Get the hands you need to get your work done even when your situation or your budget leaves your toolboxes a bit bare.
Interns can be a Search Marketing team's saving grace. I regularly have a nice influx of (sometimes unpaid) interns coming through our creative lounge and these young, hungry whippersnappers can help you with loads of gruntum — I mean foundational SEO work that otherwise would take up you or your analyst's time.
Contact local universities, networking groups and or advertising organizations that have junior leagues such as young professionals, urban league etc. and ask about their intern programs. Now the downside to interns is they are super green and most likely will have a very slight understanding of Search Marketing, however, the small investment of your time for a few weeks will pay big dividends not only for your current workloads but you will have a nice farm system in place when you inevitably have turn over within your team. Plus if they are free you can get as many as you want.
There are a multitude of free tools online that can assist you and your team with your Search Marketing duties. Once you know where to find them and how to maximize their potential you won't even want to pay for certain tools anymore. Some of my favorite free tools are
- AdWords Keyword Tool for Keyword Research
While Keywords are losing their luster as of late global Search strategies still start with competitive landscapes and keyword research. The Google AdWords Tool is a free research tool that can provide you with a launching point. Don't get hung up on the numbers as the AdWords tool pulls its data from PPC and is not necessarily an exact barometer of Organic opportunities.
Butr what you can derive from this free tool is that certain terms are searched more or less compared to others and this knowledge can give your team a great foundation to build upon.
Ubersuggest is a great tool that makes good use of Google Suggest and other suggest services. Use this baby for discovering items such as potential keyword ideas, blog post topics & more. One of our clients demands 20 blog topic ideas per month for each of their two locations and Ubersuggest makes our job a lot easier every time. You will Uber love this tool.
The standard 'Lite' version of the Screaming Frog is completely free, and is limited to crawling a maximum of 500 URL's but for the most part this bad boy will deliver enough information to be dangerous. I will say that the paid version of this is a one time fee and really is worth its weight in Gold.
Shared Count is a great little tool to quickly give you a snapshot of a client's Social life at that moment. It is light weight and you can compare multiple URLs at a glance.
The Image Analyzer is a great tool to analyze a sites image health at a glance. You can see information such as an image's width, height and alt tag attributes
Yes Google Docs! (Well, now Google Drive but still…) GD can be used to add many efficiencies within your search team.
We use this awesome tool to track clients and budgets as well as editorial calendars for content marketing programs, a "top ten" Google scraper and much more.
Employing folks with disabilities to help with some of your programs such as link building is a great way to give back and get some quality work done at the same time.
Quality link building is a manual slow process and takes hands to properly execute on a large scale. I pay each individual per links acquired and I always get great work from people who genuinely appreciate the opportunity and I have to say it's very rewarding to know your giving someone a shot that otherwise might not get one as well as keeping your workload flowing nicely.
The Small Business Administration is a great place to get started if you are interested in going this route or contact me anytime and I can give you some places to start.
4.Games, Contests & Sweepstakes
Managing social profiles and spreading the word about a brand is a daunting task even for bigger search teams but it's a nightmare for smaller teams with little to no budgets. So how then can you get the community talking about your client and get the social sites a buzz?
Contests, games and sweepstakes are a great place to start and by having the entries into these little marketing engines be shares, tweets etc. you get the community to do the sharing for you.
So content is an area where most businesses struggle to get going and even most agencies struggle to provide consistent content to their clients and even their own websites. So how can you get good quality content for free? First, this one is assuming you are active in the search community and if you're not then start! Get out to the blogs, forums, chat rooms etc. and start commenting, talking and getting your name out there. Then start asking other members of the community if they would be interested in writing for your blog once in a while.
Most Search folks love writing blogs and love hearing their own voices, I'm guilty as charged. This will give you some good quality content to at least keep your blog current.
If you need content for your clients sites, start researching influencers or thought leaders in their niche who aren't competitors are start reaching out and inviting them to write articles. If that process doesn't sit well with you then there is always text broker but of course that's a lot of babysitting.