Most SEO campaigns are destined for failure because expectations are too high, budgets are too low, decisions are made based on assumptions instead of data, and customer expectations are misunderstood.
Whether you’re managing a campaign yourself, hiring a so-called ‘SEO professional’, or partnering with an award-winning digital marketing agency like Leverage Digital, you should ask yourself these seven questions to determine if your campaign is on the right track to help your business build momentum for sustained growth in the future.
1. Have You Set Realistic Goals?
Setting unrealistic goals for your SEO campaign, such as dominating Google and Bing for every product or service you offer right out of the gate, will almost always result in failure. Instead, set realistic objectives for your campaign and achieve success incrementally.
For example, most businesses offer multiple products or services. If your business falls into this category, it can be daunting to achieve top rankings for everything you offer. With an incremental strategy, you can optimize for one of your top-selling products or services, and after you’ve achieved success, move onto the next product or service and so on.
Also, keep in mind that a successful SEO strategy can be perceived as unsuccessful based solely on unrealistic goals. This is why partnering with a talented digital marketing agency is vital to the success of your SEO strategy. Without knowledgeable guidance and consistent performance audits, it’s nearly impossible to track the metrics of your brand’s success.
2. Do You Have a Practical Timeframe and Budget?
This is a big one. Most businesses do not have practical timeframes or budgets for their SEO campaigns. They want results immediately, but at the same time, are only willing to make a minimal investment. By consulting with our digital marketing agency, you can determine what a realistic timeframe and budget entail for your business.
The more competitive your industry, the greater the timeframe and larger the budget you should expect. If you go into an SEO campaign with a short timeframe and an unwillingness to make the necessary investment, it will most likely fail because you are not affording your marketing partner the necessary time to test your strategy and make the adjustments needed for a successful long-term campaign.
3. Have You Chosen the Right Keywords?
Optimizing for the wrong keywords is common and often the cause of an SEO campaign‘s failure. Ideally, you’ve hired an agency or professional to manage your campaign and selected the right keywords after performing extensive keyword research. However, if you’ve selected your own keywords based on what you “think” your customers are searching without verifying the results with real data, it’s highly improbable that your campaign is using the right keywords.
If you want to ensure that you’re optimizing for the right keywords, analyze keyword data using a reputable research tool to see what keywords your (successful) competitors are using.
4. Is Your Campaign Delivering the Right Traffic?
If you have failed to select the right keywords, then you’re either not delivering enough traffic to your site, not delivering the right traffic, or a combination of both. A quick sniff test to determine if your campaign is delivering the right traffic is to look at your site’s bounce rate for organic search traffic. If you see a high bounce rate for organic search visitors, then what they’re searching for is not consistent with what they’re finding on your website. It’s important to distinguish the bounce rate for organic visitors from other visitor types (i.e., direct visits, referral visits, etc.) so you can make informed decisions based on your organic search traffic specifically. If you have a high bounce rate for all visitor types, you may have a larger issue to address, such as the design or functionality of your website.
5. Do You Have a Professional Website?
A successful SEO campaign starts with a professional website that engages visitors upon arrival. Visitor engagement is crucial to an effective SEO campaign because engagement ultimately results in conversions, which is how most businesses measure a campaign’s success. The lack of a professional website discredits your brand, therefore reducing engagement and conversions.
Here are some questions to ask when evaluating your website:
6. Are You Writing Content That Your Customers Care About?
A dearth of visitor engagement and the resulting lack of conversions can also be attributed to publishing content that fails to answer prospective customers’ questions. Do not write content simply to appeal to search engines. Have a content strategy in place that answers questions and addresses concerns your customers typically have. Prospective customers will appreciate the extra effort, and they are much more likely to become paying customers as a result.
7. Are You Tracking Data and Making Improvements?
Tracking data and making improvements as needed is crucial to a successful long-term SEO strategy. This can often result in small tweaks that help improve the campaign over time or significant adjustments such as revamping an entire content strategy, or even redesigning a website.
It’s a mistake to simply measure the results of an SEO strategy based on one data point, such as rankings or phone calls. You should look at all of the data collectively to develop a better understanding of how your rankings are contributing to traffic and how that traffic is contributing to conversions. If you look at all of the data points as a system working together, it’s easier to find and fix deficiencies. For example, if rankings and traffic are good, but conversions are lacking, this could be due to poor keyword choices, a poorly designed website, or some other factor that could change the entire nature of the campaign if addressed.
Most SEO campaigns are destined for failure, but yours doesn’t have to be. If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you now know where your campaign is lacking and where to focus on making changes. We can help you make those changes.
At Leverage Digital, we help you dominate your brand’s corner of the internet with responsive digital design that outclasses your competition, compelling content that drives SEO and user engagement, and industry-leading web support to ensure that your brand is always growing, day or night. Our holistic approach to marketing allows us to customize a superior marketing plan that helps you reach your objectives while building a solid foundation to drive your brand’s growth into the future.