As a website owner, you probably already know about the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Having strong SEO is critical – the first page of search results gets around 75% of all related traffic. If your site is buried under piles of search results, it could be costing you large portions of your potential audience.
There are a lot of ways to improve your site’s SEO. However, developing an effective strategy can take time and effort. Luckily, any website can improve its page rankings by hiring an SEO service instead. This is a company that takes care of SEO for you, so you’re free to focus on what you do best – running your business.
However, not all SEO services are built the same. This article will walk you through what SEO services offer, when it makes sense to call in the pros instead of going DIY, and what to look for in this type of service. Let’s take a look!
An Introduction to SEO Services (And What They Offer)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website’s rankings in search engines such as Google. The higher your website comes up in results, the more likely you are to attract new visitors and potential customers.
In fact, the coveted top three spots (pictured below on a Google search for “flower delivery”) receive over 50% of all search traffic:
An SEO service is a company that works with you to improve your site’s page rankings. It will employ various techniques, such as:
- Keyword building. This involves developing a set of keywords to target, which can boost the number of searches your site appears in.
- Link building. Getting links to your pages on other trusted sites is vital
- Copywriting. Sometimes, it’s worth bringing in a writer to revamp your site’s text. Search engines favor sites with clear, original copywriting.
- Mobile optimization. A site that’s hard to use on mobile devices can negatively impact your SEO.
- Web analytics. Of course, it’s important to track the effectiveness of the above methods, and retarget as necessary.
These are a lot of tempting benefits. However, it’s worth considering whether or not you really need this type of service.
When to Use an SEO Service (And When Not To)
While an SEO service as described above can be very helpful in improving your site’s rankings, there is also a lot you can do on your own. That means you need to decide whether to hire the pros or take a DIY approach.
The main advantage of an SEO service is in saving time. When you’re running a business, you only have so many hours to spare for marketing. What’s more, the algorithms that affect SEO are constantly changing. SEO services stay on top of the latest ranking techniques, so you don’t have to.
Plus, methods that improve SEO can be very time-consuming. For example, having a blog can boost your SEO considerably. Yet between brainstorming, research, and image sourcing, a blog can easily take up a lot of time. An SEO service will handle some of those tasks for you.
One downside to hiring an SEO service, however, is that results are never guaranteed. Due to the unpredictable nature of consumer behavior, all SEO services can do is improve your chances of bringing in more traffic. This means you’ll need to choose the company you employ carefully (more on this later).
On the other hand, if your website is still small or you don’t have the budget for ongoing services, you can do a lot with a DIY approach. There are many small changes you can make to your site, such as creating SEO-friendly links, which can create significant improvements without the cost of hiring pros.
The DIY approach is often sufficient for smaller businesses that are just getting off the ground, and have more free time than money. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to put in more and more time to take your site’s SEO to the next level as it grows.
Additionally, you will need to make an ongoing commitment to staying on top of SEO best practices as they change from year to year. If you can afford it, an SEO service can help you grow your business, and provide you with more free time for creating content, developing products, and so on.
How to Vet Potential SEO Services
If you decide to hire an SEO service, the next step is to pick a company to work with. Not all SEO companies produce the same results. The logical question is: How can you tell which services are worthwhile?
The answer will depend somewhat on your needs and budget. However, there are a few key things to look for in any SEO service:
- Transparency. A quality business will mention specific services it offers, rather than offering vague promises.
- Proven results. Look for a good track record with past clients. Any case studies, reviews, and ratings you can find will be helpful here.
- Fair pricing. The cost for SEO services can vary widely, since businesses offer such a range of options. Therefore, you’ll want to look for a few potential companies that provide all the services you want, and compare prices. In addition, be wary of pricing on the far high or low end of the spectrum.
One example of a reliable SEO service you could look into is Attracta:
This company offers a range of managed and ‘a la cart’ plans that are suitable for website owners at many price points. A2 Hosting clients can also access Attracta’s powerful SEO tools plugin, in order to achieve many of the same results.
Strong SEO is very important for your website’s success. An SEO service can make sure your site is as high up in the search rankings as possible, giving you the best chance of converting organic search traffic into customers.
If you decide to use this type of service on your site, you’ll want to look for one that meets the following three criteria:
- Transparency: The service should offer concrete techniques to improve your SEO, such as incorporating a well-written blog to drive traffic, rather than meaningless buzzwords.
- Results: Look for companies with a strong track record, and testimonials from happy clients.
- Fair pricing: A good rule of thumb is to go for the middle ground – a company that offers high-value services with pricing that’s in line with the bulk of its competitors.
Do you have any questions about whether you need an SEO service for your website? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: axelle b.