9 major risks of cheap SEO

Search engine optimization requires investment. Look at it as an investment with the expectation of a return on that investment.

SEO is a long-term discipline and process. It requires strong planning for policy development and implementation in technical, on- and off-page development areas.

Not all websites are created equal. Goals, conversions, starting points, opportunities, and organizational structures are other factors that indicate how easy or difficult it will be to achieve SEO goals.

During my career, I have worked with hundreds of brands, organizations and websites on SEO. I can clearly state that there is no one-size-fits-all answer for the right SEO plan or the right partner for every company.

The key difference in SEO ROI is the amount of investment itself. If you have it covered by someone in your team or a department that you manage, then you have an easy cost. If you pay an external person like a consultant, an agency or an SEO firm, then you are well aware of the hard costs.

Using “cheap” options is dangerous. Cheap is a relative term, but it will become clear what it is as I unravel the nine dangers of cheap SEO.

1. Absence of a strategy and plan

With short-term strategies and long-term expectations on ROI, it’s important to have a roadmap for SEO. Yes, it may change based on the need for additional content, development stages, and changes in search engine algorithms.

However, when you cut corners, costs or time, you risk short-term changes when it comes to devoting enough time to research, strategy development and strategic planning.

2. Misalignment of goals

A classic distraction for me is seeing and hearing about SEO reports that report rankings, keywords placed, and clicks. Even some versions of the change report would fall into this for me.

I learned the hard way about the misalignment of SEO goals versus the business goals themselves early in my career. I still remember confidently walking into that client meeting with all my SEO lines looking good, thinking the client would be happy. That client thought differently when he saw a new business with nothing from SEO efforts.

Cheap SEO risks showing statistics and focusing on things that aren’t relevant to your business or that really move the needle.

3. Lack of transparency

If you are buying SEO for $99/month, there must be something that allows the firm to charge such a low price. Or, if you invest in cheap software that promises results, you risk not getting a clear picture of what you are buying.

One of the things I hate most about this industry (my industry) is that there are still organizations that take advantage of small businesses (even large ones).

Lack of transparency is a warning sign that you are vulnerable to cheap SEO. That can include:

4. Risky tactics

I’m not here to jump into any debates or talk about gray areas or dangerous tactics. You can find those discussions and arguments elsewhere, and I’m happy to have them.

You need to know that cheap SEO can often take shortcuts to get it found. That may include:

Again, you can be the judge of whether you are good with those tricks or not, but know that the risk is there.

This is especially true if you have a lack of strategy, lack of transparency, or any of the other issues I’ve shared so far.

Find the daily news search vendors that depend on it.

5. Poor reporting

A good SEO report includes linking to your key business metrics and all the elements that lead to that point. That means visibility into SEO and engagement metrics and a story and insight into what drove the effort.

Cheap SEO often leads to poor, inadequate or unreliable reporting. It can lead to seeing numbers that don’t make sense or aren’t deep enough to justify the effort.

6. Not enough communication

At the beginning of my career, I could do a lot more SEO in a silo than can be done now. I think evolution and silo explosion is a good thing.

That said, whoever is driving the strategy, executing the strategy and reporting on the project should always speak up. SEO requires coordination of receivers/stakeholders, strategists, UX, dev, IT, content producers, and more.

Cheap SEO often leads to promises to do it all, only for the cheap SEO provider to disappear. They may also over-promise or over-commit without adequate communication to work together and have all the tools working together for success.

7. Little action

Also, I hate to see people taken advantage of. Yes, cheap SEO is cheap. That means that if it doesn’t work, then you don’t make as much money as if you had invested in an expensive effort that failed.

However, the lost time now pushes back the timeline for ROI and ends up on the way. If a cheap SEO provider is slow or only makes a monthly or fixed fee, it can cost you the speed and speed at which you can grow with SEO.

Cheap SEO can waste months of your time and growth potential, even if it doesn’t set you back much financially.

8. Cookie-cutter tactics

Even if you see good traffic with a cheap SEO provider, chances are your traffic will be different. Maybe you have someone who lives in a shallow strategic area dealing with a checklist.

SEO is beyond the checklist. If you find cookie cutter tactics, you will have a lower ceiling than if you work with someone who may be a bigger investment but provide a custom, structured approach and solution for you.

Cheap SEO is usually based on working with simple analytics, software, or lists that anyone can use and doesn’t go deep enough for competitive markets and keywords.

9. Negative ROI

The most important and biggest risk to cheap SEO is poor ROI. Also, you probably aren’t making much money if the effort isn’t impactful.

However, if the cheap SEO option is messed up, you may have hidden costs that push you into a bad place.

Having to undo risky tactics that could have gotten you hit or pushed to the wrong SEO site, trying to recover lost time and money, are the biggest low-cost SEO risks that fall in the ROI field and bad.


I’m not saying expensive SEO is good. That’s a topic for another article (along with how to make sure you fully understand what you’re getting without over-investing and putting yourself in a bad SEO ROI position).

