Survey reveals only 30% of SMEs would recommend their current SEO provider

"I was surprised to see that many customers are blaming themselves for the SEO agency relationship," said Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, referring to his survey on 1 200 business owners, in which 30% recommend their current SEO agency and 30% left a negative opinion.

The report also highlighted a close relationship between budget and satisfaction, with clients spending more than $ 500 a month on referral services with a 53.3% higher probability. describe themselves as "extremely satisfied" compared to those who spent less. The budget was just one of many factors that contributed to the overall perception of SEO services. The survey also surveyed business owners on their degree of comfort with the subject, their expectations, their preferences and their top priorities when selecting an agency.

Education and customer satisfaction. "In fact, 50% of the members of our panel told us that they needed more training to take full advantage of the SEO offer, and 28% stated that" we have more than 50% of our members. they did not have the staff to implement the referral provider's recommendation, Dean told Search Engine Land.

The survey also revealed that 44% of SMEs had left their SEO provider because they were not satisfied with the results of the company and 34% said that C & D Was due to issues of responsiveness and customer service. Subgroups of business owners who are satisfied with their SEO service are twice as likely to describe themselves as "extremely web-savvy", while unused customers (those who have worked with multiple SEO services) are significantly more likely

"This result shows that customer training can make the difference between losing a customer after a few months … and having a loyal customer for years. And supporting customers with resources (or just being a "squeaky wheel") can help agencies change the title tag of their customers or correct their Google My Business listing, "said Dean.

Expectations and preferences of customers. The top three priorities for business owners using SEO services were increased site traffic (65% of respondents), access to new customers (62%) and brand awareness of the brand (61%).

On the other hand, the presence on social networks seemed to be a lower priority, with only 26% of respondents calling it extremely important. Once again, Dean cited lack of education as a possible factor, explaining that agencies can see the benefits of social media marketing, but that SMEs may not know it.

"Marketing professionals understand that social media can help increase traffic, awareness, and sometimes even sales. But it's a challenge for a pizzeria owner or dentist to see how publishing on Instagram will help attract more customers. It takes someone with social media marketing experience to connect the points. "

Choose an agency. 74% of SMEs said that reputation was the highest priority, calling it "very" or "extremely" important. Costs (70%) and Google rankings (59%) were also taken into account when selecting an SEO provider.

Physical location is also a determining factor in the choice or approval of the client by an agency: 78% of US-based SMEs consider that the location of their supplier is "very" or "extremely" important. Interestingly, just over half of the respondents really knew where their agency was.

Consistent with the social media findings noted above, the presence of an organization on social media was the lowest (38%) on the list of considerations.

Why we should care. The survey paints a dark picture of customer satisfaction. Even if they want it, it does not absolve the SEOs. Customers who understand what we do, why we do it and why they pay are more satisfied with our services. For customers who need it, SEOs should consider education as part of their normal tasks.

The relatively low value given to creating a presence on social media may not apply to all brands, but the client's priorities must be listened to – not presumed. As Dean stated in his findings, "a newly hired SEO provider who states," Our first step will be to get more likes on your Facebook page "does not speak the language of their customers. However, the launch of the customer-supplier relationship with: "I can not wait to help you get more targeted traffic and customers" will probably give a more satisfied customer. "

The results also suggest that social media An agency presence is a much less important factor than geographical location. Rather than spending resources on social campaigns, buying local ads or making your immediate community aware of your services can be a more profitable investment.

About the Author

George Nguyen is Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism and narration.

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