It is possible it get free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) audits, advice, and reviews of your website or online business. There are non-profit organizations that provide mentors skilled in SEO, free google interactive Search Engine Optimization webmaster central office hours, as well as other resources. Learn where disadvantaged minority or women businesses can get free help below. Find how to have your website audited or where to get free SEO help, and how to get feedback on you site, for free.
The free analysis can be even more beneficial for small businesses or start-ups, in particular women as well as minority businesses which often lack access to financial resources to pay for this sometimes costly service. That being said, any small business (or entrepreneur) can also get a free SEO review of their online business using these resources below.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Simply put, SEO is the way that search engines (Google or Bing, among others) rank the results of a user’s search. You can impact where you website/online business ranks to an extent by making sure that your content is highly related to a user’s search terms, getting links to your website, ensuring your site is structured property and is user friendly, and doing many other things. You can even focus SEO on certain search terms that may be more likely to be used by women or minorities (if that is your target customer).
Where the website for your small business or start up ranks can be very important as it can drive traffic/sales to your business “organically”, without needing to spend cash on marketing. That advantage of getting site visitors from google or a search engine can be critical to a minority or women owned business.
For instance, perhaps you want to have your online store that sells cosmetics to women (including those of color) rank higher on Google’s results page. Or maybe you want your website targeted towards Black or Latino shoppers, or the LGBTQ community. A higher ranking will generate more page views for your site/small business, which will then translate into more sales, as well as more opportunities for sponsorships, paid product reviews, or partnerships. Free organic website visitors and sales can be a difference for Black owned companies, Asian, Veteran, or women businesses. That is where SEO can help.
How minorities or women owned business can get a free Search Engine Optimization review of their website
Rather than pay an SEO company hundreds or thousands of dollars over time to get their advice (which has no guarantees of even working or having a return on your investment), there are some ways to get a free review of your website. While these resources can help any small business owner, there are a free resources that focus on minority companies, Black or Latino businesses, veterans, and women. They are listed below.
SCORE is a totally free and confidential organizations. The non-profit has been operating since 1964. They have over 10,000 mentors and operate from over 200 local offices as well as offer online support. Some of the mentors have a background in Search Engine optimization, online marketing, website development, and they have other internet or technology company backgrounds. All the advice they provide, whether for SEO or any business topics, is free. They also offer a number of tools around online sales, SEO, business development and more to women and minority businesses.
A women, veteran, or minority owned business can (1) request and (2) meet with a SCORE mentor that has an SEO background. Or try a a mentor with a social network background or e-commerce. The client can request feedback or an SEO review on their website or online store. SCORE also has free webinar about how to build a website or tweak a site to increases its rankings. They also give out tips for growing and marketing your business on Instagram. The non-profit also offers in person training and workshops that cover ecommerce and SEO, as well as many other resources. You can attend a free, interactive workshop in your area and ask the expert for advice on your online business or website.
In addition, the SCORE mentor can (on their own or partnering with other mentors) provide assistance with many other needs of the female or minority entrepreneur or small business owner. Get free advice on increasing sales, building a robust user friendly website, learn about google analytics as well as other tools, and more. Or get other free advice such as on how to finance your business (even sole-proprietorship), help creating a business plan, an in-depth analysis of your website or business, and so much more. All of the assistance from SCORE is free and confidential, including any SEO analysis. They also can often target grants at the disadvantaged, such as Black businesses, veterans, or female entrepreneur or small businesses.
Free website review and feedback can be provided by the google webmaster community. There are SEO and website development experts, even including the occasional google employees as well as other volunteers. These experts can give you free tips, feedback, analysis and suggestions on Search Engine Optimization about your specific website. They can refer you to various SEO tools that are free to use as well. The community is set up as a forum and you can ask questions, get feedback on your website (regardless of whether a blog, ecommerce store, etc.). There are experts from all races, religions, countries, languages and worldwide. Find free tips from Asian or Latino experts, Black SEO staff, women, and really anyone. Use the free google webmaster forum.
Free google webmaster help sessions also take place a couple times per month. This is another great way for a minority or women owned company to get free assistance with Search Engine optimization. They are free, online interactive sessions with Google SEO employees, typically someone named John Mueller who is the head of the google webmaster team.
He answers questions from businesses or the general community on ranking factors that google uses. They sessions often offer suggestions on “everything” SEO, whether creating content, links, search tools, and more. The sessions can give direct feedback or analysis of your website site, and the webmaster sessions cover much other territory as well. Any website review or analysis requests or questions are best submitted in advance of the session though. All of this review and information is free. There are people of all ethnicity, languages and really countries who participate in these sessions, whether Asians, Black or Hispanic, female owners and others. There are also historical videos for you to learn about other tips and suggestions that google has given. Sign up for google webmaster sessions, which is free.
Mercy Corps and Micromentor is another free mentoring service that operates in the US. The experts have diverse backgrounds, and the right mentor can provide free SEO tips, analysis, and website reviews. Mercy Corps is also a very diverse organization that has a Black woman CEO and focuses on assisting women, minorities, and disadvantaged businesses as well as sole-proprietors. They offer online sessions, a community forum, webinars, and many other small business services.
Everything from raising money to SEM or SEO, business plan development, eCommerce and much more is covered. Minorities and women owned businesses are a focus of this non-profit, humanitarian organization. It is possible to search and find volunteer experts with Search Engine optimization backgrounds as well. More on small business owner micromentors.
The PCV BusinessAdvising.Org also has hundreds of mentors available. The non-profit organization also focus on lower income communities, the disadvantaged such as Black or Latino or Asian owned businesses, immigrants, and others. Mentors come from various backgrounds, including some with tech as well as SEO experience or backgrounds. Those experts can review your website, give tips on how to increase rankings or provide feedback, audit your website structure, and more. Learn about what SEO is, get them to analyze your website, and they can provide other support. Learn about business advice from PCV.
Free SEO advice, tips, and suggestions can be obtained from Meetup groups as well. Attendees can network and meet those in the SEO or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) industry, share tips, attend training and more. All of this information and discussion is free as well. The events are held and organized locally. While most events have people of all races, genders, and backgrounds, there are meetups for minorities and women or LGBTQ community among others. They are often very interactive in which people, including experts, share ideas and best practices. Find some ideas on free SEO meetup groups.
Take advantage of free SEO analysis for small businesses or entrepreneurs
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), website development, Search Engine Optimization (SEM) really everything have to do with an online presence involves many different aspects. While there is no “magic” way to increase your Google, Yahoo or Bing rankings, it is often possible to make some improvements. It is also possible for minority, veteran, and women owned business or startups to get free advice and reviews of your website. Improving your search rankings can lead to more organic visitors to your website, which can lead to higher visibility, revenue, and increase your chance of success.
By Jon McNamara