“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

While Ben Franklin was referring to education in the above quote, it equally applies to hiring an SEO team. Part of being a successful business owner is investing wisely in available resources to get the best results. When considering SEO companies, you will find a wide range of pricing. In this industry, knowledgeable professionals are your best asset, even if their fees are higher. While it may be tempting to use bargain SEO services to improve your company’s visibility, it’s just not a good idea. Cheap SEO services can be a waste of money and worse, damaging to your brand. Here are 10 reasons why you should avoid them altogether:

  1. Content is Key

    Any truly successful SEO campaign is going to include consistent and quality content. This is one of the biggest budget items for a top-tier SEO campaign. If you are on a tight budget and employ cheap SEO services, your content will reflect this. Poorly written content can actually hurt your brand and company image. Blogging impacts search rankings but it is also a reflection of your company. Badly written blogs appearing on your site will discourage readers from using your services. Don’t risk ruining the first impression prospective clients, customers and business partners have of you with cheaply produced content.

  2. Backlinks Matter

    Along with content, quality backlinks are critical. These are the two biggest impact items for an SEO campaign. Quality link placements can provide long-term benefits but are also expensive. Links can be natural, built through partnerships or placed in other sites through the comments section, guest book etc. Quality content will naturally be linked to by other people and sites. Cheap SEO services may pay low wages to workers to randomly paste inbound links and backlinks to your site. This is the lowest-rated type of link and can be counterproductive. While quality link research and implementation is expensive, it also helps your company get the right kind of visibility from your target audience.

  3. Consider the Longevity of Your Campaign

    A limited budget will only give you a short-term campaign. To have truly impactful results, you need to implement a long-term strategy. If you invest in the short term, you are limiting the reach of your results. A successful SEO strategy builds upon each phase and further promotes your business to your ideal clients. This takes time. If you are using cheap SEO services, you may be signing up for a short-term campaign with few long-term benefits.

  4. Avoid Cookie-Cutter Strategies

    Every business needs an individual SEO plan. Cheap SEO services will use a cookie-cutter model to promote your company. Your culture, offerings and goals are individual to you and need to be taken into account when strategizing. If you use a cookie-cutter SEO system, there is nothing to differentiate you from your competition. In this digital age, it is important to stand out (in a positive way) and set yourself apart. Clearly identifying your individual goals and executing a custom SEO plan is a great start.

  5. Time is Money

    If you have minimal resources for your SEO team, you can expect limited availability and communication. With cheap SEO services—and so many other things—you get what you pay for. If you are paying the rock-bottom rate, you may also get rock-bottom service.

  6. Steer Clear of Reliance on Automated Tools

    Fewer financial resources mean that, in addition to cookie-cutter SEO strategy, your company may also rely on automated tools. Automation can be a good thing, but isn’t when it comes to building your brand. Your company needs to reflect quality: quality content, quality links and quality research. These things all require a very skilled human hand to execute.

  7. Experience Can Be Expensive

    More affordable SEO services generally mean less-experienced personnel. A top-rate SEO professional will bill accordingly. While the cost may seem high, the benefit to your business can make all the difference. SEO is an ever-changing field and it is important to hire someone that understands how it has developed and where it is going in the future.

  8. Understand Quality SEO Research and Evolving Trends

    SEO research is an ongoing process. SEO professionals that have been in the business have seen dramatic changes in the last five years and know that more changes are coming as search engines and technology evolve. It’s a good idea to invest in knowledgeable professionals who work hard to stay at the forefront of this field.

  9. Black and Gray Hat Techniques

    Affordable SEO companies may feel pressured to produce immediate results. This can create a very strong temptation to use black and gray hat techniques to boost search results. If your hired SEO strategist indulges in any of these techniques, your company can be penalized. Search engines take these things seriously and it can take a lot of time and effort to try to minimize the damage.

  10. Live Chat and Social Media

    SEO campaigns can and should be extensive. Promoting your business can include much more than search engine results. A cheap SEO service will probably neglect other important conversion tools such as live chat and social media. Social media can be a great way to generate local leads. An experienced strategist will implement ways to get more engagement on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, an experienced SEO company will also understand how live chat lifts conversion rates and can directly impact your sales and customer base.

    In the world of SEO, the saying “you get what you pay for” is very true. While everyone’s budget is different, carefully weigh the expense vs. the benefit when considering your SEO team. A cheap service may seem like a deal at the time but can have long-term negative impacts on your business and brand. Finding a quality partner that can produce quality work and results is worth every penny.