Due to the degree of difficulty and ever-increasing complexity of search engine optimization, you can’t fully erase the qualms of small businesses when it comes to ROI.
You can’t really blame them though. After all, if I’m pouring in over a thousand dollars a month on a strategy that doesn’t improve my sales, I’d begin to question my investment decisions, too.
But before you hit the brakes and abandon ship, you need to understand that SEO is a “go big or go home” kind of commitment. It’s not something you can casually do on the side — overshadowed by a collection of other marketing strategies — and expect it to produce substantial results.
Statistics show that the top result on Google has a 33.64% click-through rate. This is significantly reduced to only 5.61% on the fourth position — tapering off to only 0.95% by the tenth.
In other words, you either go all-in with everything you’ve got, or give up SEO altogether. Just do yourself a favor and decide now — will you keep pressing on, or call it quits?
Still here? Good.
It’s time to set the direction of your SEO campaign straight. But first, you need to identify the top reasons why it’s not producing results in the first place.
1. Your Campaign Is Led By Amateurs
It may sound harsh, but in SEO, there’s no room for amateurs.
You can’t expect to win against a stacked, full-service SEO agency if you only have a subpar “specialist” or team with half-baked strategies and truckloads of guesswork.
Sure, a budget SEO services company might be capable of putting your brand on Google’s first page. But even if they do manage to help you secure one of the top three spots, then they were most likely only targeting unprofitable keywords just to get you excited.
Remember that effective SEO requires a tremendous amount of work. It requires a team to be well-equipped and ready to take on even competitive keywords.
More importantly, they can design a system wherein your SEO efforts can directly translate to sales. This means they already know everything else in this list like the back of their hand.
2. You Didn’t Build Enough Branded Links
Here’s An Inescapable Fact: You’ll Never Snag One of the top three positions until Google trusts you.
From an SEO angle, brand building can be reflected across multiple areas. One of which is in the science of link building — more specifically, the aspect of keyword optimization.
A lot of new businesses make the mistake of optimizing too much for niche-related keywords. As a result, they build an unnatural backlink profile that doesn’t establish brand authority.
To help you understand this, let’s take a look at the homepage backlink profile of one of the biggest brands in the e-commerce space — Amazon:
- Amazon.com - 30%
- Amazon - 28%
- www.amazon.com - 16%
- https://www.amazon.com/ - 12%
- Niche-relevant keywords - 6%
- Others - 8%
Notice anything peculiar? Yes, up to 58% of their homepage backlinks contain a branded anchors — 86% if you include the naked URLs.
Put simply, you need to optimize for branded anchor texts on your homepage if you want to .
Think about it — authoritative brands that legitimately draw the attention of online users would naturally amass branded links to its homepage. That’s why you should aim to have at least 80% of your homepage links to have a branded anchor text.
3. You Forgot To Build Your Brand
In online marketing, brand building can pertain to different activities.
Influencer marketing, for example, is one endeavor that will definitely benefit your brand. It describes practices that will let you leverage the authority and online reach of other experts, brands, or other customers to improve your reputation and boost buyer confidence.
Granted, being on Google’s first page is impressive in its own right. But the influx of traffic you can achieve is meaningless if your visitors don’t have even an ounce of trust in your brand.
A common solution is to have a steady supply of relevant and useful content for your target audience. The more valuable and accurate information you freely provide, the easier your content consumers will turn into paying customers.
Another area of brand building is investing in social signals that incorporate social proof numbers and user-generated content.
For instance, if one of your posts have garnered thousands of likes, re-shares, and positive comments on social media, other users would become more receptive of your value propositions. Your content’s potential for links would also exponentially increase as more people share and engage it.
Some of the best ways to generate social proof is to launch social media contests and track brand mentions with a social listening tool.
4. You Don’t Score Your Seo Leads
Keep in mind that brand discovery through search engines is only the first step in the customer’s journey. They may not complete a purchase during their first visit, but you can show them the path to conversion by delivering content that matches their needs.
This is where the art of lead scoring steps in.
According to statistics, companies that have an effective lead scoring system can improve their lead generation ROI by up to 77%. It’s a marketing strategy that involves giving points to leads whenever they perform actions, and then sending them off to the sales team whenever they reach a certain “point threshold”.
For example, if one prospect clicks to a webinar landing page via a newsletter, then they can be attributed a point. But once they do attend your webinar, then their lead score can be increased by 5-10 points.
With SEO in mind, lead scoring begins by assessing the search terms and links they used to find your site.
If they used a keyword that signals a high purchase intent, then it might be ideal to send them off to the quickest path to sales. But if they arrived at your homepage via a branded link, then they most likely need a more proper introduction to your brand’s story and unique value propositions.
Remember, SEO is an incredibly intricate mechanism with a lot of moving parts. Considering the
fact that SEO can be bloody expensive, you can’t really blame small businesses who are hesitant to adopt an SEO strategy in their marketing.
Hopefully, learning the reasons why SEO isn’t affecting your bottom line would set your direction straight. If you’d like to know more about the SEO landscape in 2018, feel free to check out this post. Good luck!