Running a small business is no easy task!
Especially in this day and age when customers prefer nothing but the best for their money.
That’s why over 90% of people in the US go online to look up local businesses before buying. And guess who they end up buying from most of the time?
The brands that appear on the top results of search engines like Google.
Better rankings have almost become synonymous with better quality, which is why so many companies are spending money on SEO to rank in the first three spots on Google’s search results. Or at least on the first page.
And if you know anything about SEO (or marketing, in general) at all, you’d know that just throwing up a good looking website is not enough.
To get more leads and sales and to improve brand authority, you’ll need to have a proper marketing strategy in place, utilizing the right methods. And what better method could there be to make your presence felt than by utilizing SEO!
Good SEO packages are created to help you do exactly that. Art of War Seo offers completely hands-off SEO packages to small business owners who want to grow without handling the nitty-gritty of marketing.
But wait… we’re sure you have plenty of questions about SEO and why you should even choose them. So, in this guide, we’re going to tell you:
• What it takes to rank on search engines–the core ranking factors
• What SEO package will be right for your small business
• What does an SEO package include
• Should you hire in-house or work with a company
So, let’s dive right in.
The Core Ranking Factors for Search Engines
Contrary to the idea some “gurus” like to sell, SEO is not something you can learn overnight and become a 6-figure earner within a month. It takes years of practice to hone this craft, and most people don’t have that kind of time or patience for it.
To understand what our experts do and why they do it best, you’d need to know that Google takes into consideration over 250 ranking factors when it comes to ranking websites. However, if we had to clump some of those factors into larger groups, we’d be left with these 4 crucial elements:
• Expert content
• Solid on-page optimization
• Authority backlinks
• Great user experience
These are the core elements our experts focus on to get results for clients. Why are they so important? Here are some details:
1. Expert content
We believe that content acts as the foundation for every website. Without good content, the other three factors wouldn’t exist. You need to have content written by professionals because people deserve to know WHAT your business is about and WHY they should buy from you.
Having helpful content also establishes you as the authority in any given niche, which is something Google likes and promotes.
2. Solid On-page Optimization
A web page is a lot more than what meets the eye. Sure, it’s the content that keeps people engaged, but hiding among those words are various ranking factors such as page titles, heading tags, keywords, meta-descriptions, XML sitemap, etc. These are things that the search engine crawlers look at to assess the health and value of a site.
Unless the content is catering to both the people and search engine algorithms, there’s no chance of ranking keywords.
3. Authority backlinks
A surefire way to build credibility online is by associating your website with other popular sites on the web. This is easier said than done because unless you give other websites a really good reason to link to yours, they won’t.
Authority backlinks aren’t cheap, and anyone who promises to get you hundreds or thousands of them per month is lying! That’s why you should focus on obtaining high-quality links even if that means settling for lower numbers.
4. Great User Experience
Finally, we have ‘user experience,’ a factor that ties all the other three points together. Just like you wouldn’t like to buy from a physical store that’s messy and unorganized, your visitors would do the same online. Giving your visitors a good user experience will ensure they buy what you’re selling and become loyal customers.
Things like fast page loading speed, clean interface, and straightforward navigability will play a significant role in leaving a lasting impression on your website users.
What SEO Packages are Right for You?
This is a very open-ended question, but we’ll try to answer that for you the best way we can. Before you buy an SEO package, here are some questions you must ask yourself:
• Do we only want to do business locally, nationwide, or do we serve clients all over the globe?
• What are our competitors doing in terms of marketing?
• What is our most lucrative product, and are there enough people looking for it online?
• How many new customers can we serve per month without running into problems?
• How much are we willing to spend per month on marketing to get our ideal clients?
• How many sales do we have to make per month to justify the marketing costs?
Of course, these are only ‘some’ of the questions you must ask yourself, not all of them. Do not commit to any company if you don’t have all the answers. Or else you might end up spending a lot of money for very little returns.
For clients who only want to serve people in and around their area, SEO costs are lower than clients who want to serve nationwide. No matter which industry you’re in, we can give you modest estimates of a monthly budget, so don’t be shy to ask for a quote!
But remember, any company that gives you a quote that sounds too good to be true, and that too without even asking questions about your business, is likely trying to fool you.
What Does a Typical SEO Package for a Small Business Include?
