Getting your website to rank highly inside Google search results seems like rocket science, because there are so many different signals which Google keeps an eye on. To be specific, there are over 200 major and over 10,000 minor ranking factors. To make matters even more confusing, Google has rolled out RankBrain a few years ago, which uses artificial intelligence to determine the ranking of a website and even change the algorithm itself.
Now, if your website isn’t ranking high inside the search results or even at all, it might be because of something simpler. It could be because it has a Google penalty against it or because you haven’t done a proper job with your on-page SEO. In this article, we will share top 7 reasons which may be preventing your website from achieving better ranking, as well as ways how to fix them. Keep on reading.
1. Your Content Is Lacking
If you content is not up to snuff, Google will bury inside the search results. So, what makes for good content? First of all, it needs to provide value to its readers or viewers. Unfortunately, the web is full of low-quality spun content which can get websites penalized. But there is also plenty of content which is well-written, but which provides very little that the audiences can take away and use.
In order to craft high-quality content, you might want to focus on posts which are between 500 and 2000 words, since you have enough room there to provide valuable info, data, stats, and research. Also, posts over 2000 words, known as pillar posts, can help you explain complex concepts in more detail and rank even higher.
2. You Are Targeting High-Volume Keywords
In the past, all you had to obtain a high ranking for high-volume keywords was to stuff your content with those keywords and to have as many inbound links leading to your content as possible. Google has put an end to that, and since there is so much competition out there, it has become nearly impossible to rank for those short, generalized keywords.
The good news is that, you might not even want to do that. Long-tail keywords not only allow you to climb up in terms of ranking, but also to reach a highly targeted audience which is more likely to convert. Plus, since they resemble conversation phrases, they are much easier to integrate naturally into your content.
3. Your Website Is Brand New
As powerful as Google is, it’s not yet capable of ranking your website as soon it goes online for the first time. In fact, it will take up to 2-3 weeks to get your website indexed, and it may take months to get it ranked for a particular keyword. Of course, you can submit your website manually, but there is very little need for that nowadays, because Google will pick up on it even if there is just one link online pointing to it. You can’t do much here other than to wait.
To see if your website has been indexed, just open Google Search and enter site: yourwebsitedomain, and you will receive a list of all indexed pages.
4. Not Ranked Due to Penalty
While being penalized by Google and ranked lower is certainly not pleasant, it’s even worse if your website gets issues a formal penalty. If your website no longer appears inside the search results, the latter may very well be the case. What should you do to prevent this from happening? Well, one of the reasons might be on-page over optimization, which means you have basically crammed your keywords everywhere, including not only your content, but also every title tag, alt text, URL, and so on.
Also, if a ton of links leading to your website have appeared over a short period of time, this is usually the result of buying or swapping links. To remove the penalty, you will have to fix each of these issues and submit a reconsideration request to Google.
5. Lack of High-Quality Backlinks
Links pointing to your website from reputable website are one of the three most important SEO signals when it comes to ranking, along with great content and SEO. If your website is ranked pretty low due to lack of high-quality backlinks, guest posting is one of the most effective strategies that can help you turn things around. Creating a killer post for another quality website or blog will expose you to a new audience and drive more content your way, since you will share a link back to your own website.
6. No Social Media Activity
If you are not present on social media, it signals Google that you might not be as credible a source as some of your competitors. If you are running any kind of online business, you need to at least have active profiles on major social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram, for example. In addition to that, social media can drive traffic your way, so make sure to link to both old and new content, as well as to put social media buttons on your website.
7. Your Website Isn’t Optimized for Mobile Devices
Google’s mobile first indexing means that your ranking will be determined on how well your website is optimized for mobile. If your website has dropped in ranking, you will need to overhaul it so that it features responsive design. Responsive websites are displayed equally well on all screen sizes, and therefore provide a much better used experience, which is something that Google really pays attention to.
These are some of the major reasons why your website’s ranking isn’t as great as you expected it to be. There are many more, but the aforementioned seven are usually the culprit. Make sure to analyze your website for all of them and remedy those issues.