Top Reasons You Still Can’t Rank On Google

Ben Tippet

If your website is not appearing in Google search results, it can be a source of frustration, especially if the cause is unclear. However, many ranking problems are relatively simple to identify and can be addressed with effective methods. If you’re having difficulty making progress, a professional SEO agency can assist you in enhancing your website’s SEO and avoiding common mistakes.

Tips to improve your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO)

Here are some tips to improve your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO):

  1. Conduct keyword research to identify the terms and phrases that potential customers are searching for, and make sure that these terms appear on your website.
  2. Optimise your title tags and meta descriptions to include your target keywords, and make sure that they are compelling and accurately describe the content on your page.
  3. Use header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to organise and structure your content, and include your target keywords in these tags.
  4. Create high-quality, original content that provides value to your audience, and make sure that your website is regularly updated with new content.
  5. Build backlinks to your website from other reputable sites, as search engines view backlinks as a sign of the quality and relevance of your content.
  6. Optimise your images by compressing and resizing them, and including descriptive, keyword-rich file names and alt tags.
  7. Use social media to promote your content and drive traffic to your website.
  8. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, as more and more people are accessing the web via mobile devices.
  9. Optimize your website for Local SEO
  10. Use Google Search console and analyse which keywords and pages are performing well and which need improvement

To dive deeper into this below are nine potential and common reasons why your website may not be ranking well, along with suggestions for how to improve your SEO and increase visibility:

1. Website Crawl Issues

 If your website is not appearing in search results, it may be due to issues related to crawling and indexing. For example, you may have unknowingly prevented Google from accessing your website. To determine if your website is being indexed by Google, you can perform a site search by typing “site:” followed by your website’s URL into the search bar. For example, “site:” This will show you all indexed pages from your website, if any pages appear, you know that Google has indexed at least some of your pages, this way you can investigate further into other ranking issues. If your website does not appear in the search results at all, it may be due to indexing or visibility settings on the backend of your content management system. If a specific page or post is not showing up, you should check for any codes or files that may be blocking it, such as “noindex” codes or “robot.txt” files. It can also be beneficial to register your website with Google Search Console and submit a sitemap to Google, this can aid Google to better understand your website and index it in an efficient manner. It’s worth noting that if your website is new or you’ve recently added a new page, the delay in indexing might be due to a time factor. Usually, it takes Google a day or two to index new pages, thus you should wait for a few days before investigating further. If the issue continues, it is recommended to consult an SEO expert.

2. Slow Page Speed

 Website load speed is an important factor as people are likely to leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Slow load times can result in high bounce rates, which can negatively affect your website’s search engine ranking. Bounce rate is a metric that Google uses to determine the quality of website experience, if people are frequently leaving your website after visiting just one page, it sends a signal that the content is not user-friendly and Google will likely lower the ranking of such site on its search results as it wants to provide its users with the best experience. Speeding up your website can enhance SEO performance. There are several methods to achieve that, they include:

  • Optimise your images
  • Minimise HTTP requests
  • Defer loading for CSS and JavaScript files
  • Compress your images
  • Remove unnecessary plugins

3. Not Mobile Friendly

 In current times, if your website is not optimised for mobile, it may fall behind in competition. As a large number of users access the internet via mobile devices, it is essential that your website is easy to use and navigate on mobile to provide an optimal user experience. A bad user experience can negatively affect your website’s search engine ranking. In case your website is not optimised for mobile devices, it’s a good idea to consult a web developer to make your site responsive. While some websites can be easily adapted, some older websites might require a completely new website design to fully support mobile browsing.

4. Bad Backlinks

 Backlinks are hyperlinks on other sites that lead to your website. Quality backlinks provide context about your website to Google, and if the linking website is reputable, it can increase the perceived credibility of your website as well. On the other hand, low-quality backlinks may decrease the credibility of your website and may cause Google to penalise your site. Not having any backlinks at all is also a drawback, Quality link building is an efficient method to boost your site’s organic reach on Google. Here are ways to acquire backlinks:

  • Writing guest posts for other websites
  • Marketing your content on social media
  • Creating share-worthy content

You can check out our page about our in-house white hat link building services for further information.

