Fundamentally Content

Why Your SEO Strategy Is Failing This Year

Let's bust Some Myths!

Let’s Take It One SEO Myth at a Time

SEO (to give an analogy) is like a car. A car runs seamlessly when its moving parts are up to the mark and at full operational efficiency.

SEO is no different!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has come a long way from the time it revolved around this stuff:

The tech industry is amid constant evolvement, and so is SEO, for that matter. Over time, Google has been optimizing (no pun intended) SEO for a fluid, intuitive, enjoyable, and targeted experience for consumers and businesses alike. Yes, the questions are endless. But that is not a bad thing, right? You have to start from somewhere. If you’re asking questions, you are on top of your game and invested enough to devise the best SEO strategy.

Asking questions is never a bad thing, and when it comes to SEO, posing questions can skyrocket your results, leaving the competitors far behind. This article will explain several primary, medium, and advance-level tactics affecting your current SEO campaign. You have to make all the right movies, correct?

After all, your time is valuable, and chasing phantoms and hunches is something you can’t afford during office hours. You have to be right on the money from the get-go.

Every second is essential, so let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes and fallacies that can make your SEO strategy fail in 2022.

All aboard!

1. Meta-Descriptions Impact Rankings

Nothing could be further from the truth over here. The role of meta-descriptions is more in a cosmetic capacity at best, inviting higher clickthrough rates (CTR) on the website. The meta-descriptions, which appear below the URL, are short descriptions that tell more about the website itself. However, they aren’t officially included as a ranking factor in search engine algorithms.But they do help improve the organic traffic flow to the website, making it equally important for on-page SEO.

Even better, when we share the website URL on social media, the meta-descriptions are trafficked, which helps tell more about the website and invites more organic footfall.

Meta Descriptions
Can Increase
Clickthrough Rates (CTR)
By 36%

2. The It Department Will Handle SEO

Oh, that is a huge no-no. There is a reason companies have entire departments working on their on-page and off-page SEO. The rankings’ uptick takes a long time before you begin to see results.

So, search engine optimization is a very technical area and far removed from the expertise of the IT at your company. And no, it is not something to hand over and forget.

Companies have to invest in dedicated SEO resources and strategies now. Most established and successful firms swear by the following tools of the trade and use them as part of a cohesive strategy:

  • Editorial Planning & Calendars
  • Link Building & Value Delivery
  • Content Development & Optimization
  • Internal Training & Outsourcing
  • Blogs & Social Media Content

Yes, you have to do all that; and much more, year-round before the SEO translates into results. And what if you fire your entire SEO department post-pandemic? Well, your website will simply keep slipping down in the rankings further and further.

Therefore, SEO strategists and teams play a decisive role in the success of the website and the company. You cannot achieve one without the other.

Those interested in championing SEO and taking the company to the next level should click here.

You Need a
Dedicated Team​
for SEO

3. Homepages Must Be Content Heavy

Okay, these are two contradicting strategies that simply cannot work. Having too much or too little content on the homepage actually hurts your ranking. A homepage is a gateway to the business and your first and only chance to cast an impression. It is where you also add the value proposition and allow the user to enter your humble abode (website).

The content on the homepage should be enough to communicate the following:

  • Your Introduction
  • Your Products/Services
  • The Value Proposition
  • Way Forward For The Visitors
  • Your Location (Optional)

There is no fixed rule for content on a homepage. However, the general rule of thumb is that a website homepage shouldn’t overwhelm nor underwhelm the visitor with content.

Don’t Put Too Much
or Too Little
Content on Your

4. User Experience Is an Added Bonus

Google has improved its algorithms over time, so each piece of software works to improve the audience experience. It is heavily invested in the user experience for consumers and considers it one of its most important ranking signals.

Look at it this way: if the overall experience of the website is superb, it builds trust on two fronts:

  • Site visitors like the user experience
  • It provides them better perceived value

This means that visitors will keep coming back for more. Plus, Google will raise your ranking on its SERPs as well. That is what you want to have, right?

