fbpx

16 Best Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Search Traffic

You’ve read hundreds of articles related to SEO and you feel you’ve done everything right. But, you’re unable to get past hundreds or thousands of unique search traffic per month.

If your contents are not getting quality traffic from search engines, then you’re definitely doing something wrong.

In this article, I’ve covered the top 16 reasons why you’re not getting enough search engine traffic to your website.

So let’s get started

 

Your Site is Not Completely Indexed

Search Engines are the best source of long-term traffic. If your website pages are not indexed, no one knows your existence. The important part of SEO is to make sure Search Engines especially Google to crawl and index all your important web pages.  But, Google is sometimes picky on the pages it indexes.

If you’re not getting organic traffic from Google, you might want to check whether your site has indexation problem.

Let’s get started with the basics.

If your site is new, you can give a couple of days and at most a week before trying to figure out whether your site is having indexing issues.

Check Indexation Report on Google Search Console

The new Google Search Console has great features to offer.

If you haven’t submitted your site to Google Search Console, you can learn how to add your site to Google Search Console from the following blog post.

Adding Your Site to Google Search Console (GSC)

Once you’ve added your site to Google Search Console, submit your site’s XML sitemap file. Google will help you identify and understand why some of the pages are not indexed.

sitemap-submission

Once you’ve submitted your sitemap file, you need to wait for the index status to show up on the “Coverage” section. It depends on how many URLs your site has and the crawl rate. If lots of pages on your sites are not frequently crawled it can take a long time to appear on the coverage section.

The Coverage section will show Status, Reason, Validation & Pages.

This coverage report will help you identify the reasons why your pages are not getting indexed.

In some cases, your site might exceed on crawl budget which results on slow indexing of pages. Google has deployed thousands of machines to run crawling spiders. With millions of websites out there on the Internet, every crawling spider have limits of how many resources they can spend on each website.

You can check your crawl budget on Google Search Console account. Under the Legacy Tools and Reports click on Crawl Stats and it will show your crawl stats. For example, your site is having 1,000 pages and Google Spider is only crawling 100 pages on your site per day. The crawl budget is not sufficient enough to get your new pages crawled and indexed.

If you want to increase your crawling budget, you need to position your site as an authority. If your site has high quality links from other authority sites, it shows that your site is credible, high in quality and relevant to your niche.

It takes time to build authority. There is another alternative method to effectively optimize your crawl budget.

Utilizing Robots.txt File

You might have hundreds of pages that don’t need to be on search result pages. With robots.txt you can write instructions for search crawlers not to crawl specific URL strings. Check your current robots.txt file by inserting this URL: www.example.com/robots.txt (replace example.com with your domain name).

If you want to block specific web page from web crawlers you can use the following syntax.

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /example-folder/unwanted-page

This syntax will provide instruction to Google spiders to avoid crawling the specific page of your website. These are the common user agents you can use for your robots.txt

  • Googlebot (Google)
  • Slurp (Yahoo)
  • Bingbot (Bing)
  • Baiduspider (Baidu)
  • Yandexbot (Yandex)
  • DuckDuckbot (DuckDuckGo)
  • la_archiver (Alexa)
  • facebot (Facebook)

You can check out more user agents at UserAgents.org

Getting your important web pages indexed on search engines should be your first step in improving online presence.

 

You’re Not Aware of Duplicate Contents

In 2013, Matt Cutt’s, Google’s head of search spam has mentioned that 25-30% of the web’s content is duplicate content and that’s OK. According to Matt, Google groups all the duplicate contents into a cluster and only show the best results in that cluster. Although your site doesn’t get penalized for publishing duplicate content, you will not get the organic search traffic that you deserve.

duplicate-content
Credit to Moz

 

There are seven types of duplicate contents.

