Been working hard on SEO but ready to give up because you’re not getting the results? Search engine optimisation is the most frustrating digital marketing discipline; you work hard, and there are no immediate results or even evidence that you’ve accomplished something.
But there may be more to it than that. If you are like more than 60% of those attempting to rank on the first page of Google, then it is highly likely that your efforts are being undermined by one of these common, and avoidable errors.

1. You’re Trying One Thing – Because It’s the One Thing

There is no magic bullet when it comes to search engine optimisation. Backlinks, content, website optimisation, shares, clicks and all the other bits and pieces are just part of a puzzle that nobody completely understands.
We have conducted numerous experiments to prove that there are certain parts of the SEO ecosystem that are more important than others, and while content is obviously vital, in the same way that wheels are vital to a car, the other components are crucial to make the car move.
SEO is more about ticking boxes than fixing one particular problem. Don’t focus on a solution that sounds like it will solve all your problems at the expense of the other parts that are vital to make your SEO efforts profitable.

2. You Don’t Have Enough Site Authority

Backlinks! If you don’t have backlinks then you don’t have adequate domain authority and Google thinks that you’re not worth ranking.
Got the best content in the world? It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the authority to back it up. Google uses this measure to understand the difference between a high-quality website with high-quality content, and a talented blogger who writes well but has no credibility in their chosen vertical. This is important because Google doesn’t want to be seen as a, “hackable,” tool, and Google’s customers don’t want to be searching for a solution to their problem, only to find well-crafted misinformation instead.
Search algorithms and bots can read – in fact, better than any human – but that doesn’t extend to understanding the contextual importance of pieces of information. Instead, common sense is applied, and if domains of a higher authority are linking to your article or page, then Google assumes that you probably know what you’re talking about.
Importantly, while the algorithms no longer handing out backlink penalties for low-quality links, there is plenty of evidence that Google itself will punish you in the event you try and be clever.

3. Your Content Isn’t Long Enough

Just to qualify this, all of your content doesn’t have to be over 2000 words, and there are still plenty of arguments going on as to the level of importance that Google puts on content length. Our experiments, however, have shown that having a good base of long content – over 1500 words – on your site will aid in ranking opportunities as part of a larger content strategy. Good SEO copywriters will vary the length of their articles and webpages to demonstrate to Google that your website is a useful resource, not just a template that is repeated again and again. We have spoken before about the importance of optimised cornerstone content, and this is a good place to start when defining which of your articles and blogs should be long, detailed and useful.

4. You are Clumsy with Editing

Let’s keep this one brief because the point is made in the title, but we learned this lesson the hard way. When we first started out, we would publish as much as possible as often as possible, and we didn’t have an editor on staff.
Our rankings were terrible.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Google can read and hates writing that doesn’t make sense, bad grammar and bad spelling. Everyone makes mistakes, but if those errors are a common occurrence in your articles, you will pay the price.

5. Your Website is Stunning…

…and slow. We have enough empirical evidence now to prove that Google will punish you if your website is too slow. Screenshot 2017-10-09 10.17.09.png This graph shows the rankings of a client of ours. Their content was excellent and they had high-quality backlinks, but their website – despite being visually beautiful – had a loading time of around six seconds. We brought that down to under two seconds without destroying the user experience and as a result, the content, backlinks, internal links and the other components could do their thing. Optimise your website for SEO by removing superfluous JacaScript, HTML and minifying images.

Don’t let a good SEO tip make you focus on a single, seemingly glamorous or exciting part of SEO. By definition, ranking on Google is a meritocracy, so it’s a lot of hard work. Put together a list of all the crucial components you need to rank and gradually tick those boxes. Identify gaps, fill them and you will see results.