13 Cost-Effective Ways to Ramp Up Your SEO Strategy

Members of the Young Entrepreneur Council offer their top recommendations for getting your company noticed through search engine optimization.
Young Entrepreneur Council
Expert Contributor
August 21, 2020
Updated: September 2, 2020
Young Entrepreneur Council
Expert Contributor
August 21, 2020
Updated: September 2, 2020
Headshots of the contributors
Top Row, from left: Nick Reese, Brittany Hodak, Kevin Getch. Second Row, from left: Jeff Cayley, Leila Lewis, Jason Khoo, Shu Saito. Third Row, from left: Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Solomon Thimothy, Thomas Griffin. Bottom Row, from left: Syed Balkhi, Matt Diggity, Amine Rahal.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can make all the difference between a business getting noticed and fading into the background. Companies looking to boost their visibility may not necessarily have the capital to invest tons of money into expensive SEO strategies, however.

Fortunately, there are several ways to ramp up your SEO without spending a fortune. We asked the members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share their best cost-effective strategies for increasing SEO. Their responses are below.

1. Crunch Industry Data and Share It

Across my past three businesses, our No. 1 SEO strategy has been to find industry data, crunch it, analyze it, and release it to the public as an API or as a consumer-facing website. Data is everywhere, but meaningful information from huge, hard-to-work-with data sets that everyone knows about but doesn’t know how to make sense of has major link appeal. Sure, spending weeks pouring over billions of data points with a data scientist isn’t glamorous. When you’re done, though, if you’ve created something that moves the whole industry forward, suddenly link-building becomes easy. Spin up a consumer-facing website for the data or API where you require attribution if the data is used and the links almost build themselves. Nick Reese, Elder Guide

2. Decide Which Keywords You Want to Rank for

The first step to improving your SEO is getting a very clear strategy on what you want to rank for. Use a free tool like UberSuggest.com to see what people are searching for and what your competitors are doing. Then, make a list of no more than three to five terms you want to rank. Spend the next quarter creating content that specifically addresses those terms and paying special attention to optimizing your posts. Make sure youre indexing your content after you write it. Then share or syndicate on other sites to help build your inbound links. Even posting on your own LinkedIn or Medium page can help boost your rankings! Brittany Hodak, Keynote Speaker

3. Understand Your Customers’ Needs

Be better at understanding your customer and their needs throughout each stage of the customer experience. You should know your customer better than they know themselves. This allows you to develop content that truly resonates with them and delivers value and a great user experience that both users and search engines love. Be better at developing a comprehensive strategy that addresses their needs by providing valuable content and experiences. You know your customer and how to develop the right messaging and content to meet their needs. This is all about being in the right places at the right times. Not that hard. Be better at tracking whats working, adapting, and optimizing all the things. Kevin Getch, Webfor

4. Start With Technical, on-Site SEO

Keep it simple. An effective strategy can be broken down into three parts. First, make sure your site is optimized from a technical SEO perspective. Google Search Console has all your answers about page load speed, sitemap, on-page errors, broken links, meta descriptions, etc. Second, know your customer and what they are searching for. What queries do they search for? How can you craft content to help them and be legitimately valuable? Third, create a strategy to craft content that is well done and actually valuable to your customer. Google will take care of the rest if your technical SEO is well done and your content is actually valuable. Jeff Cayley, Worldwide Cyclery

5. Use Keywords Across Your Digital Channels

Using keywords in your social media handles, names, and bios can help your pages pop up at the top of a search result. As some of the most-visited websites in the world, social media platforms naturally have high SEO. Use that to your advantage! Incorporate your keywords into all of your social media pages so those results pop up near the top. Then work to make sure your Facebook, Instagram, etc. profiles clearly communicate what you do and can easily direct users to a website to learn more. Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

