If You Make a Contract With an Agency That Knows Less SEO, You May Will Waste Money


What percentage of marketers on average just suck the money out of clients and don't actually do anything?

NOTE: Please leave your prejudice aside and leave a fair answer.
52 πŸ’¬πŸ—¨

I've worked for one company and they do this.
Don't get me wrong, the company doesn't try to f*ck people over.. they just take on way more than they can handle and don't know much about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or web design. So we have a lot of clients who their websites have so much wrong with them and most of what the company has done is hurting their rankings overall, but when I suggest fixes they tell me that since the client isn't complaining we can't work on their site.
I've taken on one personal client and built their website and got their website to the first page of Google for the target keyword within months, I'm constantly reading up on the best practices (for SEO) with web design and marketing, and nobody wants to do my suggestions because it will take too much time and won't have enough benefit. Very few of our clients rank.
Needless to say I won't be working there for much longer.

ChaseReiner ✍️
I've been in that situation before. Pretty frustrating.

I really want to steal my clients… One is told how there is nothing more that can be done to rank because there is just a lot of competition (as they are dropping in rank) but I see so many opportunities.
ChaseReiner ✍️
Lol nothing they can do! That's such a lame thing to say for a marketing company

I've met good marketers, I've met bad ones. All of my marketing is Return of Investment (RoI)-based and always shows $ generated on $ spent, so I don't have to promise anyone anything – I just show them results. I have been mostly client side, with some agency experience and it's been the same everywhere I've gone. The people who say marketing is sales or bs don't know what they are doing. Like with anything – 20% of the people do 80% of the work. Real, tangible results are not only possible with marketing but are also easy to achieve and easy to track, if you know what you're doing.

Curious. How can you show $ generated in a non e-commerce situation?

I use lead source, campaign, channel, and market level tracking to attribute sales opportunities arising from marketing leads back to those three criteria. I am in charge of the budget so I know exactly how much I've spent on a given campaign and how much revenue was generated from it.

I can't give you a percentage but I will say that it's the majority of them. But I will note that, you specifically said "do nothing." It's not that they do nothing, they just don't do anything worth doing.
You also have to be realistic, for many businesses, what I would consider to be "garbage results" are 10 times better than the results they had before so they're happy to pay.
Take a local lawn mowing business as an example. If they went from one customer a month from Google traffic to 10 because they hired some crappy company, they're absolutely thrilled. To them, it doesn't matter that the company they hired is a bunch of hacks that are basically scamming them. They're getting results so they don't care.

well all things aside, aren't results what they're paying for?

Sure, that's why they are happy to pay a hack. What the lawn care business owner doesn't know is that a competent company would be getting them 50 new customers for the same budget.
For example, my best friend owns a successful drain cleaning company. He's been in business for 20+ years so he's always bought yellow pages ads. When YP expanded into digital, he bought in because surely a big company like that would know what they're doing right?
They sold him a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign for $2500/mo that resulted in 40-50 calls on average that resulted in 20-25 jobs. It was pretty much a break even campaign so he cancelled.
When he moved his marketing to my firm, I had to fight tooth and nail to get him to try PPC again. His campaign now cost $2300/mo. We expanded the keywords to also cover water and mold mitigation. They get 150-175 calls monthly and close around 75% of them. They also land 1-2 of the water/mold jobs that tend to run in the tens of thousands of dollars. The Return of Investment (RoI) now runs in the 400-500% range.
So it's not that YP did nothing, YP did the right thing badly. We see this all the time.
I think your point really is, someone could always do it better, cheaper or cleverer – as they could with your clients too. Its the way of the world
Sort of. Sure, someone could always do it better even if you are doing a great job yourself. In my experience in digital marketing, most are doing a poor job at best. I can't even begin to count how many times I've heard:
PPC doesn't work, we tried it. SEO doesn't work, we tried it. WordPress sucks, we tried it. <insert something we know works> ducks, we tried it.
More often than not, they were sold shoddy work. Does digital work for every business, every time? No, of course not. But in general there are waaaaay too many people who are just not qualified to sell digital services passing themselves off as experts. There is no barrier to entry and potentially a really good payoff so we're going to get a lot of this.
I fully agree – I was just being a bit flippant earlier. The thing with any marketing discipline is the pretty much the same. Done properly, its a gradual process of analysing and optimising to get the desired results – it takes time, it costs money (its not cheap) – and it needs input from all stakeholders for optimum benefits.
The average punter wants it all, and wants it cheap – and if expectations aren't managed pretty early on, it all goes to hell. For some, it's easier to promise the world and work it out later, than risk someone not signing up, I guess.


