If you’re interested in investing in SEO (search engine optimization) for your business, but have questions about what you’re actually paying for, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive into how SEO professionals can help your business and the process of doing so.
SEO is a marathon not a sprint. It takes time and is an ongoing commitment/investment. There are many companies out there who promise the world when offering SEO services. These outlandish promises are unrealistic and something to be suspicious of. An honest SEO company will explain that it will absolutely pay off, but takes time and ongoing work.
You can not focus a week or month on SEO and then move on to another piece of your marketing campaign. SEO is ongoing and your strategy must evolve. Continuously monitoring your website traffic reports will also help you see where your efforts are paying off. An SEO company will have monitoring tools and expert employees to ensure that your website is turning into a lead generation tool.
The market, search engines, and Google algorithms are constantly changing which means you’ll need to work just as hard to maintain the rankings you achieve. Being aware of your competition goes hand in hand with this. Providing excellent customer experience on your website will also help your conversion rate and allow you to continue getting organic traffic to your site. There are numerous factors to look at and an SEO company can help keep up with these to ensure your business is getting the attention it deserves.
What Does an SEO Company Do?
SEO and search engine marketing can be a full time job and rather than attempting to successfully do it all in house, hiring a professional SEO company can free up resources so you’re able to focus on the leads and customers that your SEO efforts bring.
Choosing and hiring an SEO company is an investment that should not be taken lightly. When looking at what SEO company may be the best match for your business, it’s important to look at what they offer, the attention that will be paid to your site, their SEO guarantees, contract periods, deliverables, and whether their practices are considered white hat or black hat. Here are a few basics on what to expect from an SEO company.
Analyze Your Current Website and Make Suggestions
Factors missing on your site may be costing you. There are many SEO tactics that are essential to identifying and bettering your site. An SEO audit will make sure your efforts of reaching your target audience aren’t missing the mark or hurting your rankings. An SEO company will easily be able to look at your existing site to determine whether or not search engines such as Google or Bing, can easily read or crawl your site.
Technical Way to Make Your Site “Spider” Friendly
The SEO company you hire will first run their audit of your site to ensure your site structure is supporting your ability to get noticed and ranked. This will help you see potential gaps and areas for improvement. Some examples of things they’ll look for are:
- Meta data
- Permalink structure
- Unique (non-duplicated) content
- Breadcrumbs SEO
- Image tagging
- Page load speed
- How your page looks on various devices (i.e.: mobile-friendly SEO, voice search, etc.)
- Content layout
- Keywords and keyword optimization
Off and On Page SEO
SEO strategies include on-page and off-page optimization. A good SEO agency does both. Continuous activities in both areas are very important to help you achieve and maintain rankings. An SEO company will support you and suggest ways to boost both areas while maximizing content marketing efforts that will bring high quality backlinks, drive traffic, and boost authority.
The agency you decide to work with may recommend specific on page SEO content and well as ideas to optimize existing pages. Blogs, a new center, archives, etc. and other continuous updates to content can be instrumental in your marketing strategy. Your SEO company will also help you come up with keywords and topics that will boost your ratings and attract customers.
Content = Opportunity
Each time a new page is published to your site, search engines will crawl that page. Using their algorithm to measure specific technical elements, they’ll determine how to rank that page. It’s a good idea to optimize content regularly that’s useful to lead generation efforts and SEO efforts alike. Each page you publish should be well written in a way that is clear and will convert your visitors into leads or buyers. Not all SEO companies offer content writing, but many do. They can also help plan a content marketing strategy. Additional off-page SEO strategies to think about are press releases, directory listings, article marketing, video marketing, and more.
What to Consider When Hiring a Search Engine Optimization Agency
When looking into hiring an SEO company, there are several factors to take into consideration. One thing you may want to pass on though, is a guarantee or warranty. While these may instill confidence and comfort, they can be dangerous in the world of SEO. Specific rankings guarantees are often suspect. There are too many factors that are out of the company’s control to promise this. These guarantees may also mean the company is willing to use black hat tactics. You want to steer clear of these agencies.
What you SHOULD expect from your SEO agency is, easy-to-read, regularly delivered reports that make it clear that work is being done and progress is being made to your online presence and traffic levels. Aside from cost, you also want to look at:
- Longevity of the company
- Other services available such as web development, pay-per-click, social media marketing, etc.
Reading customer reviews and testimonials are always a good idea prior to deciding on an SEO agency as well and can help you make the best decision for your business.