For more than nine years I’ve been working with companies that are looking to increase their organic visibility online using with is known as SEO or Search Engine Optimization. While the industry has been around quite a while, many companies are still leery of what SEO is and how it works for them. This is why hiring a professional SEO Agency is essential for your company’s success in search.

What SEO Is

Just for a quick refresher, let’s discuss briefly what SEO is. According to Moz, “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.” There are a number of ways to go about increasing the quantity and quality of your traffic. We do this by implementing several strategies and tactics such as:

  • Content Marketing
  • Site Optimization
  • Technical SEO
  • Link Building

While each campaign has a different set of goals, the primary goal of SEO is to increase the visibility of your site in the search results on a specific search engine.

One of the main focuses of SEO is to increase the “ranking” of a site for targeted terms. As many studies point out, the higher you rank, the more traffic you can expect.

60% of clicks go to the top three websites in search engine results. (Search Engine Journal)

While ranking is a very important part of SEO, many people tend to place too much weight on ranking by itself. For the remainder of this article, I want to share a few other ways that working with a professional SEO agency can help your online marketing efforts.

Better Brand Visibility

You can’t convert leads that don’t know you exist. When someone goes online searching for your product or company, can they find you? Do you appear in the search results for your brand name?

This is an often overlooked benefit of SEO because we get so focused on topic-based keywords. The best marketing strategy is typically referrals. One customer mentions to a friend about your great business and then what does their friend do? My guess is they will Google your business name. If you don’t show up for your brand, you are missing out on creating a good first impression.

Good SEO agencies realize the power branding has and will make sure that a brand visibility strategy is part of your overall strategy.

Better Leads

When searching for information online, users have an intent. In the SEO world, this is typically broken down into four distinct types of intent.

Informational intent: This is searches where people are simply looking for information.

Example: “Why do dogs shed.”

Navigational intent: This is where people are trying to get to a specific website.

Example: “Facebook”

Transactional intent: People who have the intention are searching for a product to purchase.

Example: “Buy Nike Cortez.”

Commercial investigation: This is where people have the intention to buy in the (near) future but use the web to do their research.

Example: “Best Price for Nike Cortez.”

Understanding intent will help you create a strategy that will allow you to target your audience more specifically. This is important because we also know that SEO closes at a much higher rate than many other forms of marketing.

SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate compared to only 1.7% for outbound leads such as print advertisements. (Search Engine Journal)

A good SEO agency will understand how to break your strategy down and know what types of intent apply to your business.

Better User Data

Data is only helpful if you know how to put it into action. While many companies have Google analytics installed on their site, very few take the time to learn it and use it. A good SEO agency will make sure that your site is collecting the right data and using that data to help them and you make better decisions.

Google provides a number of excellent, and also free, tools to help ensure you know where your traffic is coming from, who they are, what they did on your site and more. Here are two essential tools that you must have and understand for SEO and marketing success.

Google Analytics: This is more than just traffic. Google analytics will tell you the demographics of your users, geolocations, behavior and more. Using this tool correctly can help your SEO agency maximize results.

Search Console: While Google doesn’t give you all the data on your site, what it does share is powerful. Search console will tell you how many times your site has appeared in search, how many clicks your received and what terms people are using to find your site.

While SEO connects to ranking, it’s evolved over the years to be so much more. When partnering with an SEO agency, make sure that you choose a firm that understands the other benefits of SEO and knows how to maximize them on your behalf. If you have any questions, please comment below.