If you run a business with a website, then you’re probably aware you should be doing something to boost SEO.
But if you’re not heading up a major corporation with loads of cash under its belt, it can be hard to know where to allocate your limited resources. You want to see ROI on your energy and financial investments in SEO, and you want to do it without breaking the bank.
This dilemma can be paralyzing. Many business owners may feel they lack the know-how to tackle SEO on their own, so they end up doing nothing.
That’s a terrible strategy because it means you miss out on the benefits of solid SEO. And it’s based on the false belief that SEO is by definition hard and expensive.
The reality is that you can put SEO to work for you even when you’re strapped for cash. Here are four effective strategies for boosting your SEO on a shoestring budget.
Google’s rankings prioritize a stellar user experience, so step one for any SEO strategy is to make sure your site is in tip-top shape.
That means fixing 404 errors so users don’t run into dead ends on your site, cleaning up your URLs so they’re easily legible and don’t include random letters or numbers, and removing redundant content.
While you’re at it, make sure to add headers and meta descriptions to all of your pages and alt text and captions to all of your images. These are simple steps that can be accomplished in a day but will make a notable impact on your SEO over the long-term.
If you have the resources to go deeper, focus on creating easy navigation on your site, improving page load times, and optimizing for mobile.
In order to do this effectively, you first need to spend time getting to know your customers—their pain points, needs, concerns, purchasing considerations, and so on. This will allow you to narrow in on specific, longer phrases that might bring your particular target audience to your site.
Not only do long-tail keywords allow you to speak to the specific concerns of your audience, but they also promise lower competition than more general keywords.
Together, these factors help explain why long-tail keywords are exceptionally effective for driving both traffic and conversions—thereby giving you much more bang for your SEO buck.
Not sure how to identify appropriate keywords? Check out this in-depth post on keyword research.
If your products or services are primarily targeted at a local community, then it’s essential to focus on your local SEO.
The good news is it doesn’t take an SEO expert to make it happen; it just takes a few days’ work. And ranking high within a designated location is much easier to achieve than ranking high for general keywords across the entire internet.
Here are the basic steps involved:
Register your company with Google My Business.
This accomplishes several things:
And it’s all free!
To maximize the impact of registering with Google My Business, make sure to fill out all the information fields and upload pictures and/or videos to create a robust presence for your company.
Register your company with other online business directories.
Bing Places, Yahoo Business Listings, Better Business Bureau, and the like are all good options, and most of them are free or charge only a nominal fee.
Solicit local customers to provide you with on-site reviews.
Testimonials and reviews provide multiple benefits:
This is one of the quickest ways to gain external links from authoritative sources—and it won’t cost you anything but your time.
Bonus? Not only does guest posting help cultivate external links; it also allows you to reach out to a broader audience, which can increase traffic to your site and interest in your business.
The key with guest posting is to focus on quality, not quantity.
Don’t just create posts for any old site on the web. Instead, do your research and focus your efforts on targeting high-quality, credible sites within your industry. Then, make sure you tailor your guest post to that site’s audience so it provides real value.
While it may take you longer to get a post accepted, it will be worth it for the quality of the backlink.
Once you’ve started putting all these strategies into place, make sure to track your efforts so you can analyze what’s working and what isn’t.
Over time, paying close attention to the success of your SEO tactics will enable you to hone in on a strategy that optimizes your business’ visibility across the web.
Kenny Kline is a serial entrepreneur. His ventures are primarily focused on media and digital marketing. When not in front of his computer, he can be found beekeeping, knitting, and being as Brooklyn as humanly possible. @ThisBeKenny