When you invest in an SEO agency, you should be seeing a clear return for your money or, at least, a good explanation why not. Is neither the case for you? Are you growing suspicious whether your SEO agency is working?

Working with a range of clients with varying knowledge of SEO, some of our clients have came to us with stories about other agencies who have failed to deliver what they’ve promised and wasted their money. In this blog post, we look at the telltale signs that an SEO agency isn’t working.

Out of Date Knowledge

When talking with your SEO agency, do you find that they are not well informed? Or operate through out of date tactics? A sign of a good SEO agency is that they have their head to the ground and finger on the pulse, bringing you the latest news and updates in SEO. An uninformed agency that isn’t up to date on industry trends, tend to operate through out of date techniques and tactics.

A common, out of date SEO practice is charging a client for keywords. A few years ago,  SEOs would charge clients to target a certain number of keywords per month, such as £100 for x amount of keywords and SEO articles. This has since been concluded as an outdated practice, which can even lead to a Google Penalty if sites such as Ezine and Go Articles are still targeted. Tactics like this do not offer a good quality service for clients and mean that they aren’t moving with the times. An agency like that is holding their client’s back.

If your agency is still charging you through a similar rate, that is a sign that they are out of date and you should consider another agency.

Rankings

Going back to basics, SEO is all about climbing higher in search rankings through certain keywords. You should physically be able to search words in Google and be able to count your site’s rankings, seeing an improvement.

Improvement in your rankings is not something you’ll see over night but over a period of three months. Are you not seeing any positive results for any of your keywords? This a bad sign. Negative changes to your keywords is a bad omen that your SEO agency isn’t working. Talk to your agency and ask why there hasn’t been any movement.

Not Transparent

Transparency is important. It builds trust between you and your agency and is vital to any working relationship.

Is your SEO agency offering you clear reporting? Can you pick up the phone and talk to your account manager? Do you even know the name of your Account Manager? Have you had face to face meetings, discussing your work?

A sign of a good agency is them being able to clearly account the work they have done for you and show what has been achieved from your investment.

Old Techniques

This links back to an SEO agency with out of date knowledge. If they haven’t kept up to date with Google’s updates, odds are they still use old and ineffective techniques that do not generate high results.

Link building is a common and important factor to improving your site’s SEO. Through building links from high authority and relevant sites back to yours, you can help drive traffic to your site and improve your website’s rankings and authority. When looking through backlinks to your site, it is important to question where these links are coming from as spammy links could result in a Google penalty.

Out of date link building tactics can include creating profiles on irrelevant online directories or spinning articles on numerous article directories. Paying for links or reviews is another bad practice that can result in a Google penalty to your site. In some cases, some SEOs resulted in placing links on adult websites.

Speak to your agency about their link building tactics and don’t be afraid to question anything you’re unsure about.

Bigger Picture

Is your SEO agency working to the same goals as the rest of your marketing team?

An SEO agency should not be seen as a side project or service for your business but as an extension to your marketing team. That’s what they’re for, to support your marketing campaigns and help you drive traffic and sales. Besides improving rankings to keywords, your SEO agencies should be looking at how they can be working towards helping you achieve your long term goals as a business and ultimately drive more revenue.
Remember, your SEO agency is there to help your business thrive and you should feel confident to talk to them about any questions or queries you may have. If you don’t have this relationship, then it may be time to move on, talk to us.