One of the most important parts of any comprehensive marketing plan in this day and age is your website’s ranking among search engines – most notably Google. Even a novice web user or business owner can understand that, when imputing search keywords into search engines in the hopes of finding information and services, it’s always better to rank higher. The higher the ranking, the closer you are to potential clients’ fingertips.
But, there are literally millions upon millions of sites on the web. While search engines have crafted complex algorithms for sifting through this information to deliver the most reliable sources to its users, it certainly isn’t easy to rank highly – particularly in a competitive keyword field.
Not sure why your website is struggling to rank? Here, we’ll discuss some of the main factors that cause lags in rank growth as well as what steps you can do to improve your site.
Why Is Ranking Important?
Ranking highly makes intuitive sense when trying to attract new clientele and grow your brand online. But, quantitatively speaking, just how important is it for your firm to rank well?
According to one estimate, there are over 6.3 billion Google searches per day worldwide – that’s about 74,000 searches every second.
But, all rankings aren’t created equal: It’s purported that about 67 percent of all that web traffic goes to the first five organic sites delivered in result pages.
The first five sites.
This means there’s a whole lot of traffic moving around on the web, but it’s being highly concentrated based on a site’s ranking position.
Even if your services are just as good as the next guy’s, he’s getting all the traffic for it, simply because his site is ranked higher.
We don’t know if that lights a fire under you, but it certainly does under us.
8 Reasons Why Your Website May Not be Ranking
So, let’s take a look at the most common reasons why your website may be struggling to rank.
1. Your Website Is Really New
Not ranking right away may feel like your website is off to a terrible start. But, here’s the reality: For new websites with minimal content and webpages, there is often a lag time between when the website is first launched and when Google can fully analyze the site for its credibility and trust-worthiness.
While it can be hard to say exactly when your website should start to rank higher, it’s relatively normal for rankings to remain low for the first three to six months. If you’re following our content and SEO advice, but your website still isn’t climbing the ranks after six months or so, this may be indicative of other SEO or branding issues.
2. Your SEO Isn’t Working for You
Speaking of SEO, your website and webpages absolutely must be optimized if you want them to rank highly and remain there. Your website’s SEO includes high-quality content with relevant keywords, optimized title tags and descriptions, fast loading speeds, and engaging layout and design.
If you keyword-stuff your content, don’t provide a user-friendly site map for page navigation, or don’t perfect loading speeds in relation to design, these factors will negatively impact your search ranking – even if you’re doing everything else right.
3. Your Website Experience Is Lacking
If your user experience isn’t up-to-par, you may find your website struggling to rank.
Perhaps your site map is convoluted and non-intuitive (or, you simply don’t have one).
Maybe your site navigation is unclear, your load speeds make viewers wait longer than they’re willing to, or your site just isn’t readable.
Whatever the cause, it’s vital to boost your web experience if you ever hope to rank.
4. Your Webpage Content Is Less Than Ideal
Sometimes, our clients make the mistake of writing off content quality as something secondary to the importance of SEO. The problem with this narrative is how dangerously untrue it is.
Content should do the following:
- Set your website apart from all others,
- Help search engines determine the quality of your information, and
- Offer valuable information to potential clients.
But, don’t confuse quantity over quality. Simply publishing 2,000-word blog posts every week won’t be sufficient if the quality of the content is unhelpful, deceptive, or plagiarized.
5. You Don’t Have Enough Backlinks from Reliable Websites
Along with content quality, one of the best ways to boost your credibility is by giving and receiving backlinks to and from quality websites. Though this can take some time to accomplish, it’s well worth the effort when the payout leads to higher rankings.
There are many methods you can employ here to achieve more backlinks. Of course, you can use blog commenting on websites in your industry to backlink. You can also offer to write guest blog posts, op-eds, and other content that give you the opportunity to promote yourself (and your professional knowledge) on other reputable websites.
Just don’t forget the importance of backlinking in your marketing plan.
6. Your Search Keyword Market Is Too Competitive
If you’re branding yourself within a large, existing marketing, the keywords and tags you’re using may be too competitive to gain traction on your new website.
If, for example, your target keyword search is “car accident lawyers,” it’s no wonder that you won’t rank highly – at least until you’ve developed your website and branding more thoroughly. This takes time, energy, and money, and you may never rank as highly as you’d like in such a competitive market.
Instead, it’s better to aim for smaller keyword markets where you can more easily rank higher. Then, start tackling more competitive keyword searches over time, as your website grows.
7. Your Website and Webpages Are De-Indexed by Mistake
Though this is unlikely, anything is possible.
If you’re creating great content on a regular schedule, if you’re abiding by the SEO laws that lead to web success, and if you’re working out all possible site map and navigation kinks on your website, but you’re still not experiencing meaningful rank growth over the long-term, it’s possible that your website is accidentally de-indexed.
In your settings, be sure that your visibility and indexing among search engines is open (that is, “unchecked”).
Each time you publish a new blog post or webpage, be sure that it’s not being skipped for indexing by search engines.
Once the pages are introduced to the world, we want search engines to recognize them so that they’re evaluated for quality and help grow your ranking.
8. Your Website Has Been Penalized
It’s possible that your website has suffered from a search engine penalty. Such a penalization, depending on the severity, can cause your website to drop significantly in search rankings, or – if your site hasn’t achieved high ranking yet – can prevent your site from ever ranking well.
If you’ve bought an existing or expired domain for your website, it’s possible that there were penalties placed on the previous site which affect your rankings now. If your domain is new, then perhaps you’ve been flagged as a suspicious site, or you’ve attracted attention because of alleged spam, inappropriate redirects, deceptive marketing and linking, or even a hacked website.
If you suspect that your website has a penalty that is preventing you from achieving higher rankings, be sure to check the Google Manual Actions report and get busy correcting the penalization as soon as you can.
How Can You Improve Your Ranking?
Beyond taking a close look at the suggestions we’ve just made, it’s possible to raise your search engine ranking by simply improving your website and the experience it provides to viewers.
Step One: Up Your Content Game
Viewers want to gain something when they visit your site. So, quality content isn’t a bonus – it’s a must. Furthermore, so is quality engagement.
Engage your viewers by adding video marketing, including references to cited statistics, and developing a site blog to release regular content.
Take a look at previous content and update it, fixing any broken links and improving keyword usage.
Then, let your content work for you.
Step Two: Help Your Website Shine Bright
Bettering your site doesn’t stop at content; your website needs to show off its branding niche and do it well in order to rank.
Ensure your site has quick loading speeds and is mobile-friendly – again, these aren’t bonuses, they’re the bare minimum.
Improve your design by using headers and clean, readable page structures that assist your viewers in quickly scanning the page for what interests them.
Don’t forget to include other media, such as images and videos, and ensure they’re optimized using the correct size and format.
Step Three: Be Social
Encouraging your content to be shared on social media is a great way to add more traffic to your website. It also gives you more opportunities to engage with your viewers as well as adding an additional layer of backlinking opportunities.
Get in the habit of offering social media sharing buttons on your images and videos to push viewers to share them.
Not Sure Why Your Site Isn’t Ranking?
We know that ranking can be intimidating.
Luckily, the folks at Black Fin also know exactly why our clients are struggling to rank, and just how important it is to correct this issue. If you want to improve your rankings once and for all but you’re too overwhelmed to start, contact us now.
Our team of professionals has been diligently working with all things SEO, content marketing, social media, web design, and more for several years. We’ve helped our clients achieve some pretty wild marketing goals, and we can help you too. Reach out to us today to learn more.