5 Why Reasons Your SEO Campaign May Fail

Thu 22 April 2010 13:18, Susie Hood

Dan, Senior SEO Programmer at SEO Consult, shares his thoughts on why many search engine optimisation campaigns don't bring the success that they should.

1. Unrealistic targets.

Unrealistic targets are the number one cause of campaign failure. This is the responsibility of both the client and the SEO Company. The client should know that SEO is like any normal business strategy, start small, set targets and progress. The SEO should have managed the expectations of the client. They should have set out a map to achieve the targets of the client, with various milestones along the way to highlight progress.

2. Not choosing the correct SEO/Agency.

Many web design/development firms offer SEO as one of their bolt-on services. These types of organisation will never be able to compete with a specialist consultant or agency in terms of knowledge/time they can give to your project. A top quality SEO/Agency will become part of the project, and will care as much about the success of the project as you. Whereas most web design/development agencies believe that on page SEO is 100% of the job.

3. Wrong client/agency work balance.

A lot of clients believe the following statement;

'I am paying these 'experts' £x they should know what they are doing, and do all of the work to achieve my targets.'

This statement is completely flawed. I believe that a balance of around 70% SEO - 30% Client is an acceptable level, however the more work the client can put in, the more successful the project will be.

Why is this?

The clients know their industry better than any SEO/Agency will ever do. They will know of relevant communities that they can participate in to get links, they will be able to instigate and respond to messages on social networks and they will be able to write news/articles for their blogs. The SEO will be able to do the bulk of the technical work, and off page link building, but the quality the client can provide will give the extra push.

4. Cold Feet

This one links back to point 1. The targets have not been achieved in the given timescales and the client gets cold feet and moves to another agency. The new agency pulls apart the site, starts again with SEO, and in the search engines eyes we are back at day one. It will take the same amount of time for the pages to regain their authority and start to rank.

The client would have been better discussing targets moving forward with their existing SEO, analysing stats such as traffic, revenue and ROI to see whether in spite of missing the target date, the project could still achieve the targets in the future.

5. Budget

Again this links back to 1. What may seem a realistic target at the start of the project can quickly shift based on outside factors; competitors, algorithm changes etc. And extra budget may be required mid-term to keep the project on track. Sometimes this extra budget is not available, in which case targets should be realigned, however for a client this can be a hard decision to make, and they remain on the same strategy with insufficient budget and end up at point 4 and move to the lowest bidding agency.


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