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What Does an SEO Agency Do?

Aug 12, 2021
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What Does an SEO Agency Do


An SEO agency performs search engine optimization, using on-page and off-page optimization strategies and tactics to increase a web page's search rankings. The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to grow a company's visibility in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and drive relevant traffic to its website.

The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to grow a company's visibility in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and drive relevant traffic to its website.

Your website should be designed with one goal in mind – attracting visitors who want to learn more about your products or services. If this isn't happening, there may be something wrong with your web pages' structure or content. SEO will help search engines and people understand your content, and what your company does. 

According to BrightEdge, 53% of website traffic comes from organic search, making search engines the number one source of trackable website traffic. As of June 2021, Google was the top digital search channel with 79% of search engine market share. The bottom line is, to be found online, your website needs to leverage search engine optimization. 

Hiring an SEO agency can help. 

An Ethical SEO Agency Uses White Hat SEO

There are two types of SEO in the online world, white hat and black hat.

White hat SEO uses legitimate methods based on Google's and other search engines' ranking factors to set up a website's content, metadata, internal links, and schema to help them rank higher in search results for relevant keywords. These efforts have a long-term effect of helping a website rise in rankings and take advantage of search engine results page (SERP) features.

Black hat SEO companies, on the other hand, try to game the system to help websites rise to the top of search. However, these tactics ultimately damage a website's presence.  

What Does an SEO Agency Do?

What goes into white hat SEO? There are 200+ factors that go into what makes a page rank high on the search results page. A legitimate SEO agency will use these factors as guidelines to help increase your search engine rankings. They will work to ensure you have the following: 

  • A secure website (HTTPS vs. HTTP)
  • A mobile-friendly website
  • Fast web page load speed
  • Correct schema markup
  • Quality backlinks pointing to your website
  • An organized internal linking structure
  • Optimized images
  • Optimized metadata

They will also conduct the following analysis and optimization regularly to ensure your website is performing well in search and achieving conversion goals:

  • Keyword research and content recommendations
  • Link audits
  • Website code and structure analysis and optimization
  • Website content analysis and optimization
  • Conversion rate analysis and optimization
  • Optimization of website code and structure
  • Optimization of off-page factors

Why Should I Hire an SEO Agency?

An SEO agency has experts in different areas of search engine optimization that may be out of the realm of your marketing team's abilities. SEO can be very complex and time-consuming. Furthermore, as the search engines change their algorithms, it can be difficult to stay current on the latest strategies for improving online visibility. You will likely see a greater ROI and better results from using a professional SEO agency than you would from tackling this on your own. 

Related article: 15 Interview Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO Agency

You will likely see a greater ROI and better results from using a professional SEO agency than you would from tackling this on your own. 

Developing a Customized SEO Strategy

SEO requires constant work to ensure a company's website is optimized. Good SEO agencies provide a range of services, including site audits, fixing site errors, and optimizing your website to leverage search engine ranking factors. However, the best SEO agencies are those that develop a customized SEO strategy for each client. While the processes and tactics used may be the same for all clients, each company's goals are different, and a great agency will tailor its SEO plan to help the company reach its objectives. In addition, they will be proactive and look for opportunities you may not have considered to help you meet your business goals and maximize the ROI of their efforts.

Having a siloed SEO team is not the best way to help a company attract the right website visitors. The best SEO agencies work in cooperation with your marketing and sales team to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding filling your marketing funnel and sales pipeline with leads.

Signs of Trouble with Your SEO Agency

An SEO agency will have regular communication with you to discuss your goals, your website data, and how you're performing in search. They should review your Google Analytics regularly to determine how your website is performing and whether or not their strategy is working. 

If your agency doesn't give you access to data on your website's performance, fire them. There should be open access to your analytics including:

  • Organic traffic, impressions, clicks, bounce rate, etc.
  • Keyword positions in search results
  • Conversion rates
  • Google My Business performance (for local businesses)

Always Improving

A legitimate SEO agency will also offer suggestions for improvements and revise its strategy when needed to meet new business goals or when its efforts aren't achieving anticipated results. SEO is a long game and it may take time to see results. You will see periodic dips in traffic,  especially when Google makes core updates. So, be patient as your SEO team works to make improvements. 

Related Article: What to Look for in an SEO Agency


SMA Marketing - What Does Our SEO Agency Do?

SMA Marketing’s SEO strategy begins with our SEO Intensive. During this one-month engagement, we run a deep audit of your website, investigate your competitors' search strategy, and build a customized approach to help your site earn more organic visibility.

This is a crucial first step in creating a search strategy that delivers business results. With the advancements search engines have made, each industry and query poses different opportunities. This means the traditional approach to SEO is becoming less and less effective. The SEO Intensive ensures that we are taking the right approach for your business, saving you time, and improving your ROI.

