The Value of Reputable SEO

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The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is often shrouded in misconceptions. Many view it as a simple, inexpensive, and hands-off solution for improving online visibility, a perception that’s fueled by the surge of simplified SEO plugins, spammy claims promising guaranteed spots on the first page of search results, and a prevalent belief that organic results are cheaper than paid ads because you’re not directly paying for visibility. However, these opinions oversimplify the complex nature of SEO and underestimate its true value. Let’s take a look at why SEO deserves more praise and consideration, and how it contributes to the success of a marketing campaign.

The Realities of Reputable SEO

The Time Investment

It takes time to rise to the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). And from the point of view of our SEO team, we wouldn’t want everyone with a website to be able to rise to the top that quickly without putting in the necessary work on SEO.

A successful SEO campaign requires a significant investment of time because search engines want the best content to appear on the first page. And often, it takes time for search engines (like Google) to determine which content is the best.

Our SEO agency in Portsmouth spends an average of 25-30 hours per month on SEO for each of our clients. This time includes numerous activities, including keyword research, competitive analysis, strategy development, content creation, link building, regular tracking, and adjustments.

It’s not just about time, though. An effective SEO campaign needs a dedicated team.

The Right People

While it’s theoretically possible for one person to handle all aspects of SEO, in practice, it helps to assemble a team of individuals with different skills and perspectives, so you can create a more comprehensive and effective SEO strategy.

Here at Richardson Media Group, our team consists of an SEO Strategist who devises the overall plan for each campaign, a Project Manager who ensures the smooth execution of this plan, and an SEO Content Writer who creates optimized, engaging content.

Why Good SEO is So Valuable

It Takes Patience

It typically takes at least six months of consistent, high-quality work to get a glimpse of success, and it takes even more work to keep moving the needle. Search engines need time to crawl and index new content, and achieving a higher ranking requires demonstrating your website’s relevance and authority over a period of time.

It Takes Persistence

SEO is not a one-and-done task. It requires ongoing effort to maintain and improve your search engine rankings. SEO involves regularly updating your website content, continuously building high-quality backlinks, routinely analyzing your SEO performance, and making adjustments as needed.
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The Problem with "Bad" SEO

While it might be tempting to cut corners in SEO, unethical practices, commonly known as “black hat” and “gray hat” SEO, can do more harm than good.

Some of these tactics include cloaking (presenting different content to search engines than to users), keyword stuffing (overusing keywords in an unnatural way), creating gateway pages (pages designed solely for search engines), comment spamming (posting irrelevant promotional comments and links on external blogs and forums), using link farms (websites created solely for linking purposes), and Private Blog Networks (PBNs).

These methods may offer quick results, but they violate search engine guidelines and may lead to penalties down the road, including the possibility of having your website de-indexed.

What Good SEO Looks Like

Transparency

A trustworthy SEO agency will openly share its strategies and methods, keep the client informed about the campaign’s progress, and provide clear, understandable reports on outcomes.

Keeping Up with Algorithm Updates

Search engines, especially Google, frequently update their algorithms to improve their search results (in 2023 alone, there were 11 confirmed algorithm updates according to Moz). A trustworthy SEO agency will stay on top of these changes, observing the dates of the rollouts and understanding the intentions behind them. This way, they can quickly adapt their clients’ SEO plans to align with new algorithm changes, maintaining optimal visibility and ranking in the search results.

Monitoring Industry Changes

The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving. New trends, technologies, and best practices emerge regularly. Your SEO agency should keep track of these changes and incorporate them into their strategies to ensure your website remains competitive.

Listening to Other Industry Experts

No one has a monopoly on knowledge in the SEO industry. Each of our team members regularly listens to podcasts, reads articles, and dives into data from various experts (and enjoys doing so). If you want to do SEO the right way, you need to find an agency that values ongoing learning and incorporates the insights of other experts into its strategies.

Making Sites More Sustainable and Accessible

SEO goes beyond written content to improve rankings; it also involves making websites more user-friendly (which can benefit your sustainability efforts as well). Integrating UX and SEO includes ensuring websites are mobile-friendly, fast, secure, easy to navigate, and accessible to all users.

Aligning SEO with Client Goals

Every business is unique, and so are its goals. An SEO agency should be able to tailor its strategies to meet their clients’ specific objectives, whether it’s increasing online sales, generating leads, boosting brand awareness, or something else.

Creating Quality Content

As we’ve learned from the recent Helpful Content Updates, content quantity does not equal content quality. Here’s what quality content looks like:

  1. Correct Grammar & Spelling – Quality content is free of grammar and spelling errors. These mistakes not only make content difficult to read but also harm your website’s credibility in the eyes of both users and search engines.
  2. Easy to Read – Internet users typically skim content rather than reading every word. Thus, content should be easy to scan, with clear headings, subheadings, bullet points, and short paragraphs.
  3. Match Search Intent – Effective SEO requires a well-researched keyword list that matches the search intent of your target audience. An SEO should research to understand what your potential customers are looking for and how they’re searching for it. Then, they can use this information to guide your content creation.
  4. Writing for Humans – While optimizing for search engines is obviously a significant piece of SEO, your ultimate goal should be to provide value to your audience. What does writing for humans mean, though? Not only should your writing be clear, engaging, and relatable, but you should aim to provide helpful, original, and relevant information in every piece of content.

Appearing Across All Search Engines

While Google may be the most popular search engine, it’s not the only one. A comprehensive SEO strategy should aim for visibility across all major search engines, including Bing, Yahoo, and others.

A Reputable SEO Agency Can Deliver Results

SEO is a complex, time-consuming, and ongoing process requiring specialized skills, extensive knowledge, and a deep understanding of search engines and human behavior. The long-term benefits of increased visibility, traffic, credibility, and customer engagement make search engine optimization a worthy investment.

If you’re ready to invest in reputable SEO and launch your business to new heights, the RMG team would love to talk to you. Contact Richardson Media Group today.

Anne Richardson

Anne Richardson is the owner and media director of Richardson Media Group, an agency specializing in media planning and buying, advertising campaign management, and SEO.

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Anne outside the door of the Richardson Media Group office.

In addition to her role as owner and media director here at RMG, Anne authors the majority of our blog posts and hosts our BSuite podcast. Favorite topics for both platforms include the entrepreneurial journey, sustainability + social responsibility, media planning, media buying, and forming productive agency partnerships.