5. Missing Keywords

 It is crucial to provide Google with an understanding of the topic of your website pages, so it can index them correctly, this is where keywords play an important role. Failure to include keywords, the use of irrelevant keywords, or repetition of the same keywords across multiple pages can cause problems with indexing. There are certain places that keywords should be used these include:

  • Website url or slug
  • At least one H2 title
  • Alt image text
  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • Near the start of the content
  • Near the end of the content

6. Overuse of Keywords

 The use of keywords is essential for SEO, however, using them in the right way is equally important. “Keyword stuffing” which is overusing keywords in an unnatural way is an unethical practice that Google disapproves of. This old-school approach can harm your website ranking and may even result in penalties from Google if not executed carefully. As opposed to excessive use of keywords, it’s recommended to include them in a natural manner. Regardless of the chosen keywords and their placement, the content on your page should be easy to read, comprehensible, and should add value to the user in line with the most recent google update – the useful content update that rolled out in December 2022.

7. Google Penalty

 If you don’t adhere to Google’s SEO guidelines, your website may be penalised. This can make it difficult or impossible for your site to appear in the organic search results. The top reasons that you could get hit with a google penalty include:

  • Low-quality content
  • Unnatural link building (including buying links)
  • Keyword stuffing (also known as over-optimisation onpage)
  • Spam techniques
  • AI content (this is a new one!)
  • Cloaking (redirecting users to a different page than what you’re showing Google)

Google penalties can be either automatic or manually given. To confirm if you have received a Google penalty, you can log in to the Google Search Console, navigate to Search traffic, and then check for any manual actions. After rectifying the problem, you can submit a reconsideration request to Google. If Google is satisfied with the correction, it will lift the penalty. Please note that recovering from a google penalty can very costly and time consuming, its better to not have one in the first place. If you need help with this please contact us about our Google penalty removal services.

8. Poor Quality Content

 Posting poor quality content or not publishing content regularly can influence your ranking on the search results page. Instead of sporadically publishing content as and when it is better to have a content marketing plan with a set schedule. This demonstrates to Google that you are active and consistently providing high-quality, valuable content. A content plan can also help in attracting a broader audience by targeting various keywords related to your business. Low-quality content can harm your website’s ranking and increase bounce rate. To enhance your content, ensure that it is tailored to the search intent. This means, when someone enters a query in Google, consider the purpose behind it. Your page should provide them with what they’re searching for, whether it’s information, inspiration or a specific product. Regularly reviewing and optimising existing content is another important aspect of a content plan. Tracking the performance of your content can assist you in identifying areas that need improvement and help you focus on effective strategies.

9. Competitive Market

 Some sectors are more challenging than others in achieving a high ranking on Google search results. Once the basic SEO techniques are applied, it requires creativity to distinguish yourself and excel. In certain scenarios, some keywords may be too competitive to target. If many people are trying to rank for them, it may be challenging for you to break through. Instead, it’s recommended to reevaluate your keyword strategies. An alternative approach that may be beneficial is using a “long-tail keyword” strategy, it might help you discover keyword opportunities that are less competitive but highly profitable. Instead of targeting the keyword “cars for sale” you may go for specific keywords like “cars for sale in Perth” or “luxury cars for sale” to name a few examples. For some companies, utilising a combination of SEO and PPC marketing strategies may provide better outcomes. If you’re uncertain about the best marketing approach for your business, it is suggested to consult with a digital marketing agency to discuss the available options.

Improve your website search engine rankings with expert help

Optimising your website’s SEO can be challenging. Despite following all the guidelines, it could be difficult to achieve a high ranking on Google, generate traffic, or convert visitors. Consulting with experts on how to enhance SEO for your website can make a significant impact. Perth Digital Edge has a successful history of assisting companies in Perth with their SEO rankings and they are eager to assist you to achieve the same success. To learn more about the SEO services that Perth Digital Edge offers, and let us help you find your digital edge today.

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