One of the most popular questions faced by a SEO consultancy when taking on new clients, is why is my SEO not working?

Clients walk in and scroll miserable through their websites, pointing out the areas which do not rank well, and say that no matter what they try, it just doesn’t work.

Now, when a SEO consultant hears the words “…doesn’t work…”, what that usually means is that their site is not ranked on Page One on Google (or, more precisely, does not appear in the first three rankings on Page One).

And once that is off their chest, the prospective client learns forward and almost in a whisper asks, so what can we do for them.

It’s almost as if they expect us to utter some magical formula, as though we were the alchemists which will change their leaden website, into a heap of ecommerce gold. All they want to hear to lift their gloom is that we have a magic formula. We then have to build them back up and say, it’s not a question of a secret trick; it’s a question of putting the key pieces together.

And this they understand, and most give us the chance to help them, but you can see from their faces that they expected a sign, a magical moment when all would be revealed.

Perhaps I should take my lead from a businessman I once saw who, after a great deal of success, kept answering journalist’s insistent questions about his recipe for success, eventually bought a jar of sweets and called them his magic beans – the reason he was successful. The journalists appeared pleased with that!

Attribute to: Neil Martin, Cayenne Red.

Neil Martin is a social media consultant at SEO consultancy Cayenne Red. He is a regular contributor to the media on how companies market themselves in the digital age.