Why Semrush and Ahrefs are holding your SEO back

Woman using Semrush or Ahrefs for SEO to try and get found on Google.

Hi, there!
I’m Amanda – designer, dreamer, and online marketer.

Zag is the Anchor ‹A› blog dedicated to helping you reach your biggest business goals.

If you’re already using a tool like Semrush or Ahrefs for your SEO, chances are, their SEO recommendations are leading you astray and might be the exact thing that’s keeping you from more visibility on Google. I’ll explain.

Here’s what I’m going to cover:

  • Why Semrush and Ahref’s SEO recommendations are leading you astray
  • Why local businesses don’t have to implement every SEO tactic under the sun to rank higher on Google
  • Why I recommend local business owners skip technical SEO tasks at first
  • What I recommend you do instead

Why Semrush and Ahref’s SEO recommendations are leading you astray

A common frustration I hear from business owners about SEO is that there’s a firehose of information out there, they don’t know who to trust, and they don’t know what to actually focus on first.

Semrush and Ahref’s SEO recommendations are exactly this, a firehose of information. They list out anything and everything you can possibly do to improve your ranking on Google.

I’m not against SEO tools. I use them and I teach my students to use them as well. I just don’t recommend that small business owners who are DIYing their SEO rely on these complex tools completely.

You will see better results faster when you focus on a specific set of steps, in a specific order. I outline that below.

Why local businesses don’t have to implement every SEO tactic under the sun to rank higher on Google

If you take one thing away from this post, it’s this:

Businesses with a local audience do not need to implement every SEO tactic under the sun to get results.

They just don’t. Why?

There is so much less competition.

In short, the less competition you have in your area, the faster and easier it will be to outrank your competitors and win more clicks in search results. You just don’t have to do as much as an online business to see results on Google.

And vice versa.

The more competition you have online, the more you’re going to have to do to rank on Google, stand out in search results, and get those clicks to your website.

While Semrush and Ahrefs provide every possible tactic you could take to show up for relevant search results and rank higher, you don’t have to implement every one of them to rank higher in local search results.

When you focus on a specific set of tasks in a specific order, you will see more visibility on Google, without having to implement every suggestion most SEO tools give you.

I recommend a process that balances:

  • The priority of the SEO task
  • The impact the action will have on your SEO
  • How long it will take you to complete each task
  • Can the average business owner complete each task without hiring outside help?

That last point leads me right into this next one.

Why I recommend local business owners skip technical SEO tasks at first

One word here, momentum. I am all about momentum and traction, and helping my clients and students get quick wins and results as FAST as possible.

What does focusing on highly technical tasks do? It kills your momentum and does not lead to fast results.

Here’s why:

  • You spend too much time figuring out if you can do it yourself.
  • You try to do it yourself and then realize you actually can’t.
  • You spend time finding someone to do the task for you.
  • You spend time managing that person.
  • If the task was completed successfully, it probably ultimately did not have a huge impact on your SEO anyway, so increased visibility on Google you really need now is further delayed.
  • If the task was not completed successfully, you’re back at square one trying to figure out how to get this task accomplished.

Do not focus on technical tasks first. Are they important? Yes, but you can and will see momentum with other tasks first. I promise.


There’s always a caveat, right?

Okay, 2 caveats:

  • If your website was built in 1997 and is not responsive (aka, it doesn’t work on mobile devices), then you need to rebuild your website and bake in SEO while you’re at it. Having a website that works on mobile devices is a ranking factor.
  • If your website is not secure (it’s leading to a security warning or does not have the lock next to your web address), you need to address this. Google does not want to rank or send traffic to websites that aren’t secure.

Okay, back to the normal programming.

What I recommend you do instead

It’s never helpful to tell you why you shouldn’t do certain things without telling you what you should do instead.

Here’s what I want you to get more visibility for your local business on Google:

  • Focus on your Google My Business profile first. Most business owners don’t know this can be optimized, but it can and should be.
  • Dial in your target keywords with keyword research based on data, not guessing. This is critical if you want to show up for relevant searches.
  • Optimize your website for SEO. This is probably the step you’re more familiar with, but it’s actually important to do the above steps first.
  • Optimize your website for CONVERSION. It doesn’t matter how many people you get to your website if it’s not optimized to turn that traffic into leads and inquiries.

I can help you with all these things and more:

Google My Business Booster

If you don’t really know where to start, start here. We’ll get your Google My Business profile optimized to show up more often in search results + rank higher.

Spot-On Keyword Strategy

If you want to learn how to do keyword research so you can rank for relevant searches and get more visibility on Google, this is for you.

Rank Higher, Get More Clients – 12 Week Program

If you want the exact step-by-step process to get found on Google and get more traffic, leads, and clients from your website with my support, check out my signature program.


Related Post

The 5 Best Tools for SEO

New Mini-Course

Google My Business Booster

It’s not enough to simply have a Google My Business profile. It needs to be optimized.

New Mini-Course

Spot-On Keyword Strategy for Local SEO

Learn how to easily find target keywords for your business based on data, not guessing.
I'd love to have you!

Join the Facebook Community

Join a community of like-minded business owners who also want take their businesses to the next level, just like you.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.