Why You’re Not Ranking In Google
So, you’ve got a healthy business and a great looking website but very little traffic. Where do you go from here? What’s wrong with your website and what can you do to fix it?
Search engine traffic is often the highest quality traffic that money can buy, with the added bonus that it can be completely free if you have the time to commit! It’s seen as high quality traffic because people use search engines to find solutions to their problems. If your business provides that solution, it can put you in a great spot to win a customer.
At the opposite end of the scale, we have traffic such a pop-up advertising. This is incredibly interruptive as you’re essentially forcing your business on web visitors who are looking for something entirely different. Although pop-up advertising is an extreme example of another traffic source, it highlights why search engine traffic always wins. When a potential customer has a question that needs answering, your website is there to answer it. This builds an enormous amount of trust and gives you a platform to sell your product or service.
Now we know why search traffic is worth putting a little effort in to, let’s jump into some common problems with low-ranking websites and how to fix them.
Your website is not indexed
This is the number one problem for new businesses who have just launched their brand-new website. If you’re website appears absolutely nowhere in Google, this means that it is not indexed yet.
This isn’t the end of the world and will correct itself in time. As clever as Google is, it can’t predict who will launch a website and when. You have to help it find you and give it time to add it to their index.
What can you do to help get indexed quickly?
Google and other search engines actively search through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It’s a good idea to register with these websites and include your website URL in the required fields. As a step up from this, Google actually owns a number of services where you can submit your website URL. For example if you’re a brick and mortar business, it’s incredibly beneficial to sign up to Google My Business. The main purpose of this site is to list your business on Google Maps, although it will help with text search results too.
You can also use services such as Google Webmaster Tools to register as an admin of your website with Google and submit your URL and/or Sitemap with them.
Not Enough Content
The most common problem for established websites that are struggling to rank on Google is a lack of good quality content. Luckily, this is fairly easy to fix with a little bit of creativity.
Consider an extreme example of a one-page website with a picture of the business premises and an email address for people to contact. This gives search engines very little to read whilst they try to figure out what the website is all about. After all, how can they know who to show the website too if there’s no description of the business anywhere to be found?
Although it’s rare to find an example as bad as that above, there are many similar cases to be found.
If you’ve been running or working in a business for any length of time, you should know something about the services or products you offer. Write about them. Help Google to help you!
Here’s a few pages that you should consider creating and writing a few-hundred words on each page at minimum. The more the merrier, but don’t waffle.
• About The Business (where you are based, areas you cover etc)
• Services/Products (what services or products do you offer? What problems do they solve?)
• FAQ (Often one of the easiest-to-write but most successful pages when it comes to search engine optimisation.)
Low Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are a great way to show Google and other search engines that your website is one that can be trusted. After all, if other websites are linking to it then it must be good!
The key with backlinks is to look for high quality and natural opportunities. The old tricks of paying for backlinks from shady blog networks are long gone and a very risky business.
It’s better to consider your backlinking strategy as part of your overall PR strategy. Consider writing press releases to shout about your company success or a recent charitable event you have helped to create. Go to local press (or national if your business is worthy of it) and share your story. With a bit of creativity and luck, you may just get a feature on an online publication and have a link back to your company website from theirs within the article.
When people talk about high quality backlinks, they generally mean links from sites that are already doing very well. For example, a backlink from the BBC is worth its weight in gold. Everybody knows the BBC and they have a very trustworthy reputation.
High quality backlinks can also mean those that are relevant to your business. If for example you are a building surveyor, getting featured in an industry magazine or having a link on an industry-relevant conference website will do you a world of good.