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What stops businesses from getting results with SEO?

     
7:10 pm on Oct 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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More businesses want SEO, but some fall off at some point. From what I can gather, they have one or more of these issues:
* My SEO provider sucks and I'm locked into a contract
* Marketing budget is spent for the year
* Fear of trying something new
* Ignorance

What issues do you run into and how do you deal with them?

7:32 pm on Oct 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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tomshark, Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

What stops businesses from getting results with SEO?

I've found that some business owners are their own arch nemesis when it comes to SEO. They know it all. ;)

My SEO provider sucks and I'm locked into a contract.

I sure hope that is not a common denominator.

8:44 pm on Oct 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Seconding the know it all: they pay for your advice and then don't or won't implement.

Example: When presented with 5 things to do, along with costs, that all need to be done, they ask you to prioritize by importance and only approve doing that one (most important) thing (because they don't want to spend any more $). This approach obviously won't yield the results they want & yet they won't understand when it doesn't.

(yes I am currently patiently educating one of these)

11:36 am on Oct 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If they cannot quantify the likely benefit, they will be reluctant to invest. e.g. "Ten extra sales will pay off the SEO cost" -- depends on what they sell and whether they believe you can deliver.
11:07 am on Oct 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Almost all the business owners having an online presence are aware of what is SEO and how it can help them.

IMHO, the only thing that they don't seem to understand is that the search engines are not supposed to work as they think they should.

Also sometimes, they are too impatient and expect results overnite - which obviously doesn't happen.

Best way is to clarify such issues with a customer prior to signing the SEO contract

8:40 pm on Oct 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Client expectations for SEO/SEM are very,very high, but I disagree that they cant have overnight results. As long as they understand the costs & risks they should make the choice - business is about taking risks and investing for a return.
1:56 pm on Oct 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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but I disagree that they cant have overnight results.

True! Unless they are targeting some obscure keywords or going for paid search placements.

I should have clarified my post by mentioning natural/organic results.

2:06 pm on Oct 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There are other factors though, even with the best will in the world (and the best SEO expert), a small new fish in a big pond is going to struggle, what's more is that many business owners don't seem to understand that just because they think they have the best product on the market, doesn't mean that they have the best proposition in terms of what people want when they search for keyword X.

Take for example the UK credit card market. Provider Y has the lowest interest rates, and will accept 90% of the population, yet when someone searches for credit cards, they will still want to see one of the aggregation sites that we have, because that is how people shop for credit cards, and those companies have 4X the budget of any individual credit card company, they can push out more off line advertising and will always receive the lions share.

It is very important that companies realise that just because they are online, doesn't mean they should be at number one. I always put this in terms of offline media which people understand. If you are a small business you wouldn't expect to have the same amount of TV or national newspaper advertising as the large multi national operating in your sector. Online business in many ways is no different, and so the expectations need to be adjusted.

This has always been the biggest reason for SEO to fail imo, it's not that it fails but that the expectation for success is too high.

 

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