There are many website owners that undertake their own search engine optimization programs and they get good results. There are also those that try to do it themselves, however, they spend as much time watching numbers as they do optimizing their sites.
Watching numbers, in itself, is not wrong. Where DIY SEO gets into trouble is in the constant tinkering. The numbers aren’t right so I have change something. But what? I know, I will try this. Of course it doesn’t make much of difference, but you feel good because you tried. Besides which, you read somewhere that this is what you should do. A well executed optimization campaign takes time, patience and a well defined process. If you change too many on site factors then it will be very difficult to attribute the outcome to any one factor that you changed on your website.
I called this post SEO on Sundays. Checking your stats should be a regular event – but not ten times a day. Set a day where you can sit down and check your stats and actually analyze them. If you feel things are not working well, use those stats to plan your next moves. Rather than tinkering at edges, work to make changes where they are really needed. Internal links may need work; perhaps you need to work on gaining external relevant links, etc. I recommend that when you make a change to your site, write down what you changed, the date and why.
Being organized and planning your search engine optimization strategies will produce positive long term effects. When checking your stats, just remember that changes can take months to produce results. Don’t expect to add a few internal links and see things change overnight.
The key to successful DIY SEO is to have a plan of attack and to have the patience to see that work produce results. If you don’t really understand your stats, stop reading them until you do; then read and analyze them on a regular basis – say every Sunday afternoon.