Are SEO Services Worth It? Does It Really Work? (8 Benefits of Investing in SEO Services)

June 7, 2024

SEO services can be worth it to some big companies and small businesses because they drive more leads and higher potential income. It also strengthens customer loyalty, brand credibility, and online visibility. You need SEO to make your websites visible on search engine results pages (SERPs). Ranking higher on search results attracts more traffic. This leads to increased conversions, sales, and revenue in the long run. According to Search Engine Journal's survey, 49% of brands report that SEO drives the highest ROI compared to other digital marketing channels.

A Reddit user even commented on the significance of SEO for businesses. He said that SEO professionals have way more experience. This means that they can make more detailed and cost-effective strategies. They can adapt your marketing campaigns according to the latest trends and demands. You also get more time to focus on your business.

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However, many Redditors say that it's not worth it because anyone can learn SEO. Many websites, forums, and platforms teach SEO for free. Some examples include HubSpot Academy, Ahrefs, and Udemy. Other Redditors also suggested doing different SEO techniques. This includes setting up a Google Business Profile and gathering reviews. You can also use targeted keywords and build backlinks for your site. A Redditor even experienced unfulfilled expectations and goals working with SEO agencies.

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Quora user Joe Sembleck commented on how individuals and businesses can DIY SEO. He suggests joining big online forums. These online spaces talk about SEO strategies, experiences, and tools. Some examples include Warriorforum and Blackhatworld. Joe highlights the significance of understanding SEO first before investing in related services.

Businesses that utilize SEO services have better online traffic and engagement. This is because SEO deals with site structure and content management. In fact, BrightEdge's report states that 53.3% of the total web traffic goes to organic search. It comprises 44.6% of revenue across industries like travel, retail, B2B, and technology.

This article will answer the questions "Are SEO services worth it?" and "Do SEO services work?" We'll also discuss the challenges and benefits of SEO services for businesses. We provided real testimonies from people who tried various SEO services. Plus, discover the best way to make money in 2024.

Do SEO Services Really Work? Reddit & Quora Users' Experiences With Paid SEO

Yes, SEO services really work. BrightEdge statistics show that 68% of online experiences start with a search engine query. SEO also drives over 1,000% more traffic compared to organic social media. Here are some real-life experiences of Reddit and Quora users with paid SEO:

  • SEO agencies help you understand how SEO works.

Lina Smith from Switzerland shared on Quora how effective SEO services are. An SEO service company called WUMO SEO helped her rank her business sites. Lina engaged with experts because she found it hard to learn and do SEO by herself. The agency helped her through blog commenting, forum posting, and many more. She added that they also helped her understand how SEO works.

  • SEO services help you improve traffic.

This Redditor gets 10K visitors weekly by paying for SEO services for more than one year already. She hired ariMarketing to boost her home improvement business's organic traffic. According to her Google Analytics profile, she generates 40K to 60K visitors monthly.

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  • SEO services help you increase sales.

A Reddit user commented on SEO's positive impact on his restaurant business in New York. Geek Informatic helped him improve his sales and revenue within 7 to 8 months. The SEO agency also delivered page-one keyword rankings for local SERP. Plus, his website traffic also improved. 

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SEO services are necessary for small businesses because they can help find leads. It generates traffic and increases their potential revenue. SEO professionals and agencies help them build authority faster and more systematically.

But, SEO has its risks and uncertainties. Some SEO companies and freelancers lack enough experience. They can create detailed SEO strategies and plans. Yet, your websites can end up with no significant traffic or sales increase. Some SEO experts develop the best SEO initiatives but produce the opposite effect. This depends on various factors like content quality, keyword selection, and domain age.

This Reddit user mentioned that an SEO company's services don't always guarantee value. He said that companies focused on sales may not prioritize SEO. The user shared how he provided web design services for a tattoo studio with no website. He implemented standard SEO as a bonus and got the business on the front page of search engines. It would've been more difficult if the business competed with major players. And, some SEO companies aren't as honest as him.

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Wes McDowell, YouTuber and Website Strategist, shared how complex SEO services are. He mentioned that SEO will get more difficult. This is because of Google's new AI search feature called Search Generative Experience. There are also intelligent tools like ChatGPT and Jasper. These technologies generate SEO content that makes it difficult to stand out. Wes also talked about the popularity of YouTube and video content to rank on search engines. He said that people place more trust in videos than written content nowadays.

8 Benefits of Investing in SEO Services

1. SEO Services Increase Online Visibility

Investing in SEO services can improve your business's online visibility. SEO experts do this through content marketing and site optimization. That's because digital presence is important to engage more potential customers. Online visibility is how much attention your business has online, explains Alexander Storozhuk of PRNEWS.io. When you're visible, the audience is more likely to visit your site. These visits could lead to conversions or sales. Paying someone to do SEO is worth it because you could achieve faster results. The SEO agency performs the keyword research and site optimization for you.

