5 reasons to ditch your SEO agency – How to learn and implement the art of SEO yourself

Do your own SEO with SEMRUSH

Some of the external links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission directly from the vendor, but there will be no additional charge to you. Thank you for your support!

Every marketer knows a thing or two about SEO – all obtained through monthly meetings with their SEO agency

This blog will reveal the truth about choosing to relegate your organic and SEO channel out to SEO agencies and why this is a mistake. Here are 5 reasons to show you that running SEO through agencies is an expensive mistake and that SEO in marketing, is a channel that is best managed by your team, in-house.

1. SEO agencies choose to show what they want to show you and leave out the important stuff

Agencies will only show you reports or stats they want to show you. Just like GA, and Advertising reports, there is so much that can be covered in a meeting. But also so much that can be conveniently left out of your sight.

Search Engine Optimization is an area in online businesses where many marketers are intimidated by. It is a field in marketing that is extremely critical however, marketers would rather outsource this field to the many so called ‘experts’ rather than take it upon themselves to learn up and work on, in a systematic manner. Granted, it is an area that has a learning curve. It is also a field in marketing that takes time for results to materialise. 

The great thing is that SEO can also be learnt during the same amount of time it takes to see the results on the SERPs. 

Till around 10 years ago, results for website SEO efforts used to materialise between 6 months to one year. However, this has vastly changed due to the amount of content that is produced by internet marketers within the search engines and aggressive competition. Many SEO experts think SEO these days could easily take a year or a year and a half. But this would largely depend on the efforts taken to produce the right content and experience for the user on a website. 

Although SEO in marketing can be a long and arduous process, it is definitely possible to have a successful organic channel if you are strategic and diligent about how you plan and go about it. 

Commitment to SEO in marketing is the number one key that is missing in most online businesses.SEO in marketing is sadly an after thought compared to other channels of online marketing.

I have worked with many eCommerce companies over the last 6 years. If there is one area where marketing teams are adamant about not wanting to put in any effort, it would be SEO in marketing. After all, the world we live in has conditioned us to expect instant results. So everyone in business is after quick results all the time. Besides, resources are expensive. In the usual business world it doesn’t make business sense to allocate a paid resource to a channel that does not show result for a long period of time. So the usual thought is to allocate resources to quick producing channels and not waste resources on a channel like SEO that takes a year or year and a half.  If the team cannot produce results fast with marketing channels, their head is on the chopping board. So it’s hardly a surprise why as soon as any budget is pulled out of paid channels, traffic drastically reduces from a website because their efforts are not backed by the support of good and reliable organic traffic.

2. Trusting external agencies with SEO more than your own marketing team is a rookie mistake

An expensive mistake that a lot of marketing teams make – trust agencies more than their teams to handle SEO

A lot of CMO’s would rather let their marketing teams actively manage quick return channels and passively manage or outsource (more like abdicate) a slow return channel like SEO to agencies with the logic –  ‘if it is in the hands of experts like an SEO agency, we will see quick results’. This logic couldn’t be further from the truth. 

SEO tools

Most leaders also assume that training their teams with SEO skills will mean weeks or months of off-the-job time.On the contrary, SEO can be learnt online and is best learnt through practice and application within their own website platforms.

The truth is when in-house marketing teams take up the same efforts as external SEO agencies, they will see similar results in the same amount of time. They also can do this by managing other marketing channels simultaneously.

The best way is to give your team the time and space to learn this art. Training your team with this important skill will be a great asset for your company. This way, in the long run, if budgets ever run dry, they can always turn to the SEO channel to deliver results.

3. Throwing money at SEO through agencies is like throwing money down the drain

site auditing tools

SEO, unlike many other channels, is more an art than a science. 

