September 21, 2023

I’ve labored in search engine optimization companies for the previous 10 years. Throughout that point, I’ve change into acquainted with how they function. For those who’re searching for the within scoop on what search engine optimization companies do, preserve scrolling down to search out out.

Let’s get began.

What providers do search engine optimization companies present?

The principle service an search engine optimization company will present is bettering your web site’s visibility on the search engine outcomes pages (SERPs). 

Extra search visibility means extra natural site visitors might be pushed to your web site, sending extra leads or clients to your enterprise.

Companies equipped by totally different companies fluctuate, however your company ought to be capable of ship the next core search engine optimization providers for your enterprise.

Service Why you want it
Key phrase Analysis Focusing on the appropriate key phrases is a basic a part of search engine optimization and separates the winners from the losers.
Hyperlink Acquisition Hyperlinks are nonetheless a rating think about Google. So until you’re a massive model, you’ll need to accumulate hyperlinks to construct authority to your web site.
search engine optimization Reporting Reporting allows you to see how your web site is performing in opposition to your KPIs.
Content material Creation Persistently publishing content material retains clients engaged together with your model.
Technical search engine optimization Even when you’ve got a growth crew, it pays to have a technical search engine optimization skilled diagnose any search engine optimization points together with your web site.

Let’s discover these providers in additional element. 

Key phrase analysis

Key phrase analysis is a typical place to begin for many search engine optimization campaigns. 

The company will use this analysis to find what key phrases it must give attention to to enhance your web site’s search visibility.

As soon as your company has accomplished the key phrase analysis stage, it’s going to normally current its findings to you. 

This may occasionally include a number of search engine optimization jargon, however don’t fear—I’ve translated some phrases it’s possible you’ll hear beneath:

  • Search Quantity – This refers back to the common variety of occasions a person searches for a question in Google every month. Typically abbreviated to “SV” or “MSV” (month-to-month search quantity).
  • Key phrase Issue – How tough it’s to seem in Google for the key phrase.
  • Key phrase Rating – The place inside Google of a specific key phrase.

For those who have been pondering, “I might do that key phrase analysis myself,” you then can be proper. 

You possibly can.

Merely kind a site into Ahrefs’ Website Explorer and verify the Natural key phrases report.

Let’s do this with 

Organic keywords report for, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

By coming into our area, we are able to see that Ahrefs already ranks for 85,678 key phrases.

Clicking on the Competing domains tab, we get an inventory of our prime opponents.

Competing Domains report for, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

If we have a look at the primary row and click on on the key phrases distinctive to our competitor, we are able to get an thought of what key phrases our competitor—on this case, Moz, ranks for. 

Content Gap report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

From this, now we have 62,958 key phrases we are able to probably goal that our competitor ranks for, however Ahrefs doesn’t. 

We are able to use this course of on all our opponents’ websites, permitting us to kind the premise of a key phrase analysis doc.

The key phrase analysis course of isn’t technically tough— however the interpretation of the information is the place you get the worth out of your search engine optimization company. 

The company’s expertise throughout a number of verticals and enterprise sectors means it’s effectively positioned to advise you in your key phrase technique. 

Hyperlink acquisition

Buying hyperlinks is without doubt one of the most necessary actions in search engine optimization. That you must have hyperlinks to rank in Google. And sure, it’s nonetheless some of the necessary confirmed Google rating components.

Businesses use totally different instruments to determine hyperlink prospects, assess their authority, and phone different web sites in your behalf.

For instance, they might use a device like Ahrefs’ Website Explorer to grasp the authority of any hyperlink.

Their precise strategies for buying hyperlinks will rely in your web site and its belongings, however some companies will suggest to make a bit of content material that they suppose will entice hyperlinks naturally. 

Typically, companies will even work in tandem with digital PR groups or straight contact journalists and web sites. 

In my expertise, digital PR groups are finest at touchdown the massive hyperlinks, however they want the help of the search engine optimization crew to assist handle the general course of.

In terms of hyperlink constructing, there may be a number of related jargon. You could hear your company use the next phrases: 

  • Observe/Dofollow Hyperlinks – These hyperlinks can affect web page rankings with the search engine outcomes.
  • Nofollow Hyperlinks – These hyperlinks don’t affect the search engine rankings of the vacation spot URL.
  • Area Ranking (DR) – An search engine optimization metric developed by Ahrefs that appears on the high quality and amount of the backlinks to an internet site and scores them on a scale from 0 to 100.
  • Hyperlink Profile – Evaluation of the entire hyperlinks {that a} web site has.

The jargon round hyperlinks doesn’t cease there, sadly. However if you wish to get extra translations, you may try our search engine optimization glossary.

search engine optimization reporting

Plot spoiler: search engine optimization companies love documentation. 

Whenever you work with an company, it’s going to ship you decks, spreadsheets, and lots of different paperwork. 

The documentation acts because the company’s paper path and exhibits that it’s delivering the work to you. 


In addition to supplying the core providers, an search engine optimization company will give you an in depth roadmap while you begin working collectively.

