There are a variety of SEO services which offer solutions for ranking issues, and deficiencies. Depending on your goals, and needs one, or a combination, of the below services may be right for your website.
The Most Commonly Asked Questions About SEO
What does SEO stand for?
SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of helping websites improve in search engine rankings. It can also mean Search Engine Optimizer, which is a marketing expert that specializes in performing search engine optimization.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO works by optimizing a website's content, structure, and technical aspects. The work helps search engines better understand the content of the website. Mainstream SEO is done by staying within the general guidelines provides by search engines.
How Long Do SEO Results Take?
This depends mostly on how competitive the niche in which a website needs to rank. Of course, high quality SEO is also important, but even the best SEO campaign will take time to produce results. In general, an SEO campaign will take between 4-6 months to start producing results.
How Much Does SEO Cost?
The cost of SEO depends on the level of difficulty of the campaign. The cost of an SEO campaign can range from a few hundred dollars per month to tens of thousands of dollars per month. Check our SEO pricing information for additional details.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO helps local businesses to improve their search engine rankings. Local SEO concentrates on improving rankings for either geo-targeted or generic keywords. For example a campaign for a mechanic shop would help improve the rankings when a search for car repair services happens within a certain area.
What Are SEO Tools?
SEO tools are designed to help users find out the ways in which their website can be optimized. These tools can be useful for both large and small websites. SEO tools can be online or desktop applications. We have compiled a list of the most commonly used SEO tools used by website owners and professional search engine optimizers.
Types of SEO Services
An SEO campaign can consist of a variety of components, and be as simple as a one-time SEO audit, or as involved as an ongoing campaign that includes technical audits, content writing and development, link acquisition, and consulting services. Below are explanations of the services you can expect to encounter when selecting and SEO company.
Website SEO Audit
At the most basic level, an SEO service audit should address the basics covered in our Basic SEO Tutorial. With a basic audit, a website owner should expect to, at a minimum, receive a guide for how to fix major ranking issues. More comprehensive audits would also include ways to improve content, and backlinks.
Having a search engine friendly website is very important. But, it is not a guarantee for improved rankings. SEO takes time, and needs ongoing maintenance to produce reliable and stable rankings.
An SEO Audit Includes
The technical audit reveals issues such as missing SSL certificates, slow site speed, and incorrect use of canonical tags. Each of these elements can contribute to rankings or ranking potential of a website or web page.
The SEO content audit evaluates the quality of the content in relation to the keywords for which rankings are desired. The audit would provide improvement opportunities, and ideas for future content expansion.
For larger websites, well-designed HTML sitemap can be important. Every website has a crawl 'budget' with Google. A streamlined sitemap can help get the most important pages crawled and up-to-date in the index. Sitemaps are especially important for large ecommerce or directory sites.
Structural HTML Audit
This portion of the SEO service determines the deficiencies of the on-site HTML elements which have a direct impact on SEO. Thy include the title tag, headings, and internal links--there are others, but these are the most important. The audit will identify issues and also make recommendations & improvements.
Like a website audit, there are basic as well as comprehensive services when it comes to on-page SEO. On-page SEO can be a one-time project which applies the fixes recommended through an SEO audit. These types of audits would target the home page, and a few other important pages on a website. More comprehensive campaigns would use initial findings to fix existing problems, and check for new issues that may occur.
Often, on-page SEO work does not need updating (e.g. when a site has evergreen content). But even in these cases, a periodic audit can help uncover, and prevent potential problems from accumulating.
On-Page SEO Services Include
Content Tweaks & Optimization
After completion of keyword research, the process of content optimization can begin. Existing content will go through optimization utilizing the selected keywords. And, new content will be created around keywords which are not yet optimized.
Internal Link Optimization
The internal link structure of a website plays a major role in highlighting the importance of keywords. The optimization occurs through relevant contextual and navigational link development. The links guide the search engine spiders along the most desirable paths.
There are a variety of HTML tags which, when properly used, can contribute to the optimization. The most important of such tags include titles, headings, and images. Other tags play a role, but in a more limited capacity.
The navigation structure of a website is important for usability, and efficient crawling. A well-designed website navigation will help search engine spiders navigate a website efficiently. Part of internal link optimization occurs through the internal navigational links.
SEO Content Development
'SEO content' should be more accurately described as 'high quality content'. High quality and useful content will also attract inbound natural links. These links are invaluable for improved rankings.
When researching content topics, it is best to aim for quality instead of quantity. Seeking out 'SEO content' can lead to low quality articles which act as a place to include keywords.
