Today, your business needs an online presence. Not having one would be like not having a phonebook listing back in the day: you’d be invisible to your potential customers.
Unfortunately, maintaining an online presence isn’t so simple. The Internet is crowded with competition, and standing out takes work.
That’s where SEO comes in. Search engine optimization is intended to make you more visible online, namely by moving your website up in search engine results. By improving your ranking, you can better capture the business of the people searching for what you do. Because they can find you now!
How do businesses improve their SEO? Many turn to SEO companies, a smart move for busy entrepreneurs. So what, exactly, do SEO companies do?
In this piece, we’ll unpack the services we provide to improve our clients’ search engine rankings. While SEO can seem somewhat mysterious to onlookers, especially since it’s a fairly new industry, we’ve discovered a concrete checklist of tasks that can boost any client’s visibility if completed correctly and consistently.
While this list does not represent our entire industry, it’s a small picture of what SEO services can look like.
What Do SEO Companies Really Do?
Often, a new website is the first step to improving SEO. Older sites may be too slow, outdated or dysfunctional to rank high in search results.
Our website design and development team creates beautiful, functional sites using WordPress. We make sure all of our websites are mobile-responsive and contain key features for visibility in search. Sidenote: Not all SEO companies build websites! But we’ve found that this service is an ideal complement to our other offerings.
Content plays a key role in search engine rankings. Google crawls the content on your website to understand what you’re all about, and ranks you according to the quality and relevance it finds.
We create content in many forms to improve our clients’ SEO. Often, we start by revamping the content within a website’s main pages. This can involve bulking up the content, fixing mistakes (Google detects quality of writing!) and integrating specific keywords strategically.
Once a client’s main content checks out, we transition to writing blogs. Not only do regular blogs keep your website active for better SEO; blogs can also target other keywords you’d like to show up for in search.
Lastly, content can take the form of social media posting and email newsletters. While these don’t directly affect SEO, they’re part of maintaining a complete online presence.
Get you listed
An important ranking signal is whether your business is listed in online directories like Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List and other sites. As a result, we create and maintain listings for our clients across a range of online directories.
Otherwise known as local citations, these ensure potential customers can find you wherever they may be looking. Consistent citations also tell search engines you’re an established, authoritative business that should be ranked high.
Help you get reviews
Believe it or not, reviews are one of the TOP ranking factors for Google search. A company with many reviews is significantly more likely to rank high in results than one with few or no reviews. What’s more, an abundance of positive reviews can be your ticket to prized results like Google’s Local Pack and Maps results. (If you’ve never heard of these, they’re search results that Google showcases more visibly than typical results, which can send your click rates skyrocketing.)
While there’s no secret trick to getting a slew of 5-star reviews, we set up systems that make collecting reviews from customers faster and easier.
Run paid advertisements
Last but not least, we assist some clients with paid advertising campaigns like AdWords and Facebook ads. While not the right fit for everyone, paid campaigns can lead to instant visibility, since the ads activate as soon as you launch them. (This is in contrast to organic SEO, which can take time.) What’s more, paid campaigns allow you to connect with an extremely relevant audience, targeting people in precise locations looking for your services specifically.
In sum, a well-calibrated paid campaign can bring you highly qualified leads with exceptional cost efficiency.
How To Tell If Your SEO Services Are Working
For starters, you should be getting more leads from your online presence! That’s the most direct way to tell if your SEO company is doing its job well—and probably the one you care about most.
Other ways to assess the effectiveness of your SEO campaign are:
- You rank higher. When you Google the terms you’d like to come up for in search, your website appears high in results.
- You receive reports tracking progress. Every SEO company measures progress differently, but in general, your SEO company should be sending regular reports of some kind. Our reports include data related to website traffic, keyword position tracking, conversion tracking and other measures.
As I said at the start of this article, SEO strategies aren’t homogenous across our industry. But those that I’ve described are the things we focus on and that get our clients the best results. We hope this has helped clear up the mystery surrounding what SEO companies really do.
Any questions? Contact us here.