SEO - Search Engine Optimization
What are SEO Services? SEO services are search engine optimization services intended to increase visibility and ultimately organic search traffic to websites. These are often provided by agencies or freelancers who are experts in all aspects of SEO.
WHY IS SEO IMPORTANT?
Nearly 93% of web traffic occurs on search engines. If you want your website to be found, you need to be indexed on major search engines and ranked highly. Some other facts about Google and search engines in general:
75% of searchers won’t click past the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs)
Google processes over 5.8B searches/day.
Google processes over 2T searches/year.
The avg. click-rate of position 1 in search results is 19.3% and position 2 is 10.57%.
Every year, between 16-20% of all searches are brand new. They have never been searched for before.
60% of Google searches are performed on mobile devices.
Google has 95% of the mobile search engine market in the U.S.
About 33% of mobile Google searches are location-related.
50% of “near me” queries result in a store visit.
7 out of 10 Google searches for food occur on mobile devices.
46% of product searches begin on Google.
Google is the dominant search engine with 92% market share.
In an easy world, you could set up your website and wait for traffic to just come to your website. However, there are likely many websites focused on similar themes and topics as your own. Search engines must decide which websites to list on any given position in the search results for any given search query. Implementation of SEO best practices are critical to ensure your website captures web traffic for relevant search queries in search engines.
WHAT SEO RANKING FACTORS ARE IMPORTANT IN 2020?
SEO is important and it needs to be done to capture search engine traffic to your site. How does a search engine decide how to rank websites exactly? The answer to this is complex because there are hundreds of ranking factors, but we have compiled the most critical for you.
Seo ranking factors
You may have heard that content is king and this is true when it comes to SEO. At the most basic level, search engines want to match users with the most relevant content to their query as possible. One reason Wikipedia articles are often ranked highly is because they tend to be comprehensive and trustworthy. Search engines will look at the content on the page, the freshness of the content, and deploy sophisticated algorithms to understand if the content is relevant to the searcher. For example, suppose you have a coffee mug website and you sell mugs of all different shapes and sizes. You will want to make sure you have content on your website that is clearly about coffee mugs. This could include mug product pages, but also content on the history of coffee mugs, how they’re made, or even the most creative coffee mugs of all time. Content is the fundamental building-block of driving organic search traffic to your site.
USER EXPERIENCE (UX)
You may have great content, but if you provide a poor experience, users will leave and never visit your site again. This is something search engines try to avoid at all costs and therefore rank websites with excellent user experience higher. So, what makes a great user experience?
Fast page speed
A mobile-friendly website
No pop-up messages
Users need to be able to quickly and easily consume your content and navigate through your site. This has become especially important as mobile devices are increasingly common and now make up a majority of web traffic.
Google is scheduled to roll-out an update to its algorithm in 2021 based on user experience. This underappreciated web development consideration is about to get a big boost in importance. From Google’s own words:
The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction
There is some overlap with user experience and technical ranking factors. These include web development best practices to increase page speed, but also meta data optimization and web architecture considerations. For example, meta data optimizations with improve click-rates on search result pages, improve image ranking, or even help surface your content on voice searches.
USER FEEDBACK METRICS
Search engines also rely on behavioral data users leave as clues as they search for content. This may include click-rates for a given query or if a user hits the back button very quickly upon clicking on a result. These ranking factors are not always transparent and web professionals must rely on subtle clues the search engines leave or feedback from search engine experts and employees.
A backlink is any link that points to your page. Search engines look at how many links point to a particular page and which site is pointing to it. If you have amazing content and people consider it trustworthy and comprehensive, they will want to link to you. However, search engines look at the quality of the links to determine the value of the link. They’re not all created equally. As an example, if you have a sports blog and ESPN links to your blog, the search engine will view your content as extremely authoritative and relevant. However, if your friend’s new recipe blog links to you, it will not be considered as important. Even though your friend might!
It’s important to note this ranking signal has been abused in the past by websites who took advantage of the algorithms at the time. As a result, search engines rolled-out updates to ensure the integrity of search results. Make sure you fully vet the integrity and methods of vendors who promise you backlinks.
WHY ARE SEO SERVICES NEEDED?
You may be tempted to bypass professionals and do your own search engine optimization. However, it will be very difficult to achieve success on your own if you’re in a competitive industry. For example, a law firm will want to rank highly for queries such as “lawyers near me” or “contract lawyer”. However, there may be many law firms also competing for visibility and it can be extremely difficult to outdo competitors without expert knowledge and experience.
