Affordable SEO services, low cost SEO services, cheap SEO services, or any other way you refer to inexpensive SEO services is very often misunderstood.
While it’s true that sometimes cheap = low quality, it’s also true that cheap ≠ bad.
Cheap can sometimes mean a bargain, and can also mean a season sale, product / service discontinuation, an anniversary sale, a limited time offer, a bundle, combo, location, an opening, a celebration, etc.
In essence, despite the fact that cheap is often associated with low quality, on many occasions getting something for cheap is a result of being in the right place at the right time.
The Cheap VS Affordable SEO Equation
Probably every town in the world, big or small, has one or several flea markets. And if you’ve ever been to one, which I hope you have, finding cheap quality stuff is probably the main reason why people go to these places.
People often attend flea markets to find something unexpected at an affordable price. To find a coveted object at a fraction of its original cost. To find a hidden jewel in a sea of stuff.
While paying X amount for this desired object in many cases is not an impediment, the problem lies in finding the object. In knowing how to distinguish which is the most valuable object in the sea of potentially valuable objects.
I like to make this analogy since I recently came across an article that talks about 5 reasons to “avoid” affordable SEO services. I’ll talk about each point and give you my reasons why I think the author is missing the point.
Beginning with the realization that cheap ≠ bad, neither expensive = good, I will analyze each one of the points it mentions.
1. That You Can’t Do Much Without Money
I actually believe the opposite, theres plenty of good things that you can do without money. Of course you have to compensate for this lack of cash.
As the author rightful mentions, the you don’t have any money you can either compensate with time, or you can compensate with talent, experience or seo magic.
Of course you can argue all of the above take time, so in essence it’s either cash or time.
That’s wrong, unfortunately.
If you think that throwing money to someone will take case of your SEO activities. Then your priorities are wrong.
There’s plenty of ways to burn a ton of cash in expensive SEO services and still not get your ROI.
SEO takes time, money and experience. And not only from the “SEO guy”, but also from your company.
A proper SEO agency or consultant will have to take the time to fully understand your product to service in order to find their place in the market.
And this will most likely take some time from your internal resources as well. Either in the form of group meetings, phone calls, to company information, etc.
You can’t just leave the SEO guy alone and hope that they will take care of everything.
In most scenarios, a good SEO will often leave the site owner with some homework.
As much money as you throw, you either take the time to solve your SEO queries, or pray that they’ll make the best guess.
In short. money is no medicine for a lack of time or effort. The fact that you can burn a lot of money fast, doesn’t correlate with good SEO rankings. As simple as that. You either take care of your business the right way, or you pray your competitors don’t take your business off of you.
2. That You Will Lose In the long Run
In relation with the point that you will only loose in the long run if you do SEO for cheap. There’s also two assumptions that the author makes that are incorrect.
Fallacy #1. You should buy the most expensive ring for your future wife
I’m not sure every man goes out there finding the most expensive ring they can get for their wives. I think they go looking for something they can afford, which won’t brake the piggybank, and that their wife will find pleasant.
A good girl friend of mine told me she doesn’t care for an expensive ring. She would take a plastic ring as long as it’s meaningful. What matters to her is the level of commitment.
So, don’t assume that buying an expensive ring will do wonders for your marriage. Marriage, as well as business, its something that gets worked on every single day. It’s not a one-time purchase for success.
Fallacy #2. Cheap SEO will hurt your rankings
Again, this is just an assumption that cheap SEO = black hat SEO. theres many ways to do stuff risk-free for low. Have you ever heard of outsourcing?
Sometimes outsourcing can give you better results, as you outsource to specialists which can do it for less.
Even if you don’t realize bad things will happen to your website until it’s too late if you buy cheap SEO services. Google still has a lot of ways to help you recover.
The thing that can really kill your business is poor management, not bad SEO. Of course this assumes you’ll one in control of your business at all times, and that your business is not of such a large scale as to be handed to a small sEO company,
3. That you won’t get assets
The article barely mentions this topic, and I think I understand why. Thus is such a subjective issue it can be countered very easily.
The article proposes you won’t any asset that will give you ling term benefit. Again, this is a matter of finding the right opportunity, at the right time and place.
We’re all familiar with poor websites, horrible images, and lots of other horrible stuff that gets our attention on a daily basis.
I’m sure you were not looking for horrible things when you found them. They are just there.
So, it’s relative to assure that inexpensive stuff will not last for long. Otherwise, how would you explain _____ (insert your most hated website).
4. That Scalability equals a cookie-cutter approach
The either proposes that because it’s cheap, it means there’s a template for what you’re being offered, and that most likely it won’t fit your changing business needs.
This is probably right, but it’s also right that all SEO agencies and consultants, use a cookie-cutter approach to some degree.
Every SEO out there is trying to reduce costs, and the usual way to do this is to reduce them by improving your processes, or reducing your operational costs.
again, this relates with the level of specialization of the SEO. If you’re looking for a SEO for a given niche, most likely you’ll pay for their cookie-cutter approach, as this is what has worked for them in the past.
So the issue is not that a cookie cutter approach is bad. The issue is that your business will have to be mature enough to support a process-oriented approach
5. That experience is priceless
This is probably the only point I totally agree. Experience is priceless, and you can’t buy that.
Experience has to be gained through hard work, intention and discipline.
Qualities I don’t really see are against a product or service being cheap.
The author’s main point is that affordable SEO employs cheap labor. And that cheap labor = inexperience.
The author should probably consider outsourcing some fo their processes. They’ll find that many factors come into play when defining the cost of labor.
Social, economic, fiscal, political and even military forces come into play for defining wages and exchange rates throughout the world. And the latter two are what probably influence wages and earning capacity the most. That a given country can afford to charge 2/USD an hour for something does not mean the output will be worth that low.
This is a matter of being clever, and having processes in place that let you pay 2/USD for a service that could be sold at 12/USD and till make you a 500% profit.
And don’t get me started on automation or AI, because then we really see those wages drop.
Watch this video from the successful founder of an SEO company and judge for yourself.
Yes, affordable SEO services for small business work
In conclusion, finding quality SEO is not a matter of adding 000’s to your bill.
Either cheap or expensive, good SEO pays for itself, given search volumes, intentions and ticket size.
While it can be easy to assume expensive SEO will give you better results. Don’t assume cheap SEO will not work.
Photo credit: Aris Sfakianakis