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What Do SEO Companies Actually Do?

Discussion in 'SEO & PPC Marketing' started by Kevin Muldoon, Feb 11, 2015.

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  1. What do Search Engine Optimisation companies actually do?

    This sounds a little like a newbie question doesn't it? However, it seems to me that many SEO companies are not doing anything too difficult.

    If a website owner goes to an SEO company, the first thing the SEO company would do is look at their website design.
    • Does the website have a sitemap?
    • Does the website use pretty permalinks that contain keywords?
    • Are breadcrumbs being used?
    • Are header tags being using correctly?
    I imagine the next step would be for the SEO company to provide a report that states the number of incoming links, domain authority, social media ranking, etc. No doubt this information would be quickly provided using SEO software or an SEO service.

    My question is: What do SEO companies do on a day to day basis?

    I would expect SEO companies for large companies to plan out long campaigns that strategise keywords, links, etc.

    However, as a blogger, I do not see that.

    What I do see are SEO companies contacting me on a weekly basis asking me to do one of the following:
    • Link to their infographics
    • Insert a do-follow link in my blog to one of their pages
    • Accept a guest post from them in order to promote their client
    • Remove a spam link that their client previously added to my blog via a comment or via a guest post
    This appears to represent 99% of their emails to me. And I assume it represents a huge part of the work they do for clients.

    Is that all they do?

    I do not say that to suggest SEO companies are not doing a good job. However, I think there is a kind of mystery surrounding SEO at times. Perhaps in part because SEO companies do not want to give away their promotional strategies to competitors.

    Members such as @Brian Jackson and @Rhys Wynne have worked with SEO companies. I would be curious if you guys, and any other members with experience working in SEO, can shed some light into what SEO companies do on a day to day basis.

    On a personal note, I think understanding SEO better will help me market my websites better. Plus, as someone who has a lot of experience blogging and building websites, a better understanding of SEO may help me make money in the future. I am not sure in what capacity. Perhaps an SEO company. Perhaps by building a network of websites that I could use to promote companies (directly or via SEO companies).

    Anyways, would love to know more about SEO people do on a daily basis, so any information would be appreciated :)

    Kevin
     
    Marry Jhonson, Heather and Jason Quey like this.
  2. Much with you on this question Kevin.

    My impression (probably not accurate) is that SEO companies just do some back-door optimization with title tags/coding and then are like a PR company for links.
     
  3. Yeah that is the impression I am getting. You will be surprised at the size of the companies that are hiring SEO companies to buy links. I have had requests to link to some of the largest companies on the internet.
     
  4. While waiting on anyone to give input (and truly would love to hear their thoughts on my ignorance!), I plan on combining these two strategies to gain backlinks and social shares for my blog:
    1. http://backlinko.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Skyscraper_Technique_Checklist.pdf
    2. http://www.quicksprout.com/the-advanced-guide-to-link-building/

    Mainly I plan on finding the emails and doing a mailmerge to save on time. If it works, great! If not, I'll try it for a few more posts before scrapping the idea.

    Also, I personally don't like putting all my eggs in one marketing basket. Another great article on that:
    Looking for a growth hack? Here’s how Wave added 50,000 new customers in one month
     
    Brian Jackson likes this.
  5. #5 Brian Jackson, Feb 13, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
    Awesome question Kevin... technically my title at my current company is SEO/PPC Specialist and we have 3rd party clients. So I guess I work for an SEO company :)
    Some days I spend all day in AdWords, other days I spend it editing/publishing content, and some days I am building links.

