Search engine optimization (SEO) is not foolproof. There are no guarantees. Rather, it’s about continually improving your site, continually working to grow your site and climb the search engine results page.
Sometimes it’s possible to do everything right and not see any improvement in your ranking. In situations like this, there are a few possibilities. First, you may not be targeting the right keywords or generating the correct topics for your audience.
In this scenario, it doesn’t matter if you’re producing compelling, high-quality content. It’s not targeted at your primary demographic, which means you’re pulling in traffic from users who aren’t particularly interested in your brand. The good news is that this is a relatively easy fix.
All it requires is that you do a bit of market research.
First, take a look at your competition. Use a tool like Moz or Google’s Keyword Planner to see what keywords they’re targeting and give you an idea of where your own focus should be. You should also draw on data you’ve collected from your own users, through their interactions with your site, your social feeds and any surveys you’ve sent out.
It may also be that you are spinning content, or writing content that Google has identified as low-quality. Again, this is a fairly easy fix. Either shore up your own content marketing efforts or bring in a contractor who can handle that for you.
The third alternative is that you have a branding problem. This one’s a bit more complicated. It requires that you first understand what’s wrong.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are my competitors doing anything particularly unique or noteworthy that I’ve failed to address?
- Has my brand been involved in any recent scandals, such as a faulty product or a viral post gone wrong?
- Are consumers speaking negatively about my brand, or worse, not talking about us at all?
Each of the above issues requires a slightly different approach. If you’ve been involved in a scandal, start making amends. Reach out to your audience, explain that you understand what you did wrong, and detail what you’re going to do to fix it.
If your brand has grown outdated or is being outperformed by competitors, you’ll need to figure out what they’re doing that you’re not. Why have you fallen so far behind? What can you do about it?
SEO doesn’t guarantee results. It never has. And it also cannot fix problems such as thin content, poor targeting, or a broken brand. These are all issues that must be addressed separately.