You probably know you shouldn’t expect to improve your site’s rankings overnight. But if you’re going to spend time and money on something, it’s reasonable to expect to see a profit at some point. If you never see any improvement from your SEO campaign, then you are doing something wrong. Here are seven problems that might be stopping you from increasing your site’s rankings.
1. Quitting Because It’s Taking Too LongEven if you know your results won’t be instantaneous, you still might be expecting to see them too soon. When some people don’t see any improvement within a few months, they decide their SEO efforts aren’t working and give up. This is a mistake.
How Long Does SEO Take?Skyler Malley of Firestarter SEO in Denver points out that certain variables will impact how long it takes for you to be successful with your SEO campaign. You might see the fruit of your labors very quickly, but they also might take a while to develop. No matter what, Malley says that “the progress you see in the early stages should pale in comparison to the results you see at the end of the first year.”
2. Abusing KeywordsKeywords are essential for you to be successful at SEO, but don’t overuse them. You don’t want to pack a bunch of keywords into your content so that you can rank higher. Keyword stuffing will not serve your readers, and you risk getting on the wrong side of Google by doing so.
3. Not Accounting for Site HistoryYou need to recognize that if your domain or website has been penalized, then your job is that much harder. That’s not to say you won’t be able to get your site to rank. It just means that your job is more difficult. The same is true if you bought your site from a previous owner. Whoever owned the domain before you had a different purpose for it and had different contact info. It will take you time to build your own history. Of course, it will also take you some time to build your history if your domain is completely new.
4. Neglecting DirectoriesOne directory you need to claim right away if you have not yet done so is Google My Business. Google My Business is an opportunity to be listed for free on a site with a high level of traffic and authority. Despite what some think, other online directories are valuable for helping your search engine ranking. The key is to get your business listed on quality directories, not spammy ones. List your business in as many solid online directories as possible. Make sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all your listings.
5. Misusing BacklinksBacklinks are indispensable to SEO. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, they’re also a great way to get your site penalized. Do not include backlinks that are forced, irrelevant, or not educational to your followers. The key with backlinks is to make sure they are relevant to your content and fit naturally within it. They should be instructional and clearly support the purpose of your posts. If they have these qualities and come from authoritative sites, your own site will greatly benefit.
Moz has a few suggestions for getting backlinks without incurring Google’s wrath. You can ask people you know to link back to your blog, so long as they do so in a way that is natural and helpful to users. Look for instances online where people have mentioned your business without linking to you. Then ask them to link to your business. It’s a good idea to search for mentions on a monthly basis.
Something else you can do is use Google’s Search Console to find times when people have attempted to link to you, but the links are broken. Consider doing an event or a promo, especially one that benefits people. Then ask a journalist to write about and link to you. Check out HARO, a platform that helps journalists who need to write a story discover businesses who could help them out. If your company provides a service relevant to a story you find through HARO, you can connect with that reporter and get a link to your site.
6. Creating Poor ContentYou do need to optimize your content for SEO, but you also need to create content that is high quality and educational. Creating strong content takes a lot of work, but doing so is important to increasing your traffic. Good content benefits your audience and builds your authority. The more niche your content is, the better your traffic will be.
It’s obviously best if you can choose evergreen topics. But besides having something great to say and saying it well, there are other ways to capture people’s attention. Make sure your titles are eye-catching and that your blog is well designed. Also make sure you’re regularly offering visual content, such as infographics and videos, which get a lot of engagement.
7. Thinking You Can Control EverythingAs we said earlier, succeeding at SEO is not a formulaic process. Because certain aspects are out of your control, your results will have a degree of unpredictability. For example, the industry you’ve chosen impacts the level of competition you face. And the level of competition you face affects how hard it will be for you to rank for certain keywords. Some businesses will have a much easier time ranking than you will simply because you happen to be in a more challenging industry.
Guidelines, Not a FormulaHow long does it take for SEO to start working? That depends, but you should see results within a year if you implement the strategies outlined above. Don’t neglect these crucial steps for increasing your traffic and promoting your business online.
I love this industry because digital marketing is always changing and there are always new tools to check! New tools open up new opportunities, offer new insights and inspire new tactics.
Here are six tools I intend to give a thorough look in 2018.
What are yours?
Topvisor is a newer tool in my marketing arsenal but it’s quickly becoming my favorite tool! I love their keyword research and grouping features and use them every time I plan a content strategy for a new client. It also has a nice rank tracking feature that updates me on all changes that need attanetion.
2. Netpeak Spider
One of the most indepth and flexible web crawlers out there, Netpeak Spider provides smooth experience and lots of features. It automatically checks 50+ parameters and detects more than 60 SEO errors (including http status errors, canonical issues, Robots.txt issues, meta tag issues and more).
It has 5 crawling modes (site-wide, directory, URL list, XML Sitemap and even from Google SERP). Each of them allows to perform certain SEO tasks, for example, by crawling an XML sitemap, you can detect 21 XML sitemap issues in 17 parameters and send the corrected sitemap files to the search engines.
It even has the ability to calculate your site internal PageRank giving your ideas if important pages of your site are not getting enough power internally.
3. Buffer for video
There’s nothing new about Buffer. It’s been around for quite some time now! So why am I including it in this list? Because Buffer never stops and their most recently added feature is a proof!
Buffer for video is the first product to allow native video scheduling to all the big social media networks. So: upload once, share everywhere.
Not in the video game yet? This stats should change your mind:
- 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
- The number of videos in Facebook feeds has grown by 360%
- In the U.S., people are posting 94% more videos to Facebook
- 50% of Americans who use Facebook daily watch at least 1 video every day
I am sure many of you are aware of Slack but few people know that it’s not merely about chatting and collaborating. With the ability to add bots, Slack has become one of the most diverse multi-purpose platforms.
The two cool bots to add:
- Notify: Brings your brand mentions to your Slack feed. It serves as more of an ambient notification feed for these alerts and may inspire more team conversation than individual emails.
- Statsbot: Brings Google Analytics stats to your Slack feed. Ask the bot about your stats and see the graphs and numbers right in the message thread.
It is no secret that I am not a big fan of Mail Chimp. I find their system overly bulky, difficult to use, and their policies are so unclear you can violate them by accident. I have tried a number of alternatives, but none of them were the simple, effective drip email platform I wanted. Until I found Drip.
It is a cool system that lets you create an easy sales funnel, in a visual way. While I don’t do direct sales, I have found the same principle applies to content promotion. My email campaigns have become much more effective thanks to this little gem.
Drip workflows seem amazingly easy and fun to set up. Here are options for automation systems and this one seems like a great one to add to the list.
Ptengine is a great heatmap application, you can find out at exactly what point customers are choosing to leave your site. Isolating that point is crucial, so you can make the necessary changes to push them to the final step.
Unlike many other heatmap tools, this one provides much more insight than just a visualization. See referral information, track social media campaigns and engagement (page views, visit duration and conversions).
And which tools are you planning to try in 2018?