*Updated January 16, 2023

Unlike the news, you can’t fake SEO. Why? Because unlike Facebook (now Meta), Google’s algorithms will spot the fakes every time and refuse to rank the page in their results. They’re constantly monitoring SEO performance and docking the ranking of those that don’t fall into line.

But when trying to rank with Google, your SEO performance is only as good as your SEO strategy. In fact, over 90% of pages get no organic search traffic from Google—and we know why. It’s because the SEO sucks on those pages. 

At Big Leap, we understand that part of crafting a successful SEO strategy means keeping an eye on ever-evolving SEO best practices, including the new SEO trends for 2023. If you’re not up for the task of fine-tuning your SEO strategy, maybe it’s time to hire some experts. 

Read more about how to improve your SEO:

So how do you know if your SEO performance sucks or is working just as it should? 

Your SEO Performance Sucks When…

#1 Extensive Keyword Analysis Is Skipped

We all know that keyword research is one of the most critical parts of SEO. But are you analyzing focus keywords along with long-tail keywords or key phrases? Are there any local businesses that are competing for your keywords? If you or your SEO company is not investing sufficient time into in-depth keyword research, then you’re not on the right track. 

It’s important to look for keywords that are: 

  • Relevant – The keywords relate to your products, services, and customers. 
  • Highly trafficked – Are your keywords currently generating substantial traffic on the web? 
  • Accurate – It’s important that you examine the search intent of your audience. Whether they have a specific question or want to learn more about a topic, your keywords should meet the right criteria.
  • Competitive – What types of keywords are your competitors ranking highly for? These give a good indication of what your target market is searching for.
  • Relevant – Don’t stop refining your keywords after you hit “Publish”. Evaluate them regularly and adjust as needed for continued efficacy. 

#2 Critical Points Are Overlooked in the Auditing Process

Is your website clear and easy to navigate? Are your URLs unique, clean, and simple? Are all your links working properly? Is your site Google-friendly? If you’re not digging into your site, then these are a few critical observations and procedures that you are missing in your strategy. 

Site errors help you identify areas for improvement. You want to make sure to provide a seamless experience for your visitors. Otherwise, they can very well easily jump on over to a competitor site. 

In addition, search engines factor site performance into ranking, so if your site is clunky or slow, it can negatively impact your SEO. A full 25% of visitors will abandon a website that takes longer than four seconds to load. Even a one-second delay will reduce customer satisfaction by 16%. Google knows this and ranks accordingly.

#3 Your Site Gives a Bad User Experience

Core web vitals (also known as UX) is a new Google ranking factor that measures:

  • How users perceive page interaction
  • “Delightful” experiences across all web browsers and devices
  • Transactional friction 
  • Page interactivity
  • User data security

You need to know these things because it can differentiate between ranking or not, and also determines whether a customer lingers on your page or ditches it in search of a competitor’s page.

#4 Regular Quality Content Is Not Being Created

If you or your agency is not creating content regularly, then you’re not improving the SEO of your website. Regularly updated content with relevant keywords and topics drives traffic and improves website authority on search engines. 

It’s important to note that it’s not simply about quantityit’s about quality as well. Just because you release 20 blog articles a week doesn’t mean you’ll see a boost in rankings. You need to craft compelling content that will educate your audiences with meaningful information. How will your product or service enhance their day-to-day life?

#5 Competitor Analysis Is Forgotten

What kind of topics are your competitors covering in their content? What keywords are they ranking highly for that you don’t? If you or your agency are not investing time researching competitors, then you’re not doing SEO right. 

Not only do you need to know how to rework your own site to generate rankings and leads, but you also have to understand how your competitors are doing. Therefore, take time to research them to come up with effective solutions and tactics to instill into your strategy and differentiate you from others. You want to fuel innovative techniques to help you stay ahead of the game.  

#6 You Forgot About Local SEO

If you haven’t prioritized local SEO, you’re leaving a competitive advantage on the table. Your local consumers need to know you exist. After all, almost one-third of online consumers use the internet to search for local businesses on a daily basis. 

