5 Things You Shouldn’t Sacrifice When Looking For Cheap SEO

When you’re a small business or individual who’s just starting to get a business off the ground, and has limited bandwidth for things like search engine marketing and optimization, it can be a very natural temptation to go to a cheap SEO company that promises the moon for less than the price of a slice of Swiss cheese.

 

The problem is, “results” can be a very subjective thing, as can be ultimate goals, intentions, and the long-term benefits for your company. We’re not saying you shouldn’t seek out cheap SEO, we just want to make sure that when you do, you do it wisely.

 

Just because you want a lower price, it doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on all the benefits of a bigger budget. In fact, we’ve come across plenty of people who severely underestimate the power of even the most basic search engine optimization. So, we’ve complied a list and laid out at least five things you should never have to sacrifice when you seek out a cheap SEO company.

Credibility

In the age of ecommerce, the one thing worse than a pop-up shop that takes an unsuspecting customer’s money and runs is a pop-up SEO company website: built in a day, designed to overpromise, overcharge, and then never deliver. It’s not hard to build a website, and equally easy to build a “company” online with zero credibility.

 

Make sure that when you first talk to one of these companies’ representatives, that they can show you a website similar to yours, for which they’ve gotten proven results. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same industry, but it should be a similar caliber of company.

 

Don’t sell yourself short, SEO for your company deserves a certain standard of experience.

Accountability

Just because a company charges less, it doesn’t mean that they’re exempt from contracts. Because the world of SEO is not an exact science, it’s important that you don’t just rely on a company’s world that it will “get done,” or that it “just takes time.”

 

Make sure that you outline specific timelines, and realistic measurable goals in a contract before you get started. If they’re promising page one of askjeeves.com after 12 months, you may consider not going forward with that company.

Quality of Work

Something to be mindful of is that cheap SEO companies are often able to offer their low prices because they outsource their work overseas. This in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but it has its drawbacks.

 

Two specific drawbacks are:

a)     The fact that most overseas SEO writers are primarily non-English speakers will be reflected in their writing

b)     Cheap labor can lead to “spammy” SEO practices, like your cupcake company getting 1,000 likes from Facebook profiles coming out of New Delhi. That and other cheap tactics can reflect poorly on your brand.

 

Referring back to the point about credibility, make sure that you’re able to see a company’s work before hand, and gauge whether or not you can trust your brand in their hands.

Google Webmaster Guidelines

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines are essentially the pirates’ code of the Internet: They aren’t quite “rules” for how act as a website, but if you don’t follow them you can be quickly banished to the nether-regions of search results. When companies promise instant results, they’re likely breaking these guidelines using what’s known as “black hat” SEO.

 

Make sure your company takes care to follow white hat SEO practices, so that your website is protected in the long run from Google’s ever-changing best practices.

Patience

Finally, it’s all about patience. As we’ve mentioned several times before in this post, “instant” results are a myth for SEO. Good, organic search results take some time—not a year, but definitely a couple of months.

 

Don’t let your desire to get to page one get in the way of protecting your PageRank long term.

 

So whomever you decide to go with, make sure that a cheap SEO company isn’t a bad SEO company. You’re still entitled to quality, credible, accountable services that adhere to Google’s best practices. Good luck!

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5 Things You Shouldn’t Sacrifice When Looking For Cheap SEO

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