So your online business has grown so much that you’re ready to take your SEO efforts to the next level. Hence, you’ve recently hired a digital marketing agency. You’re expecting big results and high conversions in the coming months but almost a year in and you’re nowhere near your marketing goals.
Heck, even your minimum expectations weren’t met at all. What could you be doing wrong?
Sure, SEO marketing does not yield instant results but you should see some improvements in your online presence after several months of trying. So the question becomes a matter of knowing whether or not you hired the right company for the job.
Are you wasting hundreds of dollars to a digital marketing firm that does not have your best interest at heart?
Signs that Your Marketing Company is Hurting Your SEO
A reliable SEO company should have a solid game plan. Before signing up for the service, the company should have a clear outline of all the actual SEO practices that they use to increase a website's online presence.
During the first few weeks or months, the agency should do the following:
- Conduct an SEO audit of your website
- Determine your site's link profile
- Optimize your website content
- Check if the content linked to your website is seen on other sites
If it’s been months and your SEO company is still not giving the deliverables, there’s a good chance that you’re wasting your precious resources on them.
SEO Agency Collaboration
Some of the basic things that an SEO company asks for when working on a project are the access codes to your:
- Google Analytics
- Webmaster tools
- Social media accounts
By gaining access to these platforms, the SEO agency could evaluate your current SEO efforts and choose the best strategies for your specific needs.
There is no way for any SEO firm to implement optimization and marketing strategies without using access codes. If your SEO company is not showing any sign that they want to collaborate with you to boost your SEO and rankings, you’re working with the wrong digital firm.
SEO Firm Methodology
Does your SEO firm seem to avoid asking questions related to your past SEO efforts? Do they seem to avoid answering questions related to their own marketing plans to boost your search rankings? If things in their methodology seem unclear and the firm is not making an effort to clarify everything then there is no way to work together as a team.
Effective SEO is a group effort and any trusted marketing firm is more than happy to explain how they achieved results. A good SEO firm would never hesitate to present proven, measurable results. If you ask a trusted SEO firm what techniques they use to achieve their marketing goals, you should get a straight answer.
In many cases, SEO firms that refuse to share their methodologies are often using black hat SEO to generate results - something that will eventually ruin your SEO efforts in the future.
Search Engine Suggestions or Recommendations
In a perfect world, the SEO agency would handle all things related to SEO and you can sit back, relax, and watch your conversions go through the roof. But an effective online marketing plan will require some participation on your part.
SEO is a constant process of analyzing, adjusting, and implementing different SEO strategies. As the business owner, you have a part to play in achieving your business goals even if the firm is the one in charge of the SEO.
If they are not asking questions about your past marketing efforts, they do not provide suggestions to improve your rankings and they refuse to tell you how they’ll improve your business, they are not open to a transparent work relationship. And if the SEO firm you hired is not asking recommendations to accelerate the results, they might not be doing enough to improve your SEO.
Real Focus on SEO Leads and Sales
Using the right keywords and achieving decent rankings are the pillars of an effective SEO plan. However, these aren’t everything. Getting the keywords right and achieving decent rankings are nothing if your website is not getting conversions and leads. You’re still not making money.
The fact is, there is more to SEO than keywords and rankings. You have to work on getting more leads to close more sales. If your SEO firm is too focused on getting the keywords right so you’ll get a decent ranking and less focused on actual moneymaking then your marketing firm’s goal is not in line with your own business goal and that’s a huge problem.
Ranking or Traffic Improvement
There are several reasons why a website's rankings and traffic drops. It could be a new algorithm update, a change in how websites are assessed by search engines, or it could be poorly implemented SEO strategies.
If your rankings have changed for the worst, if your traffic is declining, and if your progress has inexplicably stopped, you need to start asking questions. Check with your SEO firm, ask them for an explanation of why your rankings or traffic have dropped significantly. The reason might not be the SEO strategies alone but if you hired the agency to improve your online presence, you should see continuous progress, no matter how small.
Your Site Gets Penalized by Google
This is perhaps the worst thing that could happen to a website. A website that’s been penalized by Google will be sandboxed. This means the site will be buried deep in the searches, never to be found by users.
Receiving a manual penalty from Google often means two things: 1) a new algorithm update rolled out and your website hasn’t made the necessary adjustments and 2) you’ve been utilizing black hat SEO. While using black hat SEO isn’t reason enough to fire the SEO firm immediately, it’s important to talk to your marketing firm and be clear that you only want to use white hat SEO. It’s also important to keep a close eye on the SEO strategies that the agency are implementing so the same mistake won’t happen again!
Should you fire your SEO Company?
Successful SEO and online marketing aren’t exactly cheap and it takes a lot of time before you see a marked improvement on your website performance and reach. But if you’ve been working with your SEO agency for almost or more than a year and you’re not seeing any results then perhaps it’s time to look for a more productive SEO agency.
If you feel that your SEO company is only hurting your SEO efforts, do not be afraid to cut your losses and move on. SEO is an essential part of online marketing and if done right, it could deliver massive ROI. But if it’s done badly, you might end up at the bottom of the searches or worse, receive a manual penalty from Google.