DIY SEO for Time-Poor Business Owners

No business owner has the time to do a lot of SEO, but you can delegate the SEO basics to an employee or freelancer. Even doing basic SEO tasks can make a difference to what page of Google’s results you appear on.  Take control and prioritize.

Your Top Priorities

  • SEO Basics
  • Content
  • UX
  • Links
  • Promotion

DIY SEO comes down to proper site management, fresh content and making your site attractive to users.

SEO Basics

SEO is too important to leave to chance. Neil Patel puts it very clearly in his SEO guide,

“If you ever need to hide a dead body, you should place it on the second page of Google search results.”

You MUST do everything in your power to improve your search engine results pages (SERPS) ranking, or no-one is going to find you.

Good site management is a part of SEO that can be outsourced, or delegated to a trusted employee. This SEO Chat article runs you through the basics of SEO and can form the basis of your employees’ training.

The most time-consuming aspect is keyword research using the free Google Adwords tool, but even this is not a task you need to do yourself. With basic training and the right tools, your content team can identify keyword phrases to target.

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Installing the free Yoast SEO plugin on your blog will ensure writers’ awareness of the importance of correct keyword density.

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Yoast also checks for paragraph length, sentence length and other readability factors that will affect your user time-on-page and bounce rate statistics.

Content

Yeah, yeah. We all know content is king, but it takes time!

There is no way to avoid it. Regular fresh and insightful content is part of what will rank your site higher in search engine results pages (SERPS). There will be nobody else who understands your business as well as you, but you need to change that. If you don’t educate writers into how your business works, you will be stuck writing everything yourself, other important tasks will crop up, and the writing won’t happen.

Even the best writer works better with input from you regarding your services and clients.

Take the time to explain your business and how it works to your content production team. Educate your writers about your customer persona, his needs and how your company solves them. Make your business values clear, have a content production plan and feed your writers plenty of ideas for articles.

User Experience (UX)

The most important person in your organization is imaginary. Your customer persona should be writ large in every office, and room in your premises. Use an image of this imaginary persona as a screensaver on all your computers, put posters featuring his image on the backs of all the doors ion the washrooms and in the staff canteen.

If your users dislike your website, you are doomed.

Your site has to look good, use colors users like and that will elicit the emotions related to your business objectives. Minimize clutter, maximize contrast and ensure everything shown on a page is the optimum size, color, and shape. Negative space is every bit as valuable as page components, so avoid trying to do too much on any one web page.

Each page should have one purpose and one purpose only. The rationale behind a web page’s existence should be obvious. Navigation through your site should be simple and easy to use, regardless of the screen size someone is using.

Links

Building links to your website is essential, but if you build them in the wrong way, Google will bury you on page 200 of its SERPS.

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Safe link-building activities:

  • Learn what links point to you by installing the free Incoming Links plugin
  • Provide high-quality and insightful resources people in your niche value and will link to without any prompting
  • Build your reputation by sharing everything you know without asking for payment
  • Design infographics that link back to you when others install them on their sites

Promotion

It is well-nigh impossible to do even basic promotion without a large team.

Be selective.

If you only focus on one promotion channel, let it be YouTube.

Forget videos about your business; they won’t show in Google and no-one is interested. But, videos that show how to solve problems are another matter.

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Ryan Stuart from Webris says Youtube video promotion is vital as part of your top-of-funnel marketing and engaging customers.

Your Takeaways

Much SEO can be done in-house using basic training and free WordPress plugins to help inform decisions. You must delegate content production, but feed writers with ideas and company information frequently. Concentrate your social media presence on producing How-To videos on YouTube.

How Competitor Research Improves Your Content Marketing

A wealth of information lurks in the success (or failures) of the Other Guy.

Here are some ways you can improve your own content marketing results using competitor research tools and tips:

See What’s Popular

Your competitors are working in the same industry as you are, or so I assume. So they have the same audience that you do. This gives you an immediate view on what your audience is looking to read about, watch, view, or listen to.

It doesn’t take a lot to figure out what’s popular with your target demographic. Peek at what is trending on their site(s) and social media profile(s). Make a list of content that has gotten a lot of traffic, views, social media shares, and comments.

From there, you can develop a content strategy that follows the same general idea.  Take a note of:

Discover Where Competitors Are Lacking

In addition to seeing what they are doing right, you can see what they are doing wrong. I distinctly remember this competing podcast of a client I was working for. They released this video series connected to their show, but not really a part of it. The first couple got a decent number of hits, but then they got next to no views.

Wondering what the issue was, I did a quick viewing of all of their videos (which they continued to release in spite of the lack of interest from their user base). They were cheesy, badly written, and not close enough to their podcast format to brand it properly. It was a trainwreck, basically.

In addition to this travesty of video, the podcasts were suffering because too much effort was being put into a new form of content that didn’t work.

Guess what the client did? Avoided videos, stuck with the podcast, upped their promotion, and ended up poaching a lot of listeners.

Track Mentions

We all know that reputation management is an important part of overall branding. But tracking mentions of your competitors really work wonders, as well. You can keep track of announcements both major and minor, and also see what people are saying about the competition.

