That headline is in quotes because I personally don’t think SEO is expensive (which says a lot because I’m a 20-something up to my neck in student loan debt and trying to afford DC-area rent). Compared to traditional advertising, SEO is extremely cost-effective. Most of our clients will tell you SEO is the best return on investment they’ve ever seen.
But I get that if your company hasn’t done SEO before, some initial sticker shock might occur. After all, what does an SEO company even do?
If you take away anything from this post, just know that:
- Good SEO is almost never cheap.
- Cheap SEO is almost never good.
- Bad SEO can be cheap or expensive so watch the f*ck out.
Allow me to elaborate:
Good SEO Is Almost Never Cheap
I can’t speak for other SEO firms, but if you find yourself wondering why Sadja’s SEO costs what it does, I can explain. Sadja WebSolutions is unique in that we operate from the perspective of a business owner. We learn every aspect of your business model to better manage your account. We do this by offering the following to all of our SEO clients:
- A dedicated Account Manager, someone who understands business and SEO, to be your guide. I cannot highlight this point enough. Most of our clients will tell you the most valuable aspect of working with Sadja WebSolutions is their Account Manager. They take full advantage of their Account Manager to advise them on everything from how to respond to negative online reviews to helping them set up a new remarketing campaign to fixing any problems that might pop up on their website.
- Detailed monthly reports (you can actually understand) that connect SEO performance to your bottom line. Who cares if you have a bunch of number one search engine rankings if they aren’t doing anything to drive qualified traffic to your website that will convert into leads and sales. Your online marketing partner should be able to connect this data to leads and sales for your business.
- A support team that includes an analyst, web designer/developer, and a dedicated professional copywriter. Imagine having to hire all of these people in-house! Now that is expensive.
- Access to our proprietary analytics software (better data drives better results). There are many different SEO software platforms out there of varying costs. Even if you decided you could afford to subscribe to one of those platforms, the problem is you need someone on your staff who can understand the reports that it generates and turn those reports into actionable items to improve your website.
Doesn’t look so expensive anymore, does it? It’s starting to look like a bargain!
Cheap SEO Is Almost Never Good
If a company offers to do your SEO for $50 a month (or some other crazy low price) and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. To understand why, you have to understand what it takes to rank on the first page—or better yet, in the first spot—of search engine results.
One of the things that it takes to rank is content. Webpages rank—not websites—so each page of on-site content should be individually optimized with keyword research, title tags, meta descriptions, calls-to-action, and at the very least, 300 words of helpful text for your users.
Obviously, most business owners don’t have time to write this content themselves—that’s why one of the perks of working with Sadja WebSolutions is getting a dedicated copywriter on your account. The cheaper your SEO, the worse your content is going to be.
In 2013, I had one of my clients leave me for a cheap SEO company. For only $50 a month, they gave him a new website with loads of content. Unfortunately, all of that content was scraped, spun, or straight up duplicated from other sources—making it unlikely to rank and highly susceptible to a Google penalty.
My ex-client’s rankings were plummeting, and he was losing enough leads to significantly impact his business. He ended up having to lay off a few of his employees. I’m happy to report the client is back with us and we’re helping him regain his lost rankings.
He learned the hard way that it doesn’t pay to use a cheap SEO company, so hopefully you won’t have to.
Bad SEO Can Be Cheap or Expensive, So Watch the F*ck Out
Just because an SEO company is expensive doesn’t mean that they will live up to their promises of more traffic, better rankings, and more leads.
Ultimately, you have to protect yourself from SEO scams. Before selecting an SEO company, make sure to ask the following questions:
- “Do you adhere to search engine webmaster guidelines?”
- “How do you determine SEO success?” For (Sadja WebSolutions), we always determine SEO success by increased leads—not rankings or traffic. Who cares if you’re getting more website traffic if it’s traffic from China and you’re a local plumber in Washington, D.C.!
- “What happens if/when we part ways?” Many companies don’t let you keep your website or content—you’re simply renting it from them.
Read more Why SEO is beneficial for your website.
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