An effective SEO strategy is essential for web success. Whether you employ an agency or go it alone, climbing the rankings is a big investment in time and money.
If you don’t take action when things aren’t going well, you could end up losing out, big time. But what can you do to save a failing SEO campaign?
I’m going to assume that, if you’re reading this article, things aren’t going to plan. Maybe you’ve seen a sudden nosedive in your organic traffic, or have dropped a few pages on Google overnight. Or perhaps you’ve just been at it for a few months and haven’t moved anywhere at all.
Whatever ails you, here are 4, easy to action tips to get your failing SEO campaign back on track.
Make sure you’re not overreacting
First things first, are you sure your campaign is failing? If your traffic has suddenly crashed or you’re 5 pages behind where you were, there’s definitely something wrong.
But if it’s just not going anywhere fast, consider these facts before you take drastic action:
- It can take at least 6 months for a digital marketing campaign to effect a change in your SEO
- A piece of content will reach 90% of its peak SEO ranking at 35 weeks after publication
- It takes between 4-6 months for any action to affect your SEO
If you’re still within 4 months of the start of your campaign, have a glass of wine and calm down, everything is fine…. For now.
If you’ve been at it longer, or one of the other above scenarios applies to you, read on.
Target long-tail and traditional keywords
Approximately 50% of all queries entered into Google are more than four words long. If your campaign is mainly targeting one to two-word keywords, you’re missing out on a lot of potential traffic.
Long-tails are more specific, meaning you’ll direct more relevant traffic to your site. If people get exactly what they expect when they arrive, they’re much more likely to stay, decreasing your bounce rate and pogo-sticking and boosting your SEO.
Because they’re more specific, there’s also less competition for them. One reason your SEO campaign hasn’t worked might be that, although you’re doing all the right things, your competitors are just doing it better. When you start a race behind the others and you all go at the same pace, it’s not possible for you to win, even though you’re no better or worse.
So, if you haven’t already, start targeting long-tail keywords to get your campaign going again.
Check your website speed
One of the absolute simplest fixes for any failing SEO campaign is to move to a better web host provider.
People tend to prefer fast-loading websites and, if yours takes longer than 4 seconds to load, people will abandon their attempt to view it before it opens. Decide if free hosting will cut it for you, or if you should upgrade to a paid service.
Search engines reduce a page’s rankings if it is too slow and losing a lot of traffic between click and load means your efforts to direct people to your website are wasted.
Up your content game
SEO is content, so a major focus of your campaign should be regularly putting out the best content that you can. You need to make sure it’s:
- Relevant to your audience – preferably based on audience research or interactions you’ve had with your followers on social media.
- Long-form – this type of content offers better value to your followers because it’s more in-depth and higher value resources are shared more.
- Multi-media – people prefer content with pictures, graphics and GIFs, interactive elements like quizzes and that is in video form.
It’s not enough to just make sure you post daily. If your posts aren’t good quality and what people are actually looking for, your efforts will be redundant. The purpose of your content is to engage people and encourage shares, follows and backlinks.
If your strategy has been just to offer a lot of something people don’t want, it’s obviously not going to work. So take a cold hard look at your content and ask yourself if it’s up to scratch.
Stop using redundant SEO tactics
What works in SEO is constantly changing. Search engines update their algorithms multiple times per year and Google, who have a 94% share in the French market, update every month.
If you’re not keeping up to date with the latest, or your agency is using old techniques, you need to change track to save your SEO campaign. Some outdated but still strangely prominent techniques include:
- Relying on meta-descriptions – I have it on good authority that these do nothing for SEO, except maybe encourage more clicks, if they’re interesting to read.
- Link-spamming blog and forum comments – the ‘no-follow’ attribute was introduced in 2005 and yet people still think it will work.
- Keyword stuffing – create content for people, not robots.
- Ignoring social media – there is no direct correlation between website SEO and your company’s social media, but that does not mean it has no effect.
Clean up your link profile
According to various experts a site’s link profile accounts for the vast majority of its SEO ranking. So, if your campaign hasn’t included addressing the current state of your links, your other efforts might be wasted.
To address this issue, use applications like Moz’s Open Site Explorer or Majestic SEO. If you have a lot of low quality, spammy link notices, remove them asap for an instant SEO boost.
If you’ve been going at your SEO like crazy for the last 6 months and you’re not getting anything in return, follow these 4 tips to get yourself and your business back on track. The changes you make now will improve your campaign well into the future.
Author bio: “Jodie is a professional writer and editor working with UK Web Host Review. She translates dense topics into accessible information to help everyone from small and niche business owners to budding web masters to reach their goals. She explores design, brand psychology, marketing and tech. You can connect with Jodie through LinkedIn.”
Also published on Medium.