What Do SEO Companies Actually Do All Day?
When you pay for the service of SEO, you’re actually paying for a great number of sub-services that are woven together to achieve one common goal. Below, we’ve listed the most common services that contribute to search engine optimization — or in other words, the bulk of the work you’re paying for.
A great deal of your SEO startup cost was devoured by hours of research — if you hired an effective marketing agency. SEO strategies must be custom tailored to the individual business, or the odds of success are slim.
Being so, research is absolutely necessary to design a custom strategy that will have the right effect on the desired audience, compete with the industry standards, and comply with the ever-changing algorithm that search engines use to assemble their rankings.
Here are a few of the factors we dig into when we conduct our research:
- Your target audience (where do they spend most of their time online, what are their pain points, what is the typical shopping behavior?)
- Your competitors (who are they, how are they marketing their business, what is their SEO like?)
- Your industry (industry thought leaders, trending topics, common discussion points, etc.)
- Keywords (long tail, short tail, trending, local, etc.)
- The current structure of your website
- Your company reputation across the web
- The consistency of your NAP listings on various platforms
The most important job of an SEO strategist is learning how to assemble a variety of fickle components into one cohesive strategy that will yield profitable results for an extended period of time. While doing so, they must also ensure that their strategy is flexible, scalable, and tailored to the unique needs of your company.
Once an SEO strategist has all the research they need, they’ll spend another chunk of time crafting a custom strategy according to the following factors:
- Your budget (the bigger your budget, the more time they get to spend on your account)
- Your goals and expectations
- The magnitude of the competition in your industry
- The search patterns and shopping behaviors of your target audience
- Whether or not you already have a solid foundation to build on
Account Setup, Tagging, and Tracking
With a research-based strategy in place, it’s time to lay the groundwork for your SEO strategy with account setup, tagging, and tracking. This phase is quick and easy, but a crucial step in making sure that your results are monitored, tracked, and improved upon over time.
Your SEO strategist will create new accounts (or seek access to existing accounts) in Google Analytics, Search Console, Google My Business, Ahrefs, Yext, and a handful of other platforms used to monitor results, track progress, streamline activity, or simplify and automate a repetitive task in your strategy.
Execute, Test, Improve, and Repeat
After all the initial research, planning, and preparation, your SEO team can finally get moving on the strategy they’ve concocted. From here on out, they’ll be performing an expansive variety of different tasks to strengthen your domain authority and improve your rank in search engine results for the keywords they’ve decided to target. The bulk of this phase will consist of the following methods.
Site Cleanup: Depending on the current setup of your website, a little TLC may be in order to provide search engines with a clear sitemap — which greatly helps your rank in search engines. This consists of removing old pages, rectifying broken links, organizing your internal link structure, redirecting obsolete URLs, and so on.
Backend SEO: Optimizing and maintaining the backend of your website also contributes to a clean and concise sitemap. Your strategists will rewrite existing metadata, add page titles, site tags, alt tags, and a myriad of other tiny technical details to improve your SEO.
Content Development: Content development plays a crucial role in search engine optimization, whether it’s a new blog article, ad copy, or content for a web page. Strategic keyword placement and density is used to let search engines know what your website is about and what you have to offer — and that’s just one of the benefits of business blogging.
Outreach and Backlinks: Your SEO team may also conduct bouts of outreach to gain high-quality backlinks to your website (i.e. links on other websites that lead back to your own.) With the right outreach strategy, this very time-consuming task has the potential to greatly improve your domain authority (DA), resulting in more support from search engines. The more quality backlinks you have, the higher your DA rises. And the higher your DA, the more search engines trust your website to be a credible recommendation for search queries.
Local SEO: If you are a local business or a franchise with multiple locations, you’re going to need some local SEO to increase your rank in search results that possess a certain geographical component (e.g. “drug stores near me”). The scope of this project is too broad to cover here, but you can learn all about it in this comprehensive guide.