Most business owners are so focused on their product or service that they don’t have the time to market their company online correctly. So they turn to an SEO agency for help.
But not all SEO agencies are created equal. They might promise you the world, but when it comes time to deliver, they fall short. Sometimes their techniques might not be ethical, and sometimes, these agencies withhold certain information.
So how can you tell if an SEO agency is good or bad? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. But there are a few things you can look out for that will give you a clue. This article will cover some of the secrets behind the curtain that SEO agencies won’t directly tell you.
What do SEO agencies do?
Before we jump into some of the secrets SEO agencies sometimes withhold from you, it’s essential to understand the goals of SEO agencies. Most of the time, the purpose of an SEO agency is to perform the best job possible for your business. That’s because the more your business grows and benefits, the more the SEO agency gets rewarded.
In addition, the primary service SEO agencies offer is to help improve your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). By optimizing your website, they can help you attract more organic traffic from people who are searching for terms related to what you do or sell.
The problem is that SEO involves a lot of work and can be time-consuming. It also requires a deep understanding of how search engines work, which is constantly changing. Because of this, some SEO agencies take shortcuts or use underhanded tactics to achieve results quickly. These practices might get you results in the short term, but they will ultimately hurt your website in the long run.
What secrets do bad SEO agencies withhold?
Specific techniques could get you penalized by Google
One of the essential things an SEO agency should do is keep up with the latest Google algorithm changes. After all, if they don’t know how Google is changing, they can’t properly optimize your website.
In addition, sometimes agencies use black hat techniques. According to Digital Authority Partners, these techniques that Google frowns upon could result in your website being penalized. Therefore, Google could remove your website search results entirely.
Some black hat techniques include keyword stuffing, doorways pages, and link buying. If an SEO agency is using any of these techniques, it’s a major red flag.
It would be best if you always asked an SEO agency what techniques they use to avoid surprises down the road. A good agency will be upfront with you about its methods.
Technically, you could learn and perform SEO campaigns yourself
If you’re paying an SEO agency, you might be surprised to learn that technically, you could do the work yourself. It’s not rocket science. It might be cheaper regarding SEO costs; however, it is time-consuming.
You can find a lot of information about SEO online. You can also attend conferences and webinars or take courses to learn more. The problem is that most business owners don’t have the time to do all of this research and legwork. That’s where an SEO agency comes in.
An agency will have a team of experts knowledgeable about the latest trends and changes. They can also help you save time by doing the work for you.
It’s impossible to 100% guarantee rankings
If an agency guarantees that your website will reach the first page of Google for specific keywords, it’s a huge red flag. No one can 100% guarantee rankings because too many factors are involved.
Search engines are constantly changing, and continuous new website development. Unfortunately, this means that the landscape is continuously shifting. So even if an agency gets you to the first page today, there’s no guarantee you’ll stay there tomorrow.
A good SEO agency will never make empty promises. Instead, they will set realistic expectations and tell you that excellent results aren’t guaranteed.
You might not need SEO
Sometimes, business owners think they need SEO when they don’t. But unfortunately, that’s a misconception because they’ve bought the idea of SEO.
Not all businesses need SEO. For example, if you’re a local business that only serves customers in your city, you might not need to worry about ranking nationally. In that case, SEO wouldn’t be a good use of your time or money. So before hiring an SEO agency, ensure you understand what they can do for you and if it’s something you need.
Don’t depend on going viral
Just because a piece of content goes viral doesn’t mean it will help your website’s SEO. Most viral content has little to no impact on SEO.
That’s because Google looks at factors like backlinks and social signals when determining rankings. So even if your content gets a lot of shares, it might not improve your SEO.
Of course, going viral can still be beneficial for other reasons. For example, it can help increase brand awareness and boost traffic to your website. But don’t depend on it as a way to improve your SEO. Additionally, it’s incredibly challenging to have a post go viral. It’s a combination of timing, consistent execution, and often luck.
Content isn’t necessarily king
When working with an SEO agency, you might hear the phrase above. If they say it, that does NOT mean they are wrong. However, it’s great to know that content isn’t the only component of SEO. Technical SEO and link-building are just as crucial to SEO rankings as content is. That’s because Google’s algorithm encompasses many factors to reach a linear list of the best websites for your search query, ranked.
There are many things lousy SEO agencies won’t share with your company. By understanding these secrets, you can avoid being taken advantage of. Always ask an agency about their methods to ensure they use ethical techniques. Also, ensure you know what SEO can do for you before paying for any services. We hope we didn’t scare you away from SEO, yet these items are worth considering.