Why is My Website Not Ranking in Google?

Ranking in the top spots of Google's search results takes hard work, determination and a few trade "secrets." Find out how you can boost your website ranking by following a few of these Google ranking factors.

If you’ve built a website, you may have asked yourself Why is My Website Not Ranking in Google? The truth of the matter is that there are many factors at play.  A few things to consider include your site’s Domain Authority, its Page Authority, and even the way it’s structured. But if you’re still wondering why your website is not ranking on Google then this post will give you some advice on how to address this very question. 

Let’s start with the basics.

If your website isn’t showing up in Google search results, and you’re not sure why, there may be a number of ranking factors contributing to your lower placement.

Why is My Website Not Ranking in Google?

The first thing you need to look at is relevancy. Google wants to provide the most relevant information to searchers. They do this by crawling website content and matching it to the keyword/search query a searcher is targeting. If your site is copying content from authority sources or your on-page content doesn’t fully cover the topic being searched, then you can be sure Google won’t show your website.

Need some assistance identifying the “SEO troublemakers” that are keeping your website from ranking on Google? Request a free website audit by our certified SEO experts.

Google Ranking Factors to Increase Search Result Placement

Keyword Placement & Density

Proper keyword placement is crucial for helping Google determine the topic of a page. Include the keyword / phrase you are targeting in the title tag, at the beginning of the page content and sprinkled throughout the rest of the page. This is extremely important for SEO!

It’s also critical that your content is written for humans, not search engines, and that your page reads naturally and not “keyword stuffed” for the sake of attracting Google web crawlers. Be very careful with keyword stuffing as it comes across as spammy and Google could penalize your website for it. Your goal is to create relevancy signals for Google but not over do it!

Another thing to consider is your domain. When picking out a domain, include the keyword and if you can, list the keyword as the first word in the domain. If your domain has previously been registered don’t worry, try adding a keyword to a subdomain. For example, try setting up a page domain like this: www.seo.website.com rather than www.website.com/seo.

The Yoast SEO is a great plugin to help business owners optimize their pages correctly and naturally. It can provide guidance on how easy it is to read your content, how many times your keyword/phrase is used on the page, if your images are optimized, and much more. If you’re looking for the swiss army knife of Wordpress SEO, there’s also Rank Math.

Image Optimization

Since Google’s web crawlers can’t view images, it’s important to help them understand what the images on your web page mean. The image file name, alt text and title tag should explain your image. Be brief in the description and keep the text varied. Sometimes this means getting a little creative for a site with similar images throughout.

Read How Your Website Images Affect Your Search Ranking to learn more about image optimization and best practices.

Content and Site Updates

Google LOVES new material. Keep your content fresh and unique by frequently updating your website and adding new blog posts. Big changes are a better signal to Google than smaller ones, so try to make significant changes when creating updates.

In addition to blog posts and pages, you should also create supplemental content that provides value to the searcher and your target audience. Here are some recommendations:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Interactive Maps/Tools
  • E-books, Whitepapers, Downloadable Templates

Monitor Time on Site

If your website visitors are quickly leaving, also know as bouncing, from the site, Google could determine that the information on your page is irrelevant to the search query used to find your website. Your content should be engaging and delivering the proper message. If visitors are spending time on your site, then you are providing value that Google will want to share with new consumers!

Cleaning House to Increase Your Website’s Search Ranking in Google

Check for Poor Domain History

A website that ranks poorly with Google could have a bad domain history. Penalties like Penguin and Panda were created to target abusive tactics used to increase web rankings and your site may be negatively affected. Be careful hosting with spammers and conducting “black hat” tactics. Google will eventually recognize this and drop your website into oblivion!

Renew Your Domain Registration

Keep your domain up to date, and try to purchase longer domain registrations. Google considers a longer registration more legitimate than shorter ones and gives more credit to websites they believe will continue to exist for years to come. Domains with short term registrations look less authoritative because they may not be actively maintained or are for a temporary cause compared to an established site on the same subject.

Test Page Speed

A website that loads slowly will fall in the rankings compared to sites that deliver content quickly. Google wants to deliver quality content to searchers and a slow loading page sends a poor quality signal. Plus, your customers are seeking speed, so if a page is loading slowly, they’ll quickly abandon your site which will negatively affect your bounce rate.

Make sure you are sending the right signals to Google regarding your website. If you have low quality or spammy inbound links, Google will recognize this as manipulating the ranking system and penalize the website. Link building should be natural. Authoritative sites with a high level of trust tend to help websites rank higher because they provide quality resources to readers.

