When you’re a novice webmaster, sitting in your living room in your PJs and looking over the (probably nonexistent) traffic flow to your website, it’s hard to consider dropping a few hundred dollars on SEO services provided by an established SEO company. After all, you’ve done some research — you know how easy it is to write a backlink. You’ve seen the forums where they tell you a dozen easy ways to write a backlink to your site. You’re even on a mailing list where a charming lady from Western Washington State tells you a bunch of high-Page-Rank sites you can get backlinks from all by yourself and very easily.
Why do you need to spend that kind of money? After all, if you can understand how to get a backlink written, you can surely find some experienced Indian or Filipino gentleman to do it for you for a couple of bucks an hour. That’s real value, isn’t it?
You see, there are several things that an SEO company will do for you that a freelancer cannot. It’s true that if what you want is backlinks written, a freelancer can do it cheaply — but if what you want is an organized backlinking campaign planned and executed, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone on ELance or Craiglist who can do that for any less than a real SEO company would charge.
Backlinking campaigns require several elements that simple backlink writing doesn’t. You need to have a long list of fully-researched keywords. You need some short, high-traffic, high-competition keywords that you’re willing to commit large amounts of effort to dominating, knowing that they’ll be the core of your traffic. You need dozens and dozens and dozens of low-traffic, low-competition, long-tail keywords that you can rank for easily and take advantage of the numbers game on, knowing that no one is terribly meaningful but the synergy they generate will be.
You need tracking — you need to know which backlinks are driving traffic that actually buys, so you can make more of those. You need to know which backlinks are driving tire-kicker traffic so that you can make less of those. Without that kind of value, your SEO money is just being tossed down a hole — and what kind of freelancer is going to be able to do all of that for you?