Why Pay for Performance SEO Is a Bad Idea

Why Pay for Performance SEO Is a Bad Idea - pay for performance SEO

“Why Pay for Performance SEO Is a Bad Idea” written by Mike Marko.

As an online business owner, you might have already heard of pay for performance SEO. This is when you hire an SEO company that you only pay once you see results.

I’m an online business owner too, so I understand how tempting pay for performance SEO is. Seeing results before handing over payment can sound like a smarter way to invest in search engine optimization.

Online business owners who have been trampled over by SEO in the past will definitely be attracted to pay for performance SEO.

That’s because pay for performance SEO agencies often promise a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) that businesses might not have been able to achieve before.

However, pay for performance SEO isn’t always as smart as it sounds. In fact, pay for performance SEO could end up being a total waste of your money.

It’s true that a pay for performance SEO set-up can seem like a win-win situation. However, pay for performance SEO has many risks that aren’t worth it at all.

So, if you’ve been thinking about hiring a pay for performance SEO company, finish reading this blog first. You might end up changing your mind and saving your money!

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Pay for Performance SEO Is Too Good to Be True

I can understand how some online business owners would want to have results before handing over money. That’s what you get in pay for performance SEO, supposedly.

However, in pay for performance SEO, companies are basically handing over data on KPIs and then walking away. That’s what makes pay for performance SEO setups unreliable.

Yes, pay for performance SEO results can look promising—for now. But are you willing to take the risk of pay for performance SEO just for immediate (and questionable) results?

Here’s why you shouldn’t.

Traffic Alone Isn’t a Reliable Success Metric

First, you should already be wary when a pay for performance SEO company is concerned only with website traffic.

Most pay for performance SEO companies rely chiefly on the amount of traffic you get to determine how successful your website is becoming.

Now, at first, it may seem like a boost in website traffic is exactly what happens in successful SEO. It seems like the goal.

However, unlike pay for performance SEO companies, proper SEO companies know that sudden traffic boosts don’t always mean your SEO is successful.

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1) The Possibility of “Fake” Traffic

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to dupe traffic data through fake sources and users. These low-effort traffic boosts by pay for performance SEO companies do nothing for your business.

You should also remember that traffic should go hand in hand with conversions. The traffic coming to your website will be useless if users don’t even engage with your content.

Many pay for performance SEO companies only count how many visitors come to your website to measure success.

However, not all those users interact with your website enough to contribute to your SEO success. They may not even be part of your target market!

2) The Danger of Pogo-Sticking

Additionally, if a user abruptly leaves your site, Google might assume that your website didn’t help the user’s query. It’s called “pogo-sticking”.

Although Google’s John Mueller claims that pogo-sticking isn’t a ranking factor, it certainly doesn’t help you.

It also means shorter dwell time for visitors to your site, which means far lower chances of achieving whatever you want to achieve with your content.

So if a pay for performance SEO company focuses on just sending as much (unqualified) traffic as possible to your site so they can get paid, you’ll find hardly any benefit to it.

You’ll basically be paying the company to give you empty or meaningless results.

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Lack of Investment in Your Business

Next, let’s talk about how “fast” pay for performance SEO setups are.

It’s true that fast results can be favorable, but at what cost?

Pay for performance SEO companies usually only focus on short-term success. This means that most pay for performance SEO companies will rush their SEO tactics in order to create output.

That output will most likely be eventually ignored by Google. This is because they’re poorly made and only done to have something to show you quickly.

This leads to you having SEO content that does nothing for your website or your ranking. To put it simply, you’ll be paying a company for content that will be useless in a matter of weeks — if not days.

Most pay for performance SEO companies won’t care about how your business will run on SEO content in the long run. All that matters to them is to get paid for KPIs that they show you.

They also usually only focus on getting you to rank high quickly on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This usually won’t last long because users don’t stay or come back to your website.

This is completely against the essence of SEO because you only rank high for show, and usually only for a short time.

Ridiculous Promises to Get Ahead of the Competition

Now, competitors are inevitable in any field of business. That means that the pay for performance SEO field has a lot of competitors, too.

Because of this, different pay for performance SEO companies resort to manipulation. How else would a shady SEO practice stand out?

The shadiest tactic that pay for performance SEO companies do is to provide confusing price structures. This practice usually leaves their clients paying for more than the results are worth.

