Contrary to what the above title would suggest, I hate talking in absolutes. When two people are arguing from opposite ends of an idea I’m usually the first one to step in and try to help them understand that the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.
But occasionally one of those two people aren’t actually arguing for an opinion, they’re speaking the truth. Learning to understand the difference will serve you very well in life and in business.
Cheap SEO is one of these situations.
Full disclosure, we’re obviously not a cheap SEO company and we don’t plan to be, so I know that I have my work cut out for me in convincing you that I’m actually speaking the truth here and not just arguing from my preferred corner. However the fact of the matter is that I’ve seen cheap SEO destroy businesses time and time again and being someone who refuses to lose their spark in what can sometimes be a “shark-ish” and technically overwhelming industry, I still give a crap.
So with that in mind, here’s my attempt to help you understand the reality of why cheaping out on Search Engine Optimisation is a terrible idea.
- Cheap SEO almost invariably involves black (or at the very least dark grey) hat methodology. Or they’re just taking your money.
The thing about SEO is that it’s expensive to implement. I don’t mean for you, I mean for the SEO Company doing the work. Between auditing your website/link profile/social media/content marketing, to the extensive recommendations that results in & then the implementation of those recommendations (which can take many months), it’s not an easy process.
In my honest opinion, you should run the other way if a company offers you SEO for anything below $1000 per month (which to add validity to the statement, is less than we will do it for). Logic dictates that they’re either using shady methodology to cheat, or they’re just doing terrible work and probably won’t get you results, which they’ll make excuses for later. Either way you’re wasting your money. Google in particular has droves of people and algorithmic requirements looking out for low quality work and manipulation in particular. The penalties are harsh as many a penalised and now regretful business will tell you.
- Manipulating a Search Engine is by its very nature not optimising for it.
The key is in the term “Search Engine Optimisation” itself. Your job as a business who wants to please the Google Gods is to please the end user. If your website isn’t up to scratch, why would you want to put it on the first page? It's only going to be more embarrasing when you're found out. The ranking algorithm exists primarily to serve these end users with fantastic results to their queries. But quality work is never cheap. I often wonder why it is that so many businesses have trouble understanding that the same sort of concept applies to SEO as it would to anything else from a good suit, to a decent car, or indeed any other form of advertising like radio & TV commercials. I especially wonder about the latter given how much more effective and accountable online marketing is. You get what you pay for.
- Your budget dictates your capabilities.
This is easy to put in perspective. Imagine that you you want to rank for the keyword “toys”. How much content do you think is generated every day to do with that keyword? You’d probably be right to assume millions of pages.
In order to rank for that you’d need to be one of the top 10 most relevant pages or better. Nothing about that could be cheap.
But now imagine you want to rank for the keyword “girls toys brisbane”. Probably less content right? Less demand means less people throwing their hats in the ring which makes it easier for you.
But this whole idea is relatively old as far as SEO is concerned is concerned and you’ve likely heard it before. My point is that if it holds true that you need to lower your expectations the more you lower your budget, then it is possible to price yourself out of the game entirely if you’re not willing to come to the table and invest properly in SEO.
- Your competitors understand the value and will leave you in the dust.
The myth that online marketing is somehow not worth just as much (if not more) than traditional marketing is going away. Any business who still subscribes to this outdated idea is behind already. But don’t take my word for it, take Forbes’. Digital Marketing is not just here to stay, it’s here to take over and leave laggers in its wake.
There is a return on investment to be had, or else why are we all even here? Sure, many agencies are vague and unaccountable where ROI reporting is concerned, but that doesn’t mean that you stop shopping, you keep shopping until you find one that is. Not doing business digitally in this day and age is just plain bad business and it’s far past time to take it seriously. End grump.
- You’re costing your business money by trying to save money.
A good, structured, accountable SEO Campaign can transform your business. The search volume is out there. Every day there are people looking for businesses like yours who will respond to a well optimised website which sells your business well.
All you need to do is work out how much traffic you need to make a return on what you put into the campaign and you suddenly have a new revenue stream! It can work. You just need to do your research and a bit of math before you get started and before you know it you’ll be wondering why you were ever scared to spend what it took to achieve success!