You thought everything had been done correctly to get your site ranked on Google’s first page. However, when you go to check, the site’s not there. That’s when shock comes raining down and your heart hits the floor.
Has this happened to you? Are you wondering why your website isn’t found on the first page of search results? Don’t worry—there are some things you can do to take care of this problem. We’re here to walk you through some of the issues and fixes you may consider to get your site ranked.
Your Site is Very New
If your site is too new, there’s a very good chance that Google hasn’t indexed it yet. This means the site will not show up on the first page of search results. It can take Google anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to index your site, and then for site to show up in search results.
What’s going on here? Google may not have found the site yet. You can check this by typing this in the URL of your browser: site:yourwebsite.com (insert your website URL), then hit “enter.” This is an easy test.
Look just above the search results where Google lets you know the number of items that turn up in the search. If you see no results, then your site hasn’t been indexed. On the other hand, if you see one result or more, then Google knows your site exists.
If your site’s not been found, you can fix this by creating a sitemap and submitting this to Google Search Console. The sitemap alerts Google to which pages on your site are the most important. And it can also get your site indexed faster.
Your Site Has No Index Tags
It’s possible your site is using “no index” tags. If this happens, then you’re telling Google not to show these pages in the search results. If your website or specific pages have this code <meta name= “robots” contentd= “noindex”/>, then those pages will not be indexed. That’s the case even if they appear on a site map you’ve created (see above).
You may not have added these tags to your pages. The web developer or designer may have added the code to keep Google from indexing the site as it was built. Sometimes they may forget to remove these tags when the site goes live.
To fix this issue, just go in and update the index tags. That should take care of the problem. However, if Google hasn’t indexed your site, remember it can take a while even if you fix this issue.
Website’s Not Optimised for Search
This is another common problem. After submitting your website to the search engine, it sends a spider to crawl your site looking for content. The spider actually scans your site for meta content, keyword saturation, relevant content, and more.
This is where it’s time to review your site to see what content the search engines are picking up (or not) on your site. It’s time to conduct an SEO audit.
An SEO audit helps you find issues that keep you from ranking. An SEO audit generally includes:
- Checking the load speed of your site
- Keeping web design simple, with easy navigation
- Making sure you’ve used the right keywords in page titles, headings, and content
- Ensuring content is high-quality and is useful for site visitors
Site Content is Bad
After the audit, you may find that your site’s content is simply bad. This could be keeping your site from showing up in the search rankings. Search engines look for sites that provide quality content, which is useful to searchers. It’s that simple. If your content doesn’t follow through, the searching engines will rank your site lower.
If you’re having trouble with content, then it may be time for rewrites and revisions. Then consider adding long-form articles that provide extremely helpful information for site visitors. The goal is to keep visitors on your site for longer periods.
Improving content can be challenging, especially if you’re unsure how to do it. At this point, it may be helpful to hire a copywriter who specialises in SEO to help improve the content.
Keywords are Too Competitive
When you did the research for the keywords targeted on your site, did you pay attention to how competitive the keywords were? If not, there’s a chance your keywords could be too competitive, which can also cause your site to rank lower.
The reason for this problem is that larger companies have targeted those keywords. They draw the most traffic, while your site lingers in the bottom of the search results. It’s that simple.
If this is the problem, then it’s time to use a different strategy. You may consider targeting long-tail keywords instead. It’s true these have a lower search volume; however, they’re less competitive. This means you have better chance of showing up in the search results. Plus, long-tail keywords are more specific—they are the words most often used by people searching for information online.
For this reason, you may want to consider doing new keyword research. While this takes time, if you’re serious about ranking your site, this is a very effective method. Look for those long-tail keywords site visitors would use to find your site. Use these keywords strategically on all pages of your site to target your audience.
Poor User Experience (UX)
If your site doesn’t provide users with a great experience, then search engines will also rank your site lower. Poor UX can turn up in a high bounce rate. Search engines take this rate very seriously. Why would they want to rank a site that has a high bounce rate? This would only make for poor search results, which would lead searchers to go to better search engines. That’s not what Google wants.
To help improve your site’s UX, you can take these steps:
- ïKeep navigation easy and simple.
- ïSpeed up site’s load time.
- ïUse images and other visuals to break up pages and content.
These are only a few of the reasons your site may not be ranking. If you’ve tried these methods, but your site is till ranking low in the search engines, then it may be time to call in a professional. A professional web developer who offers SEO services can figure out what’s going on and help you find solutions that raise your site in the search engines.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.