A lot of you have been asking me “ How do I do SEO without having any budget “. I know there’s a lot of expensive tools out there and a lot of people who are getting started doing SEO can’t really afford an $89 subscription to something like Ahrefs or maybe buying ScreamingFrog for $200 for the pro license.
So there are all these different tools you can buy online and today I’m going to show you how I was able to start out doing SEO for free and how you can do SEO without any tools.
I’m going to explain to you why you don’t necessarily have to use tools in order to be successful in doing SEO. And why tools can be a helpful thing for you and having a budget for SEO can be helpful but not completely necessary in order to do well.
A lot of the sites that I started out with ranking I did all by myself without any money. I wrote all the content myself, I did all the design myself and I ranked it without any budget.
Note: click on any of the pictures below to jump to a video tutorial for each section.
Here’s What We Cover in This Guide
- Ultimate List for SEO
- Local SEO Client Program
- Figuring Out Your Goals
- Figuring Out Your SEO Goals
- 2 Ways to Gauge the Keyword Difficulty
- The Indication that a Local Search is easy to Rank For
- The Point of Optimizing
- SEO Success
- Value Ladder Principle
- Building Relationships
Ultimate List for SEO
Before we get started I do want to share with you that I created this Ultimate free SEO resource and it’s something that I’m spending a lot of time on.
This free resource here you can as you can see we got a bunch of things in here. We got SEO Template Themes, We got a tab for the best SEO tools, different books you can read on SEO, different SEO videos that I recommend, different ways to get SEO clients with tutorials, and a bunch of YouTubers to follow. So I’m trying to create this list right now for it to become a sort of ultimate list for SEO.
So if you want to be able to get this I actually have it on my website now and you can go to this link and you can go ahead and download it for free.
Normally I would try to charge for something like this but I’m trying to give out as much value as possible so you guys can be able to do this stuff without needing to pay a lot of money.
And if you do end up having more money in the future and you want to take your SEO game into the next level I really do recommend you check out the SEO Pro Bundle which is everything that I really made course wise for about $697 right now for this limited time.
Local SEO Client Program
One of the other things I wanted to tell you guys is that we do have a new Local SEO Program that is closing in 6 days. Basically, this is like an SEO University so what we’re doing is we’re actually going to do live lessons for you guys with homework so you can actually watch this course on how I actually generate 2-3 thousand dollars a month from SEO clients I generate 2-3 SEO clients a month with this method.
I’m going to show you how I generate leads, how I sell audits, how I implement the SEO gameplan, how I rank for my keywords, how I sell my packages over ongoing retainers.
I’m going to show you what I’m actually selling to clients in real-time and what it looks like to be on the phone call with them, invoicing, figuring out the audit layout, all the stuff that you’re going to learn in order to be really skilled in SEO and local SEO specifically.
I’m going to do a live class training where you guys can actually go in and be able to watch all the stuff and be able to ask me questions in real-time. And it’s almost going to be a school environment where you’re going to be able to take what I’m teaching you.
If you already have the SEO Pro Bundle you can always go to “Buy Course” and select the $147, this price a is for anybody who already has the bundle and if you don’t have the bundle you can get it for $297 just this alone if you’re not interested in the full package.
Figuring Out Your Goals
With everything that I do here, I always start out with my notepad or if you can actually have a whiteboard in the background or somewhere that’s close to your work station so you can look at it all day.
I have actually a whiteboard on my office and I look at it every day and put what I have to accomplish. The first thing that you want to do is you want to figure out how you can draw and something that you could write your ideas out since it actually feels better too write your ideas out to a whiteboard than to type in on your notepad.
What I always do is put out my monthly goals and I start out with how much money I want to make every month.
Now what you can do is you want to figure out your goals and I know this isn’t really SEO related but I do want to talk about the business side of it. Because if you don’t have the vision on how much money you want to make, SEO isn’t really going to help you a lot so you want to figure out what is your actual end goal is besides just ranking and you want to figure out how is that ranking can actually help you.
What I do is that if I want to make 25k I want to think about what I have to do to get to that point and I make this reasonable and I try to stretch this a little bit so if I only making like 1k a month then my goal would probably to make 2k because the idea is you want to take what you are doing that’s making you money and you want to add more time into that and tweak or adjust it.
One of the big things you want to learn about when starting out doing SEO, doing marketing or doing whatever you’re doing online is you want to figure out what other people are doing well and try to use that as an outline for what something that you can do but in your own unique way.