We can improve the user experience using the following metrics:

  • Page Loading Time
  • Bounce Rate
  • Time On-Page
  • Page Views/Visit
  • The Scroll Time Of A User On The Page

Search engines improve your ranking when the consumers begin enjoying the content and visit it repeatedly. In this way, the website rises to the top by itself. Feel free to check this link for more information.

You Only Have
5 Seconds to Win
Over Website Visitors
With Your User
Experience (UX)

5. Avoid Low Volume Keywords

There is so much more to an SEO strategy than high-volume keywords. These high-volume keywords are ever-inviting and sure to draw huge numbers in the SERPs. But there is an issue with that as well. These high-volume keywords do not promise a high conversion rate, which can detrimentally affect your metrics and other goals.

An effective organic content strategy plays the long game that promises results!

When we use low-volume keywords, they bring remarkably less traffic to the website, yet they have higher search intent. Higher search intent equals qualified traffic and conversions.

We should strike a balance here. While doing keyword research, make it a twofold strategy:

  • Reach a larger audience with broad and high-volume keywords
  • Use the low-volume keywords for marketing the services/products

Check out this link for more info on this.

Low volume keywords
have a higher commercial intent,
are super relevant
and raise search interest

6. Traffic From Google Defines Success

That is partially correct. Despite the race to be in the top ten results on Google, traffic from other sources is equally important. Search results are a popularity contest where the most voted contestant takes the prize. 

So, whenever someone gives you a vote of confidence, it adds up and boosts your rankings. The more votes you have, the higher your probability of rising in the ranks. So simple!

Therefore, making posts on stuff other businesses are interested in is a good idea. Maybe they will link back to you to give the audience more context about where they are coming from on something. 

Writing for other businesses that can link back to you is also better. 

The more you have, the merrier. 

The only way to stand out in a vast ocean of competitors and information is to do the following:

  • Original Thoughts
  • Your Data
  • Definitions 
  • Infographics 
  • Valuable Information Unavailable In Other Places

For example, you have a long blog post about How to Make Friends and Influence People. Several others may have covered that, and they will certainly link back to your post for more elaboration on the matter. This is a good way to make link-building alliances with them in the future. 

And sooner than you think, your website will have a more significant readership and better ranking in the SERPs. 

This website has some excellent pointers on this.

A comprehensive
SEO strategy
captures all sources of
organic traffic

7. Failing to Use Videos for SERPS

God! This is a no-brainer. 

After Google itself, YouTube is the biggest (second biggest) search engine in the world. And naturally, YouTube has strict guidelines for sorting the videos according to their relevance and quality. This is all automated at the back-end. 

With millions of hours of video uploaded each year, YouTube has to field a lot of traffic and thus uses constantly updating guidelines. YouTube Creators have a channel where they explain the process of search and discovery. The top videos follow these guidelines for rising to the top:

  • Title Description
  • Video Content Match
  • Main Title
  • Viewer Query
  • Videos With The Most Views In A Specific Category

Since YouTube belongs to Google, the vetting system is rigorous, and the best content rises to the top. The same goes for Google since it keeps updating its system to find the best in the market. 

So, before you make short and sweet videos about your business/products, be sure to have these aligned:

  • SRT Files
  • Video Thumbnails
  • Categories And Tags
  • Video Titles And Descriptions

This website explains rising to the top on YouTube and stuff.

Video Search
Results Have A
41% Higher Ctr
Than Written Content

8. Failing to Follow Google Guidelines

For some violations, Google will slap a penalty or manual actions. And no, it does not hold grudges, so as soon as you resolve the manual actions thingy, you’re good to go. 

Resolving them is usually easy and all you have to do is visit the Search Console, resolve the issue and apply for a reconsideration request. 


When Google confirms it, you are good to go and back on track. 

