Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for driving qualified organic traffic to your website from search engines like Google. But SEO encompasses a wide range of services and areas of expertise. So what exactly should you expect from a professional SEO agency or specialist?Key Services Included in SEO
The core services provided by SEO experts typically fall into several main categories:
This refers to the behind-the-scenes, technical elements that enable search engines to easily crawl, index, and comprehend your website content. Key technical SEO services include:
- Site architecture and technical audit: Evaluating the overall information architecture and technical health of the website. Identifying technical issues that may be hampering SEO.
- URL optimization: Creating human-readable, keyword optimized page URLs.
- Indexing: Ensuring pages are fully indexed by search engines. Submitting XML sitemaps.
- Page speed optimization: Improving website load times by minimizing code, enabling compression and caching. This also enhances user experience.
- Mobile optimization: Ensuring website is responsive on mobile devices and leveraging accelerated mobile pages (AMP) where applicable.
- Search engine submissions: Adding new pages/websites to search engines like Google and Bing.
- Fixing technical errors: Identifying and correcting crawl errors, indexing issues and other technical problems.
Content Creation & Optimization
The content published on your website – and its optimization – is hugely influential for SEO success. Professional content services include:
- Audit of existing content: Identifying opportunities to better optimize existing website content. Checking for issues such as thin content, keyword cannibalization etc.
- Website copywriting: Creating fresh website copy tailored around target keywords or topics that engage visitors and search bots.
- Optimization of pages/posts: Enhancing existing pages/posts for on-page SEO – e.g. better page titles and meta descriptions, internal linking, Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords, image optimization etc.
- Multimedia content: Developing visual content and mixed media that captures more attention and engagement.
- Localization: Creating content tailored for different regions and local search opportunities.
Based on an audit of the website and its content, a quality SEO agency should provide recommendations on:
- Keyword gap analysis – identifying valuable search queries that lack relevant pages targeting them.
- Improvements to existing content like thinning or expanding word count, enhancing topics covered, localization etc.
- Opportunities for new content like blog posts, videos, tools etc around valuable topics.
Gaining backlinks from external websites remains important for SEM success. Link building encompasses:
- Link opportunity research: Finding potential websites and pages to pursue backlinks from.
- Outreach: Contacting site owners to request links, often using persuasive, benefit-focused copywriting.
- Link monitoring: Keeping track of existing and new links pointing to your site. Monitoring link equity and taking action if toxic links appear.
Ongoing Optimization & Reporting
Rounding out SEO services, specialists should provide:
- Algorithm monitoring: Keeping pace with Google and other search algorithm updates that influence rankings. Then optimizing pages accordingly.
- Rank tracking and results reporting: Monitoring website ranking positions in search engines for key terms. Providing regular reports on metrics like organic traffic, conversions tracked back to SEO etc.
- Recommendations for better results: Continually reviewing strategy and providing suggestions for improving pages, content, links and conversions.
So in summary, the key services encompassed in professional SEO typically include:
- Technical SEO audits and optimization
- Content strategy, creation and optimization
- Securing backlinks through outreach and partnerships
- Monitoring rankings and search algorithm changes
- Reporting on key metrics like rankings and traffic
All this is aimed at driving more qualified organic search traffic to your website and subsequently conversions of your desired goals.
Key Takeaways on SEO Services
- Technical SEO establishes the proper website foundation for visibility and comprehension by search bots. This includes optimizing site speed, URL structure, indexing capabilities and more.
- Content remains king – creating topic-specific, engaging, locally relevant website copy targeted around researched keywords will attract rankings and traffic.
- Quality backlinks from external sites continue to influence search rankings and are worth the link building investment when done properly.
- Ongoing optimization, adapting to algorithm updates, performance reporting and boosting conversions are also key long-term SEO services.
Investing in the right SEO skills, experience and time commitment can drive impressive ROI when done properly and patiently. Prioritizing the services covered in this guide will lead to better organic search visibility over time.
Optimizing a website for maximum performance in organic search takes a significant expertise, time and multipronged effort across several key areas. Technical SEO establishes the proper crawlable website foundation upon which content can attract rankings for valuable keyword phrases which then converts searchers into leads and customers. Securing backlinks and monitoring results keeps the momentum going. Leaving SEO solely to in-house marketers often limits success versus working with a dedicated agency. Hopefully this overview gives you a better understanding of the scope of services that professional SEO encompasses when done comprehensively.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the 3 main components of SEO?
