Running your SEO campaign on a shoe-string budget is no easy task. Sadly, it is a harsh reality for most smaller businesses and non-profits. But you shouldn’t despair if there is not enough money in your coffers to execute a complex SEO strategy.
There are dozens of affordable SEO methods like creating and repurposing quality content, optimizing website loading speed, buying PBN links, and more. Let’s take a look at five options that even a fledgling solopreneur can use to improve the rankings.
1. Start With an Audit
Define your goals and general strategy before you start amping up your SEO efforts. Conducting a website audit usually helps. Thankfully, there are many companies and experts who offer affordable SEO services for small businesses.
Ask them to help you plan the next SEO campaign and find the worst-performing aspects of your website so you can start by improving them.
Do you know that only a third of SMB owners develop and implement an SEO strategy? It’s worth mentioning that those business owners who “go in blind” usually fail to make any progress.
2. Improve Your Content
There are business owners who waste exorbitant funds on fancy web design and traffic only to find out that their bounce rate is through the roof.
Why does it happen? The answer is content quality. If you don’t offer interesting, useful, SEO-optimized content that matches user intent, you are wasting money.
Stuffing your blog posts with popular keywords is another failed approach that can get you in trouble with Google. Your content should always be relatable and readable.
The more time visitors spend on your website, the better your ranking will be. Writing texts is not extremely expensive, and you can also mix in other formats like audio and video.
- Research your topic well before you write them, and create juice, shareable pieces that create value for your visitors.
- You can also repurpose content by creating blog posts out of your presentations, magazine articles, and memos.
- Don’t use fifty-cent words where simple, easy-to-understand words and phrases will do.
3. Optimize the Loading Speed
Slow pages are SEO killers. Visitors, especially mobile users, will go back to the search page if your website loads longer than 2-3 seconds. Start with performing a speed test using one of many free tools available online.
- If your pages load slowly, try improving the speed by removing “heavy” graphics, plugins, and redirects.
- Turn on caching and JS optimization, tidy up the code, trim the images, move large files to external services, and set up a content delivery network if you serve a worldwide audience.
- Hosting is also important for your loading speed. If you have a large website with high volumes of traffic, you should avoid using shared hosting. Opt for a dedicated, high-performance solution instead.
4. Do Basic Onsite SEO
Make sure that your pages are optimized correctly before running an ad campaign. Most websites perform poorly because their pages are riddled with errors that kill SEO and conversions.
- Optimize your URLs by making them concise and relevant to your on-page content. They should include at least one keyword.
- Format your content using tags. While crawlers can process unformatted content, it’s better to help Google understand the intent of your web pages to better match your content to relevant audiences. Every page should have a single H1 tag, a few subheadings, and keywords spread naturally across the body text.
- Use a simple, user-friendly design that doesn’t distract visitors from content. Include ALT tags for your images. They should contain keywords as well.
5. Manage Your Link Portfolio
You can’t have great content without quality links. If you rely on buying low-quality backlinks from spammy websites, you will get in trouble with Google.
- Every piece of content should have a few outbound links to high-authority sources. Especially, if you mention research results, statistics, and other relevant data. Such outbound links serve as “trust signals” to web crawlers. Don’t overdo outbound links, and make sure that they open in a new tab.
- Look for broken links and remove them. Dead links irritate your visitors and lower the rankings. If your website has tons of content, it will be hard to audit all the links manually. You can use a dedicated tool or hire an expert.
- Use free and low-cost link-building SEO methods. Start with analyzing your competitors. You will find what kind of backlinks they use to rank higher. Get in touch with popular bloggers and influencers in your niche. Use commenting and guest posting to create natural backlinks.
Successful SEO doesn’t have to be unreasonably expensive. If you are short on funds, start with a website audit. Remove all the technical errors that make your pages too slow, create better content, perform basic on-page SEO and manage your link portfolio. Depending on your niche, it can be enough to get you on the first page of Google in due time.