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Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a discipline in digital marketing that is easy to grasp conceptually, but hard to master practically. SEO work requires a great deal of research, preparation and carefully executed steps in order to create the results you want.

People who underestimate or undervalue SEO quickly find themselves having thrown their digital marketing budget into the toilet. These businesses are left bewildered as to why their SEO campaigns failed to give them the rankings and subsequently conversions they are seeking.

Let’s take a look at the biggest mistakes people make when engaging SEO.

They undervalue SEO

Most SEO practitioners will tell you that there are few things more frustrating than a client who expects big results but undervalues the commitment SEO requires. Ignorant, old fashioned business owners who are begrudgingly using digital marketing to try and increase their relevancy will often dismiss SEO as ‘Facebook marketing’, completely misunderstanding what the craft actually is.

These people tend to throw piecemeal amounts of money towards SEO work and are surprised when the results are substandard. When it comes to SEO work, you get what you pay for, and if you can’t make a serious investment in SEO then you shouldn’t bother with it at all.

They expect results overnight

SEO results, like building trust with someone, takes time. You can’t do one favour for someone and expect them to trust you as if you were a lifelong friend.

In this way SEO is effectively trying to build sincere online reputation for a business, making them an authoritative choice that deserves a high ranking spot. Above all, SEO seeks to prove that your website deserves to be highly ranked because it offers the best possible results.

SEO takes time to show results because of its very nature, therefore businesses who throw money at it and expect an overnight change in search rankings are painfully naïve.

They target highly competitive keywords

Newbies to SEO will often misunderstand the value of keywords and accidently either use too many or too few throughout their work. Often businesses will see a highly competitive keyword and decide that they want to rank for it, even if it’s not realistic.

While it is possible to chip away at the big brand’s dominance over the most competitive keywords, it would take a big marketing budget to sustain that kind of campaign. Small businesses that don’t have that kind of capital are much better of trying to target less competitive keywords as well as geographically specific keywords.