Budget SEO

Looking for Budget SEO or low-cost SEO companies claiming to offer big results on a tiny budget?

If you’re a business owner in Australia, there’s a good chance that you’ve been bombarded by cold-calls or cold-emails from budget SEO providers in Australia promising to transform your online presence on a shoestring budget.

So then, what does it all mean, where did they come from, will they ever stop, and are they worth your attention? In this article, we’ll explore the phenom of budget SEO companies and help you to understand how it all works and how their service offering stacks up to conventional SEO offerings, and any potential risks involved.

Table of Contents

What are budget SEO services?

As the name would suggest, Budget SEO simply refers to low-cost search engine optimisation services that are intended to improve organic search rankings and increase traffic.

Just like regular SEO services, budget SEO is intended to help businesses connect with prospective customers in the organic search results, but for a fraction of the price.

Let’s be clear, budget SEO services aren’t a new phenomenon.

Since the reckoning that search engine optimisation could be used by businesses to leverage ‘free’ organic search traffic, there have been SEO agencies, consultants, and specialists that have been there to offer SEO services.

And, just as quickly as those reputable providers started popping up, so too did the ones that now clog up your junk emails and call from unknown numbers on a Tuesday afternoon at 4.46pm.

So, why are we looking at budget SEO services now, and why are you on this page? Well, it’s simple, you’re on this page because you searched “budget SEO” or “low-cost SEO” on Google – that’s the only reason you’re here. And, in the midst of those cheap SEO providers, we’re here with some information to guide you in, what we hope, is the right direction.

How is a budget SEO company different to normal SEO agency?

Low-cost, high volume SEO companies pedalling cheap SEO typically offer ‘package’ deals that include a number of meaningless monthly deliverables. Tracking, insights, recommendations, and all that fun stuff that doesn’t make your phone ring is probably what you can expect.

You see, when it comes to SEO, there are really only four things that matter. They’re the four pillars of SEO and they are, and always have been:

  • On-site
  • Off-site
  • Content
  • Technical

And do you know what they all involve? A heck of a lot of human intervention and expertise to pull off.

Throwing the SEO process into a funnel with the assistance of AI and machine-processes isn’t going to get you there – trust us. Or don’t, but speaking candidly, our most lucrative business over the last 12-months has come in the form of companies coming to us at their rock bottom when they’ve been all-but destroyed by AI-assisted SEO services.

We flagged it at the start of the year in this article and it is still one of the most misunderstood topics in the SEO community. But rather than profiting off the misery of companies that have gone down this avenue, we’d rather provide a warning to make sure you start on the right path.

The budget SEO/low-cost SEO business model

Budget SEO companies rely on economies of scale.

When we think economies of scale, we usually refer to businesses that are able to cut into profitability once they get enough customers on board by increasing production and therefore lowering the average cost to deliver a product or service.

That would be perhaps the kindest comparison that you could give to budget SEO providers. The truth is, they’re kind of more like a gym. Gyms, as you may well know, are a risky business venture and rely on members who forget about their membership, never show up, or simply feel they would be taking a step backwards by quitting.

The cost of budget SEO services, like a gym membership, is in many cases so low and inoffensive that it would be considered an inconvenience to cancel the membership – so people keep plodding on, even if the results don’t show up.

The intersect of gyms and low-cost SEO providers is actually the best metaphor here, so let’s stick with it. Here’s the intersection of the budget SEO providers and gym business model:

Low-cost, high-volume approach

Stack them high and watch them slowly falter. That’s more or less the business model for a low-cost marketing operator. You see, when you’ve got a good SEO sales team, they’re probably going to buy you a grace period with each new client. As we know, SEO isn’t an overnight strategy and will take anywhere from 3-12 months to take effect.

So, you better believe that this is the period where budget SEO providers are counting their cash and leading the unsuspecting businesses down the garden path.

Minimal communication

Gyms and low-price SEO providers both thrive on the minimal communication model. The occasional automated email (reporting) or celebration (incidental website improvement that probably had nothing to do with them) are the sort of communication you can expect – and it’s going to be very infrequent.

Gyms and low-cost SEO providers both realise that the more you stay on a customer’s radar, the more likely you are to be in the firing line. So the best-case scenario is to keep communication to a minimum and hope that they forget you’re there.

Direct debit

Budget SEO providers love direct debit. It feeds into the low-communication strategy that ensures you’re neve on their radar. Front of the month billing and a receipt that you’ll probably miss because they load it with special characters and other goodies that mean it goes straight to your junk – kind of sneaky, isn’t it?

Client retention is the focus

Low-cost SEO providers have two engine rooms (well, three if you count which ever room in the office houses the ping pong table), the sales room, and the client retention room.

Both of these rooms (and teams) play an integral role in ensuring that customers stay the course.

In a normal SEO agency, the hardest workers are probably the copywriters, SEO specialists, or the coordinators that pull together all of the different aspects of an SEO campaign, but in a budget SEO agency – it’s the sales and retention staff.

You might know them as the people in your junk mail folder, but to those poor companies on the client list of budget SEO providers, those folk are your loyal ‘account managers’.

What are the risks of budget SEO services?

The risks of low-cost, budget focussed SEO services is clear – poor results, wasted money.

The best-case scenario is that they don’t do anything to your website. Sure, you’re wasting money each month, but it means that you are not going to be in an even worse position when the day of reckoning comes, and you realise that this isn’t going anywhere. As an SEO agency that inherits many of these businesses, we can tell you with complete certainty that recovering and improving the organic visibility is always easier when the previous, low-cost provider hasn’t done anything.

The worst-case scenario? Well, they go to town on your website and start adding content, shady black hat backlinks. In the short term, you may (although very unlikely) see a positive uptick from these actions, however, in the long term it is going to cause tears. Once Google’ crawls your website and conducts an initial quality assessment, it’s difficult to turn things around, so it’s best to take down any offending AI content immediately if you suspect that this has been added to your website.

How much should you budget for SEO in Australia?

The cost of good quality SEO services in Australia ranges from $1,400 per month, up to $10,000+ per month based on the type of website and scope of project required to achieve the desired outcomes. Factors that influence what you should budget for SEO include:

  • The type of business
  • The size of the website
  • The scope of focus
  • The strength of competitors
  • The new content/pages required

An initial consultation with a reputable SEO agency should provide you with a price range based on your goals and desired outcomes.

Final thoughts

We get it, budget, low-cost SEO services are attractive.  A lot like guaranteed SEO service providers, they can be misleading and result in a negative, long-term consequences. If you’re weighing up budget SEO providers vs. a reputable SEO agency, we would implore you to do your research and consider the consequences before (potentially) throwing away money and jeopardising the future success of your organic search presence.

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