When it comes to your business and SEO, the Goal is EXPOSURE.
However, more than that, the goal is to get your website ranking high in relevant search results!
So that people looking for what you have to offer will purchase from you once they arrive on your web pages.
The thing is, the internet is a competitive place! No matter what industry you operate in.
And for small businesses, new startups, and underfunded companies, that means..
..stretching the budget thin between things like salaries, inventory, security measures, and advertising.
This means that funding SEO is not always possible.
If you’re an individual or a company looking to boost its SEO efforts, but find that you’re short on money and can’t afford an SEO expert!
Then, read this post to discover some affordable SEO strategies.
1. Monitor and Optimize your Website for Speed and Performance
Your website is the foundation behind your search rankings.
- It’s what site visitors see when they click on your links.
- It’s also what web crawlers see when scouring the internet indexing content to place in search results.
That’s why you must optimize your entire website, so it runs as seamlessly as possible for site visitors and helps crawlers rank you properly.
To start, track your site’s speed and performance to make sure loading times are under 3 seconds.
After all, 40% of people will abandon your site
..if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
To do this, use the free online tool by Google – PageSpeed Insights.
Not only will you find out how fast your desktop and mobile sites load for people, but you’ll also receive a speed score and suggestions for improvement.
After you find out whether your site is loading as fast as you’d like, it’s time to start optimizing to make it even better –
- Enable browser caching so return visitors receive content instantly
- Use a CDN so content loads for global visitors faster than ever
- Minify CSS, JS, and HTML files to eliminate wasted space
- Reduce HTTP requests so there’s less transfer of data between the server and browser
By optimizing your website for faster speed and better performance, Google notices your effort to improve the user experience and rewards you with higher rankings.
Plus, the longer people spend on your site, and the less they bounce upon arrival, the better your site’s SEO.
2. Optimize Images
In addition to monitoring and optimizing your site for speed, it’s also important you optimize things like your site’s images.
Not only can large images slow down your website, if there are no alt attributes assigned to them, crawlers will have a tough time indexing your site for relevant searches.
If you run an eCommerce website, you might notice that optimizing your site (on top of everything else you have to do) can be expensive.
That’s why an increasing number of online retailers are choosing to launch a dropshipping business instead of a traditional eCommerce shop.
When you dropship, you are only responsible for marketing your products and processing customer orders.
Everything else, like inventory management, storage, and shipping is handled by your suppliers. This saves you time and money, which is great for those with limited budgets.
Just remember, if you do start a dropshipping business, you’ll still need to optimize your site.
Luckily, if you’re using the popular eCommerce platform like Shopify, you can also use the inexpensive dropshipping management plugin Oberlo.
Not only does this plugin help you find reliable suppliers and provide in-depth product statistics so you can sell hot items, but it also makes customizing your product pages easy.
Add product titles, page descriptions, and even product image attributes so Google always knows how to index and rank your site for people.
3. Update Old Content
It’s not enough these days to write high-quality content on a regular basis.
Sure, publishing consistent content is going to give crawlers more to index and rank in search results.
So you definitely shouldn’t stop doing that.
But it’s important to think about old content too. Especially content that was popular among site visitors that may still receive a lot of daily traffic.
There’s nothing worse than searching for something in Google, clicking on an interesting link, and finding out the blog post you’re reading is out of date.
This is not only frustrating, but it also creates a high bounce rate and hurts your site’s SEO.
If you want an easy to boost search rankings, increase pageviews, and help you rank better, go back and update your site’s most popular blog posts.
Not only is this going to take minimal effort (as opposed to writing brand new content), it will rank faster because it’s already been indexed and you’re just making improvements.
Not to mention, recent content is likely to rank higher than old content because Google aims to give people the most recent content possible because it’s the most useful.
4. Focus on On-Page SEO
One strategy that will cost you nothing but a little bit of time is practicing on-page SEO.
When people talk about SEO tips and tricks, the focus is on external things like –
- authoritative links,
- a social media presence,
- increasing domain authority,
- and other outside ranking signals.
But optimizing your website to rank higher in search results and drive more traffic your way is just as crucial to your success.
Here are the best on-page SEO tasks all business owners should do, regardless of budget –
1. Content Title –
Titles should explain what your content is all about.
They should include
- target keyword,
- should be easy to read,
- and have less than 70 characters, so the entire title appears in search results.
2. Description –
Just below the title in search results is the content’s description.
Though it doesn’t affect how your content ranks, it gives people a detailed look at what your content is about and can influence them to click and visit your site.
3. Pretty URLs –
Have you ever seen a site’s URL that looked like this – http://www.example.com/main+en+08_341.html?CATID=1&SCATID=2&D=2019?
This URL gives the reader and crawlers zero information about the content and makes it difficult to understand what will happen if you click on it.
Turning your “ugly URLs” into pretty, easy to understand ones not only looks better and helps the user experience, but it also helps you rank higher.
- It also helps to include keywords in your content,
- internally link to other webpages on your site,
- add alt attributes to images,
- and structure your content so that’s it’s readable.
5. Create an XML Sitemap
Telling Google what you’re writing about and selling on your website is one of the best ways to rank well.
After all, if Google doesn’t know your site even exists, how can your content show up in a search?
Creating an XML sitemap, or a list of webpages on your site that you want people to visit and search engines to crawl, is an affordable way to ensure you rank in the right search results.
If you use WordPress as your content management system, the free Yoast SEO plugin gives you a simple way to create an XML sitemap of your entire website, including image URLs.
If you use another platform for your website, free tools like Screaming Frog and XMLSitemaps.com will work just fine.
6. Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service provided by Google that lets you monitor your site’s presence in Google search results.
With this service you can check the following –
- Make sure Google can crawl and index your site
- Fix any indexing errors found and re-index after solved
- Get site traffic data such as number of clicks, impressions, CTR, and average search position
- Learn about search queries, top pages, countries, devices, and more
- Find out which sites are linking to yours
- Receive alerts from Google when there’s an indexing or spam issue
Lastly, you can use Google Search Console to make sure your website is mobile-friendly, so your mobile-first indexing isn’t being affected.
Ranking well in search results does require a lot of fine-tuning, especially if you’re a new website trying to outrank well-established websites.
But it doesn’t have to require a lot of money.
If you’re an underfunded company trying to improve your business site’s SEO, try using some of the above-mentioned strategies.
Not only will you save yourself some money, you’ll generate more as a result of your higher rankings. And all companies want to generate more revenue right?