ARRRGGHH!!! Why is my website not ranking on Google?!?!
I understand the frustration.
You’ve written a post that covers the topic for your target keyword extensively. You’ve promoted it on social media and other online channels. You have built links the best way you can. And yet, after days and weeks of waiting, your site still isn’t ranking on Google search.
Putting up all that work for nothing sucks. You’re probably wondering what went wrong. Is it the links you built? Maybe the content isn’t up to snuff? To be honest, it could be these and a host of other factors.
You’re also wondering why does SEO take so long.
There is no simple answer to this question. A complex algorithm runs Google search. It dictates which pages should take for which search query on Google. Nobody knows how the algorithm works and how it determines which pages rank on top. People could only make informed decisions based to Google’s guidelines. By following the best on-page SEO practices, you increase your chances of ranking for your keyword.
However, you shouldn’t worry much about this question. If you created great content on your website, Google will rank it for your target keyword soon. The real question you must ask yourself is “why isn’t my website ranking on Google.”
Usually, it takes up to two weeks for Google spiders to crawl and index your pages into their search database. If your page isn’t ranking by then, even after following on-page SEO to a tee, then your site may have serious issues.
In this post, you will learn the answer to the question “why does SEO take so long” by looking at the potential variables involved in how Google and other search engines rank your page.
Why is your website not ranking on Google? Here are the reasons:
1. Your site is new
New sites work at a disadvantage. They are competing against established sites with years under their belt. Not to mention, they have a diverse link profile which is arguably the most important ranking factor. More on this later.
As the new kid on the block, there isn’t much you can do about it except optimize your site the right way from the start. Over time, you will have created a site that rivals theirs, if not even better. The tips below give you ideas on how you can improve your site and get the attention it deserves from Google.
2. Your content has nothing to do with your keyword
How to appear on Google search on top? It starts with the keywords you’re targeting for your site.
Targeting a keyword in your content increase your chances of ranking for Google search. It means discussing the keyword in depth and providing as much information about it as possible.
For example, if I’m targeting the keyword “start a blog,” the page should break down the entire process of setting up a blog. It includes which domain registrar, hosting provider, CMS, site design, and other tools they need to use. If you write anything not related to starting a blog, then you’re not optimizing your content for SEO. You need to narrow down the page to a specific set of topics related to the keyword.
If you don’t have target keywords yet, you need to learn how to do keyword research properly. The goal is to find keywords with high search volume and low competition in organic search. Optimizing your content for these keywords will help you rank on Google much easier. There are also Google SEO tools to make researching for keywords much easier.
Also, keyword-centric content doesn’t make your content about the keyword. If you think mentioning your target keyword as many times as possible optimizes your site for organic search, you’re wrong. Keyword stuffing has gone the way of the dinosaur and only hurts your site’s organic rankings instead of help it.
You started with keywords and user intent research, of course, so this is not about figuring out which keywords apply to the piece of content in question. This is about examining how that keyword is being used in said content.
It’s true that keyword stuffing is very, very out. It was never cool in the first place, but now — thanks to Google — it’s also ineffective (if not dangerous). It’s also true that Google is very savvy about keywords. None of that, however, means that keywords are “dead.” It just means SEO needs to use them better.
3. Your content isn’t good. At all
So we mentioned how you’ve written a good enough post to rank on Google. While that may be the case, sometimes it’s not enough for Google.
You one are among millions of content creators all over the world vying for a spot at the top of organic search. Some have the same content quality as yours and don’t rank on Google as well. If you look at the first page of Google search for your keyword and see the results, you’ll probably be impressed the information and presentation of the content. It is probably a reason among many why they are ranking on top of organic search.
The point is, you have to know the content Google ranks on top when writing your content. It’s not enough if you feel good about your post because it’s not about what you think. It’s all about what Google feels is the best post that people will want to read about the topic.
A way of making better content is doing the Skyscraper Technique or 10x content. I know this is a technique that’s been done to death by death, but it is used ad nauseam for a good reason – it works! By creating content that’s better than the ones ranking on top of Google search, you can boost your chances of ranking for that keyword even if your site is fairly new.
The problem I see with the Skyscraper Technique is people use it as a blanket solution to rank for a keyword. It doesn’t take into consideration the different on-page factors that play a role in helping a page to rank on top of organic search. After all, it’s not about the volume of words but how your content closely resembles the ones on top, both in quality and format.
If you’re interested in creating your 10x content, follow the guidelines in this infographic by Sonia Thompson:
To even help you create better and optimized content, use SurferSEO*. It’s a fairly new tool that lets you extract SEO information of the first 100 pages ranking for the keyword on Google.
