You can rank your website with affordable search engine optimisations (SEO), but it will be hard.
Unlike before, when big search engines were new, ranking a post was easier. You could get away by writing content, peppering them with keywords, and spamming forums or other sites with your site’s link.
Why Ranking a Site Nowadays Is Difficult Without Spending Money
Search engines have evolved and will keep on growing. They have become more intelligent and human-like in assessing which websites to rank on that coveted first page of the search results.
Search engines now have around 200 ranking factors, like their secret criteria for ranking websites. To rank up, you should do more than write blogs. They now penalize keyword stuffing and link spamming.
Besides the search engines, there are currently around 50 billion websites indexed on Google. You’ll compete with them if you create a site without an SEO strategy.
Many of these websites invest in tools and hire professionals for their SEO because they are serious about their SEO. Thus, taking their strategy to the next level. Their chance of ranking up the search engine results page (SERP) is better than those who choose not to invest in it.
Is It Still Possible to Rank the SERP Even Without Spending Money?
Looking at the bright side, Google doesn’t care about your tools or who you hire when climbing up the SERP. What they mainly care about is user satisfaction. If your page satisfies the user’s intent and provides visitors with an excellent experience, the search engine will reward you.
You don’t need tools to follow this principle.
What makes it difficult is the manual optimisations you must do if you don’t have any tools, and time will be your enemy.
Expensive tools, such as SEMrush and Ahrefs, can quickly obtain data. At the same time, it will take you several hours to manually research the right keywords, spy on your competitors’ keywords and strategies, identify the spammy links on your site, and do other SEO tasks. But tools can obtain this data for you in minutes, all at the same time.
SEO tools can also provide you with data you cannot quickly get by manually doing the optimisation. One example is identifying which websites are linking back to you. Some free SEO tools can help, but the data is incomplete unless you pay.
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Affordable Search Engine Optimisations You Can Do to Increase Your Chance of Ranking the Search Engines.
Take advantage of the free tools.
Google Console and Google Analytics are the best examples. These tools are the essential must-haves, whether you spend thousands or nothing for SEO.
Examples of tools with free handy features are:
- Keyword Hero
- Ahref’s Free SEO tools
- SEMrush’s free SEO tools
- Moz’s free SEO tools
- Check My Links
- Redirect Path
- Answer the Public
- Ryte’s free robot.txt generator
- XML-Sitemaps’s free online generator.
Keyword Hero is a tool you want to use to know the keywords people use to land on your website. Although Analytics and Console provide helpful info, Keyword Hero claims it gives complete data on where these two Google products lack.
Ahref’s Free SEO Tools
Ahref, SEMrush, and Moz are among the most expensive and popular SEO tools. Thankfully, they also have free tools available for starters.
Ahref offers the following free features:
- Keyword Generator
- Keyword Difficulty Checker
- YouTube Keyword Tool
- Amazon Keyword Tool
- Bing Keyword Tool
- SERP Checker
- Keyword Rank Checker
- Backlink Checker
- Broken Link Checker
- Website Authority Checker
SEMrush Free SEO Tools
- Keyword Research
- Competitor Analysis
- Keyword Ranking Tracking
- Technical Site Audit
- Local Listing Audit
- Social Accounts Management
- SEO Content Template
- SEO Writing Assistant
- On-Page SEO Checker
Moz Free SEO Tools
- Competitive Research
- Link Explorer
- Keyword Explorer
- Domain Analysis
Check My Links
Check My Links is a Google extension that allows you to identify the links of your pages. It can identify broken links and check the quality and type of links on your pages.
Redirect Path is another Chrome extension tool that flags 500, 404, 302, and 301 status codes and redirects. It also displays HTTP Headers and server IP addresses.
Answer the Public
Answer the Public lets you know people’s phrases and questions about your keyword. It provides insight that helps you plan your content and provide better customer service.
Ryte’s free robot.txt generator
Robot.txt plays a crucial role in indexing the pages of your site. It tells the search engine crawlers what or what not to crawl on your website.
Ryte provides users with a free tool to generate their site’s robot.txt.
XML-Sitemaps’s free online generator.
A sitemap is a file that contains information about your site’s pages, URLs, and content. It helps search engine crawlers communicate the relationship of the pages on your site and find the most valuable URLs.
Take advantage of the free trials.
Most premium SEO tools online are willing to offer their full features from a 7 to a 30-day trial. Some may provide more time if you buy a subscription from them.
Use the search engine itself.
You can do a lot of optimisation tasks by using only the search engine’s search bar. You can:
- Search for long-tail keywords
- Learn what people commonly asked
- Learn the intent behind keywords
Search for long-tail keywords
By looking at Google’s Autocomplete feature, you can find excellent long-tail keywords you can use on your website. If you don’t like the suggestions, you can use the alphabet method to find the best ones.
For example, your primary keyword is “search engine optimization.” When you type that on the search bar, you’ll find suggestions below.
If you can’t use any of these suggestions, go through the alphabet.
You’ll need to use your browser’s incognito mode to make the most of this strategy. Your previous history, location, and data can interfere with Google’s Autocomplete suggestions. You may also need to invest in a reliable VPN if you’re in a different place.
You can also find more keywords by scrolling to the bottom and looking at the related searches:
Learn what people commonly asked
Knowing what most people ask will give you an idea of what content you should create next. It also gives you an idea about your customers’ possible questions about your product or services. Use these questions to structure your website for a better user experience or create content that solves your customer’s problems.
Learn the intent behind keywords
If you type in the keywords on the search bar, the type of content that appears on the first page of the SERP will give you an idea of the intent behind the keywords.
Improve your website’s loading speed
Recently, Google has emphasized the importance of a site’s loading speed, especially on mobile devices. You can improve your website’s speed in many ways and you don’t need to spend money to do them. It includes the following:
- Compress and optimize your videos and images
- Remove the plugins that you don’t use
- Don’t use a lot of redirects
- Cache your web pages
Apply on-page SEO
You don’t need to spend money to optimize the pages on your site, although there are free and paid tools you can use to guide you. Here’s how you can do on-page optimisation:
- Create engaging content
- Organize the hierarchy of content by using headers.
- Use alt-tags on images
- Build links within your site and do it properly
- Use the right keywords, but avoid spamming them
- Use title tags and meta descriptions
Why it’s advisable to invest in SEO
Although it’s possible to make affordable search engine optimisations, it will take most of your time.
You have a business to run, and SEO is just a tiny part of it, so why would you allow it to take most of your time? You can invest in the right tools, but still, even with these tools, applying the optimisations themselves takes time and effort.
Even if you’ve found thousands of good keywords in one go, you still have to plan how to use them on your site. You will need to create content and pages. Not to mention the other SEO tasks you must do.
Therefore, the best investment you can make for your site’s SEO is to hire a reliable agency. An agency already has the tools and expertise to optimize your site. All you have to do is sit, relax and find your website ranking on the first page after several months.