In today’s wildly competitive online market place, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has become more important than ever, and as a consequence an increasing number of organisations are offering SEO services. With so many SEO packages to choose from, it can be challenging to distinguish good quality SEO services from those which are merely more accessible. Seeking out a package at the lowest price point may be tempting, although unfortunately it is highly unlikely that it will provide you with the service you need.
What Is SEO and Why Does It Matter?
SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through search engine results. No matter how stunning and well built a website is, it will not attract traffic on its own. Optimisation takes many forms, helping not only to improve rankings but also the overall user experience, putting your organisation ahead of the competition.
According to Smart Insights’ latest statistics, at present 3.5 billion online searches are made every day – this number is likely to increase as more and more consumers are opting to shop, search and reference online. Recent studies suggest that the majority of users are likely to click on one of the top 5 results, making competition for these places fierce.
Why Cheap SEO Packages Should be Avoided
There Is No Such Thing as an SEO “Quick Fix”
Any good SEO strategy is long-term, there are no quick fixes – SEO providers offering high rankings within a short period of time should immediately set alarm bells ringing. Such companies may well manage to promote high rankings in a limited period of time using shortcuts, but unfortunately this is usually to the detriment of the website, resulting in many cases, in penalties from Google.
It Sounds Too Good to Be True
Budget SEO campaigns are generally built with short term goals in mind – beware of generic emails from SEO providers promising to deliver incredible results at a low price. This type of approach is more often than not, aimed at securing a one-off payment, rather than a long-term collaboration. Ranking in first or second position for Google is neither here nor there if when a visitor lands on your site, they are met with poor quality irrelevant content, stuffed full of keywords. This type of SEO can not only be harmful to your reputation, but also costly to repair and it is more than likely that such SEO providers will bear little, or no accountability to the results of the poor services delivered.
Time is Money
As we have previously stated, there is no such thing as a quick SEO campaign – providing a high-quality service takes time, which means a bigger budget. A good quality SEO provider is never cheap, as they employ highly skilled professionals. A cheap SEO provider will simply not be able to deliver a long-term strategy and they are also extremely unlikely to have a genuine interest in the success of your organisation. The size of the budget allocated to SEO packages will have a direct impact on the results your organisation is able to achieve.
Content Is Key
High quality content is of great benefit to any website, it should be aesthetically pleasing, easy to read, extremely informative, of an appropriate length and complemented by the use of images and embedded videos where appropriate. However, researching, writing and structuring high quality content is not only extremely time consuming, it also requires a certain level of skill, something not usually accessible to budget SEO organisations paying their employees low rates.
Poorly structured content with typos, factual or grammatical errors is highly likely to be deemed as untrustworthy by the major search engines such as Google, and even more importantly, by any visitors to the site, who will view the content as a direct reflection of the organisation.
Link building is the process of acquiring consistently good quality hyperlinks from other websites to your own. Links are seen as a sign of online authority during navigation as search engines use links to discover new pages and to determine how well a website should rank. Good link building takes time but can help considerably to establish and build a brand’s online authority. The quality of backlinks however, varies considerably and poor-quality backlinks in mass quantities, usually a result of using automated software, are often built by budget SEO outfits for a quick ranking boost. This is likely to result in a severe penalty from Google, which may amount to having the site removed from the organic search results completely. This is extremely costly to clean up and can sometimes permanently damage your domain's authority.
Every business should have its own SEO plan, there is no one size fits all in terms of SEO marketing packages – each organisation will have different requirements and campaigns should be tailored to suit individual circumstances. A good SEO provider will want to gain an in-depth understanding of your organisation and the services it offers.
Think About the Future
To reiterate the points above, ultimately, the amount you are prepared to invest in SEO services will have a direct impact on the success of the results you will achieve. A decent SEO provider will provide transparency on what they are doing for your campaign, by explaining exactly what work has been carried out each month as well as providing you with progress reports. Good SEO takes a lot of time and effort – this is reflected in the cost, whilst a cheaper service may seem like a good deal at the time, it will inevitably have negative bearings on your organisation in the long term.