Search Engine Optimisation | 5 Minute Read
In 2020, there’s no shortage of comparison articles out there.
Why painting your house and Celine Dion are actually the same.
Did you know gardening and sky diving are actually the same?
123 ways that Masterchef and a Bunnings sausage sizzle are actually the same.
So it should come as no surprise that we’ll be diving head first into a comparison ourselves.
Do It Yourself SEO + Brewing your own Beer = the same.
We know how you’re feeling. You’re struggling to see the comparison and you’re tempted to just pack everything in and head to the fridge to find a cold one.
Trust me, so are we.
But whether you’re a fan of beer, or a business owner looking to add some Do It Yourself SEO touches to your online presence, there’s value here.
While the professionals in their respective fields will always be able to create a finished product that really stands out, that’s not to say you can’t tinker with some SEO DIY. In the same way, there’s nothing stopping you from brewing your own beer.
Think those two activities are distinctly different? You might be surprised.
Here are all the ways that implementing your own Do It Yourself SEO and brewing your own beer are actually the same.
They’ll both save you a little bit of money (but you risk missing out on quality).
While it’s tempting to think the savings differences would be huge, for both Do It Yourself SEO and brewing your own beer there are several cost factors at play that balance out the playing field.
If you’re looking to knock up a home made brew you’ll need to invest in the necessary supplies, as well as the ingredients you’ll need for each batch. On top of that you’ll need to invest some extra man hours to make sure your culinary masterpiece is perfect. All of these will skim your profit margin if you’re expecting to come out with money in the bank.
The same goes for your Do It Yourself SEO. You’ll be saving on any agency fees, but the time it will take to optimise your website can really add up. If those hours of researching keywords, learning how to use SEO tools, and trimming the fat to make your website more efficient, cut into your regular 9-5 then you could actually end up losing money.
In this case the obvious benefit of bringing on some professional SEO help is the classic ‘two heads are better than one’ approach. When you know your SEO is in the hands of experts, you’re able to focus your efforts fully on your own business, and that type of uninterrupted attention can only be good in the long run.
Remember, the cost you save must always be balanced against the potential benefits. Sure you’ll save money brewing your own beer at home, but if it ends up flatter than an envelope you might wish you’d spent the extra to buy the finished product.
The same logic applies to Do It Yourself SEO. While it’s absolutely possible to implement some optimisation techniques to apply to your own website (and we’ll even show you how), there are certain skills that only a professional agency can bring to the table. So while you may save a little in the long run, you’ll also be missing out on their valuable experience and expertise which otherwise could have pushed you further. These top secret skills cost a little extra, but the ability to supercharge your website and digital presence is tough to match without them.
With a more rounded set of skills brought by professionals, your online presence has more potential to grow. That means more visibility, more clicks, more customers and more business – all of which might be worth a little extra cost up front.
What this really comes down to is how much you’re willing to invest to see a return.
Wondering how much you should pay for SEO? We’ve written a convenient SEO Pricing Guide for this very occasion, so you can check it out while your homebrew is fermenting.
They’re both a mixture of art and science.
With enough time and practice, anyone can brew a solid beer, just as anyone can master the basics of Do It Yourself SEO. The best results in both fields will come from a blend of art and science.
With both SEO and beer, your foundations have to be really solid. You can’t expect to build a successful strategy across either goal if you’re building on quicksand.
If you’re making your own beer you’ll need a grain bill that produces wort that you can ferment into alcohol, hops that will work with the flavours of your grain, the right quality water, yeast that matches the style of beer you’re brewing and the ability to test a range of variables with every following attempt you make to keep brewing your own beer.
Do It Yourself SEO is the same. Your content has to be engaging, more than that it has to match the content of your meta tags and titles with clear keywords connecting the two. Your website navigation must be clear and simple. Working with your pages to make the user experience intuitive and friendly.
But even with all these steps successfully carried out, if you’ve got a toxic link profile, thin content or a site structure that’s confusing, your foundation isn’t solid and your end result will suffer.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the most important and foundational on-page Do It Yourself SEO changes that you’ll need to get sorted if you want to see success:
- Research keywords that are high-volume but low competition
- Place these keywords at the start of your title tags
- Add modifiers like ‘best’, ‘guide’, and ‘review’ to your title tags to help you rank for long tail keywords
- Place your keywords in short, simple and SEO friendly URLs
- Put your title in an <H1> tag
- Include multimedia with your keywords in simple alt tags for each image
- Place your keyword in at least one subheading using <H2> tags
- Insert your keyword within the first 100 words of your content
- Use outbound links to relevant pages to help Google understand your content
- Add 2-3 internal links to every post to other pages or posts that are relevant
- Add a few LSI Keywords to your content to help Google further understand what it’s about
- Post longer content, remembering ‘length is strength’ when it comes to Do It Yourself SEO
Once you’ve ticked all your foundation boxes you’ll then need to add some touches of art.
