With an overwhelming amount of companies offering SEO packages, deciding which one to invest in can be a difficult decision for any business.
It’s not always clear how long an SEO strategy will take to work and there are numerous unscrupulous SEO companies out there who will happily take your money without delivering on their promises. It’s easy to get lured into cheap SEO, but more often than not, opting for bargain-basement SEO is a waste of both time and money.
The good news is that not all SEO companies are out to take your money and run, there are some good, honest SEO’s out there (like us), who offer high-quality, affordable SEO packages that are worth investing in. So, in this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to choose a company and an SEO package that will help you reach your businesses goals.
What is SEO?
We won’t go into too much detail here, but in a nutshell, SEO is the process of increasing the visibility of a website in the organic search listings, by optimising the pages on the site, to match the search terms that potential customers are typing into the search engine.
Google uses many factors to determine where a web page ranks within the search results, so SEO companies use a variety of tactics to position your website in front of your customers, at the very moment they are looking for the services you provide. A website that sit’s at the top of the search results can expect to see the lions share of traffic and potential enquiries. That is the power of SEO.
How do search engines work?
Search engines have the momentous task of crawling through billions of websites every day, understanding of what each website is about and categorising them so people can find what they are looking for. Understanding how this categorisation works, SEO companies are able to develop strategies that influence the positioning of a website within the search results.
The positioning of a website in the search results comes down to two determining factors:
Google is always trying to show the best possible web pages that match the searchers intent. If you are a barbershop located in Worcester and I searched for ‘barbershop in Worcester’, does your website have a webpage that details that you are actually a barbershop that is located in Worcester? Does your webpage match what the searcher is looking for? Is your page relevant?
To determine your website’s authority, Google looks at the links pointing to your site. Links from other trusted and relevant websites count as a vote and help to build your authority online.
Anatomy of an SEO package
Not all SEO packages are created equal. There are many companies offering SEO services, but not all of these companies are SEO specialists. A good SEO company should offer a complete SEO service, from research, analysis and strategy to onsite and offsite SEO.
Market research, keyword research and competitor analysis
To develop an effective SEO campaign we must first gain an understanding of your target audience and your competitors. This research usually yields keywords that you will target as part of your digital marketing strategy.
An SEO audit of your website tells the SEO company what the current situation is, highlighting any issues that may be preventing your website from ranking. A plan can then be put in place to fix any errors and build a solid foundation from which to launch a campaign.
SEO focused website design and development
We have come across numerous SEO companies that don’t have website design and development skills. Understanding how to build a search engine friendly website is crucial for your success, so when choosing an SEO company, make sure they know how to build and optimise your website.
Link building is the most difficult part of SEO, but it is also one of the most important. Getting the right kind of links to your website helps to build your authority, which along with relevance, is the key to success.
Great content is the cornerstone of any effective digital marketing strategy. Search engines classify your pages based on their content, so it is crucial that your pages are easy for the search engines to understand, relevant and comprehensive.
Local SEO is crucial for businesses who want to be visible for local searches. A local SEO strategy would normally include website optimisation, business citations, building local links and Google My Business optimisation.
It is important to understand that SEO is a complex process with lots of moving parts. While the term ‘SEO package’ may give the impression that you are choosing an off-the-shelf solution, good SEO is anything but that. Every business has different goals and a unique set of circumstances, so any SEO package you invest in must be tailored to your specific situation.
Performance tracking & Reporting
A monthly SEO report keeps you informed of your website’s progress. The report typically details performance, traffic, positioning, work carried out during the month and a plan of work to be carried out the following month.
How much do monthly SEO packages cost?
Costs for monthly SEO packages can vary greatly and a lot depends on your current situation, your industry, what you want to rank for and how quickly you want to see results. It’s important to be realistic. If you have a minimal budget for SEO and want to target national audiences or operate in a highly competitive industry, it’s going to be a difficult road. There are SEO companies out there who will happily take your money knowing that your budget and business goals don’t mesh. A good SEO company will be honest and tell you upfront if your goals are achievable within your budget.
It’s true that for some companies, SEO just isn’t a good fit. If you are a small business and your competition is a multinational organisation, an SEO package may not be the best use of your marketing spend.
At Hint, we have a range of SEO packages for small (or even micro) businesses that start at £150 per month. These packages are ideal for start-ups, one-man-bands and small businesses who operate in a tight geographical area. We also offer SEO packages for established businesses in competitive industries, but we always look at your specific situation and aim to build an SEO package tailored to your business.
Cheap SEO packages
We have seen SEO packages from as little as £20 per month. It’s hard to see what work could possibly be done for this price when SEO taking into account the deep understanding required of your business and market to deliver effective SEO. These packages are out there, but our advice would be to proceed with caution.
You should now have a better understanding of SEO and what to look for when choosing an SEO package for your business. Armed with this information you can make an informed decision and ensure that your marketing spend isn’t going to waste.
If you have any questions or have an SEO package that you feel unsure about, get in touch and we will do our best to help.