It’s safe to assume that the majority of small business owners know what SEO is and what it does but don’t exactly understand how it works. Therefore, in their search for affordable SEO services for small business, they might confuse affordable for cheap, which is simply not the case.
Since the first step is usually the hardest, we’re here to help you improve your SEO amid day-to-day business. Read on for better online visibility while simultaneously staying economical with your time and money.
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Are SEO Services Affordable to Begin With?
Search engine optimization is crucial in modern society as it increases your searchability and makes your brand more visible.
For small businesses, SEO is the most cost-effective marketing strategy with long-lasting benefits (provided that you work with the right SEO service provider).
Companies offering affordable SEO services for your small business take the time to understand your specific needs and create a dedicated SEO plan based upon proven, time-tested strategies.
Of course, everyone has their own opinion on what “affordable” actually means and SEO is no exception. If your small business generates hundreds of thousands of annually, you shouldn’t lose any sweat over $5k a month, right?
However, if your business makes well below six figures, the same investment is definitely counterproductive.
However you put it, SEO isn’t cheap. But what do small business SEO services entail?
5 Types of Affordable SEO Services for Your Small Business
Let’s dive deeper and analyze the different low-cost SEO services for small businesses:
1. Technical SEO
The good thing with technical SEO is that it is, in fact, a one-time fix. While you do have to change some things as the algorithms evolve, if you set it right from the get-go, it will stick.
These are the top aspects of technical SEO that a small business needs to include in its online marketing strategy:
- URL and site structure: Although many businesses opt for setting this up internally, it’s probably the best course of action to ask a small business SEO consultant for help. This is especially true if you’re running an eCommerce store, as it’s the most difficult to structure.
- Optimized titles, headings & descriptions: Use the identified keywords in your title and meta description, among others. Don’t go cheap out on it. Even if you believe people won’t read it, Google will.
- Image Compression: While necessary for the sheer visual appeal, images are probably the biggest problem when it comes to technical SEO and page load times. Compressing the visuals (with tools like Smush for WordPress) while keeping their quality is essential.
- Caching: Caching your site will make it load even faster. Luckily, good caching can be achieved for free with plugins like W3 Total Cache or Autoptimize.
- Structured data: This is imperative for eCommerce websites, as they can help enhance Google results for products.
Some of the best tools that can help you with Technical SEO are:
- Screaming Frog
- Google Analytics
- Google PageSpeed Insights
2. Content SEO
Online materials aren’t exclusive to written content, especially now that more people prefer video content over traditional one. No matter the type of content, the importance of SEO stays the same:
- Keyword research: This is the basis of your on-page SEO strategy. Knowing what your audience is searching for will help you optimize your pages accordingly.
- Copywriting: Quality copywriting isn’t cheap, but it is worth investing in. Effective copy sells and that’s exactly what you need on your website. Even though prospective customers want information first and foremost, you need to convince them to convert.
- Content Calendar: Content needs to be weaved carefully and strategically. Developing a clear, thought-out schedule can really help your business grow with ease. Based on keyword research, you have to map out your content and decide which one to prioritize. Also, your content should integrate seamlessly into your site’s structure.
3. Link Building
Link building is without a doubt the hardest thing to do, especially today. Everybody is aware of its benefits, alas, no one wants to link to your website (not without money). And Google, however unjust it may seem, may penalize you for it.
While there’s not much you can do about it, there are ways to move ahead.
Step #1: Competitor Analysis
First of all, you should analyze your competitors’ links. More often than not, your industry competition, especially those “shining” examples that already rank high in SERP are doing something right.
There is a multitude of affordable backlink analysis tools that can identify what backlinks they are using. Additionally, these tools can help you detect and filter out the so-called bad links and focus only on those that bring value.
Competitor analysis may also help you determine what your contenders are doing well, but also where they’re lacking, so you can emphasize your strengths.
Step #2: Commenting and Outreach
Another way to get those valuable links is through blog commenting. Although many SEO professionals consider it to be spammy, it can also prove to be fruitful. The point is – don't overdo it or you’re just going to prove them right.
How does blog commenting work?
You should identify relevant websites and blogs discussing topics relevant to your small business and/or industry and start engaging with them, just as you would on LinkedIn. If you’re lucky, you should be able to outreach and establish connections with other websites in the same field. That way, you can start negotiating about landing a link-building deal to promote your website.
Step #3: Guest Posting
Building upon our previous point, by engaging with relevant bloggers, you might get to know them well enough to ask for guest posts and/or write one for their sites.
