If you are thinking about signing up for SEO, then you need to be sure that you understand exactly what you are going to get. Many business owners are afraid of SEO because they don’t understand it. It is true that it might be difficult to understand exactly what you are getting for in exchange for that monthly payment. It is pretty obvious when you buy a TV ad where your money is going. You can see it in action. It would be nice to say the same thing about SEO, but the truth is that you can never know exactly what your SEO company is doing. However, if your company is doing things the right way, you should be able to see the results. While it may be satisfying to see your TV commercial or your newspaper ad, it should be even more satisfying to see your website at the top of the search engines.
Of course, there is still that elusive question regarding what exactly you are getting for your money. A good SEO plan will typically cost over $500 per month (and much more for the most competitive markets). Even if your company is doing well, throwing away $500 per month probably doesn’t sound too appealing, Therefore, you want to know exactly why you have to spend so much money. What is your SEO company giving you in return?
Regardless of what your monthly SEO budget, here are some general SEO services that a good company will provide:
- Link building – this should be the center point of any good SEO campaign. If an SEO company doesn’t have link building anywhere in their plan, then you don’t want them. One of the most consistent ranking factors is your website’s banklink profile. In reality, this is the number one reason why you need an SEO company. They will know exactly how to build those links for you. If you try to build links yourself, then you will probably end up with a big fat Google penalty.
- On-page optimization – you want to be sure that your SEO company is doing something in terms of making your page ideal for the search engines. Yes, the link building is the most important thing, but if you don’t have everything in order on your website, then those rankings won’t last long and they won’t matter anyway. A good SEO company will either tell you what’s wrong and how to fix it, or they will incorporate the changes directly into your site. This will require you to provide backend access to the site, but it’s worth it to make sure that everything is done correctly.
- Weekly reporting – your SEO company should be able to give you reports every single week on the progress they have been making. SEO reports will vary, but you should be getting information about where your site is ranking. If the company can’t tell you that, then they either don’t know or just don’t want to say because it isn’t what you want. Some SEO companies will also give reports about weekly traffic and other factors, but this will require additional work on their part. Make sure you understand exactly what type of report you are going to get. You want to be comfortable with the reports they are providing.
- Content writing – this one will vary based on your cost, but it is a big factor in rankings. Ideally, you want to hire an SEO company that will be writing content for you. While you may think you can write your own content, there is an art to writing good web content. It’s not all about keyword density either. SEO experts know exactly how to write content so that that it will be ideal for the readers and for the search engines. If you don’t understand how to reach both audiences, then you need to leave this in the hands of your SEO company. You may have to pay a little extra to get the content writing. You should also make sure the content is unique and 100% handwritten by native English speakers. This will help maximize the value of that content. It’s best to get 2-4 blog posts per month, ranging between 500 and 1000 words. Don’t bother paying for blog posts that are only 300 words or less.
There are other things you may want from your SEO service, including social media management or Adwords. However, the four things above are they key. If you aren’t at least getting that, then you need to look around.