The Risks of Using Pay Per Results SEO

Risks of Pay for Results SEO


ThinkBigandGrow Media

As a CEO, Marketing Exec or Business Owner, you know the value of being found on the first page of the search engine results of Google and Bing.

Each keyword or keyword phrase relevant to buyers in your market that buyers find on page one means greater brand exposure and more sales from your web presence. There’s really no denying this. The problem is getting your business found in these results for valuable keyword phrases buyer use in your market. Pay per results SEO is one way to do this and not pay until you see results.

One big problem in getting this done is the number of SEO companies or service providers to choose from. You have the challenge of choosing a good one, and they have the challenge of standing out from all the noise. Pay per for performance SEO or Pay Per Results SEO is one way for a company to stand apart from others. Honestly, why not? Isn’t it better for you, the business owner if you don’t pay until you get results?

Well, maybe and maybe not.

The First Clue to Pay For Performance SEO Validity

The first thing that should clue you into a pay per results SEO being reputable in its ability to deliver is their pricing model.

Yes, they won’t charge you until you get results. That’s not really the problem. But do they charge only a one-time fee or an ongoing fee for service?

While one-time fees look great, they indicate there is no effort to keep you ranked after reaching the initial goal. The fact is, Google and Bing change their search algorithms 200 to 400 times per year.

What this means is, your SEO requires ongoing performance to ensure you keep the ranking you got. Sure, you will see results in the form of more traffic to your web pages, and more leads and sales if your web pages present the right message to potential buyers. But this won’t last, in most cases, more than a couple of months if there’s no ongoing effort to sustain your position in the search rankings.

This is why reputable SEO of any kind, including pay per results SEO, ask for a contract of 6 to 12 months. A reputable SEO agency knows you need to sustain your first-page search ranking to sustain your brand growth and leads/sales from web searchers. You would be wasting both your time and the agencies time to do anything less.

Using Traffic as a Success Metric for Pay Per Results SEO

When you use SEO, you expect an increase in volume in the number of people finding and visiting your website. This is website traffic.

Obtaining that increase in volume is very good when it comes from the right searches.

Sadly, many unscrupulous SEO companies using pay for performance models use fake traffic to ramp up their numbers. Many ways exist to create fake visits, so it’s important to question your potential SEO company about this.

Second, even more traffic that is 100% valid can have limited results for gaining leads and sales. This is because your pages the searchers find need to be optimized for both marketing and SEO. Some companies can help you with both, but most only know how to optimize for SEO.

Thus, more traffic as a sole metric for performance, even when the traffic is 100% valid, is a weak metric on its own.

Keyword Selection for Targeting

Different companies will include a ranking for anywhere from 5 to 12 keyword phrases in their starter packages.

While most buyers use 3- to 5-word phrases (or longer) to do a search, many pay per results SEO companies will steer you to the potential search phrases that are easiest to get you on page one.

The reason is clear, they receive payment by getting you on page one.

The only valid goal in selecting keyword phrases is choosing the ones buyers use most often in their searches. Companies steering you to phrases of 6 to 10 words, typically do this for their benefit, not yours.

Ranking as a Pay Per Results Metric

Getting rankings is mostly what any search engine optimization company is about. Makes sense, right?

For a pay for performance SEO company, that ranking may be the metric it uses to get paid. So, your ranking goes hand-in-hand with keyword choice or targeting.

For unscrupulous companies, getting the ranking is used as the metric to get paid because it is easy to manipulate up front. This is particularly true in a one-time fee scenario.

Keyword choices must be the most relevant to potential buyers, and your content must be focused to convert when using these keyword phrases. When this is true, then the ranking metric is valid because it then includes an ROI element.

Seriously, what marketing of any kind is valuable without an ROI?

Lack of Focus

When a pay for results SEO company (or any SEO company) focuses on a single metric like ranking, it generally means there is a lack of focus on your needs. You’ve already seen in this article other elements you must consider. A good pay per results company does consider these and you should not be afraid to ask.

The content they create to enable the rankings must be good. This content will appear both on your website and on others, and in places like social media. All this content must be valuable to the potential buyer. If not, it will ultimately cause your rankings to fade. This is seen quickly in the one-time payment performance companies that are less than honest.

