Some people think SEO is expensive due to the high pricing in SEO consultancy. In Indonesia, the customer tends to choose the cheaper version of SEO service that usually offers a promise to put one to five keywords on page one Google.
At this point, SEO consultancy looks like a cheap magic mantra to make your website appear on page one with some keywords targeted. I feel customers need to know how SEO consultancy works, in a really generic way, therefore SEO is not only seen as expensive but also worthy to customers’ business.
In this article, I will elaborate on why the better rank of a particular keyword is not the only purpose of doing SEO. The search engine that we discussed in this article is Google since it is widely used by internet users.
What SEO Consultancy Do?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a way to optimize your website to have good visibility in search engines. Visibility means your website appears on the first page or even ranks in the top five.
Why does a website need visibility?
Because if a website appears in top rank position (1 to 10), the possibility of being seen and clicked is greater than if your website appears on page two.
Then the next question is how does Google put your website in its search index? or simply how does Google rank its sites?
Only Google and God know.
However, there is a general idea of how Google ranks a site. There are two aspects of the website that are important to Google so that a website can rank better: internal and external, commonly called SEO On Page and SEO Off-Page.
SEO On-Page is controlled because it is directly modifying the website such as content creation, adding meta description, internal linking, using headlines in articles, etc. Different from On-Page, SEO Off-Page refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs) (MOZ).
Before I touch on the important part: what SEO consultancy does, I found most SEO consultancy and services in Indonesia use “page one” perspective to polish up their service.
Keywords to be No.1 or at least appear on page One
Titles like this are usually used as marketing materials for an SEO service. Some even guarantee that the keywords you provide will appear on page 1 or no.1.
You will never know what they are doing for SEO and I guess the report is about your keyword position in Google, that’s it.
The price of the service usually reaches millions of rupiah (around 100$) for 1 keyword with a guarantee. Truthfully, I’m not very comfortable with guaranteeing a given keyword will reach the first page (or even No.1 in Google)
Here’s the reason.
#1 David and Goliath is Sillyness in SEO
For example, if you want the keyword “learn to make a website” to be number 1 on Google, you are willing to pay expensive service so that your search in this area becomes number 1. Therefore, you order a service with the marketing word “no.1 guarantee on Google”.
Soon your website will be flooded with visitors?
Hold on, it is not simple as you think.
Now think about this.
There are so many challenges to being number one in Google.
First, if the keyword is so popular that means that you are not the only company that aims to get the website on the first page. Your endeavor will be high due to the intense competition out there.
The second challenge, you should be aware that this is not the early internet era which means there are so many big companies’ websites that existed. As a result, your website will be head to head with many credible websites that already have high scores in SEO Off-Page.
The third challenge is connected with the second challenge, the big company will use their financial power to hire the best employee with SEO expertise, which means your $100 is useless compared to their employee skill.
Are your confidence still there to kick this big competitor?
This is why David vs Goliath can’t be realized in the SEO competition, it is pure silliness if you try really hard to put a keyword on page one Google competes with big companies.
#2 Business Type and Purpose
Great SEO does make a site have high visibility in search engines, but the first page for keywords does not mean that users will only search for those keywords to perform searches.
For example, the keyword “learn to make a website” has many related phrases that are still related to the main keywords such as “tutorial to make an easy website”, “how to install WordPress”, etc. Focus on a single keyword is a big mistake since we can develop many keywords that still align with the business type and business purpose.
And this brings us to the final reason.
#3 Keyword Research
Instead of doing keyword research for you, some SEO consultants use the keywords you provide and guarantee it to be no.1 on the Google page.
Therein lies the drawback.
Keep in mind, there are 3 types of keyword intentions :
- Informational, users search for keywords that are looking for information on the internet, for example “how to farm”, “how to get rid of acne”, etc.
- Navigational, user searches for keywords that aim to come to a particular website, for example “facebook”, “google image”, etc.
- Transactional, users with this type have the intention to buy something. Commonly used keywords are “buy” or “sell” because they want to buy or find out who is selling what they need. This type of conversion is very high because the users already have the intention to buy and understand what they want.
- Commercial Investigation, user wants to buy something but still doing a research about what they are looking for. Common used keywords are the name of the product/service + something like “What is the best SEO service?” or “What motorcycle cover is good?”
