I wanted to follow-up on my most recent post. The responses to Some SEO Companies Aren’t Protecting Their Own brought so much good communication and received enough interaction to be revisited once more.
A comment made to this post was key:
Christian, Good topic. On the whole this was a well thought out and highly relevant piece. I have some more specific comments but they are sort of off topic and ask that you email me for a more thorough reply. It is a pressing issue you present. One of my first ever jobs was making bagels in a small family owned bakery at the end of a strip mall. The business went under because the new owner of the strip mall refused to honor the no competition clause from the previous landlord and allowed a Dunkin Donuts to open at the other end of the strip mall. What you present is the digital version of the same greedy and irresponsible behavior.”
We’ve met with several large SEO Groups in the Chicago and Naperville area recently and have been given feedback that would make some cringe. They were highly upset that we were letting people in on the dirty secret of the SEO market. From this posting, many thought that we had broken some unwritten code that all SEO groups should never tell the customers the truth about what we do. I’d like to make it very clear that there is no secret handshake or code that we have with other groups and that all of our loyalties are entrusted with our customers, not our fellow marketers.
If your SEO and SEM group will not sign a “No Compete”, you may wish to move on to those who will. While this is not needed in all cases, for a local marketing campaign, it should be considered a key to success. Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization are of no use if your Marketer is working for both you and your competition. In Naperville, this has been happening far to often and is taking away from the ability of competing sites to actually compete.
The most recent meeting we had was with a gentleman who claimed that his system would democratically rotate his clients through the top pages and spread the wealth of business throughout all of them. Many businesses who employ him have no idea that this is even occurring. The customer only knows that they are paying to be listed on the top pages of the search engines. Why pay for competitive marketing when there’s no competition? Anyone who thinks that SEO and SEM is not competitive marketing is gravely mistaken; were it not, it wouldn’t be worth as much in cost and value as it has been elevated to.
Again, I’ve ranted and rambled throughout this entire post, but the message and points made are key to ensuring quality customer support. If your SEO or SEM group is not offering a “No Compete Contract” you may being throwing your money and potential business into a burn pit. Consider how much time and money you will likely invest into a quality SEO and SEM campaign; do you really want it to be given to a group that will be supporting your competitors with the same if not more interest than your own.
Please forgive the rant appeal of these two post, but for me it is still a sore issue that has a bitter consequence.