GARRY GRANT identifies the most common reasons your business’ website is falling short of expectations on Google, despite your best efforts.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a good investment for most companies because, when done correctly, it brings in a steady stream of clicks that turn into customers.
It also works for you continuously, whereas pay-per-click (PPC) advertising stops being effective the second you stop paying for it.
However, a lot of SEO efforts aren’t what you expect them to be – and if your SEO isn’t producing the return on investment you’d hoped for, there are several reasons why that could be the case.
Let’s take a closer look at five of the most common reasons you’re not getting the most of your SEO campaigns.
Your expectations are off
SEO takes skill, expertise, and most importantly time and effort.
It’s unreasonable to expect the average campaign to produce results before it hits the four-to-six-month mark, and that’s after a great deal of adjustment along the way.
Every SEO campaign is different, but a standard campaign flow is:
• Month one – Research and discovery
• Month two – Technical SEO work
• Month three – Content creation
• Month four – Optimisation and link profiling
• Month five – Social media integration and campaigning
The real impact doesn’t begin until well into the second month. Typically, it isn’t until the sixth month when the adjustments are in place and Google has had a chance to register them that you should attempt to determine how successful the campaign was.
Measuring before then could skew the results – and may produce inaccurate ones at that.
Your campaign is under-resourced
Google wants to provide the content for which users are searching and help them accomplish what they set out to do.
Some queries are for information, others are for navigation, and others are transactional. You must be able to identify the intent behind the keywords for which people are searching and use that intent to structure your content.
Blogging every day is pointless if you don’t offer your readers something of value!
Not only that, but your content needs to be well-written in terms of spelling and grammar. Too much poor content – either in terms of readability or in terms of relevancy – and you’ll have trouble gaining any kind of search-engine rank.
Your backlink profile is poor
The inbound links to your site matter greatly to Google. If the quality of the sites linking to your site is poor, you won’t get good results.
It can hurt your Google search rank if your backlink profile is fully of ‘spammy’ or irrelevant sites; too much can earn you a penalty which could temporarily – or even permanently – remove your site from the organic search results.
Check your site’s backlink profile with a tool like Open Site Explorer to look for any ‘toxic’ links, and then take steps to remove them.
Your competition is working harder
When it comes to SEO and your competition, you’re both working toward the same goal, and ultimately only one of you can win – or so the logic goes.
However, this is a misconception. Your competition may get ahead of you occasionally, and sometimes even rank higher than you for a long time – but that doesn’t mean your SEO efforts aren’t making a difference and paying off.
Good SEO, on a continuous basis, is what helps you keep you from sliding back in the search results, and possibly out of the picture completely when the competition experiences a ‘growth spurt’.
If your competition suddenly seems to be ranking higher than you, wait it out to see if the rank improvement holds. SEO is constantly changing, and early on in a campaign it is volatile; chances are, you’ll see the ranks shift again.
When you begin any kind of SEO campaign, be sure you conduct a thorough competitive analysis, so you know what you’re up against.
This will help you in developing the best strategy for your budget and goals, which will also assist in terms of setting reasonable expectations.