By Jeff Jones
Traditionally, Search Engine Optimization was a preserve of big companies whereas small businesses saw it as an unnecessary expenditure. After all, why would a startup spend its limited resources on SEO when the owner and the staff members already know each of their customers by name? Is it not more reasonable to strategize on winning customers offline than online in that case? This attitude by small business managers has since changed after realizing that almost everyone is searching for products and services online. As a matter of fact, small businesses have realized that they need SEO more than the big companies because that is their best shot at growing their trade.
As the SEO narrative for small businesses changes with time, the question changes from “why do SMEs need SEO services?” to “how can such enterprises get affordable SEO services?” Well, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to any of these questions. SEO service providers will charge a business depending on the niche it is in and the magnitude of services rendered, among other factors. You get what you pay for in this case. The more you pay, the better the services you receive. The internet is almost saturated with the services and products that you offer, meaning that you must invest in the best SEO service provider that your budget can allow in order for you to stand a chance of competing effectively online.
But don’t be duped into believing that companies that charge you expensively will automatically offer you the best SEO services. There are small businesses that spend a lot of unreasonable fees only for them to rank poorly on search engine result pages. The converse here is also true: Not all “low cost” SEO companies are in business to help you. Some will take your money and still fail to bring online traffic to your website. That is why you need these 5 tips for finding affordable SEO services for small businesses.
Research on different SEO service providers and compare their merits
The SEO industry is full of service providers who bluff, brag, and lie about their merit. You can easily fall a victim of such providers if you are not careful. On the other hand, there are providers who unreasonably over-price their services just because they think that they are too good at the job. Others will tell you how good they are but will never tell you any of their successful SEO campaigns.
All these scenarios will lead to unnecessary expenditure in SEO, which you definitely cannot afford. Before you settle for a provider, make sure that you have sampled several of them and read enough reviews to advise your judgment. Ensure that the provider you choose has an impressive track record, particularly for SEO campaigns within your niche. Also, ensure that your provider is the most affordable amongst those with an equivalent track record.
Pay for manual outreach as opposed to link building
Paying an SEO provider to build backlinks for your website is one of the most effective ways of becoming visible online. That means, if online users can find your website while browsing on other websites, then all you need is to improve your SEO ranking through being mentioned by several high authority websites with huge traffic. But there is an underlying problem with this and that is low link building tactics by some rogue providers. What happens with such links is that the provider unscrupulously buys links from other websites and occasionally pays to keep them active.
Of course, the provider will charge you cheaply because the tactic they will use is equally cheap. But what happens in the long run? When your budget can no longer sustain the unscrupulous deals, traffic from the links you had bought will run dry. You will be back to where you started, if not worse. That is anything but affordable.
There is only one way of avoiding this and that is to hire a provider who finds bloggers within your industry through manual outreach and then gets backlinks from them. You will pay a little bit more for this as compared to buying cheap links, but it is worth every penny in the long run. You even have the freedom of taking a break from SEO marketing for a while because manual outreach links never go dry even after discontinuing your service provider. Such breaks save you lots of money.
Companies from big economies will always charge a higher fee than those from developing countries. Hiring an American SEO firm, for example, isn’t as affordable as hiring a European SEO company with the same merit. However, the quality of these companies does not vary, meaning there are highly professional SEO experts in Europe as there are in the US. You will still make good steps up the SEO ladder at a price that will not strain your marketing budget.
Try managing your own SEO
If your budget is too limited, don’t shy away from trying some DIY SEO tactics. They may not be the most effective and neither are they the easiest to do, of course, but they are the most affordable. Google for search engine optimization tutorials and put those lessons to good use. Learn some web design basics, online marketing strategies, and content development tactics. If you are unable to do this, hire freelance writers to develop content for your website because they are cheaper than SEO experts and they know a thing or two about keyword use. If you get problems in designing your website, hire a web developer on a temporary contract. That means that you will only pay for the help that you really need as opposed to paying for everything.
DIY SEO goes beyond saving you money in terms of monthly fees. It gives you a deeper understanding of SEO such that even if you decide to outsource SEO services in the future, you will know where exactly to place your resources.
Try SEO consultation services
Affordable SEO services for small businesses aren’t always effective, we must admit. You can, however, cleverly use experts in your SEO strategy without having to pay them much. One way of doing this is hiring SEO consultation services whereby an expert spends a day in your office coaching you and your staff on how to improve your website’s SEO. Instead of paying an SEO provider every month, you end up paying one or two experts for a day’s service, probably once or twice a year.
Jeff Jones is the Communication Manager of Tactica. He has experience in the realm of digital marketing for almost 10 years and is very updated to the latest trends. When he is not working, you can find him socializing physically.