How to Make the Most of Your SEO Budget

Samir Sampat

These days, it seems that everyone is talking about SEO. But while many acronyms fade with dying trends, this one is here to stay for the long haul. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one asset no business can ignore in a world where every potential customer is online. Sadly, not everyone knows what to do, even when they're armed with a hefty SEO budget to boost internet visibility.

Many beginning marketers wonder whether they should pay for clicks by hiring an external company. While others stew on whether SEO can be done in-house, saving significant funds from a stringent budget. All these concerns are valid, and we want you to know you're not alone.

What to do with your SEO budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to making the most of your SEO budget. Yet, some best practices have helped businesses avoid common pitfalls and realize great success. Read on to know how you can maximize the impacts of your SEO budget and revolutionize how you do business.

Consider investing in linkable content

You’ve probably heard that having linkable assets is a valuable aspect of content marketing. While this is true, you should also know that backlinks or links from other websites are important to your Google ranking, too. 

Just like references add credibility to a source, backlinks are a vote of confidence for websites. For Google’s algorithm, a link from a reputable website is valued highly, playing an important role in the ranking dynamics.

To make the most out of your SEO budget, try to find ways of getting links from trusted websites that have a reputation for quality and value. At first, finding a website willing to publish links to your website is tough since you might need to part away with sizable funds. Luckily, some alternatives can help you boost your link profile while saving your budget from collapse.

Guest posting

One approach is to develop quality guest articles for publishing on reputable websites. You have a specialty or field of influence as a business, whether in beauty, electronics, or utility services. Use your budget to create a useful blog or full-blown article for publication and ask a reputable website to publish.

Once you’re published on the website, you’ll benefit from access to new audiences. You can start to build a positive reputation. It’s important to avoid the blunders of copying and pasting content or using sites with low ranking since these will affect your SEO rank negatively.

Submit your sitemap

Another approach is to submit your content to business directories like Facebook, Yahoo, or Bing to literally put your business on the map. These directories can improve your ranking over a specific geographical area or niche market by making it easy for you to top other rivals.

Again, quality and relevance matter, so don’t spew out a 5000-word article hoping to get the boost. A 500–1000-word article can get you better results if you optimize with quality and expertise.

To take advantage of links as an SEO asset, don’t ignore your unique offering as a business. Always put your best foot forward since there are some things that you can teach audiences everywhere. Don’t be shy to reach out to reputable websites since they’re always on the lookout for unique content to captivate their audiences, too.

Focus on developing keyword-focused content

In the SEO and content marketing game, no word is as relevant as the ‘keyword.’ Search engine metrics operate on the most popular words among users. For your business, it’s vital to pay attention to the hottest words. To get in front of the SERP (search engine results page), identify the market niche you are targeting, and this will show you the competition.

Most businesses have come to realize that while some keywords are popular, there’s intense competition around them. A better alternative for most is to consider long-tail alternatives that other rivals are not considering. These keywords might not be high volume (yet), but they can get you on the first page faster than the highly competitive broad terms.

Your keyword strategy

So, when developing your marketing content, tap into the long-tail keywords by including them in critical parts of your blogs or practice page content. In your blogs, include the keyword phrases within the first paragraph (100 words), and when possible, use them as subtitles. The careful placement of keywords helps the search engine algorithm to list your page as relevant. When their quality is high, you receive higher conversion rates.

Also, pay attention to other dimensions of your keyword placement since you don’t want to destroy the aesthetics of your site. Avoid forced and awkward keyword positioning within sentences since this might undermine the credibility of your content to those that visit your page.

Tips for enhancing your keyword strategy:

  • Try diversification. Keywords identified through analytics are great but don’t rely on them exclusively. Think outside the box since people think differently, and there’s a possibility that someone will search using different terminologies. This will also allow you to uncover potential keyword mines that will bring you better rankings.
  • Add keywords in question vs. answer format. If you’ve ever typed into any search engine, chances are you’ve noticed people often search using questions when they seek answers. A tip is to explore the ‘People also search’ section to find out the hot phrases for your niche. If you tap into such content, you enhance your potential as a visible site on the SERP.

Repurpose good content on your site

It’s said that if you know your strengths, you can take advantage of them. In SEO marketing, this quote is relevant since it translates to ‘Get more out of what you already own!’ Repurposing is a great way to work around a tight SEO budget since you’ll be adapting and enhancing your content.