  1. Scraped Content – a piece of content that has been completely copied from another website without any permission. This can be subjected to copyright violation.
  2. Syndicated Content – content that is republished on a different website with the permission of the original author. Requires either canonical tag or noindex tag implementation.
  3. Printer-Friendly Pages – sites with printer-friendly pages are accessed with separate URLs. As the content on the page and printer-friendly page content is identical it is important to use noindex tag or use disallow rule on robots.txt
  4. HTTP and HTTPS pages – mixed up pages of both HTTP and HTTPS due to inefficient internal linking. Can be easily fixed with 301 redirects for HTTP pages. Make sure the internal links are pointed to the right HTTP version.
  5. WWW and non-WWW pages – one of the oldest reason for duplicate contents. Can be easily fixed with 301 redirects or change your preferred domain option in Google Search Console.
  6. Dynamic URL Parameters – the scary part of dynamic URL parameters as it can create hundreds of different versions of the same URL. This leads to a high amount of crawl budget used unnecessarily. You can use Google Search Console to control parameters by indicating which parameters need to be ignored.
  7. Similar Content – often occurs with e-commerce websites with similar products. In certain websites, duplicate content issues occur when contents from an old blog post are added to the new blog post with minimum updates and modification. To avoid this duplicate content issue 301 redirect will be a good solution. As you’re unable to change the product descriptions, you can change other parts of the product pages like user reviews to differentiate them.

Duplicate content can negatively affect your overall website by limiting your presence on search engines. It also maximizes your crawl budget which brings you back to the first reason of not getting search traffic for your website.

You need to have a routine check for duplicate contents and use the right methods like 301 redirects, canonical tag and create strings of instructions on robots.txt.

 

Your Website Is Subjected to Manual Actions/Penalties

google-manual-action

According to Google, the only true penalty is when your website is subjected to manual action.

Manual actions mean when a human reviewer analyzed your website and issues a red flag for violating crucial aspects of Google Webmaster Quality Guideline.

There are various types of penalties and often based on the severity of the violation. If you have received one, you would have also realized the sudden drop in your search traffic. You need to take immediate action on rectifying the issue and submit a reconsideration request.

There is a huge misconception that when there is a decline in search traffic people assume that their site has been hit by penalties. But in most cases, it’s due to algorithm updates. If the loss of traffic is extremely huge, then you should consider checking your Google Search Console’s Manual Action.

You don’t have to crack your head in finding the penalties imposed on your site. Google is pretty transparent when it comes to notifying you that there’s a manual action on your site. And that’s one of the reasons I often suggest everyone add their site to Google Search Console.

To make your life easy I will provide the list of penalties your website might face and the best way to get rid of it. But you need to understand that it will take time for your site to recover and start getting traffic from Google.

So let’s get started

Unnatural (Blackhat) Link Building

If you or your SEO agency practice unnatural link building strategy, Google will devalue the links and penalize your website. When you abuse link building strategy and massively focus on Blackhat methods, you might rank high on search engines for a short period of time. Google will definitely detect your violation and penalize your website.

Google has mentioned that you can submit re-consideration once you remove those links. If your site severely affected by unnatural links, consider getting an SEO Agency to perform backlink removal.

Unnatural External Link Building

Previously, huge link farms were penalized for selling links. According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, link selling and purchasing is prohibited. With the latest algorithm updates, Google has significantly reduced in penalizing sites selling links.

But, linking to spammy or low-quality sites has great potential in reducing the EAT score of your site which results in lower search ranking.

Hacked Website

japanese-hacks

If your site has been hacked, Google will identify it and penalize your website. This Google penalty is often applied to hacked websites with malicious content. The site owner is not responsible for getting hacked but Google holds them accountable for neglecting their duty towards the visitor’s security.

If you’re using WordPress, make sure you’re not using nulled plugins and themes. Cracked plugins and themes often contain malicious scripts that will get your site penalized.

To resolve this penalty, you need to clean up your entire website and find out where the scripts been injected. I would suggest you to completely remove all the plugins and themes. Backup your important contents and install fresh WordPress. Only use licensed and legit themes and plugins.

Spamming Site With Blackhat Methods

black-hat-strategies

Blackhat methods helped websites to gain top positions on search engine result pages decades ago. But today, Google has given a stern warning for such practices.

