SEO marketing services

5 Ways to Fix Your SEO Techniques & Boost Your Rankings

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your website to please the Google (and other search engines) crawlers to help rank your website better in the search results.

There are a variety of things you can do to optimize your website. SEO efforts are constantly changing and SEO experts find themselves adapting their strategies on a regular basis. A thorough expert will constantly be checking for results; however, if you are attacking SEO as a DIY project, you may realize after several months that you haven’t even looked at your website’s performance. Here are a few key things to consider when you address your analytics:

Is SEO Even Important?

There are at least 3.5 billion (yes, with a B) searches made every single day and the volume of searches grow by around 10% each year.

If those statistics aren’t enough to make you rethink your SEO budget and policies, consider the fact that at least 35% of product searches start on Google and 34% of “Near Me” searches result in store visits!

It is very likely that the people who land on your website organically arrive there after exploring your market on Google Search.

Is My Site Doomed?

Let’s say you are new to marketing and noticed that your website isn’t receiving a lot of traffic… or maybe you’ve implemented strategies that you read about on blogs. Either way, you are noticing that your rankings aren’t what you want to see.

To answer the question, no! Your website is not doomed. It is just time to reevaluate your SEO marketing tactics and provide users with the high-value content that they (& Google) are looking for.

75% of users never scroll past the first page of the search results

What does that mean for you? It means your business needs to make SEO a priority.

If you are looking to hire an SEO consultant or agency to manage the SEO of your website, remember that not all agencies are created equally. For example, if you needed to hire a plumber to fix a routine issue at your home, you could probably successfully perform a Google search and find someone certified to fix the issue you’re facing. It doesn’t work that way in the SEO world though because SEO strategies are not created equally.

Unfortunately, there are many marketing agencies who are better at selling SEO services than they are at actually doing it effectively.

Black Hat Techniques: Good, Bad, and Ugly

Black hat SEO is attempting to cheat the search engine algorithms by over-optimizing your website, content, and link building strategies to have an advantage over your competitors.

Engaging in these tactics is unethical and exists only for the purpose of cheating your way to the top instead of working your way there through running an honest search engine campaign.

Black hat SEO used to be an easy way to improve your rankings, thus increase your traffic, but thankfully Google is smarter than these amateur tricks these days. If you are caught using black hat techniques, you are likely going to be banned by most search engines, but definitely Google. Here are a few things you should stay away from:

  • Building links with WordPress themes, plug-ins, or widgets
  • Keyword stuffing is when you write content full of keywords for the sake of having keywords like “Our seafood restaurant in Tulsa offers the best seafood cuisine in the Tulsa area.” It is unnatural to read. Additionally, stuffing keywords into the code of your website called “meta-keywords” which are strictly read by search engine robots.
  • Content automation is cheating your way into content for your website. It will be poorly written and users will know it was drafted by a bot.
  • Purchasing an Expired domain name is considered black hat because you’re piggybacking off someone else’s SEO efforts.
  • Duplicate content applies to plagiarized content from other sources as well as sharing the same article or text on your own website more than once.
  • Hidden links or text is any materials drafted in the background for Google to see that you don’t want users to bump into. This was popular before keyword stuffing was penalized.

White Hat SEO

White hat techniques are methods approved by Google and other search engines to rank higher with them. True SEO strategies are designed to promote content and authority in a natural way rather than by back-handed techniques. Some white hat search engine strategies include:

  • Improving user experience includes any changes made to make users have a better time on your website. Google views these changes as well and might give your site a gold star.
  • Link building to and from reliable, relevant websites is a great way to improve user experience as well as show authority both for your own content and for the websites you are linking too. They may even give you a link back as a thank you!
  • Optimized meta-data is one somewhat behind the scenes way to improve UX and a smart way to tell Google more about your website.
  • Having a mobile-friendly website: the number of mobile users is continuing to increase. Having a mobile friendly or responsive site will help retain users who stumble upon your site from their phone.

But It Still Isn’t Working! How Do I Fix It?

We have compiled a list of five reasons and suggestions as to why the SEO you have completed on your website isn’t working and how to make it work.

1. You Aren’t Using Keywords Effectively

You cannot just wake up on Tuesday with a keyword in mind and decide to start optimizing for it. You need to conduct strategic research to ensure that the phrases you optimize for are keywords that your potential customers are actually searching for.

Where Your Business Went Wrong

  • You didn’t use reliable keyword research tools
  • Optimizing for keywords with a low search volume
  • Using keywords that are highly competitive that big businesses are already ranking for

How You Can Fix It

  • Use keyword planning tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Moz, Ubersuggest, and SEMrush
  • Use the data available in these tools to determine how to optimize the keywords you select
  • Use your keywords in meta data: headlines & titles and front load them whenever you can
  • Prioritize keywords in your content that make the most sense to users

2. You Aren’t Publishing Enough Content or Updating Outdated Content

Content is King. We believe it. Other SEO gurus believe it. So it must be true. Even though content is key, search engine robots focus on QUALITY over QUANTITY.

But the problem is, many brands who have a content marketing calendar fail to complement their SEO initiatives or captivate their potential customers.