No True Investment in Your Business

The unscrupulous pay per results SEO companies can easily sound committed to you when you lack this understanding presented here. They will get you short-term results on seemingly relevant keyword phrases so they get paid.

But as a client, your focus naturally must be long-term. A promise to get you ranked for a one-time fee is nothing more than a very short-term promise.

This means that even the pay per performance SEO company must be a marketing company that focuses on the long-term. They will know that SEO performance is not an overnight thing. They build slowly and steadily and commit to a long-term plan for sustaining your rankings. These sustained first page rankings gets you web visitors, leads and sales.

A pay for performance SEO company that has this focus also has an investment. They must perform up front, and they must continue to perform for the long-term.

Don’t Fall for Secrets

SEO is a rather new business in the perspective of what’s existed in marketing and sales. However, it is not full of secrets.

Be wary of any SEO company not willing to spell out exactly what they do. If they do what is known as “black hat” methods, ultimately you will pay for it in the search results.

SEO under any model is a time-consuming effort. This is why companies hire others to do this.

While you can do SEO yourself because Google is very transparent on what they will allow, the time and effort required to do it right can become expensive and seemingly time-wasting for small and medium businesses. So it’s true it is better done by a professional agency.

Just make sure they will answer your questions and not try to hide what they do as “super secrets.”

Many of the “secret tricks” are well known by Google and Bing and include:

  • Link cloaking
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Overuse of Anchor text
  • Article Syndication
  • Weak content
  • Spun content
  • Low-quality backlinks
  • Directory submissions
  • Comment spamming on blogs and forums
  • Excessive internal and external linking
  • Paid or fake social signals
  • Paid or fake reviews

You will know if and when you get penalized as a result of an SEO company using such “secret methods.” You should always monitor your website’s activity. When you do, you will see a sudden drop in viewers arriving from searches.

You will also then notice your site is dropping from the first page rankings it had just days before. In some cases, with flagrant violations, your website is completely blocked from the search results. It may require you to write Google or Bing with a reconsideration request to get back in good standing. You must be very honest when submitting such a request because the search companies have heard every excuse in the book.

Summing Up Pay for Results SEO

Any SEO is both a marketing and time problem. Promises based on speed should be steered away from. Promises lacking concern for your overall marketing and branding should also be avoided.

All SEO is much more than just getting the ranking. It should ultimately deliver a better brand experience for your potential buyers in your market, as well as more sales directly or indirectly from the web. This can all be measured.

Do be sure to read any fine print. Really, there shouldn’t be any because it is not necessary for legitimate SEO where it is pay per results or pay up front. As in any agreement or contract, watch out for vague or broad language.

You already know what happens when vague language is used: more expenses/charges to you. Don’t hesitate to ask specific questions. If the SEO provider gets upset by them, go somewhere else.

While pay per results SEO may get your attention with the idea of only paying when you get results (which isn’t a bad thing), be sure to look further so you know they focus on good marketing content and potential buyers’ intent. Only a true marketing company understands this.

Google and Bing both have developed to the point of getting good at understanding content beyond just the keywords it contains. Their bots bring back information on your site and analyze it to understand to a degree its intent.

Paying for SEO results is really paying for more than just rankings. “Real” companies know SEO takes time to do initial audits of websites and of competitive keyword phrases. They then make initial builds and must continually change and adapt from there. This is why it takes time to see results and effort to maintain those results.


It’s true that we offer pay per results SEO. So, are we trying to scare you away?

No. Our promise is that you don’t pay until you see your first results. But we do not promise that result in a specific period.

We do know our averages, but the reality is the time is different for everyone depending on many market variables. That’s why we ask for a 12-month commitment because we know it takes time and commitment to get the best results for you.

And since we are a marketing company, we understand we must focus on your overall marketing plan and goals to get the best results for you.

We have over 80 elements we focus on. None are secret. Most are just boring to the typical reader.

You need an expanded brand exposure along with greater sales from the web. That is our focus for you.

Even though we ask for a 12-month commitment, you can exit at 6 months if we haven’t got results for you.

To find out more about our pay for results SEO, click the button below. . .