Most small businesses have had search engine optimization (SEO) campaign in place at some point. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those campaigns fail. In fact, many won’t even get off the ground before they have been abandoned.
This is something we have seen hundreds of times during our years in the web design and online marketing industry. It’s a cycle that seems to repeat itself again and again: a business owner or manager gets excited about the prospect of having more leads or sales from the internet; they decide to improve their visibility on Google, but give up after they don’t get the results they were hoping for.
You’ve probably been through this yourself or know another business owner who has. But what you may not realize is that failure at search engine optimization isn’t inevitable. In fact, there are a handful of predictable reasons the majority of small business SEO campaigns don’t work out.
To help you avoid the same small business search engine optimization mistakes, take a look at a few of the biggest and most common issues one-by-one…
Many SEO Campaigns Are Doomed By Poor Planning
In their enthusiasm, a lot of business owners decide to “do” search engine optimization without giving much thought to what they want to achieve or how they’ll get the outcomes they’re looking for. In other words, they rush in to find a vendor and optimize their pages but don’t take the time to figure out what would make their SEO campaign a success, or how they’ll reach those benchmarks.
The first step towards using search engine optimization profitably is figuring out what kind of buyer you want to bring to your website. Then, you have to know what those people want, which terms or phrases they search on Google, and how you can set up campaigns to reach them.
To get these pieces of information, an audit of your existing website can be extremely helpful. That’s because it gives you the opportunity to evaluate your current pages and their search visibility, and also to see where your existing new visits are coming from. Keyword research can also be extraordinarily beneficial, since you want to know which searchers you should be targeting. And finally, you should map out a sales funnel that outlines the steps a visitor might take on the way to becoming a customer.
These plans don’t have to be incredibly detailed, but your search engine optimization campaign is likely to be doomed without them. That’s because you know what you’re trying to do or how it can be accomplished. That’s as disastrous in online marketing as it would be in any other part of your company.
SEO Campaigns Die From a Lack of Follow Through
This problem is easy to understand, but that doesn’t make it any less prevalent. For a lot of business owners, undertaking search engine optimization is akin to setting a New Year’s resolution – there is an initial rush of enthusiasm followed by the realization that there is a long road ahead.
This issue explains why you often come across blogs that seem to be updated in irregular bursts. They’ll have a few posts spanning a month or two, and then nothing for half a year or longer. Usually, what has happened is the business owner or marketer in question really wanted a high Google ranking but didn’t stick with their content strategy long enough for it to pay off.
The best way to get past this particular roadblock is to simply have a good plan in place begin with. When your strategy is set, and you know where you’re headed with your SEO campaign, it’s easier to keep doing the little things required to keep going until you start generating leads or sales. Then, it’s easy to stay the course because the results speak for themselves.
SEO Campaigns Built on Outdated Tactics Never Work Out
There are a lot of so-called SEO consultants and experts out there who are selling plans that would have worked a decade ago but aren’t relevant now. These usually involve posting junk articles, paying for inbound links from low-quality websites, and re-using the same keywords and search terms dozens or hundreds of times on a single page.
Google and the other search engines caught on to these tricks many years ago. Not only are they ineffective now, but using them on your website can actually hurt your search visibility (or in extreme cases, even get you blacklisted altogether). So why do some SEO consultants keep using them? One reason is because they want to make money without doing any real work. Another reason is that business owners keep looking for quick-fix solutions instead of sustainable organic search answers.
If you find yourself being pitched on an SEO campaign that seems too good to be true or one that relies on simple and repetitive tactics instead of a real content strategy, take that as a red flag. Those kinds of spammy tricks could help your company (at least temporarily) once upon a time, but they won’t do you any good now.
Search Engine Optimization Campaigns That Ignore Conversions Always Fail
One thing we always like to remind our clients about is the difference between interest and action. Having someone visit your website is good, but getting them to buy something or agree to meet with a member of your team is much better. The same principle works on social media. It can be fun to have people like your content, but that doesn’t mean much if they aren’t ever going to become a customer.
This matters a lot because some business owners approach search engine optimization as if it were a goal unto itself. However, a high Google ranking isn’t enough to impact your profitability. If you’re really going to grow your bottom line, you need a conversion strategy in place that turns all those visits into new revenue.
After your website has been optimized for search and your content strategy is in place, you should be constantly looking for ways to improve your offers and calls to action so they maximize response rates. If you ignore this part of the process, you’re virtually certain to get better at bringing people to your website, but disappointed when they don’t actually do business with you.
SEO Campaigns Can’t Succeed Without Adjustments and Course Corrections
As we’ve already mentioned, what worked in search engine optimization years ago isn’t relevant or effective now. Google’s algorithms are always changing, and so are best practices. For that matter, your competitors won’t be doing the same things in the future as they are today.
Add all of these realizations together with the fact that search patterns and customer needs change, and you start to see that your approach to search engine optimization can’t be static. You have to move and adapt with the times, keeping up with the latest trends while evaluating your own metrics to spot bottlenecks and opportunities.
Of course, for the business owner who already has enough to do, this can be quite the challenge. That’s where a committed team of creative professionals can be a big help. When you have someone who knows the web design and online marketing industry inside and out, they can help you to adjust your strategy and roll with the punches, so you’re never caught playing catch-up with the competition.
Want to Make SEO Work for Your Company?
If you’ve been frustrated by a lack of progress with search engine optimization in the past, you certainly aren’t alone. We meet with business owners every week who want to start getting measurable results from their websites but aren’t attracting enough traffic or don’t have a coherent sales plan in place.
Fixing these types of situations is our specialty. We work with companies of all sizes to help them make the most of their marketing budgets and produce the kind of real-world leads and sales they’ve been looking for. Why not call or email our team today so we can put our expertise to work for you?
Your initial consultation is free, and it could help you to have your best sales year ever. So don’t wait – contact WebWize in Houston now!
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About Glenn Brooks
Glenn Brooks is the founder of WebWize, Inc. WebWize has provided web design, development, hosting, SEO and email services since 1994. Glenn graduated from SWTSU with a degree in Commercial Art and worked in the advertising, marketing, and printing industries for 18 years before starting WebWize.