A little while ago, we wrote about what impacts search results and why your site might not be ranking, which I’m thrilled to say was met with some really positive feedback. In the spirit of starting the new year on the right foot, I’ve compiled 5 more essential reasons that your website isn’t ranking in 2021.
These are based on real methods our SEO team use to improve search rankings for our clients’ websites.
Starting the countdown, at number 5, we have:
You’re not optimising your meta titles & descriptions
Whether your website runs on a CMS, like WordPress or Joomla, or whether it’s an entirely custom site written head-to-toe in code, you need to make sure you’re optimising your meta titles and descriptions for each page.
Your meta title is what Google will show to users when a page from your website is returned in a search; look at the image below – our meta titles are ‘Business IT support and services in Hampshire’ for our homepage & ‘Contact us & Discover the Extraordinary’ for our contact page.
Meta titles are there not only to be used as a ranking factor, but also to help the user understand what the webpage is about. Below the title is the excerpt from the website – Google can automatically generate this, or you can create one yourself. This is called the meta description.
The description should include the primary keyword or phrase you want the page to rank for as well as describing what the page is about.
You’ve not invested in proper hosting
Having a great looking website, with good quality content is key. But if your site is underperforming & creating a bad user experience due to slow loading times, unresponsiveness, or the site being down then you’ll likely not end up at number 1 in a Google search.
This is because of technical SEO, which influences your pages rank based on how your website performs. This includes metrics such as how fast your page loads, whether it’s responsive, whether the site runs on a secure connection (i.e. HTTPS) and more.
While your ranking isn’t solely based on performance, it’s a good idea to get your site to look and run at its best – the more your users like your site, the higher the chance of them becoming a good lead.
You’ve not given your site enough time to rank
Ranking changes aren’t immediate. Please remember that.
When a change is made to your website don’t expect to hit the top rank overnight – changes can take days, weeks (most likely) and even a month or two before your rank really settles.
If during that time you’re constantly changing that same page many times a week/month & never letting the content settle, you’re not going to get an accurate ranking.
You’ve not performed a competitor analysis
If your competitor is getting a lot more business than you through their website, then they’re doing something you’re not.
How do you find out? Perform a competitor analysis. This means checking what backlinks the competitor has and checking what keywords the competitor ranks for – many online tools will provide you with a way to compare what keywords your site ranks for vs what keywords your competitor ranks for.
With this information, you can check out the search queries your competitor ranks for and optimise your pages based on the content & techniques your competitor uses.
Your content isn’t up to scratch
I addressed this in our last post about SEO, but I can’t stress this point enough.
If your content isn’t very good, not only is it not engaging for the reader, but you’re also going to lose rankings to competitors who do write good content.