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SEO Services: What You Need to Know

Making your website search engine savvy is not a quick and easy job. Many businesses hire agencies specializing in SEO services that take on the task, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business. Before you hire an SEO agency, you ought to know what to expect from them.

What do SEO service providers do?

The goal of an SEO service provider is to help improve your site’s search engine ranking, ideally bringing it to the first few pages of results.

You can hire an agency to assist you in both local and large-scale SEO services. A local business has unique SEO requirements that need to be addressed. You want your business to have an up-to-date online listing, complete with an accurate name, address, and phone number. Social media accounts are a must-have for local businesses, especially if they utilize a review system.

Regardless of the size of your intended audience, you should expect an agency to focus on three main criteria:

  • Content Writing: Solid content will help you obtain more inbound links; if you’re making good posts, people will want to read and refer to your page based on its merit, not how many keywords you used. While keyword analysis is an important aspect of search engine optimization, overusing them will result in a penalty.
  • Link building: Buying and selling links en masse is now considered a black hat SEO tactic, and any consultant worth their chops should know that. These days, rely on the interplay between good content and inbound links. Your SEO agency should be seeking out high-ranked, commendable sites for link building; one inbound link on a reputable website is worth more than a dozen links on random, subpar sites.  
  • Web Page Optimization: Expect your website to undergo some design changes at the hands of your SEO service provider. Slow load time and a disorganized website can affect your search engine ranking, as does the actual coding of your website. A Flash-heavy layout, for instance, will hinder crawlers’ attempts to index your site.

In that case, the agency will remodel your site a coding language that isn’t as slow or SEO ineffective. When negotiating with your SEO agency, ensure that you have the right to keep your website unaltered after you cease working with them. 

SEO services aren’t limited to changing your website. It is the responsibility of an agency or consultant to perform analysis services as well. After all, you need to know your site’s shortcomings before your SEO expert can get to work. Your agency will provide a detailed report explaining your website’s ranking over time on different search engines. They can explain what you’re doing right and where you need to improve; you might’ve done a good job in titling your pages and your domain, but you have an excess of worthless inbound links. Your firm will also find well-performing, popular keywords with little competition.

How much will SEO services cost?

The bill will depend on what you need. Search engine optimization requires an investment of time, and if you’re paying for assistance from an agency, be ready to budget for a long-term expense. Expect to shell out anywhere between $75 to $300 an hour for consulting services. When you’re paying per project, such as SEO audit reports, the level of detail will change the price. A basic report, for instance, can start at $600. An in-depth report will cost at least $3,000—at most, a novel-length report can exceed $10,000.

Contracting SEO services is a popular option for new businesses without funds for monthly services. With costs ranging from $250 to $5,000 per month, keeping an agency on monthly retainer can put a financial strain on startups trying to establish themselves. Remember to be wary of SEO firms who promise fast results at a low price. It takes months to fully achieve a return on your investment. Spending more on quality results may hurt in the moment, but like everything in life, you get what you pay for.

Last Updated: May 04, 2015