If you have limited resources but still want to grow your online business, bootstrapping your SEO strategy is an ideal option.

Instead of outsourcing your SEO work to experts, plan and implement an effective SEO strategy yourself. And there are no two ways that it won’t be an easy task. But it’s going to be incredibly rewarding.

But why should you take SEO seriously? Because your competitors are doing their best to outperform each other.

61% of marketers consider increasing SEO and growing their organic presence to be their top priority in inbound marketing. You should do the same.

This important guide will help you on your way to bootstrapping your SEO strategy.

1. Set up your website

To implement your SEO strategy, you need a website. You can either customize it with a PHP, .NET or Javascript framework or opt for a CMS like WordPress. It depends on your project.

If your online business depends entirely on the website, it is recommended that you make your website individually. However, if you want to use the site as a marketing platform or blog, a standard CMS can do the job.

WordPress CMS is not only the most popular CMS with a 40% market share, but it also offers a solid SEO foundation.

For starters, it focuses on the user experience, helps you create attractive permalinks, and even allows you to easily manage metadata. In addition, it is optimized for mobile devices and enables your campaign to be integrated into social media.

And if that’s not enough, you can use almost unlimited SEO plugins natively to boost your SEO efforts even further.

If you are a newbie yourself, you can also use a WordPress performance optimization service to speed up your WordPress site.

2. Focus on keyword research

Keyword research allows you to create content based on what people are looking for online.

Keyword research also helps you answer crucial questions such as:

  • How difficult will it be to rank for a particular keyword?
  • Who are your direct competitors?
  • How much traffic can you get for a particular keyword?
  • And how many conversions can you possibly get?

These answers will help you decide whether or not this keyword is worth searching for. Since you are likely to be on a budget, you don’t have to resort to expensive keyword research tools or outsource this task to begin with.

You can use the free tools out there. Even Google has some impressive keyword research tools, including the acclaimed Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest.

You can get most of the information you need to analyze and choose your keywords.

It’s also important to focus on long-tail keywords. Although they get less traffic overall, they have a higher conversion value because they are more specific. Typically, long-tail keywords also face less competition.

According to a Smart Insight statistic, long-tail keyword searches have a 3 to 5% higher click-through rate compared to generic searches.

3. Replicate and outshine high-ranking competitors

If you don’t have the budget to run an agency but want to implement great SEO strategies, then you can study what your competitors are doing and put them to shame.

Your top competitors are the ones who made it to position 1 for your targeted keywords. Do what they do but do better than them.

You can examine, among other things, the type of content they posted, the frequency of publication, the branding level of their content, the keywords used in the main heading, the content style.

That said, it is not ethical to directly copy your competitors and you will be penalized by Google for doing so. You can structure page titles and content similarly, and learn how to set up your content.

Competitive research will also help you identify:

  • What’s hot in your niche?
  • What works for top players in your industry?
  • What strategies do they use to grab and hold attention? And so on!

4. Get backlinks

If you look at the stats, all of the top positions on Google’s first search engine results pages have 3.8 times more backlinks compared to those below.

And the more backlinks your pages have, the more traffic they get.

In addition, an Ahrefs study of 920 million websites found that the number of referring domains increased with increasing traffic.

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If your content has backlinks from authoritative websites, it signals to Google that others trust your content and that it is worth putting your content on the top. Plus, you can do it for free.

Some great ways to get backlinks are guest blogging, PR campaigns, SEO outreach, customer links, and forums and comments.

Note that not all backlinks are valuable. Make sure you get backlinks from reliable, authoritative, popular, and high quality blogs.

Stay away from private blog networks, plagiarized content, poor quality guest posting, and foreign language websites.

Using tools like Ahrefs’ backlink checker, you can view the backlink profile for each site.

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You can view all the pages that link to your target in your report. You can also use organic traffic estimates to gain insight into the popularity of the linked webpage and site. There is a free version of Ahrefs’ backlink checker.

5. Create quality content

Just like regular readers, Google robots are also very prone to high-quality content.

Of course, when you post quality, unique, and engaging content on your website, you will get Google traffic. In fact, quality content and link building are the most important indicators for Google to rank your website for search.

If you have a high bounce rate and a low average session time, viewers will not be impressed with your content. It signals to Google that the content quality is low and therefore places this page lower in search results.

You cannot outsmart Google by posting plagiarized, spun, or substandard content. Instead, you can create long-form, high-quality content that contains valuable information for readers.

Google ranks such articles as providing the ultimate answer to a search query. It creates a good user experience and users don’t have to visit another page to answer their questions.

It’s also easier to build a URL rank for a single page than it is for many others. If you say long-form content, it could be anything between 2000 and 10000 words. This type of article will rank for many long-tail organic keywords and get numerous organic visits per month.

According to statistics, the average content length placed at the top by Google is 2,416 words. Also, high quality content in long forms will get a lot of backlinks.

6. Use your social media accounts.

While social media is not an SEO ranking factor, it does correlate with the factors that influence SEO rankings. Social media can affect search engine optimization in several directions, including:

  • widespread content distribution
  • Longevity of your posts
  • increased online visibility and organic traffic
  • improved brand recognition
  • and increased local search engine optimization

These signals reinforce the elements that Google considers when ranking your website.

So make sure you regularly share helpful content across all of your relevant social media channels. It is very likely that your audience will continue to share the posts. It increases the chances of getting links to the posts.

Wrap up

Bootstrapping your SEO strategy isn’t easy. However, investing time and making conscious efforts can definitely produce positive results. Follow the strategies in this guide to start your SEO strategy.

Set up a website, do your own keyword research using free tools, replicate and dwarf your high-ranking competitors, and get backlinks from authoritative blogs. Most importantly, you create high quality content that is relevant to your target audience.