Why is my website not ranking, even though the SEO is good? I totally understand … you have a beautiful website, you are proud of it, but you are frustrated.
No one can find you on Google.
You could have the most beautiful website in the world, but if people can’t find it online, they won’t get any enquires or sales.
Google is the number one most visited site and directs the majority of search traffic to sites in the world. This is why having a strong presence in search results is so important.
It is really important that you as a business owner understand what is wrong with your website and what you can do to fix it.
After analyzing hundreds of sites in the past few years, I found out that there are 11 top reasons why your site doesn’t rank well in search results.
Reasons You’re Not Ranking on Google
So if you’re frustrated with the performance of your website and want to quickly follow up on solutions to fix it, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s be realistic. Some industries are more crowded than others, and some of your competitors may have a huge marketing budget behind them. That is why you may not be on the first page of your main keywords.
How can you check for competitors?
A simple Google search for your main products or services will give you an idea of the size and weight of your competition.
Take a look at the search below for “beds for sale”.
As you can see, the number of results is ridiculous (over 173 million). Although many of these results are not relevant, it still competes with DFS, Argos, and Dreams. These are all huge organizations, and the chance that you have the small business website on the first page is practically nil.
How to deal with competitors?
You can try to focus on a specific segment of your target market.
Rather than trying to rank the keyword “Beds for Sale”, you can focus on a local audience, such as “Beds for Sale in Manchester”.
If you are looking for a smaller market, there is less competition and more chance of getting a higher ranking for that geographic location.
Another option would be to find a niche within your industry. Instead of searching for “Beds for sale”, you can choose “Children’s beds for sale”.
There is much less competition for more specific searches, and you have a better chance of performing well in search results.
You have to be realistic, and if all of your competitors are large organizations, you may need to adjust your strategy.
2. Google Has Not Indexed Your Site
If you have a new website and it’s not showing up on Google, it may be because Google hasn’t listed it yet.
How to know if your site is indexed.
How to find out if the website is indexed or not?
You can find out by using the following prefix in a Google search.
site: yoursite.com (without the “www.” and “/”)
If you can see that your site appears in search results and is at the top, you don’t have to worry about that. This means that you are indexed. Usually, you’ll see a complete list of all your web pages, and that’s what you expect.
On the other hand, if it’s not at the top or isn’t showing up, Google probably hasn’t indexed your site yet.
How to index your website on Google?
Google should eventually find your site anyway, but it could take a few weeks. Also, if something is wrong with your site, you won’t know until weeks later.
The best you can do is add your site to the Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) and provide them with your sitemap.
This will tell Google which pages you want to appear in the search results and speed up the process. It will also inform you if there is a technical error on your site.
3. Your Website Is Not Compatible With Mobile Devices
There’s no doubt about it. The use of mobile devices is outpacing computers, so having a mobile-friendly site is essential. Otherwise, it will seriously affect your ranking in the mobile search results.
Ideally, your website should be “responsive,” this means, when the website is displayed on a cell phone or iPad, it takes the shape of that specific device. It shouldn’t be hard work and requires dragging and pinching. This is bad user experience, hence the reason Google will punish you.
How to check whether a website is responsive or not?
To find out if you have a responsive website, visit Google’s mobile-friendly test tool and enter the website URL.
How to make your website responsive?
If a web designer created your website, speak to them about making it responsive. If you’re lucky, it won’t be too expensive!
If you use WordPress and manage your own website, you can install a new WordPress theme that is responsive. You may also be able to keep the same theme but buy an additional plugin to pass the mobile-friendly test.
In the worst case, you may need to redesign your site. It is not always easy to convert an old website and it may be easier to spend all your money on a new design.
Having a responsive website is extremely important for both SEO and user experience.
4. Meta Tags Not Optimized
Search engines use metadata to find out what your site is. Each of your web pages will have its own set of meta tags and can be optimized to describe the content of that page.
Some of this information will appear in search results, so you should know how to change it, as it is usually the first thing visitors see before clicking on your site.
Your title tags and meta descriptions
How can you check you metadata?
You can use this tool to collect a list of your pages, along with your meta tags. Simple, paste your URLs in the box and click submit. You can download the full list and see what Google can see.
As long as you are using a content management system like WordPress, you will have access to update your meta tags very easily using the settings on each page.
How to optimize your title tags?
Your title tags are extremely important and will impact your search engine rankings, depending on what you include within them. Here are some tips:
- Include the keywords you want to rank for
- Keep the length below 55 characters to prevent search engines from reducing it
- Use a phrase structure like “Sales of beds on single and double beds” instead of “Beds | Single beds | Double beds | Cheap beds”
How to optimize Meta descriptions?
Your meta descriptions don’t count towards your rankings, but they do count towards your click-through rate. So they are important. Here are some tips:
- Ask a question? This is a good way to attract your potential visitor, for example. Why is my site not ranked on Google?
- Keep the length below 155 characters to prevent search engines from reducing it
- Include a call to action or a phone number to make it easier for people to reach you
If you are using the WordPress platform, you can install the Yoast SEO plugin and make changes very easily.
For more on-page SEO tips, you can read this article.
5. Poor Content Optimization
Have you optimized your website content for search engines?
Believe it or not, Google really needs your help. We would like to think you have all the answers, but in fact, you have work to do on your own.
There are over 200 indicators that Google uses to rank your site in search results. Most of which can be improved by adding and editing different elements to your site, including your meta tags, as we mentioned in step 4.
What are the most common issues for on-page SEO ranking?
You can use a tool to check your SEO score. Enter the website URL and enter the keyword for which you want to get a high ranking and press Enter.
This will give you a score of 100 and indicate which areas need your attention.
how to improve on page seo?
