One thing that many seo company clients do not understand is that they do not have enough of an understanding of seo to make decisions that are good for a project. Essentially, the best and worst seo company clients are determined by how much they try to micro-manage the process, and generally the success levels they will see are directly determined by this micro-management….and not in a good way. Lets take the case of a penalty client for an example. Many seo companies will not touch penalty clients, for two specific reasons. First, a penalty client needs a far more intense seo program than a non-penalty client does. A client that has had a Google penalty levied upon his website has utilized some sort of strategy that has backfired, and has now put them into a place of not being ranked, but one of being viewed by Google as a cheater. This means that even the work that is done on the site to change Google’s attitude will be met with extra scrutiny, and will have less of a positive effect on rankings. As a hypothetical example, a website with no penalty needs to develop two new content pieces a week to maintain a good Google ranking. A client in the exact same industry and area who has a Google penalty may need to develop five times that amount of ongoing content just to get the same effect, because Google is viewing everything that is done on the site as being suspect. Additionally, penalty websites are generally being managed by someone who has the completely wrong philosophy and ideals when it comes to seo. They believed that there was an easy road that would get them high rankings with little work, and that philosophy is what got them penalized. These types of clients do not change their philosophy the moment they call a new seo company to put out the fire. They still believe that seo is a game of taking the easiest path, and they do not believe that all this “extra work” is necessary in order to gain rankings. They saw rankings happen once when they cheated their way to the top, and they still believe the same thing. This is the worst type of client for an seo company, as they believe that they know the process of seo better than the seo company that they are hiring.
A good example of a way to destroy your own seo program is to second guess the process, and to ask for the company to take a different direction just because some other person who read something about seo talked to them last night, and now they are doubting everything that they have been told. The old “seo is dead” argument is one of our favorites, as it is based in the belief that there is nothing that you can do anymore to influence rankings. If that were the case, then how are all of your competitors ranking? Maybe it is just luck….because that is one of the aspects factored into the Google algorithm, luck.
I cannot tell you how many times we have gone a few months into a seo program and begun to make great progress, only to get a call from the website owner suddenly second guessing everything and wanting us to build a million links to the site because that is what some other seo company told them to do in a cold call yesterday. Suddenly the website owner ignores all of the increases in rankings that they can see on the spreadsheets that they are provided, all of the proof that what we are doing is working, and wants the program changed to be what some other seo company says it should be. Just because a salesman sounds good on the phone does not mean they know what they are doing….keep in mind they are trying to steal a client away from another seo company so naturally they are going to make it sound like nothing is working. The oldest trick in the book to steal an seo client is to cold call or cold email a website owner and talk about how they are not ranking for “important keywords in your industry.” First off, how would they know how long the work has been going on towards that goal, and second is the keyword that they are mentioning actually on the target list? An example might be an seo company working towards rankings for “Las Vegas personal injury lawyer” and the office getting a call from an seo company stating that the fact that the website is not ranking for “las Vegas attorney” is proof that the current seo company is not doing a good job. These two searches are completely different, with completely different audiences and competition landscapes. It is far harder to rank for a less targeted search like “Las Vegas attorney” which is pulling in all the different disciplines within the Las Vegas metro area in the legal field. You are literally competing with other attorneys who are not personal injury, and therefor it is going to be far harder to rank when the pool of competition is so much larger. The judgement call may have been made by the seo company to specifically target “Las Vegas personal injury lawyer” based upon search traffic, applicability to your services offered, competition and budget. So the company calling sounds like they know what they are talking about and criticizing the current seo company, but in reality it is just a sales tactic designed to make you doubt the current strategy, and to switch companies.
Attempting to tell an seo company how to do their job because you read something about seo written by another seo company is about the worst thing you can do. Jumping from program to program with different seo companies is equally bad. Tearing down all of the work that has been done and shifting strategies should only be done when there is positive proof that what the company is doing is not working. This shouldn’t be taken lightly, and enough time should be given for the strategy to develop. SEO is not an instant thing, and you are not going to be number one within a month just because you paid a company some money. Google needs to see on ongoing, consistent proof that your information is the best…this process takes some time.
All this being said, the clients of seo companies who attempt to interfere in the seo process will generally see the worst results, as they are trying to essentially trying to tell a surgeon how to do brain surgery, while also being the patient on the table! The reputable seo company will probably not argue too much that you are harming the process, as their job is to keep clients and not make them angry. If you insist that something be done, they are probably going to do it even if they know it will ultimately hinder the process. An seo company is a business just like yours, and keeping clients is very important to us. The best thing you can do, for yourselves and for us, is to let us do our job. You hired us to improve your rankings, you made your decision based upon believing that we are good at what we do, and the proof is in the rankings.