What Do I Do When My Site Isn’t Performing Well?
Anyone that has a website wants it to perform well, that much is easy to understand. How a website gets to the top of search rankings, or what even goes into optimizing content, however, can be a confusing and frustrating process. That’s why many people turn to the use of SEO services.
Perhaps above any other reason, working with someone that knows how search engine algorithms work, and can execute SEO marketing strategies to improve performance is why people hire search engine optimizers.
However, there are situations where even the best SEO company can’t seem to push the needle on a website’s rankings. In these cases, there can be several reasons as to why a website is not performing to expectations. We have seen many of them here and have compiled a list of several possible reasons your SEO and SEO specialists might not be getting all they can out of your website.
How Do Better Work with My SEO?
Ensuring that you are getting all that you can out of your SEO specialists is an important step into ensuring that your money is being well spent. How that happens though comes in a few forms. Make sure that you are following these steps and looking seriously at your side of things before thinking about ditching your SEO services.
Ensure Clear Communication
One of the biggest issues that can hinder a website’s performance, and an SEO technician’s ability to affect that performance is poor communication. This can create friction between you and the specialist, as well as have an adverse effect on your website’s performance.
So, when having a meeting with your SEOs, keep these things in mind:
- Know what you want to discuss going into the meeting
- Provide examples of situations that you wish to discuss
- Ask questions and if you are unsure of something, ask more
- Be open and honest with your answers when asked
- Provide requested information that SEO specialists ask for regarding data and metrics
The big thing to remember is that these people are here to help you. They want your website and your content to succeed because if it does not, that reflects poorly on them and their services. If something is not working, or a strategy is not showing results, then meeting with your SEO provider and laying out all the facts can help to isolate what is preventing progress.
Once that is done, you can start working with them on fixing these problem areas and getting your website back on track.
It is important to ensure that this transparency goes both ways however. If your SEO firm cannot provide you with information, data, or show you their techniques, then there may be something fishy that you may wish to press them on. Your SEO team should be like a partner that is a part of your company that you trust. And if you can’t trust them, you may want to find out why.
Set Clear Goals
This ties in with the first point (and in some ways many of these will) but knowing what you want out of SEO efforts will dramatically improve what can be done for your website.
Vague goals will get vague results, and in SEO this is especially true. Understanding that website improvement is not an instant, one and done thing, you and your SEO team must establish a timeline and goal projections along the way.
These projections also should be specific. Understanding your website, and the kind of content you are producing for it is one thing, but how you want to perform SEO is another. Having great placement for keywords that are irrelevant to your topic of interest or market is worthless if you aren’t placing on the ones that actually matter for your business.
Having goals and an expectation can help quite a bit as doing so allows for you to be able to follow up and directly reference something that both and your SEO firm can work towards improving.
Any SEO blog, including this one, will tell you that placing higher in search is not an overnight affair. It is a process of tinkering and tweaking with a website and its content to make it more attractive to search algorithms. This also includes the addition of new content and monitoring information to see what is working and what isn’t
Sometimes that means needing to change or pivot a strategy. This is not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, and it is not a reflection that your SEO firm, or your content is to blame. There are numerous factors that go into a search algorithm, some known, and others held secret by Google Search and other search engines.
Due to this withholding of information regarding how search works, there is a lot of trial and error that goes into testing strategies. What may work wonders for one website might have little to not impact for another. There could be an encyclopedia of reasons as to why that is the case, but the bottom line is that SEO is, and likely never will be an exact science.
This is why flexibility is so important. You may enter a meeting with your SEO team and find that their reports aren’t telling you the things you want to see or hear. In this instance, listen to your firm and work with them to develop an actionable plan and begin implementing it.
It is also important to understand that changes in the algorithm can and will affect how things work. Best practices are changing all the time, and what was considered a well-known industry standard even just a year a go could very well be out of date today.
Don’t Get Too Attached to Outdated Methods
Building techniques that work for your website is a core part of any SEO strategy. You find what works and then you capitalize off of it to get the maximum benefit out of that strategy while working to incorporate other strategies to build a strong set of tools that are then used to improve your website’s placement in search.
If there is a method that you have grown particularly used to utilizing, then it can become hard to let go of it. In some instances, that is exactly what needs to be done.
As search engines continue to evolve, so too must the techniques used to optimize content for them. Sometimes this means leaving techniques that you have come to rely on in the past.
Whether or not something is still working for your content can be found out a few ways. It may come in the form of an official press release, or a blog from an accredited and knowledgeable source, sometimes it may be from your SEO firm having noticed something while working on your site’s SEO. Regardless of where the information comes from, the result is the same: what was once an effective technique for optimization is no longer.
It can be hard to let go in situations like this, as learning new techniques can be time consuming. But it is important, and your SEO specialists should be able to aid you in the transition, if they are not already taking the reins themselves.
No matter the situation though, it is important to realize that these changes need to happen. Clinging onto old, outdated practices can have a detrimental effect that can even harm your website. If you notice something isn’t working anymore, it may be time to let it go.
SEO Requires Patience
Mentioned earlier, but SEO is not an overnight affair. In fat in isn’t even a one-week affair. SEO takes a lot of time, and the results can be slow to manifest in the ways you want to see. It is not uncommon for it to take months to show proper results. But that doesn’t mean nothing is going on in the interim.
Results, even very small, incremental ones, can be looked at to see if something is happening. Though it may not be the precise result that you are looking for at that moment, SEO is more of a journey than a destination.
Any SEO firm that promises quick results likely will not be able to deliver or might be working in ways that could have very detrimental effects long term. Much like with ensuring clear communication that we mentioned earlier, knowing how the plan you have in mind is supposed to work is important!
Not only can it help you understand, but if you are having doubts about a method (keeping that mind flexible and all), and are wondering if something else needs to be done, you can learn more about how the process, and the long term plan is shaping up and moving forward.
This can also mean readjusting what your definition of progress is. For example, if your traffic is down, but your keyword placement and revenue are up, there is still good being done for your website, and arguably a lot more so as it means the people coming to your website are far more focused on the content you are providing, and are staying on your website longer as a result.
Optimizing for search is a long, long road with many twists and turns along the way. However, it is important to remember the importance, and the benefit that it has towards benefiting both your website and your content.
By utilizing these steps and working with people that are plugged into what your business is doing, you can ensure that all of those involved are executing the same vision. With the right mix of hard work, planning, and observing the results, you can take your website higher in SERP, and maximize its benefit to you.