Any business that is thinking about their online presence in the long term must engage in search engine optimization. In this article we share Five Reasons Why Your SEO Campaigns May Be Failing.
While there are surely other ways to promote a business online, the high ROI and consistent results of SEO are simply too significant to be left out of a holistic digital marketing strategy. Don’t forget, these qualities of SEO make it the perfect marketing strategy for businesses that are working with a limited budget.
With that said, what businesses may save in terms of marketing budget, they usually have to pay in terms of time. Unlike many other digital marketing strategies like social media advertising and search engine marketing (SEM), getting verifiable and measurable results from SEO takes a bit longer.
That’s why, any reputable SEO company works on a monthly retainer.
With that said, regardless of whether you are seeking professional help or trying your own hand at SEO, results usually start showing in three to six months.
If you or your SEO consultants have been making efforts to improve the search engine performance of your website for more than six months and you are yet to see any results, there’s something wrong.
Here are the common mistakes many businesses make when optimizing their website for improved SERP rankings:
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Employing Outdated SEO Practices and Strategies
Like most other areas of online marketing, search engine optimization is prone to sudden and frequent changes. This is because Google and other search engines, as platforms, want to provide their users with the best possible experience.
In their bid to make it easier for their users to find the information or things that they are looking for, search engines regularly update their algorithms.
The objective of these updates is simple: to rank genuinely great websites at the top of the SERPs.
Since these algorithm updates often come without warning, there is a good chance that you may have missed one (or more).
As a result, there is also a chance that you may still be putting your efforts into executing SEO strategies that don’t contribute to better search visibility of your website anymore.
A few examples of outdated SEO strategies that many websites are still using are:
- Having a keyword centric strategy. Sure, keywords are still important, but updates to the Google algorithm have put search intent in focus. These days, the widely popular practice of targeting the same long tail keyword with multiple webpages does not work.
- Produce large amounts of content. Once again, this may have worked a few years ago but nowadays, the quality and relevance of the content matters. If you think an algorithm cannot decide whether a piece of content is high quality or not, you may be surprised. With metrics like dwell time and bounce rate combined with data from other content pages, Google’s algorithms can easily distinguish brilliant content from mass produced content. Don’t get me wrong, producing content is still absolutely critical, but these days, Google (and the other search engines) value quality over quantity.
- Outdated link building practices. Buying links doesn’t work and it has been common knowledge for several years now. However, many website owners found ways to get around this rule by the way of techniques like link swaps. However, Google has done incredibly well in putting a stop to such “link schemes” in the past and for those that are still finding ways to fool the algorithm, it is only a matter of time before it catches up.
You Don’t Have Enough Relevant And High Quality Links
Backlinks are one of the top three ranking signals used by search engines to determine the ranking of various websites in their result pages.
While buying backlinks has been labelled a black-hat SEO practice for a long time, the way search engines measure the quality of backlinks is a lot different than ever before.
These days, for a backlink to positively contribute to improving the SERP ranking of a website, it must have the following qualities:
Relevance: The backlink pointing to your website should be from a relevant website and a page that contains content that is relevant to the content on your website. In simpler words, backlinks should come from relevant websites. For instance, a real estate website getting a backlink from an online apparel store will definitely do more harm than good.
Authority: The link should be from an authoritative and reputed website. Backlinks from websites that have low domain authority (DA) or that have been known to engage in black-hat SEO practices such as selling of links should be avoided. In some cases, unethical competitors may build such links to your website to hurt your SEO efforts. You can go to your Google Search Console to find such links and disavow them.
Natural: A natural link, in simplest words, is a link that you had no influence in getting. This is a link that was given by choice by the owner or editor of the linking website. In most cases, such links are given when a website publishes a high quality content resource that is worth linking to. This is why content marketing is such a popular marketing strategy. A single high quality piece of content can potentially help you build hundreds of links.
Over-Optimized Anchor Texts
Once upon a time, it was great practice to have an exact-match keyword as the anchor text for your links. However, after the Penguin algorithm update, using too many exact-match keywords as anchor text can potentially cause harm to the SEO health of your website.
With that said, Google hasn’t explicitly revealed a magic number for the ideal amount of exact-match keywords a website can have. However, most reputable sources will tell you that keeping them limited to 50% of all your links is a good idea.
High Bounce Rate
A high bounce rate can be the result of a number of problems but regardless of the underlying problem, a high bounce rate will always prevent your website from ranking well in the SERPs. In simple words, the bounce rate is the number of users that left your website in a short time after they logged on to it.
This is because a high bounce rate is an indication that whatever users were hoping to find on your website, they could not, and consequently, they “bounced” off your website.
The most commonly cited reason for a high bounce rate is poorly created content. Whether your content lacks in terms of depth or in terms of the right focus, you will have to decide. But you can be sure that a high bounce rate may be an indication of a problem with content on your website.
Another common reason behind a high bounce rate is poor hosting and a high loading time for your website. Poor hosting services may also return the “unsafe website” error similar to the one below. Such a message may also be the result of a non-existent or expired SSL certificate on your website.
Finding the reason behind your website’s high bounce rate will enable you to fix the underlying user experience issues. As and when the bounce rate of your website diminishes, you can expect to see improvements in your SERP rankings.
As it may have become clear by now, Google has a certain set of rules that it expects all indexed websites to follow. One good example of a rule is the rule about not purchasing backlinks.
When Google realises that a certain website is not following the rules, they penalise that website.
If you think you have avoided all the problems previously mentioned in this article and are confident that every aspect of your website’s SEO is being executed with perfection, then the reason that your SEO efforts are not fruitful may be a penalty.
Recovering from a Google penalty may turn out to be a painstaking and long process. With that said, if you do realise that your website has been penalised, taking care of the penalty is perhaps the only thing you can do..
These were just a few of the common problems that are present in SEO strategies that don’t work. With that said, this list isn’t exhaustive by any measure. If you think that none of the problems mentioned in this article are causing your SEO woes, you may need to consult a professional and reputed SEO to find the culprit.
Also be aware of the new Google Page Experience Update that will start rolling out in mid-June 2021, but the update will not play a full role in search rankings until the back end of August. Check out the Google Page Experience guide for more details.
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