We’ve been discussing digital marketing strategies for a while now. However, we never really talked about a long-term strategy that is able to surpass your competition in a sustainable way, provide a constant stream of new visitors and, at the same time, turn them into recurring loyal customers.
Time to bring out the big guns, baby. We talkin’ SEO.
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Ok, but… what is SEO?
In our previous article, we’ve talked about how your website can appear at the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) real fast by creating advertisements on their Pay Per Click platform – Google Ads – and get segmented traffic in a manner of days.
Contrary to PPC search results, instead of paying for each click you get, SEO provides you with an even more reliable source of traffic… *inhales deeply*… FOR FREE!
“One does not simply drives free traffic”, you say?
Paid ads are at the top because you’re paying them to. Organic results are at the top because Google’s algorythm evaluates your content as valuable to your audience.
And that’s where SEO comes in.
SEO – which stands for Search Engine Optimization – is a set of techniques that improve your website’s content and performance so it can rank higher on Google’s search results and get free organic traffic.
That is why SEO has become so popular among small businesses: it’s the cheapest way to rank first on Google’s search engine results.
For starters, let’s be honest and say that, with the right handful of skills, a solo entrepreneur may be able to do their own SEO without hiring any professional help.
Wait! Can I do my own SEO for free?
There are lots of SEO strategies that you can do for free. You can use wordpress plugins (such as Rank Math) to save time and effort when it comes to SEO. There are also content management systems and blog platforms that offer affordable and free solutions.
As long as you know your way around basic SEO practices, such as keyword research, on-page optimization and content writing; free SEO is on the table.
However, if soloing your way through organic traffic isn’t for you, then you’ll surely need professional support.
Where can I find cheap SEO services?
There are a handful of different SEO payment models depending on how you’re looking to implement SEO services. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages and offer their own price ranges, but we are sticking to SEO agencies as they generally have access to better tools, dashboards and more collective experience to analyze the progress of a campaign.
Low cost SEO for small businesses in the U.S. range from $500 to $5,000 per month, depending on what’s included in the package. SEO agencies will generally cost you monthly retainers fees on ongoing SEO services. If an agency is charging way more money than another, it probably means they’re doing more work and you’ll be seeing better results.
Keep in mind though that you’ll find price discrepancies among identical services. SEO costs scale accordingly to the amount of effort involved, which correlate to the amount of success. So evaluate your goals and the expertise of the people you are hiring before you close the deal on any SEO agency.
Next, let’s look into some of the reasons why you want to hire an agency to provide SEO results for your brand.
Reason #1: Increase website visibility with Organic Traffic
You want waves of people coming to visit your website every day. More visitors means more engagement with your brand, which can lead to an increase in sales. So, how can you get them to visit your site over and over?
The answer is: organic traffic.
Organic traffic is the number of visitors that come to your webpages through search results that show up “organically” – without having to pay money for ads – on top of Google’s SERP. Basically, if your content is valuable to your audience – and Google’s algorithm recognizes that – you’ll get organic traffic.
The goal of SEO is to drive your organic traffic by getting your pages to the top of Google’s SERP when people look for something you offer. Like when you’re trying to figure out how to grow a respectable beard and Healthline.com provides you with it’s best answer:
Reason #2: Build authority with high quality content
The more you show up organically on Google, the more it means people trust you to be there. It’s your job to bring relevant information for people seeking it. And this effort provides your brand with credibility and authority over time.
Content authority will make customers think about – and seek – your brand when they need something related to your products/services. And SEO is a great tool to create content that builds trust.
So the next question we must ask ourselves is: what is a trustworthy content according to Google’s googly eyes?
Reason #3: Improve page rankings with keywords
There are many factors that count into your Google Ranking – and they are readily available in Google Search Central — but let’s use an actual top ranking URL to better illustrate what shines on the top of the search mountain.
If you clicked on any of these results, you’d see why they rank so high on Google. Their destiny page – the page you go when you click on them – is full of images, reviews and an organized content with detailed descriptions of several “healthy recipes” (that’s what our fictional user is looking for, by the way).
When SEO companies optimize the content that is inside your domain, it’s called SEO On-Page. This is where they make your page about a certain topic, by using specific keywords in the body text, to make sure that every single piece of content on your website has some sort of organic traffic potential.
These SEO agencies will use keywords in the title, headings and body of your content so that Google can understand what a page is about. They also make sure to optimize all images with alt tags and file names.
A Table of Contents at the start of a blog post is a highly recommended optimization, for example.
If you want to learn more about technical optimizations one must watch for in order to rank higher on Google, click here.
Reason #4: Build commercial relationships with Backlinks
Not all SEO optimizations are done inside your website domain, much of the hard work is actually done on other people’s websites. This is called SEO Off-Page and it’s all about creating commercial connections with other content creators with backlinks.
