Top 5 Mistakes Businesses Make Before Starting SEO

The astute business owner doesn’t know all the technical details about Accounting, Compliance Laws or Search Engine Optimisation, but they have taken the time to read enough to make an informed business decision. Many businesses fail SEO before they even start due to one or more of these top 5 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, paid ads they choose the cheap option, they dip their toes in before they leap (if they ever do), only to generate mediocre results at best. Then to complain about digital marketing, SEO, paid ads don’t work. Business, like your savings account, requires investment to grow. 

Your competition are more dedicated to building their business than you are, they’re investing more time and more money in getting ahead of you which is why they rank higher than you do. Often you’ll find a few key businesses in each industry who know how valuable the top 3 

rankings are and will invest a significant portion of their profits to stay there. The question is, how do you expect to beat them? 

Mistake #2: You haven’t done your due diligence.

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

Your Due Diligence:

Do your due diligence before you start SEO, you owe it to yourself and your business deserves it. 

  • Obtain at least 3 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 the boxes, invest and commit to your marketing strategy for the medium to 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 (you absolutely must know what Click- Through Rates, Conversion Rates, Impressions, Clicks and Rankings mean). 
  • Speak to your account manager each month, 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 reach rank 1, 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. 

Expecting Cheap SEO To Work

‘You get what you pay for’ is particularly true for Search Engine Optimisation. When your competition is investing in a quality, experienced and qualified SEO agency and you’re investing in the cheapest SEO program you could find. Chances are they’re going to beat you, time and time 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 SEO is dead, or SEO doesn’t work. It’s often when they are so close to breaking through. You must first break through the entry barrier to reach page 1. 

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. 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 are hiring SEO’s and they are performing SEO. The question is, how are you going to outsmart them? How are you going to outperform them? Don’t panic. 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) and whether the SEO methods being used to promote your business are compliant with Search Engines and best practices 

Not All SEO Is Good

There is SEO that will build your business an SEO that will break it, sometimes irreversibly. SEO companies employ different methods to improve businesses 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 penalised in the search results. 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 know and understand what methods will be used to rank your website before you start. 

Mistake #5 Not committing medium-long term

The Entry Barrier

There is a minimum amount of time and money required to be spent optimising and marketing your website to reach page 1 and the top 3 positions. Take for example the top 10 businesses on 

the first page of Google in your industry have spent on average 4-12 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’ (unless of course, you hire a more experienced and qualified Search Engine Optimiser than they did – even though the best SEO have their limitations). 

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 4-12 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 existing businesses. 

Nothing in business is guaranteed, failures 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.