SEO is integral to reaching and connecting with customers as you build your online presence. Due to its huge role in driving traffic and generating leads, startups and well-known brands invest a lot of money in it.

But SEO is a complicated process, and you’ll likely face multiple hurdles before reaching the top of the search ladder. Here are 10 roadblocks you may encounter and how to fix these SEO issues.

The Most Common SEO Roadblocks

Setting Undefined Campaign Goals

The Challenge: Without clearly defined goals, you won’t have anything to work towards with your SEO practices. Likewise, setting undefined goals makes it hard to determine whether you’ve accomplished your campaign objectives. 

The Solution: Before launching your campaign, you’ll need to clearly define its objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) and let your team know what they are. These steps are the key to success and an optimal bottom line.

Not Targeting a Specific Niche

The Challenge: Knowing your niche is another crucial aspect of executing SEO campaigns. It may seem challenging, but it’s an effective way to attract your ideal customers and achieve high rankings.

It’s also possible that your niche will have topics and keywords with less traffic, which has two major advantages over broad subjects and keywords:

  1. Niche topics and keywords convert better
  2. Targeting and tracking them holds more value

The Solution: Study the competition and current trends in your industry and find your niche from there. But do remember that you can go beyond your chosen niche when you’re ready. 

Focusing on Only One Part of the Customer Journey

The Challenge: Not every person who visits your site becomes a customer. Some users may have just begun their customer journey, while others may be at the end of the funnel. Hence, you must consider every stage users have reached throughout their journey.

The Solution: Focus on where your prospective customers are in their journey. Then, deliver the right content and level of engagement at those phases. Let’s say your ideal customer needs a new phone and is considering their options. You can engage them by creating a list of the best smartphone models or an article comparing your product to other phones.

Ranking Low on Search Results

The Challenge: It’s understandable to feel doubtful and discouraged about your progress when you see minimal or no results. However, that doesn’t mean you should pull out of your SEO efforts or that your work won’t pay off. Optimal results from SEO, like high rankings, take time and work.

The Solution: If your website is lagging behind top-ranked competitors, you can include technical SEO, content marketing, or another related area in your strategy. Also, factors like the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) framework may influence your rankings. Consider devising a strategy focusing on these factors or covering multiple initiatives.

Ignoring Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)

The Challenge: Most SEO newcomers may be unaware of SERPs and their function. Essentially, SERPs are what Google returns after users submit search queries. These pages have multiple sections, including ads, news, map packs, and featured snippets. Organic results often place below these features, making ranking on SERPs a challenge. However, those new to SEO may be in the dark about a SERP’s structure.

The Solution: Take time to learn about SERPs. This way, you’ll know how your SEO initiatives affect search results. You can also improve your current strategy to target SERP features, like a Google MyBusiness listing for map pack results.

Ever-Changing Algorithms

The Challenge: Google and its search competitors often update their algorithms to deliver top-quality and relevant content to search queries. They also do this to prevent any actions that may lead to penalties and low rankings. Search engine algorithms can change unexpectedly, so you must always look out for those updates.

The Solution: Overcoming this common SEO problem requires the following strategies:

  • Keep yourself updated with the latest trends and algorithm changes.
  • Observe how an algorithm change will affect your ranking, and see if it’ll last long.
  • Write high-quality, relevant, and well-optimized content for your target audience. Again, search engines implement algorithm updates to ensure that searchers get the best and most relevant content.

Getting Past Your Competitors

The Challenge: The Internet houses an estimated 1.7+ billion websites, including your competitors and new companies entering the race. Competitors have their eyes set on the top of the search ladder, just like you, which is why the environment can be extremely cutthroat.

The Solution: Optimization can lead you toward success. Keep optimizing your content and, as we’ve mentioned, provide your audience with valuable content that meets their needs. It also helps to study your competitors and fill gaps they may have left. 

Using Keywords Incorrectly

The Challenge: Keywords have been a mainstay in the ever-changing SEO landscape. In the past, Google would scour websites for these essential terms. But that has changed, as the search giant focuses on authority, tone, and relevancy whenever it checks web pages. Simply put, keywords aren’t the only key to search success.

The Solution: Look at your keywords and understand why your users enter them on search engines. This is otherwise known as identifying user intent. Keywords can be informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional.

  • Informational keywords seek answers to specific questions or general information
  • Navigational keywords help searchers find a certain website or web page
  • Commercial keywords allow users to research brands or services
  • Transactional keywords help searchers complete an action or purchase

It also helps to track the search volume of your target keywords to understand why your website gains or loses traffic. Knowing the intent behind your target keywords lets you devise effective content and marketing strategies.

Utilizing AI-Generated Content

The Challenge: AI content generators, like Writesonic,, Jasper, ChatGPT, and DALL-E 2, have been gaining popularity over the years. Though these platforms have useful features that help generate content quickly, relying on AI also has its disadvantages.

For instance, AI content writing tools may produce grammatically incorrect, poorly written, or nonsensical content. They may also use the same phrases and paragraphs despite users entering different prompts. Ultimately, delivering low-quality or duplicate content from these AI content generators can lead to penalties or, for copied content, users having a negative impression of your website.

The Solution: Let AI-generated content inspire you and help you develop good content, but don’t completely rely on it to produce original and valuable content. If you do decide to use AI content, make sure to put your spin on the content it produces. Rewrite the content in your own words and add unique keywords to create an authentic piece.

Overlooking Mobile Optimization

The Challenge: HubSpot’s recent research notes that 41% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. And what’s more, Google indexes and ranks mobile versions of your web pages, also known as mobile-first indexing. Thus, you should prioritize mobile optimization as much as traditional SEO (optimizing your site’s desktop version).

The Solution: HubSpot provides the following steps to optimize your website for mobile:

  • Lay out your customer journey. This step means looking closely at your customers’ and prospects’ lives.
  • Capitalize on intent-rich micro-moments. Micro-moments happen whenever people learn specific information, perform an action, uncover new information, watch visual content, or buy products with their smartphones.
  • Consider (and reconsider) your metrics. Your current SEO metrics may be less applicable to our mobile- and micro-moment-centric world.
  • Embrace the intimacy of mobile. Leverage the latest mobile trends and discover how to create a more personalized and social mobile experience.
  • Ensure a responsive, relevant, actionable, and smooth customer journey. Consider when, on which device, and from where users will engage with your content.

Push SEO Roadblocks Out of Your Way

SEO allows you to build and maintain your online presence. But it also comes with multiple challenges that get between you and your desired results. Knowing how to overcome these hurdles can steer you toward SEO success.

Do you need help solving specific SEO issues? Get expert tips and insights from the Growth Rocket blog, or schedule a discovery call with our team today.