Search Engine Optimization offers powerful practices that can give your Website top search visibility. However there are many hurdles that a company can put up that keeps the Website from enjoying the top search visibility it deserves.
1. Lack of client involvement.
SEO cannot work in a vacuum. Successful SEO requires a client-agency partnership where the agency guides the client toward a content-rich, keyword-filled Website. Nothing less will generate top search visibility.
That may seem obvious to many. Nonetheless many people think SEO agencies have some magic or special relationship with Google.
They receive emails claiming some SEO agency has "patent pending technology." "Patent pending technology" for SEO means that you are being hoodwinked. When your SEO agency makes that claim, fire them and find a reputable agency. There is no automated SEO that works effectively.
Others think a good SEO agency has direct relationships with Google and Bing where those relationships can affect search positions. We have contacts at Google and Bing, but they will not change our client search positions.
2. SEO agency not involved in content development process.
Too often SEO is turned over to the agency after the content is developed. Then the content cannot be revised because the client does not want to repeat the content approval process. The SEO agency should be brought into the picture as soon as planning for a new Website begins.
3. The site is too small and has too little content.
Small Websites have problems developing natural search visibility. If you want search visibility, plan on developing a Website that has substantial content so it earns search visibility. Brochureware won't get the job done on search engines – or for developing business.
4. The site lacks strong informative content.
There is no reason to stay on the Website, much less return. Visitor behavior affects search visibility. Google measures how long a searcher stays on a site, or returns to search results. As a result, Google search visibility demands Website stickiness.
5. The Website is static.
Google does not like a static Website. Active, growing Websites will take search positions away from static Websites. If you do not have search positions, you will not earn new search positions with a static Website. You must grow your Website to earn search visibility.
6. The site is not search engine friendly.
What a Web developer calls "search engine-friendly" is not necessarily what an SEO agency would call search engine friendly. Having keywords in URLs are nice to have. But if multiple URLs point to the same page then search engines will assess spam penalties because such a situation is not search engine-friendly. Too often dynamically published Websites behave in ways that are not search engine-friendly. If you are having trouble gaining search visibility, your Website might have search friendliness issues that need identifying and correcting.
7. No integration between offline and online marketing
Search Engine Optimization is not an island. It is one piece of integrated marketing efforts – both online and offline. SEO should integrate with Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Press Release Optimization, Paid Search Programs, etc. Done properly SEO and your various other marketing channels should mutually support each other to make all marketing efforts stronger. SEO should support offline marketing by lighting up your Website on search engines for the same keywords that you feature offline.
8. Targeting the Wrong Keywords
Successful SEO is about targeting the most relevant phrases for your Website. If you pick keywords that are not absolutely relevant for your content, you will struggle with search visibility. Google is ingenious at selecting search results with the most relevant search results as determined by searchers. You can buy PPC ads for marginally relevant keywords that you want to target. But expecting organic search visibility for marginal keywords is like expecting a square peg to fit in a round hole.
9. Search Engine Optimization revisions to content, page titles and meta-tags were never put online.
SEO does not work unless the SEO is online. I can't begin to tell you how many times our SEO work never went online. The client either did not have the means to make changes or the changes were given a low priority.
10. You received lousy Search Engine Optimization
All the time I see SEO practices that did not work by the time the 1990s ended. Even today too much SEO relies on keyword stuffing in meta-tags which have long been ignored by search engines. We still see hidden content which search engines can instantly identify and penalize with significantly lower search positions.