Why SEO Packages Are Usually the Wrong Way to Go
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 that 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 that 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:
- The health of a website, including the technical back end, the link profile, the content and more
- The fact that Google makes an average of 10 changes to search per day
- New competitors that get into the game every day, many of which have more resources and better SEO help
- Current events that impact a website or the search results — for example, COVID-19 or social issues
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.