Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO
I know that some site owners are strapped for budget and can’t afford to invest in a full service SEO firm. Unfortunately it means they are stuck between a rock and a hard place—they know they need SEO but aren’t sure how to go about doing it on their own, but they also don’t have the budget to hire a full service SEO provider. Some of these site owners might decide to go with a cheap SEO company and get whatever SEO they can for their budget. While not all cheap SEO companies are bad news, plenty of site owners have been burned by working with the wrong kind of SEO provider.
Here are 3 ways a site owner can protect themselves and their brand from getting burned a cheap SEO company:
1. Insist on transparency when it comes to link building.
Some cheap SEO companies will use a lot of smoke and mirrors so you don’t actually ever see what kind of inbound links they are building for your site. I’ve even heard stories where the SEO provider claimed it was “proprietary” information because it means they would have to disclose their process! This is your website and your SEO program and you have every right to know what kind of link building is going on behind the scenes. What kind of links are they building? From what kinds of sites? How much time and effort are they really putting into your link building campaign? Some cheap SEO companies say they will get you 500 links for $49.95 a month but it’s 500 low-quality directory links, links from blog networks or even links from other sites that they own! These aren’t the kinds of links you want driving your SEO campaign.
2. Make sure you approve any content before it goes live.
If your hire a cheap SEO company to also produce content for your SEO campaign (bogs, articles, white papers, etc) make sure you are allowed to see, review and approve that content before it goes live. You don’t want your brand associated with poorly written or (even worse) spun or plagiarized content. The Google Panda update cracked down hard on sites with poor quality content and you don’t want your site getting caught up in the next wave. Content creation can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be but remember that you get what you pay for. If you outsource your writing to a cheap SEO company in India for $5 an article you are probably going to get content that reads like it cost $5 in India. At the end of the day it’s your site that has to deal with any fallout that comes from cheap and generic content, not the cheap SEO company.
3. Establish deadlines for certain projects.
SEO is an ongoing process but that doesn’t mean your cheap SEO company can disappear for weeks and months on end without giving you any idea of what they are working on. If you’ve hired them to optimize your site make sure there is a hard and fast deadline for each step in the onsite process. How long will it take them to conduct the keyword research? How long will it take to optimize the content and rewrite any Meta data? How long will it take to create the link building strategy? These aren’t things that should go on indefinitely, nor should you be waiting weeks on end to hear back about the various projects your SEO company agreed to take on.