6 Ways to Grow Your SEO Efforts on a Budget
As with most products or services, SEO work that is carried out on a strict budget is often seen as second-rate SEO work. When taking that first look at SEO services or attempting a foray into the field, many business owners will quickly feel as if they have no other options but to increase their budget or struggle with a dismissible website. While a marketing budget may seem like a luxury for companies that are being forced to make difficult financial decisions day after day, there are a number of SEO tips and tricks that can be used to improve the SEO of one’s website while staying within a tight budget.
1. Review Current On-Site and Off-Site Practices
There always seems to be some new tip or trick that is the new pinnacle of SEO, but this process should always begin with a thorough review of one’s on-site, off-site real-world marketing campaign. Many times, a business will begin the process of revitalizing their online presence only to find out that they were mistaken about what is actually working and what can be replaced. Before spending any money or time on SEO, it is important for the company to understand exactly where and what they have done correctly in their past and what needs to be fixed before moving forward.
This is going to be most important when a business owner is looking at creating a new budget and how efficient their current practices are. Many will find that they are throwing money at a solution for a problem that never existed in the first place. Examples of this include everything from posting dead links due to a change in servers to discovering that clients are following outdated social media accounts after developing a new one. It is these simple issues that could be the culprit of much bigger problems.
2. Make Sure the Basics are Covered
When every single second invested into SEO counts, it is important to ensure that there are no glaring mistakes with a website that will result in quite a bit of wasted work with no results. This is especially important for business owners that take care of the majority of online marketing or pass this work onto an employee that has multiple responsibilities. Oversights are incredibly easy to make and some could spell disaster. While some of these steps are easier than others, common SEO questions to ask include:
- Is my website cached and compressed for fast download speeds?
- How often is my site down for maintenance?
- Is my website negatively impacted but other websites on my server?
- Do all versions of my domain name direct to a single landing page?
- Is my site map indexed for search engine crawlers?
- Does my site have broken links?
- Are my meta tags and title tags optimized?
Some of these questions are easily answered while others may require the help of a specialist, but they all come down to a few basic rules. A business wants its website to be easy to use, appealing to traffic, free from broken tags and links, and easily indexed and categorized by the leading search engines.
3. Pick Your Strong Suit and Go With It
Each and every company has its own unique strengths and weaknesses when it comes to marketing. Some businesses may have a team that is unbeatable at technical writing while others have a handful of employees that love to keep on top of industry trends. Whatever the strong suit may be, it is important to use it to the company’s advantage. Producing high-end podcasts or how-to videos will be impractical for many businesses, but these businesses could show gains with authoritative white page releases, frequent blog posts, or an active social media presence. No team should ever feel as if they are forced to constantly move outside of their own expertise simply to keep up with SEO fads.
4. Stay Social
Social media is here to stay and it remains one of the most cost-effective ways to maintain a powerful online presence and generate amazing inbound links and traffic. Twitter and Facebook are typically seen to be two of the most important, but LinkedIn, Google+, and even Pinterest remain a few more great options depending upon the amount of time that can be devoted to this aspect of SEO. Luckily, keeping up with social media accounts can be as fun for a business owner as anyone else.
These various outlets provide the perfect opportunity to engage with current and past customers, promote sales, update information, or simply keep an industry-focused conversation going. The key here is to provide useful information and steer clear of spam or fluff that will quickly turn people off to the company. Outside of that, the sky is the limit when it comes to this avenue of SEO.
5. Create Useful Content
Content marketing has fast become the buzzword for SEO in the last few months and years and it is an interesting addition to the field. Content marketing is the creation of pertinent, up-to-date, and fetching data in order to establish authority within one’s market and build a relationship with past, current, and future clients. While this may seem confusing at first, many businesses are doing this without even realizing it. This content may come in the form of blogs, podcasts, videos, infographics, press releases, photos, white pages, and everything in between.
The point of this data is to make this information as absolutely valuable as possible for a targeted audience. Essentially, the company is not looking to regurgitate previous information or borrow data from another source. Instead, they are there to be the initial creators of the information and provide new data, context, or ideas on the market. While some content marketing can become prohibitively expensive, focusing on the release of a few key pieces of information throughout the year can do wonders for SEO.
6. Integrate Every Facet of Your Company
No single part of a company is drifting off in its own unique bubble without affecting every other aspect of the business. The same is true for on-site SEO, off-site marketing, and even real world advertising. Without having to spend time searching through profiles or pages, the targeted demographics should be able to seamlessly move between social media accounts, blogs, and partner websites. They should also be able to quickly transfer from one interesting article, onto a call to action, and finally to a sales page or contact information. Business owners should think like their customer and ask themselves if all pertinent and required information is at their fingertips. If it is not, the campaign should be restructured to follow a natural progression for incoming traffic and hopefully clients.
For those that are looking to grow their SEO efforts on a strict budget, real results are always going to take time. As an alternative to expensive PPC campaigns or paid advertising, an unbeatable SEO strategy is about consistently producing quality information. With a little ingenuity and a focus on effective time management, this can be carried out on any company’s budget no matter its size.
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