Thousands of business owners every year decide to enlist the help of external SEO agencies, which offer specialized expertise and, in many cases, lower overall costs.
But like any business partnership or any hire, this relationship may not turn out to be mutually beneficial. If you feel you aren’t getting your money’s worth, or if the partnership just doesn’t feel “right,” you should look out for key signs that it’s time to move on.
The Advantages of Staying On
Before you make any decision with your SEO agency, you should know there are some advantages to sticking with the partner you’ve already established:
- True potential. Just because you’ve been with an agency for a few months doesn’t mean you’ve seen everything they have to offer. A bad plan, or a flawed initial strategic direction may be grounds for a new strategizing session, rather than the abandonment of the agency altogether.
- Brand familiarity. This agency knows your brand well. Teaching your brand standards to a new agency will require a sizable upfront investment of time and money.
- Data and history. Your current agency also has access to all your historical data, and how your campaign has performed in the past. This is ideal for future planning; understanding your past failure points, and why they were failure points, can help guide you in better directions in the future. If your new agency is blind to this information, you may be doomed to repeat the same mistakes.
To preserve these benefits, you may be able to address your concerns and renegotiate a better deal, or fix the problems you’ve been seeing together.
So what are the clear signs that something is wrong—at least to a degree of severity that warrants firing your SEO agency?
Problems With Results
First, you might not be seeing the results or returns you expected.
- Timing. SEO is a long-term strategy, so you shouldn’t expect to see meaningful results in the first couple of months. But if it’s been six months or longer and you still haven’t seen anything valuable emerge from your campaign, it could be a sign that your strategy isn’t working.
- Type of results. You may also be dissatisfied if you’re not seeing the type of results you wanted from this campaign. You might be seeing number-one rankings for several queries, but if you aren’t getting any organic traffic, it might mean misaligned priorities between you and your agency.
- Responsive actions. The biggest problem here isn’t in the type of results you’re getting, but how your SEO agency responds to those results. Do they acknowledge that your campaign should be performing better, with a suggested strategic change to improve things? Or do they seem to be repeating the same impractical tactics?