7 Warning Signs of a Bad SEO Agency

Posted - October 13, 2021
Great SEO Agencies

We hear stories all of the time from new Dallas SEO Dogs clients. A very “affordable” search engine optimization (SEO) agency pitched them instant success. Unfortunately, they received minimal work with no rankings progress. Typically they discover the work is outsourced or that the SEO “specialists” aren’t even native English speakers.

Fortunately, finding an SEO company that is right for your brand doesn’t have to be a gamble. With a little research and knowledge of industry best practices, you can sniff out the bad apples.

Here are 7 red flags that your SEO company is all talk and no substance.

  1. Guaranteed Top Rankings

We’ve said it before and will stay on this hill forever:

SEO firms that guarantee top rankings are trying to fool you.

Search engine algorithms are always changing, and it’s impossible to perfectly predict where they’ll go next. You also can’t control what your competition does—they may spend 10x your budget on SEO and content marketing. You may be hit with negative SEO. Promises for tip rankings are usually for specific, low-value keywords, or are backed by black hat techniques that produce short-term results and long-term disaster. They may also do nothing and just pocket your money.

Without consistent work and updates (i.e., hard work) nothing lasts forever.

  1. Their Pitch Doesn’t Come Off Like a Partnership

If the only thing that an SEO agency wants to do is talk money and contract length, then they’re really only after that monthly paycheck. 

Although no credible service is free, a great SEO company will work with you through thick and thin. For example, Dallas SEO Dogs adjusts contract terms and costs when emergencies arise.

Sometimes business owners can’t help financial struggles, and a true SEO partner will be flexible to help its clients navigate the storm.

  1. Buying Links is Part of Their Strategy

If you ever hear the phrase, “Let’s just buy a few links to give your rankings a head start,” don’t walk, run. The last thing you want is your site picking up bad backlinks and becoming flagged as a participant in link farming scams.

On top of that, if a company is willing to perform one aspect of black hat SEO for your success, then chances are, they’re willing to attempt all of them.

There is no fast track to SEO success, and any company that implements secret strategies for instant (and temporary) success isn’t one you should spend your money on.

Rather than buying up links, invest in an SEO team that will put the work into your site to make it organically successful and an authoritative site in your industry. Link farming and other black hat practices will do the exact opposite for your site in the long-term.

  1. They Don’t Practice What They Preach

A quick look at a company’s website is an easy way to sniff out a bad SEO agency. If their own site is terrible and doesn’t rank well, How are they going to help you? 

Some red flags could be:

  • Lack of a cohesive user experience
  • Minimal blog posting
  • Short, poor-quality content
  • No SEO essentials (i.e. linking, headlines, strong text)
  • Can’t find them on search engines
  1. They Don’t Ask About Your Business

SEO firms are masters of their industries and Jacks of all trades within others. The chances are, unless they’ve worked with a brand from your industry before, they may not have much knowledge of what your business actually does.

SEO strategy isn’t something that an agency can replicate with each business it works with. Therefore, if a potential agency doesn’t ask about the specifics of your business, industry, or competition, chances are they’re in it for the money. They may not have the experience to help you work your way to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

  1. Lack of Communication

Dallas SEO Dogs contracts include communication with our clients. They know we are readily available to answer questions or schedule a call to discuss strategy.

Any company that puts a project in their hands and leaves out opportunities for communication is one that isn’t that invested in your online success. This can also make it difficult to overcome any issues with your SEO and could end up tanking your rankings.

  1. Dated Achievements

Many SEO companies like to flaunt their achievements. In fact, we even have a Case Studies page that goes into detail about how we’ve helped our clients.

While accomplishments that are a couple of years old are nothing to be wary of, if your potential agency is still boasting about their big client win from 2010, you should probably look elsewhere. If you have any doubts:

  • Check their reviews
  • Ask questions about recent success with relevant businesses
  • Look for a firm with up-to-date achievements

Stop Searching for an Agency Today! Find a Complete Match in Dallas SEO Dogs

If you know you need an SEO firm on your side but are having trouble finding a team that completely meets your needs, the experts of Dallas SEO Dogs can help! 

We aren’t about empty promises, just hard work that applies best industry practices to your SEO strategy. Use our custom content, superior optimization, or winning PPC management to your site’s advantage today!

Contact us to schedule your free consultation with a member of our team.