Wednesday, 17 July 2013

SEO On A Budget

For big organizations, improving search engine optimization (SEO) is often a matter of paying several thousand dollars to one of the top professional SEO agencies, and then sitting back to watch the results come in. But if you're a small business with a marketing budget to match, chances are you don't have those kinds of resources. Does that mean you have to forget about SEO, and just hope your website gets traffic some other way?

Not at all. There are plenty of ways to put together an effective SEO plan on a shoestring budget, and ramp up your website's visibility in search engine rankings. Here are some steps you can take now to improve SEO for your small business website.

Perform an on-site analysis

In order to improve your SEO, you need to know what kind of shape your website is already in with regard to optimization. The first step for a large SEO firm is usually to conduct an SEO audit that delivers essential details on a website's strengths and weaknesses.

You can perform this step on your own by downloading a free SEO analysis tool. There are several out there to choose from. Traffic Travis is one of the most fully-featured free SEO programs available, and offers detailed insights into deficiencies on your website's pages.

Read up on SEO best practices

SEO is not an event - it's a process. If there was a simple formula for shooting websites straight to the top of search engine results...well, we'd probably break the Internet. If you're not familiar with the basics of SEO, now is the time to do a little homework and start applying some of the strategies.

Here are a few to get you started:

  • Make sure your title tags and heading tags are optimized with your target keywords. If you're not sure which keywords you should target, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool will generate suggestions (and it's free!).

  • It's easier to rank your website for local keywords than general ones. For example, if you own a bakery in Pittsburgh, make sure phrases like "Pittsburgh bakery" and "best bakery Pittsburgh" appear naturally in your web copy.

  • If you have a blog, keep it populated with fresh, timely, and relevant content, with your target keywords woven naturally throughout the posts. If you don't have a blog yet, now's the time to get one. You can integrate a basic WordPress blog for very little cost.

For more basic SEO strategies, check these resources: SEO for Startups: 5 Rules to Apply Now and On-Page SEO Factors: Which Ones Have the Most Impact on Ranking.

Consider guest posting

Identify some reputable sites within your industry that have high Google page rankings, and then offer to contribute free guest posts to their blogs. This is an easy, cost-effective way to boost your own site's page ranking and establish credibility for your company.

Know when to call the pros

For professional SEO help, you don't have to hire a full-service agency to overhaul your website. Content is the most important factor in SEO, and it's often more cost-effective for small businesses to hire a freelance writer to create new website content, write SEO blog posts, and other optimization tasks.

If your budget allows, you may want to enlist the services of an SEO firm. This is particularly beneficial if you're overhauling your current site or building a new one from scratch. If you do go this route, it's best to partner with a firm as early as possible, so you don't find yourself having to fix costly mistakes later. Look for a consultant that offers ad-hoc or customized services, so you don't wind up paying for more than what you need.

About The Author: Melissa Rudy is a freelance writer with Words by Melissa in Cincinnati, Ohio. Melissa and her team specialize in web copy, blog articles, case studies, press releases, and other freelance writing.

Did you find this article helpful? Please let Melissa and myself know by leaving us your valued comments.

Would you like to guest post on the blog? Please use the Contact tab above to get in touch if you write business-related articles or articles on the topics of Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing/Optimisation (SMO), Blogging, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Related articles:
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What Steps Should You Take To Make Sure Your Site Is SEO Friendly?
How To Hire A Good SEO Company
Use SEO Copywriting Services To Drive Traffic Your Way
SEO Tips After Google Panda Update
How Often Should You Do SEO Rank Checker On Your Site
You Don't Have To Be An SEO Whizz To Improve Your Search Engine Rankings!
10 Easy Steps To Boost Your SEO
Top SEO Do's And Don'ts
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Until my next post on Friday with a list of online marketing strategies small businesses can use, enjoy the rest of the week!

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