Whether you own your own business or report to a marketing manager or CEO, you clearly understand the importance of ROI (return on investment). You also know it’s essential to be findable online, and that requires some solid SEO (search engine optimization) work. Proving the ROI of SEO is necessary and valuable, but thanks to the prevalence of scammy SEO “experts” and black hat SEO strategies, the truth about cost-effective SEO is hidden behind layers of myths and falsehoods.
Depending on the needs of your business, SEO doesn’t have to be an unaffordable investment. A solid SEO strategy matches your budget and grows with your business—and if an agency doesn’t present you with a scalable SEO option, they’re probably not right for you.
We’ve decided to throw our suggestions in the ring. Here are some cost-effective SEO methods to help balance a budget and begin generating success for ROI at any stage.
Bring it on.
1 – Use a Keyword-Focused Strategy
While you know your industry well, keyword research tools can help you determine emergent trends. Not only can that help you pivot your business, but it can also help you increase your ranking in the SERPs (search engine results pages). These tools spit out a lot of technical information, but if you know how to use them quickly and effectively, you can find the ‘holes’ in the search results and rank for high-value, low-competition keywords.
To do that, you need the keywords to rank for, and you need a strategy. That’s where a real SEO expert comes in: folks (like us!) provide a strategy and a plan for success.
2 – Invest in Landing Pages and Sales Pages
While your prices and services may gradually change over time, what you generally offer does not. A well-written landing page or sales page is an excellent investment: you buy the copy once, it’s eternally useful and usable, and it’s front and center. Plus, you can update the details when you need. Web page copy is among the most solid investments you can make when it comes to inbound content.
3 – Add or Update Your Content With Meta Information
Did you know that there are backdoor, cost-effective, Google-approved methods to ranking your site? Meta information tells the search engine bots (beep beep boop boop!) exactly how to list your site.
To be frank, without it, the bots have a hard time of knowing what’s up. Depending on the size of your existing (or new) website, the cost of adding meta information will vary. However, if you’re starting out with a static site and no blog posts, it’s simple to add this information for a low cost. Plus, it’s all rooted in the previously discussed keyword research.
See? You’re getting it!
4 – Update Your Business Listings
Are you listed on Google Business, Yelp, and other similar business service pages? It’s important to keep these listings updated and feed them the information it needs (like business hours and location). Plus, a little bit of SEO on these pages can produce big results. It’s a small amount of content to invest in with a potential for high return, especially if you’re not already listed or have inaccurate or incomplete info on there.
5 – Create a Content Plan: Focus on Inbound Content
Cost-effective search engine optimization includes a real plan for your content. Going beyond your web page staples, this means new material, like blog posts. For most businesses, an investment in evergreen (eternally relevant) content gives them the most for their money (since its value doesn’t expire), so we, for obvious reasons, recommend this as a major part of any cost-effective SEO plan.
Acquire Guest Blogs
Many experts will feel flattered if you ask them to provide a guest blog post to your blog. Once you’ve got an established blog going, it’s possible to get a guest to contribute for little or no money. Plus, they’ll likely share the content when you publish it, further expanding your content’s marketing reach.
Make Guest Blogs
And while we’re at it, the occasional guest blog can create some cost-effective, healthy SEO as well. Those organic backlinks (when the other blog links back to yours) can increase your value, at least as Google sees it.
If you want to know where you should blog for the best backlink opportunity, just ask! We can get that information for you, and notably, we can even ghostwrite the post you’ll need.
Trust is important when it comes to earning customers—and it can also be a cost-effective way to increase your SEO. When you ask your fans for testimonials, make sure you ask them to include the name of the service they got from you. This will show Google what you’re all about. Not only is it valuable content essential to building trust, it’s free. FREE.
Tip: Provide an email address and a request for testimonials on the back of your business card or on your website.
Harness User-Generated Content
Does your website have a discussion forum? Do your blog posts encourage your readers to leave comments? The things they write on your site (as long as you can moderate and approve them) are likely to increase your SEO. It’s engaging your community and learning valuable information about their needs—all while getting free content.
It’s as simple as asking them for comments.
In addition to the SEO value, search engine algorithms value engagement, so this is a win-win for your business.
6 – Ask “How Much Does SEO Cost?” and Expect a Custom Answer
Every business has varying needs when it comes to SEO. Is your website established, or don’t you have one yet? Is your business small or large? Do you have a brick-and-mortar store, or are you strictly e-commerce? Are you already ranking for relevant search terms? Have you used an SEO in the past? Do you have any penalties in Google? What is your budget?
These questions determine the cost of your SEO, and if an agency isn’t asking these question or providing you with a discovery form to learn more about your business, they’re doing it wrong.
7 – Find a Dedicated SEO Expert
While it is possible to learn all of these strategies, most companies have a team handling each of the above detailed aspects. If you’re not ready to commit to the cost of an entire in-house team, we can help. Dominate With SEO handles everything start to finish—from evaluation to content publication. Let’s put together a plan and make your SEO investment valuable. Contact us today!