Whether you remain in the same position in the rankings is uncertain. You could be at the same spot as before or may have moved down a notch in the rankings. Since the metrics are constantly changing, chances are someone can take your place, which is what you did too.

The Google Search Console
is a goldmine of information
for website optimization
and data analytics.

9. Submitting the Website to Google

That is just plain nonsense! 

Google (and others) finds your website via its web crawlers. This is what they do all day long. So, no, you do not need to submit the website to Google for ranking purposes. Google does that itself. 

But you can always submit an updated sitemap to Google if you have changed some pages here and there. In this case, Google will find the website faster and help with the ranking and stuff. 

Here’s how you can submit the website anyway.

Google Is Automated​
and It Finds Your Website
Automatically and Quickly

10. Not Having a Topic Cluster Strategy​

So, do topic clusters help affect your SEO rankings? They sure do. 

As is the case, topic clusters are viable for boosting your ranking in the SERPS for two main reasons:

  • They analyze the content better and categorize it
  • Google understands the website content better overall

With the help of internal links, Google and other search engines can decide the content hierarchy and crawl more pages on the website. 

Semantic SEO and topic clustering are closely connected. It is related to addressing all the questions regarding something. So, when we follow the topic cluster strategy, we will create semantic clusters giving users a complete understanding of their required subject.

This is crucial since Google values a better user experience. Content-based SEO helps with high-quality content and boosts Google’s EAT score.

Be a rich
information resource
for your

11. Linking to Other Websites

The aim should be to provide value and nothing more. The folks at Google opined that as long as external links are provided that lead people to other websites for more context and information, that is fine.

As long as a website can provide more information on the subject, you can and should link to it. 

This rule has some exceptions though. For instance, it may not work when the link is related to an ad or posted in the comments.

Citing Sources
for more information
is the rule

12. Backlinks Are Better Than Content

In the days of yore, link-building was highly effective for ranking purposes. The concept was that some guy did this all day long without even analyzing the linking domain to rank the website higher.  The ranking would improve, and everyone was happy with almost no effort.

Until the algorithms changed!

Google focuses more on the quality of the backlinks than their quantity now. Link-stuffing won’t get you anywhere anymore. 

Backlinks are still important and are considered a vote of confidence from other websites, as long as they are relevant. It’s a popularity contest, and you should be popular with everyone. These incoming links scream authority, and having that in your arsenal is still a pretty big thing these days.

So, instead of focusing on the number of links, aim for higher quality ones. When you have the complete strategy for backlinks at the ready, you’ll be gold.

In the race between link-building and content creation though, the latter always takes the cake.

After all, content is king.

Ps. For those looking for a strategy for backlinks, you’re welcome.

Backlinks Are Great
but Only if Your
Content Is Amazing

13. Keywords Are King

With the rise of mobile and voice search, keywords have become more conversational. Google has worked hard to understand these queries and accommodate them as well. The rollout of its operating system named Hummingbird marked a major step in 2013.

With its introduction (Hummingbird), Google expanded its directory, shifting focus from keywords and bringing phrases into the fold. This was a significant shift from keyword SEO to topical SEO.

The big question: what’s in it for you here?

The conventional model of keywords has now changed in search engines. 

Previously, ten to twenty major keywords were the key players in the market. However, now long-tail keywords are king, varying from region to region, and are most frequently searched on Google. 

So, chasing those keywords is no longer a viable strategy. Marketers looking for success need to develop a topic cluster strategy and take things from there.

This is a reader-driven approach and brings people to the topic they are searching for, regardless of the keywords used on Google.

For those looking for a topic cluster strategy, check this.

The Keyword Landscape
Is Constantly Changing

14. HTTPS Is Optional

On the internet, some websites start with HTTP, while other websites start with HTTPS. The extra ‘s’ is there for a reason and are most common on websites where sensitive information is provided (online shopping hubs, banks, or bill payments).

