I feel like a broken record, but I will happily say this again: Do not underestimate the power and influence of SEO. Its importance and prevalence in today’s society has only grown in the past couple of years, and I fully expect SEO to further grow and develop for many years to come.
This is most likely a result of tougher competition within every nook and cranny of every industry. These days no matter the type of business you are running, there is likely to be a lot of other businesses competing for the same pool of consumers, therefore differentiating your business and getting it as visible as possible is of top priority.
SEO is one of the best ways to try to increase your visibility online. By using proven SEO methods and strategies you will hopefully see an increase in your website’s ranking on search engines, therefore making you easier to find. Consumers don’t have the time or energy to go wading through page after page of search results to find your business, they want to have everything right in front of them.
With so many other expenses, it can be difficult to set aside enough money to run a proper SEO campaign. If you don’t put in the necessary money (and time) you will not see the result you were looking for. After all, you have to spend money to make money, right!? However, if you find you are unable to spend ridiculous amounts on SEO, don’t worry! There are many ways you can cut SEO costs and make your money stretch even further.
Unless you are the owner of Google, Microsoft or Apple, there is probably always going to be a bigger company out there that simply has a larger capacity to spend more money on things such as SEO. It is likely that you will not have the ability to compete with them on this aspect. This is where cost effective SEO comes in! Cost effective SEO will help you if you aren’t in a position to be spending money hand over fist.
There are a few positive ways you are able to cut on your search engine optimisation costs. You could try one or all of them, it’s up to you! But you should be aware, like anything in SEO; it will take time to see results.
Make sure you are patient and give the results some time to grow. Trust that these cost cutting methods will give you the SEO results you wanted.
These changes will also take serious effort. You can’t just make a couple of changes one week and leave it at that. You will have to be continuously working towards your goal with your long term plan in mind. If you don't have free time, you should definitely hire an SEO company and leave all SEO work for them.
So now let’s have a look at the best ways to cut SEO costs!
1. Improve on-page SEO
When people think about SEO they tend to focus primarily on off-page improvements. While components such as external link building, social building and other outside signals are certainly important, you cannot ignore on-page SEO. On-page SEO has a significant role in shaping your search engine ranking and it is an easy and simple way to cut your SEO costs!
What is on-page optimisation?
Well, as the name suggests, on-page optimisation is all about optimising your website (i.e. the content, site map, formatting, etc.) so you will have a better chance of achieving a higher ranking in the search engines results page (SERP).
And as well all know, a higher ranking = higher visibility = more traffic!
The good news is, on-page SEO is actually quite easy and there are a few little changes that you make to your website that has the potential to dramatically change your ranking. Have a look at some of the few simple changes you can make below:
- URL – having a URL that is simple and easy to read or understand is important. Try not to make your URL too long and you should steer clear of words that have different spelling in various countries (as this will avoid confusion), especially if you have customers worldwide (i.e. colour or color, mum or mom, etc.).
- Meta title and meta description tags:
- Title tag – this is really important because the title tag is what makes a reader click on to your page. You should be accurate with your title tag as well as include a keyword. Short title tags are important, as a guide you do not want to see the “…” come up after your title tag. The snippet from Google search results below is a no-no. You want your consumer to see your whole title tag!
- Amount of keywords – despite that Google doesn’t measure or use keyword density, it does investigate the amount of times a particular keyword is placed in your content. Do not go overboard with your keyword. I find sometimes a website will use the keyword so often it becomes blatantly obvious they are keyword stuffing and sometimes they even use it is places that don’t even make sense! You should aim to use your targeted keyword a few times in your main body of content.
- Meta description – it doesn’t do much in terms of rankings but it is still important to develop a high quality description to your webpage. A quality description can impact your click through rate (CTR), so always make sure it is optimised with keywords.
2. Start a blog (and actually maintain it!)
Creating a blog is probably the best way to cut costs in terms of SEO. However it is the most time consuming because you must be continually developing new and exciting material for your readers. SEO Shark certainly practice what it preaches, we have our own blog (obviously – you are reading it right now!). On average, we would post 3 to 5 new blogs every week.
