Why Don't I Rank and Other Reasons Why SEO Takes Forever
Increasing ranking for a given keyword takes time and is a complicated, nuanced process. Ten years ago, it was much easier to rank, but users and the internet are always changing. Consistent algorithm changes means the goal lines often move for ranking, but one thing remains constant: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not and will never be a "set and forget it" process.
Viewing SEO in a different light
Looking at SEO and ranking organically in a different light can help you understand how to adapt to consistent algorithm changes and ensure each marketing channel has a purpose. Organic search is a channel like any other marketing effort and needs to be treated as such. This is an inbound strategy, meant to produce content for a user when they are searching for it.
No one can say if you do x, y, or z you will rank. If they do, it is likely they are engaging in black hat SEO, which will damage your domain’s reputation. These tactics can work temporarily but the fallout is not worth it. In the beginning stages of conducting any SEO services, there are a few questions to ask that will help give an idea of what the scope of the project will be.
- Every site has a different day one and it is important to identify what that benchmark is by asking about the current status of the website.
- Is your website new?
- A brand new website will take several weeks for Google to even crawl. Google crawls sites and indexes them - this is how they show in the search engine results pages (SERPS). A brand new presence takes time, and this is one example as to how and why it takes time to rank, even if your website is seasoned.
- What was your SEO process?
A client that has done SEO tactics before can be good or the kiss of death. If they had an agency that engaged in black hat practices before, then helping site rank is an uphill battle. An example of black hat SEO is artificial content - content that is not authentic, has keyword stuffing, or is automated in some capacity. Google’s Penguin update took care of content that is not authentic. Toxic backlinks are another example of black hat tactics. Content is extremely important to any website and must be updated consistently to rank or keep current ranking. Good content will garner good, quality backlinks. These are things that take time.
why a content strategy works?
After answering the above questions it is time to audit the site for best practices and start building a content strategy. While building a content strategy, a client will likely ask for a competitive keyword and hope to rank for that exact phrase at all times. Ranking is not only an average, the internet is saturated with content. Competing for a broader keyword and grabbing a small percentage of that impressions share is not favorable to getting a high impression share for a high intent, longer tail keyword. For example, “marketing” vs “local marketing agency.”
How to Create a Content Strategy
An organic content strategy is an example of inbound marketing. This tactic brings users to one's website by providing relevant and valuable content that answers their questions or meets their needs. And over time, establishes trust. For instance, BigWheel hosts a marketing blog where we share client success stories, marketing tips and trends, and other digital marketing news relevant to someone in our industry and businesses with a need for a full-service marketing agency.
Identifying who you want to target and write for is a great first step. This will help during the second phase of keyword research. Determine ages, location, interests; basically a buyer persona for current customers and customers you wish to target. Writing content for your audience helps with authenticity, which is an integral part of content marketing and ranking.
Quality content is king, but keyword research can help identify wins and give a roadmap for content. Getting with the sales team and asking them what their clients ask for is invaluable content that can help guide the keyword research process. Site authority is important for SEO so create content that shows you are the master of your domain and builds trust with your audience.
Quality Content > Than Keywords
Creating quality, useful content will always be en vogue no matter what the algorithm updates are. Creating content that is helpful to the user (and is on brand) will be much more effective than creating content that is self serving. It is a delicate balance between the two, but committing to an overarching content strategy will ensure that you are always updating your site with content that users (and Google) loves. Think of the end-user when writing content.
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