Last week I received a call from a perspective client who was in the Financial Services Industry. He enlightened me about his horrible experience with his current SEO company and how they have not been receiving the results they promised him. While on the phone I investigated the on-site and off-site SEO work that had been completed, and it became apparent why he wasn’t receiving the results he was promised. The online linking report showed about 60,000 no-follow links from sites that had zero relevancy to their niche, 100 do-follow links on over linked blogs with scattered anchor text. Irrelevant linked websites from his website to other non niche blogs, which after looking some more were helping other clients the SEO Company had.
From this short SEO audit I could see most of the reasons why this website was underperforming. When I asked him how much he was paying his current SEO guy, he paused then said $250/month… It took everything I had to not fall out of my chair. He was convinced that this number was fair for a quality monthly SEO service. This SEO Company had decimated his website with irrelevant & spammy links also made it near impossible for anybody to move forward with helping him achieve rankings. Their website was 10% away from being de-indexed (banned) from google.
Low Budgets and SEO Don’t Mix
One of the largest reason your cheap SEO provider can’t render the results he promised is because he doesn’t have enough money to work with. Quality SEO costs a lot of money and there’s no way around it, Unless your goal is to rank for all very long-tail keywords in a “non-competitive” industry. Our rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t be paying less than $500/month for SEO no matter what seo company you use. Anything less and I’d be extremely worried. With a small budget of $500/month is incredibly low in the big scheme of things and if it seems like a big investment for you then you aren’t ready for SEO. It’s better to wait and save up your money to do SEO the right way the first time.
Here is an example, If you were paying the salary of an intermediate level SEO employee to sit in the office at your small to medium sized business, the salary would probably start around $36k annually or $3,000/month. That’s on the absolute low end. You can imagine what $250/month would get you.
Penalties are inevitable
As soon as Google does their new update your site will tank in the rankings. I have seen plenty of sites that got hit extremely hard by the Penguin 2.0 update last week. It’s easy to see why too. Trying to trick Google into thinking your site is an authority by doing cheap SEO is the wrong strategy. The major search engines are getting better at detecting the value of a link pointing to sites online, Plus the algorithms are only getting more and more sophisticated. In terms of backlinks or link building, it has and will always be about quality as opposed to quantity. I would stay far away from any seo provider that says “the more backlinks the better.”
The main issue we find with many companies looking for SEO Services is the lake of knowledge or understanding of Search Engine Optimization. People need to be educated on the negative effects of cheap SEO and why it could have bad long term effects on their site. When we are contacted by a prospective client, we first find out key information about their website or niche market. This helps us determine online competition, gauge the quality of their website, and see what has happened 6months, year, or more in the past. Analytics are key in displaying this information, from the key word density, on-site content, off-site associations, domain age, ect… When your looking into a company and they seem all talk and no walk, ask about what they think about where you are, do they ask you for analytics, stats, or online tools to show from them a numbers point what has been happening? One of the main parts of SEO that many companies lake is the insight to make sure their clients has analytics and stats to base the results on.
Just from reviewing what we just laid out above in “Our Formula” you can tell research into a companies past is extremely relevant in knowing how to approach the future SEO Campaign. Also from “Low Budgets and SEO Don’t Mix” you can tell seo is an investment. Even though you may think going with a cheaper seo company may be the right choice. Make sure because that decision could be a costly one in the near future.