What are the benefits of an SEO service?
As a marketing agency with a specialty in SEO, we get asked the question often about the benefits of working with an SEO agency like us as opposed to other options like DIY or cheap SEO services. We love this question simply because it gives us an opportunity to educate someone on the realities of this industry and truly helps both parties to decide if hiring an SEO service is the right fit for them at the time.
While there would be no shortage of opinions on the subject, hiring an agency to help with search engine optimization can help in a variety of ways.
PROS OF USING AN SEO SERVICE
- Expert SEO Strategy in Place
- An understanding of real SEO KPIs (key performance indicators)
- Up to date on search engine results pages and algorithms
- Help to understand trends in organic traffic as it relates to your long term marketing strategy
- Help to ensure quality traffic
- Ensure you reach your target audiences via SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
- Help to measure website traffic and report findings.
- Often can help supplement your traditional marketing strategy
- Help with local search
- Help with website speed and conversion rate optimization
- Help with content marketing strategy
CONS OF USING AN SEO SERVICE
- Much like investment markets SEO results can be unpredictable at times. Marketing strategy diversity is key!
- Another line item for marketing strategy on the P&L
- This type of marketing is not for every business and some business niches can be VERY competitive and in turn, may require larger than anticipated marketing budgets.
Of course, we do this every day, but the PROs of using a true SEO expert far outweigh cheap or DIY options if you want to make search marketing a viable part of your marketing funnel. The reality of this type of marketing is that it takes a fluid plan and a consistent focus on continued education and testing to have any chance at keeping up with it. It moves FAST and SEO experts have to do the same to keep up. This is precisely why cheap SEO options and DIY options are often not great solutions. SEO experts like us work more than full-time for years on end to gain a full understanding of what needs to be done to garner results. This is what it takes to get real SEO results and we are here for it!
What exactly is Search engine optimization?
To make a rather complicated topic as simple as possible SEO or search engine optimization is a set of tasks (a marketing strategy), that helps award your website and other online assets more search visibility to audiences that make sense for your specific need. Generally, the idea is to start with keyword research to identify what your target market is searching for, and then using that SEO data, we then go to work putting together a strategy that will best help you gain search visibility for those target audiences. We could write for pages and pages on this, but this is at least the quick and dirty of it.
How do Search Engines Actually work?
Now, this is a REALLY complicated question, but the general idea is that search engines like Google use web crawlers to effectively scan billions of web pages and then store that information in an index that it can later pull from when someone searches for specific types of things. Most SEO professionals are consistently working to figure out exactly how Google chooses what information it will and won't pull from this index of information. Think of it like the old-school card catalog in your library (if you are old enough to remember). Search engines use an index like a card catalog to determine what a webpage is about and then store it away for later use with a searcher who has a query related to that topic. Now how it decides what card to pull out of this fictional catalog is exactly what SEO experts are doing every day, through testing and continued education on the topic shared by industry experts across the globe.
How does an agency create an SEO Strategy?
A true SEO strategy is a custom solution for a business or organization's specific needs to gain market share or reach a particular target audience. The reality of SEO is that much of it is reverse engineering what already exists to try and get search engines to “love” your content. How is this done? An SEO specialist will look first at the types of things that you want to or should rank for. Once that is determined, we go to work by looking at what webpages are ranking for those search terms now and what concepts we need to apply to our own webpage to gain that same search visibility.
An SEO strategy will contain two major areas of focus
On PAGE SEO strategy:
In simple terms, this is the stuff you can easily control, which are items within your website that can dictate whether or not Google chooses your webpage for a specific search query. This is a long list but includes items like written content, images, website code, website speed, and a multitude of other SEO-related website variables to review.
Off Page SEO Strategy
The second area of focus will be off-page SEO, which is all the action that takes place outside of your website that can impact your search visibility. These are mostly links pointed from other websites to your website. Search engines like this because it makes your website look like more of an authority on the topic by other websites linking to yours for more information.
Is it worth it to use an SEO service?
Honestly, it depends. We have clients for which we have been adding value for many years, but there are certainly times when this type of marketing is not the best fit for a specific business. If it is indeed a good fit and the expectations are in the right place, it can be one of the most powerful types of marketing that exists, but again it's not 100% of businesses would benefit.