This article was published on OneSeo.net
Online businesses, websites, brands, and any company with an online presence have to realize and accept the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). When you have a toothache, you would go to a dentist. If your car doesn’t run, you would visit a mechanic. If your website is lacking the proper tools to attract more and more visitors, you would go see an SEO specialist.
SEO is such a vast field of knowledge and experience that it attracts more and more people. The industry has such a powerful magnetic pull and high demand from individuals and businesses who are eager to perform better on search engines. Therefore, similar to any popular industry, there are bound to be a few bad apples among the crop. Some will just look to scam you, sell you wishful thinking, and provide minimal to no results.
If you are looking to increase your SEO performance by hiring an SEO analyst then you should know how to tell if your SEO Company is doing a good job or a bad job. In this article I will go into detail about how you can tell if your SEO hired hand is hurting you, helping you, and what you can do on your part to help with your own SEO performance.
Why Hire an SEO Specialist?
There are many reasons why you would seek the services of an SEO analyst. For starters, SEO experts or analysts can perform for you what is known as a website audit. A website audit is when an SEO analyst will go through your website and analyze it to determine any on-site issues your website might be facing. They can also help determine any off-page SEO improvements that can improve your website’s search engine rankings and overall SEO. Solving these issues will help your website perform better on search engines.
But that’s not all an SEO expert can help your website with. SEO companies can also provide guest blogging services, link building, and link insertion; help with Google SERPs (search engine result page).
So the services of SEO specialists are several. All these services have one single objective: to get your website to perform better on search engine platforms.
But how can you tell if your SEO company is -in fact- helping you or harming you?
5 Signs that Your SEO Company is Harming You
It would be easy to hire an SEO company and kick back knowing that they have all things handled. Unfortunately, that shouldn’t be the case. Just like with any hired service you owe it to yourself to continuously check whether or not they are meeting their promises and your milestones.
So now that you’ve sought the services of an SEO expert, here are some warning signs that the company you hired is not meeting their end of the bargain.
- They Carry Themselves in a Vague Way
To the uninitiated, the concept of SEO might seem like a foreign language. And while the technical aspects of SEO may be hard to understand, the practicality of SEO is pretty frank. Meaning if you ask the company you hired a straightforward question about their SEO strategy they should be able to give you a straightforward answer. There are many SEO companies that do a great job explaining exactly what is SEO. However, if you find that the company you hired is being shady in their dealings, then that’s grounds for a red flag.
If, for example, you ask them about their techniques in improving your SEO and they reply with a vague “we do a variety of things”, or worse, brush you off with “our tactics must remain confidential”, then you should have concerns about whether or not they are performing their job adequately. SEO companies should be able to explain, in detail, how they are bettering your SEO performance and the different tools they have at their disposal. If they can’t do that, then you should seek to terminate their services.
2- You didn’t provide them with any information
Typically, just before you go to see a doctor, a nurse will take time to ask you a bunch of questions about your medical history. She does this to get an idea about your background, and so the Doctor can know how to properly help you. Hiring SEO analysts and enhancing SEO performances resemble a trip to the doctors. Before performing website audits or any sort of SEO service, an SEO analyst will ask you for your information such as access to your website, what your keywords are, your audience niche, access to social media, etc.
Otherwise, if they don’t ask you for this information, and therefore don’t have them at their disposal, then they will have a hard time performing their duty. This is why, if your SEO analyst doesn’t ask you for these important bits of information, that should be a sign that they are not who they claim to be, and are doing a bad job enhancing your SEO.
3-Your search ranking is down
This one speaks for itself. If you hire an SEO specialist to build and enhance your website’s search engine result page performance, and after you hire them, your performance drops, then your SEO expert isn’t doing the great job they promised you they’ll do. This drop may be for your website ranking, or for your keywords ranking. You can check your keyword ranking using Ahrefs keyword ranking tool.
Keep in mind this drop in ranking may not entirely be the fault of your SEO specialist. If you see a dip in search ranking performance, take the time to discuss this with your SEO analyst and see why things have gone wrong. If you are still unimpressed with their explanation afterward, then maybe you should consider changing your service provider.
4-Your Site Gets Penalized
There are a number of reasons why your website might get penalized by Google. However, if those penalties come after you hired an SEO firm then you ought to be suspicious. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the reason why you got penalized. But it does mean that you should take a closer look at how they are handling your website.
5- Their strategy doesn’t fit with current industry norms
Google is continuously changing their algorithm, and thus, changing the way websites get ranked higher on Google. In the old days, all it would take is to stuff your website with as many keywords and links as possible. But now, for Google, that would be a big no and would see your website get flagged and de-ranked. SEO strategies and tactics are constantly changing over time depending on the new updates being rolled out by Google. Therefore, your SEO expert should know full-well the different updates implemented by Google, and thus align their strategy towards them.