If you’ve been technically responsible your website might rank for the keywords you’ve chosen.
That’s a great start. But it is not enough!
To add your creative flair you’ll need to ask yourself an important question.
Is your content irresistible to people?
If it’s not attracting clicks your rankings won’t matter, SEO isn’t just about appearing on Google.
If you’re ranking #1 but failing to capture new business your Do It Yourself SEO is a failure.
To make sure you don’t end up in this unwanted position you’ll have to then start asking the creative questions.
Are people exploring your website and enjoying your content? How long are they spending on each page? Are they sharing your work?
All these questions give you a chance to experiment with the ‘art’ that comes after the science.
Those artistic changes could come in the form of:
- Adding clear calls to action to your website to help people take the next step in their purchasing journey.
- Continuing to optimise your pages with relevant keywords that are high-volume but low competition.
- Sharing your content on social media and encouraging others to do the same.
Creative touches like these will double down on your strong foundations and give you the best chance of a tasty end product.
They both require tools of the trade (and the know-how to use them).
A good tradesman never blames his tools. But he still knows how important they are.
If you’re becoming the next big thing in the brewing world a few extra resources doesn’t hurt.
From a well insulated mash tun to a well made sparge arm, there’s a long list of resources that you’ll need if you want the finished product to resemble the real thing in any way.
To the non-brewers out there some of these necessary tools might as well be from an alien world with the foreign language and learning curve required to master them.
In the same way, there are a range of SEO tools you can use to improve your own search engine optimisation, and while they take a little time and energy to master, with your future success in mind we’ve gone ahead and sourced 3 of the best for you.
These tools are all available online and will all do great things for your Do It Yourself SEO. Even better, we know it can be a challenge to run a business on a budget, so all 3 of these valuable SEO resources are absolutely free.
1. Google PageSpeed Insights
The speed of your website has two broad impacts you should be aware of.
Firstly, a slow website is not an appealing website. No matter how great your content is or how irresistible your products and services, if your website won’t load then people will look elsewhere. There’s just too much competition out there for a hungry consumer to hang around. A slow website will negatively impact the user experience you are offering.
Secondly, the load time of your website will directly affect your SEO ranking. It’s one Google’s roughly 200 ranking signals, so if your website isn’t running at full speed, your rankings will suffer.
Click on the link above, enter your URL and hit ‘Analyse’. It’s that easy!
This handy free tool can show you how fast your website is on both desktop and mobile devices.
With Google officially announcing they’ll use the mobile version of a website to determine rankings, it pays to be fast across every device. If something isn’t up to par, you can get working on speeding things up right away.
Even better, you’ll also receive an optimisation score and any tips to help improve it so you can enjoy your own sweet, green tick of approval.
Search It Local tip – One of the simplest ways to boost the load speed of your site is to compress images to reduce their size and increase load time. You can use free compression sites like TinyPNG to make the process simple.
2. Google Keyword Planner
Keywords are at the heart of SEO. If you can optimise a page on your website by placing keywords in the content, URL, page title and H1 locations you’ll be telling Google what your page is about. This helps you appear when people go searching for those same keywords. It’s simple supply and demand.
But without a solid keyword research tool, choosing the right keywords is sort of like trying to hit the bullseye. With the lights off. Facing the wrong way. And you’re holding a balloon and not a dart.
Thankfully, Google’s Keyword Planner tool lets you enter a keyword, or group of keywords, in return for a mountain of data that can start to frame your keyword strategy. This includes monthly search volumes, competition for your chosen words, and suggested similar keyword options you might not have thought of. No more blind guessing for you!
Let’s say you’re a Sydney business selling home brewed beer.
Google Keyword Planner can help you to find the words and phrases your potential customers might use to find you. You might be building your SEO strategy around keywords like ‘Australian beer’. But Keyword Planner could show you phrases with less competition, and are therefore easier to use to rank on Google, that could save you time and money.
‘Craft Beer Sydney’ has less competition but still has high monthly search volume, meaning you’ll have a better chance of ranking for that phrase.
Google’s Keyword Planner only comes free if you have a current AdWords account. But you can get around this by setting up a free AdWords account, adding some simple info about your business, and getting started from there. You don’t have to run a live campaign to use Google Keyword Planner, just set up your AdWords account and you’re good to go.
(Don’t tell anyone we told you!)
