I read an article the other day which was critical of ‘cheap SEO’ services, but I disagree with its reasoning. Getting somebody who knows what they’re doing is going to cost you £50 an hour if you’re very lucky, and £200 an hour if you want the very best. The article rightly pointed out that even at the lower end, if you’re paying £200 a month you’re going to get – at most – an afternoon’s work, and there’s not really much that can be done in that time. Especially if you want them to write a report on what they’ve done.
However, the article said that cheap SEO is like getting in cheap builders – you should avoid it at all costs because you may need to spend just as much money patching up the damage afterwards. That’s where I disagree. It’s possible that people charging £200 a month for SEO could do damage to your site behind the scenes. But in my experience, what most of them do is… nothing at all. Time after time I come across companies paying someone (usually their web designers) a monthly fee for ‘SEO services’ and not asking for any reports or monitoring any results. It might be unethical for these agencies to do nothing in return, but we shouldn’t be surprised.