Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

What Makes SEO Fail?

What makes an SEO campaign fail to deliver results?What makes SEO fail? There can be many reasons an SEO campaign fails to achieve or continue achieving the results you desire. One way SEO results are bound to fail is if you don’t keep your SEO consultant abreast of website changes. We’ve seen this happen all to often. Let’s analyze what happens.

What the client thinks:

We need to make changes to the website to reflect the changing nature of our business and our marketing focus. We don’t want to run all of them past the SEO consultant because they don’t concern him or her. And they may charge us for their time to review stuff that’s not related to our search engine rankings. Who needs the extra red tape and expense?

What the SEO consultant encounters:

A Keyword Status Report for the client shows a substantial drop in rankings for a group of important keyword phrases. Manually checking some of those keyword phrases confirms the worst: the client no longer shows up anywhere for those critical search phrases. Next, a review of the client web site shows that the pages that had been optimized for those phrases are gone altogether, or combined with other pages, or have been rewritten such that the keyword phrase no longer exists in the copy or the page title tag or anywhere else. Diagnosis: SEO failure.

We’ve seen this far too often. One client that had great rankings five years ago (the last time we were in touch with each other) decided to get their web site redesigned a year or more ago. The new site really looks a lot better than the old site. But their new web designer wasn’t given a copy of our optimization recommendations, so they just redesigned the web site to look the way the client wanted. Result: every last optimization technique on the site vanished. Suddenly the site can’t be found in Google or Yahoo or Bing unless you search explicitly for the company name. Anyone who doesn’t know the company name will never find them by searching for what they do. That’s SEO failure. And until we happened to talk, the client was blaming it on the poor economy.

How to prevent this kind of SEO failure:

If your web site has been optimized and is doing well for your essential keywords, make sure any redesign includes your optimization. Keep the recommendations from your SEO consultant and give them to your web designer before they start redesigning your web site.

In fact, it doesn’t take a complete redesign to compromise your optimization. We recommend talking with your SEO consultant before changing anything on your web site. Don’t worry about the small cost that may be involved. You’re better off safe than sorry.

  1. The SEO company you have hired generally set recommendations for your website. If you have a fair knowledge of the search engine you will be able to analyze the recommendation better and will be able to evaluate the benefits coming from these recommendations.

  2. It’s true that in our experience clients who understand SEO better are more likely to retain effective optimization of their site over the long term. An important part of what we do is educate our clients about what’s important, and how & why it works.

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