SEO in marketing, is not an area where the marketing team can throw money at and expect to see instant results like paid advertising or influencer advertising does. Patience is important and good things take time. In areas of marketing like SEO, it is important to:

  • let go of the fast results mentality 
  • wear a strategic cap instead 
  • allocate the best resource in-house to SEO 
  • expect results but expect it in the long term
  • trust your team to deliver

4. Google reviews are rigged – never choose digital agencies through google reviews

The sad truth is that many SEO agencies, even the highly rated ones are just what they are – overrated. In fact, they are excellent at one thing – reputation management. They are brilliant with getting great reviews about their own brand on search engines. They also have ways to get bad reviews about them deleted by Google and through threats of lawsuits to people who leave bad reviews. 

The whole point of leaving reviews is for people to have a good understanding of a company or a place of interest. However, threats of lawsuits make genuine reviewers hesitant in pursuing rogue agencies.

Here are a few examples of agencies threatening reviewers for leaving 1 star reviews – just unfortunate instances of rogue actors trying to keep reviews in favor of them:

Source: Google reviews
Source: Google reviews

This act alone, will ensure even rogue agencies get regular clients paying monthly retainer rates all through the year. 

Remember: Finding a good and reliable SEO agency is like finding a needle in a haystack.

The hardest part is to find a good SEO agency. Don’t get me wrong, there are good agencies out there. But chances of coming across them are few and far between.

5. SEO agencies have their client’s best interest? Not really.

They look out for themselves and many view clients as their cash cows.

Most agencies know that their clients have no clue about SEO which is precisely the reason why they seek an agency in the first place. It takes time to produce SEO results. And many agencies use this attribute of SEO alone to keep charging clients monthly retainer rates and stretch it out to two to three years. 

There are easy low hanging fruits in the SEO exercise that can be identified, fixed and implemented. This is easily possible by the in-house team. Agencies identify low hanging fruits and stretch out fixing these for a long period of time. Which means – easy and steady income for agencies for a good 2-3 years. So why would any agency speed up SEO results for a client?

Because SEO is an art, it is also a field ripe for deception.

When clients realise that they are being fleeced, they give up the confrontation and change SEO agencies or forgo the SEO channel altogether. 

There is another way. This is not a way many companies prefer. But it is the most cost-effective and the best way.

  • Manage SEO actively in-house
  • Easy to learn but harder to implement

SEO is a skill that can be learnt. Thankfully a lot of SEO can be freely learnt online through free resources. But there are also amazing resources from SEO gurus that are available to buy.

It is important to remember that learning SEO is much more easier than implementing it. The key is adamantly making SEO success a big goal for the year. If you are tenacious with it, SEO success can be achieved.

The easiest way to learn SEO

You can start with one reliable tool – Semrush

One of the best ways to learn SEO is through the biggest names in SEO in marketing – through Semrush. Semrush has an academy platform within the website that provides thorough resources to learn the art of SEO. Whether it is for SEO in marketing or for blog writing, it provides tools to learn different areas of SEO. What’s great about the Semrush platform is that it also provides Digital Marketing courses and exams, giving you the opportunity to improve and master the skill of SEO in marketing.

Also, remember, in marketing it is easy to get frustrated when you don’t see instant results. But if you keep pursuing results in SEO it will happen. Similarly, if you give up you won’t see results. 

Remember: Be tenacious in your SEO efforts.

A screenshot of Semrush’s Academy page – semrush.com

Learn the art of seo and impress your boss – the best way

Semrush offers free trials to try out their platform. So whether you are a digital marketer in the making or you are a seasoned marketer who is disappointed in agencies you’ve hired and want to take control of this field, signing up for a free trial is a great way to start on your exciting SEO learning journey. Without a doubt Semrush is the best guys to entrust your SEO channel with and you are in control of it.

Imagine how impressive it would be to your boss,  when they see you smashing through your SEO goals!

All through learning through the Semrush trial period and the Semrush’s academy? Once you learn and plug in your company’s domain into Semrush, you will be able to see all the reports you will ever need to analyse the state of your company’s traffic, domain ranking and to create a plan for the way forward. 

And even if you end up keeping your SEO agency, learning up SEO and keeping a Semrush subscription internally will help you stay ahead of your SEO agency so you can keep them accountable.

All you need is to start on your SEO journey. Click here to Sign up for a free trial.