By Paul Morris
I thought it interesting to analyse some of the reasons why you should not use a Search Engine Optimisation agency (view my next Paul Morris Search Muze post on all the reasons why you should use an SEO agency)
1/ Unrealistic or poorly defined expectations
Sometimes clients want to be number 1 for hundreds of Fat Head terms within unrealistic timeframes.
SEO is no PPC.
It takes time to rank for targeted terms and sometimes the terms set by the HIPPO (highest paid person’s opinion) are simply unachievable within the budget. This unrealistic goal setting can be the clients fault however equally it can be the agencies fault for not helping to clearly define what the success criteria will be.
2/ Website meddling
If the client IT or marketing department makes major site amends without discussing them with the agency first then this can have major negative SEO ramifications. e.g. a change to the navigation or url structure, deleting a few pages, etc can . If the client cannot ensure this interference is kept to an absolute minimum then it might be pointless engaging with the agency in the first place.
3/ A poor SEO agency
Perhaps the SEO agency doesn t really know what they are talking about OR they are under servicing the account due to lack of resource/ because they plan to bleed the client dry OR they are poor at managing client expectations OR they do not understand your business… Whatever the reason, a poor agency should be avoided at all costs.
4/ SEO knowledge gaps
Because the client has little detailed SEO knowledge and the agency is poor at making the client understand, few decisions or the wrong decisions are made thus stifling results. A large amount of the blame falls at the agencies door as they should think of ways to educate the client e.g. email seo facts of the day, twitter/ rss updates, blog articles relevant to their sector/ site, personalized seo training seminars, regular catch up meetings/ phone calls, etc.
5/ I want to be number 1 like yesterday
It can take several months to enjoy major SEO activity benefits and if you want results NOW then perhaps SEO is not for you and you should focus on other acquisition channels such as PPC.
6/ Lack of support
If the client s other agencies and own internal departments are not fully supporting SEO activity then this will cause problems. Web developers might impact site performance and/ or development or perhaps you’re ‘simply’ missing a trick by not involving content writers, social media managers, PR department, etc whatever the reason; by not involving all interested parties your rank(s) and traffic will suffer.
7/ You already have the skill set in house
In the current climate of wanting greater control and haivng to reduce more businesses are considering taking SEO in house as they have all the skills they need (or are willing to recruit them). Just make sure you really do have the necessary skill sets (rather than simply thinking you do)!
8/ You cannot afford it
Again this seems rather obvious however an SEO agency is generally not recommended for sites with low traffic and margin. It can be hugely beneficial to employ an SEO agency (check my next post on reasons to hire an SEO agency) however it could cost several 1000 per month to employ a decent agency and the potential ROI needs to stack up to justify the investment.