Are you simply not seeing the Google rankings you deserve? You built a shiny new website and done everything right and yet you’re still not finding yourself on page one of Google?
This article is a comprehensive guide to the top ten reasons why your website is not ranking in Google in 2023 and beyond.
1.Your website isn’t lightning fast to load.
Google’s aim is to provide an excellent Internet for all and the prime factor here is how quickly your website loads. Google has a simple online test where you simply enter your URL, and it will provide your test results. This test is called Google’s Core Web Vitals and can be found here
Action: Test your website now to get a full picture of what is happening and aim to fix any problems that prevent you from getting a pass in this vital test.
2. You’re not publishing enough content.
While Google has never given a hard and fast rule there is plenty of research available on the internet notably this blogging frequency piece from HubSpot and many others which show that publishing at least three new items a week is the way to achieve massive success in terms of Google rankings and the associated site traffic.
Remember that each piece will be a page of content which can rank for a new keyword or keywords. Don’t try to stuff multiple keywords into one page – that will earn you a downrank! The more pages you have out there, then clearly the more chances you have to win the rankings game.
Action: Make sure each piece is optimised for a single keyword or phrase.
3. Your content does not inspire trust.
Do you write your web content to impress a robot at Google or real humans with needs and desires?
If it is the former, then this is certainly your key problem. Creating content should be done with care and attention to the needs of your human reader or viewer.
Building trust is the key to your content ranking highly on Google because Google is watching how people react to your articles. If people like them and stay on the page and click through to more of your content, then Google will reward you with more traffic.
The ultimate guide to creating content that builds trust with people is a book called ‘They Ask You Answer’ by Marcus Sheridan.
This method teaches the 5 big questions that you must answer to become a trusted voice on the internet and with that become a website that Google wants to flood with traffic.
Action: Read ‘They Ask You Answer’ by Marcus Sheridan.
Google will establish how trustworthy your content is using the EEAT model.
Google ranks content based on EEAT – which stands for Experience, Expertise Authority And Trust.
- Experience – does the writer have the experience needed?
- Expertise – Are they an expert in the subject?
- Authority – Do they have relevant knowledge?
- Trust – the above factors plus context.
This Search Engine Journal Article on EEAT summarises how you can fail at each point as follows:
- The content creator lacks adequate experience, e.g., a restaurant review written by someone who has never eaten
at the restaurant.
- The content creator lacks adequate expertise, e.g., an article about how to skydive written by someone with no
expertise in the subject.
- The website or content creator is not an authoritative or trustworthy source for the topic of the page, e.g. tax form
downloads provided on a cooking website.
- The page or website is not trustworthy for its purpose, e.g. a shopping page with minimal customer service
4. Your website is not ranking because you do not credit a trustworthy author.
If your content is published without an accredited author, then Google and of course humans (and don’t forget that Google has thousands of human reading websites) will be unable to verify their expertise and authority.
Each content piece should have a clear author and that author should have a page about them on your site with links back to their LinkedIn profiles and any other online presence they have. This is a vital but often missed step in creating authority for your content.
5. You’ve missed out the all-important keyword planning stage.
The first part of this is making sure that you do have a keyword strategy and the second part is making sure it is the right strategy. Some keywords are easy to rank for, some much harder and it is likely that your strategy will include targeting both. If your domain authority is low then this will affect which keywords you should target.
it is best to keep things as simple as possible here so that your content creators are free to create lots of content relatively easily.
The first step is to have a list of keywords or phrases that you would like to be found for. Create this list and simply add your website pages to the list, page by page. One KW per page or post.
Here’s how to create your target keywords
Action: Create your keyword list
6. Your content wasn’t created using SEO best practices.
An effective shortcut to making sure that your content obeys all the basic rules of SEO is to use a plugin such as RankMath which uses a simple traffic light and scoring system to guide you towards creating content that Google will rank.
Are you using power words effectively? have you repeated the keyword enough times? And do you know how to write a compelling snippet to make sure that your bit of content is selected by viewers of a search engine results page as the one that they need to read right now?
Action: Install a good SEO plugin and use it to see your score
7. You have a muddled user experience.
Google doesn’t want people to have to search for content or have strange and confusing journeys which means your URL structure, or your site structure needs to offer a simple and intuitive user experience design both for humans and for Google to check.
The fewer clicks to get to the information or endpoint that I need the better.
Action: Check that your website menu is no deeper than 2 or 3 levels at maximum
8. You need to discover the power of … power words.
It’s all very well being helpful and trustworthy but to leap off the results page and to draw people through your article you must invoke the power of the power word. ‘Proven’, to be ‘essential’ (there are two power words already), these words and this style of writing is the only way to really get your content to draw a crowd. In fact, without an attention-grabbing headline, it is likely that nobody will read your article at all.
We have a full article on power words here. It is not simply the use of bold, emotive language but capturing attention in other ways:
- Can you trigger a reader’s curiosity?
- Can you create an emotional response?
- Make bold claims
- Ask for action
- Be human, warm and authentic (we love this one)
- Optimise for SEO – choose keywords wisely
Action: Learn to use powerful language
9. You’re not feeding your Google footprint with all those likes and shares from social media
If your website isn’t linked up properly in a complete digital footprint then Google cannot see how people are loving your content. It cannot see all the likes and shares on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc.
These are important signals to Google that your content is engaging people and so it will move it up the page rankings.
A proper digital footprint means that website, YouTube, social media and all your Google dashboards such as Search Console are linked up correctly. This is an involved task and may better in the hands of a professional – if only to save hours of frustration.
Action: Check your set-up or potentially have an expert do this.
10. And finally – we often see a ton of broken links as a result of previous web re-builds.
When rebuilding a website it is vital that you tell Google how to find the new versions of the pages on the old website if they have moved.
Recently we started working with a client who had 2000 pages visible in their website’s CMS but a total of 4000 pages visible to Google.
Where we the mystery 2000 pages? They were ghosts of the old website pages and had all been ignored in the site rebuild. Confusing Google to this degree is a surefire way to get a hugely reduced page rank.
Action: Check that Google can see all your pages and that there are no broken links.
Get help and finally achieve the Google rankings your business deserves.
These three skill sets link up perfectly and we’re currently getting phones ringing for clients in the UK and the USA using this perfect combination.
The best way to start is to ask us to audit your current position. You’ll find these audits as fascinating to read as we find them to do.