I had been working with this ecommerce SEO client for 4 years (who I shall refer to as Client X throughout this post) that had decided they wanted to do a site overhaul. I was all for it at the time and really excited for the opportunities brought on by the redesign. The site definitely needed to update their content on the homepage, increase the amount of content on other pages, and better incorporate call-to-action buttons throughout the site, etc. Plus, this gave me the opportunity to go in and incorporate appropriate SEO tactics into the site as it was being designed, which is always easier than doing it after the fact. I thought Client X had a great opportunity on their hands and was excited for the project.
Now Client X wasn’t the best at keeping a clear line of communication open, so sometimes I wouldn’t get the answer to a question I’d email over for a few days, they’d be late in giving me article and press release topics they wanted written/ submitted and so forth. I probably should have seen this one coming: unbeknownst to me, Client X published their new site and didn’t transfer any of their previous on site SEO (almost a year’s worth of link building) over to the new site. Their site went from 40k unique visitors a month to a mere 2k! Sure, the site looked much better, but they lost nearly all their ranking positions for every keyword. It was a brand new site, which meant it also didn’t have any trust established with the search engines.
Working with Client X reminded me of the old adage, “penny-wise, pound-foolish.” It’s the idea that you are trying to cut corners now to save (money, time, etc), but that those cut corners will actually end up costing you more in the long run.
The easiest way to be “penny-wise, pound-foolish” is to hire an SEO company or professional who is only going to charge you $50 for a month’s link building activities. $50? What a great deal, especially if they promise that this includes blog commenting, content marketing, blog writing, press release distribution and directory submission. Let me be the first to tell you that doing all of that can take 20, 30, 40, even 50+ hours when done right. If someone is only getting paid $50, chances are you aren’t going to be getting their best work. They might be employing black hat SEO techniques or outsource their projects overseas. Both of these scenarios are going to cause problems down the road for you and your website.
It’s always better to pay for quality work now that is going to positively affect your site long into the future. What SEO efforts you do now can still impact the ranking of site your site a year down the road, even longer if you’ve been red flagged by a search engine. If you went the penny-wise route and got low-quality work (which, let’s be honest, is what you should have expected to get considering how little you were willing to invest), you’ll just end up having to pay a second SEO company to fix the penalties brought on by the first one. You’re back to SEO square one.