I worked for a startup once that setup mention tracking for three other platforms in the same industry, with a similar pat structure to their own. When the founder discovered a blog doing a review for a competitor, they asked them to do one for their own.

In the end, the review compared them to the last review and the startup I worked for came out on top.

Tools For Competitive Research

I mentioned before that you will have better tools at your disposal than asking Rebecca’s teenage sister the secret to her cookie selling success. These are some of those tools, though there is an endless supply of competitor research apps and dashboards out there to choose from.

  1. Google Alerts – The free option, and my personal favorite. You can create alerts that monitor any mention of your competitors across the web. It includes both social and web page results. I use it to monitor my competitors, my brand, and my industry. You can set your alerts to give you a digest of daily results, or to immediately let you know
  2. Spyfu – Don’t just monitor your competitors, flat out spy on them! Spyfu is a fun and informative dashboard that uses keyword research, mentions and more to keep track of your competitors. It is a combination of SEO and PPC research, so it applies to content and advertising.
  3. Compete – I don’t always recommend this tool because it is pretty pricey. But if you are a business with a decent budget, you can seriously improve results using this tool. You will learn a strategy to compete with competition on every level, including your social marketing. It is a very in depth tool full of data, and acts almost like a consulting service with a self service bent. It is an investment, but worth it if you have the cash on hand. Some businesses have reported a conversion improvement of 42% or more… seriously.

Do you have a tip for competitor research to improve content marketing? Know a tool that belongs on the list? Let us know in the comments!

The Ultimate List of World’s Smartest Keyword Rank Tracking Tools

Most SEOs are always in search of effective tools to monitor their website rankings in search engines for target keywords. Keyword rank tracking is a usual and common SEO practice by internet marketers and bloggers to find out how their web pages are appearing on search engine results for queries they want to appear for.

Great rank checkers give you an idea how well website rankings are going on over time and how well your site optimization efforts are progressing against your competitors. Everything starts with site rankings! There are no traffic and conversions without rankings. Therefore, the higher your website rankings are, the more traffic you can get on your website.

SEO is a great market that provides a great number of tools to check your keyword rankings and handle your daily tasks. In this post we will show you the smartest rank tracking tools on the market.

#1. SE Ranking

SE Ranking is my favorite seo tool from the list we use every day and recommend to include it in every search marketer’s tool chest.

It is possible to check local and mobile rankings, get extra data on your selected keywords (search volume, AdWords suggestion bid, KEI parameter and results returned by Google), spot Top 10 competitors in order to track their results and add extra users to your account with access to all the data you want them to see.

With its easy-to-use and simple interface, SE Ranking allows to check site positions in Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines. After getting ranking results, you have the option to export them to White Label reports in .pdf, .csv, .html and .xls formats.

My favorite features of SE Ranking are the ability to check unlimited number of websites and a great number of keywords at once and the convenience to check out which search queries are in the top, left top 10 and entered top 10. You can check out the software within a free 14-day trial.

#2.  Web CEO

Web CEO is a great rank checker that helps to check not only website keyword rankings, but find out the rankings of your competitors. The tool allows tracking all rankings like organic search results, vertical listings, ads as well as it tracks your website rankings on desktop and mobile devices.

I love Web CEO for the option to check YouTube rankings, as YouTube is now the second video search engine in the world that helps to promote your company. All results can be provided in PDF format with your logo and brand name that gives a touch of professionalism and elegance in eyes of your clients. The too is free to use, but with additional restrictions.

#3. Rank Watch

Rank Watch is one of the most powerful and accurate tools that carefully calculates your keyword rankings at once. It enables not only showing your current, highest and initial rankings with search volumes, but also keeps your historical rankings that are a huge benefit for SEO experts to have historical and competitive intelligence for certain search queries.

With Rank Watch, you can track site ranking as precise as possible with the specific city on which you want to track. The tools offer users a wide range of fully customizable and branded reports with your company logo and brand name and with the ability to schedule reports for delivery on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. To check out the best features, you can start a free 14-day trial.

#4. RankTrackr

Rank Trackr has one of the greatest layouts that you can ever find in a rank tracking tool. The tool uses the most advanced approaches to access ranking results for local tracking with precise accuracy in an area using a certain region, city and zip code. It gives a great ability to filter keywords that are doing the most progress for your website.

I love RankTrackr for the ability to track any form of ranking such as organic search results, local map results, and images. You can try out a 10-day free trial without obligations.

#5. Rank Tracker

Rank Tracker is a free tool that has one of the smartest interfaces of all rank tracking tools that I have ever used before. It has a simple and easy-to-use dashboard that displays all search queries how they rank on search engines and how they have changed over time.

If you need to optimize your site, the tool has a great keyword suggestion tool that helps you disclose best and profitable keywords for you. One of the greatest features is that Rank Tracker monitors site rankings on all localized versions of search engine and even on additional ones like Yandex, Ask.com, and Alexa.

Over to you

Now you have a clear idea what rank tracking tools should better get to work. The quicker you work, the quicker you get results. I can’t deny that there are other SEO tools that can help you monitor site rankings in search engines. You can just look through suggested tools and check out the best features.

If you use other rank tracking tool that works well for you, let us know in the comments below!