4 Reasons Your SEO is Ineffective

The majority of our business comes from 3 sources:

  1. Referrals
  2. Referrals who come to us after working with another firm
  3. People who find us online after working with another firm

As you'd probably expect, when the majority of your clients have already worked with another firm, you see first hand why companies are having trouble executing effective marketing strategies.

1. Your SEO firm doesn't know what they're doing.

SEO used to be very technical and by-the-numbers. There's still a large technical component, but an effective SEO strategy in the past might have looked like this:

Step 1: Optimize on-page for a wide variety of keyword variations.
Step 2: Hire an army of contractors to find guest posting opportunities or just skip the work and pay to join a high PR blog network.
Step 3: Submit 100 variations of the same article, one to each site.
Step 4: Repeat until you rank

It was a bit more complicated than that, but it was possible to find a step-by-step process that worked and could mostly be executed by anyone.

But Google's getting smarter, much smarter. SEO is getting harder – or rather as I explained to someone the other day, it's not getting harder as much as you need to be more creative and a better all-around marketing to execute it effectively.

2. Your budget is too low

This is the number one reason why I believe most companies fail the first time around. While writing this I got a call from a telemarketer guaranteeing me first page rankings for $99 per month. When faced with our $1,000+ minimum, first timers generally go with the cheaper options.

You'll generally be better off hiring a reputable firm to do some one-off work than hire some cheap firm to do "ongoing SEO," whatever that means.

Remember, SEO can be complex, but it can also be super simple. It really depends on your goals, so asking what low-cost packages an SEO firm has to choose from is the wrong question. I'm sure you'll find someone who will sell you something you can afford – in fact it'll probably be easier to find someone who will sell you something you can afford then it will be to find someone who won't sell you something you can afford if they don't think it will be effective – but you'll probably be disappointed.

3. You're doing it wrong

All SEO is not created equal. Let me give you an example: A major university near us was opening a new veterinary clinic and we were hired to "do their SEO." This site had so much authority that all we had to do was conduct a site audit, work with the dev team to implement our recommendations, and claim, edit, and clean up their business listings. They are now ranked #1 for the vast majority of their target keywords.

That was a one-off project that took a few months. Had we done that for a brand new vet clinic they would have had to spend 10 times as much to get a similar result.

If you're a restaurant you need to approach things differently than if you're a roofing company or a tax attorney or a financial planner. Each of these businesses are going to find success in dramatically different ways. Sometimes all you need is some basic on-site work, other times you need a full-scale link building and PR campaign. Sometimes you need to put a lot of time into on-site content, videos, etc, and other times you barely need more than a one-page landing page.

John Crenshaw
John Crenshaw
UFO company founder. 15+ years experience in performance marketing.
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