The Real Cons of Affordable SEO Services

The SEO industry is steadily rising because the demand for it is also increasing. It was not too long ago that we started to engage in providing SEO services but look at how fast time flies!

If we examine an SEO service through an economic lens, it is still a market commodity like any other. Because when demand increases, the price decreases – usually due to the emergence of small and large-scale competitors.

This is what the current state of the SEO industry looks like.

If you search “SEO Service” on Google, various agencies will pop up. Some will offer you deals that are too good to be true. And more often than not, they really are. And opting to sign up for a service that lets you save a couple of bucks will probably end up disappointing you in the future.

Then, you will start right back from square one and look for another service provider. In the long run, this series of trial and error is actually going to cost you more. And it wouldn’t be costs that will return back to you in the form of revenue; it would be a needless expense – a complete waste of your time and investment.

To help you avoid getting lured into contracting with rip-off providers, we have prepared this article for you – to educate, train, and help you avoid cheap transactions. First, let’s start with what you can probably get with cheap services:

4 “Not So Good” Benefits of Purchasing Affordable SEO Service Providers

  1. You’re Going To Learn A Lot Of SEO Jargon And Acronyms

Cheap providers will lead you up with a bunch of complex-sounding words that sound intelligent. Of course, they do it to win a client’s favor. By making really easy SEO tasks sound complicated, people would think that they know a lot about it and consequently, try out the service. But in reality, they’ll be doing generic or outdated SEO techniques that can be easily learned yourself!

  1. You’ll Get The Chance To Hear So Many Excuses You Can Mirror In The Future

“Why is your SEO not working for my website?”

“SEO takes a lot of time to work. Also, your website had very poor optimization when we first began the service. On top of that, Google has been implementing a lot of changes in their ranking criteria. And even if we can address that, your website’s niche has a very small visiting population overall.”

And the reasons can go on forever. This is most common in subscription type services. All they need to do is drag on the days without getting any real work done so that you subscribe again for another month or quarter hoping to get the results you were promised.

When you feel like a provider is trying to dupe you, then the solution is very clear – just drop the service.

  1. You’ll Find Out That There’s Always Something Wrong With Your Website

You’ll be told that your new SEO hardly functions because your website has issues that have to be dealt with first.

This sounds wrong in just so many ways. Although it is important to SEO to have a fully-functioning and responsive website, it doesn’t really have the power to hinder or stop the progress of your SEO campaign. If anything, website malfunctions hurt user experience and therefore, decrease your SEO’s performance.  Note that the key term there is “performance” which means that your SEO should still be performing – but not at its best.

  1. You Will Always Need More Services

In relation to the preceding point, cheap providers will then suggest additional services to get your non-performing SEO strategies running. They can associate the need for an upgrade with some made-up search engine update and will most likely tell you that your “affordable” subscription does not cover the additional work. This actually means you spent more than you should’ve had if only you signed up with a reliable SEO service provider in the first place.

Let’s not forget that SEO is a marketing strategy. That would mean that you are dealing with pros who know a lot about marketing strategies, SEO or not. If the main purpose they have for their business is to drive in sales traffic, you know that they’ll also put in the extra effort to acquire more clients and get them to sign up for more services.

They could care less about the growth of your business. What’s important to them is that you’re helping them grow theirs.

Heartbreaking, isn’t it?

Here Are Some Of The Telltale Signs You Are Bargaining With A Rip-Off Provider:

  1. The Price Is Ridiculously Low

The average cost of an SEO service is somewhere between $80 to $130 per hour or a monthly retainer of $750 to $1500. You can bet that anything extremely high or low in contrast to these prices is bound to be sketchy – except for big performance-based projects.

No professional in their right mind would sell their services dirt cheap. There is always a fine line between being cost competitive and becoming a charity. You as an entrepreneur, businessman, and professional should know this most.

SEO is a service that rides on the specialists’ skills and abilities. A specialist who knows how good he is, will price his services at a rate he deems fit. So the next time you get an email or see an advertisement that is insanely promising, do a proper background check before diving in.

  1. They Send You Proposals You (Or Any Normal Person) Can’t Understand

As mentioned in the other section, affordable providers like to sound smart – It’s their selling point. They’ll send you all this gibberish nonsense that non-specialists in SEO can’t understand. They’ll probably make the price and the predicted results section extremely visible and easy to follow through. So that it can grab hold of your attention and maybe make you less speculative of the other contents.

  1. They Promise You Immediate Results

Not only will affordable agencies entice you with cost, they’ll also promise you fast results. For example, if the agency advertises a $150 three-month period subscription with guaranteed results, people will definitely buy.


Because the price and the time element make it an even cheaper alternative. So the client now distributes the cost over the course of three months, making the deal look like eye candy.

But then again, deals like these are too good to be true. If you indeed get results, your initial question should be – how significant are they? Take it from experts who’ve been with SEO for a little over a decade now.

  1. They’ll Have You Purchase “Premium Services” At A Higher Price To Help With “Problems”

So after they pin the lack of results as an effect of some third party involved, the next thing they’ll do is offer you an upgrade or a premium service to help counter the problem.

But remember, no problem existed in the first place.

And even if problems were to arise in the middle of your subscription, a reliable agency will find a way themselves without having to sell you something else.

  1. The Cycle Continues

And everything goes back to number one. Cheap agencies already take into account the high possibility of you dropping off their services. But they don’t really care about how long you stay. They’ll just milk you for as many cycles possible.

