Thinking of creating a DIY website? Some things you should know

DIY website creation tools are all over the internet and advertised constantly online.  But are they any good?  Well they are relatively cheap and easy to use and you can get something that looks good within a few hours.  So whats the catch?  Having a website and being found online are two seperate things.  Many of the DIY builders sell their product as a ‘simple solution’ where no effective simple solution exists.  If you have created your own website using a DIY platform or tool, you might be wondering why it is not showing up on the first page of Google or other search engines. You might have spent hours designing and writing your website, but still not getting the traffic and conversions you expected. What went wrong?

The truth is, creating a website is only one step in building an online presence. To rank well in search, you need to first research your competition, understand what Google is looking for in terms of website content (the algorithm), identify your keywords and audience and then optimise your website for both on-page and off-page SEO factors.

On-page SEO refers to the elements of your website that you can control, such as content, keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, headings, images, etc.

Off-page SEO refers to the elements of your website that are influenced by external factors, such as backlinks, social media, brand awareness, etc.

Below is a list of some of the common reasons why DIY websites fail to rank well and some tips on how to improve your website’s visibility and authority.

Reason #1: Poor Competitor and Keyword Research

One of the most important steps in any SEO strategy is to conduct a thorough competitor and keyword research. This will help you understand what your target audience is searching for, what keywords they use, what content they consume, and what websites they visit. It will also help you identify your main competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, their ranking factors, and their gaps and opportunities.

Many DIY website owners skip this step or do it poorly. They either use generic keywords that are too broad or too competitive, or they use keywords that are irrelevant or outdated. They also fail to analyze their competitors’ websites and learn from their best practices and mistakes.

To avoid this pitfall, you need to use a reliable keyword research tool like Moz Keyword Explorer that can help you find relevant, long-tail keywords with high search volume and low competition. You also need to use a competitive analysis tool like Moz Competitive Research that can help you compare your website with your competitors’ websites on various metrics such as domain authority, backlinks, top pages, etc.

Reason #2: Lack of Indexing and Sitemaps

Another common reason why DIY websites fail to rank well in search is that they are not properly indexed by search engines. Indexing is the process of crawling and storing your website’s pages in a database so that they can be retrieved when someone searches for them. If your website is not indexed, it means that search engines cannot find it or access it.

One of the ways to ensure that your website is indexed is to submit a sitemap to Google Search Console (previously Webmaster Tools). A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages of your website and their hierarchy. It helps search engines understand the structure and content of your website and crawl it more efficiently. It also tells search engines which pages you want to show up in their search results and which ones you don’t.

Many DIY website owners neglect to create and submit a sitemap to Google Search Console. They either don’t know how to do it or think that it is not necessary. Providing a sitemap can speed up the indexing process and also alert you of any technical errors on your website.

To avoid this pitfall, you need to create a sitemap for your website using a tool like XML Sitemaps Generator and submit it to Google Search Console using the Sitemaps report. You also need to update your sitemap regularly whenever you add or remove pages from your website.

Reason #3: Lack of Off-Page SEO Steps

The third common reason why DIY websites fail to rank well in search is that they lack off-page SEO steps. Off-page SEO refers to the actions that you take outside of your website to improve its reputation and authority. Some of the most important off-page SEO steps are:

  • Building backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. They act as votes of confidence and trust for your website. The more quality backlinks you have from relevant and authoritative websites, the higher your website will rank in search.
  • Encouraging branded searches: Branded searches are searches that include your brand name or variations of it. They indicate that people are aware of your brand and interested in it. The more branded searches you have, the higher your website will rank in search.
  • Increasing Social Media Activity:  Have you written a blog post?  If so, did you share it to your social media streams?  Blogging is a great way of adding new content to your website, but you should always share new posts to your social media streams.  This creates new backlinks, social media activity and hopefully customer engagement, all things that Google likes and gives credit for in search ranking.
  • Google Business Page & Reviews:  This is becoming increasingly more important in search ranking.  Having a verified Google Business Page and ‘fresh’ (& positive) Google reviews helps your business to rank, particularly on Google Map searches and “near me” searches.  Regular and positive google reviews will also help you outrank your local competition, particularly if they a 5 stars and relatively recent by comparison.

Many DIY website owners neglect these steps, either because they do not know how to do them or because they think they are not important. However, without these steps, your website will have a hard time ranking well in search, as it will be invisible or irrelevant to search engines.

In conclusion, creating a website is not enough to rank well in search. You need to have a solid strategy that involves competitor and keyword research, indexing, sitemaps and off page SEO steps. These are the steps that professional designers use to help websites rank well in search engines. They have the skills, tools and experience to create websites that are not only attractive and functional, but also optimised for search engines and user experience. If you want your website to rank well in search and attract more customers, you should consider hiring a professional designer instead of doing it yourself.  If you are interested in hiring Helios Web Design for your website project, you can contact Helios today for a free consultation and quote. Helios Web Design will be happy to discuss your needs and expectations and provide you with a tailored solution for your website.

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