Why SEO Packages Are Usually the Wrong Way to Go

Empty SEO packages without customization hurts your ranking.

When it comes to selling business services, there’s plenty of advice that advocates for creating packages. And many SEO vendors today have run with that idea.

My opinion is that anyone who offers an SEO package does not know how to do SEO. What do I mean by that? SEO vendors are not serving their clients well when they offer packages to pigeonhole them into a fixed set of deliverables and tasks that are not customized to the business.

The Problem with the Package

To clarify: Packages in and of themselves are not bad. But service packages without any customization to the client’s business, customers, current events, or Google changes are a disservice. Real SEO is not about getting the easy wins; it is about getting the impossible wins.

You cannot do real SEO without customization, and cookie-cutter packages are not going to get you ranked for anything highly competitive. For example, it took us two years to get a client ranked for “games” among billions of results — that is not a one-size-fits-all project.

If you buy a package, know that if your competitor has an adaptive SEO strategy run by experts, they will likely outperform you. Sure, some packages can help certain websites, but few can take on the big competitors.

In my opinion, the reason vendors offer packages is to overcome common errors caused by untrained staff, to offer offshore services, or to sell easy, cookie-cutter services when experts are not available.

Those who actually think that they can develop a rigid program that covers all SEO tasks for a year, regardless of the reality of the website, are not SEOs. They are robots that punch a clock and tick off an SEO checklist. Success requires flexibility and not a one-year checklist.

Reason 1: Every Website Is Unique

Every website and every business is unique. One issue with packages that offer a fixed set of deliverables is that they typically don’t allow for a custom strategy. That strategy must be tailored to an industry, a target audience, and a business’s objectives.

This is problematic. Generic work will get generic results. When an SEO vendor does not put in the effort to understand your specific business challenges at any given time and then translate that into a strategy, your chances of competing long-term are very low.

Reason 2: There Are Too Many Variables in Search

When trying to compete in the search results, consider the following variables that impact a website’s ability to rank:

Taking all of this into account, there is no way to design an SEO package a year in advance that will get your business to the top three positions for your many keywords. Things change, and the strategy must change accordingly.

No major company doing SEO is even considering packages — all services need to be customized around their specific site needs. Unfortunately, many smaller businesses get roped into packages, and it does not serve them well.

What to Do Instead

The best solution, in my opinion — and the approach we take here at Bruce Clay Inc. — is to take a team of experts and have them define the program in agile, four-week sprints. This is something that gets done over and over every four weeks.

With this process, every four weeks, we determine what is most important for that particular business at that point in time and then redefine the project.

And, if you want top three rankings for competitive terms, you better ensure that you have experts on your SEO team with 10-plus years of experience. You do not want a novice determining your digital future, or you have none.

Think about this: How can you trust an SEO vendor that tells you what you need for the next year before they’ve examined the intimate workings of your business, your customers, and your website? Do they have a copy of the super-secret Google plan for the next year?

Sorry, no packages here.

If you’d like to explore what customized SEO services can do for your business, contact us today.

FAQ: How can businesses ensure successful SEO without falling into the trap of rigid package solutions?

SEO remains a cornerstone for businesses aiming to enhance their online visibility. However, the effectiveness of SEO strategies often hinges on customization rather than adopting pre-packaged solutions. Rigid package solutions might promise convenience, but they rarely accommodate the unique dynamics of each business.

The heart of successful SEO lies in understanding your business’s distinct goals and target audience. Pre-built SEO packages might offer a quick fix but lack the depth required to address your specific industry, competition, and customer behaviors. Conducting a comprehensive SEO audit, including keyword research and competitor analysis, is the initial step toward tailoring a strategy that aligns with your unique objectives.

In the dynamic realm of SEO, staying agile is crucial. Rigid package solutions often fail to adapt to algorithm updates, leaving your business lagging in search rankings. Embracing a flexible approach entails consistently monitoring your website’s performance, analyzing key metrics, and adjusting your strategy accordingly. This iterative process lets you seize emerging opportunities and swiftly mitigate potential challenges.

