Good SEO isn’t cheap — and there are justifiable reasons for that.
While this may sound like a really great idea to the penny-pinching web owners who want to retain much of their marketing allocations or keep it at the bare minimum, but the effect of this could prove detrimental to the overall well-being of your business, besides hampering growth and whittling your profit margins.
As luring as it sounds, affordable SEO will do your business more harm than good. And needless to say, that’s the last thing you wish to happen to your business.
That’s NOT to say you should skip the SEO aspect of marketing your business when you’re operating on a somewhat tight budget. What’s meant instead is that settling for the cheapest option you can find doesn’t do your business much good at its best and could even wreak havoc on its overall well-being at its worst.
Affordable SEO in Singapore
Affordable SEO could be interpreted to mean different things to different people. While a great majority of the population would interpret it as the cheapest option available, affordable could still apply where the service fee isn’t exactly cheap.
For instance, assuming you’re running a business that’s generating you millions in revenue after every financial year, spending $5, 000 every month to market the business is affordable to you.
However, if your company isn’t generating a six-figure income stream, spending $5, 000 per month on marketing would be ludicrously insane.
So yes, the definition of affordable has so many layers to it, each of them renders it subjective.
Dangers of cheap SEO
SEO can be affordable but it certainly can’t be cheap, especially where quality is concerned.
Don’t get it twisted — there’s absolutely nothing wrong with finding a good SEO deal. The challenge is on ensuring you’re getting something of real value from the investment you’re making. And this is where most businesses incur difficulties.
First, the SEO market in Singapore is swamped with all sorts of self-proclaimed marketing experts and gurus who would be quick to toss around the industry lingo to clueless prospects in a desperate bid to prove their expertise.
They’re the bunch that will be painting a rosy picture of what you’re likely to gain by investing in SEO. Their charges will be on the extreme low, but their idea of return will be blown to unbelievable heights.
If it all appears to be too good to be true, that’s where you know you’re about to be disappointed the most.
How you ask?
Good SEO is for the most part dependant on great content. This is what fuels any SEO strategy out there.
When the quality of the content is great, then your site will register a much higher conversion rate. And when it’s poor, the bulk of the visitors you attract will be bouncing off and that’s where you lose as a marketer.
Great content is also good for building your reputation. It’s what you need to earn links, increase your number of index pages, and establish your authority within the industry you’re in.
Not every self-proclaimed content developer in Singapore has the experience and expertise to deliver killer content. And the few that have a knack for it will be charging exorbitantly for their services, which further makes SEO an expensive undertaking.
Good writing requires high amounts of research and repeated editing and polishes. For instance, if you pay, say, $200 for one article, you can be sure the article will be written by an experienced content developer that will be delivering a Forbes-like quality article. But should you skimp on the amount and pay $10 to a writer, then you can be sure the writer you attract will be doing nothing more than whipping up hastily written garbage of an article for you.
So Google penalizes you for generating subpar articles. Your reputation gets maligned, and none of the SEO effort you apply pays off in the long run. You however win because you didn’t spend much on the service after all.
SEO is taxing. But there’s a shortcut to it. Where you should be spending sleepless nights analyzing your keywords, spying on your competitors, and drafting high-quality content, you have the option to trick search engines into ranking you favourably.
The only problem is that, while a small section of the population has some strange reasons to believe this still works, the truth is that search engines wised up to every single one of these ploys a long time ago and they’re sternly punishing any site that’s pulling a fast one on them.
In other words, you have a hundred and one SEO stuff to do to improve your ranking in the SERPs — and none of them is easy.
Blackhat techniques offer you an easy way out of all this. Instead of focusing on writing high-quality content, you have link spamming and keyword stuffing to turn to. However, doing all this deliberately flies against the standard policies set by Google and other search engines, and must you be reminded that harsh penalties follow it everywhere.
You might get a short boost from performing all this, but it’s just a matter of time before Google and other search engines gets a wind of it and slaps you with a ban.
Your business is meant to grow, NOT stagnate in its tracks.
Cheap agencies are only cheap because they lack the resources and technical expertise to afford great minds. So they’ll mainly be working with a team of low-wage, inexperienced staff that don’t really understand the finer details of what great SEO really is.
Their options are fewer, and it’s just a matter of time before their SEO effort hits a plateau.
A competent SEO agency, on the other hand, doesn’t haphazardly pick a team of recruits. Rather, they go for some of the greatest minds the industry has to offer.
