6 Reasons Why Your SEO Is Not Working

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Hi, this is Liza here from Content Maximiser. I was talking to Dr Wong the other day during our monthly catch up. He has three clinics in Melbourne, and he said to me, “Liza, I’m really happy with the results that we’re getting right now. And before coming on board with you, my previous SEO guys said that I’m ranking number one for all these keywords, but we’re just not getting the results that we get now with you. Why is that?”

I thought this is such a great question. We do a lot of marketing audits for our clients, and we see the same SEO mistakes over and over again. They’re ranking well for some keywords, but they’re just not getting more traffic and more extra leads and enquiries. So, I thought I’ll make a video explaining the top five reasons why your SEO is not working.

What is SEO?

Now, before I start, let me just quickly explain what is SEO for those of you who are not familiar with that term. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. People will often go to Google looking for the service that you offer. A lot of our clients are dental practices. So people will look for dental clinics, dentists near me, Invisalign providers. So, when people go to Google looking for these search terms, looking for providers, you want to show up on page one, ideally one of the top three positions on the search result for what they’re searching for. Because these people are already actively looking for a provider, this is what we called the bottom of funnel traffic. You want to show up and rank for those search terms.

You don’t just miraculously happen to rank on page one or the top three spots on Google. A continuous effort needs to be done, both on your website, but also outside of your website to help you get there. Now, if you do just happen to be there, congratulations. Well done, because that is very unusual. Most of the time for businesses to rank for money keywords, they have invested in resources to help them get there. And when it’s done right, the return of this investment can be very, very big and very profitable.

So now that we’ve gone through what does SEO mean, let’s go into the five reasons why your SEO might not be working when your SEO guy or girl or agency told you you’re ranking number one for these keywords.

Ranking for keywords with minimal traffic volume

The first reason is that the keywords that you got the top spot, actually got minimal traffic volume, which is exactly the case with Dr Wong who we talked about. So, he was ranking for keywords like dentist and his suburb. Which is great, but the problem is the amount of search volume for those keywords is so small, that being at a number one spot, the impact is minimal, and we’re talking about less than 10 searches a month.

Now with an agency, it is actually not that hard to rank for keywords like a service and a suburb, simply because the competition is low, the search volume is low, so it’s actually not that hard to rank for those keywords. So if you are getting a number one spot for your service and a suburb, congratulations, we call that a vanity metric, but the impact that it will have to your business will be minimal.

What you really want to go for is you want to go for either your city-based keyword or actually no suburbs or city at all, such as cosmetic dentist, Invisalign provider, porcelain veneers. What you want is that when someone is in your suburb searching for those key terms, that you’re ranking for those. Now, those type of keywords without a suburb or after a major city, like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, et cetera, they are going to be a lot more competitive, but it is worth it because the search volume is there. And when you ranking for key terms that have got high search volume, that naturally means more relevant traffic to your websites. So, the first thing to look at is the type of keywords and the search volume that you are ranking well for.

Doing a lot of low-value activities

Reason number two of why your SEO is not working is that your SEO provider is doing a lot of very low-value activities. What do I mean by that? In order to get your site ranking, one of the strategies, and there are many, but one of them and the common one is what they call a link building exercise, where you build links from other websites, and then they are linked to your sites to certain pages to pass the link juice to your site and ideally push your site up. But the thing is the quality of the site that is linked to yours is critical, and to get quality sites is actually really hard.

It’s like wine, where you can have $5 bottle of wine, you can have $5,000 bottle of wine. And what’s the difference? Well, one of them is age and you just can’t buy age, right? And then the second one is the quality of the produce to make that wine. So it is exactly the same with the sites that get linked to yours is what is the domain authority of those sites? What is the quality score of those sites that are linked to yours? And quite frankly, a lot of SEO agencies just don’t have access to those high-quality sites, high relevant sites to link to yours. So as a result, they would do a lot of activities, a lot of link building, but those websites just don’t have the power to push you up or not push you up in the timeframe that you want.

An analogy that I’ll make to that is like if I want to get from Sydney to Melbourne, there are different ways to get there. One way is to walk, which will take a very, very long time. Another way is to drive. That’s still 10 hours, or you can fly and that takes you an hour and a half. Right? You will get there. It’s just a matter of when. So when you engage with an SEO provider who just don’t have the substantial assets to help you get moving, you still get there, but it might just take you a very long time. We see it over and over again.

