Building a successful website is not always as easy as it looks. Creating a good-looking home page and organizing all of your information on your site is a solid starting point, but sometimes that Google ranking just won’t move in your favor. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as “if you build it, they will come”. In reality, it can be quite complicated to improve your rank on Google, and there may be things you are inadvertently doing that are having a negative effect on where you currently stand.
Why does my website need to be ranked?
In the ever-changing digital world, the importance of a high Google ranking has only increased. More companies are prioritizing the Internet to market their services, which makes gaining an advantage on the most popular search engine the key to success online. This is how your company can separate itself from the competition and get more eyes on your beautifully designed webpages. The majority of clicks come from the highest-ranked search results, so optimizing your keywords and content correctly will bring your website to the forefront. Understanding and taking advantage of a higher Google ranking will inevitably result in more business growth.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the reason your website might not be achieving the ranking results you desire:
- You’re Just Getting Started
Maybe you’ve recently launched a new website and you’re wondering why it hasn’t had a great deal of success yet. Rather than be alarmed, remember to have some patience in the beginning. Search engine optimization (SEO) takes time to develop – it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s likely that the algorithms Google uses have not noticed the validity of your site yet. Google also goes through a filtering process for new websites, as they make sure they are evaluated and examined thoroughly before they are fully validated. This process is called the Google Sandbox.
This period in the sandbox can last three to six months, so there is no need to worry if your website is still young. The best way to approach this situation is to produce the best content possible and to begin creating an effective SEO strategy for the future so that when you’re out of the sandbox, you’re raring to go!
- Your Main Keywords are Too Competitive
In some situations, it can be helpful to target broad keywords that show up in a variety of search results. However, if you’re a new company, you may need to be more specific to reach your target audience. For example, a new hair salon that tries to rank for “hair cuts” will struggle to show up in most users’ search results. It will take years of hard work to capitalize on this type of keyword optimization.
A much better approach to this situation would involve long-tail keywords or terms that are specific to your region. A hair salon might try for a search term such as “best hair salons near Thousand Oaks” to reach their target audience more efficiently. Optimizing your keywords specifically for your area is crucial for new or smaller businesses looking to improve their Google ranking.
- Your Pages are Loading Too Slowly
Now, this could be a big one. Keeping your visitors happy with a user-friendly website is vital because if they have a poor experience, it will shorten the amount of time they spend on your site. Google will notice the short retention times, which could serve as a huge detriment to your online ranking. Try comparing your site’s speed to your competitors by using something like Google Site Speed Test, which is easy to do and will help you see what you’re up against in this area. While this component of SEO seems very simple, it’s essential to successful ranking.
- Make Sure Your Website is Indexed
If you are not familiar with website indexing, it’s time to learn. Indexing is the process of using keywords and metadata to allow for a more useful vocabulary on the Internet for on-site searching. Improper indexing or completely missing this step is a common mistake that almost always leads to poor search engine ranking. A website must be indexed to appear in Google’s search results. If your website is not indexed, there is no way for Google to know that your site even exists.
First, check to see if your website has already been indexed by searching “site:yourdomain.com” in Google. If Google has already crawled your website, you’ll see a list of results that are similar to your domain name. If you don’t get any results, then your site has not been properly indexed yet.
Next, you’ll want to install and set up Google Analytics and Search Console. Google Analytics is a brilliant tool that measures statistics about your website such as visitors, time spent, pages visited, and more. Google Search Console gives you the opportunity to monitor the different components of your site such as recent crawling data or any issues that may arise. Want to dive in deeper? Follow these steps to get started and make sure your website is indexed the right way so it can be found and move up the Google rankings.
- Your Competition is Strong
Your company is likely not the only one who is looking to improve its search engine ranking. You are not competing against Google and its algorithms, but also your immediate competitors. They, too, are constantly trying to climb the ladder and become the company that pops up in the search results most often. Take note of the best practices that your competitors are utilizing and stay up-to-date with the most effective SEO methods to smash your competition.
If you’re interested in improving your website’s SEO ranking, contact us today.