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10 problems with SEO

The 10 Problems with SEO

Where do I start. SEO is the most complained about service when I speak with prospective clients. I hear so many bad experiences with SEO. It’s frustrating and it seems to be getting worse not better.

SEO is quite complex and after 20 years of doing SEO what is clear is there is no cookie cutter solution to SEO. Every business, website, industry is unique. The solution needs to be tailored specifically for each client.

SEO Tools are not always helping – clients are spending their marketing budget and resources on hundreds of hours of activity that are unlikely to make effect any real change on business outcomes.

That is where the problem begins – the BUSINESS is often the last thing people are thinking about.

The problems with SEO…

Lack of strategy and focus on generating sales, not traffic

People are missing the big SEO picture. There could be hundreds of terms you want to rank for and you optimize your site for. But what keywords will actually make a difference to the bottom line of the business. How do you grow sales with SEO, not just traffic?

Misleading SEO Tools & Reports

The SEO tools people are using to get scores and green lights and red lights – are misleading. You can get green ticks everywhere and still no improved rankings. This is the most frustrating thing. Clients believe if they get all green lights or high scores in some 3rd party SEO tool, they should have rankings.   

Lack of SEO Skills and Experience

Many people offer SEO services, web design agencies, freelancers, circus performers, but adding some meta data to a website is not doing SEO. There is not SEO accreditation –there are a bazillion courses and online certifications – but experience and results are the real school of SEO.

Focusing on the Wrong the Thing

SEO projects focus on fixing an entire website – which in principals sounds excellent but could overall mean nothing to the business outcomes. Focusing on a URL or keywords that is ranking on position 2 and moving that to position one – will drive much more reward for effort.

Technical Bamboozlement

SEO geeks love to throw around those technical terms and make clients feel out of their depth and trustingly hand over money to fix issues that may have very little impact on rankings and business outcomes.

Ignoring Indexation Issues

The MOST important factor is indexation and identifying any issues Google has with indexing the site. Clients have paid to have SEO done on their site and only to find they missed the biggest issue where pages of the site are unknowingly blocked from the index. I have some stories to tell on that one.

Not Optimizing Site Structure

The site structure and menu navigation labelling build the foundation and spine of good SEO strategy. The number of times I look at a website and this has NOT been done is mind blowing. If a site is structured for SEO the URLS are optimized and the site effectively optimizes itself as more content is added.  It’s a winning formula.

Missing the “money” keyword

This is a common epic fail. The website selling beer fails to include the keyword BEER on their website or product pages. The amazing photographer that has services and NONE of them say photography. Not including the location that you offer your services, because there is no point getting an enquiry in another state you can’t service. Know what the money term is and focus on it.

Poor Client knowledge

“A Little Knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

No truer word has been spoken when it comes to SEO. It’s easy for SEO projects to go astray with clients who don’t understand how it works but are overzealous and need to control or direct something they don’t really understand. You spend more time explaining the why – to actioning effective change.

Client’s Unrealistic Expectations

Not all businesses can rank on page 1 organically. Approximately only 10 organic spots available and it can be extremely competitive. Realistic expectations and focusing on what can be achieved will save a lot of people’s time and money.

75% of people will never scroll past the first page on a Google search, which is why you need to rank on page 1 of Google.

Sorry. Not always possible.

SEO is not a set and forget solution.  Just because client bought the SEO add on at the time of a website build, does not mean that your website is optimised.  SEO is a long-term strategy, the more you tweak your content, and revisit internal link strategy, and so on, the more signals you are putting to Google to come back to your website to reindex more often.

They say SEO is an art and science – I say it’s a project you work on together with a client, maximizing the potential and opportunities within a given online landscape to increase digital visibility on keywords that have the highest opportunity to convert into a sale or customer.