Chances are you’ve heard of SEO, a potent tactic for finding your online audience. The acronym stands for “search engine optimization,” and it holds a prominent position in the marketing strategies of our digital age. But what are SEO services, and how can they help to accelerate your sales?

With SEO services, you can sharpen your company’s competitive edge by ranking higher in web searches. The stronger your digital presence, the better you can attract sales and grow your bottom line.

The idea is simple enough. The execution, however, gets more complicated. Here’s everything you need to know about SEO services—and how to put them to your advantage.

In this article, you’ll learn the answers to these questions:

  1. What are SEO services, and why do you need them?
  2. What effect does SEO have on your search, and how does it work?
  3. Where does SEO stand in the digital marketing space?
  4. What ranking factors does SEO target?
  5. What are the main types of SEO services?
  6. What are the key features that a successful SEO strategy needs?
  7. Is SEO a DIY job, or do you need an agency?
  8.  How do you choose an SEO agency?

What are SEO services, and why do you need them?

Let’s get straight to the point. We’ll dive into the anatomy of SEO services soon enough. But here’s why your business needs SEO in its arsenal of marketing weaponry.

Your competitors are optimizing their websites. If you haven’t implemented your own SEO strategy yet, watch out. They’re likely going to beat you to fresh leads and connect with potential new customers first.

But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. With professional SEO services as part of your overall marketing efforts, you can set up your business for real, measurable growth.

As we’ve said, SEO services’ meaning is “search engine optimization.” It’s a set of practices that improves your website’s chances of ranking above your competitors’ sites on Google, Bing, and other search engines.

SEO is all about making your website easier for search engines to crawl and more likely to recommend based on the assumed user intent behind keyword searches relevant to your business.

Basically, the higher your website ranks on a search engine results page (SERP) for a given keyword, the more likely a user is to see, trust, and click the link. If you’re wondering why this matters, here are some points to consider:

  • On average, 53% of a business’s traffic comes from organic (as opposed to paid) search
  • The global SEO market is expected to reach $129.6 billion by 2030, meaning businesses increasingly recognize the value and urgency of using this resource to get ahead
  • Average ROI ranges, by industry, anywhere from 526% to 1,000+%, with break-even times of 5 to 14 months for SEO services. Meaning, the investment is more than worthwhile in the hands of capable SEO consultants.

So while SEO takes time to build traction and deliver results, the payoff can be huge. SEO is a long-term strategy. It’s how you end up with higher organic search rankings. And, to reiterate the above point, more than half of consumers trust organic results over paid ones. Winning consumers’ trust, of course, is the best that any company, any brand, can hope for.

What effect does SEO have on your search, and how does it work?

The goal of SEO is for search engines to prioritize your content in relevant search queries. Search engines like Google identify sites with better quality content and present those higher on results pages so that users can more easily find the information they need.

In the case of Google, a program called Googlebot algorithmically determines which sites to crawl (or discover and inspect) before indexing these sites in its database, from which it delivers a user’s search result. SEO specialists use both on-page and technical off-page methods to make websites more user-friendly and compatible with Google’s high standards.

In effect, SEO consulting gives your site these significant advantages:

  1. Visibility: SEO directly affects your website’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). Websites that implement effective SEO strategies are more likely to rank higher for relevant keywords, making them more visible to users searching for related topics or products.
  2. Traffic: Higher visibility leads to increased organic traffic. Websites appearing on the first page of search results receive the majority of clicks—and clickthrough rates reduce drastically on the following pages. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can attract more visitors and potential customers.
  3. Credibility: As we mentioned above, websites that rank higher in search results are perceived as more credible and trustworthy by users. Effective SEO can help establish your website as an authority in your industry, leading to greater trust among your target audience.
  4. User Experience (UX): SEO involves optimizing various aspects of your website, including site speed, mobile responsiveness, and navigation structure. These optimizations not only improve your search engine rankings but also enhance the overall user experience, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.
  5. Longevity: Unlike paid advertising, which stops generating traffic once you stop paying, SEO can provide long-term, sustainable results. By continuously optimizing your website and creating high-quality content, you can maintain or improve your search engine rankings over time.

