Why Isn't My Website Ranking on Google?
Are we there yet? Like any incredible journey, successful SEO and Google ranking is never quick, especially if it is an afterthought when your website isn't appearing anywhere in search results. I would be wealthy if I had a dollar for every time a client asked us one day after we pushed a new website live why they aren't showing up on Google yet!
However, we understand that for many people, Google's algorithm and understanding of how to get a website to appear on that first page is comparable to rocket science.
A new website's success depends on many factors, including its visibility on search engines like Google. Unfortunately, many new websites struggle to rank on Google, resulting in low traffic and poor visibility. In this article, we'll explore why your new website might not rank on Google and provide you with essential SEO strategies to improve your website's visibility.
On-page SEO refers to optimising individual web pages to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines, a process that includes keyword research and optimisation, content quality and relevance, and website structure and organisation.
Keyword Research and Optimisation
Keyword research is a fundamental building block for any successful website and essential to on-page SEO. It helps you identify keywords relevant to your website and target audience and assess how difficult it will be to rank for them. Once you've completed your keyword research, you should optimise your website's content for those keywords.
How do you carry out keyword research and optimisation?
- Identify your target audience:
- Determine who your ideal audience is and what their needs are. This will help you identify the keywords they are likely searching for.
- Conduct keyword research:
- Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to find keywords related to your business or industry. Look for keywords with high search volume and low competition.
- Create a list of keywords:
- List relevant keywords, their search volume and competition level. This will help you prioritise which keywords to target first.
- Optimise your website's content:
- Incorporate your keywords into your website's content, including page titles, headers, and body content. Use keywords naturally and avoid keyword stuffing.
- Monitor your rankings:
- Use tools like Google Search Console or Ahrefs to track your website's rankings for your targeted keywords. Make adjustments to your website as needed to improve your rankings over time.
Content Quality and Relevance
Once you've optimised your site for keywords and ensured your content is rich in relevant keywords, you should consider the quality and relevance of your content.
How do we ensure content quality and relevance?
- Conduct user research:
- Get to know your audience, ask them questions, and find out what they want in a website and your content.
- Check for readability:
- Ensure your content flows and is easy to read. Have colleagues or friends review your content for grammar and punctuation.
- Use a clear and logical structure with headings and subheadings. Begin with an introduction, include headings, and end with a conclusion.
- Stay up to date:
- Regularly update your website with fresh, new content based on user metrics and feedback.
One of the most common reasons a new website may not rank on Google is poor-quality content. Google's algorithm rewards high-quality, valuable content and penalises low-quality, thin content. So, follow the steps above to ensure your content is of high quality and relevance, bringing your site closer to ranking well on Google.
Website Structure and Organisation
The structure and organisation of your website also play a crucial role in your website's ranking.
What do I look for to improve my website structure and organisation?
- Clear and consistent structure:
- Ensure your website has a logical hierarchy of pages and a transparent navigation system.
- Header tags:
- Use header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to structure your content and make it easier for users to scan and understand.
- Optimise your URL structure:
- Use descriptive, concise, and keyword-rich URLs for each page.
- Optimise your images:
- Use descriptive and keyword-rich file names for your images, and add alt text to describe the content of your images.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly:
- Ensure that your website is optimised for mobile devices with a responsive design.
- Use internal linking:
- Connect related pages on your website with internal links.
- Avoid broken links:
- Check for and fix any broken links on your website.
Off-page SEO refers to optimising elements outside your website that can impact your website's ranking, including building high-quality backlinks, establishing a solid social media presence, engaging with your audience, and optimising for local SEO.
Building High-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites to your website and are crucial in determining your website's ranking on Google.
How can I build high-quality backlinks?
- Create valuable, shareable content:
- Shareable content performs well because it has a purpose.
- Reach out to other websites:
- Ask websites in your industry to link to your content with a personalised email explaining why their audience would find it valuable.
- Participate in online communities:
- Join industry-related online communities and add value to discussions, including links to your website when relevant.
- Monitor your backlinks:
- Use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to monitor your backlinks and identify opportunities to build new links.
- Avoid link schemes:
- Focus on building high-quality, natural backlinks and avoid unethical tactics.
Social Media Presence and Engagement
Your social media presence and engagement can impact your website's ranking on Google. With an active social media presence, you can build an online reputation, engage with your target audience, and drive traffic to your website.
- Regularly post high-quality, relevant content:
- Provide value to your audience and encourage sharing.
- Engage with your followers:
- Respond to comments and questions to build a solid social media presence.
- Encourage backlinks:
- Share your content on social media to drive traffic and encourage others to link to it.
Optimising for local SEO is crucial if your business has a physical location or serves a local area.
How to optimise for local SEO?
- Claim your Google My Business listing:
- Manage your online presence across Google, including search and maps.
- Optimise your website for local keywords:
- Include local keywords in your content and meta tags.
- Get listed in local directories:
- Be listed in local directories like Yelp, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor.
- Encourage customer reviews:
- Positive reviews can improve your local search ranking and build trust with potential customers.
- Use schema markup:
- Use schema markup for local businesses to help search engines understand your business information.
- Get listed in local news sources:
- If your business is in local news sources, have them link back to your website.
Technical SEO refers to optimising your website's technical elements to improve its ranking on Google, including website speed and mobile-friendliness, crawling and indexing, schema markup and structured data.
- Website Speed and Mobile-Friendliness:
- A slow-loading website or one not optimised for mobile devices will negatively impact your website's ranking and user experience.
- Use a responsive design:
- Ensure your website adapts to different screen sizes.
- Optimise image sizes:
- Compress images to reduce loading times.
- Crawling and Indexing:
- To ensure that your website is properly crawled and indexed:
- Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console:
- Use clear and descriptive URLs and meta tags.
- Schema Markup and Structured Data:
- Schema markup and structured data provide additional information to search engines about your website's content.
Ready to get your site ranking? Hopefully, you will realise after reading this article that this isn't the Superbowl, and you can't just sit back and relax. At the same time, you wait for the magic to happen.
If you want your website to rank, you must work to make it happen. Ranking on Google is crucial for a new website's success but can be challenging. By focusing on on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO, you can improve your website's ranking and visibility on Google.
Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy, so be patient and persistent in your efforts, and your website will eventually rank higher in search results. If you need help improving your website's ranking on Google, consider working with a professional SEO consultant or agency like us at Vie Media, Albury Wodonga, with over a decade's experience serving clients at the state, local, and regional levels.