6 Reasons Why Your Website & Content Aren't Ranking Well

Anabeth McConnell Anabeth McConnell
May 10, 2021   |   7 min read time
Topics: marketing

The goal of a search engine is to provide the most valuable information based on the provided search terms. 

As a company, one of your main website goals is most likely to rank number one on the search engine results page (or at least on the first page).

While search engines are powerful they do rely on your website ranking factors use your site's content and promotion methods to determine where your web page should rank compared against other web pages that provide similar information.

Let’s take a look at several elements of your website that are important Google ranking factors:

1. Your Content

Coming in at number one is your content. If your content doesn’t build trust, isn’t relevant, and doesn’t have proper keyword usage, your rankings will be affected.

It’s important to remember you shouldn’t bombard site visitors with sales pitches when they are simply looking for more information and honest help. While there are many, many websites that do have ads and bombard their site visitors with sales pitches, it isn’t necessarily the best approach and really rarely works.

How can you build trust? Don't write content just for SEO. Make sure your prospects feel heard, understood, and helped. If you’re able to address their biggest questions, worries, and concerns on your website, they’ll feel like they’ve made the right choice in visiting your site. 

When in doubt on what to write about, try sticking to one of the following topic types:

  1. Cost & Pricing

  2. Problems (theirs and yours)

  3. Comparisons and How-To’s

  4. Best Of Lists (best in class, best practices, etc.)

  5. Reviews

It isn’t enough to only create content. If you’re blogging regularly and your site still isn’t ranking, try digging into how it’s being framed. Does each post have an undertone about how your company is the best, or why someone should purchase your product?

In addition to quality content, keywords are a critical element as a Google ranking factor. Finding the right keywords requires thoughtful research. Something you might think of as an obvious search term might not ever even cross your target audience’s mind. You’ll need to think like the clients you intend to reach and ask yourself, “How would they seek out the information?”

Along with what the user would type in the search bar, the keywords should also relate to your website’s content, and it’s important to keep in mind that keywords that initially drive traffic now may not maintain traction over time.

2. Competition

There are some industries that have a lot of competition and will be more challenging to rank high on the search results page. Example: If you’re a marketing agency and someone is searching for someone to help them with inbound marketing, they’ll probably have quite a few results to sift through, and they’ll likely pick those who are toward the beginning of their google search.

Now, think about how many people are going to search for a power washing company. Most power washing companies aren’t focused on writing content for their websites - they’re focused on power washing buildings, driveways, fences, and the like. So, a power washing company that does focus on content will likely rank higher in searches, and will probably see an increase in conversions.

What should you do if you’re in a high-volume industry? You might need to go the extra mile with some, or all, of your content. You can also ensure each post has infographics and professionally designed images that will compliment your content. You can also think about more bold approaches to your content. Is there an aspect in your field that’s unrepresented? Can you talk about various topics differently? Are there other angles you can approach the topic with?

3. Backlinks

One of the most under-utilized SEO strategies is the use of backlinks. These are hyperlinks linking back to your website from other websites. Backlinks help demonstrate that your website is relevant and popular - they play a critical role in your website ranking.

While backlinks are important, backlink quantity won’t guarantee a higher ranking. Packing another website with a bunch of links back to your site won’t benefit you as well as having links that are relevant to your website and provide values to anyone who clicks on those links. In fact, links between websites in similar niches carry the most weight. Another crucial element with your backlink strategy is to have your link on sites that are high-quality and showcase content that is relevant to your own industry and target audience.

One of the most organic ways to increase your backlinks is to share your blog posts and content on social media. This helps get your website in front of new sets of eyes each time someone shares your post. You might also want to consider teaming up with a blogger or website that isn’t a competitor but is in your niche.

4. Consistency of Publishing

I know - writing, recording, and editing can take up a lot of time. And, it’s hard when you don’t see immediate results, but experts recommend publishing at least once per week, although it’s preferable to post a new blog article 2-3 times per week. This helps keep you in front of your prospects, and it also helps keep you at the top of the list for those who are familiar with you and lets them know you’re still relevant.

It’s probably not a secret. The more posts you have, the better chance of your site being ranked well on Google. Google will index your content for different keywords and based on that, Google will notice when you’re publishing.

What can you do to help you publish more consistently? You can create an editorial calendar and get to writing. Make it a priority to publish new content on your site 2-3 times per week. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, you can hire a content manager.

5. Your Site Isn’t Indexed

If your site is brand new, Google may not have had time to index your new page(s) yet. If you’ve just created your page, try waiting a little bit before searching for yourself in the results.

If your site isn’t brand new, I’d check your pages. Sometimes a website will have a “no-index” tag set. This is pretty common on specific pages like thank you pages or on your downloads. Once in a while, though, if you have a new site designed, developers may have had this tag on while they were still creating your page and they may have forgotten to take it off once your site/pages went live. 

If you aren’t sure whether or not your site is indexed, you can go here and plug in your URL. If your site does have the no-index tag, it could be why you aren’t showing up in searches, and all you need to do is go into the backend and remove the tags from each page.

If you’re still not being indexed, go ahead and follow these instructions to ask Google to index your site.

6. Website Speed

On average, sites on a mobile device take about 5 or 6 seconds to load. Users don’t like waiting, and will typically only do so for an average of 3 seconds. One of the Google ranking factors is a look at user engagement. The longer someone stays on your website, the more valuable this information is believed to be by Google and the search bots. 

You can use Google’s free tool, PageSpeed Insights, to check your site’s speed on different devices. If your site speed is running a little slow, you can try reducing the number of HTTP requests your site has.

HTTP requests happen when a web browser sends a request to your website’s server for information on a webpage. So, when a user visits a page on your website, your server notices the request and returns the files contained on that page to the user’s browser.

There are two reasons HTTP requests can affect your website’s user experience: the number of files being requested and the size of the files being requested. More files = more HTTP requests; bigger files = longer HTTP requests.

Once you grade your website’s performance to find the number of HTTP requests your site makes and the requests’ lengths, you can remove any unnecessary images or reduce the file size for the remaining images.

If your HubSpot website shows a low score, we’re here to help! We can do an audit of your site and chat with you about the ways we can optimize your website and improve your page score.

Bonus Considerations for Boosting Your Website Ranking Factor:

Duplicate Content

If you create duplicate content and publish that content, your SEO will be split between the original content and the duplicate content. This will cause both pages to rank only moderately rather than exceptionally.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you have duplicate content, you can check here. Click on “I’m not a robot,” then click “Perform Check,” and scroll down to see your results.

Linking Structure

The core of a great user experience on any site is the navigation menu. If a visitor isn’t able to clearly know what you do and what their next action should be, you should probably take some time to review your value proposition and navigation strategy.

Lack of Social Media Presence

Most businesses have social media accounts, but there’s a surprisingly large number who aren’t active with their accounts. Believe it or not, though, social media helps determine how you rank on Google.

This is a pretty easy fix - if you publish a blog article on your website, share it on Facebook. If something interesting happened, tweet about it or post a picture on Instagram. Posting on social media can help drive traffic to your website.

Website Not Mobile-Friendly

In today’s world, so many people browse the internet on different devices every day. One of the most popular devices? A cell phone. Oftentimes, someone will view your mobile site before they even see your desktop version.

You can go here to test your mobile-friendliness

At the end of the day, companies that blog see more visitors, get more backlinks and have more pages indexed than pages that don’t. Each piece of content you create and each new page that’s published gives you another chance to rank on google.

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