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Why Do So Many Companies Quit Practicing SEO?

When you enter the realm of digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) becomes immediately appealing. SEO is cheap, it’s relatively learnable, and it holds the promise of amazing long-term results with one of the highest ROIs of any online marketing strategy. That’s one reason why the SEO world is full of optimistic newcomers, all hoping to eventually come to dominate the search engine results pages (SERPs).

The Modern SEO Landscape

Before we delve into the factors potentially responsible for these premature SEO campaign endings, let’s examine the modern SEO landscape.

Timing and Impatience

For starters, many people leave simply due to impatience. After a month of investment and effort, they don’t see the results they were hoping for — so they bail out, rather than continuing to waste money on what they see as a failed experiment.

Scams and Misleading Agencies

SEO participants also abandon their strategies because of scamming or misleading SEO agencies. While there are many qualified, reliable, and expert SEO agencies to choose from, there are also many low-quality and questionable vendors in the market.

The Learning Curve

Make no mistake — despite SEO’s reputation as being relatively beginner-friendly, link building and other SEO tactics are hard. There are numerous ways that your strategy can fail, and hundreds of little things to learn.

Poor Targeting

Your high-level strategy will dictate your fate in SEO. One of your most important considerations will be choosing target keywords. If you manage to select high-volume, low-competition keywords, you can deftly avoid competitors while capitalizing on the most significant potential stream of organic visitors.

The Competition

Competition is a common problem in many online marketing strategies; it’s not limited to SEO. But in the SEO world, it’s especially prevalent and apparent. If you’re trying to compete with a multibillion-dollar company that’s been investing in SEO for 15 years, you’re not going to have much luck overtaking them. Once marketers realize that it’s almost impossible to compete directly with some of these brands, they abandon their efforts entirely.

Penalties and Other Setbacks

SEO can come with setbacks. And they’re never fun to deal with. If you’ve spent months or years pouring money and time into SEO, the last thing you want to see is a manual penalty delisting you from search results altogether. There are ways to overcome these challenges, but some marketers are too disheartened or intimidated to try and find the reasons, and it takes strategy to get past the penalities.

Unwillingness to Adapt

You can’t be successful in SEO unless you’re willing to adapt, changing your tactics as you learn more about your competition and as you research new Google algorithm changes. Unfortunately, some companies are simply unwilling to learn these new parameters — so they quit the SEO game entirely.

Other Favorable Strategies

In some cases, companies pull money or resources out of SEO strategies to invest the money or resources in other strategies that seem more favorable to them.

The Synergistic Power of SEO

This is often logical and intuitive on the surface, but the marketers who do this often neglect the synergistic power of SEO. While SEO may have a lower direct return on investment than some of your other online marketing strategies, SEO has a powerful indirect effect on your other tactics; higher visibility in search engines and more organic traffic can support your online brand strategy in countless ways.

SEO isn’t the best strategy for every business or every competitive context.

Because of this, some companies are totally justified in ending their campaigns — and some should have never started SEO, to begin with. But if you’ve done your research and you know SEO to be a valuable, reasonable strategy for your business, be careful not to withdraw too soon or for the wrong reasons.

Why Do So Many Companies Quit Practicing SEO? was originally published on ReadWrite on November 17, 2021 by Timothy Carter.

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