A MUST-READ GUIDE FOR ANYONE SEARCHING For "AFFORDABLE SEO"!
Forbes Magazine called the act of chasing affordable SEO "Digital Marketing Suicide"
While we regularly have companies contact us after they get taken for the illusive "cheap SEO" ride...
We wanted proof! (not just our own perspective on the matter)
So we scoured the Internet.
We looked for real commentary from business owners about their experience - specifically in regards to cheap/affordable SEO offerings.
It was a mixed bag of the good, the bad and the ugly.
And Yes... you'll get a chance to read all the reviews and feedback...
But please, as easy as it is to get sucked into these... don't get hung up on reading the "horror stories".
The main reason we decided to write this guide is to help you make an educated decision about your SEO and stop any form of "digital marketing suicide".
Keeping this in mind... here's a little preview of what you're going to learn:
- What is Affordable SEO
- How much should SEO cost
- Effective options if you have a limited budget.
What Is Affordable SEO?
This is one concept we must discuss first.
If you understand and really get it, not only will you be able to determine the affordability of Search Engine Optimisation but any marketing channel you decide to invest into in future.
What it comes down to is this...
1) Your expectations from the amount you invest and...
2) Your perception of what affordable means
Sounds pretty simple right?
But probably still a little confusing...
So let's break it down a little further to really nail this concept.
Some of our local SEO packages start at just $595/month.
For certain small business owners and one man operators these prices can still seem expensive.
Fact is... when you're not making much money because you haven't got a way to get leads & customers, even a few hundreds bucks can sound expensive.
However 3-6 months down the road when the phone starts to ring and the $595 brings in new customers or clients every day - it all starts to sound pretty affordable.
On the other spectrum, we have clients who pay more than $595 in just a few Adwords clicks...
let that sink in...
Some of our lawyer, mortgage broker and weight loss clients can easily pay anywhere between $100-$200 per click.
That's not per lead.
That's not per conversion...
That is one click to the website.
So a 10K per month SEO package which drives hundreds of leads each month becomes very affordable to this kind of client.
"Affordability of SEO, no matter the level of investment, comes down to your situation and the result the SEO generates."
So... Is Cheap SEO the same as Affordable SEO then?
Not in our opinion.
Cheap SEO, in our over a decade of experience usually ends in one of 3 ways:
1) You become a number in a big agency.
Big companies, usually dinosaurs of their industry
And without naming or shaming you might recognise one of these by the big yellow book they used to publish...
Anyway... let's not get sidetracked.
What we've come to understand from our research and hear from those companies that come to us after having used these "Dinosaur" companies... is that they have no clue about SEO yet a customer base who needs it.
So they sell SEO without ever delivering any tangible outcomes.
Because they don't even know how SEO works...
2) You don't get your budget allocated properly.
The big agencies you see advertising everywhere are very well known in our industry to be really good at getting clients.
However when you learn a little bit about their business model it involves spending a lot of money on fancy advertising, attaining clients with cheap too-good-to-be-true package deals.
Spending minimal if any money on the actual clients campaign and calling it a profitable venture if the client doesn't leave after the first few months.
Here's how a whistleblower of one of these companies put it:
3) You destroy your online presence.
This usually happens when outsourcing your SEO to 3rd world companies who either don't speak or are capable of only very broken English.
Naturally they don't have any understanding of the Australian culture and how things need to be said on a website let alone the representation of your brand.
What happens is that the wrong keywords get targeted, you spend the little money required to pay them on things that are counter productive to building your online presence.
OK and now what you've been waiting for.
Let's get down to the dirty...
Here's the reviews, complaints and down right horror stories we've found across the Internet.
NOTE: it's not our job to point the finger, nor do we want this guide to become a smear campaign. It's not how we operate and it doesn't align with our company values. Therefore we have blacked out the identities of the companies responsible for these outcomes. (by the end of this guide you will know how to spot a scam and stay well away from these kind of companies.)
