Search engine optimization is an intricate process, if you mess it up you will see absolutely zero results for all your efforts.
With tens of thousands of businesses and individuals around the globe scrambling for an SEO strategy that works, it’s difficult to determine exactly why a large percentage of the SEO campaigns launched every year fail. If businesses want to learn from the mistakes of others and not have to make them all themselves, then a well-rounded SEO strategy should start with understanding of why SEO fails. The following are 10 fairly common reasons for SEO failure:
1.) Targeting bloated markets
Many SEO companies make wild claims that they can get you to the top of any market, for any keyword. Generally, businesses or individuals who make these claims should be avoided. This is because markets that are already enormous and have fierce competition- such as the SEO content and SEO services industries- are usually already so well established that it would be impossible to rank for the same or similar keywords as businesses at the forefront of those industries.
Instead, your business needs to specialize or create a niche market and target keywords that searchers will use to find those niche products or services. In today’s overcrowded global internet markets, success depends upon specialization.
2.) Failure to monitor keyword trends
Current events, changes in public attitudes, political change and market trends will all have an effect on what people are searching for and how they are searching for it. Businesses that start with a certain SEO strategy and then expect to maintain that same plan indefinitely will be in for an unpleasant surprise when analytics show their former rankings slipping or vanishing altogether.
In the same way that a doctor needs to continually stay abreast of new developments in medical technology, an SEO campaign must be continually monitored and adapted to current search trends.
3.) Website changes that do not incorporate SEO strategy
One of the best SEO tips that a content provider or search marketing consultant can give their clients is to always include search engine optimization efforts when updating their websites. Often, clients will make changes to their website after an SEO campaign is in place, but neglect to use the SEO strategies in the new changes. This can result in a dramatic decrease in website traffic and page ranking.
4.) Keyword stuffing
Poor quality content that is over-stuffed with keywords will not only turn away consumers, it will also turn away the search engines and possibly get your site banned. Keyword densities should never exceed 3-4% of your total content. If it does, it may look like you’re stuffing your site with more keywords than useful information.
5.) SEO consultant that does not know client’s business Failed SEO
If your SEO consultant doesn’t know your business, they can’t possibly understand what keywords and keyphrases to use, who your competition is, what markets you cater to, and a lot more information that is essential to an effective SEO strategy. For this reason, it may be up to you to clearly define what you do and why, and who you do it for.
Unless you’re a brand new start-up in a field you know nothing about, chances are great that you know your business far better than your SEO consultant, consultant education should be a part of your plan.
6.) Link spamming
Too many links of poor quality in a short period of time is considered link spamming and can dramatically decrease your page rank and even get you banned from the search engines. This sometimes happens when over-enthusiastic website owners or developers launch a seemingly ambitious link building campaign, or when black hat techniques are being used. Today’s internet businesses would be wise to allow link build to occur as a natural part of web development, and perhaps give it nudges of encouragement here and there with some effective social media marketing.
7.) Lack of client involvement
Clients that think they can simply hand all of their SEO efforts over to a consultant will quickly find that this almost never works. Clients MUST be actively involved in their own SEO strategy.
There are many different variables and a great deal of unique paths you can take to achieve high search rankings, and no SEO consultant can do them all. This means that you will have to be involved in order to exceed- especially when it comes to SEM or SMM.
8.) SEO can’t save a doomed business
If your business is failing, can’t pay its bills, can’t maintain product or sufficient stock, or is unable to provide services and products as advertised because of impending bankruptcy or other issues, then no amount of search engine optimization is going to help. Concentrate your efforts elsewhere.
9.) Online reputation management problems
Today’s consumers are aware of how powerful a tool the web can be when they have an issue with a business. Consumers are able to create and post reviews in public places in a matter of minutes, and if they’re unhappy with your company, you can be certain that others are going to hear about it via the web.
Even if you have an excellent SEO program in place, your business may suddenly find itself at the very top of the search page- but for bad reviews and complaints. If your business has more links for negative reviews and reports than for its SEO campaign links, the search engines will give those links priority- and rightly so.
10.) No clearly defined goals
Most SEO strategies fail simply because clear goals are not established between the website owner and the SEO consultant. Timelines need to be agreed upon early on- for example, to rank within the first two pages for a certain keyword within a certain period of time, or build a certain amount of links within so many months. Without highly defined goals that are detailed in writing between client and provider, an SEO campaign is doomed to failure because it has no direction to begin with.