Websites using cloaked pages, unethical redirects and scrapped contents can lead to a quick penalty from Google. Google is working towards providing a better experience for their users. If you’re looking for shortcuts by utilizing spammy practices to move up in SERPs, please be aware that those methods going to work against you.

Keyword Stuffing

One of the most common unethical practice used by website owners. Using an excessive amount of keywords for your site which does not make any sense can lead to a serious penalty.

I agree that keywords are important to increase your position on SERPs. But, you need to realize that you’ll be driving human readers to your site. If the contents do not make sense, they will leave your site immediately. Never stuff keywords everywhere and focus on adding them naturally to your content.

There are more to Google Manual actions. The ones I’ve listed above are the common ones. If you’re affected by any of these penalties, get it rectified and submit for reconsideration.

 

Not Keeping Up With Search Engine Algorithm Changes

Google revealed that the make almost 3,200 algorithm changes in a year. They mentioned it in one of their recent post on Google Blog. Your site might not get hit badly with minor changes. But some updates can drain your search traffic away. I’ve seen so many people tend to get down to work in rectifying issues with their site. Their sole purpose is to beat the algorithm.

But in reality… none of us going to beat the algorithm. You need to educate yourself and come up with a solid plan that will overcome upcoming algorithm changes.

In this section, I will share a few Google Algorithm Updates to help you avoid some crucial mistakes.

Panda Update

Panda update was launched on 24th February 2011. The update emphasized on showing users quality contents. The core update reduced thin contents and contents developed for SEO purpose. 90% of the article directories were affected and lose their search traffic share.

Consequences: Websites with low-quality contents, keyword-stuffed contents lost their rankings on Google.

Benefits: Websites with quality and relevant content gained higher rankings on Google.

Penguin Update

Penguin update rolled out on 24th April 2012. This core update focused on sites using “black-hat” SEO methods which include spammy link building, manipulative re-directs and many more. Before Penguin Update, websites with low-quality links in huge quantity has the ability to rank higher on SERPs. However, in 2016, Google stopped penalizing sites for getting low-quality links from spam sites and started de-valuing those links.

Consequences: Link farms (sites selling links) were targeted by Google and some of them had to completely shut down their sites.

Benefits: Websites getting natural inbound links from relevant authority sites improved their rankings on Google.

Pigeon Update

Pigeon Update was launched on 24th July 2014. This update gave a huge impact on local search results on both Google Web and Google Maps. Google focused on providing better search experience for users doing “near me” searches. Google incorporated local ranking signals to provide users with the right and relevant local businesses.

Consequences: Local business sites with poor on-page and off-page SEO lost local search traffic.

Benefits: Local businesses that implemented accurate NAP information on business directories with good on-page and off-page SEO gained higher rankings.

For other major algorithm updates, you can check out the complete list of Google Algorithm changes at Search Engine Journal.

History of Google Algorithm Updates

Just focus on building an authority site that provides great solutions to problems faced by your potential customers. When you start focusing on your visitors, you don’t have to worry about any Google Algorithm changes.

 

Poor Website User Experience (UX)

User Experience (UX) has become one of the important aspects of SEO. According to Google, UX is also used as a ranking signal since 2015. Even if you get all the other aspects of SEO right and miss out on UX, you might not get the search traffic you deserve.

So, what is the relationship between UX and getting organic search traffic? Well, you got to ask why you’re having a website in the first place to answer that question. Your website helps you in attracting visitors and convert them into paying customers.

UX is about the experience you provide your visitors when they visit your website. If your website is driving a huge amount of search traffic but fail to convince the visitors to come back again, you’ll be losing out.

These are the few things you should focus on providing great user experience for your visitors.

  • Develop content for both visitors and search engines. But, your focus should be on human visitors as they are the ones to pay you for your products or services.
  • Include breadcrumbs for eCommerce stores. It will help to increase the accessibility of your website.
  • Don’t forget Call-To-Action element. You want your visitors to take some sort of action on your website. At least collect their email address.
  • Focus on the technical aspect of your website. Improve your page loading speed, provide easy navigation for visitors, create deep internal link structure, remove duplicate contents and avoid cluttered page layouts.
  • Website should be responsive in all devices. Responsive design should be a must is you want to improve your site’s UX.

