You could have the best business with an amazing website to back it up, but if it doesn’t appear high in the search rankings, no one will find it and all your hard work will have been for naught.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is your ticket to the top – of Google, that is. Nothing can replace quality content and good business practices, but with a good SEO strategy, you can back that up with great visibility when people search a string of words that match the subject matter on your website.
But good SEO can be expensive when you hire an outside firm. Here’s a guide to keeping your SEO within your budget.
With a little education, you can do more of your own SEO than you may think.
The absolute number one way to save money – whether you’re buying a car, buying a vacation, or buying an SEO package – is to have at least a rudimentary understanding of what it is you’re purchasing. Hucksters and cheats hate educated consumers.
It is up to you to learn the basics of SEO, which you can do online for free with awesome tutorials such as this one. Once you know the basics of SEO, you’ll understand that you can do much of it yourself, without spending anything except the time it takes to get it right.
Getting your business’s finances organized is essential to establishing your SEO budget. The best way to do this is through simple, basic accounting software. Unless you’re a major operation that does a lot of invoicing, ships or receives tangible goods, stores inventory, and pays employees through a payroll program, you can get good, effective, easy software for free, online, which is remotely hosted – you don’t even need to download any software.
You can sign up for Mint in fewer than five minutes. It pulls all of your financial information into one centralized location. A free mobile app means you can pull it up anywhere.
Its budgeting category allows you to easily build a budget dedicated specifically to SEO. You can establish a timeline and a goal and let Mint guide you toward it.
Another awesome, free line of budgeting software comes from Outright. With Outright, you can link all of your bank accounts, your third-party payment gateways such as PayPal, your direct deposit accounts, and then you can manually enter any other accounts.
Clear and easy graphs and charts contribute to a sharp, concise interface that makes budgeting for SEO clear, if not easy. With profit and expense columns that crunch the numbers for you, there’s no manual entry, and you can watch your SEO budget grow according to your goals.
Use software to budget wisely for your SEO needs.
Budgeting for SEO is the same as budgeting for anything else, really – except there is a learning curve. The best thing you can do for your SEO budget is reduce it by learning how to do it yourself. Educate yourself with the tools needed to implement most of your strategy, and then let software guide your budgeting to take care of the rest.
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about SEO and provides advice for the modest budget planner.