Cheap SEO ‘bolt on’ packages are ruining it for true SEO’s, read why

November 11, 2014
Graham Bowers


Iv been working in the SEO industry since 2004, one thing that hasn’t seemed to change is the amount of web design and hosting companies, new and old, who offer SEO as a ‘bolt on’ to their CMS platform. This usually entails paying a ridiculously low fee of say £10 a month for the privilege of some ‘SEO tools’ which is usually nothing more than the ability to update your pages titles, meta description and keywords (which google hasn’t looked at for many years) Im not saying this is a bad thing, as its obviously useful for the clients to have this ability. The problem is the lack of education that is given to the clients and the misunderstanding that using these SEO features is going to be the be all and end all to their SEO success. It’s not, and I find it hard to believe how so many clients expect to get to the top positions on Google with such a small investment. If it was that easy everyone would be at it!

I have worked for a few web companies who operate like this and ‘in business’ are very successful. Why? you would have thought all the clients paying £10 a month would eventually cotton onto the fact that rankings aren’t getting better and business would slowly start to dwindle, right? …Wrong.  They succeed because they have a strong sales team to keep new web design projects coming in and can up-sell them those ‘bolt ons’ such as SEO. They also succeed because they have a dedicated support team. For those clients that dont just forget about the small direct debit which is being taken from their banks month on month, theres the ones who do notice and want something doing. This is where the up sell can come. I remember dealing with complaints day in day out from clients when working for such a company, and of course, there was always many things the client could improve upon, therefore upon advising them on what they needed, they were passed back through to sales who would try and close the deal on some additional services.

Whats the big deal?

You maybe wondering why i am whining about this, I mean its a legitimate business practice. Start off with a cheap option, if that doesn’t work sell them something else. But its the principal and sales tactic behind it, which I don’t like. It seems clients only get educated as and when the company sees fit to tell them.

The issue I have is that I am coming across this problem more and more with potential new clients I meet. They cant understand why the SEO proposal I  have just produced for them is, in their eyes, so high., as they have paid peanuts for a ‘bolt on’ in the past. Therefore the biggest challenge for me, is educating them on SEO, what it was, what it has become and the tasks that are involved to actually create a successful SEO campaign. This includes talking them though many techniques such as content marketing, social media promotion, Infographic creation and link building, which prior to meeting me had never heard of and are shocked to learn the tue extent of SEO.

SEO no longer means what it once did

Whether us SEO’s like it or not, the easy days are behind us, no longer can we get lots of keyword rich links on high quality domains and watch your clients rankings climb or input a lovely exact match keyword title tag and ta dah!

The days of just ‘Technical SEO’ are long gone and people selling SEO bolt ons should make their clients aware of what they are getting, and more importantly what they are probably not getting!

SEO no longer plays on its own, it is an integral part of an overall digital marketing campaign and usually without other successful areas your SEO struggles to survive!

On another note, web and hosting companies who offer “search engine submissions” …… dont get me started with them! 🙂


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