Using SEO Services Providers. Good or Bad Idea?

This is not going to be one of those articles that warns you about working with an SEO service provider, or reminds you of bad experiences you may have had or have heard about working with one. Instead we’d like you to analyze a few things that will help you determine whether or not it would be a good business decision to invest in this type of digital marketing.

Source: harnandassociates.com
Source: harnandassociates.com

For those of you that do not know, SEO services providers are making hundreds of millions of $$’s each year providing these services to companies of all sizes. That fact alone should help you accept the reality that these types of services can and do work in 1,000s of industries. In addition to that, if you look at the top3 ranking websites in just about any industry, and you compare their search engine presence with many of the other sites in the same industry, you’ll see real life examples of the impact that this type of marketing can have on a business. But enough about how search engine optimization can help a website, we’re here to talk about if you should invest money in hiring an expert to take care of this form of digital marketing for you. So, what are some of the things to keep in mind when deciding to work with an SEO provider or not?

– Can you afford to pay for SEO services?

If the answer is no, then everything else in this article will probably be of little value to you. Search engine marketing has never been classified as being “cheap” or “affordable”. For example, in small business and regional markets… many SEO campaigns run anywhere from $1,000 – $3,000 per month on average. In industries where the focus is trying to rank in every region, or in the b2b space… it’s becoming more and more common for digital marketing agencies to only accept clients willing to pay $4,000-$6,000 per month at the VERY LEAST.

Source: cbd.edu
Source: cbd.edu

Even talking to an expert for consulting services, oftentimes runs anywhere from $250-400 per hour on average. For the search engine optimization gurus that actually rank for terms like “SEO expert”, etc… those who’s calendars stay heavily booked, they have been known to have a waiting list with hourly rates starting at $600-$1,000. Again, the available budget is a very important part of determining whether or not you should consider working with an SEO services provider.

– Are you willing to trust someone to optimize your website and content?

Source: media.gettyimages.com
Source: media.gettyimages.com

If the answer is no, then you should consider learning SEO yourself and implementing whatever strategy you see fit. At the end of the day, most SEO campaigns are going to require the vendor working on your website to make recommendations that impact the content on the site, structure, and navigational changes. In addition to that, if and when your marketing service provider does outreach or communicate with other companies, consumers, and website owners in your behalf… at that point they are representing your brand; the same applies to allowing them to do anything in the world of social media for your business.

The point is, if you’re not comfortable with anyone touching or adjusting these public areas of your business, working with a SEO provider is probably not a good idea for you.

– Are you in a position to not see and ROI on SEO for a number of months? (3, 6 or 12 months)

There are times that a business owner will think that just because they are paying $2k, $5k, or $10k a month, that after a month or two there should be an obvious increase in traffic, sales, rankings or something… and while just about ANY SEO expert worth his/her salt can make that happen… it’s not always in the best interest of your website and long term success to do so.

Source: adp.com
Source: adp.com

Unlike pay per click advertising, marketing spend that goes into an SEO campaign does not equate to instant and immediate improvements for these common areas that a business owner might be keeping an eye on. Instead, there might be more important and pressing tasks that take priority to you seeing a quick ROI. To do things in the wrong order, when it comes to an SEO strategy, could be the difference between continually ranking well indefinitely and getting penalized or de-indexed from a search engine; it’s quite easy to do, but very time intensive and tedious to undo. The point is, if you’re looking to pay a high price for quick results, make sure that your SEO analyst knows, understands, and agrees with your priorities; otherwise, pay per click advertising might be a better option.

– Are you sure that you even need a SEO campaign at this time?

If the answer is no… PLEASE save your money and decide to work with an SEO vendor when you are POSITIVE it’s something that you have to do. Once of the biggest mistakes we are noticing a lot of companies make is creating a digital marketing budget since they know it’s the right thing to do in this digital age. However, due to their lack of understanding of what they need and why they need it, many of them find themselves working with the wrong type of vendor offering the wrong type of digital marketing services, and it ends up with them thinking that SEO doesn’t work or it’s a bad idea all together.

Source: transformingperformance.co.uk
Source: transformingperformance.co.uk

For the SEO agencies out there that might be reading this last question, they probably hate to hear us suggest anyone not spend money on digital marketing; but even the most experienced SEO companies realized that all companies are not worth working with… and those businesses unsure about the answer to the above question would be a good example of ones they might choose to stay away form.

So in conclusion…

Is working with an SEO service provide a bad idea, usually it’s not… that is, when you’re ready to work with one. If you’re not ready though, our advice would be to wait until you are 100% confident you have the circumstances and understanding necessary for a successful campaign. If you’ve answered all of the questions above, but are still curious about what you should do… let us know, and we can provide specific recommendations based on your unique needs. Nomvo!

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