The work of optimization never truly ends, but business owners often feel that their ongoing efforts are not delivering the results they expect (and often pay for). It seems that no matter how diligent your keyword research can be or how marvelous your website looks and feels, you’re not ranking nearly as well as you should be to succeed in your industry. 

Let’s face it, the higher the competition levels in any field, the greater the chances are that you’ll never see that famous first spot on Google. However, every reputable brand aims for the first page at the very least, and preferably the first five results. If your website and your content output aren’t working, you might need to rethink your approach. Here, we’ve decided to cover a few of the most common and yet overlooked issues that lead to poor ranking. See if you recognize your own brand in any of the listed and make sure to take steps to repair the damage and restore your ranking.

Lack of proper content for your audience

In addition to writing regularly and avoiding fluff and meaningless pieces, you also need to choose topic ideas that your audience relates to easily. Add to that, your topics should be relevant to your expertise and industry, so that you can use your content output to position your brand better and boost your reputation as an authority in your field of work. Without trustworthy content rich in shareable information, you risk losing your relevance as a business.

You don‘t audit your strategy and results

As we’ve already established, SEO is a living, breathing mechanism that requires refueling, adapting, and ample flexibility. Some strategies might work one day, while others might rise to the top the very next. Plus, search engine algorithms change to implement the latest user preferences. With all of that in mind, your strategy cannot stagnate, and you need to keep your positioning in check.

The best way to do that is to conduct a regular SEO audit, that will reveal precisely how your website’s ranking is changing over time and what you need to do to stay relevant in search results. Audits and health checks are essential for the performance of your site because they will help you refine your strategy and your website’s look and feel to reflect the preferences of your target demographic and the latest changes in search engine algorithms. 

No content consistency

That one blog you wrote three weeks ago might be delightful and informative, but it’s not enough. Considering the sheer amount of content being published every single day, your business needs to not just keep up with that pace, but also provide some sort of consistency in your posting schedule. 

Instead of a haphazard posting agenda, you should choose topics that are trending and relevant, create content that’s well-researched, properly backed by data, and written in an understandable manner. To make it all work in your favor, publish and share your content at predictable times when your customers are most likely to read, share, and engage.

Your site is slow and cumbersome

People are incredibly impatient and with the rise of advanced technology and convenient phones, your visitors are accustomed to immediate gratification. In simpler terms, all your pages need to load quickly on all devices. If a one-second delay can lead to a 7% loss in conversions and a 16% decrease in satisfaction, this is a truly relevant ranking factor you shouldn’t neglect. Make sure your site is always quick to load, and search engines will reward you for your effort.

No clear navigation 

Most visionaries think outside of the box, so coming up with an innovative idea and fitting it into a desirable user experience can be tricky. Why? Because you’re supposed to present your brand in a fresh and innovative way and still make it easy to digest for your everyday customer. That includes your website’s navigation. You need to make it easy for your visitors to find precisely what they’re looking for, be it your blog page, your services, or a specific category of products.

In addition to providing clickable links and a clear navigation panel, you should add a search bar to your site to simplify the journey for your customers. Finally, test your website’s performance and make sure you’ve introduced the features in your navigation that your users want and prefer.

Unstructured linking practices

The reputation of your website heavily depends on your content output and your ability to balance between less competitive keywords and those that are highly competitive. However, in addition to these two factors, you also need to have backlinks to your site that showcase your relevance in your industry. These links also need to be of top-quality, found on reputable websites, working properly, and linking to quality content. 

If you don’t have a link-building strategy in place, and if you don’t create content that’s organically worthy of link-earning, you’ll likely rank lower than you need to. To add more “juice” to your website, you should focus on your own external and internal linking practices, too. The links you add to your own content will have a dramatic impact on your ability to rank better over time.

Yes, there are many other practices and poor decisions you can make to affect your ranking. However, the ones listed here are some of the most common for all industries and they point to an underlying issue in how you approach your SEO in the first place. By keeping an eye on trends, customer preferences, and by measuring your site’s progress and results, you can improve your ranking over time. Most importantly, you’ll boost your visitors’ trust in your brand, and thus your position in your market.

Posted by Raul Harman