After being in the SEO industry for 13 years, I am still always amazed when a site owner chooses to completely disregard my on-site SEO recommendations. I can understand that some changes might not be possible—maybe the way your website was built won’t allow for it, maybe it would cost too much or take too long and not produce a significant enough of a return, or maybe you just don’t agree with it—and those are all completely valid reasons.
At the end of the day it’s your website and your online brand, so you make all the final calls; as your SEO provider I can give you the best possible strategy I can based on my experience and what I know about your website, but the final call is all yours.
That being said, why on earth would a site owner hire an SEO firm or SEO consultant and not implement any of their recommendations? In my mind, that’s like hiring a personal trainer and never showing up for a single session; you’re paying for expertise but aren’t using it to your advantage! What’s the point?
I’ve worked with several full service SEO clients over the years that seemed really gung-ho about their SEO campaign—they were excited, intrigued, and eager to learn more. I’d put, however, many hours into creating an on-site SEO recommendations document that included keyword research, content optimization, high-level recommendations, and more—only to have that document sit on someone’s desk (or inbox) for three months.
After three to four months of working with me and my team, my client wants to know why their SEO campaign isn’t delivering more traffic, why their rankings aren’t going up, and why they aren’t doing better for non-branded keywords. I always try to explain that without a strong website to build an SEO campaign from, the end results aren’t going to be as profitable as they could be and on-site SEO is a critical component of a strong website.
I’ve run through this scenario with several different clients of different sizes in different industries over the years, and I have decided that the following four things might be why some clients have a hard time implementing on-site SEO recommendations:
No Internal Support From Their Management
Depending on how large your client’s company is, their webmaster might have a pretty full plate every day and just doesn’t have the time to make implementing your on-site SEO recommendations a priority.
A marketing manager can ask time and time again, but sometimes they need that extra support from management to help make SEO a priority in the rest of the company’s departments. If your contact doesn’t have this high-level support for SEO, it’s likely they will run into some internal bottlenecks, making it much harder to get the ball rolling.
Internal Red Tape
Red tape is the death of SEO! I know that every business has a chain of command that major changes, like an on-site SEO document, need to work their way through, but when it takes three to six months to get anything approved your SEO campaign is never going to get off the ground. What makes it even harder is when each step in the chain of command puts in their two cents and sends the document back for revision, then the process has to start over again and again!
Also worth mentioning, red tape kills content marketing. Does everyone in your office really need to read and approve every single blog post before it goes live? It’ll take six weeks, and by the time it’s been edited, approved, re-edited, re-approved, completely scrapped, and finally published, it will be a shell of what it started as.
Whenever there is a big change-up with your client’s personnel, especially if your main contact changes, that usually means there is going to be a very definite pause in implementing any on-site SEO changes. Think about how much time and energy you put into educating your contact about SEO, walking them through the process, and explaining the reason behind what you are recommending—if they leave or move to a different position within the company, they take that knowledge with them and you’re back at square one with a new face!
I recently sent a 300+-page document to a client filled with on-site SEO recommendations, and that wasn’t even for their entire site! Luckily this client has all hands on deck when it comes to SEO, but imagine if you were working with a marketing manager of a mid-sized company or the business owner themselves—300 pages is going to knock them out of their chair!
Depending on how much help their site needs, your recommendations might require a lot of work on their part that maybe they weren’t expecting to see and they are just completely overwhelmed by it all.
These are just four conclusions that I’ve come to over the years of why some SEO clients seem to have such a hard time implementing on-site SEO recommendations. If you’ve got more insights, I’d love to hear them!
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Yuri Arcurs
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!