What to be mindful of when getting into an SEO campaign with multiple service providers


  • Be careful getting involved in SEO campaigns when there’s numerous marketing companies involved
  • Don’t hesitate in bailing out if someone is obstructing your efforts, or your ability to do your job
  • Always work towards having total control over the campaign if possible


Marc:                    You’ve never had a situation where you felt like maybe a client’s really preferring one provider that can do it all because they don’t want to deal with multiple people. You risk losing that client or-

John:                     I’ve seen that occasionally. That’s really comes down to, again, personal preference, what the client prefers. I mean some clients… I’ve picked up campaigns where they already have someone doing social and I’ve got someone doing web stuff and I’ve got someone doing Adwords and I’ll slot in to do SEO. I’m always very cautious in that, and this is something that I ask within the telephone run sheet, as you know, is anyone else working on the site?

Marc:                    Yeah.

John:                     I’m asking that reason because I want to know, look, can I get in there and do my job without obstruction.

Marc:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative)

John:                     But, like I said, it’s personal preference for the business owner. You’ll have some business owners that will say, “I want to work with one agency that does everything. Or I don’t mind working with multiple people that all specialise in their own areas.

Marc:                    Yup.

John:                    I think when… One thing that I’ve found, and this has certainly been true, when I pick up a client and they say, “Do you know anyone that does Adwords?” I’ll make the referral, right? To someone that I know who does it well. And usually it’s… Well so far it’s been Byron, but I’ll jump on a call with that person and just make sure that we’re on the same page. You know, I’ve done a lot of that with Byron and we… It works because we both understand the importance of measuring the metrics that actually matter and clear calls to action. And we’re both very much aligned in our approach.

But I think if you end up working in a situation where perhaps you’ve started providing… You’re providing SEO services for a business owner and you’ve got someone else that’s doing AdWords for instance, it can be tricky. But I think it’s always in your best interest to say, reach out and say, “Hey, I’m doing the SEO. Let’s make sure that we’re not fighting each other here. Make sure that where our interests are aligned.” I mean, it can get really messy because when I’ve found myself on a couple of calls with people saying, “Who the fuck is this guy?”. “SEO wants to make changes to our… to the site structure.” “Why?”

Marc:                    Yeah.

John:                     “This is all in place. We’ve just done everything for AdWords.”

Marc:                    Yeah I’ve been there.

John:                     “Get lost.”

Marc:                    I’ve been there.

John:                     Yeah, it can get really messy.

Marc:                    Even with social media marketers, we’ve had one girl that we’ve been working with and first the business owner asked me right in the meeting where she was going to be taken on as the Facebook marketer, the business owner asked,” “All right, should we take her on? If she’s incredible.”

I said, “I don’t know her but she seems good enough.” And then one month later she tried to put me out by saying that we should reduce the SEO budget and we should get rid of the blog. So it’s like…

John:                     Yeah, I’ve seen that happen. I’ve seen that happen to some good people that are providing a quality service. It’s always that third person. This is something that I, I think about a lot. Right?

Marc:                    Yeah.

John:                     And by third person I’m talking… You have the one on… You have that, the one, two relationship between you and the client and that third person forms a triangle. Whenever there’s a triangle, I remember listening and I can’t… It was one of those fucking probably Tony Robbins motivational videos or something, those.

Marc:                    Yes. The love triangle.

John:                     Yes. Yeah. I was sitting here at like three o’clock in the morning, lost on YouTube somewhere and whoever it was, they were talking about the third person and how when you form that triangle, it usually always ends badly.

Marc:                    Yup.

John:                     And that can certainly be true for like relationships like you said. But also in business where you’ve built a… you’re working with a client, you build a really strong relationship, you’re providing SEO and then suddenly they hire this social media manager that sticks their nose in and goes, “Oh,” like you just said, “Oh reduce your spend here. Like we’re getting heaps of followers and likes and all of this”-

Marc:                    Exactly. That’s it.

John:                     And then next thing you know, you’ve got the client saying, “Oh listen Marc, we’re going to have to end the SEO because we want to ramp up with our social.” Well, what the fuck happened here? Like I’ve done everything right.

Marc:                    Yeah.

John:                     We’re moving in the right direction, we’re getting a positive return on investment. So yeah, that third person, it’s always… you’ll see it in stores as well. You’ll go to the shopping centre or something to buy something and something like, whether it’s you, or you’ll see this out. You’ll see the person’s really interested in buying something and they’ve got their fucking auntie or someone going, “Ah it’s too expensive. Don’t buy it. It doesn’t fit you. Oh it’s…”

Marc:                    That’s right.

John:                    You can just see the store owner going, “Will you just fuck off.” So…

Marc:                    Yeah.

John:                     I’m real careful about that.

Marc:                    Yeah.

John:                      But you have to be right? You have to be. If everyone’s on the same… If you’re working in a group situation, everyone’s got to be on the same page. Otherwise it’s just going to end badly.

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