Wondering why your SEO strategy never seems to get you anywhere? Trying to get your site ahead in the SERPs is not always easy. Search Engine Optimisation can be incredibly frustrating – especially for those who are wanting to get ahead quickly. In reality, SEO can take time. There are a few things that can affect your results, from poor keyword choice all the way to penalties, outdated strategies and numerous other factors. Often, many of these factors can be in place at the same time. The result is a website that seems stuck on the third page of Google, going nowhere slowly.

Before you give up altogether or start to get too frustrated, it can be very useful to understand where you may be going wrong with your SEO strategy. Sometimes, making a few fixes can result in major changes to your traffic and conversion. In this guide, we take a look at some of the most common reasons for strategy failure to show you where you might be going astray.

Why Your SEO Strategy Keeps Failing

There are a number of reasons that even the best-laid SEO strategy plans could be failing. Many businesses also assume that their efforts are failing when they don’t see results right after a strategy is implemented. It is always important to remember that genuine results can take time. SEO is not a quick fix. To see authentic growth, you need to have a little patience and know that you have everything in place for real, long-term growth.

If you have everything in place, however, you can have the peace of mind in knowing that you will begin to see results as your site starts to rank in the search engines. When that does not happen, even with a strategy, it could be due to one or more of the following reasons.

You have an outdated strategy

One of the biggest reasons for not seeing results is having an outdated SEO strategy to begin with, rather than one that is able to adapt to the ever-changing SEO landscape. Every year, new algorithms and trends emerge as search engines get smarter. When your strategy has been developed for 2010 without being updated ever again, you will battle to see results. Make sure that you continually adapt your strategy to not only suit the overall SEO trends of each year but also your changing needs as your business grows.

You are not targeting the right audience

You would be surprised how many businesses base their research on the audience they assume they have rather than the audience they either want to have or already do have. You will need to conduct comprehensive audience research in order to understand exactly what your audience wants, how they think, where they are based, how they use the internet, where they get information and any other triggers that can help you create a deeper insight into your audience overview. This is essential for your SEO strategy as it helps you better understand how to choose keywords that are finely targeted. It also helps you create far better content that appeals to your target audience on a deeper level.

You have no content strategy in place

On the topic of content, you will also need a proper content strategy in place in order to see results from your strategy. Content and SEO go hand in hand. Without good content, search engines are far more likely to see your website as a dumping ground for links, downgrading you in the SERPs as a result. When your content is well-written, optimised and genuinely informative, search engines are far more likely to see your site as a high-value resource. Invest in content and make it a big part of your SEO strategy, and you will begin to see the difference that good content can make to your results.

You are not considering the buyer’s journey

If you are not considering the buyer journey, you are missing out on the chance to reach your audience. Although every journey is unique in some way, the overall customer journey has many stages in SEO. One of the best ways to better understand this journey is to think about user intent. What is the person browsing your site aiming to do once they arrive? Are they searching for information? Are they comparing products or services? Are they looking to make a purchase? Knowing their intent and understanding their point in the buyer journey will go a long way in helping you craft strategies and campaigns that are designed to target your audience at each stage. Dismissing or ignoring this journey is a quick way to ensure that you lose out on the chance to connect on potential sales as well as traffic.

You are using the wrong keywords

Many websites treat keywords as an after-thought, too. Although we have come a long way since the early days of exact match keywords and highly rigid keyword campaigns, keywords still play a vital role in any SEO strategy. When you use keywords that are far too broad, too competitive or not relevant to your business, page or content, you will battle to get anywhere on the search engines. When you begin to invest in a solid keyword strategy, using longtail phrases that are highly targeted and unique to your pages, you will have a far better chance of starting to get ahead in the SERPs. Investing in Competitor Analysis can also be a very useful way to improve your keywords by gaining insight into the strategies your competitors are using.

You are being penalised by Google

Last, but certainly not least, you may be having struggles seeing any type of progress online because you are being penalised by Google. If you have previously taken any chances with Black Hat strategies, gone overboard with keyword stuffing or failed to meet any guidelines at any given point, you will likely have been given penalties. These can be very difficult to overcome. In some cases, a complete restart could be required. This is obviously the worst case scenario. Ideally, you want to follow the steps above to avoid reaching this point. If you ever do find yourself in this spot, it is not the end of the world, however. With help, you can regain your lost ratings, even if you have to do a lot of hard work to get there.

Our advice is to begin by taking a close look at your current strategy. See what is working and what is not. Take a good look at your keywords, your content, your on-site elements, your current traffic, your responsiveness, and every other onsite element. Take a look at your offsite elements, too – your outreach, your linking and any other strategies you have in place.

Identify SEO areas of improvement

Once you begin to identify areas for improvement, you can start by making small changes. You can then begin to make bigger changes as they are needed. If you see SEO as something to constantly review and tweak rather than something to set and forget, it will be far easier to make improvements that add real value. This will not only help you improve your overall traffic – it will also help you boost conversion and drive more sales. With the right approach to improvement, you will soon start to see a difference in your SEO strategy.

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