SEO is diverse, and so are the approaches companies take to get results for their clients. That’s why it’s unrealistic to expect the same set of plans and deliverables from every company. However, regardless of how much you’re investing in SEO, the agency should give you these features and reports on a weekly/monthly basis:
1. An SEO strategy tailored to your needs
Like we mentioned before, there’s no such thing as the ‘perfect fit’ in SEO. So, the agency should give you a custom strategy explaining their plans and how they will execute them. Small businesses don’t usually have a massive budget, so getting the most out of every dollar becomes even more critical.
2. Keyword research
Your involvement in this phase of planning is crucial because you’re expected to know the industry better than anyone else. In the keyword research phase, you and your SEO agency should finalize a set of keywords and phrases to rank for online.
There should also be a complete competitor analysis, giving you an in-depth look at how easy or difficult it would be to rank for those keywords. If the company you’re planning to hire is good enough, they should advise you on which keywords to focus on first and provide an estimated time to see results.
3. Website and on-page optimization
After keyword research is complete, the agency should start working on your website and fix any shortcomings that may hamper the SEO efforts. Factors like UX, UI, page loading speed are as crucial as having stellar content with reliable page-level optimization. Think of your website as a store people would want to walk into and buy from.
It should be appealing enough in visuals to attract them and have content engaging enough for the people to stick around. This, however, is easier said than done because everything has to abide by Google Webmaster Guidelines and still be enticing for the users.
4. Backlinks from authority sites
Times have changed, and backlinks from forum posting, blog comments, and article directories don’t carry even a fraction of the weight like they used to back in the day. Now, backlinks from relevant, high-quality sites are all that matters when it comes to building credibility online. This is where SEO agencies that make promises too good to be true end up losing.
An agency worth their salt would give you an estimation of the number of links they can build every month, which should be modest. But don’t worry, the quantity of links doesn’t matter; it’s all about the quality.
5. Periodical reporting
How frequently an SEO company gives you reports vary greatly. Some offer weekly reports, some monthly, and some insist that you focus on the “big picture” and “let them do their job while you focus on the results.” In our opinion, going with a company that belongs to the third category is a bad idea!
Because no matter how famous the company’s name may be, they should not have any reason not to give you reports. Transparency and accountability are essential in every working relationship; that’s why you must insist on getting monthly reports (at the very least). Getting reports will let you track the number of links built, leads captured, and other vital activities.
6. Ongoing support and education
As a small business owner, you can’t possibly be everywhere at the same time. You might even think it’s best to leave SEO to the people you hired and focus on what you do best, but that might not be the smart thing to do. A good agency should educate you about SEO terminologies and metrics so that you are aware of what they’re doing, at the very least.
Weekly and monthly calls with clients is not the standard in our industry, and you’d be lucky to find an agency that does this. Still, you should receive the proper education and support when it’s needed. Not to toot our own horn, but we do offer clients support any time they need it.
Hiring In-house vs. Working With a Company: What Saves You More Money?
On the surface, hiring a dedicated SEO professional working full-time seems like a great idea. After all, they’ll be putting all their effort into making you successful, and it would cost you less money. Besides, just being able to keep an eye on what they’re doing feels like you’re getting your money’s worth.
While all those points are valid, there are some serious negative downsides of employing an individual over an Agency:
• The person you hire may not be as good as they made you believe in the interview.
• They might not have the experience of working in your industry, in which case you have to train them.
• They might think it’s okay to use blackhat link building techniques either due to lack of experience or cognitive bias.
• You will have to pay them medical, dental insurance, or a 401K since they’re your full-time employee.
If the agency doesn’t hold up its end of the bargain, you’re free to terminate the relationship—end of story.
Ending a relationship with an employee, on the other hand, could lead to friction and a lot of paperwork. Agencies stay in business because they help YOU stay in business!
Frequently Asked Questions about Seo Packages
Q. How do SEO packages work?
A. To put it in simple terms– SEO packages are DFY services offered by marketing agencies to help your website gain authority and rank for important keywords so that your best products and services sell more.
Q. Does Google Ads come under SEO?
A. No, Google Ads is an advertising platform similar to what Facebook offers, but for Google SERPS. Running paid is a good way to bring people to your website, but the problem is that as soon as you stop the ads, the traffic and sales stop too.
On the other hand, SEO takes time to show results, but once your website ranks, you’ll keep receiving traffic and sales for a very long time.