Step #4: Blogging
And now comes the hard part – content marketing. What do we mean by that? While very useful for SEO in the long run, it won’t be enough to write your articles for the sake of it.
Truth be told, you have to write blogs that people want to read and share. And trust us, that’s not easy.
You can draw from all of the previously-mentioned points, analyze the market/industry influencers, connect with them and/or write something truly original that you know they’ll want to share.
4. Ranking Tracking
Setting KPIs and measuring your SEO strategy is crucial for determining its success. Whether you’ve found an affordable SEO company to partner with or you prefer to work on your own, it’s a must to monitor the results.
Here are some methods you can utilize to track your rankings and campaigns:
- Google yourself: No matter how strange it may sound, Googling your business/campaign is the oldest trick in the book. Just open Google and type your chosen keyword. Also, make sure to do it in Incognito mode or from someone else’s device to get rid of personalized search results.
- Google Search Console: The Google Search Console is a free tool that can help you monitor where your site’s getting traffic from, as well as the average positions for the keywords that brought said traffic.
5. Local SEO
Local SEO refers to the practice of optimizing your website to increase traffic, leads and brand awareness for local searches.
While your typical agency specializing in local SEO can deliver a custom-tailored solution for your business, there are a number of things you can do to improve rankings:
- Google MyBusiness: Google MyBusiness is the most important SEO service you should focus on as a local small business owner. Setting it up isn’t difficult. It only requires using your keywords in the name and description and filling in all the NAP (name, address, phone) information correctly and consistently across the web.
Although the initial setup is a breeze, ranking high for local searches is a different story. However, it isn’t out of reach. It's mostly attainable by implementing a set of clear practices in your company, such as asking satisfied customers for Google reviews. Getting noticed by the local media helps, too.
- Social Media: When it comes to local search results, pages on social media platforms like Facebook can rank pretty high for specific keywords. Use that to your advantage by optimizing the titles and descriptions to include the keywords you’re aiming for.
Also, remember to post regularly. Consistency is the key to bringing valuable traffic to your website.
What SEO Services Do Your Small Business Need?
It’s hard to say which SEO services small businesses actually need because it can differ wildly from company to company.
Do you have a local or eCommerce store? Are you a blogger or an affiliate? Do you offer specialized services?
But one thing’s for sure. The necessary SEO foundation is the same for a business of any scale. Generally speaking, small businesses usually lack content and promotion. Dedicated websites are fairly easy to build, especially today using a wide variety of templates and content management systems. However, quality content is another ballpark. Once you fill your website with it, you need to optimize and promote it to show Google and your audience that your content is indeed valuable.
Affordable SEO packages for small businesses include many elements that fall into two primary categories:
- On-page SEO: It improves individual pages on your website to enhance your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs). This includes keywords, URLs, responsive or mobile-friendly design, page load speed, formatting, navigation and on-site content.
- Off-page SEO: This type of SEO refers to actions taken outside of your site to improve the above-mentioned rankings. The most important elements of off-page SEO are link building, social media marketing and guest posts.
If your budget is such that you have to draw the line and pick and choose only the most important (and beneficial) SEO services, you should opt for:
- Keyword research: There’s no effective SEO strategy without it.
- Well-optimized titles: People ignore the content even when the answer to their search queries is right in front of them, so make sure your titles are properly optimized.
- Google MyBusiness: GMB is essential for small businesses and luckily, it’s completely free. Allocating some time to optimize it is sure to bring results.
- Content SEO: Content is king. While modern users are generally not fond of reading long-form articles, finding the “perfect” blog that directly addresses their needs/questions/concerns can greatly help you increase sales in the foreseeable future.
- (Bonus) Social media posts: There’s no denying it, social media platforms are everywhere and rightfully so. Although social media doesn’t directly affect your website’s SERP, you can generate massive traffic to your business just from them.
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Why Should You Invest in Small Business SEO Services?
What are the main benefits of investing in affordable SEO services for small businesses?
1. Boosting organic traffic and enhancing UX
It’s simple math. Customers usually perceive top-ranked websites as more reliable and trustworthy sources of information. The moment you reach the top organic position in the search results, thousands of leads worldwide await. Furthermore, you have a better chance of generating more sales and growing your business.
Some small business owners, however, only focus on the rankings and choose to forget the customer experience. Remember, no matter how many keywords you stuff on your website to get more attention, it’s the experience that matters. Turning a positive experience into a loud cheer is the best kind of promotion. Additionally, search engines prefer eligible sources to provide users with the best online experience.
