Search Engine Optimization (SEO) requires a lot of time, and the time required costs money. In this case, SEO agencies that quote incredibly low prices for you are most probably cutting corners with some aspects of the process, since they still need to make some profit. In this article, we’ll look at affordable SEO, what it’s about, and how you can achieve your desired results on a limited budget.
The term affordable in this context means is quite subjective, since what person sees as affordable may not be affordable to another. Consider the following: if your business makes millions of dollars in profit every year, the idea of incurring a $20,000 fee a month will probably seem affordable to you. Nonetheless, for most of use, this isn’t the case.
Affordable SEO generally means good SEO priced at the lower end of a realistic budget. Businesses will always want to save money. As such, they are often looking for the most affordable option and not necessarily the best choice.
But, SEO can only be good or bad. There’s no in between. Good SEO will also come at a cost. With this in mind, let’s look at the 5 main reasons why skimping your budget when looking for an SEO company is bad for you.
SEO is resource heavy, and most agencies will have a number of workers specialized at a range of tasks. This means that the profit margins are relatively small. Page optimization, research tasks, and creative tasks will require a lot of resources and time. In most cases, they take far longer than the clients realize. Keep in mind that this time costs money.
Since SEO agencies are in the business for profit, the resources they dedicate to a project will depend on how much they are earning from it. This means that when they have a limited budget, they can only afford to dedicate a small amount of their time to your project every month.
According to Google, the two most important factors for SEO are links and content. Unfortunately, both these factors will require human labor, and it’s quite expensive to employ smart humans. So, when you do decide to go for a cheap SEO company, then you can be sure that they will cut corners on aspects such as:
• Time spent on actual outreach.
• The quality of your content.
• Paying for link placement.
No matter how you look at it, this will mean worse results for you. Don’t forget that SEO is not among those kind of services that you can afford to skimp. No. You essentially get what you pay for. Moreover, when SEO is done badly, it can end up costing you more than you actually gain.
Forcing an agency to take you on with an insufficient budget might force them to use black or grey hat links, since it’s the only way they are going to make some profit. You will be forcing them to break some of Google’s guidelines against such practices, just so they can make a profit.
If you only want to pay a small amount to your agency every month, you may end up having low quality people handling your work. Working with a cheap SEO agency has two major problems:
• Higher chances of receiving a penalty
• Your competitors might outperform you in the long run
The worst-case scenario is that the work done by your SEO agency produces adverse effects on your site. In most cases, this is the case with small budget accounts, which makes the company go for SAPE links and PBN links.
The penalty might take a number of months or years before they go into effect, but all this time you will be paying the agency as they take your business closer to its grave. In case you do end up getting penalized, you will need to hire a reputable SEO firm to get you back on your feet again. This comes at an enormous price, considering the many steps needed to recover from the penalty.
Assuming that you don’t get penalized, the agency will continue to do mediocre work as you continue paying them, which will produce lackluster results. As this is happening, your competition might not have paid cheap, but now they soar past you in the search rankings, and you begin cursing your SEO agency. Remember that there’s only so much you can expect when your budget is small. If you decide to employ a cheap SEO agency, the results will stink.
With online businesses, the content and backlinks are your major assets. They are the things that create value for your business, allowing it to generate revenue. It’s a huge time drain to create these assets, and it is virtually impossible to create them on a small budget. A cheap agency will only gloss over the idea of building quality links or creating quality content.
Instead, they will be more likely to throw in a number of PBN links at your site per month, and they fill the rest with directory links and blog comments. Again, this is a very short-sighted approach, and it will prevent you from accumulating assets that might accelerate the growth of your business in the future.
Keep in mind that one piece of high quality content may attract a great number of links over the years. Without this, you will be sacrificing potentially higher rankings and even more revenue that usually comes with this.
Every project is different, and every business needs to be treated with a tailored approach to allow for the best results. That’s what we stand for. Nonetheless, the “affordable” SEO agencies might not be able to justify the same costs as we have. Rather, they go for a cookie cutter approach, meaning that they don’t give their clients a unique service as they should, which would have produced better results.
