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What metrics are associated with SEO companies?
What other work have you done? Always check the industry and results of the SEO company. Have they worked with genuine businesses or just a dubious looking website?
What questions should we ask before hiring an SEO company?
What does an SEO company do?
What does an SEO company do?
Search engines like Google change their algorithm daily. Eventually, black hat tactics are identified, and the sites using them will receive penalties, and sometimes slip out of the rankings altogether.
SEO is short for search engine optimization. It’s the process of increase how your website ranks in organic search results. The aim is the rank highly for queries(keywords) that are relevant to your business to drive more traffic and ultimately generate more business.
Rankings – this refers to where your pages (not site) are positioned in search results.
Traffic – the number of users that click through from a search page to your website.
The internal structure of the content can very quickly become messy. Internal linking, link building campaigns and other factors can help to rank pages without any off-page activity.. SEO companies help by analyzing which content ranks for specific keywords. Consolidating content and speccing out links is a large part of this process.
Black hat SEO.
To make this easier, we have come up with some questions that you can ask yourself to understand if you need to seek outside SEO help.
But when the payoff comes, it is incredible. Taking the time to do it properly is vital as search engines can hand out penalties for breaking the rules.
That’s why such a big part of the work an SEO company does is aimed at getting your site and pages to rank. It’s better to have a single page in the top position than 100 pages on page 10.
How often will we communicate with each other? This is important to set early on. How regularly will they update you? Will they provide reports or dashboards?
Another thing that SEO companies are good at is understanding competitor success and identifying areas where this can be hijacked.
Google has now published information on its mobile-first web.
So while these black hat tactics might work today; eventually, you’ll get caught, and the sites using white hat tactics will take your position in the rankings.
Should I hire an SEO company?
The simple thing about SEO is this – the higher you appear in search, the more likely it is that you will get more traffic from people searching that term.
Online PR. As the worlds of public relations and SEO merge, SEO firms seek to build links on top tier news and information websites that will never be mistaken by Google as the kind of low quality link the search engine should ignore or penalize. SEO firms perform this kind of online PR by reaching out to journalists, seeding infographics, video, and other content, and managing social media campaigns designed to attract attention, and links.
The results of all the above research, audit, and analysis work will lead to both one-time and ongoing SEO activities. Some of the one-time, initial optimization activities may include:
Link monitoring. Although rare, it’s important to keep an eye on links to ensure one doesn’t become the victim of a negative SEO attack. More to the point, it’s important to monitor links in case inbound links are created that could provide more value if the text of the link or the specific part of the website where the link is pointing were modified.
Telling someone that SEO is made up mostly of these three activities will usually satisfy their curiosity if it’s a casual conversation, but not for the potential client shopping for SEO services. If you’re looking to hire an SEO firm you want to know real details before you shell out several thousand dollars per month. But it’s often hard to get those details from an SEO firm. This isn’t because the SEO firm doesn’t want to tell you what they’re doing, but because it’s hard to know where to start without going into a two-hour long explanation that is sure to make your eyes glaze over. This post is an attempt to clarify, in some detail, exactly what an SEO firm does.
Keyword research. Identifying and researching keywords to identify those which will produce the best results for the client once good rankings are achieved. The ideal keyword is searched for a lot, is relevant to the client’s business, and is not being targeted heavily by competition.
Content marketing. Broadly stated, if you create content as part of your marketing activities then you’re engaged in content marketing. More specifically we use the term when we talk about creating articles, blog posts, infographics, and videos to attract attention. Depending on the level of service you’ve signed up for with your SEO firm, they will be creating content for your website, as well as on other websites, designed to drive traffic and links to your website. If your SEO firm needs some inspiration in this area, or you’re inclined to help out yourself, read Jayson DeMers’ article 50 Content Marketing Ideas For Your Website Or Blog .
Brand monitoring. Any mention of your company should include a link to your website, but when that’s not the case your SEO firm should find these instances, track down the person who has control of that mention of your company, and seek to get an appropriate link.
While some aspects of SEO are one-time services that rarely or never need to be repeated, the bulk of SEO activities are ongoing in nature. Like your lawn, if you don’t maintain it, it will get out of control. Link building is one of those activities that never ends because Google likes to be fed a constant stream of new, fresh links to know that your website is still relevant and should continue to be featured prominently in its search results. There are many ways to build links and many activities related to link building, some of which include:
Although many SEO firms produce good results, the hallmark of a great SEO firm is their process for communicating with clients. I’ve learned the hard way that an SEO firm that attains great results can still get fired if it doesn’t communicate well enough with clients to let them know about those results. Most firms I’m familiar with provide a full set of reports once each month, although special circumstances may require more frequent communication, especially at the beginning of a client engagement when lots of different tasks are being worked on. At a bare minimum these reports should include details on:
Other analysis may come from A/B testing or split testing, in which your SEO firm creates two versions of a certain page on your website and drives 50% of traffic to one and 50% to another, and then measures the results to see which performs better. For a great case study on A/B testing see what Basecamp did to improve signups for their contact management software.
“Oh, you run an SEO firm? So. what exactly do you do?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive. I often give the simple and short answer “We help companies get business from search engines,” but this always leads to the follow up question “How do you do that?” I then explain that SEO is primarily three activities; 1) creating content, 2) building high quality links (I used to just say “building links” but when there are thousands of companies building bad links and doing all sorts of harm in the process, I have to qualify my statement), and 3) analyzing results and adjusting accordingly.
Competitor research. By monitoring competitors your SEO firm can see what links they have built and replicate their activities or get inspiration for other links that could be built.
As your SEO firm provides the above services they will also be analyzing the results to make sure they are working. SEO firms use tools like Google Analytics, MySEOTool, Moz tools, Majestic SEO, and many others to measure their activities and gain insights into where they can improve efforts for their clients.
Site audit. Sometimes after the above research and analysis is complete, but often in parallel, an SEO firm will perform a thorough audit of a client’s website. This audit will include various SEO factors such as website and webpage load speed, URL structure, internal linking, title tags, meta description tags, and content. Many SEO firms will also extend this audit to include factors that influence not just rankings but the metrics that ultimately matter like conversions and profits. These factors include usability, design, and messaging.
Google Analytics analysis. Reviewing past performance through Google Analytics or another web analytics tool may reveal positive or negative trends and opportunities for improvement.
Website redesign. In the most extreme cases a complete website redesign is needed before beginning SEO services. A redesign is in order when the website is outdated, converts visitors poorly, has poor code, and the cost of fixing everything is greater than starting over from scratch.
Google Webmaster Tools analysis. Likewise, being able to review a client’s history and current status in Google Webmaster Tools may bring opportunities to light, as well as potential technical issues with a client’s website, such as a penalty that could be negatively affecting rankings.