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Choosing an SEO Partner: Avoid These Red Flags

Choosing an SEO Partner: Avoid These Red Flags

Written by enCOMPASS Agency

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential investment, allowing your business to enhance its visibility among local consumers. While there are plenty of SEO strategies you can implement internally, sooner or later you might decide to hire an agency to help. That might mean a stand-alone SEO team, or a marketing agency that offers a more comprehensive range of services.

The thing to remember is that not all digital marketing and SEO agencies are created equal. Experience levels can vary widely. As such, it’s important to do your due diligence, ensuring an agency whose expertise matches your needs.

SEO Agency Warning Signs

As you consider different SEO partners, it helps to know some of the most common red flags to look for. Here are a few warning signs to have on your radar.

1) Overzealousness.

It’s one thing to find an agency that’s ready to hit the ground running, doing some good, valuable work on your behalf. It’s another thing to get pushed into a cookie-cutter strategy by an overbearing sales guy who never takes the time to ask questions about your business, or to take stock of your SEO goals.

Remember that SEO is never one-size-fits-all. Sometimes when an agency seems like they are in a rush, it’s because they don’t want to take the time to right-size their approach to your specific needs.

2) Overconfidence.

Something else to be aware of? SEO pros who say their job is easy.

Make no mistake: Effective SEO is complex, multi-faceted work. It requires a rigorous approach to on-site and off-site optimization elements, and it’s not going to yield results overnight. If someone says SEO is “easy” because they’re just really good at what they do, great. But if what they mean is that they’re only going to do a couple of minor tasks for you and call it SEO, that’s something to be aware of.

3) Too cheap.

When it comes to SEO, price is a little bit of a touchy subject. The reality is that you’ll find a wide range of prices out there, and while you don’t need to opt for the most expensive option, you don’t necessarily want to choose the cheapest, either.

There’s something to be said for affordability, but there’s also something to be said for the idea that you get what you pay for. If an SEO company’s prices are so low that they’re not even in the same ballpark as their competitors, that’s a red flag for sure.

4) Lack of transparency.

When you hire an SEO agency, you expect them to deliver results. The question is, how will you know what kind of progress your agency is making on your behalf?

The answer comes down to data and reporting. You should expect your SEO team to provide you with regular updates, including clear and quantifiable metrics to demonstrate their efficacy. If you find an SEO team that seems unwilling or resistant to provide you with regular reports, that’s a major red flag, and reason enough to search elsewhere for a reliable vendor.

5) Siloed approach.

SEO doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It requires close collaboration with other team members, including web design and UX, paid advertising, content marketing, and PR. If your SEO team works only in a silo, they’re not going to produce integrated results.

One approach is to find an agency that provides a range of services in-house, including SEO but also web design and digital ads. And if you hire a more narrowly focused SEO specialist, be upfront with them about your expectations for cross-team communication and collaboration.

6) A set-it-and-forget-it approach.

Effective SEO is an ongoing concern. It’s not something you ever achieve and then forget about. As such, it’s important to find a vendor who will not only help you achieve your desired benchmarks, but also continue to monitor your campaign, to make adjustments, and to change course as needed.

If you find an SEO company that takes a “check the boxes” approach, that may be a sign that you need to keep looking for someone willing to make more of a long-term commitment.

Get Comprehensive Services from enCOMPASS

As you seek an SEO partner you can depend on, consider enCOMPASS Agency. Our team provides expansive services that include not only SEO but also video advertising, interactive marketing, and more. We also offer website design services where SEO isn’t just an afterthought, but a foundational concern. We’re committed to doing great work that makes a difference on behalf of our clients, and we back up everything we do with full, custom reporting.

We’d love to learn more about your business, to discuss your SEO goals, and to put together a comprehensive strategy. When you’re ready to chat, reach out to the enCOMPASS team directly.