What are SEO Services? SEO services are search engine optimization services intended to increase visibility and ultimately organic search traffic to websites. These are often provided by agencies or freelancers who are experts in all aspects of SEO.
Why is SEO important?
Nearly 93% of web traffic occurs on search engines. If you want your website to be found, you need to be indexed on major search engines and ranked highly. Some other facts about Google and search engines in general:
- 75% of searchers won’t click past the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs)
- Google processes over 5.8B searches/day.
- Google processes over 2T searches/year.
- The avg. click-rate of position 1 in search results is 19.3% and position 2 is 10.57%.
- Every year, between 16-20% of all searches are brand new. They have never been searched for before.
- 60% of Google searches are performed on mobile devices.
- Google has 95% of the mobile search engine market in the U.S.
- About 33% of mobile Google searches are location-related.
- 50% of “near me” queries result in a store visit.
- 7 out of 10 Google searches for food occur on mobile devices.
- 46% of product searches begin on Google.
- Google is the dominant search engine with 92% market share.
In an easy world, you could set up your website and wait for traffic to just come to your website. However, there are likely many websites focused on similar themes and topics as your own. Search engines must decide which websites to list on any given position in the search results for any given search query. Implementation of SEO best practices are critical to ensure your website captures web traffic for relevant search queries in search engines.
What SEO ranking factors are important in 2022?
SEO is important and it needs to be done to capture search engine traffic to your site. How does a search engine decide how to rank websites exactly? The answer to this is complex because there are hundreds of ranking factors, but we have compiled the most critical for you.
You may have heard that content is king and this is true when it comes to SEO. At the most basic level, search engines want to match users with the most relevant content to their query as possible. One reason Wikipedia articles are often ranked highly is because they tend to be comprehensive and trustworthy. Search engines will look at the content on the page, the freshness of the content, and deploy sophisticated algorithms to understand if the content is relevant to the searcher. For example, suppose you have a coffee mug website and you sell mugs of all different shapes and sizes. You will want to make sure you have content on your website that is clearly about coffee mugs. This could include mug product pages, but also content on the history of coffee mugs, how they’re made, or even the most creative coffee mugs of all time. Content is the fundamental building-block of driving organic search traffic to your site.
USER EXPERIENCE (UX)
You may have great content, but if you provide a poor experience, users will leave and never visit your site again. This is something search engines try to avoid at all costs and therefore rank websites with excellent user experience higher. So, what makes a great user experience?
- Fast page speed
- A mobile-friendly website
- Seamless navigation
- No pop-up messages
Users need to be able to quickly and easily consume your content and navigate through your site. This has become especially important as mobile devices are increasingly common and now make up a majority of web traffic.
Google is scheduled to roll-out an update to its algorithm in 2021 based on user experience. This under-appreciated web development consideration is about to get a big boost in importance. From Google’s own words:
The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction
There is some overlap with user experience and technical ranking factors. These include web development best practices to increase page speed, but also meta data optimization and web architecture considerations. For example, meta data optimizations with improve click-rates on search result pages, improve image ranking, or even help surface your content on voice searches.
USER FEEDBACK METRICS
Search engines also rely on behavioral data users leave as clues as they search for content. This may include click-rates for a given query or if a user hits the back button very quickly upon clicking on a result. These ranking factors are not always transparent and web professionals must rely on subtle clues the search engines leave or feedback from search engine experts and employees.
A backlink is any link that points to your page. Search engines look at how many links point to a particular page and which site is pointing to it. If you have amazing content and people consider it trustworthy and comprehensive, they will want to link to you. However, search engines look at the quality of the links to determine the value of the link. They’re not all created equally. As an example, if you have a sports blog and ESPN links to your blog, the search engine will view your content as extremely authoritative and relevant. However, if your friend’s new recipe blog links to you, it will not be considered as important. Even though your friend might!