When you improve UX of your website, your site becomes useful, accessible, usable, desirable, credible, findable and lastly valuable.

You don’t need an outstanding design for your website. Just an attractive website that helps your visitors resolve their problems with your products and services should be enough.

But don’t ignore the basic UX concept you need to implement for your website.

 

You’re Not Using SEO-Friendly CMS

If you’re a small-medium business owner, most likely you’ll get your website developed using a Content Management System (CMS). Not because it’s cheaper, but it provides flexibility in doing a lot of things with your website without relying completely on a developer. To make your life easier, it would be better to use a CMS which is SEO-friendly. It means you’ll be able to make SEO related tasks easily with that particular CMS.

Smashing Magazine

 

If anyone tells you that search engines like Google prefers websites built on certain CMS, please ignore it. Google does not rank sites based on CMS.

I’m talking about the flexibility the CMS can offer when it comes to performing on-page SEO and technical SEO tasks. You can definitely optimize sites built using website builders and rank on search engines. And I won’t be discussing on website builders like Wix and Squarespace in this blog post.

So moving on to SEO-friendly CMSs.  These are the top SEO-friendly CMS you can use right away but each one of them have their very own advantages and disadvantages.

WordPress

All my sites are built on WordPress. One of the most popular content management system which is powering almost 25% of websites worldwide. SEO experts often recommend WordPress as it is not only SEO-friendly but also user-friendly.

Advantages

  • Flexible and has a huge list of plugins and themes to choose from.
  • Free to download.
  • Large support community
  • Solid and reliable hosting providers
  • CMS that focuses on content development and publishing.
  • Yoast SEO Plugin to assist on-page SEO

Disadvantages

  • Vulnerable to security threats.
  • Requires CSS and HTML expertise to utilize full potential.
  • Need to consistently update your plugins to work with updated WordPress.

 

Drupal

Drupal is an advanced Content Management System that requires expertise. It is often used to develop portals, directories and complicated websites that need additional functionalities.

NASA and NCAA websites are built on Drupal.

Advantages 

  • Offers high flexibility in building good functionalities.
  • One of the most secured CMS as it prioritizes on security.
  • It has hundreds of modules which help developers to use them for different purposes.
  • Able to manage multiple sites.
  • Offers good SEO Modules (works like WordPress plugin)

Disadvantages

  • Requires high-level technical skills.
  • Plugins are expensive

 

Joomla

Joomla stands in between WordPress and Drupal. It’s not as technical and complicated like Drupal and it has more functionalities and deeper customization than WordPress.

Advantages

  • Free to use
  • Greater adaptability and flexibility
  • Doesn’t have to rely on multiple plugins for SEO success.
  • Active community support

Disadvantages

  • Slightly technical compared to WordPress
  • Has compatibility issues when multiple plugins are installed.
  • Issues on security and vulnerabilities in comparison to Drupal.

 

These are the top SEO-friendly CMS system readily available online. There are hundreds of other CMS available but I’ve never personally used them.

Is CMS necessary for SEO?

Technically no. But using a CMS will make your life easy when it comes to SEO. For example, you can easily integrate Yoast SEO plugin to WordPress to help you with on-page optimization. The plugin helps you to get right on track.

So, using an SEO-friendly CMS just simplifies your SEO efforts but you need to be aware that having a CMS alone will not help you rank higher on search engines.

 

Not Developing Contents Your Target Audience Searching For

How do you determine the success of your website?

Sales?

Email Signups?

You want your visitor to take some sort of action when they visit your website. If they don’t find anything related to what they are looking for, they will just hit the “back” button and search for other sites on the search result page.

Before publishing any content on your site, you need to determine your target audience. If your content attracts the wrong audience, all your efforts will go in vain.

This mistake will cost you a lot.

Sometimes it’s easier to rank on search engines for general keywords. Those keywords are searched by general people just looking for information. You want to attract people looking for solutions. The product or service you have to offer should provide solutions to their problems.

