Over 80% of online shoppers use the internet to find local businesses. Where does your business stand?
Even if you understand the importance of hiring a search engine marketing company, you may think that off-the-cuff businesses can do the job for you.
That’s not the case.
As with any service, you need to hire a team that fully understands your market, business, and how to finagle the search engines.
Let’s take a look at what website optimisation services your agency should offer, and what to expect from low-paying outlets.
What Services Do SEO Agencies Offer?
If you want quality results, which we’re sure you do, then you need to be aware of what the pros actually offer.
First, there are two types of SEO marketing—one is called ‘black hat’ the other is called ‘white hat.’
White Hat SEO is based on proven strategies that help you organically grow your audience. This includes quality links, well-written and relevant content, balanced keyword usage, lead generation, traffic generation and customer acquisition. Google loves white hat SEO.
Black hat SEO carries a negative connotation. Unfortunately, it involves spammy methods that in the short term might be able to lift your site in ranking, but ultimately damage your reputation. Google hates black hat SEO. Most ‘cheap’ website optimisation sites use black hat strategies because they are cheaper to implement and require little work.
Red Flags to Look For
While you can’t always be 100% certain that the business you hire is good at what they do, you can be on the watch for certain red flags along the way. A few of these include:
- Guarantees — No matter how good the company is, they cannot guarantee with certainty they’ll get you everything you’re dreaming of. This isn’t because they’re bad at what they do, it’s because they understand organic traffic takes time to develop.
- Immediate Results — Anyone claiming they can get you a massive increase in sales immediately is either lying or doesn’t know how SEO works.
- Non-Organic Link Building — Inbound links are critical to any SEO strategy, but they have to be quality links. Cheap SEO agencies aren’t likely able to provide the quality you need to get the results you want.
- Cheap Prices — We’ve already touched on this, but it’s worth repeating: cheap services produce cheap results.
What’s The Worst That Could Happen?
If you decide to hire a company who implements black hat tactics you are putting your business in danger. And we mean that literally.
Handing over your website to uncouth companies exposes you to copyright problems, penalties from Google, and ultimately could ruin all your hard work.
Not to mention that you could also ruin your reputation with other companies (thanks to spammy comments on their blog posts—a blackhat strategy).
Truly, black hat strategies are a lose-lose situation for website owners.
How to Tell You’re Getting Professional Services
If the agency you’re hiring provides real, worthwhile professional services they’ll adhere to these practices and offerings:
- Realistic Promises — E.g., we’ll increase your following by 10% the first month if you use us…etc.
- Comprehensive Reporting — They’ll keep you informed of changes to your plan as it evolves.
- Customised Plans — Flexibility is important for the best results.
- They rank high for the term “SEO” — If they offer SEO services they should be ranking high for their own service in your area. For example, they should rank high for the terms “SEO agency in the UK.”
What Do Quality SEO Agencies Charge?
Now that you know so-called ‘affordable’ agencies aren’t going to produce the results you’re looking for, it’s time to discuss what to expect from professional agencies.
There are three different ways to categorize the costs of the best website optimisation services available:
- Monthly Retainer
- Contract Services
- Hourly Rates
For monthly retainer services, you should expect to pay anywhere from £750-5,000 each month.
Project based services vary from person to person. Most start at £1,000 per month and rise to around £30,000 for big companies.
Contract services are typically fixed to an agreed upon price between you and the agency. Audit services, SEO copywriting and more will vary based on the demand.
Hourly services start out at £100 per hour.
In other words, be prepared to pay more for quality results. Remember, investing £1,000 + in a professional search engine marketing company is worth double or triple because of the RESULTS you get back. Anything else is just throwing your money away.
What To Expect
In the end, your budget dictates what services you can afford. SEO agencies vary greatly in what they do and how they do it, but the best are married to proven strategies.
If you’re searching for trustworthy website optimisation services in Manchester or the UK, we want to help. We’ve helped countless companies improve their rankings and revamp their brand’s image and we can help you too.