Lack of predictability
Compared with other media SEO is very unreliable in terms of the return on investment. It is difficult to predict the results for a given investment and is highly competitive.
Time for results to be implemented
The results from SEO may take months to be achieved, especially for new sites.
Complexity and dynamic nature
The search engines take hundreds of factors into account, yet the relative weightings are not published, so there is not a direct correlation between marketing actions and results – it is more an art than a science. Furthermore, the ranking factors change through time.
Investment needed to continue develop new content and generate new links.
Poor for developing awareness in comparison to other media channels
Searchers already have to be familiar with a brand or service to find it. However, it offers the opportunity for less well-known brands to ‘punch above weight’ and to develop awareness following click through.
Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F., 2012. Digital marketing: strategy, implementation and practice (Vol. 5). Harlow: Pearson.