Even in the digital age, there are a few marketing practices that polarize opinion quite like SEO.
From those who consider it redundant or an inconvenient cost to the marketers that commit a large portion of their budgets to search engine optimization, it continues to inspire debate throughout the industry.
SEO is arguably more important in today’s competitive online marketplace than it has been at any point in its history.
The key lies in your execution, and an innate ability to distinguish good SEO services from those that are merely cheap or accessible.
Below, we’ll explore this in further detail, while revealing the key reasons to avoid SEO packages that are marketed as being ‘cheap’ or ‘quick win.’
The Importance of SEO
Let’s start by evaluating the importance of SEO, which remains the single most effective marketing technique for scaling traffic online.
However, the practice is increasingly challenging, particularly in highly competitive industries where a large number of brands continue to strive for a viable market share.
It’s clear that brands who invest in good quality SEO and are able to secure consistently high rankings will achieve a competitive advantage over their rivals.
This leads us to the changing nature of customer behavior, which has evolved considerably as the web has enjoyed exponential growth. More specifically, consumers are increasingly likely to source, reference, and purchase goods online, as they leverage the web and its tools to seek out key points of information such as comparative pricing and availability.
This is borne out by statistics, with more than 3.5 billion searches per day on Google alone. So, brands that rank well in Google’s organic search results in relation to pivotal keywords and phrases are in an ideal position to educate customers and compete for their business, while building the foundations of trust and creating the potential for a long-term relationship.
Why You Should Avoid ‘Cheap’ or ‘Affordable’ SEO Packages
With these points in mind, it’s hard to question the relevance or effectiveness of high-quality SEO in the digital age.
In fact, the continued emergence of tech-savvy millennials (who accounted for 54 percent of all online purchases in 2017) as the dominant consumer demographic will only serve to increase the relevance of digital marketing and SEO in the near-term, with this group known for its desire to research products independently and curate their own content.
As we’ve already said, execution is key if you’re to capitalize on such trends and leverage SEO successfully on behalf of your business. This means that you need to invest in customized and high-quality SEO, rather than attempting to reduce costs by selecting a cheap provider with a one-size-fits-all mentality.
If you still aren’t convinced, here are some compelling reasons to avoid cheap and affordable SEO packages.
1. Cheap Packages Can’t Deliver Even Basic SEO Requirements
In basic terms, the two key drivers of SEO are high-quality content and backlinks.
As you would expect, these two activities are also the most labor and capital intensive, meaning that they account for a significant percentage of your SEO outlay.
Even at this point, the typical proposition presented by affordable SEO packages begins to lose credibility. This is because the companies that offer cheap services do so because they lack capital, making them unable to create high-quality, long-form content or secure guest post placement on high authority sites.
Long-form content needs to be well-structured and extremely informative, while it requires a great deal of skill and a significant time investment to craft.
Without the necessary resources to create such content, low-quality SEO providers often use software to scrape existing online articles and spin them into “new” posts, often at the expense of structure and accurate grammar.
Given that this content is a direct reflection of your brand and its website, it is a practice that can severely damage your reputation among consumers.
Not only this, but these companies can scarcely spare the time to conduct basic link outreach, and this often leads to the cultivation of cheap or poor quality links that offer minimal value.
This should be avoided at all costs, as the development of questionable links in high quantity is an outdated tactic that can actually harm your brand’s online performance in the modern age (we’ll have a little more on this below).
2. Sub-standard Link Building Doesn’t Move the Needle
When the concept of link building first emerged as a viable marketing tactic, there was a clear emphasis on quantity over quality. Quite simply, the companies that secured the most links to their website would achieve favorable organic search results, meaning that there was little need for engaging content or sustained link outreach.
The issue is that while affordable SEO providers tend to sell a similar service today, the nature of link building has evolved considerably in line with Google’s continued algorithm updates.
Investing in such a service, therefore, places your brand at considerable risk, with Google increasingly likely to penalize instances of poor quality, mass link building and the businesses that commission these strategies.
If you find yourself engaging with a firm that is promising to deliver a cheap SEO service, they’ll most probably try to sell themselves on the premise of offering a high quantity of links.
This means little without the requisite quality, as the chances are that the aforementioned links will be built using automated software and then published on poor quality websites with minimal trust or authority.