3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that tracks the way visitors use your website. Mining a mountain of data, this information can spice up your Do It Yourself SEO campaign in a huge way. Not just keeping track of every piece of traffic data you could imagine, Google Analytics also provides valuable keyword insights to show you what terms people are using to end up on your pages.
Some of the ways you can use Google Analytics to help your Do It Yourself SEO efforts include:
Get to know your keywords
As we mentioned, keywords are at the heart of an SEO strategy as they provide a way for people to find your website through search engines. Google Analytics reflects this importance with a dedicated ‘Queries’ section. The simple and clear breakdown of keywords that have driven traffic to your site is a goldmine. You can see exactly what keywords people have used to find you. If you’re not getting the traffic you hoped, you can double down on your optimisation efforts or try and target different keywords instead.
Measure Internal Site Search
The ‘Site Search’ option allows you to track the way people explore your site. If you notice a certain page isn’t attracting visitors or clicks then your SEO needs work. This might mean restructuring your website navigation or adding some compelling new content to start attracting people again.
Understand Your Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is one of the most important metrics impacting your SEO ranking, with Google viewing this as a sign your website isn’t the most useful and therefore not worthy of appearing on the first page.
A high bounce rate can be a sign your content is not targeted to your visitors wants and needs, making it hard for you to rank. Google Analytics can show you which pages are experiencing high bounce rates, giving you a chance to make changes. Whether it’s making your landing pages more appealing or optimising content with new keywords to attract the right customers, this free tool gives you the power to see what’s not working – which is the first step in making it work.
Tweak Your Content Strategy
Content is king, but how can you rule over your industry without knowing what type of content to create? Google Analytics keeps track of every piece of content you add to your website. By seeing which content receives the most views, clicks and shares you’ll know what your customers like. Create more of that type of content to continue drawing them in.
As a free and highly informative tool, there’s nothing that can beat Google Analytics. The valuable insights on offer can improve your website, increase conversions, and make a huge difference to your business, all without costing a thing.
Do It Yourself SEO just got a whole lot easier!
They both require flexibility.
With any luck your home brew will take care of itself while you think of creative names for your burgeoning beer brand and empire. Just like a perfect version of your Do It Yourself SEO strategy will go ahead without a hitch, improving the user experience of your website and speaking directly to Google’s roughly 200 ranking signals to get your business seen and heard.
But that’s unlikely to be the case.
As a home brewer you might accidentally use chlorinated tap water during the brewing process. While great for keeping drinking water safe for consumption, chlorinated water is not so friendly to your beer. In fact, chlorine can cause the presence of chlorophenols which create a plastic taste that is not appealing and can torpedo your beer before it ever had a chance.
Thankfully, you can rectify this common beer brewing brain fade by leaving your brewing water in an open container overnight, boiling it to dissipate the chlorine, or adding tablets designed to return your water to optimal conditions.
Phew, that was a close one!
You’ll need that same spirit of flexibility when implementing your own SEO strategy.
Let’s say you’ve logged onto your Google Analytics dashboard only to find out that your page visits are down, your bounce rate is up and your website isn’t performing as it should.
In this situation your SEO strategy will need some fixing on the fly.
If your bounce rate has gone up it could mean your website isn’t providing the answers that your visitors are looking for. You could use your Google Analytics account to identify which pages are getting clicks and use those to re-model the pages that are no longer attracting attention.
You’ll have to ask yourself what the successful pages are doing that the less successful pages are not.
Could you improve your underperforming page with a more captivating headline?
After all, 8 out of 10 people will read a headline while only 2 out of 10 people will go on to read the entire content. In which case, right now you’re one of the special minority who enjoys reading content, congratulations!
Perhaps your calls-to-action are not engaging enough and need tweaking?
Or is the layout of your website turning potential customers away?
Much like brewing your own beer, there are no concrete answers to these tough questions. You’ll have to try and improve your beer with each subsequent brew just as you’ll have to work on your SEO strategy while your website is live.
As long as you’re flexible and open to change, you’ll be able to adapt to each SEO challenge as it arrives.
They’re both a waiting game.
Good things take time, there’s no two ways around that.
So whether you’re brewing your own beer or optimising your own website, it’s worth your while to take things slow and enjoy the fruits of your labour when everything is said and done.
Let’s start with beer (always a solid motto). You won’t get a good look at the finished product for weeks.
The time it takes to turn your raw ingredients into a finished, ready to drink product, varies. But don’t expect to fill a glass for at least 4-8 weeks.
The process of preparing your beer is quite quick. Once all your ingredients are ready you’ll have two solid weeks of waiting while your soon-to-be beer ferments. Not that you’re able to put your feet up just yet. After this two week period you’ll need to add priming sugar and bottle your brew. With your bottle caps safely applied it’s time to leave them in the dark and at room temperature for another 2-4 weeks for bottle conditioning.
