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Working With An SEO Agency In 2020

Many people work with SEO agencies to grow their presence on Google and other search engines. A lot of people will actually hire multiple external vendors to manage different aspects of their online marketing, such as Facebook ads, Google Ads, and other platforms. We once spoke with an e-commerce store owner who had 5 different agencies that he had to manage. At the end of the day, this type of setup can become costly and expensive. When you contract with a third-party agency, you will likely have someone who puts about 5 to 10 hours a week into your website at a price tag starting at about $5,000 per month. We believe that there is a better way, either take on your own marketing in-house or work with a dedicated freelancer that you can trust. If you do choose to work with an agency, we have some suggestions for you on how to find the agency that is a great fit for you.

The Pitfalls of Working With An SEO Agency For Link Building

There are many agencies out there who do a pretty good job of link building and off-page optimization. That being said, a lot of agencies don’t offer the best link building services and do it the wrong way. We identified 10 different e-commerce websites that worked with an agency of some sorts for link building and this is what we found out by randomly auditing recent links to their website:

  • Many inbound links that were built were from blog comments and directories. By and far, about 85% of links built to the websites in question were either no-follow links or links that were designated as UGC, which means user-generated content.
  • We found that many guest blogs that had been published on the website’s behalf were on websites that had very little to do with the target website. These types of links are irrelevant and can actually hurt your search engine indexing if there are too many of them pointing to your website.
  • We found that many inbound links created for a website were actually part of PBNs or paid link schemes.

How Do You Create High-Quality Links Of Your Own?

There are many different ways to create high-quality links of your own. First and foremost, you should publish a quarterly press release if you have newsworthy content to share with your industry. While backlinks from press releases tend to be no-follow, occasionally, these press releases can be picked up by more authoritative websites. Secondly, you should also strive to create high-quality content of your own that other websites will want to link to. Here is a great search term that will show you an example of this. If you search for “121 employee wellness ideas,” you will see that Snack Nation has the #1 ranking for this keyword. After the #1 ranking, you will see other websites that link to this extremely long-form content article.

The Pitfalls Of Working With AN SEO Agency For On-Page Optimization

Many SEO agencies don’t really tell you what they do in terms of on-page optimization. Some agencies will create new pages for your website each month while other agencies will go optimize your existing website pages. One of the biggest issues that we detected with SEO agencies in our survey was the issue of keyword cannibalization. Many SEO agencies will actually create pages and blog posts, over time, that compete with one another for the same keywords. The result of this problem is that none of these pages will rank competitively in Google at all, reducing the likelihood of ranking for that keyword at all.

A Senior Executive Pitches You The Deal While Junior Team Members Do The Work

This is the biggest problem we see with agencies. Someone who is very experienced in the SEO industry will actually craft your strategy and proposal. Then, when you are onboarded, your account gets handed to the junior team members. Often times, key mistakes get made, including:

  • Not using keywords correctly in your article
  • Not using keywords in your article’s URL
  • No oversight of the SEO work
  • Poor reporting and communication

Consider Taking Your Digital Marketing In House

Many of the best companies do their own SEO and marketing in-house and depend upon an SEO consultant to help them with marketing strategy. When you take your SEO in-house, it will help make sure that your marketing gets done right. During our survey of websites managed by agencies, we tended to notice that there was a high level of frustration with the agency in question. We also noticed that, on many occasions, the cost of working with an agency was about 5x as more as managing your own SEO in house.