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The High Cost of Low-Cost Marketing Solutions

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses are constantly seeking ways to maximize their online presence and attract more organic traffic. The allure of inexpensive marketing services often seems like an attractive pathway to achieving these goals. However, the real cost of opting for cheaper solutions can far outweigh the initial savings. This comprehensive guide delves into the critical decision-making process of selecting marketing services, underscored by a cautionary tale of a manufacturing company’s journey through the maze of digital marketing.

The Backstory: A Quest for Organic Traffic

Last year, a potential client asked us to help promote his website. It was the website of a manufacturing company. The client’s request was simple: to make more organic traffic, while all current clients came only by advertising.

When we started to analyze the site, we were very surprised. This site was specifically disabled from being indexed by search engines. That was done by the agency that did their advertising before. After turning off all the organics on the site, the previous agency tried to become indispensable in attracting customers through advertising and making money on it. Let’s leave the question of the ethics of such people outside of this article, but let’s pay attention to the fact that the client worked with this team for a long time and tolerated it. In the screenshot below you can see the number of indexed keywords, this was also confirmed by the analytics of the client’s site.

Organic keywords

The Marketing Plan: A Blend of Strategy and Ethics

Our proposal to the client encompassed a robust marketing plan aimed at organic growth. We made a marketing plan, which included technical work, such as SEO, Local SEO, fixing site errors, and more mature marketing: brand building, work to attract new customers through existing customers, and creating a stream of reviews for social proof.

After studying our offer, the client said that the price we asked was too much for him and found a new marketer from Eastern Europe.

I was curious what the result would be, as I already knew that the chosen agency would limit itself to just buying cheap links to the site. And I was not mistaken. The result can be seen in the screenshot below.

From the very beginning, the site received a lot of new backlinks. But their quality was mediocre. Within the first month, 80% of these backlinks were removed and the site lost everything that the client paid for.

A similar situation was with indexed keywords. There was a slight surge in the number of organic traffic and organic keywords, but within one month they fell to minimum values again. Summing up, the client again contacted a low-quality contractor who did a templated job. The outcome – the client paid for zero results.

Key Takeaways

The True Cost of Cheap Marketing

  • Long-term Implications: The allure of saving money can be misleading. The real cost includes lost time, missed opportunities, and the eventual need to invest even more to rectify shortcomings. Choosing a cheaper marketing contractor is often not the answer. Instead of getting cheaper, you may spend much time for which your competitors will simply overtake you. And it will be even more expensive to catch up with them.
  • Quality Over Cost: A cheaper initial quote does not guarantee value. High-quality marketing strategies might require a higher upfront investment but lead to sustainable growth and better ROI in the long run.
  • Knowledge and Control: Understanding basic marketing principles allows businesses to effectively oversee the work of their contractors, ensuring accountability and transparency.
  • Choosing the Right Partner: Opt for a marketing partner who provides direct communication with a responsible employee, ensuring that you are informed about the activities, costs, and expected outcomes of your marketing strategy.


The journey of the manufacturing company serves as a stark reminder of the pitfalls of prioritizing cost over quality in digital marketing. As businesses navigate their digital marketing strategies, the emphasis should be on finding a partner who not only offers competitive pricing but also delivers value-driven results. By doing so, companies can avoid the high cost of low-cost solutions and set the stage for long-term success in the digital arena.

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