4 SEO Fixes that will improve your website Rank on Google
Have you ever Googled yourself? I mean to search for your business's website on Google. Testing your ranking with the terms searchers and customers in your neighborhood use to find a business like yours online. Things like clothing shops near me, best grocer stores around my area etc.
From the terms customers who know about your business use to find its opening hours, to the ones people type in when they feel like trying something new; if your Digital Marketing strategy doesn't cover these things, your website simply won't get found. Ultimately, that is the whole point of having a website - that your business be found by those who need your products and services. To help you improve your visibilty in these areas is the purpose of this post. We approach it from the angle of what you should be doing as well as what yould avoid. So, here are 4 common reasons why businesses and websites cannot rank well in the Search Engine Result Pages.
1. You Have Poorly Prioritized your important SEO tasks
Their are four ey SEO tasks you should take ver seriously to rank well in the search engines. Here are they:
The best starting point is to analyze your site to identify your strengths and weaknesses. A detailed SEO evaluation analysis usually involves taking the time to audit one's website to identify the things that are right as well as those that are not being done properly. If you do this exercise correctly, you will quickly identify some of the biggest mistakes that you do while trying to develop a good and attractive site. For example, a comprehensive audit may reveal an issue to do with your content, site structure and even layout that may be hampering your SEO performance. Also, such an audit may reveal some of the things that you do right in your bid to rank highly. Thus, it is necessary first to audit your site to determine your strengths and weaknesses before you make any step in the process of optimizing your website.
After carefully evaluating the merits and demerits of your site, it only makes sense for you to try to understand what your competitors are doing. It is at this stage that you need to carry out a comprehensive analysis of your competitors. Your best competitors are the sites that are in your niche that seem toward attracting more traffic than yours and ranking better. You must understand the things that they do right and those that they fail to attend to for you to master the process of developing the right strategy to beat them. Thus, take the time to identify all the most important characteristics of the best sites in your industry for you to respond to their strategies appropriately. Also, you can use the findings to adjust your strategy.
Conduct keyword research
The next step in the process of optimizing your site is to carry out comprehensive research of keywords. Keywords are the backbone of your content strategy. You can develop appropriate content is you understand what your visitors need. Conducting keyword research helps you to master the best keywords and understand the terms that your audience is using. Therefore, it is crucial to carry out keyword research at this stage by using a good keyword research tool. You can use any of the standard keyword research tools to find out what your competitors are using and how best you can modify the keywords to suit your specific needs. Always focus on long-tail keywords.
The next step in the process is to build very valuable backlinks. Backlinks usually serve the all-important function of showing that your site has some of the best content and other attributes that users would like to see. Thus, if you have few but high-quality backlinks, you can do much better than another site that has hundreds of average backlinks. There are several strategies that you can use to build valuable backlinks for your site. For example, you can use guest blogging to build relationships with leading lights in your industry. You can then suggest developing guest blogging relationships with them as a way of building important backlinks
2. Your SEO Content is Competing Against Itself
Another reason for a website not being found on Google comes down to a different kind of problem which relates to website content, specifically, too much of the wrong kinds of content. This could be sabotaging your website’s chances of ranking. This normally happens for one of two reasons:
All of the content on your pages that you want to rank should have unique content. None of these pages should, in the worlds of Google, share:
‘Substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.’
If long passages of text are identical, search engines will punish one or all of the pages by giving them either a lower page ranking or not ranking them at all.
Too Few SEO Keyword Targets
Alternatively, a website could be pushing its own pages out of the rankings, if the site's content strategy creates too many site pages that are chasing the same keywords. For example,an online jewelry store is tries to optimize for the term "retro watches’ by posting a keyword focused blog article titled "The five best retro watches" and then to tries to get multiple pages ranking by posting another article titled “six must have watches”, by focusing too many articles on the same keywords the content creator will not be getting the best out of their content.
Both pages could be preventing each other from ranking. Or this time spent on the 2nd article which doesn‘t rank so well, could be better spent creating content that targets other keywords.
The Fix: Combine & Reword Content
The solution for two articles competing against themselves, especially if one ranks well, and the other doesn't, is to add the content from the second article to first to create a longer more authoritative piece. One long article on a subject has a much better chance of ranking than two shorter ones.
If one of your pages ranks and the other doesn’t it's often easier to improve the rankings of the article that already ranks, and one front page ranking page will always drive more traffic to a website than two pages both ranking but much further back in the results pages.
If you are still not sure if your content is duplicate, consult Google’s duplicate content guidelines to give yourself a better understanding of what counts. Then find those pages on your website which share long passages of a text that are either identical or very similar and rewrite these sections so they are worded completely differently.
If for some reason you have to keep duplicate content, be sure to add canonical tags that point to the longer more important article. (You can read more about canonicals here). This will make sure that the favoured version keeps its rankings — so more people will find your website.
3. Google Can't Find You
If you type the exact address of your website’s homepage into Google, and your website doesn't appear as the first result, then something has gone seriously wrong with your website's SEO strategy. The most likely reason for this issue is that your website is not listed by Google and other search engines.
This problem is the Digital Marketing equivalent of Blackberry Smartphones for the last 5 years — no one has a clue that it exists. Any business that cannot be found on Google cannot claim to have an adequate Digital Marketing strategy. Fortunately, with the right tips and a little help, the problem can easily be solved.
