Getting affordable seo services for small business can be quite a challenge when you are new to website building and search engine optimisation. This guide will try to shed some light and give SEO tips for your small business website. We will look at what is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and why it can become a costly endeavour for small businesses.

What is Search Engine Optimisation

The goal of a website is to be a window into a business services or products. In that sense,  it is in the best interest of a small business to have as many visitors as possible. Many ways can be use to drive traffic and visitors to a website. For example, you could maintain a mailing list, use ads on other websites, display your urls in paper brochures etc… But, most of the people nowadays, rarely use a phone book to find a merchant selling a product or giving a service. They use the internet and the few search engines. In terms of market share, Google clearly dominates the market of search engines. Hence, it is favorable for a small business owner to optimise is website according to Google requirements.

According to MOZ, SEO is :

The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results

Lets focus on three parts of this SEO definition:

Quantity of Traffic

You want a lot of visitors, like we had mention previously. These visitors are potential clients or buyers. You need it like a retail store needs walk in clients.

Quality of Traffic

You need good traffic. If a search engine would send you traffic for a product you dont sell, it would be useless traffic. SEO lets you help the search engines knows what your website is about and add relevancy to your page.

Organic Search engine results

An organic search engine results is a something you dont pay for. Google and other search engines, do sell ads to monetize their platform. These ads, are often place in prominent position to entice visitors to click. When you achieve a good placement in the search engines results page without paying for it, it is therefore considered organic placement and eventually traffic.

Search Engine Optimisation

With a definition previously laid out, what and how do you do SEO ? SEO is composed of two main Elements:

On Page Optimisation

This is where you can impact the most when you think affordable seo services for small business. You can easily work on your website content and markup. This will help reducing the cost of SEO for a small business and help invest somewhere else. Rapidly said, the way you present your content to a visitor should be pleasing so they immediatly know what your are about. Search engines are the same. They like to understand what the web page your presenting is about. What is the topic or product discussed. etc…

Since, there is too many webpages to classify manually, Search engines will uses algorithm and parsers to understand the content and give them a ranking in the results. They aim for quality and relevancy. If one of their visitors search for a “blue watch”, the search engines will present pages about the same topic. For instance, it wont return results about a pair of orange glasses and deceiving their users.

In order for the robot to parse your website to understand the content, certain criterias are essentials. On Page SEO is all about making sure those criterias are met and that your content is understood. Lets look at those criteria:

Is your content user-friendly

In a nutshell, this adress how easy it is to read content on your website. Is it proprely organised with Titles and sub titles. Does the subject stand clear enough on its own. Is the page covered with ads that renders the browsing and scrolling uninviting ? These are all good question to ask yourself ? Search engines are looking to classify quality content, and give their visitors what they are asking for. You should as a small business owner do the same with your content.

Basic HTML markups such as Header tags, will help create a structure on your page.

In depth content

Again, this goes to quality of the webpage and content. If you are only flying over a subject, many have already done it. Moreover, you need your content to be creative but thorough in the information it brings. The content must stand on its own and bring sufficient details to a topic that a visitor does not feel the need to restart its research on the web. Ask yourself, what value does my content brings to the reader ? Why is he reading this and what does he wants to know ? In other words, If you need an image or a graph to explain your content, do not hesitate to do so.

Duplication of content

At all cost, avoid duplicating content from another webpage. For instance, If you need to cite something, put a reference to it, but do not reproduce content. Search engine like unique content.

Meta Description Tag

This is an html tag that should be present on each pages of your website. It basically let you describe what the page is about to the search engines, and they will reuse that description in their results.

Title Tag

Like the title of a book, it must tell you what the deal is. Same for a web page, the title tag gives a big chance to describe in a few words what the content is about. Specific keywords related to topic should definitly be present in the title.

URL format

How are your urls structured on your website ? Do they contain clear keywords of the content, or just some random id of the page. Having a well defined url structure, not only helps the search engines, but helps your visitors grasp the meaning of the content.

Page Speed

After looking at some of the elements related to content, a small business website can be optimised for speed and structure. A visitor will keep its focus if the speed at which a page is rendered is fast enough. Same goes for search engines to understand that this website is well maintained. It will help Search engines understand that it is pleasing to visit your website and they will frown less on sending their visiors. Many page speed website are available on the web. They will often give you a score and some recommendations. I suggest using GTMetrix and the Google PageSpeed Insights services. This previously mentionned Google service will also provide speed testing services for mobile devices. Being able to present well laid out content in a mobile fashion is now a factor in how well your webpage will rank in the Search engine Results placement (SERP).

If you are using a content management system such as wordpress, you should install a wordpress plugin known as yoast SEO. This will help the onpage optimisation task by 10 fold easily.

Off Page Optimisation

So far, we have concentrated on optimising the content, structure and speed of the website. This was on site seo. Now, lets focus on Off page SEO. The art of affecting your serach engines ranking with something outside your own website. You will at that point change the way your site is percieved and will want to make it a trustworthy and auhtoritive content provider. Search engines are perceiving some internet factors as a vote to the relevance of a website url on a certain topic. This can include social media signals and links from another website. If your website is popular, it is considered at a certain point credible by search engines. If somebody else website links to your content, it is considered a vote that vouch for your credibility. Search engines will count those votes, and augment your position in their SERP.

Having offsite links to your content can come naturally, but some people will push it further and help their votes by doing link building strategies. This is a core element of Off site SEO.

Those links to your website are called “backlinks”. Multiple strategies can be employed to gain a copious amount of backlinks. For example, a small business owner can encourage its clients or suppliers to link to is website. These are considered manually building links.. Other strategies of building links on its own, are to be avoided. For instance, adding your website to directories, blogs and comments sections are usually common tactics, but frown upon by search engines algorithm. Being too agressive in building your own links can set a warning and a ranking penalty from the Search engines. Be careful.

Affordable SEO services for small Business: does it exist

These link building activities are time consuming but can be done. The best links are still the backlinks acquired naturally. Above all, search engines are less suspecting of odd behavior and manipulation attempts.

In conclusion, doing SEO is not hard, but time consuming. That is why SEO agencies will charge a premium for such services. Therefore, affordable SEO services for small business do exist if you take time to do it and you offset the cost of it. But it could be really valuable down the road. Because with a well done SEO strategy, you could get quantiy of quality traffic for free. The simplest thing to do, is to respond to a demand with your well presented content and the rest should follow.