If your SEO strategy isn’t working – here is some news for you in 2022; it’s not necessarily a Google penalty, or the SERPs have got it in for you.
There can be many more mundane explanations for why the current SEO technique is failing.
So this article will give your in-house team, or if you are using SEO services and are paying good money for it, 12 reasons to look closely at. Then ensure they are not being applied anymore before blaming Google or Google updates or anything else.
1. Outdated Tactics
SEO changes continually, especially after Google’s two significant updates in 2021; the landscape has changed somewhat.
Here are some examples of outdated tactics:
Content machines. Hopefully, you laugh and say, ‘no, of course not’, but that’s a worrying sign if you don’t. Throwing out heavy but low-quality content doesn’t work anymore. Content needs to be engaging and relevant to the search term the user is entering into the SERPs and requires constant work. Google will ignore you if it isn’t.
Using long-tail keywords only. If you create small pages looking to rank for only a specific long-tail keyword, you won’t scratch the surface of more prominent brands. Use blog posts as well to keep people interested and sharing.
Keyword Stuffing. I want to think you gave up on this a long time ago, but I’m not even talking about the old keyword stuffing from years ago. Even now, 8-10 of the exact keywords on a 1000 word article are frowned upon. Limit it to a maximum of four, maybe five. If you are not doing that, it will not help your cause.
Poor Backlinks. Please make sure you are not even considering buying backlinks that went out years ago. But even if you are reaching out to webmasters for guest posting, check their site DA first. If it is low, even though it’s a do-follow, it doesn’t make Google excited to rank you much higher and a NoFollow won’t help either.
2. User Experience
High Bounce Rates. Everyone involved in SEO services has known for years that this is detrimental to ranking. Even novices who have access to Google Analytics can sign up and follow step-by-step guides to see where their problems lie.
Above, I mentioned engaging content – EVERYTHING has to be engaging for high rankings. Google’s recent updates focused heavily on User Experience. Ideally, you want them on your site for 10 minutes or more and clicking through internal links. You are in trouble if your homepage is outdated and boring with bad imagery and outdated fonts.
Easy ways to fix User Experience
Improve Site Speed. Here’s a fun stat for you, on average, Amazon lose around $1.6 billion in sales for every extra second their page takes to load. Process that for a second; if you did, that’s how easy it is to lose users and money.
Google have a simple tool called PageSpeed Insights, and it’s free. Again basic stuff your in-house team or SEO company should be well on top of.
Increase Your Media. Part of the engagement process, especially with Millenials and the younger generation, is images and videos with graphics explaining your content. People’s attention spans are becoming less, so if they don’t want to read much content regardless of whether it is engaging, make up for it with these; otherwise, your rankings will suffer.
3. Analytics and Goal Tracking
Suppose you haven’t installed Google analytics that I mentioned above earlier. What do you expect if your SEO campaign is struggling?
These goal tracking and analytical programs present everything you need to know to help determine what is working and what isn’t. But you’d be surprised how many people still do not have this installed. If not, click on the link above and register AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
I’ll also give you another link to Google Search Console’s guide, which will also help assist you. Once you are in, you can begin to monitor things such as:
- Your incoming traffic Sources
- Bounce Rates
- Page Views
- Your Average Session Duration
- Return Visitor Numbers
And many, many more, without knowing this, it’s like driving a car with a black windshield; you are blind. Google created these to help grow your business and help their customers.
4. You’re in a Competitive Niche
Businesses can ply money into SEO for years and not see results, not understanding they are using the wrong tactic given the competitive nature of their niche.
There are more well-established companies with bigger marketing budgets than you, so you have to find a way around it rather than keep running into a brick wall.
Try lesser targeted keywords. Don’t try and target keywords with 10,000+ views a month; that is what all the big companies have been doing for years.
Look for keywords that apply to you with 300 views a month, there will be way less competition, and they won’t pay any attention to them. This SEO technique, if done correctly,
could see you on page one quickly and pick up 10-40% of those searches a month. Bingo! You now have lead generation and higher conversion rates.
5. Being Way too Keyword Focused
Many moons ago, you could put a couple of pages up on a website, put a bunch of keywords in there and have your client flying up the rankings like a rocket; those days are over.
If you are still all about keywords in 2022, there’s another critical indicator of why you are not moving.
If you are entirely focused on long-tail keywords, you’re struggling. You could write a great article on ‘Men’s New Footwear for Sale’, but this doesn’t mean you’ll rank for it.
If you check the search engine for something like that, none of them will be an exact match, and it will be all big brands at the top.
So, how to compete.
Great, Great Content. Make sure you are answering every question your potential customer is asking. Make it personal, not robotic and with up-to-date thorough answers.
Look at associating with more prominent brands through guest posting. Reach out to them, they may charge for a link, but it is worth the money in the long run, especially if you are paying a lot of money and your SEO technique isn’t working.
Don’t be afraid to be a Storyteller. Even if you are competing with more prominent brands, you are halfway there if you can make your audience laugh and engage them to tell their friends or recommend you. Building a bond with your audience is everything in 2022. Make sure you look at everyday life and make things relatable. That’s the key.
