According to Search Engine Journal, 49% of digital marketers say organic search traffic provides the best return on investment of any channel used for marketing. Without SEO, or search engine optimization, realizing profitable organic search traffic is challenging. This makes it necessary for businesses to consider business SEO services to raise their chances of ranking higher and gaining more traffic.
Here’s what you need to know about business SEO services and how they can benefit your business.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” which is the practice of increasing traffic to your website and expanding your target audience by ranking higher in search engines.
On the face of it, the main goal of search engine optimization is to increase the number of quality visitors your website receives. For this to be achieved, lots of work has to be done, not only on the website but also across all other online business assets.
SEO thus becomes a holistic approach to gaining more website visitors. It focuses not just on the website itself but also on other crucial business assets like social media and directories or listings like Google My Business.
The idea is to add these other business entities into the mix and point them toward the website to enhance it and raise its chances of ranking even higher on search engine results pages.
What Types of Business Require SEO Services?
Any business that neglects search engine optimization does itself more harm than good. How can a business that doesn’t do SEO expect to outwit its competition in the online realm?
Every business requires SEO services, be it a small brick-and-mortar business or a large-scale business with thousands of workers and millions of dollars in annual profits.
Business SEO services are ideal for:
- Every business that has an online or web presence
- Every business that wants to establish a web presence
- Every small business, whether it operates locally or serves a large geographical area
- Every medium-sized business
- Every large-scale business
For the purposes of this article, we will focus more on SEO services for small and medium businesses (SMBs).
These are businesses that have just recently started or broken even and want to get even better in their provision of products and services for a specific target audience.
Cost of SEO Services
Depending on the professional SEO services provider you choose and the nature of your business, you can expect to spend at least $500 and upward of $10,000 per month.
The SEO provider can be a freelancer, independent contractor, or SEO agency like Canopy Media.
If you are a small business on a tight budget, plan to set aside at least $500 per month for SEO services. You can find an ideal small business SEO service package costing $500, especially when working with a freelancer.
According to a 2019 study by Backlinko, the average American small business spends about $497 per month on search engine optimization services.
The same study notes that businesses that spend more than $500 per month are over 53% more likely to experience extreme satisfaction with the SEO services they receive.
If you are a medium-sized enterprise, you can expect to pay between $800 and $1,500 per month on business SEO services.
Large-scale businesses usually spend between $2,000 and $8,000, with some spending more than $10,000 per month. This is the amount many providers charge in an enterprise SEO service package.
When it comes to determining the right budget for SEO services, the trick is to stay within your limits. You don’t want to dedicate all your finances to one aspect of the business and leave other equally important ones unfunded.
If you can only afford to pay $500, start with that amount and keep adding to it as you achieve more success.
Also, note that it takes time for SEO to achieve the desired results. You’ll want to ensure that you can comfortably dedicate the agreed budget for at least four months, although it could be 6-12 months before your SEO efforts break even.
Cheap SEO vs. Affordable SEO Services
The internet today is awash with countless SEO service providers offering what they call cheap SEO services to any unsuspecting business owner that listens to them.
While cheap doesn’t always mean poor quality, most low-cost service providers use blackhat SEO tactics like buying spammy backlinks and Private Business Networks that they deliver to unsuspecting businesses.
The danger in these cheap SEO services and blackhat tactics is that search engines – especially Google – can easily detect these practices on your site and punish you with a demotion that leads to a loss of both traffic and revenue.
However, there are still genuine providers of cheap SEO services. These are mostly freelancers or new agencies looking to break into the industry. They typically charge less than established services in order to gain customers fast and build a strong portfolio.
On the other hand, affordable SEO services are more legitimate and involve using whitehat SEO tactics. There is a large number of SEO firms and freelance professionals that offer affordable SEO services, some even with customized charges tailored to your needs and budget.
Since both cheap and affordable are highly relative, you should check what the provider charges against the deliverables to see if there is a reasonable relationship.
If what the provider charges is way too low and the deliverables seem top-notch, you might want to keep away from them and look for another provider that is less risky or scammy.
When to Use Business SEO Services
You should seek the help of an SEO agency or professional when:
- You are a new business in the market looking to establish a substantial market share over time
- You have no internal or in-house SEO team, or the team members do not have enough knowledge of SEO
- Your past and current SEO efforts prove futile or end in frustration and wastage of resources
- You are just getting started with digital marketing and don’t know how to best carry out organic marketing for the long term
- All your immediate competitors use SEO services and you haven’t done anything tangible in this area
Why Shouldn’t My Business Use SEO Services?
