In recent years, SEO has quickly become something that everyone knows about. However, we’re not all clued up enough on it to know what it really means.
We’re seeing businesses who are not growing as quickly as they should be, purely down to the fact SEO has either not been done properly or not been done at all.
And usually, this isn’t through a lack of trying.
It’s because they’re paying for SEO services that are not performing. It’s easy to opt for the shortcut, the quickest route to success, especially if it’s cheap!
Cheap or affordable SEO agencies are constantly plugging this easy option because of course, it appeals to business owners.
But the reality is, it’s even better for the SEO agency because it requires absolutely no effort from the said supplier.
They push this opinion which is totally detrimental to your SEO rating and your business – and yet, people are investing in affordable SEO packages simply because it sounds like a good deal.
It involves minimum spend and you think you’re ticking that invisible SEO box on the business owner’s manual.
But of course, it’s not working.
In this article, I want to explain more about affordable SEO services and help you recognise SEO as the conversion tool that it is, and see that when it is done properly, is going to bring long-term rewards and open up endless opportunities for your company.
The importance of SEO services
These days, very few business owners choose not to invest in SEO at all, but a lot of them are investing either in black hat operations or in cheap and low-quality services that just never bring results.
I’m hoping by bringing a transparent approach to SEO, that you will be able to understand exactly what is happening behind the scenes in search engine optimisation and understand why it is important to do it and to do it right.
Without SEO, you’re going to see minimal organic traffic, minimal growth on your website and ultimately your business.
What is affordable SEO?
An affordable SEO agency is about giving cheap options, not real solutions.
While agencies look for answers, you will find an “affordable SEO agency” will be making you ask questions.
By providing you with just enough detail to think they’re getting somewhere, an affordable SEO agency relies on poorly pulled together monthly reports that are packed with excuses and internet jargon that’s trying to confuse you.
Look for an SEO professional who will tell you exactly what you need to spend in order to achieve life-changing results.
It sounds too obvious when it’s put like that.
But the reality is, with goings-on being mostly unseen in the digital world it has been too easy for the wrong people to capitalise and make digital marketing, especially SEO a world full of hidden traps.
And frankly, I’m sick of those types of people.
According to Google, “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google” and more specifically:
Your prospective SEO should be able to give you realistic estimates of improvement, and an estimate of the work involved. If they guarantee you that their changes will give you first place in search results, find someone else.
Why you should avoid cheap SEO services
As we’ve already discussed, there’s a high chance that if you’ve opted for a low-cost SEO service, the people you’re paying are either doing nothing, or they are so clueless, they don’t know what they’re doing and they think it can be done cheaply.
Ask any reputable SEO consultant or marketing agency, they will tell you that:
Cheap + SEO = Impossible
Need more reasons to stay away from these offerings, let me break it down for you:
- You can’t do much with low-cost SEO services – it’s just not possible.
- You won’t get far working with a cheap SEO agency. Eventually, you’re going to tire of their behaviour and leave to start again somewhere else. Cut out this stage to avoid any irreversible damages and save yourself some money in the long-term.
- You won’t get tangible assets with affordable SEO packages – good SEO will be developing your website for future generations. It will be giving you assets to use in other mediums. Good content can be repurposed (articles, videos, podcasts etc) for social media content. Great backlinks can be long-lasting. Cheap SEO won’t be doing these things (read on to find out why they won’t be doing them) and ultimately, you won’t get that extra added value that great SEO strategists are handing you.
- Cookie-cutter SEO strategies won’t scale. Not sure what this means? Think of this as a one-size-fits-all approach or, cutting a cookie from the same stencil over and over. Much like website designers that sell website templates, some SEO agencies sell SEO templates and they just won’t pull off the same results as when someone has come up with a bespoke package that is personally adjusted and detailed to fit ONLY your business needs.
- Cheap SEO is almost directly linked to poor client communication and this is normally because they’re lying to you to try and keep you as a client. Meanwhile, they are taking your money without giving you what you’ve paid for. Am I sounding hyperbolic yet? Excuse me, I’m passionate.
- SEO expertise vs cheap labour. High chances are that if an agency is selling cheap products, their employees aren’t costing them much either. Take a step back and think, if this employee is happy to work for peanuts / free, then maybe they haven’t got as much knowledge as you’re led to believe. Do you want someone who is underqualified, underpaid and underappreciated working on your business and livelihood? Thought not.
- Cheap SEO packages don’t offer long-term strategy and that’s simply because they don’t know what a long-term strategy is. They don’t expect you to stick around, in fact, they’ve probably got too many clients to manage properly anyway. Their heart is not in making happy customers, it’s in making a quick buck.
What do affordable SEO packages look like?
So, what should you be looking out for?
Obviously, a cheap solution is probably the biggest indicator. But there are other things to look out for.
From proposals that are full of technical jargon and are promising you the world to contracts that make sure you stay for as many payments as they can get out of you.
On a more technical level, affordable SEO packages are going to consist of elements that basically won’t cost any extra capital – they want 100% of that money for themselves, not to go on bettering your business.
We’re talking things that take time but not necessarily cost much, such as:
- A bit of keyword research
- A few changes in meta titles and descriptions
- A few 500-word articles for your blog
- A handful of social media posts on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram
- Maybe some speed optimisation improvements and that’s about it…
Doing any of the high impact SEO jobs are going to fall by the wayside
This includes SEO tactics/strategies like:
- Creating quality, well-written, well-researched and long-form content – this requires paying expert writers who have in-depth knowledge of the industry.
- Backlinks/citations/mentions are another costly and imperative element of SEO – and guess what, it costs money to get quality placements and takes time and knowledge to develop outreach programmes.
- Any major technical issues in your optimisation are probably not going to be fixed by the limited expertise on offer.
The result of skipping or “cheating” on these types of SEO techniques could go unseen to the untrained eye – such as penalties on your ranking due to low-quality backlinks, or it could be customer-facing, such as typos on your website and incorrect information about your industry!
And, as we said above, doing these things right mean they become part of your website and part of your digital assets.
Doing them wrong makes them worthless.
Alternative solutions for limited SEO budget
What should you do if you’re on a budget then?
Surely something is better than nothing? Yes and no.
While having SEO is so important, having bad SEO could destroy any previous work you’ve put in
If you’re unsure, start some of the easier parts for yourself. Write a few blogs – you’ll be the expert of your field so having that content on your website is priceless.
Get keyword reports or chat to consultancies to get your feelers out. Our biggest piece of advice is don’t rush into anything and certainly, don’t opt for the cheapest option.
What can I offer?
Tired of looking for an affordable SEO agency and ready to invest? Then we need to talk.
I need to know all about you and all about your needs so I can provide you with long term SEO results.
On top of knowing about you, I need to know about your budget. If I can be clear about what can be achieved, we can keep reaching that next milestone.
Managing your budget and your expectations are integral to me because simply put, I don’t want to ever let you down.
In terms of technical practice, you will probably already be aware of how I work.
It’s just a matter of getting started – get in touch today!
I’m a UK based freelance SEO consultant and digital marketer and I provide results-driven online consulting and digital marketing services to SMEs. Are you ready to grow in 2020? Get in touch today!