SEO fails
Digital marketing

5 Reasons Your SEO Is Not Working

Many small business owners have benefited greatly from search engine optimization. In the last 10 years SEO has become a pillar in digital marketing, opening opportunities for many.

Other business owners, however, find the entire topic confusing and frustrating. To some, SEO is a bad word even, representing failed marketing expenses and mistrust.

There are 5 reasons your SEO is not working that are easily addressed.

You Think SEO Is an Event

Believe it or not, there are still many who believe SEO is a technical exercise that is “done to their website.” After all, this was how SEO started way back in the beginning of search engines. Back then, modifying the code on your website WAS SEO. We literally optimized the code so that the spiders could better digest the site and categorize it.

Today, SEO is vastly more complicated than a “technical tune-up” of your website. It is still true that you will need to adjust your code, modify title tags, add schema, and all the rest. However, this is just the beginning of the SEO marketing strategy. Clearly, the days of stuffing keywords on your website with the hope of ranking highly in the search engines is over.

You Have Not Embraced Content Marketing

The fields of SEO and Content Marketing are rapidly merging. If SEO is no longer a “technical event done to your website” – then what is it? Well, it’s becoming part PR, part IT and part something brand new. Content Marketing is defined as a marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable content.

As SEO has become more and more competitive, many business owners have begun to invest in strong content as a way to win the race for page 1 positions. Let that sink in. After the traditional onsite SEO tuning, companies are now creating very comprehensive content to further their SEO objectives.

How does this work? Well, seasoned experts know that backlinks to your website are a necessary ingredient to strong search engine rankings. Attracting backlinks with thin or poorly written content is extremely difficult. Nobody wants to send visitors to a bad blog post. However, people love to share outstandingly thorough and informative content. Thus, strong content attracts backlinks – which drives higher search engine rankings.

You Are Under-Promoting Your Content

Once business owners start to grasp the importance of great content, they usually start to binge. They write excellent blog posts, often by experts in a field. They do so repetitively, and then later start to wonder why they are not at the top of the rankings. Some even explore UX and UI issues and make those posts very attractive to readers. This improves time-on-site and dwell time. However, there is a problem, nobody is coming.

All great content needs a kick-start. The “build it and they will come” approach does not work. There has been studied after study showing that top ranking content has backlinks to it. This creates a chicken-and-egg problem. No rankings without backlinks. Unable to attract backlinks without rankings. One this is clear, if you create outstanding content and have no promotion plan, your SEO strategy will not work.

You Hired the Wrong SEO

The need for strong promotion often leads to outsourcing SEO. According to Adam Stetzer, Ph.D., an White Label SEO Reselling industry expert at HubShout,

“Many small business owners run into problems because they simply hire the wrong person. A good SEO will have a strong track record with client references. What they do for you should be easily auditable and transparent.”

Unfortunately, most SEO’s have the opposite reputation. They often hide their tactics from their clients. They can use overly complicated terms and jargon, and won’t spend time educating clients. Avoid these types and steer toward people who are trustworthy. As in all business relationships, communication is key.  

You Are Not Willing To Invest

A final reason your SEO is not working is that you are simply not spending enough money. Consumers seem to understand that more powerful automobiles with more features cost more money than economy cars. When it comes to ranking keywords in the search engines, this logic seems to disappear. In fact, some keywords have stronger economic value for those who hold the rankings. As a result, it will be more expensive to rank on those keywords.

Working with the right SEO team means that you will be advised, from time to time, that are you are requesting something unrealistic. Listen to your advisors. If the budget is not available, pick easier targets.


Achieving top rankings in the search engines can be transformative for a small business. For these reasons, many marketers are eager to achieve top results. As you strive for strong marketing results, be careful not to commit one of these 5 common SEO mistakes to ensure you see a strong return on investment for your digital marketing dollars.

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