Can I Rank? A Budget-Friendly SEO Guide

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Do you fear that your budget isn't big enough for search engine optimization (SEO)? 

Maybe you feel like you can't ever compete with the big guys in the world of keyword ranking and organic traffic. 

But you can compete with the big corporations in SEO!

These days about 90% of all online experiences begin with a search engine like Google.  

If you know SEO is important but you're not sure how to fit it into your digital marketing budget, don't fret. Check out this guide to budget-friendly SEO and get ranked higher on Google!

Focus on Content

Content marketing has been gaining a lot of attention lately - with good reason. Populating websites with blog content is how you end up with 434% more search engine-indexed pages than other business sites that don’t publish content.

Blogging is perfect for those looking to achieve cheap SEO. There are several key things small businesses can do to improve rankings. 

Keyword Research

Keyword research is critical to ranking, but ranking for competitive terms is extremely difficult for beginners and those with smaller budgets. It's best to find high-value/low-difficulty words through various SEO tools like CanIRank or Rank Tracker. 

Another strategy is competitive SEO research, which includes the following: 

  • Search the keyword(s) you want your page to rank for
  • Identify which pages are ranking highly for those keywords
  • Determine what qualities those pages possess
  • Create content that’s better than that

Keyword research will be imperative to improving your rankings, and it can also be quite cost-effective when finding the right keywords. 

Content Gaps

Providing new and fresh content can also improve your rankings.

Look for content gaps with your competitors. Read their blogs, watch their social media sites, look for questions from their clientele. Use that information to provide new content, and Google will notice. 

Google also ranks webpages, not websites. Each blog post is one more page on your site that can potentially rank for your keywords. So quantity and quality are a must for search engine optimization.

Guest Blogging

For the savvy and more experienced blogger, guest blogging can increase website traffic tremendously. It is a good opportunity to develop awareness and prove that you’re an expert and a thought leader in your industry. Be sure to choose relevant blogs with engagement. 

You can find out more about content-focused SEO to get a better understanding. 

Utilize Social Media

You've likely already established several social media sites for your business, which is great, but the key is to focus on the few that will reach your target audience and fit your product.

Social media does not directly increase ranking, but it does help your business build an audience and promote its products and content. Focusing on a few social media sites to grow and enhance can indirectly increase ranking. 

Understanding your audience's demographics will help you determine what social media sites to focus on. 

Facebook reaches the widest audience for those business selling mass products. Facebook is also the third most-used site on the Internet. As an “authoritative” site, you can capitalize on its propensity to rank well.

In this case study, a company achieved over 130,000 Facebook shares to a web page and shot up the rankings for keyword phrases that were competitive. It still ranks #1 (as of this writing) and is a really good example of a good content creation and promotion strategy.

Instagram is very popular with millennials. While its platform design doesn't allow for much link sharing and doesn't always drive a lot of direct traffic, the exposure can do wonders for your website traffic. 

In an article from the Search Engine Journal, Fashion Nova was studied for how their Instagram popularity leads to Google searches, such as "Fashion Nova jeans", which ultimately leads to higher rankings. 

Pinterest and YouTube act as their own search engines but can also drive significant traffic to your website and spark additional searches for your business on Google. 

Regardless of what platform you select for your business, ensure that you are posting quality content (at peak times), engaging with your audience, and focusing on growth. Building your web presence will positively impact your search engine rankings, and it's a cost-effective way to do so. 

Optimize Your Website

Poorly optimized webpages or content can result in lower website rankings, as well as poor user experience, which will prevent visitors from returning to your site.

Many setbacks are fixable through basic SEO practices. By optimizing your pages, promoting and publishing new content, your website will be on its way to the top of the search engine result pages (SERPs).

Simple enhancements can improve your search engine rankings - at no additional cost. 

Page Speed

Long load times are critical because they negatively affect user experience and conversion rates. Using tools like PageSpeedInsights will show you what issues need to be fixed like minifying HTML and CSS.

Titles and Title Tag

Title tags can help with page rankings, while the title shows up in the SERP and is displayed when the page is shared on social sites like Twitter and Facebook. Ensure that your titles and title tags aren't too long, short, or irrelevant. 

Meta Descriptions

The meta description is the text displayed in the search results as the description of the content or page. Meta descriptions should make it clear what visitors will find when they click on the link. 

Be sure to avoid generic descriptors during search engine optimization. A good description is a complete sentence that concisely states the purpose of the page content. It’s your opportunity to sell the user on clicking through to your page. It should include the primary keyword or phrase and should make sense to the person reading it.

Optimized Images

Optimize the images associated with your content, and you will gain better rankings in the SERPs. Since search engines can’t exactly see images, they aren’t easily indexable. To optimize your images, ensure that you have quality alt tags, image tags, and file names. 


Having quality backlinks is important for rankings. Bad backlinks, such as links from irrelevant pages, link directories or spammy websites can actually hurt your search engine rankings. 

You can use Open Site Explorer or MajesticSEO to fix bad backlinks, gather backlink data or even remove bad links that look unnatural. Additionally, you can use Google’s link Disavow Tool to tell Google not to consider certain spammy links when ranking your site.

Begin Your Budget-Friendly SEO Strategy

The topic of “Growing SEO” has been named by 61% of companies as their biggest priority for their business digital marketing. Don't be the 39% that doesn't prioritize search engine optimization in their online strategy. 

Search engine ranking doesn't have to be expensive. You can begin these budget-friendly SEO tips today. Every little bit helps when you are trying to optimize organic traffic from Google search.

Visit our SEO blog to continue learning more about improving search engine optimization today. SEO like a pro!

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