11 Circumstances When You Should Consider Updating Your SEO Plan

You look at your SEO contract.  It’s a $4,000 per month retainer, but you aren’t really sure what goes into it.

And, you haven’t noticed an increase in website traffic or leads.

You’re frustrated.


  • Is now the right time to consider updating your SEO plan? 
  • Do you need to wait in order to see better results? 
  • Can you even update your SEO plan right now, or do you have to wait until your contract is over?

This guide explains the 11 circumstances when you should consider updating your SEO plan. Scroll down to learn more.

Don't Have Time To Read The Whole Guide Now?

We can send you a free PDF copy so you can read whenever you have time. It takes less than 10 seconds.


Can You Update Your SEO Plan At Any Time?

If you are not in a binding contract and you have access to all of your digital assets, then the answer is yes. You can update your SEO plan whenever you’d like.

However, many companies don’t feel like they have the ability to update their SEO plan at any time. They’ve been told incorrect information and don’t know who to trust.

We recently just spoke with a company who wanted to update their SEO plan. They told us things like:

  • Our current SEO company told us we could only login to Google My Business on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
  • Our current SEO company said that we can’t target our main keywords with our current SEO plan and we’d have to spend more to target our main keywords.

It’s incredibly disappointing to hear that other SEO companies in Portland operate in this manner. We do things ethically.

It Depends On If You’re Doing SEO Yourself or Through An Agency

If you’re doing your SEO on your own, then you can “update your SEO plan” at any time.

For you to update your SEO plan immediately, you probably need access to the following things:

  • Your website
  • Your hosting
  • Your Google Analytics
  • Your Google Search Console
  • Your data/reporting software
  • Your Google My Business (if you’re a local business)
  • Your Google AdWords account (if you run PPC)

If you have access to all of those things, then you have the ability to update your SEO at any time.

However, if you are currently working with an agency, things can look very different:

Many agencies operate on unethical, binding contracts. So even if you want to update your SEO plan, they won’t let you.

And, we’d argue that this is the BIGGEST red flag of all that should encourage you to switch SEO companies. 

These companies make all of their money through binding contracts. If they’re not performing well, it doesn’t matter.

At Portland SEO Growth, we don’t have binding contracts – we have to earn our clients’ business month after month. The way we get clients to continue paying us? We perform for them.

When Should You Consider Updating Your SEO Plan? Here Are 11 Reasons:

There are seven main reasons where you should consider updating your SEO plan. See the list below:

Reason 1: You’re Not Reaching Your Goals

You’re investing in SEO for a purpose. You want to reach your goals that will have a direct impact on your bottom line.

There are two types of goals:

  • Lead Measure Related Goals: These types of goals are things like an increase in website form submissions, website traffic, and phone calls. These lead measure related goals should have a positive impact on lag measure related goals.
  • Lag Measure Related Goals: These types of goals are things like sales and revenue. Your lead measures (phone calls, form submissions) impact your lag measures.

With an SEO campaign, you may have lead measure goals and lag measure goals.

If your SEO is not helping you reach those goals, then it’s likely time that you should consider updating your SEO plan.

Reason 2: Your SEO Company Isn’t Being Transparent And Sharing Data

If you aren’t sure how your SEO campaign is performing, then it’s probably time for you to consider updating your SEO plan.

Data is your best friend when it comes to SEO. And too many times, I’ve talked with potential clients who have no clue how their SEO campaign is performing. They just know that they’re spending a lot of money.

If your current SEO company is not sharing the following data with you, then you should consider updating your plan.

  • Keyword rankings
  • Organic traffic fluctuations
  • On-page metrics (time on page, bounce rate, etc)
  • Leads
  • Phone calls
  • Etc

Reason 3: Your SEO Company Isn’t Working In Your Best Interest (Happens More Than You Think)

You might be thinking… “Why would my SEO company not have my best interest in mind?”

Well, here is a story that articulates this really well.

There is a search engine optimization company in Portland, Oregon (I’m not going to name names…) who has multiple clients in the “Home Siding Contractor” space – companies who fix the siding of homes.

So, they are collecting money from a bunch of different competitors. And it was discovered, based on a recent conversation with one of their current clients (who just started working with us), that they were not getting treated equally.

This SEO company told them “We can’t target the city of Portland for you – you’d have to pay more.”

