SEO Services Explained: Discover What They Are and How AI is Redefining Them

Imagine if Steve Jobs had built the iPhone but decided not to market or announce its release. Instead, he quietly placed it on the shelf of a local phone shop, hoping it would transform the mobile industry. Clearly, it would not have worked. Yet, most companies do precisely this with one of their most important digital assets – their websites. They spend thousands on building a website but neglect to obtain SEO services so the website can be found. Consequently, they grapple with minimal online traffic, resorting to hopeful prayers to the Google gods for a shift in fortune.

However, with the right SEO services your website can get traffic and ultimately customers. Research shows, SEO can lead to a 14.6% conversion rate. This is because your content is aligned with user intent. Yet, finding the right SEO services can be difficult. The tactics deployed by some SEO experts may involve questionable practices that can harm your website’s ranking in the long run. Moreover, with the advancements in AI, how SEO works is changing. Therefore, investing in the right SEO services is imperative for long-term success.

What are SEO services?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website content so it can be found at the top of search engine result pages (SERP). This is critical because 96.6% of webpages get no traffic meaning they are wasted assets. Therefore, SEO services are focused on optimising your website content through several techniques. They can range from helping you to develop a content marketing strategy to keyword research and technical SEO.

Think of it like health optimisation. If you spend your days working long hours, watching Netflix and eating McDonalds, what do you think will happen? Most likely you will become sick. Yet, if you visit a health optimisation clinic you can improve and get yourself into peak physical condition. Moreover, the clinic has experts so you don’t need to spend the time researching and testing.

So, the goal of SEO services is to improve the health of your website. Ultimately, they help increase your online visibility, drive more traffic to your website and help you attract and retain customers.

However, the world of SEO is evolving rapidly, thanks to advancements in AI-powered search engines. This means the best SEO services don’t just stop at current ranking techniques—they also keep you ahead of the curve with insights into emerging trends and algorithm updates that could impact your rankings.

Who provides SEO Services?

SEO services can be obtained from a range of different people and organisations. This includes:

  • Agencies: Understanding the different types of agencies is important to determine their expertise and the types of SEO services they offer. However, the benefit of using an agency is that they have multiple experts who you can leverage to grow your website presence.
  • Internal SEO experts: Internal experts work in-house. This enables them to understand your organisation more effectively. However, they are likely to be generalists rather than specialists.
  • Freelancers: These are independent contractors who typically specialise in one area of SEO services. For instance, you may find a backlink specialist or someone who can do keyword analysis.
  • Consultants: Consultants are hired on an interim basis to help grow your online presence. They offer more strategic insights than freelancers but have access to less expertise than agencies.

Should you buy SEO Services?

This depends very much on your ambitions. If you believe that increasing your visibility, gaining publicity, and attracting more customers are important, then you should seriously consider it.

However, buying SEO services also depends on your overall strategy. For instance, you could also consider insourcing your SEO services by hiring an expert. This has many benefits, but it is not the cost-saving you may think. Oftentimes, outsourcing and buying SEO services gives you access to experts whilst being more cost-effective.

How is AI changing the future?

Every generation has its era-defining legacy. The 2010s were marked by the rise of social media, the 2000s by the explosion of the internet, and the 1990s by erm…baggy jeans.

For the 2020’s it’s AI. However, this doesn’t mean you can forget to buy SEO services and just get AI to do it for you. On the contrary, SEO services are becoming more complicated.

In the future web traffic will come from different AI search engines. Therefore, understanding how each works and how to optimise for it will become critical. Moreover, creating ranking content will become more difficult rather than easier. Currently, there is a movement towards generating AI content. This has led to prophesies of content creators and journalists no longer being needed.

Yet, this is far from the truth. To rank highly in the future companies will need to invest more effort in gaining online web traffic. This means that SEO services will become more valuable. Furthermore, SEO services will need to become more focused. Currently, it is common to see digital agencies provide full marketing services from paid Ads to SEO. However, with these changes, deeper specialism will be needed.

5 things to consider when looking for SEO services

Looking for SEO services can be like searching for a new pair of trainers on Amazon. You tell yourself it will only take 10 minutes but 5 hours later you are still searching. There are many factors to consider, and it’s easy to drown in the noise.

Therefore, when looking for services consider the following:

1. Your budget

Firstly, the less money you spend isn’t always better. For instance, is there a difference between eating at McDonalds and a Gordon Ramsay restaurant? Unless there is something wrong with your mouth, there clearly is a difference.

