The truth behind low cost SEO

Let’s be honest. You probably went to your trusted agency’s SEO service page and immediately closed the tab the moment you saw those hefty price tags. Even worse, you may not have even seen a price altogether, and instead got a scary “Request a quote” button.

That is some terrifying commitment you are getting yourself into.

We have already discussed in a previous article that SEO is a strategy that pays off on a long term basis. That means you won’t even see the results immediately, making you even less inclined to invest so much money into something you don’t fully understand.

Enter “Cheap SEO services”: Those agencies that charge low, fixed prices and promise you the world. Attractive, right? 

Well, not so much, when you realise that those services are no good news for you – and even worse for your wallet! 

This article will help you understand the secrets behind those £100 packages that seem so enticing at first but go completely against the nature of Search Engine Optimisation.

1. Cheap won’t deliver success

SEO effectiveness can be translated into binary: You either get success or failure. 

These are the only two outcomes you can get, and the most successful agencies know this and rely on this binary code for consistent, proven results to showcase future clients. It’s also the same thing some unreliable agencies don’t want you to find out about.

If you are requesting cheap, you are probably skimming out on what creates the right conditions for SEO success. Maybe it’s backlinks, content or JavaScript optimisation.

Why would you pay for something that won’t give you any results?

These agencies may make vague promises. “Loads of backlinks” or “High-quality content”. Let me be straight, that is a lie they tell you so that you can feel more assured when signing that cheque. 

Do you know why SEO is so expensive? It’s because so many people are involved. You have copywriters making content, web developers improving performance, digital PR consultants creating and nurturing relationships with the media… You get the point. 

If you are cutting those costs out of the equation, you are depriving yourself of what makes SEO so successful, to begin with: Regular, consistent effort.

2. Could it be black hat SEO?

What if cheap means unethical (or even illegal)? Black hat SEO services exist all around the internet. 

Normally, these promise you the same results as your standard SEO service, if not better, for a quarter of the price, if not less. It sounds great until you realise that this relies on practises that are heavily penalised by Google! And, as we explained in our article about Google penalty removal, it’s very hard to bounce back from a manual penalty.

We are talking about keyword stuffing, private link networks, or even hurting your opponents through false reviews, reporting or even hacking/DDoS attacks. 

Not only these are unethical, but they can also:

  • Get you de-indexed entirely from the search engine. So kiss your website’s usefulness goodbye, because no one will ever visit it!
  • It creates a poor user experience for your customers. Spam, pop-up boxes and even malware is often used to artificially increase user interaction on your website, at the cost of your trustworthiness and brand image.

So, with all of this said, are you sure you’d want to pay for something that will just hurt you?

3. Very often, they are just amateurs trying to make a quick buck

What separates a good SEO Agency from a terrible one? There are no wrong answers to this question, but “code of conduct” is definitely a strong one.

We are talking about those Digital Marketing agencies that invest in their customers through dedicated support and long term strategies. These are the same businesses that understand the true reason why people pay for Marketing services: because customers expect a return on their investment.

And normally, the more you invest, the better your results will be through much more dedicated support and regular strategy adjustments.

Now, let’s take a look at these cheap SEO services. They charge you £100, build a few backlinks and then forget about you. There is no support, no strategy and definitely no improvement.

You get nothing but a few backlinks that are probably meaningless to you. Was that worth your £100? The truth is, the price points you see respectable agencies charge is a direct statement of how much you can trust your SEO partner. 

So, you need to rely in a trustworthy SEO agency, and by the way…

Let’s look at topflight, for example. We don’t go around parading “Low costs”. We deliver real results. We are talking about that time we gave a customer a 360% ROI, or the time a customer enjoyed a 138% increase in traffic from the US. 

If we simply stated “Yeah, our prices are low”, what good would that do to you, other than saving you a few quids?

4. You are about to be scammed

Imagine this.

You go and buy a car for only £1000. Awesome, right?

Then you turn it on, and realise the engine is sold separately – for which they charge you an extra £500. You think, “Well, I already bought the car, I might just as well get this extra that I need”.

But then the pedals are also an extra. And after ten miles, the car comes to an abrupt stop because the fuel tank is faulty. And just so happens that this car company calls you the moment your car stops to offer their awesome FuelTank3000, which they just so happen to have made just for you, which is why they’ll offer it at a discount.

Oh, and a couple of days later, they will probably call you to inform you that the insurance you have purchased through them does not cover the main roads, which is why you’ll now have to pay an extra, which fortunately you can pay at convenient rates.

Can you see where I am going with this? If you ever flown with certain Irish airline, you get what I mean.

Sometimes, these cheap agencies offering low cost SEO only use their price points to lure you into a sense of security, only to flay you alive the moment you enter their sales funnel. Because you paid for something, you might just as well buy all the extras that you needed to begin with, right?

Let’s be straight. Transparency isn’t the forte of someone promising you the world for a mere £200 per service. 

Ask yourself, why are they offering me this for so little? How can they make a profit if they receive so little? And why am I being bombarded with phone calls the moment I gave them my number?

5. Fixed packages won’t do you any good

Take a look at the Call To Action on topflight’s technical SEO services page:

You must have noticed the shiny GET IN TOUCH button. There are no fixed prices appearing anywhere on the website simply because there are no fixed prices we could charge.

Your website may require half of the work you’d be paying for if you were to purchase a fixed price. And this is no sales tactic, but SEO professionals only charge you for what you need.

That means you won’t be paying for content if you already have masterpieces appearing throughout your website. And you won’t be paying for backlinks if you appear all throughout the internet.

With SEO, you only pay for what you need. Why would you purchase a £600 service when all you needed was a couple of lines of JavaScript for your website to run faster than ever before?

6. Think about the ethics of a business

But what if the price is only just below market value? They seem pretty trustworthy, and yet, they manage to charge you so little it’s laughable.

So, your UK digital marketing agency charges £300? Here’s probably why:

  • You are hiring a foreign company from a country with much lower costs of living.
  • You are hiring a freelancer posing as a company 
  • You are hiring a business that underpays its workers.

We will not discuss the dos and don’ts of the first two points, instead of focusing on the third one, to begin with.

Workers need to be paid. Copywriters charge, on average, £25 per 500 words. SEO specialists alone are paid £75 an hour in the UK. The list only carries on.

So, how likely is it that you are actually paying a business that cripples its workers with stagnant and low wages?


  • Don’t be fooled by the attractiveness of low price tags. SEO is expensive for good reasons!
  • Cheap = cutting corners
  • You may end up with something illegal on your hands
  • You may simply be the target of a well-elaborated scam
  • Fixed packages are a red flag, most of the time – and a sign you are actually overpaying for a simple service!
  • If you read “low cost SEO services”, run and don’t look back
  • Your agency may be severely underpaying its workers to make a higher profit margin.

Table of Contents

More from our blog