Reaching the top spots of the search engine results pages can improve your company’s exposure, establish you as an industry authority, and deliver the kind of ROI you want to see. (SEO)
So why isn’t your website ranking at the top yet? (SEO)
That’s the million-dollar question that every company has asked itself at one point or another. Unfortunately, there isn’t a million-dollar answer.
Or, at least, there isn’t one single million-dollar answer.
Your website might be struggling to reach the top for any number of reasons. So, if it feels like you’ve been at it for a long time without getting the best results, consider these possibilities: (SEO)
You Haven’t Given It Enough Time
According to this Google, you need to be patient when it comes to SEO.
There’s no way around it. SEO is not an overnight process.
Things need to be done, and they need to be done in order. (It will do you no good to build a bazillion links if they all go to a website that isn’t able to convert the traffic.)
It takes time to research, create, and implement a strategy and begin producing content.
Then it takes more time for Google to realize changes have been made, and then you have to wait for the search engine to determine if you are really providing new value.
In other words, time is something that you can’t avoid. It’s hard, but SEO requires patience.
Your Keyword May Not Mean What You Think It Should
This is our experience with the term “SEO.”
That keyword is obviously important for us (which we discussed in our blog about increasing traffic more than 200%). At one point, though, our homepage couldn’t be found for that term at all. We didn’t do anything to the page to make it drop out of the rankings, it was just gone one day.
So, we really started looking at the environment of search results page for that word.
We had been ranking on the second page for a long time, only ever able to crack #10 on occasion. And then it disappeared.
Our blog page, however, didn’t.
Turns out, when you really look at that first page, it’s easy to see that Google does not believe people searching for the term “SEO” are looking for a company to do the SEO for them.
Instead, they’re trying to provide as much information about what SEO is or how it is done.
That’s why (not including paid results) nearly every result on the first page is a guide to SEO, a discourse on what SEO is, and whether you need it.
Google itself is currently hogging at least 2 spots on the front page.
So, for a while, we were of the opinion that we simply couldn’t rank our homepage on the first page anymore. It’s simply not what Google considers an appropriate answer to the query of “SEO”.
(Of course, just to prove us wrong, Google began ranking our homepage again. We’re currently the only agency site that ranks on the first page.)
The point of all this is that you may want to rank a certain page for a certain keyword, and despite all the good SEO you do, it never quite seems to break for you because the word means something different to you than it does to Google.
Take a closer look at the first page and see if maybe the types of results Google wants to show are different from the kind you want to provide.
Your Website May Look Great, but It’s Beauty is Only Skin Deep
You’ve paid a lot for a well-designed and very modern website. Everything about it looks great. You check it out on a daily basis just to appreciate the design a little more.
Why doesn’t Google appreciate it the way you do?
It’s possible that your design may look great but hasn’t accounted for every SEO angle.
There could be any number of things holding you back, including:
- Duplicate content
- Insufficient content
- Old, untouched, stale content
- Confusing navigation
- Split keyword focus, so there are multiple pages that could rank for a given word
- Incomplete basics, such as metas, alt tags, and schema markup
- No blog or other way to continually refresh your content
You Have Gone Unnoticed by the Web at Large
Links are still a thing, and probably always will be. And while there’s a bajillion ways to get them, not all of them are worth having, and some could be detrimental.
You need a good portfolio of links from various sources. Some should be no-follow, some should be from really good sites, some should be just normal sites.
Buying links is out of the question. Link schemes, also bad. It’s important to find natural ways to increase the good links and avoid the ones that may raise flags for Google.
Of course, links could be a problem in another way, too.
You’ve Been Noticed by the Wrong Part of the Web
Some people may start using some unethical tactics on your website.
They don’t actually need a reason to do this. They may simply choose your website as a target to inject malicious code. Or they may start scraping your blog and republishing all your content. Or they could start building countless links to your site from questionable websites.
Google is pretty good at spotting a negative SEO attacks but you don’t want to risk the kind of penalty that could result from it, so stay on guard.