Does your SEO company know what it’s doing?

Posted on April 30, 2019


It has long since been a bugbear of mine that people offer ‘SEO’ (search engine optimisation) as a service without actually knowing how to do it. It’s irreparably damaged our industry as website owners have no idea whether or not the person they hire is any good, or indeed has the first clue how to do it.

When it inevitably doesn’t work, because they don’t know how to do it, the website owner is left believing that SEO doesn’t work, that it’s a waste of money, and that they should never try it again.

Now, the more honourable business owners reading this will be thinking ‘hang on, who claims to know how to do something and sells it as a service when they’ve no idea how to do it?’

You’d be surprised. It happens all the time. Just last week I came across this post in a Facebook group for web designers.

“In addition to my web design services, I wanted to add SEO services to my clients but I don’t know anything about SEO yet. Any recommendations on how and where to start learning about providing SEO services to clients? Thanks in advance.”

The designer in question has realised that, after designing websites for his clients, he could make more money by offering SEO as a service. Perhaps his clients were asking about it. Rather than say ‘no, I don’t do that’ he instead decided he would have a look into how to do it, and then offer it as a service.

In some ways it’s human nature. If someone who has already bought from you offers to give you more money to do something else, many people will say yes and find a way to do it. Especially when that ‘something else’ is SEO, and there is no hard and fast rule on how to do it. There is no governing body. There are no qualifications (at least not any that are worth it, but that’s another blog).

The work that goes into SEO is subjective. Every SEO expert has their own way of doing it, and every online marketing company has their own way of working. A lot of SEO is considered ‘smoke and mirrors’ or a ‘dark art’, with things going on in the background of websites that website owners and business owners wouldn’t even see, let alone understand.

So why not say ‘yeah, I can do it’, even if you’ve no idea how? It’s money for nothing.

Except, as mentioned earlier, it damages the industry. It gives every online marketing agency a bad name, paints every SEO expert as a charlatan, and gives every business owner who experiences it the impression that SEO just doesn’t work.

It also doesn’t reflect well on the website designer who pretends they can do SEO but, by then, they’ve been paid – so what do they care?

At Engage Web, we’ve been running online marketing campaigns and performing SEO for clients for 10 years. We’re so successful at it that we also provide content for other SEO agencies. We’ve even seen clients move around from one agency to another, all the while still having their content provided by Engage Web!

When you decide to use someone for SEO, please make sure they know what they are doing. If you do get your fingers burned by using someone who doesn’t have the first clue how to do SEO, please don’t assume that SEO doesn’t work.

If you’re a web designer who thinks you can make some extra money by offering SEO as a service because you’ve read a couple of blogs… don’t.

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 20 years’ experience in these fields.
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