We have written about the changes Google Panda and Google Penguin brought to the SEO world. With Google penalizing low-quality websites, big businesses are moving away from low-quality SEO practices as well. It is the smaller website owners that rarely have funds to spend on SEO services and are slow to increase their original SEO budget. We offer the following reasons on why they should reconsider.
A Message from Google
SEO tactics that worked in 2008 are no longer relevant today. Keyword stuffing, article spinning, paid links, and other “black hat” techniques damage a website. The worst consequence is the de-indexing from Google search engine rank pages. Google perceives your website as low quality and they remove you completely from the search page.
As Google continues its emphasis on good quality content, cheap SEO services are what website owners should avoid. Red flags should go up when an SEO service provider promises unrealistic deliverables such as building over a thousand links in a week. It’s possible, but the links will be low-quality or paid links, resulting in an “unnatural link” warning from Google. This happens when there are too many paid links connecting to the site. The links are in no relation to each other, yet somehow a link was established–a sneakers website linking into poker website. Take immediate action when you get a warning from Google.
Increase the SEO Budget / Change Your Strategy
In the end, it costs more money to clean up a bad website, because you are paying twice—once for the cheap SEO services, and twice for the new agency that will eventually have to clean up. One of our clients came to us with so many unnatural and bad links, it literally took days to fix her site. Putting forth a larger budget for high-quality SEO in the beginning would have saved her hundreds of dollars.
One new way to get creative with SEO is with new practices like newsjacking. This is when you ride the wave of public attention on news events or stories for advertising purposes. It’s not expensive to do, it’s fresh content, and it’s healthy. Read this great article on how companies “newsjacked” the Oscars.
SEO Should Be Fully Integrated into Marketing
SEO is rapidly catching up to the same level of importance as marketing and public relations. In this fast-paced, evolving, digital world, SEO is no longer a technical exercise.
Website owners tend to delegate the SEO strategy to a firm and walk away and trust that their SEO strategy will fly on auto-pilot. This is rarely the case. You should always be on top of the SEO strategy having frequent communication with your service provider to understand what is happening or you may find the agency is using black hat.
All industries mature over time and the price-points usually change along the way. SEO is one of these young, emerging industries that in the last few years has grown to a mature state, especially after Google algorithm updates were implemented. Keyword optimization will continue to become more difficult, but the return on investment (ROI) remains high for small businesses. In the end, that is what matters most.