We all know how it is, you strain your eyes and burn your fingers off trying to find and inject all your keywords into everything, clicking through endless pages of content, then you stalk the stats every day afterwards hoping to see a lovely big spike on the charts. But all your tired eyes see is the same struggling website you had before.
Putting in the work to SEO your website’s content is a long, time-consuming process, so it’s natural to want to see results as soon as possible. But sometimes results just don’t come, and I know how much of a bummer that is from experience, but you learn from it and now I’m going to tell you what you can do about it.
Try to not roll your eyes at this one, it’s true! I know the sinking feeling all too well when you log into Google Analytics and there are no life-changing improvements. It’s disappointing, but also unrealistic to expect change so soon. Rarely will you see a spike of activity on a page you just painstakingly optimized, most times it’ll be a slow and gradual crawl (if you did it right). Sometimes nothing will happen at all, and if it’s been 15 days and absolutely nothing has changed then that’s your cue to make some modifications to your copy. I know you probably spent a lot of time on it during the first round, but that’s how this gig goes. You try and you check and you try again until you find out what gets the ball rolling.
Survey your users
There are many tools like SurveyMonkey or Qualaroo (free trial) to help you reach out to your audience and see what they actually want. Maybe your copy has the right idea but it’s not covering key points or simply doesn’t have the keyword phrases people actually search for.
There are tons of tools to check for top keywords, and if you’re not in a “spending mood” then you can just use Google Trends or even manually searching on Google to see what is auto-suggested.
One trick I learned was to check the results at the top of the search result page, the ones that are by companies paying Google Adwords. Sometimes they have the same keywords in common, and those are the ones they’re paying for and that you should be including in your links, headings, and titles.
Check your links to other websites
One thing Google does to know whether you’re worthy of being at the top of the crop is evaluating your “friends”. If you’re linking to a website which has known plagiarism or malware phishing links then you’re not exactly trustworthy either. So check your links, and try to include links to authoritative or at least trusted websites.
Revise pages with keyword stuffing
If you just shoved in a bunch of popular keywords that have nothing to do with your content then sure, you’ll catch a few stray fish, but Google is watching, and they’ll penalize you for misleading users. Only use keywords that are relevant to your content. Think about what you would like to see when you search for a certain term or phrase, and make sure that is what you’re leading your users to.
Check for pages with duplicated content
This is somewhat similar to the point above. You’re not going to get much attention if you have various pages with variations of the same keyword phrase, you’re simply diluting the focus to a single page which could have it all and you could really concentrate on to make it great. Take this for example: instead of 3 different pages named “buy slippers”, “slippers”, and “best slippers” you could have one page called “buy the best slippers online”. Less is more, people!
Consider other causes, it may not be due to SEO!
If you’ve done all the above to no avail, then your problem may be beyond SEO. When you monitor your pages and notice some aren’t performing as well as others, then you should definitely go in and revise why that’s happening. it could be page speed, design, usability, among many other factors. One way to go (which is usually not free) is to install a mouse-tracker like Crazy Egg or Mouseflow. They’ll generate heat maps and user flows of your website to see how people are behaving and what they click on. You may find they’re not even bothering to look at a page because it has flashy ads, insistent pop ups, bad images or no content worth reading. What does this page have that’s different? Make your user-experience pleasant and they won’t leave, simple as that.
So those are a few ways I have to share with you, and you can probably find many more if you take a good browse online, but these are definitely my top list and usually cover the most common pitfalls. Take a week to really go through your website and you’ll more than likely see improvement in the coming weeks. If you don’t have time for that or have specific questions, then well you sure are on the right website. Contact us and we’ll sort it out all your SEO woes for you, how does that sound?