What to Do When All the Right SEO Moves Don’t Add Up

You run a digital marketing agency that offers all the latest SEO services. You are generally successful at what you do. But every now and again, you do all the right SEO stuff, and you still can’t move the needle for a client. The frustrated client eventually gives up on you and threatens to pull the contract. What do you do?

One of the most painful lessons for digital marketers to learn is that nothing in SEO is perfect or reliable. You cannot package SEO up into a nice little box complete with wrapping paper and a bow. It has its imperfections. Sometimes it gets messy. And sometimes, even when you make all the right SEO moves, things just don’t add up.

That is the time to think outside the box. It’s the time to do what Search Engine Land’s Mark Jackson refers to as ‘finding weird stuff‘ (FWS). FWS is a brand-new SEO acronym that Jackson coined himself. We will give him credit for that. But the actual concept is not all that new. We just don’t hear about it because so few SEO experts actually practice it.

What FWS Means

So, what does it mean to actually find weird stuff? The principal is one of investigating why a website isn’t performing as it should. In involves turning over stones and looking around corners for things that do not make sense. Find something weird – an anomaly, if you will – and you may discover what it is that’s preventing a site from reaching its full potential.

To illustrate the FWS principal, Jackson used a real-life experience of his own. He was approached by a prospective client whose site traffic had fallen off a cliff over the previous year. Jackson ran a history of the website and discovered that a site redesign from a year earlier had consolidated several pages into a single section on a single page.

Further analysis showed that those previous pages got a lot of traffic. Consolidating them took a lot of that traffic away. Jackson was able to clearly demonstrate the phenomenon with historical data and graphs. He was able to demonstrate that the redesign decision was the wrong decision.

Lots of Possibilities

Though they do not use the same acronym, the experts at Salt Lake City’s Webtek Digital Marketing are known to employ a similar strategy. They look for things that seem out of place when their SEO strategies don’t seem to be working. One thing they have learned over the years is that there are a lot of possibilities. A lot of strange things can cause unintended results.

For example, buying up and parking domains can actually have a detrimental effect on search engine results. So can parking old domains that used to have content associated with them. Even something as simple as registering a new domain without the ‘www’ prefix can have a measurable impact on search engine ranking.

Make It a Regular Practice

Literally nothing is off the table when you are looking for weird stuff. As such, Jackson recommends making it a regular practice. He recommends building into your schedule some time to go digging around your sites to see if you can find anomalies.

It is possible to make all the right SEO moves and still not get the desired results. And when this is the case, there is usually something weird going on. You are not going to find it unless you go digging for it. Mark Jackson knows that. So do the SEO experts at Webtek. Now, will you follow their lead and start digging around your own sites?