Not every business can afford hiring an in-house SEO specialist or paying a pricey SEO agency to handle their online marketing. But just because you’re running your own SEO campaign, or are managing a campaign on a limited budget, doesn’t mean you are destined to finish last. The key to any SEO campaign, large or small, is optimizing “the bang for your buck.”
You want to generate the most leads and collect the most traffic you can from the most efficient links, optimized search engine results, and the strongest, most authoritative sites. Keep those words in mind: “efficiency” and “optimization,” they should be the law and order of your budgeted campaign.
SEO campaigns ran on a limited budget need to optimize their spending, get the most out of the least, and can’t afford to waste space, energy, and money on unproductive SEO pitfalls. So, in order to avoid sneaky, money burning inefficiencies and stay on track: follow these “Six Slick Steps to Save Money and Spike SEO.”
Going After the Long Tail Version of Your Primary Keywords
Keyword research is a huge part of any SEO Campaign. Having said that, some companies over prioritize their primary keywords and focus too much on their ranking for just those singular terms. This narrows the potential viewership for their links, as well as ignores the more specific markets that come along with a more broadly distributed keyword profile.
Long tail keyword research can make a huge difference in optimizing your keyword profile, and also provides you with productive insights into what extra information your viewers are looking for. While the average search engine input may be exploratory and may bring passive traffic to your links, long tail keyword searches drive more active and conversion-prone traffic. In this case, a lower relevance and volume makes for a higher conversion rate. In addition to the denser conversion rate, these long tail keywords are also easier to rank for!
The wild card is an underscore that you type into the search bar after you input your primary keyword. The wild card will show you options for the different modified searches that are connected to that primary keyword – essentially a live test of which long tail keywords you should be going after.
The wild card also accounts for the volume of those long tail keywords, so you can start developing content built around those long tail keywords to strengthen your rankings. Never leave a stone unturned when it comes to optimizing your SEO campaign, and always be looking to raise your rankings through KSO (keywords search optimization).
Internally Linking to Second Page Results from Old Blog Content
Once you have your keywords and have begun publishing content, remember that once a blog piece is posted, your work is far from over. Developing content is only half the race. Promotion and link building are both vital parts of optimizing the viewership of your content, regardless of quality. This is an ongoing process as well. Retroactively going over old blog posts and internally linking back to them can take older content that you may have considered dead, and put it back to work for you!
Old blog posts aren’t rotten pieces of old content in need of replacing. Often times they are just untouched pages deep in our pagination.
Combing over these old blog posts and identifying your primary keywords is the first step in reviving these older pieces and boost your ranking. From those keywords, you want to find those that are ranking on page 2, instead of page 1. You can do so by using SEMRush and filtering your organic search keyword positions that are greater than 10 but less than 20.
This will identify your keywords that are currently ranking on page 2. Page 2 keyword results are considered “no man’s land,” but with some quick internal linking from older, relative blog posts, you can rapidly shoot up your rankings.
Once you’ve identified the page 2 keywords, and once you’ve found that old blog post you wrote back in the summer of ‘69 about that topic, you can start linking. Using the page 2 keywords you are trying to rank-boost as exact match anchor text, link back to your source page from your old blog post. Internally linking like this will hopefully shoot your page 2 rankings up to page one, where they can actually generate traction and traffic.
Improving Site Speed and User Experience
Another inexpensive way to improve your SEO business on your own is to improve your site speed and the user-experience you are providing. The smoother your site architecture and navigation are, the easier it is for the user to access any information he/she is looking for. Easily crawlable and indexable sites are also easier for Google crawlers to index, so there won’t be any content they can’t access and don’t value in your ranking. Check out these helpful tips on how to optimize your site for Google.
There are some simple boxes to check in terms of improving site speed: Image compression, server side caching, and CDNs.
Making sure that your images are properly coded and compressed is an easy and inexpensive way to clean up your pages while improving user experience. I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me want to leave a page more than a slow or choppy load time. You don’t want your page to be cluttered, visually or architecturally. Streamline your pages for both user experience, and check out Screaming Frog to see if you are streamlining your content in Google’s eyes as well.
Server side caching is another way to clear up any storage performance problems. Installing an SSD with software that handles your cache writing systems will make streamlining your sites much easier for you.
Be careful not to “plug-in and check-out” though. SSDs are helpful but tend to only pick up recently read data from the cache memory, so only when data is accessed enough times to be recognized as “cache worthy” will the SSD be doing its job. This might slow you down when rewriting older data, but once it’s cache worthy the performance will begin to speed up again.
Lastly, getting a CDN will help automate your content distribution, and increase both the size and speed of your campaign. CDNs – or content distribution networks – operate through content servers to distribute websites and other content to users based on demographic, location, and webpage origin. Delegating at least some of your distribution and promotion to a CDN frees up more time for you to be creating new content and experimenting in new markets. Remember: leave no stone unturned, no alley unchecked.
Guest Posting: Publishing and Links
Any facet of an SEO campaign that handles two major SEO tasks instead of one is considered a winner. Guest posting not only gets your content published, but also develops links and authority from other sites that link back to your page from your posts. It’s free publicity and brand building!
Keep in mind that guest blogging is a form of representing your own brand and content. You should be reaching out to other companies in your field that are related to the topics you are writing for, but don’t waste time soliciting competitors to publish your material. You also don’t want to be writing for any duds that can’ generate traffic of their own. Quality guest blog pitches to quality pages with authority makes for quality backlinks back to your site.
Make sure that the sites that are backlinking to you via your guest blogs are also of a high quality and page authority. Surrounding your page with high quality links both internally and externally will bolster your page authority and domain authority, while associating with spam links or poor visibility pages will do the opposite.
Improve Your Reviews on Google+My Business
A business on a budget can’t afford to overlook the local market. Now, not every online business will benefit from improving their customer reviews or testimonials, but retail focused and locally aimed companies should all be taking advantage of Google+My Business. As online search expands beyond search engines and into customer reviews, geolocation, and assistant suggested markets, local businesses should follow suit.
Google+My Business is a free sign-up that will put your business on Google Maps and open it up to review, tag-ins, etc. Accessing these more nuanced markets within the larger SEO world costs next to nothing and will almost certainly pay dividends. After all, if you’re running a campaign on a limited budget, the word “free” ought to sound like music to your ears!
Rewrite Homepage Content to Focus on Keywords
If you are really looking to optimize your entire SEO campaign towards a single, streamline goal, then you should constantly be rewriting your material. Rewriting your older blog posts for keyword adjustment is one way to retroactively boost rankings. Also, rewriting your actual homepage content to focus on keywords will also boost your rankings in real time as you prioritize your anchor texts and your actual content to account for the keywords you need to be ranking for.
In the content marketing world, it isn’t the dollar that is king, but he who uses it best. Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t streamline your SEO campaigns to improve your domain and page authorities.
Remember the law and order of any SEO campaign: “efficiency” and “optimization.” With those two stone tablets in mind, you shouldn’t be beaten out by any of your bigger or pricier competitors. Following these six slick steps will help you slip by SEO agencies and save your money for a rainy day.
About Sean Martin – I am a Content Marketing Manager at Directive Consulting, a digital marketing agency in Southern California. We specialize in integrating SEO, PPC, Social, and Content into our online marketing campaigns. Check out my posts on the DC blog to see how we are innovating and changing the game.