SEO on a shoestring – How to make your marketing budget stretch

If you’ve been looking into implementing an SEO strategy for your website, you’ve probably come across lots of sites offering SEO packages for varying amounts. Most basic SEO packages start at around the £400 mark, but what if you don’t have this kind of budget? After all, those just starting out in business rarely have this amount of spare capital lying around. So we posed the question around the office – if we only had £100 to spend on SEO, what would we spend our money on?

First of all, SEO on a shoestring can be done. Thousands of web entrepreneurs have achieved marketing success and you could too. You don’t necessarily need to take out a second mortgage or hire an SEO guru to experience online success. The best way to plan out your SEO strategy, whilst still making time to run your business, is to consider search engine optimisation in terms of modules.

1. Laying the Foundations

Before you race ahead and start submitting your site to directories or thinking about link building (more about this later), you need to build your site from the ground up. Many people fail to do this and it can really bite them on the behind later on. Creating a bulletproof website strategy before the first page is even designed will ensure you can easily build SEO into your site when you are ready.

Choose your host and your web design team carefully. Whilst the host you choose may be offering really cheap hosting deals, they might be considered a little flaky by Google. A good host will want to ensure that you won’t build a spam or scam site and that the content you are storing on its servers is safe and of a high quality. Read their terms and conditions carefully. This is really important. If Google considers your site to come from a negative source, it can simply bury you deep in its search engine sandbox and even refuse to index your site.

If you are lucky enough to have a professional web team building your site, ensure they are building your site with SEO in mind. We deal with many sites on a daily basis and it’s amazing how many we have to redesign so that they can handle the most basic of SEO functions. Start researching page titles, keywords and the phrases you will use for your Meta descriptions. Google offers a number of tools you can use to define the keywords that are most popular for your business or niche.

2. The Power of Words

If you’re wondering what makes Google tick it’s high quality copy. The latest Panda and Penguin updates released by Google are helping to weed out the many spam websites that litter the web right now so there has never been a better time to get your copy right.

Words not only describe what your business is about to your visitors, but they also tell Google what your business is all about. This information is essential in the Google indexing process and enables Google to marry up user searches with the content on your site. The higher the quality and relevance of your web content, the more credibility Google’s web crawlers will assign to your site and the higher you will climb.

When considering copy you also need to make sure your copy is unique and fresh. Unique means that there are no other versions of your copy anywhere else online and fresh means publishing new content for the search engines to chomp on. Blogs are great for producing fresh content and give your visitors something useful to read and the search engines lots of juicy relevant keywords to index.

If you are feeling confident enough you might like to write your own copy. There are many resources available online and you could save yourself a small fortune. We also offer a range of services that are affordable and allow you to control your content budget easily.

3. It’s All About The Links

Ever wonder how many links you’ve clicked on in your lifetime? Without links the web is nothing, and without links nobody would ever need to worry about SEO because there would be no search engines. In simple terms, the more good quality relevant links you have pointing back to your website, the higher credibility and relevance Google will award your site.

You can build your rank quite easily on a budget if you have the time. By using articles for link building, commenting on blog posts, and participating in link exchange programmes, you can gradually start to build a good reputation for your website with both your visitors and Google.

Avoid any link scheme that promises to increase your site ranking overnight. Link farms such as these are now being penalised as a result of the recent Penguin and Panda updates and will do more harm for your website than good. Natural organic traffic is where it’s at and the only way you can achieve the best results is with a little elbow grease. By submitting a daily article to your blog or a guest blog on a relevant site you can start to gain more and more authority in Google and further raise your online ranking.

SEO on a budget is possible, but it does take time. We would recommend you focus on the foundations of your website to ensure it is built with SEO in mind and that you continue to drip-feed your site with high quality content.

Want to find out more? We can give you all the advice you need on how to build a customer friendly and search engine friendly website on a budget.

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