Repetition without action. Can you do what your agency recommends? When an agency says the same thing over and over without helping you find a way to implement something, you’re paying for nothing. Performance can’t possibly improve based on something your agency has done if you haven’t made a change on or off your site to improve performance.

It sounds obvious, but a surprising number of companies pay for SEO that doesn’t get implemented. This is a tricky one, because the implementation is in your hands and most times the agency really isn’t to blame that the recommendations can’t be implemented. Examine the situation honestly — the problem is most likely not the agency.

Everything is a mystery. Can your SEO agency explain the major performance changes — plus or minus 10 percent in a given month — or is everything “just algorithmic?” It’s hard to explain small fluctuations because they do tend to be the search engines flexing their algorithms. But larger changes in performance happen for a reason, especially when the changes result in a new level — higher or lower.

An agency with the proper amount of access to data and insight into the changes happening on a site — and the proper amount of funding — should be able to sleuth out the likely cause and effect.

Finding a new agency is disruptive in that it takes time before you’ll be implementing any new recommendations. There is time to screen, interview, and choose; time for the agency to review, audit, and recommend; time to implement and time for the performance enhancements to occur. If you can fix your agency relationship, do.

But if you can’t fix, make a clean break and find a new SEO partner that will serve your needs better.