What Can YOU Do For Better SEO? (Without Being An Expert)

SEO Basics If you are not a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert chances are you know very little about it but, is there anything you can do to better your performance on your own?

SEO is very complex and expensive but there are things you can do and tools you can use to work on the basics of your site’s performance.

Should you consider hiring somebody? of course, just as you should hire a designer, a programmer, just as you hire a CPA for your taxes. This is an investment.

If you are not ready to hire a consultant, here is a list of ideas so you can get started in the game:

Google Analytics

Obviously the first thing you should do is signup for Google Analytics if you are still not using it. Start paying attention to how your traffic performs depending on the content you publish and the changes you make to the site. I’m not suggesting you become an analytic freak but you should at least get familiar with the basics if you want to do more than just staring at the charts.

Join DMOZ.org

You might think DMOZ, the open directory project, is a big online dinosaur and why waste time submitting your site. The reason is that Google and some of the other search engines like Altavista or AOL Search still use it in the back-end of their directories because the process of including a site is still performed by humans. Take the time to go through the submission process to increase your chances of being added on other search engines.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool

The purpose of this tool is another one but you can still use it to pay around with keywords. Run the report based on your URL, it is also a very interesting exercise to see what you are putting out there in terms of content.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool


Wordtracker is a tool that helps you research, discover and perform better on specific keywords. This is not a cheap tool and you should probably take it for a ride first and see if you like how it works.

Wordtracker - Keywords Tool

Got BackLinks?

First, you should see who is linking back to your site, there are many tools out there but I’m currently plying with Open Site Explorer. It doesn’t just displays a list of sites linking back to you but it also provides you with a nice series of scores like Page Authority (URL score combining all link) or  metrics Total Links (followed, nofollowed & 301’ing pages) among others. This will give you a staring point to start building links.

Backlink Analysis Tool

Buy The SEO Book

The SEO Book is not just an e-book but a live website full of resources that anybody can understand and implement. The point here is not that you study SEO to become a ninja but to get familiar with the basics and know what you’re doing online if you can’t hire an expert.

Pear Analytics

PearAnalytics provides you with a nice set of eye-opening tools from Alexa rank, site age and directory listings to page rank and inbound links. They have a tool to give you a free analysis on your url and while the tool is not free, they offer a Quick Try account you can open to take it for a spin.

Pear Analytics SEO

All In One SEO

If you are running your site over WordPress, you should consider installing a SEO plugin. After almost 5 million downloads, the most popular one is of course All In One SEO. You can customize to your needs and you can run just out-of-the-box if you prefer. As most WP plugins it is free but there is also a Pro Version for $39.

Thesis (DIY Themes)

Thesis is not just a theme, it offers the strongest SEO available on WordPress themes. It allows you to fine-tune your options per page or post and everything is displayed on the dashboard so you can leverage from this even if you are not a programmer. Now you can focus on writing content.


Scribe is the new SEO software by CopyBlogger’s Brian Clark. It currently works on WordPress. In just a few words, it adds a feature on your dashboard that analyzes copy on every page or post to improve your search performance. Take out the guesswork when it comes to copy writing. It is not free but it is definitely worth a try if you’re serious about your blog.

Scribe - SEO Copywriting

Follow Some SEO Ninjas

Get educated by following and listening to a few key people in the SEO field. To make it easier to understand the content, follow people that have a friendly voice. I like Lee Odden from TopRank Blog and Michael Gray from Graywolf’s SEO Blog.

Final Thought…

Please don’t expect to be # 1 in Google after tweaking a couple of things on your SEO. While you can improve on your own, Search Engine Optimization is a long process and requires of expertise. It doesn’t hurt to be familiar with things and even take some steps on your own like the ones listed here but I will not advice you to try to become an expert if you are already running your own business. Now contribute with your favorite tips and tools in the comments section…

  • Great article. If you are already mentioning Dmoz directory I would just add a little tip on how to submit to directories within your niche -Go to Google and simply use the following formula:

    “Specific keyword” + “add url”

    “Specific keyword” + “suggest a site”

    “Specific keyword” + “submit a site”

    Where it says “specific keyword” type in your keyword or keywords.

    If you are looking for free directories then type in for example: “Specific keyword” + “add url”+free

  • Great advice Hillel, thanks for contributing to the post.