Where does SEO stand in the digital marketing space?

The broader field of digital marketing refers to an array of activities intended to lure consumers’ attention away from the greater rush and noise of the internet and focus on your website, product, or service.

Online branding and advertising are creative attempts at conveying your company’s value and identity. Internet users’ attention spans are notoriously low, so it’s quite an effort to think of effective ways to stand out from the competition.

Usually, businesses need a multi-channel approach to establish their presence in the online and physical markets. If we return to our question, what are SEO services, we can answer that they are one set of practices that digital marketers use to grow their clients’ revenues. Here’s one way to categorize the pieces of the bigger picture:

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): SEO is half of this category. SEM involves using SEO but also paid advertising on search engines like Google to increase visibility and drive traffic to your website. This typically includes pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, where advertisers bid on keywords to display ads in search results.
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM): SMM involves using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn to promote products or services. It includes creating and sharing content, engaging with followers, running paid ads, and analyzing performance metrics.
  • Content Marketing: Content marketing focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a specific audience. SEO content writing can take various forms, including blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, and more.
  • Email Marketing: Email marketing involves sending targeted emails to prospects or customers to promote products, share news or updates, and build relationships. It can include newsletters, promotional offers, personalized recommendations, and automated drip campaigns.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing involves partnering with other businesses or individuals (affiliates) who promote your products or services in exchange for a commission on sales generated through their referral links.
  • Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing involves collaborating with influencers, who have a large and engaged following on social media, to promote products or services to their audience.
  • Digital Advertising: Digital advertising encompasses various forms of online advertising, including display ads, video ads, native ads, and remarketing ads displayed on websites, social media platforms, and other digital channels.

What ranking factors does SEO target?

Search engine algorithms are highly complex. They’re also continually evolving. Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and other search engines are competitively developing their web crawlers and other technology to give searchers the best user experience.

That’s why there’s seemingly an element of mystery as to why search engines will rank one web page or piece of content higher than another. Nonetheless, we can state with confidence that search engines prioritize sites according to the following factors, and these are what SEO services target:

  1. Content Quality and Relevance: High-quality, relevant content is crucial for SEO. This includes creating comprehensive, well-written web pages, blog posts, research articles, and other pieces that address the interests of your target audience. Content should be original, informative, and engaging, incorporating relevant keywords naturally.
  2. Keywords: Keywords are terms or phrases that users enter into search engines to find information. Optimization involves keyword research to identify relevance and search traffic volume (with SEO tools such as Moz, Semrush, Ahrefs, etc.) and strategically incorporating relevant keywords into your content, meta tags, headers, and URLs to improve visibility for specific search queries. Keywords are a vital piece of the SEO puzzle. But search engines are now also prioritizing context and meaning over verbatim keyword phrases alone; they’re increasingly better at identifying the intent behind a query to deliver more relevant results.
  3. User Experience (UX): User experience plays a significant role in SEO. Search engines prioritize websites that offer a positive UX, including fast loading times, mobile responsiveness, intuitive navigation, and secure browsing (HTTPS).
  4. Backlinks: Backlinks, or inbound links from other websites, are a crucial ranking factor in SEO. Quality backlinks from authoritative, relevant websites signal to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy–this is what some of us in the business affectionately call “link juice.” SEO efforts include link building services focused on earning high-quality backlinks through content creation, guest posting, press releases, outreach, and relationship building.
  5. Backend Optimization: This involves optimizing the technical aspects of your website to improve crawlability, indexation, and overall performance. This includes optimizing website structure, URL structure, internal linking, sitemap creation, and resolving issues such as duplicate content, broken links, toxic links, and crawl errors.
  6. Page Speed: Page speed, or how quickly a webpage loads, is an important ranking factor for both desktop and mobile search. Slow-loading pages can lead to higher bounce rates and lower search rankings. SEO efforts often include optimizing images, minimizing code, and leveraging caching techniques to improve page speed.
  7. Mobile Friendliness: With the increasing prevalence of mobile search, mobile friendliness has become a major ranking factor. Search engines favor websites that are optimized for mobile devices and provide a consistent user experience across different screen sizes and devices.
  8. Schema Markup: Schema markup is structured data that provides search engines with additional context about your content. It’s code you add to your website to help search engines better understand what a given page is trying to accomplish. By implementing schema markup, you can enhance your search listings with rich snippets, which can improve visibility and click-through rates. Google supports many types of schema markup for different types of content, such as articles, Q&A, FAQs, local businesses, recipes, product listings, job postings, profile pages, and more. For example, in a recipe search, Google might display an image, star rating, number of user reviews, cook time, and ingredients list.