Basically, this SEO company was only truly helping the clients that paid them the most money. This particular client, who had a smaller budget, was getting treated unethically simply because they couldn’t pay more than their competitors.

Reason 4: You Have No Clue What Your Money Is Being Used For

This either sounds like you or some business that you know:

Company: “I pay $3k a month in a monthly SEO retainer.”

Us: “What are they doing each month?”

Company: “I’m not sure.”

Monthly retainers, when you don’t know exactly which projects your SEO company is working on, could be the most unethical part of the industry.

Therefore, if you have no clue what your money is being used for each month, then we would recommend that you should consider updating your SEO plan.

Reason 5: Your SEO Company Has Your Digital Assets Hostage

You should definitely consider updating your SEO plan if the company that you’re working with is holding your digital assets hostage.

What does “holding your digital assets hostage mean?”

Some SEO companies are extremely unethical, and actually claim ownership over everything that they do for your website.

Yes, that blog post that they wrote… They own it.

Or, even worse… The website that they created for you, they also own it.

If your SEO company is holding your digital assets hostage, then it’s time to consider updating your search engine optimization campaign.

Reason 6: You’re Not Ranking For Desired Keywords

One of the most common goals when it comes to SEO is ranking for desired keywords.

Before you consider updating your SEO plan because of keyword rankings, it’s important to understand that it can take between three and six months to rank for keywords. Not only that, but the more competitive the keyword, the longer it’ll take to rank (on average).

However, if you’ve been working on your SEO for at least nine months, and don’t see an increase in the rankings of your desired keywords, then it’s likely time to consider updating your SEO.

Reason 7: You’re Not Targeting The Right Keywords

You might be ranking really, really well in Google.

But, it might not matter at all. Why? Because you might not be ranking for the right keywords.

One of our clients is a nutritionist. Well, now she’s a nutritionist. She used to be a chiropractor and found more joy as a nutritionist.

There was a problem with her SEO:

Her entire website was targeting keyboards related to chiropractors. There wasn’t any shortage of phone calls, but the phone calls weren’t for the service that she really cared about.

So by updating her SEO plan and working with us, we were able to target the correct keywords — and she started getting phone calls from people interested in a nutritionist, not in a chiropractor.

Reason 8: Your SEO Campaign is Based on Assumptions, Not Data

As SEO consultants in Portland, we’ve heard this dozens and dozens of times:

Us: Why are you writing blog content on those topics?

Company: Well, we think our users are interested in that kind of thing.

Us: You think they’re interested? Or you know they’re interested based on data?

Your SEO campaign should be driven by data. So, if your current SEO plan is built on assumptions, then we would recommend that you update it.

Reason 9: Your SEO Company is Unresponsive

Remember, you are the ones paying the SEO company. They should be incredibly responsive to every single request that you have.

If your SEO company has fallen off the map, then you should definitely consider updating your SEO plan to a company that responds to your questions and concerns.

Reason 10: You’re Not Seeing An Increase in Organic Traffic

An important metric for SEO is organic traffic.

Organic traffic is simply the number of people who come to your website by searching on Google.

However, it goes a step further. There are two types of organic traffic:

  1. Branded organic traffic
  2. Non-branded organic traffic

Let’s consider a local pizza place called “Randazzo’s Pizzeria.”

Somebody could go to Google and type in “Randazzo’s Pizzeria Hours” – and, most likely, their website would show up. If that individual clicked on their website from that Google search, that would be an organic visitor. But it would be a branded visitor – that person already knew that Randazzo’s Pizzeria existed.

On the other hand, if someone typed in “best pizza near me” and Randazzo’s Pizzeria showed up and the person clicked on it, that would be a non-branded visitor.

Why does branded traffic vs non-branded traffic matter?

For SEO, the main goal is having an increase in non-branded organic traffic.

Reason 11: You’re Overspending

This last reason is pretty simple. If you were spending $8,000 per month on SEO and you have no clue what you’re getting from it, then you’re likely overspending.

There is a common misconception that SEO has to be extremely expensive. However, for many businesses, the cost of SEO per month should be less than $3,000. That includes medium-sized businesses, not just your local mom & pop.

So, if you are overspending on your current SEO plan, then you should consider updating to a new plan.

Picture of Joey Randazzo

Joey Randazzo

CEO of Becoming Media