06 July 2009 15:05pm
We contracted an SEO firm late last year. Six months on, and we have seen no improvement in organic traffic and definitely no ROI. Their link building work and article submission seem pretty comprehensive. We have a PR of 4, so not a bad starting point for them, but at what point should we stop throwing £000s at this issue and take it elsewhere? We are watching our competitors slowly rise above us for many of our key terms. When we try to discuss our concerns with the SEO firm, they point us to their other very successful (quite high profile) campaigns and tell us our keywords will, honestly (!) improve. How long should we give this company?
Sales and marketing director at Latitude Group
06 July 2009 17:10pm
It depends. If they are doing dilligent link work and you have seem no progress in six months I would being to question their analysis of the site and what the issues are. Ask them to be specific about what the problems are. SEO companies worth their salt should be transparent.
Tech Reporter at Econsultancy
06 July 2009 17:44pm
I agree with Neil. Although SEO is a process and it's often difficult to predict when your investments will really start to pay dividends, if you feel that you're flushing your money down the tubes, it's time for a frank discussion with your SEO firm.
It's quite possible that your SEO firm is working hard and making a real attempt to deliver results. But don't let them brush off your concerns. Pointing you to the results achieved for other clients and asking you to give them more time is not acceptable. If I was in your shoes, I'd be up front:
Once you have a list of milestones and anticipated timeframes for their achievement, you can make an educated decision about whether it makes sense to continue working with this firm.
Online Marketing Director at Blue Cherry
07 July 2009 03:58am
If you had a PR4 to start with then unless they are targetting very competitive keywords then I would expect to see at least some results after six months, especially on some long-tail searches. Have they raised any concerns about the technical architecture of the site that might be causing them difficulties (no offence but sometimes clients forget when you have explained limitations in the success you can have!)? Can they confirm how many links they have managed to get successfully, there is normally a big difference between link requests and those that are successful. Can they show you any keywords where they have managed to improve the rankings.
They should be monitoring rankings, links gained, organic traffic increases as part of their SEO stratgegy so if they can't give you this info then I would be concerned.
Technical Project Manager (MBA, MBCS, CITP, CEng) at Naxtech.com
07 July 2009 11:00am
It sounds to me like you hired that SEO company to do link building and article submission. Could you confirm that they are doing a lot more than that? eg. seo analysis, competition analysis, website structural/code changes, etc etc.
Because if you expect to see a huge difference from just link building, I do not think you will see what you expect, even if they've done a great job. But if they are doing a lot more than just that, then I would agree with Neil McCarthy.
Deniswww.naxtech.com - web development and online marketing specialists
SEO Executive at Branch Communications Ltd
07 July 2009 16:12pm
Agree with Karena nd Denis above. Very much depends on what their brief was originally and it does appear from your post that you are talking link building.
A full SEO campaign would start with a good site audit and recommendations for both onsite and offsite activities which although independently should produce results will really need both activities to be carried out to see the full impact. At six months your reporting should be reflecting achievements and continued dialogue between you and your agency should be highlighting where the shortfalls are and what can be done to push things forward.
CEO at Pragmites Consulting
07 July 2009 17:23pm
I think an approach which generally works is by clearly identifying your objectives. A simple objective could be to rank for a particular keyword on the first page of Google.
Before the SEO company gets to work you could track with many software available on the Internet your existing position. A month later you could run a comparative report to see if there is any positive outcome.
It would be difficult to make a decision on whether the company is performing or not depending on the keywords targetted. For example if the niche is extremely competive for example weight loss then 6 months to a year is understanable.
If it is a fairly "long tail keyword' we normally see positive results within the first month especially after the initial On-Page optimization crawl.
Merely submitting ton's of articles, press releases may mean nothing. Quality relevant inbound themed links is what you may require.
I know that saying this may stir some controversy, though I am not a beliver of Page Rank. If you have a high page rank does not mean you will rank highly, or vice versa.
CEO at Econsultancy
07 July 2009 21:45pm
The other thing you might want to consider to get a 'second opinion' is an SEO review or audit. Various of the search agencies offer this as a product-ised, relatively low cost, way to assess where you are, what you need to do etc. You could get this done without them (or your current agency) knowing the situation but to give you an alternate viewpoint.
Our (paid) search agency BrowserMedia, for example, offers an SEO Review service (which I'm sure is under £1,000 and I think around £500) which could be good. Others do something similar.
08 July 2009 09:36am
Thank you to everyone who has replied to our question.
We did ask for an up-to-date site audit from the Search firm (following their initial one) to check the architechtural changes we'd implemented. According to the company, on the whole everything seemed ok. I like the suggestion of getting an independent audit which could either give us the reassurance or confirmation we need regarding this firm.
What is coming out loud and clear from your responses is that, going forward, we need to set agreed and carefully defined goals as well as targets. Note to self - do this at the start, not the middle of a campaign!
COO at Econsultancy
09 July 2009 11:52am
If you are thnking of reviewing/renewing your agency then you can see six of them present the latest tools and techniques at the free Econsultancy SEO Showcase on October 1st in London - http://econsultancy.com/events/seo-supplier-showcase-september-2009
I'm not sure if the agency you are currently using are speaking but it's a good way to size up what's on offer from the leading agencies and to see what they offer/charge/promise.
What does a good SEO audit look like? What should you expect? Download this template to understand some of the factors you should consider when assessing your site.
Built on the foundations of our previous, highly-renowned report, Econsultancy's SEO Best Practice Guide contains everything you need to know about search engine optimization. At more than 300 pages long, this document will help you understand search marketing like never before. Make no mistake: this guide contains lots of actionable, real world insight. It will help you immediately start to improve your performance across the search engines.
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