As I said before, there are a lot of related keywords that we can use. If we add up we can bring more traffic than the main keyword because the volume is quite large, consistent, and the competition is not too tight.
This is something that some SEO services don’t provide due to their promise is to make the single keyword you provide will be no.1 on Google even though the potential of your website is not only dependent on a single keyword.
When I got two certificates from SEMrush, a data insight tool for SEO, I got a fruitful insight into how the activities of SEO services or an SEO consultant.
This is what SEO Consultancy do :
#1 Dig deeper on website purpose
Before getting into keywords, a consultant usually gives a survey containing a number of questions to the site owner about the website description, what is the purpose of the website on the internet (selling products/services or branding), the type of visitor, and their financial strength.
The website owner could give the answer to the SEO consultant verbally and the consultant will use the answer as the basis for developing keywords. Therefore, the website objective is the first crucial thing to know from the customer.
#2 Keyword Research
If the site owner already has a keyword, the consultant will use it as a benchmark to find other keywords. But if the customer doesn’t have one, a consultant can find keywords through research.
What is the keyword research process like?
This is where the keywords must be adjusted to the purpose of the website, whether you want to increase your brand or convert visitors into buyers. This will relate to the type of keyword that will be used for the basis of the search for the long-tail keyword.
In this process, the keywords will be developed into long-tail phrases or use the synonym of the main keyword. Usually, consultants will choose keywords that consist of at least three words because they are generally easier to compete with than a phrase that are consist of one or two words.
Next, these keywords will be filtered through 3 criteria:
- Search volume per month that should be minimum 300 or 500. This will make sure that the keyword is still worth to target.
- The keyword competition is not too tight, some tools have different values for the value. As for example, SEMrush uses a value from 1 to 100 as the level of competition and ideally not above 80.
- Keyword matching with the website profile, as previously mentioned, although the volume and competition is low, it must be checked whether the keywords match the goals of the website and also the persona of visitors who are expected to visit the website.
#3 Website Health Check
This is something that customers rarely pay attention to.
If you want to have high visibility in the Google search engine, the first thing to do is to check what is Google’s criteria of a good website.
What are the criteria?
- Pay attention to loading speed and do not make your visitors wait too long to open the website. There are plenty term that you need to understand such as Time To First Byte (TTFB) and Full Page Load Time.
- The link structure in the website : we should avoid links that don’t work, the existence of an “orphan” page (not linked at all by other pages), the absence of internal links to articles, and negative links that point to our website.
- Every page must have metadata. In SEO, the metadata of a page is the meta description and title. Their second function is to notify Google’s crawlers of brief information on a page. You should align the content of the website with the metadata of the website.
The SEO consultant will identify all things related to the problems above and give advice on what to do or even fix it right away.
#4 Article Writing
The keywords will be collected in a report and usually the SEO consultant will provide a briefing on what is important in article writing. Writing and posting on a website are 2 different things.
In the SEO process, writing is writing articles related to keywords with a modest keyword distribution (it doesn’t appear too often) and writing according to the persona of web visitors obtained from interviews.
Posting in the SEO process is not just copying and pasting the results of writing and publishing them on the website but paying attention to all SEO rules such as the use of headings, internal links, external links, using lists, meta descriptions, and so on.
And the last stage is to provide a report at the end of the month on the progress of visitors who came from Google (organic visitors) and also the visibility of the keywords. Some keywords usually appear in search engines within 2 weeks.
In addition, the consultant will show a positioning map: the position of the client’s website compared to its competitors with similar keywords.
It is very important to know how competitive our website is and also by knowing the competitors, we can examine the ways they maximize their website.
That’s why an SEO consultant is now much needed by the industry. I checked on LinkedIn, there are lots of job vacancies related to SEO, and the salary is enough to keep you from trying to compete with the big companies.
Are SEO Services Expensive?
Considering how SEO services do to your business, it really depends on which service you use.
For a service that gives you a guarantee that will be no.1 without further studying what can be maximized, it is expensive because the customer pays only to push 1 keyword
But for a service that examines your business from auditing websites to researching keywords, it is worth paying and the customer will see the sustainable impact in the future.
Are you ready to boost your business with Meta SEO? Contact us!
Jati graduated his Master’s in ICT in Business and the Public Sector from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is now currently pursuing his PhD from Leiden University on the topic of data privacy for the VODAN-Africa project.