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Six common reasons your SEO efforts aren’t working

By Alexandra Gavril - April 15, 2021

Are you struggling to attract more visitors to your website? Do you feel like you’ve followed most search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices but you’re just not getting the results you were expecting?

Optimising a site for visibility in the search engines can be a frustrating process, especially when you’re not seeing an improvement in traffic numbers and can’t figure out what you’re doing wrong.

Not to worry. We’re here to help with some common reasons your SEO isn’t working and what you can do to fix them to start getting the results you’re hoping for.

Remember though: SEO can take a while to work. If you’ve just started working on your site’s SEO, you can expect to wait up to six months before you see results.

1. You are keyword stuffing

What’s keyword stuffing? It’s an old SEO technique that was used to rank higher in the search engine results. The technique was simple: repeat the same keywords or keyword phrases lots of times on a page or website, even if it doesn’t sound natural.

It worked in the past, but it doesn’t work now. In fact, it can damage your SEO efforts, and even get your site penalised and removed from the search engine results.

How can you check if you’ve over-optimised your site? Simple. Open a page on your site and run a search for your target keyword. If you see that exact keyword highlighted in too many places, like five times in two consecutive paragraphs, then you’re overdoing it.

To fix it, review all your pages and scale back on how often you’re using a keyword in your content. Also, consider using variations of your keywords. For example, if you offer plumbing services, avoid using “plumbing services” more than two-three times on the page. In addition, try using variations of your keyword such as “emergency plumber” or “24-hour plumbing in London”.

2. Poor keyword optimisation

If you’re not using relevant keywords to optimise your meta title and description, headings and subheadings, and images – then you need to go back in and start over.

Optimising for search engines is hard work. It takes time to find the right keywords that are relevant to your industry, type of business and products or services, as well as the content of every page on your site. Not to mention that you need to validate these keywords to make sure they’re what your visitors and customers use to find your website online.

It’s hard work but for your SEO efforts to pay off, you need to invest the time to do it right. Read our post to learn more about where (and how) to use keywords to properly optimise your content for search engines.

3. You lack quality website content

Is your content useful? Does it describe exactly what a product does or how a service can help solve a problem? If your content isn’t helpful and doesn’t answer customers’ questions, then it’s not useful. So, of course you’ll have a hard time getting at the top of the search results and attracting visitors to your site.

Not sure how or what type of content to write so it’s useful to prospects visiting your site? Check out these three posts to learn more about:

4. No backlinks

Backlinks are links from other sites or blogs pointing to your site. They’re an important ranking factor that Google looks at when deciding which results to show at the top of its search results.

Why are they so important? Because for Google, a backlink means your content is relevant, informative, interesting, or useful. It means people love it and more people should see it, so of course Google will want to show it at the top of the search results so more people find it.

So, if your SEO isn’t working, it may be because you’ve earned very few or no backlinks at all. There are lots of things you can do to earn backlinks, including:

  • Create a great resource like a checklist, how-to guide, or video, and then share it online to try and get others to link to it.
  • Write guest posts on sites where your customers might be. These can even be sites of businesses that are complementary to yours. For example, if you provide leather cleaning services, you could guest post on a site that sells leather couches.

Learn more about link building and tactics you can use to earn more backlinks.

5. Your website loads slowly

It doesn’t matter how amazing your website and offering are. If your site takes too long to load, visitors will leave your site to return to the search results and head to a rival. While that’s bad for business, what’s even worse is that it can hurt your site’s visibility in the search results.

Site speed is a Google ranking factor. This means that if your site is slow, Google won’t show it at the top of the search results. And why would it when visitors entering your site leave just seconds later because it takes too long to load?

Go to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and enter your website address to check how long it takes for your site to load.

The tool will return recommendations for things you can do to fix any speed issues on your site.

6. Your site isn’t mobile-friendly

Did you know that mobile accounts for half of web traffic worldwide? Many of your visitors are likely using a mobile device to get on your site. If they’re having trouble seeing your images or text, or navigating to other pages on your site, this may also be why your SEO isn’t working.

Visit your website from a mobile device and see how it looks. Try to navigate to the different pages on your site, scroll up and down, tap buttons, buy a product, book an appointment, or fill out a contact form. Does everything display properly? Can you navigate with ease? Is it simple to buy a product or to fill out a form?

If it’s not, you need to fix it because it’s not harming just your customers’ experience, but also your SEO rankings. Learn more about why speed matters and how to get up to speed.