So where there’s no forward momentum in your business, they’ll have the brainpower to analyse everything and figure out how to break out and keep your business moving.
Their services are also NOT limited by the kind of tools they can afford. If there’s any tool they’re sure will come in handy during their operations, then rest assured the agency uses it.
Cheap SEO doesn’t come with great assets. By that we’re referring to quality content and backlinks, the two most crucial assets that will continue bringing you business value many years to come.
However the same can’t be said about affordable SEO services. That’s because these agencies are so focused on scraping the cheapest options they can find while completely ignoring what your business really needs. Meaning they have no tangible assets to offer.
Their capital also doesn’t allow them to hire the most qualified of the candidates they can find. So they settle for anything random.
Even worse, their general status as a business doesn’t enable them to make the right connection or acquire the right assets that will be seeing to it that they acquire quality link placements.
Experience is Priceless
All the SEO agencies you know started out cheap. Then they learned the ropes and hung in long enough to understand their value. Also, in an effort to ensure that they offer the best SEO services , they had to invest in great minds and resources, while working on constantly improving their skills and expanding their horizons. And suffice it to say that nothing about this came cheaply.
The point is, experience is never cheap. Sacrifices have to be made. Money has to be used. And the gravest of all, you have to pay for some of the mistakes newbies make while learning the ropes and calibrate accordingly.
In other words, if the SEO company you’re about to hire has been in the business long enough to understand the undercurrents and mechanization of great SEO, then they certainly wouldn’t be charging cheap.
That’s NOT to say that SEO agencies should be charging extortionately for their services. But where you’re equipped to help a business boost up it sales to the extent of making millions, then there’s nothing illegal about charging a few ten thousand for your services.
And where affordable agencies have to settle for cheap labour, seasoned agencies go for legitimately proven experts. These are the people who have invested a great deal of their money and resources sharpening their skills and abilities, and they know their value and place to undercharge themselves. So don’t expect them to work for an entry-level pay.
How to Spot an Agency that’s employed Inexperienced workers
Besides being cheap, how else can you tell if an agency is operating with a team of inexperienced SEO workers?
Simple, look for any agency that brags about employing a super-large staff and there goes an agency that works with a team of unqualified marketers. The next thing you know they’ll be low-balling everyone in the industry and over-promising on the results to expect.
A great mind has the experience to run circles around a team of a hundred SEO workers that don’t really understand what it is that they’re doing.
What experience does is that it equips you with the much-needed skill and technical expertise to come up with tested SEO strategies and systems that you can use to generate great SEO results. This has nothing to do with how big your staff is, and more to do with how competent your workforce really is.
So what’s Your Solution if You’re Operating on a Somewhat limited Budget?
SEO isn’t cheap. But that’s NOT to say you should forget about it if you’re operating on a somewhat limited budget.
You can still take advantage of SEO even when your budget isn’t good enough to afford a good SEO agency.
Here are a few solutions to look into:
Do it Yourself
Instead of wasting your hard-earned money finding a cheaper SEO solution, pull up your sleeves and get the job done yourself.
For all we know, this solution is way safer than relying on the services of a cheaper SEO agency.
This option is also recommended because it gives you total control over all your marketing operations, which goes a long way to make you the person responsible for your business success.
You also get to enjoy the added benefit of learning more about SEO.
Come to think of it, your business is like your baby. Your interests lie in doing what’s best for him or her. So you’d want to use the safest and most effective of the strategies you can come up with, where a cheaper agency will be settling for what’s affordable or cheaper.
With the right guidance, it’s even possible to observe the results of your SEO efforts so you can know where to adjust and direct the bulk of your marketing effort.
Focus on Hiring the Right Components, Instead of Delegating it Holistically
This trick applies if you have a basic understanding of the structure surrounding an effective SEO strategy. Instead of handing over all of your SEO assignments to someone else, why NOT structure it into different components and assign each one of them to the most qualified brain you can find.
For instance, instead of writing your own content, why NOT find a talented copywriter or content developer to help you out with the task?
13 Questions You Must Ask an SEO Agency Before Hiring
For starters, SEO in simple means search engine optimisation. It helps optimise your blog or website for better visibility in different search engines like Bing and Google. Also, this process gets more traffic as it increases website views through visitors and clicks on a specific page.
To get your blog or website ranked better, a good SEO agency is a must.
