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Unless your company is overflowing with cash, you may find yourself in the position of having to do SEO on a budget. If that’s the case, there are some ways to go about it that will still give you results without an outlay of cash. Many of these things you can do without spending a dime. If you’re looking for better search engine rankings on a limited budget, here are five action steps you can take to get your content ranking.  

Optimize for Long Tail Keywords and Phrases

First, analyze the space you’re trying to fill and see where your site fits in. Look at what competitors are doing to get their site ranked and determine what’s working and what’s not working. Figure out what your niche is and how you can fill it better than your competitors. You want to be sure that you’re going after long-tail keywords that are specific to your niche.

What are long-tail keywords? These little nuggets are phrases that contain three or more keywords that people search for. You might have an impossible time ranking for the single word “market” and it might take years to get on the first page for that keyword if you’re able to at all.

But “marketing for dental clinics:” is a less competitive long-tail keyword phrase that can pull in lots of traffic if your site helps dentists gain new clients. If you write high-quality, relevant content, you should be able to rank for that long-tail keyword term a lot easier than the single word. You can use many keyword tools, either free or paid, to find long-tail keywords in your niche.

If your website is still young, long-tail keywords offer the best opportunity to get traffic, as you have less competition. In some ways, these words are better because they’re more targeted. More targeted keywords mean the customers that arrive at your site are more likely to be interested in what you offer. Therefore, you’ll have a better chance of ranking and your visitors will be more receptive to what you offer. That’s a win-win!

Post Relevant Long-Form Content

Short content doesn’t rank well with Google anymore, and a short post is now 1,000 words. To have a shot a new website, you’ll need to write posts that are 1,500 words or longer, and more is better, as long as the content is strong. If you’re brand new, 2,000 words or more for each article will give you the best shot.

Make sure your posts aren’t a solid wall of text but include other engaging content such as short videos, infographics, and images.

You can get public domain images free from sites like Pixabay, but these are the same images everyone else is using. Use a free editor, like Canva, to give those stock photos a unique look. You can add filters or crop the image in a way that makes it look less like the stock photo everyone else is using.

Consider Guest Posting as a part of budget SEO strategy

If you’re looking for traffic that you don’t have to pay for, consider guest posting. If you choose a site with high domain authority, it will create a high-quality backlink back to your site. The emphasis here is on quality. A link from a spammy website with low authority brands your website in a negative light. Look at a site’s domain authority using a keyword tool like Moz. An average domain authority is around 50. So, choose a site that has a domain authority higher than this, preferably 60 or above.

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Be patient though. It’s harder to get authoritative websites to accept guest posts these days since they get so many requests. Plus, guest posts for getting as many backlinks as possible doesn’t work as well as it used to. It’s better to do a few carefully chosen guest posts on high-ranking sites than it is to go for quantity. Make sure the information you provide is high-quality, is relevant to that website, and establishes you as an expert.

Build Internal Links

Once you get your content up on your website and optimized for long-tail keywords, the next thing to do is add internal links by linking to other relevant pages on your own site. This will help Google understand how different sections of your website are related to each other. Internal linking helps search engines better discover what your content is about and determine your content’s relevance.

The best approach with internal linking is to link content with an article that also covers that topic on your website. For example, if you wrote an article about how to choose a domain name, link it to another article that discusses mistakes to avoid when selecting a domain name. By doing this, Google sees the articles are on similar topics. Internal links also help Google crawl your site more easily. By using internal links, you increase site authority.

Build External Links

An external link is a link from another website, hopefully, an authoritative site that’s relevant to your content. The best way to increase the number of external links pointing to your website is to get a link from high-authority websites that are already well-positioned for your keywords but be careful. Links from low-quality, spammy sites can hurt you in Google’s eyes.

You can use a variety of tools to find which sites rank highly for your target keywords. One such tool is the Moz keyword tool. It compares how many links you have pointing to your website and the strength of those links. The more links you have, the more authoritative your website is, assuming those links are high quality and relevant.

External links are one of the biggest factors that search engines use in ranking a site. The links that count the most are those that come from trustworthy, popular websites that have content similar to yours. Anchor text matters too. The anchor text should include relevant keywords but not use the same keyword each time, as this is spammy in the eyes of Google.

The Bottom Line

There’s much you can do on a budget to optimize your website and make it SEO-friendly. Putting these five suggestions into practice is one way to get started.

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SEO on a Budget for a Content Site

Last Updated in May 2022 by Lukasz Zelezny