Luckily, SEO tools do not only provide solutions for ranking optimization. They also contribute to enhancing the UX: ease of use, clear navigation, consistent content and relevant link building. If the visitors are satisfied with your website, they are more likely to buy from you.
2. Brand Recognition and Credibility
A successful business, small-scale or enterprise level, will always focus on building brand awareness. Perpetuating and maintaining a good impression in the minds of users is the key. Again, most customers trust websites in higher positions and that is why SEO plays a critical part in improving your branding.
3. Competitive Edge
Investing in affordable SEO services for small business is a must if you want to compete against an exponentially growing number of brands. All the elements of SEO, from keyword optimization, link building to content optimization make an impact on your competitiveness. If you own an optimized website, you can expose your business to both local and global audiences. SEO gives you a unique opportunity to get ahead of your competition.
How to Pick an Affordable SEO Agency to Work With
If you’ve come this far looking for low-cost SEO services for small business, chances are you’re already considering investing your hard-earned money and are looking for an affordable SEO company to partner with.
While we can help you with expansive agency listings, there are some factors you need to take into consideration, including location, specialization, client reviews, pricing, etc., so we’ll focus on some key tips on how to select the best one for your small business — starting with the 10 most important questions you can ask prospective SEO agencies.
To be precise, finding the best services at the lowest price is easier than it sounds, but we’ll help you avoid lowball, counterproductive services.
As already hinted, cheapness and quality are rare, almost a mythical combination, so if you’re keen on finding it, you have to be prepped with knowledge and patience.
When hiring the right small business SEO services, you should take into consideration their:
- Portfolio: Previous work will show you how capable and resourceful an agency is. It will also show you the type of clients they have served. If the prospective company has already tackled projects within your industry/niche, it means they’re already familiar with your competitors and target audience, as well as the keywords you aim to rank for. Therefore, they’re likely to be the better fit as they’re more likely to provide desirable results right from the start.
- Transparency and approach: Ask them if their strategies are what most SEO experts would deem “white hat” or safe. If the answer isn’t affirmative... you know what to do.
If an “affordable” SEO company offers low-cost SEO packages for small business on a monthly basis, you should at least be wary, if not suspicious, as it’s a good indication they are automating everything, leading to patterns that are penalized by Google.
Just as you question them, they should be asking for details about your business. How else would they know how to properly elevate your business through the rankings if they don’t know anything about you?
- Tools: Many of the best tactics and strategies employed by SEO specialists rely on specialized tools. Before you decide on your partnership, try to figure out what type of tools these companies use to ensure your project will generate the desired results.
- Reporting: Reports are a key component of a successful SEO strategy. Make sure the agency you select tailors the plan according to the ever-shifting SEO trends and reports on their progress regularly. Regular reporting ensures your project stays on track and maps out the goals you have set for your business.
- Customer Reviews: Reviews can tell you if the agency’s previous clients have been pleased with the results. These will also reveal details about their management style, flexibility, reliability and transparency regarding planning, pricing and respecting deadlines.
How Much Does an Affordable SEO Company Charge Small Business Owners?
Remember, SEO is not the “set and forget” tactic, so it’s hard to determine the precise cost. The price of SEO services is worth it, as long as you make the best use of them. But it must be a continuous investment if you are to enjoy more permanent results.
Generally speaking, the price of small business SEO services will ultimately depend on the complexity and scope of your project.
On average, SEO consultants charge anywhere from $100 to $150 per hour, but most of them offer a monthly retainer pricing that can range between $2,500 to $5,000.
When it comes to project-based pricing, most companies offer SEO packages for small businesses valued at anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000.
We already mentioned the costly nature of backlinks. The cost of one is at least $300 to $400, but you’ll need a lot to get your site ranked that way.
While pricing needs to be transparent, some SEO agencies resort to the so-called “cloak and dagger” pricing, hitting you with hidden charges when you least expect it. Luckily, these are excluded from our listings.
Final Thoughts on Affordable SEO Services for Small Business
Whichever way you spin it, you’ll find that SEO really is a necessary investment for your small business. You can’t expect instant results, but you’re bound to see a long-term impact on your business’s organic traffic.
Besides the traffic boost, employing affordable small business SEO services will help you:
- Enhance customer experience
- Elevate brand recognition and credibility
- Sharpen your competitive edge
Best of luck in your search for an affordable small business search engine optimization partner!
Get connected with the right SEO agency for your project.GET STARTED