So you find yourself in the market for an SEO package.
It does not matter if you are looking to run the project yourself or outsource it to a trusted third party to see the optimisation process through. There are crucial key performance indicators (KPIs) that must be adhered to.
Search engine optimisation is an aspect of modern business that must be respected, understood and practiced with a certain degree of diligence. The market is littered with businesses that are neglecting their duty in this department and sourcing an appropriate SEO package is a great way to kick start your Google ranking.
Getting this element right will enable an enterprise to drive organic traffic, convert leads and build the business from its current situation. So this places an imperative on the quality of the SEO package you are in the market for, because the consequences of a wrong decision will be lasting.
Making that choice is a big step, but you are better off making it with the information you have on hand than waiting around for a package that may never arrive. Staying dormant and static has its own consequences, so stay vigilant but get proactive.
Here are some friendly tips to look out for when you go shopping for a quality SEO package:
What most operations will discover is that the packages available will fit into one of two categories: customised and standard. The latter works as a one-size-fits-all approach whereby traditional companies will work to a fixed framework. This will apply to a plumbing professional, accountant, sports store, gym, café or music provider.
Should the parameters and circumstances of your business not be overly specific and require anything unique, then this is perfectly acceptable. Yet there will be enterprises where the details will matter and investing a bit more capital will be necessary.
The standard SEO packages can be sourced at lower rates because they do not take your enterprise into the equation. Do not expect these packages to take your site to the next level unless you are starting from scratch.
Tailor your campaign to your niche, your market, your consumer base and location.
This is a basic facet that must come complimentary to any SEO package. Pure and simple.
Individuals can track their own keyword performance on Google’s Keyword Planner platform. Yet it should be up to the professionals to decipher this information on your behalf.
Every single category that falls into the business spectrum will have keywords that fluctuate in usage and popularity. What was hot property last week might be old news by now and an SEO specialist that can adapt your keyword strategy is a central asset to hold onto.
Keywords have to tick a series of boxes to be credible for your site. The target market must use them and as they are incorporated into your content, they should be used in specific locations.
To avoid the pitfalls that come with a black-hat SEO tactic like flooding, keywords must be placed in the following regions:
Settle on a package that opts for sound keyword research and manages to spread the joy across your pages.
Content Must be a Priority
Keywords might be a micromanaging element at play, but there is a need to have an overarching content philosophy that keeps your domain relevant to search engines. The beauty about content is that it can come via all shapes, sizes and manner of presentations.
Consider any of the following categories as a form of content that can attract visitors to your own hub:
- Blog posts
- Opinion piece
- News article
- Photo gallery
- Q&A session
- White papers
The other benefit about content is that it does not have to be entirely unique. A podcast can be transcribed to make for interesting reading, while a Webinar might have a follow up with some viewer feedback.
SEO packages must view content marketing as the strongest gauge to improving your search engine performance. Ensure that your content is well produced, up to date and leaves the reader, viewer or visitor more informed and engaged than they were before they clicked on your link.
There are usually so many companies to list on an individual business directory that they decide to use something known as a citation to condense the data. For local listings, they generally utilise an NAP citation, which stands for Name, Address and Phone Number.
Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo make use of them extensively. Your targeted SEO package must ensure that your enterprise has this catered for because it will translate well across the SEO spectrum. Directories are an ideal source for optimisers to increase visibility in key markets, so make sure your package is on top of citations.
If SEO matters, then for small to medium enterprises that have a local footprint – local SEO really matters.
Don’t take our word for it, just look bare at the statistics on show:
- 85% of shoppers search for local businesses online
- 73% of all online activity is local
- 61% of local searches result in a purchase within the space of 2 hours
The rise in local SEO importance correlates with the sheer dominance in the market by smartphones and digital technology.
For Australian consumers, the figures speak volumes for the local activity that is occurring on the web:
- 94% of the Australian population own a mobile
- 80% own a smartphone
- 80% own a laptop or desktop
- 45% own a tablet
- 9% own a wearable tech device
Given the advent of the shared economy through apps like Uber and Airbnb alongside classifieds such as Gumtree and Craigslist, local is where SEO is trending. Your package must have local indicators front and center of any strategy.
Updated Data and Reporting
It is not hard to discover a software application like SEO SiteCheckup that gives a short rundown of your domain performance. These free tools are handy to either get a footing for what is required or a second opinion.
Yet it is vital to have a scheduled reporting system in place so that you are made aware of any and all advancements and progressions. If your enterprise has a large enough department to delegate tasks, then the employees who specialise in analytics can ascertain what techniques are working, what needs a slight alteration and what needs drastic help.
Reports enable you to also hold SEO specialists to account and have a definitive guide to understanding the methodology and results against the KPIs (key performance indicators). From speed to efficiency, keyword usage, reviews and every detail in between, it is ideal to track that progress in the form of reporting.
Online business directories are essential to driving SEO performance. Just within Australia, there are a number of sites that will be an asset simply by having your enterprise listed:
- Yellow Pages
- Australian Business Directory Online
- True Local
- Nationwide Business Directory of Australia
Business directories give a degree of authority and authenticity within the commerce world. That might be old school thinking in a certain way, but they remain central hubs that elevate SEO performance.
In a market that is competitive as SEO, there is a great tenancy to drive the price low in order to gain traction. What that often results in is outsourced work where there is no sense for what is actually occurring at the other end of the transaction.
Those SEO specialists that provide a package should ensure that there is a personal point of contact to stay on top of the project. That might come in the form of regular email contact, face to face meetings, phone calls or video conferencing.
The less engaged the user and SEO specialist is, the less likely the end result will be satisfactory. That distance can create a complacency or lack of awareness so ensure that your package recognises that challenge.
A quality SEO company will not make any hard and fast decisions off their own esteem. The best in the business will analyse the data, outline and identify a number of options and present them back to yourself.
The client has to come first in this respect and while they are there to provide a service, a customised package will put the power back into your hand. This is a positive step for a number of reasons, but the main of which involves your own expertise and understanding of the field.
Business owners who have a strong grasp of SEO won’t need to continually purchase packages and the greatest way to transition off that dependency is for the specialist to educate you along the journey.
While all of these factors should play a role in deciding what package is best for you, there are some red flags you should consider.
No SEO company no matter their reputation or pricing structure can deliver any of the following:
- A guarantee for a number 1 SERP (search engine result page) position
- Immediate results in quick time
Also be weary for these little gremlins that may appear:
- No desire to produce a report or data back to the user
- Failing to adhere to competition and niche comparisons
- Failure to showcase knowledge of your circumstances
In an ideal scenario, it is highly recommended to opt for an SEO package that runs on a monthly basis and is customised. By choosing a package that runs monthly, you allow time for tactics to be implemented and to breath properly over a sustained number of weeks.
SEO requires a degree of natural growth to occur and via a standard one-off package, there is no scope to increase efforts that are succeeding or build on a strategy that can evolve into something special.
What do you think about these tips listed above? Will these tips help you find the perfect SEO package for your website? Continue the conversation in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you!
Lucas is the Managing Director and the Head of SEO Strategy at SEO Shark. He has over 15 years of experience in achieving SEO results for small and medium businesses as well as multinational and ASX-listed brands. He is also an author of multiple publications about digital marketing.