So you sought out SEO services but nothing happened, or you didn’t get the results you expected? Just because you had one bad experience with SEO, that doesn’t mean you should give up on it altogether.
You can get so much more value out of SEO than you realise when you choose the right SEO company.
Here are a few ways it may have all gone wrong for you and how these problems can be easily overcome next time you seek out SEO services.


Although you paid for SEO, there’s a chance you didn’t actually receive SEO services at all. Or perhaps bad SEO practices were put in place that had an adverse effect on your rankings.
There are far too many SEO wannabes out there who claim they offer SEO services, but they don’t actually have the skills and knowledge required to SEO a website. In fact, they may even push SEO practices they think are good, but in reality, they could actually be harmful to your rankings.
Some examples of bad SEO practices include:

  • Duplicate content
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Invisible text
  • Bad backlinks

If your SEO company encourages, implements or fails to fix any of these areas, this should be a big red flag.

How to Steer Clear of Bad SEO

Along with looking out for the bad SEO practices mentioned above, if an SEO company makes big claims or promises that sound too good to be true and doesn’t tell you what they are actually going to do to get you results, turn around and walk the other way.
On the other hand, if an SEO company has multiple positive reviews from real clients, this is a pretty good indicator that they offer SEO services that deliver results.
You want a company that is transparent, open and honest who can answer all your questions and tell you the strategy they’ve put in place to optimise your site.

SEO Takes Time

Perhaps the SEO practices put in place for your business were working in your favour all along, but you jumped ship too soon?
Every client looking into SEO needs to realise that it does take time for the benefits of SEO to roll out. SEO is a long-term investment, and the real payoffs will be seen in time.

So why does it take so much time for SEO to work?

  • Time Consuming Tasks – Starting and running an SEO campaign involves completing a lot of critical tasks before your website can rank. Although these tasks are time-consuming, they are necessary to get your website to where it needs to be.
  • New Website – The process can take even longer again if you have a brand new site. Google rewards older sites in their SERPs so if your website is brand new, it’s unlikely that it will rank immediately.
  • Writing Content – Developing content to put up on your site also takes time and multiple pages of long-form content are needed to build up the strength of your website in search engines.
  • Competitors – You need to take your competitors into account. They may also be taking advantage of SEO services, thus pushing up their own rankings, and if more competitors are present in your industry, it will take longer to get your website to rank above them.
  • Slower is Better – SEO can’t be forced. It must happen gradually and look natural to be effective – and by doing this, it can allow your website to rank higher for longer.

Poor Communication

Perhaps your SEO account manager failed to communicate the benefits and expectations to you correctly, giving you the wrong idea of what SEO is and how it can help your business.
If you don’t fully understand what SEO is and how it can help your business, how do you know if it’s a worthwhile investment?
For many CEOs and business owners, SEO is foreign territory that they know little about. It’s the account manager’s job to educate them on exactly what SEO can do for their business and provide realistic expectations. If your account manager is unable to do this, you will fail to see value from this service.
A top tier SEO company should know how to explain SEO in terms that you can understand and relate it back to marking metrics that CEOs care about. Rand Fishkin specifically emphasises the need for SEO professionals to communicate the benefits appropriately.
In a recent MOZ Whiteboard Friday, Rand shows that an SEO account manager needs to show a business how SEO directly impacts the sales funnel. Customers who come from paid advertising tend to underperform compared to people who click organically. If a website ranks organically, a business can lower the cost of acquisition and increase customer lifetime value.
In many cases, this is the kind of stuff many businesses want to hear.

What Good Communication Looks Like

Too many account managers take the wrong approach when explaining the benefits of SEO to companies. Rather than just saying there is ‘traffic growth’, an SEO account manager should show what the traffic is doing and explain how as the traffic grows, the cost to acquire a new customer falls because those channels are organic.
CEOs and business owners care about:

  • customer acquisition
  • customer revenue
  • customer lifetime value
  • conversion rates
  • metrics that predict better retention

They also want a better understanding of how SEO can help customers move through the sales funnel. A good SEO account manager should be able to speak in marketing language to show how ranking results translate to conversions and sales.
If your business cares about lifetime value and acquisition costs, SEO can help your business achieve in these areas. Your SEO account manager should be able to lay out a clear strategy and path to achieve rankings and keep you informed about the progress so you know exactly what to expect and what you can gain from your SEO campaign.

Get Set on the Right SEO Path

Although you may have had a bad experience with SEO in this past, it would be a shame to walk away for good and miss out on the benefits higher Google rankings can make to your business.
You’re sure to be surprised by the difference good SEO, good communication and a little bit of patience can make to your business’ bottom line!