It’s important to note this ranking signal has been abused in the past by websites who took advantage of the algorithms at the time. As a result, search engines rolled-out updates to ensure the integrity of search results. Make sure you fully vet the integrity and methods of vendors who promise you backlinks.
Why are SEO services needed?
You may be tempted to bypass professionals and do your own search engine optimization. However, it will be very difficult to achieve success on your own if you’re in a competitive industry. For example, a law firm will want to rank highly for queries such as “lawyers near me” or “contract lawyer”. However, there may be many law firms also competing for visibility and it can be extremely difficult to outdo competitors without expert knowledge and experience.
Another consideration is the time and breadth of skills needed to execute SEO continuously and successfully. A successful SEO program requires a blend of many diverse skillsets that include:
- Content development
- Creative design
- Web strategy
It’s also difficult to seek out and maintain media contacts and partnerships with authoritative outlets. These become important when you need to gain authority and trust yourself. It simply doesn’t won’t make sense for a business to stretch themselves this outside of their core business.
What types of seo services are there?
There are many different SEO services and they should ultimately be tailored to your business needs. Let’s do a rundown of what a comprehensive SEO program looks like.
Sometimes the hardest step is knowing where to begin with your SEO program. Ultimately, everything will come down to what your goals are. If you have a SaaS solution in a focused niche, your goal may be to increase awareness of your brand and drive consideration on your product pages. On the other hand, if you’re a publisher, your goal may be to increase rankings and traffic on search queries with local specificity. Experienced SEO and digital pros can you walk you through this process and get your program heading in the right direction.
TECHNICAL SITE AUDIT
SEO site audits look at all the technical components on your website that may affect how a search engine may judge your page. This boils down to a website’s:
- Crawlability: Can a search engine crawler find and access the content on your website?
- Indexability: Are your pages actually indexed in the search engines?
- User Experience: Do your pages load quickly across any device? Are there pop-ups?
Site audits involve a crawl of your website, code analysis, and many diagnostic tests. There are often thousands of action-items that come out of site audits, but SEO experts will help you prioritize.
It’s important to align your business offering with what people search for within search engines. Keyword strategy services require a deep understanding of your business and user behavior. It includes analysis of monthly keyword volume trends, competitive analysis, SERP analysis, and prioritization. The end result is a targeted keyword strategy that provides the foundation to SEO success.
CONTENT ANALYSIS AND STRATEGY
High-quality content establishes your website as an authority and is necessary to drive organic traffic and increased rankings. The content strategy is typically driven from your keyword strategy and includes a content gap analysis. It’s possible you don’t have the high-quality content needed to rank highly for your targeted keywords. A content analysis and strategy will give you a roadmap to higher rankings.
These services optimize the content you already have for keyword and themes you wish to rank for. Actions include title updates, addition of targeted keywords to body copy, the use of engaging images, and optimizing page layout for engagement.
Factors outside of your website also affect your rankings. These include the number of backlinks pointed to your site from authoritative and trustworthy websites, Google Business optimizations, reputation management, review site optimization, and social media property enhancements. Once you have great content, off-site optimization will help amplify your content and ultimately increase search engine traffic.
Without reporting and tracking KPIs, you will never know the full impact of your hard efforts. SEO experts continuously monitor keyword rankings, organic site traffic, search trends, backlinks, and diagnostic tests to measure and learn from your SEO initiatives. It’s a lot to monitor and not all tools are created equally. You can save a lot of time and money by working with experts in this area.
You may need ongoing website support to help you implement SEO recommendations and many agencies offer this as a service. For example, if you need to ensure new content is added and optimized to your site on a regular basis, website support will be a true life-saver.
Sometimes it’s not enough to know your website sees increased rankings and traffic. You may also want to monitor how your competitors fare as well to ensure you stay ahead of them. Competitor SEO analysis tracks how your competitors rank over time along with KPIs such as backlinks, domain authority, and estimated traffic. If you notice increased competition, it may be an indicator further SEO and content investment is needed.