There is no doubt that a good SEO strategy is crucial in today's marketing world, especially if you plan on building a reputable business. There are many companies out there that guarantee a complete package with everything necessary to rank higher on SERPs, however, not all of those packages are catered to your individual needs.
Per month, you could be paying $500 to $20,000 on SEO and that is a ton in the grand scheme! But, what if you could cut your cost of SEO? That would leave much more money to invest in other areas of your business and marketing strategy and it is completely do-able.
I warn you though, you will have to put a bit more of your own time into your SEO strategy. Yes you pay alot of money for SEO services but you have people doing the work for you. If time is too much of an issue for your business at the moment, you have to think about whether you are paying for the services or for the extra time on your hands.
You might not be able to do it all on your own and there are companies (like us) who are there to fill in the gaps of things that are either out of your expertise or time frame. Either way, doing just a few things yourself is a great way to cut back on SEO costs.
Keep reading to know how YOU can cut back on SEO costs.
Do Your Own Keyword Research
Instead of paying someone to come up with a list of relevant keywords for your niche and business take some time out of your day to do it yourself, or get someone within the company to do it.
Now, keep in mind that your keywords are pertinent to your SEO strategy and it may help to get an experts opinion, however, once you understand how it works you can definitely do it yourself.
It's not just about using the key term associated with your business, you need to be as specific as possible. If you have a skateboard shop, your keyword can't be “board”, there are too many types of boards (surfboards, game boards, etc).
Also, you need to take into consideration whether your business relies on its location, if so, you need to include it in your main keyword. This way, when people search “business near me” your business will show up in their results.
Write Your Content
Instead of paying someone from the outside, write your website's content yourself or get someone from within the company to do it. You are already the expert about the services or products, you will definitely come up with some amazing and useful information.
Also, chances are that the people you pay to write your content have a bunch of research to do to become acquainted with your niche. Cut down the research time and save money by writing the content yourself.
I can never say (or write) this enough: building backlinks is major for search engine optimization. Google puts a lot of importance on them, in a study of 1 million pages, the 1st position had a 23% of shared link domains.
If you have contacts with vendors and other companies within your niche, you should reach out and ask for links or guest posts. This is a really great way to build your online authority, it will not only help with your search engine ranking but also increase the trust people have in your business.
You can also build backlinks through social media. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a proposal email and ask for collaborations as well.
Run Your Own On-Page SEO
There are many things you can do yourself – especially if you create your own content – like helping with page speed by compressing your files, making sure your keyword is on everything (meta description, slug, title tag, etc), and more.
By doing these things, not only are you improving your SEO, you are also cutting costs by doing it yourself! You are basically eliminating the middle man for actions that are easy enough for almost anyone to do.
Run Your Own Social Media
If you really want to cut back on costs you can run your own social media. If you have the time to work all of your platforms, it's a great way to promote yourself. However, it's also something that you can't leave out of your marketing strategy.
If you don't have the time, this is something you should consider keeping in the budget. However, I think anyone can conquer their social media by themselves if they accept having to dedicate a little bit of time to the cause.
You can use an application like Preview for Instagram to set up a theme, pre-schedule posts and captions, create hashtag groups, and more. It's great for people who don't have the time to dedicate every day to create great posts.
You Don't Always Have to Pay Someone to Save Time
In 2018, automation is no longer unachievable for a budget-friendly market strategy. I highly recommend you look into different tools because they really make a difference when it comes to both time and money – two huge players in the business world.
You can automate keywords by using an SEO tool like SE Ranking. Tools like these help you monitor your keyword rankings, backlinks, insights about competitor strategies, and social signals.
You should use a website auditing tool to check title tags, meta tags, alt tags on images, sitemap files, broken links, article links, and descriptions. You should be checking these about once a month to stay on top of your game. It is truly do-able, just dedicate a day, once a month, to check it all out and then you shouldn't have to worry about it until the next month.
For monitoring links more closely, you should use a monitoring tool that is in real time and constant like Linkody, MonitorBacklinks, or SEO Spyglass. Some of these tools are not free, however, you can find some that are free and very useful.
You should be running backlink audits, where you check the backlinks you have acquired, this is pertinent because a bad backlink could cost you your ranking altogether on Google. You don't want any backlinks that go against Google's Webmaster Guidelines, those are the ones you want to fish out.
If you find bad backlinks, you should contact the website to get them removed. If you don't get a response, you can use a disavow tool like Google's, it basically alerts Google to ignore those specific links and not consider them when ranking your website (phew!).
Use Free SEO Tools
You can use free SEO tools to help you improve your SERP ranking as well as know where your budget should go. Don't waste money on services that won't benefit your individual needs because every company is different and some offered packages are either incomplete for your case or hold too many things that are unnecessary for your business.
Here are some examples of SEO tools you can use to help lower your overall SEO costs.
1. Google Trends: This tool is great because it shows you keyword trends. This is helpful because it shows which is better, for example, between motorbike and motorcycle. It also shows you the prime time during the year that a keyword is searched.
2.Google Analytics: This data source provides high quality and accurate information. It tells you about site visitors, traffic, and an overall better understanding of your leads and customers.
3.SEOWorkers Analysis Tool: This tool is great because you can plug in any website (not just yours) and get a detailed report of analyzed features. There is also a feature where they teach you about SEO which is even better if you plan on cutting back your SEO costs. This tool may be more beneficial for people who are a bit more experienced in SEO because it can look like an overflow of information. However, it is definitely something everything can benefit from in some way.
4. Google Webmaster Tools: Focused on search and optimization, this tool provides a lot of the same information as Google Analytics but in a much simpler language. Its really useful for its link data which will also show you any bad backlinks that you should take care of.
And More! There are so many SEO tools out there and although some are not worth anyone's time, there are many that are genuinely useful. We even have a tool box of our own which you can check out on this very website!
Overall I would say that the best way around lowering your SEO costs without hindering your business' success is by taking some time do your research and finding out which parts of your SEO strategy you can do yourself and what areas you need exterior help with. You budget is important and should be used as effectively as possible, to the very last dime!