Make no mistake: the most likely consequence of such a strategy is just a waste of financial resources, as Google tends to ignore such links in more recent times.
However, with such activity in considerable volumes, this may put your brand at risk of a Google penalty, which could see your site removed from organic search results completely.
Such a sanction requires both time and a considerable amount of money to reverse, so in effect, it’s far more efficient and cost-effective to simply employ a reputable SEO service provider in the first instance.
3. One Size Definitely Does Not Fit All
When dealing with affordable SEO packages, you’ll probably find that providers offer set options and pricing across the board.
This is a genuine red flag to experienced marketers, as no two businesses are the same and successful strategies must always be tailored to suit the needs, circumstances, and objectives of each individual client.
In fact, there are a huge number of variable that will determine what type of package and growth strategy is right for you.
These include basic factors such as your budget and the industry that you operate in (and its level of competitiveness), along with with your current SEO status and whether you’re recovering from a recent sanction or Google penalty.
Similarly, reputable SEO providers will also want to understand the structure and focus of your business, paying particular attention to whether it operates locally, nationally or trades overseas.
They’ll also strive to determine the demand for your product or service and seek guidance on your core objectives so that they’re able to measure their own performance and achieve genuine results on your behalf.
This type of in-depth fact-finding mission is central to successful SEO campaigns, as it helps you to optimize your spend and enables service providers to tailor their strategies accordingly.
Providers that ask these types of questions are also likely to deliver a far more effective service, and recognizing this can help you to make an informed decision.
By way of contrast, remember that cheap SEO agencies are simply focused on securing a high volume of clients in order to drive profitability, so they’ll take little interest in your business or its core objectives.
4. You Have No Leverage to Hold Cheap SEO Firms Accountable
The desire of cheap SEO providers to prioritize a high volume of business is an interesting one, as this creates a simplistic business model that doesn’t allow the cultivation of long-term business relationships.
So, not only do most cheap SEO companies have little interest in the businesses that they serve, but they also bear little accountability or fear should they deliver a sub-standard service (which they invariably will).
In fact, by the time you’ve become frustrated with their service and sought to terminate the relationship, they will have already secured new clients and will be all too happy to cease contact.
This can be extremely frustrating for business owners, who must face up to the prospect that have wasted financial capital and must bear the responsibility for this mistake alone.
This is at odds with the typical business relationship, where there is a mutual desire among all parties to cultivate long-term interaction and resolve any issues that threaten this union.
Remember, if you receive a generic email from an SEO provider, the chances are that this message has been sent to every single contact that the company has on its database.
This type of approach is designed solely to build a high volume of business and secure one-off payments as quickly as possible, and it is indicative of a firm that is not interested in long-term collaboration or delivering any semblance of value for money.
5. Cheap SEO Providers Can’t Deliver a Long-term Strategy
They say that patience is a virtue, and this is definitely the case when it comes to SEO.
In fact, it can take a great deal of time to achieve positive results through SEO, particularly in competitive industries or in the case of firms that have been penalized by Google in the past.
In fact, the formative stages of an SEO campaign usually demand a significant financial investment without delivering any kind of payoff, which can be frustrating to those who are new to the practice.
While you may see your organic search rankings increase in the near-term, it often takes far longer to earn a coveted place on Google’s first page in relation to your predetermined keywords.
Brands that are placed prominently on Google’s first page see the biggest benefits in terms of the quantity and quality of traffic, so seeing actionable results can take much longer.
This is yet another compelling argument for employing the services of reputable SEO providers, as such an investment will sustain a longer-term campaign that is more likely to yield results.
In contrast, cheap SEO packages will be unable to deliver anything but a basic, short-term campaign, and one that will provide little or no value for money.
The Last Word
While it’s easy to understand the appeal of cheap SEO packages in the current business and economic climate, it’s important that businesses adhere to the basic rule of prioritizing value over cost.
In fact, this is even more important in the case of SEO, where the amount that you spend and the type of service provider has a direct bearing on the results that you’re able to achieve.
This betrays the simple fact that good and effective SEO should never be cheap, as key factors such as high-quality content creation and authority link outreach cost a great deal time and significant amounts of money.
Hopefully, the arguments in this post will convince you to prioritize high-quality SEO over cheap service providers in the future. This will offer you access to an exceptional quality of service and the type of long-term results that your business craves, while enabling you to optimize a key percentage of your marketing spend.