You’ve had an SEO strategy for a while. You’ve evaluated your results. You’ve seen the quality of the work and yet you’re left there wondering, “Is our SEO strategy actually working?”
Being successful in SEO means you are agile and adaptable. When Google is changing their algorithm over 3000 times a year, it’s possible that your SEO strategy could be outdated or ineffective.
Here’s how you know when your SEO strategy needs a tune-up.
Signs You Need to Reevaluate Your SEO Strategy
1. You’re Not Seeing Any Growth
When you think of how to create an SEO strategy for your business, your number one objective is likely growth of your brand and website, but what if you’ve been going at it for a while and simply don’t see any growth?
The strategy is off.
It’s rare to invest in SEO strategy consulting and see no returns but think back to when you started the SEO campaign with your digital marketing agency, did they:
- …accept all of your recommendations?
- …really spend that much time on research and development?
- …do a deep dive on keyword research?
- …explain how they would be building backlinks and content?
One common scenario that companies encounter when they trust SEO strategy implementation to a digital marketing agency, is that the agency is more concerned with being “YES MEN” to the client than telling them what they need.
Many people want to rank for highly competitive keywords.
If you sell used cars in Philadelphia, wouldn’t it be awesome to be ranking number one in Google for “used cars Philadelphia”? Of course, it would; however, you do a quick search in SEMrush and you see that this keyword is extremely difficult.
If your SEO strategy is going after terms like this and you’re not AutoTrader, CarFax, True Car, or of a similar size, it’s extremely likely your small business won’t get anywhere close to page one for this keyword.
Agencies that work with small businesses need to be identifying realistic expectations on a keyword like this and even better, they should be directing their clients to where they can be more effective.
There are 341 million results for “used cars Philadelphia” and the competition is fierce, but if you’re a used car dealership and you primarily sell Toyota Camrys, you see that there are only 1.6 million searches when searching “used Toyota Camry Philadelphia”.
The volume is less but so is the competition and it’s far more likely your small used car dealership will be able to rank on page one of Google for this term.
You’ll make a lot more sales from page one of a lower searched keyword than you will on page five of a commonly searched keyword.
The idea with keyword research is that you’ll rank for the RIGHT keywords. Your digital marketing agency who’s running your SEO needs to be extremely diligent with finding the opportunities that can get you ranking quickly. If your target list is full of highly competitive and generic keywords for your industry, you’re going to struggle.
Reason to Reevaluate
You’re not going to do your company any good by sitting on page 2 or lower on Google. If your agency isn’t doing in-depth keyword analysis and competitor analysis, your SEO strategy will likely fall flat and you’ll have invested a lot of money into something that doesn’t really work. Using tools like SEMrush or getting a comprehensive website audit will get you on the right track.
2. Your Results Have Leveled Off
Say you did see success early on with your local SEO strategy or your national SEO strategy and now you’ve seen the traffic and rankings have slowed down.
There is a wealth of reasons why this could happen.
Here are a few of the common ones:
- Google launched a major update that affects your rankings
- You’ve been working on the same strategy for months without much deviation
- You’ve hit a glass ceiling with your keyword selections
- Your content isn’t as useful as it once was
- …and many more
Let’s break these down a bit.
Remember Google makes changes to their algorithm all the time and every once in a while they will make a major update to the core algorithm.
These major changes can affect your website and shift focus away from your company to your competitors if you aren’t keeping up.
Your marketing agency should be able to handle these shifts, after all that’s what you pay them for, but if you and your agency are noticing a stagnation in the results, a major algorithm update could have something to do with it.
More likely though is that your strategy needs a refresh. If you’ve been working on the same strategy for months on end and now the results are tapering off, it’s because that strategy is now outdated and needs some reevaluation.
Targeting the same primary keywords, writing the same kind of content, getting backlinks from the same sites month after month after month may be effective in the beginning but Google’s going to get bored.
You need to constantly keep Google interested in your website.
Write more interesting content, expand your reach with high DA backlinks, and target new keywords that pertain to your products and services.
Speaking of looking at new keywords, if you’ve hit a glass ceiling with your keyword rankings, there is always more to go after.
Using tools like SEMrush will really help you find the low hanging fruit you’re after.