The extra “s” establishes how secure user data is on the website. It promises optimum security for its users. User data and communications are encrypted, meaning hackers can’t infiltrate or intercept the data. The additional character signifies SSL encryption, which makes the website safer.

But why should you care?

In 2014, Google announced that it had established HTTPS as a ranking signal in its algorithm. This meant that all websites that didn’t use SSL would suffer in their rankings.

Later, Google released a new version of the Chrome browser that marked websites “not secure” if they weren’t using a valid SSL. Thus, SSL encryption became mandatory for all websites worldwide, and a shift began. Everyone had to care about SSL even if they didn’t before.

Google has also stated that if two websites are equal in ranking, its algorithm will prefer the website with SSL encryption.

So yes, SSL encryption also features as a ranking signal in SERPs now.

Here is the lowdown on SSL encryption and Google rankings.

Google Doesn’t Like
Websites That Don’t
Use Active
SSL Encryption

15. The Domain Age Matters

It is generally believed that the older a website becomes, it performs better in the SERPS. Google acknowledges them and keeps their ranking up.

However, Google reps say something different. The domain age may not matter as much, especially after the website is a few months old.

The domain factor matters for newer websites building up a content base to rank in the SERPs. Therefore, it takes time for them to index everything. 

For more detail, check this video for an in-depth explanation.

Content Quality
Trumps Domain Age​

16. Mobile Optimization Can Wait

No, you’re already late, mate!

In 2015, Google released “Mobilegeddon” which included mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in the algorithm. Thanks to this update, responsive and mobile-friendly websites rank higher, while those without suffer.

Save yourself from penalizations!

Google has become very mobile-oriented. Back in 2019, they released a new update with which they would index mobile-responsive websites first.

This means that websites with a dedicated mobile version or responsive CSS are indexed first, followed by desktop-only sites.

This is partly due to the surge in smartphone usage over the last decade. People use their phones more than computers now.

58.99% Of Global
Website Traffic
in Q2 2022
Was From a
Mobile Device

17. Image Optimization Is Optional

Google uses filenames, URLs, and ALT tags to understand images, so image optimization is essential for the SEO process. Plus, the search engine only recognizes and accepts these image formats:

  • SVG
  • WebP
  • GIF
  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • BMP

The purpose of the alt text is twofold. First, it helps Google understand the nature of the image and allows people to discover it as well. And no, stuffing thousands of keywords in there is not a good practice; it just confuses Google to the point that they start ignoring the image. A short alt text under six words is good enough. It’s also great for people with visual disabilities as they often use screen readers that read out alt text.

For Google to go through all the images on your website, it’s better to use an image sitemap. This little document helps Google index all your images, which would otherwise go unnoticed (CSS images go unnoticed).

So, now, we come to the more important part here, image compression. We all know that Google likes websites with fast load times and uses this as a ranking signal. Large photos are why many websites struggle to open up quickly. More photos, and heavier ones at that, will slow any website down and affect your ranking metrics. No one wants that, right?

Use image compression tools to resolve this matter. You can find many on the internet, and when you do, use them smartly to strike a balance between user experience, load time, and image quality.

Image Optimization Helps
Improve Page Load
Speeds, SEO Ranking,
and User Experience

18. Local SEO is Immaterial

SEO is not just for a national, international, or global audience. Local SEO is much more important than you think.

How will people know you exist in their area without local SEO? You are missing out on big money here and a huge market share of the local segment. If you offer a B2B service and the businesses around you are unaware of your existence, you lose out on a chunk of potential clientele that is far easier to sign on.

People nearby will look you up, gauge, and probably call you.

A large number of people are searching for local information and are more likely to reach out to you.

So, what should you do? 

Use Google My Business to put yourself out there. When I say “out there,” I mean having a presence on Google Maps and SERPs.

Then, develop a complete local SEO strategy, which is why I present this resource.

Local SEO Drives
Local Traffic,
Improving Qualified
Leads and Conversions

19. One H1 Is Enough for One Page

That simply is not true. 

