Business Insider

Become an SEO expert ... for free

Today, one of the best ways for your organization to be found online is to deploy sound search-engine optimization, or SEO, techniques.

Contrary to what many SEO experts may say, I don’t believe SEO requires years of website development experience or even a college degree. Nor does it require large amounts of money or time to do effectively.

If you can devote 30-45 minutes a day to SEO, and you have a desire to learn and master something new and productive, you have everything you need to excel at SEO — and enjoy potentially greater marketing success.

Learn the Basics

One of the best resources for learning SEO is Moz’s free “The Beginner’s Guide to SEO.” Read it, and you’ll know more than those who send spam SEO emails. Read it twice, and you’ll probably know more than a lot of the self-proclaimed SEO experts.

Content Development

Want to avoid being ripped off by an SEO company? Ask them how much content they’ll regularly develop for your website.

For the past few years, Google has placed ever-increasing emphasis on quality content publication. This means you should frequently produce fresh, original, beneficial content for your audience. After you’ve developed your content, you’ll also want to optimize it with relevant tags and descriptions.

Social Media

Social media give you an additional promotional platform. Consider posting a small snippet of your blog post to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and Google+ accounts, with links back to your blog. This will drive more traffic to your website.

Link Building

Google has no way to effectively determine an organization’s credibility or competitive status. It lets consumers do it. As I wrote in a previous column, you should be aggressively pursuing customer ratings (one client went from the bottom of page 3 to the top of page 1 in a year). Also, post your information in numerous online directories.

You can do your own SEO, and make it highly effective, if you have the time and inclination. If not, then get someone else to do it for you. Just make sure they’re a terrific writer and video producer. You’ll need both.

Eric Cawley is president of Complete Marketing Solutions, Meridian.; 440-6754. This column appears in the Dec. 21, 2016-Jan. 17, 2017, edition of the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider magazine. Click here for the e-edition (subscription required).