Are you Getting Value From Your SEO Company?

Matt is a strategic thinker who gets things done. When he's not on the phone with prospects, Matt enjoys golfing and spending time with his family in Rochester.

Picking Up The Pieces of a Failed SEO Plan

We’ve all made business mistakes. And when it comes to online marketing efforts, many business owners are lured into the world of SEO engagement through touts of being “# 1 on Google” (in a month), gaining “500 links for $500,” or some other “too good to be true” offer. These offers are out there, we see them, we check into them. And luckily, we dismiss them.

It strikes me that many of you are not, and if we’ve had to pick up and rescue/resolve one failed SEO plan in recent months, that’s one too many.

More and more stories of poor performance, unknown value, and wasted dollars continue to come through our door. Businesses who failed to turn down those “too good to be true” offers rue their decisions, and they then side with companies that provide a partnership, a relationship, and true value for their investment.

So what symptoms have we seen here at Site-Seeker of quantitatively bad SEO strategies? Well, they range from the “we did it ourselves but it just doesn’t seem to be working”  to “we’ve had an SEO program with XYZ for a few years now, our rankings are better but our business is not growing” to “we’re investing a lot of money in online marketing and we’re just not sure what we are getting.”

All of these scenarios are common symptoms we see day in and day out at the Site-Seeker Clinic!

Some Other Common Symptoms We’ve Run Into

  • They built our website, but now we want to change a few things and they charge us for every single little change, and it’s not cheap!
    • This could be a  case of bait and switch. Whatever happened to going above and beyond for a client on those little things that go a long way?
  • We rank in the top 100 search results on Google for 75 keywords and here’s a 4 page report/listing we receive each quarter.
    • Well woop-de-do!  We’ve even seen a list dominated by “branded company name keywords.”Hey, if you’re thrilled by ranking for your own “Insert Company Name Here” term and there’s not much competition for that term out there, then shame on you. It’s time to start asking about what ranking means, how it relates to traffic and other key metrics, and how it is driving your site conversions — and ultimately your business growth.
  • We never really have an opportunity to meet with our SEO company and ask questions on the terminology they use. It’s a bit foreign and quite confusing.
    • If your online marketing company/agency can’t afford you the courtesy of a single key point of contact, monthly meetings and a periodic in-depth presentation of reports and metrics, then there’s a good chance that “what you’re seeing, is what you’re getting” and the activity behind the scenes is as minimal as the hard deliverables you are receiving.

So, there are some lessons to learn in all of this. Hopefully, they are worth the read and help you stop and think about who you are investing your business dollars with and how you’ll see a return on that investment. You should clearly appraise your current investment and ask the hard questions about performance and value!

Top Five Key Points

Our top 5 key takeaways from seeing these types of failed SEO plans and helping companies get back on track are:

  1. Expect to know where you dollars are going and have goals and expectations for the program. If your online marketing agency doesn’t bring this up, how can they deliver success and value to you?
  2. Ask upfront for references, samples of past work, and reporting metrics. You’ll need to understand what you’ll be receiving, how it will be presented, and that the agency has long term, happy clients.
  3. Expect transparency and simplicity. This stuff is, at times, technical and complex, but even the most difficult processes can be explained and shared in a way that anyone can understand and see the value in.
  4. It’s not a speed date. You should look to build a relationship. SEO and online marketing is an ongoing investment. If you find yourself contemplating a decision based on how cheap it sounds, you’ll get what you pay for and you’ll be looking for another ‘SEO date’ in 3-6 months.
  5. ROI. Expect your agency to understand your business growth strategy and how this investment plays into your plans. You’ve worked hard to build your business and unless it’s purely a branding initiative, you’ll want to know how hard those dollars are being put to work and what they’re reaping in rewards. If you have a update meeting with your agency and they don’t ask how your business is doing, you may just have the wrong agency on board!