That’s why identifying your target audience is extremely important. The most important part of identifying your target audience is by having a clear understanding of your target market.

I don’t want to go in-depth on this topic. Let me give you some important points on what you should focus on when identifying your target audience and writing the right contents for them.

How To Find Your Target Audience?

So many businesses come up with buyer persona from their very own imagination and assumptions. If you’re one of them, please stop doing that.

Your target audience should be based on facts. If you already have a customer base, you can easily identify your target audience.

If not, cover the following details:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why

You need to dig deeper into specific details of your target audience which includes demographic aspects like:

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Job
  • Income Level
  • Personality
  • And more…

Once you identify your ideal audience, use it as a tool to craft your contents.

Let me give you a simple solution. Identify the top competitors within your industry. Take a look at the contents they are publishing.

You will get a rough idea on what message they are trying to deliver to their visitors. Just reverse engineer their contents.

Make sure those contents are better than your competitors. If you have additional resources, you can subscribe to BuzzSumo and analyze your competitor’s top performing contents.

Always remember these rules when it comes to creating the right contents for the right target audience:

  • Your audience is not like you.
  • They do not know the things that you know.
  • They do not care about your brand.
  • They do not know your industry jargon

Follow these important tips when you craft contents for your potential customers:

  • Your content should focus on the needs of your audience.
  • Do not highlight the features of your services or products. Only include the benefits they will get.
  • Create urgency for the readers or viewers to take action right away.
  • Include clear and easy to follow CTA (Call-To-Action). Just be straightforward on what they should do.

When you cater right contents for the right audience, they will be spending more time on your site which shows the relevancy of their search and your contents.

This will provide an indication to search engines like Google that your site is actually providing quality content for the search engine users. Your site will be regarded as an authority within your niche and you will start ranking higher on search engines.

Developing contents your target audience searching for not only improves your brand authority but also improves your search engine rankings.

 

Ignoring Keyword Research

Keyword research is the most important process of discovering words and phrases that users use to search in search engines. Your ultimate goal should be optimizing your content around the keywords that are relevant to your niche.

Keyword research is the first step to any SEO campaigns. Without the right keywords, you won’t have clear direction on optimizing your site.  It is identical to market research but the only difference is that you need to perform the research online with the right tools.

My site generates 70% of traffic from Google. And the number one SEO factor that helped my site to generate organic search traffic was keyword research. I’m not optimizing for highly competitive keywords as my site does not have sufficient contents nor quality backlinks to compete with the top sites in the digital marketing niche. However, search for the following keywords on Google and you can check where my contents are currently ranking on the SERPs

  • pricing for digital marketing in Malaysia
  • technical SEO Malaysia
  • SEO audit Malaysia
  • social media blogs 2020
  • content marketing pricing in Malaysia
  • google my business 2020
  • seo checklist for small business

These keywords brought thousands of visitors from Google alone in December 2019. Check out the screenshot below

You can learn more about keyword research by clicking on the link below.

Beginner’s Guide to Keywords for SEO

 

You’re Publishing Thin Content

Content is King. Imagine your king being thin.

Jokes apart. So what is thin content?

Thin content is content that has little or no value for the visitors. Search engines often consider pages which are low in quality as thin content pages. But, you also need to be aware of duplicate contents as those contents are also regarded as thin contents.

Google algorithms have changed over the years with the sole purpose to provide the best results for their users. They want to make sure the search results match the search intent of the users.

Your content should provide valuable answers to users search query. You might wonder that providing one sentence answer should be enough. But in reality, users like to read contents that have been heavily researched and adds value especially solution to their search query.

Your focus should be your readers. They are the actual people that will pay you to purchase your products or services. So, you need to write informative content that makes your readers happy.

If you don’t have the time to write contents, hire excellent freelance writers to do it for you. The writers should know everything about your industry to produce outstanding contents.

Trust me.

Investing in content development can help you improve your ROI. You don’t have to fully rely on articles alone. Focus on videos and podcasts as well. Contents published on your website will help to determine your authority within your industry.

When you get your contents right, your position on search result pages will increase as well. The relevancy of your content with the user’s search query will help you dominate the search result pages.

