There are few things more frustrating than not being on the front page of Google and having no idea why.

You’re doing all of the right things. You’ve got an amazing website. You’re blogging. You’re active on social media. But you’re still relegated to the second or third page of Google. You’ve poured your valuable budget and your even-more-valuable time into SEO, and seen almost no return on investment. You’re wondering, “Does SEO even work?”

This piece will explore the most common frustrations that entrepreneurs feel, and what you can do about them.

Frustration: You Don’t Know What Your SEO Firm Has Done/ Is Doing

You had a great initial meeting with your SEO firm. They took your money and promised to get you on the first page of Google. But now, you haven’t seen any results and you haven’t heard from them.

It’s not easy to choose the right SEO firm, particularly when they seem to have a good client list, and talk a good game during the first few meetings. But one red flag that you should always look for is the level of transparency they have in those early meetings. Basically, are they open in mapping out exactly what they intend to do for you, or are they tight-lipped or vague? 

They may not disclose their tactics in the name of protecting their secret SEO recipe. If that’s the case, thank them for their time and call an Uber. Good SEO is all about transparency, not secrecy.

If your SEO firm is currently letting you down, it’s time to have a frank discussion with them. You need to ask them why your campaigns have underperformed and what they intend to do about it. Again, specificity is key here. They need to lay out exactly how they intend to fix the problem, or it could be time to find another agency.

Frustration: Nobody is Reading Your Blog

Not seeing a return on investment from your blogging? You’re not alone.

The main issue is that there are literally thousands of things that can be hindering your blog’s performance. The problem can be as small as your headlines, or as big as your entire site’s architecture.

Some of The Most Common Issues Include:

  • Unimaginative titles and lead sentences
  • Boring stock image choices
  • Not understanding your audience’s true pain points

The good news is that all of these issues are completely fixable. Addressing any combination of them can unlock the blog traffic and SEO results you were hoping for.

Frustration: You’re Diligently Using Your Keywords, With No Success

The first question you should ask is, “How are you using your keywords?” 

Are you doing your best to work them into your blogs and your pages as organically as possible? Or are you aggressively stuffing them wherever possible? Because Google rewards the former, while punishing the latter.

There was a time when SEO was all about keyword quantity and you wanted to cram your keywords into your copy as many times as possible. Heck, go ahead and try to hide them in your images too. It was a different world. But those days are long, long gone. Today is all about keyword quality. Google will reward you for seamlessly working keywords into your content in an organic way.

The second question is, “How old is your keyword research?” That data has a shelf life. You should get an firm like SEO Toronto to re-run your keyword research every year or so to ensure that these are still the keywords you should be targeting, and see if any new opportunities exist.

Frustration: You Invested in a New Website and it’s Still Not Performing

There Are Two Unfortunate Truths in SEO:

  • Newer is not always better
  • You can’t simply throw money at an SEO problem

A new website isn’t always going to lead to SEO improvements. It can be faster and look more professional, but still show you the same results—which can be maddening.

If you are going to build a new site, you need to understand why the old one was underperforming, or you will doom the new one to fail. A flashy new site isn’t going to do a damn thing if you’re still not using your keywords correctly.

You’ve probably heard that SEO is a long game and you need to be patient. You may be stuck between staying the course and wanting to go in a new direction. 

Patience is good, but if anything you read today really resonated, or led to a light bulb moment, it could be time for something new.