The purpose of this post is to dispel some common myths which worry people about when moving SEO supplier, while at the same time empowering them to make actionable steps to ensure a websites future is protected in organic search.
SEO is like energy, you only miss it when it’s gone
The vast majority of businesses only think about switching SEO suppliers when something goes wrong, such as a drop off in traffic, perhaps even a Google penalty? Ultimately this will have likely already resulted in a loss of sales for you to notice.
However this is isn’t the only time to switch, as you could still be getting better results, or value by moving to a new supplier.
Are you paying over the odds for being a loyal customer?
Did you know that over 60% of households haven’t switched gas, and electricity providers in the past few years? And 40% of British Gas domestic gas customers have been with the company for more than 10 years! As you know the result of that is that they’re not getting the good value, as they’re more interested in new business.
Sadly energy companies aren’t the only ones!
We’re being increasingly being asked to audit what an incumbent SEO provider is doing, as it’s not always obvious. On several occasions the answer boils down to ‘not very much’.
Worryingly, in a couple of instances we’ve found that they’re actually doing work which will harm a website’s organic search traffic, by using out of date methods which are against the Google guidelines.
The dangers of switching SEO provider
If you’re thinking of moving SEO providers it can be an uncertain time. Ultimately the question many have is:
“What will happen to my traffic and rankings?”
A few years ago moving SEO Company was dangerous. The majority of SEO was building large amount of spammy backlinks in order to make a website rank highly.
In order to achieve this many SEO companies built large link networks to funnel link juice to their clients websites. Those days are thankfully gone, along with the link networks which inadvertently landed their clients with Google penalties.
This ultimately meant that SEO companies had a lot more power years ago, and there was good reason to fear them deleting these links when you stopped paying invoices.
Now Google pays attention to real links, on real websites. As such now if you leave an SEO company, they shouldn’t be able to switch off your links, and point them to someone else.
This is a big topic to cover, but ultimately you need to own your own data. We’ve previously had clients with Google Analytics accounts which have been set up inside the previous agency analytics profile. This means that unfortunately they own your data, and it can be very tricky to resolve this.
Owning your own analytics data is absolutely critical for any company.
Webmaster Tools accounts can have an immense about of power depending on the admin rights. If you’ve previously added users to your webmaster tools profiles these should be removed. Sometimes you may have even given the login details for your master account.
This could have been so that they could conduct a change of address, which is restricted to owners. To be on the safe side we would recommend changing all primary account passwords, as well as removing any old users as good housekeeping.
I’m yet to see of an example of an SEO company that decided to negative SEO a former client, so I want to dispel this myth right away.
When referring to negative SEO it maybe that you currently have someone actively monitoring you link profile for negative SEO links?
If that’s the case firstly record of all existing work, and secondly ensure that your new SEO service includes this if you need it.
Securing your assets
Touched on briefly within data, there could be other assets which your online presence realises on for its success. This could include:
- Commenting systems such as discuss
- Registrar accounts
- Old reports?
It is critical that the incumbent SEO agency is removed from everything, it’s not that they will likely do anything malicious, but more just because it’s necessary.
There’s nothing to fear
Ultimately there is nothing to fear when moving SEO company as long as you take the necessary steps before hand. Like energy suppliers there are often better deals out there for those who look for them.
However on the other hand, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and your current supplier might be doing a really good job. Perhaps they’re giving you great value for money, and just doesn’t communicate that to you effectively?
If you’re in any doubt, why not ask us about our one-off independent SEO campaign audit, and find out what exactly you’re getting for your money.