Looking for a Chicago SEO Agency?
SEO isn’t rocket science. But it does take a lot of time, work, patience and expertise to do it right.
There are lots of companies out there claiming to do expert SEO. Maybe you’ve tried a few, or even taken a crack at doing your own digital marketing.
While you could pull your own tooth as well, you're likely to find a local dentist to do it instead. So why trust the health of your business to just anyone- like those relentless spammers calling from overseas?
With as fast as online marketing practices and tools change, hiring a trusted and highly rated marketing team that knows the Chicago landscape might be the best solution to grow your business online.
If you're looking for an affordable, local partner for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online marketing efforts—Chicago SEO Lyfe is here for you. Our SEO and online marketing services can fit any size or type of company. Our team maintains a 5-star reputation for our quality of work while remaining affordable.
What is SEO? Video by Chicago SEO Lyfe
Are you wondering what SEO is? Watch this short explainer video.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is a service aimed at increasing website traffic (visitors) through organic search engine results (as opposed to paid ads). The goal of SEO is to improve a website's rankings with search engines like Google and Bing.
The higher your website appears in search results, the more website traffic you'll get. SEO is all about making it easier for people to find you when they search for what you offer online.
Most internet users don't look past page one when doing an internet search. That's why being visible on the first page of search results can make all the difference between your business prospering for years to come with a constant flow of new customers, clients and patients- or the opposite.
How can you achieve this cherished first-page visibility with so many competitors all coveting the same place?
The answer’s simple. Become more relevant to the search user.
So how do you become “relevant” to the search user (and search engines)? Well, that answer’s NOT so simple.
Our Approach to SEO
SEO is often referred to as a science, or other times as an art form. In reality, it's a mix of both.
We drive successful results by combining well thought out research, proven processes, and analytics with design, consumer behavior patterns, human intuition, and expertise. Our style of SEO is based on providing inciteful research, high-value brand awareness, and a results-oriented approach.
Without a doubt, SEO must coincide with your overall business strategy if you're looking for a reliable lead generation vehicle. What makes us different is that we get to know you, your businesses goals, and your ideal customers. We spend time putting together a custom strategy that ensures a high ROI and gives your business a competitive advantage.
What can SEO do for you?
Increasing your brand's visibility in search engines like Google and Bing can have a significant impact on your business' return on investment. Organic and local maps ranking can often be the bread and butter for many companies. But with things like mobile and voice search on the rise, even knowing where to start can be a big challenge to many business owners and managers. With so many digital marketers selling SEO, it's hard to know who to trust and what you are getting. Services vary greatly depending on who you hire for digital marketing services. Hiring the wrong company can also hurt your online presence long-term if they are practicing unethical means to get you short term gains.
How are our SEO services different?
Our small agency was founded due to friends and associates of our existing clients, asking for help. Previously, we only did fully managed SEO for our website design clients. Today, we still limit the numbers of full-service SEO clients we work with. We also don't work with direct competitors of our existing clients, as we see that as a conflict of interest.
SEO is continually evolving. It requires an experienced team. Each of our team members is on top of the trends and best practices for their piece of the marketing puzzle.
What does SEO Cost?
While we do offer full service and many ala carte packages, SEO is not a one-size-fits-all service. We show some pricing and services here because we understand that business owners want to get a feel for pricing. The problem with comparing SEO services is that you're never comparing apples-to-apples. The best results and recommendations come when a client shares their goals and expected budget, and then we design a custom marketing campaign that achieves the most for that budget.
How do you do SEO?
While we love educating business owners on general and best practices for business marketing and SEO, we like to make sure that our clients maintain a competitive edge. There are a number of basic and lesser-known SEO tips in our blog. But educating our client's competitors on the exact "secret sauce" that goes into our marketing strategies- it's something. We aren't trying to sound cryptic, or sneaky (we only practice white-hat SEO). We think and perform out-of-the-box when it comes to online marketing. Most SEO's (included us) try to reverse engineer how a competitor has earned their top rankings with search engines. A lot of our success can boil down to excellent research and planning in the beginning. We then use our findings to create a roadmap for content marketing and other strategies. This plan is intended to will earn links from other trusted sources in any given industry – while providing excellent user experience and value.
What is content marketing?