Compare this to SEO and you’ll see a similar pattern of delayed gratification. With results expected between 4-6 months, SEO compounds over time to become even better once the 12 month barrier is broken.
This can be frustrating for many business owners and naturally so, if you’re investing in SEO you want to know your money is working it’s way back to you.
Each small success within your SEO strategy is at first a milestone, then later a stepping stone.
Those keywords you’ve researched? They’ll frame your content.
The extra pages of content you’ve created? They’ll make your website more inviting.
Your inviting website? It can now be split into a clear and intuitive navigation structure.
That simpler user experience? It’ll increase the number of people visiting your site.
Those extra visitors? They’ll improve your on-page metrics, lower your bounce rate and increase your time on page.
Those positive metrics? They’re unmissable ranking signals that Google will see.
When Google sees your website as valuable and relevant? Your rankings will increase.
With increased rankings the cycle starts all over again as more people see your business, are interested in your business, and become customers of your business.
The best part of all? Once this SEO process is underway that cycle we mentioned keeps repeating and repeating. The snowball effect of greater visibility, clicks and business continues long after you stop paying.
Which means you end up getting attention, customers and business for free!
Should slow burn results stop you from embarking upon your own home brew journey? Absolutely not! Not having results the next day isn’t going to stop you from becoming the next big thing in the brewing world. When you’re passionate about something, waiting for results only makes the end results that much sweeter (or more bitter, depending on the type of beer flavours you’re gunning for).
The same logic applies to your SEO. Good SEO takes time, that’s the simple truth. You’re passionate about your business though. You want to see it grow and prosper. So would you pull the plug on your SEO efforts simply because the results take time? Not a chance!
Just as you’d wait for your beer because you know the end justifies the means, you need to wait for your SEO to take effect. In the exact same way, the final result will be worth every second you’ve spent waiting.
They can both act as a launching pad.
If you’ve survived the process and created a beer worth drinking, or a website worth visiting, you can use this milestone as a stepping stone. Now that you’ve dipped your toe in the water you’ll have a greater understanding of what’s required to be even more successful.
When you’ve seen the process from the side of a consumer and a producer – whether brewing your own beer or optimising your own Do It Yourself SEO, you’ll be better placed to find a working professional relationship to help you become even more of an expert.
You’re no longer in the dark and worried about what ‘the professionals’ are doing with your hard earned money. On the contrary, you’ve seen what’s required and you’ll be able to communicate with your chosen agency as they take your hard Do It Yourself SEO work and take it a step further.
If you want to take your brewing to the next level this could mean partnering with a local brewery to increase your knowledge and skill set. Maybe even moving towards your own batch of craft beer!
And for SEO, you can find a digital agency that has a proven track record of taking businesses in your industry and helping them to grow. Whether that’s to increase their visibility online, expand their market share, become a local authority, grow their number of conversions, or attract keywords that otherwise had zero exposure, you’ll know what they’re doing on their end which will make it easier for you to focus on running your business on your end.
They both have a reward waiting for you.
You’ve been patient. And that’s a virtue. But more than that it’s led to the moment of reward that you’ve long waited for.
If you’d turned your garage into a Prohibition style bootleg brewery then your prize is your very own, homebrewed beer. Across 2 months you survived the fermentation process, avoided over priming your brew to end up with soft drink, successfully packaged the brew and made it through to the bitter end (again, depending on what type of beer you were brewing). Drink up and enjoy!
On the other hand, if you’d been implementing Do It Yourself SEO strategies on your own then your hard work has paid off as you power past the important 6 month and 12 month marks. You’ve created a logical sitemap, optimised the user experience and on-page signals, increased your site speed, and spoken directly to Google’s ranking algorithms with targeted keywords.
Your reward? Higher rankings for the keywords you targeted. Increased traffic as a result of your higher rankings. And quality conversions as a result of your increased traffic.
For a business, those outcomes are the stuff of dreams. Not only were they always in grasp, but they were right there with a little skill and a lot of patience. The first sip of beer will taste all the sweeter for having waited. And the first time your website appears on Google will be worth the Do It Yourself SEO effort.
As a small business, you can achieve great things when you add SEO to your digital arsenal.
There are some aspects of SEO that require a professional agency of course. Comprehensive white hat link building, industry leading keyword research strategies, and creative conversion driving content from skilled copywriters, graphic designers and web developers. However these will always be available when you want to really leave your competition in the dust.
By working on your own Do It Yourself SEO, you’re at least at the starting line with everyone else, and that’s a great place to be for now.
With all that said, it’s time for a beer.