Some of the questions you should ask an SEO firm before banking on them are as follows:
1. Why should I hire an SEO firm?
The many reasons you can use this company offer more advantages than without one.
An SEO expert helps in website design to keep your blog or site user-friendlier. This includes keyword research, content creation, optimization, and link building. What’s more, they save you a lot of time in all these aspects and more.
A reputable SEO agency has enough experience and knowledge in everything SEO. Most of them can handle the nitty-gritty details of search engine optimizations in less time than an individual who is starting to build up a new website.
Another benefit for an SEO company is friendly and reliable service. They understand what you need to optimize and the areas that will rank your site much better. Moreover, each business is unique and focuses on a different audience.
For instance, for online sellers that want to advertise their products, using high-quality backlinks is essential.
2. What should I look for when hiring someone for SEO?
We understand finding the right SEO firm can get tricky, especially if you’re new to the content world. That’s why we have some suggestions that will come in handy when looking for the best fit before putting your signature on that contract.
Experience in your field or niche market
Does the company have enough experience in your line of work or industry? This is important to help you gauge how they will deliver results promptly. Also, it will save time during the initial discussions and help better the expected outcome.
How long has the SEO firm been in operation?
Hiring a new company needs a lot of trusts to get the intended result. You can do a thorough background check and read existing reviews for more information for an SEO firm. Besides, the company might be a start-up but produce great results for its clientele or vice-versa.
Always perform due diligence before committing to a contract to avoid losses and future conflicts. A reputable agency will tell you if they have experience in marketing campaigns such as social media advertising, email marketing, PPC, and more.
Usage of white hat methods
The white hat process is more ethical than the Black hat method. That means the latter’s main objective is using tricks to ensure Google ranks the website faster than other related sites. Also, these tricks can harm your blog in the long run when the search engine discovers unethical details.
Lastly, can this SEO firm offer reputable references from customers they had previously? If the company can provide all these details, you have a better knowledge about their service. Plus, the reviews give some sense of trust about the project you want them to handle.
3. Will they offer free consultations?
Who doesn’t like free stuff, even in the content creation industry? Most people will take this opportunity quickly so long as it offers the desired results. An SEO expert usually tries to lure new clients with pre-existing offers and features.
For example, free advice comes in handy for new customers who want better clarity about the firm’s services. Also, it lets them have a budget and timeline if they decide to go with them. Note that free consultations don’t necessarily mean that you have made a deal with the company.
Moreover, if you want to improve your site, the SEO company must know all the details beforehand. Normally, it includes link building, web loading speed, keywords, and much more. Plus, understanding your needs, objectives, and goals gives the professionals an easier time coming up with proper optimization tools.
4. What is your experience in SEO?
This question can give you an insight into whether the company has more knowledge than others in a similar industry. An SEO firm will show you proof of the previous, current, and ongoing projects they have.
What’s more, you can see how long they have been in operation, their clientele, speed of service, reliability, and much more.
5. What are some important keywords in my targeted audience?
Does the company have some keyword suggestions that will improve your site optimization? An experienced SEO firm should offer some available keywords that suit your blog. Also, planning the area of use will be helpful for a start-up or existing website.
6. Will you offer a progress report?
Most SEO agencies have quality customer service to keep the client informed about the project’s progress. Some offer bi-monthly or monthly reports that show the progress of the task. Plus, these reports will let you know if the optimization to your site is bringing more traffic, views, or a better ranking.
You can always check the status reviews and compare them to your site for quicker confirmation. Things like clicks, reading time, and traffic rate will offer more information.
7. Can you guarantee timely results?
Your expected outcome as the client all depends on the SEO firm’s zeal. Do they promise quick or reasonable results after hiring them? Sometimes ranking on google can take time, especially if using white hat procedures.
What’s more, the changes are affected by several things such as traffic, sales, clicks, leads, and much more. As a customer, patience is key if you need real results with zero optimization trickery. Additionally, your blogs get a higher ranking which might lead to future investments such as affiliations.
8. Is hiring an SEO agency worth it?
The many advantages that overshadow the disadvantages of using an SEO firm are many. They are as follows:
SEO experts are professional, just like other businesses, whether online or physical. Not only do you get friendly staff, but also you can engage them in areas that need improvement.
Depending on your budget, you have lots of SEO company options that suit your blog needs. Multiple agencies usually have similar and different services to meet a client’s SEO wants. What’s more, the pricing can push you whether to settle with the company or not.
