In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens compares and contrasts Paris and London as they go through a time of societal revolution (that’s my take on it).
Now I hate to use the word ‘revolution’, it’s so cliché, but the world of inbound marketing is rapidly evolving, particularly with SEO.
For example, a friend told me about a local marketing-ish upstart, with zero SEO experience, landing an SEO job with a company that’s been in business for 40 years. Yeah that’s not slightly scary.
This seems to happen when companies hear about SEO—they read a few blogs, a hypey article in a mainstream biz magazine, and they get seduced.
When an industry, like SEO, reaches a stage of evolution that business owners and C-level types are ignorantly talking about it, the seducers and the Charlatans appear on the scene.
And the seducers and Charlatans can do quite well, for a time.
Company protocol—talk to two SEO agencies, then choose one
From an SEO perspective our company website is a train wreck hit by a nuclear bomb. So when we began the process of re-engineering the UI/UX, rewriting the copy, and reworking our CTAs, it was the perfect opportunity to fix our technical SEO issues.
Based on company protocol I had to consult with two SEO agencies and then choose the best one.
Before I get to what the best SEO agency did differently and who the agency is, I’d like to talk about the agency who didn’t earn our trust—this is where the real lessons are—for biz owners and other agencies coming up through the ranks.
Misstep 1: assumed we knew nothing about SEO
There’s nothing like starting off a consultation/sales pitch by having your intelligence assaulted (and insulted).
What they didn’t know is that I have a knowledge-base in SEO from attending world-class SEO conferences, and by putting in about 500 hours of study and hands-on experience to date.
Their assumption about our SEO knowledge-base led to the second misstep.
Misstep 2: didn’t listen at all
Once I could get a word in, I told the two SEOs exactly what I wanted them to do. Our site has over 14K URLs, duplicate content, and a horrendous sitemap, and I needed their help to work through those exact issues.
They didn’t listen. Instead, they committed the third misstep
Misstep 3: tried to wow us with a shiny object
I shouldn’t even call this a shiny object. Basically, after I told them what I needed help with, they tried to wow us with this ‘amazing’ SEO tactic called keyword research, using a magical tool called Google AdWords.
The wooing and wowing didn’t stop there—they attempted to further blow our minds by telling us they could determine which keywords brought people to our landing page.
It was a cacophony of SEO agency nonsense.
Misstep 4: it was all about them
There’s a lot more that went wrong on this call, but this misstep was the worst of all. The entire consultation was all about them—they didn’t ask any questions about our company—they made no effort to understand our pain points, fears, and desired outcomes.
And the most bizarre part of the experience was the way they used a client testimonial to sell us on their services, but we couldn’t even relate to the client or the story.
The SEO agency who earned our trust
The SEO agency we chose is Image Freedom, the top SEO agency in San Antonio. And there were just two reasons why:
- They listened to our problems and immediately understood our needs
- They instilled confidence by addressing our exact needs and giving us an action plan on the consultation
No up-selling. No seducing. No shiny objects. No nonsense.
Truth be told, I was already sold on Image Freedom because I’ve worked with their team before. But again, protocol demanded we talk to another SEO agency.
If you have an SEO agency, earn people’s trust and let your results do the wowing and your clients will refer the crap out of you, so much so you’ll have to turn down work.