Whether you’re a bedroom blogger or a small business owner, improving your site’s ranking can seem like the challenge of the century. Learning how to stand out online and presenting yourself as a shiny needle in a haystack takes grit and tenacity, but it’s not impossible.
To increase your site’s performance, be sure to avoid common SEO blunders and watch out for these nine reasons why you might not be ranking well.
- You’re missing keywords
This should be SEO 101, but if you don’t know about keyword research, it’s time to grab a cup of coffee and hit the books. From opinions on long- versus short-tailed keywords, and debates over user intent, there’s much to learn about the art of keyword mapping.
To put it plain and simple, you need to optimize your page with key terms and variants that relate to whatever products you sell or services you offer. Be careful not to over-stuff your site with keywords galore, though—Google doesn’t like it, and neither do your readers.
- Google can’t find you
Keywords are one of the main signals that Google looks for when determining page rank, but in order to find those indicators, your site needs to be legible to the search engine’s robo-crawlers. This pillar of SEO is called “indexability”, or the measure of how easy/difficult it is for Google’s bots to crawl and scan your site for relevancy and authority.
If you took the DIY approach to coding your website, you might want to think about hiring a web developer who can improve your site’s architecture in the eyes of Google.
- Your site is outdated
Part of the reason site optimization is so complicated is due to Google’s ever-evolving algorithm. If you’re not up-to-date with the rules of SEO in 2020, your page might perform poorly.
- You have no authority
The Washington Post has a lot of authority; MommyBlog.com does not. But the way you become a trusted source of information and improve your online ranking is by increasing the number of inbound links your website receives. Gaining links takes some know-how, but you can use Facebook to create backlinks on autopilot.
- Backlinks are busted
Before you go on a massive link-building campaign, make sure you know what you’re doing. Google doesn’t like unnatural link schemes and penalize sites that try to outsmart their system. If you’re not careful about how you build backlinks, you might find yourself searching for link removal services in the face of your wasted efforts.
- Content is subpar
If your content if brief, uninformative, or poorly written, your site won’t rank well—but content that’s too beefy and difficult to digest also won’t do you any favors. In either case, a visitor will most likely leave your site and leave quickly thereafter, hopping back to the SERP and clicking on a different link to solve their query.
This is called “pogo-sticking” in the world of Google and it’s a big no-no. Google wants to show only the best results, so if your content is unsatisfactory to visitors, you won’t be able to rank as high.
- User Experience is poor
The reason Google cares about pogo-sticking is because they’re obsessed with user experience (UEX) and prioritize search satisfaction above all else. While useful information from trustworthy sources is the backbone of a strong ranking, they also care about UEX elements such as load times and design elements. Improve your on-page speed and add interactive elements to your page to engage readers and encourage them to stick around a while longer!
- Social signals are low
Marketers are on the fence about exactly how SEO and social media channels are connected. But it should go without saying that a large volume of social signals in the form of views, likes, and shares on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest will definitely improve your brand’s SERP ranking.
- You lack localized efforts
One of the latest trends in SEO is the increase of local SERP listings, or businesses in your area that match your search term. Increase your localized presence by adding the cities and county you serve to your list of keywords and you’ll probably notice an increase in rankings.
Improving your site’s rank will require a lot of tinkering, but checking on these nine categories is a great way to start!