Another consideration is the time and breadth of skills needed to execute SEO continuously and successfully. A successful SEO program requires a blend of many diverse skillsets that include:
It’s also difficult to seek out and maintain media contacts and partnerships with authoritative outlets. These become important when you need to gain authority and trust yourself. It simply doesn’t won’t make sense for a business to stretch themselves this outside of their core business.
WHAT TYPES OF SEO SERVICES ARE THERE?
There are many different SEO services and they should ultimately be tailored to your business needs. Let’s do a rundown of what a comprehensive SEO program looks like.
Sometimes the hardest step is knowing where to begin with your SEO program. Ultimately, everything will come down to what your goals are. If you have a SaaS solution in a focused niche, your goal may be to increase awareness of your brand and drive consideration on your product pages. On the other hand, if you’re a publisher, your goal may be to increase rankings and traffic on search queries with local specificity. Experienced SEO and digital pros can you walk you through this process and get your program heading in the right direction.
TECHNICAL SITE AUDIT
SEO site audits look at all the technical components on your website that may affect how a search engine may judge your page. This boils down to a website’s:
Crawlability: Can a search engine crawler find and access the content on your website?
Indexability: Are your pages actually indexed in the search engines?
User Experience: Do your pages load quickly across any device? Are there pop-ups?
Site audits involve a crawl of your website, code analysis, and many diagnostic tests. There are often thousands of action-items that come out of site audits, but SEO experts will help you prioritize.
It’s important to align your business offering with what people search for within search engines. Keyword strategy services require a deep understanding of your business and user behavior. It includes analysis of monthly keyword volume trends, competitive analysis, SERP analysis, and prioritization. The end result is a targeted keyword strategy that provides the foundation to SEO success.
CONTENT ANALYSIS AND STRATEGY
High-quality content establishes your website as an authority and is necessary to drive organic traffic and increased rankings. The content strategy is typically driven from your keyword strategy and includes a content gap analysis. It’s possible you don’t have the high-quality content needed to rank highly for your targeted keywords. A content analysis and strategy will give you a roadmap to higher rankings.
These services optimize the content you already have for keyword and themes you wish to rank for. Actions include title updates, addition of targeted keywords to body copy, the use of engaging images, and optimizing page layout for engagement.
Factors outside of your website also affect your rankings. These include the number of backlinks pointed to your site from authoritative and trustworthy websites, Google Business optimizations, reputation management, review site optimization, and social media property enhancements. Once you have great content, off-site optimization will help amplify your content and ultimately increase search engine traffic.
Without reporting and tracking KPIs, you will never know the full impact of your hard efforts. SEO experts continuously monitor keyword rankings, organic site traffic, search trends, backlinks, and diagnostic tests to measure and learn from your SEO initiatives. It’s a lot to monitor and not all tools are created equally. You can save a lot of time and money by working with experts in this area.
You may need ongoing website support to help you implement SEO recommendations and many agencies offer this as a service. For example, if you need to ensure new content is added and optimized to your site on a regular basis, website support will be a true life-saver.
Sometimes it’s not enough to know your website sees increased rankings and traffic. You may also want to monitor how your competitors fare as well to ensure you stay ahead of them. Competitor SEO analysis tracks how your competitors rank over time along with KPIs such as backlinks, domain authority, and estimated traffic. If you notice increased competition, it may be an indicator further SEO and content investment is needed.
Search engines and users value high-quality content, but you may not have the resources in-house to create content at scale. SEO content development services help you create content based on your keyword and content strategy. It’s also optimized on an ongoing basis as well to ensure it remains fresh and relevant.
HOW MUCH IS SEO PER MONTH?
The cost of SEO services is dependent on your business needs and how much experience the SEO experts have. Freelancers will typically charge the least, but you may not get the quality you expect unless you know them personally or were provided with references. Beware of freelancers who charge low hourly fees (e.g. $10-$20/hr.) because they are likely to provide a low-quality service. Alternatively, you can hire an agency or SEO consultancy for your SEO services. They typically charge more ($100-$300/hr.) but are much more likely to provide high quality services. We recommend you look at previous work or case studies to get an understanding of what the provider is capable of.
Some providers offer fixed-cost packages to ensure a predictable cost month-to-month. For many, they need to plan their expenses months in advance and can plan accordingly. As an added benefit, these packages don’t require the customer to pay for costly SEO tools which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars per month.
WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU?
The easiest way to find out what SEO services are best for you is to chat with a GRAYBOX expert today!
Contact Us Today!
