If you don’t have money for SEO, here’s what you can do alternatively

All these years of entrepreneurship have made me learn that the best marketing tactic is ‘honesty’. I have first-hand experience in denying the truth, or just not addressing the elephant: we have money, we just don’t know where to invest it wisely; let us first focus on building product, marketing is step no. 2 and blah blah.

If you don’t have money right now, it’s OK. Put it out loud, but do not undermine or delay marketing. That’s the first and foremost lesson I would like to pass on to any aspiring marketer or entrepreneur.

The second most important tactic is ‘discovering alternatives.’

Here is an honest statement about marketing – It’s not magic. You can not expect your website to rank on the first page within a week or a month of starting SEO. It takes a minimum effort of 9 to 12 months for any consequential result.

So, this one is for companies who do not have enough budget for conducting a full-time SEO activity.

  1. Rent a Page

This is a really interesting one.

  • Find the keywords that best define your offering. In one of my previous blogs, I explained how to find the best keywords. Read this, if you need help in finding relevant keywords.
  • Now, check out companies that rank the best for each of those keywords. Filter out the closest competitors and explore the rest.
  • Contact these companies with an offer to rent their page for showcasing your offerings.

This way, you have guaranteed traffic from the first day of going live and you save a lot of money.
You only need to pay a small amount for renting. You can even trade your offerings in lieu of this favor.

2. Cont(Quant)entify your brand

SEO is all about being friendly to the search engine that your user is on. And Google is just one them. So, leverage all opportunities to showcase your brand. Here is an example to substantiate my point –

Look at the results for my query. None of the top ones are from a specific smart phone brand. Some of them are blogs (in the screenshot), the remaining on the first page are links of e-commerce search engines.

The point is your website/webpage alone doesn’t make a difference. Being present on other relevant platforms is just as important and effective, in-fact even more, so to speak. Use blogs, social media, guest blogs to drive your audience home. Here are a few content strategies that may help-

  • Use meta-tags. Metatags are brief description of the page content that helps search engines discover you. Put it on the images you use on your blogs/posts.
  • Check Google Analytics. If you go to ‘Interest’ section of your Google Analytics page, you will see what keywords your users are most interested in. Write about them.
  • Use headings, sub-headings, lists, highlighted text (bold) options.
  • Make sure to use relevant keywords sincerely.

3. Create Personal Brand. People trust people, more than product/services. Build your online reputation. Share genuine, thoughtful content on your personal social media and blogging accounts, especially LinkedIn.

Noone knows about your product or service better than you. Even if you can’t spend on hiring an outside agency or freelancer, you can start investing yourself into generating content.

But do not confuse all of this as a replacement of SEO. These alternatives are complementary to technical SEO strategies. When you have money, do invest into good content writers and SEO experts. It’s a lot of work. You need them. Once again, be honest when you do have money.

Note: I have aggregated a few ideas from Neil Patel and Moz websites.

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