4 Reasons To Drop Your SEO Agency

reasons fire seo agency drop search engine optimization firm

When I first launched my business, there was much that I didn’t know. I’m sure this is the case with many of us when we embark on a new venture. I registered a domain name with a local Australian domain name registrar, simply because they were the company my employer at the time was using. Since they also offered SEO services, I agreed a twelve month SEO contract with them. However, after a few short months I extricated myself from the contract after they had totally failed to deliver on my expectations. 

I don’t want to out the company I used by naming them, but this experience taught me a lot about the SEO industry. It also taught me a lot about what to look for in an SEO company. 

Let’s look at four reasons why you might want to look at dropping your SEO agency and finding a new one. Each of these reasons is drawn from my own personal experience with this particular company. 

1. Lazy Or Sloppy Copywriting 

At the time when I engaged the services of this company, I already had a functioning website. I gave the company access to make changes and they started by adding a number of landing pages. However, I found the changes made to my site to be rather sloppy. The new content was poorly written with obvious unwieldy keyword stuffing. In addition to this, the new pages didn’t use the same fonts, sizes and styles I was using elsewhere on my website. 

As a result of this I largely rewrote the new content whilst maintaining the inclusion of the required keywords and keyphrases, and reducing the keyword stuffing. 

The first couple of months of my contract with this company were spent laying the groundwork, and then having these initial changes made to my website. However, just about everything they had done up to this point were things I could have implemented myself, even with my limited knowledge about SEO at that time. 

2. Lack Of Communication 

Communication is key in business. In my own business I always seek to communicate to clients exactly how I plan to address their issues. Then, once the job is underway. I continue to communicate and provide updates on progress towards the final solution. 

During the initial months when my SEO company had performed keyword research and made changes to my website, I was already becoming frustrated by their tardiness in replying to emails and the lack of clarity about what they were doing for me. I wrote to them telling them that I was very disappointed with what I’d seen from them so far and saying, 

“Can you please clarify what activities you’ll be undertaking for me each month? Is it now purely about backlink creation? How many backlinks will you create each month and will you be providing me with a monthly list of these and other activities conducted on my behalf? What exactly will I be getting for $499 a month? I have yet to see my personalised optimisation roadmap.” 

They replied saying, 

“The work we have done has been carried out in accordance with our experience with SEO and knowing what works in terms of Google crawling your website. However, if you believe that this will not work for you we are more than happy to revise this.” 

They then provided me with a generic list of the monthly activities they would undertake. This included website optimisation, content writing and link building. I replied to them saying, 

“I am aware of the services you provide for my monthly SEO, as you’ve listed below. However, this is a very general list and what I’m after is what specifically you will do for me each month. In other words for my $499 each month what will you spend the time doing? I myself can optimise the site, monitor traffic, write content etc. As I wrote below... how many backlinks will you create each month and will you be providing me with a monthly list of these and other activities conducted on my behalf? And again... I have yet to see my personalised optimisation roadmap. I imagine this would clarify some of my questions. When will I receive this?” 

Their response was once again generic in nature, unsatisfactory and failed to specifically address my concerns. 

3. No Clear Plan Of Action 

Any SEO company you choose should be able to provide you with a clear and detailed plan of action. This shouldn’t just be a list of the generic activities they undertake, but it should be an actionable list of the specific activities they are going to undertake for you. 

Although the company I was dealing with had talked about a personalised optimisation roadmap, at no point did they actually provide me with a clear actionable plan. They said, 

“In terms of backlinks and the particulars of your SEO Campaign these will be determined on a month by month basis, as this is a growth and long term activity that will be dependent on results achieved throughout the SEO Campaign and what action is deemed necessary based on the results we are achieving long the way.” 

I was looking for a much more specific breakdown than this, such as– 

• a list of all the backlinks they would create each month (including the exact URLs) 
• how many backlinks they would create per month 
• what content changes they would make on my website to improve on-site SEO 
• a detailed list of all the activities they would perform each month. 

4. Poor Customer Service 

In my own business, customer service is everything. Even if I end up losing out financially in any particular job for a client, the most important thing is that they are satisfied. It’s always worth going the extra mile, as it will result in repeat business, positive reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations. 

Unfortunately, the SEO company I had been dealing with delivered very poor customer service, from start to finish. Following everything I’ve described in this article, I decided to terminate my SEO contract with the company. They had repeatedly failed to address my specific concerns and I told them that I had little confidence in their ability to deliver value for money for the remainder of my contract. The customer service provided throughout had been lacking as my repeated requests for specific details had gone unanswered, and the delays in their replies to my emails were unsatisfactory. 

Following my request to terminate my contract with them, there was no reply to my email or to subsequent emails. I told them, 

“This is most disappointing and demonstrates very poor customer service. I have no remaining confidence in the SEO service provided by you and again reiterate that I want to have my contract terminated immediately. Please have my credit card details removed from your system and take no further payments. Should any further payments be taken I shall be in touch with my bank to have these retrieved. 

The reasons for my dissatisfaction with you are outlined in the email thread below. Nothing has been done which I couldn’t have done myself and, having seen the poorly written content for the additional landing pages, I would have absolutely no confidence in entrusting the writing of a blog to yourselves, or having any further input from you. As you can see I have significantly rewritten the content of those pages and am likely to adjust it further. There was a clear attempt to stuff keywords without giving any thought to conversions or their usability. Google doesn't tolerate keyword stuffing and websites which do so are de-ranked.” 

To my amazement there was no response from anyone at the company. I moved my domains to GoDaddy, terminated all payments to them, and never received replies to my final emails. 

Conclusion 

Selecting the right SEO company is crucial to the success of your business. My experience with this particular company was almost entirely negative. In hindsight, I’d say that I made two mistakes. The first was in looking for a low cost option. With SEO, as with many things in life, you get what you pay for. 

My second mistake was in choosing a company for which SEO wasn’t their specialism. When looking for an SEO company I would recommend utilising the services of an agency which specialises in SEO, and which offers packages which are tailored to your requirements. Make sure their content writing is excellent, they have a clear plan of action and keep you up to date on progress, and that their customer service is outstanding. With these ingredients, you’re onto a winner. 

This article was written by Norm McLaughlin, founder of Norm’s Computer Services, a local computer repair and IT support business in Brisbane, Australia. Norm is both an IT Support Professional and a certified Digital Marketer.

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