When I talk to potential clients, “Why isn’t my SEO working?” is one of the most common questions I get. Whether they did it themselves or hired it out to someone, the rankings aren’t going up and traffic is stagnant. Website SEO is complex and ever-changing, but there are several reasons why your SEO efforts aren’t paying off.
You Haven’t Given It Enough Time
People are impatient. They’re spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on outside SEO companies and not seeing the results they need. SEO isn’t the kind of thing that’s going to happen overnight. When changes are made for SEO on the website, it takes time for Google to see them and make ranking updates.
There’s no real time frame for when that happens. If you’re lucky, then Google can make changes within a few days, but it can take weeks or even months for the changes to take real effect. I always suggest waiting six months before making any decision on whether or not your SEO is effective. You’ll see rankings change and traffic improve month to month, but rarely is it a drastic change. You need to see the changes as part of the big picture.
Your SEO Person Isn’t Very Good
You can’t throw a stick without hitting a digital marketer these days. They’re everywhere from freelancers, scammers, agencies and people that promise you first page results in the first week. They send you generic emails telling you how horrible your site is and how they can grow your traffic. I’ve had many clients that were apprehensive about starting SEO because they got burned in the past. They paid all this money and got screwed over.
It’s not just scammers that can cost you ranking and traffic. SEO is constantly changing and there are many third party programs that make the job easier, but freelancers may not have access to them. If your SEO person isn’t familiar with the changes at Google or able to track changes to your site and keywords, then the SEO will suffer. SEO specialists need to know everything going on in the industry from RankBrain, Google’s AI, to presumed algorithm changes.
Not Enough Data and Analysis
Perhaps more than any other digital marketing service, SEO depends and thrives on data and analysis. Examining your site for common SEO problems, understanding where your existing traffic comes from and what pages people are visiting are vital to creating a SEO plan. You need to understand your competitors and how their SEO efforts impact yours. Also, compare their rankings in specific keywords to your site.
Google Analytics is incredibly complex, but it’s also invaluable. It helps you to understand every aspect of the customer journey on your website and discover hidden issues. Applications that track rank change can help you understand if competitors started their own SEO efforts. Taking all of this data together, you can craft a marketing strategy designed to maximize your potential rank improvement, traffic increases and conversions.
SEO gets a bad rap because it’s not fast and many people have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous scammers or inexperienced people who charge little, but offer little as well. If you’re SEO efforts aren’t what you want, then choose someone certified in Google Analytics and who has helped dozens of businesses grow and thrive.