Julia asks, “How can a small business approach SEO when it doesn’t have the budget to hire an agency and it doesn’t have the in-house talent to do it?”
Whenever we’re faced with a decision to buy or build, and we do not have the resources to buy, by default we must build. With the plethora of free information and free tools online, you may not be up and running in a week, but it is more than possible to build a capability over time. That said, let’s look at the absolute bare minimum you need for SEO.
- Understand your space with tools like Ubersuggest
- Keep an eye on what’s trending with tools like Twitter and Facebook
- Google for events in your space and when they occur
- Build out a quarterly content calendar featuring your POV on all these different items
- Fulfill the intent of the searcher in your content
- Use analytics and Search Console to measure your progress
- Train yourself by reading blogs like Stone Temple, Moz, AHREFs, SEMRush, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch.
That’s the skeleton, the table minimum of SEO for a business with absolutely nothing. It will not rocket you to the top of the charts for popular search terms. It will not dramatically change your business overnight. But if you follow it rigorously and you create content that helps your audience fulfill their needs, you will gain some benefit from SEO.
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today’s you ask, I answered Julie asks How can a small business approach SEO when it doesn’t have the budget to hire an agency and doesn’t have the in house talent to do it,
whenever we’re faced with a decision about by or built, we and we don’t have the resources to buy by default, we have to build right, you have
to build the talent in house because you can’t afford the the service from a third party that with the enormous amounts of free information and free tools online, it may not be up and running in a week. But it is more than possible to build an SEO capability in house over time.
let’s talk about what that looks like. What is the bare minimum that a small business or businesses does not have the resources needs for SEO, with the caveat with the warning that the bare minimum is not going to rock you to the top of the search charts, it’s not going to, you know, drive millions of people to your website, like magic overnight, it will not happen, right? the bare minimum is just what you need to do to show up at all in search for relevant terms, and, and essentially not get completely wiped out by your competitors. So what are the things you need to do? Number one, you need to understand your space. And there’s three things to do in understanding of space. First, use free keyword tools, there’s one by called Uber suggests that’s good enough, you know, some of its data, we’re not 100% sure how it’s derived, but directionally, it seems right. And from what I’ve checked with more expensive paid tools, it’s not bad. So use free use free tools, like Uber suggests, to figure out the words and phrases and concepts that you should be competing for. So if you’re a coffee shop, you should be looking at things like coffee shop near me, and coffee shop in Boston, or wherever you’re located, and the different types of beings you carry, and all that stuff. So you want to understand your space, build that map with the tool, you can export, you know, dozens or hundreds of keywords, and build out a a conceptual calendar, or conceptual map of your space. Second, keep your eye on what’s trending with tools like Twitter, and Facebook is trending topics in in these platforms. There’s news, Google News is another great place to
to look at Google Trends, the front page of Google Trends, all these are great places to just keep in touch with what your industry is talking about what your people what your fans are talking about. And understand that that those are things that you probably should be creating content about. If people are talking about it, and it’s relevant to you, you should have something on your site about it. And then the third is understanding the events in your space. If you have a major conference, a major event in your space, or several of them, you should know when they occur, you should have in advance, like some comfort conferences that start advertising the day after the previous one to end. So you know, in advance when it’s going to happen, you know, what you should be doing leading up to those things, once you have all that information, build it out as a quarterly content calendar, hey, this week, we’re going to tackle this This week, we’re going to tackle this and you’re going to write content based on your point of view about all these different things kind of welded together. The most important thing to do with content is to fulfill the intent of the searcher in your content. So if you know your customers, which you should, regardless of business size, and you know, what they want, which you should, regardless of business, is that when you create that content, you create it with an IDE with answering all of their questions. So if someone is searching for a coffee shop, vegan friendly coffee shop, what are they searching for a while, they’re obviously searching for, you know, a business that that offers vegan products. But what else you know about that person, you should you be serving them just coffee like, Hey, we’re eating coffee shop that also serves to vegan pastries. And or here’s how we certify that we that we all our products are vegan safe, so there’s an intent to those searches. Rand Fishkin over at spark Torah has written a lot about this really terrific blog to check in on
then, once you’ve got your stuff, and you’ve posted it to your website, try to post one thing a week, one article one point of view, if you use a tool like Uber suggests, it’s going to spit out dozens, possibly hundreds of different search terms. And yes, some of them will be semantically related together. But conceptually, you’re going to have stuff that is going to be different and unique. And even if you never use the advanced tools like predictive analytics and stuff to figure out
timing, you still will have a decent amount of stuff to write content about. So try
to post something every week,
you want to use analytics, Google Analytics and Google Search Console and big Bing webmaster tools to measure your progress. What are people finding your website for?
And is it relevant, and if it is great,
do more of the stuff that’s working, use those tools to report on what’s working and what’s not. And finally, invest in yourself, Train yourself, read blogs by stone, temple consulting, mas, RF, sem rush, search engine, land search engine, watch the Google Webmasters blog, read the industry content, because it will tell you what’s going on in the search industry. Again, all that stuff is free. Everything we’ve talked about from top to bottom cost zero dollars, if you don’t have the time for SEO, make the time, make the time, shorten your lunch, come into work half an hour earlier, stay Half an hour later, work from home, do whatever you have to do to get yourself skilled up on SEO and doing the basics. Even if the company itself doesn’t necessarily appreciate or value these things might be time to change companies if that’s the case. But even if that’s the case,
you’re investing in yourself, as a marketer, as a practitioner to build these skills so that wherever you work Next, you will have the ability to bring that to the table.
So again, this is the skeleton This is the table minimum of SEO stuff that you can do for a business with absolutely nothing. Now, like I said at the beginning, this will not rocket you to the top of the charts. For popular search terms, you have no chance of competing if you’re going to do the minimum of a winning and your search results for for popular short form terms, it’s not going to dramatically change your business overnight, millions people are not going to show up on your website tomorrow. If you’ve put up a new article, you may want to tell your C suite that as a as a precaution. But if you follow this rigorously, if you do your research, if you build a calendar, if you execute a plan, if you publish something new every week that helps your audience fulfill their needs, and what they’re interested in, you will gain benefit from SEO. And the more you do it, the longer you do it, the more you benefit in your first year, you’re not going to do much right, you’ll have only posted 50 weeks of content, 50 different pieces of content. But compound that over time over a year, two years, five years, 10 years. When you get to the 10 year mark, and you’ve got 500 pieces of content on your site that is relevant to what your audience wants, you’re going to get
significant search benefit. Obviously, the more stuff you make that’s relevant at a at a faster pace, the faster you’ll gain benefit from from SEO,
but if you do the minimum one new thing of anything a week you will be on the journey you’ll be starting out the journey and that’s how you approach it when you don’t have the budget. And when you don’t have the talent, you become the talent and you create the platform for which you build your search your eventual search dominance. Great question Julia. As always, please subscribe to the newsletter into the YouTube channel and we’ll talk to you soon. Take care
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