In today’s digital landscape, potential clients and customers use web searches to guide many decisions about who they will choose to do business with. SEO is essential to remain visible and competitive online. However, efforts to improve SEO commonly fall short, leaving many business owners wondering what they are doing wrong.
SEO campaigns may fail because of unrealistic expectations, improper tracking of goals and analytics, and logistical problems like time and budget restraints. Another prevalent issue is a lack of training or knowledge of SEO best practices. SEO is an ongoing process that requires constant focus.
Understanding the common trends that cause SEO campaigns to fail can help you avoid them for your business.
Businesses often launch into an SEO campaign expecting overnight results. Unfortunately, starting with this expectation means setting yourself up for failure. SEO is not a quick solution; it is an ongoing, long-term strategy.
SEO is a comprehensive approach involving many components. The amount of time it takes to turn those elements into results is highly dependent on a whole host of factors. The strategy itself takes time, as well – researching and implementing proper keywords, creating content that is relevant and useful, building your E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust) , and so on.
Once you’ve made your improvements, it then takes time for Google’s crawlers to discover and index your content and link your website and brand to your desired keywords in search results.
Trust the Process
SEO is not a one-time solution. Successful SEO is consistent and requires ongoing attention, research, and further optimization. To get the most out of an SEO campaign, it must be:
- Consistently implemented
While it’s not a quick fix, SEO is necessary for successful online marketing and branding. Adopting these practices into everyday tasks and goals can improve your brand’s overall results and visibility.
Improper Tracking of SEO-Related Goals and Analytics
Setting goals and objectives for your SEO campaign is one of the most important first steps to take. Your goals for SEO should align with your overall business goals. Whether it’s to increase engagement, grow your brand, or improve the overall user experience, establishing goals will keep you organized and focused while allowing you to track the campaign’s progress and performance properly.
SEO analytics refers to the tools and practices used to collect, track, and analyze data related to your website, online marketing, and other channels with the end goal of improving your organic search-based traffic.
SEO performance is about far more than keyword rankings. Many campaigns don’t perform as well as they should simply because they aren’t looking at the right metrics to understand the complete picture. Observing and tracking the most important analytics of your SEO campaign is essential to making improvements and driving continued success.
Analytics will help you understand how the campaign is performing in all the various areas that drive SEO. These include website traffic, keywords that are performing the best, if you’re reaching your target audience, which channels are driving traffic, and so on.
Finding Measurable Results
Setting goals will help create the focus and strategy for your SEO campaign. Without them, many organizations focus on the wrong things and don’t end up with measurable results. Understanding analytics will demonstrate the value of your SEO campaign and provide insight into what’s working and what needs to be changed.
If you’re unfamiliar with analytics, Google Analytics is an excellent place to learn what types of measures are available and how they can help.
Time and Budget Constraints
As previously mentioned, SEO is not an overnight solution or quick fix. It’s a long-term strategy that requires ongoing effort for continued results. To launch a sustainable SEO campaign that will not fail, it’s essential to have commitment across the brand or company, from top to bottom.
One of the biggest questions on this subject is “how long will it take to see results?” While this is an understandable question, it does not have a simple answer. SEO results depend on factors like:
- How long your website has been established
- Previous SEO efforts
- Consistency across various channels
- Local/geographic area
However, most experts say that it takes 4-6 months to start seeing results.
It’s important to remember that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to slow down once you start seeing results. Time and patience are essential to the process, and SEO efforts must be ongoing.
An SEO campaign that’s strapped for time or resources is set up to fail from the start. That’s why an established budget is so important. Setting a budget and sticking to it will help ensure that you dedicate the right amount of resources to the task.
It’s important to understand that you get what you pay for when it comes to SEO. Many business owners have difficulty budgeting for SEO because it takes time to see the results, and they may not fully understand how SEO works.
Hiring someone to manage SEO that isn’t skilled or qualified could end up being very costly and harmful to the brand. Similarly, only putting the small and simple changes into action is very likely to lead to disappointing results.
Make the Investment
SEO is an investment in your brand. Like the time and budget allotted for marketing and advertising, SEO requires an ongoing commitment and strategy. Implementing all necessary changes (not just the quick and easy fixes) are what makes the difference between a failed and successful SEO campaign.
Lack of Training and Knowledge
SEO is a dynamic field, and things are literally changing daily. The top experts in the field are learning new things every day, and the work requires the ability to adapt and react instantaneously.
Google’s search algorithms are constantly evolving, and they can change quickly, without warning. The appearance or disappearance of search engine results page (SERP) features can also occur without notice, having a direct impact on how users interact with your website.
Brand marketing and web teams should have a clear understanding of SEO best practices and a shared language to ensure consistency across platforms and media channels.
Even those who understand SEO should still commit to ongoing training and development. Just like SEO campaigns, learning about SEO is a continuous process.
It’s best to allot time for continued education on current and upcoming trends, news, and changes. A few recommended ways to stay updated on the industry’s current state and prepare for upcoming changes are:
- Attend in-person and virtual SEO conferences,
- Listen to podcasts from industry experts
- Subscribe to news alerts and blogs related to SEO education.
The Results are Worth the Effort
Every brand should actively use SEO strategies or campaigns to help boost their rankings, online brand perception, visibility, and online traffic. The success of an SEO campaign hinges on the ability to commit to an ongoing strategy, using data and analytics, and staying up to date on the constant changes in the field.
The importance of SEO to a business’s bottom line cannot be understated. A successful SEO campaign will reflect this fact in its time and budget considerations. Along with a commitment of time and resources, SEO strategy should begin with realistic expectations based on measurable goals.
By following this advice and avoiding the pitfalls discussed, your SEO campaign will succeed and ultimately improve your business’s bottom line.