Making Your Own Way

It’s always best to go with options in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that will return the most profit for the least investment. ROI, or Return On Investment, is a term which succinctly wraps up this concept, and is eminently applicable here. To that end, it’s possible to see some substantial returns on an investment made up chiefly of your own time.

Now, that said, if you’re going about “reinventing the wheel”, as the popular expression goes, you’re apt to waste more time than you need to trying to figure out which SEO tactics are most effective. You’ll certainly get where you need to eventually, but if you can work with a professional agency, it’s going to save you time.

Still, not everyone has that luxury. What you might do as you’re getting the ball rolling is use a few free tools to help you figure out where you stand and what actually works for you. Following are several totally free tools that can be a big help; especially for smaller businesses starting out.


Linkio is an SEO link-building facilitator that includes an anchor text generator and an anchor text categorizer for free; according to the site: “The anchor text suggestion tool gives you anchor text ideas for when you’re building a link to your site.”

You can save yourself a lot of trouble by using a service like this which helps you generate links in an effective way. Just remember that you’re likely not going to see results immediately, even if you use a professional SEO service. SEO takes a little bit of time, as it requires sustained visibility. Accordingly, continuous SEO output is recommendable. Here is a list of actionable SEO tips worth considering.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is free, and all you’ve got to do is plug-in your information to see some actionable numbers regarding your online SEO-presence. Certainly it is Google, and there are businesses who take issue with this fact; but if Google has something you can use, for a time, using it can be appropriate.

When you get large enough to conduct statistical analyses of operations on your own, then you can retain proprietary data without letting Google have it, and still see the success you seek. But at the beginning this may be a luxury of greater cost than your burgeoning operation’s ability to sustain; so it makes sense to exploit free resources like Google’s as you can initially.

Moz Local Listing Score

Certainly trends come and go online. One that is definitely considerable is Moz, which uses a number of factors to rank the veracity and professionalism which under gird a site. Much of their ranking has to do with online visibility in terms of SEO. That is to say: exceptionally professional sites may have a low ranking because they aren’t as established.

Go online and run a few sites through their free ranking program to get an idea what is professionally defined in terms of Moz. Keep in mind there are sometimes political variables which can increase or decrease ranking. Understanding Moz can help keep you from getting incidentally spiked in the rankings for one obscure reason or another.

The Most For The Least

You want to buy low and sell high. You want to invest little, and reap much. You’re trying to get a digital mustard tree out of a mustard seed of investment—and with the web, this is entirely possible. Figure out where you are, what you need, and where you’re headed. Once you’ve got your forward direction ironed out, you can better know which tools to use.

There are many free solutions out there, and certainly going the professional route may save you time, decreasing opportunity cost and expanding productivity. The right balance will ultimately be idiosyncratic to your business. That said, with the right tools, you’re more apt to get there in a timely manner.

Written by Ashley Lipman of Outreach Mama
Prepared and edited by Andrew Carroll, Journalism MA in DIT.

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