Can you get Big SEO value with a small Budget?

Written by admin

March 9, 2023

Is it even possible to get Big SEO value with a small Budget?

It seems like it’s impossible to get into the SEO game for a reasonable amount of money as a small business, unless you’re willing to do a ton of research, make a ton of mistakes, spend a lot of time, and ultimately spend a lot of money trying to track progress. So, the big question is: Can you get Big SEO value with a small Budget?


We believe you can get some big SEO Value from a small business budget – read on to see some concepts about this statement. 

Firstly, it’s important to understand that there are multiple aspects to building a web property that is optimized for search engine traffic at an organic level. So here are some input factors we’ll be discussing from a broad perspective (this article is more about how you can engage with an SEO expert or an SEO agency for small businesses, that can help you accomplish more for less). 

Of course we’d love to hear from you if you need SEO work, and have a fixed or small budget for your small business SEO needs. We think we can offer huge ROI, without the constraints of requiring a huge retainer.

Some things that it takes to get SEO working for a small business website:

  • Consistency
  • Technical accuracy and fixing technical errors
  • Content turnover and improvement/refinement
  • Proper keyword research
  • Proper application of content
  • Reinforcement of credibility (generally backlinks, but also social signals and other things that prove you’re content/pages are interesting and engaging)
  • Proper understanding of delivering on intent

The above points are masked – the real story is much more complicated than a sentence each. And, in full transparency, the scope of this article is not large enough to deep dive into all of the intricacies of the concepts in bullet point format above. 

If you follow our blog, you’ll get plenty of these detail-driven, deep dives on small business SEO – which by the way is being refined and changing constantly. It’s important to understand that SEO is relative to peers – and apples to apples in comparison. If you are beating your peers from a majority of these aspects (some are weighted more heavily than others), you will see progress, even if it’s just a few snowflakes, and not an avalanche all at once. 

But here are some important exploration notes on each of the above bullet points, so that you can have better context for the rest of the article

Consistency in SEO work

SEO is about the long game. It is also about incremental improvements – that is what optimization means. Optimization implies you have utilized best practices and have a solid or better foundation. You need to continue to make incremental improvements. 

In the case of Google or other search algorithms/engines/crawlers as a unified entity that looks for results for users, they will crawl your site and specifically your pages when it’s necessary to do so. This is a general statement, but basically: give them a reason to crawl you. Make incremental improvements; consolidate for focus, and do it in real-time, with a continual mindset. 

If you’re making improvements, the crawler will note it, and crawl more often and more comprehensively (increasing crawl budget, so to speak).

Technical Accuracy; and fixing technical errors helps SEO immensely

This doesn’t even mention that you don’t have to be perfect to be better than peers, and therefore get a better share of the SERP’s.

But the fact remains, you need to be technically proficient from a few different perspectives. UX/UI, speed, hierarchies; logical canonicalization; easy to understand internal links and fixing things like 404’s, orphaned pages, bad user flows, and technical code and structure errors. 

Content turnover and improvement and refinement of content on site helps SEO

You want to be focused on your propositions on your web property. When someone lands on the page it should deliver what’s generally expected to exist on a page with that title, those headings, that nomenclature and the other aspects of the page from a user perspective. 

Adding to content to improve delivery of results, and making consolidations to avoid having two pages serve a substantially similar purpose, without excellent and obvious reasoning, is important to SEO. Refining the value of a page by making it clear what is happening there, and why certain things are pushing credibility to that page (internal and external links to the page, etc.).

Proper keyword research makes your life easier

There are ways to win early on in SEO. One of those ways is finding easier keywords that cater to the audience you want and making a focused page that delivers on that intent. For the sake of this article, we’re going to push forward into the next bullet point to cover this concept better.

Proper application of content

You need to be going after keywords and designing pages to deliver for those keywords (more on intent from a search user’s perspective a bit later on). When you are adding a page to try to capture some of the market share for a given keyword, you need to make sure that the things that are on the page, whether it’s video, text, pictures, audio, or whatever, are meeting some specific requirements. 

  • It is obvious what the content is on the page for?
  • Does the content ALL contribute value towards the purpose for the page, from a user perspective?
  • Is the page a standalone powerhouse, or is the intent to “game” the SEO aspects of search crawlers and algorithms? This is not a sustainable practice (trying to game the system, even if it may yield temporary or immediate results).
  • Does the user have a logical pathway to get what they came for, and are calls to action appropriate and useful?
  • Have you properly structured the page to make sense to a human?

Reinforcement of credibility (basically backlinks, internal linking schemes and ‘feedback’ from a broader community) allows you to outperform in SEO metrics

Backlinks still matter, and while many are paid for nowadays (definitely not a best practice from the search engine’s perspectives), and many are near impossible to get – you need to be credible in other third party’s eyes.

Internal linking helps reinforce groups of content in a proper hierarchy and show which pages are most important to you for your needs. This in turn can aid search engine algorithms and crawlers understand which pages should have priority, even if they don’t index those pages to match your ideal needs sometimes. 

