- What is SEO?
- Should you handle your SEO yourself?
- The best affordable SEO services for small business
Q: How do you choose affordable SEO services for small business?
A: Choosing the right SEO service for your small business comes down to balancing your investment in the service with the returns it provides. With so many options on the market, it can be hard to determine which software you should use to maximize your reach. This article explains how to make the right choice and explores the best services on the market.
The internet is a predominant part of modern life.
According to Pew Research Center, 85 percent of US adults report daily online activity.
With the power and convenience of the internet, we’ve come to rely on online spaces for just about everything.
One of the biggest tools the internet has provided is the search engine. People use search engines like Google to find everything from information to images to products and services.
That’s why finding affordable SEO services for small business is so worth it. These services can make your business more discoverable, help you connect with hot leads, and ultimately, boost your profits substantially.
But while the benefits of SEO are widely talked about, many business owners remain unsure how to leverage this powerful tool.
With so many options and conflicting opinions out there, small business owners often avoid this marketing strategy altogether.
While understandable, this is a mistake that may cost your business serious opportunities for growth.
We want to see your business thrive, which is why we’ve created a guide to the best affordable SEO services available. Learn how to gain more business exposure without blowing up your budget.
- How does SEO help you grow your business?
- Should you handle your SEO yourself?
- What you need to consider when weighing your SEO options
- The best affordable SEO services for small business
What is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.”
Search engines utilize algorithms to provide search results. These algorithms abide by rules that the search engine creators set in place to make the results relevant and helpful.
SEO is a strategy that seeks to make web pages or content fit these rules as closely as possible so that the pages rank highly on searches.
The concept is simple enough, but execution can be challenging.
Search engines frequently change the algorithms governing search result rankings. For instance, Google recently announced a major change to its algorithm that will boost the specificity of search results and promote more Google-owned properties.
These changes make it more difficult for business owners to retain their rankings.
That said, businesses that manage to optimize and rank highly for relevant searches stand to benefit immensely from their efforts.
How Does SEO Help You Grow Your Business?
Small business SEO helps you grow by boosting your visibility and creating a strong, organic connection to potential customers.
Search engines are one of the most commonly used features of the online space. Many people turn to search engines when trying to find products or services.
Having your website at the top of the search results means anyone who searches for terms related to your business will see you.
Like all marketing efforts, this is a great way to draw the attention of people in your target audience. But SEO has a unique benefit.
SEO can help you reach people in completely new audiences that traditional marketing just can’t do.
So when asking yourself, “How do I find my niche?” The answer is to look no further than an SEO strategy.
Because search engine usage is in the searcher’s hands, you may end up connecting with people in entirely different niches than you would target with paid advertisements.
Not only can this substantially boost exposure, but it can also inform your other marketing efforts.
For instance, someone using SEO for a small business that sells education software may be targeting college administrative staff. They optimize a webpage to rank for the term “best education software.”
Unexpectedly, they discover that their webpage is bringing in a lot of new traffic from marketing executives looking for software to use in training.
Not only does this help them boost their sales directly, but it also provides valuable market insight.
They now know that they can target marketing executives with paid campaigns. This opens a whole new world of possibility for the business.
Additionally, SEO engages with potential customers in a uniquely organic way.
When your business pops up at the top of the search results, it immediately engages the search engine user’s interest. Because they are in the driver’s seat, they engage with your brand in an organic way.
According to Forbes, that organic engagement keeps users browsing, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates and a better return on investment (ROI) on your marketing efforts.
Affordable SEO services for small business allow you to market your brand without the potential customer feeling sold to or manipulated.
How Much Should You Invest in SEO?
You might be wondering, “How much does SEO cost for small business?”
Well, it depends on what your unique business goals.
The key to making the most of your SEO is to find the sweet spot between your expenses and your returns. Simply, you get out of it what you put in.
If you invest nothing in your SEO, you won’t gain any exposure or make any additional sales. This is obviously not the most efficient approach.
On the flip side, if you pour thousands of dollars into your SEO and try to compete with enormous publications like the New York Times, chances are you’re not going to see enough new profit to justify your expenses.
