Reasons why your SEO isn’t working… and the fixes needed

There are plenty of reasons why your SEO efforts aren’t working. Whatever they are, you need to know why so you can make effective changes and start garnering some online visibility for your business. Whether you have an SEO team or do things yourself, you need to make sure you’re fixing the things that aren’t working. Let’s take a look at what could be going wrong for your business.

Previous SEO Efforts Have Been Low In Quality

Older SEO efforts were different from what brands need to follow today. Consider the following:

  • Blogs in previous years were stuffed with keywords to get the pages ranked. But today, Google looks for high-quality content and organic use of keywords, so your previous efforts may be bringing down your current SEO tactics.
  • No insights into what SEO practices have been undertaken in the past for your website could hurt your current efforts because of what may have been done for rankings.
  • Your web pages were linked to others that have since been removed and don’t exist anymore – resulting in an array of broken links from your website.

SEO isn’t always as complicated as you think. Some common sense strategies can help you improve the quality of your website and overall rankings in time.

SEO Efforts Are Not Well Directed

Many businesses make the mistake of directing their SEO efforts at the wrong audience, which is probably why they are failing to rank in the first place. Consider the following:

  • Is your audience local, national or international? Many brands end up going too broad or too narrow with their digital marketing and end up reaching the wrong people.
  • What kind of products and services are you selling? Is your SEO efforts directed towards getting the call to action you desire? For example, are you focused on building links instead of getting people to walk into your local store?
  • Are you sharing too many sales pitches without any meaningful information to go with it? Your SEO efforts must be a mix of visuals, sales and information so people start to see real value from your business.

Before you start any SEO plans, take the time to define your target audience carefully. Find out what they like, where they visit and what actions they take online. Then plan your SEO efforts to get maximum traction for your website and business. Once you’re able to do this, you will start to see results.

Website Is Over SEO Optimised

Older SEO efforts meant keywords were used regularly to optimise the website. Their website says that a website could be suffering from over optimisation. Consider the following:

  • Is your text not reading well? Are important prepositions and connecting words missing?
  • Are you finding keywords in almost every second line of your content?
  • Are your internal and external links and anchors optimised for keywords?
  • Are keywords inserted in sidebars and footers?

If your answer is yes to the above, you’re definitely going through the issue of over optimisation. Google now considers this poor quality content and will penalise you for this. You may need to review your entire website and refresh the content with more naturally flowing information to start seeing some improvements in your SEO rankings.

Website Has Technical Issues

Search engines crawl through websites to categorise content. If your content is high in quality and unique, you’ll be rewarded. But if your site has technical issues, then you could end up with lower SEO rankings. This could be for a few pages on your site, or the entire website. Here are some technical issues you may have:

  • Search engines are unable to crawl through your content and evaluate it.
  • Sites indexed on too many domains may result in poor SEO
  • You have too many pages with duplicate content because Google will not view them as unique.
  • Your website is not responsive enough for all devices, especially mobile. Decreased visibility with mobile users can impact usability and ultimately your rankings.

SEO meta description

  • Your pages are missing meta descriptions and page titles which means they are unable to optimise.

Basic technical issues must be fixed before your website can be optimised. If you cannot do this on your own, get a reputed SEO expert to do it for you.

SEO is an important part of running your business in a world where many shoppers start their research online. Take the time to consider whether your SEO is good enough, or if you need help.

Google Ranking Factors You Can’t Forget

Google ranking factors do change a little bit, but the core factors tend to remain the same. You need to ensure your SEO covers off any of the Google ranking factors if you want to get your website a high ranking. There are so many different ranking factors out there, that people tend to forget some of them.

While there is no way of knowing every single one of Google’s ranking factors, there are still a few important ones that probably have the biggest influence on how your website is ranked. These tend to be the ones where you should focus most of your time.

In SEO, ranking in the first page and couple of listings is really important. Without that visibility your website probably won’t get the traffic it deserves. If you don’t have the resources to conduct proper SEO, then it is probably a good idea to see if an SEO company can assist you.

Have a read on below at some pretty important Google ranking factors that you just cannot afford to forget:

Searcher Intent

Intent is probably the latest big thing to hit SEO and Google is putting a heap of emphasis on this. Google is looking what the user means and what their intent is behind their search. This is all to provide users with more accurate results.

So, it is important that when you are developing content for new pages on your website, that you think of what intent you are looking to target. Are you trying to get a user to make a purchase or sign up? Are you just looking to provide quality information to the user? These are all things that need to be considered.

Mobile Friendly Website

This shouldn’t come to news to you, but your website needs to be responsive and friendly to mobile. This means that you need to check all your pages on a mobile device to see if the user experience is the same as it is on a larger screen.

The good news here is that Google has it’s own Mobile Friendly Test to help give you guidance on if your page is mobile friendly. Google has also started indexing mobile versions of sites before the desktop version, truly showcasing just how important your mobile site is.


Backlinks always have and always will be one of the most important ranking factors for Google. The way Google takes backlinks into consideration has certainly changed over time. Before all you really needed was a lot of backlinks in order to rank.

This has now changed; Google is favouring quality and relevance over quantity. Your backlinks need to be from quality websites (preferably with a high domain authority) and actually have some sort of relevance to your own website.


Just like with backlinks, high quality content always has and always will be important for ranking in Google. But, the type of content that is required to rank has certainly changed over the years.

You need to ensure your content has the right intent (one of the points listed above). As well as this, your content needs to have depth. Gone are the days with thin, fluff pieces of content! Your content needs to have meat on the bone and actually provide users with the information they are looking for.

Page Speed

Page speed is an important factor worth noting. The longer your page takes to load, the more chance the user will bounce off your page. This will increase your bounce rate, which is something Google looks for when ranking sites.

You need to be careful with your site speed, especially your mobile speed. There are a number of free tools you can use to check your site speed and many also offer good insights into how you can improve your speed.

Samantha Rigby
Samantha Rigby
Samantha is the head of content, lifestyle and entrepreneurial columnist for Best in Australia. She is also a contributor to Forbes and SH. Prior to joining the Best in Au, she was a reporter and business journalist for local newspapers.
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