Search engine optimization (SEO) seems simple enough, but in reality it’s a complex process that takes time, consistency, and the right expertise to achieve results. Quite often, small business owners experience frustration when their SEO strategy fails to deliver results. Why does this happen? How can you turn it around to achieve significant results?
The Single Biggest Problem with SEO Strategy
The goals of an SEO campaign should be to capture the attention of the right target audience, to deliver the best message to them, and to ensure that search engines recognize your business as the best choice for consumers. Yet, this process doesn’t happen overnight.
Simply, it’s not possible to build a #1 ranked website in a matter of months. However, with the right strategy, it is very possible to see meaningful progress in that same timeframe. Once you have the right strategy, you need to work to fine-tune and develop it over time. The key is consistent improvements, giving you long-term growth in traffic and sales.
What’s Underneath a Failing SEO Strategy?
If you’ve already attempted to implement an SEO strategy for your business, it’s important to understand why your strategy is not achieving your goals. Here are some of the common reasons SEO strategies come up short.
#1: You’re targeting the wrong search terms
Search engines like Google are in the business of helping people find exactly what they are looking for whether it’s a product, service, or information. That means the words you use on your site need to be very reflective of what the target customer is typing into Google. In other words, you need to align the services your business provides with what research indicates are the most common search terms.
More to that point, it’s important to monitor your search terms and evaluate your keyword strategy on a routine basis. What people search for, and how they do it, changes on a regular basis. If your keywords are outdated, it’s costing you visibility and customers.
#2: The content is lacking, limiting your SEO’s reach
Once your search terms are properly aligned, you need to ensure your website has the content necessary to sell your product or service. There are various SEO strategies that should be built into each page of your website beyond keywords. This includes creating content that is:
- Easy to read
- Relevant to what your clients are looking for
- “Expert” quality in the eyes of the search engine
- Engaging - so readers stay on your site longer and move deeper into your website
- Leading – so passive visitors take action to become active customers
Refreshing your content on a regular basis is also important. Search engines want to give consumers the freshest information and therefore they reward sites with newer content. This directly impacts your visibility in search engine results.
#3: Your website is not SEO Friendly
Finally, take a look at your website from the customer’s perspective. Is it easy to navigate? While it may incorporate keywords and good content, if it doesn’t flow from the home page to the services page to the contact page, your navigation could be killing any gains you make from ranking in search results.
Consider your website is like a storefront. Your customer has opened the door, but how do they know where to go quickly to find what they need? By improving the user experience on your site, visitors will spend more time on your site engaging with content and are more likely to fill out a contact form or call your business.
Of course, you also need to address any technical issues that make it harder for search engines to rank your site. These include broken links on the site that are causing 404 errors, or duplicate content that’s tripping up the search engines. You may also have images that cause your site to load slowly and send potential buyers to competitors.
Turning around a failing SEO strategy encompasses a thorough look at every facet of your website and how well it works to meet the needs of your target audience. You may want to engage a search marketing agency to perform an audit of your site and assist you in developing a clear strategy that will achieve your goals. Then, over time, you’ll see how SEO can help your business grow.