Don’t even let the signs get to number five. Because maybe by then, it’ll all be too late. You’d probably have spent a ton of cash trying to remedy your investment. So my advice to you is this: When you sense something is wrong, decline from renewing your subscription to the service immediately. You’ve already wasted money. Don’t waste more.

The next step is to finally find a legit provider.

You Can Tell They Know What They’re Doing Because Of The Following Signs:

  1. They Will Get In Contact With You & Actually Run Your Website’s Metrics

Each website is a unique piece of work. You can’t expect the same strategy to create the exact effect it has on another website. SEO just doesn’t work that way.

Classic SEO strategies are timeless. But they need to be made custom-fit for a website before they actually work. And the only way you can find the right fit is to measure. This is why any good provider will test your website in several areas crucial to SEO first – indexation, keyword density, backlinks, and such.

  1. They Boast Skill Not Number

One person can outdo a hundred in the world of SEO – several specialists are living proof of that. Take Neil Pattel, for example. Now, this one guy just ranked above millions of others – most of them, working in teams.

Bottom line is if an agency tells you to trust them because they have a big team of “SEO professionals,” don’t jump right in. Because again, having a whole company help you do mediocre work is not enough to get your website to greater heights.

  1. They Will Offer You Specific Solutions And Not Just Vague, Intelligent-Sounding Processes

Instead of fluff, you get things explained to you in layman’s terms. Reliable agencies value communication with clients and see to it that they remain involved throughout the campaign.

They can identify and educate you about your website’s deficits because they actually do know what’s wrong with your website. They also offer you solutions, alternatives, and courses of actions to take. You know you’ve got yourself something legit when they actually show you how it’s done.

When you keep yourself well-informed, you lessen the risk of contracting with a specialist that gets your website to use black hat techniques – which by the way, is a pretty common tactic among affordable agencies to get you results fast.

BHTs will improve your website’s rank for sure but wait until Google finds you!

  1. They Will Give You Options As To How You Can Best Approach Your Website’s SEO Based On Actual Metric Findings

As mentioned in the previous number, you are taken as a part of the decision-making process. Everything is shared with you and your role is not that of a passive observer but rather a participative contributor.

One problem has many possible solutions. A good agency will make the effort to inquire about your personal judgment as the website owner and listen to your take on what you think is best for your website’s SEO.

  1. They Will Offer Their Services At A Realistic Price

Reliable agencies know their worth. They may not come cheap or “too affordable” but that’s because their services deserve it. They give you something with strong potential to return your investments.

Really, this is not a generous world. You can’t expect to pay cheap and receive rich outputs. If you’re launching an SEO campaign, best to go all-out. It pays you back in the long run.

In case you’re wondering how you can measure your SEO’s Return of Investments, here’s a great article from SEM Rush to help you out!

  1. They Will Follow Up On Your Website And Give You Tips As To How You Can Keep Your Website Ranking With Or Without Their Help

Good SEO providers genuinely care about your website’s growth and will not suddenly vanish into thin air after your working relationship ceases to exist.

Some providers even check back on their client’s websites to see if there’s anything left to improve to optimize their websites further. Others remain available for website consultation and SEO audits. And the real generous ones would even provide clients with tips on how they can maintain their website’s performance.

And that’s how you differentiate the great from the “not so great.” Quality over quantity is kind of a universal rule in business – it rings true in the world of SEO as well. High cost with high returns should always be prioritized over low costs with negligible returns.

Now, we may have sorted all of that out but we’re not done yet. One problem still remains.

What if you desire a high-quality SEO service but financially limited to do so?

If You’re Really Low On Budget, Here Are Some Ways You Can Manage Your Website Yourself

  1. Learn the Basics

Anyone is capable of learning SEO. Although it takes time and constant practice by means of experiments and trials to become a specialist, knowing the basics can be achieved by reading the right material. And luckily, we have a lot of write-ups on site to help you with that.

It not only pays to stay well-informed; it saves too!

  1. Only Outsource Specialized Tasks

Doing SEO by yourself and running an entire business at the same time can really take a toll on you. It would cost you sleep and personal time for family and leisure. And you wouldn’t want that kind of life.

What you can do though is outsource this added workload to skilled professionals. Not really the entire thing or else it will defeat your purpose of trying to cut back on expense. Instead, chunk your SEO campaign down to specific activities and outsource only those that are too tedious and time-consuming.

For example, you can hire content writers to generate articles for you which you can then optimize and post in your website’s blog. Or, get a link acquisition service to generate more backlinks for your website. There are just so many tasks you can set yourself free from, just get creative!

  1. Work On Your Website’s Authority

Work on quality content and bettering the services your website offers. SEO works best for websites who’ve gained a lot of public trust.

Publish articles that are meaningful and relevant, link to external sources that you know your audience will appreciate, and never try to get ahead using underhanded methods. Think of how users can better enjoy your website. Be timely, consistent, and innovative.

So whether you sign up with an SEO provider or not entirely rests on your prerogative. But to make sure you are guided with your decision, here’s an article to help you decide whether to hire or “not hire” professionals for your website’s SEO!

Our Final Thoughts

To bring this article to a close, we would like to leave you with a reminder:

Affordable Services Are Nice But Being Too Affordable Can Be Sketchy.

We should always allow ourselves to give others the benefit of the doubt. However, we must also safeguard our own interests. Not all cheap deals are good deals nor are they all bad. Do tons of research, do a background check, assess other client reviews, and simply learn more about SEO.

Always look before you leap!