If you own a business and have a website you no doubt get bombarded by emails and calls offering to get your website to the top of Google, often for a price that seems very attractive.
Recently I have seen a couple of UK based SEO companies offering optimisation services from £99 a month.
On the face of it, this may seem like a worthwhile business investment, you spend out £99 for 3-6 months and if all goes well your website is showing on the first page of Google and if not, you haven’t lost all that much, right?
Wrong, cheap SEO comes with huge hidden dangers and risks that can leave long term damage to your website and reputation with Google, this can be incredibly hard (sometimes impossible) to recover from.
I set up Total SEO 12 years ago and my ethos has been to provide the very best SEO services to UK based business, helping to improve their visibility online, increase their traffic and help them grow.
To achieve this I vowed that all the core SEO work we carry out on our clients websites will be done in-house at our offices in Aldershot, Hampshire, none of the core work would ever be outsourced (especially not overseas).
In addition, at our core as a business is that we always follow the best practices laid out by Google. It is key to watch out for companies offering services to try and trick search engines, this is often referred to as ‘black-hat’ SEO.
To carry out this kind of quality work takes time and manpower, we have a team of over 25 full time staff who are highly skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to making websites rank high in Google and deliver more traffic and business for our clients.
To deliver this high standard of SEO, combined with fantastic customer service (have a read of our reviews) takes time, expertise and resources, it simply can’t be done for £99 a month.
From our investigations into companies who offer low cost SEO services it is clear that corners are being cut that can risk putting their client’s businesses at risk of penalisation.
The biggest dangers of cheap SEO are outlined below:
1) A UK based company cannot invest the time, manpower and resources a website will need to get excellent results with such a small budget, they will nearly always outsource the work abroad, usually to India.
This means they will share logins and passwords with someone they (or their client) have never met, this is a major security issue.
There have been many examples of website’s being ‘held to ransom’ by unscrupulous overseas third parties where logins and passwords have fallen into the wrong hands.
2) Most SEO providers offering low cost services will focus on building backlinks, they usually won’t do much more than this. Generally backlinks are sourced from an overseas provider who will leave links to the client’s website around the internet, usually the links will be highly questionable in terms of their relevance, quality and authority. In other words, they have no real value or benefit in SEO terms.
We have seen many examples where links have been created on websites that are not trusted by Google, this often has a detrimental impact on the client’s website and rankings.
3) There is little or no ‘hands-on’ SEO work. Whenever we work with a client we will take the time to go right through their website, carrying out fixes and making everything as good as it can be. We write new content and adopt a really ‘hands-on’ approach and once we get into the backend of a website there is usually a lot that can be improved.
This work takes time and needs to be carried out by someone who has the skill and expertise to get everything right for Google.
A company charging a cheap SEO service will not have the resources available to adopt this approach. Even if they include work in the backend of a website, it is likely to be automated, which is unlikely to deliver any tangible results.
These are just a handful of reasons why cheap SEO services can do more harm than good, I am happy to share real world examples of the hidden dangers behind the low cost offerings, my direct email address is below.
Some good questions to ask when you are looking to choose the right SEO company:
Here are some good questions to establish the quality of the SEO service you might be considering:
1) Do you outsource work and who will my website logins be shared with?
2) Can you provide a roadmap of everything you will be doing, month on month?
3) How much time will you spend on my campaign? (Bear in mind the cost when considering the answer you get to this question).
4) Is any of the SEO work automated or done by software?
5) Will I have my own Account Manager and how often will they communicate with me?
6) Have you worked with clients in the same or similar industry to me? How do I know you will fully understand my business, my goals and my objectives?
7) What level of reporting and updates will you provide?
8) Can I have references of other clients you work with? Can I also see some testimonials and reviews?
9) How long to you expect it to take to see results?
10) What happens if you don’t get the results we anticipate?
There are some other good articles about why cheap SEO is nearly always a waste of money, here are a couple worth reading:
I believe that any business serious about getting their website ranked high in Google and wanting to drive more sales from being found online needs to see it as an investment over the medium to long term and if you buy cheap, you will probably end up having to buy twice as you won’t get the results you want first time around.
In essence, you generally get what you pay for.
That said, Total SEO have always tried to offer an SEO service that can cater for businesses on a lower budget, without compromising on results or service.
If you are considering signing up for a service under £200 a month, my professional advice is to spend a bit more and work with a company who won’t outsource the campaign overseas, won’t put the security and trust of your website at risk and most importantly will actually get you the results you want so you see a good return on the money you invest.
I am always keen to speak to business owners who are exploring the options for making their website more visible online, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me more about your website and your business goals.
You can also get a free website review at www.total-seo.co.uk
About the author:
Simon Chapple is a Director at Total SEO & Marketing Limited, he founded the company 12 years ago and has helped hundreds of businesses get more visible in searches. Simon is highly skilled in all aspects of SEO, website user experience and helping businesses grow to reach their full potential.