Are you a bargain hunter? I am. I'm always looking for the best deal, the cheapest price and the least expensive... whatever. If you're like me, that frugality carries over into just about all areas of your life, including searching for an SEO company. But one thing that bargain shoppers tend to find out the hard way is that sometimes the best deal isn't always the best deal. In fact, the bargain often turns out to cost you more in the long run.
But before I get into the details of SEO bargain hunting, let me first give you a real-life story of non-SEO bargain hunting that went right, only to turn into a disaster.
Several years ago we needed some concrete work done around our house. We received quotes from a handful of contractors and found one that was about half of what everybody else was charging. We hired them, they came, did their work and the end result was fantastic.
The next year we needed some additional concrete work so we called the same guys. Again, they came and did a masterful job. Then the next summer, we had one last batch of concrete work (and some minor landscaping) to be done and again, we called the guys who were cheap and have done great work for us in the past. This is where the nightmare began. The new concrete work, next to some of the old, didn't match. It was almost like a completely different kind of concrete was used which made it obvious that this was two separate works done at different times (and no, I'm not just talking normal wear and tear here.) I didn't make a big deal out of this, but it gets worse.
When they put in the landscaping, they failed to reroute the yard drainage. So instead of the sprinkler system draining down around the house and to the street, it drained under the new concrete pad they put in. Now, whenever the sprinklers run on one side of the back yard the water drains to the other side, under the new concrete work, and then it filters out creating a small pond of stagnant water. In our attempts to get them to come out and correct the matter we kept getting promises of days and times, all broken. Then we could no longer get a hold of anybody and could only leave voice messages.
It was a few months later that we found out that their contracting license had recently been revoked and they are no longer in business.
We had two great experiences with the contractor in question. It was only the third go round where things went sour. In thinking about that I realized that it had to happen sooner or later. This company worked for years giving quotes that could not support a legitimate business. It should have tipped me off when their kids were out there helping them pour concrete when they should have been in school!
While the work The did for the first two years was great, somewhere along the way they began to cut corners and leave work unfinished, or worse, in a problematic state. In hindsight, this was inevitable.
Those that provide bargain SEO services will ultimately be forced to go in one of two directions. They either increase their fees in order to support the business and their ability to provide quality work for their clients, or they'll begin to cut corners, not and/or implement strategies that are counter-productive in the long run.
It nice to think that you've found an SEO provider that can optimize your site for a very limited budget. You may even have a good experience with them for a time, but sooner or later you're going to find your situation radically changing, either with higher prices or lower quality work, which comes with non-timely responses to your concerns and sometimes even search engine penalties.
Be aware of low-priced SEO services. That's not to say that high-priced SEO is an automatic guarantee of quality, but with discount SEOs its a good bet that somebody is underpaid, which means that they won't put their full efforts into their work. And if they are not underpaid, well, then you'll get exactly what you're paying for.
With SEO it makes sense to shop for quality over cost. Your business is far more important than a patch of concrete, it's your livelihood. Don't cheat yourself by going cheap on SEO!
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Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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