Can you really find affordable SEO services in Malaysia? Is it possible to find affordable SEO services for small businesses in Malaysia? While it is tough, it is still possible to find affordable SEO services Malaysia (if you know where to find them) for your business.
You must be wondering, "Hey Reg! I'm not talking about Fiverr or Freelancer SEO type of thing. I want a good SEO consultant who can work with me for the long term and give me results, including doing proper keyword research strategy.
Now, there are two important keywords right here — long term and results.
Every SEO consultant (including myself) love long term clients. Heck, who doesn't, right?
But when it comes to results, it is tough. Real tough.
You see, search engine optimisation or SEO isn't a short term game. SEO is all about doing what's right now (a.k.a. sending positive signals to Google) and slowly grow your ranks.
SEO is not entirely a walk in the park. Even with the best SEO knowledge, you require some level of experience and constant love for SEO to rank a website. Regardless of SEO for eCommerce or SEO for a business website.
SEO is not for me.
SEO might not work for everyone but it certainly works for most businesses in the world. It doesn't matter you are in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia or in the United States, SEO had helped businesses to generate leads effectively.
And in most cases, investment in proper SEO campaigns will generate at least 5x of continuous returns of investments after a period of 6 to 12 months.
So yes, you can skip SEO right now and that's all right especially for your competitors.
You will lose out by a lot if you decide not to spend time, effort and probably getting support in SEO marketing.
What is affordable SEO services?
Affordable = Cheap
When it comes to SEO, my personal suggestion is to avoid "really cheap."
Affordable SEO should mean that it is something affordable (easy on the wallet) while still being able to provide some level of results.
Of course, you cannot afford to expect a Ferrari performance if you are only paying for a Honda performance.
Affordable SEO should be something of an average salary of a marketer in any given country. In this case, you should be paying around RM 2,000 to RM 3,500 per month in Malaysia if you are looking for affordable SEO services.
The Marketing Huddle Project — SEO For Small Businesses In Malaysia
Mission-critical: SEO offers one of the best ROI in digital marketing. However, great SEO consultants are hard to come by (and find). But worry no more because The Marketing Huddle Project is all about supporting local businesses with affordable SEO services.
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How much does affordable SEO services cost in Malaysia?
Business owners should expect to pay between RM2,000 to RM5,000 a month for affordable SEO services in Malaysia. The SEO service will include one or more SEO campaigns that are designed to grow your website ranking fairly quickly for free traffic and lead generation.
While it is still possible to find affordable SEO services (like under RM3,000 in Malaysia), always remember that SEO requires tools and manpower. All of these involve money and therefore, going for cheap SEO isn't the best way forward (unless you want bad SEO services).
How to find affordable SEO services in Malaysia?
The first step you need to do is to set an expectation (or expectations). Here are some examples:
- What do you expect from the SEO service?
- What do you expect the SEO consultant to do or perform?
- Are you comfortable working with an SEO agency or a freelance SEO consultant?
- How fast you want your website to rank on search engines like Google and Bing?
- How much are you willing to pay for the service each month?
Okay, I get it. These are tough questions especially for busy business owners who might not know much about search engine optimization.
Here's what you need to know.
Good things not cheap and cheap things not good. I bet you heard about this before and the same goes for SEO services.
Getting dirt cheap SEO services isn't a good move and in most cases, you are just getting bad deals. In the long run, you could be spending more money since SEO strategies are always a long-term marketing game.
If you can afford RM8,000 or RM15,000 SEO packages each month, you might want to hang on to those horses. Having the best car in town doesn't mean much if the driver is not capable of handling it.
In other words, you need to make sure your business is ready when the SEO campaigns kick in. Landing pages, websites or even mobile applications need to be production-ready instead of in the R&D stage.
SEO is a long game and it takes time to get it right. Regardless you pay RM10,000 or RM2,000 a month, you won't see many results in the first few months.
Trust the process (assuming that you are working with the right SEO consultant).
Finding good and affordable SEO services for small business in Malaysia is like finding a needle in the haystack.
The truth is this: Many people can do SEO but only a few can deliver results. As a matter of fact, there are many SEO resellers who just buy thousands of backlinks for a fixed price.
