10 Red Flags That Should Raise Concerns When Assessing SEO Agencies Part 2
Low Ratio of Staff to Clients
When speaking to a prospective SEO agency, always ask them about their staffing levels. One point here is that many agencies sub-contract out specific areas of the work, and there is nothing wrong with that, especially if they are giving those parts of the work to experts.
However, if an agency tells you they have 90 clients, 3 staff, and everything is done in-house, that should set alarm bells ringing.
That ratio means that each member of staff is servicing 30 clients each, and given the time necessary for proper SEO analysis, planning, implementation, monitoring, and adjustments, it suggests that each client’s campaign is getting hardly any time, if any, each day.
Negative or Poorly Handled Reviews
Presumably, you already know to seek out reviews and testimonials, but one other thing to look for carefully is how the agency handled those reviews, especially the negative ones.
As we mentioned previously, no business is perfect, and even the best gets it wrong sometimes. If they have an unhappy customer who has left a 1 or 2-star review, look to see if the agency has responded. If they have and have also taken full responsibility for their error, then that is a positive sign.
If they have simply ignored it, or worse, pushed back on the customer and started an online argument with them, they are not an agency you want to do business with.
Touting Absolute and Specific Guarantees
You should expect all SEO agencies to give you some indication of what they hope to achieve with your SEO campaign, but be very cautious of those who start giving you very specific and ‘cast-iron’ guarantees of rankings, especially for individual keywords and the timeframes involved.
For example, let us say you own a car hire company in Perth, and an SEO agency, without having done any research with regards to your business or niche, say they could rank your website at #1 on Google for the term ‘car hire in Perth’ within 45 days, then they are basically talking absolute nonsense.
With all the factors that can affect the ranking for any single keyword or keyword phrase, without any research, they couldn’t possibly know how long it would take to get it on page one, never mind top ranking.
Even with some research to assess the niche, there is the not insignificant matter of your competition, who are not going to sit back and let you rank above them if they can help it, so be very wary of unrealistic promises.
Price Is Too Good to Be True
If the price seems too good to be true, it usually is. The rewards that SEO can bring are high, and as such it does require a reasonable level of investment. Any SEO agency that tells you they are going to conduct a full SEO campaign and only charge a couple of hundred dollars is at it.
They’ll almost certainly not do half of the necessary work, and no doubt, when you complain, they’ll either cover their ears and hope you go away, or for the sake of a couple of hundred, pay you back, just to get rid of you.
Meanwhile, you could have wasted months chasing them, while a decent agency could have been ranking your website in that time.
If you missed part one, check it out, here:
To continue reading part 3, check it out, here: