Top 5 Mistakes Businesses Make Before Starting SEO

Top 5 Mistakes Businesses Make Before Starting SEO

Even the most astute business owner doesn’t know all the technical details about accounting, cash collections, compliance laws or search engine optimization (SEO). However, they have taken the time to read enough to make an informed business decision. Many businesses fail at SEO before they even start because of one or more of these top five mistakes:

Mistake #1: You’re Not Prepared To Invest Enough 

Some businesses are too afraid to take the plunge and invest a reasonable amount of money in their business to see a reasonable return on their investment. Rather than investing enough to facilitate a decent digital marketing campaign which includes blogging, link building and paid ads they choose the cheaper option. They want to dip their toes in before they leap (if they ever do), but this only generates mediocre results at best and wastes a ton of your time and resources. These are the same business owners who then complain about digital marketing, claiming SEO and paid ads simply don’t work. Any business strategy, like your savings account, requires investment to grow. 

If your competition is more dedicated to building their business than you are, you can guarantee they’re investing more time and more money in getting ahead of you. In the SEO space, this means they’re definitely ranking higher than you. Often you’ll find a few key businesses in each industry who know just how valuable it is to be in the top three Google search results. They will invest a significant portion of their profits to stay there. 

Mistake #2: You Haven’t Done Your Due Diligence

In every industry, there are good and bad, ethical and unethical, overpriced and under-priced SEO providers. It’s your job to navigate through the cowboys and hobbyists to find a good, reliable and trustworthy marketing agency that can deliver your business results. 

Your SEO Due Diligence: 

  • Obtain at least three proposals 
  • Research the company you’re planning to use 
  • Meet with them and get to know them 
  • Understand the strategy they’re going to use to get you to the top 
  • Find out why you’re ranked where you are and more importantly why your competition are ranked where they are 

Once you’ve ticked all these boxes, invest and commit to your marketing strategy for the medium-long term. 

How to Mitigate Your Risk of Choosing a Bad Company and Wasting Money? 

  • Don’t sign a lengthy contract; most SEO companies offer month-to-month contracts 
  • Read your reports thoroughly each month (understand what click-through rates, conversion rates, impressions, clicks and rankings mean)
  • Speak to your account manager each month and ask questions about the campaign 

Mistake #3: Your Expectations Are Unrealistic 

Expecting SEO Can Be Finished 

SEO is not a one-off expense, it requires ongoing work and maintenance. Once you’re ranking number one, it won’t stop your competition coming after you. You need to maintain your rankings and break as far ahead of them as you can to hold them off. 

Expecting Cheap SEO To Work 

‘You get what you pay for’ is particularly true for Search Engine Optimisation. When your competition is investing in an experienced and qualified SEO agency and you’re investing in the cheapest SEO program you could find, you can expect to be beaten over and over again. 

Expecting Results Too Soon 

If you’re not committed to results medium-long term, SEO is not for you. Many businesses give up far too early and complain that SEO is dead or doesn’t work and this often happens when they are so close to breaking through. You must first break through the entry barrier to reach page one. 

Expecting SEO To Work Like Magic 

SEO is a revolutionary for businesses, it has the power to transform the backyard business into a booming national company. However, it’s not a magic wand, it’s backed by experience, education, dedicated and habitual hard work. 

Expecting You’re The Only Business Doing SEO 

SEO does not happen in a vacuum. Your competition is hiring SEO professionals to perform comprehensive SEO strategies to ensure they stay ahead.  The questions remain, how are you going to outsmart them? How are you going to outperform them? Don’t panic. Have realistic expectations: your rankings will go down as they go up. 

Mistake #4: Not Knowing Enough About What You’re Investing In 

If you don’t know enough about what you’re investing in, how will you know whether the work being done is any good or not? You should understand the basics of SEO. Whether your business is moving in a positive direction (improved rankings, increased traffic, more customers) or not and whether the SEO methods being used are compliant with search engines and SEO best practices. 

Not All SEO Is Good 

There is SEO that will build your business and SEO that will break it, sometimes irreversibly. SEO companies employ different methods to improve rankings. Some companies employ methods that are disapproved of by search engines, methods that are used to artificially improve your rankings. Buying links from low-quality websites is one of these methods, which can cause your website to be penalized in the search results. What’s worse, if these methods are used for an extended period of time the links may be too time-consuming to remove, or not able to be removed at all. You must understand what methods will be used to rank your website before you start. 

Mistake #5: Not Committing Long Term to SEO

The Entry Barrier 

There is a minimum amount of time and money required to be spent optimizing and marketing your website to reach page one and the top three positions. Take, for example, the top 10 businesses on the first page of Google in your industry, they have likely spent on average four to 12 months performing SEO. To compete with them, you will also need to spend the same amount of time and money, the Gold Coast SEO Experts call this the “entry barrier.”

The entry barrier is different for each industry and is greatly determined by the type of service, competition and profitability of the service. We find in high-profit industries businesses are more prepared to invest time, money and resources in their marketing as the returns for their investment are higher. To beat your competition you need to break through the entry barrier by investing more time, money and resources than they have. 

SEO takes time. Google advises four to 12 months before you start seeing results! This is because Google has anti-spam factors built into their system to stop unethical businesses gaming the system and the entry barrier made up by the existing above-board businesses. 

Nothing in business is guaranteed, failures will happen but also great successes. Don’t expect to invest your spare change into SEO and believe you’re going to take over the market just because you’ve ticked the SEO box on your to-do list. Give your business and SEO the respect and attention it deserves.

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