You envision drowning in leads, making your first R1m and leafing through the luxury brands magazine on your desk, trying to decide whether your next spoil is a luxury vehicle, a boat or superbike. Oh, for the life of luxury that awaits you now that you’ve stuck your neck out and proudly signed your first SEO service provider. That’s day #1 of your new relationship with your first SEO service provider, but when day #2 arrives and the luxury brands magazine has yet to produce a luxury model in your life, are you the customer that bought into the investment or do you turn into that nightmare client that snuffs out your own SEO candle……
It sounds ridiculous, but how often doesn’t that happen to professionals in the SEO game, blessed with another client that simply doesn’t get it! SEO is a marathon, it’s not a sprint and while there will be some short-term gains, that is not what good SEO is all about.
#1 Not understanding SEO Services and consequently having unrealistic expectations
We’ve had clients sign up one day and the next call us because their website is not yet ranked #1 in Google search…..
An SEO consultant is a specialist in optimizing your website to gain visibility in search engine rankings. The process of gaining visibility involves so many aspects that include areas like keyword research and optimization, content improvement, link structures, UX and much more. Each website requires a different recipe and combination of these ingredients for it to gain visibility over your competition. Search engines like Google seek quality and sustained optimization efforts, looking for continuous improvement in SEO. It’s the impact of continuous improvement that wins the rankings marathon.
The emphasis is on continuous: if you are expecting great results in your SEO project, you need to buy into it becoming a continuous process supporting your inbound leads strategy. Depending on the ranking factors impacting your website, including domain age, the competitive landscape, and much more, it can take several months and sometimes as much as a year to see results in SEO. All the while, your SEO consultant will be working hard behind the scenes to deliver the results that you expect.
If you are not going to exercise patience to see the results of your investment, you probably should not go down the SEO route.
#2 Ignoring the social media advice of your SEO Services consultant
There are over 200 ranking factors applied by Google. What this means is that Google has over 200 different considerations that need to be satisfied before your website will win the ranking marathon. Some of these ranking factors include aspects pertaining to social media.
In our experience, some business owners attempt to reduce SEO investment costs by eliminating services that they deem superfluous or, for all intents and purposes, a luxury. Social media services are one such frequent exclusion, with the business owner suggesting that they will handle that internally. Once the realities of running a business get in the way, the business owner often lets social media fall by the wayside, resulting in a lack of the social media signals required by Google to award rankings.
In a similar vein, effective local search performance relies on an up-to-date and maintained Google My Business (GMB) profile. Via the social posting platform within GMB, Google seeks an active social strategy. Once again, once business takes priority, it is a further social platform that falls into the basket of the neglected.
In our experience, the lack of social activity significantly hurts the development of Google rankings, with our advice on this score seldom taken seriously.
#3 Distrusting and/or micromanaging your SEO consultant
While most clients will generally leave the SEO team to “get on with it”, there are exceptions. In our experience, the client that trusts us to turn our understanding of their business into results that will propel their business forward, are the clients that enjoy the best return on their SEO investment.
On the contrary, clients who micromanage their SEO consultancy fail to recognize that they are ineffectively using the SEO hours purchased under their retainer. Whilst every retainer includes time for communications, excessive communication time would be applied against retainer hours and this would be to the detriment of the business owner as hours required for technical SEO activities would be applied to cover excessive communication time.
If you are prone to micromanaging situations, consultants or have difficulty trusting professionals to perform as expected, be sure to set out your expectations upfront and before committing to the SEO initiative as your expectations may not be achievable.
#4 Not taking paid media seriously
Where your business is a B2C model, digital marketing cannot rely solely on SEO. Effective digital marketing in B2C businesses relies on a balance between organic and paid efforts in the form of Google and social media ads. In our experience, those B2C businesses that position themselves in both organic and paid space achieve exponentially higher returns than the contrary. (Read more about this in our recent blog detailing how one client achieved a 240% increase in website leads.) In the case of B2B businesses, a paid media presence can be less of a certainty than in the case of B2C – it depends on your competitive landscape and industry.
B2C businesses that are seeing the best results in online space are those invested in:
- Social Media
- Google Ads
- Meta Ads
Trying to tell the SEO consultant how to SEO
In hiring a professional consultant for SEO, it is implicit that they will be able to perform and, therefore, be left to do the job. There are occasions where businesses go to great lengths to find the perfect SEO professional for their needs and then frustrate the SEO process (and insult the professional) by going to great lengths to tell them how to SEO. Typically, this occurs when the business is financially distressed and generally unable to afford the SEO investment needed to outlast the business turnaround.
Most SEO professionals are highly effective and experienced in their profession – allow them the space to perform and deliver results. Conversely, if your business is financially distressed, SEO is unlikely to be the answer for you.
While there is no one-size-fits-all in SEO, there is equally no one-size-fits-all SEO Consultant. It is important to source the professional that suits your business, targets your personal style, and one that you feel can fully grasp your business challenges and turn that understanding into an online solution for your business. Once you have that service provider on board, trust them to perform and deliver!