Best SEO firms

How to Know if Your SEO Firm is Helping You or Hurting You
April 3, 2020 – 05:17 pm

a manual penaltyConsider this a warning. Your SEO firm could be hurting you.

I know a lot of small businesses who have placed their trust in an SEO agency, only to have their sites all but destroyed through black hat techniques. I’ve seen struggling online startups spend thousands of dollars trying to “skyrocket in the rankings, ” and then realize they’ve been scammed.

I don’t want that to happen to you. I don’t want you to waste your money or ruin your site. I wrote this article so you can figure out if your SEO agency is doing good or doing harm.

I’ve organized the article into three parts. First, I’ll explain how to know if they’re hurting you. Second, I’ll explain how to know if they’re truly helping you. Finally, I’ll explain a few things that will help you work with an SEO agency in a profitable way.

Your SEO Agency Is Hurting You: Signs They’re Doing It Wrong

So you hire an SEO agency. Now what? Should you trust them with all things SEO, expecting your rankings to rise as they work their SEO magic?


Instead, you should find out exactly what they’re doing, especially during the first few months of the contract. The earlier you can find out what they’re doing, the better chance you have of determining whether they are helping or harming your site.

Acquisition Keywords OrganicHere are the warning signs that your SEO agency could be a problem.

1. They have nothing to show.

Your SEO agency should have something to show you. I’m not talking about results or a rise in rankings. Instead, the agency should be able to show you the actual SEO practices they are doing.

Two, three, or even four months into a contract might be too early for significant SEO results, so don’t sweat it if you’re not seeing the top results you were hoping for.

However, your SEO agency should be doing something with the money that you give them. You have a right to ask for deliverables.

google analytics screenshotHere are some of the things that an SEO agency might be able to provide in the first few weeks or months of a contract:

  • An SEO audit of your site
  • An analysis of your site’s link profile
  • Optimized content on your site
  • Articles with links to your site that are being or have been published on other sites

This is just a sampling. Whatever the case, you should make sure that they are actually doing something, and have proof of it.

2. They don’t ask you for anything.

An SEO agency that’s doing good stuff is going to need your help. You’re the site owner, so they might ask you for the following:

  • Editor or admin access to your CMS
  • View or admin access to Google Analytics
  • Access to Google Webmaster Tools
  • Access to social accounts
  • A list of target keywords
  • Past audits/penalties/work

If they don’t ask for anything, it could be that they’re merely adding linkbacks from their vast network of spammy sites. They don’t need access, and there’s a chance they are performing potentially harmful actions.

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