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March 17, 2011

6 Important Considerations When Switching SEO Agencies

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So you’re not happy with your SEO firm and have decided to search for another to take on your project. You’ve done your homework, researched and picked a few SEO service providers, interviewed them, reviewed their proposals and finally, selected one. Now you’re ready to cancel your current service agreement and transition the site to the new (and hopefully better) SEO company.

But transition from one SEO firm to another is not just about sending in a termination notice and ending payment; there are a few other important steps that you, as a site owner, should take into account when moving your site from one SEO company to another.

The following six items are frequently overlooked by site owners from companies of all sizes:

1. Analytics Access

You remember a long time ago, when you first hired your SEO firm and they asked you to provide them access to your site’s Google Analytics?

Now that you are taking your site elsewhere, make sure to log in to your analytics account and remove the SEO company’s access. I know that some of you may feel that removing analytics access is not necessary because the SEO company can’t do anything with that data.

Well, that’s not true. The least that they could do is to compare your analytics data with others. Imagine if they had another client that is competing for the same keywords that you are targeting.

You don’t want your old SEO company to use your analytics data in order to get insight for your industry as it relates to SEO, and to help your competition win the battle.

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By the way, I need to emphasize that ethical SEO firms wouldn’t abuse this privilege and shouldn’t take advantage of that data. But, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t you agree?

2. Google Webmaster Tools Access

The same goes for Google Webmaster Tools. Your SEO company might have asked for access to your Google Webmaster Tools account. They don’t need that information once the site is taken elsewhere. So, make sure to login to your Google Webmaster Tools and remove their access.

3. FTP/CMS Access

If you granted FTP or CMS access to your SEO company to facilitate the implementation of SEO, make sure to block access once you’ve terminated the service. Your former SEO firm does not need access to your server, Web pages and files.

4. Ranking Reports

Make sure that you have a copy of your baseline ranking report as well as your most recent ranking report. It doesn’t hurt to have them handy, in case you need to evaluate the performance of your SEO campaign as it relates to organic rankings or even to assess your former SEO company’s performance. You may even want to share the reports with your new SEO company so they have a better understanding of your project landscape and ranking trends.

5. Targeted Keywords List

This is not as crucial as the previous items, but it can be helpful to ask your former SEO company to provide you with a complete list of keywords that they targeted for your organic SEO campaign, whether it was on-page or off-page.

6. Link Development Strategy

Make sure you are aware of the link development techniques and venues that your SEO company practiced to acquire links for your website. Whether it was done through directory submission, article submission or if they launched a link-exchange campaign or went against Google guidelines and purchased links, you need to know what your link portfolio looks like before terminating your contract.

I highly recommend obtaining a link development report as it relates to the former SEO company’s link activities for your site. Your new SEO company needs to know what type of link-building strategy has been utilized for your site. This is advantageous, in case your new SEO company needs to audit your links.

 

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5 responses to “6 Important Considerations When Switching SEO Agencies”

  1. Alex Gonzalez writes:

    Great Advice!

  2. Adam Humphreys writes:

    I’ve seen a lot of silly things from wannabe SEO companies lately doing stuff like only changing meta-keywords and billing thousands monthly for what they think is SEO.

    Inside of Google Analytics there’s actually a comparison tool by Industry that you can compare your sites performance to others. You have to be careful though because if you give someone admin access to one account the comparison tool allows them to see all accounts from that email even though you’ve only given access to the one account. I’m not sure if they’ve patched that yet but I was fortunate enough to detect the security flaw in analytics before ever adding any clients on. As a rule most SEO’s have independent emails for each client which is kind of a pain. However, this minimizes the potential security issues that Google has once in a while.

  3. Kevin Burke writes:

    It is amazing what is left “exposed” when changing firms.

  4. Ahmad writes:

    Several of my clients had gotten scammed from so called SEO firms who charged them thousands each month – and no work! Client saw no results in rankings. You definitely need to ask the right questions and see proof from the new SEO firm you pick.

  5. CMS Buffet writes:

    Number 7:
    If your SEO firm bought some domains, to use during the SEO campaign, make sure all of those domains are transferred over.



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