It’s been three months and you’ve seen absolutely no results from your search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. The burning question is – why?
In SEO terms, three months is not a long time, but you would typically expect to see some improvement in your rankings by now, which would lead to a boost in traffic. If not, then you’ll probably start to wonder what’s going wrong.
Whether you’re trying to do a bit of DIY SEO or have hired an SEO freelancer or agency, it’s important you’re aware of the potential reasons why your SEO strategy isn’t working. Through the process of elimination, you will then be able to identify the fault and make the necessary changes to create an SEO strategy that gets results.
So, what’s going wrong?
1. Your website’s too slow
All the time, effort and expense that has gone into implementing your SEO strategy could be undermined by something as simple as a website that takes too long to load. While having a fast, mobile-optimised website was always a recommendation from Google, now load speed is a fully-fledged ranking factor in desktop and mobile searches.
In practice, if you already have a fast website but a competitor’s site is a tenth of a second faster, it’s very unlikely to make a difference. However, if your website takes more than around 3 seconds to load, what Google describes as ‘noticeably slow’, you could be affected.
The good news is that this is a relatively simple problem to resolve. Google’s PageSpeed tool and third-party tools like Pingdom will provide all the information you need to get your site out of the slow lane and up those rankings.
2. Your on-page SEO isn’t in order
No matter how much time you allocate to SEO tactics such as link building and blogging, if your on-page SEO isn’t up to scratch, you won’t get results. There are numerous on-page factors that will help to increase your rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs). That includes:
- Content quality – Your on-page content must be original, useful, well researched and published on your site before it appears anywhere else.
- Page titles and meta descriptions – This is an extremely important ranking factor. When the search engines are ‘reading’ your pages, they check the page title, meta description, headings and content to understand what the page is about. It can then be ranked on the SERPs.
- Formatting and headlines – Your content should be properly formatted with headings and subheadings. The text should be split into three- or four-line paragraphs and well-spaced to make it easy to read.
- Images and other multimedia elements – You should include images on the page and other multimedia elements such as video or moving images if they’re relevant to make the page more interesting.
There are also a number of other critically important on-page SEO elements you need to get right, which you will learn all about on our SEO training course.
3. You don’t have enough inbound links
Creating inbound links from other websites to your site (known as ‘backlinks’) is an incredibly important part of any successful SEO strategy. Earning high-value links is a primary ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Why? Well, if your website is linked to by lots of other websites in your industry, it shows Google that you’re trustworthy, relevant and authoritative in your industry, and that’s exactly the type of content Google wants to show its users. That means you’ll benefit from higher rankings.
If you don’t have many inbound links, start creating high-quality content that answers your customers’ questions. By marketing that content to bloggers and other authorities in your field, you’ll build more links and receive higher rankings for relevant searches.
4. Your SEO provider doesn’t know what they’re doing
Most small businesses don’t have the time or the resources to run their SEO campaigns in-house, so instead, they hand over the reins to SEO consultants and SEO agencies, who do the important work for them. However, the level of expertise out there varies tremendously. If you’ve been working with an outsourced SEO ‘expert’ or agency for a few months and are still not seeing results, you need to ask why.
Warning signs that your SEO provider isn’t up to scratch include:
- You have no visibility about what’s being done
- There’s no noticeable improvement in rankings, traffic or leads
- Changes to your site or content that’s being produced doesn’t look or read right
- There’s no meaningful reporting or contact
- There’s no way of measuring results
- There’s no monthly guidance on the opportunities that have been identified
Although SEO is often portrayed as highly technical and complicated, there’s a tried and tested pathway to success that WILL generate results. If you’re not seeing those results, it’s time to work with someone else.
5. Your keywords don’t match your budget
You can plug away at your SEO strategy for years, but if the keywords you’re trying to target are simply too competitive and dominated by some major players, your results will be limited. As an example, if you’re an insurance broker, you might try to get your website on the first page of Google for the keyword ‘car insurance’. However, with the top rankings dominated by national brands such as Go Compare, Admiral and AXA, you could spend millions of pounds and still not get on page one.
Instead, you need to be a little more selective about the keywords you target. If you’re a small business, targeting localised keywords is a great place to start. ‘Car insurance broker Bristol’ is a much less competitive term that will give you a far greater chance of ranking on page one quickly without having to spend too much.
Not sure how to plan a successful SEO strategy?
Then that’s something we can help you with. At Digital Kitchen, we offer a range of digital marketing courses in London that can help you get your SEO strategy on track. Our intro to SEO is a great place to start, while our advanced SEO training course will provide you will the knowledge and tools to finetune your campaign. To find out more, please get in touch with our team today.