How to start SEO yourself in 2023 the Dilate way

How to start SEO yourself in 2023 the Dilate way

Tanya Dharmapala
By Tanya Dharmapala

If you’re wondering how to do organic SEO for your brand, chances are you already know just how beneficial SEO can be for small businesses. Getting started with SEO is actually relatively simple and accessible. There’s plenty of information out there and lots of free tools you can make use of. 

Efforts towards better SEO will benefit your website, even if you don’t see results with your ranking straight away. Improvements in user experience, speeding up your website and making high quality content are smart moves regardless of ranking and good for any brand. 

However, getting true and lasting results with SEO is a big process, requiring a high time commitment. You see, SEO is a long term marketing strategy that requires nurturing to grow into something fruitful. The good news is, when you put in the time and effort, you’ll get a bountiful harvest that keeps nourishing the growth of your brand long into the future.

Getting started with SEO

Whether you’re considering professional SEO services or want to handle things in-house, we’ve put together a helpful guide to get you started. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to do organic SEO like the professionals

Step 1: Identify your Brand

Step-1: Identify Your Brand

Content is the foundation of successful SEO. So, content really is King. However, how you write your website content will determine the outcome of your traffic, site scroll and conversations. What do we mean by that? 

Your content needs to speak to your audience on an emotional level and positions your brand in a way that sets you apart from other websites. People are inherently driven by emotions, so you want to write content that speaks to their pain points and desires. How do you do this? 

Determine your brand strategy

Your brand strategy should clearly highlight your brand's vision, mission and ideal buyer personas. What are your ideal buyer personas struggling with and what outcomes might  they be searching for that you can give them? Having a clear understanding of who they are, let’s you predict their online behaviour and use the right language and tone to address them.

Determine your position in the marketplace

Consider your value proposition and how you’d like your brand to appear to your ideal buyer personas. Where do you sit amongst your competitors in terms of pricing, quality of products and services, niche, and specific solutions to specific problems? What makes you stand out and what makes you unique? 

Create relevant and personalised content

Tailoring your content to speak to your customer’s unique needs helps you become a figure for authority and trust. You can create content in different formats that best attract your audience and help get your message across such as photos, videos and infographics as well as copy.

Step 2: Keyword Research

Step-2: Keyword Research

Keyword research is the process of figuring out what your target audience is actually searching for. What queries are they putting into Google? How many people are making these queries? What are they hoping to find when they make the search? With this information, you’ll be able to create content on your website that is optimised for your audience.

Keyword research can start with some general brainstorming and guesswork, but for the most part it’s actually a highly numbers-based process. After all, there’s no point ranking for ‘comfortable dog beds’ if your audience isn’t searching this term at all. 

How to do SEO keyword research

  1. Brainstorm broad keywords related to your business.
  2. Discover more specific keywords based on the market’s interest. There are plenty of free SEO tools that can help you at this stage.
  3. Check the traffic potential of each keyword. How many people are searching for this keyword? There’s no point ranking for a keyword if it doesn’t bring anyone to your site. Search volume is a good rough guide of whether a keyword is valuable to you or not.
  4. Check the ranking difficulty. How competitive is this keyword? Some keywords like “real estate” or “cheap flights” might be so competitive that it’s unlikely you’ll ever rank for them. Focusing on more specific queries can sometimes be a better strategy.
  5. Choose keywords that match the search intent of your audience. Consider why someone is making the search in the first place. What are they hoping to find? 

Keep in mind that the type of searches and search intent of your target audience might change over time – this is only natural. What that means for you is that you need to do regular keyword research to find new opportunities and tweak your existing content to better connect with your audience.

Step 3: Create a keyword map

Step-3: Create A Keyword Map

A keyword map tells you what pages on your website target which keywords. Essentially, you’re marrying each of those great keywords you found in Step 1 to the right page on your website. Later, you’ll create content for each page that’s optimised for the keyword and search intent.

Understanding search intent

Search intent is the why behind the search someone is making. Understanding where someone is in the customer journey and why they are making a search is crucial. It’s how you’ll make content that satisfies the user, keeps them engaged and gives them a great experience on your site. Search intent is a ranking factor, which means you can’t skip over it in your SEO strategy. Google wants to give its users really helpful search results and if you can provide that, you’ll be rewarded with better visibility on Google.

Making your keyword map

Start by mapping out your keywords based on your core products and services. Generally your product and service pages will have higher purchase intent keywords as their core such as “buy car insurance” or “running shoes”. These keywords will attract people whose search intent is to buy something, compare options or get a quote. 

For secondary pages and blog posts, you’ll want more informational keywords. For example: “types of car insurance” or “best running shoes for women”. This will help you capture potential customers who aren’t quite ready to buy your products or services, but are looking for information, ideas or inspiration.

Step 4: Write Helpful Content

Step-4: Write Your Content

Now you’ve got your keywords, it’s time to make highly valuable content for your pages. Optimised content is the foundation to successful SEO, so it pays to spend time developing a robust content strategy. All content should be optimised for the relevant target keyword and any appropriate secondary keywords. Don’t forget the content also needs to be optimised for conversions, and perhaps most importantly, helpful to the site visitor.

Your content should take your website visitors on a journey – starting with the reason why they clicked on your website page in the first place. Maybe they are looking for basic information such as “what is acoustic insulation?”– or perhaps they’re trying to compare different types of acoustic insulation to decide which is best for them. They might be looking for a specific insulation product to buy or a quote for local installation services.