SEO HORROR STORIES
What Happens When You Trust Cheap, Too Good To be True SEO Companies
Trusting Cheap, Unexperienced & Unethical SEO's Ends Expensive!
Does this mean if you're starting out or operating on a shoe string budget SEO is out of reach?
Yes and No.
Quality SEO costs money so the tasks comes down to choosing the best company that's going to provide the most value (you can check our guide on how to do so here) and for those on a shoestring budget to work out how to tap into the traffic sources at Google without breaking the bank.
And that's exactly what the rest of this guide will help you do.
How Much Should SEO Cost?
Here's the industry standard pricing of SEO as recommended by MOZ (an industry professional body in the SEO space)
Please note the above is just a pricing guide, similar to our SEO pricing guide.
It's important to use common sense as well.
To do any kind of SEO something needs to be done.
Work/Labour costs money.
If you expect a professional charging even just $75/hr to work on your business for a couple of hours a month it will set you back a few hundred dollars.
Keeping that in mind and knowing what to expect the next important step is to ensure you actually get deliverables from your investment.
How To Determine The Value The SEO Provides
When it comes to any profession experience is priceless.
We often get calls from clients asking us for help with something on their website that they've tried to fix for over 2 days without avail.
We pinpoint the problem and in less than 10 minutes our experienced professionals fix the problem.
Moral of the story?
SEO is technical and changes all the time. However, a professional with experience will know very quickly what's stopping your website from ranking, how to fix this problem and put a plan in place that will turn your website into a lead & sales generating asset.
We actually offer this at no cost when we prepare a quote for our clients. You can learn how to get a free quote here.
So how do you know you're dealing with someone experienced?
The outline you receive for your campaign should be meaningful, insightful and easy to understand.
The proposals we've come across where clients get ripped off are vague, filled with fluff and no clear content & link acquisition strategy is apparent.
For 1, ensure you request a proposal before parting with any money.
And 2, make sure you are happy with the outline of deliverables and know exactly what you're getting for your money each month.
What To Do When Operating On A Limited Budget
We've been in business for a long time (since 2007). We have clients who have stayed on our $595 for years and others who started out on the "affordable" $595 range and now are spending upwards of 5K a month on SEO.
They didn't start there...
So if the budget isn't there for a "expensive" SEO campaign - keeping in mind spending 5K a month to make 90K a week in sales is pretty affordable... the best option would be to:
Dip your toes into the pool of SEO opportunities.
In other words, choose a SEO that can see low-cost opportunities and help you tap into them and then scale as you can afford to do so.
The other option is to save money and make a one time high quality investment.
Optimising a website to this day is still the No.1 strategy that gives our clients the biggest & quickest results.
Will you rank on the first page of Google by just optimising your site?
Who knows... but probably not!
However, getting your website properly optimised for the keywords you're wanting to rank for puts you in the game.
It takes the hand break off your site and makes it benefit from any online exposure that you do get.
Where To From Here?
Don't rush your decision.
Don't be lured in with limited time offers and deals that end if you don't make a decision by here or then.
Hiring an SEO company is an important decision - and you don't want to have to make this decision over and over again until you finally find the right provider.
If you follow the advice above and your chosen provider meets all the criteria outlined then you will make the right decision the first time and SEO will become an affordable marketing channel for your business.
YOUR NEXT STEP
If you're looking to find out if SEO will be not just affordable but a postitive return on investment for your company, it's time to speak to us.
We recommend first getting a free quote and an outline of where you sit, what kind of investment is required and what opportunities you can take advantage of.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a no-obligation offer and your information will be treated with utmost confidence.
Sources Cited In This Guide:
WEBSITES THAT SELL OFFICE LOCATIONS
Websites That Sell provides SEO services to clients all across Australia. Their unique & proprietary Targeted SEO system helps local, national & International clients get found on Google. The companies head office is located on the Sunshine Coast with satellite offices in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, Sydney and Perth. David Krauter, head of Strategy, operates from the Sunshine Coast office which can be reached on 1300 188 662.