Getting Found Online: 3 Behaviors Essential to DIY SEO
Being part of the small business community as not only a solopreneur, but also as a volunteer with the local chapter of SCORE and my town’s Main Street organization, I know my fair share of new business owners who have websites that aren’t ranking well in online searches and who don’t know how to otherwise draw attention to their sites.
It’s frustrating for them – to say the least. When you’re getting your business off the ground, you want and NEED to be found. But most startup entrepreneurs don’t have the cash on hand to hire an SEO/SEM expert to help them drive traffic their way.
I’m certainly no SEO expert, but I’ve learned a lot and have realized some favorable results through my own experimentation with my online presence “formula.” And there’s no reason why you can’t economically (i.e. free) make improvements to your online situation. My advice: emulate much of what web hosting and managed services provider Dynamicnet, Inc. published its blog post, Do It Yourself Search Engine Optimization.
In a nutshell, blogging and social media hold the key to making others aware of your business, your offerings and your value proposition. And there are some core behavioral practices you’ll need to make part of the equation as well:
- Be willing to do the hard time. – Setting up your blog and social media profiles takes thought and more time than you’ll want to spend, but you’ll need to suck it up and do it. The more consistent your brand is across each and every one of your points of online presence, the better your chances of being found when prospects are looking for someone who offers the services or products that you do.
- Keep up keeping up. – Blogging and social media require discipline and ongoing attention. You need to be consistent in your efforts to engage and interact with your audience on those marketing channels. Luckily, your blog posts can serve as content for your social media posts, so you can kill multiple proverbial birds with one stone when you publish new blog articles. And there are tools (for example: Hootsuite, Buffer, Tweetdeck and others) that automate the sharing of content on – and simultaneously across – various social media.
- Stick with it. – DIY SEO is not for the faint of heart. You may not see results the first day, or in the first week, or in the first month. Heck, you could be looking at a year or even longer before you actually get emails and phone calls from prospects who say, “I found you on Google.” That doesn’t mean that your blogging and social media efforts won’t be driving people to your website or generating leads sooner, but getting found via organic search results can take much longer as a multitude of variables comes into play. And remember, not everyone can be on the first page. You might indeed need to hire someone to increase your chances of ranking there.
Recognize that getting noticed on the web won’t happen overnight. But with consistent effort to cross-pollinate by blogging and staying current with your social media, you’ll steadily increase the visibility of your business online.
Your turn! If you’ve done DIY SEO, what challenges and triumphs have you experienced? What strategies and tactics have worked best for you?
Thank you, Dawn, for your kind words.
One of the life lessons I’ve learned that we’ve tried to pass onto our daughter (as well as live out in our own lives) is consistency matters always, no exceptions.
As you pointed out, blogging and social media are long tail — I’m told 12 to 18 months to start seeing a return on the time investment.
For the blogging part, we’ve articles scheduled out already to publish every Monday into early October 2012 with draft articles in the work that should complete October and get partway into November.
For social media, I’m using Tweet Deck to pre-schedule a week at a time along with the free version of Bufferapp.com to schedule 10 more on demand tweets.
You’re welcome! I enjoyed your post – and it helped validate much of my own M.O. when it comes to home grown SEO. 😉
It’s marvelous that you’ve got your blog posts planned and scheduled well into the next couple months! Although I have an ongoing list of post ideas with key content bullet points for my blog, I don’t plan too far ahead one or two weeks because I focus a lot on what I’m experiencing as a solopreneur at a given moment in time.
With clients, I work according to their preferences for deadlines and establishing a repository of content that matches their specific campaigns.
Thank you again for your inspiration today!
It makes sense on your end to keep the cards closer. On our end, the hosting work can typically be planned out (i.e. steady, predictable for the most part); the server and security administration work can be like a roller coaster with dry and soaking wet periods.
So having articles out far helps if we get swamped (one less thing to worry about).
Thank you again; and have a terrific day!
Thanks again for your comments! There is a lot of good in having the peace of mind that your blog won’t go dark if you get totally swamped. Smart!