If you make money online then my guess is you’ve realized that to get significant, long lasting traffic you need to rank well in the search engines and in particular, Google. You know you need to optimise your site(s) for the search engines and you might have fiddled around here and there but the whole SEO thing might be a bit daunting. Can you do it yourself? Should you hire an SEO firm to help you? These are questions I asked myself last year and you might be asking yourself the same things. You might be really busy and the extra work is simply not welcome. But email a few reputable SEO companies and see their quotes – I guarantee it will give you some motivation to do it yourself.
It’s not rocket science, it’s not really that hard but it does take a lot of work. Researching it all and reading about it actually takes up the most time so I’m taking that pain away with this series. The problem with SEO sites, blogs and forums is that there is too much information. Some of it is good, some of it is pretty bad, some of it is old, outdated and irrelevant. SEO sites generally have tips here and there but their business is SEO so they aren’t going to tell you anything in detail because they want people to hire them to do it. SEO blogs might have 1 post in 20 that is really useful. Like many niche industry blogs they produce a lot of content to keep readers and search engines happy but sorting out the wheat from the chaff is draining. And forums, well we all know what they are like. Searching for the pearls of wisdom in thousands of threads is the proverbial needle in a haystack.
I was heavily involved in SEO back in 2002 and 2003 and HostNexus ranked really well for a few core terms that contributed massively to our success. As we grew something happened. I found I had to spend more time with current clients so my SEO and marketing activities dropped off to almost nothing. HN grew to a size I was perfectly happy with and I was content with the status quo. However, with this new site launch (March 2009) I once again became fascinated with SEO and other marketing strategies and decided to document my SEO journey in this blog and this guide. If you have a new site or you want to apply some SEO techniques to your existing site(s) I have compiled an extensive an easy to follow guide that I use myself. I’m not an expert, but I’m not a newbie and if you follow this guide you will be well on your way to dominating your niche in the SERPs. I’m going to be posting a Case Study which documents all of HostNexus’s target keywords and how we progress and traffic stats so you can see how this is working out for me. And if I can do this with my workload I’m pretty sure you can.
First a few things to consider. Firstly, realise that all SEO revolves around CONTENT. You have to have content, and it has to be quality content. Write it, pay people to write it, buy it, copy it and rewrite it – just start generating it, and A LOT of it.
Secondly, SEO is an ever changing animal. The search engines tweak their algos and so you will need to tweak your websites. Back in the old days the SEO community would be chewing their fingers off before a big Google update that happened around twice a year. But then Google changed things so the rankings are recalculated on the fly all the time. The current consensus is that Google can re-rank a site every 10 days so you don’t have to wait longer than approximately 2 weeks to see how the changes you make affect your rankings and sometimes changes can be seen in mere hours. Never stop tweaking and never stop generating quality content.
Your SEO Strategy can be broken up into just FIVE main sections:
- (1) Keyword Research
- (2) Content Development
- (3) On-Page Optimisation
- (4) Off-page Optimisation
- (5) Social Media
Sounds simple, right? Heh, I wish it was. Fact is, it’s a lot of work which is why companies with a marketing budget will outsource it or hire someone especially for the task. It can be done by yourself but if you also run a business or work full-time expect some long days ahead of you. However, if you simply dedicate a few hours of your day to your SEO efforts you can make significant progress. If you could do 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening you will be flying. Success requires dedication.
Lets do it.