Every entrepreneur has heard the phrase “You have to spend money to make money” — but that is only true up to a point. If your business gets in the habit of spending too much, you will see your business swiftly fail. Unfortunately, the line between “just right” spending and “too much” spending can be a hard one to see, even for experienced entrepreneurs running multi-million-dollar ventures, because so many expenses seem not just important but vitally necessary to the proper functioning of an enterprise.
Such tends to be the case with SEO. Search engine optimization is an incredibly valuable practice that ensures a business’s web assets are most visible to web users, so many business owners are willing to invest a sizable portion of their budget into this endeavor. While some investment is crucial, there are ways to cut costs with SEO and still see positive results. Here’s how.
Don’t Waste Your Own Time
DIY SEO is often touted as a cost-saving measure that is just as effective as hiring an SEO agency — but that simply isn’t the truth. Neither you nor your staff is trained in SEO practices or knowledgeable about SEO trends. Thus, it will require ample amounts of time for you or an employee to become skilled in SEO, and even then, you will need to devote more resources — time, tools, etc. — to maintaining your SEO efforts. Eventually, your business will grow and require more extensive or more complicated SEO techniques, which might be beyond your limited capabilities.
Your time is not “free,” and neither is your employees’ time or effort. Maintaining an in-house SEO team is also notably costly — much more-so than outsourcing to an SEO agency. Plus, utilizing a third-party SEO agency offers more bang for your buck, like accountability for SEO projects, near-unlimited SEO expertise and SEO scalability to your enterprise. Keeping every task in-house isn’t always the most economical choice, and in the case of a niche and critical field like SEO, you should consider saving money by partnering with true pros.
Prioritize High-quality Content
It is high time that we revise the popular adage to read: Some content is king. Content is indeed crucial for establishing a brand online and improving a business’s search engine rankings, but some content is much, much more valuable than other content. This is especially true as Google and other search engines refine their algorithms to be more sophisticated, identifying and promoting only the best content on the web.
Therefore, it is a waste of money to churn out the same low-quality content over and over again. Instead, you should be willing to pay a bit more for truly high-quality content, which appropriately addresses search queries and provides web users with an agreeable browsing experience. Gone are the days of the Wild West Web, when you could stuff keywords and links into content without a care; now you need to produce content that users enjoy engaging with.
There are several ways to increase the quality of your content. You should talk to your SEO agency and marketing team about the following ideas:
- Develop audience personas. If you know your audience, you can develop content that better suits their interests and needs.
- Leverage your staff’s knowledge. You and your employees know more about your business and industry than outsiders do. You can brainstorm better content topics together.
- Focus on the production quality. Not everyone is a good writer, and the same goes for graphic design, video editing and the like. You should hire these experts on a freelance basis.
Stay Ahead of the Tech Curve
It feels safer and cheaper to follow in the footsteps of other businesses, especially in technical fields like SEO. You won’t be risking any investment in uncertain efforts; instead, you can slowly and steadily climb the results pages using tried-and-true methods. Unfortunately, by refusing to invest in innovative SEO strategy, you are actually harming your SEO progress in the long term.
No search engine is static. Google releases updates to its algorithms at least once per month to modify how spiders crawl through webpages, to alter the layout of its SERPS or to reward and punish different SEO behaviors. Those websites that conform to Google’s changes fast are compensated with high rankings. Thus, you should try to stay abreast of important search engine updates and urge your SEO team to incorporate algorithm updates into your SEO strategy. Then, even a small expense could result in a huge boost to your ranking.
SEO can be a money pit — but only if you refuse to make informed and impactful SEO decisions. The best cost-saving measure is outsourcing SEO to a reliable agency, but you should remain in contact with your third-party SEO team to ensure they are prioritizing the right SEO strategy for your business. Then, you can be certain that the budget you devote to SEO efforts is well-spent.