Knowing the dangers of cheap SEO, however, can help you know what you’re getting into and fully understand the questions to ask, the warning signs to watch for, or situations to avoid. As with other aspects of life and business – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Search for references, references, and case studies to find the right partner for you if you’re hiring an SEO firm, buying software, or hiring talent. Recognize risks and keep an eye on your return on investment goals and how you’re progressing and tracking them.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily those of Land Engine Land. Staff writers are listed here.

Corey Morris is a professional marketing professional with 15+ years of experience developing award-winning, ROI-producing strategies for local and national brands. He was recently honored as the recipient of the KCDMA 2019 Marketer of the Year award.

Why is my SEO dropping?

Corey serves as chief strategy officer at Voltage – an advertising firm in Kansas City, MO. Previously, he founded the KC Marketing Forum to help build a local community for marketers researching for career growth. He was recognized for his participation in the meeting and was invited to join the global board of SEMPO (now part of DAA) as Vice President of Cities.

A significant drop in Google’s ranking can be caused by many factors, such as content changes, algorithm updates, technical issues, updates made by competitors, SERP structure changes and Google penalties. We’ve put together a handy checklist to quickly diagnose the problem and find your situation!

  • How can I fix my SEO problem? Here’s what you can do to fix this very common website SEO problem:
  • Add keywords to URLs.
  • Use hyphens to separate words, instead of spaces.
  • Canonicalize multiple URLs that provide similar content.
  • Try to compress long URLs (100 characters) to less than 70 characters.

Why has my organic traffic dropped?

Use the same domain and subdomain.

What affects organic traffic?

A sudden drop in organic traffic can be caused by many factors, including a drop in rankings, changes made to your site, changes in the importance of your content, or Google updates. And there are situations that no one can truly influence.

Why are my page views going down?

Organic traffic is generated by your position on search engine results pages. The higher your website ranks for search terms related to your company, the more traffic you will see.

Why is my website losing keywords?

Page views are down.

Why is my ranking going down?

It can be page views, conversions, new traffic from new keywords, or any other KPI. You also have pages that are losing traffic. The page could still be ranked but one keyword difference dropped and it was huge. Sometimes you ended up losing the featured snippet but still being on the first page (and vice versa).

Why did my search visibility drop?

Google has often made changes to the type of results based on user behavior. For example, if there is a sudden increase in searches for a certain topic, Google can display new results first and push the static content to the bottom. If your content falls into the second category, you will see a loss in your ranking.

What is search engine visibility?

If there is a decrease in Search Visibility it could be due to a number of factors that make it difficult to find, but here are some things that can happen: Your rankings have dropped. You have added or removed keywords from a Campaign. You have changed, added, or removed a search engine from a Campaign.

What is SEO checklist?

Search engine visibility (also known as “search visibility†or “SEO visibilityâ) is the proportion of traffic a website receives from its ranking in search results.

The SEO index is on the page. On page SEO is the process of improving the actual content on your page. It includes improvements made to visual content and source code content. Let’s see how to do it.

What is SEO on-page checklist?

What is an SEO checklist? The Technical SEO is an important part of any SEO strategy, which is why the website needs to meet all the search engine recommendations. The technical analysis checklist includes a lot of information in order to analyze and rank the technical conditions of the content and structure of the website.

What are the 3 types of SEO?

The SEO index is on the page. On page SEO is the process of improving the actual content on your page. It includes improvements made to visual content and source code content.

What are the 3 types of SEO?

The three types of SEO are: On-page SEO â Anything on your web pages â Blogs, product copy, web copy. Off-Page SEO – Anything that happens away from your website that helps with your SEO Strategy- Backlinks. Technical SEO – Any technical thing done to improve Search rankings – indexing of a website to help bot crawling.

What are 3 main areas of SEO?

The three types of SEO are: On-page SEO â Anything on your web pages â Blogs, product copy, web copy. Off-Page SEO – Anything that happens away from your website that helps with your SEO Strategy- Backlinks. Technical SEO – Any technical thing done to improve Search rankings – indexing of a website to help bot crawling.

What is SEO and how it is work?

This is a comprehensive guide to three aspects of SEO. Which is Technical SEO, On-page SEO, and Off-page SEO.

What is SEO in simple words?

SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’, which is the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search engine results. It aims to improve your website’s ranking in search results pages. Remember, the higher a website is, the more people will see it.

Why people are afraid of SEO?

Search engine optimization is the art of optimizing a website to increase its visibility when people search for products or services. The more visible a website is to search engines, the more likely a brand is to win business.

The fear that SEO is too complicated, technical, tricky and involves potential penalties are common misconceptions that people new to SEO have. The more you learn about SEO yourself, the more comfortable and confident you will be in implementing your strategy or working closely with an agency.

Why website traffic is low?

Why is SEO so hard? To sum it up, SEO is difficult because search engines are constantly changing and updating. It could be anything from Google changing the way it looks at a particular type of link, including a major new update to their algorithm, or even recognizing novelty as a condition.

The most common reason for a sudden drop in web traffic is a recent search algorithm update. Bans, redirects, wrong bots. txt rules and loss of rankings are all other valid reasons why you may see a drop in web traffic.