Whatever the search intent is, make sure you give your visitors what they’re looking for in an accessible and engaging way. Simply put the goal is to provide helpful content to a user, providing value and delivering the information they were looking for. The bonus for SEO is that if a visitor stays engaged on your site, it tells Google that your content is valuable and high quality, helping you rise higher in the rankings. To take your content to the next level, make sure you’re implementing these content tips.

When you’re getting started with SEO, it’s easy to focus on making new content all the time. But keep in mind that you’ll need to audit your older content as time goes on to make sure you remain competitive and relevant. Find out how to optimise your existing content for search.

Step 5: Optimise Content for Search Engines

Step-5: Optimise Your Pages For SEO

Onpage SEO gets down to the nitty gritty details to make sure Google knows what your content is about.

You’ll need to optimise things like:

Use your target keywords in each of the above, and be as specific as possible. However, beware of keyword stuffing (overusing keywords in an unnatural way). Google will penalise you for keyword stuffing, unnatural sentence structure and unconventional punctuation use. At the end of the day your site is crawled by bots, whilst those bots are very sophisticated and driven with AI, its best practice to update the "behind the scenes" meta data on your page.

Step 6: Improve user experience

Step-6: Improve User Experience

User experience (UX) has a direct impact on your rankings. If your site is slow to load, provides misleading information or is difficult to navigate, visitors are going to bounce away quickly. Show Google that your site gives users a great experience and it’s more likely Google will choose to serve your content users over competitors.

Top ways to improve user experience include:

  • Improving site speed
  • Optimising for mobile
  • Having a professional website design (follow these website branding tips)
  • Making navigation easy and intuitive
  • Using high quality images
  • Breaking content up with headings, dot points and tables

You’ll notice when getting started with SEO that lots of your efforts will pay off in other areas. Investing in user experience is beneficial for paid streams of marketing too.

Step 7: Internal site linking

Step-7: Internal Site Linking

Once your pages are ready, it’s time to look at internal linking. This is how the different pages on your website link to each other. Internal linking provides context to Google on how things are connected on your site. And it makes sure your pages aren’t competing with each other for rankings. Internal linking can also boost user experience by making it easier for visitors to navigate your website.

Step 8: Build site authority

Step-8: Build Site Authority

One of the factors that Google uses to determine which websites rank high is authority. Do other credible sites recognise the value of your website? In other words, if you want to build your site’s authority, you need to gather external credibility or quality backlinks to your website. Backlinks need to be high quality, relevant to your business and properly sourced. Stay away from any black hat tactics as these can put you in Google’s bad books.

Here are some good ways to build your site’s authority when you’re first getting started with SEO:

  • Write guest posts for other blogs
  • Create and share infographics
  • Publish highly valuable content such as ultimate guides
  • Provide information to reporters and bloggers
  • Pitch your content to resource pages (e.g. if you’re a local cafe, you could reach out to sites publishing content like “best places to eat breakfast” or “best cafes for families”)

Keep in mind that it can be time consuming to build an extensive and effective network of links. You’ll need to keep searching for new opportunities as part of your ongoing SEO strategy. Aim for a range of different kinds of sites and backlinks so that Google gets a varied and holistic picture of your brand’s authority.

Step 9: Optimise Google My Business

Step-9: Optimise Google My Business


If your brand provides products or services to a specific location, Google Business Profile (Formerly known as Google My Business)  or GBP in short should be a crucial part of your local SEO strategy. GBP is free to use and can help you win more local traffic to your website and your physical store. You’ll need to optimise and manage your GBP profile with regular, up-to-date content similar to how you would do a blog.

Make sure you’re getting the most out of Google Business Profile with our guide How to optimise your Google Business Profile for local SEO.

Step 10: Monitor your SEO performance

Step-10: Monitor Your SEO Performance

Just like any other area of business, measuring your performance with SEO means you can find ways to improve. You can use tools like Google Analytics to track who’s coming to your site, where they’re coming from and what they’re doing on your site when they get there. 

Numbers and metrics can help you figure out how to do SEO better. For example, if you’re getting lots of clicks on your website for a particular search term, it could mean your title tag and meta description are on point. Once on your site, if people are leaving quickly, it could mean your content isn’t matching their search intent – or that your loading times are too long.

Keep in mind that markets will naturally change over time. So what worked two years ago might not be the best tactic for your audience today. Keeping your eye on your SEO performance means you can stay relevant and protect your rankings. 

If you’ve been doing SEO for a while but still aren’t ranking on Google, these tips to improve SEO could make all the difference.

Step 11: Keep on top of algorithm updates

Step-11: Keep On Top Of Algorithm Updates


It’s not just a changing market you have to keep your eye on. Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving as well. To rank well in Google’s search results you need to know the factors that matter the most and the practices that are going to get you penalised. Stay on top of Googles updates like and make sure you get your site ready for these specific metrics.

Are you ready to get started with SEO?

Getting started with SEO may seem like a big job, but big jobs get big outcomes! Here’s our SEO Audit Checklist & The Best Tools To Use available to download so you can do an audit of your own website from an SEO perspective, and find out the best tools to use to help your SEO further. 

Need help getting started with SEO?

If you’ve had a look at your business and are ready to take the next steps with organic marketing, an SEO agency can help you create and implement an SEO strategy that gets impressive results. At Dilate, we can help with everything from keyword research and mapping to conversion-optimised content creation and targeted local SEO services.

Call us today on 1800 345 283 to see what we can do for you.

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