As an agency we often get approached by businesses who are either looking to redesign or build a new website. They often talk about how beyond the design issues the website doesn’t rank for what they want. While that’s frustrating there are always a number of factors for why that’s happening.
We will often do an analysis of their existing website to determine what’s going on that that this may be the case. There are often many reasons for poor rankings, but there are 4 main reasons your website isn’t ranking that we can deal with right off the bat. Some of these are things you can’t avoid, but all of them are fixable over time.
Reason 1: You’re Impatient
It’s understandable, you’ve spent good money to get yourself into business, build a website, and promote as best you can. You want to start making some of that back. Impatience is an easy trap to fall into when it comes to SEO. Because of the time investment and therefore the cost involved you want to see results. So, while this is a hard one to overcome, finding patience is a good first step into achieving results.
A good way to help quicken this pace is to find out what your competitors, especially the dominant ones, are doing. These companies have usually spent years and countless hours honing their SEO game. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. Great artists steal right? Well so do good search engine managers. You can help quicken your pace by simply doing what they do.
Reason 2: You Have Ultra-High Expectations
We would love to rank on a national level for the search term “web designer.” Think of all the people who would come to us and offer us projects. It’d be great. It’s also not going to happen. Keywords like that are generally unattainable for small businesses. Unless you have a corner on a market, short-tail keywords on a national or even local level can be nearly impossible.
Instead it’s often better to look for success with longer keywords that convert into leads. If you’re using any kind of tracking on what keywords are working for you, you’ll also be able to know what content is creating leads. Refining that content to rank better will help you reach the ultimate goal, that’s more leads.
Reason 3: You’re Too Slick for Your Own Good
Beautiful websites can resonate with people, strengthen your brand, and definitely help you stand out from your competition. But if the site is just about looks and no substance, you’re in for a world of rankings hurt. You’re not Nike or Apple so you can’t expect your brand to carry you when it comes to search terms. If your blog game is weak and your content is limited because you put “design first” this probably won’t help you when it comes time to getting found.
Don’t be afraid to add content. If people barely know what you do when they visit your website, what makes you think a search engine algorithm knows? To build domain strength for Google to trust you, you need links. To get links, generally you need content that people will link to. Even if you’re the coolest kid in town, if people don’t know that you are, then it doesn’t really matter.
Reason 4: Your Competition is Outworking You
It’s unfortunate but doing good SEO is a lot of work. It’s content creation, link building, optimization, and that’s not even talking about the technical stuff that requires development. The fact of the matter is, if your competitors are working harder than you, they’re going to win. If you don’t have the time or the resources to compete with them it will be increasingly tougher the longer that’s the case.
Like we talked about before however, you can always do some cheating by seeing what they’re doing and copying it. Of course you want to make it your own, but, let them do all the research, you just reap some benefit. Also, speak with your web design company, /dev/marketing agency, they may have some tips and tricks to expedite the process. Sometimes it pays to work smarter, not harder.
The reality is that marketing is time consuming. Businesses that have been around and doing things for 100 years are still pouring tons of time and money into marketing their business. Huge brands like Apple spend millions on ads even though they’re one of the most iconic brands in the world. So to think that you’ll be able to start ranking immediately and have the world come to you without the work is unfortunately not possible.
The good news is, that SEO pays off. For the cost per click that advertising buys you, SEO still provides the best long term investment that you can have. The other benefit is that it’s not going away. If you stop buying ads, they just stop showing up. No, SEO has a compounding effect that will last even if you need to shift focus at some point. Just don’t cut corners. Don’t look for cheap links and keyword stuffed landing pages. They may give you more short term benefits, but long-term they’ll hurt your rankings and your brand.