SEO for Startups on a budget: How to improve your rankings without breaking the bank

Can you afford to hire an SEO firm to help improve your startup’s search engine rankings? The short answer is probably not, especially in the early stages of your company’s life. But if you want to get more eyes on your business, you need to be doing everything you can to help the search engines know that you exist, starting with the basics. This guide will walk you through how to get higher rankings on Google and other major search engines without spending too much money or taking up too much of your valuable time!

Ralf van Veen
Ralf van Veen

When should startups invest in SEO?

Startups should invest in SEO when they're ready to start driving traffic to their website and want to improve their search results. However, it's important to note that SEO is an ongoing process, so you'll need to budget for it accordingly. There are a number of digital marketing agencies that offer affordable SEO packages for startups.

Alternatively, you can learn the basics of SEO and do it yourself. Whichever route you choose, make sure you have a solid marketing strategy in place before investing in SEO. A strong marketing strategy will ensure your return on investment (ROI) remains positive. The other important factor is keywords. Remember to use the keywords related to your business, as well as power words (common phrases or industry-specific jargon). To learn more about how to optimize your blog content for SEO, we highly recommend you to read the Ahref SEO writing guide.

Why should startups invest in SEO and when?

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website or blog in search engine results pages (SERPs). By optimizing your site for targeted keywords, you can improve your online visibility and attract more visitors to your site. And, by ranking higher in SERPs, you can also improve your website's click-through rate and organic traffic, as well as your search rankings.

You might have heard that search engines are getting smarter all the time and that they don't rank sites based on popularity anymore. While it's true that algorithms change, we still need to work hard to rank well. So now you know what SEO is all about, you might be thinking: why bother with SEO if Google doesn't reward popularity? The truth is that even though Google rewards fresh content over popular content, there are ways you can use popularity as an asset when developing your SEO strategy.

One way is through social media marketing – this allows brands to gain followers, who will then promote their products through word-of-mouth marketing techniques like sharing links or talking about them on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Another way is through link building, which is the process of getting other websites to link to your own. This is a key factor in SEO and can help boost your website's search engine rankings. One good resource for learning about link building and SEO is Bakklog's SEO terms for beginners which, as the title suggests, provides a comprehensive guide to SEO terms for beginners.

Quick note: we undestand that you might change domains being a start-up, but when you do so make sure you understand the SEO implications by reading our SEO website migration guide.

How to do SEO for startups

If you're a startup on a budget, there are plenty of ways to improve your SEO without spending a lot of money. Creating high-quality content, optimizing your website for mobile users, and using Google Analytics are all great ways to get started. And don't forget about the basics like link building and technical SEO. SEO for startups doesn't have to be complicated. By following these tips, you can help your startup rank higher in search engine results and attract more customers. There are a few easy steps you can follow to get you started today:

  1. Create content

  2. Optimize your site for mobile devices

  3. Use Google Analytics

  4. Perform technical SEO – a few simple fixes like URL structure and meta descriptions can have a big impact on your rankings.

  5. Create engaging content

  6. Build links

  7. Conduct keyword research

Some key takeaways are:

The quality of your content is one of the most important factors that influences ranking positions in SERPs. The words you use, how often you publish new posts, and how many links come from other sites will all contribute to whether or not people will want to share your articles with their friends or bookmark them for later reading.

Link building is essential for startups with limited budgets, as it's one of the cheapest forms of backlinks available today.

Keyword research helps ensure that when people search for products or services related to yours, they find what they're looking for – which leads them straight to your website!

On-Page Optimization

One of the most important pieces of advice for improving your SEO on a budget is to focus on on-page optimization. This means making sure that each of your blog posts is packed with relevant, keyword-rich content. In addition, paying attention to things like your title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags can also help improve your ranking. Finally, don't forget about things like social media and content marketing.

By promoting your content across multiple channels, you can reach a wider audience and further improve your SEO. Ultimately, by focusing on these three major areas of SEO (on-page optimization, off-page optimization, and content marketing), startups should be able to get their site ranked without breaking the bank. When doing your research on SEO companies, verify that they have case studies which ensure they can get the right results for your business.

Monitoring your progress

You can monitor your SEO progress by tracking your keywords and Google positions. This will help you see how your efforts are paying off and where you need to continue working. Plus, it can give you an idea of what changes you need to make in order to improve your rankings. Here's how to do it: keep track of the top keywords that people search for when they want to find your piece of content. These are called keywords or search terms.

  • Monitor these keywords in Google Analytics to get an idea of their monthly traffic (Google Search Console is another option).

  • Identify keyword trends and spikes by checking the graph data in Google Analytics or other analytical tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs.

  • Use this information as fuel for new content!

Can you outsource SEO?

Yes, you can outsource SEO to an SEO agency, and doing so can be a great way to improve your rankings without breaking the bank. However, it's important to choose an agency that you trust and that has a good track record so you know they can deliver the SEO services that match with your internal KPIs and goals. Additionally, make sure to set realistic expectations with your agency about what you can expect in terms of results. Finally, remember that SEO is an ongoing process, so even if you outsource it, you'll need to stay involved to some degree to ensure that your website continues to rank well. Do you want to connect with a team of experts and discuss the options of having an agency run SEO for you? Learn more about our SEO packages and discover that SEO cost doesn't have to be a limiting factor.

Want to learn more about SEO first? Read our Ultimate SEO Beginners Guide For 2023.