Making your way to the top positions of the SERPs has the ability to boost your business’s exposure, establish your company as an authority figure within your industry, and provide you with the kind of ROI that you have been striving for.
Unfortunately, your website is not in those top positions yet. Why is that? This is a question that every single company has asked at some point. Sadly, there is not a clear-cut answer.
There are numerous reasons why your website is currently struggling to reach those top positions of the SERPs. If your business has been trying to get a top ranking for some time now without positive results, here are eight potential reasons why.
Reason #1: You Haven’t Allowed Enough Time
When SEO is involved, you must be patient. SEO is not something that can be done or be successful overnight. There are certain processes that must be done, and those processes must be done in order. Otherwise, you won’t find success.
It takes time to conduct research, create and implement a solid strategy, and then begin creating high-quality content. Then, it will take even more time for the search engine to realize that you have made changes to your website. And it still isn’t over because you have to wait on Google to determine whether your website is worth it – whether your site offers value.
It can often take several months to even a year for initial changes to be implemented and results to be seen. Therefore, time cannot be avoided, and patience is a quality that you will have to acquire if you don’t currently possess it. No one has ever said SEO was easy.
Reason #2: Your Keyword May Mean Something Other Than You Think
Take the keyword “SEO,” for example. While it may mean one thing to a marketing firm, it will mean a completely different thing for someone interested in learning about what it is. When you pull up the SEO keyword, you can see that Google sees this key term as more of the latter. You can see that the majority of the results in the SERPs are guides to SEO, what it is, whether it is needed, etc.
The point of all this is that your keyword may mean one thing to you, but it may mean something completely different to Google. This may be why your website isn’t ranking in those top positions. So, you may want to take a good look at the first page on Google and ask yourself if the results that are appearing in those top positions similar to what you are providing or want to provide to users?
Reason #3: Your Website Is Visually-Appealing, But Looks Aren’t Everything
A well-designed, modern website looks great, and it likely cost you quite the pretty penny. You appreciate it. In fact, the entire business does, and most of your visitors tell you that it is easy to navigate and is attractive. So, why doesn’t Google feel the same way?
Well, while it is indeed eye-appealing, it may not account for each angle when it comes to SEO. There could be several different things keeping Google from “liking” your site, including:
- Old, stale content
- Insufficient content
- Duplicate content
- Confusing navigation
- Incomplete basics – alt tags, meta descriptions, schema markup
- Split keyword focus – meaning there are several pages that could rank for a specific keyword
- No blog that would allow you to consistently maintain fresh, updated content
Reason #4: You Aren’t Being Noticed by the World Wide Web
Though same may not feel this way, links are and likely will continue to be a big thing. And while there are a million different ways to get them, it doesn’t mean that you should get them through every single means that you can get your hands on. Some of these means could be detrimental to your success.
Ideally, you need to develop a good, solid portfolio of links from various high-quality sources. These should be a variety of no-follow, normal sites, and high-end sites.
You should never, ever purchase links. You need to go about organic ways to boost good links; otherwise, you will raise a red flag.
Links could pose other problems, though…
Reason #5: You Are Being Noticed in All the Wrong Ways
There are some bad people out there in this world. Some of them are just bored with nothing else to do than to ruin other people’s lives. They perform unethical tactics that could essentially cause you to get in trouble with Google. These tactics may include malicious code injected into your site, scraping content from your blog and republishing it online, or building links to your website from far-from-perfect sites.
While Google tends to keep their eye on for SEO attacks that look malicious, you want to always be on guard so that you don’t take the risk of them accidentally assuming that it was your intent. The last thing you want is a penalty from Google. Speaking of…
Reason #6: You May Have Been Penalized by Google
A Manual Action penalty from Google can cause your website to be removed completely from the SERPs. If you were ranking well in the SERPs previously and then notice a significant drop or a complete removal, then there is a good chance that you were penalized by Google.
To see if this is the case, you will need to check the Google Manual Actions report. If this is what happened, you will want to begin correcting the problems immediately in order to get your site back live in the results. If you did receive a report, then a human reviewer with Google determined that your website has failed compliance with the guidelines set forth by Google.
So, what exactly could result in a Manual Action penalty? Google says that a penalty could result if a reviewer determines you have any of the following:
- User-Generated Spam – Spam comments on blogs, forums, etc.
- A Hacked Website – An individual may have uploaded and hidden malicious content somewhere on your website.
- Spammy Structured Markup – The markup that is currently on your page is no within the standard guidelines, such as making some of the content invisible to visitors.
- Spammy Freehosts – Some of your pages that are being hosted on a service are considered spammy.
- Unnatural Links to Your Website – There are numerous links directed to your website that have been deemed deceptive, artificial or manipulative (potentially purchasing links or participating in a link scheme).
- Unnatural Links from Your Website – Similar to the above situation except these links are coming from your website instead of going to your website.
- Basic Content with Little to No Value – Your web pages fail to offer value to web users.
- Cloaked Images – Images are being manipulated to get additional clicks.
- Cloaking/Sneaky Redirects – Showing different pages to Google and to web users.
- Keyword Stuffing and Hidden Text – These are self-explanatory.
- Pure Spam – This includes the majority of the aforementioned, but in a more aggressive manner.
Reason #7: You Assume Your Website Lives in a Vacuum
SEO lives along side social media, content marketing, PPC, and a number of other online endeavors. When it comes to digital marketing, it is no longer a simple thing. It is a very holistic strategy. Multiple elements, such as number of clickthroughs, time on site, number of mentions on the web, engagement on social media, etc. are all important when it comes to determining your overall ranking.
While some of these elements will impact your ranking more directly, or indirectly, than the others, they all play a significant role. Google will look at various signals, some of which that you don’t even pay attention to, when determining your ranking.
We are not necessarily saying that making regular posts on Facebook will directly help get you a better ranking. Instead, we are saying that focusing on building a following on social media will help you get more traffic to your site, clicking on links, and essentially reading your content. Together, these things will achieve more than improved rankings.
Reason #8: Your Competition Has More Game
This is probably the most common reasons that you aren’t ranking where you would like to. SEO isn’t a secret. Most people are well aware of it. It is a common piece of online marketing. For each blog you are not creating and publishing an each link you are not taking the time to build, you can bet that your competition is.
With that being said, if you think that you have performed enough tasks to get ahead or think that you don’t even need SEO anymore, then just know that there is someone out there that is working extra hard to ensure that they get that spot in the SERPs that you want.
If you have just started with SEO, then you may begin to see some improvement in your rankings. However, the more you work with SEO, the better the results you will see. If you aren’t willing to put in the work, then you can’t expect to see the results. You have to work for want you want.
With SEO, it isn’t you against Google. No, it is you against your industry competitors, and you don’t have a lot of room to work with.
Remember, It Doesn’t Take a Lot to Make a Difference
After everything that has been said, you may think that you have to move a mountain in order to get to the top of the SERPs. It is true that there is a lot of work to do to start moving your way up, and that’s why you need to stop procrastinating and get started working on your dream right now!
All it takes are small, simple changes to get started – these are things that you can do before you decide to do you SEO in-house or hire an agency to do it for you.
If you are not ranking just yet, you may want to hone in on that patience and allow a little more time. Alternatively, your website may need a complete overhaul. It all depends on your situation.
Therefore, it is time to take a close look at your individual situation and get started making whatever small changes that you are able to right now. You will truly be surprised at just how effective they can be.
If you are unsure how to proceed, are confused at all, or have decided that hiring an SEO agency is the next step, get in touch with us here at WebDetail so that we can help you.