3 Likely Reasons Why SEO can Fail in 2018

Jen Saunders
Reading Time:3minutes

Over the last decade Google has rolled out numerous game-changing algorithm updates that impacted the way even the best digital marketing agencies perform SEO services for their business growth strategies. We saw how the Hummingbird update changed the way content had to be written, and more recently how RankBrain’s AI and machine learning components impacted semantic search. But what has all of this lead up to, and where is SEO going? When looking at the last decade of search engine optimization and the best marketing practices of today, here are three likely reasons why SEO can fail in 2018.

SEO pros

1. Neglecting the Little SEO Things

In 2017 quite a few SEOs expressed intentions to chop their technical SEO task list in half due to the increased emphasis on content optimization and the need to put more time and focus in this area. It sounded like a bad idea, but being a sucker for running tests and winning bets from colleagues, I made a wager that if I removed these things the websites would tank in organic ranking. I tested 12 websites removing image ALTS from three sites, killed H tags on three others, removed schema on three and allowed toxic backlinks to build up on yet three more. Six months later this happened:

  • Sites with removed image ALTs took an average drop in organic ranking by 46%
  • Sites with removed H tags tanked organically by an average of 78%
  • Sites with schema removed took an average organic ranking dive by 74%
  • Sites with piled up toxic backlinks saw an average organic drop by 38%

This was a very basic study but it proves one thing: these tasks still matter. And I won $50. Easy money on what I saw would be an obvious result, even if textual content is the main ranking factor.

SEO business growth strategies

2. Blogging with an Old School Strategy

If you write blogs to increase organic SEO, and you create them around your keywords that need an organic boost, then you are old school and need to get caught up with modern SEO times. Topic-based content that revolves around buyer pains and industry questions ranks associated keywords and webpages. Embrace the topic cluster blog methodology or else your content will fall short in 2018.

Los Angeles SEO companies

3. Missing Out on Inbound Marketing

User engagement signals help boost SEO; session durations, reduced bounce rates, pages per session–these metrics help tell Google what people think of the content. But in order for these signals to pour in, the right kind of buyers need to engage with the right kind of content. The inbound marketing methodology not only improves SEO performance but, more importantly, it picks up where SEO fails–converting sales. Just because content ranks doesn’t mean people will buy. This is one reason why businesses have traditionally undervalued SEO–it fails to show concrete returns. Marketing automation through inbound services on the other hand shows businesses exactly what channels convert to sales. Not only is inbound better for business, it also helps make the most of your SEO efforts.

Did these SEO Tips for 2018 Help?

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About
Jen Saunders is the Director of SEO for WEBITMD bringing more than 15 years of search marketing experience. She spent 13 years in Europe earning her PhD while looking at lots of old neat stuff. Jen enjoys simple things, like trees, sunrises, and the delicate lull of a 16th century harpsichord. Jen enjoys meditating and studies Buddhism. She is a certified master scuba diver, dolls make her nervous, and she enjoys craft beer. Jen has two cats, Chairman Thaddeus Whiskers and Lord Joffrey Gaius Pitty-Paws. They are her heirs.