  • This is indeed a good list of SEO tools and resources. Glad to see some common sense outside the SEO indsutry itself. On the other hand I wouldn't bother with DMOZ these days anymore. It literally takes years until your link gets approved. Delicious is todays DMOZ.

  • You right Tad, but is it that it is not relevant anymore or because it's too hard to get on? BTW, nice blog, just visited – http://seo2.0.onreact.com/

  • technicalstatus

    great post u r sensational

  • Who don't have any idea about seo and smo, they can go through this steps, not bad in start !

  • Exactly the point Allen, there is a lot more to do but these are things anybody can do as beginners. Thanks for your comment.

  • excellent Hillel

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  • To improve my SEO works I try to look for some guide on experts and guru. And I'm interested to join different program and event that related in marketing and SEO.

  • The SEO Book is a little bit outdated now, but the others are “must” for any beginner and experienced user. 🙂

  • great article. thanks for sharing such nice information .great work man..

  • Has anybody been Making money with craigslist lately?For some reason they have been power flagging.

  • Search commands can be very helpful not just above ones. Here what I recommend, can be used for niche specific or for general directories.

    I think people often noticed that these directories using same software like PHP scripts for example eSyndicate directory.

    So here is the real thing. Search in Google for [“Powered by eSyndiCat Directory” web directory] excluding square bracket. Now you have general directories.

    Similarly for finding niche related directory just make the necessary adjustment to your query without touching “powered thing”.

    I am not an SEO expert but I have learned many things. Google is great and gives you tons of valuable information.

    BTW, if you guys want to submit article or news. Please use my directory. Its http://www.mynewssection.com

  • KPO

    Actually, I like this post a lot 🙂 . Finally I found someone who’s familiar to my manners. I do SEO for about 2 years and the only thing I learnt is that a clear and usable code ranks much better than any spaghetti code especially in Google.

    After I rebuilt the homepage of my client’s site, it’s rankings got better. It wasn’t anything extra, just about 30-40 places moving from the top50 to the top10, but it brought a reasonable traffic for quite competitve phrases.

  • Alla

    Great post. I have been searching for this exact info for a while now. I will bookmark it in the public bookmarking sites to get you more traffic.
    SEO Armenia

  • Thanks for your information:)

  • For batter SEO follow this techniques :

    1. Domain & File Names
    2. Keyword Density
    3. Title & Meta Description Tag
    4. Meta Keywords Tag
    5. Quality Content
    6. Quantity Content
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  • Very useful post. Getting listed in Google directory has got a lot to do with Dmoz.

  • Thanks very nice info 🙂

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  • Great, thanks for the tips!


  • Wow, a nice simple set of ways to rank better, thanks for your efforts this will help me greatly.

  • its also depend on the content and the product which is to be sold….

  • Great tips for starters boomarked this page.

    Thaank you,


  •  It goes without saying I also love the design of your website, incredibly imaginative. Thanks.

  • backlinks and good amount of backlinks

  • links related to the theme is the best options

  • Great information. I was searching this article to entire net. This has help me a lot.

  • web master

          from a statistic i have read that most of people now spend their time on social networks. you can target them as you seo field. it can help you to have some good amount of traffic in a short period of time.     http://www.no1searchengineoptimization.com/

  • Great post! This tips are really awesome.

  • very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out thanks in a ton 


    Do you think that a person who is not an expert though in seo,
    will be
    able to handle Google analytic and understand Open Site Explorer’s rank
    matrices? Also, getting a Dmoz listing is not a very easy task. Sorry but,
    I think it will be a bit heavy task for a newbie to Seo. I think these
    should be handled by experts to get effective and accurate results 

  • is keywords are mandatory to provide in meta tags please let me know

  • Shouldn’t it map back to a specific business objective, rather than approach? Surely then the right creative reasoning will prevail?

  • following are a couple of listings to sites which we link to because we think these are really worth checking out i really mean it 

  • Back links related to themes are the most important steps for any backlinker

  • Should you consider hiring somebody? of
    course, just as you should hire a designer, a programmer, just as you
    hire a CPA for your taxes. This is an investment.

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    SEO naturally gets long lasting in google search and updating the same as per algo updates gets us to stand for long time in search, if not we too getting hidden or removed from index..Some of my friends wesites for prime keywords in jobs category are removed by google..Google is doing the right thing and the expectation & unique content updation is very important accordingly current algo updates