In some cases, pay for performance SEO companies also give a lot of promises to their clients in order to get hired. Some pay for performance SEO companies even claim to know secrets to SEO success.

Unfortunately, there are no legitimate secrets or shortcuts for SEO success. These claims are just good to hear, but ultimately result to nothing of value.

Usually, search engines like Google are even open about methods that people can use in order to achieve SEO success. So, there really isn’t any “top secret” technique in SEO.

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Penalizable SEO Practices

Shady pay for performance SEO tactics don’t stop at fake promises of “secrets to SEO success”.

Some pay for performance SEO companies might also do SEO practices that can severely hurt your search engine standing.

These said tactics can definitely provide immediate results. However, these illegitimate SEO practices are punished by Google.

You should remember that Google takes over two-thirds of all Internet search traffic. So, violation of its rules spells significant damage to your website and business.

Some of these shady pay for performance SEO tactics are the following:

  • Low-quality content.
  • Cloaking.
  • Comment spamming.
  • Fake social signals.
  • Keyword stuffing.
  • Aggressive content syndication.
  • Low-quality backlink building.

Normally, you’ll notice that your pay for performance SEO company is committing a shady SEO practice by monitoring your site’s progress. That’s why you should always keep a close eye on your statistics.

One bad sign is that your site’s traffic significantly decreases in a short amount of time. Another sign is when you suddenly don’t rank on SERPs anymore.

This means that Google is beginning to ignore your shady SEO content.

Quantity Is Chosen over Quality

Lastly, you need to remember that quantity isn’t always better than quality, especially in SEO. And unfortunately, most pay for performance SEO companies didn’t get this memo.

Some pay for performance SEO companies see spamming as an ideal way to rush SEO results. So, they will usually spam your content with keywords.

Careless content like this can be easily detected by Google and your content will be flagged. This means SEO content that comes with keywords need to be done carefully, too.

In some cases, pay for performance SEO companies will abuse content in order to set up backlinks to your website. Usually, this content is posted on low-quality websites.

These too will eventually be ignored by Google. This is because Google depends on the authority and relevance of a website.

So, if your content is posted on low-quality and poorly maintained websites, you shouldn’t expect much. It doesn’t matter if it’s posted on a hundred of those website either.

Again, it’s the quality that matters. This ties into several of the other reasons I’ve already given for why pay for performance SEO is a bad idea.

You don’t want “a lot of traffic” — you want “a lot of high-quality traffic”.

In the same way, you don’t want “a lot of views/hits” — you want “a lot of meaningful engagement”.

So look for an SEO company that actually understands the distinction. Most pay for performance SEO companies don’t because quantity is the end-all and be-all of their metrics for success.

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Final Thoughts on Pay for Performance SEO

I know how tempting it is to try to be as money efficient as we can be, especially when boosting an online business. However, pay for performance SEO is definitely not the right answer.

You shouldn’t throw your money away just because a pay for performance SEO company shows you a boost in your traffic. That doesn’t last long enough to have any real impact on your business.

You shouldn’t throw your money at a pay for performance SEO company that doesn’t invest in your business. What your business needs is SEO help that will actually last.

You also shouldn’t be fooled by pay for performance SEO promises. They might sound good now, but Google will penalize these “promises” faster than you’d expect.

Lastly, your business will only thrive if you prioritize quality in your SEO. The search engines themselves are putting quality first, so it only makes sense to follow their lead.

So, instead of wasting your money on pay for performance SEO, you should invest in better SEO companies.

You should find a company that can actually help you grow; not a company that will do whatever it takes to quickly take your money and leave.

If you’re tired of pay for performance SEO companies, I can help you get real SEO help. All you have to do is leave a comment below or set up a consultation with me!

You should also check out the blog post, Common Website SEO Mistakes Made by Consultants and Small Business Owners.

If you need help with your SEO, be sure to check out the SEO services offered by IM Consultant Services.  They are a top notch company that can get the guaranteed results you are looking for.

If you need help in getting traffic to your website or ranking in Google, then feel free to contact me and we can talk about the different consulting options we offer.  Or use the link below to apply for your “Results in Advance” free consultation and let’s get started right away:

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Why Pay for Performance SEO Is a Bad Idea - Mike Marko

Author: Mike Marko
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If you want help marketing online, then check out our services at IM Consultant Services.

Article: Why Pay for Performance SEO Is a Bad Idea