As vital as SEO service providers can be to growing your business, search engine optimization may not be for you if:
- You want results fast (According to Google, it takes 4-12 months for SEO to start bearing fruits.)
- You don’t have the budget for SEO services
- You already have a strong internal SEO team, so you don’t necessarily need to hire an agency or individual professional
Why You Should Hire an SEO Services Company or Contractor
Here are a few reasons why you might have to hire an SEO service provider after all.
SEO is Challenging
The SEO process won’t change much because you are only a small business. It’s just about the same for both small and large businesses. And it’s hard.
Search engine optimization is broad and encompasses various aspects that must all work harmoniously for the best results.
SEO is Always Evolving
Without a good service provider and a solid SEO strategy, your SEO efforts may turn into chasing the wind. Getting to the topmost position on the first search result page isn’t a destination but an ongoing journey.
When you rank well on a search engine like Google, you’ll want to hold this position for the longest time possible. However, this isn’t always the case because SEO practices keep on changing even by the day, and you can get dethroned in a short time.
As part of internet marketing that is also always changing, SEO evolves continually to feature new practices that you must keep in touch with if you are to compete well in your industry.
SEO Calls for Ongoing Work
You can’t do one SEO task and lay down your tools hoping that you have done all you should. Even when you ace it and boost your website traffic following higher rankings, you have to keep improving your efforts.
While some aspects of it call for little to no maintenance, others such as publishing content and promoting must be done regularly.
Types of Business SEO Services
Whether you are looking for small business SEO services or extensive services for a large business, you can expect the package to include the following aspects.
1. SEO Audit/Website SEO Analysis
The very first step a small business SEO company does after you agree to work together is to conduct an SEO audit on your website to see what you have been doing, what works or doesn’t work, and what needs improving.
The reason for the audit is simple: your service provider can’t help you improve your rankings if they don’t know where you are coming from, the point you are at in your SEO journey, and what can be done better.
2. Competitive Analysis
A detailed competition analysis is important in search engine optimization. You want your business to outsmart its competitors, and you can’t do so effectively if you don’t know what they are doing on their end.
Your SEO service company can provide insights into the SEO practices your competitors are using, what tools they use, and whether or not the practices are successful.
3. Local SEO
Local search engine optimization as an internet marketing tactic helps improve the visibility of your business in local search results.
For example, if a potential customer conducts a simple Google search for “cleaning company,” Google presents them with several companies on the results page.
If you have optimized well for the keyword and search intent, Google will show the customer your business, including a Google map of your location, your contacts, and hours of operation.
As part of local SEO packages, your SEO specialist or agency may provide services such as local business listings. The SEO expert helps you open a Google My Business page and optimize it to turn page visitors into paying customers.
Besides Google My Business optimization, local SEO services include extensive keyword research for terms that can help your business rank higher and faster in your area on the SERPs.
4. National SEO
Unlike a local SEO company that may only search for local clients, a national SEO provider serves clients at a larger scale countrywide. Instead of targeting a single area as a local SEO service does, a national SEO expert targets an entire country.
5. Technical SEO
Technical SEO applies to anything that is on the website and is thus a part of it and also anything that is not part of content. Technical SEO helps with fixing indexing and crawlability issues. It comprises aspects such as:
- Sitemap integration
- Log file analysis
- Structured data
- Fixing 3xx and 4xx errors
6. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO optimizes the content of a webpage to set it up for higher search engine ranking and optimum traffic. It involves aspects such as:
- URL optimization
- Optimizing images and alt tags
- Adding quality internal and external links with relevant anchor text
- Optimizing and formatting title tags
- Keyword research
- Content optimization
7. SEO strategy
An SEO service provider develops a solid SEO strategy, which is a detailed plan for improving the search rankings of a website to get more traffic.
Organic SEO requires a robust plan that takes care of aspects like what SEO campaign launching process to follow, the content design, content updating, optimization for search intent, and keyword research.
8. Video SEO
Although most businesses and SEO experts focus on written content SEO, video SEO is equally important and can help rank your website a lot faster for targeted keywords.
9. E-commerce SEO
E-commerce websites need to improve the chances of their product pages showing up on the search engines when prospective customers search for such products. This is possible through e-commerce SEO.
10. Keyword Research
SEO success calls for finding the right keywords that internet users type into search engines to find information and products or services.
Your SEO company should do comprehensive keyword research to find the best keywords that you should target on your website to increase your chances of ranking high in the SERPS.