A backlink is a link that points to your website from another site.
For example: When a website owner with high content authority decides to link back to your page, it means that they trust the value of what you are offering. You’ve blown their mind away and now this person wants more people on the Internet to see how great your site is!
And when Google sees these links pointing towards your domain, your rankings will shoot through the roof.
By September, 2021, Amazon.com has a whopping count of over 3 BILLION backlinks, according to Ahrefs SEO tool.
A great example of a company that does off-page SEO is Amazon, they are constantly trying to build commercial relationships with other brands and influencers in order to get links from websites like Forbes or The Huffington Post. This strategy has contributed largely on their success story as the top ecommerce site online today.
SEO companies will try to build relationships with other influencers online and find ways to benefit both parties’ brands. This is known as Link Building.
Reason #5: SEO also increases Paid Ads traffic
When someone types a specific keyword on Google, they’ll see a list of links that include paid ads and organic results. What actually happens, though, is that 60% of users don’t know how to differentiate an ad from an organic result and end up clicking on whatever is on the top of the SERP.
So the thing is, whichever link they are clicking, you want it to be yours. If it’s a free click, great! If not, SEO can work wonders aligned with PPC strategies.
SEO and PPC strategies complement each other and form a strong advertising marketing strategy. A company may use SEO in the long run to help boost paid advertising campaigns. And vice versa, PPC campaigns can boost the rankings of a website that is optimized for organic traffic.
One great example of this powerful partnership between paid ads and SEO would be Etsy.com:
When you search for “Etsy” on Google, their ad is the first thing that comes up.
Their homepage is ranking #1 in Google for this specific keyword and they are getting organic search traffic because of it. As a result, paid ads increase the traffic to your site and SEO helps you rank higher on Google which means more people see your ad.
Reason #6 : SEO requires a handful of skillsets
SEO involves some technical skills, but it’s mainly about understanding how search engines work. You’ll learn how keywords connect with searchers’ interests, how Google ranks pages in its indexes, and other rules that govern what appears on the first page of search engine results.
The result of SEO is a more successful business, and when you know how to do it correctly, your site will stand out from the rest of the sites fighting for customers’ attention. So here’s a handful of skillsets an SEO requires to do the job.
SEO is about choosing the right keywords to use on your site. Keywords are words or phrases that people search for, and you’ll want to choose ones that are relevant to what you do.
The better those keywords match what people type into a search engine, then the higher up in the list of results your site will be. This is how people find your site and get to know what you offer, which leads them to becoming customers!
Technical & Coding Skills
Sure, you don’t need to know how to write an entire webpage from HTML – and you should never expect an SEO expert to. But there are some basic programming tweaks that SEOs need to understand, find and configure in an HTML page code.
- Redirects: A redirect is when a visitor clicks on a link, but is instead taken to another URL. This is usually done when the original page has no content or when the original content is not what you want people to see when they click on the link.
- Meta Data: A meta tag is a piece of metadata that you can add to your web page to supply search engines with information about the content of your webpage. The meta tag includes keywords for the web page, title, description, and more. It is important to include this information so that the search engine can understand your content and rank it appropriately.
- Robots.txt: You don’t want search engines crawling around on pages of code. This is why robots text files are important – they keep bots away from areas you don’t want them in (like database backends and private folders).
A robots.txt file is a file where webmasters can send instructions to web crawlers on their site. Robots.txt typically contains one or more lines of text directing crawlers about which files and directories they should crawl and which files and directories they should avoid. It’s a way of indicating that the crawler should not index, say, your entire website’s CSS directory.
- Sitemaps: A sitemap is a document that lists the URLs of pages on your site. Search engine crawlers use this information to find all the available pages for indexing and ranking in search results, as well as for other purposes such as page load time optimization or mobile friendliness checking. Sitemaps are often used interchangeably with the term ‘index’ or index file.
- Nofollow links: Nofollow links are used to tell the search engine crawlers that you do not want them to crawl your page and follow any links inside of it. They have no effect on how well a page ranks in organic search results, but they may influence other factors such as click-through rate (CTR) or bounce rates for instance.
Nofollow links are one way of preventing web spam. It is often used for content that contains strong keywords or domains in order to reduce spamming. You may also want to use nofollow links if you’re linking to pages outside of your domain, like another blog’s comments section, Facebook, or Twitter.
- Canonical Tags: Canonical Tags are tags that serve to distinguish two pages with the same URL. It is possible for this to happen when a page’s content is edited and the URL changes. Canonical Tag will not only help in preventing the crawling of both versions but it will also help in improving the information that would be found in Google search results.
SEO requires a big brain for piecing together all factors that go into your Google Ranking and website authority, but one must also make it comprehensible for their team and clients.