Siteefy reports that there are around 1.09 billion websites worldwide. It adds that 3 new websites are being created every second. In seeking an SEO service, you need people who can optimize websites. They help improve your content to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

2. SEO Services Help Get Higher Organic Website Traffic

SEO services impact organic search results through keyword research and optimization. Businesses want to be at the top ranking results because it means getting more traffic. Ahrefs's study of over 14 billion pages in its Content Explorer index shows only 1.94% of all pages get between one to 10 monthly search visits on Google. Meanwhile, 96.55% of the pages get zero search traffic. That's why acquiring reliable SEO services is crucial to delivering high site traffic.

SEO experts help you attract targeted traffic. They perform in-depth keyword analysis. This will help you identify the keywords potential customers use in search queries. They will optimize your website, meta tags, and URLs using these targeted keywords. This way, your website ranks higher in search engine results for relevant queries. According to Ahrefs, the top-ranking page gets the most search traffic 49% of the time. It leads to higher engagement and conversion rates.

3. SEO Services Improve Websites for a Better User Experience

SEO services help your business website improve user experiences. You can do this by enhancing site accessibility and structure. User experience or UX refers to how a visitor feels when using a site or a mobile app. UX optimization includes mobile-friendliness, better site elements, and site speed. High-quality content also contributes to good UX. Here is how SEO agencies can provide a better user experience:

  • Site speed optimization: SEO agencies optimize site speed by compressing images. They also minify HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. Or, they can use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to ensure faster load times. An Unbounce report showed that nearly 70% of consumers "admit that page speed influences their likeliness to buy." 
  • Mobile optimization: SEO services improve a website's layout and load times. They help create a mobile-first or responsive website design. ToolTester's analysis of the top 100 websites showed a 2.5-second average web page load time on a desktop. Meanwhile, load time is 8.6 seconds on average on mobile. Almost 3/4 of shoppers will wait 4 or more seconds before leaving a page according to Unbounce's survey. Google's data shows most people bounce after only 3 seconds.
  • Site structure reorganization: SEO agencies can organize your business website structure. They create consistent URLs or effective internal linking. SEO experts make your pages become accessible from the homepage. This way, users can find information from your site and reduce frustration.
  • Technical SEO: SEO experts fix broken links and ensure proper use of meta tags. They put in place schema markup and improve site security with HTTPS. These technical aspects improve your website's operation. They also provide a reliable experience for users. This move helps build trust that causes repeat visits and higher engagement.
  • Content quality analysis: SEO services also include creating high-quality, relevant content to match what users need. Search intent is something you should understand. SEO professionals use clear language and incorporate relevant keywords. When you produce quality content, your website ranks higher on search engines. Google, for instance, prioritizes relevant and informative pages that are helpful to users.

4. SEO Services Help Build Brand Credibility for the Long Term

SEO services are a sustainable marketing strategy for your business. This is because they build credibility for the long term. Users are likely to check out websites that appear at the top of search results. This can lead to increased brand awareness, customer loyalty, and business credibility.

But, WebFX notes that SEO is a long-term strategy. Ranking on the first page takes time. It will take one week to 12 months for SEO to work. Some website owners claim that they notice results within 2 weeks, while some to over a year. Mansi Miglani, an SEO Executive, shared how a comprehensive SEO plan can produce results within six months. But Pastor Dre, an SEO coach and digital marketing expert, says proper SEO can take 3 months.

According to Google and Backlinko, it takes 4 to 12 months for SEO show results. Forbes also reported that pages at the top search results are 2.6 years old on average. Users are more likely to click through a website in a higher rank. Data shows that the organic click-through rate for the number one rank on Google is 27%. The rate decreases as the page rank lowers.

Maintaining rankings needs constant optimization to prevent other sites from outranking your website. Find SEO experts that offer ample expertise to check your site's performance. They need to use actionable insights to develop new strategies.

5. SEO Services are a Worthwhile Investment for Startups

SEO services are a worthwhile investment for startups because they offer long-term growth and success. Businesses can build a solid online following and brand engagement. Take the case of NerdWallet for instance. NerdWallet is a personal finance company. Tim Chen and Jacob Gibson founded it in 2009. Sido.Digital reported that their goal was to produce 500 high-quality content monthly. In 2014 and 2015, their content increased and resulted in 36,000 indexed pages. 

This proves that search engines rank pages that have authority and are trustworthy. Google and Bing place weight on page authority. SEO experts should help you maintain ranking. They must update your site's content and ensure relevant keywords are in place.

