One of our customers was lured by a “Professional SEO Company” last year with promises of great things. Actually we’ve heard about the SEO pitch strength several times. Methinks they have better sales people than they do SEO people.
I warned him against getting nailed into a long term contract with any SEO company, but against my advice, though he did have the faith in Lizardwebs Clayton Web Design to actually DO his site, he signed up with them. And there the happiness ends. Sort of as we expected.
Well, after a year, guess who came back?
I was in this morning after taking the site back over this past month and poking around and doing some updates. What I found was extraordinarily disturbing. I’m not going to actually mention either company directly by name – the SEOer (hereafter referred to as “Professional SEO Company”) or the SEOee – for decency. The SEOer, I would love to call out but professionalism dictates otherwise.
The “Professional SEO Company” saw fit to leave my Google Analytics codes and Webmaster Tools codes in place and thus I could see what was going on. I had the benefit of having been able to watch their hits over the ensuing months – and they dropped. And they were particularly non-existent for the NEW target market of Raleigh. The owner had originally desired a website targeted towards Clayton NC (wooohooo!) and surrounding areas. Truthfully, there’s enough business in that and surrounding areas that a good site that hits the top of the SERPs could do pretty well WITHOUT worrying about Raleigh.
So what was wrong with the SEO you ask?
While they did add a couple of pages with some quality content, they keyword spammed pretty much anything with a spot for it. The titles were over 100 characters long and stuffed with oddball keywords – there’s no other explanation. I’ve been doing on-page SEO for years now and there is NO rhyme nor reason for what they did. I did the original keyword research and I know there was no reason for it. Additionally, I just don’t see the wisdom in a 100 character long Title tag when it’s industry best practice to keep it under 60 chars.
What really got my interest was the roughly 900 character meta description tag on every page with only minor variations on each page. My experience indicates that each page should be focused on one set of keywords (one strong keyword and perhaps a couple of supplementary keywords) and titles and descriptions should follow suit. When every page portends to be everything to everybody, it’s nothing to anybody. And that’s exactly what was created here – nothing to anybody.
The Google Panda update was focused on getting rid of spammy type content – which I believe is what the company SEO geniuses actually put in place, so I suspect a lot of the traffic drop may be directly attributable to that. I know I looked at it and thought “spam” immediately – I suspect Google thought the same thing and reacted accordingly.
Rankings fell and traffic dropped
And he paid out the nose for it. Again, I really just don’t know what to say. There are probably fans of this “Professional SEO Company” out there, but I really have to wonder how many 100s of thousands of dollars have been wasted only to have sites trashed and now discarded by Google due to the “Professional SEO Company”.
Do yourself a favor if you’re looking for an SEO company – talk to the actual people DOING the SEO. I have visions of 19 and 20 year olds sitting in cubes at the “Professional SEO Company” and copying/pasting stuff willy-nilly with no understanding of why they’re doing what they’re doing. Talk to those SEO people, then you can judge for yourself if they know what they are doing – or just picking your pocket.
If you want a company that gets results, call Lizardwebs. We don’t make flashy promises, nor refer to the thousands of web sites that we’ve handled, but we get results – and we will always let you talk to the people that are doing the work.