What is Really Stopping You From Ranking?
After months of working on a website and having it indexed in Google’s search results, it can be frustrating to see it’s not moving up in the ranks. Bottom line, that’s bad news for your conversion rate.
There are many ways to finesse your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), and just as many ways to keep it hidden among a mass of results. While it may take months for your website to rank high with your desired keywords, here are five of the most common reasons why websites don’t rank and how you can be smarter about SEO.
1. A lack of long-tail keyword phrases
Targeting with high-volume, short-tail keywords is no longer effective when it comes to your on-page SEO strategy. According to an article for Forbes, “Short keywords will drive general traffic, whereas longer, more specific keywords will drive more focused, targeted traffic.” That is the traffic most likely to result in conversions. To start the process of targeting the right phrases, you should do keywords research. In this blog post, Kissmetrics discusses how to target interest and intent when researching. Steps for developing your keywords, according to Kissmetrics, include: creating a seed list of starting terms; expanding your list using keyword research tools; and refining your list with competitive research.
2. Not utilizing on-page optimization
Once you have developed your optimal long-tail keywords, it becomes important to use them right in your content. According to Forbes, that includes putting them naturally through your content, along with related phrases and keywords; static-keyword rich URLs; and optimized headings, alt image tags and title tags. These on-page SEO components are the engine of your website.
3. Flimsy content
In almost all industries, companies find value in providing content to stay connected to clients, entice potential customers and increase sales of products and services. But bad content can be just as damaging as no content. It weakens credibility and won’t generate the traffic and shares you’re hoping for. You should be focused on high-quality content. In an article for Forbes, Jayson DeMere shares “The 12 Essential Elements of High-Quality Content,” which address content length; supplementing with images, infographics and videos; page and text formatting; and more.
4. An unresponsive design
It should come as no surprise that people want to be able to access websites on their mobile devices and have them formatted properly. That’s a critical component of user experience, or UX. With responsive design, your website will display properly on different screen sizes and perform correctly, making it user-friendly.
5. Not measuring results
Expounding on UX in general, it’s imperative your website meets the needs and desires of users and compels them to convert. Your website design should be engaging and easy to navigate. You continually should be testing certain components and redesigning as necessary, which is what successful companies like Amazon and Ebay do. According to an article for the Search Engine Journal, you can find problem areas on your website by asking friends, employees or customers where their pain points are; using sites like User Testing to get objective opinions; and ramping up your A/B testing efforts.
Creating a website and getting it online is not sufficient to be a top hit when people search for you on the Internet. You must actively engage an on-site and off-site SEO strategy that includes riveting content, precise keyword phrases and responsive design. More importantly, you must be vigilant when it comes to testing your website’s various components and fine-tuning them as necessary to give your users the optimal experience on every device.