SEO content writing services can contribute to improved rankings. This is only true if shortcuts are not taken, and content is not expected to perform magic. Content development and optimization is a slow, and time-consuming process. Well written, interesting, and useful content will get attention on its own merits. But, it also helps lay the foundation for successful link development campaigns.
SEO Content Development Services Include
The most common form of content is basic text. This is the type of text that search engines can easily 'read' and interpret. The content development process uses the findings of a content audit to fill in areas in which a website lacks strong content.
Images & Infographics
In some instances it is appropriate to use images and graphics to develop visual content for a website. One of the most engaging types of visual content are infographics, distilling large amounts of information into an entertaining package.
Optimized Product Copy
Product copy should not only be able to sell, but to also take care to describe the products in a manner which is understandable to machines (e.g. search engine spiders & algorithms).
Optimized Blog Posts
Not all content can reside as part of the main site--that's where blogs come in. Optimized blog posts can play a great role in targeting long-tail keywords that cannot be properly incorporated into the the website.
Good quality link development work focuses on quality rather than quantity. A well-researched and relevant, good quality link is worth many times more than hundreds of free directory submissions.
The fundamentals of link building are based on good quality and valuable content. If there is no good content on your site to which people can link, it will be very difficult to convince them to do so.
Link Development Services Include
Interesting, good, or even controversial content gets mentions. Any mention or link that is not solicited or actively sought is an earned mention. This is the ideal link to have, as it (in most cases) proves that the website has done its job of delivering good and useful information.
Sometimes it is necessary to give the earned mentions a jumpstart. New sites, or ones that have recently been overhauled, may need outbound link solicitation. This outreach would aim to point out the improved quality of the content which has been developed.
Competitive Parity Outreach
Competitive link analysis and outreach is another important part of link development. It is not possible to be at perfect link parity with a competitor but working to get some overlap in link profiles is certainly worthwhile SEO exercise.
Another important way of earning links is participation in panel discussions, and interviews. Writing articles for online publications (which offer a linked byline) can also be helpful. This type of activity can produce high quality links, and develop positive brand recognition.
Depending on the complexity of your website, there may be few or many opportunities for code optimization.
SEO Consulting Services
Legitimate SEO consultants would provide white hat (in compliance with Google guidelines) techniques. And, provide clients with guidance that will help their website move closer to being search engine friendly in increments.
Keep in mind that SEO is not a magic solution to your ranking problems. Some issues can have an easy solution. But, often there is the need for sustained and ongoing SEO services, either as consultation or active SEO.
SEO Consulting Services May Include
- 10 Hours of Cosulting
10 hours of consulting time per month which will include phone & email support
- 1 Active Project
Cosulting & coaching services to support one domain/URL to include all services mentioned here
- Monthly Ranking Report
Tracking of keyword rankings monthly for a single domain for up to 100 keywords in the 3 main search engines
- Keyword Research & Analysis
Review existing keywords or perform keyword research from scratch based on your goals
- Competitive Analysis
Identifying and harnessing competitive advantages of others who are performing well within your industry
- Content Strategy
Recommendation of industry-specific content that will help improve your website's ranking potential
- Link Evaluation
Evaluation of link opportunities which you might be considering for SEO benefits for your website
- Link Research
Research of potential link opportunities through original research and competative link research and analysis
- Traffic Analysis
Monitoring of website traffic to identify anomolies, risks, and opportunitis to take better advantage of website traffic
- SEO Analysis & Monitoring
Review and monitoring of your website's SEO health on an ongoing basis to maintain top ranking potential
- Information Verification
If you come across SEO information that you are unsure of, it will be reviewed & evaluated for your business
- Service Recommendations
Evaluation and selection of other SEO related tools and services which you may be considering
SEO Pricing - How Much Does SEO Cost?
The price of SEO services depends on a variety of factors. The quality of work, and the country in which the SEO work is performed plays a huge role in the cost of an SEO campaign. The experience of the search engine optimizer, and the breadth of services provided will also impact pricing. It is also important to keep the level of competition in your industry in mind. The more competitive, the more costly your campaign will be.
To evaluate an SEO proposal, shoppers should weigh the cost, to the potential gain from the work. SEO is not able to produce a positive ROI in every given scenario. The below price ranges are a general guideline, and is not meant to provide specifics for your particular campaign.
High cost is not necessarily indicative of a high quality campaign proposal. But, if the price too good to be true, it probably is.
Please note that these are general guidelines when it comes to pricing. Each SEO agency has their own version of pricing, and service packages. If you are wondering whether the pricing you have received is fair (and makes sense) feel free to contact us for an assessment.
