Introduction: So what is SEO anyway?
Put simply, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an organic method of making your business visible to the right audience. The keyword here - so to speak 🙂 - is the right audience.
How is SEO typically done?
There are two main ways that SEO is done: on-page and off-page optimizations. On-page optimizations are like the name implies - they affect how web crawlers read and interpret content on your website. Off-page optimizations involve other websites in relation to yours.
Do I need to hire a marketing agency to do my SEO?
In short, no. However; there are many advantages to having a company do your SEO instead of doing it yourself.
Some advantages to hiring an SEO company are:
- Having an experienced SEO team can ensure the best results in the shortest amount of time.
- A company that specializes in SEO can perform market and trend research for your niche, helping you create keywords and content that you never before considered.
- They can prioritize tasks and know what's most important.
- It frees up your time so that you can focus on building your business.
Some downsides of hiring an SEO company are:
- The cost can be expensive, and it's almost always a regular monthly expense.
- It usually takes a long period of time to build a strong ranking with lots of traffic (at least 3 months, but often 6 months or more).
- If communication between you and your digital agency is poor, you might not know how you are progressing.
- Scams abound and not all digital marketing agencies are legitimate.
There are several things that any website owner can do to improve SEO on their own, others require in-depth market research or technical skills, and that's when it's best to hire a professional.
If you are an Arkansas business, there is no substitute for having a good local marketing team at your disposal, as opposed to having one overseas or in another state - although that can be perfectly fine if a robust amount of market research is done. At UpPage, we've had some very good success with our out-of-state clients.
Why is it important to have good SEO?
The main reason is visibility. When your site is SEO-friendly, that means it's optimized to capture your ideal customer. Just like in a conversation, you only have so much you can say, so you want to say what's relevant and important. In the case of business, you usually want to say these things in a way that's persuasive as well.
It's Google's job to give people the best answer to their questions. A "question" could be, "best plumbers in Fort Smith, AR" or "easy carrot cake recipe." Good SEO means making your business the best answer. Naturally, the best answer is usually at the top of the search results and, not surprisingly, that's usually what people click on (over 40% of people click on the top result). Most people don't make it to the second page of the results: 71% of organic traffic clicks go to the first page (That Agency). I don't think I have to mention why it's important that people click on your site rather than your competitors. 😉
What are the challenges to finding the right SEO Company?
Content SEO is sometimes presented as the other side of the coin. This type of optimization focuses on what people will read or view when they visit your website. Both are important, but content SEO requires research, creativity, and strategy. It's also what distinguishes a business from its competitors and provides value to the user. Since your content is what ranks, content SEO with the right keywords is essential (Yoast, 2021). At UpPage, we take a content-first approach to SEO since we believe it holds the best long-term benefit by driving traffic to your site.
What are some questions you should ask an SEO agency?
- What SEO strategies do you use?
- How do you measure success and track progress?
- Can you provide any references or case studies of successful campaigns?
- Do you have experience in our industry or with similar businesses?
An example of how our company would answer is: "We use a content-driven approach, and we measure success with industry-standard tools and monthly reports. We have organic growth case studies that we like to share with our clients, and we have experience with a wide variety of industries - from logistics to healthcare."
How much do SEO services cost?
Hiring an SEO expert can be expensive - sometimes $500 - $1000 per month. Leading SEO companies can charge over $2000 a month. Since organic leads are free, and often of better quality than ad leads, many business owners are happy to pay for the organic growth that ongoing SEO provides. The cost over the long term can be much less expensive than PPC ads as well - saving businesses thousands of dollars in the long run while building the brand authority that ads alone cannot.
At UpPage, we offer one of the most affordable SEO services around. Our easy do-it-yourself SEO software includes everything you need to greatly improve your digital presence, and it's only $75 a month. We also have fully managed plans starting at $259 a month. Check out our pricing.
Things to consider before hiring an SEO agency:
You're going to want to consider your business's marketing goals before investing in an SEO campaign. Are you looking for quick results? You may want to start with Google ads, social media ads, or another type of PPC (pay-per-click) campaign. Google ads shouldn't be confused with SEO. That kind of approach is known as search engine marketing or SEM - not search engine optimization. If you're looking to build a strong online presence over time and grab customers organically for free, then SEO is for you.
You'll need to determine if you want to focus your efforts on national or local SEO. Most of our clients at UpPage focus on local SEO - this means they are catering their content to a product or service that needs to be purchased in their local city or area, such as a plumber or a local dentist. This type of work requires finding the local markets that will work best as potential customers for your business.
Whatever method you choose, you will have to do keyword research to target the right audience with the right intent. That is, they should be people who would be interested in what you have to offer - not just people looking for information (although that's okay sometimes). The main purpose of organic search tactics is to ultimately gain traffic and conversions, but the overall user experience is more important than just having the right keywords.
Watch out for digital marketing companies that promise unrealistic results, lack reviews, or promise a "safe" method of link building in an effort to artificially boost your website authority. Such black-hat methods can get you penalized by Google. It's best to focus on what makes your business unique and leverage the value of your content, product, or service. That kind of focus will truly optimize your website for search and help grow your business as well.
SEO is important because it helps you target your ideal client and rank higher in searches. Content SEO involves research to identify the latest trends and untapped keywords that will help you get ahead of your competitors. Most people are going to click on the first result in a search - which is why paid search ads appear first, right?
When evaluating SEO services in Arkansas, you want to look at the level of research those companies offer their clients, their reviews, and what types of optimization services they include - such as technical SEO audits or content creation. Improving your search engine rankings is not an overnight task - it takes months of hard work and ethical SEO tactics.
If you're looking for local SEO experts, at UpPage we love helping businesses improve their online presence, and we're based in Barling, AR. Sign up for one of our low-cost SEO plans that come with a 14-day money-back guarantee. Still, have questions? Contact us! We'd love to learn more about your business goals and our team is here to help you with any questions you may have.