Contracting an SEO agency or consultant to â€˜do your SEO' can be very tricky, especially for someone who doesn't have a marketing background. In addition, the role of an SEO consultant is constantly being redefined by client expectations and industry developments.
There are many individual activities that make up an entire SEO campaign, and these are discussed in detail in the following paragraphs. Knowing what SEO packages you need begins with knowing what each specific service is, and what it can do for your business:
- Market research
Market research entails in-depth research into your business including; products, competitors, industry, online presence and marketing techniques and strategies that will be most beneficial for your business considering the above.
- Competitor analysis
This is about conducting in-depth research into your competitors including their online presence and marketing strategies/techniques in detail. To be specific, you'll be interested in knowing their online marketing activities which contribute to high visibility within search engines so that the same can be applied for you. Competitor analysis in SEO packages usually covers:
- Link profile analysis to determine how they acquire high-quality inbound links, which are important for good rankings in organic search
- Onsite optimization techniques, with emphasis on keyword research to know which words they target
- Content development and marketing techniques to know how they leverage content for link-building/ traffic generation
- Strategy development and implementation
This is the process through which your SEO provider builds strategies to improve your site's online performance, particularly through organic search results. For many small to medium businesses, these strategies are similar. However, large clients in more competitive niches will need creative strategies to place them ahead of the pack.
If you notice that strategic engagement for your package is rather costly, bear in mind that part of the cost goes towards securing an experienced and creative SEO consultant, since the basic techniques just won't cut it for you. However, your provider must give you your money's worth, much more than just a few guaranteed links.
- Keyword research
This is at the heart of all SEO packages. Keywords are no less important to SEO now than they were in the past; however, the approach to research and optimization has changed from simply identifying keywords and stuffing them appropriately within your content.
Even though Google and other search engines have changed in the way they assess page relevance, your audience still uses specific words when looking for your products and services, and it's important that your site appears relevant to these words. Keyword research will help your SEO providers to create compelling content that addresses your audience's needs. Former optimization techniques, such as Meta titles and descriptions, cannot hurt either.
For small businesses, keyword research will typically be done at the start of your contract after selecting the appropriate one from your provider's SEO packages. This will help the team to generate effective on-site and off-site optimization techniques. Larger sites have their keyword research as an ongoing endeavor, especially since consumer needs and circumstances are always changing, which affects the way they may search for a certain business.