Website not ranking properly? Here’s how to fix these pages.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become the standard digital marketing practice. If you want to gain more online visibility, you have to optimize your website and content to make sure it shows up on search results. However, ranking is more difficult than it sounds. Google uses complex algorithms when it ranks websites, so getting the top ranks is not always a straightforward process.
At times, you might find that your website pages aren’t ranking well, even if you have good practices in place. Other times, you may notice a sudden drop in your ranking. Whatever the case may be, it is important to determine the cause of the problem and address it immediately.
Why Your Website Pages Aren’t Ranking
Before you can fix your SEO strategy, you’ll first need to find the root of the issue. Many reasons could explain why your website pages aren’t ranking well.
Here are some of the common causes to watch out for and what you can do to address the issues.
Duplicate content occurs when multiple URLs redirect to similar or identical content, causing the link juice to be split and resulting in mediocre or poor rankings. When Google detects duplicate content, it only shows the canonical version to users. However, in some cases, Google may choose the wrong page to rank.
To fix this issue, you need to add the canonical tag to the right page. It will direct Google to display this page to users and divert all the link juice there. Another remedy would be to simply remove the duplicate content to avoid getting your rankings split up. Google Search Console can help you find URLs with duplicate content in the Search tab under Performance.
Slow Site Speed
Slow load times can negatively affect your rank in Google for two main reasons. First, page experience is one of the ranking factors in the search engine’s algorithm, so slow loading times will affect many speed metrics. Second, slow site speed can increase your bounce rates, which will also hurt your rankings.
To know if this is causing your low rankings, start by checking your site speed through Google’s PageSpeed Insights. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the problem since it depends on your current practices. However, some common ways to improve load times include compressing images, using a content delivery network, and caching your web pages.
You’ve heard it said again and again, but content marketing will always be a big part of your SEO efforts. Google highly emphasizes the relevance and quality of your content when ranking it, so thin content, which offers little value to users, is viewed as low-quality. In many cases, it can happen when sites prioritize quantity over quality, so you end up publishing more content without assessing its value.
The good news is this problem shouldn’t be too hard to fix. Lengthening your content will help, but more importantly, you should focus on adding detail and substance. Think hard about who you’re trying to reach and what your customers need so that you can write specifically with them in mind.
Whenever you develop content, it’s helpful to remember that you’re writing for a human audience and not the search engine. Ultimately, your goal is to capture your audience’s attention and answer their burning questions, so your content must be informative, digestible, and helpful.
Lack of Quality Backlinks
Lack of or no backlinks is another common reason why website pages aren’t ranking for some businesses. Aside from having great content, it’s also helpful to have quality external backlinks. When reputable sites point back to your pages, Google counts this as part of your credibility, relevance, and authority, thereby increasing your rank.
Like content development, link building prioritizes quality over quantity. While more backlinks can be beneficial for your pages, you have to make sure that the links come from authoritative sites with good trust and reputation. Even if you have many links pointing back to your site, they may work against you if they’re all spammy links.
No Internal Links
While external backlinks are often credited for building your site’s trust and credibility, internal links are just as important. Internal links can be powerful because they allow you to maximize exposure on different pages of your site. More links pointing to a page translates to a higher link value for Google, so you can use internal links to increase traffic and rankings on specific pages.
That said, you have to be strategic when building an internal linking structure. It’s not just about linking all your pages together but determining what piece of content has the most value, which pages are related to each other.
Is your site still not optimized for mobile? If so, this will take a huge hit on your search rankings. Now that the majority of searches come from mobile devices, you have to make sure your site caters to them. It has become so important that Google shifted to mobile-first indexing in 2019, which means it uses your site’s mobile version for indexing and ranking.
You can check whether your site is mobile-friendly through Google’s tool, which allows you to enter a URL. If your site fails the test, mobile optimization should go to the top of your priorities. It’s not a one-step process, but generally, key steps involve using a responsive design, optimizing images, removing pop-ups, and choosing readable fonts.
Penalty from Google
In some cases, it’s possible that your website pages aren’t ranking because of penalties from Google.
These penalties can fall under two types:
1. Manual Penalty
As the term suggests, these penalties are manually given by Google. Some of the common manual penalties include user-generated spam, misleading redirects, and low-quality content. You can check for manual penalties in Google Search Console and submit a reconsideration request after fixing the specified violation.
2. Automatic Penalty
On the other hand, automatic penalties are triggered when you violate Google’s algorithm. Common examples would be spammy backlinks and poor-quality content.
Unfortunately, you won’t get notified when your pages are automatically penalized, so you have to be knowledgeable about Google’s algorithm. In most cases, fixing and optimizing your content and building better backlinks are good remedies.
Penalties can have major consequences on your rankings, so much that some rankings may even cause your entire site to be removed from search results pages. Thus, addressing them immediately is critical to avoid losing more organic traffic.
Google uses keywords to understand what your content is about and match it to what users are searching for. If you do not include target keywords in your title or body, it will likely not rank in results. Naturally, the solution will be to include relevant keywords in your content, but you have to not overdo it since keyword stuffing can land you a penalty.
At times, you might accidentally noindex your content. When you do this, Google crawls your page but does not index it, which stops it from showing up on results pages. The noindex tag is sometimes used to address duplicate content, but when used on important pages, it can prevent them from ranking.
To address this, you can check your page’s source code and see if it has the noindex tag. If it does, all you have to do is remove the tag, then head over to Search Console to ask Google to recrawl the URL. The latter can help speed up the process of indexing your page, so you can check if the solution improved your ranks.
Fix SEO Ranking Issues with Marketing Experts
Not sure about what SEO issues are preventing your page rankings from going up? It can be challenging to detect the cause of non-ranking websites, so working with professionals can take the weight off your shoulders. At P3 Agency, we can find solutions to help your site rank and perform better.
Contact us today at 1 800-515-9422 for marketing services like SEO, brand development, and web design in Clearwater. We’ll be happy to discuss your needs to come up with an effective plan, beginning with a free marketing assessment.