10 Reasons Why SEO Doesn’t Work

As somebody who has spent a big a part of their profession working straight in search advertising, it’s uncommon that I can’t discover a enterprise case to be made for SEO being within the digital, and broader advertising combine.

There are few rising industries, companies, or organizations that don’t have an online presence or some sort of on-line stage of engagement with their audiences.

SEO is a self-discipline that takes extra time and focus than paid media and different quicker-to-launch and outcomes channels.

That doesn’t imply it’s nugatory. It hurts me once I hear phrases like “SEO doesn’t work for us” or “we don’t imagine within the worth of SEO.”

There are no less than 10 the explanation why SEO doesn’t work.

Very few must do with solely exterior, business components.



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Most of the time when SEO fails, it’s as a result of a number of causes starting from unrealistic expectations or inherent challenges inside the firm or group.

There’s no yelling like an indignant actuality TV superstar guide coming in to make things better up right here. Just plain truths which may harm a bit should you can relate.

These are undoubtedly crucial to grasp earlier than beginning SEO or if you’re undecided it is going to give you the results you want.

1. Unrealistic Expectations

If we’re turning to SEO for our last-ditch effort to save lots of a enterprise, or because the magical supply that may produce all of our engagement and conversion objectives, we have to pump the brakes.

I’ve witnessed SEO do these issues, however these eventualities are uncommon and include undue strain.

Like media channels and different digital advertising disciplines, SEO will be deliberate, projected, and benchmarked.

Seek out business information, competitor analysis, and viewers (key phrase) information to know what the potential for SEO would possibly appear like.



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2. Giving up Too Soon

Like many natural efforts, we have now to do not forget that SEO doesn’t have a fast change that we will flip.

Variables in algorithms, components with our websites, the truth that links matter, and the aggressive panorama all make promising or relying on particular timing for SEO ROI and profitability troublesome.

Owners and executives hate the non-committal nature of SEO professionals in the case of timing for outcomes.

SEO execs hate being requested and pressured into giving a solution with so many unknowns.

The recognized factor that makes SEO fail although is pulling the plug too quickly.

“Too quickly” is earlier than you get by way of the vary of indexing, technical, content material, on-page, and exterior (hyperlinks and extra) components.

The extra aggressive the area, the extra time you want.

The extra points you’ve got if you begin that you must work by way of, the extra time you want.

3. Thinking Tactically Instead of Strategically

Many SEO techniques have stood the check of time and are nonetheless essential as we speak.

However, that has additionally prompted undue weight being positioned on them.

If you write new tags or optimize them, I doubt you’ll see a lot raise. If you get one new hyperlink, you’ll possible not see a distinction.

Dabbling in particular techniques is harmful.

Strategic thinking is critical.

When SEO doesn’t work, it’s actually because it was began with a guidelines or set of techniques with out course.

Strategy means we’re utilizing analysis, setting objectives, planning out a strategy, measuring the influence, and having mechanisms in-built that enable for agility.

It’s painful to listen to phrases as we speak that haven’t any that means or relevance.

It’s one factor to have the best techniques in absence of a technique (famous above).

It’s a deeper problem and cause for SEO failure when utilizing practices which have little or no alternative for fulfillment to begin with.

Even seasoned SEO professionals want ongoing updates for his or her strategies and understanding of the SEO career.



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The threat of outdated or ineffective efficiency comes with having somebody add SEO to their duties, those who price little or no, or those who haven’t finished SEO within the current previous.

5. Lack of Audience Demand

I discussed that more often than not it’s onerous to discover a case the place SEO can’t assist a enterprise.

That’s not at all times 100% true.

Or, on the very least, I can undoubtedly attest that there are occasions the place it shouldn’t be one of many main or highest precedence channels within the advertising combine.

When an organization’s audience isn’t looking for what they provide, that’s a warning signal that SEO gained’t work.

It isn’t a case the place SEO efforts can’t get the positioning ranked for sure key phrases – it’s about the truth that these rankings gained’t matter by way of driving site visitors and/or leads and gross sales.

Some examples embody services or products which might be ultra-technical, have zero consciousness, or in promoting fashions which might be personal and aren’t carried out publicly on the internet.



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SEO is an inbound channel. We must have individuals actively coming to a search engine, do a search, discover us, and click on by way of to see it work.

When there’s no alternative (or need) for that, then investing in SEO and dealing to optimize is usually a pointless train.

6. Unfavorable SERP Features

There are many shifting targets in search.

For its complete existence, Google has used the search outcomes web page as an enormous experiment. Looking again in time we will see and bear in mind the totally different layouts and forms of content material within the SERPs.

Each key phrase can have a unique format and pull in several featured items of content material or “data.” Organic search outcomes are only one piece of the SERP.

SEO expectations must be filtered by contemplating how busy SERPs are and the place the natural outcomes seem throughout the vary of focus key phrase phrases and phrases.

If natural outcomes are pushed means down the SERP under adverts, pictures, native listings, and different content material, the site visitors potential for a primary natural search rating is lower than it might be for a web page the place natural outcomes are above the fold close to the highest.



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Rankings don’t equal site visitors and conversions. SEO might not work regardless of primary rankings if SERP options are working towards us.

7. IT Issues

I do know many fantastic, proficient IT professionals.

Even my associates and the best-of-the-best generally don’t perceive or like SEO requests.

Security, performance, and information typically outrank seemingly subjective requests from the SEO workforce.

This is commonly the best-case state of affairs – simply justifying the necessity or ask.

SEO doesn’t work when the IT infrastructure or help doesn’t exist. Or, when SEO isn’t even an possibility for prioritization by IT.

If technical site factors can’t be touched, up to date, or addressed, issues like indexing and web site pace can undergo earlier than we even begin speaking about on-page components and CMS wants.

8. UX Issues

For SEO campaigns and efforts which might be measured towards conversions (not simply consciousness or preliminary clicks/engagement), UX can typically make or break the chance.

It’s one factor to get rankings and site visitors. It’s one other if that site visitors doesn’t convert.



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You can have one of the best rankings and alignment with analysis, consideration, and backside of the funnel intent success.

However, if the UX is a practice wreck and other people can’t navigate to the place you want them to, then SEO will likely be judged as a failure.

9. Poor Team Structure

Teams are doubtlessly one thing bizarre to consider in the case of SEO working or not. However, that is typically a hidden problem.

Whether it’s tied to talent units, expertise, priorities, our useful resource commitments, the workforce (or individual) liable for SEO combined with others that need to support it, could make or break SEO efforts.

Early in my profession, I used to be extra capable of do SEO in a silo. That has modified lots – which is a constructive factor.

If there’s no actual dedication to the workforce and prioritization by all concerned, then SEO is in danger.

We want individuals inside the workforce or adjoining for content material, IT, UX, and different ranges of help.



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10. Lack of Investment

SEO site visitors is free!


While no media {dollars} are required inner or exterior assets are wanted.

Whether it’s onerous prices with an company and/or in software program, plus the gentle prices of inner staff and assets, SEO undoubtedly has a value.

Not absolutely funding the hassle with onerous and gentle prices can hold SEO working from the beginning.

Seeing the all-in funding want is important.


We all need all of our advertising efforts to work.

SEO is not any exception.

Whether there are a number of components or challenges that stand in our means, being conscious of the the explanation why SEO doesn’t work is essential.

SEO is an funding at many ranges. Knowing the place to resolve challenges or what can sink it earlier than it begins, or after efforts are underway, can go a protracted approach to making it work and unlocking the potential alternatives for reaching advertising and enterprise objectives by way of it.

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