It breaks down the page according to page speed, media, and more. SurferSEO also considers the relevance of each element and how each play a role in ranking on top of search results. The relevancy factors help you filter out the elements you need to focus on when crafting your content to further increase your chances of ranking!
4. Information in content is not updated
There’s a good reason your old posts are collecting dust and not attracting new visits. Maybe it’s time to update them with the latest information.
Unless you published evergreen content, you need to keep track of the latest changes and trends in your industry. Any updates taking place in your space might require you to update the information on your site content.
5. Your visitors leave the site too soon
Nothing turns off a visitor faster than a bad website. Even if the content is good, it won’t matter if the site makes it difficult for them to view it. Naturally, visitors will just leave your site and find another site that offers the same information. Doing this is much easier than visiting your site.
Slow loading time
One of the main reasons people leave your site is its slow loading time. According to studies, 25% of visitors leave a site that loads over four seconds. If your site is loading beyond that, then you’re letting visitors slip through your fingers! Despite this problem, there are quick fixes on how to make your site load faster.
First, go to GTMetrix or Pingdom to find out how long it takes for you page to load completely. In the results, you will see issues that are keeping your site from loading faster. Unless you are a developer or programmer, most of the suggestions here will look like gibberish to you. You will need help from a professional site developer to make sense of the information and make the changes on your own to having a faster website.
Even if you write lines of code, there are easy ways on how to make your site load faster. You can follow the tips on this page to help you boost your site’s loading speed and keep at least a quarter of your visitors. If you are using WordPress, you can use these plugins to help you create a more efficient website and monitor its performance.
Layout and appearance
Another reason people leave your site fast is the site’s layout and appearance. Even if you have valuable content for your audience, they probably won’t read it if your site looks awful. The colors, font face, and its size have indelible effects on readers. Nobody wants to visit a site that uses bright colors and Comic Sans as its font.
Also, you need to consider the Golden Ratio Typography developed by Chris Pearson when designing the layout of your content. The idea is to make your post much easier to read by using the best figures for your site’s line height, font size, and width.
To compute for your site’s Golden Ratio Typography, use this calculator also developed by Pearson.
Finally, using a variety of content types on your post help increase dwell time. People get intimidated by a wall of text for your post. Like it or not, not all your visitors are readers. Some prefer looking at infographics, watching videos, or listening to podcasts for their dose of information. To accommodate these visitors, you need to embed images, videos, and podcasts on your content. Aside from making your content much more dynamic, you can break the monotony of text on your page. As a result, it makes you content much easier to read.
It would be best if you can convert your post into a video or a podcast so you can embed those instead of using someone else’s content. By repurposing your content, you put your content to work and target people in your audience who prefer a specific content type.
6. There is intense competition in your location
If you’re targeting local SEO for your website, then you need to do other things to optimize your site aside from the usual. Building citations on local directory sites is key to driving more people to visit your site. Using the same NAP (name, address, and phone number) across all directory sites consistently will encourage Google to show the same information on search results. Last, signing up for a Google My Business account allows you to control the information that appears on the search engine whenever somebody searches for your target keywords/
There’s a great chance that your competitions are doing the same, making it much tougher for you to rank over more established local businesses. You need to implement the best local SEO tactics judiciously and make waves on search rankings with your site, eventually. Another way to drive the attention of Google is by asking customers to review your business. They can head on your Google My Business page to drop a rating or from other sites like your Facebook page, Yelp, and others. User ratings are social signals that can help push a needle for your content to rank on organic search.
7. Low social signals
Aside from user reviews, it helps to have a Facebook Page and Twitter and Instagram accounts for your business. Building a fan and follower base from these channels allow you to generate traffic to your site. Linking to your latest posts and landing pages are excellent ways to help people learn more about your brand. However, you must promote your content judiciously to avoid being spammy. It is more important to engage with group members by asking them questions, commenting on their posts, and interacting just like a normal human being.
The more personable and human you can be with your customers, the better reaction you’ll get and the more they’ll flock to you. Computers are excellent tools, but most people would rather talk with another person about their business goals and gaps than get auto-responses from a computer (even if that advice comes straight from their good friend Siri).
Ravi Shukle, “8 Tips to Build a Passionate Social Media Community“
While there is no documented study that correlates social signals as ranking factors, they still help you indirectly. Engaging with your audience helps generate you more site traffic. Also, building brand equity is not a ranking factor but increasing your social signals allow your audience to recognize your brand name at least.