What are the main types of SEO services?

We can break down SEO services into 4 broad categories: 

  • On-Page SEO:

On-page SEO refers to optimizing individual web pages to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. It involves various elements within the webpage content itself.


  • Keyword optimization in titles, headings, and body content
  • Meta tags optimization (title tags, meta descriptions)
  • Content quality and relevance
  • Heading tags, or H-tags (H1, H2, etc. for titles and subheaders)
  • URL slug structure optimization
  • Image caption, title, alt tags, and load speed
  • Internal linking strategy


  • Off-Page SEO:

Off-page SEO involves activities that take place outside of your website to improve its visibility and authority. This includes building backlinks from other reputable websites and engaging in online communities and social media. Some marketers go as far as to group social media and podcasting with this category.


  • Link building from authoritative and relevant websites
  • Social media marketing and engagement
  • Influencer outreach and partnerships
  • Guest blogging and article submissions
  • Online reputation management
  • “Barnacle” SEO tactics (leveraging the authority of high-ranking websites to improve your own visibility), such as improving your standing within review aggregators, customer review platforms, and directories.


  • Technical SEO:

Technical SEO focuses on the backend of your website, ensuring it’s optimized for search engine crawling and indexing. It involves improving site speed, mobile-friendliness, site architecture, and other technical aspects.


  • Website speed optimization
  • Mobile responsiveness and mobile-friendliness
  • XML sitemap creation and submission
  • Canonicalization and URL structure
  • HTTPS security
  • Structured data (schema markup)


  • Local SEO:

Local SEO service aims to improve your website’s visibility in local search results, particularly for geographically related searches. It’s crucial for businesses with physical locations or serving specific geographic areas.


  • Google My Business optimization
  • Local keyword optimization (including location-specific keywords)
  • Local directory listings and citations
  • Customer reviews and ratings management
  • Geotagging images and content

Together, the action items in these categories work to boost your website’s rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).

What are the key features that a successful SEO strategy needs?

A lot goes into implementing an effective SEO plan that drives long-term gains for your business. But you can think of good SEO work as an ongoing set of tactics that include these 7 processes:

1. Site Audit:

Definition: A site audit, or SEO audit, is a comprehensive analysis of a website’s technical, on-page, and off-page factors that impact its search engine visibility and performance.

Role in SEO Campaign: Site audits help identify issues, errors, and areas for improvement on a website. They provide insights into technical issues, such as broken links, crawl errors, 404 errors, page speed, mobile-friendliness, and indexation problems, as well as on-page optimization opportunities like missing meta tags, duplicate content, and keyword usage. Site audits serve as the foundation for developing an effective SEO strategy by addressing underlying issues that could hinder search engine rankings and user experience.

2. CRO Audit:

Definition: A conversion rate optimization (CRO) audit examines how effectively a website entices visitors to take the desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or submitting a contact form. It finds opportunities for websites to be more engaging and conversion-friendly.

Role in SEO Campaign: CRO and SEO are distinct but complementary practices that work together to bring more visitors to a site and produce more conversions. CRO involves adjusting web design, page layout, and content to encourage conversions and make it easy for visitors to take the desired step. This can include call-to-action language and strategically placed button links to contact forms, streamlined checkout processes, improved page load speed, and other considerations to keep site visitors engaged.

3. Competitor Analysis:

Definition: Competitor analysis involves researching and evaluating the SEO strategies, tactics, strengths, and weaknesses of competitors’ websites in the same industry or niche.

