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Most SEO Packages Are a Complete Waste of Money and Here’s Why

There once was a time when cookie-cutter SEO solutions worked wonders.

If you had a solid website that featured effective on-page optimization, you could see some pretty solid rankings without a whole lot of additional effort.

Links were more about quantity rather than quality, and all manner of cheap tricks were pretty widely accepted (think keyword stuffing with a color that matched the page background). Pro tip: those techniques are now referred to as black-hat SEO. Don’t go there.

SEO packages were born of that world, but for whatever reason they never died along with it.

horseshoe crabThis makes them relics from a bygone era. Living fossils (like this horseshoe crab)!

Modern SEO requires a lot more TLC and a lot more personalization.

So let’s dig further into why you should look elsewhere if you’re in need of some search optimization goodness.

SEO Packages Often Fail

Ok, that’s well and good. But why?! Why do they fail?

Well, why did the Roman empire fall?

There’s almost always more than one culprit to point to when it comes to questions like these.

Let’s look at a few specific factors. Then, extrapolating the rest should be a bit easier.

Premade SEO Packages Aren’t Unique

Ask any leading SEO expert, and they’ll be quick to tell you that formulas will only get you so far. In order to really make a splash, your plan of attack has to be individualized.

It has to be shaped by a variety of factors including

  • competitiveness of the niche/vertical
  • the level of existing brand recognition
  • the domain history and existing link profile
  • unique keyword research
  • local vs national brand goals

They Aren’t Very Flexible

Another problem with SEO packages is that they’re premade.

This often leads to inflexibility and that’s a big no no when it comes to search marketing.

A strategy must always be malleable. Able to adapt to changes in the marketplace.

Doing a regular SEO analysis of the company’s competitors is a great way to gather information on how best to continually adjust the strategy and approach of the campaign.

They’re Too Focused on Tasks Instead of Results

Instead of steadily innovating and analyzing, these SEO packages are too often just focused on completing a predetermined set of tasks.

Lasting SEO results aren’t achieved by slowly making one’s way down a checklist. But that’s exactly what a lot of SEO packages still attempt to do.

How often do you find success trying to force something to work a way it doesn’t?

It’s like trying to put together a puzzle, but the pieces literally don’t fit. Not pretty… or effective.

pieces of the puzzle

Out with the Old, in with the New

SEO packages are too narrow in scope and offer no incentive for creativity. As mentioned above, this is due to the climate in which these packages were created.

They used to work, but their place in the market has come and gone.

Nowadays, things are different. A lot different.

You’ll still find that some old SEO techniques remain effective to this day, but the overall strategy has evolved significantly.

Quality Matters

Do you want the quick and easy route for a small reward? Or the long and difficult road for a big reward?

Think about this ahead of time. Give credence to the following wise words:

“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.” John Ruskin

If it’s really easy to accomplish, it most likely won’t result in high quality results.

Low hanging fruit like directory links and related submissions are just that. Easy to get, and they don’t deliver much by way of returns.

Low hanging fruit

Don’t get me wrong, those kinds of links have a place in your overall link profile, but the focus of your campaign should be on netting high value links.

Put simply, you don’t need some magic number of directory listings or social bookmarks each month to make progress. Adding excessive amounts of directory listings each month may possibly do more harm than good.

Remember, these days Google values relevancy and value to the visitor.

The last thing I’ll say on the matter is this: directory listings are not inherently bad. Of course not. There’s a time and place for them.

If you’re running a local business you should absolutely have your site added to the most important local directories, including those related specifically to your industry. If you’d like a list, check out this one Moz pulled together.

It’s Not All Bad

With all this bashing, one might think that I’m pretty down on packages. That’s a reasonable assumption but let’s not get carried away.

The world isn’t black and white. It’s not a place where absolutes reign. Ours is a world full of color and possibilities, and I’m a big believer in “everything in moderation”.everything in moderation

So in fairness, SEO packages still have their place in our world.

The less competition, the more likely it is that an SEO strategy like the aforementioned would be able to experience some success.

Look at it like this: it used to be that a cookie-cutter campaign could work for literally any brand. Then it slowly came to pass that only campaigns of moderate or smaller scope would benefit.

Now things have progressed to a point where campaigns of even moderate scope must be unique, flexible, and customized in order to experience lasting success. Only the smallest of niches will prosper from a pre-made SEO package.

Keep all of this in mind when you’re looking to buy SEO going forwards and you’ll do just fine.

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Marketing jack-of-all-trades, ascendant wordsmith, and self-proclaimed World’s Best Dog Dad. I write about SEO, social media and content marketing.