A simple (accidentally poetic title) for a simple subject – packaged SEO services and their ineffectiveness for most websites
I’ve been burnt by SEO packages while trying to rank my e-commerce business website and now working with our clients I realise I’m not the only one…
Yes I was caught out by those rogue emails from an Indian company promising to boost my traffic with 10 keywords for £175p/month. But after a few months with no results I rectified my mistake and carried on looking for SEO services that would actually make a difference to where my site was positioned on Google.
So again I took the plunge again on a monthly SEO package but this time with a UK based digital agency. And again, was disappointed with the results.
Which is when my own obsessions with optimising websites for search engine started…
After a year learning and implementing everything SEO on my own e-commerce site I came to realise that it wasn’t my previous agencies faults that the site had been stuck in the depths of Google pages 2+. It was my own fault for not knowing enough about the process.
What I didn’t know and what every salesperson had failed to tell me was that I was trying to rank a website in one of the most difficult industries to compete in within the UK.
You see what SEO packages usually lack is that personal touch. Which is so important in the process of gaining exposure on Google. Every website is different, and so are all the other websites that you’re competing with.
Most SEO packages include a set number of backlinks per month, possibly some content, and a number of keywords that they will optimise your site for. But while that might work for a laundry service in Swanage bringing them to page 1 for that exact search, it more than likely won’t work for an artificial grass business in London. And that’s down to the fact that the competitors in the artificial grass business are investing in higher level SEO that delivers as many links, keywords, and content as it takes to be at the top. Not a predetermined amount.
Packaged SEO Content
Once again different strokes for different folks. Not all website require the same type of content or quantity. But as with most packages the content is limited to a number of blog posts per month.
This isn’t the only limitation to packaged SEO content. Generally, most of these services are cheaper than most and don’t require you to enter a contract. Which is useful for some people. But the major drawback to that comes in the lack of a content strategy.
If your service provider is just pumping out 2 blog posts a month talking loosely about your industry then while this might help boost your rankings in the short term, it won’t stand a chance in the long term. Also it could actually damage your brands’ reputation.
Going back to competition, if your closest competitor has an agency with a thorough content strategy; creating outstanding content that actually get’s found, shared and converts then you won’t stand a chance of competing in the search results.
Penalties and the long term
If you’re reading this then I’ve assumed you already understand that building irrelevant links, spamming keywords, and using shady tactics can lead to your site being penalised by Google.
From mine and other peoples experiences with SEO packages I can say that without a doubt any packaged SEO service that doesn’t include a contract and appears too cheap, is likely to be low quality. If you order a package that promises 5 backlinks a month and delivers that 5 backlinks from spammy websites then you’ll no doubt see some improvement in your rankings.
However, in the long run as Google evolves and it’s algorithms get smarter these types of links are likely to hinder your websites performance. Going as far as landing you with a penalty which can be a tough blow to come back from.
It all comes back to the long term message that all noticeable entrepreneurs are pushing right now. Are you considering the long term growth of your business and the appearance of your brand? While packaged SEO services can sometimes provide impressive results, they can’t match the longevity and results delivered by a structured SEO campaign with a real strategy behind it.
I did say ‘For most!’
If you’re a hyper-local service provider with a low-mid average sale value, for example an ironing service, then using a high-quality SEO package is likely to help bring your website up the search results and hopefully into the map section within your area.
But this is one of the only applications that I would consider suitable for a packaged solution. Most business out there are thinking long-term growth, and the only way to achieve that on search engines is with a proper strategy and expert execution. Both things which you’re not likely to get with a rolling monthly one-size-fits-all SEO service.
As with any other marketing service for your business, you get what you pay for when it comes to SEO; and although full-service agencies are more expensive than packages the personalised approach and expertise are well worth it. After all, you’re investing in the future of your business!
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