In the SEO community, some professional SEOs like to play their cards very close to their chest with regards to what details they share with clients, and even other members of their staff. The fear that someone will take their knowledge and use it for themselves keeps some SEOs in a constant state of paranoia to the extent that they don’t share their knowledge with anyone – which can have disastrous consequences for their business, and for the future of their own SEO knowledge.
While it’s understandable that an SEO company won’t sell the family silver by shouting everything they know from the rooftops, and telling every person that passes by their office exactly how they SEO a website, keeping information under lock and key on a strictly need to know basis isn’t ideal either.
We encountered an SEO company in Manchester recently where none of the sales or customer service staff knew how SEO was performed. In addition, rather than having a team of programmers or SEO consultants, all of the SEO knowledge was kept safely locked away inside the mind of the owner of the company. Paranoia dictated that nobody need know exactly how he went about the art of search engine optimisation – even if the person in question had to speak to a client about what was being done on their website.
The trouble is of course, there are several things wrong with this policy.
Firstly, should the one and only person who knows how to perform SEO ever be on holiday, or off ill, then the company’s SEO efforts shut down for the duration. Any work being performed on clients’ websites would cease, and no answers to queries would be forthcoming.
Secondly, how can someone be expected to explain SEO to a client, or engage in an intelligent conversation about SEO, if they don’t know how to do it? If you were looking for an SEO agency to improve your website’s rankings you’d at least expect to speak to someone who could instil confidence in the agency and who knows a little bit about the process – even if they don’t explain it in specific detail. There’s no point talking to someone who knows as much, or even less, than you do.
Finally, and this is the real problem with hoarding knowledge, how can your SEO processes be expected to improve or evolve if nobody else is bouncing ideas off you? Google changes its algorithm constantly; as such, search engine optimisation procedures need to change in order to keep up. If you’re keeping everything to yourself, your SEO will quickly become stale – resulting in your agency being left behind, both in terms of successful SEO and literally in the rankings.
The best advice is to share the SEO knowledge, if there is knowledge to share in the first place of course.