There are a number of tools available like the Moz browser extension, Ahrefs and Screaming Frog SEO Spider to help with your link strategy.

Along with building high-quality inbound links, internal website linking is also important to Google. Make sure your website has adequate amounts of internal links directing traffic to relevant pages of content. For example, add a link to your contact page, or if you mention a service you provide in a blog article, add a link to that service page.

Also, check and repair broken links as they can send a poor quality signal to Google, thus reducing your site presence in search results.

What If You’re Using the Wrong Keywords Altogether?

The search volume of your keyword phrases matters. It’s the backbone of your SEO strategy. If you’re trying to rank for a term that only gets 100 searches a month, then there’s little chance that you’ll climb to the top of the search results page. When you’re considering the keywords to target on your site, make sure they have fairly high search volumes. This will be easier than climbing an uphill battle when it comes to ranking. Know which words and phrases people are using to find similar pages and create content around those topics.

Google is Not Indexing Your Website

With search engine optimization (SEO), you could write content that represents the topic very well, but if nobody sees it, then why bother? You need to make sure people can find your website. Some SEO tactics include posting on other popular sites and use of social media channels. You might also consider an SEO audit.

Although it’s important to understand Why is My Website Not Ranking in Google? The most significant thing you can do as a website owner is taking action. If nothing else, use this as motivation to learn what you need to know well enough so that your site does start ranking high on search engine results pages.

When Google sees a website that has one link from a blog on a related topic and then another link from a site that is not as closely related, it will assume that the first site is more authoritative (and thus better) than the second. You can build up your “link juice” by getting links from high authority sites.

Not Optimized for Mobile Devices

Mobile web browsing is becoming increasingly popular. If you haven’t optimized your site to be compatible with mobile devices, it’s time to make sure you do! Make sure all of your content is accessible via smartphones and other handheld devices, too.

Your Website Has Been Penalized By Google

Receiving a penalty by Google has been a thing for quite a while. Google says that there are over 200 signals it uses to rank websites, and sometimes those rankings can be affected by penalties. Well, if your site is penalized, then you’ll need to take action before it appears anywhere on the results pages again. The first step is to learn as much as you can about why this might have happened – and how it can be fixed – through resources like this blog post.  As a general rule, there is a disavow tool on Google Search Console that can be used to tell Google which links should no longer be associated with your website. 

There are tons of reasons why your website may not be ranking on Google’s SERPS. And unfortunately learning more about them won’t always give you instant knowledge on how to fix the problem. That being said, with a little research and elbow grease, you should be able to get things headed in the right direction. 

Citations Needed In Local Search Results

Having citations for your business is important because it builds the credibility of your local listing. Google has been performing an algorithmic update with most likely more to come which will impact citations on many sites including those that have been ‘optimized’ by companies selling citation services or even SEO companies themselves! Why might this happen? Well, oftentimes these types of companies will not provide a link back from their site to yours with consistent information about what is being optimized. Why do you think Google would penalize these types of listings? That’s right – they don’t trust them as much as those listings that have been properly optimized. “Why Is My Website Not Ranking in Google?” you ask? Perhaps because you’re not cited right, and the work to fix it has only just begun!

Google Released a New Algorithm Update

You can bet it’s an algorithm update. Why do I say that? Well, if you follow sites like Moz (which publishes updates directly from Google), you’ll see that about once per year (give or take a few months) a major update takes place.

What kind of things might have been affected by this update? Certain back-links, spammy links, and social media profiles were very likely targets for this particular update. Why does this matter to you? Because if your site is spammy in any way, shape, or form – then there’s a good chance that it will be impacted by the next major Google update!

The Best Digital Marketing Agency in Raleigh, NC and Beyond

If your website is not ranking in Google, we got you covered. Get in touch with our team today at 919-341-8901 and book your free strategy session. Our team of experts will be more than happy to assist you if you wish to learn more about our proven SEO services.

Conduct a Website Audit to Identify SEO Troublemakers

While these factors listed above are some of those that make the biggest impact in your search engine results, there are over 200 ranking factors that go into Google’s search engine algorithms. There may be numerous reasons as to why your site isn’t ranking well.

If you’d like some help finding the “SEO troublemakers” that are keeping your website from ranking well on Google, we’re here to help! Get a free website audit by a certified SEO expert.

Just remember a few takeaways: a) Make sure your website is relevant to the topic you want to rank for, b) keep your content unique and fresh, and c ) avoid spammy tactics!