Anyone who has a business website knows the importance of search engine optimization. Or at least they should. Woe to those who have chosen to ignore having a solid SEO strategy.
There’s really no excuse not to have a properly optimized website. Especially with how affordable SEO is today.
The key to increased traffic is increasing the visibility of your site. It’s easy as that. Unfortunately, taking your content from invisible to easy-to-find can be daunting. And without the right knowledge and tactics, this can be nearly impossible.
So if you’re looking for affordable SEO methods you can use on your own, you can use this guide to help you along.
Now, let’s see what it takes to make your website easier to find in search engines.
1. Create High-Quality Content that Adds Value
It doesn’t matter how much keyword research you’ve done. Riddling your content with even the best search terms is only going to land your pages in hot water with Google.
So what you should do instead is write content that relates to your users. And more importantly, it should offer tons of value to them. If not, they will forgo reading your content or taking the time to browse your site.
You see, it’s all about dwell time. The longer people spend on your website, the better your SEO ranking will be. This lets Google know your site is relevant and valuable to the people finding it.
Remember, the goal of Google and other search engines is to improve their search engine results pages for the end user. So these type of indicators will send signals letting search engines know your website and its keywords are worthy of ranking.
Now, the key to quality content has a lot to do with length. You can’t really add a lot of value in a short 350-word article. So as a rule of thumb, you should aim for well-researched pieces that are between 2,000 and 2,500 words.
These tend to rank the highest in search engines. Imagine how much you can fit into these pieces. If they’re juicy enough, they’ll become bookmark-worthy and even shareable on social media.
Remember, content is one of the most affordable SEO methods you can include in your strategy.
2. Check the Page Load Speed
Have you ever gone to a website that took a long time to load? What did you do? If you’re like most people, you left there and went elsewhere. And you can expect the same from people who visit your site.
So make sure your page load speeds are quick, so you don’t witness a high bounce rate. Also, having a slow loading website will hurt your ranking on Google and Bing.
As a rule of thumb, your website should load within a few seconds. Anything longer than that, you risk losing people at the gate. And as we mentioned before, dwell time plays a big role in your SEO.
So if you’re looking for an affordable SEO tactic, speeding up your site is one. If you’re not sure how quickly your pages load, you can easily test them.
You can use a speed test website to find this out. Make sure to test your site using different devices to ensure all of them load quickly. You just may find that your mobile devices load slower, which can really put a damper on your SEO ranking.
Now, there are different ways you can improve the speed of your website. For one, you can remove unnecessary graphics, plug-ins and features. You can install caching plug-ins to help tidy things up.
It’s also a good idea to clean up your website code, optimize image sizes and minimize redirects on your site.
3. Optimizing the Images On Your Site
There’s no denying it – images are very important for web design and even content creation. If you have a blog loaded with photos and a design filled with graphics, then optimizing them is crucial.
And we’re not just talking about the size. But the keywords you use for them. For instance, you can include an alt tag, file name, title, caption, and description that contains important key phrases.
You can look at your images as an affordable SEO move for your site. It’s an excellent way to give your optimization an added boost.
4. Include Headers throughout the Content
No one wants to read a long block of text. You need to break these up into easily digestible paragraphs, spaced out with header tags.
Plus, you can include your keywords inside of them. If you’re using a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, then this is easy to do. Otherwise, you’re going to have to learn the proper HTML codes to insert header formatting.
Google and other search engines are known to rate keywords found in the header tags more heavily than those found in the body.
Another smart move would be to include relevant terms, so you can rank for those as well.
5. Include Outbound Links in Your Content
In order to make your content valuable and credible, you need to include links to quality sources. This could be a site that offers additional information on a topic you’re covering. Or showcasing data you shared in a piece you wrote.
Either way, you need to ensure the links you connect to are relevant to your site and audience. Plus, the content you’re linking to should be great quality.
Your best bet is to link to authority sites, which are those with a high ranking. The links you provide should give your readers more in-depth knowledge on the topic you’re covering.
By linking to these sites, it will help your visitors, plus show search engines your relevancy. This can possibly send trust signals to search engines, which will improve your ranking.
This affordable SEO method is easy as pie.
Just make sure you’re not outbound linking too often. If your content is filled with too many links, it can actually hurt your mission to retain visitors. After all, if you’re constantly sending them away, then they won’t make it through your content.
Also, it’s essential to have the links open in a new tab, so visitors aren’t sent away from your site.
