What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization ads texts, titles and some code to your website, to help Google understand what your website is about. It optimises your site with the goal to appear higher in search engines. As Google is the most used and most effective search engine at this moment, I will talk about Google form here on.
How does SEO work?
Google is a business, making money of paid search. It makes money because it is the best search engine in the world. Google therefore strives to present people with the best possible website in the world, to make sure it maintains its first place and reputation.
Thus, to appear as number 1 in Google you need two things:
1. Your website must be the best among your competitors.
This means that most of the SEO work is done by making a professional, attractive and effective website. The site has to deliver exactly what your target audience is looking for, has to be easy to use and navigate and deliver whatever people want when they come to your website as quick as possible.
2. Google must also be able to understand what your site promotes, and who it is for.
Therefore, every website has to go through so-called “one-time” or “on-site” SEO. The content has to be written and presented in such a way that Google understands what each page is about and in which searches it should present your site as a result. However, as the title suggests, this has to be done only once, during the construction of the site. Over time it might require some tweaking, but in general the one-time optimisation should be enough.
Why do agencies offer monthly SEO contracts?
Most of us are spammed daily with offers by agencies that offer monthly SEO to bring our site to the first page in Google. They have all kind of tricks, like blog posts, SEO posts and offer all kind of technical tasks that do not do anything.
Note: some of them will manage to trick Google temporarily, causing your site to jump to the top of Google searches, but sooner or later Google will find out and then ban you from searches for ever (so-called black hatting).
I must admit that there are a minority of legitimate agencies out there that do it the right way, using link-building. This is done by asking other (important!) sites to place a link on their site that points at your website. However, this must be done in the correct way, otherwise it might actually hurt your site more than it will help. Link building is a very laborious process and will cost you at least $1,500 per month. I will explain link building in more detail in my next article.
Google ranking is earned!
To conclude, there are some agencies out there (less than 1%) who might be able to help you improve your Google ranking. However, the majority will just take your money and send you automated monthly reports they do not do any work for. From the above it should be clear that improving your Google position has to be earned by creating a professional and effective website that serves your clients best. And if your one-time optimisation is done well, Google will pick that up and put you in the position your site deserves.