Every company owns some type of content, whether in website blogs or practice area pages, that underwent careful review and study. For the business, the content tackled the most important themes and audience areas that are relevant to the business. When you want to get more from your SEO budget, repurposing such content is a time and money-saver. However, don’t just go to the content and hit copy and paste. This would be lazy and inefficient.

How to rework your content

Source: DreamGrow

Some ways to get more from your existing content include:

  • Updating content: Some content is evergreen, but sometimes, new developments, market changes, or technologies demand changes. Take an old blog and refurbish it by adding new content that is relevant to current audiences. Such solutions add new life to the article and benefit from the quality of thematic areas that the original used.
  • Play around with the format: All work no play is the worst decision you can make in SEO or content marketing. Many platforms support multimedia content today. So, instead of relying on the old text-only approach, be diverse. You can turn an old, detailed article into a slide presentation, add an infographic, make a simple video, and blend it in with some light text. These strategies can make content more interesting to readers as they can be engaged on multiple levels.
  • Use feedback as a prompt: Sometimes, your customer feedback can be the key you need for fresh content. When you check your FAQs or query sections, you’ll notice your support staff replying to some important questions. The content is valuable since it narrows down the need for extensive research on what customers need to read more about. But, as you repurpose such content, take care not to reveal personal or sensitive information.
  • Write less: The idea here is that you don't have to keep churning out new content to see results. Churning out new content is important, but it can also be frustrating and time-consuming. Finding innovative ways of making your content visible to customers is more valuable.
  • Promote more: Keep promoting your most popular work and—this is crucial—constantly be thinking about new and alternative ways of getting it in front of relevant audiences. Try social media, email, or video sharing sites as avenues of blasting your best content for audiences to consume.

For best SEO results, go local or go home

All businesses dream of going national or global. Still, the reality is that we can’t all be Coca-Cola or Nike. For most businesses, it’s better to focus our attention on local markets since this is where we would get more customers. Google My Business (GMB) is one service that makes it easy for businesses to expand their online presence within specific geographical locations.

To get listed with Google My Business, a firm needs to fill out the basic details such as the address, business hours, and contact details. The information works incredibly since it provides an avenue for the local business to attract high-quality local visits.

Why bother with Google My Business?

Source: eclincher

With GMB, you can attract local customers, particularly those who search using location and keywords relevant to you. With geo-location availability, your business can reach more consumers without incurring huge marketing budgets.

Some of the ways through which Google My Business can improve your local SEO are:

  • Better rankings via relevance. Relevance refers to how well your business fits with customers' needs in your area. To rank better on SEO through GMB, you need to be detailed. The tool will direct customers to your business because they can find the services they need.
  • Take advantage of proximity. GMB levels the playing field for competitive businesses by ensuring that businesses that rank highly are those closest to customers. As a customer is driving along the route and searching for a coffee house, they won’t see results for one in New York. They’ll get directions to a business within the search area, an aspect that improves the relevance of Google searches.
  • How prominent are you? Within an area, there might be several businesses registered with GMB. To stand out from others, it’s important to be prominent. In SEO, prominence is all about backlinks to your site. If your website has content that is relevant to the area, you’ll rank higher on the search engine.

Your local listing with GMB can improve your visibility on the internet, but only if you optimize your best features. You stay ahead of the competition by creating local content with relevant keywords and by having an updated profile.

Utilize free SEO tools

As a business seeking to make the most of its SEO budget, it never hurts to save some cash by using free SEO tools. SEO tools are effective, but they can be a hassle for small businesses when budgets are tight.

For example, some industry SEO solutions like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Moz have a wide range of utilities. Yet, they still require a substantial upfront fee that might be unsustainable for businesses wishing to experiment. To optimize your content marketing goals, check out the many free alternatives available.

Some examples of tools that can revolutionize your SEO goals include:

1. Google

Google has been around for a long time, and it has developed various services to enable users to expand their SEO. Tools like Google Search Console can help a business learn more about keyword performance, page clicks, impressions, incoming links, and usability on mobile.

Other incredible tools are Google Analytics, which helps measure website performance, and Google Trends, which lists trending search queries. These tools can boost your SEO presence to make your pages visible to target audiences and customers when applied correctly.

2. Answer the Public

If you need keyword searches that are not limited to Google, you can use Answer the Public, a tool that presents information from both Google and Bing. This tool is unique since it presents the results in a visual chart that you can use to identify long-tail keywords and get ideas for content.

3. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Spider is a web crawler that analyzes and audits onsite SEO elements. This is your best tool if you need to evaluate page titles, create sitemaps, and spot broken links. This tool has extensive applications for a business, and there are free and paid versions.

