Don’t Be Fooled: The Illusion That Cheap SEO Services (Actually) Work
So you’re looking for cheap SEO services. Hate to be a downer, but I’ll give it to you straight. There’s no such thing. But don’t get discouraged.
Honestly it’s a good thing they’re not around. While you don’t have to pick a super expensive firm in order to feel safe, I’ll leave it up to your imagination how well you think cheap SEO services would actually perform. I’m willing to wager that you would very quickly end up getting your first introduction to Google’s mighty banhammer.
If you want quality and long-lasting SEO results (I’m assuming this is a given), it’s going to cost you something. Now, whether you want that to be your money or time is totally up to you. But since you’re time and energy are finite resources, devoting either to learning and performing SEO should definitely be considered a cost.
With the rise of content marketing, you now have access to literally hundreds of guides that can teach you how to perform solid SEO all by yourself. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but with some dedication, hard work, and smart research, you should be able to fight your way to getting more quality search traffic from Google.
Now, if you decide you don’t have the patience, time, or drive to do your own SEO, you’re going to have to hire an SEO services firm. I’m going to help you determine how to get the most value out of your SEO dollar. Let’s start by considering the following factors.
1. How competitive are my keywords
2. How many keywords do I want to rank for
3. What is my budget
4. How big of an impact will this have on my business
5. How does local search factor into my needs
6. How does social SEO factor into my needs
1. If your goal is to rank for highly competitive keywords, you’re going to need a comprehensive SEO service and there’s no way around it. Pricing for smaller SEO firms that focus on local search and/or low-competition keywords simply don’t make sense. Your quote could end up being higher than if you’d paid a retainer to a bigger firm in the first place.
2. The more keywords you want to rank for, the more time and money you’ll have to invest. Do yourself a favor and start simple. Make good use of the free SEO tools at your disposal. You can leverage content to determine what keywords will get you the most traffic and start focusing on those.
3. The size of your SEO budget will factor in with the other variables here to create a roadmap for your SEO plans. You don’t necessarily have to spend big money to get good-quality and google-friendly SEO services, but you will if you have big dreams of ranking for either lots of keywords or some very competitive ones.
4. This is an important one to consider. Before you even get started looking at specifics, take a critical look at how much or how little you expect SEO to affect your bottom line. Don’t hire an expensive and possibly over-hyped SEO firm because you feel like it’s what you’re supposed to do. If you own a muffin shop in Saskatoon, you’d experience very diminished returns on your investment if all you want is to be found by people looking for pastry shops in your vicinity.
5. On that note, local search is increasingly becoming the number one way for local small businesses to be discovered by their potential customers. Local SEO is a different beast. There are many Local SEO solutions that may be able to deliver exactly the results you’re looking for without overpaying.
6. Do you have reason to believe your business will benefit from having a significantly improved social presence? For some, a baseline presence will be enough to help their business be at least discoverable. Some others will come to the conclusion that their business would experience increased sales and improved word of mouth from having a more comprehensive social identity. Still others will decide they can monetize traffic driven from social platforms. Whatever you decide, social profile management is considered a stand-alone service and will thus cost you.
So you’ve considered the variables and you probably have come to one of three conclusions. If you’re going it alone, break a leg! Do your research, keep up to date with what’s going on in the SEO world by following some killer SEO blogs, and hold your head high when you hit that front page.
The second conclusion would be that you want to hire an SEO company but you don’t want to spend a fortune since you think your returns would begin diminishing after a minimal to mid-level investment. Luckily, there are some solid affordable alternatives to bigger SEO firms. Depending on the business goals and the competitiveness of the niche, it could be a relatively simple affair to rank for a few of your desired keywords. If so, you’ll find quite reasonable pricing from a variety of white-hat SEO companies.
The third option is to go with a comprehensive and multi-faceted plan from one of the SEO goliaths. If you have a larger brand or have multiple keywords and angles you want to be canvassing across the web, a more expensive plan will probably be your best value proposition.
So free SEO services are a myth…
So you’ll have to pay something if you want to rank…
While it may be disappointing to learn this whole SEO thing won’t come for free, hopefully you feel encouraged by the variety of options in front of you. Analyze your needs, compare the various solutions, and set a course for victory. In today’s landscape, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get good bang for your buck with regard to google-safe SEO!