Search engine optimization, or SEO, provides an opportunity for your business to earn exposure through search engines and improve e-commerce prospects through drawing leads. For most businesses today, some form of SEO is increasingly required by the digital economy, and that means a need for SEO services.
Determine which SEO Services Best Fit Your Business
For SEO to have a sustaining impact on your business, you need to devote ample time and resources to its upkeep. Part of maintaining an SEO strategy for your company is determining the best resources to use for maintenance of your SEO services.
Let’s Look at the Different Type of SEO Services
Businesses have three main resources to turn to for SEO services.
- In-house teams: most likely your marketing team
- SEO service providers: agencies and consultants
- SEO software
These three resources differ in the levels of SEO services they provide, and offer varying degrees of technical competence and expertise. Use this article to guide how your business procures SEO services using the resources that best align with your company’s goals.
In-House SEO is Low-Cost and Less Technical
The first option to explore for help with SEO is your internal marketing team.
Ideally, your business already does some form of digital marketing in-house. Many digital marketing efforts can be leveraged into SEO services without too much strain on your in-house team, if applied with search optimization intent.
Three common examples of manageable, low-complexity SEO services that your in-house team may be able to handle are:
- Social media marketing: Educate your internal team to use social media to target your keywords and industry terms. Social media marketing extends the life of the content you promote, and can help your company appear in search engine results for certain target terms. Your company can also drive exposure through leveraging social media influencers, which can drive traffic and provide a sense of authority for your site around a target term or topic.
- Blogging: Maintain a consistent, high-quality blog to draw and retain traffic for your company site. High-quality blogging enhances user experience (UX) for site visitors, who can refer to your blog to learn more about your product/services and your company. You can also leverage your in-house content for link-building campaigns and marketing campaigns to earn traffic and endorsements for your site.
- Content marketing: Content marketing also provides a way to earn links back to your site and grow your reputation as an authority in your industry. Content marketing is a way to grow your brand and access new audiences using external platforms. Having members of your team guest-post articles on other sites exposes you to a fresh audience that may be unfamiliar with your brand, and who can learn about your company and services.
In-house resources are the most cost-effective SEO resources – in terms of avoiding paying for external resources.
However, in-house SEO requires regular maintenance. If your team does not devote full attention to keeping a regular cadence for your blog or social media, your efforts may come off as sloppy or half-baked, which can have an adverse effect on your traffic and user experience.
SEO Companies Offer Expertise and Industry Knowledge
Your business can also look into outsourcing to an expert SEO company.
Expert firms take two main forms:
- SEO Consultants: Individuals or groups that provide strategic advice, and support your team in the maintenance of an SEO services campaign.
- SEO Agencies: SEO agencies handle all aspects of an SEO campaign for a company, from formulating strategy to implementing and maintaining efforts over time.
Expert SEO companies provide valuable industry experience and expertise. In addition, they provide and maintain technical, on-site SEO services that are vital to your SEO.
Some on-site SEO services, such as using alt-image tags on pictures you upload to your site or optimizing your site content for target keywords, can be carried out by an informed in-house team.
However, on-site services such as web design, site infrastructure, and user experience optimization often require technical skills that in-house teams don’t possess. These sorts of services particularly apply to companies with outdated, or new websites. SEO consultants and agencies provide services that can reform your site for search optimization.
Investment in an SEO company does not guarantee returns for your company. However, based on their expertise in the field, the chances are decent that your business will see some sort of positive impact.
In addition, given Google’s constantly evolving ranking algorithm, ensuring that your site is up to standard for current SEO ranking factors is paramount. SEO consultants and companies stay updated on industry trends, and will be able to guide you toward best practices.
However, SEO companies are costly. Most charge a monthly retainer for their services as their base pricing, in addition to initial setup costs for an SEO campaign, and tiered pricing based on the services they provide and the size of your campaign and projects.
SEO Software Informs Users
Finally, your business has the option to automate some SEO services. There’s a bevy of online tools that you can use to inform and augment your business’ SEO strategy.
Popular examples of SEO software include:
- AWR Cloud
SEO software fits within the overall theme with SEO, in that the best approach depends on your company goals.
Moz, for example, provides software that lists a site’s “Domain Authority” (DA), a measure of a site’s relative authority on the web. This number helps inform the strength of your competition for certain key terms. For example, if the top five results for a target term all have DAs over 70, that term is competitive.
Other tools, like AWR Cloud, provide insight into how your site ranks for various keywords, and its trajectory for those terms over time.
Essentially, SEO software tools allow your business to be fully informed about your site’s search engine presence and opportunities, and provide the means to optimize your site using advanced analysis.
It should be noted that many SEO services providers also use SEO software, and typically have a good deal of expertise with it.
However, if you can train your internal team to use software intelligently, you may be able to save the costs of keeping an expert firm on retainer, and still receive the benefit of advanced tools.
Consider SEO Resources that Best Suit Your Company’s Goals
The most important factor for your company to consider when researching SEO resources is your goals, or what you want to get from SEO.
Your in-house team can serve as a good resource for low-effort and low-complexity SEO services, particularly digital marketing efforts done off-site, such as content marketing and social media. External resources provide expertise and advanced information on SEO for your company to consider for your SEO strategy.
In cases where your company builds or launches a website, redesigns a site, or shifts focus to e-commerce, bringing on an expert SEO company to ensure that it is search optimized may be the best option. Expert SEO companies are also highly informed on contemporary SEO best practices.
Finally, SEO software allows your company to access advanced search analysis. Using SEO software and tools informs your business about your SEO status and opportunities, which can help you shape strategy for optimal effect.
SEO Services are an Investment in Success
Understand that SEO is a process, not something to be handled quarterly, annually, or whenever you get around to it! Servicing your SEO is a needed component in a successful digital marketing strategy, and it’s truly an investment in the success of your business.
When deciding what to do, keep in mind that the service must fit your needs and goals. Determining your goals beforehand will help you make the best, most cost-effective choice in using and profiting from SEO services.
Who handles your SEO services today? If you’ve been going in-house, is it time for a change-up? Share your thoughts in the comments!