Types of SEO Campaign Pricing
Price Range: $1,000.00 - $100,000+
One-time SEO, as the name suggests, is a one-off service which is comprised of an on-site optimization, and is generally accompanied by several hours of follow-up consulting to explain the work, and provide guidance for the client moving forward. The pricing for such a service is highly dependent on the size and complexity of the site. The competitiveness of the market for a business does not come into play, as the work is meant to address any deficiencies in regards to technical, organizational, and contextual nature.
Note: the difference between a one-time SEO service and an SEO audit is that the one-time SEO offering includes hands on work on the website; whereas an SEO site audit is basically a document which details the finding of the SEO professional, with directions about how implement changes and undertake fixes.
SEO Site audits
Price Range: $500 - $100,000+
An SEO audit is similar to one-time SEO; however, it does not include hands-on work on the client's website; instead, the audit document details the deficiencies of a website, identifies opportunities, and provides a roadmap of how to implement changes and exploit the uncovered opportunities.
Local SEO (Monthly)
Price Range: $250 - $5,000 per month
Local SEO services are for low competition small businesses which serve a limited geographic area with high population density, or a large area with low population density. The types of businesses which are best suited for local SEO include small print shops, car washes, or professional services. There are of course, high competition categories such as legal and medical services, which will have costs on the higher end of the price range.
National SEO (Monthly)
Price Range: $750 - $10,000+ per month
This robust SEO offering, as the name suggests is suitable for businesses which target a national audience, and would like high rankings without geographical limitations within a given country. Many of these businesses are ecommerce site which introduces another level of complication to the search engine optimization process. Like local SEO, the level of competition has a very wide scale, which is reflected in the price.
SEO by the Hour
Price Range: $50 - $700 per hour
SEO services which are billed hourly can either be monthly or on an as-needed basis. The charges are based on the number of hours spent during a given time-period (usually one month). The hourly price depends mostly on the experience level and technical sophistication of the search engine optimizer. The below price-range does not take into consideration overseas (outside of the United States) service providers.
SEO Elements Which Should Not Impact the Price
Above, we discussed the variety of situations and factors which impact SEO pricing; however, there are several elements which are often used to justify cost. The below list is comprised of the most common of those factors which should not impact pricing.
- Number of keywords to be worked on as part of the SEO campaign
- The volume of link acquisitions (a proper SEO campaign does not aim to generate a high volume of links)
- Number of pages to be optimized (an ongoing campaign would optimize a growing number of pages if and when the health and search engine friendliness of the site calls for it)
SEO Proposals & How to Evaluate Them
SEO services come in a variety of forms; however, good quality work is difficult to find. Like any other industry, there are things to look for when trying to winnow the wheat from the chaff, and it is no different when it comes to search engine optimization proposals. On the surface, many proposals may look reasonable, and often similar. Knowing what to look for will make it easier to pick the best SEO option for you and your business.
Below you will find an easy-to-read list to help you pick out a good SEO proposal from one that is more likely than not going to cost a lot of money without delivering much (if anything) in the form of search engine result improvements.
Signs of a Bad SEO Proposal
Does Not Offer Details: SEO shoppers should be weary of proposals (or conversations with a sales person) which do not offer at least some details about the type and scope of work which will be completed as part of the SEO campaign. For example, if the SEO includes Link Development as part of the service, there should be an explanation which explains the type of approaches that will be utilized.
It Offers a Set of Packages: If the proposal offers a selection of SEO packages to choose from, in some cases it is not going to meet your needs. Even though package options make the decision of picking services easier by offering upfront pricing for SEO services, they sometimes fail to address the needs of each individual business. The customization of SEO services is an important aspect of the process as it can help avoid overpaying for services you might not need, or not having a campaign that is aggressive enough to match the competitiveness of your niche.
Measures Success by Rankings: This may seem counterintuitive, since the entire point of SEO is to improve rankings; however, if rankings and subsequent traffic are not accompanied by conversions (whatever form they may take) will result in a failed campaign. The success of an SEO campaign must have multiple KPIs (key performance indicators) including ranking, traffic, time-on-site, conversions, and ROI evaluation (to make sure that the funds being invested on SEO provide a positive return on investment).
Offers Only Link Development: An SEO campaign which only relies on link development is fundamentally flawed. Even though links are an important part of ranking improvements, they are not going to provide stable and sustainable ranking improvements without the support of proper technical SEO in combination with a content strategy.
If you can keep these potential pitfalls in mind, it will be much easier to avoid signing up for an SEO service contract which will turn out to be nothing more than a money pit. If you are unsure about the quality of an SEO proposal you have receive, please feel free to get in touch with us, and we will gladly evaluate the details of the proposal for you.