We consolidated and answered some of the most common SEO question below for easy reference.
What are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Services?
SEO services seek to increase website traffic from search engines through on-site and off-site optimizations.
How much is SEO per month?
Freelancers can charge anywhere from $20-80/hour and SEO agencies can change from $100-$300/hour. The monthly total will depend on the services you need, but can range from $200-$30,000/month.
Do you pay for SEO?
SEO can be done without payment, but is often time-consuming.
How much should I budget for SEO?
This will depend on your needs and can range from a few hundred dollars per month to tens of thousands per month.
Is SEO needed?
SEO may not be needed for every website. However, if your business relies on driving new visitors to your website, SEO is most likely needed.
Can I do SEO on my own?
You can certainly do SEO on your own, but it will require a lot of time and effort and may distract you from your core business.
How do I start SEO?
It’s recommended SEO beginners speak to experts to get an idea of how to begin. Alternatively, you can check out quality blogs such as www.moz.com/blog.
What are SEO techniques?
SEO techniques include keyword strategy, content strategy, site audits, on-page optimization, off-page optimization, content development, and competitor analysis.
How do I offer SEO services?
If you have experience as an SEO expert on your own or through your career, you can begin by building your own website and selling services there.
Is SEO a waste of money?
SEO is not a waste of money if you work with experts and stay the course. Professional SEO services from trusted agencies may be needed as an investment in competitive industries.
What is SEO in 2020?
SEO changes every year and SEO in 2020 requires a fast, mobile-optimized, and authoritative website with high-quality content.
Does SEO work anymore?
Absolutely. As long as people still use search engines to find relevant content, SEO will be needed.
What are the best SEO services?
The best SEO services are the ones you need and only those. Talk to an expert to find out will work best for you.
SEO services can help businesses rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Generally combined as part of a larger SEO strategy, they work in tandem to showcase the relevance of your web pages for particular queries and improve technical site performance.
To help you navigate this SEO services FAQ, I’ve separated questions into three sections:
The Basics: What Are SEO Services?
Getting Started: When Should You Start SEO Services?
Powering Growth: How Do You Choose SEO Services?
Have questions about SEO in general? Check out this post for basic information about what SEO is.
What Are SEO Services?
SEO services are tested processes that can help businesses improve their website’s performance in search results and attract more organic traffic. They may include deliverables, such as monthly reports or audits, and work best when combined into a comprehensive strategy focused on the business’s SEO goals.
On-Page SEO Services: Keyword research, page optimization, content creation
Technical SEO Services: SEO audit services, page speed optimization, site migration
Off-Page SEO Services: Link building, backlink analysis
Enterprise SEO Services: On-page and off-page SEO for large-scale sites
Local SEO Services: Google Business Profile optimization, citation building
SEO Consultation: Expert advice and support for an internal SEO team
Some agencies may offer a different SEO services definition, but I think this sums it up in a way that highlights the primary aims: ranking higher and driving more organic traffic to the site.
Note: At Victorious, we view technical SEO as a component of on-page SEO since all the technical fixes are performed on the site.
What Is SEO Services’ Main Goal?
There are a variety of SEO goals that correlate with business growth. Depending on the needs of your business, they may include:
Increasing site traffic
Building brand awareness
Improving user/customer engagement
Driving more leads
While SEOs may focus on certain factors, like how many keywords your site ranks for or how many engaged sessions you have, the main goal should always be to support your business objectives.
What Are SEO Service Metrics?
There are different ways to measure the effectiveness of SEO services over time. I recommend using Google Search Console and Google Analytics to see how your pages perform, where your traffic comes from, and how much revenue can be attributed to particular channels. Ahrefs or another SEO tool can help you see how well your pages are ranking and which keywords you’re ranking for.
What Are Organic SEO Services?
All search engine optimization services focus on driving organic traffic, which is why some may call them “organic SEO services.” Organic search is different from paid search in that you need to earn your position in search results rather than paying to appear there. While companies using SEO services will pay their SEO providers for their time and effort, they aren’t purchasing placement.
On the other hand, paid search engine marketing includes using pay-per-click ads like Google Ads to improve search visibility. These results are marked as ads in SERPs to help differentiate them from organic search results. Click here to learn more about PPC vs. SEO.
What SEO Services Do SEO Companies Offer?
SEO companies may differ in how they present and describe their SEO services, meaning it can sometimes be difficult to compare them.
