6 Reasons Why Your Search Engine Optimization Efforts Aren’t Working

by Anna McHenry November 30, 2012

Do you keep beating your head against the proverbial SEO wall, becoming increasingly discouraged as time goes on? There is a number of common mistakes that search engine optimization specialists often make, without thinking, that can greatly detriment their search engine optimization efforts. A few of the reasons why your search engine optimization efforts are not currently working could include;



Targeting Wrong Keywords


One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they are first starting out with search engine optimization is targeting the wrong keywords. You want to make sure that your keywords are not only pulling enough volume to justify your efforts but are also ‘buying keywords,’ making the users more prone to purchase your products when they arrive on your website. ‘Buying Keywords’ are typically keywords that have phrases such as ‘review,’ ‘discount,’ and other purchasing related phrases that can help to show you that the users that you are targeting are in buying mode, and willing to spend money on your product.



Not Analyzing the Competition


Another huge mistake that SEO specialists often may, is not analyzing the competition before choosing a keyword. A keyword may seem attainable, but upon closer examination, the top 2 to 3 results will be quite strong and may take years for you to outrank. However, finding keywords in which the competition is not nearly as strong will allow you to rank highly much more quickly, and generally will provide better results overall.



Lack of Anchor Diversity


A recent Google update titled ‘Penguin’ placed additional focus on websites that were over optimizing their search engine optimization efforts. This did not apply as much to on-page SEO elements, and instead seem to target anchor text diversity. Websites that were link building with only a handful of different anchor text combinations saw their websites quickly drop in the rankings. Now, Google is looking for diverse and natural looking anchor texts on your links in an effort to cut down on link spam. Make sure that you are including a generic term such as the name of your website, the URL of your website, ‘click here,’ and other generic terms in your anchor texts for your links.



Lack of On-Page Optimization


In recent years it seems as if the search engine optimization specialists have shifted their focus to off page optimization elements, such as backlinks, more so than on-page. This means that one of the common mistakes that those that are new to SEO often make is not paying enough attention to their on-page elements. You will find that increasing the interlinking between your pages, providing proper alt tags on all of your images, and generally following good on-page SEO practices can create an immediate boost in ranking, and improve your optimization efforts overall.



Not Enough Content


Content is the proverbial meat and potatoes of every website. If you do not have enough content on your website, it can be very hard to compete with other websites that may have hundreds of articles available to users. If you are finding that you have been having trouble ranking in the search engines, one of the first things that you should look into is expanding the amount of content on your website. You can even laser target this content to keywords that will bring paying customers to your website.



Loading Time


Much like the bounce rate, Google has also started to take the loading time of your website into account when they rank websites. If your website is slow, this can be a huge indicator of the negative experience for users and is something that Google generally likes to avoid. If your site is loading slowly, consider moving to a faster server to improve the overall load time of your website.

Anna McHenry
Anna McHenry is the Director of Client Services here at McKremie. She tweets from @McKremie so stop by and say "hi" on Twitter.

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