It seems like everyone today has a website; your company has a website, your brother has a website, even your neighbours dog has a website.
Well no-matter how many websites there are, there will always be competition for who’s top-dog.
So how do you go about getting there? What makes one website stand-out from the others?
Have you heard the acronym SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimisation.
SEO involves a number of things including making changes that optimise your website, rewriting content and improving your relevance, trustworthiness, and authority through various mediums including reviews and social media links.
All of these aspects help your website to rank better in search engines results. At Pure IT we’ve got a very successful track record in delivering stellar SEO services.
We don’t just look at rankings, we also look at technical aspects, content moderation & off-site SEO, to give your website the broadest, greatest reach.
Add to this our emphasis on mobile optimisation & you’ll have access to an all-in-one winning SEO package for your business.
So without further ado, here are our top 8 reasons that your website isn’t ranking very well in search engines. This guide doesn’t take into account mobile optimisation as that’s a whole can of worms that’s too big for a slot in this article – though it is very important.
Number 8) You’ve got no sitemap, or you’ve not submitted one
It’s all well and good having a great looking website but if you’ve not got a sitemap, or not submitted it to the search engine you want to rank on, you’re not going to get very far.
Search engines use these sitemaps to (as the word would suggest) map out your site and index the pages listed in the sitemap so they can be returned for relevant search queries.
Number 7) You’ve got 404 content not found errors
When you delete a part of your website, i.e. a page, the URL that the item used to occupy no longer exists, so if a user was to try and access it they’d get a ‘404 not found’ error.
If a search engine has indexed this URL, then the search engine will also run into this error when trying to crawl it, which can damage your reputation and ranking.
Best practice here is to (A) either remove the URL from your sitemap & set the URL to ‘410 gone’ which tells the search engine that the content has been permanently deleted, or (B) create a 301 redirect to another page on your site that has some relevance to the original page.
Number 6) You’ve got redirect chains
If you’re already performing best practices for removed URLs, then you’ve most likely got some 301 redirects in use on your website. 301 redirects aren’t bad by themselves, but when you stack them (i.e. URL1 redirects to URL2, which redirects to URL3, which redirects to URL4 which is a real page) you can damage your website’s ranking.
Ideally, you shouldn’t have any redirect chains as this makes it harder for Google to crawl your site & also affects user experience. You should only redirect the source URL to the new destination URL, not another redirected URL that eventually takes you to the desired destination URL.
Number 5) You’re not marking up your schema
Schema markup is important as it denotes what parts of your website are what. This includes marking up your header, your footer, whether or not your page is an article, and more.
It sounds like something relatively straightforward and you’re right, it is – so why do less than one third of websites use it? Using schema markup can benefit your rankings, especially if you’re trying to climb a few extra ranks.
Number 4) You’re keyword stuffing
SEO has a lot to do with relevance. You want to be the most relevant result for a search query, so that you show up on top. Many years ago, keyword stuffing was a quick way to get there – this involved placing a search term, or keywords from a search term, as many times as you could into your content while still keeping it legible.
This is now a frowned upon practice and won’t score you any points in the big search engines like Google. If anything, it can damage your reputation and harm your chances of coming out on top.
Number 3) Your content isn’t relevant
As stated in point number 4, relevance plays a big part in SEO. When a user types a query into a search engine, the search engine returns what it believes to be the most relevant results.
To put it simply, if you’re a woodworking business & your website has some woodworking content but is mostly featuring info about your favourite music artist, chances are you’re not going to rank very high in woodworking search queries.
Number 2) You’ve got inconsistencies in your local SEO
Local SEO is becoming a larger part of peoples’ SEO strategies, especially since the introduction of Google MyBusiness. This involves setting your business address, your business phone number, and other contact details on various directories.
If you’ve listed your details on directory, but have put contradicting details on another directory, search engines will see this and may count these as either different businesses, or negligence from the business owners side, which can damage rankings.
Number 1) Your content isn’t as good as your competitors
Throughout this article, I think I’ve made a decent point about how relevance is an important part of SEO. So when you write good content, how do you stay ahead of the competitors?
Easy. See what their content is about.
If you take a look at their website, you’ll most likely see a difference in how much they ‘flesh out’ the areas of their content in comparison to yours. Take a hint from their content and start updating your content with more content similar to theirs (i.e. including some of the keywords, or lightly base your content around theirs).
However it must be noted that you should not plagiarise. If you start copying their content word-for-word, your website will get flagged for ‘duplicate content’ which basically means that the search engine has seen you’re just copying existing content and have nothing of relevance to offer – this can really damage your rankings.
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