When you first start working with an SEO Company or SEO Agency, then you will be told that you need to give them time to get results, and this is totally true. But, the question as to how long is only something you can decide, but if you are not seeing results in 6 – 12 months, then you probably should start to look at your options.
For local keywords you should start to see results quicker, but the national ones can indeed take some time, but generally you want results and if they are not coming in a timeframe you feel suitable, you should start to think again. But, there are quite a few tell-tale signs that you should be considering calling time on your SEO Agency and looking elsewhere, and we cover a few of these below.
No Reports – Just An Invoice
I am going to put this one first for a reason, as if you get a report of the work the SEO Company has carried out, then you can often spot a lot of the issues below before they get to a stage where they become a problem. I believe in sending customers reports, showing the work we have done and the current results, as it is important to know for the now and for the future, the work that has been carried out. Therefore, if all you get is an invoice and never one report, this should be raising questions in your mind immediately.
Lack Of Communication
One unanswered email, then two, then the missed call and you still keep chasing and sticking with the company. Why? Patience is great, but communication is vital, and if you are not getting responses and the agency just does not seem to value your custom after month 3, move on, as this level of service is just not acceptable for any ongoing client. I am not saying you need to speak every day, but having your emails answered should be the least of your expectations when it comes to communication.
They Don’t Ask For Access
If the SEO firm does not ask for access to Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, your website or anything else that they should need, then this should once again be making you think twice. Google Webmaster Tools is a basic must for any decent SEO person, and Analytics should follow on the list, and if they do not have access to your website how can they make all of those amazing and necessary onsite changes that should be the foundations of any campaign?
No Signs Of Any Real Progress
Progress means different things to different people, maybe you look at traffic, maybe you look at rankings, maybe you look at both, but it is important you are seeing results from the SEO work, otherwise, what is the point? As we mention a few times, SEO takes time and results will not be instant, but if you feel you are just not seeing much progress then never be afraid to raise the question about where you think you should be and how you can get there.
You Get A Penalty
If a manual penalty lands in your inbox, then you need to act. Now, this is not always the current SEO firms fault, as it could be due to your own techniques from years past or any other SEO company you might have used previously, so do not immediately threaten legal action or throw your toys out of the pram. Take your time (but not too long), speak to a Google Penalty expert and then decide where the blame should be allocated and take your next steps. Either way, this is a time to really look at what is going on and not bury your head in the sand and just carry on regardless.
Your Traffic Drops
Only if you get a manual penalty will you receive an email from Google, but if the penalty is an algorithmic one then your first sign of problems will normally be a fall in traffic and / or keyword rankings. If you notice a traffic drop and you want to do some investigating first, check out the Moz Google Algorithm Updates page to see if the drop coincided with a major update from Google, most noticeably Penguin when it comes to offsite SEO.