When it comes to SEO for your website, quality content is a must. What that means is everything you include on your website, and landing pages can help to increase your search engine ranking. To better understand your SEO and improve your rankings in the search engine results pages (SERP's), you want to include relevant information, keywords, and links.
When you let Google know what your website/business is about, you become one of the options that they will display to a user who is looking for those products or services. If you don't tell Google what you're about, then it would be impossible to find you for that service. For example, take a hair salon, that also offers eyelash extensions. If the salon doesn't have any information about eyelash extensions on their website, Google's not going to show their website to a user searching for "eyelash extensions near me". Makes total sense, right?
Including content like blogs, reviews, video, images, infographics, white papers, and more are all a part of content marketing - which is part of SEO.
What are the main components of SEO?
Most digital marketing experts agree that there are two primary types of SEO.
1. On-Site SEO
As the name suggests, on-page SEO is work done on your actual website itself, and it's content.
Good on-page SEO focuses on the user experience (UX) you provide for website visitors, as well as the terms (keywords) and content that you optimized for. An on-page SEO strategy will find a mix of high-volume (top-of-funnel) and low-volume buyer intent (bottom-of-funnel) keywords to draw in relevant website traffic from organic search results.
For businesses who rely on local customers, getting them ranked on Google and Bing maps results will be a number one concern, as well as traditional organic search. This type of marketing is commonly called "Local SEO".
Factors such as the website code and performance, fall under a sub-category of on-page SEO called technical SEO. Proper technical SEO helps to make a website more easily readable and accessible to search engines. Much of it deals with the actual website code and how well it is optimized. Chicago SEO Lyfe offers an in-depth analysis of your website and any technical issues that might prevent strong Google rankings.
Some of the most important aspects of on-site SEO include:
User Experience (UX Design)
LSI Keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing – or closely related words)
Page Titles & Meta Descriptions (optimized for CTR)
H1, H2, H3, and other Tags
On-page Content Marketing
Internal Link Strategy
Image Optimization and Image Alt Tags
Site Load Speed
Social Share Links
Website Security (HTTPS)
Broken or Bad Links
Duplicate Content or Cannibalization
Website Audits and more
Analytics and Remarketing set up
At Chicago SEO Lyfe, we generally begin with a technical and visual audit of a website. We then collaborate with your company to conduct keyword and competitor research. Based on our findings, we devise a strategy for achieving your goals while working professionally and within Google's guidelines.
2. Off-Site SEO
Off-site (or off-page) SEO is primarily considered to be the inbound links and social signals to your site from other websites which build online trust and authority. In Googles eyes, links from other websites to yours are like votes of confidence. The more Google likes and trusts the other sites that link to yours- the more Google will like and trust you.
You might have heard the terms white hat SEO versus black hat SEO. What this is referencing is the quality of links your site gets and how you acquire them.
White hat links are earned, whereas black hat links are generally bought. Buying links is a tactic that violates Google's webmaster guidelines. Practicing this type of strategy can result in Google penalizing your website, or even completely dropping you from the search results. At Chicago SEO Lyfe, we believe in setting businesses up for long term success. Therefore, we are skilled at helping clients earn links by developing a great strategy and producing high-quality content. SEO isn't necessarily the fast-and-easy way to website traffic. But with the right initial preparation, we've found that we're often able to identify content gaps and opportunities that do provide reasonably quick wins for clients and set them up for long-term success. After understanding your business and goals, we devise a custom campaign strategy to meet that. Unlike other SEO's, it's always our aim to under-promise and over-deliver. We appreciate value, and we genuinely love providing it to others.
Some of the most important aspects of off-site SEO include:
Claiming and optimizing Google My Business
Google Maps Marketing
Google website creation
Bing Places set-up and optimization
Directories & Local Citations
GPS and Voice Search
Social Media Essentials set-up and optimization
Social Media Management
Blogger and Influencer outreach
Video Marketing & Production
Online Community Building & Engagement
Competitor audits and analysis
Our goal is to get you connected to the most relevant and trusted sources that will help you build the credibility and authority you deserve. We also our customers build online communities. Because we're focused on building long term partnerships with our clients, we research the businesses who inquire about our services before we'll take a meeting or send a proposal. Why? First, we need to be sure that we are acting ethically and don't agree to work with businesses that are in direct competition with our existing customers. After all, there is only so much room at the top. ;) Beyond that, we treat our customers well and want to assure that the businesses we help do the same for their customers. If a company has a poor online reputation, we're going to investigate that to find out why before we agree to move forward. If we feel a good company was unfairly penalized in the search engines, then we want to help them. Whereas if a company is not practicing business in a way that provides honest value to its customers, then we are likely to take a pass on any engagement.