The Fix: Give Those Googlebots Some Help!
Every second of every day, Google’s software applications known as GoogleBots, also given the less appealing name of spiders or crawlers, are scanning millions of websites around the world to find and sort their information, so that Google can list these websites as answers to inquiries. If your website doesn’t appear when you type its exact URL into Google, the Googlebots either haven’t found it yet or that they cannot understand or read its content.
In order to fix this problem, you need to focus on your website's technical SEO. One of the first things you can do is submit a sitemap to Google. This will make sure that Googlebots find your website, this is a common solution for the problem of a website not appearing in the Google search results.
The other consideration is whether your website appeared on Google before now but had been delisted. In that case, you are suffering a Google penalty. To learn why your website can be penalized by Google and how to recover from it, read our article on The Most Common Reasons Why Your Website can be penalized by Google
4. New Customers Unable to Find Your Website
An online business may have an excellent website but Digital Marketing isn’t as simple as making your site appear as the top result when someone types in your business's name, Unless you are a major brand like Coca-Cola Apple or Chanel, the search terms potential customers use to find your site or products won't be brand product, or modal specific.
Even with many medium-sized brands consumers tend to use more open terms to find what they are looking for. According to the rankingCoach keywords feature, when most people are looking for a low-cost holiday in a particular location they are much more likely to type in cheap flights when looking for low-cost flights than the name of the smaller airlines like Virgin America. Whereas the major brand Jetblue gets roughly the same number of searches as the term ‘cheap flights’
The business with the best value keywords for their size will reach the highest possible number of customers. You need to make sure that you can be found for the best value terms in your industry and this is always much more than just your business’s name. Even if jetBlue gets a lot of searches for its name, it can get twice as many by also having a top ranking for the term cheap flights. It is easy to see how getting tops rankings for 5 or even 10 of phrases with such a high search volume can lead to millions more visitors to a site.
The Fix: Optimize Your Site for the Best Keyword with SEO Tools
When we go to search engines like Google to find something to buy online, the reason why certain site owner’s pages appear often is not because they have an expensive website with lots of flashy graphics, in fact, an overcomplicated website design can hurt rankings on search engines, as coding like flash and poorly tagged video content can make it impossible for Google to locate the keywords hidden in flashy content.
The vast majority of websites that have the best rankings on Google, got there by using Keyword tools to target the best value keywords and phrases, and then optimizing their website for these keywords to make sure they are present on the best pages, and that they can be easily accessed and indexed by Google. Successful digital marketers don't try and guess these phrases they use keyword tools to make sure that their site is optimized for the most popular phrases that they can realistically rank for.
To get this right, we need to strike a balance between keyword search volume and keyword competitiveness. The rankingCoach application has a keyword finding feature that suggests high volume keywords along with a rating of their difficulty to rank for. The user can optimize their website for the latest and best-ranking phrases and adapt and change them accordingly as keyword trends come and go. This way new customers will always be able to find your business with all the best value keywords.
4.1 No One in The Neighborhood Can Find You
The last teenagers to pick-up a phonebook and use it to find a pizza delivery place probably did so during the height of Britney Spear’s career — but these days it's not just the younger generation who are perplexed by those big old dusty phonebooks: 97% of all consumers go online to find a local business. Many of these local businesses are not found by customers in the standard listings because the SERP is much more than just a list of meta titles and descriptions. Let me show you what I mean:
You come home from work too late to cook and decide to order a Pizza. The last place you tried wasn’t great, so you go to Google enter something like “thin Italian style Pizza near me” or “deep pan pizza free delivery”. The first place you most likely look on the results page is not the Serp –– it's Google maps, you pick four places that don’t seem too far away and head to Yelp or Tripadvisor to read some reviews.
Any of the local pizza places who aren't on that map, or perhaps have a lot of bad reviews, aren't going to be selling many pizzas that night! This is another reason why a website or business won’t get found.
The Fix: Sort Out Your Local SEO
You've solved the first two problems: your website shows up in the Google results for the best value keywords and you have a well-built website that is great technically for SEO. Now we need to get people from your neighborhood into your store or restaurant.
When finding a local business online, many customers will visit its website, but others may just look up its opening hours and location on local directories or online maps, and head over to check it out for themselves. To make sure a local business is found: it needs an effective Local SEO strategy making sure that the business's website and details have great visibility on online maps and consistent directory listings in all the important directories, these include YP, Google My Business. On top of this, they need a positive online review profile. Having this will do more than attract visitors to those directories: these listings also influence Google’s main results for standard listings and Google Maps pages. By creating this presence a site owner is boosting their site’s visibility in local searches.
Finding all the right directories for your business, keeping all of your local directories listings, and customer review correspondence up to date, can be very time consuming. Businesses need to be in at least 20 local directories to start building an adequate Local SEO presence. Fortunately, local marketing Apps like rankingCoach 360 can find and scan all the relevant local directories for your business and update all of your listings simultaneously with just a few clicks. Whether you pick the quick and easy way, or the more time consuming option of finding the right directories and entering listing manually, creating a ubiquitous and consistent Local SEO presence will make sure your business is found by customers in your neighborhood.
For more detailed coverage of improving your ranking with local SEO, read our post on SEO Tips For Optimizing Your Local Google My Business Page
We hope these four tips have helped you to clear up some problems!