5 Ways to Improve Your SEO for Free

It pays to appear at the top of Google’s search results. But how easy is this to do, and can you do it without breaking the bank?

For local businesses wanting to implement SEO on a budget, there are numerous search-engine optimisation (SEO) tactics you can employ to get your website to appear on Google’s front page. 

In this article, we examine five free ways to improve SEO.

5 Free Ways to Improve Your SEO

1. Get More Google Business Reviews

Google Business reviews are one of the major local ranking factors, so a good way to get your business up the rankings is to earn more of them.

First, make sure your potential reviewers know it’s easy to do. Utilise any form of communication you have with them – include a short URL for them to review you in emails, chats, social media posts or on receipts. If you have a business card, why not add a QR code linking to your Google Business Profile.

Customers appreciate businesses that care about their opinion. If they’ve left a review, reply to it –  this helps build trust with existing and future customers. It’s also a great way to show Google and potential customers you are a proactive and interactive business, which helps rankings and earns trust.

2. Build Backlinks Through Relevant, Local Directories

Another impactful way to boost your rankings is to establish links on other websites. These are known as backlinks. The number of backlinks leading to your website helps Google assess its authority. 

But it’s not only the quantity of links that matter; it is also their quality. It’s important that the backlinks come from sites that have a high authority and are relevant to your business.

Directories (so long as they are well-established and trustworthy) are one of the quickest and easiest ways to build backlinks and help potential customers find your business. Research which directories people in your region use or search for top local citations by industry.

By adding your business to directories that are a good match to your industry and region, you’ll quickly create a powerful citation profile that will improve your SEO.

3. Write Compelling Content Marketing

A website is ranked more favourably by Google if it has a wealth of useful content. Writing informative, high-quality content is therefore a good way to improve your SEO.

Content marketing can be blogs, videos or social media posts, and it gives you a ready supply of sharable material that can get your website and business noticed.

It might sound obvious, but make your content as compelling as you can. If you’re struggling for time, write something that interests you or something you want to learn more about – that way content production can serve more than one purpose and won’t seem too onerous.

And, of course, always include content that is locally relevant and related to your business.

4. Perform Regular Audits Through Google Search Console (GSC)

Want to know what Google thinks of your website and evaluate how well it is doing? Make sure you’re using Google Search Console (GSC). 

GSC shows you how often your site appears in Google Search, which search queries are working best and how often they get click-throughs, as well as average ranking positions. It also lets you troubleshoot technical problems and request the indexing of new content. 

Regularly auditing your site allows you to make quick adjustments and will ultimately help you improve how Google views it. 

5. Make Use of Free SEO Tools

Aside from Google Search Console, there are many other free tools that will help you understand the performance of your website.

Getting your keywords in order is vital for good SEO, and Google Keyword Planner is a must for knowing what people are searching for. Enter a keyword and Google Keyword Planner will give you all sorts of useful stats to guide your keyword strategy, including search volume, competition and related search terms.

Tools like Ubersuggest or Answer the Public offer similar services, providing more data on keywords and variants.

related keyword suggestions

One of the most helpful tools available is Ahrefs. More accurately, it is a suite of tools that lets you get under the bonnet of your site. Ahrefs enables you to audit your website for 100+ technical SEO issues, suggesting where you can fine-tune, as well as where you can improve your internal linking. It also lets you see your site’s keyword rankings and who’s linking to you. 

These tools also allow you to analyse the performance and SEO of your competitors, so it’s a great way to understand what you need to do to rise above the competition. 

While using these tools in full often requires a subscription, much of the functionality is offered for free, either on a function or volume-restricted basis.

Can I Improve My Google Ranking for Free? Final Thoughts

The tactics discussed above are all excellent ways to help you improve your SEO on a budget. While the strategies may take time to implement, you won’t have to splash the cash up front.

These methods are by no means the only ones you can employ, but they will provide you with a platform from which you can continue your SEO journey. From there, success will only be measured by your ongoing commitment to improving your site’s online visibility.

Advance Online is a full-service digital marketing agency based in Surrey, dedicated to helping local businesses improve their digital footprint. To that end, we’ve written a host of digital marketing blog posts, where you can find many more SEO tips for local businesses.

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