SEO: there are some things you can do to help yourself

Sam McKeith

If you’re getting a start-up or small business off the ground it can be tempting to take a do-it-yourself approach to pretty much everything - from accounts and marketing to raising capital and even stocking the stationary cupboard.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) analyst Robert McAnderson says that boosting your site’s ranking in Google was another area you could take on yourself, if you had the time and inclination.

He said this was especially the case given the high price charged by many marketing agencies promising to give you a big lift in online rankings, but whose fees could be out of reach of many firms just starting out.

McAnderson concedes that at the upper end of the agency ladder comes the expertise and hardware to get you great results – of course – so long as you can stump up thousands of dollars for the service.

For smaller players, McAnderson advises that there are a number of keys to optimising your ranking on Google, including mastering keywords and regularly updating website content.

The challenge is navigating your way through a highly technical and ever-changing environment.

“It is hard to DIY, most people don’t really know how to do it,” he cautioned.

For smaller players, McAnderson advises that there are a number of keys to optimising your ranking on Google, including mastering keywords and regularly updating website content.

A must for start-ups keen to DIY was get across Google AdWords – the search engine’s advertising service for businesses keen to run ads on Google.

McAnderson says this would keep your spend in the hundreds of dollars range instead of it ballooning by outsourcing to an agency.

His advice comes as Google this week revealed new AdWords features that could help Aussie firms enhance the experience of mobile and video shopping for consumers.

 “You’d be hard pressed not to look at the value of AdWords as means of generating some quick responses and sales enquiries for you and as a means of gaining, first hand, some greater insight into the keywords that are being used,” McAnderson said.

“It will help you then write articles pertinent to those key words and also with your social media.

“It’s a good place to start and it’s better than most people’s average guess (about keywords) when they start up.”

An additional word of advice - use social media to drive traffic to your site and lift your Google rankings that way.

“Make sure you’re running social media campaigns because the aim of that is to constantly drag people back to your website,” he said.

“If you can drive social media and people to your website, the result is that you’re increasing your website traffic and … increasing your Google rankings.”

McAnderson describes that as the “best way to gain organic searches for a start-up business.”

Sam McKeith

Sam McKeith is Sydney-based media professional. He has contributed to many leading publications including The Huffington Post, The Australian Financial Review, The Australian and BRW Magazine. He was previously a senior reporter at the Australian Associated Press where he covered national affairs. 

There’s plenty of tips and advice on SEO for small business owners, as well as how to DIY social media and grow your business without spending the big bucks

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