Any field with money in it will have no small number of people who will sell themselves as professionals but will turn out to be either crooks or downright clueless. But how can you tell if your SEO company is letting you down?
It goes without saying that this is a question of immense importance. Getting it wrong has cost many business people thousands of dollars and even caused real, irreparable damage to their web reputations.
Ways to Find Out
Figuring out what’s going on before any significant harm has been done and too much money’s been wasted can be tricky, however. So how, without practical SEO knowledge, can you as a customer tell that you are getting very poor service? Here is a list of warning signs:
Their Methods are Unclear
They pile a great deal of marketing shazam with golden promises on top, but have no clear explanation as to how they are going to achieve it. The methods do not need to be explained on a technical level (because you want to understand them, not to learn SEO), but there is always a way to relay the information on a level that a user will understand. If the methods are unclear, you should at least get an agreement that gives you a strategy meeting every several weeks to monitor the progress. We as a Toronto search marketing agency love it when clients have time for us – it allows us to do so much better on their behalf. If your SEO company avoids you, it means trouble.
Confusing Language and Terminology
Like many technical fields, SEO has a swarm of buzzing techie terms, abbreviations and lingo. Understanding them when they talk among themselves is not very easy. When they are talking to you, however, they should talk plain old human.
True, those terms have to be used sometimes, but then they should be readily explained in full upon request. The overuse of technical language without explanation is often an intimidation tactic or a smoke-and-mirrors effect. An honest agency will always be level with you. They will want you to understand what they are doing for you.
Proof of Work? What Proof of Work?
This is a big one. If the previous two may be interpreted as the results of banal incompetence, this one is a red flag with a black skull on it. SEO is set of actions that are repeatedly performed in order to achieve a defined goal. It has deliverables on every stage of the way.
A good SEO campaign is broken down into stages, with milestone goals set for each. This is measurable, and they should be able to report on it upon request. The inability or refusal to provide proof of work (links placed, increase in ranking by key phrase, blogs engaged, conversion rates etc.), is pretty much a villain’s admission.
We hope that this article turns out to be no more than a thought experiment for you, but if you see that those things are happening – run. And should you want to work with a reliable search marketing agency in Toronto, well, you know whom we recommend, right?