Where Your Brand Went Wrong

The number one mistake we see brands make with their content marketing strategy (as long as they are being consistent with their posting) is not writing based on their keyword strategies. Too many times it seems as if businesses just blogging because they heard Google likes it when you do that.

Another problem is when you only create promotional content. Sponsored or promotional content can create a distrust between the user and your brand. Make sure you are giving them quality content.

How Your Brand Can Fix It

Search Engines care about content quality. Make sure the things you are publishing on your website is

  • High value
  • Informative/Storytelling
  • Beneficial
  • Thorough! Most experts recommend 1800-2000+ words or more especially for highly competitive keywords
  • Include your well-researched keywords

Another tip: You do not have to only focus on creating new pieces. Instead, you can continue improving upon your already created content.

You can successfully re-optimize old content by:

  • Add new links to reputable sources
  • Avoid passive voice
  • Utilize high-value images
  • Integrate more facts and statistics

3. You Haven’t Performed a Technical Audit

When you are starting your SEO strategy, it is important to perform a technical audit on your website. This step will help you identify key problems within your website and content. Without a technical audit, you run the risk of repeating mistakes that you have made in the past and missing opportunities to better learn how to run your website.

Where Your Brand Went Wrong

Be honest. You didn’t perform a technical audit on your website at all, right?

How Your Business Can Fix It

The most effective way to overcome this issue is by hiring a professional SEO service provider (ahem, Momentum3 Growth) who can perform the audit and appropriately correct any issues that may exist.

If hiring an agency isn’t in the cards right now, you can depend on tools like SEMRush and Moz which both offer website audit capabilities (you can learn more about each platform in the linked articles above).

Google Analytics and Google Search Console are other resources offered for free that you can utilize to see how your website is functioning and performing.

After your audit:

  • Work with a web developer or SEO pro to fix any coding issues that may be hindering your site from being indexed appropriately
  • An SEO audit will help identify things like mobile-friendliness, site speed, content value, meta-data, alt-text, title tags and more. Digital marketing agencies, like Momentum3 Growth, understand more about what search engines are actually looking for to determine your sites rankings
  • Map your website, link building, and content strategy to reflect new keyword opportunities

4. You Forgot to Optimize Page Titles, Headers, and Meta Descriptions

Meta data includes page titles and descriptions are important to the Google algorithm.

These things are the things Google reads first when you index your website. They help Google understand what your page is about so they can accurately index it.

A page title is the phrase you see when you roll over the title tab on a website on a desktop computer. It is also the phrase you see in the Google Search Results Page.

An H (heading) tag is the line of code that distinguishes a header from the rest of the text because it makes it bold. Google recognizes this as important text.

Where Your Brand Went Wrong

If you fail to use keywords in these areas, your page won’t rank well—if at all!

On the flipside, it is also dangerous to use or “stuff” too many keywords into these areas causing it to look like spam to the Google spider crawlers.

Also, your descriptions can help your page rank higher, but if they are not compelling enough to entice users to click on them, then your CTR (click-through-rate) will suffer.

How Your Business Can Fix It

  • Front load your keywords whenever possible. What we mean is, when you’re selecting a title tag, make your keyword the first word in the phrase.
  • Do keyword research regularly
  • Make sure your titles, tags, and descriptions are within the character limits recommended by Google. These change regularly. Tools like Yoast SEO can help ensure your lengths are correct.

5. Your SEO Goals, Timeline, & Budget Don’t Add Up

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. If you think you can implement the things we’ve listed here and you’ve read on other forums then quickly find your website on Page 1 of Google, we have bad news: it can take up to 6 months (or more) to see valuable upticks in your website rankings.

The more successful your SEO campaign becomes, you’ll notice that you begin to target keywords that are more competitive which will lead to an uphill battle that may be more expensive and comes with fewer milestones to celebrate.

Where Your Brand Went Wrong

As stated, SEO takes a lot of time especially for highly competitive markets and keywords, but where brands seem to misstep the most are:

  • Expecting dramatic results right away
  • Continually hiring and firing SEO experts because the results aren’t fast enough
  • Lack access to their website data
  • Throw all their money into a single keyword that is nearly impossible to rank for as a new site

How Your Business Can Fix It

Set realistic expectations! Smaller budget SEO attempts can take a longer amount of time to rank for major keywords.

Aim for keywords that are less competitive and local SEO opportunities. This will show success in a timely manner and allow you to build up your chances are the more competitive keywords.

If you have the budget to hire a SEO agency, we highly recommend it. Professionals who focus on SEO efforts will be able to help your website tremendously. They will also keep you in the loop on how your site is performing and will likely send you a report either monthly or quarterly that outlines the following:

  • How your website is moving through rankings for specific keywords
  • Suggestions for future improvements
  • How the initiatives you’ve agreed on are performing
  • Projected results
  • Analysis of what is working and what didn’t work

SEO is a labor of love. You must first implement your strategy and then you have to nourish it, analyze it, and even sometimes scrap your efforts and start over.

If you have found that your efforts are failing, consider the things we have discussed here and strategize how to move forward. We are always here to help business understand different marketing strategies through consultations, classes and transparent services.