6. SEO Services Enhance Local and Global Reach

SEO services enable your business to broaden its local or global reach. They do this by focusing on keyword searches that are ranking on specific locations. For local businesses, SEO services can focus on fulfilling local search queries. SEO experts optimize your Google Business Profiles and local listings. In fact, Safari Digital reported that 97% of users go online to look for a local business. You can also rank high on global search results by starting with local SEO. Then, you can build your credibility, content quality, and site accessibility.

Monthly SEO is worth it for businesses who want to build their reach. Muntaha Murad, Wix Patriots founder, explains that businesses need to consider the following:

  • Do they have the time to implement free SEO methods?
  • Are they looking for quick results?
  • Do they want expert guidance and support?
  • Are they willing to pay for the results?

Reaching your target market is one of the most valuable things your SEO agency could offer. They enhance your local and global reach. They use geo-specific targeting and their experience working with global organizations. These experts should also perform SEO competitor analysis. It helps you identify top websites using the same keywords that you're targeting.

7. SEO Services Help Clients Stay Ahead of the Competition

SEO services help you beat the competition through technical analyses and KPI monitoring. These techniques ensure adaptability to evolving trends and algorithm changes. You should use proven strategies to improve your search engine rankings and visibility. Here are some action plans you could use to beat the competition:

  • Analyze your competitors. According to Chris Zingone, conducting an online competitor analysis is crucial. It helps you improve on aspects that the competitor is doing right. You can also avoid doing things that aren't working.
  • Optimize and create content. Check if your competitor uses short-form or long-form content. Check the posts and use of visual assets. Make sure your content has the target keywords. 
  • Perform technical audits. This involves identifying and fixing issues. Some examples include broken links, duplicate content, and crawl errors. SEO services find gaps in keywords and backlinks. For instance, backlinks help a business rank well. So, you must ensure that a client's site has at least one backlink. A Semrush study showed that over 50% of qualified sites without at least one backlink cannot reach the first page.
  • Optimize for local SEO. SEO services help target local customers. Check the accuracy of your account information and listings on Google Business Profiles. Localize the content to meet the local search results.
  • Conduct continuous monitoring. SEO professionals conduct regular SEO audits and monitoring. Quora user Terry Verduin shared that "SEO content and link building should be a daily habit." This helps avoid broken links and irrelevant content. Algorithms also change frequently. Google says they make significant core updates several times a year. 

8. SEO Services Provide Cost-Effective Marketing

SEO services can provide cost-effective marketing because of their long-term effects. When you invest in an SEO service, you build a foundation for attracting traffic. In paid advertising, traffic stops once your budget is exhausted. But, when you hire the right SEO experts, they get organic traffic continuously. Ongoing optimization can maintain your high ranking. The high-quality content you get from them contributes to your site's authority. These will improve your search rankings for various topics and keywords.

The average cost for SEO services is $500 to $1,500 a month for a monthly retainer. Hourly SEO rate costs $75 to $100. Meanwhile, WebFX says working with a social media marketing agency can cost $4,000 to $7,000. Some would even pay as high as $20,000 monthly, depending on their needs.

In 2019, Higher Visibility published a survey among small business owners. 44.3% reported they have a $1-$499 online marketing budget per month. Affordable SEO services for small businesses cost at least $500 a month. Search Engine Journal reported that businesses who are spending over $500 a month for SEO are 53.3% more likely to be “extremely satisfied” with the results.

How Do You Know If You're Working With SEO Experts Who Produce Results? Insights From SEO Experts

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SEO experts have projects that show results. Rewati Khare, an SEO manager, says clients should pay attention to case studies. Case studies must show how they have improved rankings, organic traffic, and conversions. If they are offering SEO services, start checking previous projects. They should've documented how they improved a client's site. Note their clients' increase in sales or revenue after implementing the SEO service.

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People recommend SEO experts. Shahid Maqbool, founder of SEODebate and SEOWallet, suggests clients ask for references. He adds that it's a way for clients to ensure the candidate "cannot provide false information." Ask their previous employers or clients for recommendations. They should maintain good rapport with clients. You can ask them for updates about their past projects and clients.

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SEO experts can complete trial tasks. Pedro Dias, a technical SEO consultant, says clients can assess an agency or individual's expertise by testing them with a problem. Then, you can observe how they resolve it. They should be honest about their experiences. They should also not make unreasonable promises. Some red flags clients watch out for when choosing an SEO service provider are over-promises and lack of transparency.

What are the Biggest Problems With SEO Agencies?

  • Some SEO agencies use the same SEO strategies for different clients.

Loretta McVoy, a Social Media Consultant, mentioned how some SEO agencies repeat the same strategies for all their clients. They use similar SEO strategies for every website. This sends the wrong impression to Google's algorithm. So, make sure that your SEO agency develops a unique action plan geared towards your business.

