SEO Sweat Equity: Advice for Do-It-Yourself Business Owners

diy seo
SEO tips for DIY business owners
As you go through your work week, and if you’re present on the web, you’ve most likely been given dozens of promotions by SEO (search engine optimization) experts who guarantee to raise you up the search engine rankings if not get you to the top of the first page on Bing. Some are great, some awful, and the charges for this product vary from a couple hundred bucks to thousands per month.

If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner with a modest budget for specious results, at best, prior to contracting anybody there are a few steps you can do by yourself that are the things that the specialists do.

The Name is The Game

Pick your website domain name with prudence. Every site owner has keywords that they desire to be found on; describing either material, service, geographical sector, or something else that internet visitors may be trying to find. If you can, put your keyword in your name. If it’s Mexican travel tours, then is an extremely SEO’d domain name. For SEO San Diego, it might be You get the picture.

This isn’t always possible for a company. For example, a consulting organization named Smith and Jones Consultants doesn’t lend itself to this, and key wording Smith or Jones might not be especially useful. The domain is appropriate in that the company name is included the title, so don’t exclude that.

What you can do here is have an independent blog, a great SEO technique, on a domain name using key phrases. If Smith and Jones happen to be Six Sigma specialists for producers, a blog site named and domain-titled (if obtainable) will get great title-driven SEO returns.

Investigate Keywords

This is a 3-step technique:

  1. Create a list of the top 10 key phrases that describe your webpage (see I said page and not website; every page decision should follow this exercise, with the homepage obviously for the whole business). These are 2-3 word key phrases (NEVER single words) that summarize what you do and what the visitor can expect.
  2. Visit the Google Adwords selection instrument and enter those in, individually. See what comes up. Try to find the best 5 alternative keywords that get the most monthly searches and have the least competitors than what you entered in as your key phrases. If what you began with is listed with them, bypass step 3. You have a key phrase to utilize on your webpage(s).
  3. Make a business judgment on the greatest keyword phrase between your first key phrase and the 5 other phrases by how effectively it illustrates your webpage and subject matter as well as interest in the worldwide web amongst consumers. You now have your key phrase.

…rinse and repeat.

Keyword Anchors

Anchor tags are the words you write in your website AND on other sites that lead to your page that are hyperlinked to get on or, if linking externally, away your site. You commonly see this written as click here or read more here. These hyperlinks are overlooking a beneficial SEO chance.

Rather, make the links meaningful phrases that are lined up with the destination landing website. If your website has to do with fantasy baseball, rather than writing click here in your material, say “learn more about Fantasy Baseball” with those words linked.

Key Phrase Positioning

Write first for your reader and secondarily for search portals, STILL if you select good, relevant and descriptive keywords, they ought to be easy to weave into your page copy organically. They could even be alt tags for graphic images, in video clip summaries, and other add-ins or widgets on the webpage. A key place for key phrase description is in Titles, Headings and Subtitles visible on the site. A second high-SEO position is in the body copy of your first text paragraph. Be vigilant to use them naturally without duplicating them too many times in a manufactured way, lest you would like to be put in search engine prison and possibly prohibited.

Meta Optimization

It’s incredible how many websites I have visited that have no meta tag info on the sites. Every HTML page ought to contain the following meta details behind the scenes (not directly evident on your page):

  1. Header – Usually found at the top of your page source code, this shows up in the top tab on most web browsers after your website is loaded. Keep it descriptive and key phrase abundant in 60 key strokes or fewer.
  2. Description – This is what is displayed beside your page title in search returns. You have 160 characters to present a persuasive story and include in your primary key phrases. Envision writing a great Tweet and having 20 characters left over.
  3. Keywords – Comma delimited tags in your source code primarily for search engine food. Don’t put more than 10 keywords per page or you’ll weaken what your website is about in the eyes of Google, Yahoo and Bing. Many in the SEO world recommend just 3-5.

Many site development platforms like WordPress make including these tags very easy for non-web developers using plug-ins such as the All in One SEO pack.

So go ahead and keep your dollars while taking control of your search engine optimization success. If you do these 5 simple things and put in the sweat equity for dollars, your webpage will be off to a terrific SEO start, delivering traffic, leads and sales opportunities that bring the profits to invest in the next step of SEO performance.

About the Author: Karl Walinskas is the CEO of Smart Company Growth, a business development firm that helps small to mid-size professional service firms build competitive advantage in an online world of sameness. His Smart Blog covers leadership, business communication, sales & service, online marketing and virtual business, and was recently named by Buyerzone as one of the Top 20 Business Blogs of 2011. He is the author of Getting Connected Through Exceptional Leadership, has been a featured expert for with articles published in Selling Power, America Online,and Site Pro News to name a few, and blogs frequently for Rank My Website, a top San Diego SEO Services firm.

Image: Stuart Miles