How To Transfer A Website From A Poorly Performing SEO Provider

How To Leave FindLaw

Like many forms of digital marketing, search engine optimization is both an art and science. To be successful requires up-to-date technical knowledge and dedication of both time and resources to implementing SEO on your site. It is no surprise that many firms depend on an agency or another expert to handle SEO on their behalf, but what happens when your SEO provider is not getting the results you expected? It is important to take precautions to protect your search engine rankings if you are considering making changes to your website or your SEO provider.

Improving Poor SEO Performance

Bad SEO can fail to attract traffic to your website or even make it go down. Contracting with a poor quality SEO provider can do serious damage to your site, but when you are not an SEO expert yourself, it can be difficult to separate the strong agencies from the weak ones. A big red flag for an SEO provider is if they are cagey about what tactics they are using for your site or making grandiose promises that sound too good to be true. You should also beware of agencies with too many clients; SEO is a lengthy and delicate process, and you will want an agency contact who can focus on your firm.

Remember that number of clients does not necessarily equal expertise. FindLaw is a very popular SEO provider servicing thousands of firms across the country, but a review of sites they have worked on reveals a number of easily avoided SEO errors.

For example, the practice of “keyword stuffing,” or packing potential search terms into the page without regard for how much sense the end product makes to the visitor, is a very old-fashioned SEO practice that can actually work against you in today’s search world. Several FindLaw sites show keyword stuffing in page titles, arguably the most important single on-page factor for Google search rank.

Unique content is also crucial for SEO; much of the copy FindLaw produced for client sites is highly generic, giving Google no reason to rank this page over any other attorney in the same field, and, worse still, there are places where they have reused exact phrasing across multiple client sites. If SEO is rightfully important to you and your firm, you cannot spend time on an SEO provider who is not performing for you.

SEO Migration Plan

Any time you change something major on your site, you are in danger of losing page authority. As advanced as search engines are today, it is important to remember they are still machines, and they “understand” a website from a very technical perspective.  It’s easy to remember the needs of human visitors when redesigning a website – if you are making changes to your site, use best practices to leave a trail of digital breadcrumbs to help search engines understand what you’ve changed. When you switch from a poorly performing SEO provider to a new provider, it is likely the new company will have a number of proposed changes to bring your website up to speed.

How To Leave A Poor SEO Provider

A good SEO provider should advise you to map all of your old URLs to new ones. Pages that are eliminated should be set up with a 301 redirect that leads to content that is as similar as possible to the original page. Anything that cannot be redirected needs a 404 error page that lets both human visitors and search engines know that this URL is no longer valid.

Although changing SEO providers can be frightening, you aren’t doing your site or your firm any favors by sticking with a provider who isn’t performing well for you. As mentioned, SEO is a long game. You won’t see instant results, so the longer you wait to get an effective SEO strategy in place just exponentially increases the time it might take before you see real success. When you are considering new SEO providers, take the time to talk through your goals and make sure you understand the tactics that they plan to take. Part of an agency’s job is being able to help you recognize success and know how you got there.

Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

In today’s competitive search world, it is critical to have a well-implemented SEO strategy that integrates with your overall marketing strategy, your site design, and even your public relations. While there is potential for loss of authority and traffic when making major site changes or switching SEO providers, in the long run, your SEO provider needs to be a strong partner in your marketing efforts. You’ll see real, trackable results from a high-performing SEO provider.