Although the SEO industry at large may not have the best reputation thanks to a handful of spammers and SEO con men (and I do believe they represent the smaller segment of providers in this industry), there are plenty of great SEO firms out there that are just as committed to your success as you are! There is no need to suffer through a bad or negligent SEO firm.
Here are 4 ways you can tell that it's time to find a new SEO firm:
1. Your SEO firm is not educating you.
The world of SEO has changed dramatically in the last year and chances are many more changes are coming down the road. Tactics that used to work (and work very well mind you) 2-3 years ago now not only don't work, they could actually compromise the organic integrity of your website! A good SEO firm understands that a well-educated client is a better client because you as the site-owner can actively contribute to your own SEO success. The more you know about SEO the easier it is for everyone. There is no "secret" to SEO success, no proprietary tactic they can't risk you finding out so if you have questions they should be more than happy to answer them.
2. Your SEO firm is not proactively reaching out to you.
Hopefully your SEO firm is not like the Loch Ness monster; you've heard about them, but have no definite proof of their existence. If your SEO firm is not proactively reaching out to you with content marketing opportunities, updates on what's changed in the Webmaster Guidelines, chances to build some great links, and more it might be time to get a new SEO firm. A good SEO provider is more like a partner than anything else, and partners touch base and keep each other in the loop. I'm not suggesting you and your SEO firm chat for an hour every day, but they definitely shouldn't go silent for weeks at a time. A good rapport is important for a good partnership.
3. Your SEO firm is not pushing you to be more socially active.
The impact of social media marketing on SEO is undeniable. While we can't say for sure if social signals will ever replace traditional links, there is plenty of evidence that suggests social activity does have a strong impact on your overall online growth. A good SEO partner knows you need to be socially active so you can get your content in front of more people, are connecting with top influencers in your industry, are building your own social authority, and more. If your SEO firm isn't pushing you to be more socially active (on the right sites anyway), it might be time to find a new SEO firm that can help you tie you SEO and social media activities together.
4. You SEO firm is not keeping an eye on your inbound links.
With the Penguin update chugging away behind the scenes someone needs to be keeping an eye on your link profile! I've seen more than a few sites escape Penguin 1.0 and 2.0, only to be hit by 2.1, or receive some kind of manual link penalty. Recovering from any kind of penalty, be it manual or algorithmic, is no fun and not something you ever want to find yourself dealing with! If your SEO firm isn't checking your inbound links regularly for red flags it might be time to find a new partner who will.
As I said, there are plenty of great SEO firms out there who will do all of this and more for their clients, even going above and beyond the initial scope of the contract. If you are working with an SEO provider that is only giving you the base amount of service it might be time to look for a new partner.
Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing, one of the premier full service SEO firms in the United States. With over 12 years of experience Nick Stamoulis has worked with hundreds of companies small, large and every size in between. Through his vast and diverse SEO, search engine marketing and internet marketing experience Nick Stamoulis has successfully increased the online visibility and sales of clients in all industries.
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