While you may find hundreds of applications against your post for SEO projects, and some of them would be really tempting offers, it’s important for small businesses and startups to conduct due diligence before awarding a project to an agency or freelancers.
One of the biggest SEO scams is “Affordable SEO Packages”, a.k.a “Cheap SEO Packages”, “Low-Cost SEO Packages”, etc.
The truth is, there’s nothing like one size fits all in SEO and if a provider is offering something like this, it’s a big red flag.
You may also come across some “Free SEO Trial” offers, or the ones that offer a “money-back guarantee”! Well, these are big scams, because SEO is not cheap. It requires extensive efforts and a considerable investment of time to see results.
Typically, an SEO campaign shows results 13 to 15 weeks after implementation. So, even if the SEO trial is for one month, the results cannot be measured effectively.
If someone guarantees you a certain number of visitors in a short period of time, it’s very likely that they are using blackhat techniques (which will harm your website sooner or later), or it’s artificial (bot) traffic.
On the other hand, some may promise guaranteed rankings, which is a big red flag itself, because no one can guarantee rankings. Some low-cost services may also get you higher rankings (for keywords that do not have a search volume), and so you end up with no gains despite your keyword having a so-called number one ranking.
How is SEO Pricing Determined?
SEO pricing depends entirely on your business goals and how competitive is the niche you are operating in. The bigger the goal and the tougher the competition, the higher the SEO cost will be.
If an agency or freelancer provides you a price without reviewing your website and the business goals, be vigilant! It’s very much like paying for something without knowing what you are paying for.
Ideally, the agency or freelancer should conduct a website audit, gather your business goals, know your budget, know the competition, and propose a solution accordingly.
I Got a Huge Quote; Does This Mean SEO is Not Possible in a Small Budget?
The good thing is you can still devise an SEO strategy that falls within your budget and is result-oriented too. Big goals require a huge SEO budget, but you can always divide your big goals into small steps and take one step at a time.
Let’s say with a $2,000/month budget you can optimize your website for 10 good keywords, but you can only afford $500/month you should be able to work on 2 to 3 keywords. Those 2 to 3 keywords when they start producing results should increase your profit. And, once you start making a profit, you can reinvest a certain amount for the rest of the keywords.
Cheap SEO Services Packages Vs Result Oriented SEO
If a low price is the only advantage an SEO provider is pitching you, it’s definitely a big NO! A result-oriented SEO agency or professional will not come cheap.
|Cheap SEO Provider||Result-oriented SEO Provider|
|Doesn’t care about your business model.||Is genuinely interested in how your business work.|
|Prefers low or no communication at all.||Offers detailed communication even if you buy from them or not.|
|Will not explain the procedures.||Will guide you through all the procedures.|
|Guarantees traffic or rankings.||Offers Plan A and Plan B, and further contingency plans.|
|Offers discounts on referrals.||Offers value-added services.|
Ideally, you should conduct due diligence, by asking a lot of questions, and asking particularly about the procedures. Spend time on understanding how logical the procedure is, and if you understand the procedures, go for it, if they fail to explain the procedures, or if their procedure seems broken to you, move on.