Having metrics to prove your prowess as a maker of content on a page, helps to determine how well the search engine perceives and indexes your content (pages, posts, resources, videos, audio, etc.). 

Things like dwell times, an engagement, abandoned visits, back button clicks, can all show trending information about how well your pages deliver on the intent for a user. Improving these metrics, while they may not all be material to the actual search algorithms, does improve the overall understanding of your site for the crawlers.  

Proper understanding of delivering on intent will make you an SEO superstar if it’s your core focus

Search engines, at least on the surface, exist to help people find what they are looking for. It’s a complicated process because people are fickle and they sometimes don’t know exactly what they want at first. 

The benefit(?) of search engines like google, is that they have a lot of meta information about how users use their services and that informs the SERPs. They have information about how others LIKE those users, interact with your website pages. This too, informs the SERPs. 

A lot of data is collected in micro transactions as a user seeks out information and endpoints on the internet to do normal tasks like e-commerce purchasing, research, entertainment, knowledge gathering, and socializing, among other day-to-day ‘tasks’.

When you understand what a person is expecting when they type in a query, it makes a major difference in how you are perceived by the search engines from an indexation perspective. 

If you can deliver on exact parameters to that keyword for that person, you will rank higher, possibly even #1 in the SERPs. 

Here is an example:

“Welding services in Iowa” has a specific intent. It’s a user trying to find out what companies have welding services on offer. It’s likely they are a potential converting customer for such services, though it could be someone doing market research to determine if they have a chance at marketing their own welding services company in Iowa

“Welder Iowa” might have  generally the same conceptual intent. But it’s more nuanced. It could be a search for any of the following:

A user might be looking for:

So while, from a surface level, it seems like they are substantially similar search queries, they mean subtly different things and the value assigned to the page will be a combination of factors leading to whether or not a company like Twin Angel Welding would be getting a view on one of their pages. And these nuances don’t stop at surface level intent either.

Geographical location can factor heavily in a SERP, or Map Pack result for a given company. 

The way a page is structured can help it be placed above another competing page if it meets the intent the search engine determines for a particular user at the specific place, with the specific browsing history and the changes that have occurred in real time, as well as just from a baseline content perspective. 

It’s all quite complex, but not that tough, once you get some of the basics about search intent. This article is already meandering and long-winded, considering it wasn’t meant to talk about general SEO factors, but rather how you can get a big impact from smaller SEO budgets. 

Let’s get back on track, now that you have some solid underlying background knowledge in place.

Small businesses can get big value from SEO without a large budget, and here are some ways:

  • Using a properly constructed SEO Roadmap to understand what to do for the best ROI and what is identified as ‘low hanging fruit’ ready to be capitalized on
  • Segmenting their work with an SEO agency, to ensure they can handle the aspects they can handle, and then offloading the more technical or harder to implement parts onto the agency they contract with
  • By finding a small business SEO agency that can handle their work on an hourly basis – even if the hourly is similar to other agencies, but which have a smaller initial retainer, or are willing to do small projects due to less SEO budget
  • By choosing high impact, high ROI projects, or campaigns instead of trying to do a wide breadth of SEO activities
  • Using properly vetted implementation personnel to do it, that may not have such high wage levels (offshore workers that have a proven track record may be able to effectively offer benefits through focused efforts on their area of expertise)
  • Depending on the agency and the contract, you may be able to work out a pay for performance plan to ensure you get the “investment” of the agency in the SEO work – this means you can get exceptional value, if you’re willing to pay for the best work when it is yielding results
  • If you don’t have a ton of revenue or need marketing to help you launch, grow, or capitalize on a specific event, product or catalyst, you can also arrange for some marketing agencies to trade your equity in the company for their marketing services and resources
  • By getting creative in marketing and pairing that with a specific SEO push to heighten awareness of the value they are offering (one example is podcasting for your small business)

As an Agency that caters to performing SEO for Small businesses, we offer similar options that can help businesses with smaller budgets, get big SEO value. 

We offer the same hourly rates for smaller retainers/budgets, but we can prioritize the specific needs to ensure that all hours are put towards mutually agreed upon goals and tasks. This way, you get something that is more akin to a “deliverable”, than a blanket set of “work” by your agency. 

The fact that we work together to decide the tasks, and there is communication about the value relative to other needs for SEO, means that there is always an understanding of how the applied hours of work are having an impact. 

While most websites need far greater hours for implementation than their current budget allows for, having a digital agency that specializes in SEO for small businesses, that can also be flexible, means you can get real work done, and progress can be made relative to peers. And in SEO everything is relative when measuring performance. 

If you are doing more, and better than your peers for a specific query, and delivering on content and intent better, you’re going to win, relative to your peers.  

While this may not be everything you can do to get an impact on a small budget with your small business SEO, it should serve as a great first step in understanding some of the ways you can beat peers at the SEO game and grab new channels of ready-to-convert customers in an organic fashion from search engines.

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