What is Missing In Your SEO Campaign?
Is there something amiss that is preventing you from Google search success?
If your SEO campaign is not performing as well as you’d hoped, then there could be something missing. If you’ve spent a long time on it, but traffic isn’t up to par, and you’re no doubt wondering what could be amiss.
Read on to discover what might be missing or not in alignment with what works well for Google when it comes to search engine optimisation.
1. Your website is out of date
There are a few aspects in this arena that are going to mess up your chances of performing well if they aren’t set up properly.
Refine your architecture
First off, your website architecture needs to be simple. This means that any visitor should be able to reach any page that they want to get to in under three clicks. Keep things simple and you’ll help them to navigate to their destination.
Keep these points in mind for best results:
- Every main page needs to be accessible directly from the main menu on your home page
- The structure that you use needs to be logical and easy to use. It needs to be predictable to users.
- Use breadcrumbs to aid navigation of the site.
- Ensure that the search engines can crawl your website with ease. You may want to use HTML and CSS code to improve this.
- Sites with a structure that’s easy to use can even be awarded Google’s site links which will give you added visibility and overall improve your SERPs performance.
Check the speed of your website
A very important ranking factor is site speed. You can check the speed of your website and see suggestions on what you can improve on Pingdom or Google PageSpeed Insights tool. An improved loading time can deliver a good improvement in ranking.
Improvements can often be made on:
- Better hosting or upgraded server
- Hosting larger files externally – ie on Dropbox
- By resizing and compressing images
- Many image heavy websites opt to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for image delivery
- Keep redirects to a minimum
Mobile Friendly Responsiveness
Now that more people use mobile devices to search and browse the internet, it’s become particularly important for your site to be responsive to them and react with speed.
Google uses the mobile version of your site to index it and determine where it will appear in SERPs. Links need to be easy to see and use and the site needs to fit the size of the smaller screens of any device used to access it. You can read more about Google’s mobile-first indexing here where best practices are listed.
By switching from HTTP to HTTPS which offers improved security, you may benefit from a helpful ranking boost. Soon it will become necessary to move again to HTTP/2.
2. Your On-Page SEO is not up to scratch
Without staying current with the best practices of on-page SEO, your site could well be suffering. Here are the most common points to consider:
Using a URL structure that is not clear and free of clutter could impact your results. They would ideally not contain numbers, be predictable and contain your main keywords (but not stuffed). Preferably you’ll be using hyphens rather than underscores.
Using title tags, a good meta description and using both your primary and secondary keywords help. Keep your title tag under 60 characters and ensure that every page is unique.
Check your Google webmaster tool to ensure that you don’t have any broken links and that your structure is well designed. By adding relevant internal links that go deep, you’ll be helping your visitors at the same time as improving your ranking. Use follow links but don’t link to excess.
Look into RankBrain too as this is one of the most important ranking factors that Google is applying. It’s geared towards machines learning from your content, and the easiest way to help them to do that is to use a schema markup. These schemas are universally understood by search engines, and they can then pick out pieces to present to users of their search engines.
3. Your links are not well built
In addition to internal linking, it’s important to build links that go into your site. Ideally, they will be coming from authority domains that you can secure via guest posting.
Keep these factors in mind;
- Low-quality links to your site should be disavowed
- Do not take part in link networks
- build relationships so that you can build your collection. Sometimes adding links to your site for others can help with this practice.
- Anchor text needs to be varied
- Put your primary focus on developing content that is genuinely useful and can be used as a reliable resource, to encourage others to link to it.
- Pay attention to the backlinks of your competitors. Look at how they are linking and from where.
4. Your content is not helping your site
Even if you get everything else right, without great content, your ranking won’t perform too well. It needs to be high quality regarding delivering information that people want to read and it structured in the right way. Here’s where many sites fall down with content:
Content that does not go deep enough, is too short or is not unique will not work well. Your content needs to have relevant keywords and be on information that readers love.
Your content is not converting
The most effective way to create relevant content is to create it for your buyer personas. It will help them to relate to what you have to say and to consider becoming your customer based on this.
Once you have developed buyer personas, then create a model of how they will pass down your sales funnel and what information they may need during this journey. What questions will they have and how can you help them best as they pass through each stage?
Content that your prospects cannot relate to may appear to be working initially, but it needs to go deeper and be written to connect with your readers. This is why it’s important to use professional writers who know something about your topic.
5. A purposeful keyword strategy
It’s important to think carefully and do your research. Using the type of keywords that are used when somebody wants to buy is important, however, using keywords that are far too competitive for how well established your site it, will backfire. Keywords should also not be overused.
6. Not checking Google analytics to make your decisions
Pay attention to the results you’re getting for your chosen and applied keywords in Google Analytics. You’ll be in a better position to make informed decisions. An approach you might want to consider is the use of the hub and spoke keywording where you have a central keyword in use and longtail keywords as the spokes.
The hub serves as the main page, and it also provides an index to your sub-topics that go into further detail about the different concepts. You’ll then be providing exhaustive information and also provide outstanding structured content with links. The search engines will understand and should reward you for your input. Your visitors should click through more, and you’ll have better retention rates.
7. Google has given you a penalty
There are many reasons why Google penalises sites and it’s very important to check whether this has happened to your site. It can happen for something as small as low-quality content to bad backlinks or not being mobile-friendly enough. Even showing ads above the fold won’t work in your favour.
If you feel you may have been penalised, it’s important to understand why that might be and put all your focus on rectifying the matter.
SEO changes all the time and it’s currently heading in the direction of AI and quality. There has been such a huge explosion in the production of content that it’s important that Google still pulls out the best of it.
To keep up to date, visit your Google Analytics and look at other areas of your digital marketing strategy to monitor what’s working and what isn’t. For SEO to work in your favour, you need to be consistent and don’t allow it to go stale.