March 10, 2017
“SEO is all about the daily hustle. Build good links. Write content that people and search engines care about and love. Check your technical stuff (there’s a lot now). Engage people. Manage your communities. Build more links. Do this. Every. Damn. Day.”
– Sean Si, CEO and founder of SEO Hacker
SEO is a core necessity for operating online because it drives traffics, leads, sales, and more.
The downside is that any SEO agency worth its salt can eat up a sizeable chunk of your business’ capital. And since all search engines value quality over quantity, any SEO deal that seems too good to be true is likely just that.
While hiring a professional service is obviously the most fruitful way to approach SEO, there are ways to cut down on the costs.
The only real way to do that is through active engagement in the SEO process; this will reduce the amount of time and effort that an agency needs to put in.
To shave off some of the more costly services that SEO firms provide, here are five tasks that you can handle yourself and make SEO more affordable.
1. Manage Your Media Accounts
Social media plays a massive role in SEO; while that role is peripheral, it is impactful nonetheless.
Social media promotion has formed into a science and an art, which also means that it can be quite time-consuming. But since you likely have more time than money, managing your own social media accounts is a great way to reduce expenditures.
Governing your social accounts in a way that benefits SEO means that you will need to search for trending news and topics on a daily basis, connect with your audience through post comments, respond to customer queries quickly and share loads of stellar content; which leads us into our next money-minimizing method…
2. Write Your Own SEO-Optimized Content
You’ve heard it said a million times, but it doesn’t make it any less true; you need to create content that rocks for it to benefit your SEO.
And in this context, content is one of the most effective ways to limit your SEO spending.
If you hire a SEO firm to handle your optimization, search-optimized content is going to cost you a pretty penny; these folks need to spend many hours prepping and researching to become experts in your industry in order to craft content that will rank.
Seeing as you already are an expert in your industry, you are far better equipped to write useful and compelling content.
In taking this route, however, you must really be willing to invest your time to create content that is long-form, packed with information, entertaining, compelling, and search optimized.
Various studies have shown that content that is less than 1,000 isn’t doing much for your SEO. In fact, one 2012 study thst analyzed 20,000 keywords showed that content living in the No. 1 spot in the SERPs averaged about 2,400 words.
It can seem like a lot of work, but it will pay off in the long run and it will save you a significant chunk of change.
3. Leverage Industry Contacts
As an expert in your industry, you have likely made quite a few related contacts on your journey to business-ownership; be it with others who own similar businesses, people who work for those within your niche, clients or vendors, and others you have formed relationships with.
Reach out to these folks to and try to procure yourself some backlinks through guest blogging or other means.
This is an extremely simple way to cut costs for your SEO campaign and is often quite effective because there is already a standing rapport with these individuals.
4. Speed Things Up
Google is rapidly switching to a mobile-first focus and, in that landscape, speed is a majorly influential factor.
When Google announced that it would begin integrating AMP pages into its SERPs, the company cited data that indicates mobile users will abandon a site if a page doesn’t load within three seconds.
All of this makes speed critical to SEO.
To pinch a few more pennies, conduct your own website audits and look for any opportunity to speed your site up. If your pages have lots of images, compress them. If you use WordPress, ditch any add-ons or plugins that you don’t use or need.
Every bit of time you cut from your load speed optimizes your site for better rankings.
5. Focus On-Site
On-page SEO plays just as vital of a role in your campaign as external signals like link building.
While on-page SEO can sound quite daunting to many (which is why they spend more to outsource the task), it’s not as complicated as it seems and can be tackled in-house with just a little bit of effort.
The main areas you will want to focus on are:
- Optimized URLs: You want to ensure that URLs are easy to read and relatively short. They should inform the reader of the page’s contents and include a primary keyword.
- Title Tags: These let bots know what the page is all about. Include the page’s dominant keyword, keep text under 70 characters, and make sure that it is still easily understandable.
- Keyword Frequency: Ensure that your targeted keywords appear several times throughout the body of your text, but don’t stuff or have anything read unnaturally.
- Description: This won’t give you any preference in the SERPs, but it will among readers, and more traffic does impact your rankings. Be sure to optimize this section by giving a compelling overview of the page’s contents.
Sometimes, pinching pennies it the only way to meet your goals as a business owner. That, however, does not mean that you have to sacrifice quality of work. Get involved in your SEO process by handling these five tasks yourself and you can dramatically bring down the price while providing more industry expertise to your readers than any SEO firm ever could.
What other cash-saving tasks can site owners handle themselves?
Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile