Like every digital marketing channel, SEO is an investment. However, unlike the other channels, SEO can take much more time and patience to see the fruit of your labor. Not only may you be limited by the time and resources at hand, but you’re also at the mercy of the search engines’ processes. In many instances, it can take Google 90 days to understand and properly rank a page. And even that’s dependent on a ton of external factors outside of your control.

Now, we’re not saying all this to try to scare you away from SEO. We want to help you get the most out of your investment by teaching you how to identify and avoid things that can stop or delay your progress.

In his article “9 Roadblocks to SEO Success,” originally published on Search Engine Land, Voltage President Corey Morris walks through the top 9 factors that can inhibit success in your SEO strategy.

“In my experience, nine things have historically kept my clients from getting results. Knowing these roadblocks can help you get in front of them and prevent them from creeping into your campaign and derailing your progress.” – Corey

See what else Corey had to say:

1. Not defining campaign goals
How do you know if you’re successful if you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish? Before you start, figure out why you want to focus on SEO. Do you want more traffic to your blog? More leads generated by a specific service line? Once you know what you want to track, determine what it will take for your investment to return value. Get specific.

“There’s nothing worse than having a number in someone’s head (e.g., add 100 new leads per month via SEO) and not finding out until months into efforts and finding that you aren’t performing to that expectation.”

4. Broad targeting
You need to understand and have defined the niche you want to target. Doing so at the start of your campaign will help ensure that you’re targeting the correct audience. If you keep your targeting too broad, it can be harder to rank well and be successful. Unless you’re one of the big dogs in your industry, competing for broad, high-competition audiences may be near impossible. Figure out the niche topic groups and interests, and connect with your audience there.

“I realize it may be frightening to choose a specific niche, especially if you want everyone to have the opportunity to find your site. But, you must remember, defining a niche does not mean that you’ll be held to it forever. A niche should evolve with time. You can expand your reach later in your campaign when it’s appropriate. You can build out topical expertise across a range of topics and niches.”

8. Disconnection from other marketing channels
“As a marketer, nothing bothers me more than working with professionals who blindly think their marketing channel is the be-all, end-all to meeting their client’s goals. In reality, marketing channels should synergize to yield the best possible results. This comes from someone (me) who started their career deep in an SEO silo.”

The best marketing strategy is one that has all channels working cohesively. While the building blocks for long-term SEO success are being laid, running a paid search campaign can help bring quick results. Having your SEO strategy working together with your PPC, social, and email campaigns can help you connect with your audience at every step of their journal.