You’ve gotten the offer before, right? Free SEO audit! Maybe it came in your inbox. Or your mailbox. Or from the person sitting next to you at a networking luncheon. You’re interested, but you have questions. Or at least you should.
Is it really free?
That’s largely a matter of perspective. In all of these scenarios, you’ve just made yourself available for a sales pitch. Is your free SEO audit going to cost you money (initially)? Probably not. But do you want to invest time in a sales pitch?
Why is it free?
Most free SEO audits are a matter of running a website through a piece of software that then spits out somewhat generic information. It takes almost no time on the part of a human. Sometimes it’s just a matter of plugging in a url. So, now for no effort on their part, they’ve gained access to your valuable time to tell you why you should hire them.
But if the audit is free, why would I pay them?
Usually the generic information is similar to when you get lab results from your doctor. You may be able to look at it and see what’s high or low or in the healthy range, but you don’t really know what’s important and what should be addressed. It is diagnostic; not prescriptive. You could get the same information paying for SEO software yourself and run reports every day if you like. But if you don’t know how to interpret the data and turn it into strategy, it’s doing you no good.
But if they have the prescription, then I should pay them for it, right?
Again, maybe. When you go to your investment professional and ask what you should do with your money, are you going to be advised to invest in real estate? Buy a franchise? Most likely, no. Why? Because the investment professional is paid to sell you an investment product. If you buy a piece of real estate, she doesn’t make money from that.
The SEO company that performed your “free” SEO audit only gets paid if you sign up for services. That may or may not be best for your business. But that’s how they get paid, so they’re not going to tell you if your money is better spent elsewhere.
Is there another way?
We believe there is. Our audits are not free. But they are comprehensive. They are also diagnostic and prescriptive. We’ll tell you what’s wrong, why that’s a problem and what to do about it. We’ll even tell you how much it will cost for us to fix it in many cases. But you don’t have to pay us to fix it. You can get your cousin or your friend or someone off of Fiverr to do it. No pressure.
Going back to our medical testing scenario, you might want to get the best specialist in town to tell you what’s wrong and what you need to do about it, but a lot of the time you can then go to the pharmacy and feel comfortable filling your prescription for a generic. But you want the specialist to tell you which drug’s generic you need.
We believe if you’re going to save money on SEO, you should save it on the fixes – not on the strategy. You can learn more about our SEO audits here. Or if you prefer talking to us about it, call us or fill out a form, and we’ll get back to you right away.