Almost every business needs to have an online presence but just having a presence is not enough if you can’t be found on the internet. You can have a beautiful website but if your potential customers can’t find you it doesn’t matter how much you spent on your website, you won’t get the return you need on it.
The internet is a very crowded place and making your business stand out from all of your competitors can be very difficult as there is a lot of competition to get to the top of the search engine rankings.
Research has shown that the majority of people doing search engine searches will only look at the first page of listings. So, in order to get your website in front of people, you need to get your website on the first page of the search engine listings for the search terms your target audience is searching for.
How much do SEO services cost?
There are a range of SEO services available which can be purchased in a variety of ways which can include SEO packages of services or project rates which will provide a range of services with the aim of getting your website optimised to increase your search ranking and can often be the initial outlay to get started.
Another form of pricing is monthly allowances which are common for long term development and maintenance of SEO rankings, and others may provide hourly rates for conducting SEO activity. These costs can vary but to give you an indication of what costs you could expect, we have researched different types of costs across the market. The costs could be:
- SEO packages that combine a wide range of activity can cost from £99 to £1,500 per month.
- Packages that aim to set your business set up and provide you with initial improved SEO rankings can typically cost from £2,000 to £10,000 depending on the agency, your industry and the keywords you want to rank against. However, these are initial cost and to maintain your SEO rankings it is advised that you continue to do regular SEO activity as outlined above in the monthly packages.
- Freelancer rates can vary depending on their experience and the level of the activity that they undertake but you can typically expect them to charge between £15 to £60 per hour.
To make your business stand out on the internet and rank higher on search engines you need to invest in search engine optimisation (SEO) or paid search often called PPC or pay-per-click advertising. Both of these will help you make your website more visible and increase your websites search engine rankings.
SEO requires consistent effort to build up your search engine rankings which can take time and effort. Paid search allows you to take a short cut by paying for your place at the top of search rankings and are linked as an ad. For paid search, you will pay for every click through to your website that happens from the ad listing.
Selecting the right search terms or keywords is crucial for your business so that you are putting the effort into the right terms which reap the return on your investment in them. Discovering which keywords are right for your business requires some research as you need to understand what your potential customers are searching for and what your competitors are doing. You may need to focus on several keywords or search phrases to get the rankings that you want for different products or services.
To get your website towards the top of the search engine rankings you need to have a good search score which is based on the relevancy of your website and the authority of the pages. To give your website a search engine score, the search engine will crawl through each your pages to index it and then provide it with a score.
Google, for example, uses over 200 elements in scoring websites which draws from both technical and creative elements of the website. With so many elements to focus on, you are best to take a broader approach and focus on the overall objectives that Google are aiming for rather than painstakingly trying to do everything.
Trying to understand Google’s methods and what can help your website increase its ranking is not straight forward and requires you to have a deeper understanding than most businesses have. You also need to be able to track their changes and understand how that can impact your rankings, which is why many businesses do not conduct their own SEO activities.
There are two types of SEO activities which can be categorised as onsite SEO and offsite SEO activities. Onsite SEO activities include actions within your website that can improve your website’s visibility, this can include:
- Keywords where you can increase the presence of these words and their prominence on your website.
- It also includes technical auditing to improve the ability of your website to be crawled and indexed this could be to correctly geo-target, remove any user experience barriers and any errors.
- Optimisation of your website in terms of the website structure, navigation, page alignment, relevancy of the page content and give priority to key areas and search phrases.
- Content can also be improved to show your experience, authority and trust of your website.
- Improve the user experience to ensure the best possible experience on the website.
Offsite SEO is the activities that you can do outside of your website to aid your website’s visibility and this largely involves link building. Link building is an essential part of offsite SEO which is where you increase the number of links to your website from reputable sources as this can increase your scoring with search engines. There are many methods to do this which include:
- Content marketing is a method of creating reputable links through creating content such as news stories, publishing research or guides.
- Digital PR is another form of link building which can include internal news, writing news for external publications, interviews or speaking at events and product placement activities.
- Promotions or outreach style of activities such as doing activities with bloggers, influencers and journalists where you engage with them about your brand, website content and PR with the aim to gain links to your website on their writing and videos.
Building links to your website helps both your search engine rankings but can also help get new customers onto your website. However, you should be cautious of link building schemes where you buy or exchange links or buy space in articles that manipulate rankings or directories that are not reputable. These types of link building can be seen poorly by search engines like Google.
What does SEO services include?
SEO services provided by digital marketing specialists can include a variety of onsite and offsite activities such as:
- They can conduct a website audit to discover improvements that can be made, and they will make suggestions for improvements.
- They will listen to your needs and evaluate what you need to do to improve your search engine rankings.
- They can research which keywords are relevant to your business and create a list for you to use.
- They will assess your current rankings for the keywords and monitor progress in increasing your rankings.
- They will examine your competitors and benchmark your business against them and examine the keywords that they are using and ranking for.
- They will make an assessment of your needs and circumstances before putting together a strategy and plan for your website for you to agree which can include onsite and offsite activities. This will include a quote which may provide a package or project quote and a monthly maintenance fee.
- They will help you to improve your website content to increase the prevalence and placement of your list of keywords as well as make your content hold more authority.
- They will advise on changes to your navigation, structure and useability of your website to make the website easier to use and for search engines to crawl and rank it favourably.
- They will advise you on what external content can help you to increase your external links and they can support you in promoting content for this purpose.
- They may provide copywriting services to help you to create content for your website that optimises keywords and also for external publishing.
- They can also advise on other search engine marketing which can include paid search advertising which could help to increase your visibility.
What are the benefits of using an SEO service?
There are many benefits from employing an SEO service which includes:
- They are experienced and knowledgeable on what the search engines require and how to best approach SEO activities.
- They can increase the visibility of your website through assisting you in reaching higher search engine rankings and ultimate drive traffic and sales through your website.
- They can help you choose the right keywords that will perform best for your website and through monitoring these they can make amendments their strategy.
- They can improve your website structure and navigation making your website easier to navigate and use as well as making it easier for website crawls to happen which can improve your search score.
- They can improve the user experience on your website which can help aid sales and keep customers engaged with your products or services.
- They can improve your content and placement of keywords which will increase your search rankings as well as making your content better for your customers.
- They help to create a range of links to your website from external sources that can increase the traffic to your website as well as increase your credibility and relevance scores which can, in turn, improve your search engine ratings.
- They can help you to create content to promote your business externally which can help you build external links to increase traffic and rankings.
- They can advise you on what activity you are doing which can be used as promotional or PR activity to increase your visibility and can be used to generate external links to your website.
- They can monitor your performance against your competitors and monitor competitor’s activity to assist you in excelling against them.
What type of SEO services are available?
There are a range of SEO service providers available which include:
- Full-service marketing agencies that are marketing agencies that provide all marketing services which include both above and below the line marketing activities and digital marketing. Their digital marketing services will include SEO services which can be purchased as part of a package of services or as a standalone service.
- Digital marketing agencies are agencies that specialise in providing marketing services which are purely online services such as websites, SEO, social media and online advertising. Again, you can purchase SEO services as a package of services or as a standalone service.
- Specialist SEO agencies are those that only provide or specialise in SEO services. They will provide dedicated SEO support and may offer some additional digital services as extras.
- Freelance SEO specialists are individuals who provide dedicated SEO services.