Engaging content is the backbone of any effective SEO strategy. Generic package solutions rarely account for the creation of compelling, industry-relevant content that resonates with your audience. Crafting valuable content, such as blog posts, videos, and infographics, caters to search algorithms and fosters genuine connections with your customers. This personalized touch is challenging to achieve through off-the-shelf solutions.

Collaboration between SEO experts and your internal teams is paramount. Rigid packages often lack transparency and exclude your team’s valuable insights. Building an in-house understanding of SEO basics empowers employees to contribute meaningfully to the strategy. This partnership ensures that the SEO efforts align with broader business objectives and values.

While package solutions might seem enticing, the path to successful SEO is paved with customization, agility, and collaboration. By embracing these principles, businesses can navigate the ever-changing digital landscape while reaping the rewards of improved online visibility, organic traffic, and sustained growth.

Step-by-Step Procedure: Customizing SEO Strategies for Optimal Success

  1. Define Business Objectives: Clearly outline your business goals, target audience, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  2. Conduct an SEO Audit: Perform a comprehensive analysis of your website’s current SEO status, identifying strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords that align with your business niche and customer intent.
  4. Competitor Analysis: Study competitors’ strategies to identify gaps and opportunities in the SEO landscape.
  5. Craft a Tailored Strategy: Develop a unique SEO strategy that integrates your business goals, keyword research, and competitor insights.
  6. Content Creation: Craft high-quality industry-relevant content that resonates well with your target audience.
  7. On-Page Optimizing: Increase search visibility by optimizing website elements such as titles, meta descriptions, and headings to increase their searchability.
  8. Technical SEO: Ensure your website’s technical aspects, including site speed and mobile-friendliness, are optimized.
  9. Link Building: Develop a strategic plan to acquire high-quality backlinks from authoritative sources.
  10. Monitor and Analyze: Continuously track your website’s performance using tools like Google Analytics and Search Console.
  11. Stay Abreast of Updates: Stay informed about search engine algorithm changes and adapt your strategy accordingly.
  12. Iterate and Refine: Regularly review your strategy based on performance metrics and adjust as needed.
  13. Create Engaging Content: Develop various content types that cater to your audience’s preferences and needs.
  14. Social Media Integration: Promote your content across relevant social media platforms to expand reach and engagement.
  15. Internal Team Collaboration: Involve your internal teams to ensure alignment between SEO efforts and broader business objectives.
  16. Training and Education: Provide SEO training to your teams to foster a deeper understanding of SEO principles.
  17. Regular Reporting: Share progress reports with stakeholders, highlighting achievements and areas for improvement.
  18. Adapt to Market Trends: Evolve your strategy to accommodate shifting industry trends and customer behaviors.
  19. Embrace Feedback: Listen to user feedback and incorporate suggestions to enhance user experience and SEO.
  20. Continuous Learning: Stay updated with the latest developments in SEO by attending webinars, reading industry blogs, and engaging with SEO communities.

By following these detailed steps, businesses can navigate the complex SEO landscape while avoiding the pitfalls of rigid package solutions, ultimately achieving long-term success in their digital marketing endeavors.

This article was updated on December 21, 2023.  

Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn or through the BruceClay.com website.

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

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7 Replies to “Why SEO Packages Are Usually the Wrong Way to Go”

I’ll keep it short and sweet. I fully agree. SEO has progressed to the point where each client need a customized plan!

Pre-Bundled “one size fits all” SEO packages should be avoided at all costs because they are a breeding ground for mass produced black hat tactics. Reducing SEO costs in pre-bundled search engine optimization packages only serves to create dangerous shortcuts which shoot your SEO strategy in the foot.

I think you are right! Every company needs different platforms to promote and every industry has different promotion strategies so we have to make custom SEO packages.

According to my experience any one at the start may opt for six months SEO as the website will be in Sandbox, and won’t reflect in SERP results. The fruitful package for all marketing needs id a six months package. There are companies who offer comprehensive solutions, but I agree to your opinions as well.

Short and to the point. I agree. SEO has gone in a direction where you have to prepare an individual strategy for each client!

I TOTALLY agree :-) *we don’t offer ‘packages’.

Not all packages are “cookie cutter.” I offer a six-month package that is customized to the needs of that client’s website and overall marketing strategy.


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