However, if you have a small budget but still want SEO services, you might be advised to find an independent consultant. Whilst you won’t receive the benefits of the additional expertise and service you get with an agency it can be a good solution.

Alternatively, you could also look for agencies like ours. Whilst Antlerzz will be more expensive than a consultant, we specialise in providing SEO insight reports. This means rather than paying us to implement our analysis we tell you how to do it with clear instructions. This saves you time and expense whilst still getting the right insights.

2. SEO Specialism

Do you already have a good understanding of what SEO services you need? If so, you may want to consider hiring a freelancer or an agency with that specific focus. For instance, you may want to generate more backlinks. Finding a niche agency will perhaps save you money.

However, even if you don’t have a particular SEO service in mind, you should still factor in specialism. For instance, some agencies claim to have expertise across the entire digital marketing ecosystem. This includes building websites, SEO, social media, ads and more. Yet, unless they are a really big agency, they are unlikely to have the specialism you need.

Moreover, when searching for an SEO expert ask them about the future of search and how AI will impact it. If they claim to know exactly how AI will change SEO or suggest there will be no changes, run away. Quickly. Even Google doesn’t know what the future will look like exactly.

3. Industry expertise

At Antlerzz, we specialise in helping health brands increase their online visibility. One reason for this is so we can deep dive into our SEO analysis, providing better insights.

For instance, imagine you sell NAD+ products. For anyone in the industry, you will know that NAD+ levels decline as we age. Yet, ranking for that keyword is difficult. As a specialist agency, we understand your users’ mindsets and what they will be looking for. Moreover, we know that NMN is a precursor to NAD+, opening up further targeting possibilities. Consequently, our insights can go deeper to help drive more online traffic to your website.

Now, compare that to a consultant or agency that works with Aerospace, Oil and Gas and Health. The level of knowledge required will be too broad to understand anything at a deep level. Last time we checked a turbine engine and gut health had very little in common.

4. They might provide SEO services, but do they do it for themselves

One way to select SEO services is to analyse what the company does for themselves. For instance, at Antlerzz we also provide social media insights. Consequently, we are working on growing our own Instagram accounts. Moreover, on our website, we spend a considerable amount of time researching and writing about how AI will change search engines and SEO. Therefore, we are at the front of the latest insights.

As the saying goes, do as you preach.

5. Are they aware of the future of SEO and the services they offer?

SEO optimisation services are changing. Therefore, any SEO company you work with should understand the role AI is playing and the future of SEO. If they don’t there is a chance that you spend significant sums of money today on SEO services only to discover your rankings plummet in the near future.

Therefore, you should look for organisations that understand how traffic will differ between traditional search engines, Search Generative Experience and AI chatbots. Moreover, they should be thinking about how you can prepare for this eventuality. The job role of SEOs is changing and any expert you hire should be aware.

Not all Services are equal. These are the things to avoid

SEO services are like the ratings on Netflix. Just because a show has a 97% match doesn’t mean you enjoy it. Similarly, not all SEO service providers will deliver the results you may want. Therefore, it’s important to identify the red flags.

1. SEO services that sound too good to be true, most probably are

“Top of Google Rankings Guaranteed” screams the headline. However, if you ever see such claims, politely smile and start walking backwards. Hopefully, they don’t realise you have left.

SEO takes time. Therefore, unless you work for a relatively big brand, it’s unlikely anyone can give you immediate results. Even then it can take three months for results to show.

For instance, a major brand like Bupa has a robust website that search engines trust. Despite high organic traffic, further SEO optimisation can yield results within a few months. In contrast, a start-up fitness wearable company faces a tougher challenge. They must build their online presence and credibility from scratch, competing with established industry giants.

At Antlerzz we have spent time researching backlink service providers. Backlinks are links from other websites to your content and form a key part of SEO. Yet, from our experience, many providers offer poor-quality links that may harm your website.

Many providers use black hat SEO tactics, which can damage your site’s reputation and ranking stability. They provide poor-quality backlinks from untrusted or irrelevant sites that may result in penalties. Additionally, they may purchase backlinks which often violate search engine guidelines, risking long-term SEO health.

A central strategy for many of these companies is to use Private Blog Networks (PBNs) or Link Farms. This often involves using a network of websites, whose domain authority has been artificially inflated to give the impression they are of high quality. They are not.

However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid every agency that helps you build backlinks. But you should be careful of any company that suggests they can build links at mass over a short period. They may even promise you they use AI to help. Unfortunately, this won’t help.

3. AI-driven SEO Services sound exciting but be careful

Many SEO service providers have emerged over the last few years claiming to use AI to help grow your online presence. These providers should be treated with caution.

