What to Do When You’ve Optimized Like Crazy but Can’t Improve Search Engine Ranking
You can do all the optimization in the world, but even that won’t guarantee you improve search engine ranking.
So, when you’ve done everything you can… what do you do now?
The truth is that more often than not, even if you complete all the optimization steps, something was neglected or you did some part wrong. As a result, you don’t get the progress you were hoping for.
The first thing to do is to check for common optimization mistakes. Usually, some of your optimization was done in a way that is actually harmful to your ranking.
Here are a few tips to make sure your optimization actually helps improve search engine ranking and conversion.
Are you using low-quality content?
Good SEO takes a lot of published content. However, getting good content is expensive and time-consuming. Some marketers try to cut corners, settling for mass-produced articles or low-quality content written by less-than-qualified writers – or cheap writers from 3rd-world countries whose command of English is less than perfect.
This approach, though it allows you to generate a lot of content and create a massive web presence for your target keywords, can easily backfire.
The problem with duplicate or low-level content is that your good visitors, the ones who actually care about what you have to say, will notice that your content is unoriginal and doesn’t offer any value.
You will cause them to lose precious time and energy. In return, they will get frustrated and lose their trust in you.
It’s enough to have one technical mistake coming from a writer who doesn’t actually understand the subject, or just some stupid grammatical error, to make the serious visitors lose all trust in your content and your professional authority.
These visitors are usually the ones other visitors listen to. They are the opinion makers, the early adopters and review writers.
One bad article can cause more damage than your whole campaign can remedy.
Don’t underestimate content quality!
Is your content worthy of linking to?
Not only should your content be well written and offer value, it has to be interesting and relevant enough for some visitors to link or share it.
Try to think outside the box. Come up with the kind of information that your clients need but can’t find anywhere else.
Make sure your content structure is easy to share, link or feed.
Some of the most valuable content types are “top 10” lists, tutorials, and infographics.
On-page SEO mistakes
There are common SEO mistakes that many marketers often overlook. Here are some that you need to check for
Does every page have only one <h1> tag, a unique title, unique meta description and unique meta keywords?
Marketers often neglect the issue of keyword cannibalism. Keyword cannibalism is when a few pages on your site fight for exactly the same keywords.
After all, if your site is about air duct services, all your pages are about it. It makes sense to push the keyword “air duct cleaning,” right? It’s your main keyword in all the page titles and meta descriptions.
In fact, doing that will confuse Google about which page is most relevant for this keyword. This will make it share the site weight for the keyword across too many pages. The end result is that no page will really rank high enough.
It is much better to create one page that targets the main high traffic with central keywords. The rest should be optimized for more specific long-tail keywords.
In truth, a lot of your conversions might come from those low-traffic, long-tail keywords, since the people who search for these specific terms are usually more serious and purchase-oriented.
Are you focusing on link quantity rather than quality?
In the SEO link-building campaigns of the last decade, quantity was the name of the game.
Today, Google’s algorithm puts quality first.
High-quality links are harder to obtain. However, sometimes one good link will make all the difference.
On the other hand, a bunch of bad links might damage your ranking or even get you blacklisted.
Some indications for good links are:
- The links are highly relevant to your industry.
- You don’t have too many outgoing links.
- You don’t have links from adult websites or spammy ads.
Have you optimized your Anchor Text in your links?
Using links with text such as “click here” or “sign in” is a waste of good keywords.
Anchor links keywords are more powerful than unmarked ones.
If you’re afraid to use your main keywords in an unnatural way or beyond the recommended keyword density, you can use LSI tools. These will help you find logically related keywords that will support your main keywords and appear natural and relevant for the algorithm.
Do you assume that Google will find your content by itself?
Unless your site or blog enjoys a high level of traffic, Google might not find your new content or know that you update your content for a while.
Updating your social media pages and using tools such as Pingomatic can be also useful for making sure your new content is recognized by Google.
Good optimization takes more than just following an SEO checklist and doing all the right steps.
The quality of the optimization and the fine details of it are far more important than doing everything by the book.
If you did all the steps and you didn’t improve search engine ranking, these are the most common mistakes you might have done.
Fixing these will probably do the magic and make your site rank much higher.