Role in SEO Campaign: Competitor analysis helps benchmark your website’s performance against competitors and identifies opportunities for improvement. It allows you to understand what strategies are working well for competitors, uncover potential keywords to target, discover link building opportunities, and gain insights into industry trends. By analyzing competitors, you can develop a more informed SEO plan and differentiate your website to gain a competitive advantage in search engine rankings.

4. Site Optimization:

Definition: Site optimization involves making strategic changes and improvements to a website’s technical infrastructure, content, and overall user experience to enhance its search engine visibility and performance.

Role in SEO Campaign: Site optimization aims to improve various aspects of a website, including on-page elements (meta tags, content, internal linking), technical factors (site speed, mobile-friendliness, schema markup), and off-page factors (backlink profile, social signals). By optimizing a website, you can make it more attractive to search engines, improve its rankings for target keywords, increase organic traffic, and enhance user engagement and satisfaction.

5. Analytics and Monitoring:

Definition: Analytics and monitoring involve tracking, measuring, and analyzing various metrics (with tools like Google Analytics, or GA4) related to website performance, user behavior, and SEO efforts.

Role in SEO Campaign: Analytics and monitoring provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of SEO strategies and tactics. It allows you to track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as organic traffic, rankings, conversions, bounce rates, and engagement metrics. By monitoring these metrics over time, you can assess the impact of SEO efforts, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize and refine your SEO strategy for better results.

6. Adaptability and Continuous Improvement:

Definition: Adaptability and continuous improvement involve staying informed about changes in search engine algorithms, industry trends, and competitor strategies, and adjusting your SEO tactics accordingly.

Role in SEO Campaign: Search engines and SEO are always changing, so adaptability and continuous improvement are crucial for maintaining and improving search engine rankings and website performance. It requires staying updated with algorithm updates, industry best practices, and emerging trends, and proactively adjusting your SEO strategy to align with changing requirements and opportunities. By embracing adaptability and continuous improvement, you can ensure that your SEO efforts remain effective, competitive, and sustainable over time.

7. ROI Tracking

Definition: ROI (return on investment) tracking measures the financial outcomes derived from SEO efforts compared to the resources, time, and money invested in those efforts.

Role in SEO Campaign: Besides demonstrating the relative value of SEO, ROI tracking gives you the information you need to fine-tune your strategy, allocate resources more effectively, and keep your efforts in line with your goals. ROI can be measured using conversion tracking and revenue attribution (following which sales came from organic search) and by analyzing traffic and engagement metrics to see how the SEO campaign has driven overall sales.

Is SEO a DIY job, or do you need an agency?

By now, you may be wondering: what are SEO services’ demands on a company’s in-house resources? SEO is no small task. Optimizing your site properly requires a good amount of knowledge and technical expertise, a generous dose of perspicacity, and plenty of time. So, while SEO certainly isn’t for beginners, that doesn’t mean tech-savvy do-it-yourselfers can’t have success with it. In some cases, people set up their foundational SEO before realizing their limits and reaching out to a digital marketing agency.

Whatever approach you’re thinking about, here are some good points to keep in mind.


  1. Cost-Effective: Doing SEO yourself can save money as you won’t need to pay agency fees.
  2. Learning Opportunity: It provides an opportunity to learn about SEO, which can be beneficial in the long term.
  3. Control: You have full control over the strategies implemented and can make changes as needed.

SEO Agency:

  1. Expertise: Agencies typically have professionals with extensive experience and knowledge in SEO strategies.
  2. Time Efficiency: Outsourcing SEO allows you to focus on other aspects of your business while experts handle optimization.
  3. Resources: Agencies often have access to premium SEO tools and resources that may not be feasible for individual use.
  4. Scalability: Agencies can scale their efforts according to your needs and the growth of your website/business.
  5. Consistency: Agencies can provide consistent and ongoing optimization efforts, which may be challenging to maintain individually.

Factors to Consider:

  1. Budget: Evaluate your budget and see if hiring an agency fits within your financial constraints.
  2. Complexity: Consider the complexity of your website and whether you have the expertise to handle it effectively.
  3. Time: Assess your availability and bandwidth to dedicate time to SEO tasks consistently.
  4. Goals: Determine your SEO goals and see if they align with what you can achieve on your own or with agency assistance.