6. Create New Content Consistently

No matter how advanced or mature the SEO campaign, you always need more links and content. The best way for a company to work on its SEO with little investment is to build systems in the company that consistently push out new, relevant content to the site (ideally once a week) and continue to get opportunities to drive links back to their site. Driving links can be as easy as going out and adding value to the community. Go speak at local events, join a podcast, or write a guest post for a website. The most important thing here is to develop your portfolio of features so that you can snowball into bigger and better organizations that would like to feature you. No matter if you hire an SEO agency or go in-house, link building and content is what will drive success. Jason Khoo, Zupo

7. Look at Both Short-Term and Long-Term SEO in the Wake of COVID-19

Consider how the COVID pandemic affects SEO strategies, both short and long term. Though the pandemic will end, its effects will be lasting. For example, short-term SEO strategies include publishing content that is relevant to the ways coronavirus is immediately affecting your industry, whether that be medical or food-delivery services. You can also update your company page for local and trending coronavirus search terms. Long-term SEO goals include writing content that addresses questions that your customers might have after the pandemic, such as re-opening strategies and what online options you will continue to provide your customers. Your efforts to integrate both short-term and longer-term SEO goals will change as the pandemic unfolds, so always use your creativity in crazy 2020. Shu Saito, All Filters

8. Define Your Target Audience’s Problem Statement’

Whenever we launch a new blog or clients website, we start the SEO process by defining the problem statement for that target audience. Once we define the problem and pain points of that audience, we conduct keyword research around that keyword phrase and start to develop long-form blog content. Our content is at least 2,000 words long and is based around that keyword topic. Keyword density ranges from 1 to 2 percent. This helps us to start ranking quickly. Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

9. Write Better Content

You have to ensure that your website pages are engaging and relevant to your target audience. Research the most relevant keywords on your topic and make sure that you include those keywords on your main header, meta description, and subheaders. Ensure that your content is relevant through these keywords. Making your content relevant improves your website traffic, reduces the bounce rate on your pages, and makes your website top of mind. Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

10. Update Your Highest-Ranking Pages

Look at your pages that almost rank highly on search engines and rewrite them. Use your website analytics tool to find out which pages are ranked higher than 10, but lower than one. Prioritize these pages and target them for an overhaul. Add details, examples, and answers where appropriate. Include customer testimonials or user-generated content wherever you can. Update the statistics and freshen up the images on the post. Work your way through your list and then give it a few months to see how they improved. Then, do it all again. Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

11. Add Scheme Markup to Your Content

Anyone can improve their websites SEO by adding schema markup to their content. Schema.org provides all the information you need to tag content appropriately so that search engines recognize what your content is about. This is a no-cost effort that only requires some effort and research. If you find this overwhelming, you can always download free or freemium plugins that will do the work for you. Adding schema markups is a simple but extremely powerful way to make your content stand out and appear at the top of search results. Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

12. Do Your Research and Steer Clear of Quick Fixes

One hundred percent of my income comes from SEO. It made me an entrepreneur. In my experience, companies looking for cheap or quick fixes usually run into trouble. Trying to implement advanced SEO tactics without fully understanding them may end up doing search rankings more harm than good. High-quality content that appeals to your audience is essential for more than just SEO, but it’s far from free. Even if you write it yourself, it costs you time. Maybe there are issues with your website structure or on-page SEO, but you’ll need to conduct a technical audit and implement the required changes. My team spends much of its time developing and testing SEO tactics that move the needle with Google. But those are deployed on sites with optimized content and robust site architecture. Simply put, there are no shortcuts. Matt Diggity, Diggity Marketing

13. Don’t Over-Optimize

Fixating on keyword density and placement is often what holds would-be successful SEOs from ranking. Often, matching the searchers intent and crafting a well-researched, insightful article is a better strategy for ranking for a competitive keyword. Instead of keyword stuffing, focus on writing the best article you can. Provide more valuable information than your competitors articles, and make them more visually appealing with photos, charts and infographics. Most importantly, ensure that you directly answer the question your searcher has in mind. Dont beat around the bush or veer into tangential topics. Matching search intent and maximizing the quality of your article are crucial ranking factors that are often overlooked in favor of more dated strategies. Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions

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