There is, of course, a middle ground between these two extremes. You don’t have to hire a full marketing team to run your SEO.
Should You Handle Your SEO Yourself?
One approach to maximizing your returns with SEO is to take it on yourself.
While not a bad approach, it’s important to understand that saving money directly can still cost you.
Opportunity cost is something small business owners frequently forget. The time you use to accomplish a task needs to be weighed against the other tasks you could accomplish in that time.
Let’s say you decide to take on your SEO all by yourself. You may save yourself a few hundred dollars by avoiding paying for software or external help.
However, the time you spend learning how to optimize web pages for search engines without any assistance could have been put to better utilized.
Instead, you could have spent that time:
- Designing new products
- Conducting market research
- Finding more efficient avenues of production
- Growing your team
If you are struggling to understand SEO and sink numerous hours into it, the inefficiency ends up costing you more due to keeping you from other high-return activities.
That’s why it’s almost never a good idea to try to handle your SEO entirely on your own.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Your SEO
Outsourcing your SEO helps you save time. That time can then be used to make more money.
When you outsource part or all of your small business SEO, you gain more in efficiency than you lose in costs.
You also keep yourself from having to take on more responsibilities. Psychological stress and burnout are very real.
Stress management is a crucial part of running your own business. One of the leading causes of stress is feeling overwhelmed, which is an easy state to slip into when delving into the vast world of SEO.
When you outsource your SEO, you help keep your stress levels manageable. This in turn makes you more effective and keeps you from needing to take time away from work to recover.
Not only does this help relieve your responsibilities, but outsourcing your SEO also gives you access to greater expertise.
Whether you hire a freelancer or full-time marketing employee, or use an affordable SEO service for small businesses, you’ll gain insight you may not have trying to handle things on your own.
This makes your SEO efforts much more impactful and increases the likelihood of ranking higher on search engines.
That’s why outsourcing is almost always better than tackling things yourself.
What You Need to Consider When Outsourcing
When looking to bring in SEO services, you need to keep balance top of mind.
Outsourcing isn’t black and white. You aren’t forced into a dichotomous choice between handling everything yourself and handing everything over to someone else.
The best ROI almost always lies between these two extremes. The key is to find a way to supplement your existing strengths so you can make the most of what you already know.
This requires you to take account of your existing assets. Do you already have a strong background in writing or content creation? If so, you likely don’t need to outsource absolutely everything.
Likewise, if you already have some familiarity with search engines, you may benefit from just outsourcing the content itself, optimizing it afterward.
But even if you don’t have any familiarity with SEO or keyword research, there’s a good chance that gaining a base-level knowledge of these things will provide the best ROI.
Learning isn’t linear. It’s often far easier to understand the basics of something than to become an expert.
Your returns on learning are typically exponentially greater in the beginning.
You can leverage this to your advantage. If you learn the basics of SEO yourself, you can then bring in a service that supplements those basics. This is almost always the best way to optimize the ROI of your SEO.
All that said, there are certain insights you will need that are difficult to access by yourself, including:
- Keyword volume
- Website metrics like Domain Rating and Domain Authority
- Website visits and traffic levels
- Spam scores
When choosing a service for your SEO, you’ll need to find one that provides this information. The degree of detail however, will depend on how hard you’re trying to hit your SEO and how much expertise you have.
This is all very contextual and dependent on your existing strengths. You need to take stock of your knowledge and abilities before making any rash decisions on your SEO services.
Once you understand what you are good at, consider what parts of SEO you could reasonably learn yourself.
After you’ve established that, look at the gaps in your SEO knowledge. These gaps are what you fill with outsourcing.
Should You Hire a Freelancer?
When considering the best affordable SEO services for small business, many US business owners consider hiring a freelancer.
In some cases, this can be a great idea. Freelancers can bring a high level of expertise to your SEO efforts. They also allow you to employ SEO practices without having to spend any time doing it yourself.
That said, freelancers are rarely the most affordable option. Truly talented freelancers expect to be rewarded for their expertise, meaning you’ll likely have to pay significant amounts of money for their work.
