3rd January 2017

5 Reasons ‘Cheap SEO’ Services Don’t Work

Marketing a business is a complex, long term strategy that can have a lot of gains for your company if you do it right. It can also be a subjectively expensive investment but in many ways, it costs more not to promote your business, especially in the competitive digital marketplace.

It’s long been known that good SEO isn’t cheap – it involves a lot of manpower, skill and experience to action effectively. So, you have to be wary and ask yourself why would someone offer their SEO services so cheaply?

Here are five reasons why choosing affordable SEO might not be as business savvy an option as it first appears:

1. Limited results without money

With a low SEO budget you’re immediately limiting the results you’ll get back from your investment. Without money, you’re likely to get services focused on time-dependant tasks that are necessary but low impact.

This includes keyword research, page-level optimisation and perhaps some technical work behind the scenes. This is all essential for search engines to find and visit your site but isn’t enough to bring in customers and significantly grow organic traffic.

To drive traffic you need great content and high quality backlinks and PR. These are where money goes a long way:

  • You need quality content on a journalistic level that best showcases your company to your target audience and if you go cheap, you’ll get poor content that either won’t add to your brand or will embarrass it.
  • Creating backlinks and relationships with online influencers is complex and builds over time. It also involves creating unique content that should go through a peer-review and approval process before publication. Cheap SEO services don’t have the resource to do this in the way that Google approves of or a way that will grow your company.

Outreach and PR can also involve budget for placements in top industry publications; if you rule out getting coverage where your audience is then you won’t get your desired outcomes.

2. No gains in the long run

As a business owner or director you’ll know the value of time, money and business assets. When you go cheap on SEO it’s giving small amounts of money away that add up over time and still don’t get you the gains imagined for business assets.

A cheap service will more than likely use low-quality tactics to boost your marketing in the short-term, which could end up in you getting a penalty from Google. A penalty in Google means you disappear online and your website will take a long time to recover as this is a huge black mark against your site. The real stinger? You’ll need to pay another agency to resolve the issue.

As you can see, over time a cheap service can cost more as it doesn’t do SEO in the most up to date and quality way that search engines and customers now expect. If you can’t afford SEO right now, it would be wise to wait rather than drain your finances on a process that won’t work for you.

3. No added value

An affordable service offering the world can’t deliver added value and marketing assets to your brand. If you want features, news articles and brand awareness that’s good enough to share with your customers then you need resources and budget.

In essence, the money you put in now will add value, not only in the present but also  in the long-term, if used to build quality content and perform outreach to earn link placements and of course, brand exposure to new customers. These are tangible results that work and are future-proof as Google will always value them as signals to say your business is relevant and should rank highly for it’s users.

Are you planning on being in business for only 3-6 months, or perhaps just a year? If you answered no then your marketing and SEO should reflect your longevity and not be short sighted.

4. One size fits all approach

Your company is unique and requires it’s own bespoke strategy tailored to your business aims and services. However, forming campaigns based on this knowledge is creative and not very scalable. As a result, ‘affordable’ services often take the cookie cutter approach and you miss out on real input.

SEO is dynamic and needs to be different for you and your needs and this can’t be provided with the cookie cutter, low quality approach. In fact, the one size fits all model is designed to get more clients through the door and signed-up rather than to keep them updated, happy and seeing results. If you’re not satisfied and leave, they’ll have another company waiting in the wings.

Quality agencies on the other hand are built on bespoke plans, client retention and adapting resources to get you results. This is why you need a company who may cost more but also offer a huge wealth of resource, experience, skills and tools, as well as a dedication and passion to your business.

5. Lack of experience

You’ll notice a trend that cheap SEO services normally come hand in hand with inexperienced executives who may not have the broad and specialist skills needed to make the best decisions for your business. SEO has hundreds of different elements that require experience to implement correctly and in the right circumstances.

Inexperienced executives are cheaper but again, it reflects in what you get in return. Whilst entry-level staff are of course an asset, you do need proven, more senior staff and managers to lead your strategy alongside those who are growing in their abilities. You might also find that cheap agencies with a large staff base don’t offer training to employees as this is another expense. Training and ongoing learning is however crucial in marketing, especially when you consider the speed at which technology changes and how this impacts user behaviour.

Top tips

  • Check that your agency has case studies and evidence of campaign success
  • Don’t accept a quote based on cost alone; you need an SEO strategy that works for you
  • If you can’t afford SEO right now, don’t waste money on cheap SEO that won’t work
  • Test your agency – do they know your business in-depth?
  • Ensure technical jargon is explained to you and don’t take it for granted that it correlates with a task’s complexity and results


At BritWeb we only implement best practise techniques and get to know a business before creating a bespoke marketing plan.

Call us on 01403 261491 or email on [email protected] for more information.

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