10 Cost-Effective Ways to Boost Your Website's SEO

Search engine optimization is critical for any business that wants to be found online—and it doesn't have to be expensive to address it.

Newsweek Expert Forum members share industry insights.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.

In today's digital age, putting effort into search engine optimization (SEO) is necessary to help your company stand out online. Improving your SEO boosts the organic traffic on your website, rather than relying on paid searches. Your rankings increase and your website becomes more visible on search engines, making people more likely to visit your website.

Effective SEO requires a clear, well-thought-out strategy to reach your target audience, but it doesn't have to be an expensive endeavor. Below, 10 Newsweek Expert Forum members provided their top tips for ramping up a company's SEO without the big cost.

1. Test Your Page's Load Time

As Google's search algorithm has evolved over the years, page speed has progressively become a more important factor. Site load time should never be more than three seconds. Otherwise, you are missing out on opportunities. If a page takes longer than three seconds to load, over a quarter of users will click away and choose a different search result. - Anthem Blanchard, HeraSoft

2. Value Content Creation

Joining editorial boards and getting involved in Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to provide relevant information that links back to your site is the most important thing you can do in my opinion. Of course that mixed with continuing to put quality content on your own site is what makes a properly structured website successful. That is what we do on our consumer-facing site. - Justin Brock, Medicare Gurus

3. Optimize Keywords and Content

One way to begin working on your SEO for little or no cost is to start by building out your content. You can do this by writing two to four blogs a month with rich keywords and content and begin optimizing those for title tags and meta descriptions. SEO done properly is time-consuming and tedious and Google is continually updating the algorithm. This is SEO 101 to begin ramping up your organic presence. - Karolina Hobson, Radd Interactive

4. Have a 'Google My Business' Page

If you're looking for a quick win in SEO, your company should most definitely ensure it has an up-to-date Google My Business page. This is the panel that shows up to the right of the search engine results page when people search for your company using Google. It's free, easy to make and will ensure that your brand is properly represented when being searched for. - Chris Davis, Revcarto

5. Have an Internal Linking Strategy

Improving your current internal linking strategy often has no cost and can help send authority from your top pages to other pages you want to rank higher. This requires no extra money, just time to build out a strategy and implement the new links. If you're using WordPress, plug-ins like Link Whisper allow you to implement this faster. - Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint

6. Focus on High-Value Locations

Understanding the mechanics of PageRank and SEO is crucial to making informed decisions on where to apply efforts. Focusing on a smaller number of high-value locations can produce substantially better effects than spreading too thin on a large number of low-importance sources. - Noah Mitsuhashi, Portfolio Insider

7. Follow These Five Steps

The five easiest and free ways to improve company SEO are: 1. Create your own press releases frequently and avoid PR fees. 2. Contribute content to professional forums and blogs. 3. Get interviewed by podcasts and industry publications. 4. Start a company blog and mailing campaign. 5. Find top keywords related to your industry. Create problem-solving content around those words and submit to steps one to four above. - Vipp Jaswal, VM Inc

8. Rely on Google

Using internal linking strategies that tell Google which pages of your site are most important for different keywords is an easy, no-cost way to focus your SEO efforts. If you want to direct traffic for a particular product to a specific page of your site, simply search for all mentions of the product on your site and link them to your target page. That helps your visitors and guides Google, too. - Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

9. Earn Free Media Placements

Securing earned media placements is one of the best ways to improve SEO. Even if you can't afford a PR firm to help yet, you can do some media relations on your own. Help a Reporter Out (HARO), Qwoted and OnePitch are three sources that help connect journalists on deadline with relevant sources. If you monitor all three daily and respond to them promptly, you may just land some great media hits! - April Margulies, Trust Relations

10. Continue Producing Content

I have found blogging to be one of the easiest ways to ramp up a company's or an individual's SEO. Posting short articles once per week will not only establish you as a subject matter expert but it will also allow your site to appear more frequently when keywords are typed. It is important to use those keywords appropriately in your articles. - LaKesha Womack, Womack Consulting Group

The Newsweek Expert Forum is an invitation-only network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.
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