Why Professional SEO Services Work in 2024 - 1Digital® Agency
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Professional SEO Services

You know something? Every single year I read a slew of articles in January about how search engine optimization, or SEO, will be dead in the coming year. 

Either that, or I read some variant of it that basically suggests SEO is not necessarily dead, but that it is fundamentally not the way it once was.

That much I agree with. SEO used to be about “appealing to search engines” just to get better rankings. The smarter Google gets, the more increasingly that is not the case.

And then there are all the articles about how it’s not worth it to pay for professional SEO services for any of various reasons; a service provider won’t understand your business, it’s too expensive, etc. Take your pick. 

There’s some merit to this, after all, digital marketing strategies like professional SEO services don’t come cheap. But at the same time they can still be worth it in 2024.

And while SEO is ever-evolving, it is certainly not dead. So here’s why professional SEO services are still worth it. 

What Professional SEO Services Entail

In a nutshell, professional SEO services increase your organic search engine rankings for key search terms associated with interest in your business, its products, and services. 

We SEO professionals perform keyword research so that we can intentionally target keywords that are associated with commercial and transactional search intent so that we get you the visibility (and the leads) that are most likely to become customers. 

That is fundamentally what SEO services do. I won’t oversell or undersell it. To be as brief as possible: SEO efforts make it easier for potential members of your target audience to find your listings in the organic search engine result pages. 

How They Do It

To keep things as simple as possible, what we do in SEO today is vastly different from what some SEO companies did 10 years ago or so. 

Back in the day, you could hide those keywords somewhere on the page and ride spam links and still get appreciable increases in the organic SERPs. Today, that’s called black hat SEO and it will earn you a harsh penalty. It’ll also tank your overall SEO “strategy,” if you can even call it that.

Nonetheless, the basic skeleton of what SEO is is basically still the same as it’s always been. Users attempt to find something using search engines, and you try to give your listings the most visibility for those queries. 

With that said, full-service SEO campaigns usually involve: 

  • Link building (external and internal) to improve your on-page and off-page SEO.
  • Website optimizations including the compression of images, improvement to site speed, security, and navigation that impact UX and which are central to technical SEO.
  • On-page optimizations to include keyword density in page copy and meta data.
  • Site audits to uncover technical issues associated with site code, links, speed, and functionality.
  • Monitoring of Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other SEO tools to keep abreast of organic fluctuations (as well as overall site health).

 

These efforts cumulatively help improve your overall organic online presence. With this said, the biggest component of SEO work has got to be content creation.

Why It Still Works 

A great deal of this has to do with what we call evergreen content. More than any other ranking signal (these are what search engines use to assign authority), content makes the biggest impact not only on SEO directly, but on the user experience. Reputable, high-quality content is the key component of building authority and trust with your users. 

There’s only so much you can do with sticking keywords in the page titles and meta data, or with alt text or site structure. At a certain point, you need to use actual copy to inform search engines (and users) that you are an authority in your industry. 

One way to do this is to draft useful, helpful copy for each product page that carefully and thoroughly describes what each product does and what its use cases are. Perhaps this is also an opportunity to talk about care, maintenance, or proper use in addition to product specifications. 

Another way to use content to your advantage is to blog or publish long-form, helpful CMS pages like FAQs pages. These pages can be used to answer common customer questions and offer insight into how to use and care for your products – or to publicize differentiating information. 

Back to the term I used at the outset – evergreen content. This means content that will not only be valuable on the day you publish it but long into the future. This is the content that continues to pull impressions and views years, sometimes several after it has been initially published. 

Evergreen content that ranks and gets read does probably more work for SEO than any other ranking factor, or even collective bucket of ranking signals. But producing it is hard work and time consuming. Moreover, not being aware of SEO best-practices that go into making a useful article or bit of page copy means you could do work and get no return. 

This is where a lot of the value of hiring a company to provide professional SEO services comes from. 

And yes, when you hire an agency with experience writing evergreen content, much of the results that will be generated for your campaign in terms of improved visibility and organic website traffic will eventually come from that copy years, sometimes several years down the line.

Things That Hurt Your Website (Making Professional SEO Services More Valuable)

With all of this being said, it’s worth a word (or a few) on the things that your website might currently be doing that are actively hurting its SEO, and which also contribute to the reason that professional SEO services work in 2024 – still.

 

  • Duplicate content: Duplicate content has never been good for SEO because Google will just note that it’s duplicated and assign whatever authority is its due to the original publisher. It may not harm your website, but using duplicate copy will never cause your rankings to increase and in some instances it can hurt. An SEO audit should help uncover problems with duplicate content.

 

  • Prolonged inactivity: Let’s say you have a blog that used to perform well, but which you haven’t touched in years and years. Making small changes to that blog, with new insights, updated information, and additional keywords, can bring it back to the tops of the SERPs. The same could apply to category and product pages, too. 

 

  • Failing to target lucrative keywords: Google is not going to do the heavy lifting for you. Your domain authority and credibility for certain low-hanging keywords may be in place, but if those keywords and answers to related search terms don’t appear on your website (or in links pointing to it) there’s a very small chance you’ll rank for them. 

 

  • Pages chewing up your crawl budget: Sometimes, internal pages (like internal search results pages) eat up all of your crawl budget. Pointless pages get crawled and indexed (or crawled and not indexed) and your other pages hang in limbo. An SEO agency’s experts can add certain internal pages to a “No Index” list to prevent this from happening. 

  • Spam links: Low quality links hurt your website, and can actually bring its rankings down. SEO experts can see what these links are and actively disavow them, preventing them from dragging down the overall SEO value of your website. 

 

  • Website load speeds: Large image files and other media can slow down your website load speeds, which is bad news considering that most users will bounce within three seconds. SEO experts can audit your website for performance, then make changes – such as compressing file sizes, minimizing tech debt, or implementing content delivery networks (CDNs) all of which can boost speed and performance. 

 

  • Site structure issues: Seemingly simple site structure issues, such as 404 errors, can litter your website and harm performance. Most SEO experts will run ongoing vitals checks to make sure there are no technical issues that are destroying your overall search engine optimization. 

 

This is, of course, only a short list of things that can be harming your website’s SEO value, but there are others, which constitute the main reasons that professional SEO services work in 2024, and probably will for many years to come.

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Michael Esposito

Mike Esposito is a professional SEO copywriter spurned by a love of language and creativity. When he's not at the keyboard, you may be able to catch a rare glimpse of him enjoying the outdoors or sipping fine literature.

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