If you’re running a large business and already have a full plate, this might be the most efficient option.
However, for small business owners that can sacrifice a bit of their own time, gaining a basic understanding of SEO can eliminate the need for a freelancer and allow them to use cheaper software-based options.
There’s also the matter of finding the right freelancer. Hiring a freelancer can be a long, tedious process.
You have to conduct interviews and review portfolios if you want to find a truly talented freelancer.
Even if you go through everything thoroughly, you may still wind up hiring someone who just isn’t the right fit. This puts you back at square one, all while costing you money for SEO services that don’t help you grow.
That’s why the best affordable SEO services tend to rely on software rather than on actual people. They give you the tools you need to do things yourself.
The Best Affordable SEO Services for Small Business
Ahrefs is one of the best SEO services on the market.
When you purchase a subscription to Ahrefs, you gain access to tons of highly-accurate and insightful search engine data.
You can explore keywords and gain insight into how difficult it will be to rank for them. This lets you discover the openings where your time investments are most likely to provide returns.
You can also explore numerous site rankings and see what keywords your competitors are ranking for. This helps you understand what your target market is searching for and how you can outrank your competition.
Ahrefs even provides plugins you can add to your browser, showing you important data about each website you visit.
Plans start at just $49 a month, making Ahrefs a great investment for small business SEO.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a tool provided by Google itself. While you can purchase a paid version, users can access the keyword planner for free.
Google Keyword Planner provides users with data on Keywords. You can see the average monthly searches, the amount of competition, and the price per click for each keyword.
These insights help you understand which keywords are engaging your audience and how likely you are to be able to rank for them.
While Google Keyword Planner is somewhat limited in scope, it is a great addition to other tools. You can combine it with another software program to create an even more effective SEO strategy.
With no cost involved, it definitely earns a spot on the list of best affordable SEO services for small business.
SEMRush is one of the most intuitive and straightforward SEO tools on the market.
It provides users with a detailed analysis of keywords and websites on its easy-to-understand dashboard.
The dashboard not only shows you how your website is ranking, but where the traffic is coming from. This helps you make the most of your marketing efforts by investing into what works.
You can track your ranking for multiple keywords, monitor how your site is performing over time, and adjust your efforts as necessary to stay relevant.
SEMRush also lets you conduct keyword research. You can search for keywords, find related terms, and gain valuable insight into the difficulty and volume of each word or phrase.
Plans start at $99.95 per month, making it slightly more expensive than Ahrefs. Still, this is a very reasonable amount for a powerful SEO tool.
Moz is one of the oldest SEO tool providers on the market. After experimenting and exploring various marketing avenues, the firm has settled into their niche as an SEO analysis tool.
Moz provides many of the same insights as Ahrefs and SEMRush. Users can see keyword volume and keyword difficulty, both of which can be used for SEO planning.
Additionally, Moz gives users insight into the Domain Ranking and Domain Authority of various websites. This can help you understand your own website, as well as find good options for backlink building.
Moz excels in website crawling. It allows you to crawl up to 100,000 sites a week and provides technical suggestions to help your pages rank better.
Users can access Moz starting at $99 a month, making it an affordable SEO service for small businesses.
Final Thoughts On The Best Affordable SEO Services for Small Business
SEO is one of the most powerful marketing strategies available.
It engages potential customers in a uniquely organic way, helps you build brand credibility, and can expose you to entirely new markets in the process.
While many small business owners try to handle their SEO entirely on their own or outsource it to a freelancer, the most effective choice is often between these extremes.
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If you’re looking to get the best return on your investment, choose one of the best affordable SEO services for small businesses. Our top picks are Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Moz.
These tools give you everything you need to run your own SEO without necessarily becoming an expert yourself. By doing so, you save time, money, and allow yourself the chance to grow your business faster.
Looking for other ways to maximize your business’s ROI? A virtual office is an excellent place to start.
You’ll gain access to a commercial address you can use to register your business without paying for an expensive and unnecessary traditional office rental.
Virtual offices provide an affordable solution to business registration so you can save money and grow your business faster.