That top spot on Google is a prize most webmasters covet. As well they should since the number one result gets the lion’s share of all the clicks. In theory, if you do everything correctly in your SEO campaign, it shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve better SEO results.
In practice, as you’ll no doubt realize, SEO is a little trickier. Part of the problem is that we don’t know precisely what all the ranking factors are. The search engines don’t feel that it’s sporting for us to know what rules we’re playing by.
Google, for example, uses over 200 ranking factors in its search algorithm. Of those two hundred factors, SEO gurus have been able to confirm only a handful. So, if you’re having trouble getting your site to rank, don’t feel alone—it’s a common issue.
In this post, we’ll explore the top five reasons why you’re not achieving the kinds of search engine rankings you’d like to.
You Give Up to Soon
A lot of us have the naïve belief that once our stellar site website goes live, it will gain traction almost immediately. That’s not how it works, and that’s a good thing. Imagine if you finally made it to the top spot and another website came out of nowhere and stole your thunder.
For a site to rank, search engines need a lot of information. They gather this information from the number of visitors to the site, frequency of updates, content freshness, loading speed, number of backlinks, and more.
Think of this as a long-term project. It could take between four and six months before your traffic starts to build nicely. And that’s not four to six months of sitting on your hands—we’re talking consistent blogging, social media updates, and active site promotion.
In this game, consistency and perseverance are key. Commit to posting one blog post every week for the next six months to help improve your brand image. Once that traffic starts rolling in, it will snowball fast.
You’re Not Doing Enough to Promote Your Site
There is no question that guest blogging can be a valuable part of your link-building strategy. If it’s the only way that you promote your site, though, you’re missing out. Let’s look at some other options.
Interlinking Posts on Your Site
This is a way to help guide your visitors to other pages on your site that they might find interesting. It also helps search engines crawl your site more effectively.
When posting, find at least two other posts on your site that might be relevant and link to these, that way you’ll increase the duration people stay on your site and the number of pages per session.
Use Outbound Links to Authority Sites
Some webmasters are worried about including links to other sites as they believe it could dilute their traffic. The concern is understandable, but this is a somewhat short-sighted approach if you’re hoping for better SEO results. Adding references from authority sites that people can check for themselves adds credibility to your post.
You’re Not Using Social Media
Social media can seem overwhelming. Considering that shares on these types of sides aren’t valuable like links in the eyes of the search engines, most of us ignore them. That’s a big mistake. The traffic coming through from Facebook might not improve your rank, but it is getting more eyes on your site.
Social media can help you improve your brand awareness and alert people to check out your latest blog post. You can also use it to connect with your followers and build a better relationship with them.
Consider Hiring an Influencer to Help Get Your Site Some Traffic
Influencers can help you build some serious credibility for your brand and bring visitors to your site. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune hiring one of the more popular influencers.
Often, choosing an influencer in a specific niche with between 2,000 and 50,000 followers gives you the best value for money in terms of engagement. Choosing these influencers generally means that you’re able to get access to an audience that is highly engaged in the influencer and their topic of interest.
When you’re looking at lists of keywords in any tool, it’s tempting to go with those that have millions of hits per month. After all, the more searches there are, the better your chances of hitting the right note with your SEO campaign, right? Not necessarily. You and just about every other marketer on the planet are going to want to get in on that action. That means that your page has a lot more competition.
It’s better to look for keywords where there is moderate competition. You might not get as many hits per month with these keywords, but they’re easier to rank for. You won’t be competing with large corporates who have seemingly unlimited marketing budgets.
Of course, you don’t want to go the other way either. If you choose keywords with hardly any competition, you might not get enough hits on your site to get better SEO results.
Choose several different keyword phrases and incorporate them into your site naturally. Follow your progress and take it from there.
Technical Issues on Your Site
If you’re looking for the top site killer, this is probably it. Technical issues are going to damage your site’s reputation fast. Here are some of the worst ones:
- Site loads too slowly: You can say goodbye to nearly half of your visitors if your site takes longer than three seconds to load. It’s better to have a simpler website that loads in 1 second, than a site full of bells and whistles that loads in 10 seconds.
- Broken Links: Broken links are a pet peeve of ours. With simple tools such as the SEO Spider from Screaming Frog, there is no excuse to have a broken link. Not only does this look bad to visitors, but the search engines will take note as well.
- You don’t bother with a meta description: The meta description is not going to help you rank. That doesn’t mean it’s not important, though. The meta-description is what people will read under your link in the search results. It can be used to pique their interest and get them to take a look at your site. Don’t waste this opportunity.
You’re Just Not Creating Great Content
The one SEO factor that will make the most difference is providing quality content. This is the one factor that all the search engines are happy to share. Write your content with the end reader in mind, not the search engine.
- Is more likely to be shared.
- Is going to take time to read so your visitors will stay on your site longer.
- sets you up as an expert in your field.
- provides real value to visitors.
- is potentially a useful link for authority sites to reference.
If there’s only one thing you take away from this post, let it be this: Be sure that you put your best foot forward when it comes to the content that you publish. You might not see results today, but in a few months’ time, when the traffic starts pouring in, you’ll be glad that you did.