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When I think of the biggest website hosting companies out there—companies like Bluehost, GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc.—I’ve noticed one new(ish) emerging trend:
These hosting companies have all started to offer their own search engine optimization services, for dirt cheap I might.
Network Solutions offers an “SEO Optimizer” product for $49 a month. And GoDaddy? They offer SEO for $2.69 a month. I pay more than that for my morning coffee…
To compare, any respectable SEO expert will charge $76-$200 an HOUR for SEO services (according to an old survey by Moz). But on average, I would say most small-to-medium-sized companies pay for monthly SEO packages that range from $500-$5,000 a month, with those that pay more getting a higher “dosage” of services.
Why Is SEO from Hosting Companies So Cheap?
Unless you’ve had a lot of SEO experience (or you’ve done a lot of internet research), you probably don’t know what it takes to rank on the first page of Google. That’s probably why so many companies are attracted to these really cheap hosting company SEO packages.
Let’s take a look at what’s included in GoDaddy’s SEO package (with my comments in red):
- Complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for one website. So if you’ve got two websites, that’s going to cost you $4 a month, so hopefully you can afford that. Eye roll.
- One-click submission to Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Can I say for the millionth time that you don’t need to submit your sites to search engines to get them to index you? It’s automat. Let it go.
- Easy submission to over 100 search engines and directories. You’re going to get very little traffic and leads from these places, but consistent listings on directories can help with your local SEO, so I’ll let this one slide.
- Google Keyword Generator. Funny story, I actually live chatted GoDaddy about this one day to see if they provide you with a keyword list. You still have to come up with your own keyword list! They don’t even do this for you! You might as well use Google AdWords’ keyword planner tool to come up with this yourself and save the $2.
- Suggested Topics Tool. Even if they suggest topics for you to write about, you still have to do the writing yourself. We have professional copywriters on staff that are well-versed in a variety of industries.
- Top 10 Search Engine Optimization Checklist. Again—you could probably just Google this yourself and get it for free.
- Keyword usage, Robots.txt file and Robots Meta tag analyzer. I’m assuming you don’t know a lot about meta data or about robots.txt so this is probably pretty useless for you.
- Powerful reports that show you how to move your website up in search results. Having reports is useless if you don’t take action on them. If you’re a small business owner, there’s no chance in hell you’ll ever get around to making the changes suggested on these reports.
Why Do SEO Companies Charge So Much?
Let me start by saying I personally don’t think SEO is expensive. Compared to traditional advertising, SEO is extremely cost-effective. Most of our clients will tell you SEO is the best return on investment they’ve ever seen.
But I get that if your company hasn’t done SEO before, some initial sticker shock might occur. After all, what does an SEO company even do?
I can’t speak for other SEO firms, but if you find yourself wondering why Blue Corona’s SEO costs what it does, I can explain. Blue Corona is unique in that we operate from the perspective of a business owner. We learn every aspect of your business model to better manage your account. We do this by offering the following to all of our SEO clients:
- A dedicated Account Manager, someone who understands business and SEO, to be your guide. I cannot highlight this point enough. Most of our clients will tell you the most valuable aspect of working with Blue Corona is their Account Manager. They take full advantage of their Account Manager to advise them on everything from how to respond to negative online reviews to helping them set up a new remarketing campaign to fixing any problems that might pop up on their website.
- Detailed monthly reports (you can actually understand) that connect SEO performance to your bottom line. Who cares if you have a bunch of number one search engine rankings if they aren’t doing anything to drive qualified traffic to your website that will convert into leads and sales. Your online marketing partner should be able to connect this data to leads and sales for your business. And unlike GoDaddy, we don’t just give you the reports and make you act on the findings! We do the work for you!
- A support team that includes an analyst, web designer/developer, and a dedicated professional copywriter. Imagine having to hire all of these people in-house! Now that is expensive.
- Access to our proprietary analytics software (better data drives better results). There are many different SEO software platforms out there of varying costs. Even if you decided you could afford to subscribe to one of those platforms, the problem is you need someone on your staff who can understand the reports that it generates and turn those reports into actionable items to improve your website.
Doesn’t look so expensive anymore, does it? It’s starting to look like a bargain!
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About The Author:
Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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