Why Is My SEO Not Working?

March 31, 2015

This is probably one of the most common questions SEO’s and digital marketing agencies hear from their clients.


Whether this question comes two weeks after the campaign began or two years, there are many reasons that SEO fails, especially if a client who is not search engine savvy attempts to implement their own search engine optimization strategy.


More difficult is hearing that a client doesn’t think SEO is important, because they’ve read a blog online that says SEO is dead or that it’s a scam.


And while there are some techniques that are scams and will just end up ruining your page ranking, and there are some techniques that do not work, and therefore should be classified as dead (or maybe, as “never alive”), SEO is still alive and well and ethical and functional.


Getting SEO right, especially for first timers can be difficult.


That’s why working with a digital marketing agency can be so helpful and can even ensure you success.


If you have a search engine optimization plan in place and it just doesn’t seem to be working, there may be a number of causes.


Here are just some of the most common:


1. You’re not spending enough money.

In order for marketing to work, you have to spend money on it.


There is, of course, the promised return on that investment, but many business owners are still too tentative when it comes to their SEO budgets.


Because they’re told that it’s a long-term solution, many people are unwilling to drop a lot of money into it, especially at the beginning of their business, when funds are tight.


All this does is delay the inevitable—which is either that their website is impossible to find and is therefore not making any money, or otherwise, that they realize they are not spending enough money and start actually investing in their SEO.


2. You are following the trends.

Things change in search engine optimization, yes.


Google releases one of their animal-themed updates and maybe they have included a new ranking factor or made one factor less important or more important than it used to be.


However, these changes are different than the trends that seem to crop up every year.


These are theories that someone has developed, which they’ve gotten other people to believe actually work.


It’s new, and it’s shiny, and it promises fast results, which is a good indicator of a tactic that Google is going to flag it in a couple of months.


3. You’re not using the right keywords.

This is one of the most common reasons that organic search fails.


How do you know if you’re not using the right keywords?


If you’ve done a little bit of keyword research, you might not be adequately testing and implementing your keywords before launching a full campaign.


If you haven’t done any keyword research, on the other hand, then you are probably not using the right keywords.


Keyword research should tell you what people are searching and which keywords are best to use.  We always recommend a blend of SEO & PPC at the beginning to help figure out the best keywords to target.


4. You are relying too heavily on keyword research.

Here’s the problem with keyword research: most of the tools available don’t take account for the “human factor” when coming up with lists of keywords.


For example, a Kia dealer might get keywords like “Kia Optima” or “Kia Dealer NJ,” but keyword research might not turn up common search phrases like “where to buy used Kias.”


While that might not be a good example of a keyword that an auto dealer wants to use, it illustrates the fact that keyword research can be very narrow and while it will give you a variety of keywords to work with, it might not always supply you with the very best keywords, all of the time.


While collecting keywords to use in SEO, it’s important to not just rely on the tools and use a bit of human ingenuity, too.


5. You didn’t hire a SEO expert.

On its surface, search engine optimization doesn’t sound that difficult.


It sounds like all you have to do is insert relevant search terms in to content and your page will be quickly and highly ranked.


Anyone who has ever tried to do their own SEO will tell you that’s just not the case.


Not only does it take an expert to help you find the right keywords, it also takes an expert to write the content and implement backlinking efforts.


While there are plenty of DIY guides online that can get you started, if you need rapid results, hiring a professional is a better way to spend your money than on ineffective PPC campaigns or for content that doesn’t even use the right keywords.


6. Your SEO is two weeks old.

Ask any SEO Expert: the most common complaint they get is, “It’s been two weeks. Why isn’t my website on the first page of Google?”


While it might not be that exact comment, it is something like that—“It’s been (a short amount of time) and the SEO hasn’t worked yet.”


SEO is a marathon, it’s not a sprint (PPC is the sprint for traffic).


That means you have to train for it.


While there are some search terms that will allow you to be highly ranked, quickly, for very valuable or highly competitive terms, it takes SEO a while to find its footing.


Expecting instant results means you are going to be instantly disappointed.


SEO doesn’t have to be a mystery.


It also doesn’t have to be difficult.


When you work with the right professionals and stick to the basics, instead of chasing the trends, you can get consistent, easy-to-maintain results.

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