4. Keywords Everywhere

This is a browser add-on that explores various SEO aspects within the browser. Keywords Everywhere lists costs per click (CPC) and even presents data from competitive networks.

5. Rank Math plugin

The SEO plugin works for WordPress, helping the user to optimize content in the writing process. Utilizing AI to provide suggestions, the plugin helps websites using WordPress to multiply their traffic.

Many other tools can make your content marketing and SEO goals effective. They include KWFinder, Lipperhey, and Bing Webmaster Tools, among others.

Check out what your competitors are doing

Source: HubSpot

Businesses have different capacities, and like it or not, there’ll always be someone better than you. When your SEO budget leaves no room for experimentation, you need to get it right the first time around. A shortcut to learning what you should be doing is studying what your competition is doing and adopting their best practices.

Studying your competition is an art that has been around for businesses. This is the simplest way to discover where you should put your money. Some important discoveries that competitor analysis reveals include:

Where they get backlinks

As a business, getting reputable websites for backlinks is a tough endeavor. Yet, if you analyze your competition, you can discover which websites they are connected to. Discovering the websites can provide you with a direct path to securing backlinks for your site and boosting your link profile. Your website can get a serious boost when your site is linked to other sites where competitors have a footprint.

Discover the hottest keywords

While you may apply the best minds and tools in the keyword search within your organization, chances are you would miss some critical terms.

Learning from your competitor provides an opportunity to discover the keywords that create the best SEO results. Discovering these keywords can help you to repurpose your content to make your site more visible to customers.

Learn who your competitors are

Market domination is all about staying ahead of the competition in niche markets. After conducting a competitor analysis, you can discover who your rivals are, their size, and devise response strategies. Checking out your competition also reveals your flaws and highlights areas where you can build strength.

A competitor analysis benefits you since you can fill the gaps in your SEO growth after knowing why a rival is ranking higher than you.

Update your site with quality and relevant content

When SEO started, businesses knew that to impress the Google crawlers – bots that matched search queries with web content – all they had to do was include target keywords. But after the continued abuse or misuse of the search engine algorithms, they were updated to focus on more than keywords.

The SEO techniques of today know that stuffing keywords doesn’t work. The Google algorithm, which ranks web pages, is now designed to reward high-quality content.

What is quality content?

According to Google, one question that most small businesses ask is what is considered good or quality content. Google bots are trained to think as a human would when they look for content on the internet. Some issues a rational person would appreciate include content that is accurate, engaging, easy to comprehend, and useful to the query.

Other dimensions of quality content include:

  • Lack of grammatical errors
  • Originality
  • No or limited duplicates
  • Good arrangement and explanations

For a business, quality content is important for one thing; it leads to conversions. When customers visit a site and find what they need, they trust the website to sell them the product or service. So, while rankings on the SERP are important, companies need to convert visitors into customers. Other benefits of quality content are that if the content is useful, others will share it, and this is how you build links.

Valuable content is always on demand, and if other websites or visitors discover the use, they are more likely to share it with others.

Five ways to provide publicity for content on your site

A business can do everything right and still fall short of enjoying the beauty of SEO. If you discover that your performance is not great after updating quality content, using keywords, and adding backlinks, you should take things to the next level. 

Sometimes, all a site needs is a little push to gain the right visibility in the market. One approach is cross-promotion to get SEO content out into the market.

Some ways of promoting SEO content in the public include:

1. Separating products with new pages or blogs

Each page on your website matters, but when you are maximizing content, pages can get too crowded. To optimize the page and its content, separate key products across pages to ensure that they maintain visibility. When customers search for the content, they will be directed to the content they specifically seek.

2. Consider timing when releasing content

SEO content can be evergreen, which means it can last forever. But, some SEO content can benefit from the flurry of increased searches as customers find more about the product or service. For instance, a news report on an upcoming storm can drive the demand for umbrellas or raincoats. 

If you release content for a sales website selling these products, you can time the release with these weather seasons. New visitors would be turned into regular customers if they find utility in the product.

3. Improve shareability

Besides uploading new content on your website, you can widen its impact by sharing it on social media. Social platforms have proven to be effective marketing platforms for their ability to connect businesses with audiences and customers. After you post your content on your website, add a one-click sharing option to make it possible for readers to distribute it.

4. Reach out to influencers

Established influencers usually have extensive reach and appeal to audiences in your niche. If you need to get more people talking about your products, collaborating with such an influencer can be a great way to get the message out. Still, such a decision might attract some costs since most influencers charge a fee for mentions or shares on their platforms.

