Slick agency syndrome is a lot like Stockholm syndrome, wherein a business is held hostage by a slick website design & development company and eventually succumbs to and starts believing all the B.S. Eventually, the client breaks the spell, but not before the slick website design & development firm has wasted a lot of money and much damage has been done.
A prospective client called us after spending a year in “slick digital agency” hell. “We fired our website design & development company,” the client said. “You were right. They came in with a really slick presentation and a lot of promises,” he said. “They built us a website that looked good. But, after all that work they didn’t show any results in search or leads for our company. It took awhile before we realized they really didn’t know what they were doing,” he said, sadly.
We had visited this client more than a year ago and gave them a very simple, easy to understand proposal for creating a new search optimized website along with a plan for the year to raise their ranks on the search pages. They liked our pitch but in the end they were seduced by the flash and sizzle of the slick website design and development firm.
Frankly, raising your websites’ visibility on search engine results page is a numbers game not a flashy one. How do you know the difference between the slick website design and development hucksters and one like…well…ours?
Ignore the promise of a pretty website, pay attention to the deliverables. Ask to see SEO reports from their other clients. For that matter, ask to see the SEO reports from their efforts to raise their own ranks on Google. If a website design and development company can’t show you great results from 3-4 clients, or a well thought out plan with tangible results for their own company, how are they going to do a good job at search for you.
When a slick agency says, “Yeah we do SEO” ask them for a written document about what exactly it is they will do. How will they find your keywords and keyword phrases? Will they guess? Will they do what you could do yourself on Google? Ask them what upfront work they will do to search optimize your website. Then ask them precisely what they will do for you on an ongoing basis. Will they write blogs and off page SEO copy to place on hundreds of related directories and sites? If they don’t do that, they don’t know SEO.