If you’ve arrived at this article, you already know that SEO is essential. If you don’t, SEO is the difference between your website being found or buried in millions of search results.
SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) can be complicated and continuously evolves as search engines change. Still, your search for SEO services probably won’t give you an exact price tag.
As with any service, high quality generally means high prices. But not all expensive SEO services are great SEO services. SEO is not a simple purchase or some secret switch for your website.
SEO drives ‘free’ traffic to your website—’Free,’ in the sense that you don’t pay to market to them directly. But ‘free’ also means every other website is competing for the same attention.
SEO is an investment. That means that no SEO service is more expensive than one that doesn’t bring results. The ROI on SEO isn’t straightforward. Affordable SEO service is the best way to go.
You want to avoid spending substantial cash reserves on an SEO service that won’t bring rewards. After all, SEO is marketing – not product development.
Why Invest in SEO?
SEO is an essential part of lead generation. Your website design and user experience is lead conversion.
Most internet users search for something to start with. Unlike social sites, Google can’t just throw sites at you based on your search history. SEO is the process of making it easier for potential customers to find your business.
While technical optimizations can help, they aren’t going to drive traffic. Keyword research isn’t going to put you on the first page of google.
The two most important factors are great content and back-links. Direct links to captivating content will bring users to your site – and keep them there.
Would SEO Work for My Site?
SEO can always improve your site and traffic, but it will be more effective for some. If your website meets any of the following criteria, SEO could be a more valuable investment for you. It’s important to know exactly how much SEO can do for you to evaluate the value of an SEO service.
In the same way, you wouldn’t enter into a business deal without understanding how much it benefits you.
Older websites will benefit the most. Old sites have been crawled and indexed more times than newer sites. Crawling is the process where search engines find new content on your website.
Search engines then process and store that information in an index (like a book). Indexing makes finding and serving content to searchers instant—the order in which companies like Google present content in the rankings.
High domain authority websites will see better results, faster. Domain authority isn’t an official Google metric. It stands for how likely a website is to rank well on SERPs.
If you have any previous Google penalties, your website may not grow much from SEO. It will take Google longer to trust your site again.
Your content strategy is also vital. If you’re planning on posting content once a month, SEO won’t make much of a difference. Social media algorithms work the same way.
If you post sporadically, you will find little success from using the right hashtags.
SEO isn’t an instant process. It’s a matter of playing the Google algorithm well while creating high-quality content.
What Can an SEO Service Do for Me?
It’s important to make a critical distinction early on here. Cheap SEO services are not the same as affordable SEO services.
Just because an SEO service is cheap does not mean you are getting a bargain. In the same way, you might buy a shiny new product that falls apart after two weeks of use.
Small business owners are particularly vulnerable. They may read about the necessity of SEO and yet have a small budget for investment. This makes them susceptible to low ROI investments – or worse, intellectual property lawsuits.
If an SEO company ‘guarantees’ you first page ranking for a small price – it’s almost definitely too good to be true. It would be the same as a social media marketing company guaranteeing you 1 million followers for $500.
Low budget SEO optimization does not have the capital to place you on great sites, create fantastic content, or spend time doing link outreach. Great content and links will continue to provide for your business.
Content that continues to be valuable over time is even referred to as ‘evergreen content.’ SEO optimization comes in three pieces.
This helps calibrate your site for local searchers. It’s important to configure your Google business page. Local customers or readers will need specific content that fits their needs.
Place your business in local directories and lists for your industry. This section is easiest if your company has an actual local address.
Technical SEO problems like not having a mobile-friendly site will crush traffic. Other optimizations will not fix technical deficiencies.
Technical fixes help Google and other search engines crawl and index your site. URL structures, user experience, code performance, and navigation structure are all great areas to focus on.
E-commerce related SEO improvements are the cherry on top. SEO is cheaper than paid traffic. E-commerce SEO should focus on improving conversion rates.
E-commerce SEO work is tied to web development and UX design. Increasing brand awareness, better product descriptions, and analysis are all important elements.
As you can see, SEO services are tied to content production, web design (especially UX design), and marketing.
Identifying a Great SEO Company
Not all SEO’s are created equal. Many SEO companies promise to deliver but don’t generate results.
The trouble is often that SEO is not as transparent as other processes. It can be easy to blame lack of progress on your content or products. In some cases, this can be true. In others – it’s an excuse.
Great SEO companies have some of the following qualities:
- Carry out an in-depth analysis of your business before drawing up a strategy.