5. Look into online advertising

SEO is all about getting the message out, and sometimes, a little advertising can help you achieve your goals faster. The extra boost that advertising brings is to give you an edge as you make your site visible on search engines.

Focus on your important revenue-driving pages

SEO budgets are usually placed against other targets like sales and revenues. For managers, implementing this budget is an investment that is expected to create positive outcomes for the firm. But, when the SEO budget is limited, marketing managers are forced to make a serious sacrifice. They must choose the content that will be uplifted by SEO from their expected returns. Knowledgeable insiders can usually identify pages that drive the most revenue within a business.

By focusing on these pages, the business can build organic traffic without overhauling the entire business page. An example of this technique at work is when a company’s most successful products are found on several pages. For the SEO marketing manager, getting traffic to these pages should always be a priority since they have the best potential to generate revenues in return. Focusing on these pages is vital when creating links and keywords.

Rather than focus your attention on the whole site, a laser-focused strategy on the pages that offer the most revenue, generates better outcomes. If the goals of the SEO campaign are short-term, the laser focus is integral. Yet, the approach doesn’t disqualify conducting a whole site overhaul. In the long term, focusing on other business segments generates the expected outcomes.

Don’t expect results overnight; plan for the long term

Source: Morningscore

When making the SEO budget, one might feel the need to weigh it against expected outcomes. One factor that needs to be considered when making an SEO budget is that SEO results don’t happen overnight. A business looking to boost its visibility before a busy festivity season should realize that they’re already too late. Whatever work is done to get the business SEO ready before the festive season is an investment for the upcoming season.

Planning your SEO budget to span over an extended time ensures that you can support any new initiatives and changes. If you are concerned with charting a progressing trend of strides made in getting your business SEO ready, it’s important to think in terms of years, not months.

Still, this doesn’t mean that whatever you do to get your business ready won’t have immediate impacts. Sometimes, progress can be realized after several months, boosting the company’s online visibility over time.

An SEO or content marketing strategy is only as good as the plan and budget

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, and in SEO, your plan and budget must work together to create positive impacts. Pros in the SEO market understand that real SEO is never cheap, and for those that start the process, the results emerge in the long term. If you’re serious about SEO, take care not to fall into the pitfalls of inadequacy or being over-ambitious.

To guide yourself as you embark on your SEO journey, follow these five steps:

  • Choose a metric. Before you start, identify what you consider to be a measure of success. Your metric will be the measure you hope to use to indicate progress. Inexperienced businesses might go for rankings, but seasoned experts propose looking at traffic, leads, sales, and conversions.
  • Make a goal. It’s also important to know what result you hope to see at the end of the campaign. Explore what success means to you and create a number that you would strive towards.
  • Assign a value to a goal. If you hit your goal, know what that means for your business. The value determines the budgetary tag that you can assign to your SEO endeavor.
  • Create a budget. After determining what the goal means to you, it’s imperative to quote a sum that will help you meet it. The budgetary amount should account for changes that might arise along the way.
  • Have frequent checkups. Once your SEO project hits the ground, it’s important to check the progress over time. Checkups and check-ins can provide opportunities to redefine focus as the project demands.

Avoid getting overwhelmed by SEO success with Smith.ai

Small firms strive to build capacity and expand revenue streams and profit potential. By utilizing their SEO budgets adequately, these firms can catch up to competitors fast, and soon enough, realize conversions.

The problem with peaking when SEO solutions work is that a small business might get overwhelmed by all the sudden changes. We are the business you turn to when you don’t want to lose all your newfound progress.

If your firm builds popularity in a specific area, chances are you would receive a large volume of calls and chat messages per day. For a small business, handling the influx can be challenging. We specialize in generating high-quality leads through virtual receptionists that do all the heavy lifting for your business.

Smith.ai can help your business grow by handling numerous tasks for you

Through our extensive services, we boost small firms by making them more responsive to clients:

  • With an army of dedicated virtual receptionists, we offer unified solutions to answer and act on all leads. You don’t have to worry about missing important clients because we can help you do it all.
  • Another benefit of a partnership with us is that you get access to call data, detailed and listed in order of priority and relevance.

We also help with appointment booking and SMS text answering. With options like these at your disposal, you can confidently deliver on your promises to customers. We turn dreams of growth into a reality for small businesses around the globe.

Book a free 30-minute sales consultation and check out our pricing now. We offer a 14-day, money-back guarantee so there is no reason not to give us a try. Email us at hello@smith.ai.

Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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