Just the other day, Google made an important announcement stating Google My Business (GMB) is now known as Google Business Profile. The benefit of this change is to help businesses more easily manage their online presence across Google, including Maps.

Since Local SEO is important to Google, it has to be a priority for your business.

#7 There Is No Link-Building Plan

Trustworthy sites often link to other trustworthy sites. As search engines use links to crawl the web and index pages, the more high-quality websites that link to you, the more likely you will rank well in search results. Therefore, it’s essential to build relationships with key influencers in your industry to help promote your content and boost your authority.

#8 Evolving Technology Is Not Acknowledged

In our rapidly evolving digital age, technology is constantly changing and shifting the way we communicate. Are you being mindful of and optimizing your strategy based on these transitions? 

Three vital advancements in particular that have changed the way consumers search for products/services are: 

  1. Video: Maybe you’ve already been recording videos and throwing them up on YouTube, but there’s more to video marketing than that. Marketers love the ROI they get with video due to its ability to raise awareness, engage audiences, and build trust.
  2. Visual: Using AI technology, visual search is about to really take off because it saves users the hassle of typing a search query. Customers (in droves) will soon be adopting Google Lens to get search results simply by taking a picture of something they want to know more about.  
  3. Voice: Voice-assistance devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Voice have changed the way consumers search for products. Instead of typing in a few keywords in the search bar (“healthy snacks kids”), they are using natural language to find the services that they need (“Where can I find healthy snacks for my kids?”). 

As the way people use search engines changes, it’s important to optimize your strategy. Be open to change.

#9 Data Isn’t Utilized

If you don’t know how to track SEO data or don’t do it regularly, you won’t know how your strategy is doing. SEO requires transparency and communication. You need to stay updated on your SEO’s progress to effectively identify strengths and weaknesses and establish the next steps. Tracking data can help your team set up new objectives and outline realistic procedures to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of SEO. 

#10 You’re Using a Siloed SEO Strategy

As important it is to have a strategy, SEO performance can only take you so far on its own. Syncing SEO with other marketing strategies, layering each on top of the other, makes a perfect recipe of success. 

Think of SEO as one layer in your 7-layer marketing dip. Here are all the layers you want to dig into for maximum deliciousness:

  1. SEO Marketing
  2. Content Marketing
  3. Email Marketing
  4. Social Media Marketing
  5. CRO Marketing
  6. Marketing Automation
  7. Reputation Management
  8. Paid Advertising

#11 It’s Approached as a Short-Term Strategy

Many people often have tunnel vision when it comes to SEO. They think of it as a day’s worth of fine-tuning your plugin when in reality, there is so much more to it. There are a few SEO tasks that can be done in a day to generate high rankings and leads. Generally, though, it takes roughly 4-6 months to begin seeing strong results. So if you’re expecting to see outcomes within a short timeframe, you’re treading on the wrong path.

how long it takes to see results from SEO

Keep Moving Forward

If you find that your strategy sucks, don’t get discouraged. Nip it in the bud and proactively restructure your strategy with the best SEO practices and people. 

One of the reasons why SEO is a crucial but often hated marketing tactic is because it’s constantly evolving, and you must be prepared to engage in it for the long run. 

Stay Focused on Key Criteria 

Keep the following criteria in mind as you adjust strategies: 

  1. Transparency – Be open and honest about your initiatives and goals.
  2. Trust – Find trustworthy partners and SEO services that can help you craft quality SEO and build your online authority. 
  3. Reporting Monitor the progress of your strategy. 
  4. Expertise – Craft compelling and valuable content for your audience. 
  5. Execution – Carry out effective, realistic, and measurable strategies that will help illuminate your credibility and brand.

Remember, for SEO to really work, you must have the right expectations and the right agency. A good SEO strategy takes time, research, innovation, and consistent effort to pull off successfully. Find an agency that values long-term success and understands that each business and its website is highly unique.

Big Leap Can Help

As an advocate and expert in long-term and custom-tailored SEO strategy, Big Leap can help you get back on track. Be sure to contact our SEO experts to learn how to track SEO performance or to see how a customized SEO strategy can take your online presence to the next level.