We all wish we had an unlimited budget to make our website and overall digital presence the best it can be.
But that is rarely the case for most businesses.
As a result, we must prioritize what makes the biggest impact on our online visibility and user experience, and put other tasks on the back burner.
With some smart budgeting and effective tactics, you can focus on strategies that are cost efficient but really help you meet your SEO goals.
Maximizing SEO for your budget requires automating what can be automated, keeping simple tasks in-house, and only outsourcing tasks that are necessary.
Here are some additional specific suggestions for making the most of your SEO budget without having to make concessions that could jeopardize your progress.
Outsource Specific Projects or Tasks
More and more companies are outsourcing specific projects or tasks that they need done, but don’t or can’t hire a W2 employee to take care of.
For some companies, it makes financial sense to outsource the work, as it ends up actually being more cost-effective than adding someone to the payroll.
Additionally, if you only need certain tasks done at irregular periods, working with a contractor or agency ensures you’re only spending money when it’s actually needed.
A contractor or agency also makes sense if they have resources or knowledge that is beyond what you can build in-house. This could include advanced technology, databases, or specialized teams that have more experience than what is available for your team.
Some areas where outsourcing makes sense in SEO are:
If you have found link building to be an effective SEO strategy for you, it makes sense to have highly experienced contractors or agencies specializing in it to take the lead.
Because they have a more streamlined process, they are usually able to get more links in less time or with less effort.
This usually leads to a better pay off for you.
If you know that you need a more advanced SEO strategy for the next year or quarter, but aren’t sure where to start, having an outside person or team of experts create one for you has a lot of benefits.
An outsider will often catch things you might have missed since they aren’t “in the weeds” day-to-day in your company.
Having a direction then helps in-house teams get more done.
Robust One-Off Analysis
For large SEO analyses or major audits that take a significant chunk of time (e.g., 40+ hours), an outside expert is usually more detailed and able to get it done sooner.
This is especially the case if the in-house team is trying to get it done in between their other tasks.
Getting a robust analysis done so you know what to improve and focus on can bring significant SEO improvements.
Automate Simple, Yet Time-Consuming Tasks
Some in-depth tasks take a lot of manual time and labor.
But it is possible to automate some SEO tasks that help save time and budget because a person doesn’t have to do it manually.
Using SEO tool suites or dashboards that you probably already have a subscription to, you can run several different automated tasks, including:
- Monthly audits with tools like DeepCrawl, Seomator, or SERPstat: Once you create your website profile in the tool, you can set automated basic audits to run monthly. These can check for several best practice areas of SEO, such as proper titles, descriptions, and sitemap files. While these automated audit reports don’t get as in-depth as a complete manual audit would, they do give you a bird’s eye view into what you can be improving each month.
- Link-loss monitoring with tools like ahrefs: You can also keep track of how your link profile is doing with link-loss monitoring, which runs automated reports (e.g., monthly or quarterly). These reports highlight any links you’ve lost during the last set interval, which can help you with your link building efforts and problem solve to get the link back.
With a limited budget, tools like Seomator will work well for monthly audits. However, the software has it’s limitations and is not as robust as the more expensive DeepCrawl.
Tools do not substitute a good SEO analyst.
In addition, you can set up custom alerts, dashboards, and custom reports on Google Analytics that help you review your traffic data to notice any trends that may highlight issues or improvement results on your website.
For instance, if you see a significant drop in organic traffic in a custom alert to a high-value page in your Google Analytics report, it may mean it needs to be updated because it doesn’t provide enough value to the user when they land on it.
Do Work In-House When Possible & Feasible
Not all of your SEO projects can or should be automated or outsourced.
There are several areas of SEO that lend themselves well to being done in-house by existing team members.
These areas usually benefit from someone on the staff completing the project, because they have the first-hand company insight and experience to create more effective, complete work.
Areas of SEO in-house work include:
Optimizing for mobile is one aspect of SEO that is great for in-house because they will need to work with developers and designers to get the look and feel of what is needed on the mobile version of the site.
Checking other technical SEO basics like crawl budget, proper crawling on important pages, and page indexing are all doable by in-house teams.
It’s also fairly easy to get rid of duplicate pages with proper redirects and audit internal links.
There are several amazing contractors and agencies that companies can use for content creation.
But depending on your industry, some content is better left to in-house teams who have a more advanced knowledge of products, services, and industry terms.
A perfect example of this would be a healthcare website needing medical content written. A registered nurse or pharmacist on staff would likely be the best to produce it.
By looking at SEO tool dashboards or Google Search Console data, in-house teams can develop a keyword strategy using their own data as well as competitor research.
This is usually best done by someone with some experience in the industry, as they know what terms and competitors to collect data on.
Making the most of your SEO budget has a lot to do with how much things cost and how much time they take, but it also relies heavily on some ingenuity and preparation.
By creating an approach that leverages outside contractors or agencies, automated tools, and in-house effects, your SEO budget can go farther while getting you better long-term results.
More SEO Budget Resources Here:
- 3 Simple Ways to Build a Winning SEO Strategy on a Shoestring Budget
- Survey: Small Businesses Want $100 SEO
- 31% Spend Over $1000 Monthly on SEO Tools [POLL]
Screenshot taken by Kevin Rowe, December 2017
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!