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Avoiding SEO packages for small businesses in Manchester


When it comes to SEO, one size most definitely does not fit all.

Think about it: If you pick another local business in Manchester at random, your needs will be completely different. You sell different products or services, your websites are geared up to do different things, and you’re probably in different industries altogether.

So why would it make any sense to implement identical SEO packages on both sites?

This blog looks into what pre-bundled SEO packages are, their potential appeal, and why you should avoid them.


What are SEO packages?

In short, an SEO package is a generic SEO strategy sold and implemented as-is, rather than being built around the specific needs of the website in question.

It’s a bit like if you bought a conservatory from a catalogue, and it arrived at your house already built. Chances are it wouldn’t fit properly, and while it might shelter you from the rain a bit, it will be far less effective than one custom-built to your house.


Why might a Manchester business choose an SEO package?

There are several reasons a pre-bundled SEO package might appeal to a business owner...

First up, they’re easy. Instead of hashing out a strategy over the course of calls, initial strategy meetings, and audits, an SEO package is ready to go out of the box. If you’ve already bounced between several SEO agencies and are tired of the set-up process, the ease of a package may seem appealing.

Secondly, packages can appear cheaper at first glance. Paying £500 to get to the top of page one for five key terms probably seems like a great deal, when compared to a rolling retainer of a few hundred pounds per month.

But the maxim “you get what you pay for” holds true here.

The most likely reason that the owner of a Manchester business might choose an SEO package, however?

Good salesmanship.

And by ‘good’ we mean effective, rather than beneficial.

A sales representative for a company selling SEO packages probably knows all the right things to say when convincing a business owner why they should buy one.

They will try to monopolise the fact that many business owners might not know a lot about SEO, and they’ll use this in an attempt to make a quick buck.

This lack of knowledge is nothing to be ashamed of, and definitely should not something for snake-oil salespeople to take advantage of. SEO is a vast and complex industry, and not every local business owner can be expected to get their heads around it. That’s why SEO agencies exist in the first place - to distil the most relevant and essential parts of SEO into a strategy that will deliver real results for their clients.


Search Engine Optimisation On iPad


Why you should avoid a generic SEO package

Let’s address each of the points in the previous section.

First of all, ease. In some ways, buying an SEO package probably is easier than going through the setup process.

But it’s a false economy.

Initial phone calls and set-up meetings let you get to know the agency you’re considering partnering with. You can clearly explain your needs, and they can ask questions to understand exactly what you’re looking to do.

An SEO strategy built on these foundations will be more productive, even if it takes slightly longer to arrive at.

Next, it’s cheaper. Again, whatever the price, it’s a false economy: The initial cost may very well be lower, but your ROI over time will be lower as well. SEO is an investment rather than a one-off purchase and should be bought as such.

And finally, salesmanship. A good SEO salesperson will get to know the needs of your business and will look to build a strategy around them, rather than reeling off a list of benefits and pressuring you to buy.

There are a couple of other reasons to avoid a generic SEO package, too:

  • A package is probably built around outdated techniques. Things change quickly, so a pre-bundled package may lag behind best practices.
  • There’s no flexibility. If you have specific needs that aren’t covered by the package, you’re out of luck.
  • It demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what SEO is. A package claiming it can definitely achieve specific goals is not telling the truth.

Why a retainer is better than an SEO package

A quality SEO strategy is one that’s bespoke to the needs of your business.

Done right, an SEO retainer won’t have any of the issues outlined above. You won’t be locked into techniques that you know don’t work in your industry, and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to let you reach your goals.

And, done right, an SEO retainer will see a series of well-informed, targeted refinements being made. For example, A few key pages on your site may be redesigned to be stronger from a user experience perspective, with the view to boosting conversions for key terms. Or your main site navigation may be restructured to address common drop-off points from your purchase funnel.

Although these changes may not sound as glamorous as those being offered as part of an SEO package (“number one in Google for five keyword terms!”), their usefulness and their impact on your bottom line will be more impressive (and longer-lasting).

A retainer implies an enduring relationship between the client and the agency. One upon which trust can be built, and knowledge built upon. With a comprehensive understanding of your business, its specific needs, and how it fits into your industry, your SEO strategy will be stronger.

As this understanding accrues, the retainer is likely to represent an increasingly positive return on investment. There’ll be less trial and error and refinement of techniques. These things will give way to confident

This is how we do things at DMS. Speak to any of our clients about our SEO services in Manchester if you want to hear more about the benefits of retainer-based services.