Affordability, my friends, is a highly subjective word.
What may seem affordable to one business owner, might in turn seem outrageous and unreasonable to another. Further, what may seem affordable at the outset, may turn out to be costly if expected results aren’t obtained.
In practice, SEO is like any other vertical. There are a variety of players in the space, offering a range of products and services at an even greater range of prices.
When it comes to business decisions, cheap is usually assumed to be bad. But affordable things have a nice ring to them. We all want things to be affordable. We also like for things to be effective and reliable.
SEO is problematic in the reliability department due to the variability of its nature and the subsequent impossibility of guaranteed results.
However, with regard to affordability, there are numerous firms claiming to provide affordable SEO services. The trick for us is to determine whom actually accomplishes this feat.
“Affordable” Does Not Mean “Cheap”
As you might imagine, there are some colorful characters in SEO. There are also some unscrupulous “SEO experts” that simply want your money in return for spamming links and abusing Scrapebox. Needless to say, you’re going to want to avoid these wannabes.
Affordable absolutely does not mean cheap. Look it up.
Ok wait, stop. Don’t look it up. I just did and apparently the words are actually considered synonyms. Let me rephrase then: In colloquial use, “affordable” does not carry the same meaning “cheap” does.
Avoid Cheap SEO Services
Cheap implies that something has both a low price point, and a low-cost associated with a product’s production or a services performance.
If, in your hunt for an SEO firm, you fear you may have found your way to the dark-side: turn around and run. Cheap SEO services usually means “black hat” tactics will be involved, and that’s not a path you want to tread.
Google Penalties are an ever-present threat, and trust me when I tell you that you don’t want one. Your business will suffer if this fate befalls you.
When it comes to hearing appeals regarding the application of its de-indexing punishments, Google is largely unsympathetic.
It’s a well-known fact among SEO experts that claiming ignorance (whether it’s true or not) will not get your ban removed any sooner.
The buck stops with you and you alone. Google believes it’s your responsibility to know if your SEO firm was playing fair. So do your research!
We’ve written before about how to avoid cheap SEO services, but here’s a brief rundown:
- Don’t buy links
- Don’t buy if the price is insanely low
- Don’t buy from people that claim to have a relationship with Google
- Don’t buy from someone that claims they guarantee a #1 ranking
- Don’t buy from a firm that claims to know the Google algorithm
As you can see, there are some pretty basic things to keep an eye out for and most of them revolve around being a discerning consumer. Most of the above behaviors should set off scam-alarms whether or not you have any knowledge about SEO.
So now that you know how to avoid the aforementioned ne’er-do-wells, let’s take a look at how to find good, affordable SEO.
Embrace Affordable SEO Services
Affordability carries an implication that something is worth more than it costs. It provides a greater value. It’s generally assumed to mean something is a reasonable and practical purchase.
Affordability depends upon results.
Say you find an SEO company. They offer you a very reasonable rate. Reasonable enough that you’d call it affordable. Well, if by the end of the year, you haven’t seen any progress, how affordable would you deem your SEO provider now? With nothing but a bill to show for it, I’m guessing not very.
As I mentioned above, there is no way to guarantee results for search engine optimization. But if you do your research, you will be able to find reliable SEO providers that will not break the bank.
The other big risk to avoid is overspending. For many small and/or local businesses, buying comprehensive and high-end SEO packages would be gratuitous.
You’re going to have to be practical.
You’re also going to have to come to grips with the fact that you won’t be hiring the guys that work for big major brands. If you think $2500 a month is expensive, you should see some of the retainers the big kids bandy about.
Yes you’re reading that correctly, some firms charge over $10,000 per month. Moz pulled the above and a bunch of other great data from a survey it ran a few years ago.
The nosebleeds are not meant for us mortals. A couple of years from now when you’re heading up a marketing department at a major corporation, you can revisit the heavy-hitters.