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September 26, 2008

“SEO On A Budget” Tips

I am often asked if small businesses have a chance at competing in the search engines and the answer is a resounding YES.

It is true small businesses face some challenges that large companies may not. Small businesses typically have smaller budgets, less staff and more pressure as they try to get as much done as they can with a small team. It is true that those things do present a challenge however they do not preclude you from getting top rankings. There is actually an upside here as well! Many people do not realize it, but these small businesses also have some advantages.

Small business usually have less red tape and are free to try different things out and see what really works for them. They can experiment.

They can usually get things done quicker – with decisions not getting hung up in a bureaucratic mess internally.

So many large companies have more money to spend but it doesn’t get spent because they are so hung up on every detail and getting every little thing approved.

The truth is SEO doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg – there are ways you can get things done and get into the top of the engines without blowing your budget.

And the truth is any action is better than no action. So even if you can’t afford the Cadillac version with every bell and whistle you can still get some things done and begin to better position your site.

Tips for getting top rankings on a budget…

  1. Find a company that specializes in smaller businesses that will work with a budget of $300 – $500 per month.
  2. Find a company that offers custom packages so you don’t have to pay for things you don’t need – get a custom package that meets your needs and maximizes your budget to get the best results that are most suited to you.
  3. Learn to do some of it yourself – you could try Blogging, link building or article syndication yourself and save some money there.
  4. Find a company that is reputable with proven results so your budget isn’t wasted on a company that won’t deliver.
  5. Contact an SEO Firm sooner rather than later – especially if you are redesigning your site or making changes on your own. Some site owners dig themselves into a hole with sites that are not able to get indexed and ranked. The longer you sit in this hole, the more it may cost you to dig out.
  6. If you really can’t afford any professional services, buy a (reputable) book and some basic consultation or a site review to get you started and handle your SEO yourself. It may not be perfect but with the right guidance you can make some progress on your own. Please note that this option doesn’t help if you are only fooling yourself – if you don’t really have the time or knowledge to get in and work with code, then you won’t get anything out of this option. Be honest with yourself when considering this option.

The most important thing you can do is take action and find out what you can afford and what you can do yourself. Don’t assume that nothing can be done. You’ll miss out on opportunities and rankings that could be yours.

Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing for Since 1998 Jennifer’s expertise in marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients increase revenue. Jennifer has written a downloadable book on SEO and has been published in many SEO and marketing publications. Jennifer is the editor of the popular Spotlight on Success: SEO and Marketing newsletter. Follow Jennifer and stay current on SEO, marketing, social media and more.