From time to time, SEO industry practitioners still receive comments from prospective clients that SEO services seem to be expensive. Sometimes, some companies who inquire with us say that, too.
It’s true: there are many cheap SEO packages on the market, marketed by SEO providers who claim their packages are “affordable”. Cheap SEO, however, isn’t good for your business and does long-term harm to your visibility on the Internet.We are here to explain the true value of a good SEO package and why cheap SEO packages are to be avoided. We also want to help you think about whether SEO marketing is for you, and what you can do to help you decide.
Why Good SEO doesn’t come cheap
Good, cheap SEO is a myth. Yet many small outfits will try selling you an SEO services solution that promises you rankings and positions on the first page of Google Search.
Here’s what an “affordable” SEO package might offer: a set of backlinks that connect back to your site, with an “X” number of articles; and the option to engage into a short-term contract, usually for three-six months.
Any contract with these generic terms needs a closer look, because there can be serious consequences from applying “quick-solution” SEO tactics.
Here are some reasons why you should avoid cheap SEO services.
- Some SEO companies use outdated content creation methods. They will give you rushed, low-quality articles that do little to add usefulness to your website.Well-written, engaging content can help website rank for certain topics, giving your brand greater authority in your areas of subject expertise.
- It also takes time and experienced outreach skills to build quality backlinks. Cheap SEO agencies might take shortcuts and insert many spammy, low-quality backlinks onto your website – which puts you at risk of incurring a Google penalty for violating its quality webmaster guidelines.A Google penalty lowers your search rankings or may even remove your website completely from Google’s website index. If the latter happens, your business can become completely unsearchable.Any business trying to grow its online presence will be affected by a Google penalty. If you have an online business that’s trying to grow through e-commerce SEO, this could affect your revenue for weeks or months.You may end up going through a painful, expensive process of disavowing every single link that put you in this trouble – probably without the agency’s help. And there’s no saying how long this penalty will last, even after you’ve fixed the situation.
- When you sign for a short-term SEO contract and don’t see the results you expect, the SEO agency you worked with is not obliged to help you any longer. Companies that thrive on short-term business often focus on the volume of clients they acquire, not on the length of their relationships with them.
An SEO company that proposes a short-term relationship raises eyebrows in the SEO community, because it is industry knowledge that achieving good quality rankings usually takes 3-6 months. And that’s just in the beginning. Maintaining these rankings or improving them takes consistent, sustained effort.
Is cheap SEO good for business? No. Cheap SEO can be much worse than having done no SEO at all.
If you’ve engaged the services of an affordable agency and not suffered any damage, you’re in for a generic package with generic execution, with little hold on your SEO agency if they don’t deliver what they promise.
“You might get a strategy that’s off the shelf – and that can work for some businesses, but not all,” says Bernard San Juan, Truelogic’s own Managing Partner. “Definitely not, if you’re an enterprise with really defined goals.”
What does SEO cost per month? If you’ve come around talking to an agency you like and started talking about costs, the answer is simply this: it depends.
Achieving organic SEO rankings on Google is dependent on a lot of factors, starting with the industry you’re in and whether your industry competitors are good at SEO.
There’s also the issue of demand, which in SEO translates to keyword volume – or whether people are actively searching for your products or services.
It also depends if you’re trying to build Local SEO visibility, or trying to market your business nationally, or overseas.
Helping You Identify an SEO Company That’s Value for Money
There are ways of identifying good SEO agencies who’ll do the job you ask them to. Here’s what they’ll do.
- A good SEO agency will offer a comprehensive website audit.
The SEO company you’re talking to will offer to look at your website before recommending any SEO packages. A good audit will look at things like your site and page load speeds, the way you’ve structured your content navigation, and the kind of content you’re carrying.
This audit, which is usually free, offers findings and recommendations to help you improve your website.
- Good SEO agency package structures are flexible
A good SEO package takes into account the different needs of each client. Their packages will be scalable, flexible, and accommodate the needs of businesses of different sizes. This package includes a solid plan for off-page SEO, including quality backlinks, as well as on-page SEO content that improves your chances at good search rankings.
In fact, a good SEO proposal makes unique SEO recommendations for you and your website, and whether other digital marketing services, like Social, PPC, or even a partial web redesign would enhance the results of your efforts.
- Good SEO companies offer Service Level Guarantees
It’s important for you to have a basis for measuring the success of your marketing campaign, and this usually comes in the form of the service level guarantee.
For instance, Truelogic’s service level guarantee enumerates key performance indicators that you can measure, such as ranking increases, traffic growth, and goal conversions, which help you measure how well your campaign is doing.
Is SEO worth the money?
Appreciating the value of SEO is a process for many businesses, whether you’re a budding small to medium company, or a legacy enterprise corporation that’s marketed its business a certain way for years.
Because there are so many ways to market your business on the Internet, many feel more confident working with social media (which can be tricky if you’re inexperienced) or doing pay per click (PPC) digital advertising (which can become very expensive in a short time).
If you’re asking yourself, “Can I do SEO on my own?” the answer is, certainly! It might be worth looking into SEO training first. You can also start by doing some your own SEO work in-house to learn how it works.
Your other option is to hire an SEO consultant, who can examine your website and recommend changes. When you feel ready to scale up, that’s when you talk to an SEO agency.
Here are Bernard’s thoughts on the matter. “Ultimately, I think you get what you pay for. When you pay premium, you’re paying for the research and testing that goes behind the methodology an agency will execute on your behalf.”
Our other piece of advice is to look for a company that will pinpoint the problem, offer solutions, and show proof their recommendations are working. A good SEO company is invested in long-term results and making your relationship with them productive for the both of you.
Marianne Carandang has written for lifestyle, B2B trade media, and business. Her passions include cooking and writing about food, languages, and planning future travels.