This video by Google explains, "How to hire an SEO"
How to hire an SEO
If you're wondering why your SEO didn't work in the past, or only showed short term wins, it may be that the strategy was not thought out or well executed. Additionally, you might not have committed enough time. You might also have unknowingly hired an unethical company who's black hat tricks gave you short wins, but then hurt you in the end. Sadly, that happens a lot. As a small business owner, how could you be expected to know that the tempting promises these scammers make could harm your business? Just as you depend on a doctor to understand how to diagnose and treat a medical condition ethically, you expect a digital marketing agency to do the same with their job. You don't know what you don't know. And as a result, many business owners have been burned and are understandably skeptical of SEOs. You definitely want to make sure your SEO marketing expert is following Google and Bing webmaster guidelines. We pride ourselves on earning a 5-star reputation from our clients. To learn more about how to hire an SEO, check out this from video Google.
How Long Does SEO Take?
While there are some essential SEO task that are a must for most any business, SEO is not a one-and-done solution. It can take anywhere from 3-12 months to see significant results from an SEO campaign. That length of time will vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Those include:
1. Competition: Are you in a highly competitive industry? How much is your competition investing in quality SEO? If you are in a low competition industry, we can expect to see much quicker results than a highly competitive industry. Similarly, if none of your competitors are doing an excellent job of marketing, we can expect to see much quicker results when an SEO campaign begins.
2. Budget: If you have a healthy marketing budget where we can produce and develop a lot of quality content, that enables us to get faster results than if you want to get started with SEO but have a very minimal budget. But, even on a minimal budget, there are a few things that every business should do to increase online visibility. We genuinely want to help small business owners who are struggling to navigate online marketing. So do offer some essential services that will help on any budget. Often the best SEO plan for a company with a budget is a mix of organic SEO with a managed PPC campaign.
SEO is an effort that should be continued and practiced for the entire duration of your website’s lifespan. Search engine optimization is always evolving. Businesses that follow textbook SEO practices stay at the top of the search results while those that don’t fall to the bottom. Learning search engine optimization can be overwhelming to business owners. We help companies with solid SEO campaigns that produce original and helpful content that readers find useful and continuously earn new links to their website. With that comes results.
How do search engines work?
Search engines like – Google, Bing, and Yahoo collect data that helps them understand all the websites and content on the internet. When a person searches something on the internet, the search engines use hundreds of conditions (algorithm) to help determine the best web pages to show for each searcher's given query.
Search engines are getting better and better at understanding each searches intent. Innovations like AI and Rankbrain enable search engines like Google to better understand long-tail-keywords (a string of words used by an internet searcher).
To be found by customers searching for your type of information, product, or service, you need content that is relevant to what someone is searching for.
SEO is largely about delivering the most useful content for your ideal buyers. To do that, you need to fully understand your ideal customers buying journey, and then develop content that informs them and provides solutions. Your content should include the best combination of words that people are using to search for your type of solution. Secondly, you need to make sure you structure and deliver that content in a way that search engines understand. This way, Google can offer your website information (content) as the answer to your ideal customers' internet search.
Types of online searches
Navigational Queries – "GO" – This is typically a search for a particular place or business. Say for instance you want to get to YouTube. Instead of typing the entire website into the URL box, you might just type the name into the search box. This is a navigational search query where you know exactly where you want to "go".
Informational Queries – "KNOW" – This is when someone is trying to learn something, do something or answer a specific question without the intent of making a purchase at that time. You might want to "know" the Bears Total yardage last year, or how to make Chicago Style Pizza. These are informational searches
Transactional Queries – "DO" – These searches have action intent. A searcher is looking to "do" or buy something. Like, where to buy Bulls tickets, or how do I get to Solider field.
How do search engines determine the results they show to users?
To answer a persons internet search, Google uses hundreds of algorithm. The exact algorithm they use is a closely guarded secret. But a lot of it makes common sense.
The two most significant factors are relevancy and popularity of a website. With local search, proximity also plays a significant role.