Here’s a list of some different SEO services:
Keyword Research Services
SEO Site Audit Services
Expert SEO Consultation
Google Analytics Setup
Google Analytics Optimization
Site Migration Assistance
Advanced Site Sweep
XML Sitemap Creation & Submission
Backlink Analysis & Manual Disavow
301 Redirect Audit
International SEO Optimization
Page Optimizations (Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and H1 Header Tag Optimizations)
Page Speed Analysis & Recommendations
Internal Link Optimization
Conversion Rate Optimization
Keyword Cannibalization / Duplicate Content Analysis
Site Architecture Optimization
Featured Snippet Optimization
Schema Review & Implementation Guidance
Full Site Content Audit
External Anchor Text Research & Analysis
Link Building Service
Google Business Profile Optimization
Local Citation Audit & Cleanup
App Store Optimization
SEO Content Writing Services
SEO Content Optimization
Many SEO services are suitable for sites of all sizes; they just function at a different scale. For example, every site owner interested in ranking higher on search engines needs to do keyword research, match the keywords with relevant pages, and optimize those pages with new metadata to reflect those keywords. A smaller site may only have to do this for 10 or 20 pages, while a larger site may have to optimize hundreds or thousands of pages.
How Do SEO Services Work?
SEO services are generally created to address particular ranking factors. To show how SEO services work, I’m going to start with an example.
Let’s say you want keyword research completed for your site. A qualified SEO agency tackles the job and provides you with keyword themes mapped to specific pages on your site. They even include a recommendation to create a new page to target a particular keyword theme.
With keyword research in hand, you optimize your existing content to include the provided keywords and rework your on-page optimizations (page title, h1, meta description, alt text, etc.) to weave in the keywords, as well.
A few weeks later, your agency lets you know your updates are paying off — you’re now showing up in search results more often, and you’re ranking higher for those important keywords. Googlebot noted your changes and which search terms it should show your pages for.
Basically, the keyword research service has helped you showcase your relevance for certain queries, and your page updates make it easier for Googlebot and other search engine crawlers to understand what your page is about.
Different SEO services tackle different ranking factors, and they have the best return when combined into a comprehensive SEO strategy. While keyword research is the foundation of SEO, additional services will build upon it so you can make iterative improvements over time. There’s no pressure to do everything at once — an SEO partner will help you maximize your efforts by highlighting the most critical SEO tasks to tackle.
Who Needs SEO Services?
Every website can benefit from SEO. At its core, search engine optimization is about making a site easier for search engines to crawl and index so they surface it for particular queries.
Let’s say you run a gluten-free bakery in New York City. Chances are, you aren’t the only gluten-free bakery in town. To capture online attention when searchers are looking for gluten-free treats, you’ll need to make sure your site is optimized around the appropriate keywords. Otherwise, it may not show up.
Why Should Businesses Use SEO Services?
SEO services make it easier for potential customers to find a website. The internet has become a crucial part of how people find, vet, and engage with businesses. Showing up for industry keywords is key for connecting with your target audience. Quality SEO services help you pinpoint those keywords and optimize around them so your website shows up when it matters.
SEO content writing can also help bolster your content marketing activities. By creating more content that ranks well, you can increase the number of people you reach and educate both potential and current customers.
What Ranking Factors Do SEO Services Optimize For?
There are over 200 Google ranking factors. Different SEO services strive to address particular ranking factors.
For example, PageRank is an often-discussed component of Google’s algorithm. While its components are secret, most SEO strategists have accepted there’s a correlation between PageRank and backlinks. Backlinks pass link equity and serve as a recommendation of a page, which Google takes to mean the page is reputable and has quality content. Having backlinks from quality referring domains, then, can impact how well a particular page ranks in Google search results.
One of the primary components of off-page SEO is link building, which helps site owners secure incoming links. By focusing on quality referring domains and proper link velocity, off-page SEO services target specific Google ranking factors related to PageRank.
When Should Businesses Start SEO Services?
There is no wrong time to start SEO. If you’ve created content and tried to drive traffic to your site with little-to-no results, SEO can focus your efforts so you can improve your search visibility.
If you have a website and aren’t doing SEO, I recommend you start immediately. Driving organic traffic to your website is hard — and doing it without SEO is like trying to find your way to a new town without a GPS. It’s pretty easy to get lost and fail to reach your destination. With SEO, you can improve and grow your website with a customized roadmap that takes into account your goals and your industry.
If you haven’t launched your site, it’s still a good time to start SEO services. What’s the point of starting services so early? Well, working with an SEO consultant or SEO agency during the web design and development process can help you make sure your website architecture is appropriate, the right pages are noindexed, your pages are optimized, and your internal linking strategy is on point. Launching a website with your SEO ducks in a row can help you gain momentum more quickly when you launch.
