6 Steps To Better Search Rankings Insight from SEO Gurus

I think most all of us know that search engine optimization is absolutely important to to enable search engines to rank your web site higher in search engine rankings, resulting in more people visiting your web site when they are searching for things.
The challenge for SEO that gets results, is that SEO consultants and/or companies can be quite expensive. From hundreds to thousands of dollars per month.
The other side of the coin is that you can do it yourself, but since you’re not an expert there’s a limited amount of things you can do and that’ll just take up more of your valuable time as you struggle to do your own SEO.
diyseo.jpgPatrick Gavin, co-founded DIYSEO with the specific goal of giving small business owners the TOOLS and the expertise to do their own SEO.
He and CEO Dan Olson answer some questions for me in this Q&A
There are MANY companies providing SEO services a) are they all the same b) if not how do they differ?
There are two different types of companies that are providing SEO services.
99% of them are SEO consulting practices that do a holistic review of a business’ website and competitive environment and provide recommendations and, in some cases, implement solutions on behalf of their clients. While valuable, these consulting engagements can range from $1,000 to $30,000 a month, depending on the complexity of the engagement.

DIYSEO represents the other 1% of companies by providing a web-based solution to SEO for small business that can’t justify the cost of a consultant. By using the software as a service (SaaS) approach DIYSEO provides a way for businesses to build a strong foundation in SEO while getting more search engine traffic for only $49 a month.
What are some things businesses should do to have their web sites SEOed
DIYSEO utilizes an approach that is built into the software that every business should do in one form or another. We refer to this approach at its simplest level as “Plan, Act and Measure.”
To plan, businesses should take an inventory of their competitors and create a very targeted list of about 5-6 keywords to focus their SEO efforts upon. Once the plan is finalized its time for the business to act. DIYSEO breaks act into four key components:

  1. On-site optimization – making changes to your website based on how search engines review sites
  2. Link building – getting other sites to link to your website. Each incoming link works as a vote in the search engines for the website, and the site with the most and highest quality votes (links) will rank the highest.
  3. Local – completing a number of tasks that allow you to show up more prominently in maps in search engines while also listing you in popular local sites such as Yelp and YellowPages.com
  4. Social – leveraging sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to be listed more often in the search engine results page and starting a dialogue with clients and potential customers.

The final piece businesses need to make sure and do is measure the progress they are making in their SEO efforts. Understanding how your rank within search engine changes as well as site traffic from SEO is vital to understanding what is working and what is not working. Businesses must adjust their focus and strategy as this information becomes available.
In this age of social media and video – is SEO still important ?
Yes! In fact, a business’ social strategy must be linked with their SEO strategy as these two areas are becoming more and more inextricably linked. As described above, DIYSEO considers social a key component of a successful SEO strategy. 90% of all traffic on the internet comes from search engines, and as engines provide more social data in their results, businesses must understand how these worlds are related and take the appropriate steps to help their businesses thrive.
Creating content either via blogs or through a website is a very important part of SEO. Using a blog or website to become an authority on whatever topic a small business deals in is essential for long term passive link building. The more high quality content a small business can create to help visitors find its website, the better chance another site owner will stumble upon it and link back to that small business’ website.
Creating great websites and building links are still at the core of SEO, but it is important to create video and social strategies given how the search engines have changed. Search engines will continue to experiment with social data to customize results for users based on their social network as well as incorporate “real time” data via Twitter and other micro-blogging services. It is very important for businesses to stay on top of these changes in order to take advantage of any new opportunities
Why a monthly fee? Is SEO something ongoing?
SEO is an ongoing effort as competitors are always working to keep the rankings they already have or are working to take the rankings you may have. In addition, the rules and strategies in SEO and related areas continue to change and new opportunities present themselves all of the time. Local search and social media are two perfect examples of this. That being said, DIYSEO charges on a monthly basis to provide the businesses the flexibility to cancel at any time. We’ve heard of too many programs that lock small businesses into something they find they don’t want after they sign up. We want small businesses to consistently do SEO, and we want them to use DIYSEO but only if they want to do so willingly.