This happens more often than you can imagine: a seasoned SEO practitioner puts in a lot of effort coming up with a white hat, top-notch SEO strategy; only to achieve little to no results. But why does this happen?
Many businesses that invest in search engine optimization are left mystified when they do all the right things, but their Google rankings remain stagnant. Now, this is quite discouraging, to say the very least. It seems like all the money, time and energy they invested was a complete waste.
However, my years of experience providing SEO and link building services have taught me that this is completely normal on the constantly-changing mountain that is SEO. Even if it seems like there’s nothing more you can do, there will always be ways to improve your Google rankings. While it won’t be easy, you can achieve your desired results if you invest the necessary time, energy, and money.
Quite often, a business’s Google rankings remain stagnant because their SEO strategy is imperfect. The SEO landscape is multi-faceted and encompasses a wide range of topics – from robot.txt files to content creation. Therefore, undertaking SEO can be quite a difficult task.
Here, we have outlined seven reasons why your Google rankings can become stagnant, and what you can do to get them moving again.
Your SEO Strategy is Missing a Vital Components
As we’ve already mentioned, a successful SEO strategy is comprised of a multitude of essential components. Your Google rankings can become stagnant or fall even if just a single of these components is missing. Here is a step-by-step guide to a complete SEO strategy:
- Identify your target audience and its needs
- Ensure your keyword research is categorized
- Find opportunities and market gaps
- Identify your competitors
- Learn your competitors’ strategies
- Customized SEO strategy and recommendations
- Prioritize & summarize
If your SEO strategy includes all these components, it’s time to apply them to ensure improvement of your Google rankings.
Your HTTP is Not Optimized
Google recently made some changes to its algorithm in order to improve user experience. In this update, site security was highly prioritized, and is something you should focus on. If the letters “HTTP” are at the beginning of your site URL, it means that your site is not deemed secure or trustworthy by Google. This is going to have a negative impact on your SERP rankings.
Meanwhile, sites that have “HTTPS” in their URL are considered to be secure and are generally trusted by Google. If you use Google Chrome, you’ve probably noticed that when you visit a site with “HTTPS” in the URL, the left side of the address bar has a padlock symbol and turns green. This means Google trusts this site.
With the updated algorithm, Google will now give improved ranking to sites with “HTTPs”, and there are even reports that Google will soon start penalizing unencrypted sites. We think this is a sufficient amount of reasons to upgrade to HTTPS.
Your Site is Not Mobile Friendly
According to statistics from Statista, almost 49% of web traffic generated in 2019 came from mobile devices, which makes it surprising that some people still choose to ignore the importance of making their website more mobile-friendly. The web is inundated with sites that claim to be mobile-friendly, but when you visit them through a mobile device, you just find a shrunken version of their desktop page. And that is never a pretty sight.
Moreover, last year, Google announced that it will start indexing sites mobile-first. So, if your site’s Google rankings have been taking a hit recently, it could be because it’s not mobile friendly.
Your Site is Not Optimized for Speed
When it comes to improving your site’s Google rankings, loading times will indubitably remain a major consideration in 2019. Google recently announced that it will start considering page speed as a major ranking factor.
Fortunately, there’s a variety of ways to speed up your site. Some effective strategies include optimizing your media files and implementing a cache solution.
You’re Not Focusing on Personalized Results
These days, patience is a virtue that’s difficult to find in online consumers. They demand the information they need as fast as possible, which is why Google is placing a greater emphasis on personalized results. In fact, Google actually takes note of the search pattern of each user and uses it to provide the most relevant results.
While it may appear tricky to leverage this to your own advantage, it’s certainly not impossible. You can enhance your chances of appearing in answer boxes if you just provide clear and organized information on your website. Using distinct headings and lists to summarize the content of each page makes it easy for Google to index the information.
You’re Not Utilizing Technical SEO
It’s often thought that only content marketers and creators need to be concerned with SEO. However, in order to rank high on Google, your developers need to think about the technical aspects of SEO services as well. “Technical SEO” refers to the process of making sure that your website meets the standards set by Google.
We’ve already touched upon three prominent aspects of technical SEO: mobile-friendliness, page speed, and site security. The additional aspects you should consider include:
- Site Architecture: You can make it easy for the Google Bot to index and catalog your pages through designing your site in a logical and organized way.
- Rich Snippets: These add extra information to your pages, which makes them stand out more in search results.
While these are not the only aspects, they should be enough to get you started.
You’re Using Duplicate Content
Everyone who knows anything about SEO knows that Google has a strong aversion to duplicate content. However, there are still some people who’re under the impression that having multiple pages containing the same content and information will not affect their SERP rankings.
The matter of the fact is that Google can penalize occurrences of duplicate content. Now this doesn’t mean you should stop strategies such as email marketing that might produce duplicate content. There are effective ways preserving an ethical SEO approach. The first thing you should do is identify duplicate content on your website. You can find various online tools that can assist you with this.
Author Bio: Joseph Dyson is a digital marketing and small business SEO expert at Search Berg, an award-winning digital marketing firm that provides SEO services and link building services. He specializes in on-page SEO, link building and small business digital marketing solutions.