I would recommend that you focus on one main topic for each page of your site. Everything from page titles to image file names and internal links will need to be considered if you want to get a solid search engine ranking.
6. Insufficient Quality Content
I honestly believe that high-quality content makes the biggest difference in the performance of your website when it comes to ranking highly.
Your website must have a good amount of content to work well in search results. I have seen it several times. People pay a thousand pounds for a new website and then are disappointed by the low-quality content.
It is recommended that each page of your site have at least 300-400 words of content. This will give Google enough confidence that the information on that page is valuable. Something less and your website is probably not working well.
Is there a tool to count words on an entire website?
You can use this tool to count the number of words on each web page. I would recommend that every page on your site have at least 300-400 words of content. However, there are no hard and fast rules about this.
For example, most pages on my site contain between 500 and 1,000 words, and some of my blog posts are over 2,000 words (including this one).
Personally, I think the larger the content, the more useful the information will be. There is an additional SEO argument for getting more content. The more content = more opportunity to include more keywords.
How can you fix Word Count?
You can simply edit your existing pages to increase the number of words. You can even pay a writer to produce your content regularly. A copywriter’s prices tend to be around £ 100 to £ 200 per page, depending on the time it takes and the research involved.
Here are my four tips for writing better content.
- Create useful content that educates your audience.
- Direct your writing to your ideal client
- Focus on your customers’ problems and help them solve them.
- Stop talking so much about yourself
7. No High-Quality Backlinks
The backlinks are exactly what they seem. LINKS that point BACK to your website.
The quality and volume of your backlinks is a good sign of how trustworthy and reliable your website is. Search engines take this into account when including your site in search results.
Quality is much more important than quantity when it comes to getting backlinks. A link from a relevant website in your niche is much more valuable than 100 low-quality website links.
How to check backlinks in our site?
There are some tools that will show you which sites are linked to yours.
Free Backlink Checker is a free tool that provides a list of sites with links to yours.
Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO, and Ahrefs are paid services that offer many more metrics and show which links are the most powerful.
You can usually start a free trial to test the software.
How to build high-quality backlinks?
Over time, you can naturally get some links from other sites. However, you cannot trust this.
How to earn backlinks
If you focus on providing valuable, high-quality content, your chances of exposure will increase. As long as the elements on the page are optimized as discussed in steps 4 and 5, more people will find your site and want to link back to it.
You can also contact other website owners in your space and share your content with them. I hope they reconnect. At the very least, you could ask if they would allow you to write content for your website and include a backlink to it.
8. No Activity On Social Networks
If you have a website but don’t use social media, it can affect your search engine ranking. Lack of social media activity is another sign that your website may not be as credible as its competitors. Like backlinks, engaging in social media increases your overall trust factor.
How would you perform a social media audit?
Visit BuzzSumo and paste the website URL into the search field. This will display the most shared content on your site. It is a paid service, but they will show you information for free.
How to get more engagement from your social media?
Make sure you have social media profiles for your business and update them regularly with links to your website. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms, so it would be nice to start with them if you haven’t already.
Social media tips
- Focus on delivering consistent, high-quality, or fun content that increases shared content.
- Share your old and new content on your social media accounts.
- Add social media sharing buttons to your website
- Add Tweetables to each article to further increase engagement.
9. Poor Page Load Speed
Google expects your site to load quickly to keep its users happy. That means less than 5 seconds. For longer and you may risk being penalized by Google.
How to test the speed of a website?
You can find out how long it takes to load your site by visiting GT Metrix and entering its URL. It will give you a time, and as long as it is less than 5 seconds, you will be fine.
How to speed up the loading time of a website?
Along with the loading speed in seconds, it also provides a score of 100 and the exact issues with your website.
You can follow the relevant steps to speed up your site. This may involve,
- Take advantage of browser cache
- Optimizing images
- Enable gzip compression
10. A Formal Penalty
Not to be confused, there is a difference between “having your website penalized” and “being hit with a penalty”. So far, we’ve only discussed issues that will cause Google to devalue your site. Google may occasionally issue a formal penalty.
Getting your site penalized is rare. But if you’ve performed well in search results in the past, but not more, it could be a sign that Google has taken action against your site.
The two most common ways to get your website penalised by Google are:
Over-optimization (on-page): This generally means that you tried to put your keywords in all URLs, titles, title tags, alt text, etc. This type of tactic is unnatural and no longer works. Robotic use of the same keywords across the site will display a red flag in search engines.
Unnatural (off-page) link creation: Getting links to your site is important, but you should do it the right way. Buying links, exchanging links, low-quality links, and artificial anchor text is another way to penalize your site.
How do I know if my website is penalized by Google?
Login to your Google Search Console account. After selecting your site from the list, you can use the menu on the left to navigate to:
Search traffic> Manual actions
Hopefully, it says “No manual webspam actions found,” meaning you have NOT been penalized.
How to recover from any Google penalty?
If you have suffered a penalty, it is NOT the end of the world, but it will require your immediate attention.
Google will tell you why they penalized your site. Once you have fixed the specific problem, you can submit a “reconsideration request” to Google. Google will verify that it has fixed the problem. If all is well, they will remove the penalty.
There are many things you can do to improve your visibility in search results. You can do most without the need for an SEO company. The more you understand about your site, the easier it will be if you decide to hire someone later in the process.
Do you find it difficult to get to the first page of Google? Now that you’ve read the article, do you feel a little clearer about what to do? I would like to know your opinion, let us know in the comments below.
July 13, 2020
Don’t forget that domain age likely plays a part. Brand new sites are not likely to rank well for awhile.
August 23, 2020
Really helpful article. Thank you
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