What Do search engine optimisation Companies Do? (And Ideas for Selecting One)

I’ve labored in search engine optimisation companies for the previous 10 years. Throughout that point, I’ve develop into accustomed to how they function. In the event you’re searching for the within scoop on what search engine optimisation companies do, maintain scrolling down to search out out.

Let’s get began.

What providers do search engine optimisation companies present?

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

Extra search visibility means extra natural visitors might be pushed to your web site, sending extra leads or prospects to what you are promoting.

Providers equipped by completely different companies differ, however your company ought to be capable of ship the next core search engine optimisation providers for what you are promoting.

Service Why you want it
Key phrase Analysis Concentrating on the fitting key phrases is a basic a part of search engine optimisation and separates the winners from the losers.
Hyperlink Acquisition Hyperlinks are nonetheless a rating think about Google. So except you’re a massive model, you’ll need to accumulate hyperlinks to construct authority to your web site.
search engine optimisation Reporting Reporting allows you to see how your web site is performing in opposition to your KPIs.
Content material Creation Constantly publishing content material retains prospects engaged along with your model.
Technical search engine optimisation Even in case you have a growth group, it pays to have a technical search engine optimisation professional diagnose any search engine optimisation points along with your web site.

Let’s discover these providers in additional element. 

Key phrase analysis

Key phrase analysis is a standard start line for many search engine optimisation 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 should normally current its findings to you. 

This will include a whole lot of search engine optimisation jargon, however don’t fear—I’ve translated some phrases you might hear beneath:

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

In the event you have been pondering, “I might do that key phrase analysis myself,” then you definitely could be proper. 

You possibly can.

Merely kind a website into Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer and examine the Natural key phrases report.

Let’s do that with ahrefs.com. 

Organic keywords report for ahrefs.com, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

By getting into our area, we will see that Ahrefs already ranks for 85,678 key phrases.

Clicking on the Competing domains tab, we get a listing of our high opponents.

Competing Domains report for ahrefs.com, 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 will get an concept of what key phrases our competitor—on this case, Moz, ranks for. 

Content Gap report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

From this, we have now 62,958 key phrases we will doubtlessly goal that our competitor ranks for, however Ahrefs doesn’t. 

We will use this course of on all our opponents’ websites, permitting us to type the idea of a key phrase analysis doc.

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

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

Hyperlink acquisition

Buying hyperlinks is without doubt one of the most essential actions in search engine optimisation. It’s essential to have hyperlinks to rank in Google. And sure, it’s nonetheless some of the essential confirmed Google rating components.

Companies use completely different instruments to establish hyperlink prospects, assess their authority, and make contact with different web sites in your behalf.

For instance, they could use a software like Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer to grasp the authority of any hyperlink.

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

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

In my expertise, digital PR groups are greatest at touchdown the large hyperlinks, however they want the help of the search engine optimisation group to assist handle the general course of.

With regards to hyperlink constructing, there’s a whole lot of related jargon. It’s possible you’ll 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 Score (DR) – An search engine optimisation metric developed by Ahrefs that appears on the high quality and amount of the backlinks to a web 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 possibly can take a look at our search engine optimisation glossary.

search engine optimisation reporting

Plot spoiler: search engine optimisation companies love documentation. 

Once you work with an company, it should ship you decks, spreadsheets, and plenty of different paperwork. 

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


In addition to supplying the core providers, an search engine optimisation company will offer you an in depth roadmap whenever you begin working collectively.

  • This can point out what areas of search engine optimisation it is going to be specializing in, usually for the following three to 6 months.
  • A superb roadmap will prioritize resolving any technical points first after which dedicate time to the opposite parts afterward. The rationale for that is that if a web 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 may have obtained the search engine optimisation marketing campaign roadmap, you’ll doubtless be invited to a “kick-off name,” and the company will run via the search engine optimisation roadmap with you. 

That is your likelihood to substantiate that you’re pleased with the marketing campaign’s focus and ensure, or set, your key efficiency indicators (KPIs). 

Following the kick-off name, you’ll usually have weekly catchup calls with the search engine optimisation group. 

You’ll typically be given entry to an search engine optimisation 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 optimisation stories

Offering search engine optimisation stories is an enormous focus for any company. It’s its approach of speaking what occurred in your search engine optimisation marketing campaign, why it occurred, and the following 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 day by day stories. 

search engine optimisation reporting makes the company accountable and permits what you are promoting to point out the wins and losses internally to key stakeholders with ease—by sharing the deck.

Content material creation

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

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

Let’s take a detailed have a look at all these content material:

Weblog submit content material 

  • The company ought to ship a content material calendar whenever you begin working with it. This might be your plan for the following few months when it comes to weblog submit 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 usually advocate what number of posts it thinks might be mandatory monthly—that is largely dependent in your price range.
  • The company will normally add and format the content material itself in case you have 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 very best 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

  • With regards to meta descriptions and web page titles, these will most definitely be routinely generated utilizing formulation in case you have an enormous web site.
  • The company ought to be capable of add the content material itself if it has CMS entry.

Technical search engine optimisation

Good technical search engine optimisation expertise are arguably probably the most profitable talent set you possibly can have in search engine optimisation.

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

Normally, it should do that by working a crawl of your web site.

