A lot of businesses look toward a marketing agency to take their company to the next level. Particularly, we find that more small businesses seek a marketing agency because they don’t have anyone on their team with the skill or the time to do marketing on their own.
However, smaller businesses have the most to lose. We’ve seen smart entrepreneurs wanting to grow their following and increase their leads only to spend thousands of dollars with no results.
When you get into SEO or Search Engine Optimization, a lot of business owners don’t quite understand what to expect. SEO is one of the most complex services a digital marketing agency can provide and can be difficult for most to understand. But don’t fret!
We’ve got some signs to look for to determine if your marketing agency is hurting you when it comes to SEO. You want to be able to trust those you hire when you put your business in their hands.
Here are a few of the warning signs that your SEO agency could be a problem:
1. They don’t ask you for anything.
An agency that is doing right by you needs your help, whether that means access to your website or insight into your services. If they aren’t asking you for your opinion or your help, they’re working for themselves, not for you.
Some things that a good marketing agency should ask for include:
- Access to your content management system (CMS)
- Access to your Google Analytics
- Access to your Google Webmaster Tools
- A list of potential keywords or services
- Access to social media accounts
- Past marketing efforts
If they aren’t asking for access to your site, it’s highly likely that they’re only adding linkbacks from a number of spam sites. Linkbacks can be beneficial to your SEO but can be harmful if not from authentic, credible sites.
2. They can’t share their methodology.
Your agency should be able to answer simple questions about what they are doing to increase your search rankings. If they avoid answering with specifics or are unable to clarify for you, there are high chances that they are scamming you.
If you ask your marketing agency what they do to boost your SEO and they answer with something like “We aren’t allowed to disclose our techniques,” or “Our efforts have to remain confidential,” or even “We do a lot of things, but it would take too long for me to explain it,” then they are not worth your time.
Find a marketing agency who can be open about their SEO practices, and better yet, help you understand how each technique is benefitting you. There are some standard practices in SEO that are proven to get results. If your agency is doing these, they should be able to explain them to you.
3. They have nothing to show.
Now, this doesn’t mean an immediate rise in rankings. Rankings don’t just go up overnight. It may be four or five months before you see significant SEO results, so don’t worry if you’re not getting first page rankings right away.
However, there are still items your agency should be able to provide. You have every right to ask for deliverables.
Some things you can ask for include:
- Website content analysis
- An SEO audit of your site
- A site speed test
- Updates that have been made to your website
These, of course, are examples. Either way, you should make sure that they are actually doing something, and they should be able to provide you with proof.
4. They have no suggestions for improvement.
If an SEO agency is not asking you to do certain things that will benefit you, that’s a good sign they are up to something suspicious. Even worse, they aren’t doing anything at all.
Disreputable SEOs often just point a bunch of linkbacks to your site. It can look as though you’re getting results, only to get burned in the end. These types of agencies are working for themselves, rather than viewing your relationship as a partnership.
The best agencies will work with you to make your business successful. That’s why, at Webster Digital Marketing, we view your success as our success. We always have suggestions to offer, which is why we do a free digital marketing checkup for anyone who wants to evaluate their business online.
Our free digital marketing checkup examines:
- Search engine ranking
- Website content and coding
- Social media profiles
- Online review profile
In addition, it provides a list of at least 10 easy, actionable ways you can improve your digital marketing efforts.
If you’re looking for a reputable agency that can improve your digital marketing efforts and increase your SEO the right way, why not start with a free checkup from Webster Digital Marketing?