Most of these cheap agencies are already aware of where they can get your backlinks from before you even sign the contract. This means that factoring in the relevance of these links is not important to them, all they are after is giving you the links from the different platforms they have already. It’s quite obvious how important relevance is to the power and longevity of backlinks.
Sacrificing relevance means that you are adding an extra risk to your business, and that the benefits from the backlinks are minimal. Rather than focusing their efforts to customizing their service to suit your business’ needs, they use their resources mainly on the front-end sales, since they are aware their client retention rate will be poor. The goal of such agencies is to keep a constant flow of newer customers, since only a few, if any, will stay once they see the results.
We are committed to putting our clients first, and our focus is on producing results. We work back from there to agree with our client a suitable budget, which will allow us to work with you, meet your needs, and produce the best results possible. Your success is our success.
When a business runs with low prices and low profit margins, they have to cut a few corners in terms of the employees they hire and the tools they have at their disposal. Such a business can’t afford to hire exert SEO’s that have a proven track record on huge campaigns. Instead, they outsource to foreign employees, who may not be sure about what they are doing.
On the other hand, quality SEO professionals are aware of the fact that they are very few, and far between. They also understand that they bring a lot of value to the agency. They wouldn’t ever need to work on low wages, so a cheap SEO agency may struggle affording them.
As a business owner, you need to be aware of how you can tell low quality SEO services in case someone tries to sell them to you. Here are a few pointers that you should keep a keen eye on:
The most affordable agencies usually have business models that rely on taking advantage of unaware or unsuspecting business owners, who are looking to generate quick results. To do this, they often use technical terms and jargon when writing their proposals, and they don’t even bother to explain these to the clients.
All they want is to make the work appear complicated, so that they seem to be doing more work than they do, and give a justification for their price. Meanwhile, they will be doing some simple tasks, which will have little or no impact on your business.
Links and content are some of the most vital ranking factors. They are the aspects that your agency should be really focusing on. On page and technical SEO is important, though the majority of the time and resources should be spent on the acquisition of content and links.
If your agency isn’t prioritizing these two in their proposal, then you should just move on and find a more professional company. When these two factors are not put first, there is no way you can see any beneficial results that to significantly increase your rankings.
Moz did a survey on SEO agencies back in December 2011. In the infographic below, you will see how much is charged, the work that they do, and you will get a general perspective of the SEO landscape at the moment. The graphic doesn’t factor in inflation, and the rising costs of SEO in the recent years. But it’s still a great graphic to help you see how the industry is and what you should expect.
For small businesses looking to improve their SEO but under a limited budget, don’t fear, there are a number of options. But in general, and agency won’t be the best choice for your, here’s why – In a limited budget, you won’t give the agency enough money to do everything the right way. But, with some little of your own effort, time, and brain power, you can still get good results.
You first need to recognize that you will have to put in a lot of effort and hours in yourself, as opposed to paying an agency where you are paying for someone else to put in the work and hours for you. SEO isn’t that much complicated, and you can master the essentials in just a few weeks with the right attitude.
In some cases, it might be even safer and more effective to do it yourself compared to giving all the work to a cheap SEO agency. The main advantage of DIY SEO is that you will be in complete control over what is done. You will be in control of where you get the links, the kind of content that is published, and the strategies you use.
Spend your time learning more about white hat content marketing, link building, and outreach. These three principles should be able to give you great results as you stay in the clear.
You may choose to outsource some DIY SEO parts, like promoting the content. You could utilize an outreach service that specializes in the promotion of existing content. It will be a far more cheaper approach compared to an agency, and you can yield great results without sacrificing all your time.
If you still want to hire an affordable SEO agency, it can help if you wait for a few months. Take the extra time to build up your funds and do deeper research on great SEO agencies. This will ensure you hire a better-quality agency in the future.
Don’t shy away from contacting more reputable companies and telling them about your budget. They could still make some changes to accommodate your budget, and offer you some advice, which can save you some money.
An affordable SEO is virtually an oxymoron since the difference between reputable quality agencies and the cheapest ones is so huge.
With SEO services, you will be getting what you pay for. So, take you time and build your budget, so that you have better results and steer clear of being penalized by Google. Employing an affordable SEO agency comes with a great risk. Always go for someone that can give you the results you are looking for.