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9 Big Risks of Cheap SEO

Search engine optimization requires investment. Look at it as an investment with an expectation of return on that investment.

SEO is a long-term discipline and process. It demands a strong plan for strategy development and implementation in technical, on-page and off-page optimization.

Not all sites are the same. Goals, conversions, starting points, opportunities, and organizational structure are some factors that determine how easy or hard it will be to achieve SEO goals.

Over my career, I have worked with hundreds of brands, organizations and sites on SEO. I can definitively say there is no one-size-fits-all answer for the right SEO plan or the right partner for each company.

An important variable in SEO ROI is the amount of investment itself. If you have it covered by someone on your team or in a role that you manage, then you have soft costs. If you’re paying someone outside like a consultant, agency or SEO firm, then you also realize the hard costs.

Using the “cheap” option is dangerous. Cheap is a relative term, but it will make sense what it is as I unpack the nine risks of cheap SEO.

1. Absence of a strategy and plan


With short-term tactics and long-term expectations on ROI, it’s important to have a roadmap for SEO. Yes, it will likely change based on the need for additional content, rounds of optimization, and changes with search engine algorithms.

Yet, when cutting corners, cost or time, you risk being short-changed when it comes to putting enough time into research, strategy development, and planning out tactics.

2. Misalignment of goals

An age-old frustration for me has been seeing and hearing about SEO reports that only report the ranking position, keyword ranking, and clicks. Even some conversion reporting levels can be classified as this for me.

I painfully learned about the misalignment of SEO goals versus business goals firsthand at the beginning of my career a long time ago. I can still remember walking confidently into that client meeting with all my SEO metrics looking great, thinking the client would be pleased. The client walked in thinking the opposite as they saw zero new business from SEO efforts.

Cheap SEO runs the risk of showing shallow stats and focusing on things that are not tailored to your business or that really move the needle.

3. Lack of transparency

If you are buying $99/month SEO, there must be something that allows the company to charge such a low price. Or, if you invest in equally cheap software that promises to deliver results, you risk not getting a transparent picture of what you are buying.

One of the things I hate most about this industry (my industry) is that there are still entities out there that take advantage of small (and even large) businesses.

Lack of transparency is a warning sign that you are at risk of getting hurt by cheap SEO. It can cover:

4. Risky tactics

I’m not here to dive into any debate or talk about gray areas or risky tactics. You can find those conversations and debates elsewhere, and I’m happy to have them.

You need to know that cheap SEO can often take shortcuts to make it affordable. It can include:

Again, you can be the judge of whether you’re OK with that tactic or not, but know that the risks are there.

It is especially if you experience a lack of strategy, lack of transparency, or other aspects that I have shared.

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5. Poor reporting

Good SEO reporting includes integration with your important business metrics and all aspects that lead to that point. That means SEO visibility and engagement metrics and stories and insights as to what drove the business.

Cheap SEO often leads to skimpy, inadequate or unreliable reports. That can lead to seeing numbers that don’t make sense or that aren’t deep enough to justify the effort.

6. Not enough communication

Early in my career, I was able to do more SEO in a silo than I can do today. I think evolution and blowing up of silos is a good thing.

That said, whoever is driving the strategy, implementing the tactics and reporting on the plan needs to talk regularly. SEO requires alignment of approvers / stakeholders, strategists, UX, dev, IT, content producers, and others.

Cheap SEO often leads to promises to do it all, only for cheap SEO providers to disappear. They may also over-promise or over-commit without sufficient communication to collaborate properly and have all resources working together to succeed.

7. Little action

Again, I hate to see people being taken advantage of. Yes, cheap SEO is cheap. That means if it doesn’t work, then you don’t get out as much money as if you invested in expensive businesses that failed.

However, the time lost now pushes out the timeline for ROI and results down the road. If the cheap SEO provider is slow or only the same amount as the monthly or set scope, it can cost you the speed and speed at which you can grow through SEO.

Cheap SEO risks wasting your time and ability for months, even if it doesn’t set you back financially.

8. Cookie-cutter tactics

Even if you see some positive movement with cheap SEO providers, chances are your mileage will vary. You are likely to have someone living in a shallow strategy area who is working through a checklist.

SEO is more than a checklist. If you go for cookie-cutter tactics, you will have a lower ceiling than if you work with someone who may be a bigger investment but provides you with a more specialized approach and solution.

Cheap SEO is often based on running through simple audits, software, or checklists that anyone can apply and does not get deep enough to push through for more competitive markets and keywords.