Stop publishing contents that do not add value to your business. Always remember that quality outranks quantity. But if you’re able to make quality work along with quantity, you will be unstoppable in your niche.

 

Your Headlines Are Not Click Worthy

David Ogilvy has mentioned that “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of a dollar”.

You often spend writing and editing your contents before it goes live. But how much time do you spend on your headlines or titles?

Many of us including myself often overlook the most crucial part of our content: the headline. And you need to know that headlines are the first thing that people see before reading any content. Headlines are the determining factor whether or not your visitors read your contents.

You might have crafted one of the best articles in your niche, but end up with extremely low click-through-rate from search engines. Titles and meta description is the first thing any search engine users see before clicking the ones they feel the most relevant to what they searched for.

Just follow these amazing tips in crafting click-worthy titles:

Use numbers or digits – when you use a number in your headlines, you instantly build credibility and authenticity. The human eyes are not only attracted to visuals but naturally drawn to the juxtaposition of numbers placed beside texts. Providing numbers for your titles also gives a clear picture of what they can expect from the content. For example, just look at two headlines below and see which one you’re more eager to click on.

  • Top SEO Blogs to Read in 2020
  • 27 Top SEO Blogs To Read in 2020

Most people would be more interested in the second one as it provides the justification in terms of quantity on the number of SEO blogs listed in the article. But, the first headline does not anticipate or urge the reader to click on it as there is no clear indication whether there will be top 10 SEO blogs or top 100 SEO blogs.

Use 4U Melanie Duncan’s Formula – The 4U formula introduced by Melanie Duncan is one of my favourites. The formula will help you create headlines which are useful, urgent, unique and ultra-specific.

  • Useful – When you scroll through search result pages or social media news feed, you will click on the headlines that can help you. Something that is useful to you. You need to provide the same impression for the people reading your title. The headline of your content should provide a specific solution to the problem your target audience searched for. You can implement it to how-to articles and list articles.
  • Urgent –  Creating a sense of urgency with the headlines will encourage people to click. There are so many articles and videos trying to grab our attention online. If those contents are not time-sensitive we would easily ignore them. But, when there is an urgency around the content title, readers would never think about ignoring it and swiftly click on it to get the information instantly. Urgency element is best suited for news related websites. There is no way you can add urgency to all the topics.
  • Unique – People like something different and unique. When you search for a specific topic on Google, you’ll get results on the same topic. But, what makes you choose one over the other results? The uniqueness in the headline which stands out often gets clicked. Unusual yet creative headlines tend to get more attention which results in clicks.
  • Ultra-specific – Being ultra-specific with your headline creates a different perspective from users about your content. Rather than providing random or broad headlines, it is better to be specific as it provides a clear indication of what people can expect from your content.

Add Dashes and Hyphens – According to a study conducted by Outbrain, headlines with hyphens generated 9% more clicks. The best way to do it is by using keyword phrase related to your article followed by the article title. For example, SEO Tools: 15 Top Tools for Marketers in 2020

Use Negative Headline – Did you know people’s mind get attracted to negative headlines? Search engine users are human, and they are evolved to react to negativity. It is called “negativity bias“. Even Google leverage over negative bias. Sometimes you can see content with negative headlines tend to rank high on SERPs as people will want to click on them. Positive headlines have been overused over the decade and they worked very well. However, you can test out negative headlines and analyze the performance compared to positive headlines.

A headline is an important part of your content and it takes time to master it as you need to consistently test out on what is working and what’s not. Although I’ve provided few tips in developing click-worthy headlines, there isn’t a perfect formula in crafting the best headlines.

You can use these tools to analyze your headlines:

 

You’re Not Publishing Contents Consistently

“Consistent” – It’s not only applied for publishing content but also in everything you do to be successful.

” Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out”.

Every online business realizes that they need to publish quality contents consistently to build authority and credibility. But, 90% of them are unable to consistently publish contents and add value to their visitors.

I’m not talking about just ranking on search engines with consistency but also to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Most digital marketers experts advice on publishing quality contents and don’t focus on quantity game.

