Is Your SEO Company a Copycat?
Why you shouldn’t work with an SEO company that copies your competitions’ strategies.
As a business owner nothing can more frustrating than seeing one of your competitors copying the same website and SEO strategies that you’ve been using. It happens all the time, even within the SEO agency world, right here in Vancouver Washington. Here at City Ranked Media we’ve been testing different SEO strategies for years, only to have some of our strategies copied, which was the inspiration behind this article.
So if you think your SEO company is copying from your competition, below are the reasons you may want to rethink your strategy (or your SEO’s strategy) for long term business success.
1) Your SEO Company has a lack of vision
First off I want to point out that checking out your competition and what they’re doing is an accepted SEO and web design practice. Exercises in keyword research, competitive rankings, backlinks (even sometimes identifying blackhat SEO backlinking schemes) and others can help a business, especially a newer business, determine where time is best spent to reach the desired end goal as quickly as possible.
If you’re working with an SEO company that is just repackaging your competitions SEO, or just plain copying it, what does that say about your SEO agency? SEO is a learned science of understanding search engine algorithms, keeping up on industry trends, and most importantly thinking outside the box to produce results that equal new customers for your business. An SEO / web design agency needs to be creative, and really how creative is someone that recommends or just plain copies your competition?
A top SEO industry professional put it best when he said “Look at the top three websites for the keyword(s) you want, are you willing to create a better website than them?” If your SEO company is just copying them, you’ll never outrank your competition…ethically at least.
2) Your SEO Company really doesn’t know what else to do
Copying web design, SEO, and other tactics is a sign that you’re working with an uneducated and untrained SEO / web design agency. Their old, severely outdated, and often times blackhat SEO tactics aren’t working anymore, so instead of re-tooling their offerings, they copy. No one wants to work with amateurs when it comes to the future viability of their business, so why spend your valuable time and resources with a company that is just copying someone elses work?
Your business is different than your competition, so why let someone portray it as the same? Why waste your money on it? When you work with a true SEO / professional advertising agency they will guide you through the process of setting yourself apart from your competition, selling your business to your most valuable prospects, and ultimately helping you close the deal – before you even talk to the person.
3) Your SEO Company will always be playing catch-up…and so will you
If your SEO company is copying from your competition, or even related fields, they’re already WAY behind the curve. SEO is not a magic hodgepodge of code, software, or anything else. Your competitions quality SEO is months, most times years of hard work, done in the correct order to achieve the results you see in their rankings. So if your SEO company is copying tactics, layouts, or backend code, you’re already way behind. Your SEO is copying stuff that has probably already been ranking for months, or even years, which simply means you’ll probably always be behind if you stay the course.
“The search engines are consistently changing, so if your SEO is chasing the competition, and not the search engines, you will almost always lose.”
4) Your SEO Company could get you penalized by the search engines
This goes back to the fact that your SEO company probably doesn’t know what else to do to get you the results you’re looking for. Chances are your SEO company is a one or a two trick “dog and pony show”, meaning, they’ve got by up until this point by performing just one or two SEO tactics to get their clients ranked. These types of SEO companies thrived in years past, did things the easy way, and raked in the cash because they would “farm out” or “software automate” their clients SEO exercises. These tactics worked well until Google and the other major search engines started cracking down on these crappy SEO strategies through algorithm updates such as Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird.
Don’t be fooled by crappy SEO. We’ve had companies, even right here locally that lost website rankings, some as much as 40% loss in less than seven days because they were duped into believing in these types of SEO strategies. One City Ranked Media customer who was penalized by Google because of a lazy automated link building strategy of their former SEO agency, lost search rankings, market share, customer inquires, and business. These losses equated out to lost profit of $20,000 per month which lasted for 8 months until we were able to get the penalty lifted. $160K in lost profit, in less than a year, that’s a hurdle no business wants to overcome.
5) Where will your SEO Company be in 5 years? Where will your business be in 5 years?
If you’re working with an SEO company that is doing nothing except copying the competition, or performing sub-par crappy SEO for you, what do you think will happen to them? As the internet evolves at a faster pace than ever before in history, how will they be able to keep up? If your competition is working with a quality and reputable SEO company, and your working with the paste eating SEO company in the corner, where will you be in 5 years? How far behind could your business be before deciding it’s time to catch up? How much time, energy, and money will it cost to start something that should have been started years prior?
Hiring the right SEO / Web Design Company for your small business
So maybe you’re a business owner that is having, or has had experience with a crappy SEO company as described above, what should you do? These days with the demise of yellow pages, newspapers, and saturation of radio, cable, and TV advertising, many small business owners are left wondering where they should focus their attention when it comes to effectively marketing their business on the web.
When it comes to online / web advertising, I can without a doubt tell you that transparency in tactics used, results delivered, and clear / concise reporting is key. Do not make the mistake of believing your SEO agency is “taking care of things”. Make them explain their specific tactics on your account, ask them to show you specific examples, and most importantly look at what their doing for your business. In this day and age of fast moving technology, business owners that don’t pay attention now, often will face harsh realities later.
If you’d like to learn more about the warning signs you should look out for please check out some of our other small business SEO / web design articles below.
- Are you dealing with an SEO snake oil salesman?
- 10 warning signs the person you’re talking to is not an SEO expert
- Does cheap website SEO really exist?
- 5 signs your SEO company is going to hurt your rankings