Why is my SEO not working?

Jan 26, 2024

One of the biggest hesitations we see when it comes to investing in SEO, is that clients already have. And put simply, SEO didn’t work/SEO not working. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) it’s easier than ever for agencies to make big promises and not really deliver. Because despite SEO relying on an algorithm (much of which is powered by AI), creating good quality, strategic SEO copywriting is very humanistic.

It requires thought, patience, agility and a good dose of reader psychology. Plus, the copy itself needs to be engaging and align closely with what your ideal audience is going to be searching for. Let’s start with why your SEO not working if you’ve outsourced it in the past.

‘Why is my SEO not working?’ when you’ve had someone else do it for you

Keyword stuffing, under-optimisation or incompatible optimisation

While choosing keywords might seem simple, striking a balance between readability, keyword volume and maximising SERP-appeal requires time and thoughtfulness.

A common issue we find when auditing new client’s websites (who’ve worked with big SEO agencies) is both keyword stuffing and incompatible optimisation. Keyword stuffing is where they’ve overused similar terms, to the point that Google can tell they’re being spammy. And incompatible optimisation is choosing ineffective keywords for the brand you’re writing for. They can be ineffective for many reasons:

  • Search terms are too broad but chosen because of high monthly search volume
  • Search terms aren’t brand or location specific
  • Competition is too high for the keyword when taking into account the health, reach and existing position of the client’s website
  • Plus many, many more!

Poor readability leading to high bounce rates and low engagement

Remember how I mentioned AI before? Plenty of big SEO agencies are overusing AI to write and churn out large volumes of content, without paying much attention to creating content that’s genuinely unique and engaging. Not only does this break trust with your readers, but it also leads to a host of other problems including:

  • Duplicate content that Google flags as ‘Alternative page with proper canonical tag’
  • Content that doesn’t actually answer the emotive pain points of your reader
  • Inconsistent brand voice and tone that leads to high bounce rates (Google will then flag your content as ‘unhelpful’)
  • Google prioritising other websites with higher backlinks and authority because your content doesn’t provide a fresh, new, helpful point of difference.

Copy & paste meta data

Google does use AI to improve their algorithm and for copywriter’s who labour over creating genuinely useful content – it’s given us an advantage. The rise of SERPs and dynamic search results means that we can optimise your content beyond keywords. But once again, that involves:

  • A deep understanding of your brand and values
  • Getting inside your ideal audience’s psyche to create situational content
  • Agile location-specific phrasing and optimisation.

So, if an agency is just copying and pasting generic meta data, it lessens your Google visibility. And there’s not much you can do to improve this, other than returning to the drawing board, rewriting the content and re-optimising it correctly.

Seeing how many of our enquiring clients have been burnt by the cookie-cutter approach to SEO has led us to develop new SEO services. This includes optimisation packages which are more cost-effective because we take advantage of existing copy on your website and elevate it to improve SEO. Learn more about our tailored SEO services here. Or connect on Instagram to see results.

SEO not working when you’ve DIYed it

If you’ve invested a decent amount of time into improving your own SEO, here’s a small checklist to delve into why it isn’t returning results.

  • Have you submitted an XML sitemap to Google Console?
  • Is your new content actually indexed by Google?
  • Have you written at least 300 words?
  • Did you choose keywords aligned with your current website health and position?
  • Are your meta titles and descriptions interesting and dynamic?
  • Have you published your SEO copy correctly? Here’s our go-to checklist.

If you’re still struggling to see the fruits of your labour (ie. SEO not working), we offer one hour SEO consultations. You will leave with a tangible checklist and steps to improve your SEO, without having to outsource the writing or management. Enquire here.