9 Ways to mess up SEO

Being in SEO can either be a very short-term working relationship or a long-term working relationship. It all depends on how you handle it.

Whether you are an in-house SEO extraordinaire, a freelancer, or an agency owner, there are many pitfalls that can expedite your termination. 

You Are Bad at Reporting
You could be really great at your job… or you could be really bad. Without good SEO reporting, the client won’t know which you are.

If you are getting great results, you had better be reporting that back to your client. And if they have no idea what a backlink is or what keyword ranking means, you need to sit down with them and make sure they understand.

Whether you are a freelancer, in-house SEO, or an agency, take the time to explain what SEO is, your tactics, and how it is positively impacting their business.

Giving Unrealistic Goals/Expectations
Whether you are an SEO company or an in-house marketer, make sure you set realistic expectations from the beginning. As a company, we always want to close the deal, especially when we are competing against other SEO agencies in the market. It can be very tempting to say, “Sure, we can get you there in three months,” but you want to think about the consequences if that doesn’t happen.

Tanking Rankings
This one is less prevalent, but, if you make a company/client drop in rankings, this will usually equal your swift termination.
Instead of implementing large-scale changes to a website, start small and test them. If they work, then start moving on to bigger changes.

Being Afraid to Fail
While you want to be successful, don’t forget that it is okay to fail on a small scale every so often. Just make sure you are constantly A/B testing your different tactics so you can see what works and understand what Google wants to see happening with your website.

Before you change your entire navigational bar with different categories, maybe you can change 2-3 which are low traffic, monitor those rankings, and see how they do post-revisions to the website. If they stay high in their rankings, then it was a good thing, and you can try with more of the categories.

Listening to Bad Advice
Make sure that if you want long-term sustainable results and don’t want to be fired, you only pay attention to reputable SEO consultants. Curate your content on different online publications and take everything with a grain of salt. After all, taking advice from an SEO consultant who only works on Fortune 500 sites is much different than doing SEO for local small businesses. Be mindful of who you are listening to — because the tactics can be completely different.

No Testing or Learning
You will no doubt fail if you become complacent with SEO. Google is the ultimate rat race — those who get slow and don’t conform usually die.

The reason for this is: if you are gaining rankings, it means someone had to drop in the rankings. It is a very cutthroat practice, and people tend to forget that. If you get complacent and stop trying to perfect your skill or craft, you will eventually get left in the dust by your competitors.

Buying Links
Buying links is something Google is actively trying to eradicate, and clients/companies generally do not look at this favorably. I know of companies/consultants that have purchased links, and then were caught red-handed down the road when an SEO consultant came in or the client found out via other means. That is not a good situation to be in.

Send Bad Outreach Emails
Send personalized one-to-one emails. Mass emails do not work anymore. They just don’t.

Not Getting Results
This last one should be a no-brainer. SEO is a results-driven business. No one wants to do SEO; they just want SEO to get them results. However, if you are not getting results, don’t fret just yet. Like I said earlier, at the end of the day, all you can do is implement best SEO practices. You cannot make people search Google, you cannot make them buy, and you cannot make users like a website/product they do not like.

Courtsey of SearchEngineJournal


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