Are less expensive seo companies worth it?
by Raymond Santopietro
One of the most common questions we get asked is why we cost more than other seo companies. The best way to answer this question is to make sure that the person asking understands what is involved in search engine optimization, and make sure that they understand that the level of effort that is put into the project is what dictates the level of success. When you get an offer that seems very inexpensive next to other offers, you must ask yourself why is the offer so cheap, as opposed to why are the others so expensive.
When you are involved in search engine optimization as a career, you set a price for yourself to work hourly for someone else. When a business is involved in search engine optimization, they also set a price that they must make per hour in order to make a profit. How can one company offer a service at such a dramatically lower price than another? The answer is in the level of quality, or the amount of hours worked. This is where many business owners fail to understand exactly what is being provided to them, and many times end up going with a cheaper proposal that they assume is the same service as the more expensive ones. This is almost never true.
There are only a few aspects of search engine optimization that have any impact whatsoever on your rankings. The code of the website and the structure of that code, the content on the website itself, the inbound links into the website, and a certain amount of social bookmarking and social media. We can look at each of these aspects to see how seo companies cheapen the service in order to offer a price that is lower than their competitors. What you have to understand as a business owner is how successful the program will be when you are using these inexpensive methods.
The code on the website must be clean and easily read by search engines. If the website is already structured correctly, there may only need to be a minimal amount of code changes to the title and description tags in order to make an impact. There are also some other aspects of meta-data and code that come into play, but if a website does not need completely redesigned then the seo company is literally coming in and rewriting the title and description tags on each page of the site. They make sure they are unique and appropriate, but this is actually not a very difficult process. The difficulty comes in later as the progress is analyzed and the tags are tweaked to be more and more effective. If the company plans to simply do it once then never redo it for better performance, then you are not getting the best service you can. The amount of time spent on analysis and tweaking is going to be dictated by how many hours the company works for you. If they plan on only working five hours in order to continue making a profit, then you get five hours of analysis and tweaking. If ten hours are necessary for you to outrank your competition, you are not going to succeed.
Content is necessary for your website to be viewed by Google as an authority on a subject. The content you are reading right now is proving to Google that our website is an authority on search engine optimization. The strategy is to continually develop new and fresh content, and post it to your website. The content cannot be copied from another website or you will be slapped with a “duplicate content penalty” which literally pushes you backward in the rankings. You have no way of knowing that you are being penalized without continual analysis, and your position in search is effected by many things, including content. In a nutshell, it is better to have no content at all then try to steal someone else’s. The amount of content that is necessary is based upon the amount of seo work that your competition has done. In a competitive industry where there are many websites that are well optimized, the amount of content necessary is generally “as much as possible.” If we are writing content for you, and it takes a certain amount of hours to write each piece, then you are either going to get a limited amount of content each month, or are going to get content that is produced by writers that are paid less. The less quality the content, the less effect it has on rankings. Many firms use writers who are in other countries in order to develop content that is a certain number of words long, but is lacking in the quality that a native English speaking writer can produce. Google looks for broken-English as a flag that the content is being produced overseas, and discounts it as less powerful. So, the content you produce may be lower quality, and as a result the rankings will be lower. Our firm uses English-speaking writers who are trained in writing specifically for internet presentation, and as a result we have to pay them more.
Links and link programs can no longer be automated, and link programs will now get a website penalized. It is better to have no links at all then links from bad quality websites. When a firm tells you that you are going to get links from thousands of websites, you can believe them, but take into consideration the bad quality links penalize your rankings more than no links do. Just because you can get onto thousands of websites does not help your rankings. Getting links from very high-quality websites is what helps rankings. There is no way to automate the process. Our strategy is to create superior content then ask high quality websites to link to it, that simple. What many people do not understand is that thousands of low quality links are still not worth a single high-quality link when it comes to rankings. Once again, the cheap method of doing it actually works against you.
Hopefully, this will provide a bit of information as to the differences in seo companies. The ones offering cheap prices are the ones who provide results that are not equivalent to better firms. You, as a customer, have no way of knowing how well your project COULD HAVE done, if you use a cheaper firm. You do not know if you are being penalized, you do not know if they are working one hour or hiring low-quality content writers. You do not know if the links they are providing are permanently harming your rankings. We do things the hard way, because Google likes quality and rewards websites that produce quality work. We are more expensive than others, as a result, but the results you will get are worth it.
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