If you own a website and/or are thinking of starting one, you’re going to be looking for SEO services in the near future. Even if you already have an SEO firm working on your website, the odds are good that you’ll be looking for a new one (in the not too distant future).  Let’s face it – there are a lot of contributing factors as to why you would need a new SEO firm to handle the marketing of your website.

Within our business model, we look to establish long-term relationships with our search engine optimization clients.  We’re not interested in taking your money and leaving you high & dry like many other SEO companies might do, nor are we interested in utilizing shady SEO tactics that are going to have you looking elsewhere for optimization services.  If your business doesn’t succeed, then neither does ours.

Despite our best efforts, some customers are just not prepared to optimize their website.  Unfortunately, the lack of results these types of clients see are less than we (& they) are hoping for.  Here are some of the most common reasons that an SEO program might fail and/or underperform expectations.

Four (Unnecessary) Reasons that SEO Fails

1. Financial Stability
Organic search engine optimization is not only an ongoing process, but one that takes time to properly strategize, work on & build up to sustainable income levels.  When looking to start an SEO campaign, you need to look at the overall strategies and time frames to ensure you can support your business’ bottom line until the keyword rankings & subsequent traffic begin to convert to sales (or leads).

Financial Stability

Be prepared to spend money outside of your SEO contract as well.  Optimizing your website WILL require making changes to your website and not all optimization companies are qualified to make the changes to your website.  This might seem odd at first, but SEO firms are not programmers – just as programmers are not SEO’s.  You hire a marketing company to design & strategize your optimization efforts, not to spend hours figuring out how to update your website.  Use the most efficient means to accomplish the tasks in order to achieve the highest ROI most quickly.

2. Lack of Trust/Confidence in Recommendations
Trust Us We're ExpertsThis one is a real bugger to overcome, but it can have a profound effect on the outcome of your SEO campaign.  While trusting in an SEO firm’s recommendations can be hard at first, it is important to consider the experience and results that they have achieved.  If you did your homework before signing the contract, you should already know if you’re dealing with a good or bad SEO company.

A good SEO company knows the processes, steps and strategies to effectively move your website to the 1st page of Google (or other search engine).  When they request that you make a change to your site, you should take it seriously and make every effort to get it done for them.  As detailed in the previous section, you should have a webmaster or other service provider available to make changes to your website, as well as the financial stability to pay for the changes.

3. Clear Expectations
Let’s be real for a minute… If you’re trying to become rich online, but unwilling to spend enough to competitively place yourself among the big players in your industry, then you’re delusional.  Marketing websites is a long-term process that, done correctly, can yield great return on your investment.  Unless you’re selling a product or service no one has heard of (yet), you’ll need to be prepared for the long haul.

Moving your keywords up in the rankings is a process, so it is critical that your current positioning & situation be carefully analyzed to determine how best to maximize your current website and existing optimization efforts (e.g. content, links, etc.).  Each site is different and requires different strategies.

When you’re determining your Internet marketing budgets, including those for SEO, you should be aware of the ROI that you’ll see within various time frames (e.g. 6 months from now, 1 year from now, lifetime).  If you’re just getting started and are in a competitive market, a single SEO campaign may be enough to establish a baseline & the groundwork for further improvements, but its not likely to send you to the #1 listing in Google.  The websites that have the #1 rankings in Google have likely been working on their organic search engine optimization for months, if not years longer than you have.  Ultimately, you have to play catch-up and build your own authority before you can effectively compete for those same positions.

4. Poor Business Model
Once again, we need to be real for a minute… If you are selling a product/service that is highly competitive, has a poor conversion rate, is positioned poorly in the market (no value proposition) or is something that consumers or businesses really don’t need/want, then you are likely throwing your money away on SEO.

Spend the time to clearly outline your business model, including making sure there is a market for your product/service – you know, the typical research & development you’d need to start an offline business.  In the Internet age, everyone thinks they can get rich quick, but they often fail to adequately prepare their business for success.  Lack of time to commit (e.g. their website is a hobby), lack of money and/or a lack of understanding as to how to run a business are often a recipe for disaster.

These are four (4) of the most common reasons why an SEO campaign might fail (or have been judged to have failed) unnecessarily, but there are likely many other variables to be considered.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to the website owner taking a realistic approach, not only on the SEO itself, but also their business model, the market and their ability to stay involved in the entire process(es).

In our experience, the website optimization strategies work best when the client maintains communication (with us) and is steadfast in getting the necessary changes made to the site or providing us approvals to move forward with our SEO services.