What Does An SEO Firm Do?
For businesses looking to increase the traffic to their website and spread awareness about their brand, working with a Houston marketing SEO agency is the best move. SEO companies work with your business to create a marketing strategy that directs your target audience to your business online, creating organic traffic.
Internet marketing is an extremely effective tool for growing your business because it utilizes the number of people that turn to the internet to find local businesses and guides the user experience to your company. Our Houston SEO experts work with a wide range of businesses, combining web development, social media marketing, graphic design, and SEO campaigns.
Initial Research, Audit, and Analysis
- Keyword research. Identifying and researching keywords to identify those which will produce the best results for the client once good rankings are achieved. The ideal keyword is searched for a lot, is relevant to the client’s business, and is not being targeted heavily by competition.
- Google Analytics analysis. Reviewing past performance through Google Analytics or another web analytics tool may reveal positive or negative trends and opportunities for improvement.
- Google Webmaster Tools analysis. Likewise, being able to review a client’s history and current status in Google Webmaster Tools may bring opportunities to light, as well as potential technical issues with a client’s website, such as a penalty that could be negatively affecting rankings.
- Link profile analysis. Many companies over the past several years hired SEO firms that promised to build hundreds, even thousands, of inbound links at low prices. This practice is now penalized by Google and for many companies the path to SEO success starts with cleaning up the spammy links pointing to their websites. Whether this link cleanup is necessary should be identified early on, because fighting against these negatives effects reduces the value of all other SEO services until the link profile is refined.
- Site audit. Sometimes after the above research and analysis is complete, but often in parallel, an SEO firm will perform a thorough audit of a client’s website. This audit will include various SEO factors such as website and webpage load speed, URL structure, internal linking, title tags, meta description tags, and content. Many SEO firms will also extend this audit to include factors that influence not just rankings but the metrics that ultimately matter like conversions and profits. These factors include usability, design, and messaging.
The results of all the above research, audit, and analysis work will lead to both one-time and ongoing SEO activities. Some of the one-time, initial optimization activities may include:
- Website redesign. In the most extreme cases a complete website redesign is needed before beginning SEO services. A redesign is in order when the website is outdated, converts visitors poorly, has poor code, and the cost of fixing everything is greater than starting over from scratch.
- Code overhaul. Even if a complete redesign isn’t needed, it may be necessary to overhaul the code of a website to make it more SEO friendly. How extensive this overhaul is depends on the details, but it can range from light cleanup of the existing code to a complete replacement of the code while maintaining the existing design.
- Link removal and disavowal. If the link profile analysis reveals a large number of low quality, harmful inbound links, or worse yet, a manual penalty, then it will be necessary to remove as many links as possible by contacting webmasters, and then disavow backlinks that cannot be removed.
While some aspects of SEO are one-time services that rarely or never need to be repeated, the bulk of SEO activities are ongoing in nature. Like your lawn, if you don’t maintain it, it will get out of control. Link building is one of those activities that never ends because Google likes to be fed a constant stream of new, fresh links to know that your website is still relevant and should continue to be featured prominently in its search results. There are many ways to build links and many activities related to link building, some of which include:
- Link monitoring. Although rare, it’s important to keep an eye on links to ensure one doesn’t become the victim of a negative SEO attack. More to the point, it’s important to monitor links in case inbound links are created that could provide more value if the text of the link or the specific part of the website where the link is pointing were modified.
- Competitor research. By monitoring competitors your SEO firm can see what links they have built and replicate their activities or get inspiration for other links that could be built.
- Brand monitoring. Any mention of your company should include a link to your website, but when that’s not the case your SEO firm should find these instances, track down the person who has control of that mention of your company, and seek to get an appropriate link.
- Outreach. There may be hundreds of websites that are relevant to what you do. Your SEO firm will reach out to these targets in order to promote content and generate links. Part of this service may include guest blog posting which, despite statements from Google’s Matt Cutts, is still a viable form of link building when done properly, as my fellow Forbes contributor John Hall details in his post Guest Posting Isn’t Dead: Google Just Raised The Quality Bar.
- Online PR. As the worlds of public relations and SEO merge, SEO firms seek to build links on top tier news and information websites that will never be mistaken by Google as the kind of low quality link the search engine should ignore or penalize. SEO firms perform this kind of online PR by reaching out to journalists, seeding infographics, video, and other content, and managing social media campaigns designed to attract attention, and links.
There can be substantial overlap between link building and content creation because in many instances the way one builds links is by creating content that attracts links. But your website will receive many SEO benefits by creating content even without the inbound links that may follow, and creating content, even if you don’t receive direct SEO benefits, can bring traffic to your site that will generate leads or sales just as well as the traffic that comes from SEO.
- Content marketing. Broadly stated, if you create content as part of your marketing activities then you’re engaged in content marketing. More specifically we use the term when we talk about creating articles, blog posts, infographics, and videos to attract attention. Depending on the level of service you’ve signed up for with your SEO firm, they will be creating content for your website, as well as on other websites, designed to drive traffic and links to your website.
- Blogging. All content creation could be called content marketing, but blogging deserves to be highlighted by itself. If you don’t have a blog for your website your SEO firm should help you create one, and then either create content themselves or coach you on how to create content for it yourself.
- Content expansion. Your SEO firm will help you to expand or refine the existing content on your website. This becomes a critical function for ecommerce websites, but is important even on smaller corporate sites. New content can be added to a site such as a FAQ section, or pages can be extended to include more long form content. There are many ways in which the content on your website can be built upon to provide more value, and your SEO firm should be walking you through this process or managing it entirely.
Best SEO Firm in Houston
Stop missing out on potential customers and become a force within your industry! From excellent web design and social media management to Google Business Listing optimization and a weekly-updated blog, the team at Houston Small Business Marketing is here to help you get to the next level. Grow your business when you expand your reach online. If you are tired of giving away potential customers to your competitors, contact us today!
We dedicate ourselves to working closely with business owners to come up with a marketing plan that helps them succeed. We provide each customer with a free consultation for your website and social media to let you know how you can improve your placement online and grow your engagement with local potential customers looking for your services. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.
Houston Small Business Marketing
1415 North Loop West #950
Houston, TX 77008
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