Every good business owner knows that SEO is vital to their marketing and growth, allowing leads to gather through organic searches, but getting to that first page on google can often be tricky, and expensive, if you don’t know what to look for in an SEO company.
A quick search will pull up hundreds of agencies claiming to be affordable for the small business owner, saving them time and money and pushing them to the top of google for only a few hundred dollars. If it sounds too good to be true, you would be correct. Selecting a cheap search engine optimization company will not only waste your time, but inevitably cost you more money in the long run.
What are Cheap SEO Services?
Often called “affordable” or “low-cost” SEO agencies, they are companies who claim they can boost your google ranking quickly at a low rate. Most advertise their services at only a few hundred to a thousand dollars, usually in the form of a monthly package, offering a quick return for your investment.
While this sounds like a great offer, especially to businesses who are trying to save money, you’ll end up getting poor quality work and bad customer service, which ultimately may harm your online presence over time.
Why Cheap SEO Packages Cost You More
- Quantity not Quality: Cheap SEO agencies use a cookie-cutter strategy when it comes to pricing. They won’t spend the time to understand the target audience or even your product, instead using generic terms to get as many clients as possible. It’s a numbers game for them, rather cultivating a working relationship.
Professional SEO services will take the time to learn about your business, tailoring everything they do to create a unique brand marketing approach to help it grow and thrive.
- Poor Customer Service: When selecting an SEO company, you need to keep in mind that you will be working closely with them and you will want the best and more experienced service. With cheaper SEO companies, one way they cut costs is by hiring inexperienced people that are just learning. While this isn’t always a bad thing, it’s better to invest your money with someone that is knowledgeable, available, and experienced.
- Easy, not Smart, Solutions: Cheap agencies will use the easiest ways out and often the worst ways to try and prove they are working and getting your site to the top, but often these techniques can cost you the top spot. Some of these techniques include:
- Black Hat Tactics – Google is constantly updating it’s procedures and rules when it comes to SEO ranking. Cheap SEO companies will often ignore these in order to get your company to rank higher, faster. Once caught, this will penalize your website and business, costing you more than just money.
- Keyword Stuffing – Part of being a black hat, bad SEO services tend to overload content and pages with generalized keywords, hoping to throw something and have it stick without putting in any research to your market. Instead, a professional SEO company will take the time and utilize tools such as Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, to create custom content for your business.
- Poor Content – One of the most important parts to creating good SEO for your website is having well-written and original content. With a bad SEO company, they will often cut-corners, hiring the cheapest copywriters who will only put in 20% of the effort. Having poor quality content will affect not only how your business is viewed by potential leads, but affect the back-linking of your site as well.
- Bad Back Linking- Back linking are links from one website to a page on another. Google uses the number of these links to help rank pages; those with a high number of backlinks usually have higher organic rankings.
In order to manipulate this, bad SEO services will use cheap, purchased links which run against Google’s guidelines. This will often lead to a penalty against your site and business. To avoid this, find a high-quality company that specializes in making sure they are doing the research and following the guidelines to get your website ranking high.
How to avoid a bad SEO company
Weeding through companies can often be difficult, especially for businesses that want to grow quickly. Putting in the time and effort, and knowing what to avoid, can pay off in the end. Here are a few phrases you’ll want to watch out for when doing your research:
- One Time Projects and services. If a company is claiming that they can get you on the front page of google in one go, don’t believe them. SEO is an ongoing task and needs a good partnership between the agency and your business to generate consistent new leads.
- Knowing someone at Google. Many websites will advertise that they know someone or have worked at google and have the industry inside secrets to get you to the top. This is almost always a lie and should be avoided. Even if they do know someone, google has strict contact agreements and working with someone who breaks them isn’t a good start.
- Big Promises on getting you to that top spot quickly. SEO takes time and effort. The market is always changing, no matter what business you’re in, and making it hard to promise anything. Look for a company, instead, that can navigate the changes with you instead of leaving you high and dry.
Invest in a good SEO Company
When looking for a good SEO company take into consideration their ranking and reviews, although be wary of the sources (some companies may manipulate reviews in their favor). Invest the time to find one that works with similar companies and knows the markets. A reputable SEO company will take the time to go over your needs and target audience, tailoring their strategy to fit your company. Every dollar spent will be an investment back into your company, helping to generate more leads for you.