You know you need search engine optimization, but you’re struggling with where to start. Everything you want to do costs money that you don’t have. If you’re just starting out or you have a small marketing budget, you’ll want to take steps that will increase your traffic to increase your budgets. The good news is SEO can be affordable. Here are the top affordable SEO tips to follow.
Stay Away from the Black Hat Techniques
You may be interested in buying some links or hiding keyword phrases in your content. Some people just want to get as much content up on their site as possible, without even thinking about the quality of said content. It’s time to stop the black hat techniques. Black hat is a term taking from Wild West movies. The guy with the black hat was always the bad guy, so the black hat techniques are the bad ones.
Google will penalize you for the black hat techniques. When (and it is a when) Google catches you, your page rank will drop considerably. You’re playing a game and the search engines don’t like that. It’s extremely difficult to improve your ranking once you’ve been penalized. The best option is to start a new site, but that can be an expensive repair.
Research all the black hat techniques to make sure you’re not falling foul. Avoid keyword stuffing and start creating good quality content for your readers. Don’t hide phrases, as Google will see them. Use the right techniques. While they take longer, they are much more permanent.
Utilize that Meta Description
Make sure you get a plugin for your website to utilize the metadata. This includes your description, which is the little blurb under the title in the search results. It’s the description that tells someone what the page, article, or blog post is all about; what to expect when they come to read it.
You only get 120-150 characters to tell the story. Use them all to your advantage. Make the description clear but concise. Create something alluring and intriguing. You want to make people feel like they need to click on your link to find out more of what you have to offer.
Ranking in search engines will also be affected by the meta description. It needs to have your keyword phrase, so Google knows that you’re including content that links to the phrase.
When your meta description isn’t added by yourself, it’s usually the first paragraph that’s used instead. If you have an image as your first part of the content, the image caption will become the meta description. This isn’t interesting or useful to your readers. You will lose out on links, even if your title is intriguing. Competitors will have better descriptions. As you fail to get the clicks, Google will view you as irrelevant and drop your link lower in the search results.
Don’t Forget About Your URL
Too many people overlook their URL but it’s one of the cheapest ways to boost your SEO. In fact, it’s completely free. In most cases, your blog posts and pages will have a URL with the domain name and the title of the content. For example, this post could be [domainname].com/affordable-search-engine-optimization-tips.
That’s not actually a bad URL, but sometimes it can be. Your URL can be too long, including multiple stop words, and even end up cut off. You can end up with dates and just a series of numbers in the URL, making the URL worthless and unreadable.
The URL tells people what your page is about. In this URL’s case, you know that you’re getting affordable SEO tips. If it was just a series of numbers or the date of the post, you’ll have no idea and are more likely not going to click on it. Long phrases can work against you, even when on point. You want a phrase that is short, to the point, and easy to remember.
Then there’s the SEO benefit. Having the keyword phrase in your link will give Google another way to figure out what you offer. Google knows to rank you for this particular phrase when people search.
Don’t Forget the Image SEO
Too many people forget about the SEO within images. No, this isn’t about the text on the actual image. Google isn’t going to read that and determine where you link. It’s all about the alt text and description of the image. You need to add these to your content. And yes you need images. People like to see images to break up content, making your site more user-friendly and interesting.
Keyword phrases are good for the alt text. It tells Google how to rank you. The description can be a little longer, telling Google what your image includes. Try to add the keyword in there somewhere.
But why is the image that important? Well, you have another way of ranking. Google Image Searches do happen. They have a completely different page and you can find that different sites rank higher than they would in the normal Google searches because of the good use of SEO in the image alt text (and the fact that their competitors haven’t bothered with it).
Don’t ignore SEO because you think it’s too expensive. This is something you can do without spending a fortune. The tips above are all affordable, and in the majority of cases free! Utilize them to your advantage.