How Small Businesses Can Do Low Cost SEO To Grow Online
For many small businesses online marketing can seem near impossible, but you can achieve low cost SEO to grow your business online.
How to Design Your SEO and Online Marketing Campaign on a Limited Budget?
Every business wishes they had an unlimited budget for their SEO, website design and digital marketing efforts. There is no limit to great marketing, and the efforts can sometimes be costlier than we assume them to be. Reality is entirely different from our dreams and desires; hence most marketing teams have to work on a constrained budget. So how can you do low cost SEO to grow your business?
For marketers working with small businesses, prioritizing the changes that impact their online visibility is a must. Sometimes, it is as simple as changing a few title tags and optimizing metadata. While at other times, it can be as elaborate as a complete website overhaul beginning with the basic URL structures.
The task at hand should decide the budget of every project, but in a challenging economy, companies often have to make tough calls. Their budgets determine which parts of their online endeavor require a revamp. It’s important for small businesses to understand that it’s not impossible to do low cost SEO. The easiest way to utilize all the budget allowance for maximum SEO effect is to employ smart budgeting. It also calls for a lot of automation, outsourcing and migration to the cloud. Migrating from on-site service to the cloud often reduces maintenance charges.
If you have a strict online marketing budget, here are some low cost SEO tactics that can help you achieve your business goals:
1. Build Your BackLinks
You will find that building backlinks is an essential part of your online marketing strategy whether you’re focusing on low cost SEO to build your business or not. There are two ways you can approach link building and that’s build links yourself or outsource your link building.
It is 2018, and you must already have a link building strategy. If you have your own SEO team working on building inbound and outbound links, that it is fantastic. If you’re not familiar with link building, you need to start by finding a team of experts, who know how to get you started within the shortest possible time on a shoestring budget. Outsourcing your SEO link building services is indeed a smart move, say experts from AlaQueue SEO. Specialized agencies have a more streamlined approach towards getting links in lesser time and friendlier cost.
Considering its importance, you cannot afford to ignore link building. Link building might appear easy, but it often needs professional competence and experience for implementing it in the right way for the desired results. Since it is a specialized subject, it can make sense to outsource the process so that you are sure of treading the right path. To Learn more about outsourcing the backlink process, read this article.
While outsourcing your backlink building will certainly save you a lot of time, anyone can absolutely do it themselves. Further more, if you’re looking to maintain low cost SEO, then you will definitely want to launch this process yourself.
Before we get into how you can start building backlinks yourself – let’s take a look at what backlink building is and why it’s so important.
What is Link Building?
Link building as defined by Moz.com;
Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites. There are many techniques for building links, and while they vary in difficulty, SEOs tend to agree that link building is one of the hardest parts of their jobs. Many SEOs spend the majority of their time trying to do it well. For that reason, if you can master the art of building high-quality links, it can truly put you ahead of both other SEOs and your competition.
Why are Backlinks so Important?
a. Because Google says so!
Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google answered this, when asked the question:
“We heard that RankBrain is the third-most-important signal contributing to results now. Would it be beneficial to us to know what the first two are?”
“Yes. Absolutely. I can tell you what they are. It’s content and links going into your site.”
b. Research has Proved Backlinks are Important Time And Again
Matthew Barby (Head of Growth & SEO at HubSpot) researched the value of backlinks, anchor text and a couple of other on-page elements.
He used data from Accuranker and Ahrefs to conduct his large scale research for which he analysed 1 million pages.
A summery of the most important findings:
Mathew Barby wasn’t the only one to do this type of research and discover this outcome… Several SEO industry experts including Niel Patel of QuickSprout and Brian Dean of BackLinko have run the same type of research.
How to Build Your Own Low Cost, High Value Backlinks
1. Guest Post – Start building a list of the websites that people in your space visit to get the answers to their questions. For example; in my space online marketers visit sites like moz, rankwatch, searchengineland, entreprenuer, quicksprout, growthhackers and those are just a few. Start reaching out to the websites in your industry for guest posting opportunities. When you contribute high value content to important sites in your space, the links back to your site are super high value.
2. Find Broken Links – Broken link building is the process of identifying broken external links on websites, where the broken link is pointing to content similar to an article you’ve written. The goal is to get the broken link replaced with a link to your working page.
It’s a win for all parties involved; the linking website gets to fix their page with very little effort, you get a high quality, relevant link, and readers get to avoid any dead ends while browsing.
3. Join Communities – Just like with guest posting, you can do a little research online to find where your audience is going to ask their questions, get answers or even vent frustrations. Chances are most of the sites you researched for guest posting allow blog commenting. Forums can be another great venue for building links, but beware, the key is always to add value and provide insight – NOT to simply thrown in a link to your site!
4. Influencer Outreach – Check out this Whiteboard Friday on Moz where, Tom Critchlow, head of search marketing at Distilled, shows us just how important interpersonal interaction is in SEO land. More importantly, he shows us some tips on how to reach out to webmasters and online marketers and more easily get the links we so badly want.
