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Why Cheap SEO and Content Writing May Cost Your Business More than You Realize

September 25th, 2012

Posted by to Content Marketing, Search Engine Marketing

In order to succeed, a business must make smart financial decisions. Often, this means saving money by cutting out unnecessary costs and finding solutions that have the least impact on their budgets.  There are some instances, however, in which the cheapest solution may wind up costing the most in the long-run.

To the uninitiated, both search engine optimization and content creation can seem deceptively simple. After all, how hard can it be to write some website content describing your company, add some links, and throw some keywords in for good measure? Yes, doing those things is simple: doing them right, however, is an entirely different story.

Quite simply, good results require experience, expertise in the latest industry changes, and dedication to producing the best possible results. Quality SEO and online content don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but if it sounds too good – or too cheap – be true, it probably is. Going cut-rate is taking a huge risk that could seriously damage your online reputation, waste valuable time, and, by time the damage has been repaired, end up costing far more than hiring a professional from the outset.

Search Engine Optimization

It seems that everyone knows someone who dabbles in search engine optimization in their spare time. SEO as a part-time interest is great for someone practicing on a personal website as a hobby. However, correctly optimizing a brand’s customer-facing website and online marketing efforts requires more than a working knowledge of SEO; it requires in-depth expertise and cutting-edge knowledge of the latest techniques, practices and algorithms.

Search engine optimization is a multi-faceted process that includes both on-page and off-page tactics. The quality of your SEO can be the difference between high rankings that get your site in front of the very customers you want, and letting your site get lost in the crowd – or worse, banished completely.

Watch Out For:

In SEO, there is generally no such thing as a “quick-fix”; good, lasting results take time to cultivate and build, and rushing any part of the process, from defining your search engine target audience to strategizing on keywords and content to link building, is a recipe for failure. Professional SEO experts understand that getting results will require careful implementation and monitoring over time. Beware of any firm or SEO specialist that promises instant results, such as immediate top listings in search engines or a huge number of links overnight. In fact, Google has directly stated that “no one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.” Such promises are generally a sure way to spot inexperience or shady, “black hat” techniques that are not only ineffective, but likely to have severely damaging consequences.

What Could Go Wrong?

Because of the many components of SEO, there are a number of potential points of failure that can lead to completely ineffective results. And unfortunately, all of them can easily get you in hot water with Google if your expert is inexperienced, out of date, or unscrupulous. Since the release of Google’s Penguin algorithm earlier this year, sites that had turned to link-building through link buying, spamming, or other low-quality methods have been paying the price by taking huge hits in their search engine rankings, or even getting blacklisted completely. The search engine giant has also clamped down on over-optimization in recent algorithm changes, punishing tactics like keyword stuffing.

Content

The content on your website or blog is there to do more than make a page look filled-out; great content provides value to your brand by creating interest and “selling” your message, and provides value to readers by clearly and concisely giving them the information they need to learn more, solve their problems, and trust your brand. When copy is written well, it can help build a strong and lasting relationship between customer and brand. On the other hand, many of us have had the (unfortunate) experience of reading poorly written, over-optimized website copy: paragraph after paragraph of content with little substance, but an overabundance of keywords and phrases. Not only does this ineffective content waste your time and money, but it can actually work against you.

Watch Out For:

Crafting effective content takes a good amount of time, expertise, and research. It is custom-created for each client – and each project – to effectively convey the brand’s message, engage readers, and assist with SEO by optimizing the page or project for a target audience. Many times, “bargain” content is produced by content mills that focus on speed rather than quality, quickly churning out massive amounts of regurgitated, low-quality content. Before hiring a content writer, ask to see samples of the writer or marketing firm’s work.

What Could Go Wrong?

From a reader’s point of view, shoddy content is, at the very least, annoying and distracting. The benefits of your products or services are lost in the distraction (if they are even fully explained in the first place), and as your readers lose interest, your site – and your brand – also loses credibility.

But readers aren’t the only ones who may be turned off by poorly written content; search engines are likely to notice, too. For years, Google has taken an aggressive stance towards penalizing sites that cut corners with filler instead of providing valuable content. Not only could your content wind up boring readers instead of compelling them to take action, but poor content can also make it harder to find your site in the first place.

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  • There’s some great information in here for people who are looking for someone to provide them with cheap SEO and content writing. There’s a third prong to this that hasn’t been mentioned, and I’d like to do that if I may.

    An important part of any SEO or SEM strategy is getting backlinks. Your content writer is an important tool in this strategy, so all of the things Amanda said here are just as true. There is, however, one more consideration. Once the content has been written for you, where does it go?

    Many content writers have fallen into the habit of taking a “more is better” approach in using content writing as a link building tool. Thus a writer might provide you with an excellent blog post for the blog you use to keep customers coming back, but then turn around and post the same article in twenty other locations. This may sound good but there are two problems. First is that Google is not fond of duplicate content. If it sees the same (non-news) article reposted several hundred times it rapidly devalues that article. The second is that this can result in article posting that is no less spammy than random blog or forum comments. Google knows what sites are about. If it finds an article about parcel package delivery services on a site whose articles also include Veterinary advice and movie reviews it gives that article a lower rating than if the article was on a site that talks about online marketing only.

    When looking for a content writer or SEO expert, check into their approach to link building. If it doesn’t include a focus on making sure they are getting links on relevant sites using relevant content, shy away! They may be cheaper, but the ROI won’t be worth it.

  • Any activity that a company does for its benefit, like increase its customer database or increase its popularity, it has to ensure that the best resources are put to use to deliver the output. Treating it as an expense will not result in good output, as shortcuts are bound to be used. Treating it as an investment, should be the approach used, as it gives long term benefits and high output and growth prospects.

  • Cheap SEO and content writing sounds good but there is nothing good in it most of the times. If you wanna get good results on goolge you need experienced SEO professionals and Content Writers, and a experienced person will charge much. SO The Less experienced SEO do unethical SEO which results in bad ranking.

  • I run an embroidery digitizing business and would like to increase my customer base, I have already tried online advertising with many providers, such as Google Adwords, Yahoo and the likes.

    Unfortunately nothing seems to work – I have done my own Search Engine Optimization – and even though my site is listed in the top 10 of Yahoo organic search, I have not been receiving any significant enquiries.

    I also tried my hands on direct marketing, by mailing postcards – that doesn’t seem to work either and I might I add – its very expensive.

    Besides, I reckon that most of the businesses involved in retail embroidery are still not using internet as a means of communication, sales or outsourcing.

    I am planning on advertising in newspapers and the thing that I can’t seem to decide is that should I go for ‘Thrifty Nickels’ or ‘Penny Savers’ to get the most for my money.

    The basic consideration is that the ads should have a longer shelf life and big circluation and inexpensive.

  • There are all kinds of theories regarding linkbuilding and SEO. Have you heard about contextual links? Can you give an example? Why does Google love these links?

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