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Do Your Own Small Business SEO For FREE

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most common things small business owners will ask me about and there is never a simple answer to give them. They know they need SEO but they don’t know what it is or how to accomplish it. Ranking high in the search results of you’re niche almost guarantees your businesses success. No matter what that niche is, if your website is the one that shows up when someone is searching for a product to buy, there is a good chance they will buy that product from you. However, to rank in the top 10 requires a lot of work. Not only is SEO expensive, it is also an industry filled with scammers and charlatans but even if you do find a real SEO expert, it’s going to cost you and then if you’re lucky, you’ll start to see the results in 6 months to a year.

But what if I told you that you could do your own SEO without spending a dime? Don’t get me wrong, it is going to be a ton of work. Expect to devote 5-10 hours per week on it minimum. However, what you need to do to rank high in search results is rather straight forward and could be done by anyone with basic computer knowledge.

There are a lot of technical terms in SEO I am not going to cover but here are the basics you should know:

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Meaning how easily you’ll show up when being searched for either directly or through a keyword.

Keywords are words you want to show up for when searched. For example; the keywords I want this site to rank for are: monthly website packages , monthly web design packages, pay monthly web design, pay monthly website design , etc.

SERP stands for Search Engine Rank Position or what position you are in the search results for a specific keyword.

DA stands for Domain Authority which is a 3rd party metric (meaning it’s a score not given out by Google) and therefore pretty much irrelevant. The fastest way for you to tell if a SEO “expert” knows what they are talking about is if they bring up increasing your domain authority. As soon as they do that, you will know they are a scammer or don’t know what they are talking about.

KD stands for Keyword Difficulty. A metric used to rate how hard it is to rank for a specific keyword. Keyword difficulty is on a scale from 0 to 100 with 0 being the easiest to rank for and 100 being the hardest. For example, the keyword “Amazon” has a KD of 100, “crewneck shirt” has a KD of 43, and “best SEO tools for small business” has a KD of 13. In most cases, the lower the traffic, the easier a keyword will be to rank for.

Backlinks are links from other websites to your website.

Dofollow Backlinks are when a website that Google sees as reliable links to your website along with relevant content. Doing so tells Google your site is probably reliable too and can be very helpful when it comes to SEO.

Nofollow Backlinks are links from one website to another but without telling Google the website being linked is reliable. Nofollow backlinks will not help your SEO, however they may give traffic to your site if the people viewing the original page click the link.

Page Titles are the main title of a website page that appears in search engine results.

Meta descriptions are brief summaries that describe the content of a website page. They appear under the page title in search engine results.

PLEASE NOTE: To have your site rank and for it to actually be search engine optimized, you will have to do all of these things. You cannot pick and choose when it comes to SEO!

#1) Do You Serve Customers Locally Or Worldwide?

The SEO technique for local businesses is a lot different then the SEO for an ecommerce store or even websites that serve a non-local audience. For example, a landscaping company would want to focus on location-specific keywords and local directories where as a national or worldwide company would need to focus on targeting more general keywords.

If you are a local small business , one of the best things you could do (that’s also free) is to create a Google My Business page. Creating a Google My Business page allows your business to show up when someone local is searching for services you provide. While certain industries, like real estate agents can pay to be at the top of that list, most rank high due to a combination of good reviews and regular posts / updates.

#2) Check How You’re Currently Doing

Google has a lot of great free tools when it comes to web design and search engine optimization. One of the most used is the Google Search Console. Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that helps website owners monitor and manage their site’s presence in search results. It’s valuable for small businesses as it provides insights into how people find their website, and offers suggestions for improving visibility and user experience.

How To Setup Google Search Console:

If you don’t already have a Google account, you’ll need to create one. A regular gmail account will work. Then click here to open Google Search Console and verify ownership of your site. Usually this is done by adding a record to your domain. I know that may sound confusing but just follow the steps they provide you and you’ll be fine. Once your account is created you can see how well your site is preforming in search and see what keyword searches you’re showing up for.

#3) Make Sure Your Website Is Optimized

Before you start getting backlinks or trying to promote your site you need to first make sure your website is actually built right. But how do you know your website was built right? Chances are you hired a web design agency. Well, there is an easy and free way to check, once again thanks to Google. Go to PageSpeed.Web.Dev , enter your website URL and click “Analyze”. Ideally, you should be scoring 90+ in each category.

Your website will be tested in 4 tiers:

Performance shows how fast your website is.

Accessibility shows how easy it is for your website to be used with someone who has a disability.

Best Practices covers usability and security. For example: Do you allow users to paste text in input boxes or do they have to type it in? Is your website secure? Are you displaying images in a good aspect ratio with a high enough resolution?

