Finding Both Quality and Affordability in SEO

When researching SEO services, you will notice that you have two options: the firm can be outrageously expensive but offer great results or it can offer a decent price but bring terrible results. The question, then, is do you choose to sacrifice quality for affordability or go for high quality but exceed your budget?

Actually, if you know what to look for, there is no need to compromise. There are some agencies (although they are few and far between) offering high quality at a reasonable price.

Avoiding Scams

The first thing to watch out for are scams. These seem like a good deal on the surface but will only waste your money. As there are no regulations for SEO, anyone can sell you a service, even self-named experts with no knowledge or experience.

SEO Packages

All businesses want fast results, but SEO takes time to implement. The smaller your budget, the longer you’ll need to wait before you see results.

Beware of any company offering a package that, for a set rate, will supposedly bring you definite results within a certain timeframe. Even the top SEO experts are in no position to make such guarantees. Worse still are promises for results in short periods — some companies claim to be able to achieve top rankings in as little as 48 or even 24 hours.

SEO from Abroad

It is still possible to find companies offering to outsource SEO from other countries where labor is cheaper. To make costs lower still and to avoid hiring expensive talent, these agencies cut corners by creating generic solutions. This often involves a combination of low-quality backlinks (including bought links), spun articles, and keyword stuffing.

Even though these are black hat techniques, they still work on some pages to some extent. However, it puts your site at a huge risk. As soon as Google notices (and Google is always improving its algorithm to detect such tactics), your site will be penalized. This will make it more difficult to gain high rankings than if you never implemented an SEO strategy at all.

Insider Secrets

You can be sure a service is a scam if the company claims to have insider knowledge about the Google algorithm or connections to Google’s search engine team.

Other Mistakes to Avoid

There are a few other ways that businesses fall into the trap of picking bad SEO services.

These ways are tricky because many great SEO firms have these attributes. Just be aware that any one of these traits alone does not prove the quality of an SEO agency.

Top Results in Google

It may seem logical that if an SEO company is able to rank at the top of Google results, it will be able to do the same for you. And this is likely true. However, there are two factors to keep in mind when taking Google ranking into account.

First, the best firms often require fewer new clients, which means they might put less effort into ensuring they rank top for common search terms like “SEO [location].” Since they receive many of their clients through referrals, they may spend less time optimizing their site to hit the top results.

Another reason is that the top result may just be the company that has been around the longest. Google favors domains that have a long history of producing quality content. The oldest is by no means the best — indeed, the firm could still be using tactics that worked several years ago and are now irrelevant.

Best SEO Lists

It can be equally problematic to rely solely on articles that list the best SEO companies in an area. Some websites that create these lists make deals with the companies they include, meaning that the list has no basis in quality.

Of course if a firm has a mix of or all of these traits, then you can be more confident in their abilities. For example, if they rank well and are found in numerous “best SEO” lists, as well as have good reviews on Google, you can rest easy that they are a quality choice.

Other Mistakes

Finally, you should be wary of choosing any firm that:

-    Will maintain ownership of your content.

-    Will only handle your SEO if you host your website on its server

-    Offers generic information or struggles to answer specific questions.

What You Should Look For

Customized Services

Depending on your goals, you may only need some elements of SEO. The best agencies will customize services to provide only what you want. This keeps the service affordable and allows you to expand when you start seeing results.


To know you can trust a firm, ask for recommendations from other professionals (especially ones in your industry).

Case Studies

Ask the firm for case studies showing quantifiable results. Ideally, you want to hear about other companies in a similar niche to your own.

Clear Communication

Good communication is key for all business relationships, but it is especially crucial here, as SEO is all about delivering your message to a wide audience.

Never rely on price alone to tell you what to expect in terms of quality — scams come at every price. Before you choose an SEO service, put in the proper research to ensure that the firm will bring good results without overcharging you. Although poor services abound, there are affordable solutions out there. These firms work hard to implement a strategy that will improve your SEO into the long term.

For a free SEO consultation, check out We can help you get customized services to help your business.

About the author

Kelly has over 20 years marketing, sales and customer service experience. He is a champion for small businesses and prides himself in helping them compete and thrive in a digital world. Kelly is currently the VP of Marketing for Boostability, a company dedicated to helping small businesses grow online. He manages a team that is responsible for demand generation, customer messaging and experience, branding, social media and all things marketing. His expertise includes search engine optimization, social media, content marketing, customer communication, lead generation and conversion optimization, to name a few.

Twitter - @kellyshelton32

Email – [email protected]

Phone – 800-261-1537


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