How Do SEO Services Fit Into a Strategy?
In this FAQ, I’ve primarily talked about SEO services on their own. However, when combined into a comprehensive SEO strategy, they can provide exponentially more benefits.
Think of a comprehensive SEO strategy as a 200-piece orchestra. Each chair has an important role in delivering a beautiful symphony.
Ideally, an SEO analyst will work with you to create a strategy based on your site’s needs and your business’s goals. The strategy should include a timeline for different SEO services that takes into account the size of your website and your budget. SEO services can run simultaneously in most cases. There are some situations where you may want to complete a service before starting another. For example, you should complete an audit before starting link building to make sure you get the most benefit from your backlinks.
How Much Do SEO Services Cost?
When researching SEO agencies, you may find they offer different payment models.
Some may bill month-to-month or offer longer-term contracts with a specific scope of work; others may work on a pay-for-performance model.
This latter model is generally not recommended since SEO companies that only get paid when they can show SEO improvements may revert to black-hat SEO or showcase vanity metrics that don’t mean much to make a buck. You may get short-term savings by going for a pay-for-performance agency, but your site’s performance will pay for it in the long run.
Month-to-month contracts may seem ideal since they provide some flexibility. However, that makes it hard to plan ahead and build a robust strategy that will actually deliver results.
Longer-term contracts — like those for one year or even two years — provide more opportunities for growth. SEO takes time. By partnering with an agency that’s committed to supporting your growth for a longer period of time, you can focus on critical improvements and data-driven strategies that will improve your website and your search performance. Yes, this is a larger investment, but the return tends to be higher as well.
Dive deeper into how much SEO costs here.
How Long Do SEO Services Last?
In most cases, customers enter into a contract with an SEO agency to secure SEO services. The contract length varies depending on the SEO company. However, I’ve found short-term contracts and month-to-month contracts often don’t allow enough time to measure and assess results. An SEO agency invested in your success will likely require a longer-term contract so they can create a data-driven strategy that will help you improve your SEO performance.
How Should You Choose SEO Services?
There are two SEO services every website needs and which will inform what other services may be beneficial for improving search visibility.
The first is keyword research. Keyword research helps you understand what keyword themes to optimize your pages for and provides insight into the types of content currently ranking for that keyword and their search intent.
The second SEO service every website needs is an SEO audit. An SEO audit identifies issues impacting whether Google can access and crawl your web pages, how well-optimized your site currently is, and what barriers prevent you from ranking better in search results.
Once your SEO partner has completed these two services, they’ll likely recommend additional services based on their findings. Even if your SEO audit shows all technical aspects of your website are in order, additional SEO services like SEO content writing services and link building services will allow you to improve your search visibility and drive more organic traffic to your website. Together, these make up the 4 pillars of SEO services: keyword research, SEO audit, content, and high-authority link building.
What Are the SEO Services That Provide the Most Value?
Every website is different and will require different tactics to help it succeed. Our team can help you identify which SEO services are right for your business. Ultimately, though, the SEO services that will provide the most value are the ones you have the resources and internal support to implement.
Too often, I’ve seen a company secure an SEO audit detailing a variety of fixes they can make to improve their site’s search performance — and they fail to implement the recommendations. If you aren’t able or willing to act on recommendations and make changes to your site to improve it, you may not see much value from technical or on-page SEO services.
Since off-page optimization focuses primarily on link building, it can help you gain competitive parity with sites that have more referring domains. Companies that can’t change their websites quickly but want to see SEO improvements may benefit from an increased off-page SEO budget while still working with their internal team to implement on-page recommendations.
Why Are Ongoing SEO Services Recommended?
SEO is not a one-and-done activity. Once you reach your desired rankings, they aren’t locked in. Changes to your web page, search engine algorithm updates, and new content published by the competition can all dislodge you from your rankings perch. It’s better to be proactive about search performance rather than scrambling to regain footing after a rankings drop.
If you want to maintain your SEO performance or continue to improve, you need ongoing SEO services that will allow you to attain more backlinks, build topical authority, and maximize your site’s technical performance.
This post was published by Donald Kim at Optimized Webmedia. Optimized Webmedia is a customer centric, 360° Digital Marketing agency, specializing in SEO, Google Ads PPC, Content Writing, Social Media Marketing, and Website Design. To learn how Optimized Webmedia can help optimize your website to attract more visitors, book a free consultation and ask for our free SEO Site Audit.