Too often, business owners wind up putting their marketing strategy on autopilot. They send out marketing materials because they’ve always done it. They stick with the same ads because they’ve worked in the past. They even use an SEO strategy they’ve designed from the beginning, and expect it to carry their web marketing plan forward.
While an ad in a trade publication may keep working for you year after year, chances are your SEO strategy will not. That’s because SEO changes in real-time, month after month, year after year.
If you’re still working with a strategy that you used several years ago, when your website was designed, it may be hindering results rather than bringing visitors in. There are at least seven reasons why your SEO strategy might not be working the way it once did. Do you notice yourself in any of these situations?
1. Your SEO Strategy No Longer Works
Depending on when you first started building an online marketing strategy, you might have received a lot of results with little effort.
That might not be the case anymore.
SEO has changed massively over the years. If you’re working with an SEO marketer who is still using old techniques, it can be stunting your online growth. (Or worse, penalizing you and having Google pull your results from ranking.)
Relevance is everything. Google changes its practices consistently throughout the year. As they modify their algorithms to deliver better results, it can impact the way your information rises, depending on the keywords and key phrases used.
Even seasoned SEO professionals work at this daily. There is a high learning curve to stay up with the times, and determine what works and what doesn’t.
2. You Have Unrealistic Expectations
One of the most popular questions we are asked as a digital marketing company is: How fast will this work. We get it. ROI is everything.
But SEO isn’t an overnight solution to your marketing problems. You can’t expect results under pressure. If you put an unrealistic goal on how quickly you expect SEO to work, or how many results you expect to receive, you’ll likely fail.
SEO is designed for exposure. It’s created to work for the long term, to tweak your marketing efforts to gain more results with everything you do.
Will you gain traffic along the way? Of course. Will this work well to help drive sales for your bottom line? You bet.
But SEO is meant to compliment your other marketing efforts, not be the only tool you use to drive traffic. Like other marketing tools, your SEO goals should be planned, projected, and benchmarked.
3. You’re Targeting The Wrong Audience
Some keywords are more searched than others. If you happen to be in a popular industry, you have a lot of potential. But there are many niches that are so detailed, they receive virtually zero searches and rankings.
It won’t matter how popular you are under those search terms if no one is looking.
It also comes down to knowing how your customer searches – and it doesn’t always match the key terms you suggest. Often, people start with a problem without having any idea of what the solution will be. You, as a marketer, have to think broader than the outcome. How can you capture attention from all angles of the sale?
If you don’t dig deep into who your customer is and how they find solutions to their problems, you’ll miss valuable channels for reaching out to them.
4. You Give Up Too Soon
Marketing tends to be something we try, and if it doesn’t work, we look for other avenues. Have you ever used a marketing tool for a few months and moved on?
Yet marketing is a long term effort. In today’s world, we have access to unlimited resources – thousands of channels of information that allows each of us to deep-dive into any topic we desire.
YouTube has millions of channels. Facebook has billions of profiles. How much information does the average person see every day?
If you’re not giving a tool, resource, or strategy enough time to work, you might be pulling the plug just before you hit the gold mine. With SEO, it’s definitely a long term effort. It should be something that works together with your other online marketing strategies for as long as you own your business.
5. You Pay Attention To Tactics Rather Than Strategy
Do a search for SEO implementation, and you’ll likely find a checklist of things you can do:
- Use short URLs
- Optimize your images
- Include keywords in your title tags
- Use a keyword in your H!, H2, and H3 tags
On and on it goes. You might even have a checklist of your own for everyone that creates content for your site.
Yet tactics often create boring content that rarely gains traction. It’s your strategy that allows you to set goals, plan out your content, and measure the impact it has on your readers.
6. You Aren’t Paying Attention To How You Rank In Google Results
If you haven’t looked at how Google shows results, and analyzed the content displayed, spend some time searching popular terms. Google cares about relevancy, so it places content it knows people will love.
That can mean organic search results are pushed to the bottom of a page. You might see ads, sponsored links, videos, even shopping results placed at the top, enticing people to click. No matter how well you set up your pages.
Rankings don’t always equal traffic and conversions. SEO should be about finding what people truly want, and being there when they search.
7. You Don’t Have The Right Web Strategy
How long have you been online? When did you start vying for traffic? The internet is still new enough that if you’ve been online for a while, your strategy might be piecemealed together.
You signed up for social media accounts because everyone was doing it. You threw some money at pay-per-click because other people were getting results. You trusted your neighbor’s-son’s-best friend because they were starting a new company.
That may have worked once upon a time, but the online world is more sophisticated than ever. Without the right web strategy in place, you’re throwing darts at a moving target.
The only way to capture the true results you’re looking for is by creating an SEO strategy from the ground up, setting goals, defining your market, and targeting them appropriately.
How successful will you be in the coming months and years?