If by any chance you see your SEO expert implementing some of the old, less effective SEO tactics on your website, then you should approach them about it and ask them to keep up with industry standards and practices.
5 Signs that Your SEO Company is Helping You
Now that you’ve gotten an idea of the potential harm SEO companies can do to your website, and how to identify when an SEO analyst is hurting your website, here are the ways that SEO companies help your website improve their search engine performance
- They provide a true and solid plan.
From the very start of your relationship together, SEO companies worth their buck will put forth a solid plan on how they will seek to improve your SEO performance. This plan may include a combination of tactics such as incorporating in your website a set of links that succeed in attracting traffic, or starting a blog, creating and adding new content, performing a website audit, and any other possible SEO tactic.
2- They provide regular performance report
Hearing back from your SEO expert on a regular basis is a good sign. If your hired SEO help provides you with a regular report on how their services have helped your website’s performance then rest assured they are doing the best job that they can. It is even better if you make sure that their reports includes the following key performance indicators:
-An audit of your site and homepage.
-A list of partner websites that have backlinks linking to your website.
-Insights to the performance of your social media accounts.
-The new content they’ve created for your page.
-An explanation into your Google analytics or website performance.
3- Your Life is Made Easier
Part of the reason why businesses grow their team and bring on extra help is to make their life easier. If you are able to focus on other parts of your business, while at the same time noticing a growth in your online presence, then chances are your SEO company is doing a good job. SEO experts and analyst’s main job is to make your life easier by ranking you higher on search engines which, in turn, will hopefully attract new business and clients. Once you find that your phone has been ringing more than usual lately, you might want to tip your hat to your SEO specialist.
4- Your Search Ranking is up
Probably the most obvious telltale sign of them all. If your search ranking is up, then you’ve hired the right person for the job. Some things to look for when determining if your SEO ranking is doing better:
-Your website is on the first page of Google search page.
-Your site is ranking for your target keywords.
-Your website performance is consistent.
-Your business activity has picked up as a result of a high search engine ranking.
5- They are accessible, available, and on-hand
This isn’t necessarily a must but you definitely wouldn’t complain if your SEO expert is there for your every beck-and-call, 24/7. If your SEO analyst shows such added interest in you and your business then be glad to know that you hired the right people, and you’re in safe SEO hands.
5 Things That You Can Do
So you hired an SEO expert. And now you know whether or not that expert is helping you or harming you. That’s great. But that shouldn’t mean you call it a day. Your business requires your personal touch and attention. And with just a few simple steps and extra effort, you can make sure that everything that needs to be done to help your website grow, is being done.
1-Read up on SEO
Whether it’s an article from an SEO services blog or buying the latest book on SEO, you should always stay in tune with SEO news and the latest in SEO changes and fixes. Knowing and understanding SEO will go a long way in growing your website and helping it grow.
You might think that it may be best to step aside and let the professionals do their job but, in the end, it’s your website. This doesn’t mean telling your SEO specialist how to do their job. But it does mean keeping up to date with the changes being implemented and the tactics being used. And if you think you have a good idea or strategy to implement somewhere then run it by your SEO specialist and get their opinion on it.
3-Monitor Their Performance
Your SEO expert is monitoring your website’s performance, but who is monitoring the SEO specialist’s performance? The short answer is you. Keep an eye on how your SEO agency is performing and don’t be afraid to chime in when you think they could be doing better.
4- Slow and Steady
Keep in mind the Internet is a vast place of content and information. The idea being that you’re not the only one in this world creating content and putting it out there for the world to enjoy. In fact, it’s a race to the top of search engine rankings, and when it comes to races, slow and steady is a true and tried tactic.
5- Trust the Process
Don’t be obsessed with results even if they don’t come early on. If you know that your SEO agency is doing the right things, and you have faith in your business and your content, then trust the process and know that the results will eventually show.
Continue to Grow Your SEO
SEO is a relatively young practice and industry. It is also an industry that changes rapidly over time. That is why you should constantly grow and invest in your SEO. Taking your foot slightly off the gas can risk losing a lot of what you have worked for.
Investing in SEO means seeking the right help and guidance from established SEO specialists and professionals. Make sure that the SEO analyst you hire has a track record of improving search engine ranking performance. Establish a relationship with your SEO expert early on and bring them on board with your business. Explain to them your goals and values, and give them as many details as possible about your business so that they can get the best idea of how to help your search engine performance grow.
And aside from investing with others, you should invest in your own self. Know precisely which keywords to use and implement moving forward. Understand your audience’s likes and dislikes, the right insight. Read up on industry practices and all the new SEO innovations and tactics. Implementing these tendencies and strategies will not only help your website grow but help you grow as a business owner and entrepreneur.