There was a time previously low cost and easy to implement SEO tac-tics did used to be effective.
Those days are gone and by, in today’s landscape of SEO in 2015 for anything to be either effective or beneficial SEO and online marketing has to be unique, creative and targeted.
It can all be very costly after all, its taken the majority of any surplus cash to get the website developed and in place. Then there’s hosting, security and the need for SEO and online marketing for the site to stand any chance of search rankings and attracting customers that convert.
We understand exactly what it’s like, we’ve been there!
What did we do?
We did it and do it ourselves.
Of course you might think, that’s all fine and well, you’re an internet marketing and web design company after all.
That’s true, we are.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to be a coder, designer, author or internet marketer to be able to take actionable steps yourself, you don’t.
There’s a tonne of actionable steps you as a small business owner can take to get your site ranked and not only that, attract traffic that converts and build your brand.
So how can a small business on a shoestring budget compete online?
First let’s look at the logistics, you’re a small business out there is a web full of big businesses competing in the same field and for the same customers and keywords you too are solemnly hoping to attract and achieve.
How is it possible to compete…?
Read on to learn exactly how and what you can do.
There’s no denying the fact Google has been victim to a few claims of tweaking the search algorithms to favour bigger brands. The majority of Google claims are untrue, however it does make you wonder…
When it comes to a smaller brand trying to compete against a bigger brand, you have to take into consideration the traffic, marketing, customer base and online exposure the big brand has compared to your small brand.
Even that big brand had to start somewhere, there was a time they too had no rankings, no traffic or conversions.
The best advice is try and differentiate yourself from the bigger brands, don’t go chasing the big fish that have bigger marketing budgets than you.
Try and create a unique aspect that’s in-line with your customers and services, and appeals to why people would choose a smaller brand over a bigger brand.
Once you can find a UPS (Unique selling point) to appeal to your target audience you open up an whole new race, a race you stand a chance of winning. As opposed to using all your resources and budget trying to rival bigger brands for exactly what their ranking for and the customers they attract.
The harsh reality is executing a fully comprehensive SEO and marketing plan can be expensive. That said, don’t be dismayed – where there’s a will there’s a way!
What you’re lacking in knowledge you can make up for in direction.
You need expertise to point you in the right direction so how do you go about getting the right knowledge and right direction?
One way is to engage with an SEO and internet marketing company on an audit or consultation manor.
That way you’re not tied to a monthly retainer or contract and have the expertise to keep you on the right track, targeting things that are both effective and beneficial.
Believe it or not there’s plenty of SEO and digital marketing agencies that provide consultations, some are set by an hourly rate and others per consultation. Make sure you find out which before embarking on any consultations.
The benefit of using an SEO company for consulting your websites online presence, goals and targets is you have access to the necessary knowledge and insights you wouldn’t have usually. If your budget is really tight, opting to throw what little you have at PPC (Pay per click) advertising is crazy or worse, outsourcing for back links…. As many as possible for £100!
We don’t need to go into the damage this mind-set causes, for now know and understand backlinks are only part of the equation, and also only valuable if the site their from is valuable and of relevance to your niche.
You’d be much better off putting that few hundred pounds or less as the case maybe at consulting services from a knowledgeable SEO company. There’s no denying the value in the relationship and the insights you’ll gain will equally be as valuable.
SEO auditing is another great way to gain valuable and insightful actionable steps that can be taken to improve the overall visibility of your site, your sites rankings and traffic. Depending on your budget you could chose to have full site audit conducted annually or every few months to make sure things are on track and progressing the way they should.
There’s also the option to mix it up a little and use different SEO agencies for full site audits and consultations. Sometimes a different set of eyes and new perspective is invaluable.
This is one of the most valuable things a small business can complete.
Best of all it’s absolutely free!
Check out this detailed article on how to set up your Google Places Business listing, within 20 minutes and also find out how very valuable this little action in terms of locally mapping your business!
Using social media for business is massive and a must.
Think of your customers, it’s where they are.
Who is not on Facebook or twitter to name just a few…?
Almost everyone has some form of social media account, building your brand on social media has never been so important. Have a think about the type of customers you’re targeting and what type of social media they use.
Then quite simply, engage, engage, engage!
Create your BUSINESS profile, add images and complete all about us sections and company information. Set yourself a daily schedule of 1hr a day or whatever you can manage and keep it consistent.
Link back to your products and service as often as you can, using your blog on a regular basis helps a lot in driving traffic from social media onto your site.
Blogging for your business is another supercharged way to drive traffic to your site and drive your site up the rankings!
We’ll cover how to keyword target a blog post soon, for now getting into the habit of posting at least 16-20 times a month with each post promoted and shared on social media will not only give the search engine bots new and fresh content to crawl, you’ll also begin to attract traffic that converts into sales and rankings will begin to rise.
More details on blogging for business can be found here – The Power of a Business Blog!
Think of the phonebook and the old business mind-set we all once had with the legendary yellow pages for instance, in order to be found that’s where you were listed.
Fast forward back to 2015, in today’s era we have the god that is Google and online directories.
Gaining rankings of your website within Google takes time along with a medley of processes and effort, that we’ve established.
Listings with directories on the other hand, still takes times for the listing to go “live” so to speak, but once the listing is published you not only have a listing of your business online, you’ve also just built yourself a backlink!
Business listings with local and national business directories, especially business directories relevant to your niche are invaluable and have been a consistent process within in SEO since I can remember. Many free, some are paid.
Take the time to search for “high PR free business directories”, adding either your local area and or industry.
The higher the PR (Page Rank) the more valuable the listing and backlink will be.
Social bookmarking is another great way to send signals to the search engines your site exists and has content to crawl and pages to rank.
The process is similar to directory listings, where you add your websites URL along with a short description and keyword tags. Many social bookmarking sites are also free.
Tip: keep your social bookmarking descriptions to a sentence or two, there’s more chance of it being accepted the more concise and shorter the description is.
Using forums for building business is nothing new,
It still works for a reason, people love alive information on line and forums just like social media are great places for real information, what’s hot and what’s not, opinions and points of view.
Registering with a few industry specific forums, fully completing your profile and adding your website link to your signature not only builds your brand online, but also drives traffic to your site, targeted customers likely to be interested in what you have to offer and also builds backlinks, some do-follow, some no-follow.
Both do-follow and no-follow backlinks are necessary for a “natural” backlink profile.
Whichever way you choose to approach your big business marketing desires with your small business budget, taking on board some of these actionable and insightful steps will return more on investment than throwing what little budget you have aimlessly at PPC (Pay per click) campaigns or indeed black hat, cheap SEO.
Nothing worth anything is easy, this is especially the case with SEO and online marketing.
Great results, require great efforts.
Those efforts don’t have to cost an enormous amount either.
If you’re willing to take action yourself, achieving the goals your desire within the niche you’re in, is possible. You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
If you’re looking for an SEO audit or consulting services contact ServeOnly, Glasgow’s web design SEO company.
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