Whilst we advocate for SEO experts to understand how AI is impacting SEO, anyone claiming to use AI to transform your online presence is either lying or using AI tools that may have a negative impact.

For example, AI-generated content has become more popular since the launch of ChatGPT. Yet, search engines like Google have already started to penalise websites publishing AI content. It’s important anyone using AI tools does so in an ethical way that helps improve your online presence.  

4. Lots of keywords are pointless without context

It’s common to find SEO service providers promising to help you improve your rankings by providing you with keywords each month. However, while keywords are important, they need to be strategically placed and relevant to your content. Without proper context and integration, keywords alone won’t effectively boost your rankings or attract meaningful traffic. Effective SEO requires a comprehensive approach that includes quality content, user experience, and technical optimisation, not just a list of keywords.

Moreover, understanding your target user and their search behaviours is crucial. For instance, if your website is for a sports performance clinic, many SEO providers might just compile lists of common keywords related to sports injuries and performance, such as “calf injury” or “how to run faster.” However, these terms are often too broad and competitive. A specialist agency like ours will advise that you focus on long-tail keywords linked to emerging trends in your niche. For example, instead of generic terms, we would recommend targeting specific queries like “benefits of zone 2 running” to attract more relevant and engaged traffic.

5. You get a lot for little money

Many budget SEO agencies will offer packages that appear to contain a lot but for very little money. This is a concern. Firstly, the SEO services you receive are likely to be inflated. These are tasks rather than services and oftentimes are just one-off actions.

Secondly, if the services are on a budget, the agency is likely to be cutting corners or lack the skills to help you. Remember, the best agencies need to hire good people. This costs money.

What services should SEO agencies include?

Every agency is different and may package its offering in slightly different ways. However, broadly speaking the following services are offered:

  • SEO strategy and plan: A good SEO strategy should be specific to your business and industry niche. In our experience, the smaller the niche the more detailed your strategy and plan need to be. For instance, continuous glucose monitors have risen 200% in interest. Yet, their usage for health optimisation is still in its infancy. This means there are different challenges when compared to an established industry. Moreover, it’s important to have industry experts who can help guide you and develop a roadmap to success.
  • Future direction: Given the emergence of AI, a good agency should understand how search engines are changing. This is critical to ensure you continue to get results going forward.
  • SEO Audit: Any good strategy should be informed by an SEO audit. This evaluates your current SEO performance and identifies issues preventing higher rankings. Furthermore, a good SEO specialist will help you evaluate the key issues and identify opportunities.
  • Competitor Analysis: Using a deep understanding of your niche to analyse your competitors’ strategies and identify opportunities to outperform them in search results.
  • Keyword analysis: Identifying relevant keywords and phrases to target in your industry. This involves understanding what your target users are looking for. This should involve performing a psychographic analysis to understand your target customers’ mindset. Moreover, it involves having a deep understanding of your niche.
  • On-Page Optimisation: This helps you to optimise on-site elements such as title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and content for search engines. This is important to improve click-through rates and improve search engine understanding. After all, Google is 57% more likely to rewrite your tags if they are not optimised.
  • Technical SEO: Analysing your website structure, speed, and mobile-friendliness for better search engine crawling and indexing.

How much does it cost?

This will depend on several factors. This includes the scope of your project, the agency and the quality of the services. Moreover, SEO services can be based on different pricing structures including one-time project-based fees or monthly retainers. However, you can expect to pay the following:

  • Project-based fees: £1,000 to £50,000
  • Monthly retainers: £350 to £12,000

Much of the above will depend on how complex and niche your website is. However, if you are paying a small fee, do not expect to get great service or results.

When you choose SEO Services it is important that they have knowledge about the AI development

The future of SEO services

With advancements in AI, webmasters and SEO agencies are facing a period of disruption. However, those who are well-prepared will continue to thrive. It’s crucial to partner with agencies that comprehend the next phase of search engine development. Failing to do so could result in significant expenditures only to see your rankings plummet in the near future.

Given the level of uncertainty, no agency can guarantee precisely how AI will impact SEO. Instead, the best agencies stay updated and proactively anticipate algorithm and platform changes by companies like Google.

Moreover, the ideal agency for you should understand your niche and target customers. A deep understanding of how your target users search and what interests them is essential for success. At Antlerzz, we focus exclusively on companies dedicated to improving human health. The health industry is vast, and our specialised focus allows us to provide the high level of service our clients demand.

SEO services can transform your online presence. Ensure you choose the right team to achieve the best results.

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