Search engine optimization is incredibly useful for generating new leads and sales â€“ but it isn’t always cheap.Â Sure, you could hire someone to create comment spam or forum links to your websiteÂ for $5 to $20, but that’s not affordable SEO; that’s digital marketing suicide. Search engines always chooseÂ quality over quantity, so steer clear of too-good-to-be-true offers.
On the other hand, hiring experienced SEO experts can leave a huge dent in your business’ finances. So what is a business and website owner to do?Â While I always recommend hiring experts, here are my five best (and most affordable) SEO tips to help you get started.
Publish High Quality, Long-Form Content
If your articles, blog postsÂ and other pages don’t get past the 500-word mark, you are puttingÂ your business and website at a disadvantage.
A 2012 study involving 20,000 keywords found that the average length of the top 10 results is 2,000 words. And for the No. 1 spot? The average number of words is about 20% higher, at 2,416 words. That’s a far cry from the short and genericÂ articles one often sees in low-quality websites.
But just asÂ convincing was theÂ hint from Google’s Pandu Nayak, technical staff member and the man behind the Panda update: “Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of usersâ€™ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic. Thatâ€™s why today weâ€™re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles.”
If you want your siteÂ to rank in the search engines and get the traffic it deserves, you need toÂ createÂ in-depth and informative content that answers the reader’s most pressing question. But don’t sacrifice quality just to reach a certain word count â€“ readers might hate you for it!
Increase Your On-Page SEO
External factors often take the spotlight when people talk about SEO. But while links, social interactions and other outsideÂ signals are important for rankings, one cannot ignore the role played by on-page SEO.
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages (their content and source code especially) to rank higher in the SERPs and earn more traffic. If that sounds complicated, fear not. On-page SEO isn’t rocket science andÂ you can cover your bases with the simple tips below:
- Title:Â The title tagÂ should capture what the page is about. For best results, include the target keyword, make sure it reads well, and keep it to 70 characters or fewer.
- Description:Â A page’s descriptionÂ doesn’t count for rankings, but it’s not useless. TheÂ description can make a huge difference in the click-through rate, so keep it relevantÂ and optimized.
- User-Friendly URLs:Â Keep your URLs short and easy to read. Include your primary keyword so readers have a better idea what’s on the page before they click.
- Keyword Frequency:Â Google may not useÂ keyword density, but it does look at the number of times a keyword appears on a piece of content. Use the target phrase a couple of times in the body of yourÂ post.