The SEO industry has faced some ups and downs recently with consecutive updates, fluctuations in search rankings, and algorithm glitches. These issues have caused disruptions in SEO campaigns and hindered their success. While it may seem easy to attribute the failure of an SEO campaign to these factors, there could be other underlying causes that need to be identified. In this article, we will discuss six common reasons why your SEO campaign may not be performing well and provide practical solutions to address each problem.
Your Website Has Bad UX
User experience (UX) plays a key role in the success of any website. Google considers user satisfaction as a key ranking factor. After all, Google is in the business of user satisfaction by returning relevant results to their queries. If visitors find your site difficult to navigate or unappealing, it can negatively impact your SEO efforts. Google may decrease your website's ranking if users leave quickly due to poor user experience, making room for sites with better UX.
Google's Page Experience update emphasizes the importance of user-centric metrics like page loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability. Websites prioritizing a positive user experience are more likely to rank higher in search results.
To create a better page experience, you should:
- Optimize your website's navigation;
- Improve page loading times;
- Ensure mobile responsiveness;
- Make sure your website is secure;
- Prioritize content above the fold;
- Optimize images;
- Reduce the number of redirects;
- Design your site with accessibility in mind.
User-friendly interfaces not only please your audience but can also improve SEO performance.
Your Content Isn't Quality
Google's algorithms are designed to prioritize content that adds value to users. The Helpful Content Update emphasizes the importance of informative, relevant, and high-quality content.
Quality content builds trust and credibility, encouraging users to spend more time on your site. Google recognizes this engagement and rewards it with improved search rankings.
Google explains that content should be:
- Free of spelling and grammar errors
- Void of click-bait
To improve your content’s quality, focus on:
- Expertise: Brands can establish a trustworthy reputation by demonstrating their expertise throughout their website.
- Page Experience: Google rewards content with a good page experience.
- People-First Content: Creators should prioritize creating content tailored to their audience, emphasizing first-hand expertise and depth of knowledge.
- E-E-A-T: Google’s ranking systems use these guidelines to evaluate content. Among these guidelines, trust is the most crucial factor.
Additionally, you’ll want to research your target audience's needs, provide in-depth insights, and focus on solving their problems. Regularly update and refresh your content to stay relevant and maintain high standards.
Your Link Profile is Lacking
Links serve as digital endorsements, signaling to search engines that your content is authoritative and trustworthy. A robust link profile is essential for SEO success.
Backlinks from reputable sources enhance your website's authority. Google views these links as votes of confidence, contributing to higher search engine rankings. A common mistake that many people make is trying to gain as many backlinks as possible. While it may make sense to us that the site that has the most links wins, Google actually focuses on the quality and relevance of the links. So, an automobile repair site that has backlinks from a vet doesn’t do either site any good.
Instead, you should focus on gaining backlinks that are relevant to your site and industry. A paint supply website that has backlinks from home renovation sites? Yes, that makes sense! Your backlinks should add to the user experience, not take away from it.
Start understanding your backlink profile with a backlink analysis. This process can help you understand what links are helping your site or hurting it, and it can give you insights on where to find more authoritative links. Additionally, you’ll want to invest in sustainable link building strategies because link building is a long-term solution. The longer you do it, the more you’ll benefit.
You Have Unrealistic Expectations
One common pitfall is expecting instant results from SEO efforts. SEO is a long-term strategy that requires patience and consistent effort. Having unrealistic expectations can doom your SEO campaign from the start.
You should avoid agencies that:
- Overpromise results
- Guarantee top rankings
- Ignore communications
- Neglect education
- Neglect technical details
To set yourself up for success, educate yourself and your stakeholders on the realistic timelines for SEO success. A successful campaign can take months to see results. Focus on steady progress, and consider the long-term benefits rather than short-term gains.
You Need Better On-Page SEO
On-page SEO involves optimizing individual web pages for search engines, making it easier for them to understand your content. Neglecting on-page elements can hinder your SEO performance.
On-page SEO consists of:
- Keyword optimization
- Title tag optimization
- Header tags
- On-page content
- Internal and outbound links
- Descriptive URLs
- Page loading speed
- Images and multimedia
This list only covers the basics. Analyzing your pages can give you a better insight into how users and search engines interact with your site.
Your Technical SEO Needs Optimizing
If you start building a house without a good foundation, it will likely crumble. The same goes for your SEO strategy. If the strategy is built on a faulty technical foundation, then it will fail before you even start.
Technical SEO elements impact how search engines crawl and index your site. These elements include:
- SSL certificates
- URL structure
- Page loading speed
- Schema markup
All of these elements help tell search engine crawlers what your site is about. If crawlers are confused or encounter numerous mistakes in your technical foundation, they won’t know how to rank your site. That’s why it’s important to regularly conduct technical audits to identify and address any issues hindering your SEO performance.
A successful SEO campaign requires a holistic approach that addresses various aspects, including user experience, content quality, link building, realistic expectations, on-page optimization, and technical SEO. By understanding these factors and implementing the recommended strategies, you can overcome common challenges and pave the way for improved search engine rankings and organic traffic. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous refinement and adaptation to stay ahead in the digital landscape.