6. Include Different Multimedia in Your Content
Text-only pages are so early 1990s. Thank goodness white backgrounds and the black text are a thing of the past. Today’s web design gives you more creative room to build a site that resonates with your brand.
The website you build should have different types of media to entertain, educate and inform your visitors. This can be in the form of video, music, slide shows and imagery.
Not only will this affordable SEO hack look attractive on your website, but it will also send signals of quality content to Google and other search engines. It takes time to include multimedia inside of your pages and blog posts, which shows search engines you’re working hard to please your readers.
Now, the key is to ensure the multimedia you add doesn’t take away from the goal of your site. Any media you’re adding should give value to your visitors. And if you design it well, it can improve the look and make your visitors more interactive.
The more you give users to do on your site, the more dwell time you’ll witness. For instance, your blog posts can cover a topic in-depth, as well as include videos that offer relevant or alternative perspectives.
These can be videos you created yourself or conjured up from YouTube. Although images can really spruce up your content, there’s nothing like the interactivity offered by videos.
There’s even evidence that suggests video content can boost conversion rates by 80%. And if you’re strategic, you can really make this work for your brand. For example, offering a product review or demonstration video on the product page or blog post promoting it.
7. Find and Purge Broken Links
Here lies the links that once lived and thrived. Now, they’re dead and can’t be used. Instead of sending your visitors to pages filled with valuable content, they’re redirected to a 404 page.
These broken links can spell trouble for your business website. Not only will it annoy your visitors, but it will attract negative attention from Google search bots.
The problem is these pages aren’t always easy to find. Especially if you’ve been doing a lot of content creation. When your site is filled with broken links, it can hurt your SEO.
The good news is that there are tools you can use to help gauge your site for these broken links. These effective and affordable SEO tools include W3C Link Checker, Google Webmaster Tool and Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
Of course, you can also invest in a quality marketing company to audit your site for this issue. It always pays to have a pair of human eyes looking over your site.
8. Improve the Readability of Your Site
Now, it’s very important for the content you create to read well for your audience. Although you may have a large audience of PhD-holding visitors, it doesn’t mean you should exclude those with a lower education.
For instance, you should create content that can be read at a 5th-grade reading level. Remember, the more people you can attract, the higher your conversion rate potential.
There are different ways you can check the readability of your content. For example, you can use tools like Readability-Score.com, Readability statistics in MS Word and The Readability Test Tool.
Keeping your content easy to read and understand reduces frustration and confusion. Besides appeasing your visitors, improving the readability will also help your ranking. Google and other search engines check for readability when ranking web pages.
9. Choose a User-Friendly Layout and Formatting
The design of your web pages should be user-friendly so to improve the experience of your visitors. So what this means is that your pages should be easy to scan and consume. Again, this will make visitors stick around longer.
You can give this affordable SEO tip a try by selecting a font size and typography that isn’t hard on the eyes. It’s also a good idea to go with bold colors and types only as needed. So don’t overdo it. The idea is to embolden the parts of your content that contain important information.
Then to make the content simpler, create shorter paragraphs and include bullet points or numbered lists. As for the layouts, you can go with sliders, tabs, structured grids, mega drop-down menus, accordions and rollover elements to name a few.
The concept is to create a site that’s organized and interactive. To maximize this affordable SEO tip, you should include keywords in the header tags you place throughout the pages.
And let’s not forget site architecture and navigation. Visitors want to be able to get to where they’re trying to go. Make it easy for them to find your products page, about us page and contact us page.
10. Mobile Optimize Your Website
This is probably one of the top affordable SEO tips you can have in your arsenal. Since the Google update of 2015, your website can actually be penalized for not being mobile optimized.
But besides that, you don’t want to have a site that isn’t mobile-friendly because millions of people are using mobile devices to surf and shop. In fact, mobile and tablet usage has soared past desktop use.
One affordable SEO tip you don’t want to forget is to go with a responsive design from the start. This will save you money in the long run and will improve your ranking. A responsive website allows users to access your site no matter what device they’re using.
Get Affordable SEO Services
When all else fails, it doesn’t hurt to have an affordable SEO expert on your team. This way, you can have access to professional advice on the whim.
Having an SEO team can make the process of building and managing a website a piece of cake. You can incorporate the above affordable SEO tips into your strategy to get the most out of your optimization efforts.
At Top Spot, we specialize in everything to do with SEO. So if you’re looking for expert help with your website and content management, then give us a call today!