As a result, you will get subpar or no results at all even after doing multiple SEO campaigns for months.
Low costs SEO plans
There are many business owners who I had consulted over the years who are looking for low costs SEO plans.
Hey, the economy is hard and we are in trying times. I get it.
I know I can't speak for the rest of the SEO consultants in Malaysia (and SEO agencies in Malaysia) but I can certainly speak for myself.
My SEO services range from cheap (+/- RM500 all the way up to RM20,000 a month). You know why?
This is because no two companies are alike. You see, the first process I take is to perform a deep analysis of my (potential) client's website.
There are cases where he/she doesn't require a full-fledged SEO campaign. Thus, I could easily quote a smaller SEO work and SEO plan.
P.S. I know tons of SEO consultants and agencies in Malaysia are going to kill me for this, but that's the truth.
What are modern SEO services?
Today's SEO is different from the ones years ago. I started my SEO journey back in 2004 and back then, SEO was easy. My overseas clients are paying me anywhere between USD$150 to USD$500 per month to rank their websites.
Now, SEO had changed. As a matter of fact, there are over 200 factors that will affect your website ranking.
These are modern SEO services and in other words, SEO is more than just link building and rank higher on search engines.
If you are serious about making this year 2021 the year of thriving your business, hiring an SEO consultant who performs modern SEO techniques are vital for your success in 2021.
Here's all the fuss you need to know about modern SEO techniques.
Core Web Vitals are a set of specific factors that Google considers important in a webpage's overall user experience. In short, Core Web Vitals are a subset of factors that will be part of Google's “page experience” score (basically, Google's way of sizing up your page's overall UX).
Takeaways: Google cares about how users perceive your page (design, layout, speed, etc.)
Over 50% of business websites out there are not optimized for mobile. Google and other search engines are focusing heavily on mobile-friendliness and websites that are not mobile-friendly will suffer some level of penalty.
Takeaways: Your website needs to look great on both mobile and desktop, with mobile being the top priority.
Having the best SEO agency in Malaysia building quality backlinks for your website is not going to make you profitable if they are sending traffic to a badly done landing page (or pages).
In digital marketing, a landing page is a standalone web page, created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. It's where a visitor “lands” after they click on the link pointing to your website.
Takeaways: Your landing page shouldn't be your homepage. Instead, it has to be a dedicated page focusing on converting cold traffic into warm leads.
Most SEO consultants are so focused on building links and getting your website rank higher and totally ignoring the importance of sales pages.
A sales page is a standalone page created with one specific purpose in mind, to secure sales for your product. The product or service you're selling on your page can differ depending on your industry or niche. However, the purpose of your sales page remains constant – getting visitors to convert into customers.
Takeaways: Find an SEO consultant who can help you with sales pages or get a sales page optimization expert to do that for you.
Domain rating, URL rating and other key metrics should always be the top 5 focus of any SEO campaigns. For example, one should implement different types of modern SEO techniques based on the overall strength of the domain, the domain age and other important factors.
Takeaways: Focus on finding SEO consultants or agencies who are able to give you a customized SEO campaign instead of a generic campaign.
Should I buy SEO services online?
One of the biggest mistakes done by business owners in Malaysia is being cheap SEO services online. There are many sites selling online SEO services and only a handful are great.
But here's the thing.
You are in no-promise land and the only way to determine the success of the SEO campaign is after several months of subscribing to the service. In other words, months of wasted investment.
Therefore, my answer to buying cheap SEO services online is "no".
What are managed SEO services?
Managed SEO is having one or more professionals managing your SEO campaigns from start to finish. As a solution, managed SEO services can help businesses and agencies alike to scale their operations by freeing up their teams for other tasks such as running the business and following up on sales leads.
Managed SEO services are often more expensive than typical SEO services as you get dedicated work hours each week/month, along with detailed SEO analysis, strategies and executions.
In Malaysia, managed SEO services are not that popular (yet) as the current SEO package prices are already rather high. Personally, this option is better for large scale businesses including digital marketing agencies and firms.
Managed SEO services in Malaysia often start from RM5,000 a month.
