Is your business paying for SEO services it doesn’t need? Many SEO firms will offer SEO packages that include various services that businesses simply do not need or could easily perform themselves for a fraction of the cost. Using this guide, you will get a better idea of what your typical SEO packages should include, what your business needs specifically and what you can do without. Stop relying on SEO companies and go into your next meeting armed with the knowledge to not be upsold or overcharged on seo packages.
It can’t be argued that SEO, if correctly implemented, can provide huge amounts of targeted traffic to your website resulting in better online visibility and more conversions. However, for every honest SEO company there are a handful of deceptive ones employing black hat techniques to make good on their first page guarantees. Although they may work in the short term, SEO is a long term investment. As soon as Google catches on (which they inevitably will) all the hard work and money dumped into an SEO strategy will be for nothing as your business battles Google penalties in an attempt to climb back up the ranks.
Most honest SEO companies will offer custom SEO packages rather than predesigned ones, so your business is only paying for what it needs. Generally, this begins with an SEO audit to determine how your business is doing from an SEO perspective and what could be improved upon. Oftentimes this audit is even offered in the form of a free consultation, but just like visiting a doctor, it helps to get a second opinion. There are a variety of free tools to score your SEO for yourself. This might even be a good option before meeting with SEO companies as you already have an idea of what your SEO packages should include.
The truth is that most business owners simply don’t have the time to research SEO trends and implement them despite the potential for monumental gains in traffic and conversions. This is why SEO is generally outsourced to an SEO firm. A good SEO company will always keep up with the constantly changing algorithms used by Google and the major search engines to index and rank pages in the results list. Keeping in mind current trends when designing SEO packages for businesses is extremely important to providing efficient, measurable results.
In 2012, for example, Google came out with a significant algorithm update dubbed “Penguin.” This update along with others that followed it caused various websites to drop in the search engine ranks. These algorithmic changes happen all the time, and while they are not always as monumental as the “Penguin” update small tweaks can affect a business’ SEO efforts. Great SEO packages are constantly updated based on the changing SEO trends.
The first step in building SEO packages for your business is going to be analyzing both your own website and the websites of competitors occupying space for your desired keywords. This should take into account a variety of on-page and off-page factors, such as title tags, headings, alt text for images, the inclusion of robots.txt, an xml sitemap, meta content, quality written content, backlinks, load times and mobile optimization just to name a few. There are over 120 factors that get taken into account by search engine crawlers when indexing and ranking a website. To perform this initial check yourself there are multiple free tools online to get an idea of where your website, and competitors’ sites stand from an SEO perspective. One of the more robust, free tools to do just that is woorank.com.
After judging where your site stands next to the competition, the next step in a well designed SEO package is to do keyword research. The objective here is finding keywords that are not too competitive but still provide enough traffic. Extremely high trafficked keywords are generally dominated by huge brands with multi-million dollar marketing budgets, and noncompetitive keywords that are easy to attain a high rank for are usually not overly trafficked. The idea is to find a happy medium between traffic and competition.
Based on the SEO audit, keyword and competitive analysis a good SEO firm will draw up a strategy as part of the SEO packages. This strategy should include on-page optimization, content creation, backlink generation, and monthly progress reports.
Most of the on-page optimization can be done easily, depending on your business’ CMS (content management system). Wordpress makes doing things like creating an xml sitemap or changing URLs relatively easy. Of course, it is always easier to implement these techniques when your website is in the process of being built, but adding certain SEO factors in after the fact can provide an initial boost to your SEO efforts without even hiring a company. Once you begin to dig deeper into improving SEO things become more involved, particularly when it comes to creating content and building backlinks.
There are certain best practices when it comes to creating content for SEO. Some of these include:
Most SEO packages will include a certain number of articles per week targeting specific keywords. Business owners should question whether content provided by an SEO company is actually written in-house or outsourced. Outsourced content is not always a red flag, but often times this is where corners are cut in order to save money. Google has been preaching the importance of creating quality content geared towards readers rather than search engines for a few years now. This should be the last aspect of SEO packages that a business decides to cut corners on.
After creating all that stellar content the next aspect of good SEO packages is to share it and gain links from reputable sites across the internet. The distinction between reputable and disreputable backinks must be made because Google trusts certain websites more than others. While gaining backlinks from a reputable site (.edu, .gov, and highly established .com sites fall into this category) will positively affect SEO, gaining backlinks on a less reputable site can negatively affect SEO rankings.
While gaining backlinks can be a time consuming process (just like everything involved with SEO) it is very possible to begin by yourself and avoid paying the costs of having someone else do it as part of SEO packages. For more information about gaining your own backlinks, check our SEO best practices article.
While anyone who’s spent more than a couple minutes reading about SEO (either in this article or elsewhere) could probably tell you creating and sharing quality content is extremely important for determining SEO page rank, there are many practices that could result in penalties from Google and the resulting drop in page rank these penalties bring. Keyword stuffing and buying backlinks are two examples of black hat practices that could be a part of SEO packages claiming to deliver quick results.
The fact is that SEO is not a quick process, it is a long term investment that pays off for years after the strategy has been implemented. Many SEO companies will provide results in the year they are working for a client and as soon as they stop the clients’ site drops in the search engine rankins. In general, a robust SEO strategy will take 6-9 months before any significant results are seen in terms of traffic and ROI but will also result in traffic and conversions for years to come.
The best SEO packages include monthly or bi-weekly reports, including how individual keywords are performing, a plan for upcoming content creation, as well as click and conversion rates. There should always be a dedicated account manager who addresses concerns acting as a liaison between the SEO company and the client.
At bidpin we offer custom SEO packages to fit your goals and budget. We create all content in-house (including this article) and employ nothing but white-hat SEO practices to provide the best experience for our clients and results that will stand the test of time.