Let me preface by saying that I’m not insinuating at any point that the size of a company correlates inversely with the quality of the product they produce.  Though it is easy to point it out in some situations (mass produced beer and food), if businesses are managed well on a micro level, there’s no reason for them not to do as well or better than brands and businesses on a small scale, all the way to the mom and pops.  That being said, sometimes some of the “bigger” guys can sometimes lose attention to details of they have, let’s say, thousands of clients they are trying to cater to on a regular basis.  Or perhaps they have more sales and account reps than they have people actual working on the accounts.  In this situation, I like to call this “pseudo-cognizance”, or in other words, you have people spending more time telling you what they are doing than time spent actually doing work.  Let me explain.

This isn’t a blog on philosophy, but the disparity between the illusion of work and the actuality of work should be addressed.  Bigger companies tend to have account managers/reps that many times actually never work on your account, but interpret the work being done and put together reports in a favorable manner and will ensure no matter what that progress is moving in the right direction.  To save you some time thinking about it, there is really only one indicator if things are moving in the right direction:  you’re getting more phone calls and/or e-mails.  Even if your traffic reports indicate an upward movement (that is, if you are getting traffic reports), there’s a difference between qualified traffic and regular traffic. Basically, you shouldn’t care if your traffic has gone up 1000% over 3 months if your leads are stagnant.

Now it doesn’t mean that you should drop an SEO company if you don’t get results after a week or two?  No one can really get the ball moving that quickly unless they’re doing some unethical work.  It is fair to work with them 3 months and then evaluate how far you’ve come in that time.  What are some red flags you might see from when you start to the three-month mark?

  • If they give you a report that tracks your keywords and ANY of the keywords are irrelevant.  This means they likely did a poor job doing initial keyword research for your company and they haven’t analyzed your particular business targets.
  • If they ask for your website login information or FTP access months after they already started working.  This means they couldn’t have possibly done any on-site optimization yet and have likely just done link building, which is only one component of online marketing.
  • They aren’t following up with you at least bi-weekly.  No one likes feeling like they’ve been forgotten.
  • It also doesn’t hurt to run some pages they’re writing for you through Copyscape, a reliable plagiarism checking service.

For your benefit, you want to work with a company where you can talking directly to the person working on your account at least half of the time.  Don’t be afraid to ask for reports that include traffic, time on site, how the bounce rate is progressing, the number of links they’ve built, how much content they’ve added, where the links are coming from etc..  It’s your business – your digital marketing agency is only supplementing the work!  Also if they do social, make sure you can approve the posts they’re doing first so you can see what kind of voice they’re giving your business.  You don’t want to be presented in a manner that isn’t genuine.

Having some trouble with your current agency?  Speak to the experts at Market My Market today to see if we can work something out with you. We are well-versed in all things SEO and work to help our clients enhance their digital presence to generate leads. We work with you every step of the way to ensure you’re happy with what we produce. Contact our office at (800) 954-9441 to learn more about our services and receive a free quote today.