Every search engine marketing strategy has the same core intention: to rank highly in Google. It makes perfect sense – higher rankings mean more traffic, more leads and ultimately an increased bottom line.
So, how can you start to climb the ranks of Google? Well, unfortunately there’s no one single answer to this.
However, to help you identify and resolve potential points that might be holding you back, we’ve created an eBook addressing the common query ‘Why is my website not ranking in Google?’.
Complete with actionable solutions on how to boost your chance of ranking well in the SERPS, we’ll guide you through integral ranking factors and how to optimise for them. Sound useful? Have a read of the eBook.
In this blog, we’re going to take you through two common reasons why your website isn’t ranking and how you can fix this.
1. You don’t have enough high-quality backlinks
Backlinks are perhaps the most important ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm. A backlink is a link from another website to yours, with links acting as an indicator to search engines that people are finding your website useful and therefore worth linking to.
However, ranking well isn’t as simple as getting as many links as you can from other websites. A backlink’s worth is not weighted equally, with Google placing less value on links from spammy or low-quality sites. Google is quick to notice suspicious numbers of links coming from such websites and penalises them accordingly. For this reason, you should never engage in black hat link building techniques like link schemes. Whilst you may initially see some improvement, sooner or later you’ll be hit with penalties and you’ll see your rankings drop to even lower positions than they were before.
So, how can you get those all important high-quality links?
Websites that link to you are an indicator of your own site’s quality, so you should always ensure that you are finding link opportunities on high-quality sites. The simplest way to measure the quality of a site is through Moz’s domain authority score, which as a general guide should be at least 20, and the higher the DA the better.
When you’re ready to start link building, begin with competitor analysis. The main aim with this is to identify the websites that are linking to your top competitor, as given your mutual relevance these sites might also be willing to link to you. Start by matching your competitor’s links and you’ll already be in a much better position to rank higher in the SERPS.
Beyond this, however, you want to obtain even better backlinks than your competitor so that you can beat them in rankings. To do so, seek out additional backlink opportunities through guest posts, link reclamation, resource pages and industry directories. Obtain more links than your competitor from sites with good DAs and you’re much more likely to rank higher than them. It’s also worth using keyword rich anchor text where you can so as to boost your chances of ranking for that particular term. For example, if I wanted to boost the ranking of my hosting website, I might create a guest post around the topic of hosting using the anchor text ‘UK hosting’. This would help increase my ranking for that term whilst also contributing valuable content to the other site.
2. Your website is too new
It might surprise you to learn that one major ranking factor in SEO is a site’s age. Ranking for certain keywords generally takes a good few months, with most of the websites in higher positions for competitive terms being years old.
After a few weeks your website will have been indexed by Google, meaning that Google has crawled your site and now includes it in its search results, though with a low likelihood of it ranking well. Unfortunately, this is because older websites tend to have more authority simply because they’ve been on the web for longer. Younger sites that have been fully optimised and produce valuable content often won’t rank older than their older counterparts without such high-quality optimisation. Put simply, older websites just tend to get more search traffic.
So, how can you address this?
Whilst you can’t make your website any older, you can check if Google has indexed it by typing in site:yourwebsite.com to view all of the indexed pages on your domain.
If your search returns no results then your site hasn’t been indexed yet. You can manually prompt Google to index your site, however there is no particular need to do this as the search engine will always find your site if it’s linked to anywhere else on the internet.
You’ll be pleased to know that generally as your site gets older you’ll receive more organic search traffic. However, until then you should focus your efforts on making your website the best it can be by optimising other ranking factors like your content and backlink profile. Whilst this might be frustrating initially, you’ll be in much better stead than your competitors by the time that your website has gotten a bit older.
These are just a couple of the reasons why your website might not be ranking, however there are a number of other integral factors to consider. To learn more about why you’re not high up in SERPs and how you can start to change this, download our eBook.