The saying “you get what you pay for” applies to SEO. If you’re looking for the cheapest possible way to optimize your website, you may want to rethink your strategy. There are a lot of reasons why you wouldn't want to pay for cheap SEO. The first and foremost reason is that it is risky and will most likely get you penalized by Google for spam.
Since March 2012 when Google released its first update to fight against SEO spam, Google has been penalizing websites that purchased backlinks to manipulate search results. Over the years, there have been many more updates affecting how websites are allowed to optimize. The bottom line is that you can’t buy your way to better search engine results. You have to earn them by putting in the hard work (or hiring a reputable digital marketing agency to do the work for you).
Top 5 Cheap SEO Tactics That Will Hurt Your Website
Here are the top 5 cheap SEO tactics to avoid:
- Buying links - It's pretty much common knowledge that you don't want to buy links anymore. If you do anything DO NOT BUY INBOUND LINKS TO YOUR WEBSITE. Those who do are playing Russian roulette; they will eventually be penalized.
- Copying content - Some businesses are copying content from other websites and posting it on their blogs and website pages. This practice not only has the potential for getting penalized for duplicate content from Google but is also illegal. Copyright laws protect all the content on the web and you could get sued for doing this.
- Directory submissions – Making directory submissions used to be common practice to get backlinks. Today, it is not only a waste of time but can hurt your search engine rankings. The only caveat is that you want to make sure you are listed properly on local directories and Google My Business. To do this, you will need to fill out all information about your business and make sure your NAP (name, address and phone number) is consistent. Don't take short cuts and do the work to get listed properly.
- Thin content - If your pages and posts are less than 250 words then you risk losing credibility and will get penalized. Google considers this content "thin" and not having enough value to present to their searchers. Blog posts should be a minimum of 600 words, or 1,500 to 2,000 plus for expert articles.
- Over optimizing – It’s a bad idea to “over stuff” your keywords into the body copy. Your blogs should read naturally and normally while carefully incorporating the most important keywords.
Stay away from any SEO company that uses these tactics. There are other warning signs that you may be dealing with a black hat or ineffective SEO company, including:
Your ROI (return on investment) is determined by ranking reports - Back in the day we used ranking reports to determine placement on search engines. We would target specific keywords and work on optimizing for the search engines to get higher rankings. This used to work well but isn’t as relevant anymore. The reason being that we care less about rankings and more about traffic. Are you getting calls or emails through your website that are converting into paying customers?
How should I optimize my website?
So, what do you do to optimize your website? You need to create content to attract your potential customers using carefully written Buyer Personas. Once you get visitors to your website, you need to create ways to convert those visitors to leads through the buyer journey. Even qualified leads often need to be nurtured through emails and social media to close them as customers.
Our plans are simple to understand and deliver results. To find out more: