After a very interesting meeting this week with 2 business owners, we have identified their main frustration with their current SEO agencies. There was little transparency in regards to the work being conducted with their budget— which begs the question— what exactly are they paying for?


This is a common occurrence for some business owners, as all investments— marketing or otherwise are personal investments. Meaning for a business owner, every investment they make is is guided by some emotional attachment whereas a marketing manager objectively handles a companies budget.

SEO— Dark Art? / Hiding Something?

With the maturity of algorithms and search engines, do SEOs purposely still hold back practices and processes? Or is it due to a lack of common understanding that SEO is considered to be a “black art”?

This lack of understanding frustrates Business owners, do SEOs still intentionally keep clients in the dark about the technical and mechanical process by using industry jargon to secure their jobs?

From what I gather, business owners investing in SEOs are currently unhappy with the reporting, feel like they’re not being told the whole picture and not being sure about the ROI— what services and results are the actually getting.

If you are a Business Owner

You should express your concerns with your SEO agency or your SEO supplier. If it is a small agency, due to lack of experience or number of team members within the organisation, they could be intentionally omitting certain information because they’ve outsourced particular services they have packaged to you, and therefore do not have real time results to relay back.

It is important to remember that they are there to be of service, big or small, the organisation is there to bring value to your company. So by bringing up your concerns or frustrations, and asking specific questions, they may be able to go into more detail and explain what your budget is working towards.

If you are not satisfied with the progress or the working relationship, then you should seek an SEO supplier who is fully transparent about their working process and methodology of achieving your goals within their pitching process. Offering clear account KPIs so that you can measure what ROI you are getting. It is at utmost importance to find an agency who is happy to explain aspects of their work when required.

If you are an SEO Agency

By purposefully creating an illusion through technical jargon to impress potential or current business owners is doing a disservice to you and them. Transparency and honesty with your expert knowledge, enables clients to fully understand where their budget is going and creates a collaborative working relationship. Communicating goals, accomplishments and delivering the results you promised are key components to creating a great working relationship.

Instead of keeping clients in the dark, open the blinds and bring light on everything they want to know, transparency of operations is a key indicator for clients to establish trust that you can deliver the results they want.