Let’s Ask Google: Why $100 SEO is Bad for Business

Gemma Foster

Google $100 seo

We are all victims of a too good to be true deal – the perfect pair of pumps for less than $10? Who would not take that deal? Alas though, the day comes ten days later when they fall apart. But it was only $10! Add all of those $10 purchases up over a year, and that can = upwards of $100! Enough about shoes, though (sigh).

I have seen so many businesses over the years take the same attitude when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Unlike the pumps, this ends up presenting some pretty big repercussions in the long run! Below I will illustrate two clients, both in the same industry, both vertical, and both in the same area, but with one key difference:

  • Client A = $100 SEO Budget
  • Client B = $750 SEO Budget

Months 1 to 2

Client A = “I got such a good deal, take that marketing budget! I wonder when I am going to see an action plan of all the great stuff they are going to do for me?” Unfortunately for client A, he is not going to see an action or game plan, or if he does, it is going to be very bare. $100 does not leave a lot of room for setup (or at least a good setup) and initial link building, which normally costs the agency $ and is normally worked into the budget, but as you can imagine, $100 does not leave a lot of room.

Client B = “Hmmm that was a chunk out of my marketing budget, but at least they have sent me a game plan for the next six months. I hope the investment was worth it”. I know how hard it can be to sign on for what can seem like a big marketing budget, but the reality is, you will get a game plan, see the setup in action on your site, and be given audits and SEO friendly content. You will clearly be able to see the wheels turning for your campaign.

Months 3 to 4

Client A = “Still no leads from online. I still haven’t heard back from them with the questions I have asked. Maybe I should request a meeting?” Unfortunately for client A, when you have such a small budget, it can sometimes be difficult to get the attention of an Account Manager, so you generally will not get frequent updates about what is happening with your results. Large agencies will give you a client manager or account manager to guide you through the process of your campaign, including execution and monthly work. During this time period you may see some jumps. Reports will always be provided.

Client B = “I am getting some new traffic, but not a lot. My client manager keeps telling me that we are on track and seeing growth.  They have sent me reports, and examples of the blogs we are publishing. I guess I just have to be patient.”  This tends to be normal around this mark with a client.  Growth is slow, but you are kept informed every step of the way.

Months 5 to 6

Client A
= “Still no leads from online, I have heard nothing from the agency, and now I have an unnatural link warning in webmaster tools, and my traffic has gone down.  Why is this happening?” This is the way it almost always goes, Client A has had his website posted on bad sites as part of his off page strategy, and now runs the risk of a penalty.

seo meme

Client B = “Nice, I am now seeing myself on page one, and my organic traffic and leads have grown.” The blogs being written are also pretty good!” Normally around this mark you tend to start seeing good results, and as more time goes on your leads and organic traffic will continue to improve. You also have the comfort of having someone dedicated looking after your account.

The above are experiences I have seen from clients over the years, and unfortunately for Client A, if he ever wants to continue with SEO, instead of going with the right agency in the first place, he’ll have wasted $600-$700 on the wrong agency, and now may even need to pay a higher premium to get them out of the penalty he is more than likely in.

I do hope this helps anyone thinking it might be a good idea to go cheap. Like everything in life, you get what you pay for. You don’t get 5 star gourmet for McDonald’s prices.


Gemma Foster

Gemma is Spark’s resident SEO Specialist, she works her magic to help ensure our clients get the best possible online exposure.

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