Google has made it abundantly clear that headings are necessary to break the page down into the sum of its part and gauge its overall usability.

In fact, Google uses H1, H2, H3, and H4 tags to determine your content’s structure and assess relevance to incoming searches. As you explain the content nicely and keep things relevant, you’re in the clear.

For more information on this, head over here.

Always Follow Google’s
EAT and YMYL Rules

20. Pop-Ups Hurt Rankings

Your website’s User Experience is crucial for making traffic stay, but also to convert those visitors into qualified leads and possibly sales. Your content, UX, and lead generation need to work together and strike the perfect balance to accomplish this and that is no small feat.

Some websites use an intrusive, full-screen pop-up form that blocks out the rest of the website as soon as we open it. It’s supposed to be for lead generation but is a great way to turn off website visitors completely. It is always  counterproductive.

Google announced penalties for this in 2016, and then released another update in 2017 to deal with them more effectively.

However, not all pop-ups are penalized. If they affect the user experience negatively, they will take a hit.

Google primarily targets pop-ups that cover the whole screen, especially on mobile devices, until the user taps the tiny x or “close” button. Small slide-ins and banners are fine though if they only take up a small amount of screen space. This makes them a great tool for inbound strategies if used smartly.

As long as they are non-disruptive, they can certainly go a long way.

Full-Screen Intrusive Pop-Ups: Bad
Small Slide-Ins and Banners: Good

21. More Pages Mean Better Rankings

Quality over quantity!

The folks at Google have also made it abundantly clear that good content will always rank better. Websites with content that serves a purpose and benefits the audience will outrank those with a countless pages with low-quality, directionless content.

Your content should be something the user wants/needs in their life.

Creating tons and tons of pages for the audience is rarely a good idea.

In fact, here’s how you can create quality content!

Fewer Pages With Great Content
Will Always Rank Higher Than
More Pages With Poor Content

22. Generalized Call-to-Action (CTA)

You’ve done a great job of pulling in a lot of traffic from SERPs. However, if your website’s conversion rate is pretty low, that is a clear indication that something isn’t working right.

The good news is that you’ve gotten most of it right so far because you’re definitely getting the traffic you need.

The bad news is that you probably don’t have the right Call-To-Actions setup on your website.

That’s easy to fix though, provided you know what you’re doing. All you need to do is tweak your CTAs a bit and you should be good.

You can gauge your existing CTAs with these three questions:

  • Is it too general to warrant action? CTAs aren’t effective if they’re too general.
  • Have you tested different offers to see which one works the best? Often, people just don’t find the offer enticing enough.
  • Are the people directed to perform an action clearly? If your CTA isn’t clear and evident, it won’t be effective.

Another thing you can do is try using the call-to-value website for your CTAs. They have an extensive collection of effective CTAs contributed by people from all over the world.

Great Content With
a Weak Call-To-Action
Will Always Affect
Conversions Negatively

23. Delayed Results

Patience, grasshopper, patience.

SEO strategies demand patience. You won’t skyrocket overnight; it doesn’t work that way. Although an SEO strategy will seem expensive at first, it pays for itself over time.

Yes, you are playing the long game.

Your SEO strategy is a very different creature from paid ads on Facebook and Google. Sure, you can pay these platforms and the audience will start pouring in the same day. However, this traffic is not organic and disappears as soon as you stop pouring money into these campaigns.

Then you’re back to square one.

On the flip side, SEO is the gift that keeps on giving, and once you’ve implemented an effective strategy, your content keeps building up traffic and momentum.

So, let your strategy work for a while (read: a few months at least) to see where it goes. Usually, it takes six months to a year to show results.

SEO Doesn’t Deliver
Results Overnight

24. Lack of Backlink Diversity

This is another important issue to address that also works like your SEO strategy. The first time you run paid ads on Facebook, the platform requests you to wait for a while as they map the audience. They’ll spend up to fifty bucks to evaluate the audience for a week or so. During this time, they will test the following:

  • Who Visits The Website
  • Clicks Through To The Profile
  • Level Of Engagement With The Posts

SEO works the same way because it gauges the right audience for your website when you get traffic. Once it has a fair idea of who to target, then you are gold!

