Table of Contents
- What Is an SEO Agency?
- What Is SEO?
- How Does Search Engine Optimization Work?
- What Are SEO Services?
- How Much Do SEO Companies Charge for Their Services?
- Why Hire an SEO Agency?
- How To Choose The Most Reliable SEO Company
- 10 Questions To Ask SEO Agencies Before You Hire One
- Takeaways on Finding an SEO Agency
An SEO agency develops and executes strategies that propel online content up in the search engine results pages (SERPs) to generate organic and qualified website traffic.
Considering the fact that as many as 90.63% of web pages receive zero traffic from Google, more businesses are turning to search engine optimization experts to reach the coveted top 10 positions in SERPs.
That's because 49% of marketers claim that organic search brings the highest ROI.
To help these businesses reach their goals, an SEO company employ three types of strategies:
- On-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Off-page SEO
SEO is a set of best practices that send signals to search engines so they can determine where to rank your website in search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO focuses on driving organic traffic to a website on relevant search queries. It involves techniques both within and outside your website that help increase your visibility on search engines when users search for your products or services.
Contrary to popular belief on what is SEO, it is about improving the user experience rather than pleasing the search engines. Search engine optimization puts consumers front and center and aims to help them find the most relevant information online that matches their search intent.
How Does Search Engine Optimization Work?
In a nutshell, search engine optimization is about finding the most useful and relevant keywords for your business, optimizing your website’s content and earning quality backlinks in order to increase its visibility and ranking on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu and more.
It involves various techniques like keyword research, content creation, technical, on-page and off-page optimization, building links, local SEO, mobile SEO and more.
SEO efforts might take months to yield results. In addition, it’s an ever-changing field so you need to keep abreast of the latest trends by learning the essentials or by hiring an SEO agency that has adequate knowledge of how does SEO work, especially if you want to succeed in this venture.
What Are SEO Services?
Though search engine optimization encompasses many types of search engines, from Youtube to social media, when we say "SEO services" it is commonly understood that we are talking about Google.
Google is known for its sophisticated and ever-evolving algorithms, so SEO is a complicated process and has many moving parts and components. Luckily, SEO agencies have the know-how and skills to develop an SEO strategy that meets both your short and long-term goals.
The five types of SEO listed below, however, are the most accurate representation of SEO company services:
1. Keyword Research
Keyword research is the process of finding the search terms your target audience uses to find websites similar to yours. The next step is to include the most relevant keywords for your business strategically into your website’s content so that it shows up higher on SERPs.
According to HubSpot, Google processes 63,000 keyword searches every second, or 5.6 billion searches daily, and an astounding 2 trillion global searches yearly.
Keyword research can be overwhelming even for seasoned SEO experts. They use many analysis methods and tools to discover and target the best keywords for your business. This is an integral part of the SEO content strategy they will mastermind to boost your website’s Google ranking.
2. On-Page Optimization
On-page SEO involves keyword optimization, as well as an audit of the current user experience - an aspect many neglect when talking about on-page SEO.
When looking at on-page optimization, an SEO company ensures that your web page:
- Is targeting the right keywords both in text and images
- Has optimized title tags and meta descriptions
- Features image and other multimedia that is size-optimized to ensure high page loading speed
- Features elements such as CTAs to increase on-page engagement and session duration
- Includes high-value external and internal links to increase click-through rates
- And more
3. Technical Optimization
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website for Google's crawlers and allowing them to interpret and index the web properties.
An SEO agency will perform a technical SEO audit to check if the technical side of your website is on par with the best practices of search engine optimization.
In other words, they will take a set of backend measures that:
- Determine which pages are visible to the search engine and which are hidden
- Ensure that the web architecture is optimized for crawlers
- Identify technical issues that communicate poor web performance to search engines
- And more
4. Off-Page Optimization
Off-page SEO, as the name suggests, are strategies outside the website aimed at increasing the site's rankings in search.
The keyword in off-page SEO is link building.
Link building, that is, gaining backlinks from relevant websites is a way of gaining recognition. As such, it helps build a site's domain authority and credibility in the search engine's "eyes" which is one of the key factors in rankings.
5. Tracking SEO
Unlike traditional marketing, you can easily track and measure SEO results.
An specialized agency pays deep attention to analytics and provides its clients with monthly analytical reports on campaign, content and website performance.
Some of the key metrics they track are:
- Traffic sources
- Traffic volume
- Search engine positions
- Qualified leads
- And more
How Much Do SEO Companies Charge for Their Services?
An SEO company typically prices their reliable SEO services on:
- Hourly rates
- Per-project basis
- Monthly retainer fees
United States-based firms typically charge anywhere from $125 to $200+ per hour, whereas Eastern European companies may charge as little as $35 to $75 per hour.
SEO agencies that charge per project simply invoice for a flat fee or fixed cost for each SEO-related task they complete.
Monthly retainers – another common form of billing – means that an SEO agency charges a monthly fee for semi-regular consultations. These companies that have retainers are not leading projects, but they are actively advising them.
Depending on what you need help with and where the SEO company is located, monthly retainers can range from $500 per month to upwards of $25,000 per month.
Why Hire an SEO Agency?
Google uses 200+ website ranking factors. (Brian Dean)
But that’s just a small part of the story.
In a digital world where everyone is connected and dependent on the Internet, the importance of SEO cannot be denied. As only a few of the searchers scroll past the first page on Google, you need to ensure your website gets a spot that will drive clicks and leads.
However, considering the fact that only 5.7% of all the pages rank in the top 10 of the SERPs within one year, hiring an SEO company can be a smart investment. (Ahrefs)
They have the know-how but also the tools and resources to optimize your website properly and boost its rankings.
How To Choose The Most Reliable SEO Company
Selecting a realiable SEO service goes beyond cost and expertise. Some of the key factors that you should consider when picking a partner are:
Reliable Tools & Resources
Much of proper search engine optimization is rooted in the best tools and resources that can identify valuable keywords, gather analytics and quantify progress.
Make sure to ask prospective agency partners which tools they use and why and how they will impact their work on your website.
These tools also empower agencies to analyze competitor success. So, see how they plan to assess your direct competitors and create a strategy that will allow you to compete with them online or learn from their successful tactics.
Reports & Results
Before start a partnership, ask the experts how long it will take to produce results, how often they will report on them and how the constantly-changing data will influence their strategy throughout the project.
In addition, determine how these results will affect their payment structure. Are you paying hourly, flat-fee, or per objectives reached? Once this is solidified, create a contract that keeps both parties motivated and accountable.
10 Questions To Ask SEO Agencies Before You Hire One
- What SEO services do you provide?
- How do you create your search engine optimization strategies?
- What search engine optimization tactics will be the most helpful for us and why?
- What platforms, tools or resources does your agency use?
- Who will be working on our project? What is their expertise?
- Who will our point of contact be?
- How often can we expect meetings and updates?
- How often will you look at analytics and data?
- How often will we get reports?
- How long will it take for us to see results?
Takeaways on Finding an SEO Agency
What makes an SEO agency truly exceptional?
Well, that’s entirely up to you and your business goals.
Of course, there are a few key factors to keep in mind to the agency you’re working with is top-notch. They include:
- It’s staffed with SEO professionals
- It has an extensive portfolio
- It uses reliable resources and tools
- It provides reports and results
Best of luck!