2. Doing a Precise Low Cost SEO Audit
Larger SEO audits often need a lot of time and budget. There are ways to check the level of SEO friendliness of your site in a short time period. A one-off analysis will tell you which aspects of your website will need more attention and which ones need immediate attention. There are compact online tools that will show you how your current links, tags, keyword selection, content and social media interactions are performing on a regular basis. This kind of a quick analysis is often beneficial for brushing up the factors that are already present.
Just use our free online SEO website auditor below and you’ll have a full report in 3 minutes!
A bunch of tedious and lengthy tasks? Automate them!
The age of automation has been here for quite a while. People have been scared to open their doors to it because of the cost involved. Right now, the commoditization of automation has ensured that it is available to almost every marketer, strategist, IT expert and engineer. Automation of SEO tasks is no longer an unachievable dream for the marketer on a budget! In fact, it looks like automation of some of the time-consuming SEO tasks can free up the time of the specialists and make low cost SEO available for any company.
Keywords are one of the key areas you’re going to want to automate in order to save time! A tool like SE Ranking can help you shave off several hours from your monitoring tasks by providing you with a unified dashboard where you can monitor your backlinks, keyword rankings, social signals, as well as insights pertaining to your competitor’s strategies.
Automate Social Sharing – You can also automate time consuming, but essential tasks such as sharing your valuable content socially. Buffer is a popular social media automation platform that can be used to schedule posts across networks. One of its key benefits is the “Posting Schedule” feature, which lets you consistently share content when your audience is most active.
Rely on Regular Audits
Once you have understood what features are necessary for a website to stay visible, you should start paying some extra attention to them. You can keep a close eye on them by appointing ScreamingFrog, DeepCrawl, SERPstat and other similar website auditing tools. You should check for title tags, meta tags, alt tags on images, sitemap files, broken links, active links and descriptions at least once a month. These might not be as deep as a manual audit, but they serve the purpose of any website running on a low cost SEO budget.
Monitor your links closely
Auditing your links just once a month may not be enough. You will need real-time and constant monitoring tools like Ahrefs, Linkody, MonitorBacklinks, Backlink Watch, SEO Spyglass and BacklinkTest. Most of them can provide you a complete list of incoming and outgoing links. Anyone of these tools can become your daily link monitoring tool. Yes, some of these tools are paid, but several reliable tools provide similar functions for free. In fact, you should start with free tools and move to heavier tools for serious SEO audits.
Obtaining backlinks from authoritative, relevant sources can prove essential in boosting the search ranking of a website. But did you know that low-quality backlinks can have the opposite effect by lowering a website’s search ranking – or worse, having the website removed from Google’s index altogether? To avoid this problem, webmasters should take a proactive approach by conducting regular backlink audits.
What is a Backlink Audit?
A backlink audit is exactly what it sounds like: analyzing the overall quality of your website’s backlinks. With this information on hand, you can attempt to remove the bad links so they won’t negatively impact your site’s search ranking.
Check Your Backlinks
To begin, you’ll need to create a list of all backlinks pointing to your website. Assuming you only have a handful of links, this shouldn’t be a difficult task. If you have hundreds or even thousands of backlinks, however, you’ll probably need to use a third-party tool or program. Google Webmaster Tools has a built-in link checker, which can be found by logging into your GMT account and choosing Search Traffic > Links to Your Site > and click “More” underneath “Who links the most.”
Unfortunately, WMT does not provide a complete list of site that link to yours. In order to get a complete and detailed report of inbound links you will need to use a paid service like; Link Research Tools, Open Site Explorer, Moz, Majestic SEO, and Ahrefs. Each of these tools (including Webmaster Tools) will create a list of backlinks and provide some helpful metrics.
Separate the Good and Bad Links
The next step in conducting a backlink audit is to separate the good links from the bad links. Any link that blatantly violated Google’s Webmaster Guidelines is bad. This may include links that were purchased; links that were generated using automated software; and links that were designed strictly for SEO purposes. Other “bad” links may include those found on pages riddled with spam, as well as links that were created by a competitor in an attempt to harm the webmaster’s search ranking.
Contact the Websites
Before you resort to using Google’s disavow tool, you should first attempt to remove the bad links by contacting the websites on which they are posted. There’s no easy way to do this, as you must email each and every website to request your link to be removed. Keep in mind that only a small portion of users will respond to your email, and even fewer will remove your links. However, this is still a critical step in the link audit process.
The final step is to place your remaining “bad” links – the ones you couldn’t remove by contacting the website – into Google’s disavow tool. Located at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main, this tool essentially tells Google to ignore certain links. You can either enter the bad links manually into the disavow tool, or you can upload a plain text file containing the links with one URL per line.
At present, most companies rely on their in-house teams to perform their daily technical SEO checks and amendments. Keyword research, content creation and update are all tasks that best suit the in-house teams since they know their brand inside out. Additionally, keeping these tasks within the core team can save you a lot in terms of outsourcing creative work. Smartly distributing your available resources can help you go a long way on your current budget, without making any compromises.