How to start DIY SEO on your site? This article has an overview of my favorite tools you can start using immediately to improve your site.

Part of a good inbound marketing strategy is setting up SEO effectively for your website. The process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are techniques that help your website rank higher in Search Engine Results Pages. 

Inbound marketing attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them, forms connections they’re looking for, and solves problems they already have.

Start Of The Customer Journey Is Search

89% Of all purchases start with a search query on a Search Engine, most likely Google. Your site must therefore be ranked high in the search results to drive organic traffic and potential buyers to your service and products.

Basic SEO setup

Below are a few pointers for organizing a basic SEO set-up. This is by no means a complete step-by-step list. 

First and foremost, it is important to set up a website with a hierarchical or pyramid content structure. A structure similar to:

  • about you
  • product and service offering
  • solutions
  • blog articles
  • contact pages 

Make sure to interlink articles to your products and services and vice versa. Use proper headers on your pages and articles. H1 is the title of a page, of which you can only have 1 per page or article. Use H2 for chapters and H3 for subchapters.

Create content for humans to read and potentially to convert into an action such as download, fill in a form, register, or contact you.

Make sure to create an enticing meta description for your page. This is the description someone will see on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) where you will need to convince them to click on your link.

SEO Tools

Free DIY SEO Tools

To help founders and owners of new ventures to start setting up SEO, free tools are usually the best way to start. Needless to say, free tools will only get you so far and do not replace professional SEO services. But, these free tools will provide insights to a stage when you can involve a professional or when you become well versed at SEO yourself.

Website Testing

These tools help you to test basics of your site such as speed and traffic.

  • GTmetrix.com is a free tool to test your website speed. It provides a detailed breakdown of issues and how to fix them. 
  • Similarweb.com has a free Chrome extension, that allows you to see an estimated traffic projection for websites (your own and competitors). The paid versions allow much more detail on website traffic (paid, organic, social, referral etc.), but also keyword analysis which is great for competitor analysis.

Finding Keywords

One of the most important parts of SEO is knowing which keywords would give you more chance to increase organic traffic.

  • Answerthepublic.com is my favorite tool to get keyword ideas. By inputting a keyword, this tool visualizes search questions and suggested autocomplete searches which provides you insight on which keywords to use.
  • Keywordtool.io is a free tool that provides (long-tail) keywords based on one keyword idea.
  • Serprobot.com allows you to enter a website/ page and up to 5 keywords to see how that site/ page ranks in a search engine. This is also great to analyze your competitors. 

Tools For Your Website

It is important to organize SEO properly on your site. More than 30% of all sites on the web use WordPress as Content Management System (CMS). The tools below all work with WordPress:

  • My favorite tool to optimize a WordPress site is rankmath.com, this free plugin has more features than the free Yoast.com plugin. When crafting page content, it analyzes your content and provides suggestions to improve. In addition, these plugins help you with the general SEO settings for your site.
  • Cloudflare.com, is a free Content Delivery Network (CDN) that helps speed up your site and add extra security amongst other things.

Overall SEO Tools

  • Seo-extension.com is a free Chrome extension that allows you to see the SEO basics on any page, such as the use of headers, description, sitemap, robot.txt, etc.
  • Seoreviewtools.com offers a set of free tools to help you analyze and optimize your SEO efforts.
  • Neilpatel.com/seo-analyzer is an SEO site analysis that provides you with a quick report of what needs fixing to improve your website.

Paid SEO tools

If you want to advance further, paid SEO tools such as these below are great to dig much deeper when it comes to analyzing (competitors) traffic, keywords, and backlinks and how to utilize these insights to improve your site. In general, these offer similar tools within their paid packages.

  • Ahrefs.com has a free Chrome extension that offers SEO metrics on-page. It is my favorite paid solution with good insights and data for backlinks, keywords, and traffic.
  • Moz.com has a free Chrome extension that provides SEO metrics on-page. 
  • SEMrush.com is a paid solution with good insights in organic and paid data for your site and competitors.

Final Thoughts On SEO

In summary, when you are starting with SEO, start with these free tools to gain more insight that allows you to adjust your SEO. When your company or website is past the initial start-up phase you can explore choosing a paid tool to advance or you may consider hiring a professional to help you climb up in the rankings. It is important to remember: SEO takes time and effort.

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