How to Bounce Back From a Bad SEO Experience

June 24th, 2019 by Gabrielle Woodard

If you or someone you love is struggling to bounce back from a bad SEO experience, please call 504-208-3900 today.

Let me first start by saying, I am truly sorry. I hate to hear our competitors are delivering anything less than a successful (and profitable) SEO campaign, and I really hate to know these companies are giving a great company, like mine, a bad name. Shame! I hope this blog can be therapeutic and we can strengthen your trust in SEO and humanity… together.

If you’re reading this, you don’t need me to tell you how SEO is an investment and how it should be included in your marketing strategy. Actually, the more I think about it… maybe you do. Maybe the value was never clearly communicated or our competitors did a poor job in setting expectations. Again, on behalf of the industry—I apologize.

Frustrated business owner after a bad SEO experience with Search Influence competitor

A big step in therapy is acceptance. Together, let’s accept that an immediate impact is not possible with SEO. Let’s also accept that in the SEO world, Google controls life. If we understand the algorithm and play by the rules, there’s no reason this experience should be negative. As a reminder, Google is responsible for 94% of total organic traffic, so yes, we play by the rules. If you think I’m just drinking the Google Kool-Aid, know that 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.

If you’ve ever sat in on one of my webinars or pitches, you’ve heard my analogy—SEO is the marathon and paid search is the sprint. SEO is organically strengthening a brand’s authority, and it’d be illogical to believe anything organic can efficiently mature and be optimized in a short period of time. If you’ve heard “we can increase rankings immediately” or “I promise you’ll be on page one,” SEO wasn’t the right campaign for you. If you are looking for immediate results, it’s possible with paid search. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but expectation-setting and communication is key to any partnership. It’s possible that your previous SEO campaign was strong and could have been very successful, but expectations on results and return wasn’t effectively or honestly communicated.

Over the last seven years, I’ve worked with and regained trust of many business owners and marketing executive who’ve come to Search Influence a little gun shy. Over the years, I’ve had time to think of all the things I wish clients would have asked our competitors when they weren’t doing their job. I’d also like to share some of our unique selling points that aren’t broadcasted because it’s so natural to our team and part of our core, we sometimes forget to share.

Anyone investing in SEO, especially while recovering from a negative experience, should consider the following when interviewing new marketing partners.

Partner With a Transparent Agency

Like any relationship or partnership, communication and trust are crucial. At Search Influence, we truly see our team as an extension of your company and brand, and we want you to trust and challenge us as much as you would your own. In employee interviews, you ask for references and work experience. Why should hiring a marketing partner be any different?

When you’re vetting through agencies, ask for client references. We know that customers are 88% more likely to trust a review or testimony from a complete stranger as much as family and friends. If numbers are all you care about, ask for success stories. I encourage you to not only ask for references and case studies within your own industry, but in others, as well. Analyzing an agency’s ability to target different types of audiences like college freshman vs. concrete manufacturers or write strong legal web content vs. e-commerce ad copy shows willingness to understand your audience and shows they aren’t cookie cutter.

Team collaborating on SEO marketing efforts

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Hard Questions

No relationship is perfect, but before starting a new partnership, don’t you want to know why it didn’t work out with all the other ex-girlfriends? Don’t you want to know who broke up with who and why, and if we ever break up, are you going to be salty and never return my stuff?  

The first cut is the deepest, so let’s cut to the chase and ask the hard questions that are extremely important. I strongly encourage you to ask the following questions:

  • What happens if it’s not working and I’m not seeing results?
  • What’s the number one reason clients part ways with your company?
  • How do you hold yourself accountable?
  • If you create logins on behalf of my company, will you share them with me?
  • Should I ever leave, will you remove work from my site?

In my opinion, how the agency responds to these direct and powerful questions says more about their core values than the strategy alone.

See What’s Behind the Curtain

If Search Influence sees ourselves as an extension of your company, don’t you want to know how we operate? If I were in your shoes, I’d want to understand a day in the life of my campaign. I’d want to understand the frequency of internal communication, who Q/A’s site edits before they go live, how many editors sign off on press releases, and how frequently will I be hearing from my team.

Maybe you’re not interested in a list of references or reading success stories, but are instead interested in what’s behind the curtain. To tease a little bit of the magic, I’ve listed just some of our day-to-day activities that are so routine we almost forget how glamorous it is to the other side of the curtain.

  • Results-Driven
    • Every campaign starts and ends with your goals. The strategy, the work, and the focus is centered around what we need to do in order to deliver success. We track conversions and measure success so we can confidently show you a positive ROI.
  • Think Like Your Target Audience
    • We evaluate the entire consumer journey and create buyer personas to understand their behavior online. We analyze their interests, triggers, frequented sites, content consumption, and more to implement a strategy to target and convert your audience into customers.
  • Transparency and Accountability
    • We’ve created a reporting dashboard to how you how your campaign is performing 24/7. Not only can you see campaign success, but you can see what our team is actively working on and tactics coming up the pipeline.
  • Proactive, Not Reactive
    • We’re constantly learning from each other through our daily department huddles and weekly company meetings. Our constant collaboration allows us to share what’s working and what’s not working and how we can improve. With every learning, we confidently and proactively bring new ideas to each campaign.

Don’t let one bad breakup keep you off the SEO market forever. Get in touch with the SEO experts at Search Influence today so we can help you create and implement a targeted digital marketing plan.