Why is My SEO Not Working?
SEO is hard.
So why is your SEO Not Working? Truthfully, there are over 200 factors Google considers in their algorithm, which leads to thousands of different possibilities, but if you know which factors matter the most, you’ll find a solution much quicker.
This article will cover the most important factors you should be checking in 2021.
If you figure out how to make it work, you can skyrocket your sales or streamline lead generation without spending a dime on advertising.
For those who haven’t figured out how to make it work, it can be frustrating, as you spend a lot of time and energy trying to get there. If your situation is more inline with the latter, there are several critical areas you can check to make sure you’re on the right track.
On the other side of the token, you may have recently lost rankings and traffic recently and you just need to know how to fix the problem. I will address both of those points in this article.
First Things First: Get to Know Google’s Algorithm History
For starters, it is important to know Google’s history. as well as know what they are rolling out in the future. Ultimately, Google’s primary goal is provide their users with a quality experience, which means the information that they show at the top of their results has to be quality as well.
Knowing the timeline of when Google has released algorithm updates will help you pinpoint the type of issues you have. If your organic traffic has drastically dropped out of nowhere, you either have a serious technical issue that you are not aware of or Google released an algorithm update and your website isn’t in compliance.
Focus on Quality – Not Quantity
Quality over quantity is the best way to approach your SEO strategy. Technology is evolving at a rapid rate and Google spends Billions of dollars on R&D every year attempting to understand the intent behind every search.
How Google Checks Quality
There are a number of ways that Google can check the quality of your content using its algorithm. Human’s process information on a much deeper level than most of us realize. That is, until you try to program a machine to process information the same way.
One must consider the sentiment, tone, style and many other factors that our mind subconsciously processes to form our own opinion about what we read, view or listen to.
Natural Language Processing Explained
That’s where Natural Language Processing (NLP) comes in. Over the last 8 years, Google has been trying to master Voice Search. In 2013, they made their first big update called Hummingbird in an effort to provide more relevant results for users who speaking rather than typing.
Since then, Google has been able to develop their own technology that can summarize an entire essay into one short paragraph automatically… and they do a pretty darn good job at it too.
Why NLP Matters and What You Should Check For
NLP is important because if Google can comprehend an essay and rewrite a summary of the essay well enough that the average person can’t tell the difference between a human vs program writing it, then imagine how well they can comprehend the quality of your content. That said, if your asking yourself, “Why is my SEO not working?”, NLP could be playing a key part in it.
- Don’t just rewrite articles. Come up with your own original ideas and develop valuable content.
- Refresh old content that is outdated. If you have resources or educational resources for your target audience that is outdated or several years old, you should update it and make it relevant to your audience today. (Especially if you lost traffic. That content could have played a key factor in your rankings, but Google has determined that it is no longer relevant or accurate).
- Creating Content is Not Enough. Get the word out! You worked hard on it, so be proud of it and put it on display! If no one sees your you content, you shouldn’t expect it to rank either. Backlinks are a key factor in rankings and if you don’t reach out to people who would benefit from linking to it, you won’t get links.
- Your Content is Boring. Even when we put a lot of research, time and effort into creating content, that doesn’t mean other people are interested in it. You still have to craft your content to be engaging, interesting and easy to digest. Overcomplicating a topic is one of the quickest ways to kill your audience’s attention.
Let’s start with the latest update Google is about to rollout, if they haven’t already. This update is focused on Core Web Vitals.
With about 40% of the world’s websites built on WordPress, it is safe to say that a majority of websites are failing in this department. So, what are Core Web Vitals?
Content Revamped- Check: But Why Is My SEO Not Working Still?
Core Web Vitals
- Performance: Page load time as well as other key performance metrics that are important to Google. You can run a test to see what your website’s score is using tools like Lighthouse or Page Speed Insights for free.
- Accessibility: ADA Compliance – you’ve probably heard mostly about ADA compliance from annoying cold calls you’ve received from web marketing companies, but the truth is, it’s pretty important. If you are not sure if your website is ADA compliance, I suggest you have someone check for you.
- Best Practices: If you have had a website for more than 1 year and you haven’t updated it since, you are more than likely not meeting this criteria. Your code is probably out of date or deprecated, which is often updated to fix security or performance issues.
- SEO: From a core web vitals perspective, Google is doing a very minimal look at your SEO. This should be the easiest area to fix.
Performance is the Most Important
Performance is perhaps the most challenging area. There are a ton of reasons why your site isn’t performing, but some of the most common are:
- Images: High Resolution photos look great, I know, but they also come with a large file size. If your website has a lot of images, you should compress them and using lazy load to defer rendering until they are on screen. Lazyload is a feature that doesn’t load the image until you scroll down to view them. Note: If your image doesn’t load all at once and appears to be downloading, your image is way too big.
WordPress Must Be Tuned for Performance
WordPress makes it easy for anyone to add instant functionality to their websites through the use of plugins. There’s just one problem with that.
Every time a plugin is installed, it adds that plugin’s functionality to every page on your website, which makes your webpage heavier, making it take longer for your browser to download it.
WordPress has isn’t designed to only load what is necessary for that page, so anything you add to it, will load on every page.
Reasons for Slow WordPress Load Times
- You are using a poorly coded or outdated Theme. When choosing a theme, do your research. If you’re looking for a fast, premium wordpress theme, check out Avada. Don’t install every single plugin it recommends just because you can. Only use the functionalities you need. You can quickly lose the performance it offers if you get too trigger happy.
- Bad Hosting Provider – When it comes to WordPress, I only trust a few hosting providers. Ultimately the best way to get performance is by getting a dedicated server, but that also comes with a high price tag. The next best thing is a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or Cloud Instance. Just avoid Shared hosting. The difference between a VPS and shared hosting is that you get your own dedicated CPU, Memory and Storage, while shared hosting forces you to share those resources with other websites.
- Poorly Configured Cache Expire Settings.
- Large images with no compression.
- Low Storage space.
- Using !important in your CSS.
The last tip would be to check for lost backlinks. That or if you are still trying to rank for the first time, you don’t have enough quality backlinks and your site is lacking authority. You can read more about how backlinks work and how to assess your backlink profile more here.
Ok, Ok, you get the point about SEO Not Working and why, but you don’t have time to do all of this.
There are many more factors that tie into why your SEO is Not Working or why your website isn’t ranking on Google. If you still need help, get in touch with me and I’ll be happy to take a look! All initial audits and consultations are free.