As Warren Buffett said, Price and Value are not the same.
You can find Search Marketing - both Paid Search Ads and SEO - advertised online for as little as $199, charged by the project, hourly rates, monthly retainers, or commissions on ad buys.
The cost for an agency to perform Search Marketing projects depends mainly on the type and scope of services being provided and the level of expertise of the people performing the work.
Simple work that can be done by low-paid people can often fix the most obvious website search problems at low cost to the agency, which can then be marked up and sold to you at a higher - but still low - price. And for a few weeks you might see some immediate improvement in your traffic statistics.
However: the people who work at a cut-rate agency aren't going to be able to anticipate and handle the kinds of unexpected problems that frequently arise in Google - which behind the scenes is an extremely complex and ever-changing worldwide search and advertising ecosystem.
And to keep their labor costs low enough to be profitable at the low prices they're charging you, “bargain” agencies are going to leave your campaigns on autopilot and not do the ongoing tracking, adjusting, testing and optimizing needed for continuing improvement.
But once the easy stuff has been done, the low-priced agency may not be able to produce much further improvement, and you may find yourself paying more for their services than they are returning in incremental sales or other valuable conversions on your website.
And while that is going on, you'll be wasting time and pushing back the date when you could have had a better-performing website with higher ROI, and missing out on the ongoing business improvement you could have had by working with me.
Bottom line is: if you pay a cut-rate agency to manage your Google search campaigns, instead of earning huge profits you'll get more headaches and waste time and money on ineffective marketing efforts.
The moral of this story is: Don't buy Search Marketing services on price. If you're not yet convinced of the wisdom of this advice, keep reading!
The “Hidden Price” of Cheap Search Marketing
- A cheap company may be planning to skip the essential steps of gaining an understanding of your business and creating a strategic plan for meeting your specific business objectives. No one can do search marketing well without first gaining an understanding of your business, and your capabilities for creating website content in the long term.
Some search marketing companies get clients by guaranteeing specific positions in Google organic results on certain keywords. That cannot be done because no SEO company has access to Google's ranking algorithms, nor can they predict changes in the economy, natural disasters or the actions of competitors, all of which are factors that can enter into search ranking.
- Search Marketing is a long-term process. A cheap company may be planning to take a large up-front payment from you, then fold their tent.
- One-size-fits-all pricing - especially if price is very low like $199 for an audit or $199/month for ongoing services - may mean the cheap company is planning to undertake only the easiest, most obvious measures and/or have your work done in low-wage countries overseas.
- Reports you would get from a cheap company might include only keyword or ad ranking positions and clickthroughs, not traffic trends, customers acquired, conversions, pageviews, time on site or other measures that are relevant to your business success. And you may get statistics only, without plain-language interpretation.
- A cheap company using “black-hat” SEO techniques like keyword stuffing, providing low-quality backlinks from link farms or private blog networks, bot manipulation, or showing different page content to search engines and users may be able to get short-term increases in traffic, but Google will discover this sooner or later and penalize your website.
A cheap company may have its highest-paid employees making sales and the lowest-paid doing the work on your website. If you buy cheap search marketing, you may never again hear from the knowledgeable-sounding person you talked with prior to handing over money.
- Cheap companies have been known to guarantee that if after some initial period of time you're unhappy with their results they will work free for an additional period of time. With that kind of deal, don't expect much in the way of results from the “free” work.
- You run the risk of losing money by using a cheap search marketing company, if the cost of the service is greater than the incremental income it produces for you, and especially if “black-hat” tactics cost you more money through loss in rankings.
I Will Do Things You Can't Get with Cheap Options:
- Direct all my efforts, experience and expertise toward one goal: making you more money.
- Get to know you and your business, and work with you to develop a Search Marketing plan that meets your needs
- Give you an estimate of the degree of improvement to be expected from Google Search
- Use the latest Search Marketing techniques and technologies
- Increase traffic and conversions by qualified visitors to your website using only “White Hat” techniques, no underhanded techniques that will waste your money or violate Google guidelines (such as using low-value keywords, purchased links, cloaked pages, invisible text, redirect chains, doorway pages, etc.)
- Provide periodic, understandable reports of results
- Complete work within agreed-upon timeframes
- Respond promptly to your questions and support requests
- Keep confidential and not disclose to any third party any and all identifiable information about your business, your website or the work I perform for you
- Do all work in New England, USA and outsource nothing to low-wage countries overseas