But for me, you should incorporate both quality and quantity. If you’re serious about your business, you will do what it takes. Quality and frequency are considered important factors in SEO. Don’t miss out on leveraging on these factors to create a competitive advantage over your competitors.

You don’t have to publish every day. At least publish 2-3 contents every week. Trust me. The efforts will take your site to the next level.

When I started out with Narutoguides.com, I started writing 2-3 articles per week continuously for 4 months. From the 6th month, the site started to generate 3,ooo to 4,000 monthly organic traffic from Google. I sold the site in July 2019, and that time the site was generating 11,002 organic traffic

Traffic from January 2018- December 2018

 

Traffic From January 2019 – June 2019

 

I could have generated more traffic to the site by publishing more contents but was busy with other projects. So, even a small niche site like Narutoguides.com managed to generate a huge amount of traffic with consistent publishing of contents. Just imagine the organic search traffic you could generate for your site.

 

You’re Not Registered with Google My Business

The days people searching online directories for businesses is coming to an end. People are looking at Google Maps for businesses nearby. Local businesses should leverage on Google My Business page to attract more visitors to both the website and physical store.

A recent study by Search Engine Roundtable shows that approximately 46% of all searches have local intent. But, so many businesses are not taking advantage of Google My Business page (free tool).

Let me list down a few benefits you could gain with Google My Business Page.

  • Local SEO Advantage – Google My Business is a key factor for your local SEO strategy. It will help potential customers in your area to find you easily. If the search query is relevant to your products or services, Google will start increasing your ranking for local search results and local-3 pack result.
  • Creates Good First Impression – People tend to click on the map results to look at your business page before engaging with your business. You want to provide them with valuable and accurate information to develop a good first impression. Adding high quality photos and videos about your business will provide an even greater impression of your business. The customers will more likely to choose you from the rest if you can provide an everlasting impression.
  • Develop authority with Reviews – Online reviews gets to customer closer to your business. It influences the purchase decision of customers as well. Moreover, reviews on your GMB page will encourage visitors to click on your listing and visit your website. This leads to an increase in traffic. Whether people provide positive or negative reviews, make sure to respond to every review in a professional manner.
  • Stand out from your competition – Not all businesses are utilizing GMB page. Even if they a GMB page, they might utilize the full potential of the service. You definitely need to be an early adopter and get your GMB page perfectly optimized for local search to stay ahead of your competitors.

If you’re not sure on how to set up your Google My Business page, check out my latest guide on registering GMB page:

The Comprehensive Guide to Google My Business Page

 

You’re Not Focusing On Internal Link Building

Google tends to crawl your website and identify your pages and posts relevancy through internal links. Internal links provide an idea to Google spider about your site structure. You need to establish the right internal link building strategy for your site to improve SEO.

The internal linking strategy works along with your site architecture. You need to look at your website as a pyramid. The top section of the pyramid is your home page, below that, are your category pages, then your subcategory pages, and its followed by individual pages or posts.

I don’t want to dive deep into the internal link building strategy here as I’ll need to create a separate post for it. However, you can follow the guideline provided in Yoast blog to effectively build your internal links.

 Internal Linking for SEO: Why and How?

Apart from SEO, there are great benefits when you utilize internal linking.

  • Internal linking increases page views – Internal linking provides clear navigation for your visitors. For example, people visiting a specific content on your website will most likely to read other relevant articles on the sidebar or mentioned within your articles. This helps to make your visitors stay longer on your site and consume more articles.
  • Internal linking structure reduces crawling budget – You can reduce your crawl budget and effectively guide the search engine bots to crawl and index your web pages with the right internal link building structure.

Internal linking can improve your SEO performance when you do it right. Just focus on building a robust site architecture and include your internal linking strategy.

 

You’re Not Optimizing Images For Search Engines

Most people are not aware of how image optimization can help them with their SEO efforts.

But, why image search is important?

According to Google, there are millions of users perform Google Image search. Moz has mentioned that image search has 27% of search engine market share apart from Google.com search share according to their research conducted on US searches.

