4 Signs That Your SEO Isn't Working

3 min read

30 July 2012,


4 Signs That Your SEO Isn't Working

SEO is a game of patience. You can’t really expect any significant results in a short span of time. However, if it takes you months to see even the slightest effects then you’re probably doing something wrong.

In this short guide, I’m going to present some of the main signs that your SEO is not working, along with some advice on how to get the situation fixed.

No presence in the search engines

I don’t want to sound obvious, but the most visible sign that your SEO is not working is when your site doesn’t have a good spot on the search result pages or isn’t present there at all.

Now, checking your site’s position by hand is not the best approach possible. Google always tries to adjust the results to each user, so if you search for your site and then click on its listing, Google will display it higher up the rankings the next time.

For monitoring your rank use a tool like SEOmoz or Market Samurai.

However, you can do a manual check to see if your site is even visible in Google. Simply go to Google and input:


This will return all pages from your site that are indexed in Google. If Google doesn’t see your site at all then this might mean that you’re in trouble.

No traffic

Captain obvious strikes again, but bear with me. Just because you have good rankings in Google doesn’t mean that your SEO is working.

What actually matters is ranking for the right keywords.

There are two groups of keywords from an SEO point of view: keywords that are worth pursuing, and those that aren’t. And you shouldn’t waste time on optimizing for the latter.

The whole trick, then, is to find valuable keywords and create an SEO campaign around them. You can start by researching your niche in Google Keyword Tool or in any other keyword tool available online.

Also, remember to monitor your Google Analytics constantly to notice what impact your SEO has on your site’s traffic.

No on-page optimization

On-page SEO optimization is almost as important as off-page SEO.

Just to make sure that we’re on the same page, off-page consists of all the things you can do outside your page to help it rank, which in essence stands for link building.

On-page optimization is everything you can do within your site to help it rank.

Now the interesting stuff. There isn’t a site online that couldn’t help its rankings by improving its on-page SEO.

You can check your on-page optimization with a tool like Market Samurai, SEOmoz or Traffic Travis.

Then once you get an SEO score you can start optimizing. Some things worth doing:

  • Use <H> tags.
  • Write SEO-optimized titles.
  • Include keywords in your content descriptions.
  • Include keywords in the body of your content.
  • Use a proper internal linking structure.
  • Make sure that your HTML structure is error-free.
  • Get a good hosting plan so your site loads fast.

Focus on the wrong links

Link building is where the SEO game is won or lost. However, it’s not that much about the number of links, but about the quality of links.

If all your links are “nofollow” then you can’t hope for some huge SEO improvements. In order to see results you need variety. Try building links through guest posting, social media, social news sites, blog comments, forums, and all other possible ways. Getting links from just one place won’t have much of an effect.

This closes my list of 4 signs that your SEO isn’t working, but I have one question for you: what are you doing to improve your rankings in the search engines?