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Reasons preventing success search engine optimization


Identify and avoid these common pitfalls that can prevent or delay your desired SEO success. 

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a costly investment, so, understandably, you want to do everything to get the most out of your investment. But to do that, you must be aware of the common barriers that can get in the way of SEO success.


In my experience, nine things have historically prevented my clients from getting results. Knowing these barriers can help you stand up to them and prevent them from infiltrating your campaign and hindering your progress. 



1. Failure to define campaign objectives

If you do not know the goals you are trying to achieve through SEO, measuring success is impossible. 


Likewise, if you set goals but don't define any Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), it's hard to know how well you've met your campaign goals. 


There's nothing worse than having a number in someone's head (eg adding 100 new customers per month via SEO) and not discovering until after months of efforts and you find that you're not operating on that expectation.


Defining and communicating goals and KPIs with your team will help you achieve a successful campaign and your bottom line. 

2. Lack of resources

Working with a lack of resources is very frustrating, and it can get in the way of SEO success. 


Here are some examples of the resources you need to run a successful campaign and what can happen when you don't have it.


People: Lack of human resources dedicated to SEO can derail your campaign and prevent you from making the desired progress. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a commitment that requires the consistent work of an individual or a dedicated team. You can only work on SEO when you feel like it or have a few extra minutes if you want to see success. Additionally, you will often need resources for content, UX, IT, and areas other than SEO to implement your SEO recommendations and plans.

Money: A lack of financial resources can significantly slow down your campaign. You need a search engine optimization (SEO) budget that can accommodate the payment of a campaign management employee or agency and purchase the tools to conduct basic SEO research and monitor your success. 

Tools: There are many research and report tools needed to properly optimize your website. Even though there are free options available, and you can do without a ton of tools at your disposal, you will likely reach a point that can slow down your SEO progress.

Data: Data analysis is an important part of your SEO campaign at literally every stage. You may be left in the dark without the information needed to inform key decisions without full access to your SEO data. 

3. Poor patience

Search engine optimization is a long-term investment. It's not something you can rush into, no matter how many resources you use. 


Companies get frustrated when they don't see big gains in the first few months. They may question their investments, decide to scale back their efforts or pull the plug entirely. 


Please do not assume that your SEO efforts are not working because your site was not on top of the search engine results pages in the first month. This takes time and consistent effort. 


Truthfully, even when an SEO professional works, it can take months or even years to see impressive results. As difficult as it may be, you must be patient and confident in the process. 


4. Broad targeting

When working on a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, it is important to decide which niche you want to target. This includes both your geographical market and your customer base. 


Defining a niche at the beginning of your marketing campaign helps you attract the ideal customers in your unique corner of the market. Moreover, the more specific your niche is, the easier it will be to get a good rank. 


Your topic and keyword groups may get less traffic than general groups, but they also convert better and are valuable to both the target and the path.


Now, I'm not suggesting that you choose a niche that doesn't have search volume or a niche that isn't closely related to your products or services. Simply find a reasonable way to target them based on competition and trends in your industry. 


Realize that it can be intimidating to choose a specific location, especially if you want everyone to have the opportunity to find your location. But, you must remember, defining a niche does not mean that you will hold it forever. The niche has to evolve over time. You can expand your reach later in your campaign when appropriate. You can build topical expertise across a range of topics and niches.


5. Don't think about total suppression 

It is important to remember that not every Google user is ready to convert when they find your page. You have to think about users at every stage of their journey, including initiation, search, comparison, transaction, and experience. 


You cannot assume that every keyword or topic you target will convert. This is simply unrealistic.


Instead, you should choose goals related to the language a potential user uses at each stage of the conversion funnel and provide the right content and level of engagement they seek during their study and customer journey.


For example, if someone has just realized that they need a new type of insurance for their business, they will likely start their journey by researching their options and the types of companies that provide it. They aren't necessarily ready to fill out a form or make a call and start a sale until they do some research and start moving down the funnel.


6. Ignore SERPs 

Many people who are just starting their SEO journey do not understand how a search engine results page (SERP) works. So they may not even realize that there are multiple sections in SERPs and that organic results are usually buried under ads, news, map packages, featured snippets, and more. 


It is crucial to educate yourself about the SERP anatomy so that you understand the many ways your SEO efforts can affect the results shown to users. 


Good SEOs or adjacent areas of traditional search (such as local SEO) have the ability to get one of the desired places in Google search features (maps package, featured snippets, reviews, etc.). But you may need to make some adjustments to your SEO strategy to improve your pages in a way that gets Google's attention.


For example, schema markup can help inform Google that you want your reviews to appear within your Google List. Likewise, having a listing in your Google Business Profile increases the likelihood that you will appear in the Maps package results. 


7. Bad Partnerships 

Nothing slows down progress like a bad partnership. The wrong partner can prevent you from making your bottom line, whether it's with sellers, agencies, freelancers, tools, writers, developers, or people who weigh in on strategy and execution. 


But ending a bad partnership is not always easy, especially if there are contracts. Before pulling the plug, discuss your expectations and how this partnership failed to meet them. Then develop an action plan to correct the situation. 


But in the end, if your partnership is beyond repair, you must terminate it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an investment, and it doesn't pay to work with someone who doesn't help you achieve your bottom line. 


Do all possible due diligence on the front end. We hope you don't end up in this situation.


8. Separation from other marketing channels 

As a marketer, nothing bothers me more than working with professionals who blindly believe that their marketing channel is the perfect solution to achieving their clients' goals. In fact, marketing channels must synergize to achieve the best possible results. This comes from a person (me) who started his career deeply in the SEO silo.


There is a time and place for all marketing channels. For example, if you need fast results and want to get your listing to the top of Google, paid search is a great option. But displaying ads in the long run can be costly. This is where search engine optimization comes in. 


SEO takes time. They rarely yield first place results in SERPs. Therefore, working on SEO while running ads simultaneously can attract a similar number of residents so that your site rises higher in the organic ranking, and in the end, the need for paid advertising for this service or product is no longer necessary. Additionally, paid and membership products can work well together in some cases depending on how SERPs are structured for specific topics and queries.


Moreover, we have to know that other channels like social media, email and other types of digital advertising can go a long way in working together and influencing the customer journey. Don't put all the pressure on one channel if you can avoid it.


I encourage my clients to think about how they can leverage all of their marketing channels and niches, including SEO, paid search, content, UX/UI, video, and more, to get the best results possible.


9. Insufficient attribution 

Data tracking is important. After all, this is what shows how much ROI your SEO efforts bring. However, it is wrong to track only SEO data and not to track business stats and conversions related to your SEO efforts. 


For example, if you have a service-based business such as plumbing, you should expect a rise in plumbing related keywords. However, this means little if you also do not see an increase in conversions (for example, filling out call or contact forms). 


With digital marketing, we have the ability to see if it's working and track it along the way. It is not acceptable in most cases to make assumptions when we can connect the dots from impression through transformation (and hopefully beyond).


Remove Your SEO Roadblocks

It's normal and natural to want instant SEO results, but that usually doesn't happen. Achieving the SEO results you want takes consistent time and effort. Avoiding the pitfalls described in this article will help you get the most out of your SEO investment. 

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