Apart from different rates, some SEO professionals allow flexible payments. This is a nice touch for new clients who need to build trust even before paying the whole amount. Plus, the flexibility reduces the pressure of payment plans that feel a little too demanding.
Improved Site Results
Lastly, an SEO company makes sure your site ranks much better than before. The competing websites will have a new competition if all the necessary SEO details are implemented. Also, in a few days, after some small tweaks, you can see a better ranking using your specific key terms.
Note that the well-researched keywords can lead to new clients who want to relate to your website and other related prospects.
9. Are there any particular skills that make you a better SEO firm?
Asking this question will give more information or worthiness to the hiring firm. A professional SEO expert will not only tell but also show you what makes them stand out.
For example, they can show you previous clients’ results that improved their ranking. Other SEO agencies will even go a step further and include bi-weekly reports with positive reviews.
10. Have you worked with clients in my specific industry?
Are you worried that the SEO agency is or has engaged with a competitor? This is not new to the firm because websites might have related keywords and products.
That doesn’t mean that the firm will favor one over the other but only offer what the client needs. And in case the professional has worked with a similar clientele, they have more hands-on experience to give you a quicker turnaround.
11. How often do you perform an update of the specific knowledge base?
Software and Artificial Intelligence are created daily to keep you in tandem with the growing technology. These advanced protocols save time when checking for specific SEO details such as optimization, links, clinks, and ranking.
In addition, an SEO agency needs to implement or use some of these details to improve the knowledge database. Not only do clients get updated information but improve the readability score What is Readability and How Does It Work? | Text inspector in your site.
12. How do other clients find your site?
As a trustworthy SEO company, other customers need to find you easily in more than one location. This will give you a better business opportunity, unlike those that rely on one channel. The following are some places to search for reputable SEO professions.
Nowadays, most companies and customers meet online because of its vast benefits as follows:
You’ll save lots of time when searching for an SEO company through online means. This method lets you google all the most reviewed and trusted firms in your field of work. What’s more, you can pinpoint the features and services that suit your SEO needs.
We love the convenience in most things, whether it’s for casual, family, or professional work. An online SEO search and company bring comfort, especially for work at home individuals. Plus, you can get an instant quotation and consultation before signing an agreement with them.
Another location you can link up with an SEO firm is through friends’ referrals. They come in handy when looking for one that delivers on its promises on time. Also, you get existing reviews and experience your friend had throughout the project.
Word Of Mouth
Do you understand the saying that a good thing doesn’t need too much hype or advertisement? If you offer quality and expert services to existing clients, they will definitely spread the news.
Your clientele base will grow through these positive reviews about your company based on customer service, pricing, speed of delivery or interaction. Also, remember, customers need good communication after entrusting an SEO agency with a specific project.
A magazine is also a reliable source for advertising businesses that deal with SEO services. If you value customers that love reading books, pamphlets, or even newspapers, getting an ad in one of these prints is an excellent move.
The other places prospective clients can find an SEO firm include Local Business Directory, posters, press release events, and the Yellow Pages.
13. Why should we choose you?
The many SEO professionals in the industry offer quality services and are the main competitors over you. For customers, it is best to assure them you can offer better service with no compromise. Some of the important things to check out for are:
- Customer Support
Other aspects that most of these SEO firms should have include:
- Service Guarantee
Give it a Rest
In whatever you do, it’s important that you avoid making a rash decision. This is particularly the case when you’re looking for the right SEO agency to hire, but your budget is a huge obstacle in this.
Instead of hiring the first affordable SEO agency you stumble across, focus on building your funds instead as you contemplate on hiring the most qualified agency somewhere down the road.
In the meantime, keep doing some of the SEO stuff on your own as you learn and organically grow your search traffic.
One of the most important decisions you’ll ever have to make for your business is hiring the right SEO agency. This is NOT a light matter, considering a single mistake on your part could land you in a place that will take you years to recover from.
In whatever you do, the point is to avoid falling for any of these affordable SEO traps laid all over the overcrowded SEO space.
As one of the agencies that understands SEO to the bone, we’re self-promoting ourselves today by mentioning that we’re among the few SEO agencies in Singapore that never overcharge nor undercharge their clients. So if you have any questions concerning the topic at hand or any of the services we offer, please hit our message or chat box, and let’s hear about it.