If you are planning to go it alone with Search Engine Optimization, here are a few basics to help climb the search ranks.

1- Avoid pronouns. It, they, these, those, our, he, she and their should be avoided when possible. These words are vague and get overlooked by search engines.

2- Use your location when possible. When I am looking to shop locally, I will generally add my location to my search. For example, I will search for Italian + restaurants + Fargo + Moorhead.

3- Add things in your blogs and content that could be picked up on by a search. Maybe your business is located next to a national landmark or you have a story about a famous person that visited your establishment. Put it in there.

4- Update often. This is important for both search engines and users. There is nothing more frustrating than going to a site that has not been updated in a year or two. Your customers will have less reason to go back to your site. Even adding a simple blog keeps your site current and tells web users your site is a breathing marketing tool rather than an obligation.

5- Find a balance. It is a catch 22 when it comes to content and SEO. If no one can get to your site via search keywords, how can they get to know about your company? Conversely, if your content is cluttered with too many specifics or irrelevant information, will they care about your message? Never forget your site’s ultimate goal is to generate sales or leads. Driving traffic to your webpage is important, but keeping the readers engaged and informed cannot be sacrificed.

It is not a bad idea to have a professional copywriter write for your website. If you cannot afford someone to constantly update your website, hiring a writer to develop the initial content will give you direction, SEO and peace of mind that all the tricks mentioned above are conducted to maximize your site’s potential.