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Does Cheap SEO Work? No way, it will kill your business

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Article Overview

The most common question I get asked from potential customers is; 'what's your price for SEO?' This is the first question they ask me and if I don't go super-low you can quickly tell how disappointed they are. Most businesses want the cheapest SEO and they think that all SEO is the same and can therefore drive the price down and bargain us against an off-shore link building agency. Unfortunately, SEO doesn't work this way and the cheapest option generally has many pitfalls. Given the abundance of SEO companies online all competing for the same customers it's no wonder that SEO price expectations have hit rock bottom. Don't expect decent Google rankings if you are not paying an established local SEO agency accordingly.

Let’s be honest here if you go for the cheap option when it comes to your SEO and your Google rankings you can be certain of one thing, really poor rankings and bad results.

So many people, unfortunately, go down this path and they do this for two reasons; firstly price is obvious and secondly because they are completely naïve and feel that all SEO is the same and if they can get it cheaper from some company then they should go for it.

In regards to the latter option, nothing could be further from the truth and in this article, I will clearly outline the reasons why cheap SEO is a really bad way to do business and probably one of the worst marketing decisions you will ever make.

Cheap SEO means dodgy backlinks

Google has seriously tightened up its ranking criteria and this means that any type of bad linking will be noticed immediately and this will have an impact on your website’s rankings.

Let me elaborate. Far too many business owners are seduced by really cheap SEO packages and feel they are getting a really good deal when in fact they are not. What they are getting is a company that will provide useless backlinks in order to substantiate the work they are doing. They will be happy to tell you that they have built hundreds of backlinks and they are doing all this work when in fact they are harming your Google backlink profile. What they have is a whole bunch of websites they own and have built and they’ll place your business on these websites with all their other clients and link back to your site. These are commonly known as private blog networks and are super dangerous.

Basically, any punter can go out and purchase thousands of links for next to nothing and point them towards your site. This is what these cheap SEO providers are doing and Google is on the lookout for this. If you think that this cannot happen to you (because the sweet-sounding salesperson you spoke to over the phone has told you that they only you the best and most relevant backlinks around) think again. You head down the path of a Google penalty and folks if you are reading this and you feel that this sounds familiar, you better get ready cause you are going to be in deep trouble very shortly. Google will and there is no escaping this, they will index these crappy links and your website will eventually disappear from the face of the earth. This is also known as a Google penalty and you better know this well as you are going to cop this shortly. SEMrsuh has a great article called What is a Google penalty and is well worth a read.

When it comes to setting up a long term and sustainable Google ranking you need credible and high-value backlinks.

So how do I know this? Because I have to speak to people every day who have suffered or are in the process of suffering at the hands of dodgy, cheap, fraudulent SEO agencies. They were initially seduced by the cheap price and they are paying a heavy price for this now through zero rankings, sliding rankings and even worse a site that has completely been de-indexed from Google.

Have a read of Googles Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide

In short cheap SEO are a fool’s dream and a mirage of great things to happen in the future that NEVER eventuate. If you are one of these poor businesses that were suckered into thinking that you could skirt around your SEO and believed the bull that was dished out to you over the phone then you better do something about this and do it fast. Remember the more irrelevant, poor quality links that are built pointing towards your site, the worse you are making it for yourself. You are digging a deeper hole and getting out of this void in the digital space is bloody hard.

Cheap SEO is generally outsourced

If you speak to an SEO company while you are doing the ring around and getting quotes, if someone quotes you very cheaply and tells you it’s all implemented locally, they are lying to you. If you think this doesn’t happen then let me tell you why it is impossible for an effective SEO campaign to be conducted on the cheap.

Let’s say you’re a lawyer, plumber, or cosmetic surgeon and you want to rank your website for these competitive categories. If you are quoted a cheap SEO price with a guarantee of rankings then these guys are simply trying to extort say $500 or so per month out of you without actually doing anything.

Sure, they’ll seem as though they are doing their work by providing you with complicated graphs and grandiose reports full of meaningless fluff and waffle with no substance. Their theory is the more complicated they make it look, the more impressed you will be. These guys are really good at the whole smoke and mirror thing to disguise the fact that they are simply sitting there doing this to other businesses over and over again. Their business model is in fact not SEO but a sales machine dedicated to ripping Aussie businesses off.

They have mastered the art of the lie and of deception so well that they themselves think they are doing work. These guys actually believe their spin so much so that they end up convincing you. I mean, if they sound decent and convincing enough and if they are really cheap – then it must be good – how wrong this is folks.

The takeaway of this blog post is that if you intend to pay as little as you can for SEO and if you want to go with the cheapest option then expect to fail. Google doesn’t care about your budget constraints or ROI. They care about relevant backlinks and this cost.

Plus with the new Penguin 4.0 being rolled out if you have any bad links Google will notice these in real-time. So if you go for the cheap option, be prepared to pay the price.

Search engine journal has some interesting reading on Penguin 4.0:  How Will Google Penguin 4.0 Update Affect My Site?

Cheap SEO never works

I have encountered businesses who have been paying about $750 per month for their SEO and they are in super-competitive niches they wonder why they are still stuck on page 3 or 4 of Google. There is a simple answer; they ignore the two most important fundamentals of SEO; on-page and off-page SEO. They’ll never touch your website or make any improvements plus their link building strategies are dodgy to say the least. You won’t walk into a mediacl professional and demand lower fees and expect them to do a decent job on you; the same applies to your internet marketing. How can you expect professional work to be carried out on your website by SEO experts when you pay them nothing. It doesn’t add up and this is the main reason why your rankings haven’t shited in years.

So if you’re a:

1) start-up and on a very limited SEO budget – you can do SEO but aim for a local campaign and also throw some Adwords into the mix to get immediate eyeballs on your website.

2) been burnt in the past and are not prepared to invest in SEO again, you have to change your mindset as there are some credible agencies out there. You just need to know what questions to ask when talking to them initially.

3) been quoted by some other SEO agency for a cheaper deal and want to see if we can match it – don’t waste your or my time. We won’t match it and all I can say is that we will still be here in 6 months when you finally realise that you’ve been sold a lemon.

4) have a decent digital marketing budget.

5) are prepared to go the ditance with SEO and realise that this is a medium to long term strategy. That is you have to ne willing to stick it out for at least a year.

Also readFive Important Questions to ask your SEO agency before your work with them

Call us on 02 9360 8514 if you are only serious about working with an agency that can ‘walk the talk’.

We are not the cheapest but we are good at what we do – just look at our own page 1 organic ranking for the keyword SEO Sydney!

steven waldberg - ceo seo sydney experts

About the author

Steven Waldberg

Steven is the director of SEO Sydney Experts and is one of the founding members ( that’s over 18 years ago). He has one of the longest careers in the SEO and content marketing industry and has written for many prestigious websites, including B & T and AdNews. If you’re serious about working with someone who will dedicate 100% of himself to your business; Steven is your SEO Expert.

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