Call me a cynic...SEO agencies and their sites

Discussion in 'SEO, PPC and Online Marketing' started by Silky, Jun 24, 2014.

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  1. Silky

    Silky UKBF Ace Full Member

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    A lot of people ask about how to choose an SEO agency and my first point of call is often to check out the sites of those I'm consideiring...

    Am I being over cynical to be wary of an agency whose own site features badly (or in cases not at all!) on SEMRush or Woorank? I understand that sometimes it's like the busy builder who doesn't have time to sort out his own house, but really?
    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: Silky Member since: Oct 29, 2007
  2. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    33,305 9,849
    Yes you are being over cynical. The best SEO/SEM companeis don't bother with this sort of thing. In fact you won't even find the best SEO companies at the top of Google.

    Consider that the sort of companies who are on page one with all sorts of meaningless scorecards spent a lot of cash to get there. And that money came from clients who hoped the money would be invested in getting their website to rank on page one.
    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  3. yottacom

    yottacom UKBF Regular Full Member

    137 37
    I agree with Fisics. i came from a big agency in italy and we had an horribly outdated website for years... and it didn't matter.

    What really matters :
    • reputation and word of mouth: do you work well ? can you improve business? Clients will speak about you to their friends and become testimonials.
    • Offline presence: are there people from the agency attending conferences as speakers ? This is the best place to network with marketing directors
    • Who works for the company: Like football players, sometime the Aces in a company may attract attention (and lead) on their websites or on social media.
    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: yottacom Member since: Jun 24, 2014
  4. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Full Member - Verified Business

    5,128 1,108
    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
  5. yottacom

    yottacom UKBF Regular Full Member

    137 37
    damn, wish i was part of it!
    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: yottacom Member since: Jun 24, 2014
  6. Silky

    Silky UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,170 210
    It's not about a high organic ranking but rather when I see an SEO site that has tiny traffic, bad backlinks (if any at all), few keywords and (particularly) whose traffic has taken a huge dive since the Google updates .....hmm. If an SEO agency has a badly optimised site themselves it doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy, but rather rings alarm bells.

    I accept the fact that the SEO will concentrate on their customers' sites, and the next step is to have a look at these too. 'Nuff said in many instances.

    The 'Do what I say and not what I do' philosophy works in some cases, but when you see this reflected in their customers' sites too?
    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: Silky Member since: Oct 29, 2007
  7. Silky

    Silky UKBF Ace Full Member

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    That doesn't mean the results are good?

    An agency I wouldn't touch with a barge pole (and who I wouldn't employ to sweep the carpark) have speakers at conferences and make all the right noises. Their staff are put in place without any clue to what they're doing and their main activity is to tie people into contracts.
    Having a reputable front man doesn't mean that the 19 year old handling your account amongst 40 others is going to do a good job for you. And yes, I have to say we've been bitten on this front.
    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: Silky Member since: Oct 29, 2007
  8. leadprop

    leadprop UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    58 11
    I worked for a good agency for a while and our site was dreadful. To be honest all of our work came through word of mouth referrals so the site was not that important for us.
    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: leadprop Member since: May 10, 2014
  9. Chris34

    Chris34 UKBF Regular Free Member

    526 143
    If the site is bad then it would look bad for business. Surely it's better to either have a website set up correctly or not have one at all. A builders house might be in a state of repair, but the builder needs the house to live in it. A website on the other hand is not needed to live your life, so it's a choice made by a business to set one up and once set up represents it represents the business.

    Think of it this way, do you ever see any oily mechanics in a F1 pit garage? Do you ever see any mess on the floor? The teams don't turn around and say "we can't keep the garage clean as we're too busy trying to win races", they keep it clean for their own benefit and for the benefit of the teams image which is of benefit to the business.

    I personally feel that anything that is in the public eye of the business must represent the business in a good light, if not it can only harm the business. Sorry but saying "they haven't got time" is a pathetic excuse.

    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: Chris34 Member since: Feb 3, 2009
  10. Ste Hughes

    Ste Hughes UKBF Regular Free Member

    250 59
    Only 10 SEO's can get on the front page, does not mean the rest are bad... just means they don't want to waste their time in a **** swinging contest.

    For a while Charles Floate had the #1 spot for a few SEO terms, and hes ****.

    It means nothing.
    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: Ste Hughes Member since: Nov 27, 2010
  11. Mystro

    Mystro UKBF Ace Full Member - Verified Business

    1,097 377
    I personally would expect a good seo to have their site well organised and ranking well, however i do understand that many don't spend the time they should on their own sites and rightly so as they are busy looking after their clients, that said its really the only industry where you can get away with it too which makes the whole industry a little shady at times.

