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For SEO Companies, Two’s a Crowd

At Prospect Genius, we’ve seen countless businesses destroy their Internet presence by working with more than one SEO company at the same time. To hardworking small business owners, doubling their efforts just makes sense, especially with the logical assumption that extra manpower and resources will generate even better results. Unfortunately, online advertising is unlike most other business ventures. With more than one SEO company on the job, you could actually be harming your prospects, not helping. Here’s why.

Two Heads Aren’t Better Than One

Think about it this way: You wouldn’t hire two real estate agents to sell your house. You wouldn’t hire two appliance repairmen to fix your broken refrigerator. You wouldn’t hire two moving companies to move boxes and furniture out of your house. The real estate agents would have different marketing strategies in mind, the repairmen would have two different techniques for performing the same job, and the moving companies would literally get in each other’s way. Plus, in each of these scenarios, you would be paying twice as much for a job that could easily be done by just one company. The same logic applies to hiring two separate SEO companies to advertise your business. When you have more than one SEO company working on your online advertising campaign, conflicts are inevitable. Why? Because every company has a unique approach to SEO and a rigidly structured process that must be followed in order to support that approach as effectively as possible. An SEO specialist must have unrestricted access to all of your business listings in local directories, social media sites, and local search engines. Having more than one company editing your accounts could lead to inaccurate information, conflicting messaging, and even duplicate content. This is true even if one company does SEO and the other handles social media because, with Google’s latest algorithms, social content is now merging into SEO territory.

A Lot of Risk for No Reward

Conflicting activity is particularly detrimental for listings on Google+ and Google+ Local. As it attempts to prevent spam, fraud, and other black-hat tactics, Google is very watchful of its users’ activity. If your business listing is being edited from multiple IP addresses and is revised too frequently, it will be flagged or, worse, suspended. A penalized or suspended listing is extremely difficult to recover from, and the recovery process usually takes about six to nine months. During that time, your web presence will be virtually nonexistent, and these days, you simply can’t afford for that to happen. So don’t take your chances—simply stick with one SEO company at a time.

You Have to Commit

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to settling on just one SEO team is the fact that online advertising is not yet a matured market. There’s no standardized SEO method, which means you can’t be certain that you’re going to get an effective Internet marketing campaign. Compare this to a matured market, like appliances. When you go to the store to buy a vacuum cleaner, for example, you can be reasonably confident that the item you end up purchasing will work on a very basic level. But because the online advertising market is still in its infancy, you can’t assume that you’re going to receive quality SEO services from any given company. Instead, you have to hire a company and wait and see if you eventually get your desired results. This leads many small business owners to experiment with multiple SEO companies. If the first campaign isn’t working, why not add a second one? The “all hands on deck” approach is certainly understandable for business owners and service providers who are accustomed to completing large-scale jobs on a tight deadline—but in the world of Internet marketing, the fewer hands, the better. You have to decide which marketer will provide you with the best results and stay exclusively with them. However, since it’s not a matured market, you can’t just go with the lowest price and expect sufficient results. You actually have to do your research by talking to multiple companies about their services and seeing which one fits your marketing goals best. Honesty and a proven track record should be at the top of your list of traits to look for.

Honesty Is the Best Policy

While adding a second SEO company is a bad idea, it’s not the worst thing you could do. The worst thing you could do is to add a second company to your campaign without disclosing it to either party. We’ve seen this happen numerous times, and it always ends poorly for everyone involved, particularly the business owner. When SEO companies aren’t aware that another team is on the job, they’ll spend extra time and effort combating each other’s work without even knowing it. As we previously explained, each Internet marketer has their own unique plan, and they won’t be able to execute it if another marketer’s plan is inadvertently sabotaging it. That means your waiting period for leads and rankings will last even longer. Plus, if you hide one company from the other company, then they’ll both make mistakes with Google that could have otherwise been avoided. These missteps on Google’s territory will inevitably lead to serious depreciation of your web presence, which will take the better part of a year for you to restore. Ultimately, with two SEO companies on your payroll, you’re spending twice as much for a greater headache. So, if you’ve been working with a different Internet marketer for a while and you’re satisfied with their results, then please—please—don’t hire us, too. At the very least, don’t lie to us. On this point, we speak for all honest SEO teams.