You’ve spent thousands of dollars on a topnotch website. It has all the bells and whistles today’s customers want, but traffic is dead.
You type in a few keywords into Google search and find yourself on page 2, 3 or nowhere.
High-ranking websites appear on the first page of search results and get all the traffic, so why aren’t you one of them?
Google Doesn’t Know You’re There
When developers build a new site, they often set it to ‘noindex’. This is Google doesn’t put pages into search results that aren’t finished. When it’s finished, they may forget to make it indexable. It’s a simple fix and only takes a few seconds to put in place, but even then website ranking may not happen right away.
Google indexes billions of sites, and it takes time for them to notice and rank new websites. It can take a few weeks or longer before you start seeing your site on search results. There are a few things you can do to help Google notice you.
Use Google Search Console and upload a sitemap. This shows Google every page on your site that needs indexing. You can also “Fetch as Google” and request indexing for your site. It may still take some time before it actually indexes your site, but you’re on Google’s radar for site ranking.
High Ranking Websites Need Keyword Optimization
Keywords have been an important part of web ranking since search engines first began. When people look up information, they use search queries. Google’s bots crawl your website, determine if it’s appropriate for the query and place it on the search page.
The bots read your informational or e-commerce site’s code and notice the content on your pages. One way Google determines ranking is by checking for phrases that match or are like the search query.
Too many websites use high competition and high volume keywords that have a difficult time ranking. High competition keywords are those that many other sites also attempt to rank for. For example, if you’re a lawnmower repair site and try to rank for the keyword “lawnmower,” then you’re going against John Deere and hundreds of other massive sites.
Instead, choose longer keyword phrases that have less search volume, but also lower competition. Instead of “lawnmower,” choose “John Deere lawnmower repair” or “small engine lawn mower repair.”
Sprinkle these keywords on appropriate pages, making sure to not spam them. If Google sees too many keywords or the same keyword too many times, then considers it spamming and decreases your rankings.
Your Content is Weak and Thin
In the early days of Google, you could shove keywords on your website by the dozens and get great website traffic ranks. The company realized their searchers wanted more than thin websites. They wanted educational and accurate information to answer their questions.
The Google algorithm uses more than 100 markers to determine website ranking. Your site’s content includes many of them. Blog posts and informational pages need to have informative content that people want to read.
Keep in mind substitute good informative content with long content. Long form content does tend to rank better. Unless, it’s got filler, unnecessary words, pointless information, etc. Google won’t rank it well. A well written 1000 word blog post will rank better than a 3000 poorly written one.
You’re Not Monitoring Your Website
Many of these tactics need you to know certain information about your site, including traffic, keyword rankings and keyword competition. As the owner, you need to know as much as possible and need website monitoring strategies.
Everything, including when people get on the site, what pages they view and how fast your pages load, is important. The formula for Google’s algorithm is unknown, so arming yourself with information helps you see how rankings change because of your website. How can you know what pages rankings change by your keyword choices if you can’t track where people go?
There are many tools available, from Google Analytics and Search Console to third-party programs, that can examine your site and provide you with valuable information.
You Have Few or Toxic Backlinks
Google loves websites that have authority. Backlinks are one way Google determines if a website is an authority on a subject. A backlink is a link from a site other than your own that links back to your site.
For example, if your site is about credit card debt relief and another website within that niche links to a blog post or product page, then it’s a backlink. If you have many backlinks from sites within your niche that are respected, then Google believes you’re a high caliber website.
If you made the mistake of purchasing random backlinks from a link farm, then Google notices this and will devalue your site. Most backlinks are somewhere in the middle, but some are toxic and can bring down your rankings.
Google Search Console allows you to see what sites link to your website. If you see any that may be toxic, you can use Search Console to disavow them. Disavowing a backlink causes Google not to consider it as a backlink.
If you don’t have many backlinks, then you can also reach out to other websites within your niche and seek backlinks from them through link pages or guest posts. Content marketing can also get backlinks to your site and blogs.
High-Ranking Websites Take Hard Work
A high-ranking website is one that gets traffic and sales and conversions for your products or services.
It’s not an easy task, and you must be vigilant and proactive because Google updates and makes changes to its algorithm to improve it for searchers.
If you currently don’t have a website that ranks well, then these steps should help you improve. If you want more information about website ranking or other topics, please visit other areas of the blog.