4 Ways to Kill the ROI of SEO

Travis Bliffen
by Travis Bliffen 16 May, 2017

Have you ever hired an SEO company only to end up 12 months into a campaign without any clear signs of success?

Chances are you may have found yourself in this scenario a time or two. The worst part by far - not knowing what caused your campaign to yield less than desirable results. Today, we are going to look at four common reasons why SEO campaigns fail and what you can do to avoid failure.

  1. Failure to Match Budget with Goals and Competition

    If you have been brave enough to search something like "cheap SEO services" and contact the agencies on the other end, then you have also likely called a large SEO agency only to get a salesperson on who attempts to pitch you on what seems to be a pre-made SEO package. 

    Salespeople are great, but only if they are properly educated on what they are selling. If the person you are speaking with does not understand the inner workings of SEO, they are not likely to develop a custom SEO plan for you. In some cases, they gather your information and take it back to a strategist to review but when they try to price you on the fly, you should be a bit wary.

    In order to determine a budget that will allow you to succeed, the agency should be asking questions about who your competition is, what problems your product solves, who your ideal client is and what type of SEO work has been done in the past. In addition, the goals that you have set for your company should also be considered. This information coupled with some preliminary research is the most accurate way to price an SEO project. Without that information, you are prone to having a budget to goal mismatch in the very near future.

  2. Forgetting About YOUR Numbers

    Another very important but surprisingly overlooked piece of information is your profit margins. If you are not willing to discuss your margins, it will be very difficult to run an accurate calculation of the sales needed to provide your business with an ROI.

    In order to decide whether or not your business is likely to profit from an SEO campaign, some variation of this calculation should be used:

    SEO-ROI-<a href= title=
    Taking those metrics into consideration, an agency can determine how much traffic is needed to generate the number of leads and sales you desire. This in turn can be used to determine which keywords need to be targeted. That ties into number one: matching your budget with goals and competition.

  3. Giving Up Too Soon or Late

    In some cases, there are keywords that can take an extended time to rank. I have seen keywords take 18-24 months to rank however, using the formula above, the time and money was a worthwhile investment.

    In other cases, I have seen agencies sell ranking packages to customers and rank them within a month or two, but the investment was a complete waste. Some companies sell "vanity" rankings, which look good on a report but do not provide a return on investment because the search traffic is non-existent.

    In either case, the formula above can help you determine how much time and money should be invested into each keyword. Once you find a keyword that is profitable you should continue investing in that keyword for as long as it is profitable. Do not make the mistake of paying to get your site ranked and then discontinuing or you could lose your rankings, greatly decreasing your ROI potential.

  4. Implementing a Dated Strategy
    One of the best ways to kill your current and future ROI potential is by investing in outdated SEO tactics. The reason this is such a big problem still is because uneducated business owners go online and search for cheap SEO packages. While this is an easy sell for the agency and the low cost makes it appealing to the business owner, the damage that could be done could cost you a lot to correct.

    By the time, you realize that the cheap package you opted for is not working you may have quite the mess to clean up. This means your new agency will first have to find and correct all the issues created. As such, you will have to spend more and the timeline for your SEO strategy to become profitable can also be extended. Don't consider going the cheaper route first, it will cost you in the end.

SEO remains one of the best marketing strategies available today. Avoiding the four major ROI killers mentioned above can save you a lot of time and frustration.

About the Author

travisTravis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a Web design and marketing firm located in Spring Hill, TN. Travis and his team are equipped to handle any size SEO project and have helped numerous businesses to date build a rock solid online presence. When you are ready for more leads and sales, it is time to get #stellarized. Connect on Facebook or Twitter @theseoproz.