When should you fire an SEO / Digital Marketing Company? When they lack credibility & trust – Part 2
November 11, 2013
If you trust the SEO agency, fix the problem with them – whenever and where ever possible.
By Maureen McCabe
For some business owners they feel that politicians are more honest about the results they can deliver than SEO, Digital and Internet Marketing companies. In part 1 How to evaluate an SEO / digital marketing company, I referred to Mike Harris the former Ontario premier who was a straight shooter. He delivered on all of his commitments in his first term of office.
In his style, I will cut to the chase. In any business relationship there must be truth, credibility and integrity. Part 2 in the series of SEO blogs I explain why I recommended that the agency be fired.
Fix the SEO marketing agency problem
Knowing the right questions to ask when I evaluate the agency’s work is important for your small business. Where there are issues identified, my preference is to ‘fix’ things with your existing company. Why? Much effort is required to move to another SEO firm which includes your time as a business owner and that of your staff – and – mine!
I have had more than one, what I refer to as, “Come to Jesus meeting”. The objective is to help the agency understand what is expected and then closely monitor that they are delivering on their commitments. Once I have complete confidence a quick one-hour monthly review meeting is sufficient.
Mediocre SEO company
A new client asked for my input about the SEO company that they had engaged a couple of months earlier. I researched the company (the name of which I will not disclose) for 25 minutes. The evaluation was comprised of 15 minutes on their website and 10-minutes were spent Googling them. There were sufficient red flags that I was alarmed that I didn’t need to spend additional time and wanted to speak with the company along with my client.
The phone conversation with the agency and my client did not go well. The owner was very defensive about my observations. The following are three examples:
1. Membership/Affiliation – invalid
I visited two of the sites that they claimed membership/affiliation as per their ABOUT page.
The owner said that they were a member in 2012. My response, it was October 2013, and their outdated site did not instill trust or confidence.
2. Corporate Logos – illegitimate
The homepage had many corporate logos implying that they had worked for these multinational corporations. Examples included Samsung, Blackberry, BMW, and multiple real estate companies.
I doubted if they worked for any of them. I specifically challenged Royal LePage as a good friend is a top agent there and he was alarmed when I showed him the site.
It wasn’t the corporation that they had worked for but a couple of realtors. It would have also been inappropriate to use the independent brokerage’s logo!
TIP: Lesson learned – don’t be fooled by logos. Ask for customer’ names and contact information as references when you are evaluating an agency.
3. Fee schedule – too low
The fees quoted were far, far too low. I questioned how they could deliver quality work based on the extraordinarily lengthy list of services outlined.
Their reply was unbelievable, and I quote, “We have been operating at a loss since we were founded in 2010. Our backers are supportive of the strategy. The goal is to build a large client roster and then with that credibility we will increase the fees.”
You get what you pay for in life. If you are starting a business, it may be understandable to provide sharp pricing to get a few referrals… but for three years? “No way, José,” to quote my mom.
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