These days every business needs a current website to stay competitive in the modern market. While this is an accepted standard, websites are mostly poorly optimized for SEO — and business websites are some of worst culprits. It seems to me that business owners have finally managed to accept some of the hefty price tags for web design and development work, but have a difficult time paying for SEO expertise.
I imagine this is what’s going through their minds: “While I can see the beautiful design work for my website, and I can understand how this will attract customers, I do not see the work that goes into SEO services and do not see how it will help.” And they could not be more wrong. In the end, even a poorly made site can sell well if its the top result in the Google.
SEO is now one of the most integral parts of a webpage that drives business. You can have the most advanced, killer designed website in the world, but if it’s not optimized for SEO & getting good backlinks and traffic, it will be dead in the water. It won’t display on the first page of Google and will therefore not benefit from that sweet organic traffic all website owners desire.
I can understand that SEO service can difficult to understand for the laymen, it’s wide-ranging and a relatively complex skill set that is always adapting due to Google’s algorithm changes. Making it even more difficult to understand, there is also a clear divide in the field, White Hat SEO or Black Hat SEO.
If you pictured SEO service providers like wizards, the white hat would be the goodly wizard, ranking your website using methods approved by the Google gods- like submitting articles for backlinks and adding alt tags and meta descriptions to elements on your website.
The Blackhat, on the other hand, they’re the dark wizards who defy the Google gods, and their power comes from a dark path — automated link and article spamming, PBN’s, and other frowned upon tactics. While these tactics can be useful, like in any cheesy wizard movie, the dark side always looses. If Google finds out that your website used these methods to rocket up the ranks of their search, they will drastically penalize you and knock you back down.
It is an accepted practice that most established SEO agencies do not use Black Hat methods, but it can difficult to tell from the client side. Without using tools like SEMRush, Moz or Majestic, it can be tough to check the quality of your backlinks.
In the end, if you’re ever considering hiring an SEO firm to help rank your site, your best bet would be to ask about their methods, ask for recommendations, and get a freelancer to check their work with an SEO audit after they finish their services.