    Here is a list of what an SEO company should be doing:
    • Link Building (the right way) - Infographics, Wikipedia if you have credible source content, blog commenting, etc.
    • Crafting Proper Title Tags, H1, H2, H3 tags, etc...
    • Keyword Density
    • Proper permalink structure and breadcrumbs
    • Proper robots.txt file
    • Sitemaps being generated and submitted to Google, Bing, Yandex
    • Monitoring Google Webmaster Tools for malware notices, security issues, etc.
    • Creating a good meta description to increase your CTR
    • Tracking keyword rankings
    • Backlink analysis and negative SEO cleanup
    • Competitor backlink analysis and going after similiar links
    • Segmentation of Organic Traffic verses PPC
    • Reporting of Ups and Downs
    • Website Audits (fixing broken links, proper placement of 301s, making sure ALT tags are on images, etc)
    • If client is local this should include setting up Google Business Listings, Bing Maps, YellowPages, Dex, etc...
    • Making sure website loads fast to take advantage of SERPs
    • Make sure the website is responsive (otherwise a lot of work you do is in vain). If SEO doesn't control website, remind client over and over with case studies.
    • Proper setup of Google Knowledge Graph
    • Claiming website on Alexa
    • Stop Google from indexing WordPress Image attachment pages to keep SERPs clean
    • Remove tags/categories from indexing to keep SERPs clean
    • Remove sitelinks in SERPs aren't part of your main branding and services
    • Setting up Google Tag Manager to deploy Google Analytics Script, Knowlege Graph, etc..
    • Correct Schema Markup
    • Keyword research for new content
    • Competitor keyword analysis
    • Management of new content for client such as finding writers, etc.
    I'm sure there is more that I might have missed but the above is what I do for my own sites, and all clients that pay us for SEO services. If an SEO company isn't doing that I pretty much see them as an SEO farm which is pretty much useless.

    I can tell you one thing, I have never reached out asking for a link ever. I do email people asking for removal of links bad that is for negative SEO cleanups, usually when they are hacked and a link is pointed against one of my client's sites.

    So I wouldn't say all SEO companies are bad, same with PPC companies. But there are definitely a lot more bad ones than good.

    And yes the above seems like a lot of work. But that is why you have to be smart and charge a base fee + a percentage on additional leads over a certain number. There are ways to make it worth your time and so if you perform better work for them, both sides win. The packages with SEO where you pay a one time fee are completely pointless in my opinion. The SEO company is not going to spend any extra time and will do it as quick as they can to get it done and paid.

    Also those are definitely good resources that I also follow :) @Jdquey
     
  6. Great explanation Brian.

    It sounds like good SEO companies are doing a lot more analytical work that I had originally given them credit for.

    I imagine the companies that contact me frequently are SEO farms. Or the people contacting me are solely responsible for generating incoming links. You probably have to spend a lot of time cleaning up the work that bad SEO companies did for clients in the past.
     
  7. SEO Service primarily include three activities; 1)creating content, 2) building high quality links and 3) analyzing results and adjusting accordingly. Telling someone that SEO is made up mostly of these three activities will usually satisfy their curiosity if it’s a casual conversation, but not for the potential client shopping for SEO Services. If you’re looking to hire an SEO firm you want to know real details before you shell out several thousand dollars per month. But it’s often hard to get those details from an SEO firm. This isn’t because the SEO firm doesn’t want to tell you what they’re doing, but because it’s hard to know where to start without going into a two-hour long explanation that is sure to make your eyes glaze over. This post is an attempt to clarify, in some detail, exactly what an SEO firm does. SEO always starts with research, audit, and analysis. Every client is different, every website is different, and every industry is different. This is why the best SEO firms are hesitant to make predictions or give guarantees–there are too many variables, and what worked very well for one client may not work nearly as well for the next. Good SEO firms don’t have a set formula for producing results, but rather are experts at solving problems and overcoming challenges. Like early explorers, they may not know exactly where they are going, but they know they’ll be able to figure it out.
     
  8. I was going to post about this, but @Brian Jackson pretty much covered it.

    Work here is about 20% analytical and 80% SEO (which is 30% on site and 70% off site).

    Analysis is HUGE here, as predicting trends can help with SEO. So understanding clients' business, when it's peak points are and WHY it's peaking can help a long way to make a client successful.

    Here's an example I heard from somebody:-

    Their client was an optician, and were looking in January at search trends from the past year. The previous SEO firm focussed on Spring - Summer with their PPC as they thought prescription sunglasses would be their biggest time of the year. However the trends said that most opticians get the most traffic in September - October

    The reason? Halloween contact lenses.

