Don’t Hire Marketing Agencies That Make These SEO Mistakes
Digital marketing has become a hugely popular industry. To be fair, most businesses need a strong online presence, beautiful search engine friendly websites, and substantial social media following to gain new clients and make a profit. Unfortunately, this resulted in marketing agencies sprouting like weeds and so-called gurus shamelessly promoting themselves on Facebook and other social media. The main problem is that these people know how to make a really good impression by posting nice graphics, answering your questions and offering a free consultation over the phone. As a result, a lot of small business owners are tempted to hire a marketer without doing any background checks and research.
Don’t get me wrong, you can find brilliant marketing specialists on Facebook, especially if you’re looking for someone to handle your social media marketing. But if you need the whole package, including your website’s audit and SEO, so that you can capitalize on organic search traffic and get to the first page on Google, you really should think twice before you hire a company. And here’s why – a lot of marketing agencies, including the top ones in the UK, make these SEO mistakes on their own websites. So you can’t really expect them not to do the same on yours.
Top 5 SEO Mistakes Made by Marketing Agencies
In June 2019, Reboot Online Marketing did a study where they audited UK’s popular marketing agencies’ websites for SEO. They tested the websites for a
- Page speed
- Page titles and
- Informative, quality content
- Duplicate content
- Keyword optimization
- Undesirable pages indexed by Google (the pages you need on your site but don’t want to appear in the search results)
- Number of backlinks and their quality
Their findings were quite shocking:
- As much as 70% of tested websites had poor website speed, according to Google’s PageSpeed Insights with the average score as low as 41/100.
- 63% of tested marketing agencies’ websites didn’t have internal linking
- 57% of websites had undesirable pages in Google’s index
- 52% of agencies had pages with thin, low-quality content
- 47% of websites had pages that weren’t optimized for keywords
Why These Issues Shouldn’t Be Neglected
OK, you may think that these mistakes aren’t a big deal. After all, marketers aren’t supposed to be tech pros – they just need to know how to promote stuff, right? Wrong! Let me explain how the above-mentioned common mistakes affect SEO and your online presence.
Google uses a 1-100 scale to assess website speed where 90-100 is good, 50-89 is average, and 0-49 is slow. Because one of Google’s main goals is to serve people the results that provide the best user experience, it prioritizes websites that load as quickly as possible. So, website speed directly affects your SERP position and shouldn’t be neglected.
WordsMasters’ homepage scored 77, which is a lot better than the industry average.
Neglecting internal linking was another common problem. Internal linking is important because it’s an excellent way of letting Google know you have a more relevant page for a particular term on your website. Linking to relevant pages on your website also helps to tackle potential internal competition problems – you simply let Google know which page is more important for a certain term by linking to that page. In addition to that, internal links help to keep visitors on your site and improve engagement – another important factor.
Wrong Pages in Google’s Index
If you have a WordPress website or a blog, you may have noticed that when you upload an image, it gets its own URL and a page. But do you want Google to index ALL the images on your website as separate pages and show them in the search results? Probably not. That’s just one example of undesirable pages in Google index and, unfortunately, a lot of marketing agencies’ websites Reboot audited had that kind of indexed pages. That doesn’t make them look more professional, does it?
Thin Content not Optimized for Keywords
In many ways, these two problems are more alarming that the rest. A marketer can get away with poor hosting and website speed. Also, if the person you’re considering to hire does social media marketing as their main business, you can forgive them for not knowing how to clear undesirable pages from Google’s index. But if you see someone offering marketing services, especially content marketing, and they have thin, non-optimized content on their website, consider hiring someone else. Poor content on their own website is a sign that:
a) either they’re too lazy to work on their own website and showcase their work
b) or they don’t know how to do proper keyword research and write engaging, high-quality, optimized content.
Now, this wasn’t one of the top mistakes but I thought I’d mention it anyway. Quite a few marketing agencies had duplicate content on their websites. I’m not talking about them reusing their own content of multiple pages (although that still triggers Google’s defence mechanisms). I’m talking about shameless plagiarism where they copied text from other websites. That’s a huge no-no, so if you notice someone doing that, run. These people can ruin your online marketing efforts instead of promoting you.
The Bottom Line
With the abundance of people offering digital marketing and content writing services, it’s not easy to find someone who’ll do the job properly and increase your ranking on Google. When you’re hiring someone, check out their website first and make sure there are none of the above-mentioned problems.
Need great content and a technical SEO audit for your website or blog? Send us a message and let’s get started!