One of the common misconceptions is that SEO takes a long time and requires lots of money for it to bear results. The truth is that quality on-page SEO can improve your site almost instantly because things like page speed and readability will impact your site users as soon as they next visit. Although, off-page SEO takes much longer to see results. This means that if you are looking to start a link building campaign via outreach, then give yourself the next few weeks before you build traction in terms of organic search improvements.
If the niche that your website falls under has some big competitor websites, then you can expect to wait quite a while to climb the rankings. Many small businesses make the mistake of spending thousands every month on link building when it is not necessary to spend this much. There are ways in which you can grow your site and reach without blowing your budget on link building. Today we take a look at some of the ways how you can boost your traffic and leads through organic search cheaply or even free.
Doing SEO On A Budget
First of all, if you are a small business owner and you don’t have the funds to hire an agency or person to carry out your SEO or site maintenance, then you can look to do it yourself. This will save you money and build your knowledge in relation to marketing your business.
To make this easier, we are going to split SEO into two separate parts, on-page SEO and off-page SEO. The first (on-page) are the optimizations that you can make on your own site in order to make it more suitable for search engines to read it. Off-page SEO are the optimizations that you make on other websites that point back to your site.
On-Page SEO For Small Businesses
If you run a small business, it is unlikely that your website will contain hundreds of complex pages all filled with content. It is more likely that your website will consist of around 5 pages; an about us page, contact us page, homepage and two pages of content. The fewer pages you have, the less man-hours it will take to clean up your on-page optimizations.
Arguably the most important factor of on-page optimization comes in the form of page speed. This is the time it takes for each of your webpages to load once clicked on. The longer it takes for your page to load, the less user retention you will have.. which often leads to a high bounce rate. To improve on your page speed, load towards a caching plugin such as WpRocket and compress your images.
Other on-page optimizations include inner-linking, which is when you link one relevant page to another. These links should be updated periodically to ensure they are not outdated or broken. Many tools such as Semrush will be able to run this on-page analysis for you and inform you of any errors that you have made.
Off-Page SEO For Small Businesses
The optimizations that fall under this category are ones that are made away from your site. For example, if a blog features an article that links to your website, this is off-page. These are the optimizations that take longer to work on, as it requires other people involved to link to you etc.
On-page SEO can be done for free as it is only your time that you are spending making the changes to your own site. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to do off-page SEO for free. It is not impossible, but if you are looking to see traction fast, then it may cost you. Many small business decide that buying links is a good idea as it will provide their site with valuable metrics that they assume search engines will prioritize when it comes to rankings. This is a risky game and can result in heavy penalisation. For this reason we do not suggest you take this route.
To do off-page SEO cheaply you are better off creating shareable content that other websites will pick up on and feature you that way. If you are a competent writer, then you can create this content yourself. Although, hiring a content writer may be more time effective and lead to more favourable results.
For more information regarding SEO for small business, take a look at our SEO consulting services.