So you’re trying DIY SEO, or maybe you hired an SEO company or consultant to do SEO for your business. It’s been three months and your traffic, leads and sales have not increased. You start to wonder why your SEO isn’t working, maybe SEO doesn’t work for your business, or you think you’ve failed.

As the frustration mounts, a ton of questions begin to run through your head, “how long should SEO take?”, “Should I hire someone instead of trying it myself?”, “Did I hire the wrong SEO company?”.

Before taking any drastic measures, or implementing any risky and desperate SEO strategies, read over this list of possible reasons why your SEO is not working or may have failed.

Your Website Design Experience

Does your website delight user and look great on all devices? Was SEO included throughout the design and development process? Here are a few things to check:

Here is a website design checklist to determine if your website was built correctly, or if you overpaid for a website that search engines won’t want to rank and users will dislike

Your Website Speed

Does site speed affect your SEO rankings? Back in 2010, Matt Cutts announced that site speed will impact rankings, but will carry less weight than other key ranking factors such as valuable content, relevance, authority links, etc..

With mobile browsing becoming a larger part of how users find and interact with your website, that’s no longer accurate. Speed is becoming more of an SEO ranking factor.

Does site speed affect your conversion rate? Research has found that 47% of your target audience expects your website to load in under two seconds.

With the vast number of site speed tools, including Pingdom or Google’s own PageSpeed Tool, there are no excuses why a website’s speed should not be optimized for SEO and users.

Your Content Has Gaps

Many times we talk with clients who want to drive traffic from Google for specific keywords and topics. When we do a basic gap analysis on their website, we find that they have little-to-no content for many of the keywords they want to target.

If you’re missing content, remember, you can’t rank for keywords and topics without content that proves to Google that you should.

You Created Bad Content

This checklist item is one of the top 3 reasons your SEO is not working. Google is utilizing machine learning more frequently in both their Panda and primary algorithm to identify high-value content and rank it within their organic search results.

If you’ve paid someone to create generic 500-word articles for your website, don’t expect to rank. Be prepared to invest in high-value content – articles, video, and infographics.

One of the strategies we help clients with is identifying content that is not performing, and build a strategy to fix it – commonly known as a ROT analysis.

You’re Lacking Inbound Links

Is link building dead? Yes and no. Earning high-value links is still a primary ranking factor within Google’s algorithm, but Google has been tweaking the kind of links they will allow to pass ranking value (link juice) to your website. So link building at its core is not dead, but how you earn links has evolved considerably over the years.

So if your content is lacking the kind of links that Google wants to reward your SEO will not work.

Your Information Architecture Is Confusing

As mentioned above Google wants to reward great experiences and website designs. A primary part of any great design is how the information is organized and the strategic approach to building the website’s taxonomy – also known as information architecture.

So ask yourself, “Is my website’s information architecture aligned with how my users think about my products or services, and optimized for Google’s crawlers? If it’s not, your SEO could fail to earn rankings.

You Built Bad Links

This checklist item is probably one of the top 3 reasons your SEO is not working. Link building (link earning) should not be an SEO strategy that is outsourced to the lowest bidder.

If your link building is not centered around creating great content and then marketing that content to earn links, you’re doing it wrong.

If you hired your link building company based on price or a defined number of links per month, you could be setting yourself up for failure, or worse, permanently destroying your rankings and SEO.

You Thought You Could Get Away With It

Don’t be an idiot. You’re not smarter than Google engineers. You may get away with a tactic for a little while, but you will get caught if you try to implement manipulative or high-risk SEO tactics.

Get it out of your mind that you, an SEO, or any agency can trick or manipulate Google into ranking your website. SEO is a long term strategy and does not include tricking or manipulating any bot or user.

You Hired Your SEO Company Based Primarily On Price

Do you think so little of your company that you would hand it over to someone who spams and tarnishes your brand name with low-value comment spam and poorly written articles? Stop searching for cheap SEO companies, or choosing a company to market your business based on the lowest price.

Instead, partner with a company who will help you create a holistic SEO and website experience that your users will love. When choosing your digital agency to help you do SEO think about building long-term value, creating great experiences, building your brand, and publishing great content.

The SEO agency or consulting team that will give you the best chance of succeeding with your SEO is probably not going to be the cheapest, but they will be worth it.

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