Why Your SEO Campaign Isn’t Working

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SEO is weird.

From the outside, it can seem like there’s no real rhyme or reason to what works and what doesn’t. Google itself doesn’t always have clear answers, so the impression is that the whole SEO field is a mix of technical knowledge and arcane magic.

So when you’re trying to evaluate your SEO campaigns, it can be hard to know why something isn’t working.

Your linkbuilding campaign didn’t make it to the NYT.

Your keywords aren’t on the first page.

And your content doesn’t rank, no matter how many optimisation tools you use.

Time to panic? Maybe.

But before you do that, check out this short list of reason why your SEO campaign might not be working out. I’ve seen all of these before, and some of them are easy fixes.

In the meantime, if you’d like a fresh set of eyes on your SEO efforts, feel free to ask me for a free video audit.

Here we go!

Minor Failures

1. You’re not thinking clearly

Just do the technical details, write some content, and BAM! The right people will start finding your site right away.


Well, who are the right people? What’s your market? What sort of questions are they asking, and what sort of answers do they need?

A successful SEO campaign needs a clear direction. If you don’t have one, you’re set up for failure, not success.

2. You over-optimised

Too much of a good thing is DEFINITELY a bad thing. Resist the temptation to optimise each blog post for 5 separate keywords. At that point, you’re just keyword-stuffing.

This goes double if you’re aiming too high for your keywords, which leads us to . . .

3. You’re targeting the wrong keywords

Let’s say you’re about to start a website selling drones. You’d like to run some content on cameras in drones, so you settle on “best camera drones” as your keyword.

As a fresh website, just starting out, that particular SEO campaign is doomed to failure from the start.


A quick look at top SERPs shows that the first few hits belong to digitalcameraworld.com, techradar.com, and mashable.com. That’s some steep competition, from websites who are certainly spending far more on SEO than you are.

A bit of clear thinking on this one can help. Look for long-tail keywords related to your main ones, and target those.

4. You won the wrong backlinks

About those link building efforts; one reason you’re not seeing good results from your SEO strategy might be that you’re getting the wrong backlinks. This is also known as a link profile - the sum total of all the backlinks your site has, and what it says about your authority.

A bunch of links to sites not really in your niche, and with a low site DR, can actually do more harm than good.

Major Flaws

Alright, on to the big ones. I see these all the time, and they can be the hardest to fix - so ask these questions carefully.

  1. you focused on the wrong things, like content instead of links, links instead of technical, any combination, no roadmap to begin with

  2. you just didn't do it well enough, to high enough standard

  3. you didn't do it for long enough, didn't ever close the gap and catch up with competitors

5. You focused on the wrong things

Let’s go all the way back to #1: You’re Not Thinking Clearly.

If you’re not entirely clear on what you’re trying to accomplish with your SEO campaign, you could end up focusing on all the wrong things.

Content, when you need links.

Links, when you’ve got a host of technical issues.

Doing a combination of everything (a dash of linkbuilding, a smidgeon of content, a brief technical audit), when you need to be going deep on one.

If you go into your campaign without a clear roadmap, you’re dooming your campaign to failure before you even start.

6. You didn’t do it well enough, to a high enough standard

Listen, you’re almost certainly not the only game in town. Unless you’re focusing exclusively on niche SEO, you’ve got lots of competitors. And they’re all likely doing the same linkbuilding and pushing similar content.

A low-level SEO campaign that doesn’t move the needle can be more damaging that nothing at all, at least in the long run. Decide on the goals of your campaign, decide what you’re going to do - and then do it to the highest level possible.

  • Quality writers to produce value-added content

  • High-DR links through digital PR campaigns

  • Technical problems monitored and solved promptly

The goal is simple: be better than the competition!

7. You didn’t do it long enough to close the gap

Mind the gap!

What is your competition doing that you aren’t? Realise that you’ll be playing catch-up, trying to improve your site while also matching your competitor’s performance. So before you start, remember - this takes time!

Linkbuilding itself can take weeks - and depending on the methods used, it’s one of the quicker SEO tactics.

A strategic content marketing campaign can take months to plan and execute, and even longer to see organic growth. Too many businesses get discouraged and stop their campaigns well before they’ve had a chance to fully take effect.

Wrong focus, not enough time - these can KILL your SEO campaigns. But don’t panic - if you’re not sure about where you should be with your SEO campaign, or why it didn’t work, reach out! We can jump on an SEO Video Audit and figure out where to start fixing mistakes.

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