Thanks to the Internet, online rankings have become big business. Getting your company listed on the first page of a Google search will increase traffic to your website, improve visibility for your brand, and can substantially reduce your advertising costs.

For some time now, SEO companies have been popping up all over the place to manipulate Google’s algorithm. The big problem many businesses have had over the past two and a half years is keeping up with Google’s significant changes. The old school of junk SEO giving you the desired results is over.

Google continues to roll out new algorithms.  98{e108bb21be762fc6fa6f79a68ef8277ec5dd508afc1fd385a5d42c82a88a4204} of the SEO companies don’t adjust to those changes. The same techniques that made your rankings soar a year ago will actually hurt you now.

If your SEO Company isn’t getting the results you need, there is a reason why. The following are 5 reasons you should fire your SEO Company ASAP.

1. They are Severely Behind The Times

Many SEO companies are still using old and outdated techniques like spammy title tags and meta-descriptions. Google’s new algorithms are designed to ferret out spam and penalize those who produce it. Anything that even hints at spam will raise a red flag and be punished accordingly.

2. No Accountability

The account manager you speak with on the phone is most likely a middle man who doesn’t know anything about SEO. The people responsible for selling you the product are not generally the people doing the actual SEO, and they are notorious for over promising and under delivering.

The person doing the real SEO could give you a more realistic idea of what to expect with your rankings and when to expect it – if you could only talk to him or her – which you can’t.

3. Competing Twice

Imagine you found out that the SEO Company you just hired is also doing the SEO for your biggest competitor. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? Yes, it is a conflict of interest. But many, many SEO companies do just that. They perform SEO services for competing companies and just hope that neither finds out.

How can you expect to compete with a competitor who is getting exactly the same SEO services as you are?

4. Deceptive Billing Practices

SEO companies are making their money through long term, month to month agreements with business who are terrified that their rankings will plummet if they don’t have an SEO company “monitoring” them constantly.

What they don’t tell you is this: once the site has been optimized, Google really does most of the work. So they pull in huge numbers of clients, work on their sites for a month cleaning them up and getting them kosher with google, and then they let google take over for the following months.

But are you only charged for that one month they worked on your site? Not likely. A real SEO expert will set up your site so that your rankings will remain fairly consistent regardless of whether they are monitoring it or not.

5. One Size Fits All Business Plans

Most SEO companies follow a certain template. Pull in as many customers as possible and provide the same exact service to everyone without any customization. Because you will only be able to talk to salesman, it is impossible to know what the company is really doing for you.

In fact, many people have hired an SEO company only to discover later – thousands of dollars later – that the company wasn’t doing any SEO for them at all, but were still collecting their money every month.

If you have fallen victim to any of these traps, don’t despair. There are, in fact, good, qualified inbound marketing experts out there who can help you with your rankings.

You just have to be aware of what to look for and what to avoid when hiring an SEO company. And if the one you are considering sounds anything like those described above, run away like your life depends on it. Because the life of your business does.

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