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Communication — The Most Underrated SEO Agency Skill

August 24, 2016

When clients vet SEO agencies, it seems as if they’re begging to be dazzled. If an agency demonstrates (or appears to demonstrate) technical wizardry, it becomes a leading contender. It’s almost as if the client is thinking, the less I understand what it’s telling me, the better it must be at SEO.

Basing an engagement decision on technical capabilities alone is dangerous, and sets the stage for a major SEO fail.

What Is Skill?

First and most obviously, an agency that appears to have technical expertise may actually have it … or it may be pulling the wool over the client’s eyes. While there are many, many reputable SEO firms that know their stuff inside and out, it’s a fact of life that in the SEO world, like every other world, there are bad players more interested in collecting fees than producing results. It’s quite difficult for clients to discern the level of an SEO’s technical ability.

Is Skill Alone Enough?

The second problem with a technical selection focus is this: Even if an SEO is technically proficient, does the SEO have the time and focus to produce results for you? All the skill in the world won’t get you terrific organic visibility if the agency is applying those skills to other, more valuable, clients.

Why Communication Matters

The final problem: An SEO that’s ready, willing and able to produce will still fail if it communicates poorly.

  • If your agency doesn’t communicate regularly, you’ll always be wondering what work it is actually doing to earn its fees.

  • If your agency doesn’t communicate what it is doing in a comprehensible way, you’ll become confused, and ultimately, greatly annoyed.

SEO campaigns are complex and collaborative — much more so than they used to be. Without ongoing discussion and review, campaigns are doomed. For instance:

  • SEOs need client inputs for on-site and off-site content, to make it meaningful and relevant.

  • SEOs need client feedback on content they produce to continually improve it.

  • SEOs need to understand large and small changes in client business objectives, target products, target audiences, etc., in order to make on-site and off-site content both relevant and able to convert.

  • Clients need transparency — the ability to see what specific tasks the SEO has undertaken, and the results, in terms of organic traffic and other KPIs, that form the basis of a campaign’s ROI evaluation.

An annual review meeting is not nearly enough to accomplish any of the items noted above. Without a campaign manager skilled in communication, key pieces of information will be overlooked, crippling the campaign. Not only that, an agency with poor communication skills makes meetings, phone conversations and email exchanges things the client dreads rather than looks forward to.

A relationship with those kinds of dynamics is destined to fail. Stay on a winning SEO track by making sure your agency communicates to the highest possible standard.

Want to discuss your SEO challenges? Let’s communicate! We’re eager to learn more about your needs.

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