9 Reasons You Still Can't Rank On Google – Tips To Improve SEO
It can be frustrating if your website isn’t showing up in the Google search results, especially if you don’t know why. The good news is, most ranking issues are easy to identify and can be solved with the right strategies. If you’re feeling stuck, an experienced SEO agency can help you improve SEO on your website and avoid the pitfalls.
Here are 9 reasons why your site might not be ranking – and our top tips to improve SEO for better visibility.
1. Crawl Issues
Your website might not be ranking due to crawl issues or indexing problems. For example, you might have accidentally blocked Google from crawling your website.
To see if your website is showing up at all, type “site:” followed by your website url into Google. For example, “site:dilate.com.au”. If your site does show up, you know that Google has at least indexed some of your pages – then you can dig deeper into other ranking issues.
If your website is not showing up at all, check the indexing or search visibility settings in the backend of your content management system. If a specific page or post isn’t showing up, check for content:noindex codes and robot.txt files.
It’s also a good idea to add your website to Google Search Console and submit a sitemap to Google. This can help Google better understand your website and index it more effectively.
Keep in mind, if you’ve just launched your website or published a new page, it could be a simple time factor. Google usually takes a day or two to start indexing new pages. So give it a few days and if the problem persists, speak to an SEO expert.
2. Slow Page Speed
People don’t wait long to jump ship. If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, it could lead to high bounce rates which can have consequences for your ranking on the search results page.
Google takes bounce rate into account when ranking search results. If people are bouncing off your website it signals that your content is not user friendly – and Google doesn’t want to serve this to its users.
You can improve SEO rankings by speeding up your site. Ways to do that include:
- Optimise your images
- Compress your images
- Remove unnecessary plugins
- Minimise HTTP requests
3. Not Mobile Friendly
Nowadays, if your website isn’t optimised for mobile you’ll quickly fall behind your competition. Since so many users browse the internet using a phone or tablet, your website should be easy and intuitive to use on mobile devices too.
Poor user experience will negatively impact your search engine rankings. So if your site isn’t currently optimised for mobile, it’s worth speaking to a web developer about making your site responsive. While some existing websites can be easily adapted for mobile, some old sites may be better off having a completely new website design.
5. Missing Keywords
You have to tell Google what your page is about so it can index your site properly – that’s what keywords do. If your pages are missing keywords, using the wrong keywords or using the same keyword across multiple pages, it can cause indexing problems.
You should use your keyword in a few crucial places on your page:
- Page title
- URL slug
- Meta description
- At least one H2 title
- Alt image text
- Near the start of the content
- Near the end of the content
6. Overuse of Keywords
While using keywords is crucial for SEO, using them correctly matters just as much. Keyword stuffing (putting your keyword throughout your page in unnatural ways) is a black hat tactic that Google penalises. It can have a negative effect on your rankings – and may even get you hit with a Google penalty if you’re not careful.
Instead of overusing keywords, try to use your keywords in a natural way. No matter what your keyword is and where you put it, the content on your page should be readable, understandable and value-adding.
7. Google Penalty
If you don’t follow the Google guidelines for SEO, you could be hit with a Google penalty. This can make it hard or impossible to find your site in the organic search results.
Reasons why you might get a Google penalty include:
- Keyword stuffing (also known as over-optimisation onpage)
- Unnatural link building (including buying links)
- Cloaking (redirecting users to a different page that what you’re showing Google)
- Spam techniques
- Low quality content
A Google penalty can be given to you automatically or manually. To check if you’ve got a Google penalty, log onto the Google Search Console, go to Search traffic and then select Manual actions.
Once you’ve fixed the issue, you can send a reconsideration request. If Google’s happy with the fix, they’ll lift the penalty.
8. Inconsistent Content
Publishing poor quality content or publishing content infrequently could impact your rankings on the search results page.
Instead of publishing content now and then or when inspiration hits, it’s best to have a content marketing plan and schedule. This shows Google that you’re active and putting out high quality, value-adding content. A content plan can also help you pull in a wider audience for different keywords related to your business.
Poor quality content can make your web ranking suffer and increase your bounce rate. To improve your content, make sure it’s targeted for search intent. In other words, when someone types a query into Google, ask yourself what’s their intent? Your page should provide them with what they’re looking for – whether that’s information, inspiration or a particular product.
It’s also a good idea to revise old content and optimise your existing content as part of your content plan. Keeping track of how your content performs can help you find areas to improve and focus on tactics that work.
9. Competitive Market
Some industries are more competitive than others when it comes to scoring that top spot on the Google search results. Once you’ve got all the SEO basics down pat, it takes innovation to stand out and get ahead.
In some cases, certain keywords may be too competitive. If everyone is trying to rank for them, it might be too hard for you to muscle your way in. Instead, try reconsidering your keyword tactics.
For example, adopting a long tail keyword strategy could help you find less competitive but highly lucrative keyword opportunities. Instead of aiming for the keyword “Insulation for sale” you could be more specific: “Insulation for sale in Perth” or “acoustic insulation for sale”.
For some businesses, combining SEO tactics with PPC marketing can get better results. If you’re not sure what marketing strategies are best for your business, speak with a digital marketing agency about the options.
Improve SEO for your website with the pros
Nailing SEO isn’t always easy. You might be doing everything right and still finding it hard to rank on Google, attract clicks or convert visitors. Getting a little help from the experts on how to improve SEO for your site can make all the difference.
At Dilate Digital, we’ve got an impressive track record when it comes to helping businesses succeed with SEO – and we’re keen to help you too.
To find out more about our SEO services, give us a call on 1300 345 283.