    With that knowledge, they introduced a range of halloween/spooky contact lenses, which helped treble their turnover that year.

    So to spot that, it may be something simple, but people miss it, and to treble your turnover it's worth anybody's money! :D
     
  9. #9 MerryFacebook, Oct 1, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2015
    Hello! Actually i have been working in SEO company and Seo surrounds on page optimization and off page. Here we have some tips and techniques that an SEO necessarily used:
    !) On page includes meta, title tags.
    2) Off page includes backlinks generated from directory submission, article submission, social bookmarking site and other resources that will help us to generate backlinks.
    As if you have your own blog and consist unique data then its very easy to pop up your blog at good rank. SEO can be done by several ways. It's all about how you optimize your site and which type of content you are used?
     
  10. Has this worked? I have never use a SEO company just some fiverr stuff that doesn't seem to help at all.
     
  11. A good SEO company will treat your website as if it is their own website. They will break down your site and look at it from every angle to determine the best strategy possible and other effective tools that they can implement to improve your site. This includes:

    1. They will analyze the structure of the website that is the way it looks.

    2. They will check the Meta title, descriptions and content and to check whether it is keyword relevant or not.

    3. A bunch of other stuff that makes the site runs good
    :)
     
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  12. Not every SEO company asks for links and sends unnecessary emails. I have not worked with many SEO companies but I did work with TCS Digital Marketing and they satisfied me with their quality of work.

    Firstly, they did keyword research and provided me with a list of keywords that would be best for my site.

    Then they audited my website as it was not optimized properly. They identified and made all the required changes for improving my traffic flow.

    And then started working on link building. These links included forum postings, directory submissions, business listings, blog posts and many more. It helped me a lot in improving my rankings.

    They also provided content for my site. It was quite interesting and informative. And they also helped in social media management and press releases.

    So that’s all about what they did for me.
     
  13. My advice would be to avoid article marketing, web directories and social bookmarking for links.

    Here's why:

    These types of sites have no editorial control. Anyone can register an account and grab a link in most cases.

    Although, there are some web directories that would be good to be featured in but chances are they won't help rankings that much. Most are full of low quality spun content etc.

    A link is only good if it makes sense to Google. If it doesn't make sense, you could be in for a lot of issues with Penguin later on.

    Ask yourself: would I still want that link if Google didn't exist?

    Links are still a decent part of Google's algo, but the links that we should be going for are editorially given. Those that aren't, can do more harm than good.


    On a side note, any SEO gigs on Fiverr aren't worth the risk. Sure, it's cheap but if you ever have to clean up those links to remove a penalty, it'll cost a lot more (either in time or hiring someone to do do the work for you).
     
  14. @Brian Jackson, I am getting more into the marketing side of things and I have a question, if you do not mind answering me, that is.

    Which Chrome extensions do you use to analyse your data as well as services so that I can take a look around and see which is viable to me? I ask this because I am currently setting up a Chrome session for our marketing department (we run Google Apps for Business) and learn a few tricks would help (I have got MOZ already and it rocks!).

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Brian Jackson likes this.
  15. @Alex de Borba Hey Alex. I currently use the following chrome extensions related to marketing: Grammarly, Moz, Alexa, Buzzstream, and Block Yourself from Analytics (this lets u easily block yourself + domains from analytics. Great for 3rd party clients, sites you work with where you might not be able to setup a filter in analytics. Also if you are on home router, rebooting sometimes changes your public IP... so with the extension you never have to worry about updating analytics).
     
  16. @Brian Jackson, thank you for the reply.

    I am currently using:
    • Alexa
    • BuzzStream
    • Google Publisher Toolbar
    • Google Page Analytics
    • Grammaly
    • MozBar
    • Rank Signals
    • RiteTag
    • WooRank
    The IP I have auto-excluded myself as well.
     
    Brian Jackson likes this.
  17. i used upwork candidate for doing promotion of my website.
     
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