There are lots of SEO agencies around now.
When I first heard of them, I was baffled. Optimizing a site for search is something I consider an everyday part of my job. The thought of paying an external agency a small fortune to review my work seems like a waste of money.
Having now worked with a couple of these agencies, my view hasn’t changed. However, I have come to understand a little what they might be useful for.
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People often ask me why I stay in this job.
One of the great things about where I work is because there is only a very small percentage of people here who are simply out to make the company money. What we are actually all here to do is to make better websites. Being paid is mostly an unfortunate necessity for the work to be done.
This appears to be true for nearly all agencies we work with, even our fiercest competitors, and I greatly respect this. Where we compete for work, there is a joy to the challenge of producing new ideas, of convincing the client that our idea will work better, will sell more products.
Agencies live and die by the quality of their output. If we produce good sites, then we will be busy, and with the work comes money, and good times are had. Bland mediocre sites pay good money, but we would lose business, and thus lose money.
We take pride in our work because we have to.
I have found that there are partners and companies who do not live by these rules. The large corporates with huge outsourcing teams speak to our clients of process and contracts and efficiency. However, there is no love, no innovation. They seek to formalize and concrete the sites produced, while we seek to break boundaries, to invent, to build customer relationships, to adapt.
In these cost-cutting times, I suspect we will see more of these corporate giants. I think that’s sad to see.
My advice to any of my clients would be to take a fresh look at all of your partners’ activities. Who is trying to restrict you? Who is pulling rank? Who is pushing “efficiencies”?
And who is actually trying to sell more of your products?