approx 9 minute read

The lion’s share of leads

Google sends more traffic to independent UK websites than anywhere or anything else.

It is responsible for generating the lion’s share of leads and sales.

And so, working on your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a no-brainer when it comes to driving organic traffic to your website.

However, numerous challenges can hinder your SEO efforts, ranging from basic technical issues to content strategy missteps.

There are hundreds of different ranking factors, all with their varying scale of impact.

We’ve highlighted just ten main areas that, if addressed, would dramatically (like, EastEnders-esque outro drums) improve ranking performance.

Let’s jump into our hand-picked selection of SEO problems and the no-nerd, no-nonsense, actionable solution for each.

seo vs ppc robots search marketing

SEO Problem #1 – Robots

The gripe:

You throw a launch party. Yay! But your favourite influencers didn’t show up. Boo!

Unfortunately, it turns out they were ushered away at the door by security. Oops.

Incorrectly configured robots.txt files can block search engines from crawling important pages.

It’s a small oversight that can lead to major blanking.

The right vibe:

Roll out the welcome mat!

Fine-tune your robots.txt file to guide those bots to the right places while keeping the digital riff-raff at bay.

Think of it as setting up velvet ropes for the online elite.

Fix robots.txt issues.

google manual action delisted seo rankings

SEO Problem #2 – Manual Actions

The gripe:

Uh-oh, Google’s quality police have slapped a penalty on your website.

It’s sent your rankings into a tailspin faster than a faulty trapeze act.

It’s true. Google can penalise websites for violating its quality guidelines.

This has been especially prevalent following the latest core algorithm update.

The right vibe:

Regularly monitor Google Search Console for any manual actions against your site.

Look for any red flags.

Fix the naughty bits like spammy links or duplicate content.

When squeaky clean, submit your virtual detention slip (reconsideration request) for, well, reconsideration.

Read more about manual actions from the horse’s mouth.

internal hyperlinks

SEO Problem #3 – Lacking Internal Linking

The gripe:

Lack of internal linking diminishes the discoverability and authority of important pages on your website. Boo!

It’s like your pages are ignoring each other. Awks. You can feel the tension.

If you don’t even link to yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?

Besides, it helps user experience to guide visitors to more info on that subject.

The right vibe:

Let’s connect the dots!

Strategically sprinkle internal links like a trail of digital breadcrumbs.

Guide visitors (and search engine bots) to hidden gems within your site.

It’s like a treasure hunt, but with fewer pirates.

metaphor for uncompressed images affecting SEO: heavy elephant walking a tightrope

SEO Problem #4 – Uncompressed Images

The gripe:

Big, beautiful images on your website may look like heavyweight champions, but left uncompressed, they’ll slow you down too.

In fact, images are often the #1 element responsible for slow page load times.

This is reflected in disgruntled website visitors and a high bounce rate.

Plus Google is not a fan of slow page load speeds. Something Core Web Vitals aims to tackle.

No surprise Image Size is A1 on this list of ways to supercharge your website.

The right vibe:

One of the easiest things to fix, really. Simply slim down those digital weightlifters!

Resize and compress your images to shed those extra kilobytes, ensuring a swift and seamless browsing experience for your visitors.

It’ll be like giving your website a turbo boost!

You can head to your Google Search Console to see what’s what.

If you’re not already a photoshop wizard, you can use free software like tiny.png to reduce images before uploading them.

Or install image-optimisation plugins or scripts onto your website.

sparse kitchen indicating thin content on websites

SEO Problem #5 – Thin Content

The gripe:

Not enough content on key landing pages is like skimping on the appetisers and not offering coffee, let alone dessert.

You’ll leave visitors hungry for more.

And you know what they’ll do? They’ll go elsewhere for answers (or a kebab on the way home).

As well as leaving your readers dissatisfied, a lack of helpful content will really hinder your ranking efforts for related queries.

The right vibe:

Like Oliver said, ‘More please’. It’s time to beef up those pages!

Serve up a hearty helping of content that satisfies both search engines and hungry visitors.

Although remember, it’s a case of quality not (just) quantity.

Expand and enrich your landing page content to provide valuable insights.

Answer common questions. Focus on user needs and intent.

Read our 5 tips to make your content more helpful.

matching shoes with different colours - make sure your content matches user intent

SEO Problem #6 – Search Intent Mismatch

The gripe:

Content that doesn’t align with user search intent disappoints.

It’s one of the biggest reasons people pogo stick.

As a result, your page will fail to engage and convert visitors effectively.

And Google won’t view it as relevant for answering the search query effectively.

The right vibe:

Get on the same page! Align your website content with what visitors are really looking for.

For a clue to what Google believes people are looking for, do a search for that same query.

Analyse the results. Click through to see what kind of content is being recommended, and ultimately delivered.

Take our crash course on Search Intent to really help your content rise in the relevancy ranks.

good quality seo backlinks lend a helping hand
spammy low quality seo links don't help your site and should be disavowed
local google map search on mobile

SEO Problem #9 – Lack of Local

The gripe:

No one wants to be the best kept secret in town.

Unless you’re launching Five Guys. The mystery kind of worked for them.

But for us mere mortals, it’s location, location, location.

Neglecting local SEO elements like NAP consistency and local citations limits your visibility in local search results.

On top of that, many websites looking to rank for ‘near me’ type searches, don’t even mention their town or area on the landing page.

The right vibe:

Time to put your website on the local map!

Optimise for local search by ensuring consistency in Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) across all platforms.

We offer a handy piece of kit for managing SEO listings, with a free trial.

Seek out local directories, community websites, and industry associations for relevant citations and mentions to bolster your local SEO efforts.

Ensure you build unique and relevant location-based landing pages.

On your website, talk about where you’re based and the areas you serve.

Local rankings important to your business? Deep dive into how to optimise your Google Business Profile for increased visibility in the local search results.

seo changes over time

SEO Problem #10 – Changes

The gripe:

As David Bowie said, ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. There’s gonna have to be a different website, man.

Because in one way, working on SEO is about managing change.

We often talk about how the best websites can never be finished. They are living things, evolving, adapting over time.

Your business changes. Customers change. Keyword trends develop. SERPs evolve. Google makes big updates, etc.

Failing to monitor changes in your industry, target audience, or search engine algorithms can lead to missed opportunities and declining performance

The right vibe:

Turn and face the strange, ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

Stay vigilant! Establish a system for regularly monitoring key website metrics, industry trends, and algorithm updates.

Stay informed about changes in user behaviour, emerging keywords, and competitor strategies to adapt your SEO approach proactively.

Or hire local SEO professionals to do it for you.

seo takes time

Bonus Acknowledgement – Time

The gripe:

The inconvenient truth is that SEO takes time.

Like a fine wine or a slow-cooked stew, SEO is a journey that takes a little effort, patience and perseverance to do well.

If you are hoping for a more immediate ROI, consider PPC or Social Advertising.

But for long term, sustainable growth strategies, you’re quite right to include SEO as part of the mix.

The right vibe:

Embrace the slow burn! Keep consistently plugging away at your SEO efforts.

SEO is like nurturing a garden. Watching your efforts bloom over time.

When your website is generating leads and sales, you can enjoy the fruits of your labour.

PS. Notice we didn’t say ‘sit back and enjoy’.

Just like going to the gym, a consistent, ongoing ritual is often required to keep everything in good shape.

Where to start

To make it easy to get started, we have 3 options for you to choose from. You can talk to your local studio about whether SEO might be a good fit for your business. You could request a free SEO website audit here. Or complete our Digital Marketing Planner to help determine what Digital Marketing roadmap would be right for you.