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Bad Seo Horror Story
Posted 13 June 2007 - 10:04 AM
As part of our contract they provide a monthly report that has a static keyword list and shows where those keywords are ranked on all the major search engines. They also summarize how many top 1, 5, 10, 20, and 30 rankings those keywords have so that we can track the progress. After several month's of slow but steady progress, this month's report showed that we increased the number of keywords ranking in the top 1, 5, etc. and in most cases doubling. The ranking summary was accompanied with this explanation talking about how the change occured because of the way the search engines incorporate link popularity.
I was so excited with the progress that I took the previous months keyword ranking report and lined it up with the current months report to see which keywords jumped up. What did I find? Our June report had 6 new branded keyword phrases that they just pulled out of thin air. Really obscure keyword phrases too. Ones that might get one search per year if we were lucky. All of our new rankings came from those words and actually seemed to try to cover up a slight drop overall in our month to month rankings.
Total bush-league move as far as I'm concerned. Not sure if I should call them on it or just play dumb and see what other doody they try to feed me. Feel free to chime in. Right now I'm leaning towards an extremely sarcastic email praising them on their great job.
Anyway thanks to Jill and all of you who post really great information on this forum. You've really helped me manage this relationship over the year as I've probably had to do most of the actual search engine marketing myself.
Posted 13 June 2007 - 10:25 AM
Give 'em a ring ask them to send you a report showing what difference they have made traffic wise for your key terms. Track these against your leads / sales for the same period. Then you will have some idea of the ROI you're getting from your SEO campaign. If they are delivering a lot more traffic for your main keywords then they are doing a good job - if they are delivering traffic and it's not converting then you're not doing your job - and the site needs checking. That's the real metric you should be looking at - ranking isn't really that important. Saying that if you are getting found for relatively obscure terms at least the site is part optimised
Posted 13 June 2007 - 10:27 AM
Posted 13 June 2007 - 12:39 PM
I agree that you should sit down and discuss the new keywords with the SEO. If they made a legitimate change it should have a good business case behind it. Their communication of that change could have been handled better, in any event.
Posted 13 June 2007 - 07:04 PM
There is the problem. In my experience large reputable firms often gain that reputation from web designing or regestiring web domainsetc and the largeness from being able to sell a service that the buyer does not understand. that is the frustrating
thing about this biz. Clients cannot gauge what they are buying. large companies selling SEO for $100 per month provide (at best) some automated reports & maybe automated directory submissions. Now go and explain to a client that what you do is different and that his giant company is selling them crap. We a have had potential clients go shopping for quotes and then abuse us for grossly overcharging. we try to explain that what they can get from the cheapo mamoth ill gladly give them for free but You can't blame them for not being able to make clever purchase desicions about things they don't understand.
The really depressing thing is this. I bet most of their other clents have no idea that they are being duped and will happily pay the invoice for years.
As for advice, any firm that takes your eye of the prize (traffic & conversions) is probably ripping you off.
Posted 13 June 2007 - 08:07 PM
I once had close to 40 clients on a scheme like that, and some wanted actual consulting (changes, reviews etc), some wanted just reports and others didn't care (either they inherited th account or just didn;t care). A good SEO provides their client with what they uniquely want, not some pre-set, structured idea of what is "right".
If you can't explain why you are better than someone a lot cheaper, the problem then is your sales technique. That sort of objection is pretty trivial to addres, in my experience.
Posted 15 June 2007 - 12:09 PM
Posted 15 June 2007 - 12:30 PM
Ignoring it, or telling them it's fine doesn't seem very professional and won't allow you to get what you really need done.
That said, I'd love for you to pm me the name of the company!
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