What Are The Most Affordable SEO for Small Business Strategies?

Affordable SEO For Small Business

One of the most common questions we get asked by business owners is: what are the most affordable SEO for Small Business strategies?

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With the emergence and dominance of local business listings, and specifically Google My Business the landscape of low cost SEO solutions has certainly changed forever. This coupled with an explosion in cheap and sometimes free website building platforms (Google’s Site Builder as a prime example) has meant that any small business (who has the time) can create the foundations of an online presence in a short amount of time.

In this article I am going to provide you with the foundation you need to build as a small business from an SEO standpoint. Nearly all of it you can do for free (or outsource for a very cheap cost). For the time poor I am also going to reveal a simple strategy for you to find quality low cost yet trustworthy SEO professionals!

Before we dive in, I first want to answer a common question which is: what small businesses need SEO? I will also share some facts on average pricing of SEO services in Australia so you get a sense for benchmark from a cost standpoint.

What small businesses need SEO?

Is SEO important for small business? A good starting point is to define who SEO is even relevant for when it comes to the small business landscape in Australia.

About 50% of Australian small businesses have a website after all – does this mean that SEO is only relevant for 50% of Australian businesses who have websites?

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Well yes and no.. If you run a local business where you either service a local catchment area or have a physical location/s then you have more options to play with. These include being able to leverage Google My Business listings and other directory listing options such as Bing Places, Apple Maps etc.

If you are a pure online retailer who only sells online then it’s not really possible to create a Google My Business Listing. You are more reliant on your website, other shopping distribution channels and your other social media assets such as Facebook Page, Instagram Page etc.

From my perspective the term small business SEO needs to be applied in the context of driving any potential customers to any online organic asset your business owns. That includes your website, Facbeook Page, Google My Business page etc. Its not all about driving improvement directly to your website.

Based on this, I believe every small business in Australia should have access to an affordable SEO strategy. Even if its just for Google My Business. This is often simply called Local SEO.

How much does SEO Cost in Australia? Can you do SEO for Free?

Before we dig into how to get SEO for low or no cost, i think its important to call out that the SEO or online marketing industry is not really regulated. Pricing is set by the individual agency or freelancer. According to this site however the average cost in Australia is between $750-$2000 per month. Bear in mind this would be on an assumption of employing Australian SEO professionals (onshore) not overseas (offshore).

Strategy 1 – Optimise Your Google My Business Page

As explained above if you are a local business or non ecommerce business then you can create or claim your Google My Business Page (often you will find that a Google My Business listing might already be created for your business via another source of directory so its important to search for it before trying to create a new one).

Google has been investing heaps in their Google My Business offering, and it really has become the cornerstone for getting local qualified traffic. – and best of all its completely free (caveat that in US market as an example they are experimenting with paid variations).

The reason it’s so important and so effective is that it appears for relevant local searches (searches that contain a geography term coupled with the type of business – e.g plumber collaroy ) as well as your business name. Best of all it appears right at the top, which with the shift towards mobile devices has become even more important. For the right kind of local business you could rely solely on your Google My Business listing to be found online, you don’t even need a website although its advisable.

Check out this article for more details on how to best optimise your Google My Business Page.

Below is a great example of a well optimised Google My Business Page, see here to look at it yourself. You will note high level though great basic information, large amount of reviews, recent posts, associated Facebook Page (more on this in the next step) to name a few.

well optimized google my business listing sydney

Strategy 1 Google My Business – Scorecard:

Importance: High
Impact: High
Cost: Free

Strategy 2 – Optimise Your Facebook Page

People in Australia are spending more time online than ever, and Facebook has a huge portion of that attention. What this means as a small business owner, is that potential customers will search for your business on Facebook as a point of reference particularly if they are aware of your brand. You might be wondering at this point why am I talking about Facebook as an affordable SEO for small business strategy – isn’t that social media after all? 

Well you can create a Facebook Page, and its very similar to a Google My Business Listing, although you can provide even more information about your business. By enhancing your facebook page, and keeping it updated with information, new posts, getting reviews you will see your facebook page able to get to the front page of Google also. So think of it as both a social media and cheap seo strategy.

Its all shelf space at the end of the day and more ways for your customers to find you. Social signals are also considered a minor ranking factor, meaning the more activity on your Facebook Page which is linked to your website (likes, comments, shares) will contribute to your website ranking higher.

