Is Cheap SEO Of Any Use?

They say that, “Long after the sweet taste of low cost is forgotten, the bitterness of a poor choice remains”.

When it comes to SEO, this old saying is no less true.

In fact it ties in with another, “you get what you pay for“.

Pay a little, get a little.

Pay a lot, get a lot.

Pretty simple equation wouldn’t you say?

Well, in SEO circles there is another confusing factor. And it goes like this…

SEO, Ah… What Exactly Am I Paying For?

Most people are not aware of exactly what it is they are paying for when it comes to hiring an SEO company to look after their online promotion and reputation.

SEO companies are famous for fluffing out their deliverables by putting decoys in their clients paths. Things such as, confusing reports, graphs and charts and other diversionary distractions.

But what did you actually do for me? Is often asked.

And aside from the seo hirer’s confusion is the fact that the SEO practitioner can get shafted, even when they provide a good service. It goes something like this, “Hey look at us, we are making good money, our rankings are great, so we probably don’t need the seo guy anymore right?”…

So much confounding fog on both sides of the equation.

For the client:

You got to sell more product – that is what your SEO guy did for you. Anything else is not needed to be known.

For the seo guy:

You did your job well and got good rankings for your client and through more website visits, connected with more new customers. End of story.

Attention: All Parties!

Both parties need to remember this, SEO is designed to help increase exposure via search. When the efforts of the SEO guy or gal are fruitful, this usually leads to increased sales or leads for the client.

Back to the original point, you get what you pay for. Too often I will loose a prospective client to someone who will under cut my prices. This stings, as no one likes to loose. But…

Undercutting is a race to the bottom, so you need to know your anchor point and remain true to your value proposition. I like to charge my clients in line with what my SEO can do for improving their bottom-lines.

I stick to my guns. My price is fair, especially when your gain is exceptional.

When prospects can see what good SEO has done for someone else, they are getting a glimpse at their own future. To be able to use a case study, to enlighten the otherwise dark and mysterious path of SEO, is one of, if not the best way to demonstrate – what your are actually getting for your money.

Let’s look at an example:

Dr John (not his real name) is a well respected plastic surgeon who up until his site got slammed by Google, was getting a good amount of new patient inquiries – leading to bookings.

He didn’t know what to do, his site was sinking fast and despite the best efforts of his current SEO company, things just got worse.

His surgery had overheads that were not being met by his current cash flow and he had to do something to stop the money bleed.

He turns to Google Adwords.

It is expensive, with some clicks costing him $60+ each time someone just clicks on an ad in the search results.

Things go well, he stems the financial hemorrhage and the day has been saved. Well sort of…

He now runs at a considerably high cost per acquisition equation, for finding new patients.

Cost of New Patient Acquisition

Each ad click in the Google search results paid ads section, averages $45,  and this times 42 equals $1890.

Forty two is the average number of ad clicks it costs to find and secure a new patient. With an average cost of a procedure being $8,900 he is netting approximately $7,010 and this is before his other overheads are considered.

Each month he gains an average of 10 new patients, so we know he is spending about $18,900 on Google Adwords. Over a year that is $226,800 he is spending on his search marketing efforts.

Now enter smart(er) SEO consultant who comes in and demonstrates a way to start a brand new website on a new domain, all the while leaving the existing site complete with the Dr John branding in place. This new site cost’s $12k to hand build in accordance to the new Google Panda specifications and his SEO costs him $5k per month.

He begins to now get 15 new patients per month, after his site has reached the top of the search results, typically after 6 – 12 months and now he is very happy with the results.

By reducing his Google Adwords dependence over those 12 months down to $0, he is in front by $13,900 per month ($18,900 – $5,000) which ads [sic] up to $166,800 saved each year.

On top of that, his increase in new patients from 10 to 15 each month, means those 5 new patients he adds to his customer list each month, add up to an extra turn over of of over $500,000.

Patient = $8,900
x 5 = $44,500
x 12 = $534,000

Who Wants To Bump The Bottom Line Up Another $500k?

Now here’s the question, if you knew for certain this was going to be your outcome by investing in proper SEO that delivers these results time and time again like clockwork, would you risk this by looking for a cheaper alternative to save a few hundred or even a couple of thousand a month?

My guess is, if you are short sighted and love a bargain, or are always looking to get the best deal, by taking a quote and getting someone to undercut it, then you are probably not going to see the sorts of returns I have demonstrated above. Your peanuts mentality will get you comical results like an unfortunate episode in a Charlie Brown sketch. The only problem is, this is no laughing matter.

“What am I paying for with SEO?” the answer is more patients.

When done right with a proper realistic budget and the right team behind your SEO efforts, you can expect to increase your new patient acquisitions and lower your marketing costs substantially.

To find out exactly what your (current) SEO company is up to, why not schedule a 30 minute strategy Skype call and I can show you not only what you are missing out on currently, I can show actual cases studies of doctors who are prepared to share their success stories. So what are you waiting for, your 30 minute strategy call is free, so get in touch today.

Does Negative SEO Still Exist?

