Why Businesses Fail at SEO

16 Reasons Why SEO Fails


  1. Business model constraints i.e. the business model is not aligned with SEO campaigns
  2. There is no buy-in from top management or key decision makers within the business
  3. Lack of SEO knowledge/appreciation by key stakeholders
  4. Lack of SEO education which leads to expectations not being met or not being aligned with the business
  5. Sudden change in priorities and focus of key stakeholders
  6. Lack of an SEO strategy that is aligned to the business strategy
  7. Competition appreciate SEO and therefore implements and invests in SEO at a faster pace.


  1. There is bureaucracy i.e. too much red tape which affects SEO execution
  2. SEO recommendations/best practice are not implemented on time and correctly.
  3. Lack of a dedicated SEO budget to pay for SEO tools, SEO content and link building activities 
  4. Lack of technical resources to implement technical SEO.
  5. No flexibility in implementing off-page SEO i.e. pr / marketing strategy affecting SEO off-page efforts


  1. No support from Web designers, developers to implement technical SEO recommendations especially during website redesign or migration.
  2. Not enough technical skills to implement SEO.
  3. No technical flexibility to implement or conduct SEO experiments due to platform constraints.
  4. Reliability issues: server issues, website security, etc.

Lack of SEO expertise results in : 

  1. Failure to identify and know the cause of a drop-in or lack of growth of organic traffic 
  2. Failure to know how search engine algorithm updates affect site rankings 
  3. Failure to identify and recover from manual actions/penalties from search engines
  4. Failure to show how SEO is helping the business meet its strategic objectives.
  5. Inability to conduct SEO site audits to identify SEO issues.
  6. Inability to prioritize which SEO issues need to be resolved first and why.
  7. Failure in communicating and coordinating SEO efforts.

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