Performancing Metrics

Breaking Up With Your Search Engine Optimization Company

When it comes to both personal and professional relationships, you can run into difficulties and sometimes your differences are so vast you should go your separate ways. The same can be said of search engine marketing. The right partnership can create a wonderful online advertising campaign that manifests itself in high traffic, higher page ranks, and more business. Sticking with the wrong firm, however, can do more damage than good. How do you know when it is time to break up with your search engine optimization company?

  1. They never return your calls or reply to your emails. When they were courting you, chances are your SEO company was incredibly responsive. If you had a question or comment, they were quick to supply an answer or address your concerns. Even in the initial phases of your SEO campaign, they were probably happy to discuss whatever was on your mind and eager to convince you they truly understood you and your business. Now that your contract is well established, however, days may pass before you hear back from them, if you do at all. This is the number one sign you need to find yourself a new search engine optimization company. You are the client and communication really is key to a successful campaign. Now, you and your SEO team are busy people. Occasionally, things may become lost in the shuffle or a response may be delayed, but that should be the exception not the rule. After all, if they cannot bother to respond to you, how much attention can they possibly be paying to your campaign?
  2. They never call; they never write. This is along the same lines, but is slightly different. Your SEO campaign is a fluid thing that is constantly evolving. You should be hearing from your search engine marketing team on a regular basis. Not every day, mind you, but occasional check-ins are not only appropriate but absolutely necessary. Maybe your campaign needs an adjustment, perhaps it is time to expand or scale back certain initiatives, or possibly it is simply time for a status report. Either way, they should be initiating contact and keeping you informed. If you have no idea how your SEO campaign is going, it is quite possible that they do not know, either.
  3. You are better informed than they are. Clearly, it is a huge red flag if you know more about SEO developments than your team does. Part of this is your responsibility, however, because you should occasionally search for the latest SEO news. Have you heard of Google’s Panda? What about mobile optimization? Do you know about Facebook’s ad services? Has anyone mentioned holiday PPC? Some people would argue that you hired someone to know all that stuff, so you do not need to be aware of any of it. If you want to have productive conversations and a strong campaign, however, staying informed is critical. Relationships, after all, are a two-way street. They should address SEO developments with you of their own volition, but when you bring something up, they should be able to answer intelligently and explain how it does or does not apply to you. If they cannot do that, they are either incompetent or unfocused. Neither is good for your business.
  4. They are suggesting new and naughty things to enhance performance. Hopefully, you did your initial homework, and were not seduced by some black hat SEO company that employs unethical tactics that actually undermine your site. Even the good guys can go bad, however, when they are feeling pressured and the carefully crafted campaign they launched is not performing as expected. The proper approach to an underperforming SEO campaign is to modify it until you find what works. That can take time and patience, however, and it can be tempting to resort to tactics that produce short-term results, even though they will eventually backfire. If something sounds too good to be true or like spam, it probably is. They may not use the terms link farming, keyword stuffing, or gateway pages, but if what they are describing sounds less like high quality SEO content and more like tricks, it is time to do some digging. If you confirm your suspicions with a little research, don’t walk but run away.

These are the most obvious signs it is time to break up with your search engine optimization company and find a new search engine marketing team. Hopefully, you will never encounter any of them, but it can be difficult to gauge just how successful your SEO campaign is and if it would do better in someone else’s hands. If your SEO partner is being attentive, proposing solid ideas, and willing to discuss your options, chances are you are fine. You simply may need to give your campaign a bit more time. If you sense it is time to part ways, however, or encounter any of these things, do your company a favor and move on sooner rather than later.

The right search engine optimization firm will do your business a world of good, but these telltale signs indicate it is time to find a new search engine marketing partner. Learn more at

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  1. Adriana says: 2/25/2012

    thanks for share!