Most SEO campaigns are destined for failure because expectations are too high, budgets are too low, decisions are made based on assumptions instead of data and customer expectations are misunderstood.
Whether you’re managing a campaign yourself, or you’ve hired an SEO professional, ask these 7 questions to determine if your campaign is on the right track.
Setting unrealistic goals for your SEO campaign, such as dominating Google and Bing for every product or service you offer right out of the gate, will most always result in failure. Instead, set realistic objectives for your campaign and achieve success incrementally. For example, most businesses offer multiple products or services. If your business falls into this category, it can be daunting to achieve top rankings for everything you offer. With an incremental strategy, you can optimize for one product or service, and after you’ve achieved success, move onto the next product or service and so on.
Also, keep in mind that a successful SEO strategy can be perceived as unsuccessful only because the goals are so completely unrealistic.
This is a big one. Most businesses do not have realistic timeframes or budgets for their SEO campaigns. They want results immediately, and at the same time, are only willing to make a minimal investment. Consult with an SEO professional and determine what a realistic timeframe and budget would be for your type of business. The more competitive your industry, the greater timeframe and larger budget you should expect. If you go into an SEO campaign with a short timeframe and unwillingness to make the necessary investment, it will most likely fail because you are not giving your SEO professional the necessary time to test and make adjustments needed for a successful long-term campaign.
Optimizing for the wrong keywords is common and often the cause of an SEO campaign’s failure. Ideally, you’ve hired an agency or professional to manage your campaign and they’ve chosen the right keywords after performing extensive keyword research. However, if you’ve selected your own keywords based on what you “think” your customers are searching, without verifying with real data, it’s highly probable that your campaign is not using the right keywords.
Analyze keyword data using a reputable keyword research tool and see what keywords your (successful) competitors are using, to make sure you’re optimizing for the right keywords.
If you have failed to select the right keywords, then you’re either not delivering enough traffic to your site, or not delivering the right traffic or a combination of both. A quick sniff test to determine if your campaign is delivering the right traffic is to look at your site’s bounce rate for organic search traffic. If you see a high bounce rate for organic search visitors, then what they’re searching for is not consistent with what they’re finding on your website. It’s important to distinguish the bounce rate for organic visitors from other visitor types (i.e., direct visits, referral visits, etc.) so you can make informed decisions based on your organic search traffic specifically. If you have a high bounce rate for all visitor types, this means you may have a larger issue to address, such as your website.
A successful SEO campaign starts with a professional website that engages visitors upon arrival. Visitor engagement is crucial to a campaign’s success, because engagement ultimately results in conversions, which is how most businesses measure a campaign’s success. The lack of a professional website discredits your brand and therefore reduces engagement and conversions.
Here are some questions to ask when evaluating your website:
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7 Reasons Your SEO Campaign Will Fail and What You Can Do About It