Timothy Carter is DEV.co and SEO.co. Tim and his team specialize in custom software development, web design, and digital marketing.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is hard. With over 200 complex and interdependent ranking factors, try countless tactics as you compete against millions of companies worldwide who have invested in this strategy.
That is why so many businesses turn to SEO agencies for their SEO needs. Having an agency on your side gives you access to a full team of dedicated professionals. They all know your brand and support it with best-in-class content, links, and onsite fine-tuning to ensure you rank well. As much as possible — at least in the best-case scenario.
What if my SEO agency doesn’t deliver the promised results? What steps can I take to resolve the situation?
Step 1: Define Variables
Before doing anything else, try specifically defining the variables that will be used in this situation. Your SEO agency hasn’t met your expectations, but what exactly were those expectations? What were you hoping to achieve up to this point? Reaching specific rankings for specific keywords or are you looking for a specific number in the organic traffic metric?
Additionally, what can an SEO agency do to meet your expectations? Are you motivated by the bottom line metric? If so, what are the realistic goals that could change the situation? Is it a matter of how much work they actually do? If so, how can they improve their strategy to serve you better?
Step 2: Give Time
Don’t jump guns. It’s easy to forget that SEO is a long-term strategy. It usually takes several months from the time you launch your campaign to see results. In a highly competitive industry, it can take years to establish the necessary authority to generate his truly impressive ROI.
If it’s only been a few weeks and you’re worried that you haven’t seen a significant increase in organic traffic, take a step back. As long as your SEO firm keeps in touch with you and works according to best practices, you can afford to wait a few more months.
Step 3: Contract Confirmation and Advance Communication
If you’ve been in this partnership for a few months and haven’t seen enough momentum yet, review the deal and previous conversations with this organization. Is the contract locked for a period of time or can it be terminated at any time? Is there any recourse if the company’s results are unsatisfactory?
Most institutions emphasize that they do not promise any particular result. Clients and industries are so vastly different that it’s almost impossible to promise a certain level of organic his traffic or achieve a certain rank by a certain date. However, the sales rep may have committed something early in the communication process. Don’t be afraid to hold your agency accountable for these promises.
Step 4: Have a candid conversation
At this point, you’re ready to have a candid conversation with your account manager or agency representative. Talk about unmet expectations and what would be required if this arrangement were to continue.
specifically. In conversation, be as specific as possible. Don’t make vague remarks like, “You just haven’t lived up to expectations.” Cite numbers and past experience. It’s also important to write down strategies that don’t work, such as inappropriate content or penalized links.
Polite, but firm. Throughout this process, remember to be polite and professional, even if you’re upset about the situation. At the same time, stick to your requests. Don’t let the company persuade you to allow this process to continue unabated.
Clarify the executable path. Clarify expectations for the future and set a viable path for both parties. What can agencies do to get your business back? Develop a plan for success and enumerate the consequences of failure.
Step 5: Start shopping
If you’ve had a friendly conversation with an SEO agency and their approach hasn’t improved or you’re not getting the results you promised, it’s time to start looking for a new agency. When interviewing new potential candidates, mention any issues you had with previous agencies and make it clear that you will not tolerate them in future partnerships.
In a worst-case scenario, your initial SEO agency may end up breaking your contract or making it difficult for you to keep charging for their services. If a polite and firm conversation doesn’t work, you may need to bring in a lawyer to resolve the issue.
SEO agencies typically offer immense value to the organizations they serve. If you don’t get the promised results, feel free to accept. Use these strategies to renegotiate your deal or find a new provider.
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