Figuring Out SEO Goals
If you don’t have any rankings or if you’re brand-new and not making any money first thing you want to do is you want to build a case study, no matter what.
If you could do anything right and you don’t have any money you want to get a website up that you can rank locally because it’s usually easier to rank for because of lower keyword difficulty and use it as a way to get into lead generation for whatever is the industry that you are targeting.
Let’s say you want to have iPhone repair clients or acupuncturists as your client so basically you don’t want random clients and you want to have clients that you already know their niche or industry and you want to know how their marketing works and how they make money because then you’re going to be able to scale what you’re doing faster.
The less you know about a certain niche or the industry the hardest it is to scale whatever that thing is because you know less about it.
2 Ways to Gauge the Keyword Difficulty
What I do is I do a search so if you don’t have money don’t use this method because what I’ll do is I’ll go to Ahrefs and I’ll actually type in the keywords that I’m going to rank for locally.
So if you don’t have any money you can actually go to Google Keyword Planner, now you’re not actually going to see the Keywords difficulty so I might have to show you how I can gauge this. So you need to sign in to whatever your google account is once you’re signed in you need to go to tools and go to Keyword Planner and type in whatever the keyword you want to rank.
This is the first way to gauge it unfortunately when it says low competition on keyword planner that just means people competing on AdWords so it’s not really a great way to gauge it but it’s a kind of a good way to gauge it might not as accurate as Keyword difficulty but it is somewhat accurate.
The better way to do it is called “eyeballing” and this is what you’re going to do with a lot of your SEO and with your rankings.
This actually works really well I still do eyeballing even with these tools because I want to see that the tool isn’t lying to me. The tool is just kind of way for you to kind of get in a faster and more accurate approach when you’re scaling meaning that when you’re going bulk tasks like finding a huge list of keywords it’s supposed to give you a better idea by looking at a bulk list however if you’re only looking at 5 – 10 keywords then it’s not always the best thing.
Tools are really meant to streamline on what you’re doing, they’re meant to help you scale, they meant to help you automate, but they’re not meant to help you rank they might help you rank in a certain extent but what I’m saying is that the real way to rank is to be able to understand what people are actually searching for, look at that result and then be able to go after that based on what you’re actually seeing.
So if we go to Google we’re going to do a ” ctrl + shift + N ”and see an unbiased search result as long as you’re in Google Chrome, so I’ll type in iPhone repair Sta barbara first thing that we’re going to see is that keyword is completely taken over the maps you’ll see nobody else is ranking for that keyword because the way I set up this website is to completely dominate the search results by branding the keyword as the actual business name and that’s how you can actually take over like that.
For a long time, we had a map of three people with ads showing up in search results but now because of so much authority to this business because it’s doing so well. This is actually a very hard thing to rank for because it’s dominating the search results so competition-wise it’s actually harder because we’re eyeballing.
This is another thing that you need to know about whether it’s Ahrefs whether it’s Google Keywords Planner whatever you’re using just because it says low difficulty doesn’t mean that it is true it might mean that nobody is competing for it because it’s already completely dominated by whoever is SEO-ing for it.
The Indication that a Local Search is easy to Rank For
One indication that a local search can be easy to rank for is if you see yelp or other aggregate sites ranking really high. Aggregate meaning where they have a bunch of these combined listings listed on their website like Yelp or Thumbtack or whatever these different websites are.
If you want to see what these different people are doing what you can do is type in something called “The Exact Match Keyword”. So if you look at the image it’s 14 times this exact match is showing up on search result. And it looks like people are SEO-ing for it also because you’ll see the main keywords are pulled to the left and there’s some sort of call to action pulled to the right and you’ll see a lot of people are following this outline.
If you’re trying to rank for something very general let’s say you’re trying to rank for the keyword “Cats” you can assume that that keyword is going to be competitive because a lot of people are looking to rank for that.
Now if you’re going for something local like let’s say “iPhone repair Sta Barbara” and based on your google keyword planner search result there’s a hundred to a thousand monthly search rate chances there’s not a tome of people competing for it.
This way you can kind of gauge that your competition is not insane compare to something that would be more general.
The Point of Optimizing
The whole point of optimizing something is to find what’s already working out working well and make it better or that’s already working not so well and make it better but either way, what you’re trying to make what you’re seeing show up better than what is already out there.
You want to make it more relevant to the user, you want to make it more authoritative to the user and to the platform that you’re on so all these things are kind of hard to fake.
So if you’re using what google actually tells you and what I’m actually telling which is creating value and not worrying about how many links you have or how many keywords do you have ranking all these things are ways to measure big exports of content that you can scale.