To ensure the relevancy of the content, search engines look for the right words and data on the pages. But many other factors influence relevancy as well.
With regard to popularity, when other niche-specific websites link to yours, it's like a vote of confidence for your website. The more votes (links) you get from highly credible websites in related industries, the higher your popularity score with the search engines.
How does a website earn links?
How do you get links? You definitely don't buy them. Be very careful with anyone asking you to purchase links – don't. Instead, proper preparation and due diligence to develop a content marketing strategy can help you earn links. Earning the right high-quality links will help launch your website from obscurity to next-level growth. That's where a good SEO comes in. As SEO experts, we help advise and manage all aspects of SEO and online marketing.
How can Chicago SEO Lyfe Internet Marketing Services help?
Quality SEO starts with strategy, research, and high-quality media-rich content to increase ranking and ROI. But SEO isn't an overnight process, which unfortunately leaves a lot of small businesses at a loss. They need to focus on their business and don't have the time, resources, or expertise to focus on learning proper SEO and online marketing.
That's where we come in. Chicago SEO Lyfe delivers inspired digital marketing for all flavors of the rainbow.
Our professional team of marketing managers and content writers focus on developing quality SEO content that your business needs. Not only can this improve your search rankings, but it will also increase your customer engagement and return on investment (ROI).
Whether you're a company seeking brand awareness, authority building, or increase in leads and sales, we can help! Get in touch with us. We'd love to have a chat to see if we're a good fit for your organization.
Table Of Content
Chicago SEO Agency Services
9.1 On-Site SEO
9.2 Off-Site SEO
13. Types of online searches
17. Our SEO Services
Do you need an
Expert SEO Agency?
Hey, I'm Julia Rose and I'd love to help!
About Julia Rose
Raised on the Northshore and now residing in the south-west suburbs, I'm a Chicago native and founder of Chicago SEO Lyfe. As a seasoned digital marketing professional I have a passion for helping other businesses and brands succeed online. I'd love to help you too. My team and I give every client we work with the kind of service that we hope to receive ourselves.
Do you need a
Search Engine Optimization?
Hey, I'm Julia Rose and I'd love to help!
Chicago SEO Lyfe Search Engine Optimization Services
Here are highlights of some of the basic SEO services that we provide:
Consulting – I understand that not every client wants to sign a long-term full service agreement for 6 or 12 months. Different clients have different needs, which is why I have restructured my services. My new a la carte option pricing plans allow more clients to afford premium services without a long-term commitment.
SEO Auditing – Before I can develop a custom SEO marketing strategy for your business, I need to get the lay of the land. I will perform an in-depth SEO assessment and audit of your website and business to see where it stands. That way, I can identify weak spots and address them.
Keyword Research – When someone types a query into a search engine regarding your products and services, your site should ideally appear on the first page of the results. A huge part of developing an effective SEO strategy is identifying the words and phrases that people use to find your business. I rely on a variety of techniques to ensure that no valuable keywords slip through the cracks. People say content is king; I feel keyword research is.
Link Earning – An excellent way to boost your site’s ranking is by having it linked to by relevant, authoritative sites around the internet. I can help build a strong, active link profile for your site through entirely legitimate methods. You never have to worry about being penalized by Google for black-hat techniques when you work with me. PR is my preferred means of link building in 2019.
Competitive Analysis – One of the most valuable sources of information about how to rank your website is right out in the open. By analyzing what others in your niche or industry are doing to promote themselves online, I can hone in on what works and what doesn’t and create a strategy accordingly.
Organic SEO – Organic search engine optimization is exactly what it sounds like: organic, free advertising. When your web pages rank organically, it is because Google and other search engines find the content on those pages authoritative and relevant to what’s being searched for. Organic SEO is a long-term approach that I implement with all my clients.
Google Maps Marketing – Google Maps Marketing helps promotes your businesses locally. A higher position means building more leads and ultimately, more revenue. From the ranked Google Maps results in the local three pack listings, Google Maps marketing offers tremendous opportunity for all businesses.
Local SEO – If you own a business that provides goods and services on a local level you need to ensure that your business appears in local search results. For this to happen, an in-depth understanding of how local SEO works is a must. I understand the many elements that can be used to boost a site’s local SEO ranking, including getting listed on in the Local 3 Pack and Google Maps. With my help, you will start seeing more local traffic and leads.