A lot of small businesses place their trust in companies that employ black hat techniques for SEO and then all these businesses realize at the end that their sites are destroyed. Mostly startups who want to skyrocket their rankings for search engines and are ready to spend thousands of dollars are the ones who fall victim to such scams.
We don’t want that to happen to you. We don’t want you to waste such limited resources as is the case most of the times for startups or ruin your sites. All the more you should be patient while the agency works with you because even if they were to be working for your benefit, the benefits will take some time to appear. Well let us list down some pointers to tell you whether your SEO agency is hurting you.
Your SEO agency is hurting you
You should know that even if you hire an agency for SEO then also you should not put your complete faith in it and expect your SEO rankings to rise.
Here are a few signs to observe how the work is providing during the first few months of the contract signing.
1. They should be able to show something
If this is not the case that your agency is keeping you completely in the dark during the entire process then it is probably a scam. Though, we do advise you that if the agency is not able to show you any results in rankings then don’t panic because rise in SEO rankings takes time.
However, your SEO agency should be able to show something for which they are being paid for. You can ask the agency to submit these results in the first few weeks or initial months:
- SEO audit of your site.
- Analysis of your site’s backlink status.
- Optimized content on your site
- Article submissions on other sites
This is just the start of the entire process and you should have a proof of something that is actually being done.
2. Not much of communication from their side
As part of the SEO efforts, the agency should be asking for ownership credentials to your site and hence to work or proceed on anything they will constantly require your help.
- Admin rights to your website CMS
- Viewable or admin rights to your Google Analytics account or any other third party analytics tool purchased by you.
- Access to Google webmaster tools
- Access to social media channels
- A list of targeted keywords
- Past audits/penalty status.
You not interacting with them constantly for updates or they are not contacting you to ask for anything is a sign that not much is being done for your site or they are using their vast spammy networks to add backlinks that could get your site penalised.
3. Not sharing their techniques
If you are curious to know what’s happening with your money and ask “ So, what’s exactly that you guys are doing?” and get a reply “ As an SEO firm, our actions on your behalf must remain confidential” or something similar in a spinned manner, then something fishy is happening.
If you get an answer like that then you must consider firing that agency right away. White hat techniques are provenly legitimate and there’s no reason to keep them confidential and will definitely get results.
4. You got manual penalty
There are many reasons for getting a notification or email from Google informing you about the penalty but getting a penalty after commencing your work with the agency is a reason to suspect that it was the work by the agency. Don’t fire them right away on the grounds of suspicion but close question them about why your site was penalised.
5. Constant drop in rankings and traffic
Drop in rankings could be due to wide range of reasons. To know about it in detail kindly refer to this article: Common Reasons for the drop in rankings.
We recommend that you keep a constant watch on your rankings and if you realize that there’s a constant drop in rankings then your SEO might be performing actions that are getting your site algorithmically penalized.
Similarly, if you observe a constant drop in traffic loss just like ranking loss, then it could be a sign of an algorithmic penalty. There is a possibility that it might not be your agency’s fault but there are reasons to suspect them. In such a case you try and ask questions to keep a close watch.