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Do You Have SEO Stockholm Syndrome?

By Jon | 17th Dec 2014 | Posted in Marketing

Many of the changes recommended by SEO agencies are there to provide an excuse for lack of results.

I am not saying there are not technical issues that will affect a site’s success in Google. That would be ridiculous. However, many agencies hide behind gigantic audit documents filled with advice that, while technically correct, is not the reason a site isn’t ranking.

Some agencies frequently take advantage of their less technically knowledgeable clients.

Why does this happen?

Firstly, it’s easy to look knowledgeable and proactive by continually providing more on site recommendations. It’s also easy to back these up with citations showing the advice is legitimate. You can run up hours of time providing these recommendations in well-written documents with plenty of screenshots. If a site doesn’t rank it’s because not all of these recommendations have been implemented… In some cases, this will be accurate. However, in a great deal of others this is an excuse to hide behind poor link building efforts. Not all marketing professionals are technically minded and all too often consultants and agencies exploit this.

Content Marketing Is Essential

seo_auditsContent marketing is hard. For many SEOs, this is a new skill that has been forced upon them by Google’s Penguin update. The practices of old are no longer relevant – and it is well known how detrimental they can now be. Any client can search Google and discover this is true.

For gigantic e-commerce sites, I accept that small changes can have disproportionately large effects. However, for the majority of websites looking to improve their ranking, content-based link building is one of the most critical parts of any SEO campaign.

The best captors will be expert at baffling clients with boondoggle – after all, we put our trust in our advisors. I ask clients to consider these questions:

  1. This is key: Is your agency feeding you constant on site changes that individually all seem minor and inconsequential?
  2. Do they hide behind the fact that 100% of these changes have not been implemented to excuse themselves out of why a positive return on investment hasn’t been delivered?
  3. Is your agency building links without creating any content? If so, how are they building these links? Do they try to keep this activity hidden from you?
  4. If you do get a link building report, do you see editorially granted (not paid for) links from genuine websites and blogs?
  5. Have your positions actually increased? Has your traffic increased? Are you better off than before you engaged this agency?

You may find yourself with answers you don’t want to hear, but you’ll be better off knowing and being able to take the action required.



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Jon Buchan
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Jon Buchan Chief Executive Officer
07949 283 785
Hannah Brown Creative Yet Technical Manager
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Tess Bowles Social Media & Content Marketing Manager
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Jess Collett Copywriter
Gemma MacNaught Head of UX and Conversion Rate Optimisation
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