Are good SEO companies worth their fees? Before we dive into that question, answer this one.
Do you do your own taxes? Have you ever missed out on a deduction because you didn't know it existed or worse, have you taken a deduction that wasn't allowed and ended up paying penalties? If you have been in that situation or if you fear being in that situation then you probably have someone who knows taxes (like a CPA) preparing your taxes today. You realize that you could probably do your returns yourself but it's far more cost effective to have a professional do it for you.
The same logic applies to optimizing the performance of your website.
“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing” is an old adage that perfectly fits the task of website optimization. If you are serious about squeezing out every possible lead, establishing your business as a local authority and building brand awareness then you need a professional who does optimization for a living…not an employee who does it as “other duties as assigned.”
A little SEO knowledge will inhibit your website's potential as a revenue building source. A little “outdated” SEO information can earn you a slap down by Google and sink your site to the bottom of the search pile and you can kiss your investment goodbye.
What can you expect from a good SEO company?
There was a time when many SEO companies were really nothing more than skilled spammers. They focused on new and improved ways to manipulate search engines rather than delivering value to the visitor and for many years those tactics worked as far as ranking was concerned.
But today the search engines have matured and their algorithms have become far more sophisticated and that's good news for legitimate business websites. For example today when you get a visitor based on the search term “advantages of oak flooring” you're likely to have a searcher that is somewhere in the buying cycle for flooring rather than someone who was looking for oak furniture. The search traffic of today is far more relevant making the website a key instrument in converting that traffic into a lead.
So is a good SEO company worth their fees? The operative word of course is “good.”
The focus of a professional SEO company will be on your end game…not the volume of traffic received from search. A professional SEO company will use sound optimization practices, analyze and correct architectural weak spots and do meaningful marketing analysis of web analytics all with an eye towards increasing conversions.
Here are the three essential services you should expect from professional SEO companies:
- Comprehensive technical analysis of your existing site. This means looking at the architecture to see if there are any impediments to search bots that would slow down indexing, load speed, ease of navigation, quality of content, on page optimization, relevancy of keywords, optimization for mobile devices and more.
- A comprehensive performance review of your site analytics to determine what is working and what isn't in terms of traffic, visitor engagement and behavior.
- Preparation of an optimization and marketing strategy based on your objectives and the results of the analysis. The strategy will lay out specifically what needs to be repaired, improved and/or added. Undoubtedly it will contain a social media element as well as a monitoring plan to ensure your online reputation remains favorable.
Is this whole marketing thing more involved than in the past? Most certainly. But in the past you were placing a listing in the Yellow Pages or placing an ad in the paper and hoping someone who needed your services would find it. Today, someone who needs your services is finding you. That is a huge difference and one you need to exploit to be competitive.
A good SEO company can't guarantee you results but done correctly, your web presence can become your principal source of new and repeat business. Is that worth the fee?