How to find the best digital marketing and small business SEO packages
Let’s be honest here: how many of you business owners or decision makers reading this have looked at digital marketing and SEO strategies with this look on your face? I’m betting right around ALL of you.
In 2021, and online marketing strategy is an absolutely must-have piece of making sure that your business is thriving by driving emails, phone calls and other engagement that begins with search engines and social media platforms. But where do you begin?
First, if you’ve gotten this far you probably already have a website. You probably also know that simply having a website with no monthly traffic being driven to it is something like having a billboard in the middle of the desert. We get into that a bit more in our article, “Do I need a business website in 2021?“.
Now that you’ve gotten your shiny new website and you want some traffic coming to it to build your business, you’ve probably looked at which direction you want to go with your digital marketing. You can go the digital advertising direction and pay for each click – which is very effective (and which we also do for our clients). Today though, we’re going to really focus on the key elements of small business SEO packages and what you should expect to spend for your monthly budget.
SMALL BUSINESS SEO PACKAGES INCLUDE:
- Keyword Mapping and Research
- Business-Specific SEO Strategy
- Website Optimization
- Backlinks Strategy
- Regular, Detailed Reporting
- Customer Service
Keyword Mapping and Research
You probably have a decent idea of what a keyword is and what relevant keywords you’d like your business website to be found for by prospective clients using search engines. However, there are a couple of things we should point out here:
1. YOU are not your potential client. As a business owner, you are an expert and as such, your knowledge and understanding of what YOU would type into a search engine versus what a prospective customer would search for could possibly be VERY different.
For instance, if you’re a roofer in Colorado you surely know about all kinds of roofing technologies like Class 4 shingles, EPDM and fluid-applied coatings. However, if you’re simply someone who needs to have their roof replaced because of a hail storm, you’re simply going to search for something akin to “best roof replacement near me”. We take these things into account to make sure that the keyword rankings we’re aiming for are backed by specific needs of customers.
2. Competitive keywords deserve constant attention and ongoing work. In 2020, Google’s Algorithm had 12 major updates and HUNDREDS of smaller updates that took place daily. As such, your SEO company should be actively working on strategy with you and other SEO clients to actively pursue the best strategy.
Obviously, national SEO packages aren’t necessary for most local businesses but it is important to look at the geography of your business and how it affects how to generate keyword lists that are most effective for your business.
Regardless of the size of our client’s businesses, we do all the in-depth research necessary to make sure that the keyword strategy we deploy will bring search ranking, and website traffic on an ongoing basis.
Business-Specific SEO Strategy
The other day a potential client of ours shared with us their monthly reports from their current business SEO agency. To be completely transparent while SEO content was part of the report, much of it focused on digital advertising (pay-per-click, PPC, Google Ads, etc.). What was astounding to us was that they had clearly not taken the time to considered the actual business to generate keyword list ideas or strategy. They’d simply set the Google Keyword Planner tool to “broad match” (which pulls in keywords that are even distantly linked to a category and often results in things that have no real association with business clients).
At X3 Marketing Group, it’s our job to consider things like business goals, budgets, geography, ideal customer profiles and an almost infinite list of other aspects which business partners hold as vital aspects of their specific business. Business SEO solutions are not a cookie-cutter solution and each client should have their digital marketing agency as their partner rather than simply a mercenary.
There are a ton of free website builders out there but the old adage of, “You get what you pay for.” certainly holds true for most of them. Having a website is fine because it gives a business some presence online but for the most effective SEO marketing, any good digital marketing agency worth their salt will advise you to make sure the nuts & bolts of your website are just as well thought out as your content writing and content optimization.
Right out of the gate, your SEO company should make sure that your site speed is addressed. Google themselves have explicitly stated that page speed affects rank not only in organic traffic as a result of search engine optimization but also in paid search and Google Ads. Anything over about 1.68 seconds of page loading speed is unlikely to ever find itself on first page search results (outside of business name searches).
Looking back at the keyword mapping section above, something else important to consider is how the actual structure of your website is handled. Think about it like this:
If you walk into the grocery store and everything you need is there as always, but it’s in a giant pile on the floor. Imagine how long it would take you to wade through the mess to find anything specific!
Now imagine the same grocery store but it’s as normal. Well-organized aisles which are clearly labeled. Now, you’ll still have to wait for that guy standing in the middle of the aisle choosing one of the 56 varieties of peanut butter available but at least you’ll be able to find everything.
If your website isn’t well organized, a visitor looking for quality content won’t be able to find it. They’ll “bounce” quickly and this will affect your Google rankings because they’re paying attention to how long people stay on your site and pages. This is also known as the “bounce rate”.
There are many other aspects of website optimization for good SEO and we’re constantly working to make sure that our client’s results reflect every advantage we can give them.
What the heck is a backlink? Simply put, a backlink is a link from one website to another. In this way, site A linking out to site B is putting their virtual trust or credit in site B. For instance, we trust Google’s mobile speed tool so we, at X3 Marketing Group are going to give a link to it HERE. With that, we’ve indicated a certain amount of trust.
Now that you understand what a backlink is, it’s important to know that now all backlinks “weigh” the same. High-quality, relevant backlinks can be considered in several different ways.
First, do Google and other search engines have general trust in the outbound site? Building that sort of trust take a lot of time and expert content creation, inbound backlinks of their own and many other factors that drive organic search traffic.
Second, is the outbound-linking website important to a specific industry? For instance, one of our clients is CCG Roofing (🤏🏻 Notice the backlink to CCG!) based here in Northern Colorado. Being that they’re in the extremely competitive roofing industry, if the Colorado Roofing Association themselves links to CCG, that is a much more important than a link from Brandon’s Cat Blog (which doesn’t exist because I’m allergic to cats) whose roof CCG just replaced.
Building authoritative backlinks is one of, if not THE most difficult and time-consuming parts of a good SEO campaign. Part of it also involves citation campaigns which aren’t as specific as, “Hey, go check out Brandon’s Cat Blog! [LINK]”. Rather, they’re simply citing a business – mostly with a link – with included NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information. This is important, especially when done through authority sites. Think of it as them giving your business a tiny bit of their good juju with each link which, in turn, builds your own good juju.
Regular, Detailed Reporting
Even the most solid SEO strategy in the world does not bring world-changing traffic to your website overnight. For the first 1-3 months a good digital marketing company like X3 Marketing Group will be handling much of the aspects we’ve covered above as foundational pieces of great business SEO plans. After the first month, you may see some initial results showing in reporting although those first 2-4 months of results are more often than not the result of page indexing.
At X3 Marketing Group, trust, results and clarity are the cornerstone of what we do. As such, being able to provide our clients not simply with some 8-page report which you’re left to interpret on your own. While we do provide weekly and monthly reports as well as longer-term quarterly reports, the X3 Marketing dashboard gives our clients the ability to see unfiltered data so they can see exactly where their money is going.
Digital marketing strategy can be a very intimidating world and we believe it’s part of our job to pull back the curtain on all that jargon and mystery. In the SEO world, organic search traffic is what we’re looking for and since other people in your industry are working to beat you in organic search results, we also work hard to monitor competitors to give our clients great results.
One of the most important things we see from clients looking for great business SEO services is next-level customer service. At X3 Marketing Group, we have an in-stone meeting with our clients every 6 weeks at the very least. Understanding that SEO costs can be a significant piece of budget for those people means that it is our job to be able to show them how their online marketing campaign is working for them.
At X3, making sure that popular search engines find your business above your competition is paramount. Every single keyword matters to being found in organic search but also on business listing and increasingly important platforms like Google Maps. Our team works hand-in-hand with yours to help you dominate your competition online.