21 questions you should ask before hiring an SEO consultant in Malaysia
Let’s start with the obvious.
If the SEO company has not been around long, will they still be around in six months?
Good SEO is about building up a relationship and understanding about you, your business and your product or service.
The last thing you want is the SEO agency to go belly-up when you’ve invested a lot of time and money working with them.
The longer the company has been around, the more experience they’ll have, and this is an important benefit.
The size of the agency you are talking to will give you an idea of:
- How many accounts they can actually manage
- How successful they are
- The sort of response times you can expect
- If they can bring anything else to the table (design skills, web development etc)
If you are talking to a sole freelancer, you may save some budget on fees, but you may also end up waiting ages for work to be done, find them difficult to get hold of, or simply find they don’t have the breadth of skills they effective SEO needs.
As you’ll often be asking these SEO questions remotely or over the phone, make sure you check where the SEO agency is actually based.
In most cases, working with a local SEO consultant or SEO agency helps remove the time and language barrier.
Tip: Most affordable SEO consultants work from home or remotely to reduce the overhead costs. That's absolutely fine as long as both parties are able to communicate in a timely manner.
This is a very important question to ask an SEO agency.
Some agencies outsource pretty much everything, so the SEO consultant you are talking to on the phone isn’t the one doing the work, or even in the same country as the people doing the work.
If you are happy for a bunch of under-paid off-shore workers to do your SEO, then this might not be a problem for you, but it can lead to issues.
Fragmented SEO teams simply can not provide the joined-up service that effective client SEO projects need, and you can find that you feel like no one actually knows what is going on.
You might be just looking to hire an SEO company, but in reality, SEO requires a broad range of proficiencies that are not often found in one person.
Unless the person you are talking to has years of experience, it’s unlikely they will be able to deliver everything themselves.
This means that you will also need a designer, a web developer, copywriters, strategists, planners and a whole range of other skillsets to make your SEO campaign more effective.
See what other skills the SEO agency has in-house and ask them about how everything fits together.
An SEO company that has everything you need under one roof may not be the cheapest, but the fact they can do everything will save you time and money in the long run.
Some agencies have account managers (that don’t do, they just manage), other agencies have more hybrid teams where you will talk to more than one person about your SEO campaign.
You’ll need to decide if you want an account manager or if you would prefer to talk directly to the people that know what they are doing.
Most SEO businesses will have online tools such as Basecamp to manage projects, so it doesn’t really matter if there is more than one person involved – the whole team will be up-to-date on what’s going on.
Working with a team can often mean things get done quicker.
As the person talking to you on the phone is going to be directly involved in your project, they are not making promises for someone else to deliver.
An account manager, on the other hand, has to report back to the people doing the work. They are telling you ‘yes’ and then talking to someone else to deliver on that promise.
Both options have pros and cons, so ask the question.
It’s relatively easy to make a company look experienced, but ensure you go a little deeper than face-value.
Ask about the experience of the team that will be working on your project.
Is it one experienced person managing a group of apprentices, or do more of the team have wide-ranging experience?
It’s important to remember that SEO is essentially about your bottom-line, so working with someone who has no idea about costs, profits or any business experience at all may not think about your business, they’ll just deliver what they are asked. Whatever you spend on SEO should get you a return.
If you can find a team with good professional experience AND a broad life experience, you are more likely to click.
Also, ask them what they did before they did SEO.
Have they always worked in the digital industry or were they a window cleaner two years ago?
SEO attracts a lot of wannabes – virtually anyone can set us as an SEO agency tomorrow, so dig back a little and don’t be afraid to ask some deeper questions to get a real feel for the people you will be working with.
This is a great question to sniff out SEO experts that do it on the cheap.
If you ask your agency what they use and it’s all freebie tools that you can use yourself, ask yourself why.
A good SEO agency will invest in the tech it needs to deliver and report on a project effectively.
A more questionable SEO team will do everything on the cheap, won’t be able to give you any meaningful data or reports and is probably not worth talking to.
This is a massive question and it’s really important that you understand how your prospective SEO agency plans to spend their time (and your money). A lot of SEO agencies won’t be up-front about the work they plan to do so aim for an agency which offers a transparent process and regular reporting.