 

Basically, images added to websites provide contextual information for search engines. When we look at it from page loading speed view, optimized images tend to speed up page loading.

Other than providing accessibility for search bots to crawl your website images, you also want to improve the user experience and the engagement of visitors towards your website.

I will provide simple tips on how you can optimize your images.

  • Use keywords for your image file names – You need to choose the right filename for your images as it represents the content you publish. Before uploading your images make sure to use relevant keywords to improve your images ranking on Google Image search
  • Use alt tags – When your visitors look at your images, they will somehow understand the visual presentation. However, it is impossible for search engine bots to index your images without an alternative tag. You can use 10-15 words to provide descriptions about your images.
  •  Add structured data for images – When you add structured data to your images, Google will display your images along with the snippet of your content as rich results.  You can use Google’s Structured Data General guidelines to learn and apply structured data to your web pages.

Optimizing your images for both search engines and user experience can help you improve your search engine rankings. E-commerce sites will gain great benefits by optimizing their product images as visitors might click on the product images and instantly land on your product pages.

Your Website is Not Mobile-Friendly

Google has been actively encouraging businesses to ensure their websites to be mobile-friendly. This is because mobile searches have consistently increased and surpassed desktop searches in 2018.

On the other hand, Google also announced that they have rolled out the mobile-first indexing algorithm in March 2018. So, you need to consider the mobile-friendly factor seriously if you want to generate search traffic.

Currently, mobile-friendly is a ranking factor used by Google to rank quality sites for their users.

Did you know that the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update focused on penalizing sites that were not mobile-friendly?

The SERPs ranking just dropped for sites that ignored to make their sites mobile-friendly.

According to Google, mobile-friendly sites are websites that:

  • Positions links adequately.
  • Uses text and images that can be viewed without zoom in.
  • Does not use features that are not available for smartphones (Flash feature)
  • Responsive content where users don’t have to zoom in or rotate their screens.

So, how to check whether your site is mobile-friendly?

You can use the following online tools to check whether your site is really mobile-friendly:

Making your site mobile-friendly is an integral part of SEO in 2020. Don’t miss out quality search traffic from search engines by ignoring the importance of a mobile-friendly website.

Ignoring Social Media Presence

What does search traffic have to do with social media presence?

Well, I agree that there is no direct correlation between SEO and Social Media but social media can provide huge impact on SEO.

Let me explain.

Google has disagreed that social signals influence search ranking. However, social media pages are indexed on Google like any other websites. Google bots crawl social media sites and index everything they can.

But, if you have social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, those pages will appear when people search for your website. To be honest, social media profiles often positioned among the top results.

On the other hand, social media sites are search engines as well. People are making searches on social media sites especially Facebook and LinkedIn. For instance, if you shared a specific content on Facebook or LinkedIn and the users search using keywords related to your content, your content will show up in their result pages.

Social media sites can help you in acquiring high quality backlinks to your site. When you share your contents on social media sites, your contents have a high potential to go viral and get in front of other business owners or bloggers within your niche.

If your contents caught their intention, they will definitely mention your content in their upcoming articles or share your contents with their following.

Maybe in future search engines like Google might incorporate social signals as a ranking factor. You never know what kind of algorithm updates search engine can come up in the near future.

 

Conclusion

Drive search traffic might look difficult. But if you have the fire within you to stand out from your competitors and position your site as an authority, you will do what it takes to be there.

You just need to master the craft and do it right.

Follow the great tips I’ve provided above, and I can ensure you that they will work for you.

Please don’t aim for overnight success.  Remember the following quote.

The results you see will highly depend on your discipline in life. Consistency is key to success

Don’t give up if you’re not getting the search traffic you deserve. It takes time.

Do you think there are any other reasons for not getting search traffic? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.

Naven Pillai

An experienced digital marketing strategist with 8+ years of experience. Helped various small and medium businesses to generate massive traffic from digital marketing channels. In addition to digital marketing consulting work, Naven owns multiple authority sites that generates passive income.

Add comment

Keyword Research Training

[Email Exclusive] Improve your website’s SEO today with a Quick SEO checklist