5 Reasons Cheap SEO Can Hurt Your Brand

why avoid cheap seo

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. This is why you should be wary of low-cost SEO providers.


It should come as no surprise that SEO is the single most effective marketing practice for growing and leveraging online traffic. There are more than 3.5 billion searches on Google every day, and without an SEO strategy in place, companies can pretty much say goodbye to any hopes and dreams of being found on a search engine. Your brand will quickly get buried by the competition who is working hard and gaining a strong competitive advantage by landing those coveted positions on the search engine results pages.


With all of this in mind, it’s hard to argue the effectiveness or importance of building and maintaining a strong SEO strategy, but it takes so much more than this understanding to climb the search engine ranks. Success in SEO is all about customization and execution, and this is exactly why you need to invest in high-quality SEO, as opposed to trying to reduce costs by working with a low-cost or “affordable” vender with a plug and play mentality.


Here are 5 reasons to avoid cheap SEO services:


1. Poor quality content


The main and most important driver of SEO is regular, high-quality content. For content to be considered high-quality, it needs to be well-structured, highly-researched, relevant, and informative. As you can imagine, this type of writing takes a great level of skill and a considerable amount of time to produce. It is a direct reflection of your brand, and therefore can severely damage your reputation if the responsibility is left in the wrong hands.


Given that quality content is typically one of the biggest budget items for a comprehensive SEO campaign, many will employ low-cost SEO services to get the most bang for their buck, but beware. Your content will reflect this and your company image will suffer.


2. Questionable backlinks


The second key driver of SEO is quality backlinks. In essence, quality content will inherently be linked to by other quality sources. They should be natural and built by forming partnerships with other industry players. Building a comprehensive backlink profile also takes a considerable amount of time, and rightfully an expensive component of a good SEO strategy.


Budget SEO companies often cut corners by cultivating cheap or low-quality links that offer little to no value, which can actually damage your company’s online performance and result in SEO penalties.


Rule of thumb, be wary of companies that promise high-quantity links. Today, quality is rewarded over quantity.


3. Plug and play approach


If you sit down with an SEO company that presents you with pre-made strategies and associated pricing structures, run. This is a tell-tale sign of a less than qualified provider because there is no such thing as a universal SEO strategy.


Every business has unique needs, circumstances, and goals. Basic factors such as industry, current SEO standing, and whether your business operates locally or nationally should always be a consideration.


This is why reputable SEO companies go through an in-depth discovery phase before laying out a proposed strategy. This ensures that your investment is optimized and allows providers to fully tailor their recommendations. Cheap SEO companies, on the other hand, are less concerned with the success of your campaign, and more focused on landing as many clients as possible to boost profitability.


4. They don’t know the landscape


Google is an ever-evolving machine, constantly changing and updating its algorithm to keep SEO fair and ethical. What was legal one day could be penalized the next. Quality SEO professionals have not only seen and successfully adapted with these dramatic changes, but they are preemptively prepared for those updates on the horizon.


Because SEO research is an ongoing and extensive process, inexpensive SEO providers tend to be on the opposite side of the spectrum. They will implement strategies that have long been banned from Google, but these outdated tactics can get you ousted from Google’s listings, as well as other search engines.  


5. They don’t care about you


Remember, cheap SEO companies make their money by securing a high volume of clients. They have little interest in the clients that they serve, and therefore are generally not connected to what happens after the contract is signed. It can almost be assumed that their one-size-fits-all approach is not going to amount to any level of success, but once you, the disgruntled client, confronts the provider about the lack of results, they will have already signed new clients and will be more than happy to cut ties with you.


This dynamic is disheartening, not to mention a significant waste of time and money. Reputable SEO providers, on the other hand, are in it for the long-haul and are mutually invested in a long-term and successful business relationship.


6. Black-hat tactics


Low-cost SEO companies may feel compelled to maintain a façade and produce topical results fast. This need for immediate success (which isn’t a practical SEO expectation), creates the likely scenario that black hat tactics will be implemented. But be warned, partaking in these outlawed strategies will result in your company being harshly penalized.


While it can be tempting to move forward with a cheap SEO provider, it’s important to remember that quality SEO is never cheap. This is a situation where the money that you invest has a direct correlation to the results of your efforts. When it comes to SEO, you are always the safest prioritizing value overspend.


9Sail can help you create and execute a long-term SEO strategy that will drive results. Contact us for a free site audit.

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