It’s very easy for unscrupulous SEO agencies to appear busy by bamboozling you with complicated reports. Make sure their activities are bringing you results and meeting your expectations (which should have been clearly established at the outset).
It’s a brazen question, to be sure, but it’s one worth asking. The truth is that doing all of your own SEO in-house would require around 15-20 hours of dedicated activity per week.
Few businesses or entrepreneurs can afford to lose that much time, nor can they afford to employ someone to it for them on a full or part-time basis. Outsourcing SEO requirements makes commercial sense for many businesses.
Nonetheless, it’s a good opener that will gauge how far above and beyond the agency is prepared to go for you.
It’s pretty fair to say that all businesses want to increase their flow of traffic. There are two ways to do this- through organic or paid means.
As an SEO agency worth their salt will tell you, organic traffic, the kind where people come to your site willingly rather than because they’ve clicked on a paid ad, is key to online visibility.
It delivers sustainable, intent-rich traffic while ads might give you a surge that is short-lived unless you follow through with more organic strategies.
Be wary of any agency promising you fast, organic results. SEO is all about the long game and requires consistency as well as an agile, adaptive approach. This means it can take some time to see results… but they will be more consistent and sustainable for it.
If you’re desperate to see short term results, an agency may suggest a mixture of paid and organic strategies.
Personally, I recommend clients invest a minimum of 3-6 months in organic SEO activity.
Your prospective agency will likely have a lot of strategies in mind. Some may be On-page and some may be Off-page. While they’ll provide greater details, On-page refers to things you do with your site and content to make it easier for search engine crawlers to parse and index. Off-page SEO refers to things like link building and developing your domain authority to increase your value to search engines.
Which is more important? A good SEO agency will be able to explain in detail why both strategies are essential in achieving lasting results.
While all SEO companies would like to be able to guarantee you a ranking, the truth is that none can. There are simply too many variables at play and search engines can be unpredictable in nature.
However, a good agency will be able to delineate everything that they do to give you the best possible chance.
If you have a blog or other content marketing means on your website, there’s a great deal you can do to make your content more SEO-friendly. A good SEO agency will be able to give you practical tips to tweak your writing to improve its quality in the eyes of search engines.
Of course, if you’re pushed for time they may be able to generate a steady stream of SEO-friendly content for you.
The more quality content you have, the more likely users are to spend on and move around in your website. These are both key metrics for search engines.
Plus, they make your website bigger and more frequently visited. An agency will likely recommend that you post new content at least 2-3 times a week, although every day is the gold standard.
Whenever a website, social media platform, directory or other online source links to your business this is known as a backlink. Backlinks are absolutely essential in determining your website’s rankings.
If an agency starts detailing a strategy to get you hundreds and thousands of backlinks, this may be a red flag. When it comes to backlinks, quality trumps quantity every time.
Backlinks from trusted, high authority websites and sources show search engines that your website is trustworthy.
Backlinks from sites it deems dodgy or low authority can do way more damage to your SEO than good.
On the subject of backlinks, if an SEO company says they can get you backlinks from high authority websites this is an encouraging sign.
A high domain authority means that a site gets a lot of inbound traffic and links and serves as a seal of quality for search engines. Thus, when they link back to your site, search engines will notice.
In SEO terms responsive doesn’t mean how quickly your page loads or reacts to user prompts (although these are also important). It also means how the agency will make your site look good and handle well on mobile devices.
As of November 2016, mobile use is how the majority of people access the internet. A good SEO agency will make your site more responsive to ensure you don’t miss out on all that mobile traffic.
Do note that this may incur additional costs too!
You should be wary of any agency offering one-size-fits-all solutions. Every business is unique and has its own unique long and short term goals.
These will have far-reaching implications for your SEO strategy. A good agency will give you an SEO client questionnaire and use your answers to dictate the parameters of a unique strategy that’s tailored to your needs and goals.
Looking for Affordable SEO in Malaysia?
I hope you found this compilation of questions to ask your SEO agency helpful. If you need help with Search Engine Optimisation, feel free to get in touch with me here at The Marketing Huddle who can answer all your burning SEO questions.