Today, we no longer have to wait to see the effects of Google algorithm changes, as the long awaited  Penguin Live Update is now in live refresh.

For those unfamiliar with Google’s obsession with black and white furry animals, Panda and Penguin, we are talking here about one of the automated ways that Google applies filtering to the search results, or serps as they are referred to.

The use of automated rules or algorithms, helps Google with their mammoth task of deciding who should be listed at #1 in the serps, and who is worth of position two, three, so on and so forth – up to millions of places for those in the running for ranking.

Penguin Now Live Refresh

Now the Penguin algorithm, is a set of rules that attempts to intelligently analyze who has been playing naughty and who has been playing the right Google game, when it comes to links from other peoples websites. At the very heart of the way Google decide who is worthy of a top spot in their serps, is the ranking factor of links (actually votes) from other people’s websites, that determine who should be seen as the authority and claim the number one spot for any given search term or keyword as they are referred to.

So the thing that Penguin is attempting to do, is decide which links are real or earned and which links have been paid for or bought. Google are desperately stamping out anything that openly flaunts their rules with the Penguin algorithm, and that means even websites that have not done anything wrong other than rank too well for a competitor, who has no problem with hiring someone on to do a “Negative SEO” attack on the competitors site (as in your site). This is usually what has happened in the situation where someone didn’t want to do Google allowed or approved SEO but wanted to remove a competitor from the search results so that they could ascend instead.

Negative SEO Is Real & It Hurts Bad

If you have ever had this happen to your site, you will know how devastating this is for traffic and conversions, and how much of a nightmare that follows in trying to get the penalty removed. Google have provided tools and means for achieving this end but the process has been horribly slow due to the fact that the penalty is only removed when Google get around to refreshing the Penguin algorithmic index.

The last time this occurred was in October of 2016, so even after disavowing low quality links and having links from dubious sources removed, a site may technically be out of penalty, it remains in a state of fallen grace until Google update Penguin which now openly ignores worthless links.

The promise of the “Live Refesh” of Penguin, is that in a penalty situation from over zealous or unscrupulous backlinking by you, an SEO firm or a hacker on Fiverr will be instantly removed. This essentially makes negative seo a thing of the past.

Overcome Negative SEO With Ease – Really?

Let’s take a situation one mind find one’s site in, with a negative SEO attack.

This is how it used to be done, before the live Update Refresh, but is still holds some relevance in today’s SEO toolkit or arsenal.

You login to your site’s Google Analytics platform to discover that yesterdays normal 200 visitors has turned into 2. At first you think it is just a bad in search but then this continues for a few days and realize something has changed. On digging deeper you discover a message in the Google Search Console alerting you to the fact that your site has drawn a penalty for low quality backlinks. You then phone your SEO team and get them onto the case. They quickly identify the toxic sources, disavow them and within a few days the penalty has vanished and it is back to business as normal.

When I say that the effect is instant, it is only by comparison to the old way of waiting, months (years?) for any effect to be seen. The important thing to remember is that Google need to go and index those toxic links again before they discount their association to your site, so this is why it can take sometime, maybe days to see the release of the penalty to occur.

Is this then going to mean that because a negative seo attack can be reversed relatively easily or is this going to mean it will continue for years to come? Many in the SEO industry have been arguing for years with Google over their stance on low quality links. There really need be no benefit or deficit from a low quality link, Google could and should just ignore such links. As they say, “ignore it and it will simply go away”. Why do they have to hand out a penalty for a low quality link or a million of them, if they could simply set a threshold on the effect of a link based on where it was a quality link or not?

So Who Has The Upper Hand Here?

The real reason I believe is that Google want to punish, not just deny any favors, but actively punish people for trying to manipulate the serps to their benefit. This is what SEO is about after-all. Giving your site a boost, be it from whatever means, either Google sanctioned or otherwise. It is about you getting ahead and this puts someone else behind or further down the page. Google need to show they have the power to decide about who ranks and who doesn’t to the point that they deny the reality firstly of negative seo and they see this far more important than trying to consider the plight of the damned who have fallen foul to the Penguin penalty due to someone else’s actions.

So here we have the search giant acting in their best interest before the interest of those who they are supposed to be serving with their search engine. Their customers have been put through undue pain and suffering all because they want to be seen as the authority on who gets to rank. Google would argue it is their search engine and they can do what they so please, but this ignores one important fact and that is without their customers website information, the content that we the other party create, their search engine would have nothing to show. They are a parasite living off the backs of someone’s work and they need to remember this. Then again who am I to tell Google what to do? It is Google telling me what to do, since they are in charge right?

Don’t Panic Just Walk Away…

There is no need to panic if your site, your branded website that is listed in all your advertising and represents your practice, for this be taken down just because it no longer ranks. You need to keep this site for many reasons, and one of those is your existing patients (or customers) who will come back to your site and will not be needing to search via Google to get there. Even a negative seo damaged site, should stay – just make sure you build a new one to make sure the old site still retains it’s regular visitors. When you choose the right team to do this for you, you will be glad you did.