Writing blogs does take a lot of time and effort to maintain and you must be fully committed to its cause, otherwise you are simply wasting your time. On our website, we have previous blog posts about how to create a more effective and engaging blog, so make sure you check it out for further tips and hints for your blog!
If you have just created your new blog, to get the ball rolling you should encourage friends and family to read it and leave comments. There is a lot of debate on whether having the option open for commenting on blogs is beneficial. Personally, I think it is a good idea as it creates more opportunities for readers to engage both with the business as well as other readers.
Comments can encourage meaningful conversations and motivate them to come back and read more of your blogs. I can see the other side of the debate as well. Comments do invite potential trolls or negativity (i.e. spam comments). This means you have to monitor your comments section closely, creating more effort to maintain the blog. However, I do think the positives outweigh the negatives. But ultimately, it is your own judgement call.
By including a blog on your website, you are introducing new insights and material, such as news or your expert opinion which is useful to the reader. If you take the time to create a fantastic blog, you may also build a following where people come every week to read what you have to say and to see what’s new. This helps to build the traffic on to your website. Creating an effective blog also increases the potential of it being shared on social media. Therefore, more people will potentially visit your website and read your blog.
3. Produce significant amounts of high quality content (i.e. quality AND quantity)
Write minimum 500 words per post
No matter the type of content you are creating, from blog posts to landing page content, as a guide you should be writing more than 500 words. Content less than 500 words is not enough to get your message across. You will need to lay the foundation and build the argument as well as being as descriptive as possible. You cannot do this well with just 500 words. Even if you can, you content won’t be effective.
A study conducted by SERPIQ a few years ago found that if you want to rank in one of the top 10 positions in search engine results, your content needs to be 2,000 words or more! The average amount of words for the top position on search results was more than 2,400. I understand that for some websites, producing that amount of content for their webpage is unreasonable and 2,000 words is simply too much to talk about your website. That is why a blog is a good idea. No matter the industry or type of business you run, producing blog content over 2,000 words is achievable. (I mean, I do it every day! :p)
So, if you want to see the best results and get the traffic you think your website deserves, you will need to be producing content that is both enlightening and in-depth. It is important not the sacrifice quantity over quality. Your content still needs to be of high quality, you just need more of it! This can be difficult to achieve, but as the research shows, it will be worth it.
This involves commenting on popular forums and blogs that are appropriate to your business’s niche. So for example don’t go posting on blogs that are in relation to formal dresses if you operate a sports equipment store.
Commenting is beneficial because it can create a number of backlinks to your website. To comment on some forums or blogs you may have to register, but commenting is an important way for you to build a following. Your comment must be engaging and of high value to actually have an effect.
A highly effective comment will get people interested in your posts and visit your website to see what you have to say.
Commenting takes a lot of time and monitoring to see where is the best place for your website. It is important to think of a comment that will get the most amount of people writing a reply.
Comments that are short and uncreative tend to be seen as spam or fake and will not do anything for your website. It is better the create a couple of high quality comments then simply going around to every blog possible and writing “Great post – check out mine here:…”. This adds no value and will probably take away from your hard work of creating a quality post.
These days competition is tough and extremely cut throat. Therefore businesses are using everything in their power to ensure they stand out. SEO will help your business stand out and gain more traffic. However, high quality SEO is not cheap. You will find that with all of the above points, an SEO consultant will do this for you, but a lot of businesses don’t have the money for this type of high quality service.
Luckily, if you are lacking in funds, these 4 above points can easily be done yourself! It will just take a bit of time and effort and you will see the results you desire without absolutely breaking the bank.
Most of the points are quite simple; the only problem is they take ongoing commitment and effort to its cause. You cannot put in effort for one month and hope it will carry you over for weeks to come. There has to be continual push to ensure these efforts are actually effective.
You must monitor your efforts closely and always be looking for something new and exciting to investigate. Trust me; if you don’t have the money to hire a professional digital media agency, then these 4 tips will do wonders for your SEO!
Sarah is the head of guest posts outreach and an SEO expert. Her interests are search engine optimisation, social media and brand management.