Advertising Agency SEO Woes

Sometimes I feel bad for advertising agencies. I met with a client of our yesterday that falls under that category, and I could see and feel the frustration as they began to realize that none of developers that they outsource to have ever even told them about search engine optimization factors. Sure, they had probably heard "we'll submit the site," and even had an occasional META tag added, but as anyone who has ever tried to rank for a competitive phrases knows, this isn't enough. This being our second 3 hour meeting, I could tell they were really starting to get it. Many of the sites they have worked with are not even close to "search friendly."

The client we were discussing is moving into a new territory, and beginning a branding effort in order to "familiarize the locals." They have a very aesthetically pleasing site but it is mostly text within images. It is so bad that the home page is indexed at Google with only the bottom navigation text. I am sure some reading this have seen this before. When looking through these image-laden pages, the links were even hidden in "attractive" boxes, leading us to wonder if any human has even seen most of the best content, which was thoroughly hidden from search engines.

Yup, I feel bad for these otherwise very talented agencies because many seem to be getting on the search engine bandwagon a little late. It is going to cost their clients lots of redevelopment time or lots of link-building time, which will in turn possibly shed a bad light on the agency themselves. f you are an SEM reading this I would highly recommend pitching as many agencies as you can find. This will help get the word out.

Chris - I joined an ad agency group in Seattle, WA to help, but these are not generally good listeners. They still talk about the web as a threat and a poor value for clients... I think it will be a good long while to get through on a large scale.
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