And how is that?

Your website will rise in ranking as more and more people see your content and decide that they like it. This gives search engines a pretty good idea of who likes your website.

You can use the following for content promotion to boost your website traffic:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Lists
  • Reddit

These avenues are free of cost and ensure an uptick in website traffic.

Promotion Is Necessary

25. Technical SEO Issues

I will cover this under one section since it covers a lot of basic mistakes. And yes, technical SEO can hamper your rankings in the SERPs and incoming organic traffic.

I recommend completing a technical SEO check before initiating on-page SEO. Fix these first:

  • No website indexing: All that effort is for nothing if your website isn’t indexed. You can’t rank if you’re not even indexed or crawled. To resolve this, go to the Google Search Console and submit your updated sitemap to the search engine.
  • Wrong robots: If you don’t have a robots.txt file on your website, you’re going to suffer big time. Your organic traffic will go everywhere except where you want them to go. Your robots.txt file should be well set in place. It tells search engine bots what URL to crawl and index. Pages marked “noindex” don’t get crawled.
  • Broken Links: Broken links can wreak havoc on user experience. If users are greeted with a 404 error when following a link to your website, they’ll scratch their heads. When bots find broken links during a crawl, it’ll also affect your ranking. This is why you should actively check for them regularly. The Check My Link extension by Google is a great little tool to help you do just this.
  • No XML sitemap: The most important part of your website as far as search engines are concerned, it provides them with crucial site navigation information for crawling and indexing. This is also what you usually have to submit to Google for indexing if your platform doesn’t do it automatically. In case you need to make a sitemap, check out these tools:
  • Yoast SEORank Math
  • Sitemap Generator
Technical SEO Can Be
an Achilles Heel

26. Lack of Investment in Content

It was easy to rise to the top in Google rankings before. But those days are long gone now, which is a good thing. Google has focused heavily on content quality and its usefulness for the people. You are gold if your content reads well, flows well, and answers the audience’s questions!

Back in 2021, five million blogs were published on WordPress alone, every day. That is a lot of content, but most of it didn’t rank well. So, subpar content is just not going to cut it.

Even the best SEO strategy will fail unless you invest in high-quality content. If you don’t, you’ll suffer Google’s wrath and won’t rank high in the SERPs.

So, as a part of your overall content strategy, write for both a human audience and the search engine as well.

Gauge Your Strengths
and Weaknesses​

27. Not Tracking Your Google Analytics

Setting up Google Analytics the day your website is live is very important. Even though other analytical tools will be easier or look prettier, Google’s reporting is still more comprehensive.

Their analytics report will show whether your existing strategies are working or failing in the SERPs. Missing out on this step could be a crucial mistake since you need to have a clear idea of the following:

  • Maximizing traffic from SERPs
  • Is SEO moving in the right direction?
  • Is the organic traffic increasing?
  • How Google sees the website

Google Search Console works well with Google Analytics as it shows the right keywords you should target. It shows how things are working on the analytics side of things.

You can also check your analytics weekly to see which of your content has better conversion rates and drives higher traffic. Now that you have a clear idea of what works with your goals, you can reverse engineer it and tweak your SEO for better results.

Be Consistent With SEO Audits Because Google Analytics Is Your Best Friend


So, you should have a pretty good idea about the inner workings of your SEO strategy by now. If your SEO campaign is lacking somewhere, you must check these parameters and rectify them as soon as possible. It could be just one factor affecting your rankings or maybe a combination of them. You have to figure this one out to optimize your SEO strategy.

All the moving parts of an engine work together to make the car move. If one tiny part isn’t working properly, the car won’t drive smoothly, if at all. SEO is no different.

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