If you have no rankings, you have no clients, no income, you can’t afford tools and you have no strategy whatsoever on what you’re going to do to generate leads or be able to market to them or be able to sell them packages because you don’t know your pricing.
All these things are very important to think about and that’s why my first tip to you early on was not thinking necessarily thinking about just the SEO but it was actually thinking about what is your actual goal.
So you want to think about who you want to work with, why you want to work with them, do you know a lot in that industry, how you can scale that, who you are going to outsource, what am I going to do in order to maintain these contracts. All these things once you think about these and start to figure out what are the things that I can give to my audience as a value, what are the ways that I can build authority with these sites that’s when you start winning.
Every single SEO success that I have had has not been related to even me finding the perfect keyword what has happened is I will actually go and find what people are interested in.
One thing that you guys would probably see within my Facebook group with some other places that I do my marketing you’ll see that I do a lot of polls meaning that questionnaires on my group. I’ll actually ask things like “What’s the best SEO website you have ever seen”, “what is your favorite SEO course” I ask all these questions all the time not because I’m trying to engage some groups you’ll see they are just trying to create engagement so they can get more people into their groups so they can sell stuff.
The reason why I’m doing this is I’m trying to get as much information about my audience as possible because the people in marketing too are people who are trying to learn SEO that is why I sell programs, that is why I sell consultancy packages, and because I’m spending my time here trying to market the SEOs my biggest goal is to understand they want what they want.
Value Ladder Principle
A lot of people already know about this since I talk about it all the time. But ideally what you want to have is you want to have about 4 different steps and what these are is they’re 4 levels of value. Basically the higher the value meaning the higher the money that people have to pay the more resourceful it is the better the deal is. so if someone is paying more money the better is the results.
Whether it’s Web design, whether it’s SEO, whether you’re selling clothing online doesn’t matter what you’re selling you want to figure out the thing that you can bring people in with and what is the thing that you can capture them with .
A Lot of people who are watching these videos, a lot of people are getting my checklist, a lot of people who are talking to me all of them started out most likely with some sort of free type of information, some type of free checklist.
What I’m trying to say here is that if you want to sell to people, let’s say you want to make a bunch of money let’s say you want to start selling $2,000 to $3,000 SEO packages like I sell them then what you want to do is you want to figure out why these people be interested in a $2,000 to $3,000 SEO package.
And the first thing to do is to figure out what they want for free, what is the thing that’s going to blow them away for free because people feel embedded in you when you give them things for free.
When you think about that from a marketing standpoint the more value you can give upfront the more you get back and it’s usually 10 fold you usually get way more back then you actually end up giving.
The reason why I spend so much time trying to give out free stuff all the time is that I’m getting it back a lot more.
How I turn this into rankings though is because when you have things that are really valuable that are free you spend most of your time front-loading the free things, for instance, this free SEO audit template this ended ranking very well because all the people who actually wanted it they type the keywords in, they leave reviews on it, they leave comments they’re linking to it and that’s how I get a ton of authority for certain things like the checklist through SEO audits.
Whatever I’m trying to do and get more traffic to my site which makes it a lot easier to end up selling and bring more rankings in, keep building an audience, and then that’s when you start to get a snowball.
One other thing that you need to think about is people are not going to buy from you unless you told them to.
All of these building relationships you want to figure out SEO is a big thing that has something to with content and links and all these things but what it really has to do is it has to do building relationships.
The more relationships online you have the more people respect you and the more people want to talk to you and you want to associate themselves with you the more authority you get which is basically links or social signals or all the things that matter about SEO.
So all the things that used to be fake back in the day that were very easy to fake like links, reviews, and all these things are now getting harder to do because you want to have real consistent value.
What I mean for this is Google just doesn’t care about you getting a hundred reviews or hundred links. Google cares about you getting those consistently so consistent signals are way better than one-time signals that you can obviously fake.
Now if you really want consistent signals the way you do that is to build your audience whether it’s through MailChimp, whether it’s through ManyChat, whatever it is.
obviously I don’t really know a lot of free ways to build a list unless you’re just getting somebody’s email directly through a form and then just feeding it into Gmail blaster so you might spend a little bit of money on generating on MailChimp or ManyChat.
All of your efforts starting out for free should be around this whole deal that I’m talking about like increasing your authority, building relationships, building the things that you are giving away for free, all of these things are easy to do if you spend some time thinking about them like thinking about what is already out there that is awesome but what is something that could be even better.