  • This may point out what areas of search engine optimization it is going to be specializing in, sometimes for the subsequent three to 6 months.
  • A superb roadmap will prioritize resolving any technical points first after which commit time to the opposite parts afterward. The explanation for that is that if an internet site has a big technical situation, no quantity of content material will be capable of change that.

Kick-off calls and weekly catchups

After you’ve got acquired the search engine optimization marketing campaign roadmap, you’ll seemingly be invited to a “kick-off name,” and the company will run by means of the search engine optimization roadmap with you. 

That is your probability to verify that you’re proud of the marketing campaign’s focus and ensure, or set, your key efficiency indicators (KPIs). 

Following the kick-off name, you’ll sometimes have weekly catchup calls with the search engine optimization crew. 

You’ll typically be given entry to an search engine optimization efficiency dashboard and knowledgeable when your month-to-month report is delivered, permitting you to trace the marketing campaign’s efficiency.

Month-to-month search engine optimization experiences

Offering search engine optimization experiences is a giant focus for any company. It’s its manner of speaking what occurred in your search engine optimization marketing campaign, why it occurred, and the subsequent steps. 

Most companies will provide at the very least a month-to-month report, however different companies have been recognized to do weekly and even each day experiences. 

search engine optimization reporting makes the company accountable and permits your enterprise to indicate the wins and losses internally to key stakeholders with ease—by sharing the deck.

Content material creation

search engine optimization companies will create any kind of content material in your web site that you just require. The principle kinds of content material they may allow you to with embody however will not be restricted to:

  1. Weblog put up content material.
  2. Touchdown web page content material.
  3. Meta descriptions and web page titles. 

Let’s take an in depth have a look at some of these content material:

Weblog put up content material 

  • The company ought to ship a content material calendar while you begin working with it. This might be your plan for the subsequent few months when it comes to weblog put up content material.
  • Most companies may have somebody in-house or work with an outsourced content material author to supply your content material.
  • The company will sometimes suggest what number of posts it thinks might be mandatory per 30 days—that is largely dependent in your price range.
  • The company will normally add and format the content material itself when you’ve got given it entry to the CMS.

Touchdown web page content material

  • With touchdown web page content material, an company will present suggestions on what it thinks is the most effective method to take.
  • It’ll write the content material, and it is going to be written in-house or with a trusted outsourced accomplice.
  • The company ought to be capable of add the content material itself if it has CMS entry.

Meta descriptions and web page title content material

  • In terms of meta descriptions and web page titles, these will most probably be mechanically generated utilizing formulation when you’ve got a giant web site.
  • The company ought to be capable of add the content material itself if it has CMS entry.

Technical search engine optimization

Good technical search engine optimization expertise are arguably probably the most profitable ability set you may have in search engine optimization.

Whenever you method an search engine optimization company, it’s going to showcase its technical search engine optimization credentials and attempt to diagnose a lot of your web site’s points by conducting a technical search engine optimization audit. 

Normally, it’s going to do that by working a crawl of your web site.

Listed below are a number of particular examples of typical checks it’s going to make:

  • Checking your web site is crawlable and listed in Google and different main engines like google. 
  • Reviewing your web site’s construction; verify that it’s logical and optimized for engines like google.
  • Reviewing your web site’s efficiency similar to web site pace and Core Net Vitals.
  • Reviewing the interior and exterior hyperlinks of your web site and share alternatives for enchancment.
  • Reviewing your canonicals and redirects to make sure they’re carried out correctly.
  • Reviewing your sitemap and robots.txt recordsdata to make sure that they’re carried out appropriately.
  • Reviewing your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts.
  • Making certain your pictures are optimized for search.

This isn’t an exhaustive listing, but it surely provides you an thought of what technical parts the company will think about. It’ll decide up this data from working an internet site crawl on a device like Ahrefs’ Website Audit.

As soon as your company has accomplished the technical search engine optimization audit, it’s possible you’ll suppose the whole lot is full when it comes to technical search engine optimization—but it surely doesn’t finish there.

Technical search engine optimization continues to be required to keep up the location and guarantee there are not any vital issues with the web site from a technical standpoint.

Consider it or not, it’s common for companies of all sizes to make substantial technical web site errors with out even being conscious of them.

We’ve run by means of what an search engine optimization company does, however what are the advantages of hiring an search engine optimization company?

Listed below are a few:

  • Totally managed search engine optimization – Means that you can give attention to your enterprise.
  • Entry to skilled search engine optimization specialists – You possibly can leverage them for your enterprise.
  • Entry to enterprise search engine optimization instruments – Provides you higher insights into your web site’s search engine optimization.
  • Obtain your enterprise targets – Helps your enterprise understand its objectives by creating a customized technique.
  • Collaboration together with your inner groups – SEOs are used to working with different channels, similar to PR, PPC, and associates, to allow them to work together with your inner groups if required.
  • Study from them – The search engine optimization company might be greater than keen to share its data with you. You need to use this as a stepping stone to construct your personal search engine optimization crew additional down the line.