Let me share with you a story of one of our clients. It’s a dental practice in Melbourne. What we’ve achieved for him in five months was more than what his previous provider has done for him in three years. And he was worried when he came to us, and said, “Liza, I’m already ranking number one on these search terms. If I come to you, am I going to lose this ranking?” And I said to him, “Well, you’re potentially going to lose ranking for keywords that have got no traffic anyway. So what is the worst-case scenario for you to go backward from where you are now?” But, of course, it didn’t happen. And, as I said, what we achieved for him in five months is more than what his previous provider has done for him in three years. And that’s just the beginning with us.

Onsite SEO not structured properly

The third reason why your SEO is not working is maybe your onsite is not structured properly. You want to make sure that on your website, things that are done correctly to give the search engine as many clues as possible on what each of your pages is about. So, you want to make sure that your metadata is placed correctly, your meta title, your meta description, tag and the keyword for each landing page, especially your homepage and your services pages. So you want to make sure your onsite is done right.

Your site is too spammy

The fourth reason why your SEO is not working properly is maybe it’s too spammy. For example, if you’re engaged with an SEO provider that utilises black hat strategies, like putting doorway pages on the website, and they have done that for three years, and then a new provider takes over, there’s actually a lot of cleaning up that needs to be done to clean out the mess that the previous provider has done. So you’re actually not starting from point zero. You’re starting at negative, and then they need to work extra hard to move you forward. So a reason why your SEO might not be working as well as it could is because of what your previous provider has done.

A target of black hat SEO to pull you down

Another reason why your SEO is not working is potentially a competitor of yours have engaged an SEO company who do black hat strategies, and one of their strategies is to target the businesses that rank above them and do black hat strategy to push those websites down, and how they do that is by sending you very, very bad toxic links to drive you down so that they can go up. I mean, if you’re looking at top 10 spots, there are only 10 places, right? And if they are currently on number 11 and they want to go up, then that means there are 10 websites that they need to push down in order for them to push themselves up. So rather than applying white hat strategy, which is what we do to help our clients move up, doing what Google wants, part of that company strategy is just target who they can pull down so that they can push themselves up.

One good reason why you want to engage an SEO agency to look after you is not only to help you move up in Google for the keywords that you want to rank for, but is to actually protect you to keep the position that you’re currently at. Because if we don’t have someone who looks after your SEO, and you are on the top 10 spots, you could be the target of another company to get pulled down. So, this might be another reason why your SEO is not working, is because you’re actually being targeted for black hat strategy by a competitor.

Site speed

And finally, the sixth reason why your SEO is not working could be because your website is too slow. The speed of your website is one of the key ranking factors for Google’s algorithm, so you want to make sure that your website is loading as fast as possible. Your images are always optimised, which is what we do when we build websites for our clients, and when we continuously add blog posts and content, we always make sure that all the images are optimised so that they load as fast as possible.
So, in summary, these are the six reasons why your SEO might not be working is that

  • You are already ranking number one, but for keywords that have minimal to no traffic
  • Your SEO provider might not have the assets to push your site up, so as a result, they’re doing a lot of low-value activity for your site.
  • Your onsite SEO is not structured properly, and your metadata is not filled out correctly.
  • Your site is too spammy. It is structured in a way that your previous SEO company was trying to trick Google, and then so your current provider needs to sort that out before they can move you forward.
  • You could be a target of other SEO companies black hat strategies to try to take you down so they could come up.
  • And then finally, is the speed of your website.

So I hope this gives you a bit of an idea. I mean, this is such a big topic to discuss, but I hope I’ve given you in a very summarised version on why your SEO might not be working.

Now, if you do find this useful and you want to get an idea on where you are at for your business and your website from a search engine ranking standpoint, we would love to help. We do offer a marketing audit where we will go through your site, go through your content. We can review your SEO. We do have premium paid tools that we use to do the SEO analysis for our clients, so we can discuss that with you.
So if this is something of interest, then go to our website at contentmaximiser.com, fill in your details, or direct message us on social media and we’ll be in touch to organise this marketing audit call with you.

I hope this is useful, and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode.

 

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In the 2nd month of launching the site, we have 10X our traffic and double the quality leads we are getting. It has been our biggest month in the clinic so far.

Dr. May Chan
Dentist & Co-Founder, BDS (Adelaide), FICCDE (Ortho), Dental Boutique
Content Maximiser is a full-service digital team of experts who not only creates and develops online strategies, but also helps bolster the company’s online reputation and works to optimize all online content for search.

Cecilia Chan
Marketing Manager, USANA Health Sciences

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