In today’s web-driven world, investing in search engine optimisation (SEO) is no longer an optional issue but a mandatory activity for every small and large business. According to Chitika, websites that appear on the first page of Google search results get around 33% of traffic from a specific search query. It, therefore, helps to pay close attention to the way you run your SEO campaigns. In fact, SEO should not be considered as a cost of running the business but an investment for continued profitability. However, SEO is a service where you get what you pay for. As with everything else in life, the quality of SEO services you get from an agency depends on what you are willing to pay. Low-quality services are even worse in SEO because they can be harmful to your website.

It is quite natural for a small business or a start-up to engage the services of a low-cost SEO agency due to budgetary constraints. Most of these cheap agencies promise all the key products and services necessary to help a company rank higher on search engines at an extremely reduced rate and with unrealistic timeline. However, in reality, they could be using blackhat ranking strategies. The cheap agency could be harming instead of boosting your rankings.

In most cases, SEO agencies that promise low budget services are simply cutting corners to maintain their operations costs at a bare minimum. They probably lack the expertise and time to stay updated on Google’s ever-changing algorithms. Keep in mind Google keeps revising its criteria for “spammy” behaviour and what may have been white hat yesterday could be a potential reason for penalty today. When you entrust your website and business to an agency that employs black hat methods, be prepared to not only lose your money but seriously harm your website’s chances of better ranking too. The old adage of cheap being expensive applies in SEO too. Let’s look at some of the methods used by cheap SEO agencies and how they can harm your site.

Cheap SEO means low-quality link profiles

Building natural organic links is by far the most effective ways of enhancing your website’s chances of ranking. In their link building strategies, cheap SEO agencies go to great lengths to cut costs by using low quality or even spam links usually generated by specialised software. These types of links will only invite penalties from Google and other search engines and eventually harm your rankings.

If an agency promises you cheap Link scheme SEO strategies for faster ranking, consider that as a red flag and move on. Link schemes involve buying cheap links from low quality sites which are often unrelated to your niche for the purpose of manipulating search engines. What you need to know is that Google is always on the lookout for such strategies and will immediately impose a penalty on a site that uses manipulative schemes. Your website may even be banned completely from search engines if found to be using link schemes.

Investing in low quality is risky. You should even regularly monitor your website metrics to look for any suspicious backlinks. If you notice any unnatural backlinks, then your SEO agency could be using irrelevant links to try and create a manipulative traffic spike or boost your ranking in a risky way. A good SEO agency may charge you more but they’ll ensure that your website gets better search rankings using organic link building strategies that incorporate links from trusted sites.

Keyword stuffing strategies

High-quality content that is loved and rewarded with better rankings by search engines doesn’t come cheap. To cut down on costs of content creation, cheap agencies resort to filling your site with spun content that is usually stuffed with the keywords you want to rank for. Keywords are important because they make your page visible to search engines. However, stuffing your site’s content with too many keywords often attracts penalties from Google and other search engines. Google, for instance, considers too many keywords and overloaded anchor texts as spam. If a keyword is hyperlinked over and over again, Google will treat that as suspicious behaviour.

Your site may get away with keyword stuffing if Google doesn’t pick up on the practice immediately but this will be one of the surest ways to turn away visitors from your website. Nobody wants to read low-quality keyword-stuffed text. The practice lowers your site’s authority and even if you get traffic, you may not be able to convert the visitors into buyers or customers. You’ll end up wasting money to achieve rankings that don’t help to achieve your key objective, which is to make sales or conversions.

A good SEO agency that provides high-quality content creation services may cost more but they’ll use a few keywords strategically hyperlinked as anchor texts and ensure that the keyword is used naturally. The content will be easier to read and could be rewarded with better ranking. A good SEO agency ensures that the keyword density is between 4 and 5 percent of the page content.

One-size-fits-all approach

Cheap SEO agencies employ a one-size-fits-all approach in their ranking strategies. They employ the same strategies and methods to try to rank different types of sites regardless of existing differences between diverse niches. For example, they’ll use the same backlink profiles for plumber and dentist clients. Such strategies only end up attracting Google penalties and bans.

A good SEO team should have a perfect understanding of your company and the products or services you provide. The content of your site should be developed in a way that is consistent with your industry values. It is indeed difficult, if not impossible, to have a robust SEO strategy with a limited budget.

Conclusion

If you depend on the Internet for a large percentage of your profits, then find an agency that provides high-quality services at the most reasonable cost. The results you’ll get will largely depend on what you are willing to pay. There are thousands of self-proclaimed SEO experts all over the web promising heaven but delivering hell. Remember, you always get what you pay for. Your primary consideration when looking for the best SEO agency should be the quality of service rather than cost.