When we speak to potential clients, they sometimes tell us that they have an agency doing their SEO for £200 a month, and they can't understand why we are (considerably) more expensive.
It can be difficult to explain what the difference is, when, on the surface, we are all doing the same job of creating content based on what potential customers are asking with the aim of appearing higher up in Google so that more people visit the website.
However, dig a little deeper and the differences become easier to demonstrate.
Cheap SEO Example
Look at this content (some words have been changed to protect the innocent, but not the dodgy ones!) which appears on several different pages on a website:
So where here to offer the best services for businesses in Scotland that allow us to analyse your market, inform you of the results and implement anything accordingly in required.
So where here to offer the best services for businesses in Glasgow that allow us to analyse your market, inform you of the results and implement anything accordingly in required.
So where here to offer the best services for businesses in Aberdeen that allow us to analyse your market, inform you of the results and implement anything accordingly in required.
or this gem which appears a couple of times:
and he consequences of if one were to occur are taken it to account.Now perhaps the client will say, well what does it matter, Google is picking it up and it's helping our rankings. That could be the case, at least in the short term. But, every update of Google's algorithm makes it cleverer and one of these times this sort of nonsense, which is quite clearly written for Google and not for any human consumption, will get noticed and all the rankings which your site had will suddenly vanish into thin air. Google wants to send visitors to helpful answers to the questions they are asking and this stuff doesn't answer anything.
Quality Content Counts
Even more importantly, imagine what goes on in a potential customer's mind if they click through onto that page and try to decipher the gobbledegook and work out if you can help them or not. My guess is that they will leave your site more confused than they were when they started!
I know I'm a bit of a spelling and grammar purist, the sort of person who won't eat in a restaurant that offers "pizza's" or "lasange" but I'm not alone and I would certainly think twice about doing business with someone who places such a low value on quality.
That being the case, was the £200 a month you just paid a bargain or a complete waste of money? Or worse, have you actually alienated a potential customer?
SEO That Works
So, at the more expensive end of the SEO agency market, what happens? Firstly, all content is planned with your marketing strategy in mind. Who is the audience, what do they want to know, what tone of voice is appropriate for communicating with them?
The danger with cheap agencies is that they get you great rankings for keywords that don't matter to your business, or that bring in completely the wrong type of enquiries. That's why we ask so many questions before we even start planning what we'll do.
In addition, content is produced by experienced writers and it is CHECKED before it goes anywhere near your website.
And another thing, each page is different. No duplicate content here. Not only that but the content is useful and educational and hopefully vaguely interesting - even if only to a handful of people; but these people might become customers one day.
Content That Shows Expertise
There is also context to consider. Throwing up a random page or blog post is not going to help much in isolation. Google needs signals to help it understand what your site is about, and one page is not enough any more. It is looking for evidence that your business is an authority on a subject. As we've mentioned in a recent blog post about linkbuilding, the current buzzword is EAT: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
The expertise part involves demonstrating that you know the subject inside out and have a depth of knowledge that makes you the right people to help answer a relevant question. To prove your expertise you need a range of content; perhaps some product pages, a couple of case studies, a selection of educational blog posts, a video or two and an infographic.
To make that content work for you, it's important to understand how your audience go about making their buying decisions. From there you can plan the production of content strategically, making sure you can help website visitors along the way from their first investigations through to their final decision to buy something from you. This is all part of the service provided by an inbound marketing agency that isn't trying to cut corners.
If you've had enough of shoddy, repetitive content and want to up your game, we'll be happy to have a chat.