By Lucy Bradley
If there’s one thing you need to know about working with digital marketing agencies, it’s to avoid those that guarantee you rankings. From the beginning of SEO, agencies have tried to entice users with ‘too good to be true’ promises, saying that they can get you ranking page 1 in just a couple of months. Oh, if only it was as easy as that! We’re sorry to say, that no agency can promise you a number 1 spot on Google, that is just the way that SEO works.
Even with the best SEO practice, working with the best agencies and SEOs out there, there are certain factors that we simply can’t control. Rankings fluctuate daily due to things like local search, algorithm updates and competitor performance. Unfortunately, nobody knows what Google is up to, and when the next big update is going to be released. So whilst you might be ranking on page 1 today, the release of a Google update could mean that your rankings drop considerably the next day.
Whilst a good agency will monitor and try to do everything possible to rectify this, they can’t promise to get you back on page 1. Digital agencies can only carry out the best-practice SEO methods to improve your online visibility. We can do our best to improve rankings, but page 1 is something that cannot be guaranteed, the only thing we can promise is to provide the best advice possible to help your site earn more qualified traffic.
Make sure you also stay well clear of agencies assuring you they guarantee to get your site ranking for a set amount of keywords. In this case, agencies will handpick a set of keywords which they know are not very competitive, meaning they’ll have a fairly high rate of success. You might be thinking, what’s the problem with that? Just because you’re ranking for keywords, it doesn’t mean that these keywords have search volume or will drive qualified traffic back to your site. Essentially, your site will be no better off.
It’s always important to remember that rankings do not equal success. As we discussed above, rankings are unstable and fluctuate regularly. Even more importantly, it’s key to understand that rankings do not result in traffic. Getting people to click on your site goes further than ranking on page one, you’ve got to consider things like competition and your meta titles and descriptions, are they well optimised?
Despite this, theoretically, ranking number 1 for a set keyword will bring you more traffic. Success, right? Wrong. You need to understand why users are undertaking a Google search, they’re looking for information or the answer to their question. If they land on your site and see it isn’t right for them and doesn’t provide them with the information they want, they will leave. So not only is this traffic useless, it can result in overall higher bounce rates and lower session duration; signs Google associates with a negative user experience, which can harm your rankings in the SERPs. When measuring your SEO success, it’s key to look beyond vanity metrics!
Google themselves have confirmed in their guidelines that ‘No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google’, so these agencies couldn’t be promising something further from the truth…
This is just one of the signs to look out for when hiring a digital marketing agency! Want to find out the other 4 reasons? Download your free e-book here!