One of the quickest ways to gain traction online is by implementing SEO for your website. 'Quick' in this sense is relative, though, and most business owners get impatient with SEO. It is natural, especially if you're not immersed in the industry, to expect instant results. After all, if you've paid for Google ads, you know that some strategies bring massive traffic.
If you're scaling your business, you would want large amounts of traffic to your site. So, any strategy that allows for it would be attractive to you. SEO is not about short-term gains, though. If your strategy seems not to be working, here are some things to consider.
Does The Website Design Encourage Browsing?
Sometimes, the problem is technical. Your site's responsiveness, the way it structures data, and your web hosting can all affect SEO. To encourage people to browse your site, it needs to load fast and adapt to mobile devices.
Most people interact with websites through their phones or tablets today. As a result, Google rewards mobile-first website design. Today, pages with mobile versions outrank ones that do not. Site speed is also important. People expect websites to load within two seconds, or they opt out of reading the page altogether.
Aside from speed and responsiveness, information architecture matters as well. Do your articles link, or are they islands of data on your site? Is it easy for people to transition from one page to another? The way you structure your posts can also contribute to conversions. For example, you could take people through several posts introducing a product. It also helps to ask if your internal links align with how users think of your products or services.
If your web hosting or website builder has issues, these could also affect your SEO. You can measure your load time with software like Google's Page Speed Load Tool. On their blog, developers share ways people can use the data they get from page speed scans.
If you aren't a technically-inclined person, you can hire someone else to take care of hosting. Find a web host who can reduce page speed load times by using up-to-date caching technologies.
Do You Have Gaps In Your Content?
Your problem could also be that you have gaps in your content. You can find these deficiencies through content analysis. You do this by mapping out the customer journey and identifying concerns they might have. Then, you can compare these concerns with your content offerings and identify gaps. For example, interactions with customers could show you that they don't know if an item is worth the price. You can create blog posts that show it is, and link them from one to another.
Apart from doing internal gap research, you could also perform a competitor analysis. Identify keywords that neither you nor other businesses are targeting. When you have a list, you can write and optimize posts for these phrases. If you leave content gaps standing, your website will take a hit because it does not provide value.
Do You Need To Give It More Time?
Keep in mind that you do SEO for your website with the long term in mind. You cannot expect your site to rank after only a couple of weeks. Google needs to see how your website fares in comparison to others. Also, people will have to discover your site and decide if it gives value. Start measuring returns three months into a campaign, so you have numbers to back you up.
If your post does not have a backlink strategy, it will also take a while for your page to rank. The strength of a company's backlink profile is a significant ranking factor. If you do not have enough backlinks, Google will keep your website lower in the rankings. It is something you cannot rush, though.
Remember that people will always link back if you're saying something noteworthy. Promoting your site is also part of this. Announcing that you've come out with a new post will drive traffic to your site. Your social media pages are the best place to announce new posts and find new readers for your website.
Have You Over- Or Under-Optimized Your Site?
It's good to have a content strategy and an on-page SEO checklist, which is at the heart of optimization. An optimized post will have the target keyword in the title tag, the H1 tag, or throughout the content area. It is also in the alt text of images. Your content should also have H2 or H3 tags that have keywords related to the H1.
Meanwhile, the opposite is possible. When you over-optimize your website, it can cause a dip in rankings. Adding keywords throughout your page will help, but it harms your rankings if you add too many. Keyword stuffing used to be an acceptable SEO practice, but Google will penalize you for it today. Besides, using keywords in every other sentence is annoying to readers as well. If you cannot tell if you're using too many keywords, read your content out loud. If it sounds stilted, it is likely that you've over-optimized the paragraph.
Do You Have Duplicate Content?
Aside from striking a balance with optimization, you must avoid duplicate content. Having many versions of the same post can confuse both users and search engines. Duplicates can water down the value of your post and fragment its effects on your ranking.
There are two types of duplication; internal and external. Internal duplication is when you have the same primary content on different URLs. External duplication is having the same text on websites belonging to different owners.
External duplicates occur when someone scrapes a website. It can also crop up if owners try to "game" Google's algorithm by having different websites show the same data. Product description texts copied and pasted on reseller websites are also counted as duplicates. If you want to have a high-ranking website, steer clear of these techniques. They won't work in the long run and might even lead to your website getting banned by Google.
When you use SEO for your website, prepare to allot at least a few months to see results. Search optimization is a technique that does not bring instant results. It relies on thoroughness and consistency, especially in posting. Using sound on- and off-page SEO practices and high-quality, unique content build your ranking over time.
Keep your company on the path to growth when you partner with Ranked. We provide data-driven optimization to secure a robust online presence for your business. Get in touch with us or get started with Ranked today!