SEO scores show your website is set up how it should be when it comes to SEO. Please note- this does not mean you’re all set with your SEO because you score 100 but rather Google hasn’t found any big errors that will hurt you.

Below you can see an audit of this website

Googles Page Speed Insights Audit Example

#4) Know What Keywords You Should Be Going After

For some reason keyword data is incredibly interesting to me. I love searching through keywords and seeing their statistics. I know, it’s weird, don’t judge me… To search through them effectively though, you need a good program. The best (in my opinion) is SEMrush. However, it is expensive with the entry level plan costing $129.95 per month. Not to brag but you could get our pay monthly website packages for less then that and we make sure they are optimized for your niche! Sorry, I had to mention that. In reality though, that’s irrelevant because we are only covering free options today, so let me tell you. So how can you get SEMrush for free? Through their free trial of course! I know, that’s annoying but you could get a free trial, cancel right away so you don’t get billed and then use that free week to gather valuable information on and for your website. While search trends will update somewhat overtime, overall they stay relatively the same.

If you don’t want to have to signup for a free trial, don’t worry, I have an option for you. It’s called ahrefs keyword generator and with them you don’t need even a free account to use it. Granted, you’ll only get the first 10 results of a keyword search but even so, that could be extremely useful.

Incase this sounds confusing, don’t worry, here is a real world example. Say you sell hats and you’re not sure what type of hat you should be focusing on. You can go to SEMrush, type “hat” into their keyword magic tool, limit the KD (keyword difficulty) to 29 since that is still technically “easy” to rank for and then you can see there are 890 searches for “black hats for men” and that only has a KD of 18. You can now work on using that keyword in your website and scoop up that traffic. Of course, that is a somewhat oversimplification. It takes more then just adding a specific keyword to your website to rank for it, but it definitely is a big part of the process.

Keyword search on SEMrush for "hats".

#5) Get Yourself Some Backlinks

In life, I do my best to stay positive but I absolutely hate backlinks. I guess it’s not the backlinks themselves that I hate so much as it is the process in which you have to go through to get quality versions of them and the scammers that try and take advantage of you every step along the way. If you skipped over my definition section at the beginning of this article, backlinks are links from one site to yours. Doing this tells Google your site is trustworthy. However, it’s a little more complex then that. If the site that provides the backlink is low quality, or what Google interprets as low quality, then it will not help your site. If the original website uses what is called a “nofollow” link (which is very common) then that won’t improve your site either. The highest quality links are received from trusted websites.

So How Can You Get Quality Backlinks?

One of the most common ways is to be a source for blogs / news articles. Websites like connect writers with potential sources and if the writer chooses you, you will get a backlink in their article. Some massive publications use them as well. Imagine how cool it would be to have a website like Forbes or Business Insider mention your business? I personally try and gain backlinks through however, it is a very popular website and there is a lot of competition. I can’t count how many times I spent hours working on a pitch just for it to be ignored.

Another cool trick to gain backlinks is to use a backlink audit software and see where your competitors are getting them. Websites like SEMrush offer competitor backlink audits, although you will need to be signed up for their free trial. Ahrefs also has a free backlink audit tool but it does not seem to be as reliable as SEMrush. Anyways…. if you preform a backlink audit of competitor websites and notice multiple of them have a backlink from the same source, chances are you could get your site on there as well.

Do Not Buy Backlinks Off Fiverr

I just need to mention quick, whatever you do, do not buy backlinks off Fiverr. They will not help your SEO whatsoever! You may say to yourself, “they have 1000’s of 5-star reviews, how could they not be good?” and the answer is, it is because they get left the good review when they show the service has been delivered. What they are delivering though is garbage and their customers don’t know it. Let’s pretend for the sake of argument that they did provide valuable backlinks. No matter how good the SEO, it takes websites 6 months to a year minimum to start ranking.

Lets pretend I sold you a magic rock that I told you would help your SEO. When the rock gets delivered, it looks good, it arrived on time, and it appears to be what was in the pictures. If you really thought SEO helping magic rocks are real, you might leave a 5 star review. Right? That is what it is like buying backlinks on Fiverr. No matter how tempting it is, stay away.

Hard Work That Is Worth It In The End

Getting your website to rank is hard work, there is no debating that. The good thing about that though are the steps you need to take to rank, are laid out very clear. Google wants you to rank high in the search results because that means you have quality content for their users. There are over 8.5 billion Google searches per day and if you are good enough at SEO, you can determine what those people see when searching. Obviously it would be tough to steal all 8.5 billion of the searches, but you get my point. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment down below or if you want a SEO optimized website, be sure to check out one of our monthly website packages.

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