Now don’t just pivot for the sake of pivoting, make sure your analysis is reflective of where you want your company to go.
Watch this video on how we used SEMrush to find some great keyword opportunities for somebody who sells patio furniture nationally.
Lastly, you might need to reevaluate your SEO strategy if your content isn’t going as far as it used to.
If you’re putting out blog posts that are really short or over promotional, that might work in the beginning because you went from irrelevant in Google’s eyes to now being ranked in a few places, but long term you really need to be offering up fantastic content weekly to Google.
One of the best ways to expand your company’s online footprint is through high-quality long-form content.
These blogs should focus on answering a frequently asked question, explaining industry terms, or offering helpful guides to consumers.
If you can provide detailed and unique information focused around these things, Google will rank you.
Why? They love that sort of stuff.
In fact, the average page one keyword ranking is over 1800 words. That means that Google loves quality content that goes in-depth into a specific topic.
By producing this content, you’ll likely see blog posts rank as well as your core product and service pages.
Reason to Reevaluate
Unless you’re in a small market or have cornered the industry online, there is no reason for stagnating results. Looking at what’s been working and expanding on those areas while getting rid of action items that aren’t helping as much will deliver a new strategy that will work for you.
3. The Traffic Coming to Your Website Isn’t Doing Anything
A lot of people are under the impression that SEO is solely focused on bringing traffic to the site and that’s where the work ends.
Those people would be wrong.
More Google traffic to your site doesn’t mean diddly if that traffic isn’t converting into contacts, leads, and sales.
Your website’s only job is to turn one-way communication into two-way communication or an order.
Getting traffic isn’t enough. You need to evaluate all of the data to see if your site is up to snuff when it comes to converting these people.
Critical Areas to Judge Site Performance
Frankly, you should live in Google Analytics and if you don’t, your marketing agency should.
Important things to be watching for are time on site numbers, time on page, bounce rate, click-through rate, behavior flows, and load times.
Looking at the data is crucial. If you’re wondering how to build an SEO strategy, it’s through data evaluation. Otherwise, you’re paying for SEO services without getting your ROI and that’s like paying for your groceries at the store but leaving your bags of food on the conveyor belt.
Here’s one example of what’s called a behavior flow:
This is found directly in Google Analytics, which is a free tool by the way, and it breaks down what pages people are going to and how often they are “dropping off”, ie: leaving the site from that specific page.
This quickly identifies the high and low performers and an agency can make suggestions on how to improve pages with data like this.
You want to know where people are clicking on your site? Employ heatmaps. Many companies, including Agency Jet, have heatmap reporting standard in all of their SEO campaigns.
Heatmaps identify where people are clicking on your site and you’ll see pretty clearly, based on how they interact with your site, what is worth keeping, what is worth losing, what is worth taking center stage, and what is worth putting in the background.
When it comes to developing your SEO strategy, the user experience of the site plays just as important of a role as the content, linking, and technical SEO that goes into an SEO strategy.
Shopping Cart Abandonment
If you have an e-commerce site, you need to be checking how often people abandon your shopping cart.
People expect checkout experiences to be easy. So if you have high cart abandonment, it’s very likely you’re making the checkout experience way too difficult.
Why do you think Amazon came up with the “one-click buy”?
It’s been said that for every extra click during checkout you’ll lose 10% of people.
Make your checkout experience one page. Make the clicks minimal. And make sure the cart is easily accessible on the site at all times.
Reason to Reevaluate
When implementing your SEO strategy you can’t forget that the site’s job is to convert these people. If your website numbers are less than stellar, you need to shift the focus of your SEO strategy to making the website user-friendly and easy to use.
You may think ranking your website in Google is as easy as having an SEO strategy template but the reality is that the landscape is shifting all the time and reevaluation of strategy happens more than you think.
Reevaluation is a good thing. It means you and your digital marketing agency are adapting to that shifting landscape and keeping your company site visible when consumers are searching for your products or services.
If you find your site is stagnating, your keywords are too difficult or your website can’t convert traffic, it’s time for a reevaluation and with the proper techniques, your website can perform for years and years, thanks to a rock-solid and always changing SEO strategy.