- Explain strategies in a comprehensible manner.
- Had proven experience in SEO.
- Offers at least some affordable services.
- Takes time to address your concerns and experiences.
Most of all, help you create a digital marketing strategy that is actionable and profitable. Let’s get more detailed.
Bad SEO Agencies
In some cases, questionable companies are all alike. Poorly written copy, badly designed websites, and weird names are all obvious signs. When it comes to SEO, however, there are some more specific tells. Here are some examples.
If SEO services focus too heavily on page rankings, they aren’t focused on revenue. The ranking is only important because it brings traffic, and traffic brings sales.
Sticking to the social media analogy, this is equivalent to a social marketing strategy that focuses entirely on gaining followers. Followers mean little without sales.
SEO sites that, in any way, claim to ‘guarantee’ rankings are not reputable. It is not possible to guarantee rankings.
Additionally, anyone that promises quick results will get you no results. You can’t guarantee ‘10,000’ followers in 2 months.
In connection, some vendors even claim to have a relationship with Google. This is false. Google would not risk a violation of competition law and billions in fines to make a small deal with an SEO company.
So now we know what an SEO service cannot do for you. But while it’s important not to fall for a scam or bait tactic – what can you get out of SEO investments?
Good SEO Agencies
While the distinction isn’t always straightforward, here are qualities you can actively search for.
Reputable SEO agencies will function like good social marketing companies. Yes, results may include an increase in traffic to your page, but the focus is on revenue.
In connection, great SEO agencies will align strategy with your business goals. They will know that you have more experience in your own industry and help you profit from that expertise.
Companies should help you understand how SEO can help your business strategy realistically. They will conduct a detailed audit of your website to evaluate what steps to take. Like a mechanic, SEO services can’t apply the same method to every vehicle.
That’s precisely why SEO services that guarantee a specific result are unreliable. Each website has its own capabilities and potential. You can’t ‘guarantee’ that a car will do 0-60 in 3 seconds just because you gave it a new paint job.
Web performance and traffic depend on many more factors.
PR and offline campaigns are just as important. People may find your site, but that doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to do business with you. Excellent reputation precedes excellent marketing.
Promoting an agency shrouded in controversy is also to promote that controversy.
SEO agencies should also discuss more detailed metrics than ‘PageRank.‘ Most of all, great SEO gives you links you’re itching to use with customers.
White or Black Hat Strategies
White Hat SEO is important because bad SEO tactics can get your site banned or demoted. Google’s quality is determined by the quality of the sites they promote.
That means if your website is highly-ranked and filled with manipulative or misguided content – Google won’t be happy about it.
White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO includes anything that improves your SERP ranking (Search Engine Results Page). Provided that these practices don’t violate search engine rules.
Examples of White Hat SEO could be:
- Improving the navigation ease of your site.
- Improving site loading and ease of use on mobile devices.
- Raising the quality of your services or content.
- Using descriptive meta tags.
Your site’s navigation is based on the quality of its Information Architecture. Information Architecture (or IA, for short) is expertise on its own.
IA represents the organization of information and content on your website. IA is the skeleton on top of which UX designers build the user experience. Better IA can mean better organic search result rankings.
Using keyword-rich meta descriptions helps search engines discover your content.
Most of all, high-quality content is king. If you’re helping your visitors and solving their problems, you’re on the right path.
Less clickbait equals better rankings; Google’s SEO algorithm is more complex than YouTube. The reason is that Google’s reputation balances on the quality of its search results.
If users find misleading or corrupted results promoted on the first results page, its reputation will suffer. Feel free to find great keywords, but make sure great content is your focus.
Black Hat SEO
Inversely, Black Hat strategies could include:
- Cloaking links deceptively
- Keyword stuffing
- Using multiple websites that backlink to each other
Banning by Google is a huge loss in web traffic and sales. Make sure you stay clear of SEO services that use Black Hat strategies.
Many services may not clearly state that they use Black Hat strategies, but they also don’t say that they use White Hat strategies. The best SEO services are clear and transparent about their methods.
Affordable SEO. Today.
Small businesses can find it hard to compete with high corporate SEO spending. Since all pages fall under the same ranking method, lower prices can mean lower rankings.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Affordable SEO marketing (that works) is possible. Remember to always look at proposals and pitches critically.
SEO isn’t an overnight deal, but it can help you increase revenue and gain an edge over your competition. If your site is old and disorganized, but you have great products and services, hire an SEO service.
If you’re interested in learning more about how SEO can benefit your company – contact us.