The 3 foundations of SEO are technical SEO, on-page optimization through content creation, and off-page optimization including link building. Focusing on these pillars is key.
- What are the most important SEO services?
Some of the most important services are site technical audits, content optimization, securing backlinks through outreach, tracking keyword rankings, offering conversion optimization suggestions, and adapting SEO plans to algorithm updates.
- What does an SEO expert do?
An SEO expert performs site audits, creates technical optimization roadmaps, researches valuable keyword opportunities, produces search-friendly website content, builds quality backlinks through outreach, monitors rankings and traffic, keeps pace with algorithm updates, and identifies conversion optimization opportunities.
- How do you do SEO for a website?
Proper website SEO involves technical on-site optimization, creating topic-specific, engaging content for users and search bots, building authoritative backlinks from trusted external sites, tracking keyword rankings and site traffic, tweaking pages based on algorithm changes, and refining the visitor experience to boost conversions.
- How much does it cost to hire an SEO specialist?
SEO specialist fees vary significantly based on experience level, location and scope of services. Monthly retainer fees can range from $500 up to $5000+ for more comprehensive agency partnerships. Goal-based project fees also apply.
- How can I improve my SEO ranking for free?
Free DIY tactics to improve SEO include optimizing page titles and meta descriptions, improving site speed, fixing technical errors, creating more useful content around buyer keywords, and manually building links from existing company social profiles or blogs. But expert help accelerates success.
- How long does it take for SEO to start working?
SEO is an ongoing process, but you can expect to see some ranking improvements in 3-6 months after properly optimizing on-page elements like content and technical site factors. But SEO never truly stops, as you must continually create content and build relevance over time.
- What are some examples of SEO techniques?
Common SEO techniques include improving website page load speeds, optimizing technical site infrastructure, analyzing the keyword search gap to identify content opportunities, interlinking related website content, securing backlinks from authority websites, monitoring search algorithm updates, and A/B testing pages.
- Should SEO be a one-time project or ongoing service?
SEO should be an ongoing effort given regular search algorithm updates, competitor content changes, new keyword identification etc. While you may start with a fixed-length project focused on core optimization, maintaining rankings requires continual effort.
- What is the most difficult part of SEO?
The most challenging aspects of SEO typically involve securing backlinks through online outreach, overcoming competitor content of larger brands, continually creating fresh optimization-worthy website content, and adapting approaches based on Google’s mysterious algorithm changes.
- Can I learn and manage SEO on my own?
You can learn SEO fundamentals yourself, but properly optimizing a website and outperforming competitors often requires very time-intensive effort. SEO agencies have the dedicated tools, manpower and experience to achieve results faster.
- How is an SEO specialist different than an agency?
A freelance SEO specialist is typically one person with a specific skillset, while an SEO agency provides a team of experts in areas like technical optimization, content strategy and creation, backlink building, reports and analysis, etc.
- How quickly can SEO increase traffic?
Depending on the competitiveness of keywords, existing site foundation and optimization rigor, measurable increases in organic traffic from SEO can sometimes be seen within 1-3 months. But SEO is an investment, requiring patience and consistency.
- How much does SEO cost per month?
SEO costs vary based on project scope, deliverables and provider experience. But expect monthly retainer investments between $750-$2500/mo. for medium-sized businesses pursuing professional support. Enterprise-level efforts and agencies can cost much more.
- Is 200 words enough for a blog post for SEO?
Very short 200-word blog posts often won’t rank well or provide much value. Aim for in-depth posts of 1500+ words focused around specific keyword phrases you want to target to meet reader expectations. Articles under 1000 words can still work with proper SEO however.
- Can I rank #1 on Google with SEO?
Achieving the coveted Google ranking #1 spot is possible but extremely hard for competitive keywords based on the quality and authority of existing pages. But SEO done effectively can still drive a website into the top 5-10 results over time.
- What are some SEO strategies?
Common overarching SEO strategies are technical site optimization, creating target keyword-focused content pillars, link building through online PR and outreach, optimizing pages for local search opportunities, enhancing voice search capabilities, and monitoring algorithm updates from Google.