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Does your SEO strategy suck? Here's what to do about it

By Tom Welbourne | Founder/director

The Good Marketer

|

The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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June 9, 2022 | 6 min read

Tom Welbourne, founder and director at The Good Marketer, looks at why your SEO strategies might not be working. He shares five things that could be going wrong - and what you can do to correct them.

The Good Marketer on how to boost your social strategy.

The Good Marketer on how to boost your SEO strategy.

If your search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t working, it's not your fault. You've got sucked in by the typical SEO strategy: trying to rank for as many high-competition keywords as possible in the hopes that some traffic will convert into customers, rather than focusing on making your SEO strategy more sophisticated.

Targeting the wrong keywords and/or targeting too many or too few keywords at once can prevent you from getting found by users in search results, or result in high volumes of traffic that doesn’t convert. You want your content to be relevant to what people search.

Instead: target search intent. Think about how people would actually search for specific inquiries, like local yoga classes.

It could be “yoga classes near me,” “benefits of yoga classes,” or “how to start yoga classes.” These are unique keyword targets; a single keyword with multiple variations catering to users who have different ways of phrasing searches.

1. Your domain is setting you back

It's rare that you'll start a website from scratch. Google can provide information on how old your domain is, how much quality content has been published, and how many backlinks point to it. All of these factors determine your site’s domain authority (DA).

A good DA means more people will see your pages when they search for your featured topics. If your domain score is poor, nobody will see your site.

If you just built a new website with no backlinks or DA, your first step should be to create helpful pieces of content that address topics related to what you do as a business or organization. Then, you need to set up an outreach program to build links. That’s the fastest way to fix a poor SEO strategy.

2. Your website isn't mobile-friendly

When someone lands on your website, the first thing they'll notice is how quickly it loads on their device, especially on mobile phones.

Web users today are impatient. If a page takes more than three seconds to load, 53% of visitors will leave. Smartphone users won’t wait longer than four seconds for a page to render. Annoying and expensive if people don't stick around long enough to make a purchase.

Google's free PageSpeed Insights tool is good for measuring this. By entering your chosen URL, you can get an assessment of the speed the website loads on desktop and mobile with recommendations for improvement.

3. Your content isn't shareable

Sharing content on social is critical, but often underlooked in SEO strategy. It grows organic search footprint as it helps to build brand awareness and engagement through the published content.

Poorly-written generic blog posts rarely get shared. Nor do self-serving articles that promote particular products or services, or pages using stock images, graphics and text to fool search engines.

Shareable content must be compelling, informative and engaging. It also needs to be well-written, error-free and have a clear call to action.

SEO can only do so much if your content isn’t high-quality.

4. You haven't formed backlinks

Algorithms behind search engines are always changing, but the number and quality of backlinks (incoming links) will be evaluated when it comes to a site being ranked high in search results.

Adding links to articles helps to send traffic and authority to these pages. Google looks at relevant follow links when ranking websites.

Marketers should focus on embedding:

  • Internal backlinks, linking to one of their own web pages from another web page on your website

  • External backlinks, linking to a web page on another website from one of your own web pages

  • Do-follow links, sending authority or link juice to the linked site

  • No-follow links, not sending authority or link juice to the linked site

5. You aren't using the right tools to measure your rankings

Tools are just as important as skills. If you're already trying to improve your rankings and aren't seeing results, the most likely reason is that you aren't using the right tools. How can you know what's working if you don't have a measurement system?

The following SEO tools can narrow your search:

  • Ahrefs: an SEO tool regarded as the best for keyword research and competitive analysis.

  • SEMRush: software that allows you to dig into competitors' backlink portfolio by analyzing their link profile and comparing it to your own.

  • Google Search Console: offering valuable data about your site that will help inform what improvements need to be made in order to start seeing results from SEO efforts.

SEO is hard and search engines are constantly changing their algorithms. Thankfully, there are experts who can help you navigate the waters of SEO to find success.

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