Are You Satisfied, Unsatisfied, or Unsure in Regard to your SEO Provider?

Many clients adore their SEO firms, some are very unhappy with them, and others still (possibly the majority), are unsure or have lingering concerns. Some of those concerns sound like this:

  • “Are we getting our money’s worth from our SEO campaign?”
  • “Is our SEO investment ever going to pay off?”
  • “Is our agency actually doing work, or is our campaign on autopilot?”

If you are concerned if you have the right SEO firm working with you, looks for these five warning signs that your relationship might not be benefiting your company.

1. Lack of Measurable Results

You made an investment of time and finances into a campaign that is supposed to generate leads and revenue from organic search traffic.

Are you getting them? How many sales leads or how much e-commerce revenue are you getting? Is the volume increasing, decreasing, or remaining unchanged?

A reputable, conscientious SEO agency will provide answers to these questions in its monthly reports with transparency. A diligent SEO firm will even go so far as to validate sales leads to ensure the reported numbers are accurate, and not inflated by including solicitations, personal calls, spam and job seekers as leads.

If the firm provides unintelligible reports, or distracts you with less-important data such as rankings, either it is hiding negative results or isn’t astute enough to focus on what counts. Either way, it is time to consider your options.

2. Declining Results

There are occasions where an SEO agency might hit a wall, strategically, and no matter how much work they put in, they cannot make any upward progress.

There are other occasions where results start to decrease because a firm has decided to put your campaign on autopilot for some reason.

If you have observed a steady decline in results over several months, the logical next step would be to talk with an SEO consultant to give you ideas for how to reverse the downward trend.

3. Suddenly Super Results

It may seem odd, but getting dramatic results very quickly is a major red-flag. In example, if you observe numerous (like hundred or thousands) of links “magically” appearing out of nowhere in a very short time period, then it is possible your firm is utilizing “black hat” techniques in an attempt to circumnavigate Google’s best practices. This could result in severe, catastrophic penalties from Google. Be very suspicious if you see this happening.

4. Poor Communication

If your SEO agency refuses to or is unable to explain its procedures, what types of activities it engages in to execute your campaign, or uses technical jargon to camoflauge what they are really saying, you are probably frustrated — because its communication lacks integrity and transparency.

These communication lapses could have a few causes: Maybe the firm is not really doing much actual work on your behalf. Maybe the staff simply does not have a communication style that aligns with yours.

It’s important to build a good relationship with your SEO agency, because campaigns continue year after year. As in any business relationship, if communication is ineffective or uncomfortable, issues are hard to resolve and internal team members may become skeptical. This adds up to an SEO campaign that ultimately benefits no one.

5. You’ve Changed

There are going to be times where an SEO firm is not the right fit, it can’t be avoided. Oftentimes these scenarios set the stage for a changing of the guard.

  • Your business has grown in size and complexity, beyond the capabilities of your firm.
  • Your business has moved into a new market segment unfamiliar to your firmy.
  • Your business has developed the need for an intensive local SEO campaign strategy your firm is not equipped to handle.

Some agencies are very upfront in telling you the relationship has evolved into a mismatch. Others are not as proactive. If you do notice significant changes within your organization could lead to the need for a new SEO agency, you can take the next step, and start exploring options.