The problem with many ‘how to SEO’ writes up, or ‘SEO Checklists, is that they are not written for contractors, or entrepreneurs. They include little actionable, or require too many complicated steps too practically complete. You know, those articles that are vague and don’t tell you where to start, or the 100 item checklist that would take you a full week to sort out – that’s not for working people. To top it all off, no one really knows what how the Google engine works and if what you’re doing its worth the time. I’m going to cut the bullshit and tell you how to get 99% of the value for 1% of your time.
Now when it comes to SEO, I know a thing or two. Below is the organic google traffic to my construction company / home service business’s (we’re a specialty trade contractor) website. We’re no Amazon, and I’ve got a lot of room to improve, but you’ll see the growth in google traffic has been consistently increasing. Prior to starting this company I learned SEO when I started an eBiz. Below, I tell you step by step what I spend an hour every month or two doing to make sure are rankings are on track.
Lets Get To The Knitty Gritty:
This Guide assumes that you have a website up with content, and have a basic understanding of your websites back end (how to add text, links and pictures).
- Make a list of the keywords you tracking for rankings. I stick to tracking only high $$, high traffic keywords, broad keyword. If your site isn’t very strong in Google yet, you might what to stick to long tail keywords or local keywords such as ‘plumber my city’. I don’t see any value in keeping the list long. I’m going for quick & dirty. As you hit the main keywords, the big G will pick up a lot of low value keywords.
- Look For New Keyword Opportunities. Check your Google search Console. Set it to show data for the last month and sort by impressions. I look for any untargeted keywords that are popping up, seem relative to my customer base / my site, and have a fair amount of impressions. There other, far more technical ways of assessing your keywords but this is quick, dirty, and effective. With a little bit of on page SEO targetting, you can easily bump up your rankings and traffic for these keywords.
- While You’re in search console check crawl errors. Sometimes a site gets malware. Sometimes edits cause links to be broken, or pages deleted. Give it a check now. Looks like I’ve got some broken links which I will use a redirect plugin to fix. If you notice an lots of errors, relative to your sites size, its time to do some digging or call a professional. My site has around 150 pages. Had I seen upwards of 20 or had a malware notice, I would’ve gotten serious.
- Check or benchmark your keyword rankings. I use Rank Checker, a Mozilla browser plugin. Its free after you give them an email address. This plugin also allows you to save the records for later review / use.
- Make sure the pages you want to rank for have the keyword in the Meta Title, Meta Description, and are lightly sprinkled in the body of the page. You’ll notice on my screen shot, google is ranking the wrong URL. I need to make sure I’ve got the keyword properly on the right URL.
- Add some internal keyword links. Look over the content on your website, and find a few places to add the keywords into the content, with hyperlinks to the page you want to rank. For those keywords ranking the wrong page, I’ll put the keyword hyperlink to the right page on the wrong page.
- Put the Keyword In Some Picture Tags. Pictures rendered on your website generate a ‘title’ and ‘alt tag’ in the HTML code. Most often, pictures get uploaded to a website without ever having a title or alt take placed. Adding these tags, is usually a breeze with WordPress, Wix or other modern website CMS. Find a picture or two on the page you want to rank, and write a nice title and alt tag, with the keyword slipped in.
- Get back to other things. Repeat next month. Forget about SEO for a while. It takes time to see any changes at all, and the best SEO is focusing on new content, and making sure the site is user friendly and engaging.
Besides this, I don’t spend much time on technical SEO matters. As I mentioned I just focus mostly on new content. The reality is Google is smart enough to figure out, to a large degree, what your site is about, and who finds it useful without much of your input.