In 2018, over 90% of consumers began their buying journey with a search on Google. It’s no secret that if you’re not showing on page one of Google, you’re losing potential business.
But what people don’t know is that there is a recipe guaranteed to increase your search rankings, and in turn, drive more qualified traffic and increase business leads.
If your business is struggling with its Google rankings, it may be due to one or more of these five common reasons.
Reason 1: Your Website’s Content
When it comes to Google and ranking, the saying “content is king” gets used frequently. The fact is, if your website’s content is poor or lacks strategy, it will hurt your Google rankings.
A good content strategy combines technical research with strong writing. It’s not only grammatically correct, but the topics you write on are relevant to your audience and include keywords Google understands.
Keywords are specific phrases and words people type into Google when they’re searching for products and companies online. Having the right keywords on your website means you can show up, and show up higher.
Keyword research is an important part of great website content. People tend to use specific terms and words when researching companies or buying a product. Knowing those keywords means you can artfully include them in your content to boost rankings.
Reason 2: Your Website’s Design
Did you know Google reads your website virtually every day? Its software not only scans your content for keywords, but also your page titles, navigation, pictures, videos, and more to learn about your company and services. This is called “crawling.”
When Google can understand your website, it knows to show it when people search for your products and services. But if Google can’t understand your website, it won’t crawl it correctly, and sometimes Google won’t crawl it at all.
If you have old, irrelevant pages hidden deep in your website, Google can get confused. On the other hand, if you have valuable pages that aren’t easily accessible, Google may not even be crawling them and that valuable content won’t show up in searches.
Your website will be more optimized to rank when important pages are easy to find and understand.
Reason 3: Your website’s lack of “authority”
Are you in a competitive market? Maybe your company competes with large, nationwide brands with big budgets, and they always show up first in the search results.
Good news: you actually can beat them in the search results. It’s not easy, but it happens, and quite frequently. The key is to increase your website’s “authority.”
There are a few ways this can happen. The first is following each of the tips above. Your website’s design, quality, and content need to be just as good—if not better—than your competition.
The second way is through mentions or “backlinks”. Backlinks are when one website links to your website. Think of them as shoutouts for your website. And the higher the number of strong, relevant backlinks, the higher your website will rank.
In fact, when it comes to rankings, backlinks are one of the top three things Google considers.
Gaining backlinks and authority takes strong content mixed with an outreach strategy. Think of it as a mini public relations campaign.
We frequently identify websites and publications that are beneficial to our clients and obtain backlinks from them. These backlinks not only increase rankings but they drive valuable referral traffic to their websites.
If you’re a lawyer, what would a backlink and mention from one of the top legal blogs do for your authority and brand awareness?
If you’re a restaurant, being mentioned in the local newspaper or in a popular local food blog would not only drive website growth but would impact the bottom line, too.
Because credibility and content accuracy is a high priority for Google today, backlinks and mentions have become a necessity. There’s just no way around it.
Reason 4: Your Website’s Analytics
In the digital age, technology is constantly updated. Think about your iPhone or computer software. It seems every week a new version comes out. The same principle applies to your website. If you’re treating it like a static, set-it-and-forget-it tool, it’s certainly going to hurt your Google rankings.
Google frequently updates its search algorithms. In the past year alone, there have been three major updates that caused some websites to see big jump in the rankings and others to completely crash.
When you setup up analytics and SEO monitoring software, you get a real-time look at how your website is ranking, which content is performing best, and how you measure up to your competition. By monitoring your analytics and implementing fixes proactively, your website has a great chance of ranking higher. You’ll know what content to write more about, what pages to add or remove, what website fixes to make first.
Websites should not be designed once and then left alone. Websites are an investment that have the potential to have a huge ROI, but only if you continue to invest in them and pay attention to the data.
Reason 5: Your Reviews and Listings
Your reviews and online reputation may be the final reason your website isn’t ranking.
When people search your company’s name or services on Google, does your business profile show up properly? If it’s not showing up, is incomplete or inaccurate, you have a definite issue costing you organic website traffic.
Google uses a variety of tools to help users find the services they’re looking for. This includes maps, business profiles, and structured snippets.
If you’ve ever searched for a local company, chances are you’ve seen the map that shows up at the top of the search results. You’ve probably also seen a business profile on the right side of the search results with more detailed information about the business. But one primary factor that stands out to Google and to users are the reviews that appear in this listing.
There are countless stories about customers searching for companies and choosing to do business with one based on the quality of its reviews.
Assuming your service and product is good, getting reviews isn’t hard, but it will take some commitment.
If your business is struggling with its Google rankings for one or more of the reasons we’ve discussed, contact Sitemap today to get a FREE Page-One SEO Report. We’ll tell you:
- How your website ranks against your competitors and keywords you need to focus on
- Technical errors on your website that are costing you SEO value
- Design improvements that will boost user-friendliness and meet Google’s standards
- How many backlinks you have and opportunities to raise your website’s authority
- Where your Google profile can be improved to increase local traffic