Breaking up is not always hard to do.
Over the past two years we have had numerous clients join our team after having a bad experience with another SEO or web marketing firm. Sometimes their site has really been abused. We have been engaged just this week by a start-up that literally got nothing but “here is what 4 landing pages should have on them” for $10,000!
We also have people afraid to make a change because they have been frightened by their ex-SEO firm. Fear, uncertainty and doubt right? The ex warns them that their rank will fall immediately just because they change firms. Huh? Some firms like to own the client’s Google account and when they leave, they lose that Google data. Truth is this arrangement is good for no one as the quality score will be disadvantageous to the combined clients while the PPC firm makes money and stretches cash flow on the ad expense float. Google has told us, by the way, that they do not like this approach.
We have had one competing agency literally wreck the code on a client’s site and take out their Omniture script without permission (we had already backed up the site thank God). When we confronted them they responded, “We don’t like to make it easy for a client to leave us.” Wow. Or, I like the one where the ex has a top secret proprietary approach that no one else possess and that if they just sign up for another year then magic will happen. We’ve heard it all. From “You don’t spend enough money to be a priority.” to “Our people don’t find your site exciting to work on.” It can be very disheartening. Pressure tactics, bad information, owning a client’s data and making this some mystical science is all BS.
The truth is that search engine marketing firms like The Net Impact do not perform magic. We do heavy research. We create specific approaches for each client. We test. We brainstorm. We publish, change, create and code. We monitor. We engage. We work our butts off. In the end, the data is all there. Open access to Google analytics as an example will absolutely show your performance. Is your traffic up or not? Are your conversions up or not? Are you climbing the SERPs for the right terms or not? And, I guess most importantly, do you understand what is going on for your website, or not?
You, the site owner, need to be 100% aware of what is going on with your website’s performance. You deserve to know exactly what efforts are being performed on your behalf. You have to know how well those efforts are performing. The bottom line is, if you do better, then your SEO firm will too. If not, fire them.
I’ve written before about the spammy, insincere, “sign up today” tactics of a lot of other firms. The more client horror stories I hear about these firms the more I realize that they don’t just utilize poor selling tactics; they really abuse their customers as well.
So, to those “Wait wait there’s more!” SEO hucksters that abound in every city, please note. This is not a get rich quick industry nor is it an easy way to make a buck. If you can’t honestly represent the best interests of your clients FIRST, then please do us all a favor. Get out.