What the SEO Intensive Covers

When it comes to driving relevant traffic to your site, there are hundreds of factors at play. Most companies focus on the on-page elements, content, and backlinks, often overlooking the crucial technical elements that are essential for search today.

The SEO Intensive is a deep dive into all aspects of your site that impact your organic visibility.

Many agencies like to jump right into tactics without fully understanding the complete picture. This often results in poor results and rework. Our goal with SEO Intensive is to get a full understanding of your business, your market, and how the search engines react. This allows us to get better results faster. In fact, a typical client sees on average a 25% increase in organic traffic within the first 30 days after the Intensive.  

Semantic SEO:

As the semantic web grows, the need for structured content becomes essential. In order to rank in the highly-coveted Rich Features now available in the SERPs, you must structure your content for both user intent and the search engines.

Here are a few of the semantic SEO issues we investigate during the SEO Intensive:  

  • NLP Content Optimization
  • Entity-Based Content Modeling
  • Structured Data Mapping

Technical SEO:

Making sure your site is fast and getting indexed properly is imperative to any SEO project. Our team digs deep into the code of your site to ensure you are set up for success. 

Here are a few of the technical SEO issues we investigate: 

  • Server Optimization
  • Crawling Optimization
  • Code Optimization
  • Indexing
  • Speed
  • Mobile

On-Page SEO:

Good On-Page SEO is still essential. We look at your website’s titles, meta information, content, and more to ensure your pages clearly express what they are about and who they are for.

Here are a few of the on-page SEO issues we investigate: 

  • Site Structure
  • Topic Cluster Optimization
  • Titles
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Image Optimization
  • User Experience 

Off-Page SEO:

You must be seen as expert, authoritative, and trustworthy by the search engines in order to rank well. Many of these signals come from who is linking to your site and what others say about your brand. We run a deep off-page analysis to uncover optimizations and opportunities for your business to grow.

Here are a few of the off-page SEO elements we investigate: 

  • Backlink Analysis
  • Competitive Link Analysis
  • Competitive Traffic Analysis
  • Algorithm Impacts 
  • Deep Linking
  • Trust and Authority

Keyword Research & Content Strategy:

Since the beginning, search engines have sought to serve up pages that searchers like and engage with, without immediately returning to the search results page to try again. Therefore, it’s essential that each page on the site includes relevant, unique, and fresh content that is strategically optimized to rank for a site’s targeted keywords.

Here’s how we analyze your keywords and content: 

  • Review all keywords you currently rank for
  • Uncover new opportunities
  • Audit your current content and suggest ways to improve/add more targeted content

SEO Intensive Deliverables

At the end of our month-long SEO analysis of your website, we present an SEO Blueprint that includes the following deliverables:

  • In-depth audit with a list of actionable tasks for site improvement
  • Content modeling strategy
  • Keyword research and optimization plan
  • Content marketing strategy

What Happens After the SEO Intensive?

After the Intensive, we offer our clients the opportunity to continue with SMA on a retainer basis. If they accept, we move forward to address any errors uncovered during the process. We also set up any necessary infrastructure needed for long-term success. Here is a short list of items we take care of in the first 30 days post-intensive.

  • Technical Setup
  • Analytics Setup
  • Reporting Setup
  • Fix Technical Errors
  • Fix On-Page Errors

Next, we move forward with the strategy outlined in the SEO Blueprint to grow your organic visibility. We use a combination of on-page, technical and semantic SEO to help you reach your goals.

On-Page Optimization: Each quarter we target pages that need to be created or optimized to influence your organic position.

Technical Optimization: Our team monitors the health and functionality of your site to ensure it meets search engine standards.

Link Auditing & Optimization: We focus on optimizing the links you have, removing toxic links, and optimizing your content so it naturally earns links.

Semantic SEO: Semantic search is the future of the web. By building, maintaining, optimizing, and open linking your custom knowledge graph, we give you an edge few have today.

Dedicated Account Manager: Your dedicated account manager will ensure that your project stays on track and you get the results you're looking for. They will provide you with:

  • Reporting via your data dashboard
  • Research and analysis
  • Bi-weekly meetings

At SMA Marketing, we take a customized approach to our clients’ SEO. We continually work with you to meet your goals, making adjustments when necessary. 

To learn more about SMA Marketing’s SEO Services, contact us and let us know how we can help!

The Ultimate SEO Checklist - increase website traffic

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Rhonda Bavaro

By Rhonda Bavaro

Rhonda Bavaro wears many hats at SMA - Operations Director, Inbound Marketing Strategist and Content Writer. She loves helping business owners achieve accelerated growth through inbound marketing and creative content marketing strategies. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, sales, social media, technology, and health.

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