The Peony Patch

I googled my website and I’m not on the first page.

I hear this often from new clients so I’ve put together a comprehensive list of my top ten DIY tips to get your website ranking in Google.

1. Business objectives

It’s all well and good to spend $$ on an SEO company to rank 1 on google, but if you’ve already got too much business then number 1 for every keyword is probably overkill. Some of my clients get over 50% of their business from Google which means investing in monthly SEO is well worth the spend, while others just want to be found for their current customer base or as a portfolio website for referrals, so get your objectives down on paper before you spend a ton of money on an SEO company.

2. Keyword planning

Before you jump into SEO tactics, you need to do some planning on what keywords your ideal customer will be searching on.  A good tool to use is Google keyword planner, or if you don’t have a Google Adwords account use a free tool like Ubersuggest. Create a list of keywords that you want to target with your SEO which will give you a better idea on the type of content you will need on your pages and blog.

3. Install yoast

If you have a WordPress site, installing and configuring Yoast (a plugin) is the single best thing you can do for your SEO efforts.  It’s easy to use and works as a traffic light system ranking your efforts with a red, orange or green light

4. Configure all pages with titles, keywords and descriptions

Once you have installed Yoast, make sure you configure each page with a title, keyword and meta description. So many websites fail to complete this simple config which means they are not visible to anyone searching for you on google.  Even if you don’t use WordPress, please make sure you update every page with a title, keyword and meta description.

5. Connect Google Search Console & Google Analytics

Both search console and analytics are free and amazing tools from Google. Setting them up takes a little bit of work, but once they are, you’ll see a lift in your search traffic. Search Console has a range of tools and resources to help you understand your site and monitor performance in google search. I’ve written about Google Analytics before, but it gives you a huge amount on data on how people are using your website, where they are coming from, what pages they are visiting, which channel converts the best etc. I recommend connecting both straight away.

6. Ensure you write interesting content, not just content full of keywords

Yes Google loves keywords, but the algorithms are always changing and Google wants to serve up content to people that is relevant and interesting, so always make sure your content is actually worth reading.

7. Linking strategy 

A linking strategy is very important, but be careful as just getting links for links sake can cause you to get penalised by Google.   I could write a whole post on creating a linking strategy (and I will soon), but it’s important to understand who your key customer is and where they might be online as that is where you want to be linked from. Writing quality content then asking websites to link to it/or become a guest blogger (with a personal email) is a great way to start.

The most important thing to remember is that not all links are good links. There is no reason to knock back a link in most cases, however some links are better than others

Some other ideas for links:

  • swapping links with partners/suppliers/testimonials
  • press releases – issuing regular press releases through a syndication service such as or
  • industry associations
  • supporting good causes
  • staff blogs

8. Set-up Google my business

If you’re a local service business, Google my business is a no-brainer. GMB listings come up before Organic so if you’re not there you’re missing out on business. Make sure you get some of your customers to post reviews as the more positive reviews you get the more likely you are to be at the top of the list.

9. If you can – build a wordpress site

WordPress is the undoubtable one of the best entry level website builders for SEO due to it’s flexibility. In fact many web experts proclaim it the best for SEO period. Other simple CMSs like Wix, Squarespace and Shopify have more complex coding that spits out in a jumble that is not structured well which is harder for google to crawl, making it harder for you to rank.  You can however still rank with the easier builders, you’re just starting at a disadvantage.


10. Blog

Google loves content, so start a blog. If you’re struggling with what to write or if you’re not a confident writer  there are a huge number of amazing freelance writers out there who can help you with content. Check out a business facebook group or ask friends for a recommendation.

That is all – good luck, and if you need any help contact me.