11. Content Marketing
Your small business SEO provider can also double up as a content marketing service provider offering services like content creation, keyword research, copywriting, content strategy, editorial calendar, and content promotion.
12. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO involves various backend elements of a website such as backlinks, domain authority, responsiveness, and page load time. It is a marketing strategy implemented on other entities besides the website.
Other aspects of off-page SEO include link building, social media marketing strategy, ratings and reviews, disavowing spammy backlinks, reclaiming broken links, and influencer marketing.
It would be futile to launch SEO campaigns and never measure the applicable metrics to determine if they were successful or not.
The SEO services company you hire should measure metrics using tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console to gauge the performance of your site and the effectiveness of your launched SEO campaigns.
The firm should also report the findings to you on a regular basis, preferably at least once every month. They can also recommend lines of action that can be taken to further improve each SEO campaign.
SEO Success KPIs to Consider
The following are some crucial key performance indices to consider in SEO:
- Keyword rankings
- Organic sessions and other aspects like bounce rate, average duration per visit, page views, and number of unique visitors to the site
- Page loading time and speed
- Conversion rate
- Crawling mistakes
Benefits of SEO Services
Search engine optimization has countless benefits you can enjoy as a business owner. Here are a few of them:
Improved Search Rankings
The main goal of any SEO campaign is to improve your site’s chances of ranking higher on search results pages. If your best article ranked in the top 100 but now ranks in the top 10 after you hired an SEO expert, then your investment is worth it.
Through high-quality SEO, you can achieve ranking success faster than if you kept doing things without any regard for search engine optimization.
However, SEO takes a long time to bear fruit. Success may start showing in the fourth month all the way up to 12 months or more. The advantage with SEO is that this break-even period is shorter than the time you would take if you did no SEO.
Chances are your competitors are also using or looking to use SEO as a marketing strategy for more website traffic, engagements, and even sales. You can beat them at their game if your SEO company helps rank your site higher and faster than those of your competitors.
More Leads and More Sales
A generous increase in quality visitors to your site can mean more qualified leads and increased revenue from an upsurge in sales.
When SEO brings you more visitors, your content and other marketing tactics can help you turn as many of them as possible into leads and, ultimately, buyers.
SEO Service Providers Unburden You
Juggling various business activities like administration and customer service can be a hard task. And it gets even harder if you have to do search engine optimization yourself as the owner or through your SEO team.
When you hire an external SEO agency or contractor, you relieve your business of the burden of implementing your SEO strategy. It becomes the responsibility of the provider, and you can now shift all your focus to other equally important business aspects.
Tips on Choosing the Best Business SEO Services Provider
How do you choose the best SEO service provider? What aspects or factors should you consider? Here are some handy tips to help you hire an ideal SEO specialist for your business.
Choose a Whitehat SEO Company Only
Since SEO takes some time to get results, you might be lured into taking shortcuts and hiring a blackhat SEO practitioner because they promise faster results.
The results of blackhat SEO may be quicker, but the slower results of whitehat SEO will have a long-lasting effect on your website, revenue rates, and return on investment.
Choose an Effective Communicator
You’ll want to regularly know how your SEO campaigns are doing, and a service expert that keeps you updated regularly is better than one that you have to always reach out to first.
Have Specific Goals
Saying you want to boost your search rankings is a vague goal.
It’s better to say that your goal is to increase your website traffic by, say, 50% in the next 12 months. Specific goals are measurable, making it easy to gauge the effectiveness of the campaign and the provider as well.
Check Their Reviews and Testimonials
Have past or existing clients of the SEO professional left them good reviews and testimonials? Are these verifiable?
Go for an Educator
SEO is an interesting and engaging process. Once you start doing search engine optimization, you’ll want to keep doing more and more, and there will always be room for improvement with new things to learn every day.
An SEO provider that not only reports their progress but also educates you is ideal. For example, you want to be able to correctly interpret their reports, findings, and recommendations.
Check their Blog
Most SEO service providers run a blog on their website. Checking the blog can help you see if their content is of high quality. You can also see if they keep up-to-date with trends in search engine optimization practices.
Ask for Case Studies and Writing Articles
Where a service provider offers content writing as part of SEO, you can ask for writing samples to see if they can deliver SEO-optimized articles.
Case studies are ideal for checking if the service provider can deliver results within an agreed timeframe. Check what type of clients they have had and the kind of results they have enjoyed from the company.
Implementing a search engine optimization strategy can be a daunting task for a business that also has to juggle other important tasks like administration and serving customers.
As a business owner, you can turn to business SEO services to achieve SEO success more easily and faster than if you did all the work internally.
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