You could have the most amazing, mind-blowing product in the world; in fact, you may even have found the cure for cancer, but it will never benefit you or anyone else unless you know how to get the word out to the world. You may have heard of search engine optimization, commonly known as SEO, and thought that the idea of using these techniques to improve your business’s rankings with Google and other platforms sounded like a great idea. At least it was great until you started to look at the costs. Sure, if the sky was the limit for your budget and you had access to top tier marketing gurus, SEO might help you. But what if you’re on a shoestring budget? Don’t fret; there are still many low-cost or free DIY SEO solutions that can benefit your company.
Use SEO Software to Analyze Your Current Situation
You don’t need to enlist the services of a million-dollar firm to find out where your site appears on the search engines or how to potentially move it in a positive direction. Start by installing a free program such as Traffic Travis. Create a “project” for your website and carefully examine all of the page warnings that show up or use our free DIY SEO services. These will indicate deficiencies on your page, including too many H1 tags or the absence of image ALT tags. If you heed these warnings and do everything you can to correct the problems, your site’s ranking might increase without putting a major dent in your wallet.
Keyword Research Tools and More!
Okay, maybe it has been a few years since you were in school, but don’t let that stop you from getting your brain into gear. As a matter of fact, the basic principles of SEO are not all that complicated, and information about it is widely available at little or no cost. Once you have done some research, you should have little difficulty attending to important tasks such as optimizing your page’s title tags and heading tags with your targeted keywords. Generate these for free using Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner Tool. Furthermore, you can further optimize your page by adding several external links, a task that you can pay big bucks to someone else to accomplish or do yourself for nothing besides some time and brain stimulation.
Do a Competitive Analysis
SEO isn’t just about improving your rankings by including external links on your pages. The other half of the picture involves accumulating links from reputable outside sites that point back to yours. As with our past example, you can line someone else’s pockets to create back links for you or you can do it yourself; it’s not rocket science. One of the best and cheapest ways to do this is to check out what sites are linking to your rivals’ pages. A great free tool to accomplish this is Open Site Explorer. Although the free version won’t reveal as much as the paid one will, you can still enter your competitors’ URLs into the search bar and learn a great deal.
Build Links That Make You Visible
Sure, links that praise your success will only be generated when you have achieved it, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait for that pinnacle to be attained. You can take steps today to begin populating the Internet with links that refer to you and your site. One way to do this is to contact other websites and offer to write guest posts for free – in exchange for a link referring readers back to your site. Another strategy is to utilize content marketing by writing articles to be shared on social media sites and on your own company’s blog. Load these pieces with site-relevant keywords and refer readers back to your link, and you can make SEO work for you without spending a dime. Finally, use the tried and true strategy of offering a free product such as a downloadable e-book or piece of software. When other sites in your industry catch wind of your compelling offer, they will link to your page as a service to their own users.
Don’t be Penny-Wise and Pound-Foolish
There is no way to get around it: If you don’t have a lot of capital to invest in your SEO strategies but you are still determined to make them work for you, the only way is to spend a good deal of your own time learning techniques, making mistakes and honing your skills. In spite of the exhaustion and frustration this may bring about, you will be a self-empowered victor in the end. That being said, there may come a time when you simply don’t have the answers, nor can you figure out where to find them. That’s when you need to consult the experts – even if that means dipping into your wallet. Two examples that come to mind are handling a negative SEO attack or rebounding after a search engine penalty. Furthermore, you just might discover that the other priorities of running your business are taking so much of your time that you can’t devote more to SEO. When you are up against these scenarios, don’t despair that you need to put out some capital. Instead, view it as a return on investment that could net you a much bigger profit than you would have garnered had you continued to go it alone.
There you have it: proof that in spite of your micro-budget (or no budget at all), you can still use SEO to your advantage. It won’t happen overnight; it will involve time and a learning curve. Even so, you will be watching as your website rises in the rankings before you know it.