When to fire your SEO company….by an SEO company

Stephen McCance November 5, 2014

Read why the Search Engine Land article entitled “Six Reasons To Fire Your SEO Agency” was so popular in the Red Cow office.

As avid readers of the much revered Search Engine Land website , we recently came across an article that ended up being emailed around the office for everyone to read, it was entitled “Six Reasons To Fire Your SEO Agency”. Whilst you might imagine that it was shared around because we were all reduced to a frenzy of panic, since we’re obviously an SEO company ourselves, it was actually the exact opposite.

p>The author, in fact, wrote so much sense that the article really resonated with us, so much so that we found ourselves laughing at some parts, nodding at others, and breathing a sigh of sheer frustration at the rest. The truth is that we’re facing the same up hill battle every day against rogue SEO agencies that use the type of old school, smoke-and-mirrors approaches that were outlined in the six reasons. Unfortunately, it isn’t just clients that have the misfortune of having to deal with the SEO sharks. We, therefore, wanted to pick up on some of the points mentioned and add our own thoughts to them too (we hope you don’t mind Mr Patel!).

The first point made is a problem we encounter alllllll too frequently. Upon trying to recall the many occasions that we’ve come up against jargon-spouting SEO people, it didn’t take long at all for us to realise that we’d lost count of the amount of times it’s happened. When agencies don’t explain their processes, it is, as Mr Patel so correctly states, dangerous to engage them. What’s worse, however, are those who seemingly do explain their ‘processes’ but do so in terms that are designed to purposely confuse and bamboozle, rather than explain. Engaging this kind of SEO company is not only bad for your site in general, but its also going to cost you so much more in the long run. When your site loses any temporary improvements that have been made (which it definitely will – if any were made at all) you’re left with an inundation of spam, and perhaps even a manual penalty, as well as the drops in traffic that will happen when you begin to plummet back to the bottom of the SERPs. You then have to engage a trustworthy agency (and again, how do you even know?) to remove the junk and restore your website to a point where you can start again. Not only is this a lot of wasted money for you, its also really annoying for your new agency. Cleaning up someone else’s mess is not something that any reputable agency relishes the thought of; neither is battling against the poor impression that the first agency has given the client. As I said, REALLY annoying!

The point about backlinks is a really important one. A good agency will provide you with a list of links they have aimed for upon request (or sometimes even without it having been requested), and they will be able to explain why those sites were chosen. If they are unable, or more commonly, unwilling to do so then you have a problem. The sites they are reaching out to should be relevant to your industry in some way, and also be reputable or useful as a standalone site. If any of the links you see don’t fit these basic criteria then you need to be digging deeper and asking more questions. Again, if you approach a reputable agency then they will usually be happy to provide you a link report free of charge so that you can check up on your current SEO agency.

I won’t even go into the parts about algorithm updates and reporting. They go without saying as they’re a fundamental part of why clients pay an SEO agency. One thing I will say, however, is that I once encountered an SEO person who had actually completely made up a “new algorithm change” that didn’t exist. I still don’t know whether he genuinely believed that it did!

Strategic consulting and additional services kind of fall into the same bracket for the point I’d like to make on this front. There are many SEO agencies who won’t actually have any kind of defined strategy. The good ones will stand apart as they will not only take the time to understand your business, they will also take an interest in the other marketing activities that you currently do, as well as trying to tie in with your overall strategy. Similarly, they will also be able to offer complimentary services that run alongside SEO to maximise the impact of the optimisation work they’re doing.

All in all, we’d really like to see more articles like this one from Neil Patel. With so many SEO companies sticking fervently to out dated techniques, clients need to be able to distinguish the good from the bad and the ugly, and anything that helps them with being informed enough to do so is more than welcome in our book.

Click here to read the original article, “Six Reasons To Fire Your SEO Agency” by Neil Patel.

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