6. Target Keywords Are Not Receiving Much Search Volume It is easier today with the analytical tools I’ve already mentioned to see who’s looking at what.
Keyword Searches Have Changed. You could write a fantastic 4000-word piece on something to do with your company or products and service, but it is useless if no one is looking for it. It may not actually be the SEO strategy that’s failing. You picked the wrong keywords at the start, some that may have been searched for two years ago, but because you have kept constant analysis, you don’t realise those are dead searches now.
Set a goal of the number of inbound leads your business can handle effectively. Then target the keywords with the right amount of searches to be competitive and get some attention.
7. You’re Building Your Links Wrong
So your buildings link, and that feels good. Years ago, after the Panda and Penguin updates, links became under intense scrutiny and even more so in 2021 when there we 8 fairly substantial updates.
Tactics to Avoid Back Link Building
Link Directories. I hope you stopped using link directories years ago; Google is way too smart for that now.
Links in your Footers. Another dinosaur in the room can potentially harm you, but some people still do it. If you still have them and sign up to Google Analytics, you can disavow them through the Search Console.
NoFollow Links. Many people still think it’s about the volume of links, but Google gives little credit to these kinds of links anymore. When you are reaching out to other companies and/or webmasters, ask them if you will receive a DoFollow link. If not, don’t waste your time writing an engaging article to receive little value for it.
Links From Sites With Low DA. If you are currently sitting with piles of links from low domain authority websites, it’s not necessarily damaging your rankings; it just doesn’t boost them. You can quickly check a DA by downloading Chrome’s Extention Mozbar and check from there when link building.
8. Over-Optimising Anchor Texts
There is no specific rule set out by Google about this but keeping them to a lower level these days is advisable. Try to vary them as you will come under scrutiny if you have over optimised anchor text.
Bad Anchor Text Example.
We sell the best men’s watches in Melbourne, Australia at the best prices ever! www.test.com/best-mens-watches-in-Melbourne-Australia
Why do we consider this bad? It’s just over-optimised. Try not to match it exactly the same as the URL or the headline/title, as it will cause problems.
9. Your Target Audience has Changed
While you will hear from many people who provide SEO services say that SEO is about a ‘step-by-step’ long-term process involving specific procedures to see results. SEO today is a lot more subtle and nuanced.
Understanding your current target market is more important than anything. Understanding your potential clients and what they want gives you the advantage of setting up your SEO technique around the right keywords. You need to know what they are searching for on the SERPs.
How to Go About Knowing the Customer Better.Why not ask your newest existing customers, ask them questions and engage with them.
- What brought you to us in the first place?
- How did you find us?
- Why did that particular product or service appeal to you?
- How did you find out about our service at the start?
Plus, as many more as you can think of without overdoing it, this will give you an insight into what they were looking for and why.
10. You are Not on Social Media Enough
Welcome to 2022. Google has given much more authority to social media in the past few years. Now, it’s a significant ranking factor. Suppose social media is not playing a substantial role in your overall SEO strategy. In that case, you are in big trouble, and your competition will stay above you on the SERPs.
Open a YouTube channel. YouTube now receives the second most daily hits behind Google globally. We have already mentioned how the new generation and even millennials are drawn to visuals, graphics and videos. So go onto YouTube and start looking at a tutorial on creating and getting your channel growing fast.
It will increase the search volume for your brand dramatically.
11. Don’t Ignore Your Customers
It’s all very well, just pushing for engagement and clicks as many people still do, but when someone engages with the site, you must jump on it; otherwise, it’ll hurt your brand.
Listen to Your Customers. A classic error during the engagement process is that all you do is talk about you and your business and try to sell products. Here you have a fantastic opportunity to engage with a potential customer and LISTEN!
This is where you will get valuable feedback and see what questions they ask. Suppose they ask about information on services and products already on your website. In that case, you must ask yourself why that information is not already prevalent. Still, you’re missing the point if you are talking over them just trying to sell it.
Build rapport, think about what was behind that conversation, and use it to your advantage.
12. Don’t Be Impatient
SEO in 2022 has never been more competitive. Since the global pandemic, internet usage has skyrocketed. People thought it may come back down when COVID-19 started to subside; that’s not the case.
So you will need to be a little more patient. There are no guarantees in SEO, just hard but smart work. But stay the course. It might just be slight adjustments that need to be made to get the results you need.
If you do see the results, don’t sit back and think you’ve won either, you’ve got to keep pushing all the time. The internet is now being used for everything people need in their lives, so be stubborn, not impatient, and you’ll succeed.
Some of the above may have made you laugh and think, ‘come on, thats obvious’ you would be surprised out of these 12 how many companies are still using these practices. And it only takes one to negatively affect all the hard work and money being spent on your current SEO campaign. So start with the analytics, sit down, have a solid business plan and expectations of what you’d like to achieve in 2022 then work towards it. It is not impossible. Maybe you just need a few tweaks. Good luck for 2022 and beyond.