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  • Some SEO agencies don't deliver their promised results and overcharge clients.

Quora user Maxim Media revealed that many SEO professionals aren't accountable enough. Some promise results that are difficult to achieve. That's why many clients end up having negative experiences with SEO experts. This user also added that most SEO services cost so much. Some agencies charge unreasonably high.

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  • Some SEO agencies implement black hat SEO tactics.

William Scully, a business owner, commented on how damaging some SEO companies are. He said that there are companies who use black hat SEO tactics. The problem with this is the potential backlash from Google. According to Elegant Themes, Google can ban your website. And, you can lose your ranking.

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Is It Worth It To Start an SEO Business in 2024?

It can be worth it to start an SEO business in 2024 if you are willing to sacrifice significant time and effort. This business model entails learning the right skills to produce high-quality outputs. You need to understand how on-page, off-page, and technical SEO work. And, you need to invest in reputable platforms and resources for learning SEO. Freelancers and aspiring SEO agency owners can benefit from offering SEO services. The demand for such digital services is high in 2024 and beyond.

LinkedIn's Emerging Jobs 2022 report reveals over 860K SEO job openings globally. This means that businesses and organizations are seeking SEO services. SEO Specialists in the U.S. earn around $76,497-$135,024 yearly, according to Salary.com. Some Redditors who operate a one-man SEO agency also report making $8,000-$10,000 monthly. SEO agencies with a big team can earn more. Detailed's article revealed how they generate 5 to 9 figures in annual income. Some examples include Centori ($28,800 yearly), Indexsy ($598,000 yearly), and Yext ($390.6M).

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Yes, SEO is still profitable. Ahrefs' data shows that 57.4% of SEO agencies can charge over $1,000 monthly. The usual price of an SEO agency's monthly retainer is $500–$1,000 per month. So the more clients you have, the higher your potential monthly income will be.

How Can I Start an SEO Business?

  • Learn the basics of SEO. Start by learning SEO's basic concepts. You can learn SEO for free. LearningSEO.io, the Ahrefs blog, or YouTube offers free SEO courses. There are also platforms that offer free certifications. Some examples include HubSpot Academy, eMarketing Institute, and Semrush Academy.
  • Pick a niche and the SEO services you want to offer. Research profitable and scalable markets. Pet essentials, gadgets, and health & fitness are the popular niches in SEO in 2024, according to various Reddit comments. Once you know your target market, move on to picking your SEO services. You should have the skills for these possible service offerings. You can also opt for upskilling programs. Upskillist, Coursera, and Skillshare are good platforms for this.
  • Set your SEO service prices and build your website. This entails pricing your SEO services strategically. You need to check your competitor's pricing and offer the best deal. As a beginner, you can start by providing free trials and SEO audits. It's also crucial to build your website. This is where you'll advertise your SEO skills and services.
  • Promote your SEO packages and secure high-value clients. Launch digital marketing campaigns on channels with high engagement. According to Spiralytics, email marketing and social media marketing are the top channels in 2024. This way, you can close more clients. It's also important to choose clients that have long-term potential. Then, slowly build your reputation along the way.
  • Create quality content and use the latest SEO tools. You need to create high-quality, relevant SEO content. It should be engaging and informative. According to AIContentify, engaging content can boost your reach and visibility. You drive likes, comments, shares, and many more. Use the latest SEO tools to optimize your processes and outputs. Some popular examples include Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, and Yoast SEO.

Is Providing SEO Services the Best Way To Make Money Online?

Providing SEO services is not the best way to make money online. Local lead generation is the best way to make money online with SEO. Unlike offering SEO services that are competitive, local lead generation focuses on specific areas. This strategy narrows down the competition. There are also many individuals and agencies offering SEO services in 2024. This is a highly competitive industry to be in.

As a beginner, you won't have as much client trust as established ones. That's why you need to spend time, effort, and money. You have to market yourself to potential clients. You also have to tackle black hat SEO tactics and dynamic algorithms. One of the biggest risks of offering SEO services is uncertain SERP outcomes. Building an SEO strategy for a business takes months and intensive research. Your SEO campaigns need to be dynamic. Plus, small businesses may opt to do SEO themselves.

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The best way to make money online is to use SEO for local lead generation. This business model utilizes local SEO. That's why you have less competition than when offering SEO services. Local lead generation entails building sites for local services. Then, you rank these microsites organically using SEO. Once your websites are in the top spots in Google's SERP, you can start generating free leads. It doesn't need as much maintenance as monitoring client SEO campaigns. Plus, you can make 80%-95% profit margins.

Choose a business model that offers more control, time freedom, and financial stability. Local lead gen lets you earn up to $10K per site. The more sites you create, the higher your passive income will be.

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