After several months of doing SEO on your site, traffic is still down, your rankings have not even improved, and your leads are still anemic at best. You feel like you’ve done everything by the book: fixing site errors, cleaning up your site of junk content, optimizing metadata and more! Yet t, your site is still right where it was before you started doing SEO (maybe even worse). Without tangible results, you start getting frustrated. You begin asking yourself, “What am I doing wrong?” Or, “Did I hire the wrong SEO agency?”
To be fair, SEO is a long-term investment. It takes a lot of time before you start getting results. But if you’re doing SEO for more than 3 months and still getting nowhere, then something is e wrong. This could be caused by one or more issues that a normal site audit can’t spot, and it takes a lot of sleuth-like skills to figure out why your SEO isn’t working.
If you think there’s something amiss with your site, you can start your investigation based on these 10 reasons why your SEO isn’t working:
1. Your Content is Poorly Written
Web content like blogs is one of the keys to boosting your search engine optimization campaign. Are you posting content that is relevant or engaging enough to your potential customers? Putting up content with no value or is filled with grammatical or spelling errors will not invite reads and trust because your target audience is turned off from the get-go.
Another problem with this is keyword stuffing, or forcing keywords to your content. This type of practice will give this unnatural feel to readers, which may cause them to opt-out of your website.
2. Your Content is Over-optimized
Over-optimization used to be a great way to increase rank in search results pages. However, with the constant and stringent Google Algorithm updates, that’s not the case anymore. Today, Google tends to downgrade websites that are over-optimized or using blackhat SEO tactics. This includes stuffing the website with unnatural keywords or spamming links to other sites in hopes of faster ranking results.
Example: Making “Lawyers Los Angeles” as the title heading and then putting that same keyword everywhere , the copy will invite a Google penalty.
3. Your content is plagiarized
No content should get away with plagiarism, which also applies to SEO campaigns. Copying other blogs is an easy way to have regular content, but it will always be illegal. Plagiarizing content is a form of intellectual property theft. In an old school way, original owners of content had no way to track if their content was stolen. But with Google’s omniscient presence, there’s no escape for your plagiarized or scraped content.
Duplicate or scraped content will always be frowned upon by Google and if your site has one, expect to get a ranking downgrade.
4. Your Site Has Loads of Technical Issues
As I’ve mentioned, you may already have fixed technical issues on your site which include broken or 404 links, missing XML sitemap, AMP issues, etc. However, there could be more lurking beneath the surface.
Common technical errors that can have a significant impact on your site’s visibility include: incorrect canonical links, presence of redirect chains or loops, expired SSL certificate, presence of noindex tags, incorrect robots.txt formatting, and more.
These errors may have been there for a long time or you may have put these on your site inadvertently. It happens all the time.
Go through your site again for any of these technical issues. If you can, please do a manual check.
5. Your Site Offers Poor User Experience
Google’s number one policy has always been “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” Google’s search products are designed to recommend sites that offer great user experience and punish sites that don’t on their search results. That’s why they’ve rolled out the Core Web Vitals / Page Experience update, mobile-first indexing, and all other algorithm updates that seek to strengthen Google Quality Guidelines.
Common user experience/usability issues that can affect your site’s visibility include but are not limited to the following:
- Slow page speed
- No mobile version or site is not mobile responsive
- There are too many broken links
- Lots of redirects happening in your site
- Annoying ads
6. Your Site Has Been Infected by Malware
Have you encountered these messages on your browser?
This is how you’ll know that your site has been hacked or infected with malware. Another way to check is to go to Google Search Console and see the Manual Actions if there are items added by the Google team. If your site has been hacked or infected with malware, you are likely to receive a manual penalty.
Now, the hard part is to get rid of the malware or hacking out from your site.
7. Your Site Has Spammy Links
Getting quality links is hard. That’s why lots of SEO agencies use spammy backlinking techniques just to get a massive number of links. In some cases, a competitor may try to hurt your business by building low-quality inbound links to your site.
So what do you do? Go to your Search Console and check the links section. Download all links and then manually check for low-quality links. You can easily spot these links by their not-so-nice and somewhat similar layout and design; existence of foreign characters on the site; annoying ads; and presence of other spammy links. Put these links in a .txt file and upload it to the Google Disavow Tool.
8. Your Haven’t Researched Your Competition
Okay, so you’ve finally decided to get started with your SEO but the problem is the keywords you’re using are highly competitive. You may be up against household names like Amazon, Apple, or Facebook. Chances are you don’t stand a chance against industry giants unless you tweak your campaign.
That’s why it’s important to check your competitors first before you do your SEO. You don’t want to put your efforts into a hopeless effort. You will know how you can adjust your campaign based on the competitors that you are up against.
9. Your Information Architecture Isn’t Making Sense
Information architecture is the process of organizing your web content in a way that helps your users and search engines navigate to where they need to go. Having a disorganized information architecture may confuse visitors and search engines, which eventually lowers your website’s discoverability and its ranking on search results pages.
10. Your Site’s Core Web Vitals Suck
Web vitals like responsiveness and loading speed can lift your SEO campaign or drag it down. Nothing kills a user experience than a website that feels unfinished or out-of-time. Make sure your website looks and feels trustworthy. Like having a faster loading speed, no pop-up ads, and most importantly, being optimized for mobile use. Most searches done by users today are done on their smartphones or tablets, it only makes sense for Google to lower your site if it’s not mobile-friendly.
Read How to Know If Your Core Web Vitals Are OK? to know more info about Core Web Vitals.
BONUS TIP: YOU’RE NOT SEEKING THE HELP OF PROFESSIONALS
SEO campaigns take a lot of time and effort, from keyword researching, creating regular content, to addressing every little bit of web issue you may have. Plus, such campaigns do not yield fast results like other ad campaigns, so you might get frustrated early on and think to yourself that maybe SEO is really not for you.
But why do it yourself when you can seek the help of professionals to do the heavy lifting for you?
SEO BY TECHNA DIGITAL MARKETING
Is my SEO working? If you’re constantly asking yourself that, then you should ask for help.
Here at Techna, we provide SEO solutions that are not just about placing the right keywords in your content. We implement the latest trends in search engine optimization to help our clients with better online visibility and reach their potential customers more.
Check us out Techna Digital Marketing and let us help you with an SEO campaign that will be worthy of your visitors’ time.