    Word of mouth would be the best recommendation
    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: Mystro Member since: Aug 20, 2009
  12. ForumJunkie

    ForumJunkie UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    77 7
    Look at iProspect not ranking highly but you have to have a budget of £75,000+ PER MONTH but with the guys on page one all they want is £30 - £500 a month. Different type of agencies for different type of businesses the £75,000 don't care where they are on Google but the littlens are only chasing peanuts and need to be on page one.
    Posted: Jun 24, 2014 By: ForumJunkie Member since: Dec 11, 2013
  13. Silky

    Silky UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,170 210
    Just to clarify - this isn't about appearing on page 1 !! In fact a creative SEO would probably be looking at longer tail keywords and thinking outside the box rather than trying to compete with big boys with big budgets.
    • It's about the SEO agency having a site that's well optimised and not showing as c.rap on Woorank.
    • It's about having a site that isn't showing a huge dive on SEMRush, coinciding (usually) with Google algorithms
    • It's about having a site with relevant keywords (some SEO agencies have 4, some of which are accidental)
    • It's about a site that doesn't have no links, or even worse lots of spammy links.
    • It's about a site whose customer testimonials also show sites that have good SEO - this more critical than their own site if they're being held up as a flagship.
    Granted an SEO agency doesn't want to spend a lot of their time each week working on their own site, but if it can't even be set up to be SEO friendly, then that in itself speaks volumes - and not in the SEO company's favour.

    A previous large agency we used is showing to have dropped from 20k hits to 48 following Google changes and their links are spammy. Had I seen this before we used them, I'd have been concerned. Fortunately we got out before they did the same to our site!
    Posted: Jun 25, 2014 By: Silky Member since: Oct 29, 2007
  14. yottacom

    yottacom UKBF Regular Full Member

    137 37
    I wasn't implying that an agency MUST be good if they are visibile, but at least you should have doubts if a company has no visibility or "authority".

    But i know what you mean: in Italy i worked for a so-called "boutique agency" i was the head of Seo team with 7 people under me. For a project, we had to work with an "international agency" because the client was an international brand and each local branch had to follow the instructions given by the huge international agency.

    And they were clueless, dictating rules taken from checklists or else.

    Imagine our feeling, when we discovered that our market account was using google translate to understand our italian contents, because he was bloody clueless about the italian language.
    It was frustrating.

    Unfortunately the client must have "due diligence" before committing to a contract. If i had to marry a girl, i would like to know more about her, before say "yes". The same should be valid for marketing services: you're delegating your "brand" visbility to people who are not under your control, you're not buying a table from Ikea! You should be very careful.

    As a Seo specialist, i should write a book "when hiring SEOs is not necessary: the quick version" :D
    Posted: Jun 26, 2014 By: yottacom Member since: Jun 24, 2014
  15. jeza87

    jeza87 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 0
    I work for a big SEO in agency in London and to be honest we never really get any of our clients in from online forms. They are usually referrals from either clients that are already spending in other marketing disciplines or through contacts of people within the department that know people in other companies.
    Posted: Jun 27, 2014 By: jeza87 Member since: Jun 27, 2014
  16. Gold-Star-Rob

    Gold-Star-Rob UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    38 13
    I would certainly be put off by an SEO agency who couldn't even fix their own website. I don't expect perfect rankings but tidy on page optimisation isn't asking for much.

    it's a classic 'do as I say, not as I do' situation. But I don't think it's limited to SEO agencies, most specialisms are guilty of it.

    Best example, the woman who calls herself "the queen of Facebook" (I didn't bother committing her name to memory). She insists social media is all you need for business, yet her page is dominated by an email opt in, and the important social icons are tucked away.

    Most content marketing agencies have absolutely awful blogs and terrible sign up e-books.

    And I generally never trust anyone who calls themselves an SEO copywriter.

    In general direct marketing agencies tend to practice what they preach, that's my experience anyway.
    Posted: Jun 28, 2014 By: Gold-Star-Rob Member since: Jun 15, 2014
  17. mediaguy35

    mediaguy35 Banned

    244 12
    we never bothered to make our sites for search engines when we made them for people instead. After all,no search bot will use our sites the way a person does.
    Posted: Jun 28, 2014 By: mediaguy35 Member since: May 1, 2014
  18. yottacom

    yottacom UKBF Regular Full Member

    137 37
    It's not surprising at all.

    A "queen of Facebook" (or twitter or pinterest or whatever social networks) knows perfectly well that the attention span of people is limited on social media (or even blogs).

    Creating a newsletter is the only way to build an audience that you can eventually hit and "monetize" without paying any third party (eg: facebook ads) or without being subjected to algorithmic changes (facebook wall/google search).
    Posted: Jun 28, 2014 By: yottacom Member since: Jun 24, 2014
  19. ronnie7272

    ronnie7272 UKBF Regular Free Member

    99 26
    Yes you are being over cynical.

    We deliberately changed our website to a one page website with contact details, basically a glorified business card. You wouldn't believe the volume of poor quality sales enquiries you get from sales prospects requiring SEO. Sure you will get some good quality enquiries here and there but the majority of enquiries are from time wasters so the objective of our one page website is to have contact details for our clients and deter sales enquiries from people who don't know about us.
    Posted: Jul 1, 2014 By: ronnie7272 Member since: Aug 28, 2010
  20. Annoying Donkey

    Annoying Donkey UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,867 990
    I'd go along with that... Just look at the OP, his starting point is mistrust and suspicion, not a good starting point for a long term relationship...
    Posted: Jul 3, 2014 By: Annoying Donkey Member since: Sep 13, 2009
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