, can it rank? Sure, it can. Search Engines use certain algorithms after all.

You feed them the right data, you hit the sweet spots, they will give you the rankings.

Will it make money, build your brand, give value to your users? No, it won't.

So what we recommend is sketching up the content first, thinking through what value you would like to provide to your users and then following a certain procedure to SEO optimize your content.

You can find a detailed SEO optimization process in our free guide, but here is a quick On Page SEO checklist you can follow:

  • Use your Keyword in Your Title Tag, URL, Meta Description and Heading 1.
  • Use your Secondary Keywords in your H2,H3,H4 and so on.
  • Make sure the intent of your content matches the SERP.
  • Make sure the Keyword Density of your article is similar to the Top 5 results.
  • Have as many or more Media on your page as your competitors and add alt text to them.
  • User a clear and organized Heading structure.
  • Use Table of Contents
  • Check the content length of competitors, make yours similar or create content around the same topics!

If you have your website added to Google Search Console, you can also look at how your website is performing in Google's Search Results.

By looking at the data, you can analyze which landing pages on your website get high impressions but low organic traffic.

This can happen because people are not clicking on your website in the search results or because you are not ranking high enough for these queries.

Having a proper SEO Strategy in place to optimize your pages for those keyword is what is going to make your website successful!

If you would like these steps detailed, download our free guide!

Do You Want More Customers?

Download our Guide and Learn How To Fix 5 Crucial Things on your website today to generate more customers!

4.) E-A-T: How to Show Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust in Google

Showing your Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust to Google is more important than ever in SEO.

There are so many websites out there with so much content that if you don't stand out from the competitors, you won't get results.

You have to show Google, that the owner of the website (You) is a trustworthy person and expert in its field.

You can do this by having an Author box on your articles that lead to your Author page, where you have information about yourself.

If your company has more members, make an "Our Team" section where you showcase your members.

You can also use Structured Data as a data point to show Google who you are and what other websites have information about you.

Simply, list look at websites that Google ranks on the top and mimic what they do!

building links are important for do it yourself seo

An important part of every SEO campaign is building backlinks to your site.

Backlinks are a major factor when it comes to rankings in Google.

With that said, you can achieve great results without building any backlinks, but once you will reach a threshold (of rankings or search traffic) where simply doing On Page SEO will not be enough.

Here are several ways you can build backlinks:

  • Answering questions on Quora , Reddit and other forums and placing a link in your posted content.
  • Registering on Local Directories can get you some backlinks to your domain.
  • Using SEO tools to reverse engineer and replicate your competitors' backlinks.
  • Reaching out to relevant blogs for getting backlinks through guest posts.
  • Link Bait: Making a list of the top 20 experts in your niche and asking them to share it or post a backlink to your website, pointing to that web page.

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to get backlinks and in the future, we will release a full-on article detailing each of these so make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Make Sure You Have a Sitemap

An XML sitemap can improve SEO by providing search engines with a more complete and accurate index of your website's pages. It can also help engines determine the relative importance of each page on your site, which can help them rank your pages more accurately.

Additionally, an XML sitemap can provide a way for you to indicate to search engines when changes have been made to your website's content - which can help ensure that your pages are updated promptly in response to any algorithm changes.

Watch Out For Google Algorithm Updates

Google makes changes to its algorithms all the time in order to improve the search results for users.

However, not all of these changes are announced. The company usually only announces updates that are major enough to cause a noticeable change in the search results.

But, these updates you can watch out for with SERP Weather tools. 

Once an update happened and you lost rankings, wait a few weeks for it to settle, don't start to fix your website instantly as it might be reversed.

Can You do SEO for Free?

You don't necessarily have to hire an SEO Agency to get good search engine rankings, you can do your own SEO for mostly free!

If your website is huge or you are competing in tougher niches, it is recommended to get outside help, but for Small Business Owners DIY SEO can be a perfect way of getting more customers, while not having to invest thousands.

Final Thoughts

If you are just starting out in SEO, this guide will be perfect for you.

For every single page on your site, just follow these steps and the Search Traffic from Google will come.

However, we can't stress it enough that you should always provide value. If you would like your visitors to purchase from your site or engage with your service, first you must give value and build trust.

We really hope you liked these
SEO tips and if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments.

If you wish to receive our updates or when we release new content like this, sign up for our email newsletter below!

About the author

Arpad Balogh is a Hungarian SEO Expert and Strategist with more than 8 years of experience in the field. He loves dogs, he is afraid of empty pools (so weird, right?), loves vegan food and has a passion for telling very bad jokes.

Technical SEO, Structured Data and Keyword research are the areas he loves the most.

As a Founder of Slothio, His mission is to help 5,000 small business owners to grow their business in the next three years, help them be happier and enjoy life more.

Arpad Balogh

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