If you’re like most affiliate businesses out there, then you probably don’t have an unlimited budget for marketing, SEO, social media and other types of promotion. Actually, SEO may just be the most costly item on this list.

Anyway, don’t worry, there still are some things that you can do on a shoestring budget, especially if you’re willing to learn search engine optimization techniques instead of handing it over completely to someone else.

Start With a Good On-Site Analysis

If you want to find any success in SEO, you always have to start with a good analysis. It’s mainly because taking action without knowing what area of your SEO needs improvement won’t get you anything.

To perform such an analysis, you can either sign up to SEOmoz (paid) or get a free tool like Traffic Travis. They can both grade your site and list a number of improvements you can do to its structure and content.

Handle the Basics of On-Site SEO

Even though some people see SEO as this mysterious area only mastered by a very select few, the fact is that almost all of the basic principles are widely available if you’re just willing to pay attention to what’s going on in various SEO blogs.

For instance, doing proper on-site SEO is no longer a mystery at all and this is where we advise you to guide your attention first. Make sure to work on: proper keyword usage, good interlinking, good HTML heading usage (h1), and fine tuning the titles of your individual pages.

Having a good SEO plugin will surely be helpful here (like WordPress SEO).

Learn How to Use Free Tools

We’ve already mentioned Traffic Travis on this list – a free tool that can help you in many areas of your site’s SEO, but that’s not the only one around.

For instance, there’s also the Open Site Explorer by the guys from SEOmoz. The tool can provide you great insights on the links that your site is getting (their authority, anchor texts, exact URLs) and also on the links that your competitors are getting. That way, you can compare your efforts against theirs and find cool new places to get more links.

Go For .EDU Domains

As far as everyone knows, having links from .EDU domains is a big boost for your site’s SEO. The only problem, obviously, is to find a way to get them. A while ago, SEOmoz presented an interesting approach that can be done on a shoestring budget.

Start by searching for published research related to your niche. For instance, by using the phrase:

“your keyword” filetype:pdf site:edu

This will return all PDF files that are published on .EDU sites related to your area of interest. Then, create a blog post or better yet, a simple presentation or an infographic referencing this research. Next, reach out to the researcher and notify them about your work. In most cases, they will link to your content naturally, as a way to indicate that their research is being used by people on the outside (also a credibility boost for them).

That’s it for doing things on a shoestring budget. Do you have any ideas of your own on what else could be done?

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