SEOs have to be able tell a story about how their recommendations will affect the business.
You need someone who is good at taking complicated concepts and explaining them in simple terms, so that clients can understand what you are trying for with your SEO efforts. You also want an SEO pro who’ll listen well to client needs, ask questions when necessary, and be able to come up with an actionable plan.
Communication skills are essential when you’re working with clients because they want to know how well their ideas are being communicated. Hire someone who is willing to work in the best interest of your company goals while maintaining a healthy relationship between client and SEO pro.
Reason #7: SEO is a long-term strategy that wields great profit
SEO is not something that you need to do for a week or two. It takes time, effort, and patience. It’s not something that is done once and then you’re good to go.
It’s also very unlikely that you’ll see fast results with SEO. Most optimizations take about 3-6 months to be recognized by Google. And there is a very good reason for that: it’s called Google Panda.
Google Panda is an algorithm that was released in February 2011. It aimed to lower the rank of websites with low-quality content, “thin” sites (copying others’ information), or other poor webpages. The overall purpose behind this update is to improve the quality of search results for Google’s users.
To accomplish this, the algorithm looks at hundreds of different factors to determine if content is good (relevant and helpful) or bad (irrelevant or unhelpful).
And that takes a big chunk of time!
Even though all of Google’s crawling, indexing and ranking is automated, there are still hundreds of thousands of webpages being updated and uploaded by the second. And not only that: if competition is a severe impact on how long you’ll be getting results, that only means that you should put the right amount of effort and discipline into SEO.
Reason #8: SEO prices are quite negotiable
SEO is a service that’s usually priced according to your needs. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the cost for your service. So here are a few of them that could affect your price:
- Keyword Competition. The more competitive a keyword is, the higher the difficulty in ranking it. In general, if competition has 3 or less competitors, then it’s considered an easy to rank keyword. If they have 4-10 competitors, then they’re moderately difficult to rank for and from 10+ is really difficult to rank for unless you have a great SEO strategy.
- Number of Keywords to Rank For. If you want to target more than one keyword for your website, then that will affect how much it costs for an SEO service. Ranking keywords is usually based on the competition and ranking for several could cost you anywhere from $500-900 depending on its difficulty to rank for.
- Page URLs. If you have more than a few pages to rank, then the fee for each page may start at $100, for example, and go up depending on how competitive it is.
- Client Location. If you’re located in a highly competitive market where your competitors are well aware of local SEO benefits, then the price per page may vary.
But let’s check the case of someone who just built their website and wants to get a grip on this whole SEO business. What is the right price for that?
39% of SEO companies in the U.S. charge a monthly fee, but you can also find pricing for projects, and hourly-rates. SEO freelancers usually charge cheaper but won’t be able to access all of you SEO needs since most of them have a single area of expertise. That means that you would need to hire multiple SEO freelancers to take on different SEO tasks such as on-page optimization and link building.
It’s up to you to pay for cheaper services and manage multiple professionals at onces, or hire a SEO agency to take care of all your SEO efforts in a single, organized matter.
If that’s the case, we have a special offer for you.
Hire SomneoX to manage your SEO campaigns
Guilherme is our crew member responsible for our client’s SEO strategies. In conjunction with our team efforts, he’ll be able to create a personalized SEO tactic for your brand, choosing keywords that will bring huge amounts of organic traffic for your website and coordinate blog content production to get you to the top of Google’s SERP.
“Don’t worry, boss. I got ya!” – Guilherme Dorneles, SomneoX’s SEO specialist.
You can ask for a free SEO estimate by clicking here. We’ve got prices starting at $200 to entice you to give it a go and really spice up your digital marketing game.
Affordable SEO has become a necessity for small business owners who want to take their businesses from just getting by into financial stability. It provides organic traffic and boosts your search engine ranking which will lead to more revenue over time.
SEO and PPC work together to create a cohesive marketing strategy. In this article, we’ve discussed how cheap SEO solutions can help you get more visitors into your company site while also boosting the visibility of your products on Google searches. At the same time, pay-per-click campaigns give you an opportunity to snag interested shoppers with immediate offers that will drive them through your marketing funnel faster than ever before.
With these two services working in tandem, it’s possible for business owners to boost their online presence without spending too much money or sacrificing quality content production. The synergy between search engine optimization and pay per click advertising is undeniable if done right – but only when they are used as part of a larger integrated digital marketing plan!
The truth is that SEO requires a handful of skillsets: content creation, keyword research and optimization, link building, Google Analytics setup and tracking data. A good SEO agency will have all of these abilities on staff so that they can handle the technical aspects of your website and also create content to boost its relevance.
While some business owners may think this takes too much time, hiring an experienced link building company is worth it in the long run if you want more traffic directed towards your site!