Strategy 2 Facebook Page Scorecard:


Importance: High
Impact: High
Cost: Free

Strategy 3- Mobile Optimised Website

The third affordable seo for small business strategy I am going to cover is mobile. Very recently Google introduced something called mobile first indexing. What this means is due to the fact that Google is seeing more and more of its traffic shift to mobile devices, that Google has decided to prioritise the mobile version of a website when it comes to deciding how your website appears on the search engines. 

What does that actually mean and why should you care?

So if you are looking to create a new website for your business from scratch it’s paramountthat its mobile-first. There are many self serve and completely free options for creating a mobile optimised website. Two that I will mention are wix.com and Google Sites Builder. Wix is incredibly easy to use and allows you to create a website in minutes that looks pretty good. Only caveat is that you need to pay $10 per month to buy and connect a custom domain name (your business name or closest variation as a .com.au) and to remove advertising.

Google Sites is even simpler and has less functionality, but the beauty of it is that you can create your site all at the time you create your Google My Business Listing. Its all easy to access via the 1 login also and completely free – super simply.

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Strategy 3 Mobile Optimised Site Scorecard:


Importance: High
Impact: Moderate/High
Cost: Free/Low Cost

Strategy 4 – On Page SEO

The fourth affordable seo for small business strategy I am going to cover is On Page SEO. On Page SEO is defined as the work that you do on your actual website to help it appear more prominently in the search engines. There is a long list of things you can do as a business to help, but there is also a much shorter list which is pretty much all you will need as a small business in my opinion which is as follows:

Content:

Write unique content, ideally your home page should have more than 800-1000 words of content but its not mandatory. Have a clear call to action on each page, so its very clear to the user what the reason is for being on that specific page of your website.

Page Name (URL)Title Tags, Description Tags, Header Tags

These are like signals to tell Google what a given page on your website is about, and they are very important. Ensure these are all populated with your primary keyword each page is focussed on. Make them natural but also think of them as you would an advertisement – as they appear on the Google Search Results Page and are what the user sees to encourage them to click through.

Page Speed

Like step 3 above, Page Speed has become a very important factor in how Google ranks your website. Google has a free tool called Google Page Speed Insights which in less than a minute can tell you how your website stacks up. One really quick tip to impact is to ensure your image files are as small as possible – as this is the single biggest reason a website page speed will be bad.

See below a screenshot from our website YourSmallBusinessCoach – we are sitting in the mid range for mobile devices so admittedly have a little work to do. Plan on writing more on this topic in this future to explain how we improve this further so watch this space.

google page speed insights output

Schema Markup

This will come included in many off the shelf web design packages. Schema Markup is effectively the code behind your website that tells Google and other search engines how to properly prioritise certain pages. A simply way to explain Schema Markup is as follows. Imagine if you had had 20 blank white pages dropped on your desk, and you were asked to sort them. – it would be impossible as there is no page number on each right? Imagine alternatively if the pages were dropped and page numbers were written on each, it would be pretty easy to sort them hey? As you could quickly put them in sequence. This is what schema markup essentially does for your website. It tells Google where everything goes which makes it easier for it to rank your website! Pretty cool right!

Strategy 4 On Page SEO Scorecard


Importance: High
Impact: High:
Cost: Free/Low Cost (if outsourced)

Strategy 5 – Local Citations / Directory links

The fifth and final affordable seo for small business strategy I am including is to include your website in local citations. This is also known as local directory listings. By listing your website on these websites, you are effectively telling Google that you are a local business, and these important websites recognise you as a local business in your specific category.

This is not an overly arduous process, and will only take you 5 minutes per directory on average. You should just prepare a Title (think slogan of your business) a description (think a short sales pitch) and have your Google MY Business listing ready to copy relevant information. Its very important however that all your information is consistent across all directories, this will have a big impact on how your website will ranks.

Below are what are considered by many to be the top current local directory/citations in Australian – not not all are free but costs are low.


Strategy 5 Local Citations/Directories Scorecard:


Importance: High
Impact: Moderate
Cost: Free/Low Cost

Conclusion & Final Hack To Find Affordable SEO Services

So are there affordable seo for small business strategies available that wont take up too much prevcious time? Absolutely! I talked in the opening about a hack to find low cost SEO services. I personally wouldn’t look past Upwork or Freelancer as a place to find a SEO consultant that can help your business.

We live in a time where freelance work has become more popular particularly in the remote working enviroment we are all living in today. No longer do you need to commit to a expensive monthly fee for SEO work for which you don’t need, rather you can agree to pay a freelancer an hourly rate for the work you want to outsource. Its highly transparent also in terms of being able to see key metrics such as how often a freelancer completes a job they start (super important right) and average rating for each job they complete.

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