Listed here are just a few particular examples of typical checks it should make:

  • Checking your web site is crawlable and listed in Google and different main serps. 
  • Reviewing your web site’s construction; examine that it’s logical and optimized for serps.
  • Reviewing your web site’s efficiency equivalent to web site pace and Core Internet Vitals.
  • Reviewing the inner 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 information to make sure that they’re carried out appropriately.
  • Reviewing your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts.
  • Guaranteeing your photographs are optimized for search.

This isn’t an exhaustive record, but it surely provides you an concept of what technical parts the company will take into account. It’ll choose up this info from working a web site crawl on a software like Ahrefs’ Web site Audit.

As soon as your company has accomplished the technical search engine optimisation audit, you might suppose all the things is full when it comes to technical search engine optimisation—but it surely doesn’t finish there.

Technical search engine optimisation 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.

Imagine it or not, it is not uncommon for companies of all sizes to make substantial technical web site errors with out even being conscious of them.

We now have run via what an search engine optimisation company does, however what are the advantages of hiring an search engine optimisation company?

Listed here are a few:

  • Absolutely managed search engine optimisation – Means that you can give attention to what you are promoting.
  • Entry to skilled search engine optimisation specialists – You possibly can leverage them for what you are promoting.
  • Entry to enterprise search engine optimisation instruments – Provides you higher insights into your web site’s search engine optimisation.
  • Obtain what you are promoting aims – Helps what you are promoting notice its targets by creating a customized technique.
  • Collaboration along with your inside groups – SEOs are used to working with different channels, equivalent to PR, PPC, and associates, to allow them to work along with your inside groups if required.
  • Be taught from them – The search engine optimisation company might be greater than prepared to share its data with you. You need to use this as a stepping stone to construct your individual search engine optimisation group additional down the line.

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

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

Ideas for selecting an search engine optimisation company

Now you understand what an search engine optimisation company does and what the advantages are, listed below are just a few recommendations on what to ask and remember of.

Pay attention to the “we’re an award-winning” company line

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

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

The issue is that just about each respected company is award-winning, which means that it isn’t the distinguishing issue it used to be.

A fast Google of this phrase reveals that there are a whole lot of companies on the market that describe themselves on this approach.

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

Pay attention to the “we’re a Google Accomplice” line

In the same approach that the award-winning company has develop into a little bit of a cliche, there are additionally some unscrupulous companies that can add Google Partner photographs 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 accredited promoting company or third get together that manages Google Adverts accounts on behalf of different manufacturers or companies. Google Accomplice standing is anxious extra with PPC and isn’t an endorsement of an company’s search engine optimisation providers.

If you’re uncertain of an company’s standing, at all times examine beforehand to substantiate whether it is legit utilizing this directory.

Ask what search engine optimisation instruments they use

They are saying you possibly can inform lots about an individual by the corporate they maintain—in search engine optimisation, you possibly can say the identical in regards to the instruments an company makes use of. 

It’s value asking what search engine optimisation instruments an company has. In the event you select to work with the company, these instruments might be your knowledge sources.

search engine optimisation instruments can differ in worth—so by asking this query, you may get an concept of how a lot it spends.

For instance, whether it is utilizing an enterprise search engine optimisation software, then it’s in all probability clear from this that it’s severe about search engine optimisation, and money circulation isn’t a difficulty for it.

Then again, whether it is utilizing a software you understand you need to use without cost, or pretty cheaply, and you get the impression it lacks experience—this could possibly be a possible pink flag.

Ask about budgets 

With regards to budgets, you’ll usually want at the very least a four-figure month-to-month price range to work with a good search engine optimisation company.

The fact is that in case you have a smaller price range for search engine optimisation, then it could be value working with an search engine optimisation marketing consultant as an alternative.

The rationale for that is that companies usually prioritize their highest-paying purchasers—as a result of they imply probably the most to their enterprise.

Ask in the event that they outsource 

Once 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 frequent and one thing that even the large media companies do to cut back prices.

Once you consider outsourcing, it typically has damaging connotations, but it surely will also be optimistic. Outsourcing can work for everybody if an company has the fitting processes and coaching in place. 

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

Ask to see the search engine optimisation group

Companies normally get the gross sales groups to do a lot of the work within the pitch phases, as that’s their specialty. 

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

Ask to see the search engine optimisation group members, and decide whether or not you suppose they are going to be a great match with what you are promoting. A superb group ought to act as an extension of your individual enterprise.

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

After you have established that it’s a group you wish to work with, it’s value asking what number of hours of senior search engine optimisation expertise you’ll get on the account. 

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

That is the very best time to ask all of your questions, get solutions, and study in regards to 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 purchasers. 

Ask for testimonials from the company’s different purchasers and, if doable, for a telephone or video name. You’ll get rather more info this manner than from a forwarded electronic mail saying how nice the company is.

Case research

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

Ultimate ideas

search engine optimisation companies are there to make your life simpler, enabling you to spend extra time specializing in what you are promoting. They are going to swimsuit many companies on the market, however not all. 

If what you are promoting can’t help a four-figure month-to-month retainer payment, then an company might be not proper for you.

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

Received extra questions? Ping me on Twitter. 🙂