Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be a tricky area of digital marketing to master and any campaign needs taken with care and patience to achieve the best results. However, if it’s been months without any positive rankings change, it’s a sign that something has gone or been done wrong in your SEO efforts.

There are hundreds of different reasons that could be causing your SEO campaign to flounder and it is likely a mix of factors that is responsible. Identifying these issues and remedying them is the first step in getting your SEO efforts back on the winning track.

Let’s look at the most common causes of a failing SEO campaign.

Poor use of keywords

Keywords are the bread and butter of your SEO efforts and can also be a double-edged sword when used incorrectly. Because keywords are the primary signals by which search engines filter the relevancy of websites, some practitioners are tempted to overuse them to inflate the relevancy of their page.

This tactic is known as ‘keyword stuffing’ and is considered an unethical or ‘black hat’ optimisation technique that will earn your site a rankings penalty or outright ban. Often people are accidentally guilty of keyword stuffing as they have inadvertently used too many keywords throughout their content, thinking they were doing good SEO.

Lack of backlinks

If you have optimised your website but still find you are lagging behind competitors in the rankings, it might be because they have more or higher quality backlinks than you do. A backlink works as a vote of confidence in a website from another website, the more it has the more search engines see that site as authoritative and worth sharing to users.

A lack of backlinks means that there’s a lack of buzz around your brand and it means you need to get people talking, and more importantly; linking to your website. If you fail to reach out and connect with other websites as part of your backlink strategy your brands message will develop inside a bubble and will struggle to reach new audiences.

Not mobile friendly

In the post-2015 internet, there’s really no excuse not to have your website optimised for mobile viewing. With Google outright declaring that it prioritises indexation of mobile-friendly websites above unfriendly ones, a failure to make sure you website is mobile optimised is a death sentence for your SEO efforts.

A lack of a mobile friendly website layout means that mobile users will be bouncing from the site as fast as they come, and this low user retention will negatively affect your SEO. Your site will also, by default, be lower in the rankings that the mobile optimised alternatives.