So, whether you choose to handle SEO yourself or hire an agency depends on your specific circumstances and preferences. Some businesses may benefit from agencies’ expertise and resources, while others may succeed with a DIY approach.

It’s essential, though, to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision. And if you have any doubts at all, just leave the job to the professionals. After all, you wouldn’t want to inadvertently tank your search rankings by accidentally botching the SEO details.

How do you choose an SEO agency?

There’s no shortage of SEO agencies out there. And many of them will go to great lengths to get your business only to deliver underwhelming results. Before you sign up with an agency, do your homework. And that starts with understanding the digital marketing needs of your own business and having realistic expectations of what you can achieve with SEO, or any other marketing services, within a given time frame.

  1. Define Your Goals:
  • Clearly define your SEO goals and objectives. Whether you aim to increase organic traffic, improve search engine rankings, boost online visibility, or generate more leads and sales, having clear goals will help you find an agency that can meet your needs.
  1. Research and Referrals:
  • Online Research: Look for SEO agencies online and research their websites to get a feel for the types of SEO services they offer.
  • Referrals: Ask for recommendations from colleagues, business partners, or industry peers who have worked with SEO agencies before. Personal referrals can provide valuable insights and help you find reputable agencies.
  1. Evaluate Experience and Expertise:
  • Industry Experience: Look for agencies with experience in your industry or niche. They’ll understand your market dynamics and competition better.
  • Expertise: Assess the expertise of the agency’s team members. Look for certifications, qualifications, and experience in SEO best practices, content marketing, technical SEO, and other relevant areas.
  1. Review Case Studies and Client Testimonials:
  • Case Studies: Review the agency’s case studies to see examples of their work, achievements, and results for clients in similar situations to yours.
  • Client Testimonials: Read client testimonials and reviews to gauge client satisfaction and the agency’s reputation for delivering results.
  1. Transparent Communication and Reporting:
  • Communication: Evaluate how the agency communicates with clients. Clear and transparent communication is essential for understanding the progress of your SEO campaigns and addressing any concerns or questions.
  • Reporting: Inquire about the agency’s reporting process. They should provide regular updates and reports detailing key performance metrics, progress towards goals, and actionable insights.
  1. Services Offered:
  • Comprehensive Services: Choose an agency that offers a comprehensive range of SEO services tailored to your needs. This may include technical SEO, on-page optimization, off-page optimization, content marketing, and local SEO, among others.
  • Customized Strategies: Look for agencies that develop customized SEO strategies based on your specific goals, target audience, and competitive landscape.
  1. Budget and Pricing:
  • Budget Alignment: Ensure that the agency’s SEO pricing aligns with your budget and expected ROI. **Remember that a quality SEO service often requires a reasonable investment, but avoid agencies that overpromise results at unrealistically low prices.
  • Value Proposition: Focus on the value proposition offered by the SEO firm rather than solely on cost. A reputable SEO service provider that delivers results and meets your goals is a worthwhile investment.
  1. Ask Questions:
  • Clarify Doubts: Don’t hesitate to ask questions to clarify any doubts or concerns you may have. This could include questions about their approach to SEO, past experiences, reporting processes, and client success stories.
  • Agency Culture: Get a sense of the agency’s culture and values to ensure they align with your own business values and expectations.
  1. Contract and Agreement:
  • Review Contract: Carefully review the contract and agreement terms before signing. Pay attention to key details such as the scope of work, deliverables, timelines, payment terms, and termination clauses.
  1. Trust Your Instincts:
  • Ultimately, trust your instincts and choose an SEO agency that you feel comfortable working with and confident in their ability to deliver results. A strong partnership with your SEO company is essential for long-term success.

SEO Brand, A Trusted Agency with a 20-Year Track Record of Driving Growth 

That’s the tip of the SEO iceberg. We could go on. The answer to “what are SEO services” could fill a book that we’d gladly write. But we’d rather show you how our SEO service can work for you. At SEO Brand, we apply our years of experience and continuously refined digital marketing knowledge to deliver leads and grow revenue.

Ready to see how far you can take your business? Let’s get started. This is only the beginning.