9. Negative ROI

The most important and biggest risk of cheap SEO is negative ROI. Again, maybe you don’t leave a large amount of money if the business has no impact.

However, if the cheap SEO option does harm, you may have some hidden costs that push you into the next negative area.

Have to cancel risky tactics that may have gotten you penalized or pushed into negative SEO territory, trying to regain lost time and money, is a big risk of cheap SEO that falls into the arena of negative ROI.


I am not saying that expensive SEO is good. That’s a topic for another post (and how to make sure you fully understand what you’re getting into without investing too much and putting yourself in a negative SEO ROI position).

Knowing the risks of cheap SEO, though, can help you know what you’re getting into and fully understand the questions to ask, the warning signs to watch for, or the situations to avoid. Much like other areas of life and business – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Find references, references and case studies to find the right partner for you if you’re hiring an SEO firm, buying software, or hiring talent. Recognize the risks and notice your return on investment goals and how you are trending and tracking towards them.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and are not necessarily those of Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Corey Morris is a skilled marketing professional with 15+ years of experience developing award-winning, ROI-generating digital strategies for local and national brands. He was recently honored as the recipient of the KCDMA 2019 Marketer of the Year award. & # xD;

What are negative words in SEO?

Corey serves as chief strategy officer at Voltage – a marketing firm based in Kansas City, MO. Previously, he founded the KC Search Marketing Conference to help build a local community for search marketers to grow their careers. He was recognized for his involvement in conferences and was invited to join the global board of SEMPO (now part of DAA) as VP of Cities.

Keyword types that prevent your ad from being triggered by certain words or phrases. Your ad isn’t being shown to anyone searching for that phrase. This is also known as a negative match.

What are examples of negative keywords?

What are positive and negative keywords? Positive keywords serve to entice viewers to click, which will charge you for your ad. Negative keywords will ensure that you don’t waste clicks on irrelevant queries. Because negative keywords that filter out instances that will likely have a low impact or do not convert you will not attend.

What is best negative keywords for Google Ads?

For example, a set of negative keywords like “women’s pants” will block bidding on pages with content about women’s jeans, even if the exact phrase “women’s pants” does not appear on the page.

  • Every PPC marketer should use negative keywords in their campaigns and / or Ad Groups …. Then make sure to add this list of negative keywords to campaigns or ad groups that are not targeted at discount audiences:
  • discount price.
  • free
  • cheap
  • liquidation.
  • many odd.
  • over stock.
  • the rest.

How do you write negative keywords?

the rest.

What is negative phrase keyword?

Select Lock and Targeting > Lock, Negative. Click Make some changes. Select My data includes columns for campaigns and/or ad groups or Use selected goals. If you select Use selected goals, select Add as campaign-level negative keyword or Add as ad group-level negative keyword.

How do you write negative keywords?

Keyword settings that allow you to exclude your ads for searches that include specific keyword phrases. Searches may include additional words, and ads will not be shown as long as keywords are included in the search in the same order. Search. Can ads be shown?

How do you use negative keywords in search?

Select Lock and Targeting > Lock, Negative. Click Make some changes. Select My data includes columns for campaigns and/or ad groups or Use selected goals. If you select Use selected goals, select Add as campaign-level negative keyword or Add as ad group-level negative keyword.

How do I use negative keywords in Google search?

From your Google search term report: Click the Keywords tab. Select the check box next to the keywords you want to run a search report on, then click the Search Criteria button. Select an irrelevant search term and click âAdd as negative keyword:â

How do I make a negative list for keywords?

To add negative keywords to your Google Ads account, find the ‘Negative Keywords’ section in ‘Keywords’ in the left panel, then click the blue button where you will be able to add negative keywords to the list and choose to add them at the campaign level or ad group

  • Create a negative keyword list
  • From the page menu on the left, click Lock.
  • Click the negative keyword above.
  • Click the plus button.
  • Click Select campaign, then select the campaign you want to add to the negative keyword list.

How do I use negative keywords in Google?

Enter or paste one negative keyword per line in the text field.

How do I search for negative keywords in Google ads?

Do you need SEO for social media?

Add individual negative keywords to an ad group or campaign Select Keywords and Target > Keywords, Negative. Click Add negative keyword and select Ad group negative keyword or Campaign negative keyword. If prompted, select a destination for the new negative keyword and click OK.

An effective social media strategy must have a solid SEO plan in place because both go hand in hand. Every step you take to improve your social media marketing efforts should be aligned with your SEO strategy.

What does SEO have to do with social media?

