It isn’t easy finding the right SEO company; a 2019 study found that 65% of their panel had worked with more than one SEO agency, and only 30% would recommend their current provider to a friend or colleague! The importance of a results-oriented SEO marketing company to your website cannot be overstated, so you should always work with the best agency at any given time. While you need to work with one SEO agency long-term for optimal results, you cannot afford to tolerate mediocre services. Sometimes push comes to shove, and you have to switch your marketing company, but making a smooth transition takes careful planning and strategizing. So what do you need to do to ensure a successful change?
It is only reasonable to first look at what is at stake as you change your SEO marketing company. Changing to a different agency has the potential to cause some setbacks for your site. These include:
- Decrease in phrase alignment: Phrase positioning may drop due to altered SEO strategy, redirected focus, and even just the fact that the new agency will take some time to understand your site thoroughly.
- Decreased visits: Increasing visits is a major SEO goal, but changing your SEO marketing company may cause a drop in visits before the new strategies start to take effect.
- Decreased quality of traffic: Pertinent to a decline in visits, this problem, which mostly affects ecommerce sites, can occur as the new SEO company takes time to understand the site’s customers. It’s even more likely if the previous company fails to provide the necessary history, backed by statistics, to guide the new agency.
- Link losses: If the contractual agreement lacks a clause prohibiting the old agency from withdrawing their links upon contract termination, it’s possible they could be petty enough to do so, especially if they have been using links from their websites.
Obtain a Detailed Report From the New SEO Marketing Company
You already have the old SEO marketing company’s work, but to ensure a smooth transition, you will need to understand what is coming. You probably selected your new company based on reviews, past performances, and referrals. The first thing to do to ensure a smooth transition is to understand their strategies for your site. So, how does the agency plan to turn things around and fetch organic traffic? Their report should detail:
- SEO tools and actual strategies
- Evaluation and analysis
- Definitive and actionable SEO goals
- Execution plans
- Their timely practices
These details will give you ample information to develop benchmarks to analyze the effectiveness of the new company’s strategy. Beware of companies that promise too much too quickly; SEO results usually take between 6 and 12 months.
Deny the Old Company Analytics Access
The old SEO company has probably had access to your analytics for as long as they have served you. Now that you are switching marketing agencies, you need to deny them access to these site-specific details so they can’t use them against you. While reputable companies would not do this, unscrupulous companies could use your analytics to assist competitors they might work with in the future. You should never take that risk. In the same spirit, you should remove the old SEO marketing company’s access to your Google Search Console.
Leverage Your Ranking Reports
There are several types of ranking reports:
- Those based on keywords
- Based on URLs
- Based on search engines
One great way of helping your new SEO marketing company to get a smooth start is by providing them with a thorough understanding of your current SEO efforts and organic traffic rankings. And what better way to do that than with ranking reports, both baseline and most recent? Though not a must, it is helpful to share these with your new agency both to help them determine where your site currently stands and ensure a divergence from old, unsuccessful strategies.
You already know that link placements are critical to your website’s success. Links are one of the top two factors used by Google’s algorithm to determine ranking. There are many linking strategies, such as:
- creating infographics
- strategic guest blogging
- link exchange campaign, and
- checking competitor backlinks.
The fact that you are switching your marketing agency means you are likely dissatisfied with your old agency’s results and strategies. If link building was one of the things you found to be ineffective about your old agency, it’s best to record their strategies so the new company can conduct an audit and define what did not work. Their audit will go a long way towards re-inventing new strategies that will work better.
A Benevolent Handover Is Important
The worst scenario is ending the relationship with your old SEO marketing company in an ugly way. If they’re an ethical and professional company, they should respect your decision to switch marketing agencies. At the very least, the agency should provide an end-of-contract report to facilitate a smooth transition. This should feature:
- a summary of what they were hired to execute and the status of the same at the time of their exit,
- how the keywords they worked on affected organic search and traffic, and
- changes in organic traffic from when they took over to the time of termination.
This information will come in handy as the new company organizes its operation structure.
If you ever come to a point where you are not satisfied with your current SEO marketing company’s results, there is no point sticking around. Desiring to switch your marketing agency is the easier part; the real struggle lies with the actual transition. But if others have done it successfully, why not you? Armed with past analytics, you need to do everything within your ability to facilitate a smooth transition so that your SEO does not drop dramatically.