Is My Local SEO Company Stealing From Me?
You did it! You finally hired a search engine company to help you get more local website traffic. Good job!
Even after months of paying for their service, you still don’t have the results you expected. You want people searching for your goods or services local to your stores or service areas to visit your site, and ideally, make a purchase or contact.
While there are many underlying causes at the ineffectiveness of the optimization, such as:
- You hired a scammy company that doesn’t know what they are doing.
- The company uses “Black Hat” tactics (efforts to game the search engines in a way they don’t like).
- Your market is too competitive and your competition has done more work than you.
they aren’t necessarily stealing from you. There are more causes, but I want to keep it simple.
Why You Should Listen to My SEO Advice
I’ve earned a living from search engine optimization and content writing for the last 10 years (most of my adult life). I’ve mostly done this for sites I own.
When I was in school, I was the kid that used all the vocab words in two sentences correctly, before class, because I hated homework and already new the material – I grew up in a library.
I’m so good at what I do, Verizon Stole MY 7 Year Old Website after I legally got millions of visitors looking for service availability in their local area.
They didn’t want people knowing where they had tv, internet and phone services. I even made the local, nationally recognized newspaper.
I don’t even use SEO Tool except for occasionally peeking at Google Keyword to see total search volumes. I don’t need to, I do that shit in my head.
Modern SEO practices are very complex. No keyword stuffing like when I was in high school before I even knew I had that skill. Google uses over 200 ranking signals to determine their search engine results. I don’t even know them all as it is constantly changing and top secret.
An easy guide I’ve always used is to give search engines what they want: accurate information that answers their customers queries and makes the search engines money.
To create a content strategy (my marketing agency) like that requires high level cognition and an understanding of the current marketplace.
Search Engine Optimization is decreasing in value every day. AI is answering queries in search engine results, and voice
trackers assistants are cutting out results to answer questions directly. Their use and application is growing rapidly. I don’t use that junk.
With that being said, there most certainly will be a need to categorize information for the foreseeable future, and properly SEO’d content is less expensive to purchase clicks and views. Having a properly optimized site can still yield immense profits for you and lower customer acquisition costs, so…..
How to Tell If Your Local SEO Company is Stealing From You
I see these occurrences all the time, even to sites I’ve personally optimized.
What usually happens is that I stop
harassing communicating with my clients on a consistent basis. They either cave to a telemarketer on commission that has never touched a website in their life, or they buy from a “expert” they met a local networking group that you have to pay to be a member in.
That’s just bad business. You should never hire someone to write your content/SEO that you can’t directly communicate with. Hire the service provider direct or have access to your writer.
Local Networking Groups like BNI or Chamber of Commerce that charge membership fees to be the exclusive “Website” guy or gal will ensure that you get acceptable service at best. It’s called “Rent Seeking” and is not merit based. It doesn’t work in government and for sure doesn’t work in business.
Here’s a simple way to find out if you’re being scammed:
Step 1: Don’t do that stuff. Call me first.
Step 2: Open up a browser. Go to your site’s homepage and also your SEO providers site in a new tab. Open your analytics in a new window.
Step 3: In your analytics, pull up a visitor map of the country you’re in. We’re going to stick the United States
Step 4: Analyze the SEO and Analytics
If you provide services in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, your traffic map should look like this:
This is a view of the search traffic visitors obtained from a local company I did an initial SEO writing years ago and haven’t optimized since. Set it and forget it. I could improve, and perhaps I should call her and let her know about my new company, New England Marketing & Efficiency.
Compare that to a properly optimized blog site such as Prixie Pets. It gets traffic worldwide and profits off of it, but focuses on the US, where more money is to be made:
If your local company has a traffic pattern like above, you have a problem. Search engine traffic is coming from outside your service area is worthless, even costing you money. Every visitor to your site that cannot buy your service or benefit your cause is a freeloader, pissed off visitor, or your competition.
You have to use server resources for every visitor, and answer phone calls and emails for customers you might not be able to serve. Ouch.
Now, a nationwide traffic footprint doesn’t mean that your SEO company is stealing from you, it just means they aren’t effective. You should fire them.
By looking at your homepage meta title (words at the top of the browser), then looking at the the meta title of the page linked at the footer (bottom of your site, usually on every page) you can see if your are being ripped off by your SEO company. Most website production and SEO companies link to their site in footers for credit and link juice.
This is what prompted me to write this article. Here’s an example of the homepage meta title from a previous client of mine:
My near perfect SEO title was re-written to say roughly:
[Service], [Service], [Service], [Service]
and in the footer was a link to the local web development company’s homepage; located in New Hampshire (me too!), that read roughly so:
NH [WebsiteServices] | [WebsiteServices], [WebsiteServices], [WebsiteServices]
No mention of the service area on the homepage title of the client, but first keyword in the homepage title of the SEO provider.
As we say in New Hampshire, “Wicked Cool”.
Either the SEO company is incompetent, or, based on the location keyword in their homepage title, stealing from their client.
They must be purposely inflating the website traffic to justify their services, gaining more link juice from increased, irrelevant traffic, or both.
Regardless, they should be fired.
There’s more, but we’re at approaching 1200 words and you probably have termination notices to write.
You’ll either have to stay tuned or hire me for your content creation and strategy projects in the future.
I hope this helps you.
– Robert Tanguay