Is SEO more important than social media? Simply put, SEO focuses on optimizing your website for search engines. This optimization is important because search engines are more efficient in generating high traffic to your website than all social media sites combined.

How is SEO linked to social media?

Social SEO refers to the idea that social media links and interactions play a considerable part in a website’s search rankings. Basically SEO is all about optimizing your content—whether it is on your website or on social media platforms—so that it appears higher in the search rankings.

Is SEO important for social media?

Social media does not directly contribute to SEO ranking, but the links you share across social platforms increase brand exposure. They add up and the effect of search engine optimization in six directions: Extensive content distribution. Longer life of your posts.

How SEO can help social media?

Why Social Media is Important for SEO. SEO is about optimizing your website so that it appears in searches made by people looking for your product or service, and encouraging them to visit your website. Social media does the same thing – it gets your name and content in front of people who are interested in what you have to offer.

Is SEO important for Facebook?

Here’s how your SEO efforts can help support your social media marketing efforts: Keyword Research Tells You What Your Followers Want. SEO Best Practices Enable Social Search Success. Technical SEO Leads to Better Social Performance and Tracking.

Do Facebook ads use SEO?

It may seem difficult to keep SEO in mind when creating your Facebook posts â but trust us, it’s worth it! Including keywords in your post description will make your content go further and help you increase your reach and engagement.

Does SEO Matter on Facebook?

#1 â Post Engagement Ads This is our favorite type of Facebook Ad. We use it not only for SEO but also for branding and advertising. These ads can target users who are related to your business page. You can also target users who have engaged with your past posts shared on your brand page.

How do I make my content SEO friendly?

Well, your Facebook page is basically a website, so the same SEO principles should be used to maximize your reach and web traffic. Using the key principles of SEO on your Facebook page, you will increase your organic visibility and search ranking (both on Facebook and across search engines).

Writing SEO friendly URLs When it comes to creating SEO friendly URLs, use the following rules: Include the target keyword for each page. It will increase the search visibility of your website and help search engines better categorize and identify the page. Shorten your URL by removing unnecessary words.

  • How do I create SEO friendly content? How to make your content SEO-friendly
  • Use headlines and sub-headers. Using headlines and sub-headers does several things for SEO optimization. …
  • Add links to previous content. …
  • Optimize your article length. …
  • Choose your keywords wisely. …
  • Optimize your images. …
  • Make content shareable. …

How can I tell if content is SEO friendly?

Write high quality content.

What makes a website SEO friendly?

Check if your website URL is SEO friendly. In order for links to be SEO friendly, they must contain keywords relevant to the topic of our page, and contain no spaces, underscores or other characters. You should avoid the use of parameters when possible, as they make the URL less inviting for users to click or share.

What are examples of negative keywords?

Creating an SEO-friendly website means that Google and other search engines can crawl every page on the website efficiently, interpret the content effectively, and index it in their database. Once indexed, they can then serve up the most relevant and valuable web pages to users based on the topic they are searching for.

For example, a set of negative keywords like "women’s pants" will block offers on pages with content about women’s jeans, even if the exact phrase "women’s pants" does not appear on the page.

Why is SEO so difficult?

How do you write negative keywords? Select Lock and Targeting > Lock, Negative. Click Make some changes. Select My data includes columns for campaigns and/or ad groups or Use selected goals. If you select Use selected goals, select Add as campaign-level negative keyword or Add as ad group-level negative keyword.

To sum it up, SEO is difficult because search engines are always changing and updating. It could be anything from Google changing the way it looks at certain types of links, including a new major update to their algorithm, or even recognizing something new as a ranking factor.

Why people are afraid of SEO?

How long does it take to master SEO? If you can learn SEO for a few hours every day, then you can master SEO basics in 4-8 weeks and get your first SEO job in 3-6 months. If you can learn SEO full time, then you can master the basics even in 1-2 weeks.

Is SEO difficult to learn?

The fear that SEO is too complicated, technical, gimmicky and involve possible penalties are common misconceptions people new to SEO have. Once you learn more about SEO yourself, you will be more comfortable and confident to implement your own strategy or work closely with an agency.

Can You Learn SEO by yourself?

SEO is not difficult to learn. All you need to do is be willing to put in the time and effort required to learn various SEO concepts. If you’re just getting started with SEO and wondering what it takes to go from novice to expert, then this post is for you.

Is SEO easy or hard?

You can actually do SEO yourself or DIY SEO (Do It Yourself SEO). With some research and a lot of practice, anyone can learn how to do SEO for their business. A quick way to start SEO is to enter your URL here and then focus your SEO efforts on the recommended action items.

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