From time to time, clients and prospects share with us certain SEO services they come across that appear cheaper and easier. There are a lot of good SEO and web marketing companies out there, so we always try to keep abreast of new developments, services, etc. in the SEO world. However, there are a few that do not always translate into successful results for you, the client. Hence, the subject of this month’s BLOG.
Every company’s web marketing budget is different. Even we offer a lower end SEO Lite plan that allows smaller companies to get their feet wet. BUT, one caveat here…. our lower end plan will not deliver significant gains in SEO (and we’re very upfront about that). It is designed primarily to allow companies to get their site tagged and submitted to Google in BASIC fashion, plus provide some basic reporting.
In our opinion (take it for what you will), here are some of the services from some well-known companies that you shouldn’t waste your time or money on (in our humble opinion):
For $2.99 per month, GoDaddy offers SEO services. They submit your website to search engines and create a site map for you, plus give you some keywords. Unfortunately, unless you have the only pizza shop in the middle of Montana, this service isn’t going to produce any large scale results for your company. Even worse, services like this can lead uninformed businesses to believe that paying $500 a month for local SEO is outrageous. This service is a waste of money and is not true, REAL SEO.
THE YELLOW PAGES
SEO from a phone directory company seems reasonable, right? Similar to GoDaddy, this service offers very little in terms of a real SEO service. Yellow Pages has plans starting at $99 per month instead of $3 that Godaddy offers. The features and the results are pretty much the same, so if you want to try one of the two, GoDaddy is a much cheaper alternative. The Yellow Pages also offers paid listings in their online directory, which can be effective, however.
Cheap “Link Services”
We’ve all seen the ads – 500 links for $99. Five years ago, this might have worked in a limited fashion if you had a “niche” business. Now, Google despises cheap links, acquired in bulk, and especially if they reside in locations without any quality content. Avoid at all costs, unless you want your site to be heavily penalized.
Yext is a local SEO service that allows you to submit your Name, Address, and Phone data to 47 directory sites with one submission. They charge about $500 per year for these 47 listings. Not too terribly bad, except numerous consumers have reported losing listings, finding there listings locked, and finding the wrong Name, Address, and Phone data on listings once they no longer subscribe to their service. This shouldn’t happen. Once this info is submitted, it should be relatively permanent.
This service allows you submit your keyword and then you pay a certain amount each month based on the keyword and where it ranks organically. If you are not in the top 30 in the rankings, you don’t pay. While this may sound like a great deal, here is the primary issue… Their business model is FLAWED. Getting paid for rankings is a recipe to cut corners so that customer sites rank faster. Additionally, they mention having connections with several publishing outlets. Many of these “publishing outlets” are public blog networks and their approach is one of getting hundreds of arbitrary, meaningless junk links, which is a recipe for disaster. Quality content marketing and syndication is a lot of work and effective, when done correctly. Junk link building is not content marketing.
When you are looking for someone to help with your SEO strategy, always ask for examples and references. Always ask what methods/strategies will be used. If they will not disclose how they plan to optimize your site, that is usually a red flag. Transparency and full disclosure is easy when best practices are employed.