For businesses operating in the 21st century, SEO is absolutely mandatory. Because search is such a significant component of web use, ranking highly in search engine results is essential to connecting with an online audience and converting larger numbers of customers.
However, SEO strategies shift every year, if not more frequently, because search engine algorithms are always evolving. Therefore, most companies utilize SEO services from digital marketing firms to ensure that their SEO practices are up to date — but not all SEO providers are created equal.
Here are a few signs that an SEO provider is not delivering the high-quality SEO services that business clients deserve.
You Notice Outdated or Dangerous SEO Practices
Search engines like Google are constantly trying to curb attempts at artificially altering search results, and certain SEO behaviors can result in punishments from search engines that make a website all but unfindable online. Unfortunately, many SEO providers fail to keep up with the ever-changing nature of search engine algorithms, which means the strategies they employ to improve client rankings are dangerously outdated. Some behaviors that can put business SEO at grave risk include:
- Keywords stuffed into content and meta tags
- Links from low-quality, low-authority websites
- Duplicated content
- Content generated by robots
- Cloaked content
Businesses that notice any of the above practices from their SEO provider need to find new SEO solutions immediately, or they might suffer long-term negative consequences of bad SEO.
You Aren’t Seeing Any Effects From SEO
SEO is difficult work, and it may take several weeks or months before results manifest. In the meantime, SEO providers should be able to demonstrate how the services paid for are having a positive effect on a client’s web presence. Even if search rankings are not budgeting, businesses should recognize good signs like an increase to organic traffic, an increase in time spent on the website and, best of all, an increase to conversion rates.
Unfortunately, even if an SEO provider is not relying on outdated or risky practices, they might not be contributing meaningfully to a client’s success. While companies should have some patience in observing the effects of SEO strategies, they should also be willing to move onto a new provider if they do not see any signs of effective SEO.
Your SEO Provider Communicates Poorly
Far and away, communication is the most important skill in business — even in a technical field like SEO. SEO providers may be experts at manipulating search engine results, but if they are unable to communicate effectively with their clients, they may not be in business for long. Companies can identify poor communication from SEO providers through the following behaviors:
- Inability to explain services, practices or strategies
- Opaque pricing methods
- Inconsistent invoices
- Lack of SEO reporting
- Difficulty to contact during work hours
Companies will experience immense frustration working with a firm that communicates poorly. Because communication is difficult if not impossible for an agency to rectify, organizations should look for another SEO provider as soon as communication becomes an issue.
You Are Paying Too Much for SEO
Overpaying for services is a good way to put business survival at risk. Unfortunately, because SEO is such an essential service — and because it tends to utilize knowledge and skills beyond those maintained by business leaders — many organizations pay far too much for their SEO without realizing their mistake.
SEO costs will depend on the size and expertise of the agency and the services provided to clients — as well as factors like a business client’s industry and location. Before selecting an SEO partner, businesses need to thoroughly research the going rates of key SEO services by requesting bids from different agencies. This will provide business leaders with the insight they need to evaluate whether certain SEO providers are charging too much — or too little.
In many cases, the best choice for businesses looking for high-quality, affordable SEO is to work with a digital marketing agency that utilize services from SEO resellers. SEO resellers are SEO firms that partner with other digital marketers to deliver cohesive and effective digital marketing to clients. To gain access to high-quality digital marketing across the board — and to ensure that their SEO is safe and effective — businesses in the 21st century should consider the benefits of this type of SEO service.