Have you shelled out a small fortune on SEO only to discover after a few months that your Google rankings are rising slower than a snail on a soapy windowpane?
Did you expect them to shoot skyward faster than Harry and Meghan’s goodbye flight to Canada?
Whether you’ve had a bash at doing your own SEO or have hired an agency to help you out, you need to know why – because no one’s business can afford to waste time and money.
So we’ve scratched our heads, rubbed our chins and picked our brains to bring you five reasons your SEO isn’t working – read on for the big reveal!
1. Your SEO Isn’t Working Because You’ve Set Unrealistic Goals
Effective SEO depends on a lot of variables coming together, so it doesn’t happen instantly – but a trusted SEO agency will work transparently and provide you with a timescale to measure results against.
What your SEO campaign achieves and when depends on the goals you set, your level of competition and your level of SEO expertise (amongst lots of other factors), but here’s a general guide:
- Highly skilled SEO experts might be able to implement a campaign that produces some tangible results within three months, but this isn’t guaranteed and depends on your starting point.
- Four to Six months is a realistic time to expect substantial results and rankings on search engines like Google commensurate with your sterling efforts.
- A consistent campaign can show further improvements after 12 months.
- Search engine algorithms change frequently and they can affect your website’s ranking – but adept SEOs can take steps to mitigate against this and return you to the top (or thereabouts) ASAP afterwards.
SEO is a technical discipline which takes years to learn, but it isn’t an exact science – achieving a high ranking and keeping it depends on a flexible, agile approach characterised by constant monitoring, maintenance and tweaking.
2. Your SEO Isn’t Working Because Your Website Is Too Slow
If your website takes longer to load than Coleen Rooney’s suitcases, it doesn’t just frustrate potential customers – the Google SEO spiders who crawl and index it will hate it too.
Page speed is one of Google’s major ranking signals, so if you’re a slowpoke it won’t blow its budget crawling through your site, which means you’ll disappear into the digital depths.
As we’ve hinted, slow pages have higher bounce rates and are poison for conversions like purchases, so as well as adversely affecting SEO, they’re bad for user experience (UX).
Getting to grips with Google PageSpeed Insights is a great first step to making your site faster than a corpulent child chasing an ice cream van, but a trusted SEO partner might have to apply the technical fixes you need.
3. Your SEO Isn’t Working Because Your Website Lacks Link Juice
Another ranking signal that makes Google search spiders sit up and wave their legs in the air like they just don’t care is your link profile – think of it as delicious link juice they love, which converts to radically good rankings.
Put simply, the more inbound links your website has from high-trust, high-authority, high-traffic sites, the higher your ranking is likely to be. There are several ways to improve your link juice, including:
- Testimonials and reviews – reviewing a product or service you use regularly and including a backlink to your site can build links, either directly on a company’s site or on a review site like Yelp.
- Writing and distributing high-quality, authoritative blogs can also help you build links – if your piece is mentioned by an industry expert or influencer, it can be very beneficial.
- Working with a blogger outreach provider can be worthwhile – they’ll find quality sites for you and produce relevant relevant content that contains your link and meets editorial guidelines.
4. Your SEO Isn’t Working Because Your Website Has Poor Content
Content basically means all of the words, pictures and videos that make your site understandable to human customers, but it’s also massively important to SEO too.
In days of yore, black hat practices like keyword stuffing were common, but these days keyword strategy is more nuanced, subtle and natural. Here are a few pro tips:
- Your web pages should still contain a smattering of the most popular words and topics that customers are searching for, but including long-tail keywords that are very specific to your products, services and/or location can be more effective. Even though the search volumes for long-tail keywords might be lower, customers using them are often much more likely to make a purchase online or visit your physical store.
- Google also ranks content based on a formula known as EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) – which means that the more well-researched, relevant and valuable your blogs, web pages, videos and infographics are, the higher they’re likely to rank.
- Pages with thin content (light in volume and value) may be harming your SEO and they should be replaced with content that’s more substantive and useful – to provide a ball-park figure, the highest ranking pages on Google are now approaching the 2000 words mark and contain detailed, in-depth, information.
And don’t forget another crucial benefit of investing in excellent content – sharp SEO will get you a prominent ranking and high click-through-rate (CTR), but once customers land on your site, persuasive copywriting, professional design and perfectly placed calls to action (CTRs) will keep them gripped long enough to convert them to paying customers. Combining SEO and conversion-focused content in this way works like one hand washing another.
5. Your SEO Isn’t Working Because Your SEO Agency Is Clueless
If none of the notes of caution thus far apply, the horrible truth is that you might be working with an SEO agency that simply doesn’t have a Scooby Doo about what you’re paying it for.
There’s no shame in having hired so-called professionals who turn out to be inept, especially if you’re new to digital marketing – but it’s important to recognise the danger signs so that you can kick them to the kerb ASAP and join forces with an SEO agency that can demonstrate a track record of awesome SEO achievements.
For a start, any agency worth its salt will begin your relationship with a discovery phase wherein they listen carefully to your wants, needs and goals, audit your website thoroughly, analyse your competitors, identify opportunities and implement an achievable, realistic plan.
And from then on, they should report results back to you regularly against agreed metrics – in accessible layman’s terms rather than bamboozling jargon.
If you’re outsourcing SEO, it should be an ongoing, trusted relationship, because it’s a perpetual process – so take time choosing who you work with in order to grab a great ROI.
Key Takeaways On Why Your SEO Isn’t Working
We’ve chatted about the possibilities that your SEO isn’t working because of unrealistic goals, website speed, lack of links, poor content and inept agency partners.
But if any or all of these factors are adversely affecting you, the first step to recovery is a technical SEO website audit that identifies weaknesses and provides a blueprint for long-term success.
When it comes to rocket-fuelled SEO results, combining patience and precision leads to propulsion – get in touch when you want us to light your fuse.