My number is 80/20. 80% of people people I meet, or people whose campaigns that I take over had no clue what they were doing. That's the problem with our industry. It's so easy to read 3 blog posts and learn 20 words, and you can have a sales meeting with a prospective client and appear as an expert. Yet, these "experts' have no clue what they're doing, while they charge thousands/ month, telling the client it just takes time, while adding Title and descriptions. (Because link- building and schema don't do anything /s). Then millions of businesses who got burned then believe that SEO doesn't work and digital marketing is a sham. When SEO could be a game changer for businesses, but they wont do it. It's fraudulent and irresponsible.

Totally agree. You only have to read through some of the rubbish people come out with in this subreddit to get a flavour or how many people are think they know what they're doing,..smh…
If I wasn't in the game my best advice to anyone would be to do their own research and make sure they understand the core concepts of SEO/SEM or whatever before taking anyone on as it's so easy to get burned. Most of the clients I've had to date have been burned previously.
It certainly feels to me like SEO will increasingly become a tougher sell in the future as more people start to think this way!
Eurghh so much this. I recently (in the last year) took over as the Head of marketing for a new company and one of the first things I was asked to do was look at Ad Words and SEO as my company had been spending Β£5,000 a month for an agency to do it for them. It was a complete shambles and the 'quality score' of all the ads they'd created was between 1 and 3. I couldn't imagine being paid so much and doing absolutely nothing.

I couldn't give a percentage but it's an easy one to overcome.
As a client, you only get value from a marketing agency if you actively use them. You wouldn't hire an architect to build you a house with 0 instruction and expect to love the result. You can't expect a marketer to build you a brand without your input.
Clients who warrant or demand attention get it. If a team had 3 clients, but only ever hears from one, they want to impress the one that always complains. The second you're sent a report filed with negatives, and don't respond, you're low priority.
If you don't give one, why would your agency?
The clients who have ideas, keep in touch, respond to ideas and requests for action, and complain are the ones that get the best work.
TL;dr – if you are a client, use your agency & kick their ass or get awful value for money. It takes two to tango.
It's a huge problem in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) from what I've experienced. Most clients have absolutely no clue and go in completely blind which opens them up to a whole host of abuse. I've had clients send me reports from previous agencies, and they have literally made up work that's been completed to which I couldn't find any evidence of. In many cases even when work was done it was like they were doing SEO in 2000.
I would assume it's more difficult to suck money out of clients on Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns as the client can work out if they are seeing an Return of Investment (RoI) more directly?
I've never worked in an agency, but have been in quite a few companies with marketing departments that failed to demonstrate tangible ROI's from their work.
Are SEO users the modern day garage mechanics? Even the best SEO users can't work on definite's a lot of the time which is always going to leave a lot of room for abuse I guess?
I'd dread to think what the % is, it would be an amazing study if a group of marketers posed as a client with a random bunch of agencies and shared the results as a study. I can't imagine it would do the industry many favours though…
I think it is more of take the money and not know what they are doing. They are pitching us and others and when they land and account they accept it. Our current firm we had money and they wanted to really get to know us, our goals and are more selective. They also reduced our spend about 6,000 US per month and increased our Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and more important for us re retained the customer longer.
Do you mean agencies? Because generally in-house marketing teams aren't swindling their companies, they'd get fired. If you mean agencies, then I'd say probably 75%. These are usually people who start a marketing agency after getting their Google certification and then they buy into some SEO product that pretty much does all the work for them. These products usually have a slight initial impact because they correct a lot of errors and do some initial link building, but then after that they pretty much just bill a monthly fee until the client gets tired of paying it.
There are thousands of these companies that are pretty much a by product of how easy it is to get a Google certification (all the answers are available online) and how many SEO products there are out there making BS claims. It makes the job of actual marketing experts that much harder because just about every small to mid size business has had a run in with a shitty agency.
These are my honest opinions from being involved in client SEO for over 7 years.
β€’ Most clients know jack sh*t about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They expect to rank in 3 months in competitive niches with a monthly budget of $500.00. WTF, you're competitors are spending thousands per month and you expect to rank on that?
β€’ 90% of marketers think they're SEO experts after reading a couple of blog posts or taking some stupid SEO course. Real SEO is about spending time and real money. Theory is all well and good but applying what you've learned in a different ball game.
β€’ Most SEO companies from predominantly India will tank your website. For some reason these guys love social bookmarks, and expect to rank a website with spammy sh*t. Okay bookmarks etc have their place in SEO for anchor diversity before going after the real money backlinks, but that's all they're good for.
From personal experience, most clients don't want to do things my way as it costs too much. That's the price for doing things legit, otherwise find any cheap SEO company and let them destroy all your hard work and business.

Haha.. think they're an expert… we'll maybe I have a chance then… I'm pretty sure I suck? Trying to improve though… πŸ˜”


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