Are exchanged or reciprocal links okay with Google?
Etmagnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, et consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget consyect etur dolor.

Contact Info


121 King St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Folow us on social

6 Reasons Why Your SEO Agency Loses Clients And What To Do About It

6 Reasons Why Your SEO Agency Loses Clients And What To Do About It

Acquiring new customers is no outing. SEO agencies invest a lot of time and resources to create new accounts.

Current customers are an agency’s biggest asset. And while some are successful in retaining the majority of their customers, many others are struggling to keep good customers on board.

Often cited research from Bain & Company shows that improving customer retention by only 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

Keeping your current customers happy is crucial to your profitability and growth.

If it’s on your agenda to keep retention, consider these six common reasons why SEO agencies lose customers, and learn what to do about each one below.

1. Wrong expectations

One of the main reasons why SEO agencies lose customers is a lack of realistic expectations right from the start.

Mark Williams-Cook, Director at Candor & Founder of, explains:

“After working at several agencies, I think the reason for most client losses is to set expectations in the beginning. This happens for a variety of reasons, ranging from sales teams making promises of performance to not challenging unreasonable goals that the client sets.

These honest conversations mean you win or continue with slightly fewer lanes, but that is in my opinion the best long-term strategy. ”


Continue reading below

Ask yourself, are you exaggerating and underdelivering? If it is not a perfect match, it should be the other way around.

Many times, customers also come in your door without knowing how SEO works and have very high expectations.

Do not say yes if you know you can not deliver.

2. Lack of teaching in the client

I have often come across clients who, despite having worked with one or two SEO agencies in the past for some time, have absolutely no idea how SEO works.

People appreciate being informed and they will trust you more too. Building this level of trust with your customers is crucial to the health of your long-term relationship.

I sent an email to one of my clients the other day explaining to them that Google was releasing a new update and we were going to do a review of their site. Their response was:

Appreciated for being informed. Gratitude for keeping them up to date with industry trends and changes. Understanding of the work to be done and that it could lead to change.


Continue reading below

Educating your customers is not a one-and-done. This means communicating with them regularly in a way that reflects your expertise and adds value to them.

It places you as their expert on any questions or concerns they have, and this is exactly where you want them to turn to (not to random “SEO gurus” they may encounter online).

Lack of value for money

Customers want to see the value of their SEO investment as soon as possible. It is an eternal challenge for SEO professionals because good SEO can take time.

Daniel Foley Carter, CEO of Assertive, says:

Many SEO agencies lose customers primarily due to lack of ‘value for money’. Many customers will try to benchmark SEO ROI in a similar way to PPC despite the fact that SEO is generally a channel that takes longer to yield results. ”

One way to approach this, depending on the customer’s business goals, is to agree on long-term goals. For example, if your client is a publisher, you can propose a goal of achieving a 50% increase in traffic in 24 months. ”

While we know for sure that you may have hit the 50% increase in traffic in the past (always remember during lifting and handover), this gives your client a tangible, measurable expectation of value.

Make sure you show your customers how your SEO efforts positively impact revenue and conversions, not just traffic and rankings.

Jonathan Berthold, VP of Customer Acquisition at Path IQ, says:

“SEO agencies tend to lose customers due to misalignment of milestones and deliveries. Agencies that rely on merely piling out reports showing increases in traffic and rankings will have a hard time retaining customers if there is no clear tangible increase in revenue generation – or at least a roadmap to increase conversions.

Instead of focusing on quick gains that increase traffic numbers or prepare audits without substance, agencies are better suited for long-term success by showing how organic search can drive revenue generation. Make sure both parties are in line with what is expected during the mandate. ”


Continue reading below

4. Your clients do not know what you are doing

Do not let customers guess at the work you do and the effort you put into them. Keep them aware of what is happening now, as well as the next steps.

For example, you can create a monthly email containing:

Performance report. Summary of work performed and deliveries. Next step.

Check in once a week with a quick update on major initiatives or to share a recent win.

Make sure they understand the direct boundary between the SEO action taken and any measurable business results.

You may also want to create a roadmap at the beginning of the contract with the client and update it every month to show progress.

These regular communications go a long way in keeping your customers informed about what you are doing. It also reflects structure and accountability, and customers appreciate both.


Continue reading below

Some agencies report the number of hours dedicated to SEO work for a client each month, even though they do not charge clients per hour. This helps to reflect the amount of work that is put into each task and can be delivered.

5. No visible results

So your customers stayed the duration of their six or 12 month contract with you and they can not see results.

We must here assume that it is not due to a lack of actually producing anything. If so, you’re having bigger issues than we can resolve in this column.

To you others …

Check your internal SEO processes

Even agencies that do good work for others may lack clear processes and their own templates.

This is a recipe for failure.

Build your own proven process. It’s part of the value you offer customers.

Make sure you have a solid project management tool

If you do not use one, it will be very difficult to keep organized and execute the SEO strategy properly in any kind of scale.


Continue reading below

Review your process regularly

For example, hold team meetings every three or six months to discuss your processes.

When there is a new Google update, work with your team to see how this will be incorporated into your standard processes.

Train, train and train some more

Always look for opportunities to train your team.

You do not necessarily have to sign up for a course, but make sure there is a scheduled weekly or monthly meeting where you all discuss the latest and greatest news and tips in the SEO world.

Give team members the opportunity to identify when there are skills or new areas they want to learn, and make sure they have the time and budget set aside to do so.

6. The product was just not ready for SEO

Is SEO always a good channel for all businesses?

Most of the time, SEO is a good channel for generating revenue. If you have a good product, there is definitely an opportunity for your business to grow with SEO.


Continue reading below

But if your business is not ready yet, no amount of SEO will help.

So the real question is: are you in the right phase of your business for SEO?

Sam Wright, founder of Blink, says:

“Lots of SEO campaigns fail for strategic reasons; it may be a lack of product market adjustment, pricing or poor positioning or categorization. SMEs (especially in the field of e-commerce) often do not spend time on this side of the business until they move on to the tactical execution of something like SEO.

This means that they are on shaky foundations – it is difficult to make a campaign work in these circumstances. However, many SEO agencies plow forward regardless, either because they are unaware or lack the skills or experience to change things from the top down. Often, poor results follow, the client becomes frustrated, and the relationship ends.

Changing this is partly a matter of client training – we now make market analysis and positioning / categorization the first step in almost every project. This is something traditional marketing agencies have been doing for years, but it is still a bit unusual for an SEO-focused company like ours.

However, it is important to show that tactics do not work unless the strategy is the right one to start with. ”


Continue reading below

With all of the above, every SEO agency loses customers. It’s not because the agency is incompetent – it’s part of the industry.

Jeff Ferguson, partner / production manager at Amplitude Digital, leaves us with his farewell thoughts:

“Loss of clients is always a mixed bag. It’s easy to beat yourself up about losing a client. In my experience, nine times out of ten, it’s for some reason beyond your control – there’s a new CMO (or lower), a new investment group or something like that – but it had nothing to do with you and everything to do with a regime change. ”

The real goal is to minimize these losses and improve customer retention by understanding why they happen, recognizing when the relationship is in danger, and knowing how to fix the ship.

More resources:


Continue reading below

Featured image: fizkes / Shutterstock

    Leave Your Comment

    Your email address will not be published.*