The underside line is that an search engine optimization company is an effective match for an organization that wishes a hands-off method to coping with search engine optimization. 

Hiring an search engine optimization crew is usually a lengthy course of, and attracting search engine optimization expertise may be difficult. Working with an company, although, can allow you to side-step these points.

Ideas for selecting an search engine optimization company

Now you recognize what an search engine optimization company does and what the advantages are, listed below are a number of tips about what to ask and remember of.

Concentrate on the “we’re an award-winning” company line

If I had a greenback for each award-winning search engine optimization company I’ve encountered in my profession, I’d be a wealthy man. 

What I’m saying right here is that many search engine optimization companies will say they’re award-winning and proudly replace their web page titles to show it. 

The issue is that nearly each respected company is award-winning, that means that it’s not the distinguishing issue it used to be.

A fast Google of this phrase exhibits that there are a number of companies on the market that describe themselves on this manner.

Google SERP showing many SEO agencies claiming to be award-winning

Concentrate on the “we’re a Google Companion” line

In an analogous manner that the award-winning company has change into a little bit of a cliche, there are additionally some unscrupulous companies that can add Google Partner pictures and badges to their web sites.

They do that to look extra spectacular. Right here’s an instance of somebody complaining about this situation on a help thread.

Complaint about a company faking Google Partner badge, via Google Support


A Google Partner is an accepted promoting company or third get together that manages Google Adverts accounts on behalf of different manufacturers or companies. Google Companion standing is worried extra with PPC and isn’t an endorsement of an company’s search engine optimization providers.

In case you are not sure of an company’s standing, all the time verify beforehand to verify whether it is reliable utilizing this directory.

Ask what search engine optimization instruments they use

They are saying you may inform rather a lot about an individual by the corporate they preserve—in search engine optimization, you may say the identical concerning the instruments an company makes use of. 

It’s value asking what search engine optimization instruments an company has. For those who select to work with the company, these instruments might be your knowledge sources.

search engine optimization instruments can fluctuate in worth—so by asking this query, you will get an thought of how a lot it spends.

For instance, whether it is utilizing an enterprise search engine optimization device, then it’s in all probability clear from this that it’s severe about search engine optimization, and money move isn’t a problem for it.

Alternatively, whether it is utilizing a device you recognize you should utilize at no cost, or pretty cheaply, and you get the impression it lacks experience—this might be a possible crimson flag.

Ask about budgets 

In terms of budgets, you’ll sometimes want at the very least a four-figure month-to-month price range to work with a good search engine optimization company.

The fact is that when you’ve got a smaller price range for search engine optimization, then it could be value working with an search engine optimization advisor as an alternative.

The explanation for that is that companies sometimes prioritize their highest-paying shoppers—as a result of they imply probably the most to their enterprise.

Ask in the event that they outsource 

After I began my profession over 10 years in the past, outsourcing was pretty uncommon in company land.

However 10 years later, it’s now extra widespread and one thing that even the massive media companies do to scale back prices.

Whenever you consider outsourcing, it usually has detrimental connotations, but it surely may also be constructive. Outsourcing can work for everybody if an company has the appropriate processes and coaching in place. 

The underside line right here is to make sure that you’re proud of the standard of the work.

Ask to see the search engine optimization crew

Businesses normally get the gross sales groups to do many of the work within the pitch levels, as that’s their specialty. 

However as a potential shopper, it’s value remembering that the gross sales crew gained’t be the folks engaged on the account with you. 

Ask to see the search engine optimization crew members, and decide whether or not you suppose they are going to be a superb match with your enterprise. A superb crew ought to act as an extension of your personal enterprise.

You don’t need to interrogate every member of the search engine optimization crew, asking about their expertise. However you’ll in all probability be capable of really feel if the crew is skilled or not simply with a fast chat. 

Upon getting established that it’s a crew you wish to work with, it’s value asking what number of hours of senior search engine optimization expertise you’ll get on the account. 

The company is unlikely to refuse any of your requests early on since they may attempt their hardest to win you over as a shopper. 

That is the most effective time to ask all of your questions, get solutions, and be taught concerning the mandatory particulars added to the contract.

Get testimonials

Typically, one of the simplest ways to grasp what an company is like is to speak to a few of its different shoppers. 

Ask for testimonials from the company’s different shoppers and, if potential, for a telephone or video name. You’ll get rather more data this manner than from a forwarded e-mail saying how nice the company is.

Case research

Most companies have a bunch of case research on their web sites about how they received a 10X ROI for a shopper they labored with. It’s a good suggestion to learn these fastidiously—these are normally the most effective examples of their work. It’ll present you what they’re able to.

Closing ideas

search engine optimization companies are there to make your life simpler, enabling you to spend extra time specializing in your enterprise. They’ll swimsuit many companies on the market, however not all. 

If your enterprise can’t help a four-figure month-to-month retainer charge, then an company might be not proper for you.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask a number of questions (and get solutions) earlier than you signal on the dotted line.

Received extra questions? Ping me on Twitter. 🙂