Common SEO Problems

The pitfalls and problems

If you are currently working with an SEO agency and you are not getting the results you were expecting, then take a look at the most common SEO mistakes that SEO agencies make.

Who’s this guide for? Anyone who is considering an SEO campaign and needs insight into what’s involved and an understanding of the common problems and pitfalls to look out for.

The golden rules


Focus on conversions not rankings

If your SEO agency has not set up an analytics tool (e.g. Google Analytics) to track what percentage of customers are actually converting from your SEO activities then this can be a bit worrying.  SEO is about getting huge amounts of traffic through natural search, but if that traffic does not convert, then what’s the point?

A good SEO agency should be focused not only on rankings but understand which keywords are generating the highest conversions for your business.  This will allow you to refocus your efforts towards the areas that actually work, saving you money, time and a lot of awkward conversations normally starting with a ‘bleep’.

Rankings are essentially your position numerically in the search engines for your keyword or key phrases.  A top 10 position for example, would mean that your keyword is in either position 1-10 position for your keywords.

If you are just chasing rankings, then you are just focusing on trying to get your keywords to the highest position without considering whether a higher position brings in much greater financial benefits to your company.

A conversion is an action that a visitor takes on your websites such as filling in an enquiry form, subscribing to newsletter or buying a product.    Using Google Analytics and other tracking tools you can tell whether your SEO efforts are leading to improved conversions (which is the whole point right) and indeed which keywords are generating the most conversions for your business.

Don’t keyword stuff your web pages

Just so you know, Google is pretty clever and realised years ago that SEO agencies were stuffing the same keywords time and time again on the same page to improve relevancy and therefore their ranking.


However, times have changed and by following the same practices, you can endanger your website by being judged as spammy in the eyes of Google and your ranking downgraded as a result.

So, if an agency creates a page and you can see an unnatural frequency of keywords on your page, this could be a sign that the agency is performing spammy techniques and not helping you achieve the ranking you want.

What a good SEO agency would do

A good SEO agency would understand that Google now uses a technology called ‘Semantic Indexing’, meaning that it will also rank your website pages based on similar words with similar meanings written in the content of your pages.

When writing content, a good SEO agency will avoid adding multiple instances of the same or similar keyword in a similar order. Instead, they will look to make subtle changes to their text. This method allows semantic indexing to work its magic in your favour.

Keyword stuffing is when you add an unnaturally high frequency of your target keyword to your text in the hope the page will appear high in the search engines.

Not enough content on the page

When agencies look to advertise your product/service pages, or indeed look to promoting your blog, they will commonly advise writing 500, 750 or 1,000 words per page.

However, latest studies have shown that pages of over 2,000 words are most likely to rank high in the search engines.

SEO rankings content

We are not suggesting that all pages should be written the length of short novels but a good SEO agency should be able to understand which pages require extra special attention due to how competitive the target keywords are.

If you are an eCommerce website selling products or you feel that your services page should not contain 2000+ words on a particular page, then of course do not apply the above approach.  Ask your agency to look at your competition and create a plan that can gain you an SEO advantage regardless.

Your SEO agency continually adding you to unimportant link directories

Given how confusing SEO can be, you may be forgiven for believing the volume of links you receive in your monthly report is a sue-fire indicator of the success of your campaign.  However, like people, not all links are created equal.   Oh, but wait, it’s all people are created equal but some more than most.

SEO link directories

Well okay, that quote doesn’t really work but what I’m trying to say is that the quality of links to your website is way more valuable than the volume of them.

The greatest example of this is link directories.  Link directories are effectively websites that are just catalogues that help potential customers find particular services like yours.

However, there are literally thousands of them, some about as unimportant as Kim Kardashian on the importance of handbags in the 21st Century or giving the most pointless speech since the latest most pointless speech ever.

I’m not saying that link directories are never important because some localised businesses directories can be.

What I am saying is that a scatter gun approach to link directories is knee high, no ankle high, no the top layer of skin on the sole of your feet high in significance to your business.

It most definitely should never be a major part of your SEO efforts. Some agencies will claim otherwise but only because it suits them.

A good SEO agency will spend significant chunks of time finding the most relevant and appropriate link directories where your site should appear, then submit their link to it and move on to other promotional methods.

A bad one will spend most of their time adding your website to multiple link directories because they are easy to do (there’s even automated software for it), and this creates the false impression that a humongous amount of work has been done on your behalf.