Never Cheap-Out on Your SEO

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Cheap SEO services can lead to missed opportunities, penalties, and ineffective campaigns. Here’s what you should know before investing in a below-average SEO campaign.

Every single business website can benefit from Code Web’s Search engine optimization services.

No matter your industry or audience, you want your company’s name to appear near the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) when someone searches for a term related to your business. And this is precisely the goal of SEO.

Google's Search Engine Results Page

SEO can be confusing at times. It’s hard to understand the gears that are turning behind each search engine algorithm, which means it’s not always clear what, exactly, it takes to rank well in web results pages.

Because of this, SEO can be intimidating. Working with a professional who studies this industry can help your business rank better in search and drive more traffic to your site. Before you begin investing in SEO services, make sure you research the provider.

There are smart ways to approach this branch of marketing, and there are cheap, ineffective ways of going about SEO. Partnering with an SEO vendor that cuts corners or employs bad tactics will inevitably hold your marketing strategy back.

What could go wrong when you cheap-out on SEO?

Like many things you can spend your money on, you have plenty of options when looking for SEO services. You could pay a little extra on a high-quality, custom-built plan – or you could save a few bucks and opt for a cheap knockoff.

Unfortunately, going with the low-budget option can lead to numerous problems in the end. Here are some of the risks you take by investing in low-quality SEO services:

Penalties from black hat tactics

There are ethical & unethical ways to approach SEO. The unethical methods are called black hat SEO, and several tactics fall under this umbrella, such as:

  • Keyword stuffing: Unnecessarily repeating one keyword to make the page look more relevant to search engines.
  • Cloaking: Creating one version of a web page for users and a second, spammy version for search engine crawlers.
  • Link farms: Building your backlink profile using websites built for the sole purpose of building links without any merit.

Google Penalty

Black hat SEO is designed for quick wins at any cost necessary. They attempt to take search ranking factors, like content relevance, strong backlink profiles and twist them to make a particular page appear as though it meets the search engine’s standards.

Unfortunately, that cost is often penalties and lower rankings on search engines, in the long run, HubSpot explained.

If you’re unfamiliar with SEO general best practices, black hat tactics might not jump out to you. But they do jump out to Google’s search algorithms, which have only gotten smarter and more precise over the years.

Let’s look at keyword stuffing, which is when you use a single keyword over and over again throughout the page to make it appear to web crawlers that your site has a wealth of information about that term.

Once upon a time, this tactic may have worked. But today, search engine algorithms know what keyword stuffing looks like. They also understand what genuinely helpful content looks like. By using this black hat tactic instead of putting in the work to create valuable content that covers the keyword topic in-depth, you’ll set your strategy back.

Ineffective campaigns due to outdated strategies

Google’s algorithm changes hundreds of times every year, Moz reported. Sometimes, changes are obvious, and even named, like the BERT update in December 2019. Other updates are tiny tweaks that are never confirmed and only ever speculated on by SEO professionals.

Because of these frequent, often unpredictable, changes, it’s imperative that SEO strategies are fluid and change accordingly. Basing marketing campaigns on outdated strategies will – in the best-case scenarios – not be as effective as they could be.

In worst-case scenarios, outdated strategies are now considered black hat tactics.

Let’s look at blogging as an example. Blogging is a great SEO tactic, and it always has been. But the way businesses should approach blogging today is vastly different than the way most companies did a decade ago.

In the past, simply having content on your site was a step in the right direction. Because of this, many companies filled their blogs with short-form articles with very little substance. This would no longer work today when content must be rich in information and helpful to the reader, Search Engine Land noted.

Algorithm updates over the years have made it easier for search engines to differentiate between low-quality and high-quality content. Factors including behavioural signals (such as average time on page), backlinks, and content depth all signal to search engines that a webpage is valuable for a reader. These qualities are unlikely to be found in thin content, which is why creating high-volume, low-value content is not an effective strategy today, MarketMuse explained.

Image - Average Time On-page SEO

Missed opportunities because of a Google-only focus

Many people hear the term “SEO” and automatically think “Google.” But Google is just one search engine among many.

Sure, with 91.54% of the search market share, according to WebFX, Google is by far the most utilized. It’s certainly not the only search engine, though, and it’s probably not the only one your audience is using.

Consider optimizing for these other search engines: 

  • Amazon.
  • YouTube.
  • Pinterest.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Yelp.
  • eBay.
  • Facebook.
  • Bing

Ranking well on Google only matters if your audience is actively searching for the product or service you offer on that search engine.

If you’re a home goods retailer, for example, you’ll probably want an Amazon optimization strategy. After all, this is where 50% of product searches start – not Google. If your lead generation efforts rely on getting in touch with corporate executives, focusing a good part of your strategy on LinkedIn may be wise.

When you take SEO to be synonymous with Google optimization, you’ll miss some quality opportunities. Code Web understands how to tailor your strategy to fit your goals.

What you gain when you invest in high-quality SEO

There’s a lot that can go wrong when you take a cheap approach to SEO. But when you invest in a high-quality SEO strategy that’s based on your company’s goals, your efforts will be well worth it, Search Engine Journal explained.

A sound SEO strategy can:

  • Increase organic traffic.
  • Build trust among your audience.
  • Boost brand awareness.
  • Inform your customers about your industry and business.

SEO Chart Improvements

Improving your online presence should always be a goal for businesses, regardless of their industry. That begins with a good SEO strategy. To learn more about what a sound SEO plan for your business could include, contact us today!

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