As an entrepreneur and business owner, you undoubtedly receive several unsolicited emails and pre-recorded phone messages that claim to be able to propel your website to the top of Google for just a few hundred dollars a month. While search engine optimization is one of the most powerful forms of online marketing, putting your company’s website in the hands of a low-quality SEO provider can be disastrous.

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Several new businesses and startups engage with overseas companies in an effort to save money in the beginning. The lure of SEO services for only a few hundred dollars when a professional agency will quote several thousand dollars is enough to hook many business owners. Here are five reasons to avoid cheap, outsourced SEO:

1. Low-quality link building will trigger a Google penalty. For a few hundred dollars a month you are most likely not going to receive quality content marketing and link building. You'll probably receive low-quality spammy links that are built with automated software and tools. The majority of these low-quality SEO offers focus on the number of links being offered, and an inexperienced business owner assumes that more is better. This type of low-quality mass link building is likely to trigger a Google penalty, requiring time and money to clean up the mess.

2. Poor grammar and low-quality website content. Using low-quality outsourced SEO also means that any content created is likely poor quality and almost unreadable. These companies use software to scrape existing online content from multiple sources and then “spin” it all together to create multiple new pieces of content. Content that is placed online and links back to your website is a direct reflection of your business. Do you want a piece of content that does not make sense to represent your company? Of course not!

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3. Communication and language barriers. Often times the overseas outsource companies are operating on different time schedules, making communication difficult and severely delayed. Also, the language barriers can cause problems. Last year I consulted with a company that hired an overseas provider to handle its SEO for less than $500 a month. The company released a press release that stated the product that the client sold caused health issues. Of course, they didn’t mean to do it, but the language barrier resulted in a complete disaster that took an incredible amount of time and money to clean up.

4. Little to no knowledge of your brand’s product or service. Proper SEO involves much more than just blasting thousands of links. Content creation and distribution, outreach and link-building strategies can not be done the correct way for a few hundred dollars. No matter what they say, barely any overseas outsourced SEO company is going to put the time and effort into learning about your product or service and conducting the market and competition research required to be successful.

5. Lack of long-term business relationship goal. Do you think you were the only company that received that generic email or pre-recorded phone message offering to create SEO miracles for pennies on the dollar? They are sent to every single email address and business phone number the companies can get their hands on. Building long-term business relationships is not their goal. When you cancel service in a couple of months because of poor performance, they already have another business owner on the hook.

You get what you pay for when it comes to SEO. Choosing the cheap option in the beginning can actually end up costing you more money down the road when you factor in link audits and clean-up efforts.

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